Feathered yet flightless, these characteristically curious bipedal folk are native to Melior.
Physical FeaturesIn addition to the long plumage found along their arms and legs, corvidans also have a long tail ending in a fan of wide feathers. It is believed that this helped their ancestors balance better in flight and also in running as they became less dependant on their wings and more agile on the ground as runners. Corvidans have four digits on each hand and foot, each ending in a sharp black talon. Depending on the culture they were raised in, some folk decide to adorn them with paint and polish whilst others file them or clip them down completely (either for fashion, or practicality).
Ancient CorvidansHistorical depictions of ancient corvidans in bas relief sculptures across Arklend show that their ancestors used both sets of talons for effective hunting and also to climb the highest trees to glide from once the species relied less upon flight.
Markings & ColourationsCorvidans have little in the way of sexual dimorphism, and many folks find it hard to distinguish sex based on anatomy alone. Instead, corvidans have adapted different social constructs alongside other folk to distinguish cultural representations of their sex and gender expressions (such as jewelery types, colours, types of fabric, and garment shape). Colouration and markings are different based on their continental ancestors - so whilst Arklendian corvidans typically have a uniformly dark plumage, other corvidans may have stripes or splotches of white, areas of grey, brown or even have bright blue patterns in their flight feathers.
DietCorvidans as a species are omnivorous and enjoy a rich, diverse diet of food in the cultures they hail from, and they thrive on this diversity of food groups to be healthy and strong. It's common for many corvidans to have a mild to moderate intolerance to dairy products, so they tend to avoid excessive consumption of milk and cheese. Customs of cuisine vary from culture to culture, but most corvidan folk enjoy having their food in small, swallowable portions for easier consumption and to avoid getting their beaks dirty.
SpeechCorvidans can produce an impressive range and volume of sounds and use this as their primary means of communication. Their vocal talents make them well suited for professions in trading, sailing, military, and music. They don't have any teeth or lips, so are unable to make labial or dental sounds such as p, b, m, f, v, th, and t. Despite this, they can speak the language(s) of their nation just fine, and substitute these sounds for close matches or imitation sounds used with other parts of their tongue and beak.
Lifespan & ReproductionBoth male and female corvidans have a cloaca which serves as the opening for their intestinal, urinary, and genital tracts, with the males having a large penis that protrudes from this opening during sexual intercourse. Due to this anatomy, horrible infections and sexually transmitted diseases can become problematic - especially in settlements with poor hygiene practises. To reduce the risk of infections, many folk intimately bathe each other as a romantic ritual before engaging in sexual activity. With the new discovery of fine rubber, physical contraceptives are helping the promotion of "clean, safe sex".
False Stereotypes!"Ware of these false stereotypes of fine corvidan folk! Seed not these misbeliefs in your children, for they are unjust and untrue. Firstly, they can speak just fine! And the only time they're going to mimic someone is if you make stupid remarks about them! Second! Yes they do like shiny things, but no more than any faun, human or other folks in this world! And just because everyone likes trinkets does NOT mean they're going to steal from you! Some of the most respectable scholars in the The Jolundrian Empire are corvidan folk - the only thing they'd steal is a moment of your time for a drink and a chat about their latest discoveries in magic! Third!!! They're not pure carnivores, and no they don't feast on carrion and rotten things! That's disgusting!! And disrespectful too!! Corvidans enjoy some of the finest cuisine the world can offer, and I can guarantee they enjoy FOOD more than the shiny things in your pocket! Last of all. Don't touch the damn feathers. Especially the taaaail. Look I know some of you are curious about how they feel or maybe even want to keep a feather - but do you not see how CREEPY that is, imagine if someone kept brushing up against you and then snipped a lock of YOUR hair to caress just because it looked cool? Gross. Try that and you'll feel them all right. Betcha never had a back handed wing-slap to the face before have you? Don't go there."
(Heard from an overbearing guide educating foreign tourists.)
Myths & ReligionWhilst it's completely unknown what the common ancestor between all folks looked like, some corvidans believe that they are the children of Akkra - the god whose form is an astral-winged being that watches from the night sky as he soars around the world. Akkra is depicted in ancient myths and artworks as being a large humanoid corvid with broad black wings speckled with tiny flecks of white and he is often shown as a fatherly figure, cradling an armful of eggs in a loving embrace. Some say he is the one who guided his children across the oceans to give them space to grow and flourish. A small percentage of corvidans worldwide still worship Akkra, and identify themselves of the Akkranite faith. Their practise of worship revolves around family values, parenting, and condemns the trimming, plucking, dyeing, or covering of their flight feathers - as to hide them away is to be ashamed that one is a child of Akkra.
Corvidan ClothingDue to their longer flight feathers on their arms and legs, corvidans feel comfier wearing loose fitting clothing as part of their cultural traditions. Their clothes often have very short sleeves (or none at all), and many folk wear tunics and robes - some of which have a vertical cut with fastenings to allow for greater tail comfort and range of motion. Unless they live in much colder climates, corvidans don't strictly need clothes to be thick or warm (thanks to their feathers providing natural insulation), but they wear them for cultural identity and personal expression. Footwear depends on local culture and terrain, but the majority of corvidans wear simple leather sandals fastened with either leather laces or coloured cords.
Poor SwimmersThe majority of corvidans are fast and agile on land, they are well suited to jumping, climbing, and running but are very poorly equipped for swimming. Their feathers are not waterproof, and when soaked become very heavy. Their longer flight feathers make it challenging and uncomfortable to move through water, so few folks see any advantage in learning to swim unless their profession requires it. Corvidan children are taught early on to splay their arms out in water and then float on their backs so that the spread feathers create more surface area for bouyancy. Some corvidans take this natural disadvantage as a challenge and use swimming activities as a form of sportsmanship and physical prowess.
Introduction to Melior
Fifty years ago, the world of Melior was forcefully introduced to magic during an apocalyptic invasion. Folks are questioning their old traditions and faiths as they struggle to rebuild amidst the new dangers of everyday life.