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PostSubject: Ha'dri    Wed Feb 22, 2012 11:45 am

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Originally for Aeria by Rutabega.
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Ha'dri
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Anatomical facts.
The Ha'dri are a vaguely insectoid-humanoid mixture originating from certain key areas in southern Sarkun. The Ha'dri posses several unique traits that are absent in any other race on the face of Aeria. Mostly all of these traits can be attributed to the fact that the Ha'dri's survival as a race is directly tied in to Aeria's natural magical fields. The reason behind this is that Ha'dri females are not born from eggs, but rather transformed from males due in the rare event of certain background magics being present, though to date philosophers and those that study the arcane are still unsure of what magical elements exactly bring about this change. Just how many females there are varies wildly depending on where in the world the local population might be living; though all percentages are low being anywhere from one in one thousand at their most common. Due to being such a rarity females are often kept under lock and key, treated more as valuable objects of necessity then anything else with full on wars over single females being an all too common event amongst the Ha'dri. This of course begs the question of just how the Ha'dri know where to settle with the background energies changing in any one area during the course of several centuries. The answer to this lies within their eyes as the Ha'dri are the only race on the face of Aeria who are able to visually detect magic. Their advanced eyesight is thanks to their compound eyes, each of which is split in to 3 sections, two hemispheres which are primarily used for the detection of shapes and motions, and a center band (which is in turn divided into 8 layers) which focuses on colour and the detection of other entities invisible to the human eye (such as magic). In addition the splitting of each eye into 3 different regions means that a single Ha'dri eye is capable of trinocular vision and possesses depth perception.

Description
All Ha'dri begin their lives in a larval stage which resembles an overgrown camel spider, though they posses a single pair of eyes and only six legs. The larva, all of which are males, remain in this form for roughly four years until they've reached the size comparable to that of a large dog before molting to their adult form. The adult stage is the final stage for most of all male Ha'dri as the vast majority never undergo the transformation into females. The males stand anywhere from four feet tall to a whopping seven and a half feet, their size dependent on the magical conditions in which their eggs were laid in addition to a slight variation between members of the same brood. During the transformation the front and back pair of legs become what might be seen as arms and legs, with the upper, longer appendages ending in four spindly fingers whereas the shorter, thicker legs boast two thick, forward facing toes and one rearwards facing digit, all of which posses a slight claw at the tip mainly used for climbing. The center appendages are shortened during the transformation process, acting more towards object manipulation in addition to a second set of hands while climbing. In addition to all this a row of pointed spikes sprout up along the forearms of the upper most appendage, varying in length from an inch to as much as half a foot. The head of the adult slopes forward, ending in a mouth similar to the scissor chelicerae (mouth) of a scoprion giving the adult a somewhat hunch-backed appearance.

This is the form most Ha'dri will spend the rest of their lives as. However this is by no means the end. Very rarely towards the end of a male's life he will undergo a second transformation. The details of a male's transformation from male to female is a closely guarded secret, having never been witnessed or documented by outsiders. Whatever the process it seems as though the transformation is a slow process, taking up to a month from start to finish (though certain rituals may play into this) with the end result being once again completely different from the original. Though outsiders are seldom permitted to see females there are a few cases where scholars have had a chance to examine them at a distance. Documented females range between 5-6 feet and resemble other humanoids far more then their male counterparts. They stand upright, no longer hunched forward with their faces almost looking more reptilian, with heads made up of several smaller multicolored segments (often green or brown with black) and smaller ridges of downward facing spikes along the sides of their heads that somewhat resembles the hair of other humanoid species. The mandibles are gone in favor of a smaller, less well equipped mouth, suggesting that females require either a specialized diet (by Ha'dri standards, who prefer to eat their food whole). It remains a mystery as to why the Ha'dri females resemble other humanoids (straighter back, face, posture etc) compared to the males, though several theories exist, including the more racist suggestion that the Ha'dri were created by Azuth as warriors, while the females were required to seduce humans to produce more offspring. Whatever the reason females remain a mystery to the world at large and will continue to stay as such so long as they are kept locked away from the outside world.

Culture and behavior
As previously mentioned Ha'dri possess far greater eyes then any other known sentient race and, as such a large part of their culture is based around sights with much of their clothing and rituals including a vast amount of bright, contrasting colours which while dazzling to most races is amplified even further thanks to the improved visual capabilities of the Ha'dri. Many cultural rituals and festivals involve some form of dance, the favorite of which is a style incorporating bright streamers and clothing in conjunction with spins, flips and other acrobatic feats accompanied to a fast tempo of drums and other instruments. This up beat attitude is not limited to festivals as in many Ha'drian cities in Sarkun there's seldom a night that goes by where the sounds of music and celebration of some sort being close at hand. The Ha'dri also find themselves prone to several vices perhaps in part due to their upbeat lifestyle. Perhaps the largest of all is their obsession with gold which is coveted above all else excluding their females. While humans and other races might hoard gold due to it's value the Ha'dri's obsession with this metal is once again thanks to their sight, which is said to make gold irresistible to the Ha'dri, so much so that many develop a near kleptomaniac obsession and will attempt to steal any gold they might come across. Another large vice, this one relating to their insect nature is a passion for sweets which plainly becomes evident when presented with Ha'drian foods which are often sweetened with spices, sugars and anything else available. Even their alcohol is mostly produced from distilled berries and fruits, the favorite of which is known as "God's nectar", a high concentration fruit syrup which is one of Aeria's few drinks known to rot your teeth out and poison your liver at the same time. This lifestyle of fast living and general self disregard can be attributed to the Ha'dri belief that they are simply waiting to pass on to the next stages of their lives, in that death is no more then a change similar to their molting into adulthood.


In combat the Ha'dri prefer the use of curved swords, or ironwood longbows. There are two primary styles of sword used are the khopesh, a single handed sword that curves outward made for hooking an opponent's sword or shield and the arakh, a larger two handed sickle-sword with a long handle and a razor sharp edge. The preferred method of combat is a rather fast and furious fighting style known as "Sha'sir" (roughly translated as "Steel storm") where opponents launch a series of whirlwind like attacks against their opponent in combination with two daggers held by the center appendages to parry any blows to the torso. This form of combat is highly popular amongst most Ha'dri and it is not uncommon to witness a show fight on the streets of most Ha'drian cities. In terms of armor most Ha'dri prefer to rely on their chitin carapaces, though many will include a simple suit of bronze scalemail woven over leather in addition which allows for decent protection against slashing weapons.

A khopesh and arakh
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Recently larger numbers of Ha'dri have been moving north from Sarkun into Estivon and the lower Heartlands, even making it as far as Surna. Why this is remains unknown, be it simple wanderlust or if it has to do with a shift in Aeria's magic fields. Whatever the reasons the Ha'dri have quickly gained a poor reputation amongst humans and other northern races, in part due to their heavy drinking and loud celebrations which is considered far more of a nuisance at 3am in the north then it would be in their homelands. Secondly their near mad obsession with gold has earned them large amounts of strife from local law enforcements and wealthier citizens after recent waves of gold thefts. That isn't to say the dislike is completely one-way as Ha'dri have come into contact with larger numbers of magic users, whom they perceive as meddling wizards who would disrupt the natural flow of Aeria's magical energies without a second thought. That isn't to say all relations are bad. Many economies have been stimulated with new trade from the far reaches of Sarkun who offer extravagant silks, exotic liquors and ample amounts of spices. In addition to this many Ha'dri who choose to stay in these new, colder northlands find themselves work as well paid mercenaries to nobles and wealthy individuals who live in constant fear of magical attack which the Ha'dri are often able to spot without the need of any magical know-how.





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