Viera

The enigmatic Viera are slender, silver-haired forest-dwellers, almost physically identical to humans save for a few notable differences. The most prominent of these is also the most visible: the large rabbit-like ears that protrude from the top of a Viera's head, granting them hearing keen enough to hear the voices of spirits, of nature itself. Combined with unusually sharp vision, this allows the Viera to track movement as far as away as ten kilometers with unerring accuracy—a feat most other races can only dream of.

Other distinctive features include limber legs, long fingers, and three-toed, pawlike feet with an arch large enough to make highheeled shoes an orthopedic necessity. Viera skin colors can range from tan to brown, depending on species; the 'pure-blooded' Veena Viera have light brown skin, while the Rava Viera are darker in coloration.

Vital Data

Representatives: Fran (FFXII), Shara (FFTA), Mydia (FFXIIRW)
Typical Height: 1.6-1.8m (Male/Female, excluding ears)
Typical Weight: 70-90kg (Male/Female)
Hair Colors: Universally silver
Eye Colors: Red, green, blue
Habitats: Forests
Lifespan: 220-240 years
Young: 8-15 years
Average: 40-130 years
Old: 180-200 years

Society

The Viera have been forest-dwellers for many generations, living in elegant, sex-segregated platform villages suspended far above the ground. Such settlements are designed with defense as a first priority, hidden away from prying eyes by a thick veil of hallucinogenic powders and protected against invasion by barricades placed at regular intervals, allowing the village's archers to mount a defense at almost any location.

Though led by a chieftain, Viera take their directions from the Laws of the Wood, rigid rules and regulations every Viera is expected to follow. The Laws demand the forest be treated with care and respect, and forbid any villager from ever leaving the forest, regardless of reason; in return, the forest will shelter and nuture the Viera for as long as they remain under its boughs. As a result, the majority of Viera live out their entire lives in the confines of the wood, content to remain ignorant of the world beyond. Due to this self-imposed isolation, Viera generally do not associate with other races; visitors are spurned and invaders annihilated by claw, bow, or the mystic energies of the forest itself.

A few, however, desire more from their lives. Driven by longing or curiosity, they abandon that sheltered existence to pursue a more uncertain, unpredictable one. Such acts carry severe consequences; those who venture into the outside world are no longer considered Viera by their fellows, and are treated as harshly as any other race, if not worse.

Due to their physical beauty, outcast Viera have little trouble melting into human societies; they readily strike up relationships with humans, and may even become romantically involved with them. Still, expatriate Viera are ultimately closest to one another, thanks to their shared history and long lifespans; any city with significant Viera presence will see them form tight, insular communities in a surprisingly short span of time.

Roleplaying

Viera can be grouped into two broad categories—those who abide by the Green Word, and those who have abandoned it to explore the world and expand their horizons. There is little love lost between latter and former; outcasts usually view their forest-dwelling counterparts as blind, hidebound xenophobes, while the traditionalists refuse to acknowledge the existence of their wandering, city-dwelling brethren out of hand. Adventuring Viera tend to be outcasts, though it is possible for a party to battle alongside traditionalist Viera under extraordinary circumstances.

An outside observer would find the Viera coolly intelligent, perhaps excessively so. Their long lifespans give them the ability to pursue knowledge in an orderly, focused manner; they have time enough to concentrate on mastering a subject in its entirety before moving on to the next, gradually building a wealth of abilities over the course of several decades. Viera age slowly, giving them a deceptively youthful appearance; a Viera with the face—and body—of a thirty-year-old can easily have the experiences and memories of two human lifetimes. As such, they can be creatures of many secrets and surprises, with a depth and breadth of knowledge that is often bewildering to other races unaware of their longevity.

All Viera are born with the ability to hear and speak the 'language' of their native forests through a form of psychic communication known as the Green Word. Using this talent, a Viera can communicate with local plants and trees, allowing them to track the passage of individuals within the forest as well as happenings at its outskirts. This ability, however, begins to atrophy once a Viera leaves the forest; the longer the absence, the greater the risk that the Green Word will be muted entirely. Viera are also sensitive to the ebb and flow of magic, and may find themselves overwhelmed by strong ambient energy. In the presence of particularly powerful magic, the resulting assault on their senses can cause them to lose control altogether, driving them into a berserk frenzy.

Viera speak Common Tongue fluently and eloquently, albeit with a slight accent. Due to the fact that they have little interest in lineage, Viera have only a single four-letter name; the letter 'j' is frequently used in place of a vowel. Sample Viera names include Rena, Ktjn, Jote, and Rael.

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