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Hashhaltai

Appearance Thorned Reptilian
Average Height 1.7m - 1.9m
Weight 70-100kg
Facial Appearance Facially reptilian
Fur/Skin Colour Earthly colours
Bipedal/Feral Looks Digitigrade bipedal
Distribution In and around the Dread
Place of Origin The Land of Dread
Behaviour Nomadic


The Hashhaltu Tribe is one of the six main tribes in the Land of Dread. The most nomadic of them all, their lifestyle and traditions make them the subject of several folk tales all around the world. Known for their boundless spirituality and intimidating appearance, they wander the wasteland in strict, religious solitude. Unlike the other tribes, which are all at least heterogenous, the Hashhaltans are practically exclusively composed of the Hashhaltai, as their traditions and customs are only passed down in secretive, exclusive occurances. Most information on them is based on the rumours and folklore passed on by the other tribes.

Species

The Hashhaltai are large reptiles, commonly growing in size up to 1.7m - 1.9m, witha slender to muscular build. The most distinguishing detail is the large amount of spikes growing out of their scales, each sturdy and an average of 10 cm long. These spikes are an excellent defense against both feral and sentient assailants, as any physical contact can quickly turn bloody.

These spikes are so long, in fact, that they hinder the movement of the hashhaltai. Even basic walking can, and often does, end up in accidental injuries. Their immune systems are quite able to cope, and they heal up quite quickly, but this does leave them bloodied and in much pain.

Due to the physical impossibility of having intercourse, Hashhaltai eggs are fertilised after being laid. They can remain fertile for several years, laying dormant in hiding.

Their diet is largely omnivorous, consisting of vegetation, roots, and carrion. 

Behaviour-wise, they tend to be quite peaceful and kind towards anyone, both friend, stranger, or foe, as their thorns keep them safe. if sufficiently provoked, an Hashhaltai will use their thorns offensively in an attempt to escape.

Society, or lack thereof

Hashhaltu sized

"...A morbid sensation of death pervaded the air as we approached the 'Hash-haltan'... Extensive scarring, several injuries, the bloodied rags and stench... one would think him a dying man, if it weren't for the unearthly strength and composure that kept him upright... his nonchalant acknowledgement of our presence..." (Travelling records VIII, M'rafiq Asalani)

The most fundamental principle of Hashhaltu life is Ina Battataya, an idea of individuality which occurs in the other tribes as well. The Hashhaltu take this to the utmost extreme, living their entire lives as independently as possible. The females lay unfertilized eggs in the most secretive of places, hinting at these nests with Thought Pillars. They inscribe words of wisdom they feel particularly important on these pillars, for the father to pass on to her offspring. At some point, a male discovers a nest and fertilizes the eggs. He stays with the hatchlings and imparts his knowledge on them. Once this is accomplished, they part ways. From then on, each Hashhaltu tries its damned hardest to never encounter another one of their kind; the sole exception being their own offspring.

Being in near constant pain (even lightheaded because of blood loss, from time to time) the Hashhaltu tend to a spirirual, transcendental view on life and the universe.They wander around, with no clear intent or purpose, sharing their thoughts with whoever will listen. They tend to wear bloody, dirty rags, as keeping them clean would be an immense undertaking, and looking good isn't a big concern for them.

Language

Their language seems to be fairly limited, seeing as it's passed down from father to child in a short amount of time. It consists of an ancient dialect of Hulmi, supplemented by loan words they gather from their journeys; communication with the other tribes is therefore difficult, but far from impossible. The lack of use has allowed their core dialect to remain nearly unaltered for several centuries.

Views on other tribes

Each Hashhaltan has a different understanding of the world, and of the other tribes. Perhaps they do not even think in terms of tribes in the first place.

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