Species: Lo'hês

Name: Lo'hês [LOW-hets] (singular: a Lo'hêsalo [low-HETS-ah-low])

Homeworld: Lo

Height/Length/Weight: Lo'hês are not large creatures, though males are somewhat bigger than females on average. Males are 2.5-3' tall at the shoulder, and females are 2-2.5' at the shoulder; males are around 5-6' long, females 4.5-5.5', plus another 5-7' of tail. Lo'hês weigh between 150-250 lbs.

Physical Description: Lo'hês are furred quadrupeds with thick, glossy pelts and a longish body. They have a fairly vulpine build, especially noticeable in the lithe torso and lengthy, toothy snout. Both genders have a pair of backwards-pointing, spiraled horns that are generally 1.5-2' long, sharp at the tip, and elevated above their skull and neck. Their ears, long slender and pointed, are positioned below and behind the base of these horns and can flare out sideways, but not upwards very far. Their lower canines are a bit longer and protrude visibly when the jaws are closed on some individuals. Both genders have thick, luxurious manes, starting between the eyes and cascading down to the shoulders, but not coming around to the throat. Their limbs are smooth and lean, their hindlegs more muscular than their forelegs; their forepaws have five digits, the innermost toes being semi-opposable and held towards the back of the paw, and their hindpaws have four digits - much like the forepaws, but without the innermost toes. Each toe is tipped by a sharp, curving, unretractable claw. Their tails are somewhat longer than their torsos from nose to rump, lean, strong, and prehensile; the tails split into two tailtips, which are opposable and more jointed, like fingers, than supple and flexible like the rest of the tail. Lo'hês males have external (and furred) genitalia.

Senses/Capabilities: Lo'hês are remarkably average creatures, though not quite on the lower end of average, like humans. Their favored and strongest sense is that of smell, swiftly followed by hearing (for which they usually have to turn their heads or tilt them upwards), then by sight. Their sight has a similar range and detail to human vision, but the colors are distorted, desaturated, and their vision is predominantly motion-sensitive - used for tracking sudden movements and for avoiding collision with an animal or an obstacle. They communicate and relate to the world via scent and sound. As for physical capabilities… they're not terribly enduring runners (unless they train for it), and their fastest sprint reaches about 40 mph. They're quite agile, however, and tend to be fairly strong. Despite their mediocrity, Lo'hês can be trained to be very strong, fast, flexible, agile, and/or enduring - as long as they're willing to work for it.

Coloration/Clothing: Lo'hês don't wear clothing, though some will wear jewelry of sorts - bands of shiny cloth for their horns or tailtips or manes or ears, sometimes with dangling strings of beads or jingly bells or rings or feather-like strips of cloth. As for coloration, most Lo'hês are pale with medium to dark markings; their base color ranges from white to cream-tawny to silver-blue to spring green to frost-grey to light lavender. (Some few Lo'hês are very dark in coloration - deep blues, purples, greens, or even black.) Markings tend to be either bright or deep colors, generally rich blues, reds, purples, and greens, though bronze and black do show up on occasion. Said markings are in a pattern easy to generalize, but unique to the individual: small, irregular spots condense around the face, paws, and tailtips, and line the undersides of limbs, throat, tail, chest, and belly. Large, ragged, sparse stripes are found across the spine, from the base of the neck to about halfway down the tail. Even their manes are striped, though these streaks are thin and straight. Eyes tend to be bright colors, similar to the markings.

Races/Breeds: There are three races, though only one is prominent - the other two are in the process of dwindling, and will likely eventually die out. The 'normal,' most populous race are the ja Lo'hês, who have the coloration described as most common in the paragraph above. The ja Lo'hês were the ones who began woodworking and who first forayed off their world. The ain Lo'hês look similar to the ja Lo'hês, but they lack the stripes; the ain Lo'hês were sailors in the waters and fishermen, a craft and pasttime that began dying out when the Loi breached the stars. Many ain Lo'hês joined with the ja Lo'hês, and so a large chunk of the race's population was removed from the bloodline. The ain Lo'hês are also the only Loi who frequently ignore gender roles and consider themselves genderfluid, whereas most ku and ja Lo'hês are patriarchal. The ku Lo'hês are the third race, dark or black in color with stripes and spots in a similar pattern and color range as the ja Lo'hês. The ku Lo'hês are the only ones who seem to hold any natural adeptness for magic; they are often druids or offshoots thereof, and many practice in tandem with Lo'kr magic-workers. The ku Lo'hês, though small in population, are often the only Lo'hês who will teach in the few magical academies and many of the biology-oriented academies on Lo; the rest of the staff is comprised of Lo'kr, who aren't often druid-types, or other Lo'hês. However, given their fairly stable place in the economy, the ku Lo'hês are not in much danger of fading away entirely.

Language: Lo'hês have a surprisingly gentle, smooth language (called Lo'ken). It's filled with whining, crooning, and even purring sounds, infrequently interrupted by a snarling or jaw-snapping noise. Though their language is fairly easy to speak for most intelligent species, its complex structure and extensive vocabulary make it a tedious and long-term study. Nearly all Lo'hês that have any interaction with non-Loi learn the human's language, which is swiftly becoming one of the most widely-spoken languages in the universe, and often gain listening comprehension of halasshian (though it's impossible for them to speak).

Technology: For the most part, Lo'hês don't use technology. Their greatest 'civilized' achievements come in woodworking; their intersun ships, their docks, and their settlements are all crafted solely out of wood. Metalworkers don't exist and metal technology is not seen on Lo, unless brought down by an offworlder.

Magic: Although the Lo'hês don't have much skill with magic, unlike the Lo'kr, their close partnership with their fellow Loi finds a sizeable chunk of the population trying to learn magic - at the very least, the principles and understanding of it, if not the outright manipulation of magical energy. However, ku Lo'hês have a particularly strong bond with nature magic, and many of them excel at druidry or offshoots thereof.

Values: The values of a particular individual reflect those of its herd, which are often allied with but not the same as other herds' values. Some herds stress preservation of history, or natural balance and health, or the refinement of the mind and intellect, or the regression to a more animalistic and 'pure' state, or the passing-on of oral traditions and legends, or the study of how the world and universe works… etc. One thing that most herds share is a respect for trees (even if the herd isn't a woodworking one, the trees have provided their planet with the status it has) and a sense of community and cooperation. Lo'hês who go offworld frequently or live offworld usually have different and wildly diverse values.

Social Groups/Society: Lo'hês travel in herds. Though most herds are exclusively made up of one race of Lo'hês, some herds are multiracial, and some are even comprised of both Lo'hês and Lo'kr, though these are much more rare. Herds tend to be very large groups, often as many as a thousand individuals, and are led by a Lo'ya ('father') elected by a smaller group of skilled, respected individuals. (The smaller group is often called the Lo'ca, 'face', and generally consists of 10-25 Loi.) Some decisions are made via popular opinion, but the herd is mostly guided by the Lo'ca and the Lo'ya; however, the herd can pull a member of the Lo'ca or the Lo'ya himself from its rank if the vast majority of the herd wishes it. (This isn't always a peaceful change; sometimes, the impeached person is killed.) Lo'hês families are tight units within the herd; the parents look out for each other and their kits above all else. If a herd is not healthy for a family, they will leave and find a new herd.

Habitat/Settlements: The Lo'hês are generally nomadic; only professional educators and woodworkers stay in one place for lengthy periods of time. Other than shipyards and academies, there aren't many settlements. In harsher terrain or climates, often wooden villages will be erected as a 'rest stop' for any passing herd to use; they have no amenities and aren't often maintained, but they offer a roof and relative safety to travelers. Many families who decide to leave the herd will wait at these places for another herd to come along, since most herds travel similar routes across the planet.

Religion/Beliefs: The Lo'hês worship a veritable pantheon of Loi gods, most of which take Lo'hês form and represent parts of nature or ecology. Nearly all types of flora and fauna found on Lo have a god to tend them. Lo'hês generally have a 'herd patron,' a god who watches over their herd, as well as a 'family patron' passed down from a parent's bloodline (if the god is female, she is passed down from the mother's side; if male, then from the father's). Many Lo'hês do not invest much time or energy into their religions, though it is a belief almost all Lo'hês share, but those Lo'hês who do dig deeper often choose (or are chosen by) a personal patron deity. The ku Lo'hês are particularly good examples of this, since they believe a close relationship to their god(s) is necessary to progress in druidic study. (Note: Some personal deities become stronger than family deities and so replace the family deity as the one to be passed on to the kits.)

Interaction w/ Other Species: Most Lo'hês are amiable and easy-going, though it varies across the races and between individuals. Those who travel outside Lo are often especially gregarious, quick-witted, and social; in contrast, many of the ain Lo'hês on-world are very withdrawn and reclusive. Lo'hês treat each other with respect, if not always friendliness, but have a particularly gentle and affectionate attitude towards Lo'kr, which the Lo'kr usually return.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License