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Offline Maggot

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Land Of The Eshal
« on: September 04, 2004, 11:28:38 PM »
Isolated from the known world,by the seemingly endless watery wastes of the fabled Vaet Ocean,the savage eel-folk rule the watery continent of Tarod with an iron fist,ever ready to carry out plundering raids on the subject races at the slightest excuse. A race of savage warriors and fanatics,the Eshal are driven by the consuming need to find an ever larger number of victims to feed the monstrous thing known simply as the Matriach.....

 
 This is a place where amphibious beings are the dominant life forms,due to the fact that the continent is made up mostly of a series of huge lakes  and lagoons that are connected each other via rivers and streams,some constructed artificially by the Eshal.The small pockets of land that exist,are inhabited mostly by animals and beasts,some extremely dangeorus and vicious. The only bits of land that are inhabited,are a chain of small islands which are peopled by a primitve tribe of humans who see the Eshal as semi-divine beings. Centuries of human females mating with Eshal,have resulted in the islanders developing gills,thus allowing them to make  tribute visits to their overlords. In the south-western part of the island,lie the mosquito choked swamps, where the  young warriors of the Eshal prove themselves in battle against the rebellious inhabitants,namely the rebellious frog men and the wild piranah folk.

In the north western part, live the once glorious mer-folk,now the slaves of the Ehsal and small,roaming bands of crocodile people that struggle to cling on their way of life,in the face of savage Eshal incursions.Beyond the borders of Tarrod,so the legends go,are islands are haunted by vicious,surface dwelling demons.

 For all thier arrogance,the Eshal are in awe of one race.The mystrious Cuada with their deadly venom and potent mind magic are not hunted by the Eshal,but are instead revered by them as semi-divine beings that are thought to be the first born of the gods.
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Offline Scrasamax

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Land Of The Eshal
« Reply #1 on: September 05, 2004, 04:45:32 AM »
COOL! I want a description of eshal physiology, or if you would like I could provide one myself.

Nice with the Croc-people, but would have never thought of piranah folk. The merfolk as slaves in decline, plus the half-human eshal is a cool idea too.

Some ideas for you based off of the amphibian dominant ecology.

The Cauda - salamander folk, primitive society with peaceful to pacifistic tendancies, but largely unmolested by the eshal due to their intimate power of elemental magic (water) or a potent connection with the gods of the watery continent. Tribes and family groups are differentiated by skin color and pattern, with amost all being vividly colored, such as red, electric blue, green and yellow. Some may be poisonous. Another possibility is that all Cauda are poisonous, and hence are seldom bothered by the other denizens of the waterlands.

The Anura - the frog folk, similar to the Cauda in coloration, as some tribes are strongly poisonous, while others which make up the majority of the Anura use camoflage and are drab colored. The Anura as a whole are primitive, not so much as the Cauda. Where the Cauda are also herbivores, the Anura are hunters and stalkers.


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Offline Maggot

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Great ideas!
« Reply #2 on: September 05, 2004, 09:34:00 AM »
I haven't really thought about their physiology. Hmm,how do you create eel-men that can hold weapons? Yes,I would really appreciate your drawing up thier physiology. Now,for the ideas you gave me! I love them,especially the Cauda! Due to their close ties to the water sprites and their toxic venom,the Cauda are held in awe by the fierce Eshal,who see them as the first born of the gods.As such, they are seen as almost super natural beings.Young Eshal priests are often sent to train under the shamans of the Cauda,much the same way druids would train the princes of Ireland. What do you think? As for the Anura,I see them as prized slaves due to thier skill as hunters.Young Eshal warriors out on a hunt,would often depend on the skills of an Anura tracker to bring them to their quarry.If you have any more ideas for new races,Im all ears.  :D
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Offline Cheka Man

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Land Of The Eshal
« Reply #3 on: September 05, 2004, 09:56:38 AM »
I really like that water-world. :D It's so original.I want to know more about it. I feel sorry for the enslaved mer-folk.How did they get enslaved?


Here is an idea for something.

Dunkeousteus-these massive amoured fish swim in groups of 10-15.Whilst they prefer eating shoals of fish, they will eat anything that is not too hard a target for them.

Offline Scrasamax

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Eshal Physiology
« Reply #4 on: September 05, 2004, 01:07:57 PM »
First and foremost, the eschal are tachnically going to be amphibians, because if they are contained solely to the water, they wont be much of a threat to the other amphibian races. They are amphibious soft fish, in that they do not have scales, or bony extrusions.

Locomation within the water is primarily driven by the large paddle like tail. The limbs, which are small in comparison to the limbs of the Anura are kept tucked up close to the body. Within the water, the Eshal are more than capable of breathing water indefinately. If changing from salt to fresh, or fresh to salt water they have to make a slow adjustment period or suffer a sort of chemical shock if they try to make the change too quickly.

Locomotion on land is dealt with through small fore and hind limbs. Each forelimb ends an a manipulative webbed hand that has seven digits, six 'fingers' and a grasping 'thumb'. Breathing air is possible, but only as long as the eshal is able to retain a high percantage of moisture. Drying out is lethal to tham as it is to the Cuada, and the Anura as well. As a rule of thumb, anything bad for a frog, will be bad for these three races.

The average Eshal is twelve to fifteen feet long, and carries itself two to three feet from the ground. On land they are quick, and efficient hunters, their wicked spiked teeth making short work of small mammals and other denizens of the wrack. In the water, they prey primarily on fish. The head is large and well developed with enlarged jaw muscles, and a larnyx that is sophisticated enough to work both above and below water.

Most eshal habitats are underwater, being contructions of deadwood, and mud always located in deep calm places. several eshal can live in a den, while a few will maintain a storehouse of dried mud on dry land for preserving things that water corrodes. Most adventurers would find these surface colonies, and the attendant warriors who guard them.

Special Note: the eshal are not 'funny looking humans with eel-heads' they have an alien mindset from our own.


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Offline Maggot

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The leadership and society of the Eshal
« Reply #5 on: September 06, 2004, 06:30:06 AM »
The Empeor and his mother,The Matriach

 As Sasacramax said,the Eshal mind is very different from ours.Every Eshal is spawned with a specific purpose in life,all the way from the Emperor himself to a lowly peasant tending his flock of fish. The situation being such,the empire of these eel men has never been put in peril by power struggles.

 Deep beneath the vaults of the massive,submerged palace of the Emperor,lies the bloated thing known as the Matriach.Measuring 500 feet from massive snout to garangutan tail,she lies in an almost comatose state,slumbering in the massive cavern that she never leaves.It would not be an exaggeration to call her the life-giver of the Eshal.Without her,their glory would not exist.She is old beyond the reckoning of time,having outlived generations of her people and is seen as a gift from the gods to the Eshal.

 When the current  emperor dies,a great sacrifce is held.Hundreds of  bound slaves are led by priests,into the cavern of the Matriach.There they are bled by the priests.It is then,that the Matriach awakens,pulled out of her slumber by the rich,tantalizing scent
of spilled blood.

 With her gaping maw,she devours the the sacrifical victims.During this,the priests work themseves into a religous estacy,in which some even fling themselves into the jaws of the Matriach.When she has finally sated her appetite,she lays a clutch of eggs,after which she returns to her slumber.The eggs are then collected by the priests and watched carefully.The first hatchling to emerge is declared the Emperor and the rest are selected to become the priests that  conduct the sacred sacrifces and help their lord govern his vast relam. It only takes a week for the hatchling to mature and take over thier duties.

 So it is with every Eshal,whose place and duty in society is determined by s the caste his or her mother hails from.This is due to the fact that the traits unique to each caste,are inherited almost soley from the mother.Females  from different caste groups,spawn certain kinds of Eshal,explaining the physical differences that exist among them.Eg: Warrior Eshal are physically stronger than the peasants and have stronger jaws.Every Eshal is compelled by his genes to carry out his job to the best of his ability,for the well being of the Empire.Hence,blind obediance is the force that powers the empire of the Eshal,much the same way as it would an ant or termite colony.Unlike mindless ants however,the Eshal genuinely take pleasure in what they do,feeling that by carrying out the will of the Empeor,they keep the empire strong.They also enjoy pleasures of the senses and flesh,especially male Eshal who love having multiple mates,regardless of the caste they come from.      
 
Now to give you a better picture of Eshal society.It is made up of 3 castes or social orders,with the Emperor at the top,the warriors in the middle and the peasants at the bottom.The primary job of the Emperor and the priests is to honour the water sprites with rituals and sacrifces,spread the glory of Eshal and rule the empire effectively.The warriors spread the glory of the Emperor by invading new lands and guard peasant colonies and settlements from the more savage folk of Tarrod,such as the Anura and the Lurdi..They are rewarded handsomely by the Emperor for their services  with land and merfolk slaves.Senior war leaders even live in large,spacious,lavishly decorated mounds that have a special system for the disposal of waste and refuse.

This is in stark contrast to the lives led by the humble peasant caste,who are only allowed to keep the bare minimum of their produce that supports them and their mates and children.In most cases,3 families share one den,a small,cramped squalid mound,nothing at all like the dwelling of the warriors.  The more fortunate ones are craftsmen and scribes that are not taxed asIt is important to note however,that a peasant cannot be harmed or abused in any way by a priest or warrior.All Eshal are considered''The Brave People'',thus making them all brothers and sisters.Any priest or warrior that forgets this and kills a peasant in a fit of rage,will be sacrificed.Moreover,in lean times the peasants will not go hungry,as produce from the private holdings of the High Priest will be used to feed them.

 Non- Eshal however,with humans  and the mysterious Cauda as the only exceptions,are regarded as no more than animals and thus have no rights at all.This is especially true of enslaved mer folk that work in the sea weed plantations of the Emperor. As for the status of females,they have a suprising amount of respect for what seems to be a male dominated society.Females are revered for the role they play in creating new life.For without the Matriach would there be any Emperors to rule the Eshal?,goes a popular saying. It does not bother them that their mates consort with other females.They realize and accept that every male has to father as many children as possible,to keep the land strong and mighty.If their population was to drop,the savage people would devour their empire and people.

Coming soon:More stuff on the Curd(Croc men)  and Lurdi(Piranah folk).Decline of the Merfolk may take some time,Im afraid.
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Offline Maggot

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Land Of The Eshal
« Reply #6 on: September 07, 2004, 04:29:23 AM »
So,what do you guys think?
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Offline very_veiwtiful_joe

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Land Of The Eshal
« Reply #7 on: September 07, 2004, 06:19:37 AM »
a croc who was the greatest fighter is the cheif and always wears a great big belt many challenged him for leadership to no avail while once he desired a lady croc and she was paid by some guys to tell himm to take of the belt and she did and he took it off and they found out that now was a ripe time to take the cheiftainship from him cos hed grown fat with drinking and ladies and the easy life


howsa bout that for a carry on?
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Offline very_veiwtiful_joe

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Land Of The Eshal
« Reply #8 on: September 07, 2004, 06:21:02 AM »
im lovin the croc ideas
and those salmander thingys were a stroke of genius
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Offline Scrasamax

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Land Of The Eshal
« Reply #9 on: September 07, 2004, 07:09:39 AM »
Thank you. The Cuada, derived from the genus name of the salamander cuadata were the first thing that popped into my mind when Maggot brought up the concept of an amphibian dominated realm. The astute observer might also note the name of the frogmen, the Anura is also the genus name of frogs. Neat things in those technical names, most of them are latin. Fun to play with.

I can see the Curd being the most physically dominant, but also being isolationist, and unable to dominate the power structure as they would also have the slowest rate of reproduction of the races that have been brought forth.

With the exception of the Anura, the watery realm seems to be dominated by intelligent quadrupeds. How bizarre?


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Offline Maggot

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The Curd
« Reply #10 on: September 07, 2004, 08:08:40 AM »
Traditionally,the Curd have been simple hunters and fishers that live in small family groups,wondering the vast swamps that they call home.Each family group typically consists of a male Curd with his family,parents,mate and offspring.They  would only come together in large groups,during the Great Mating ceremony,where young Curd warriors sparred with each other for the hand of a desiarable female.The victor was then subjected to careful scrutiny by the female and if she was satisfied,they  would join together in a bonding ceremony.This bond is eternal.Curds mate for life and neither will take another mate,should one die.

They are also extremely fond and protective of their children and will kill anything that threatens them.This mean that you do not wish to find yourself between a male Curd and his hatchlings!This is perhaps due to the fact that throughout her life,the female Curd only lays 5 eggs.To even lose one to to predators would be a crushing blow.The death of a child is an unforgivable crime and the father will never rest, until he has collected the head of the killer as a trophy,be it beast or sentient being.If the father fails to acomplish this in his lifetime,the blood debt is passed on to his sons who must now carry on the task of finding the killer of their sibling. This is one of the reasons why they hate the Eshal priets bitterly, who use Curd females or infants as victims for their foul sacrifces.They are also terrifed of magic and see it as the work of ''demons''.Yet another reason for them to hate the Eshal priests. Their biggest greviance however,is the way their conquerers have brutally uprooted them from the way of life given to them by their ancestors.Curd families are now forced by Eshal warriors to live in squalid,cramped settlements,while their traditional fishing  grounds are stripped of anything edible,or dammed so that gold on the river beds can be collected.The Curds that fight back,are  slain outright or taken away as slaves.

(Help me out with their physiology, Sacrasamax)
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Offline Cheka Man

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Land Of The Eshal
« Reply #11 on: September 07, 2004, 10:43:03 AM »
This is a very well-made world. You have created some very realistic beings.The Eshal must be hated by all the other groups around them. I would stay far away from a Curd egg if I were on that planet.

Offline Scrasamax

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Curd Physiology
« Reply #12 on: September 07, 2004, 03:36:02 PM »
Much like the rest of the denizens of this land, the Curd are primarily quadrupeds. They move about most comfortably on four limbs, but are also able to stand erect and move in an erect gait, but without the same speed and surety of their four-legged gait.

The average Curd is 14 to 16 feet long, with about 1/3 of that length being tail. They do not have the same lixard-like splayed legs of a terran crocodile, but instead have their legs under their body like a mammal. This gives them signifigantly more ground clearance. They also have a central ridge in their spine where powerful muscle groups are anchored. This allows the curd to stand on its rear legs, and move its heavy upper torso. During the mating season, male curd will rear up on their hind legs and crash head first into one another, mouths agape in a display of masculine power. This is resolved in the manner of a game of chicken, or until a potential rival submits to the dominant male. In normal life, this sledgehammer attack is irresistable to opponents.

Given the soft-skinned nature of amphibians, the Falling jaws attack crushes bone, shreds flesh, and even a glancing hit can cripple an Anura warmaster for the rest of its life.

The Curd tail deserves mention. It is heavy, and flexible, but not the loose flexibility of a monkey tail, but the heavy articulation of a tank tread. The tail is used in a sculling motion to propel the curd through the water. It can also be used as a third point in a tripod stance that curd take when standing but not moving. In times of hostility, curd will often ues the tail as a battering weapon. This is to ensure their own survival, as mating contests do not end with the death of young curd. Coupled with the superior mass of the curd, the tail is able to bowl over any of the other resident races.

Curd build large mounds to make the defence of their eggs easier, with there being mulitple mounds in a given area. Eshal often have to hunt through a dozen or more mounds before they can find the eggs or youngling they seek for their sacrifices.


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Offline Cheka Man

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Land Of The Eshal
« Reply #13 on: September 07, 2004, 05:23:39 PM »
This really is one of the best worlds I have ever come across.I wish I had a world that was this good.

Offline Maggot

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Ideas for the Lurdi
« Reply #14 on: September 07, 2004, 10:24:03 PM »
Thanks,Chekaman! Do you or Sacrsamax have any ideas for the Lurdi (piranah men)? I want to create a race that combines the piranah's blood lust with the intelligence of a sentient being.They are the thorn in the side of the Emperor,frquently raiding Eshal colonies and ambushing warrior patrolls.
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Offline Scrasamax

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The Lurdi
« Reply #15 on: September 08, 2004, 07:08:59 AM »
Of all the sentient races of the wrack, the Lurdi are both the smallest, and one of the most feared. The average Lurdi stands an erect three and a half feet tall, its betoothed maw smashed into a cowl shaped head that seems to lack a neck. The eyes are large and slightly protuberant, offering the Lurdi near 360 degree vision. They have a large and well developed sense of smell, especially keen in the scenting of blood which drives them into a mad frenzy.

Dozens of Lurdi will often lurk, fitting as Lurdi is the eshal verb 'To Lurk', just under the surface of the water. These mixed packs of male and female, adults and juvenile will linger in an area until there is little or no prey left, and then slyly fade away. The horror begins a short time later after they have relocated.

A Lurdi attack is a thing of nightmare. The icthids boil out of the water, screaming with jaws agape. Others will attack from under the water, tearing at limbs and fins, filling the water with blood that drives the Lurdi into a feeding frenzy. The eshal and merfolk are their favored prey, and for some strange reason, the Curd are perfectly safe, as the Lurdi hold them in some sort of awe. Even a whiff of Cuada will cause the Lurdi to become restless and more prone to frenzy.

Sort of a mix between a goblin and a piranah. They dont have much besides a hunter gatherer society, but this makes them very difficult to eliminate by the empire. Plus, during the brooding season, a single female Lurdi can spawn hundreds of eggs, of which ten to twelve will survive to maturity. If even one female escapes an eshal raid, a Lurdi colony can be rebuilt in a matter of two or three years.


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Offline Maggot

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More on the Lurdi
« Reply #16 on: September 08, 2004, 07:52:57 AM »
Like Sacrasamax said,the Lurdi are feared hunters that breed extremely quickly.This makes them the stuff of nightmares to Eshal settlers.Their frequent hit and run raids result in isolated Ehsal settlements being razed to the ground and any warrior patrolls that are carrying supplies to their settler breathen,get ambushed by these master lurkers.Reprisal raids don't do much good,as Sacrasamax pointed out.

They are a thorn in the side of the Emperor,but sadly no more than that.If the Lurdi managed to pull their disparate tribes and packs into a strong alliance,it might be possible for them to seriously threathen the Eshal presence in their lands,but the suspicions that divide these savage and primitive people are simply too strong for that.
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Offline Scrasamax

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« Reply #17 on: September 08, 2004, 08:13:04 AM »
Another thing that keeps the savage Lurdi from being a threat is that with the boon of very high reproduction comes the drawback of a limited lifespan.

The Cuada are seemingly immortal, and given their mysteries, they like others to think that, makes others nervous and nervous people make mistakes.

The Curd are also quite long lived, with lifespans commonly reaching to two to three century mark with ease.

The Eshal hold a middle ground, living for a century, bet never more than a century and a half.

The Anura commonly reach 35, and 50 is considered venerable.

The lowly Lurdi average a lifespan of no more than 20 years, with 25 being a veritable ancient.


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Offline very_veiwtiful_joe

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Land Of The Eshal
« Reply #18 on: September 08, 2004, 10:41:46 AM »
Hey Scrasamax! Did you check my character and if you did, did you like him. He is a Lurdi and his name is Oscillios. Check him out.

Thanks
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Offline MoonHunter

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re: Viewtiful
« Reply #19 on: September 08, 2004, 11:56:50 AM »
If you are going to create characters you need to provide enough information that someone not fluent in this environment can follow the character. There was not enough information for people who are not writing this thread to follow.

In addition, link back to this thread, so you can both inform people of this world AND so they can comment upon it.

link. link. link. link. link. link. link. link. link. link. link. link. link. link. link. link. link. link. link. link. link. link. link. link. link. link. link. link. link. link. link. link. link. link. link. link. link. link. link. link. link. link. link. link. link. link. link. link. link. link. link. link. link. link. link. link. link. link. link. link. link. link. link. link. link. link. link. link. link. link. link. link. link. link. link. link. link. link. link. link. link. link. link. link. link. link. link. link. link. link. link. link. link. link. link. link. link. link. link. link. link. link. link. link. link. link. link. link. link. link. link. link. link. link. link. link. link. link. link. link.
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Offline Cheka Man

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Land Of The Eshal
« Reply #20 on: September 08, 2004, 04:27:18 PM »
OOC-Sorry that I'm late, I had offline things to do.

IC-One reason that the Lurdi are so troublesome, is that if one is killed or even injured, then a chemical in the blood will alert Lurdi packs from up to five miles away within minites. So even a Lurdi caught on his/her own is far from an easy victim.

They will happily kill Eshal babies. As far as the Curd are concearned, neither race will kill each other and they normally avoid each other.If they and the Curd were ever to join each other in an alliance the Eshal hold would be shaken badly.

Offline Scrasamax

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Lurdi world perspective
« Reply #21 on: September 08, 2004, 05:06:27 PM »
Lurdi perspective is divided into two great realms. Food, and not food.

Anything alive is food, with the exception of the Curd. No one understands this phenomenon, and the curd are the only species that registers as not food. Even the cuada, who are deadly poisonous to the Lurdi still register as food. Lurdi register as food but only during certain rare circumstances, and this cannibalism is generally restricted to larger schools of Lurdi encountering one another during lean times.

I would like to see more developement of the warrior Anura tribes. Some can be enslaved to the eshal, others retaining their freedom, but driven out of the valuable swamps and onto the drylands, restricted to few breeding pools.

I have some ideas working, and in a bit I will do a post with the Cuada. (Kwa-da)


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Offline Maggot

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The Anura:A proud race of roving hunters
« Reply #22 on: September 09, 2004, 01:13:20 AM »
The Anura are a society obssesed with tribal ideas of honour and valour.Retreat in the face  of danger is shameful,as is the idea of bondage.For this reason,an Anura warrior will try to die in battle,rather than allow himself or herself to be taken alive as a slave by Eshal raiders.This is why the Anura are extremely difficult to collect as slaves and even harder to be beaten into submission.Their famous ability as trackers and hunters however,has made them very popular among young Eshal warriors who want ''Anura hounds'' of their own.Thus, any lone Anura out on a hunt has to keep a wary eye out for Eshal slavers.

 Now to describe their culture in greater detail and the consequences that the Eshal conquest holds for it.

 Male and female Anura only interact with each other during the mating season.During this part of the month,the roving bands Anura congregate at ancient breeding pools,to seek out a mate.It is always the male Anura who makes the first move.He approaches a female,loudly croaking,in the hope that she will respond to his overtures.If she isn't impressed however,she will attack him to drive him off.A wrestling match then results.If the male Anura manages to overpower her,she submits to him and they copulate.Shortly after this,she lays a clutch of eggs.over which both parents carefully watch until they hatch.The offspring that emerge,are usually equal parts male and female.

 The male offspring are taken into the band of their father,while the females are adopted by the band their mother belongs to.There the offspring are raised by the entire band,to become skilled hunters and warriors.Their upbringing is hard and no softness is shown to any young Anura,not even the offspring of the Alpha male or female that leads the band.The youngsters are only accepted as adults after they kill their first Dunkleoustous and bring it back to the band chieftain.This is a dangerous rite of passage,in which many young Anura perish in the jaws of those  dangerous fish.

 Each roving band of the Anura claims vast swaths of swamp as it's lands.Overlapping boundary claims sometimes result in blood feuds running among the different bands,especially if the bands involved are of different genders.Since each gender considers the other to be slightly inferior,there is no possible way either band will back off.

 Some Anura are born with special gifts that allow them to live twice as long as the average Anura and are said to enter into trances that allow them to communicate with the animal nature sprites worshipped by their people.They are known as Wise Ones and are not part of any band,but instead have a small,remote community of their own along the harsh coastline of Tarrod.These gifted ones can come from either sex and upon being spawned,are immediately identified for what they are,thanks to their broader skulls and weaker limbs.They are immediately given over to the other Wise Ones to be raised as one of them.The Wise Ones posses great knowledge that even the scholars of the Eshal lack ,though where they get it from is a mystery,for the Wise Ones are forbidden to speak of where their knowleg is acquired from.

Although Wise Ones have to leave the band they were born in,they will always see themselevs as part of it.Thus,in times of crisis,the band may journey all the way to the coastline to seek the advice of the Wise One that has pledged his or her loyalty to it.
 
 The might of the Eshal empire however,threatens to swallow these proud hunters and their way of life.Their beloved swamps have been siezed by Eshal settlers hungry for land,forcing the Anura to abandon them and move deeper into the dry lands,where game is scarce.Now the Anura find themselves restricted to the few breeding pools and hunting grounds,that the warrriors of the Emperor have not discovered yet.Blood fueds over limited land have become more frequent.Many have died of starvation and some bands have even restorted to cannibalism.The threat of extinction is very real.
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Offline Maggot

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Time to start on the Merfolk?
« Reply #23 on: September 10, 2004, 01:49:39 AM »
Guys,I've been wondering whether I should start on the enslaved merfolk and their history, or wait till we have wrapped up the Anura and Cauda.What do you people think?
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Offline Cheka Man

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Land Of The Eshal
« Reply #24 on: September 10, 2004, 06:45:57 AM »
I would *love* to know how the Merfolk ended up as helpless Eshal slaves.