Sunday, December 9, 2007

Godtouched Races: Orchaein

The orchaein (singular, orchaeya) are a race of plant-people who primarily live in the forests of southern and eastern Zenninfal. They normally keep to themselves, though their creator-god Raphalla being worshiped by humans lately has given them some prestige. They share their habitat with the satyrs, though satyrs typically live farther north and west.

Orchaein have seafoam green skin, with a large paler patch of skin on their stomachs that leads up the center of their torso and neck, and then covers their entire head. Their eyebrows are fren-like and very long, twisting up over their heads like antennae. They resemble moths in this respect. Their hair is typically a shade of forest green and their irises red. Their ears are large and long, and resemble curling veined leaves.

Leading down along the back of their necks are large tightly overlapping leaves the same color as their hair, that spread out and hang over their shoulders. Under these leaves on their shoulders are glands that produce a paralytic spore. The leaves can lift up and expel the spores in an orange cloud into the air. An orchaeya can either do this in self-defense, or to stun prey while they're hunting.

Orchaein are usually the same size and shape as human beings, with their average height being 5'8". They are slightly less dense however, and do not gain weight from overeating, so they are decidedly lighter, usually only weighing 90 to 140 pounds.

Being plant-based, the orchaein do not need to eat as often as humans, though they still need high-energy fats and proteins. Their food requirements are half that of humans, and their water requirements are double. Orchaein also need at least 2 hours of exposure to direct sunlight or 4 hours of exposure to indirect sunlight a day, or they begin to get tired and sluggish. This can be mitigated for lengthy periods underground by increasing their food intake to human levels, but they still require double the water, and this is a stopgap measure that only works for a week before even the increased food intake isn't enough to sustain them. The light from fire or from heated metal filaments cannot substitute for sunlight, though magically generated light can.

Orchaeya are actually somewhat resistant to fire, due to the high moisture content of their skin. However, they receive extra damage from cold-based attacks due to the freezing and expansion of that same moisture. They are also susceptible to poisons that normally have to be ingested, if those poisons get on their skin.

Orchaein find saltwater more toxic than humans do, due to how permeable their skin is. Being immersed in saltwater without any protective oils or salves will begin to poison an orchaeya. Through osmosis, the salt in the ocean will actually strip them of their natural fluids, dehydrating them and upsetting the chemical balance of their cells. More than a few hours in salt water will risk killing an orchaeya. Swallowing salt water is not as serious, and while dangerous, is only as dangerous to an orchaeya as it is to a human.

Orchaein live longer than humans, with the average age of death being 120. Orchaein as old as 170 have been reported.

Being plant-based, it's only natural that their reproductive cycle is a little strange. [This Paragraph Redacted after the author was suitably bitchslapped into understanding the concept of 'too much information'.]

Over the summer, sprouts form into above-ground pods that resemble green eggplants. These pods are cared for diligently by the entire community, and near the end of autumn, the pods spring open and out stumble fully-formed toddlers. Orchaeya females then nurse their young like mammals. Because genetic parentage is nearly impossible to determine, the entire community cares for every individual as if they were a giant extended family. This leads to an outlook on life that is very rosy, caring, and full of love. In short, the best way to describe an orchaein settlement is "a free-love hippie-socialist commune."

Their societies are usually in groupings of 100 scattered across the forests. Buildings are normally made out of wood, leaves and thatch, though mud brick buildings aren't uncommon in areas where it's not too moist. Traffic between orchaein towns is high, partially in order to maintain genetic diversity. Teenaged orchaein usually develop wanderlust, and leave their towns to either see the world, or find a new group to be accepted into.

While orchaein are normally nudists in their own communities, they wear clothes during the winter to protect themselves from the cold, and also wear them while traveling in the company of humans or other godtouched creatures who find nudity indecent. They must also wear clothes in very arid areas, or they risk drying out faster than they can replenish their fluids.

No comments: