Species: Luirkan

Name: luirkan(ni) [lweer-KAHN(-nee)]

Homeworld: Luminust

Height/Length/Weight: Since they are legless people, luirkanni have no set height; their torsos and heads can be held close to the ground or arched up as needed, though they often keep their eye-level at five feet. They range from 12-18' long and from 12-24 inches thick; they weigh between 300-500 lbs.

Physical Description: Luirkanni are four-armed, legless saurians. Their heads are reptilian, with ridges along the upper lines of their snouts and over their eyes; they have large, slit-pupiled eyes, slitted nostrils, and internal ears. Their jaws are broad and somewhat rounded with a standard set of omnivore teeth, including sharp canines and molars in the back of the jaw; their tongues are long and forked at the very ends, but are not as thin and delicate as snake tongues. They have short necks and a short torso, fitted with four thin, humanoid arms; the rest of their body is entirely serpentine. Their upper pair of hands is three-fingered with no thumbs; the lower pair has a thumb and is overall smaller and more delicate. Their fingers are tipped in small, sharp, unretractable claws. They have no scales, fur, or feathers - their hide is thick, soft, and supple, like aged leather. Males and females are indistinguishable from one another, having entirely internal genitals and lacking any sexual dimorphism in size or feature. Some luirkanni have ridges or nubs running the length of their spines; others have more or less small spikes, knobs, or ridges along their faces and the backs of their hands.

Senses/Capabilities: Luirkanni have low-average senses. Their eyesight is in dull color and is motion-based; they have good detail close-up, but distances tend to be more impressionistic for them. Their sense of smell is quite distinguishing, when the scent is fresh or strong, and their sense of touch is very sensitive. Their hearing is slightly better than a human's. However, their sixth sense - that which detects magic - is incredibly honed and far-ranging. They rely primarily on their magic-sense to read people and to navigate in most environments, especially since their homeworld and most of their colonies are magic-rich planets. As for capabilities, luirkanni are not physically impressive. Their arms and jaws are weak, although fast, and their constrictive strength is less useful because of their relatively slow movement speed - they can slither up to about 12 mph, and their normal speed is akin to a human's leisurely stroll. They cannot jump and are poor climbers, since their arms cannot support their weight and their coils are not prehensile. They are extremely flexible, but they don't often have the physical strength and muscle-control needed to take full advantage of that trait. Due to their slower movements and metabolism, however, luirkanni are quite enduring when not pushed to their utmost abilities.

Coloration/Clothing: Luirkanni coloration is quite dull and desaturated. Their shade ranges from medium-to-light, and the hue is typically greyed out: specific colors include swamp green, simple grey, bark-brown, dust-tawny, muted yellow-orange, dull salmon, and steel blue. Their eyes are always stark yellow-gold, and their claws are black; their ridges and knobs are often a darker shade of their main coloration. They have no markings, though mottling or shading may occur. Luirkanni don't wear clothing unless the environment demands it - cloaks to shade from the sun or wraps to remain warm. Anything that encircles their bodies below the arms makes movement extremely awkward and difficult, even when the clothing in question is specifically designed for luirkanni. Armor is very rare, as luirkanni are not physical fighters; it's only worn to protect an important personage from harm in a dangerous situation. Many are prone to symbolic jewelry, occasionally of a personal importance but more often with a well-known meaning, such as sect or role.

Races/Breeds: Luirkanni have no distinct ethnicities any longer. Some ethnic traits - largely in coloration or facial feature - still remain in certain bloodlines, though.

Language: Luirkanni speak kani, a sibilant and hoarse language that has become the language of the Light. Prayers, rituals, ceremonies, celebrations, etc are all conducted in kani, and all Lightworkers - regardless of race - are required to learn it to fluency. It is an extensive and complex language, but it is not particularly difficult for other species to learn and speak, though the finer nuances of context and inflection often escape non-native speakers. Luirkanni are a particularly lingual race and often know a handful of other tongues, particularly vocan, halasshian, Lo'ken, and buthan.

Technology: Luirkanni have little to do with any technology, greatly preferring magic to fulfill their needs. However, their architecture (and the associated skills) is amazing. They build intricate, huge buildings - temples, palaces, shrines, etc - and even their smaller homes and merchant buildings are beautiful and functional. They use metal sparingly, preferring to work with stone, adobe, marble, etc; the metal is mostly used for the skeletal structure of the building, ensuring its strength and stability. They have built some basic forms of transportation (usually an animal pulling a cart/platform), but no weaponry or seriously machinery. What they lack, they get from humans and buthines.

Magic: Luirkanni are, as a race, Lightworkers. They are attuned to the Light - no luirkan has ever used a non-Light-based form of magic. With such a powerful magical affinity, they are the heart and core of the Lightworkers of the universe, and most of the hierarchy is run by luirkanni. (Humans mostly captain the military branches of the Light and lead its far-ranging expeditions; luirkanni are in charge of the stationary places.) All luirkanni have a knack for magic, some more than others, and all are trained in use of the Light. Many luirkanni are also alchemists.

Values: Luirkan values are determined by the guidelines of the Light. Pacifism, harmony, understanding, quiet, respect, generosity, and control are valued; violence, dissonance, aggression, malice, anger, hatred, fear, and rebelliousness are uprooted and destroyed wherever possible. Any opposition to the Light and its values is removed from influence or extinguished.

Social Groups/Society: Luirkanni are communal people, living together and cooperating to build a much larger, layered society governed by the Light. Despite this, they greatly value their privacy and personal space (see Habitats/Settlements below) and spend a considerable portion of their time alone. They work together to make their society function smoothly, rather than out of an inherent need to always be with others like them. For this very reason, luirkanni don't have cliques or social circles in the same sense that humans and other social races do; they cooperate in groups to achieve goals and complete jobs, then go their separate ways after the task is finished. Luirkanni can function in a highly-social environment and often do when working with non-luirkan Lightworkers, but they still prefer to have time and space to themselves afterwards.

Reproduction/Aging: For luirkanni, marriage has nothing to do with reproduction; marriage is indicative of having found one's true soulmate and making the commitment to staying with that person for life, while reproduction is done to continue the species. Most married couples don't have children with each other. Instead, bloodlines are compared and matched, and suggestions are sent out to healthy, fertile adults that a pairing between them would result in strong offspring. They meet, get to know each other, and - if everything works out properly - breed. (Luirkanni do have sexual reproduction, but the female lays a clutch of 1-5 eggs within a few months, so pregnancy is not quite the ordeal it is for mammals.) The clutch is taken by the child-care sect of Lightworkers and raised communally; the parents are welcome to visit their children, but most do not play any significant role in their offspring's lives. Young luirkanni reach physical adulthood in around thirty years and begin their schooling at ten; luirkanni are quite long-lived, often reaching the ripe old age of 150 before showing debilitating signs of aging. Most luirkanni won't start looking for their soulmate until they're past fifty (if they do at all; many prefer to let such a meeting happen naturally), and most will contribute to reproduction between the ages of forty and eighty.

Habitat/Settlements: As mentioned in 'Technology' above, luirkanni are splendid architects. They live in grand cities, largely free of machinery, with wide streets and massive buildings. Non-adult luirkanni are kept in live-in academies until they graduate as adults, at which point they are relocated to their new home, one of many apartments in a huge complex. Only married luirkanni are allowed to share an apartment, though they don't have to. While luirkanni prefer temperate or seasonal climates, they can survive in colder, drier, or wetter climes than usual fairly easily with the use of magic to make living more comfortable. For a luirkan, the privacy and solitude of its own home is of utmost importance; it is a sanctified area and the only thing a luirkan can truly call its own. (Luirkanni have very few possessions, often limited to decorative jewelry and an item or two of personal significance.)

Religion/Beliefs: As mentioned in 'Magic' above, luirkanni are Lightworkers. They worship no gods, invoke no spirits, and honor no ancestors - they follow the directive of the Light as an intelligent and loving life-force, rather than a sentient entity. Luirkanni believe that the Light is the fuel of all life, the divine spark of creation and sentience - the Light is the soul of all people and creatures. Things that oppose the light, be they people or other forms of dark magic, must be extinguished to allow the Light to continue and propogate. Luirkanni are not inherently violent; they will try to remove any opposition to the Light and isolate it so that it cannot affect people or the Light, rather than killing it outright. (When humans came into the Light's army in numbers, they took a much more direct and permanent angle on eliminating opposition to the Light. The luirkanni didn't really mind, so long as the deaths were pure and quick. This led to holy fire being used as a way to purge the soul from an unclean body by incinerating the flesh - likewise for objects, buildings, areas, etc. In a pinch, Light-infused weaponry can also work.) Luirkanni tout peace and harmony as inherent to the Light, and only where the Light is impeded or absent is there disharmony, hatred, fear, violence, etc. They envision a utopian universe united in Light and seek to create it.

Interaction w/ Other Species: Luirkanni are pacifistic zealots. They strive, above all else, to avoid conflict and especially physical confrontation, but they also seek to spread the influence of the Light to everyone. Despite their proselytization, they will immediately back down if so requested by another person - again, striving to avoid any source of conflict. They spread the Light and convert people by their actions as much as their words; their humble, respectful demeanor and their selfless generosity are a source of admiration by many races. Warrior-like or predatory races often find them weak and slow, but most sentients enjoy - or at least respect - the luirkanni's peaceable attitude. For their parts, luirkanni do not judge other people for their inherent traits, be they species-based or individual; they seek to understand and harmonize with each person they meet.

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