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{Restricted Race} Makani Lore

Discussion in 'Makani' started by NIAH, Jun 10, 2017.

  1. NIAH

    NIAH The Awkward Staff Member

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    -- W E L C O M E --
    Hello lovelies!

    Here you will find all of the information regarding the makani race! The race has evolved so much from initial thought bubble, to proposal, then to final product, and I am so excited to finally be able to post this! The makani are an attempt/experiment at reintroducing a larger fantasy element to the current playable races. They are a restricted race, meaning that players are required to go through an application process in order to play one, but they are not extinct, or endangered either. So long as you read the lore, follow instructions, and go through the application just fine, it is a race open to anyone!

    Please follow these links for all necessary information!



    {Restricted Race} Makani
    --- Welcome
    --- Cheat Sheet
    --- Physiology
    --- Culture
    --- The Great Disaster

    {Makani} Rules, Roster & Application
    --- Rules
    --- Roster
    --- Application

    {Makani} The Yakai Language

    {Makani} Frequently Asked Questions

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    C R E D I T S

    I wanted to take a moment to give out credit to those that have helped with this endeavor. These people have had a hand in helping, reviewing, and just all around putting up with my pestering about this. These folks have probably seen more avian reference pictures than any human should have to.Thanks guys.

    Solus
    TheDeester
    Lannis
    Elz

    blargtheawesome
    Immerael
    The Living Ghost

    And also credit to Faelin because I tried to use the Norvägen thread as a good basis for layout, and what I needed for organizational purposes.

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    Last edited: Jul 30, 2017
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  2. NIAH

    NIAH The Awkward Staff Member

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    M A K A N I

    The makani are avian humanoids indigenous to the rocky island of Vata’inu, a previously unknown landmass that has drifted through the skies of Altera for millennia. There are three clans scattered across Vata’inu’s cliffs that hold distinct physical differences, colorations, and even varied beliefs. Regardless of clan, the makani are a race that hold hope for brighter futures, but a fierce readiness to danger.
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    C H E A T S H E E T

    Height: Between 5’0ft and 6’0ft, depending on clan and gender.
    Weight: Between 90lbs and 140lbs
    Build: Females are tall and slender, compared to males who are usually shorter and slightly more stocky. Their upper body tends to have significant musculature due to their wing
    Eyes: Larger than other races. Only the colorful iris and large pupil is visible. The makani’s eyes cannot move, and thus they move their head. They have a third eyelid that blinks across the eye.
    Skin: The skin is mostly covered by their feathers. Skin on their feet, calves, arms, and hands are hard and scaly and tend to be black, gray, brown, orange, red, or golden.
    Feathers: Feathers cover 80% their body. Coloration is determined by clan, but a makani usually has similar markings to known birds.
    Other Traits: They are very avian in nature. They have sharp, taloned feet and hands with four digits, as well as digitigrade legs. The makani have a large set of wings capable of gliding long distances, as well as a sharp beak utilized for tearing into their food, and a specialized set of tailfeathers. Their fingers are elongated with sharp nails, which is ideal for picking out mites and insects that get into their feathers.
    Lifespans: A makani’s wings fully mature at age 16, and they are considered to be an adult both physically and socially. They show very little signs of aging up until age 60, and then they begin to develop a hunch and lose maneuverability with their wings. It gradually worsens till they are all but grounded, and they begin losing feathers. They can live like this well into their nineties, but their culture encourages them to end things on their own terms, before they are immobile
    Pregnancy: 4 months. Babies are small and fragile. Mothers rarely survive past having 2-3 children due to the difficulty with their offsprings’ wings.

    Languages: Yakai


    Religion: The Will of Manna; Manna is the name they have given the sky, whom they believe created all things, even the groundlings’ Pantheon. They believe Manna favored the birds of all the worlds, and the chosen were divinely blessed with the makani form. Vata’inu is their paradise away from groundlings. The A’keiyah interpret and prophesy the Will of Manna.
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    C L A N S
    Makani culture is dictated by a caste system that revolves around their clans. There are three distinct clans based around physiology, and a fourth group of their religious figures.
    PoMakani - Their coloration most reflects ravens, red-winged blackbirds, common grackles, crows, and starlings. Feathers are black, sometimes with traces of dark green, purple, and teal with an iridescent sheen. They are the lowest caste, and provide a great deal of the manual labor in makani society. They tend to be the tallest of the clans, often capping out at 6’ft.

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    LeiMakani - Their coloration most reflects parrots, macaws, cockatoos, cardinals, bluejays, peacocks, emberlarks, and birds of paradise. Feathers are bright and multicolored, with any number of vibrant patterns. They are considered the most skilled makani, and tend to be craftsman or performers. Height is wildly varied for the Lei, and can be within any end of the range.

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    YaVeiMakani- Their coloration most reflects hawks, eagles, osprey, owls, and other birds of prey. Feathers are brown, white, tawny, and golden. Their clan makes them most esteemed and act as warriors, hunters, and guardians to all makani. The YaVei tend to be shorter, but much stockier than the other clans.

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    A’keiyah- There is a fourth ‘clan,’ but it is not defined by physiology. The A’keiyah are considered the ruling class. They are females put through a test on the night of their birth. If they succeed the test, they are raised as A’keiyah. They are wisewomen, healers, judges, soothsayers, seers, shamans, and priestesses of their people.
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    C A P A B I L I T I E S & L I M I T A T I O N S

    Capabilities
    ++ Makani are able to see with crystal clear precision at great distances
    ++ Can glide for long distances
    ++ Able to gain a foot or two of lift by flapping their wings
    ++ Capable of kicking and scratching with their talons
    ++ Able to float on water if necessary thanks to light, porous bones
    ++ Can grip rocky cliffs and perch on things
    ++ Feathers, wings, and body language can be used as a gauge for emotional state.


    Limitations
    -- Makani have poor hearing and mediocre scent
    -- Bones are fragile and very prone to breakage
    -- Cannot move their eyes, and must turn their head instead
    -- Culturally and physically isolated to the point of hostile xenophobia
    -- Constantly needs to preen their feathers to rid of pests and ensure feather alignment
    -- Cannot eat certain vegetables because it creates indigestion, and in some cases, liver failure
    -- They do not have the same capability for facial expressions, such as smiling.

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    Last edited: Jul 3, 2017
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  3. NIAH

    NIAH The Awkward Staff Member

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    (credit Elz for art)
    P H Y S I O L O G Y

    The makani look like a tall humanoid with taloned feet, digitigrade legs, and a birdlike beak. They have strong wings, tailfeathers, and have softer downy feathers covering various parts of their body. Their eyes are larger than most humanoids and they have a third eyelid for blinking, which gives them a somewhat otherworldly appearance.

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    Index
    -- Wings
    -- Feathers & Grooming
    -- Feet & Legs
    -- Hands & Arms
    -- Eyes & Sight
    -- Mouth, Beak, & Nose
    -- Ears & Hearing
    -- Build & Height
    -- Lifespan
    -- Pregnancy, Mating, & Maturity
    -- Movement & Flying
    -- Vocalization
    -- Temperature & Climates
    -- Common Ailments
    -- Diet
    -- Gender Differences
    -- Physiological Difference Between Clans

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    Wings
    Makani have a powerful set of wings that exist separately from their arms that allow them to glide on air currents. Bones extend from uniquely formed shoulder blades that grow into full wings as a makani reaches adolescence. Until age three, the young makani only has patchy downy feathers on the bony wings. As they grow, more feathers come in, and a makani at age seven will have colorful feathers growing through the soft down. By age ten, they are usable for very short distances and have developed full color and pattern. By age sixteen, the wings are as full and as large as they will ever get.

    Feathers and patterns vary by clan, but all makani have a low aspect ratio wing, similar in shape to that of an eagle or a stork. Feathers at the end are slotted, which gives the illusion of fingers. These wings allow makani to glide on thermals with only a minimal amount of energy. The wings are both very broad, and very wide. When the wings are folded, the wing tips cross so that they do not drag the ground.

    Their wings have a wide range of mobility, and can be quite versatile. The wings can be wrapped around the body, lifted to protect their face from rain, crossed over head, and extended fully behind them. Due to the wings, most makani will sleep on their stomach or on their side. Sleeping on their back would have the pins and needles effect, just as a human slept on their arm all night. { This link } and { This link } provide a frame or reference for wing mobility.

    Wing span is largely dependent on a makani’s height, as they tend to grow proportionally to the makani. To calculate the wingspan of your makani, please reference { this link } and use the Low Aspect Ratio number

    If a makani is in a freefall and suddenly opens their wings to full, the sudden force of the air hitting the wings could provide necessary lift to keep them aloft, but it could also cause a severe sprain that will require time to heal up before the makani can use the wing again. However, when not in a freefall, the makani wing packs a powerful punch when unfurled. Suddenly extending with full force means anyone standing near will not only get a face full of feathers, but probably a bruise from the impact as well.

    (See “Flying” for more information on their usage.)
    (See “Clans” for feather coloration and patterns)

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    Feathers & Grooming
    To an outsider meeting a makani for the first time, they might describe the makani as an otherworldly creature due to its nearly full body of feathers. An adult is covered in a variation of soft down and scalloped feathers over the torso, upper arms, neck, and even the head. Feathers around the neck, chin, and shoulders are soft down, while feathers become more pronounced on the back, torso, and thighs. It is the presence of these soft feathers, those visible and those underneath larger feathers, that allow the makani to insulate heat in cold climes.

    In some ways, makani are similar to hawks or parrots in the way the feathers react with water. Many birds have a special oil that they spread on their feathers to keep them waterproofed, but makani and others birds like them do not. Special feathers create a powdery substance that acts as a mild waterproofer. A makani will try to avoid fully submerging themselves in water so as to protect the waterproofing on their wings, but it is enough to go out on a misty day or a light rain shower. If their feathers are soaked clean through, they’ll be grounded till they dry out some.

    Throughout the day, a makani will preen his or her feathers on their down time. Preening is just running their hands through the feathers and making sure they are aligned properly. After a scuffle, or after ruffling their feathers, it’s common to see them running a hand over their feathers. Just as a human woman might smooth out her skirt, so to speak.

    A female’s feathers on her head tend to be longer, and occasionally elaborate depending on the clan. Certain clans have “hairfeathers” with intricate patterns and colors, while other clans are more bland and closer to the head. Regardless of clan and coloration, the hairfeathers are a point of pride for females. While other feathers stop growing past a certain length, the hairfeathers continue to grow as they age. Clan elders have feathers that are nearly longer than their wings. Loss of these feathers are even a point of shame and embarrassment for many makani.

    And yes, they can ruffle their feathers. And are known to due so when annoyed.

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    (Art references commissioned by Porokelle )
    The spine is slightly elongated to form a more pronounced tailbone for feathers to attach to. In its entirety, the tailfeathers go from the small of the back to the bend of the knee. The tailfeathers allow for greater control and maneuverability during gliding, and usually have a similar pattern to the wings. Garments are usually wrapped so that they sit underneath the tailfeathers, so as not to impede usage during gliding.

    Feathers on the wings are not all that different from a bird’s. As mentioned, makani wings are akin to an eagle or a swan wing, with slotted feathers at the end. If a few feathers are lost due to being pulled, or to injury, they will still be able to glide. But if enough are removed, it may result in a difficulty in staying airborne, or even a total inability.

    Sometimes their soft down falls on its own, or is rubbed off during the day to day. However, more mature feathers, especially hairfeathers or the flightfeathers on the wings, will result in a great deal of pain if pulled, as it’s an entire quill being pulled from the follicle.

    (See “Clans” for feather coloration)


    Feet & Legs
    Makani have digitigrade legs, much like the nakam do. Below the knee, the skin slowly progresses into harder scales common to many bird species. A makani’s sole is thickly padded and textured for better grip and protection from sharp rocks that they may cling to. Coloration of this tough, scaly skin varies based on clan. Some are red, orange, or yellow, while others are black, brown, or gray.

    As mentioned, the actual feet are taloned. Three elongated and thick toes with a sharp claw at the end of each, and one hooked downward at the back. This enables the makani to hold things in their talons while flying, and are useful for finding purchase jagged cliffs. In instances of fighting, or hunting, they can also use their talons to catch hold of small game or to kick and scratch at enemies.

    (See “Clans” for scale coloration)

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    Hands & Arms
    The makani’s arms remain almost entirely humanoid in shape except for the exceptionally elongated fingers and sharp nails. They are very similar to the talons on their feet. They have four fingers, or talons. These longer fingers are essential for gripping onto cliffsides, branches, or anything else high up. While the sharp nails can be painful if scratched, makani rarely use them offensively, as a kick or a scratch from their feet will do far more damage. The nails are primarily used for care and maintenance of their feathers, such as picking off mites and passengers that they get caught in the feathers.

    Forearms are hard and scaly, just like their feet. Coloration tends to match that on the feet. This hardened skin makes it harder for rocks, branches, and prey to cut or damage them.

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    Eyes & Sight
    No other race can compare to the precision of a makani’s sight. Their eye sockets are much larger than most races, as are their eyes. They are able to recognize faces while gliding high up in the air, as well as see subtle movements on the ground below. However, while they are able to see with precision at a distance, they have a very limited ability for moving their eyes. Makani will swivel their head 180 degrees, tilt it, or turn their body completely to get what they need to look at in their line of sight. To some, carrying on a conversation with them is disconcerting because a makani’s head is constantly bobbing and darting. From above, this ability is vital to be able to see with detail.

    The eye itself is very large, with the colored iris being the most visible part. Only the iris and a large pupil is visible. Makani also do not blink, in a traditional sense. Like birds, they have a third eyelid that consists of a semi-transparent membrane that blinks to the side.

    (See “Clans” for eye color variations.)
    Mouth, Beak, and Nose
    One thing that adds to the avian air about them is the hardened beak they possess. There are variations of shape and color based on clan, but the beaks all have a few things in common. They are very hard, and very sharp, which is deal for tearing into raw meat and cutting things. The makani, like their avian cousins, have a need to keep their beak in optimal shape. They will often chew on bits of bone after a meal as a way to sharpen and trim the beak. Sickly makani have been known to have overgrown beaks, which presents challenges to eating properly.

    Inside their mouths, they have a strong tongue, but lack any sort of teeth. This is why, when they eat, the rip and tear things into manageable chunks and swallow it whole. Their beak is ideal for ripping into flesh to get those bite sized morsels as well.

    They do have a sense of smell, but it is hardly keen. They breathe and smell through slits located on the upper part of their beak. Any smell would have to be overwhelmingly pungent to a human before a makani would even mind it.

    (See “Clans” for beak color and shape variation)

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    Ears & Hearing
    With every boon comes a price, and the price the makani pay for their eyesight is their hearing. Their ears are a small hole in their head, barely visible under the feathers, and lack the ability to make out clear conversation from the next room over. At best, conversations from across the room sound muffled. Makani can tell when there are sounds going on, even a distance. But it’s nearly impossible for them to distinguish any specific words without being within 15-30ft and thus, the muffled sound they hear. As a society, they’ve developed a habit for gathering closely during social engagements because of this. Unfortunately for other races, this habitual invasion of personal space comes off as rude or peculiar. To compensate for this, they have developed shrill whistles and shrieks useful for basic communication during flight.
    (More in Vocalization)


    Build & Height
    For the most part, makani are incredibly tall and have a significant musculature to their upper bodies. Naturally, certain clans tend to be taller than others, but they almost all sit between 5ft and 6ft tall. As they age, makani grow into a severe hunch. At around seventy years of age, their hunch becomes such a disability that they can no longer use their wings properly and appear much shorter because of it. At that point, musculature in the wings and back begin to weaken.

    The legs have very little capacity for muscle growth, due to their nature. Shoulders, chests, upper arms, and wings are the most formidable, as these muscles are necessary for flight and gliding. Males tend to have broader chests and thicker arms than females. However, the ladies tend to be taller and more slender.

    Despite their height and heavy wings, they do weigh slightly less than expected. Their bones are hollow, which leaves them in frequent danger of broken limbs. However, they could weigh anywhere between 90lbs and 140lbs, depending on height and gender. Heavier males tend to do less gliding than the females.

    Lifespan
    When they are born, their wings are bony nubs and their bodies lack feathers. Until age three, they only have the soft down feathers on their wings and body. Colors are almost always white or gray. By age seven, proper feathers and have begun growing in. By age ten, they are able to fly short distances and act independently. By age sixteen, their wings are fully grown in, and they are considered mature.

    From there, they show few signs of aging until they reach sixty years old. At sixty, they begin to hunch more. Feathers loose their sheen over time. Sometimes they develop bald patches on their body, or on their wings. Their hearing worsens to the point of deafness in some cases, but not always. By seventy, the hunch becomes so bad that they are unable to use their wings properly. While it is possible they could live up to eighty or ninety in that state, it usually falls to tradition that a makani will return their essence to the sky when they can no longer fly. This is usually done at the hands of someone they love or trust.

    Pregnancy, Mating, & Maturity
    Children are highly valued and cared for. Makani society sees it as the entire clan’s responsibility to raise children communally. Not only that, but some clans are very promiscuous and free-loving so long as it is within their own clan, which results in several children running around at once. These females have one of the shortest gestations of the races and give birth within four months. However, few live past two or three children, as the wing bones are not always kind to the mother during in delivery.

    Because the makani rear live young, unlike any other avian species, they must also find ways to feed the younglings. Makani females lack the conventional mammalian… food bags. Ground up insects and fruit pastes are common for the makani babies up until around age three or four.

    A makani is considered a physically and socially mature adult at sixteen years of age. As soon as their wings are developed, they are as mature as they will ever be physically.

    Mating between clans is considered highly taboo, but those born of such unions will take the features of either the mother or the father. The child is taken by the clan it most resembles, though often carries the stigma of its parentage through life.

    Movement & Flying
    Many Alterans that have encountered the makani describe them as otherworldly, and their movements is partly a reason for this. Since their eyes cannot move, their head tilts and turns at various angles. They can swivel their head a full 180 degrees to look behind them, and turn it 90 degrees to the side. Their necks tend to be longer than a humans, and because of the extra vertebrae, are afforded a greater range in motion.

    Their wings have a wide range of mobility, and can be quite versatile. The wings can be wrapped around the body, lifted to protect their face from rain, crossed over head, and extended fully behind them. Due to the wings, most makani will sleep on their stomach or on their side. Sleeping on their back would have the pins and needles effect, just as if a human slept on their arm all night. { This link } and { This link } provide a frame or reference for wing mobility.

    Something that unsettles many Alterans is the fact that a Makani is not opposed to perching on things. Fences, railings, building eaves, tree branches. They’ll squat on their digitigrade legs and use their taloned feet for gripping the edge. On a particularly calm day, they have been known to doze off whilst perching.

    A common misconception is that a makani can just take off from the ground and fly. A downside of their humanoid origin is that they are far too heavy to produce any manner of lift. A makani can try, but they’d get about a foot or two off the ground before coming back down. What the wings are best suited for is gliding on thermals and air currents. By launching themselves from a great height, they are able to maintain control and maneuverability by using extended wings to glide. They can even glide for long distances so long as the air is in their favor. They can flap to gain some altitude, but it is almost entirely gliding. As mentioned before, it would be ill advised for a makani to enter a complete freefall and then snap their wings open, as that much force hitting the wings at once would be devastatingly painful.

    Additionally, there is a maximum weigh of 200lbs before gliding becomes compromised. That means that a makani that naturally weights 140lbs can only carry an additional 60lbs before they begin to experience wing strain, loss of altitude, sprains, exhaustion, and potentially going into a free fall.

    Vocalization
    A makani would not appreciate anyone that screeched or chirped at them for jest. Just like all civilized races, they have the same propensity for language. However, the makani are loud when they speak due to their poor hearing. Whispering is something that they have trouble doing, just because it is not common in their culture.

    Because they have a beak, the way they vocalize is slightly different. Certain sounds that are normal to hear in Common are very, very difficult for a makani because the way their mouth is formed. Sometimes when trying to speak an unfamiliar tongue, they will merge sounds or drop sounds until they have practiced enough to properly speak it. Regardless of practice, they will never be able to fully replicate non-makani languages because of physiological differences in their mouths and vocal chord arrangements.

    And while they are a proud people that considers themselves far above birds, they do have the capability for high pitched screeches and whistles. Such is almost necessary for communication in the air, due to their hearing limitations. Their more animalistic calls sound most akin to hawk, some say.

    Temperature & Climates
    Vata'inu was given certain blessings by Manna. It floated high in the air, above the clouds. Some could even argue that elementals were bound to the island that enabled this, but whatever the case, Vata'inu was an enigma. When it should have been cold and difficult to breath, it was as if the area around the island was kept like a warm, tropical paradise during the day, and cool at night. Water vapor often clung to plants, trees, and buildings as it drifting through clouds.Almost like the humid jungles of Old Riseport.

    All of this to say that the makani are especially accustomed to humid temperatures, and do well with water and moisture. However, they have similar adaptions that many birds to for temperature regulation. Fluffing out their feathers enables them to trap air and heat in cold clime. Gathering closely together in their roosts are also common ways on a particularly cool night. However, they do not do well in particularly frigid temperatures. While they can do well in cool temperatures, they do not have the efficiency of staying warm in freezing temperatures like average birds. They are more prone to freezing if left exposed and take the same precautions that a human would need to do keep warm.

    Common Ailments
    Bumblefoot - Common to all birds and also makani. Most prevalent in sedentary, captive, or obese individuals. They are not intended to be a sedentary people, and will get calluses, lesions, and if left untreated, even severe distortion, infection, and necrosis of parts of the foot.

    Mites and Lice - If not properly caring for themselves and their feathers, mites and lice can destroy feathers and lead to bald patches. It is why regular preening and grooming is necessary!

    Broken bones - Their bones are hollow and easily broken. While they do heal at a decent pace, it is something that a makani will inevitably deal with at some point in their life.

    Overgrown beaks - If they don’t take care of their beak, it could grow too long and create difficulty in eating.

    Liver Failure - Extensive exposure to vegetables such as onions, garlic, cabbage, kale, and mushrooms creates problems that leads to liver failure in makani. Eating it every now and then will cause upset stomach, vomiting, and diarrhea. Eating it frequently, however, could lead to severe consequence.

    Diet
    Makani are omnivores and find delicacies in all manner of things. They tend to their meats raw or lightly cooked, as their digestive systems are more than capable of eating something freshly killed, like a rabbit. Their beaks allow them to tear right into it. Rabbit, squirrels, goats, dogs, and cats are the preferred game. They are easy to catch and are abundant in the mountainous homeland of Vata’inu. A makani will almost always to chew on the bones after the meals as a way to sharpen and trim their beaks, and also because food can be scarce and wasting food is an egregious insult.

    They also have a devilish sweet tooth, so to speak, and relish fruits. Bananas, mango, watermelon, and papaya are common to the island, and are often a delicious afternoon snack.

    Water and goat milk are the preferred drink of choice. Alcohol is something unknown to those that live in Vata’inu, and to the amusement of many, a makani cannot hold their liquor.

    Because they rarely go through the trouble of cooking things, pastries and breads are a rarity among native culture. The first makani to see a loaf of sourdough assumed it was a sponge for bathing. However, they will eat it and find no problems other than the oddity that a human would go through the trouble of doing it.

    Many vegetables, however, present issues for makani. Onions, garlic, cabbage, kale, and some mushrooms have compounds in them that upset the stomach and can cause liver failure if consumed too frequently.

    Gender Differences
    Males
    -- Broader chests with more defined muscles in the arms and back
    -- Head has smooth, shorter feathers.
    -- Shorter than females

    Females
    -- Taller than the males and more slender.
    -- Elaborate hairfeathers that continue to grow through their lives.
    -- Worth noting that they do not have the mammalian assets to feed offspring, and are flat chested.

    Clans
    PoMakani
    The Night Winds
    The Po are aptly named for dark nature of their colorations. Their feathers range from black, dark blue, dark purple, and teal. Iridescence is common to the PoMakanis. They do not have any patterns or markings. Beaks are wide, long, and quite sturdy looking. Their exposed and underlying skin is black, as is their feet, beak, and nails. They are most akin to crows, ravens, common grackles, red-winged blackbirds, and starlings. Eye coloration also correlates to the birds they most resemble. They tend to be the tallest of the clans.

    LeiMakani
    The Bright Winds
    The Lei are blindingly vibrant and ostentatious. Their feathers can have any manner of bright color and pattern. Their beaks and talons tend to be black, grey, or yellow, while their exposed skin is usually black. Beaks are closer to the face and grow downward. They are most akin to parrots, bluejays, macaws, cardinals, peacocks, and birds of paradise. Eye coloration also correlates to the birds they most resemble. Height can be anywhere within the standard range.

    YaVeiMakani
    The Hunter Winds
    The YaVei look rather muted compared to the other clans. The YaVei tend to have browns, whites, tans, and greys for coloration. Patterns are either solid coloring, or spotty markings. Their skin is a palish pink, like a fair skinned human. Talons and beak vary from yellow to brown to black. Beaks are close to the face, sharp, but short. Eye coloration also correlates to the birds they most resemble. They are most akin to the birds of prey, such as hawks and eagles. They tend to be the shortest, but bulkier of the clans.

    45510_Makani_noBG.png
    (Art commissioned by Porokelle )
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2017
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  4. NIAH

    NIAH The Awkward Staff Member

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    C U L T U R E

    “But, Amuus? Why are the clans so different?”
    “Because Manna wills it so. The A’keiyah, Po, YaVei, and the Lei each have their own purpose in this life. You must accept this, Fletchling. We are what we are born to be.”

    I N D E X
    -- Overview
    -- Castes & Hierarchy
    -- Dwellings
    -- Economy
    -- Clothing
    -- Values
    -- Weaponry
    -- Language & Names
    -- Ceremonies & Festivals
    -- Religion
    -- Magic & Spiritualism

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    O V E R V I E W
    The makani live in complete isolation from the other sentient races of Altera, and have done so for many years. They rely on the resources of their small island for survival, and the culture has evolved to make sure no resource goes to waste. In order to make the most of scarce resources, every makani has their role, which is largely determined by clan. In a sense, they utilize a caste system to perpetuate their survival.

    This caste system is not only dictated by clan, but by their religious beliefs. The makani owe their existence to Manna and The Three Sisters (See folklore). The shamanistic females of the A’keiyah share wisdom and spread teachings that Manna has given them a higher purpose than the baser groundlings, and it is their duty to fulfill that purpose.

    Yet despite the rigid hierarchical and religious structure of their society, the makani are a boisterous and festive people. It is as if music and song runs in their veins, and festivals are often held where the taboos of clan intermingling fade away. They are an open and promiscuous people when it comes to love (at least within their own clans) and the family structure is vastly different to the groundlings below.

    In fact, when regarding the groundlings, the makani find them an invasive parasite. The makani inherently view themselves as a higher being, and believe Manna raised Vata’inu from the ground to separate the makani from the creations of the groundling Pantheon. The folktales of the groundlings persist throughout makani culture to the point that Alterans are almost considered beasts that are not worthy of touching Vata’inu. The gryphons, or the ayyei as the makani call them, are considered the fierce guardians that keep the groundlings from ever reaching the island. The religious threads that seep through the minds of the makani has fostered xenophobic hostility.

    C A S T E S & H I E R A R C H Y
    The clans each occupy their own levels of Vata’inu, and their levels of respect often coincide with the height they live on the island. The clans interact constantly while they trade and barter goods, as the entire island’s survival depends on cooperation. However, it has slowly become a sore spot for those that are at the lowest levels. There is a taboo against intermingling between clans, and offspring raised in such unions carry the stigma their whole lives.

    Those who try to step outside of their clans role are frequently sneered at or ostracized. The A’keiyah say that disenters are ungrateful to what Manna has given them and are shunned until they finally return to the proper fold of their clan. A Po cannot do what the YaVei do, no more than the a Lei male can aspire to be A’keiyah. One must do what they were born to do, for the future of Vata’inu.

    A’keiyah
    The Daughters of Manna
    The A’keiyah live near the nests of the ayyei, underneath the island. The A’keiyah are the the most revered of the makani, and are comprised of members of all three clans. They, in fact, transcend clans and are highly respected by all. They are the religious figureheads that interpret the will of Manna. A’keiyah are chosen from the females born during a bright moon, regardless of clan, and put through a trial at birth. They are presented to the ayyei, and if the child is not eaten by sunrise, it is Manna’s will that they are blessed among the blessed. It is said that the Three Sisters can be reborn during the bright Moon, and those that survive could carry a Sister’s essence. Although, it is for this reason that some soon to be mothers wish to give birth during a dark moon, to avoid their child dying in the A’keiyah trial. If an A’keiyah is killed by a gryphon later in life, it is said that she was chosen to join Manna in the after-time. It is rumored that the A’keiyah sometimes overfeed, or starve, the gryphons in order to get the preferred outcome at the time. But of course, such rumors against the ruling class would be highly frowned upon if discovered.

    They are wisewomen, healers, midwives, seers, apothecaries, soothsayers, collectors of folklore, and authority figures. They are never to procreate.

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    YaVeiMakani
    The Hunter Winds
    The YaVei live on the highest peaks of Vata’inu and live in and on the sheer clifffaces. The YaVei are considered blood brothers to the ayyei, and are fierce warriors. They are often times stoic and have little tolerance for foolishness. It is one reason the YaVei have such a strong dislike for the Po. Still, the YaVei are highly esteemed because they defend from threats and provide meat for the island. They are the first defense when the ayyei become aggressive.

    They are hunters, warriors, fighters, protectors, guards, archers, weapon crafters, scouts, herders, shepherds, breeders, butchers, and animal trainers. Family units tend to be smaller with 2-5 partners and view procreation as something to do when necessary for family growth.

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    LeiMakani
    The Bright Winds
    The Lei reside in homes built into the canopy of the trees. They are as boisterous as they are vibrant, and as loud as they come. They are the craftsman and the gatherers that make use of honed skills. They spend their lives perfecting their crafts and enjoying life. They are not only known for their workmanship, but also the quality of their wordplay.

    LeiMakani are weavers, potters, leatherworkers, carpenters, dyers, carvers, ropers, candlemakers, tinkers, performers, musicians, and poets. And while Lei are musicians, poets, and performers, it is usually something done in conjunction with their regular profession. Family units can be.. Overwhelmingly intricate and complex, as the Lei are very promiscuous and fluid with their affections. Children are communally raised.

    [​IMG]

    PoMakani
    The Night Winds
    The Po live on the ground of the island. They are generally seen as the manual laborers, and have a fierce loyalty to one another. The PoMakani, despite their station, are the happy tricksters and are frequently laid back in demeanor. They like to joke and are full of mirth when together. They perform some of the most vital functions on the island, and the A’keiyah say Vata’inu would not survive without them. Though more than one Po found snide irony in that, because the Po find it harder to get food in times in famine, due to their lack of respect. They’re more likely than other clans to hide and hoard valuables.

    They are harvesters, farmers, scavengers, gatherers, midwives, watergatherers, miners, redstoners, schemers, stonecarvers, servants, messengers, packmules, and traders. The Po mate for life with only one other, until the event of their partner’s death. Children are raised by their biological parents because there is not always enough to share communally for the Po.

    [​IMG]

    D W E L L I N G S
    Their homes are called roosts, and are more akin to communal living spaces than individual dwellings. Structures built on, in, and on the side of cliff faces tend to utilize vertical space, with different levels housing a group of makani. Canopy roosts stretch wide across the branches and are very open to the air, as the leaves provide enough of a roof. And the roosts closer to, and on the ground, are more like huts that utilize ground floor materials. It is not uncommon for ten or twenty makani to live in the same roost, as everything is shared anyway.

    Because of Vata’inu’s small size, there are not multiple cities. In fact, there aren’t any cities at all. It is all the makani on one small island, making the best of vertical space.

    E C O N O M Y
    Money has no place on Vata’inu. It is a foreign and bizarre concept. Everything functions through the bartering of goods and services. Shiny coins in exchange for rope is a pitiful exchange, when rope exchanged for wool is much more practical. And while money is absurdly useless, nothing will ever be free. You had better come with a trade prepared, because they are fierce hagglers.

    Because of limited resources, it is not uncommon for scarcity and famine to plague the populace. When clans begin fighting and hoarding resources, the A’keiyah will use the YaVei to fiercely regulate goods until Manna wills it that the famine is over. This is another reason makani value material goods over money, and why haggling is necessary for survival.

    Fletchlings usually begin contributing in small ways around age 10. They shadow an older clan member and learn trades by observing and slowly being taught. By after thirteen, they usually take their first apprenticeship role. By sixteen, they are expected to contribute to the wellbeing of Vata’inu, just like everyone else.

    C L O T H I N G
    Makani society is usually based on practicality, and their clothing must fit with that worldview. Clothing is always light and airy, with as little inconvenience to wings and tailfeathers as possible. They do not have any footwear, as anything on their feet would cause a problem for perching.

    The YaVei tend to wear leather chest pieces, with belts, straps, and bandoliers to keep weapons in place during flight. Sometimes, they wear white, tan, and brown clothing when not fighting. Short skirts,or kilts as some would call them, with a belt that wraps around.

    The Lei wear brightly colored sarongs, skirts, robes, and dresses. Leather bands and threads usually tied around their arms, torso, and feet as decoration. They choose bright adornments that compliment their feathers. Lei take pride in how they present themselves and how skillfully they are able to make their clothing and patterns.

    The Po wear loose fitting breeches that end at the knee. A belt holds the pants up, yet leaves enough room to make sure the tail feathers are not hindered. They wear a lot of open backed tunics, robes, and favor long strips of cloth tied on their arms and legs. Colors tend to be white, gray, black, brown, maroons, and blues. Like the YaVei, they also have a preference to bandoliers, belts, and various holders on their person.

    [​IMG]

    V A L U E S
    -- The Will of Manna --
    Their god, the A’keiyah, and the Three Sisters keep their society from crumbling. If not for the theocratic caste system, they would have died off to infighting ages ago. It is so deeply ingrained that the A’keiyah speak for Manna and that their word is law.

    -- Ferocity in Combat--
    The YaVei are esteemed for their valor in battle, and their ability to protect from the gryphons that nest underneath the island. While the gryphons are integral to society, they are also a threat. The makani respect those with a fervor and talent for battle.

    -- Community --
    Festivals, gatherings, dances, and late night songs are the lifeblood of these people. Despite so many grim elements to their lives, the makani have a strong sense of togetherness. They form fierce, and lasting friendships. They love celebration and revelry.

    -- Clever and Keen Minds --
    Whether it is a wordsmith talented at rhythm and poetry, or a sly trickster, a makani will always admire a quick wit. Especially the Po and the Lei.

    -- Clan Elders --
    While the A’keiyah speak for the makani as a whole, elders within the clans manage the day to day. Elders are venerated as wise masters of their clans.

    W E A P O N R Y
    Weapons need to be light and easy to handle in the air. Because the makani have not refined any blacksmithing processes, the weapons are also mostly wood, bone, and stone
    Bow and arrows.
    Spears.
    Hatchets.
    Slings.
    Atlatl.
    Bolas.

    L A N G U A G E & N A M E S
    Yakai
    See { This Link } for the inspiration for makani language. Multiple words were pulled from these songs, and are a basis for the language. It is also reminiscent of Gaelic, Latin, and Hawaiian.
    The language of the makani is called Yakai. It is heavily influenced by vowel sounds and has a highly musical air to it. The makani are rooted in oral tradition and have neither developed, nor found a need, for written language. They also have capability of shrieks, screeches, and caws that are only useful for long distance communication and while flying.

    Common Names:
    Females- Vatuei, Evani, Mava, Yakaya, Vamai, Eeyei, Mawei
    Males- Amuus, Luo, Tei, Malo, Esuus, Mako, Keimos, Latis, Tama

    Storytellers often share tales of a groundling vessel that found its way into the sky long ago. Their vessel did not survive the collision with the island, and the groundling crew found themselves stranded upon Vata’inu. The A’keiyah struck a deal with the groundlings, and permitted them to live so long as they contributed to the island’s daily life. Over time, a small handful of makani came to learn the groundling tongue of “Kayamon,” because the A’keiyah forbade any groundling from speaking Yakai. That has been long ago, and the groundlings have since died. But the Kayamon tongue is passed on between storytellers, performers, poets, and the A’keiyah. What is remembered is spotty and likely somewhat different than true Common. It is most commonly used for snide insults, and to swear.

    ---

    If you’re interested in your makani character knowing Common, please follow these guidelines. Staff, or the Makani Loremaster will roll for you, to ensure no cheatery! Screenshots of roll will be provided.

    + Poets, storytellers, and performers roll 1d20+10
    + Characters that would have a reason to be interested, but are not regularly exposed roll 1d20+5.
    + All others that want to have some “Common knowledge” roll 1d20.

    1-10 = They know absolutely no Common
    11-13 = They know a few words and phrases. Highly nonfunctional for communication
    14-17 = Feasible to communicate. Pronunciation is poor and many words unknown. Grammar shoddy.
    17-20 = They have spent a great deal around those who remember the groundling’s Kayamon, and have even studied it enough to communicate.

    C E R E M O N I E S & F E S T I V A L S
    The makani will have festivals and celebrations at a moment's notice. Their sometimes sheltered, yet grim reality, is made tolerable by the strong bonds of community.

    Births
    When a makani fletchling is born, all work in the clan stops. Food and tiny baubles of luck and good fortune are brought to the mother and child. Clan members will often pluck one feather from their wing, and those feathers are tied together to hang above the child’s place in the roost. It represents togetherness and the clan watching over the babe. The A’Keiyah teach that the souls of the makani can be reborn, if they tire of the the after-time. They can choose to come back and start anew. It is part of the reason new A’Keiyah are chosen from the babes born on the Bright Moon. It is believed that the Three Sisters can be reborn on the Bright Moon nights.

    Deaths
    An elderly makani may choose when it is their time to join Manna in the after-time. Someone they love and trust will often have the honor of returning their essence to the sky, to join Manna. Their body is buried and a seed is planted above. As the tree grows, it signifies that their essence has ascended upward. It is said, that when they join Manna, they become part of the after-time. They are in everything and everything is in them. They are beyond this plane, with Manna. As mentioned, death is not final. A makani that tires of the after-time can be reborn and start anew. So a death is not an occasion for sadness.

    Bright Moon
    The groundlings that once landed upon Vata’inu described the full moon as a wild and heathenistic time that would make even Sallana blush. It is the only time when the taboo of romance between clans is lessened. It is a time of frivolity and herbal mixtures. Anything goes during the bright moon. It is also during the bright moon that A’keiyah are born.

    Ascension
    To commemorate Manna raising Vata’inu up and blessing the makani, the makani have devoted a full week to celebration. Tournaments and spars, open to any clan. Feasts. Dozens, if not hundreds, of candles and lights all over the trees and cliffs. Songs and stories are shared. The A’keiyah ask for Manna’s blessing for the coming year, and ask for the Three Sisters’ guidance in all things. No work is done for the whole week that isn’t necessary.



    R E L I G I O N
    { This Link } contains the origin story for the makani and folklore about their God.

    The A’Keiyah are said to be the only ones to know the Will of Manna. The A’keiyah use divination, such as knucklebones, tea leaves, dowsing rods, and interpretation of perceived signs. And while the truth is that this is almost entirely chicanery, many A’keiyah genuinely believe in their indoctrination since birth. Many truly think they are the prophets of Manna. Makani go to the A’keiyah for help, decisions, and answers. They predict fate.

    For the most part, the Will of Manna is very much a theology that dictates everything happens because Manna wishes it so. A Po is a Po because Manna will it. The crops have done poorly this year because Manna wills it. The makani listen to A'keiyah because Manna wishes it. It is a theology of fate, destiny, and outcomes set in stone. Everything has a reason.

    The makani often pray to the Three Sisters for guidance and utter their names in reverence. Tokens are often made in their honor and tossed into the wind as a form of prayer. They believe that the Three Sisters are the only ones able to change Manna's mind. He favored them once, and makani believe that they are able to alter fate. The tokens hold the wishes and hopes of a makani, and by tossing it into the wind over the side of the island, the Sisters may catch that token in the after-time. In a way, the Sisters change fate.

    Because the A'keiyah are believed to be be possible reincarnations of the Sisters, some makani find the tokens and prayers to the sisters redundant. Some A'keiyah see the tokens as blasphemous and insulting.


    The names of the Three Sisters are:

    Vatuei the Sorrowful
    Evani the Vulnerable
    Mava the Vengeful


    Groundlings are viewed as abhorrent parasites that destroy everything they touch. They are base and filthy creatures, almost akin to demons.

    It is said, that when a makani joins Manna, they become part of the after-time. They are in everything and everything is in them. They are beyond this plane, with Manna, until which time they choose the be reborn.

    M A G I C & S P I R I T U A L I S M
    Magic, in a sense, is part of the lifeblood of the makani people. The A'keiyah are very reliant and rooted in spiritualism, and the makani people have come to respect it as a whole. However, the magic and rituals the makani hold so dearly as part of their daily life are nothing more than well done chicanery.

    It is largely the A'keiyah alone that perform these feats of magic, but the makani often believe in the predictions and outcomes of these sessions. The makani will seek out those with magic abilities in order to gain insight into their future, or to garner a blessing for their child.

    Magic is very spiritual in nature, in that regard. It is very personal and almost intimate. They view magic as a way to please, and to relate, to Manna.


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    Last edited: Jul 25, 2017
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  5. NIAH

    NIAH The Awkward Staff Member

    T H E - G R E A T - D I S A S T E R

    For a generation in the island of Vata’inu, resources were running low- and Makani were worried about their people. Mostly the A’keiyah knew of their impending fates and did their best to consolidate the remaining resources of their land without alarming the masses. But they worried about their secrecy and planned to tell their people soon.

    However, upon a grand gathering, when the sunset.. the moon turned a hue of purple. The island began to rumble.

    It was slow at first, but struck them as alarming. This never happened before. Panic ensued for another day, then two. Each day, the rumbles grew more and more apparent as items were knocked down, or wooden furniture. Then small fissures or two would erupt on the grounds between huts. On the third day, the outer rims of the Island began to break apart, chipping away the rock.. And falling. The first responders to see such, mostly PoMakani, warned their people. Families soon clustered together. Panic was in the air. The A’keiyah decided they must prepare for the worst, and ordered their people to protect themselves in their homes and wait, for there was not much else they could do.

    Upon the 5th day, the Island begins to descend.

    They felt it first. Their homes breaking into crushing rock and the seas meeting to swallow its pieces from below, but they could not see it.. yet. Their own breaths were held in place. Before they felt the jolt of the impact, those that could took flight. Wings expanding into the cool, stormy air. Soaked as they were, the wind lifted them up and helped them glide away from the incoming wreckage. Some kept close to their loved ones. Some climbed to the highest trees of the land that still stood and fell along with the crumbling rocks ahead of time. The young would be clutched by the grown Makani claws and lifted to safety. This batch of Makani knew what was coming, and glided before the incoming impact, into the water to clutch for floating debris. A few held on to what they could bring. Flashes and blurs of light cascaded around them- red, green, blue, white, yellow and purple most of all. The moon shone above them, ever dark and foreboding. The rush of sound came last. An eerily, blaring ring.. then the sea. Water began to fill the nooks, crannies of Vata'inu, and they gasped for air, away from the edges, feathers soaked and confused. A few were dry, still- clutching to large trees and rocks, but injured.

    Shouts rang out with high whistles and screeches- <Y: Leave your homes! To the sea!>. <Y: No! Wait for the A'keiyah's orders!>, and others, still confused.. <Y: But where are they?!> Up became down and down became up.

    It felt like minutes of scrambling, hours of climbing and swimming, and soon the sun began to shine through after the light storm. Hues of pinks and yellows and blues filled the bright, blue, ever-familiar sky. <Y: Manna will save us!>

    A bell rang, then.

    To the west, a large wooden boxed object with black and red sails came easing its way through the debris in the sea, swiftly. Behind it, they could see a few others with different sails and sizes.

    A feeling washes over them as foreign shouts are spoken in their direction. The Groundlings had come to sail them to their lands.

    (Written by Solus )

    ---------------------
    OOC: Choose what ship picks your Makani up {here}. The A'keiyah chose to stay within the undercaverns of Vata'inu, because they were certain that Manna would not let them fall. As Vata'inu met the water, they realized that their faith had been misplaced. Since The Great Disaster, no one has seen one of the old A'keiyah since.

    Will more be chosen by their people? Will the old faith be abandoned? Is this Manna's Will?
    Only time, and Manna, will tell.
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2017
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  6. Kajuit

    Kajuit The Artisan

    Character Name:
    The Fool
    Alt Name:
    The Packman
    Race:
    Human
    They look like what I imagined a Ra'zac(?) would look like when I was reading Eragon. Cool!
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