Let’s Talk about FaceBeasts [Kinda NSFW]
So, ever since Wryd66 did an evolutionary explanation of the Paski I’ve been itching to do one for the BirdFolk. The BirdFolk descend from a single ancestor and are currently the only living members of the Avepezus (‘walking birds’) family.
BirdFolk Phlogeneological Study
The farthest ancestor that has derived characteristics similar to the BirdFolk is Avis nituifugax (splendid flyer). This small bird was beginning to give up flight and re-develop the long clawed fingers on it’s wings. Why? Because there was an abundance of food on the forest floor. Having to glide down from a tree is easy but to get back up they used those claws to climb back to their nests. This small, intelligent creature is the grandfather-bird of the BirdFolk.
Fast-forward quite a bit and a few smaller less-important versions of the BirdFolk. The forests have been both flooded by rain or fallen back to become plains and swamps. The current ancestor is Avis advena (migrant bird). Walking upright upon two legs they could peer about for predators. The hands of A. advena betray it’s close relationship to A. nituifugax. The hands are still structured for flapping and flying even though it is far too heavy to fly with marrow-filled bones. A. advena also begins to display the characteristic elongation of future BirdFolk in arms, legs, beak and neck. Genitalia in males is now external. A. advena is thought to have begun losing feathers on it’s body now. Webbed feet are present for life in the swamps.
From the A. advena that lived out on the plains the species that developed was so derived that it warrants an entire new genus for itself. Asterias lophogigas (giant-crested heron) was massive and thick-boned. It needed to be large just to power the massive beak. A. lophogigas was for all it’s size, a seed-eater. With that beak it could have easily broken open the hardest, thickest, shelled-nuts and seeds. Avis advena and Asterias lophogigas were contemporaries but A. advena survived simply because it was not as specialized.
Fast forward another thousand or so years and here, things get murky. Aves nuncio (messenger bird) comes into being evolving from Avis advena. With A. nuncio's hands becoming pronated and prehensile a very important change occurred in the brain. The brain was being re-wired to interpret the world in a different way. It was being re-wired to better interact with the world around it. Speech, the use of tools, communal-living all appeared with A. nuncio and were a direct result of this re-wired, less instinctual brain.
Within groups of A. nuncio another change was occurring. Aves ferrum (tool bird) were evolving amongst them. Larger-brained (compared to body-size) and less ‘stork-like’ these are the modern BirdFolk. Communities of A. ferrum were building complicated societies with new ideas and inventions. With the overwhelming technological-prowress of A. ferrum, A. nuncio was left to the far edges of the swamp where its’ species declined. It is thought that Aves nuncio is extinct but there are some strange BirdFolk in the far swamps that could be more closely related to A. nuncio than the modern A. ferrum.
[A article in the World Daily Science Journal by Doctor of New Vertebrate Studies Ms. Smith.] ?
(Embiggen these for more information)
On birds, the wings are essentially hands. Three fingers that were modified into wings. In the BirdFolk, as they grew in intelligence they lost the ability to fly. However, they are still birds and a flap of skin connecting the arms to the body remains. This skin would have supported the muscles used to fly and feathers as well. In the Folk the skin flap remains. After humans arrived through a.. portal or whatever it is the BirdFolk were so enamored of the humans mode of dress that they wanted to imitate and wear it. The flap of skin presented a problem, because they wanted to be very much like the humans and mimic their ways. A practice was taken up to remove most of the skin there to make wearing the clothes easier. Purely cosmetic and now it is done at hatching. This is now known as ‘clipping’. Some of the clans and outlying groups of BirdFolk don’t do this. A female or male with un-clipped arms is an oddity and for some folk, it’s quite a kinky-fetish.
TL;DR Underarm skin is kinky for some BirdFolk. Also, yes that lady of ill-repute is smoking and wearing far too much beak-paint to be proper.
BirdFolk (c) Liz Smith/Splitcat/Weavercat 2012
I’ll answer any questions you have about my headworld, the BirdFolk, the SandCats, humans on the world, or the FaceBeasts. Or you can ask questions of my characters even. Az, Perin, Stanley, Second Shift, or anyone else. ;)
I’ll post answers tonight and tomorrow.
They never knew that the Goblin King stole his look from King Humphrey….
Can we tell this fellow was based off of the white black bears? ;)
FaceBeasts can live almost anywhere but most are found in the forests west of the BirdFolk swamps.
I want to talk about a specific little group of FaceBeasts that are rather isolated. There is a little island in the west that is owned by the BirdFolk but they don’t really have a presence on the island. Instead a group of FaceBeasts swam out to the island and have lived there ever since. The group originally had a few members with ‘talents’ or magic-gifts. These talents are so few and far between that for this little off-shoot group they believed those with these talents were holy and they greatly wanted to preserve and concentrate these talents in their own group. This has resulted in a foolish amount of inbreeding occuring. Oh and of course the talents that were bred for did pass down but not without side-effects.
Sterility and physical deformities are the current issues facing this small island group. Their numbers are decreasing on the island and they are trying to decide on who should be sent as an emissary to the main-continent to reconnect with the rest of the FaceBeasts.
The fellow above is one of the products of this inbreeding for talent-traits. Kinda wall-eyed isn’t he? Even by FaceBeast standards this little group of islanders is excessively strange.
No one really likes the FaceBeasts in my little headworld… they’re too weirdly mutant and they keep to themselves.
[Edit: Cut out the stuff I wrote before because I was confusing myself too.]
Hurrhurr! I love playing with gender-roles. It’s not true reverse sexual dimorphism at least it isn’t to me. Females are a little smaller and slender than males (although differences do occur) but the males are strong too. Because they are naturally a bit heftier they herd the ‘sheep’ (haven’t decided if it is sheep) and gather plant-matierial for cloth-making. They also harvest sand for the production of the glass-weapons.
It is a matriarchal society. Males are generally found to be unsuitable to be soldier-warriors. It’s partly a historical prejudice because for the SandCats, ‘Males are strong. Why give someone physically strong a weapon?’ To them, having wisdom is better than strength. Also, it’s partly temperment-based. Males have been selected by the females to be more… docile and gentle.Which makes them perfect for child-care. Males that show non-typical male behavior (being aggressive or dominating) are castrated. Although, males may be taught basic self-defense they are not allowed to touch, own or sharpen a weapon.
While it may be the girls that rule, it’s the males that keep things at home running smoothly.
BirdFolk are basically humans in bird-suits. Difference for them is basically the almost-boobs of females because after they lay the single egg, the females secrete a ‘milk’ that the chick will drink for the first 1-2 weeks of his/her life. Mostly it’s typical house-work, crafting work for females. One more item of note, nobles and high-born exhibit a bit more diversity in colors. It’s because of recessive traits coming through. Most commoners exhibit a grey-black, brown, and neutral-patterned colors. Iridescent-feathers are found only among the nobles and high-born.
For the FaceBeasts… they don’t really have a culture being mix-up monsters. ^^;