Name: Hajrar(s) [HAZSH-rahr(z); soft 'a' as in 'card' - soft 'j' like the 's' in 'division']
Homeworld: Eral, a moon that orbits Nishao Kalimn. Many live on Nishao Kalimn.
Origin: Hajrars were genetically designed from a smart-but-nonsentient 'base' creature - a wingless, quadrupedal predator with mottled purple-blue fur. Their designers are unknown, though krenii later played a significant role in the evolutional development of their species.
Height/Length/Wingspan/Weight: When on all fours, Hajrars range from 2-5' at the shoulder; when standing on their hind legs alone, spines barely angled from horizontal, they range 3-6.5' at the shoulder. Hajrars are 3.5-9' long from nose to rump, plus another 7-18' of tail (approx. twice the length of the body); they have a wingspan of 16-40', each wing being as long as or longer than their tails. Hajrars weigh between 125-800 lbs and show no sexual dimorphism in size; like many other attributes, their build and weight are determined by breed.
Coloration/Clothing: Coloration of fur, eye, and claw is based upon breed, as breeds are labeled according to their fur's hue. However, each breed has a range of shades. Purples have a pelt that can vary from deep purple-black to pale amethyst, encompassing indigo and demi-fuschia; their eyes are also a shade of purple, as are their claws. Whites' fur, eyes, and claws have a range from pure white to silver to pale grey, encompassing ivory and pearl. The coloration of greens ranges from blackened forest green to pastel seagreen, encompassing aquamarine and teal. Yellows have a range that extends from wheat-yellow to deep golden to dark orange, encompassing gold and bronze and tawny (but not beige or very browned yellows). Blacks' fur and claws can be deep grey, coal black, or ebony with a sheen of green, purple, or blue to it - their eyes are often shades of grey, but can also be black. Reds' pelt and claws range from burnt bloodred to rich scarlet to a semi-light watermelon hue - their eyes range from red-purple, through red, and into fire-orange. Hajrars have no markings; on occasion, their wing membranes or wingfingers will be a lighter or darker shade of their fur color. Hajrars can wear clothing for decoration or for protection from the elements; clothing for decoration is often silk, brightly-colored, and draped loosely around the body or limb. Protecting clothing - for warmth, for shade in the sun, for dryness in wetlands, or for armor in dangerous areas - is more practical, covering, and well-fitted, typically made of leathers or synthetic materials. Hajrars who don't live in challenging climates and/or who don't travel rarely wear practical clothing, as their wings and fur are plenty of protection.
Races/Breeds: Hajrars have six breeds: purples, whites, greens, yellows, reds, and blacks. Greens and yellows are very similar to each other, with greens being slightly smaller and leaner; likewise, reds and blacks are very similar to each other, with blacks being taller and longer-legged. So, for the purpose of brevity, greens and yellows will often be grouped, as will reds and blacks. The table that follows will help highlight some basic breed distinctions:
|Attribute||Blacks & Reds||Greens & Yellows||Whites||Purples|
|Build||muscular, tall||toned, leggy||stocky, short||lean, small|
|Teeth||long, heavy||long, sharp||thick, blunted||small, thin, sharp|
|Forepaws||broad, heavy, feline, longish toes||elongated toes, feline/human||wide, short-fingered, feline||small, long-fingered, hand-like (no thumb)|
|Hindpaws||long-toed, thick-toed, heavy||long-toed, thick-toed||thick-toed, short-toed, broad||long-toed, slim|
|Claws||long, straightish, semi-blunt, heavy||medium-length, sharp, fairly curved||blunt, short, straight||curving, sharp, short|
|Muzzle||long, heavy, semi-rounded||long, tapered, sculpted||short, thick, rounded||small, lean, tapered|
|Limbs||long, muscular||long, toned-muscular||short, bulky||proportionate, slender|
|Preferred Gait||all fours||all fours/hind legs||all fours||flying/hind legs|
|Fur||sleek, glossy, semi-short, coarse||soft, medium-length, shaggy||long, thick, shaggy, dense||short, sleek|
Interaction w/ Other Species:
Pronunciation~ HAH-zshrahr(z) [soft 'a' as in 'card'; soft 'j' like the 's' in 'division']
Plural and Adjective~ Hajrars - Hajraran
Height~ When on all fours, height ranges from 2.5 feet to 7 feet; when standing on hind legs (spine still mostly vertical), height ranges from 3 to 8 feet. Size is determined by breed; from shortest to tallest, they are as follows: purples (female), whites (male), greens (male), yellows (females), blacks (females), reds (males). Naturally, individuals of various breeds can compare differently than their averages do, and the size difference between greens and yellows is minimal, as it is between blacks and reds.
Coloration~ Coloration of fur, eye, and claw is based upon breed, as breeds are labeled according to their fur's hue. However, each breed has a range of shades. Purples have a pelt that can vary from deep purple-black to pale amethyst, encompassing indigo and demi-fuschia; their eyes are also a shade of purple, as are their claws. Whites' fur, eyes, and claws have a range from pure white to silver to pale grey, encompassing ivory and pearl. The coloration of greens ranges from blackened forest green to pastel seagreen, encompassing aquamarine and teal. Yellows have a range that extends from wheat-yellow to deep golden to dark orange, encompassing gold and bronze and tawny (but not beige or very browned yellows). Blacks' fur and claws can be deep grey, coal black, or ebony with a sheen of green, purple, or blue to it - their eyes are often shades of grey, but can also be black. Reds' pelt and claws range from burnt bloodred to rich scarlet to a semi-light watermelon hue - their eyes range from red-purple, through red, and into fire-orange. Hajrars have no markings; on occasion, their wing membranes or wingfingers will be a lighter or darker shade of their fur color.
Temperament~ Much like coloration and physical build, Hajraran temperaments greatly vary from breed to breed. (That, and Hajrars are really difficult to generalize - especially because they have two main places that they live, which shape them accordingly. Nishao Kalimn is the gold-and-green serpent-infested planet with severe gravity, and their native Eral is a moon with a fifth of that gravity and far smaller, more cunning enemies.) In general, Hajrars are resourceful, intelligent, self-sufficient creatures that live in clans for the protection and fellowship that they offer and follow a clan leader only because he/she has proven him/herself both physically and mentally. They take a pride in surviving, no matter where they live - they're the type to dance in the flames and risk getting burnt, rather than sit safe outside the circle and meekly watch. Most Hajrars are addicted to freedom, and that freedom includes the ability to fly as high and run as far as they'd like - most clans don't have set territorial boundaries, only a "core" area where they sleep and raise cubs, then a huge expanse of lands around them in which to play and hunt and train; these outer lands can be and often are shared with other clans, or other packs of friendly species. As for breed specifics, well, each can be stereotyped, but there are always exceptions to the rule (and sometimes the exceptions are more numerous than the rules!). Whites are usually the least intelligent of the breeds, more concerned with survival than any garnering of pleasure from life - they like being alone, are always prideful but not often arrogant, and tend to be gruff, blunt, and honest in their attitudes towards everyone else. They're fierce in protecting what needs protecting and/or that which they consider "theirs," and they tend to be the hardest breed to kill. Purples, the female "counterpart" to whites, are highly intelligent and exceedingly social - they tend to be downright arrogant, vain, and sarcastic/sassy. They love puzzles and mental (sometimes physical, too) challenges, love showing off, and often grate on other Hajrars' nerves - but their perceptivity and cunning mind are valuable to a clan, so they're kept around and generally tolerated. Greens are also quite intelligent, but they tend to have a healthy (or unhealthy, in some cases) sense of modesty and don't often advertise their skills; they're sensitive, emotional, and usually the most caring and kindest of the breeds. They make excellent fathers and/or cub caretakers, and they often have a good sense of humor - however, don't let their gentleness fool you, as greens can be as fierce as whites when provoked. Yellows, the female counterparts to greens, are more outgoing and rambunctious, often seeming immature to other breeds because they play as much as they hunt and sleep. They're as intelligent and emotional as greens, but they have a much more optimistic, active mindset - they enjoy the simple things in life and aren't afraid to say what they think, as many yellows lack tact of any kind, and most prefer bluntness anyways. Yellows are often excellent warriors, viewing training as a game to be won (as they so often view life), but some make poor mothers. Reds, the biggest males, are average in intelligence (more towards a green's level than a white's or purple's) and very strong-willed and practical - they're solid personalities, strong and compassionate and dominant, with an occasional violent streak that makes battles and hunts exceedingly enjoyable for them. They tend to have strict honor codes, morals, and ethics, and they're not above enforcing their own codes upon others to keep up the standard of their clan and/or family. Reds and their female counterparts, blacks, tend to be leaders, make superb warriors, and are usually good (if strict) parents. Blacks are more fiery in personality than reds, often more aggressive and more eager to fight to resolve a conflict; however, they're also surprisingly perceptive and can be kind and generous if they so choose. They tend towards very active, dangerous lifestyles that emphasize hunting and sparring/battling as ways to prove oneself, but they're also often the peace-keepers in their clans, as they view the group as one tightly-knit family and will strive to keep it that way. And again, as a reminder, temperament is based as much upon cubhood, place of birth, clan, and individuality as breed - Hajrars cannot be generalized nor stereotyped.
Physical Description~ Hajrars physically vary due to breed, but some generalized descriptions can be had. They have a very dinosaurian head, exact shape varying from thin-muzzled to thick-muzzled and from tapering to rounded, with equine nostrils and a jawful of demi-feline teeth and long fangs. Their eyes are large and almond-shaped, and their ears are long, slender, vaguely lapine, and usually swept backwards. Their necks are long and proudly arched, their chests deep, and their waists proportionally narrow. Their limbs, for the most part, are long and powerful, with their forepaws being more dexterous than their hindpaws (but again, paws and build vary with breeds). Hajrars also have simply massive wings, each one easily twice as long as their torso or longer; these wings have no "fingers", so to speak, that extend from the wrist-joint. Hajraran wings are not furred or feathered but rather draconic in nature - the wing membrane is very thick, pliable, and surprisingly tough, with a texture like that of soft leather crossed with suede. When folded, the wing membrane loosely conceals the actual wing-arm and, with its great expanse hanging freely and naturally-ragged edges brushing the ground, Hajraran wings often look broken/boneless/useless. However, their wings are incredibly powerful, easily strong enough to send even the biggest red or black into the air for hours at a time. Hajrars also have immensely long tails - usually twice the length of their torso, or as long as one wing - that are not only strong and prehensile, but also amazingly flexible; they often tie their tails in loose knots when bored or restless. Hajraran senses are also exceedingly keen, though their night-vision is not as good as most Emeracore System natives, as they originate on the moon Eral and are accustomed to having at least one moon/planet in their sky at all times to provide some light.
Healing~ Hajrars have possibly the most advanced healing/immune system in their solar system; in fact, their system is on par with those of most Lavanians, Korats included. Blood clotting and skin regeneration are both amazingly swift and effective, as are tissue and fur regeneration; Hajrars rarely scar - those scars that do form are often from deep, severe wounds. Bones are healed quickly if no stress is put upon them (i.e. if a Hajrar who breaks his leg doesn't try to walk on it until it's totally healed), if the Hajrar eats and drinks regularly/plentifully, and, most importantly, if the Hajrar adds a few extra sources of calcium and other minerals to his diet until the bone is healed. Most Hajrars are at least passing knowledgeable about herbs on Eral and Nishao Kalimn - they can supplement their diet with different herbs for different effect and have no shame in doing so. (However, not many Hajrars make ointments/topical treatments from these herbs, preferring to let their own system process and extract the benefits from the raw material. Their digestive system is quite adept at this.) Also, Hajrars groom their wounds clean for two reasons - their saliva contains several chemicals that act as antibiotics to prevent infection, and other chemicals offer a local boost to their immune system's work in that area, helping wounds heal more quickly and more thoroughly. Wing membrane is the fastest tissue to regenerate on a Hajrar, surpassing even skin - even if shredded, the strips will be able to fuse together again with little or no scar tissue, provided the Hajrar keeps his wing stationary and the strips set together. Hajrar bones are of a different chemical make-up than those of humans - lighter and tougher (and more pliable in the case of the wingfinger-bones), they're difficult to break and even more difficult to totally shatter (fractures are far more common). Hajrars also have widened ribs, offering more protection to their chest cavity and the organs within, and their "floating ribs," which consist of cartilage and bone, are quite flexible but also widened for maximum protection of the stomach area. The Hajraran heart is larger than their size would lead one to expect and insanely efficient, as are their lungs (which are designed to deal with rather oxygen-rich air) - their circulatory system is also amazingly efficient and is designed for the wear-and-tear that comes with the high-energy, always-active lifestyle that most Hajrars lead. Hajrar claws are made of a mixture of keratinized skin (like hooves and Earth animal claws) and bone, making them quite strong, sharpenable, and difficult to break or dull. If a claw is chipped, regrowth begins immediately, and if one is broken, the remains are shed and a new claw will regrow within a month (depending on the size of the claw in question - smaller are quicker); Hajrars naturally shed their claws about once every two years if adults, once a year if in their adolescence, and almost constantly in cubhood (when their paws keep outgrowing their claws =^^=). Likewise, (although chipped teeth are slow to smooth and sharpen again naturally), a broken tooth will be shed within days and a new one grow in under two months.
Family Life~ Most Hajrars are part of a clan under one clan leader (usually a red or black, but occasionally a yellow) and consider their clan their "family." In part, this is true, because some members of a clan are often linked by blood - when a clan truly does become one family, it tends to split apart into tiny groups which are then accepted into neighboring clans to keep the gene pool diverse and to avoid inbreeding. (Hajrars are fairly lax with inbreeding and consider only brother-sister and parent-offspring pairings to be physically unhealthy and morally objectionable.) While Hajrars generally feel no pressure to take mates and have cubs, as they tend to have large, healthy litters (which make up for those 'rars who don't breed), many choose to do so for companionship only - a cubless mated pair is rather common, especially in well-populated or dangerous areas. When two Hajrars formally declare themselves mates to their clan, they also decide whether or not they'll have cubs at some point - matehood is not necessarily tied to reproducing, although only mates will raise cubs (i.e. no one-night stands or single parents). The bond between mates is deeply physical (but not always sexual), emotional ("soulmates"), and mental (they mesh well) - and, if a Hajrar finds a fitting mate of the same gender, it's not uncommon for him to declare matehood with the qualification that no cubs will be coming along at any time in their lives. Cubless mates are given much the same respect as is given to mates who plan on cubs in the future, but current or past parents are usually especially honored for their dedication of themselves to furthering the Hajraran race. Unsurprisingly, not many purples or whites choose be parents - their temperaments are generally unsuited to devoting themselves to raising cubs for seven years.
Since every Hajrar contains the genes for all six breeds, any two Hajrars may produce a cub of any breed. (For example, a red and a yellow could have a purple daughter in their litter.) Hajrars don't conceive very easily, so many attempts at breeding may be necessary before the female becomes pregnant* - however, once she is pregnant, she'll carry her litter for approximately six months (up to seven if she's bearing a lot of cubs) and give birth in the presence of her clanmates. Births are very public, celebrated events, and often other parents will give the new mother/father pair helpful advice and help them when needed. [*Hajrars are very open about the act of breeding and enjoy it, though male/female mates will not engage in it unless they aim to conceive and have a litter.] Litters range from four cubs to ten or eleven, so the parents rather appreciate their clanmates' help in raising the little hellions. =D It's nearly impossible to find a litter that's all of one color, and when one does occur, it's generally thought to be an omen for the clan/family.
Cubs are considered infants for the first six months of their life - once they're past six months, they've started growing their claws and baby teeth, their wing membrane has toughened, their wings have gained full mobility, and they've started eating pre-chewed meat. Cubs are usually weaned once they're past a year in age, as Hajraran milk is rich in various goodies (usually supplemented by a plethora of natural herbs that the mother ingests during pregnancy and nursing) and greatly helps the cub's initial growth. Cubs are unbearably mischievous, curious, and obnoxious to both their parents and their siblings, often driving even the most patient adult to his/her wit's end with their antics. For the most part, all full adults in the clan help out in raising and feeding and teaching the cubs, as clans tend to plan litters so that there's only one in the clan at a time. Cubs usually start speaking rather soon, often early in their second year, but don't develop any considerable command over the surprisingly-complex raw-growl language of their race until they're into their fourth year of cubhood. Cubs begin learning to fly when they enter their first year of adolescence, begin learning to hunt during their second, and are trained in herbs and friendly sparring during their third. Then, once they reach adulthood, they're considered a "young" adult for three years, during which they usually train - afterwards, they are considered "full" adults and have all the breeding/mate-taking/hunting/etc rights of the rest of the clan. The entire clan holds an energetic, esteem-boosting rite of passage for each entrance into and exit from each of the three years of adolescence, as well as major rituals for the entrances into adolescence, young adulthood, and "full" adulthood.
Aging~ The aging process is much slower among Hajrars than it is among humans, so I'll compare and contrast with a chart. To summarize, Hajrars are considered adolescents at four years of age, adults at seven years, and elders at 150 years; they can live into their 160s if they're lucky, but not many Hajrars live to see old age.
[table coming soon!]
Breed Differences~ Breed differences are best illustrated in table format:
Skills, Talents, and Training~ Hajrars train as part of their young adulthood, when they are still considered half-cubs and are striving to enter "true" adulthood after the first three years after adolescence; some Hajrars begin training in their third year of adolescence, but this is rare and usually frowned upon unless the clan in question lives in a very dangerous area or hunts exceedingly vicious prey (some of which is carnivorous). Often, training for the three years of young adulthood is enough to physically prepare the Hajrar for life as a full adult, but many Hajrars choose to continue training well into their adulthood - these individuals are often called "devotes" and are usually clan leaders or respected warriors or scouts.
Most Hajraran skills and talents have to do with physical prowess - speed, agility, strength, endurance. Speed is a valuable skill especially for Hajrars on Nishao Kalimn, where they must escape those beasts too strong to kill and too hostile to ignore; speed training usually consists of short, concentrated bursts of movement (be it on hind legs, all fours, or in flight) repeated until one tires too greatly to improve. Those who specialize in speed are usually small, compact, and/or lean - they don't necessarily lack strength, but they often lack endurance due to the high metabolic rate that they must develop during their training, which drains their internal resources quickly. Agility is usually developed through a combination of speed training and flexibility, useful and needed to escape smaller, swifter, deadlier beasts (which are found both on Nishao Kalimn and Eral) that are often venomous. Flexibility is achieved through a constantly-repeated series of bodily stretches to limber up joints, lengthen muscles, and generally improve physical mobility - those who specialize in agility often also specialize in speed, usually lacking endurance as well, but with surprising strength (built by stretches). Strength training is perhaps most common and most necessary to survive anywhere one goes; almost all whites train in strength because of their breed's natural lack of speed and agility. Strength training usually consists of a wide variety of exercises that constantly test a Hajrar's current strength and improve it by pushing the beast to his limits - those who train in strength are often lesser fliers because of their increased bulk, usually also train in endurance, and often aren't agile, though their speed can also be great. Lastly, endurance is the most widely used and the most recklessly developed skill; endurance training simply consists of doing something (often running, flying, or sparring) until one drops, exhausted - then recovering and doing it again. Needless to say, this form of training leaves a Hajrar very vulnerable to attack quite often, so it's a rare individual who will train alone, without the protection of either a clan or at least a comrade. Those who specialize in endurance often are quite agile, strong, and swift as well, especially if their endurance training consists more of high-speed sparring than simply running or flying.
The only other widely-known skill is a rare and highly desired one - the ability to use Hajraran ki. While this is not a latent talent and can actually be cultivated, some individuals simply cannot do it. Hajraran ki, also referred to as "inner lightning," is an aggressive form of energy use that launches a lightning-like bolt of light and heat from the mouth - the energy tends to be the same color as the Hajrar, though exact shades may vary. The ki bolt is as erratic and jagged in shape as real lightning is, and while it's not exactly rare to have developed the ability to initiate this energy strike (usually used in battle or to remove certain types of deadly flora), the skill required to direct and directly control the bolt's path requires a lot of concentration, willpower, and training. However, when in a pinch or surrounded by enemies, all a Hajrar needs to do is initiate the blast and aim his jaws at the nearest opponent - often enough, like lightning, the ki bolt will conduct itself through several objects. (As Hajrars don't understand negative vs. positive charges, the exact science of this phenomenon remains a mystery to them.) No one breed is pre-disposed towards natural skill with this "inner lightning," but most clans try to have at least one Hajrar amongst them who can at least produce the bolt, even if he can't control it.