Species: Fvayzi

Name: fvayzi [FWAY-shee]

Homeworld: Aydun

Height/Length/Weight: Fvayzi are fairly average in size, for tauroids; males tend to be slightly larger than females. Fvayzi are 5-6' tall, their medial shoulder being around 3-4' high, and weigh around 350-450 lbs. When standing erect (as tauroids, as they most often do), they're 6-8' long (plus another ~4' of tail); when standing on all sixes, they're 8-10' long (plus tail).

Physical Description: Fvayzi are furred, tauroid felines. They have thick, layered fur which can get quite long (up to 4-5") along their ruff (back of neck, shoulders, and upper back) and tailfluff (encompasses the latter half of the tail); their fur has guard hairs overlaying a softer layer, which sheds considerably in warmer climates in order to keep the fvayzi cool. Though they usually stand and move in a tauroid stance, with their bodies being segmented (visually) into an 'upper torso' and 'lower torso', fvayzi can and do move about on all sixes, typically when climbing or when pulling a very heavy load (at which point, the added traction of six paws instead of four is useful). Fvayzi have broad feline faces with short muzzles and rounded cheekruffs, as well as long whiskers and large, slit-pupiled eyes. Their ears are rounded and set forward on their heads; their necks are long enough to make holding their skulls facing forward while on four or six legs easy. Their upper torso's chest is somewhere between feline and humanoid - not flat but still wide, tapering slightly towards the medial shoulders like a waist. All six fvayzi limbs are remarkably similar - muscular but toned (rather than bulky), very feline in build and mobility, about the same length (though their arms are slightly shorter than their medial legs, which are slightly shorter than their hind legs), and somewhat shaggy. Their hands are somewhat paw-like with pads on the fingertips and palms and retractable claws tipping four fingers and one thumb; their paws are typical feline paws, also retractably clawed (five toes on forepaws, four toes on hind). Their lower torsos are muscular but still soft and smooth like a great cat (thinking tiger here, rather than housecat), and they have rather muscular haunches to help compensate for the weight of holding their upper torso erect most of the time. Their tails are quite feline in shape and flexibility, and the latter half of their tail has a tapering layer of extra fluff (not just a tuft). Males have internal testes and a furred, fairly unnoticeable penile sheath between their hindmost legs; female genitalia is unnoticeable, but they do have two small (A-cup) breasts on their upper torso, covered in thick, soft fur and not terribly noteworthy. (Breasts get up to ~C-cup when heavily pregnant and nursing.)

Senses/Capabilities: Fvayzi have well-rounded senses. Their sight is as sharp and colorful as human sight, albeit more sensitive to motion and flashes of light or color, and they have keen hearing (better than humans, but not extraordinarily good). They have a decent sense of smell, able to track and distinguish people by scent alone, but they tend to use their noses after eyes and ears. As for capabilities - again, fvayzi are well-rounded. They're pretty quick in a run, reaching 40 mph (up to 45 mph in a very short sprint); they tend to be quite flexible and fairly agile, possessing cat-like grace, deftness, and precision. They aren't very enduring in a physically taxing situation (running very fast over a long distance or fighting/hunting for hours on end), but an average day of civilized life doesn't tire them out. Many fvayzi are fairly strong, as well, usually from hauling goods to and fro; their primary strength lies in their ability to move bulky things with their entire body, rather than carry great weight with their arms alone.

Coloration/Clothing: Fvayzi are extremely colorful animals. The 'normal' colors of browns, greys, black, and white are very rarely seen; far more common are greens, blues, purples, and reds, all of a darker shade. More common than browns/greys but less than the jewel-tones are bright reds, oranges, yellows, and lighter shades of green, blue, and purple. Most fvayzi are multi-colored with markings of one or more kind - stripes, spots, rosettes, patches, flecking/tipped fur, streaks, shading, points/highlights, etc. A fvayzi will typically have one of four 'sets' of colors in its fur; the sets are earth tones (browns and greys), dark jewel tones (dark blues, greens, purples), light jewel tones (reds, oranges, yellows, light blue/green/purple), and mixed jewel tones (one or two dark jewel tones with one or two light jewel tones). Claws tend to be black but can be ivory-white or dark grey; eyes can be any color found in their fur, barring straight black and white. Most fvayzi don't bother wearing clothing unless the temperature/weather demands it; they'll wear thin, water-resistant cloaks to keep off heavy rain or intense sun, and they'll wear fitted blankets (essentially hooded cloaks with fabric extensions that can be tied around each limb) to ward off the cold.

Races/Breeds: Fvayzi once had several regional, cultural ethnicities, but with turning their homeworld into a galactic trading center and moving to a new world, the bloodlines have so mixed that the races ceased being distinct. There are still some families who hold onto cultural heirlooms, but there's no longer any distinguishing appearance between the old ethnicities.

Language: Fvayzi speak dunian, the official language of Aydun and one of the most common languages in the universe. Dunian has a somewhat burbling sound and includes 'animal' noises like mrrs, soft growls, jaw-snaps, and croons. Its structure has been standardized for use by multiple species, but there are still old dialects lingering that use a far more organic, unplanned version of it. Vocabulary is extensive to suit all needs and there are often several words to describe -almost- the same thing. Dunian is generally easy to speak, whether the speaker has a muzzle or a mouth (beaks are more difficult to manage).

Technology: Fvayzi never developed their own original technology past working with stone and bone and brick and adobe/clay. When the halasshi came to Aydun (see Interaction for more), the fvayzi learned how to use halasshi tech and went with it, abandoning their own primitive tools and weapons in favor of the far more advanced tools of the halasshi. Now, they've traded enough pieces of tech (or blueprints) that they've amassed a hodgepodge of diverse tech of their own - none of it actually designed by them. They're very good at understanding how something works, but poor with inventing new things, so they're content to scavenge off other species' inventions.

Magic: Fvayzi, like the halasshi, have little physical skill with handling magical energy, and they also have practically no interest in it. (Magical objects, however, make for great trading.) They almost never study magic; the very few who do rarely try to practice it, instead preferring to study theory and how magic affects the economy of various magic-rich and magic-dry worlds.

Values: Fvayzi primarily value personability, sociability, and adaptability. Their belief is that if one has a winsome personality, is excellent in social situations, and can adapt quickly to various circumstances/people/species, one never needs worry about providing for one's people or simply staying alive. Antisocial or more secretive fvayzi are seen as defective in some way, and every effort is made to rehabilitate them within a social structure.

Social Groups/Society: Fvayzi are one of the most strongly and constantly social species in the universe. Even to Lo'hês and humans, who are both very social species, fvayzi are suffocatingly social. Fvayzi do not do well alone for any considerable length of time, though they can handle short spurts of solitude (especially if they have something constructive to do in the meantime and if they know the solitude is temporary). Fvayzi do not have the 'concentric circles' social model that many do (inner circle of mate+kids, then family, then friends, then guild/professional friends, then community, and so forth) and will befriend individuals with no regard to age, gender, species, profession, or even personal quirks/flaws. They are socially fluid, maintaining relationships as long as they're positive and severing them when they become unsalvageably stagnant or negative. Fvayzi don't often have a 'best friend' or a close confidant, but rather a group of close friends who have been friends for long enough, through enough challenges, that they can go out and enjoy life with. There is no concept of voluntary 'alone time' or time to 'recharge' from being social. There's also no hierarchy - fvayzi are communal and treat everyone as equals, no matter age, gender, species, etc, etc. Individual fvayzi follow their strongest interests to find a profession that they enjoy and cooperate with others who are in the same profession. There is competition for resources and for customers, of course, but it's never taken personally - and on the rare occasion that it is, the two fvayzi in question often will spend some time getting to know each other to remove the sting.

Reproduction/Aging: Fvayzi are fairly long-lived, often hitting and surpassing 80 years old. Their children are grown in ten years, weaned and walking before they're one and hitting adolescence between seven and eight years. Gestation is around eight or nine months, and one or two cubs are born at a time. Fvayzi do not mate for life, nor do they always take care of their own children; every community has an extensive cub-care center that typically takes cubs who are older than a year and raises/schools them. Cubs are heavily socialized from the moment they're weaned and grow up as a child of the entire community - biological parents are not much more important than their caretakers or their favorite adults. Some parents will interact heavily with their children as they're raised in the center, but others are content to be a background figure. Most fvayzi mate for love or physical pleasure; many of them take herbal supplements to ward off untimely conception, unless conception is the actual goal (which is rare). (The herbal supplements only work about three times out of four. Since fvayzi are fertile year-round and engage in sex with fair regularity… cubs are common. However, pregnancy - no matter how unplanned - is rarely looked on as a bad or unfortunate thing, and the father usually helps the mother while she's pregnant so that her profession/earnings don't suffer during the last few months of gestation, when she stops working.) Fvayzi don't see sex as a shameful thing, nor something to only be shared with one person, and they see cubs as a joy, not a burden. (The whole communal-raising thing helps with that.)

Habitat/Settlements: Fvayzi were initially adapted to live in a very flat, rather dry land with hot summers and gusty winters - that's Aydun for you. On Glofen, their colony world, they have the luxury of enjoying regular rainfall, rolling or mountainous terrain, and forests. While they thrive in plainsland and forests alike, many fvayzi strongly prefer one or the other, often reflecting their opinion about Aydun and Glofen themselves, rather than their opinions of the living conditions of their chosen habitat. As for settlements - fvayzi live exclusively in large, communal towns and cities. (All of 'em are cities on Aydun; towns are more common on Glofen, however.) Before the halasshi came, fvayzi had been nomadic, constantly wandering and often meeting other prides; many fvayzi still follow this instinct and regularly move from town to town, or even from Aydun to Glofen and back, to see new people and places. While there are traditional human-style inns (common room, big kitchen/eating area, bath house, individual rooms) and halasshi-style apartments (large, one-story rooms with a nest for sleeping and niches in the very thick walls for storage - often rooms are stacked five high), fvayzi themselves live in elaborate houses (bathing and eating and cooking areas, some segmented crafting areas, and some really large common rooms for socializing and sleeping) with many other fvayzi, usually entirely unrelated by blood or profession. Fvayzi never own their own homes; they pay a token fee to stay in any given place and are free to move any time they wish.

Religion/Beliefs: Fvayzi religion is a little-known concept; fvayzi don't speak of it to non-fvayzi, and many fvayzi who have lived a few generations on Glofen have begun the slow process of phasing it out of their lives. However, those fresh from Aydun or who currently live there do not forget. Unlike most religions, it makes no mention of a higher purposes, any deities or demons, and no spirits of animals or the land. Their religion is based on fear, strangely enough - fear of aloneness and fear of bleakness. Aydun is a dry, flat, bland world with little color and little change; its weather is often harsh and its abundance of food is erratic. Fvayzi have a deep-seated belief that being likeable people (humoring and helping others, cooperating in group events) is an absolute essential to survival, for otherwise they'll be forsaken by their own kind and left alone on Aydun, in the bleakness. A lone fvayzi cannot survive for long on Aydun outside of the cities. This fact of life became built into a visceral belief system where being a 'good person' was rewarded by success (both material and social) and being a 'bad person' was punished by solitude, helplessness against Aydun's dangers, and eventual death. Even after the halasshi came and fvayzi began building settlements and docks and then cities, the fear of being left to die kept them moving forward at a fast pace, seeking some security in befriending the halasshi as well as other fvayzi. On Glofen, a lone fvayzi outside the towns can survive indefinitely, picking off manageable prey and harvestable fruits/veggies; there's plenty of water and few predators who would actively hunt a fvayzi. So, on Glofen at least, such a deep fear is receding slowly, security replacing it, but the outward charismatic behavior of the fvayzi hasn't changed (yet). On Aydun, the beliefs remain, rooted in a history of fear and in the simple fact that Aydun is not kind to lone fvayzi. Speculation has occurred that this belief is one of the primary driving factors of fvayzi diplomacy towards and befriending of various races, as well as how openly emotive and expressive they are to others of any species. (Fvayzi are very touch-oriented; they express their gladness to meet or reunite with people with physical contact and heartfelt greetings, which can startle those not used to such openness and genuine friendliness.)

Interaction w/ Other Species: Fvayzi developed as an extremely charismatic, personable people simply because that broke the monotony of a plainsland world; when halasshi discovered Aydun and set up diplomatic relations with the fvayzi, the natives easily swayed the aliens and persuaded them to accept a pact of alliance that would enable the races to share all resources - including the halasshi's intersun ships. Though the halasshi did have permission to harvest natural resources from Aydun as a result, they found there were very few that the fvayzi hadn't already used, so the fvayzi became the halasshi's dynamic traders, giving them a cut of any mercantile profits made while using a halasshi ship. As a result, not only do fvayzi have an excellent demeanor towards halasshi and consider them both useful and kind, fvayzi tend to get along extremely well with basically any race they meet. Even the standoffish or downright aggressive ones have a hard time staying immune to the adaptable fvayzi charm.

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