Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Godtouched Races: Satyrs

Saytrs are peaceful folk of the woods and fields, created by Fenille, the often-overlooked goddess of peace and harmony. They live all over the continent of Zenninfal, although their numbers are in their highest concentrations on the Moorish isles, the western province of Shanbar in the Cerenbaun kingdom, and the northern fields and prairies south of Habruk.

Satyrs are diminutive and rarely reach heights taller than 4 feet, and normally weigh between 70 and 90 pounds. Their upper bodies are very human, and with the exception of goat ears and a lion's nose, their features resemble those of young children. Their lower bodies are animal-like, with coarse brown fur growing below their stomach down to their feet. There is a degree of sexual dimorphism - the legs of females are much more digitigrade than the legs of males, which are semi-plantigrade. The knees of males are about halfway down the leg, with shins that go directly down to their ankle which rests just above a large hoof. In females, the knee is slightly higher, the shins are nearly horizontal leading back to an ankle suspended in air, with the final segment of the leg being an extension of their foot, which ends in a dainty hoof.

Males have horn stubs growing out of their forehead right beneath their hairline, and females have long bushy whiskers growing from behind their jaw, in front of their ears. Both sexes of Satyrs have a a small goat tail that's normally hidden under their clothing.

Satyrs are naturally charming, if not lazy individuals. They are hard workers on their farms and while shepherding their flocks, but they greatly prefer the "Easy Life" and strive to help achieve that goal in everything they do. Satyrs are in fact credited with inventing both the waterwheel and the windmill, creating them to make milling their grain easier.

Satyrs are long-lived creatures, although their youth is short. Those that live long enough begin to show serious signs of age at around 50, but those that reach that age can usually expect to live another hundred years. Due to a high early mortality rate however, the average age of death for a satyr is 80, but satyrs as old as 180 have been reported. Elderly satyrs normally help guide the politics of the community, sharing their wisdom with the younger generation. Many elderly take up communal tasks such as shoe making and knitting once their bodies become too frail for field work.

Satyrs normally breed twice a year, and develop large families because twins are common. While they have an aptitude for magic, the use of it is actually quite rare. Most satyrs do not like combat of any kind, and their only line of defense against marauders, monsters, and greedy godtouched is to simply retreat into their homes and hide. Their aptitude for breeding is arguably the only thing that has kept their populations stable. Satyr youths who develop destructive types of elemancy are actually considered pariahs in their community, though satyrs who develop protective elemancy are quickly turned into local folk heroes.

While not directly affiliated with human kingdoms, most of the lands that satyrs live on are considered the property of local humans, if not private individuals then the kingdoms themselves. Satyrs are considered citizens of the country they live in and are expected to pay taxes. There is a tension between satyrs and humans due to this, especially because human knights and law enforcement officers generally think twice about aiding or protecting a satyr village due to racial prejudices. Satyrs have never really felt like they own the land they live on, and so far no humans have threatened to evict them or take their fields. They resent not being protected as well as human towns, especially considering they pay taxes all the same, but for the most part they don't see creating a conflict over this as being worth the trouble.

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