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Snow cats by ceruleanvii
Efferii

Weight

Varies

Height

Varies

Lifespan

70 years maximum

Population

Unavailable

Distribution

All over the world

Reputation

It takes a while to tame a friend.

Physical Traits:

Animalistic traits, such as claws, cat ears, strange hair colours, etc.

Abilities

Animal shifting, Gift of the Wild, Heightened senses

Language

Esferin



Summary:

The Efferii are a race of humanoids that have the ability to transform into animals. Most Efferii are divided up among four chief animal kingdoms: the beasts, the birds, the reptiles, and the insects—each kingdom containing a varying number of subdivisions, usually amassed into tribes. However, amongst them there are only six numerous tribes that have transcended the passage of time: the Northern Wolves of the Beast kingdom, the Ice Bears of the Beast Kingdom, the Wild Cats of the Beast Kingdom, the Birds of Paradise of the Bird Kingdom, the Birds of Prey of the Bird Kingdom, and the Spiders of the Insect Kingdom.

Biology:

Appearance:

  • Appearance varies from baseline human to that of an animal
  • Human form may correspond with animal form
  • Animal features can appear on the human form.
  • Hair colour in human form corresponds with fur/body colour of the animal.

In their humanoid forms, Efferii appear similar to humans or elves; however, appearance is heavily influenced by the animal which the Efferus is infused with—his/her Essence. The Essence of an Efferus is his/her inner animal, which is greatly determined by and at the same time influences their personality, behavior, way of seeing the world, etc. The Efferus’ humanoid form could inherit many of the animal’s physical traits: eyes, ears, nose, whiskers, tails, fangs, claws, talons, pawed feet, and sometimes even fur or feathers. Body structure may also be influenced by the infused animal. They may be stout, stocky, scrawny, slender, etc. if that is a natural trait which the infused animal has. Appearance varies greatly among the Efferii and is not restricted to any of the aforementioned qualities. One aspect always remains consistent, however—the color of one’s hair in humanoid form will always be the body color of whatever animal that one transforms into.

Abilities:

  • Additional animal forms
  • Intermediate forms between human form and original animal form
  • Rudimentary communication with animals

Efferii are born with a natural ability to shape-shift into their Essences and the capability of learning additional animal forms. However, there are many Efferii who have gone their entire lives without learning a second animal form. It is common for an Efferus to learn how to transform into new animals that belong to the same kingdom as their Essence and rare for one to learn an animal of a completely different kingdom.

Once more, it is important to know that the Essence of an Efferii is often a combination of who they are plus the society they live in. As we all know, people born to specific societies usually learn to think and see the world in the same manner as those who surround them.

New Forms: Learning new animal forms takes a learned understanding of the animal in question. An Efferus cannot simply learn the behavioural traits of a specific animal and mimic them, expecting to transform into said animal. It often requires a complete change of mindset; learning to feel how and what such an animal feels and inheriting its instincts. Attitude, adaptation, and learning will all play parts in such a change. Please note that New Forms are generally smaller in size than the Essence form.

Transfiguration: An ability which allows an Efferus to bring part of their body, or sometimes all of it, into a stage between their humanoid-form and their fully shape-shifted animal Essence. Not to be confused with a were-form; transfiguration can only be used with one’s Essence and no other animal form. It also cannot be used to permanently “add” physical animal features to an Efferus’ natural humanoid form, and in no circumstance can it be used to “remove” or “hide” existing physical features. Transfiguration temporarily increases the potency of strengths and abilities, and also develops obvious bestial features with the affected parts of the body. This is also a sustained ability and may wear out the user the longer it is used. Stamina consumption also depends on how much of the body is transfigured. Holding together two sides of the Efferii’s forms is a toll-taking effort, whereas simply transforming from one form to another takes less than a third of the effort. As such, transfiguration is often used only when it is the most practical option.

Gift of the Wild: There is no such thing as speaking an animal’s “language,” as most animals do not have an advanced enough communication for a “language” to exist. However, Efferii have the ability to mentally connect to creatures through physical touch, allowing them to read and fully understand its emotions. This is done simply by concentrating with a calm and gentle mindset. If the Efferus allows it, the creature is able to read and understand the emotions of the Efferus as well, which makes communication possible. Relationships with Efferii are usually very intimate because of this ability. Additionally, Efferii make for good vets and people therapists in a more modern civilization. This ability can be used to tame and command wild animals when performed properly. The Efferus must respect the animal as an equal to gain its loyalty; they view animals as friends, not pets. Performed any other way might result in an aggressive retaliation from the animal. Efferii are unable to command animals which already have a strong bond of loyalty to another person or thing, and they cannot command creatures with a humanoid level of intelligence. The ability to tame usually only works on wild creatures, but communication is possible with anyone and anything.

Note* the inability to shape-shift or use any of the other racial abilities soon after you are old enough is rare. It means that the Efferii was not born to a group where his Essence was present. These Efferii are bound to leave their packs in search of themselves and their true form.

Diet:

The diet of Efferii is usually the same as that of their Essence. For instance, most Efferii of the Beast Kingdom eat meat, but they can also include fruits and herbs, among other things, in their diets. The Bird Kingdom Efferii have diets that vary widely—there are vegetarians, insectivores, carnivores, and combinations of such—all depending on the type of bird. Insects commonly consume only fluids, though there are some types that can chew and swallow whatever they wish. Reptiles are among the least picky among eaters and will eat just about anything—even the dead bodies of their own kind.


Life Cycle:

An Efferus’ lifespan is about 70 years maximum, beginning with infancy until about age 8, where they enter adolescence. Adulthood comes at about 16, whereupon the Efferus’ strength is typically defined and continues to grow at a steady rate until it stops at age 50 and begins to wane afterward. Efferii cannot crossbreed with other races; they are purely their own race. They can interbreed with other Efferii of different Essences, though it is often hard to predict the Essence that any offspring are born with, unless the two parents’ Essences are closely related—for instance, if a lion Efferus mates with a cheetah Efferus, then the likelihood of offspring obtaining a Feline Essence is almost certain. Two parents of unrelated Essences, on the other hand, can produce offspring that are much harder to predict with their Essences. Such cases usually depend more on the environmental conditions that the young are born in than their heritage in determining their Essence.


Behavioural Traits:

Behavioural traits of Efferii are typically stereotyped according to animal. Note that behavioural traits and personalities are not exactly the same thing, but they are closely related. Personality is made up by the complex aspects that make us persons, what is within, while behavioural traits refers more to ways of acting and reacting, how what is within is reflected outside. The Essence of an Efferus is greatly influenced by both their personality and their behaviour traits, the way they see the world as learned by the society the live in. As such, it is possible for an Efferus to change his/her Essence but very unlikely as they would have to basically become a new person. To have a clearer idea, please check the Behavioural Traits section of each tribe linked at the end of this article.


Society

Social Structure:

  • Tribal society
  • Individual tribes ruled by Alpha Males and Females
  • Many laws that revolve around preserving the eco-system.
  • King and Queen enforce these laws.
  • Societal roles are similar to those of wild animals.

All Efferii tribes organize their society in the same way. They claim a large terrain as their hunting grounds, and somewhere within there they build their home. It is like a small city where all can visit and gather, but it is not meant to be the dwelling place of all members. Generally speaking, the King or Queen and his/her pack are the ones that inhabit it. The ruler of each Efferii tribe is the Alpha male, or sometimes even the Alpha female (always the case on the Spider Tribe and common on the bird kingdom), which earn their post by simply being the best of the tribe. Other packs are scattered all over their terrain.

The Kings and Queens have the responsibility of keeping the balance of their ecosystem and making sure that resources are not depleted. It is common in most Efferii tribes to have seasons where it is forbidden to hunt certain animals to allow the preyed populations to be replenished, and that way they make sure there is always something to eat. It is a very serious crime to kill an animal that is protected by seasonal laws, because not only would you be defying the Alpha’s word but you would also be disrespecting the entire tribe and Mother Nature. Kings and Queens also serve as judges for the disputes between packs that need a third party to be resolved, and these are fairly common in some tribes. Only the Alpha holds the authority to command the tribe as a whole. The mate of the Alpha is not considered a Queen or King.

Efferii societies are more complex than those of wild animals, but not extremely so. Among the tribes, each individual is assigned a certain position, such as leader, picker, soldier, hunter and so on. Tasks vary depending on the tribe, and it is not impossible for an Efferus to move from one occupation to another. Every individual in a tribe has a role to play in society that helps to ensure its survival. They hunt and/or gather their food, primarily in their animal forms, to sustain themselves.

Language:

All Efferii have an innate language that they pick up from their Essences. Whenever they are in animal form, they can usually communicate to each other using nothing more than gestures and sounds. In humanoid form, however, this method of communication is less effective and they have their own language, Esferin. It is useful to communicate more complex topics between themselves. A few Efferii, most notably of the Bird Kingdom who live close to shore, take it a step further and learn Avarin to communicate with a much broader range of beings. Eldarin is the second foreign language of choice.


Immigration & Emigration:

There are few immigrants to the realm of the Efferii, but those that exist are usually treated with interest or suspicion. Even interest may not be a welcoming sort of interest; for instance, reptile Efferii often look upon outsiders as sources of material and nourishment, and Efferii of the Spider Tribe are always happy to add another specimen to their collection. Other groups of Efferii can react with complete hostility to immigrants, such as the Wolf Tribe, Birds of Prey, and especially the Ice Bears. The Birds of Paradise, in stark contrast, are very open to foreigners, if slightly uneasy around them, and it may not take long to gain their trust. There are many more emigrants from the realm of the Efferii than there are immigrants. Many Efferii find their lives unfulfilling, perhaps because their personalities do not particularly suit the Essences they were born with. It is not unusual for Efferii to go journeying away from home, and for some, that journey can take them very far away. A decent population of Efferii can be found in the cities of Howldon and Caelin, often with different Essences than ones found in their homeland. If they still retain the same Essences as before, however, it can be expected that they will move again in order to find a more satisfactory life.


The Different Tribes

Since it would be too unjust to describe all the important tribes in a single article, there will be a separate small article for each of them to address their particularities:

Northern Wolves of Nifredil

Ice Bears of Svanteberg

Wild Cats of Harrowoods

Birds of Prey of Caliwind

Birds of Paradise of Evergreen

Black Spiders of the Hallow Lands

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Sealnyx1a zps316cbe5b
Royal Seal 03:04, July 18, 2013 (UTC)