Plural - Asao || Singular - Asaque

Pronunciation - ah-SAY-oh || ah-SAK

Home world - Jhey

Height at higher shoulder - 5 to 6.5 feet

Height at lower shoulder - 3.5 to 5 feet

Length without tail (lower chest to rump) - 4.5 to 7.5 feet

Length with tail - 9 to 14 feet

Coloration - Asao fur can be colored any non-neon hue, and their eyes are often bright, almost unnatural colors, though no metallic or earth tones. Fur is often one solid color, with blues, greens, and earth tones being most common. However, dappled patterns, lighter undersides, and stripes are not uncommon, with the markings being universally darker than the base color, and if shaded at all, the chests, stomachs, and inner limbs being lighter than the base color. Claws are metallic hues, almost always grey or black, though translucent, gold, and white are not unseen.

Clothing - Asao do not wear clothing daily, only heavy fur robes and cloaks in the winter. These pelts are undyed and usually a dark brown, grey, or black. The female Asao do like jewelry, usually necklaces and bangles, while males prefer, if anything, piercings and tattoos.

Temperament - Asao are a varied people, with individual temperaments ranging the entire spectrum; thus, it is difficult to analyze and summarize their characteristics. However, I will make the attempt. Asao are usually laid-back creatures, be it expressed through laziness or simply a take-it-in-stride attitude. They're kind and generous, usually social, and very deep thinkers. Through this meditative trend, Asao do not commit rash deeds in the heat of the moment as adults, though the younger individuals, like all youths, may and do act brashly. Asao are generally peaceful and loving creatures, respectful of the other races on Jhey and excellent farmers, gatherers, fishers, and hunters.

Names - Asao names do have a trend to them. They are four letters long, either in a vowel-consonant-vowel-consonant pattern, or a consonant-consonant-vowel-consonant pattern, the former being far more common. Mated pairs will choose a family endname -the last two letters- and name their children with that suffix attached. Hence, Drix and Llir (male and female, respectively), named their son Obix, and their daughter Arix, choosing the 'ix' from Diru's name to be their family suffix. They could've also chosen the 'ir' from Llir's name, or just two random letters from either or both names.

Family / Social Life - Asao are very devoted to their families, and mates stay together after handfasting (marriage) for life. Children are born one at a time, carried in the lower stomach if you were wondering, and birthed the way a horse or dog might. The general rule for Asao children is two for two - two parents have two children, and natural breeding cycles usually ensure that one male and one female will be born. The idea here is to replace the mother and father, but not overpopulate… this also ensures that the children are raised well and have ample parental attention and general resources to support the family without hardships. Mates are chosen only after spending two years in each others' constant company to ensure that the relationship will stand the 'test of time', so to speak. Asao can live up to eighty years old, though seventy is the norm. Children are grown in twelve years, entering adolescence at age eight, and completing the Rite of Adulthood on the full moon nearest their twelfth birthday. (Asao celebrate most of their major life events with rites and rituals… often followed by partying.) A mother Asao will carry her child for ten months, though only in the last two months will she be unable to participate in hunts and other vigorous physical activity. Mother and father Asao will share the task of caring for their children equally, both before and after their birth. Breeding cycles are during three weeks every spring and every fall, with a fall conception yielding a male, and a spring conception yielding a female.

Asao live in clans, with a chief leading the matter, and a shaman aiding the chief. The chief can be either gender but is usually male; however, the shaman can be either and is usually female. In any case, the chief and shaman will never be the same gender - this is thought to cause an imbalance in the clan and be unhealthy in general. The chief handles outside relationships, such as those with other clans, border disputes, and political maneuvers. The shaman mediates internal and health affairs, such as diseases, injuries, bickering, and family disputes. The chief is given the title of kii (name), and the shaman is respectfully called aaf (name). Both know rudimentary practices that the other denizens of Jhey refer to as magic - divination, communing with nature, predicting the weather, using nature's cycles in their life and farming. The chief and shaman, when they reach the age of fifty-five, will begin training a successor, usually of the opposite gender, who has shown promise through deed or ability. Training lasts for about ten years, and the successor is usually a young adult when this begins. Clans are generally very friendly and brotherly to one another, but cold feuds can and do break out when one clan has been greatly wronged. Often, a third clan will attempt to mediate this dispute. Clans are named simply and with a tribal touch, such as kii Drix's clan, Forest Water. Each family has a separate hut, built like a very large teepee or tent out of logs, pelts, and woven grasses. Clans tend to stay small, due to the limit of two leaders and the need for individual attention, and thus usually four to seven families will stay as a clan. Newly mated couples often leave their traditional clans and travel to a farther and new clan to keep the gene pool diverse.

Technology - Despite space travel and the like available on Jhey, Asao have never expressed any interest in mechanical things. They're at a solid Native American level of technology - they have bows and arrows, spears, and other uncomplicated weapons with which to hunt, they have iron, steel, glass, and woodworking materials, and they mine jewels and ore. Each family hut has an orb made of sheer glass containing a fine powder that provides as much power as a live Crazouli chip would. This powder, called kiiaaf, is produced by a certain insect, and no other Jhey race has cultivated its potential as much as the Asao have. Simply shaken or stirred, kiiaaf will glow brightly and often swirl about in a mini-tornado for days on end, providing light and heat when needed. It fades and becomes useless after about twenty years, but considering how quickly the kiaf insects produce the amazing powder, that's plenty of usage. They also mine Crazouli (an electric diamond-like crystal) occasionally for its undying power.

Description - With a humanoid upper body and a lower body resembling a sleek predator, Asao are built much like slender centaurs, as you can see from the picture at the top of the page. Their heads are like a raptor's, with canine teeth, nostrils, and internal ears. From the back of their skull protrudes a downwards-pointing, claw-shaped horn. Their necks and torsos are powerfully muscled, with well-defined chests and abs. Their arms are built like a human's, with a claw-shaped 'point' tipping their elbows. Asao have five fingers, retractably-clawed. Their lower body has four slender but powerful limbs, a deep chest, and a long, prehensile tail ending in a fairly large point. Their legs are jointed and built like a large feline's or canine's, flexible and with unusually muscular forelimbs to support the weight of their upper torso. Points tip their hocks as well. Their paws are broad, with six medium-length toes ending in semi-retractable claws. Claws and points are universally sharp, curving, and usually pretty slender, much like a bear's claws. Asao are covered in a pelt of short, smooth fur, and also have internal genitalia (lower half - they don't have genitalia on their upper half). Asao senses are excellent, with eyesight being best, smell following close by, and hearing and touch taking third and fourth, respectively. Males are usually heavier-built than females and a little bigger, and thus slower. Females are far more agile than males and can scale rocky inclines with ease, not to mention their ability to rear up on their hind legs for a brief moment. Asao tails are powerful, if lean, and useful in a variety of cases where hands simply won't reach. Asao can run up to sixty miles per hour, though most females can go up to seventy, and exceptional individuals may reach eight mph. When running, Asao tend to cant their upper torso, streamlining their form and tucking their arms against their upper torso.

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