Creimire

Smaller and slighter than humans, Creimire trace their ancestry back to rats and mice, a fact made readily apparent by their physical appearance; at first glance, an unkind observer would be tempted to dismiss them as vermin who’ve mastered the art of walking upright. Closer inspection reveals a few key differences, however. Creimire teeth are sharp, but lack the elongated incisors so typical of most rodents; their skin is smooth and almost entirely hairless, and tends to be gray or brown in coloration. Though they retain the sensitive snounts of their ancestors, Creimire do not sport whiskers; their ears are large and upraised, giving them a certain rabbit-like air. In combat, they are more likely to rely on their hearing than their relatively weak eyesight, a fact that gives them an edge in dark and confined quarters.

Unusual too are their double-jointed legs and wide feet, both of which are capable of absorbing tremendous kinetic energy; with training, Creimire can leap distances nearly three to four times higher and wider than their human counterparts and survive substantial drops with almost no ill effects.

Vital Data

Representatives: Freya Crescent, Iron-Tail Fratley (FFIX)
Typical Height: 1.5-1.7m (Male/Female)
Typical Weight: 73-94kg (Male) / 69-88kg (Female)
Hair Colors: Blonde, brown, gray, white, black
Eye Colors: Gray, green, brown
Habitats: Forests, Mountains, Underground
lifespan=40-50 years
Lifespan: {$lifespan}
Young: 4-6 years
Average: 14-22 years
Old: 35-40 years

Society

Creimire are a highly community-oriented race; to them, ties of family, neighborhood and settlement are stronger than iron. Even in larger towns and cities, Creimire will look after a neighbor’s children as if they were their own, with the firm understanding that said neighbor would do the same for them if the roles were reversed. Young Creimire thus grow up with a wide network of ‘aunts’ and ‘uncles’, many of whom will continue to support the child in his later years.

The Creimire continue to practice the animistic nature-worship of their ancestors, the adherents of which fall into three groups. Seniormost are the seers and oracles, who are trained to recognize the flow of the future in the movement of clouds and sand, in the cycle of the moon and sun, in the health and sickness of the land. Long periods of training are required to even divine from one such natural phenomenon; as a result, seership tends to be fiercely specialized, and oracles stake out a claim to a given area of divination relatively early in their careers. By tradition, the only ones allowed to infringe on this ‘territory’ are the oracle’s chosen successors, and then only for the duration of their training; should the oracle die without appointing someone to replace them, the eldest seer assumes control of their duties.

The second, and largest body of practitioners is the Creimire priesthood. Compared to the seers, the priest's lot is far more mundane, largely revolving around mediating community disputes and advising kings and leaders in times of strife. Priests also serve as historians and cultural guardians; Creimire keep little in the way of written history, but have a long and proud oral tradition maintained primarily by the priesthood. It is the priest's role to offer the community a link to the deeds of its ancestors; for this reason, they are subject of significant veneration.

The third group is the one encountered most frequently in day-to-day Creimire life: bards and dancers. Much of the importance Creimire culture places on dance and song can be traced back to ancient religious rituals in praise of sun and nature, many of which were carefully preserved by the Creimire priesthood. Over the generations, many new dances have been derived from the old ones, reworking the magic that empowered circle ceremonies and solstice celebrations into the demands and occasions of everyday life. At births, such rituals ensure the newborn a healthy and prosperous life; at wakes and funerals, a safe passage into the next world. Even purely social dancing–also derived from these rituals, though lacking their occult potency–is an important cement for Creimire relationships; such events, usually undertaken to the accompaniment of pipes or harp, form the highlight of almost any social calendar.

As might be expected, the three-tiered religious system creates a delicate interdependency that has all parties working together for the community’s benefit. The start of the sowing season sees Sky Oracles search the clouds for future signs of rain and drought whilst Earth Oracles monitor the fertility of the soil. Once the days of planting have been established, elaborate displays of song and dance aim to ensure a healthy, rich crop in the coming months. Similar group efforts mark the harvest season and oncoming winter.

Roleplaying

While generally friendly, common Creimire tend to be forthright and action-oriented, a fact that gives them a reputation as impulsive, pugilistic creatures amongst other races. They have little patience for subterfuge and double-talk, speaking their mind with scant regard to the consequences. What's more, they rarely back down from a challenge even if the odds are stacked against them–as a result, competitions and games of skill are a particular draw. Priests and oracles tend to be more aloof; in the case of priests, the air of indifference reflects their role in the Creimire community; the trained and absolute neutrality expected of a reliable arbiter and lawmaker.

"Rat-face… After I finish my drink, I'm going to kick your butt." —Freya Crescent, Final Fantasy IX

Those who can avoid the social pitfalls find the Creimire to be an accommodating and gregarious race; hospitality, particularly towards strangers, is considered to be of the utmost importance. While committed as fighters, more relaxed times show the Creimire as fun-loving, social and wryly humorous creatures, fitting readily into almost any adventuring group.

Smell plays an important role in social interaction; to a Creimire, a person’s odor sends as many messages as their appearance, if not moreso. Although no longer capable of producing the potent and complex chemical signals of their animal ancestors, many Creimire use perfumes and colognes to accomplish the same purpose. Creimire speak Common Tongue with a mild accent; names tend to lean towards traditional English and Gaelic–examples include Shannon, Donnegan and Kildea for females and Dan, Gray and Kal for males.

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