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Rourd'Ken

Appearance Anthropomorphic cervines
Average Height 180-220cm (excluding antlers)
Average Weight 60-110kg
Lifespan 80 Years
Facial Appearance Cervine snouts
Fur/Skin Colour Pure whites and creams, to dark browns and grays
Bipedal/Feral Looks Digitgrade hooves
Distribution Northern Endran, Delhang.
Place of Origins Endran.
Behavior Peaceful, humble.

The Rourd'ken is the collective name given to the cervine species that primarily compose the nation states of the Kalss and the Ruadh'Losh.

Etymology

The origin of the name sparks much controversy between the species that it describes. Some believe that it is a from a long dead language, perhaps a term of endearment of sorts. Others believe it might have been the name of the once solitary kingdom that ruled much of what is now eastern Nakti.

Physical Characteristics

The Rourd'ken are a race of cervine appearance, but with much variety between individuals. Their bodies are mostly covered in a medium length fur, ranging from fluffy to coarse. Fur colors tend to follow a similar pattern of darker colors on the back/outside edges of limbs (ranging from steely gray, light brown, tan, dark brown and other similar earthen shades), with lighter fur on the inside and front, including neck, (lighter colors range from pure white, light gray, cream, and khaki).

Both sexes sport animalistic snouts, eyes (colors tend to be greens, blues, browns, and rarely grays), ears (light-furred inside, dark ringed bands on the outside), and short tails (light fur on the underside). They do not have humanoid hair.

There are many various cervine features that appear among individuals in the species, such as;

  • High curling antlers growing up to three feet from their skulls. These antlers will shed and regrow annually, first with a velvet covering that is then given small slits with a knife to assist in shedding.
  • Tusks that hang out of their lips and down up to three inches, curving back towards them.
  • Small (approx. 4 inches) horns swept back among their heads.
  • Some also have small patches of darker, tufted fur near the pubic region, the elbows/knees, and the chin in place of humanoid body hair.

Oddly enough, certain features seem to be more isolated towards different pockets of the species; Tusks are common among the Kalss, but are more of a rarity among the Ruadh. (Regardless, it is not unheard of a Rourd'ken being born with more than two of these features).

They also posses digitgrade, cloven hooves of hard keratin that range from pitch black to light chocolate shades. The hands of the Rourd'ken are built with two smaller "thumbs" on either end, each with two joints, and two large hoofed "fingers" in the center, (visualized with permission here). This allows them to operate most technology built for humanoid five-fingered creatures, as well as that built for them.

Though the Rourd'ken are mammals, giving live birth and breastfeeding their young, the females lack traditional mammaries. A single set of nipples is located on the otherwise smooth furred chests. They are warm blooded.

The sexual structures of the Rourd'ken are not unlike those of earth deer. The male phallus averages from 5-9 inches long, and has a thin tapering structure with a small patch of vestigial barbs near the tip. The female's vagina is rather narrow and deep to compensate for this.

"The Division"-A Kalss Mythos

The Kalss tell stories of how they became who they are today, though their legend should be taken with consideration of it being mostly speculation. The Kalss do not share much of their history with outsiders.

The Kalss believe that nearly a thousand years ago, there was a great storm in what is now known as the Endranite Ocean. This storm lasted months, constantly battering the coasts of what is now Endran. It is said that among these coasts lived a small society of Rourd'ken that used and abused the gifts that the sea bestowed upon them without appreciation. The storm was sent to punish them, destroying their harbors and ships until finally a monumental landslide erupted, destroying the small state and all who lived there and forever scarring the cliffs of seaside Endran. Those who survived were those at sea, who heeded it's call for salvation. They drifted for weeks and weeks, until coming to the coast of a rich, lush island. They named it Kol, believed to be an old Rourd word meaning "Salvation". From here is where the Kalss were founded, following a religious doctrine of worship for the sea that saved them from wickedness.

It is believed that the Kalss were broken off from the Rourd'ken empire, those living on the mainland eventually becoming the Ruadh of the Delhang highlands now.

Natural Talents

The Rourd'ken have incredible eyesight and muscle control, permitting them to be very skilled marksmen and mariners. (This is applied in modern time to the Sky Wardens in Ruadh cultures, and the Kalss sailors). Additionally, they also make impressive, stable climbers with their cloven hooves. This permits the construction of settlements that are difficult to reach by other races, providing a natural sort of defense.

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