Species: Inlanlu Tahori

Name: inlanlu tahori

Homeworld: Alasa Ka

Height/Length/Weight: Like all tahori, inlanlu have three distinct 'skins' (bodies/forms). In the hamin ('human') skin, they stand 5-7' tall (typically 5.5-6.5') and weigh between 100-275 lbs (typically 125-225 lbs). In the emigonu ('mix') skin, they stand 6-8' tall (typically around 7') and weigh between 200-350 lbs (typically around 275-300 lbs). In the sanero ('animal') skin, they stand 5.5-7' high at the withers (typically 6-6.5') and 6.5-9' long (plus another 3-4' of tail), weighing in at 600-900 lbs (typically 700-800 lbs).

Physical Description: Inlanlu are a race of the overarching species of the tahori), and as such, they have three distinct skins, which they can shapeshift between freely. Their smallest skin is the hamin or humanoid skin; they resemble humans in nearly every detail, barring pointed and sturdy fingernails (not quite claws), typically gold eyes, large-ish and pointed ears, and a wolfish tail. In the hamin skin, inlanlu are hairless but for their manes (the length of which is a symbol of prowess in the hunt/battlefield) and furred tails, both of which are the same color as their fur in their other skins. They're also extremely athletic in shape and constitution, which is a tendency that extends through all their skins. Their middle or 'mixed' skin is their emigonu skin, a blend of their other two skins; they stand bipedally but digitigrade. They have lupine faces, a thick layered pelt, massive paw-like hands with pawpads and heavy, semi-sharp claws; their stances are hunched, spines curved - neither horizontal nor vertical. The emigonu skin is considered to be the best skin in which to fight and hunt, being agile and deft like the hamin skin, but still fierce and powerful like the sanero skin; it bears no genitalia and so is less vulnerable to dirty fighting. Their largest and most bestial skin is the sanero skin; it resembles an oversized wolf in nearly every way, with the exception of slightly longer, sharper, and more curving claws (not nearly as vicious as feline claws, though). Inlanlu, like all the tahori, are perpetually hungry unless their largest skin's belly is full (and then, they can't shift until some of the meal has been digested and eliminated from their systems, lest their stomachs explode upon changing to a smaller skin). Shapeshifting itself is a swift and unmagical transition between skins that heals most wounds (but not poison or illness); an inlanlu employs their inner qki, physical perceptions are numbed for a moment, and they shift seamlessly from hamin to emigonu to sanero and back - they must go through the emigonu skin if going from hamin to sanero or vice versa. If an inlanlu's qki is almost dry or almost choked off, shifting does not numb the body and the process, while still short (2-5 seconds), becomes wrenchingly painful. Inlanlu can slowly gather extra qki (over a span of 2-5 minutes) if they have massive wounds in need of healing, in which case shifting becomes much slower (10-30 seconds) in order to heal all wounds; the alternative is successive shifting between skins multiple times in order to heal wounds in stages.

Senses/Capabilities: Inlanlu have a notoriously keen sense of smell, far surpassing that of any other tahori in equivalent skins. Their eyesight is quite poor, being desaturated in color, short in range, and largely motion-based; their hearing is on par with atihresi hearing, being very keen. Sensory keenness also fluctuates with skins - inlanlu have better eyesight in hamin skin, but better scent and hearing in sanero and emigonu skins. As for capabilities - inlanlu are renowned for their dogged endurance. Not only can they last days without water and more than a week without food, they can go days without sleep or rest - some particularly enduring inlanlu can keep up a lope for a week on end. Most inlanlu are fairly dexterous and agile in their hamin skins, and many are similarly deft in their emigonu skins, but only a few (and those typically the smallest inlanlu, often those with some vuha blood) are very agile or swift in reflex in their sanero skins. As for speed, most inlanlu can reach a running speed between 20 and 25 mph in hamin skin, 30 to 35 mph in emigonu skin, and 45-60 mph in sanero skin; exceptional inlanlu can hit a top speed of 70 mph in sanero skin. Strength-wise, inlanlu are very strong, especially the largest ones - they are strongest in sanero skin, but not inconsequential in emigonu or hamin skins. Comparatively, inlanlu are the most enduring of the tahori by far, but less agile than atihresi and izune and aresa, less powerful than the dosa, and less swift than the ehsora and izune (and some atihresi).

Coloration/Clothing: Inlanlu only wear clothing in their hamin skins; both genders wear a fitted wrap around their hips to support their genitals and buttocks (typically a foot-wide strip of softened hide around their hips with a slimmer piece going between their legs, slightly modified for males for comfort) and females wear a nearly-identical wrap around their chests. Beyond that, clothing is practical and non-showy: leggings (some knee-length, others ankle-length), vests, tunics (that can be belted), and shirts (sleeved or sleeveless), as well as clothing more suitable for cold weather, such as ankle-length and wrist-length underclothing and warm fur-lined cloaks - sometimes hooded. All clothing is made of hides and furs or leathers. There is a special outfit for an activity referred to as 'the hunt,' which is undertaken when packmates are missing, captured, or otherwise stranded in a deadly situation - despite the terminology, it has nothing in common with the act of hunting for food. This 'hunting clothing' is layered - soft hide underneath, hardened leather overtop, with a fitted hood and fitted veil - it functions both as camouflage and simplistic armor. Inlanlu do not wear shoes; only their hunting clothing has thin strips of leather to be wrapped around feet and palms. As for coloration… hamin skin ranges the gamut from pale peach-color to a darker tawny to bronzed to deep brown, and includes various shades of grey-brown. Skin color is a desaturated, lighter version of fur color, and it will retain any patterns of the inlanlu's actual fur - darker on the back and flanks, lighter on the belly and throat is an especially common pattern. Likewise, hair color is the same shade as the base fur color and will occasionally shade from lighter to darker, if the inlanlu's pelt is exceptionally shaded. Fur color and pattern are consistent between emigonu and sanero skins, as is eye color and claw color. Eyes are typically yellow/gold, but green, blue, and brown are far from uncommon. (Blue eyes often indicate uhkaya blood, green eyes vuha blood.) Claws are usually a medium-to-dark shade of grey or, most commonly, matte black. Fur color can be nearly any shade of brown, including yellow-brown, grey-brown, and red-brown; shades of grey, including black and white, is just as common as brown fur. Inlanlu with strikingly red fur (especially with black points, highlights, or shading) and brilliant green eyes are usually vuha remnants; blue-eyed inlanlu with purely white fur and no flecking or shading are uhkaya remnants. Kykadheh are nearly always a medium shade of steel-grey, often darker on the back/head/flanks/upper limbs, then lightening to a very pale grey on the underbelly and throat - eyes tend to be yellow. Few inlanlu are any solid color - most have some sort of lighter-to-darker pattern, and many have intricate facial patterns of lighter-darker fur color. Some inlanlu are multi-colored, the most common of which being brown or grey flecked with black, or brown and grey blending.

Races/Breeds: Inlanlu once had very distinct breeds: kahadhe inlanlu ('forest wolves'), uhkaya inlanlu ('arctic wolves'), vuha inlanlu ('red wolves'), and kykadheh inlanlu ('ancient wolves'). Since then, the first three breeds have intermingled almost to the point of indistinction, with only a few wolves displaying enough characteristics of uhkaya or vuha inlanlu to be considered a remnant - everyone else resembles the kahadhe inlanlu. (Vuha inlanlu are very slender and lean, long-legged, and streamlined, built as runners to live in scrublands or mild deserts. Uhkaya inlanlu are very muscular and on the large end of the spectrum, big-pawed and long-muzzled, coated in thick, dense, layered fur to act as insulation against the arctic tundra and snowlands of their homes. Most of the 'pure' remnants of the two breeds are isolated in vast deserts or in the coldest regions, but some will occasionally show up in newly-mixed-blood litters.) The kykadheh inlanlu are the ancient wolves, whose blood is so thick that it will not be diluted, despite how small the population grows; a half-kykadheh will be built like a kykadheh and act like a kykadheh. Kykadheh inlanlu are huge: 6.5-7.5' tall in hamin skin, 8-9' tall in emigonu skin, and 7-8' high at the shoulders in sanero skin. Kykadheh are built thick and heavy, extremely stocky and solid, with shaggy pelts thicker than all but uhkaya inlanlu fur; they are a strictly patriarchal culture and will often steal females from non-kykadheh packs for their own. They are deliberate, ruthless, and self-superior, not hesitating to kill non-kykadheh males in order to procure the females they want; since kykadheh are so much larger and more powerful than regular inlanlu, females (who are normally slightly smaller than males) have little recourse against their captors. Females who are kykadheh by blood care little for non-kykadheh females and feel no pity towards them; kykadheh males treasure females of their own kind and compete for their attentions, since pure-blooded kykadheh pups are usually stronger and healthier than hybrid ones. However, non-kykadheh females will consistently be stolen, in order to supplement the bloodline and keep kykadheh packs full.

Language: Inlanlu speak Uhjayi, a smooth and expressive language with a simplistic structure and a fairly basic vocabulary. Nuances are conveyed via tone/inflection, context, and body language. Uhjayi itself is known by most of the tahori, being the equivalent of Alasa Ka's common tongue; atihresi in particular tend to be fluent in Uhjayi, as well as their own native tongue. Uhjayi is also a written language with phonetic symbols, but it isn't commonly used, and many inlanlu don't know how to write (or, in some cases, read) written Uhjayi. The language itself is very easy to learn and can be spoken by a variety of mouth structures, all the way from short, lipped hamin jaws to toothy, less-flexible emigonu/sanero muzzles.

Technology: Inlanlu don't use technology; in particular, they abhor k'antan-type ranged weapons and explosives. Inlanlu do have primitive forges and smithies, but their metalworking is used solely for weaponry; their homes are wood and hide, stone only used to stabilize the hut-like structures.

Magic: The vast majority of inlanlu do not use magic. There are hereditary strains of shamans in certain large packs, who are often credited with the health and size of the pack itself. These shamans act as intermediaries between their packmates and the spirits inherent in every living thing, maintaining balance and attaining blessings for their packmates - very mild magic, largely just communicating with spirits in nature. The rest of the inlanlu are not magic-workers, but every single inlanlu is a qki-converter; they not only have an internal and self-sustaining source of qki in order to shapeshift, but they can also draw on the raw, unrefined magic of the world and convert it to qki to enhance their physical abilities. Most inlanlu can convert enough qki to increase their speed, reflexes, and strength for short periods of time - inlanlu can use enhancement qki best in hamin skin, somewhat in emigonu skin, and practically not at all in sanero skin. Few inlanlu ever learn to use external qki (qki blasts or balls, qki auras, qki bursts used to enhance leaps), unlike atihresi (who are more adept at both enhancement and external qki) and izune (who are fantastic at external qki).

Values: Inlanlu value their packs - the strength of leadership of their alphas, the domestic support and diplomacy of their betas, the fierceness and physical prowess of their gammas and/or guards, and the loyalty and camaraderie of their packmates. Inlanlu are notoriously swift and vicious in protecting young pups, and often young of any species, even one they may not like as adults (such as atihresi or aresa). Inlanlu also value endurance, survival, and selflessness (in the sense of compromising self for others).

Social Groups/Society: Inlanlu live in packs with a firm hierarchal structure. Each pack is led by a pair of kidunen (alphas), a male and a female, usually mates but occasionally siblings. The kidunen establish and maintain relations with neighboring packs, no matter the species - they work towards neutrality or alliance if they can, and they cooperate with enemy kidunen to plan pack battles for territory. On rare occasion, there will be only one kidunen, often a temporary solution until a suitable partner can be found. Kidunen do not fight in pack battles; they're too valuable to risk getting killed over scraps of land. Kidunen are served by the tykidunen (betas), who are the domestic mediators - any strife in the pack is taken to and resolved by them. The tykidunen are often considered the surrogate parents to the entire pack - tykidunen technically always participate in pack battles, but their skills lie in personal interaction and not necessarily fighting. Like the kidunen , the tykidunen are a male-female pair, usually mates but quite often siblings, and occasionally unrelated inlanlu; the smallest of packs have no tykidunen, and the kidunen adopt their roles. Only the largest packs have a third rank of leaders, another male-female pair, called the kikhinen (gammas) - the kikhinen are rarely related and are, instead, the two finest warriors in the pack. On rare occasions, there will be only one kikhinen, and on rarer occasions, the two kikhinen will be the same gender. Kikhinen are the strategists, the directors of pack battles, and two of the four sakhinen. Kikhinen are not only respected and admired, but greatly feared by their enemies; unlike kidunen and tykidunen, they nearly never sire or bear children, since parenthood would remove them from their duties. In every pack, the four strongest and most skilled warriors are the sakhinen, the guards, the primary protectors of the pack. The sakhinen have the shortest life expectancies, are the first into battle and the last to retreat, and band together more tightly than the rest of the pack. Like the kikhinen, the sakhinen are loved by their packmates and feared by their enemies - an inlanlu who is a sakhinen is automatically respected by those s/he meets, even well outside their own packs. There is no gender rationing among the sakhinen. Inlanlu earn their ranks - they are not inherited or freely given. Any inlanlu can challenge any other for their rank, and the challenged inlanlu chooses the terms of engagement; the kikhinen and the sakhinen prove themselves through physical battle, typically 'to the shift' (to a point where the individual is so wounded that they must shapeshift to survive) instead of 'to the death'. Kidunen challenges are also physical battles, but the pack will not accept a new kidunen who cannot lead the pack well and will serve up challengers until one defeats the unwanted kidunen - kidunen can also step down to an inlanlu of their choice with no repercussions. Tykidunen challenges are not physical, as tykidunen is the least physical rank - the tykidunen challenge is practically an election by the entire pack, since a pack will be greatly weakened from the inside with a tykidunen pair that they cannot trust to be both personal and fair. Kidunen and tykidunen mated pairs are fully expected to have litters fairly regularly, and nearly all other mated pairs have at least two or three litters - but only when the pack has sufficient resources and stability to support and protect the pups. A pack that is too beset by aggressive neighbors to obtain enough food in the hunting grounds, or too occupied with pack battles to have enough peace to raise pups, will eventually be whittled down to nothing, broken apart or wiped out entirely.

Habitat/Settlements: Inlanlu can survive in virtually any terrain - even deserts are settled by vahu, and the tundra by uhkaya. Most inlanlu prefer forests, though - they avoid extremely hot, too marshy, and excessively barren areas. Packs mark out a large area of land, which does not include the majority of their hunting grounds (which are shared between neighboring packs), and place a small cluster of primitive huts (built of thin logs and hides - more like spacious tipis than actual buildings). Each pack member has its own hut; mated pairs share huts, as do families with young pups. There are also a few huts used for storing smoked meat, extra weapons, spare supplies, extra clothing, and other raw materials that need protected from the elements.

Religion/Beliefs: Inlanlu don't have a set religion, nor any beliefs in deities. Most of them acknowledge the existence of nature spirits - the spirits within all living things, sentient or not. Inlanlu often swear by the spirits of their preferred things - the sun and fire, as well as steel and wood, are common favorites. Inlanlu don't usually interact with these spirits, though many will utter hasty prayers in dire circumstances. Some large packs have actual shamans who act as ambassadors between the inlanlu and the spirits, maintaining peace and abundance.

Interaction w/ Other Species: Inlanlu are clannish and proud people, but they are not often outright hostile. They are mortal enemies of the k'anta and the tache (and usually of the juhta); they are intense rivals and often enemies of the atihresi and aresa. Inlanlu are fearful of and reflexively, viciously hostile towards kykadheh inlanlu; kykadheh are placid and stoic towards non-kykadheh inlanlu. Most inlanlu have no general bias towards or against dosa, izune, or ehsora, but they are often wary of all of them. Inlanlu often look down upon humans as weak and flaky, but they are also protective of those weaker than they, which includes humans.

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