Folks Species in Melior | World Anvil


The different species of people that inhabit Melior.

There are a multitude of different species who have come to inhabit Melior, and these people are known as folks. Global diversity has rapidly increased within the last 50 years following the events of The Rupture, which opened Rifts to numerous other realms and introduced new kinds of folk to Melior.   Folks all share the same level of sentience, intelligence, and level of communication; they are commonly categorised into four main types based on their prominant physical features: haired, scaled, plumed, or chitinous.  

Haired Folk

Orlon Gantiel temporary portrait
by TJ Trewin (using Hero Forge & ArtBreeder)
Haired folk have a varying range of sparse to dense coverage of hair follicles over their bodies (the latter of which is called fur). Their hair qualities, patterns, and colours are different between each species and many individuals enjoy numerous methods of self-expression in the form of cutting, shaving, tying, braiding, styling, or dyeing their hair.   The qualities of hair (or fur) typically change during the lifetime of haired folk: newborns and children often have finer hair in different colours or markings, adults typically have longer and coarser hair, and some kinds of elderly folk lose the colour or patterns from their hair or may experience loss of hair.  
Gauntlet playing card - Farmer. Defensive direct. Depicting a doman farmer,
Farmer by TJ Trewin
Domans are a species of bipedal feline folk that have short fur covering their bodies and denser areas of thick fur on their head, shoulders, and chest. Their hair colour ranges from tawny to black and features small dark spots that sometimes blend into flowing broad stripes down their back.   They have a digitigrade gait and strong stocky legs. Their long tail with thick fur ending in a black tip helps them to balance as they traverse mountainous terrain akin to what their ancestors in the realm of Peior used to hunt in.  
Gauntlet playing card - Fighter. Aggressive direct. Depicting a faun figther.
Fauns are native to Melior and have short dense fur that covers their lower body, fine hairs on their upper body, and dense hair on their head. They have a short tail which is fluffier and lighter in colour on the underside and is short enough to comfortably tuck into undergarments or clothing.   Despite their upper bodies looking similar to humans, all faun folk have two horns, some of which fork or split and look similar in appearance to antlers. Instead of feet, they have cloven hooves with a hard outer shell and softer inner pads that give them excellent dexterity and traction in challenging terrain.  
Gauntlet playing card - Smuggler. Evasive lateral. Depicting a human smuggler.
Smuggler by TJ Trewin
Human folk have a covering of sparse fine hairs all over their body and denser growths on their head, underarms, and pubic region. They enjoy a mixed variety of self expression by styling, dyeing, and cutting their long hair or flaunting tattoos on their barer skin.   They wear layers of practical and aesthetically pleasing garments for warmth, protection, and utility (especially footwear). Humans are a bipedal and plantigrade species native to Melior.  
Gauntlet playing card - Clothier. Evasive direct. Depicting a panyan clothier.
Clothier by TJ Trewin
Panyan are a rodent-like species native to Peior with short fur covering their body. They have large ears and a long, narrow snout that ends with fine whiskers and a keen-scented nose.   Many panyan folk have a long tail with very sparse and fine hairs that are barely visible, but a few folks do have fur covering their tail and even have longer hairs forming a brush at the tip. They are a plantigrade species that walks using the flat of their feet.  
Gauntlet playing card - Spy. Evasive ranged. Depicting a quargan spy.
Spy by TJ Trewin
On average, quargan are much shorter than most other folk native to Melior. They are a plantigrade species that have long feet and a fur-covered tail. They typically also have smaller living spaces than other folk and are grateful for communal spaces that have inclusive architecture and furnishings that cater for folks of all sizes.   They are one of the only known folk species to carry their newborns in their pouch to continue post-natal development until weaning.  
Gauntlet playing card - Therapist. Supportive lateral. Depicting a visian therapist.
Therapist by TJ Trewin
Visian folk have thick fur which can be soft or coarse. Fur colours range from rich and earthy to cool and neutral tones and may also feature distinctive patterns of spots or stripes.   They have a bushy tail and are digitigrade folks native to the realm of Timathomar. Visian folk have keen senses and sharp teeth, though not all of them choose a carnivorous diet.  

Scaled Folk

The bodies of scaled folk are predominantly covered in small rigid plates that grow out of the skin called scales. These provide natural defenses and vary in shape, size, thickness, and structure (large scales that are bony or horn-like are sometimes called scutes).   Scaled folk periodically shed their old skin to make way for healthier new scales which become denser and stronger as they get older; some species experience a full-body shedding whilst others brush off their old scales in patches or one at a time when they're naturally ready to flake away.   Their skin has a diverse spectrum of colours that can even have iridescent or fluorescent qualities. Some folks also have distinctive patterns that manifest in the form of spots, speckles, blotches, or stripes.  
Gauntlet playing card - Activist. Aggressive lateral, depicting a pangulan activist.
Activist by TJ Trewin
Pangulan folk have large, overlapping scales that run the length of their body. They give birth to live young, and the underside of their body is scaleless and sparsely covered in fine hairs.   Pangulan folk have a long, narrow snout and tongue and have strong claws that they use for digging, climbing, and also for combat if necessary.   They are a plantigrade species native to Melior and are also known for their ability to curl up into a protected ball.    
Manavaxian folk are an egg-laying species native to Peior and have thick scales covering their entire body and have a sturdy tail. Some folks have crests of feathers on their head or around their neck and chest area.   Manavaxian folk with a plantigrade gait have ancestral genetics that make climbing and swimming easier for them, whereas digitigrade manavaxians often excel at running.  

Plumed Folk

A corvidan parent playfully launches their young child into the sky, where they gleefully daydream of being able to fly like the birds high in the sky above them.
Corvidan parent and child by TJ Trewin
Plumed folk primarily have feathers covering their bodies. Some feathers are long and sturdy to aid with flight or gliding, but not all plumed folk are able to soar. Smaller and more densely packed feathers provide natural insulation for survival in colder climates, and while many feathers repel small droplets of water only certain species of plumed folk have a completely waterproof plumage.   Old and damaged feathers are periodically replaced through moulting which occurs twice a year for the majority of plumed folk. Moulting is a slow and gradual process as the developing pin feathers emerge.   Feathers of plumed folk can have intricate patterns and display a broad spectrum of iridescence and colours. They can also be dyed, trimmed, and styled for personal expression if the individual doesn't mind impacting on the function of the feathers they customise.    
Ardeans are tall winged folk native to Peior. They have a broad wingspan and are capable of flying great distances. What makes them uniquely different from plumed folk from Melior is that they have both wings and arms, allowing them to fly and carry things.   They have long necks and a long pointed beak that many cultures associate with grace and elegance, but like all beings, ardeans can be just as carefree or clumsy as the next folk.  
Corvidans are flightless folk native to Melior. They are too heavy to fly and don't have a broad enough wingspan to support it but some smaller folks (especially children) are light enough to enjoy gliding for short distances.   They have long plumage found along their arms and legs and 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.  
Kumian folk are an aquatic, flightless species native to Melior and hail from the frozen polar continent, Selith. Their densely packed feathers enable them to survive in the icy climates and their flippers allow them to soar through the water at great speeds.   Kumians have a streamlined body and webbed feet that they use to steer when swimming. They are able to walk around on land with the flat of their feet, but do so in a waddling motion and use their flippers to balance.  
Tarmagans are a stocky round folk species native to the realm of Timathomar and are known for their speckled feather patterns. They have short limbs and a small triangular beak.   Tarmagan folk are one of the few known plumed folk to have small claws on each wing that allow them to climb. They use their wing-claws to hold things, use tools, and can also use them in self defense.  

Chitinous Folk

Folk who have bodies with a hard exoskeleton made of chitin and often have segmented bodies or limbs. Their chitin provides natural protection and is replaced periodically during a full body moulting that allows for healing and new growth.   The frequency of moulting varies in the species and age of chitinous folk. Some undergo this process every few weeks or months, while others (especially adults) may moult only once or twice a year.   During the process, chitinous folk form a new exoskeleton underneath their old one. Once it has fully formed, they emerge from the old exoskeleton and continue to grow. For some folk, moulting can even allow missing limbs to substantially or completely grow back again over a period of several moults.   Self expression amoung chitinous folk is fast-flowing and for some can be ever-changing. While some folks enjoy keeping the same iconic look, others enjoy limitless customisation of their chitin with painting, living sculptures, or scrimshaw.  
Grukran folk are native to Melior and hail from the continent of Melopia. They are flightless and insect-like in appearance with six limbs. They use two strong legs for walking and their feet end in two sturdy claws that provide extra traction and can be used to climb.   Their four arms are used for manipulating tools and carrying things which gives them a huge natural advantage in combat when armed with multiple shields or weapons.  
Rakuwans are also native to Melior and are a crab-folk that hail from the tropical coastal regions of Melopia. They use four legs for walking and have two pairs of arms, each with a different function.   Their largest arms end in huge claws that have a vice-like grip and strong crushing powers. Their other arms are slender in comparison and end in two small pincers that they use for using tools or for eating.
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Cover image: Folks of Melior by 3D Models via HeroForge, edit by TJ Trewin


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Dec 20, 2022 21:37 by Simo

Now I know of all the people in Melior! And want to hug a Kumian. And a few others of them. <3

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