Winged, four-armed bird-people who would rather build than fight, the Lyn-Srial are no strangers to defending themselves against evil.
Besides their wings, the first distinct characteristic of the Lyn-Srial is that they have four arms. Second is their beaked face. The size of large humans, Lyn-Srial weigh significantly less that a human. This is from two primary causes. The first is their light hollow bones. The second is their lack of bodily water. Rather than pumping blood throughout their bodies, they have a much smaller circulatory system dedicated to their brains and digestion. Instead of blood, their bodies are adapted to the pumping of air through and into their flesh and bones. Their featherless skin has the appearance of scales, but they are more like trap doors or check valves through which they exhale. Lyn Srial have three actual lungs. One lung is dedicated to the muscle group associated with each wing while the third and largest is like a bellows providing oxygen exchange to the brain and digestion circulatory system and forcing air throughout their body and bones. Their digested nutrition in injected into these lungs in aerosol form. These two factors result in Lyn-Srial being more easily wounded due to bone fracture than most humanoids and more susceptible to airborne toxins, but also much less susceptable to cold, thirst and dehydration.
Genetics and Reproduction
Lyn-Srial are egg-layers. It would not do for flying creatures such as they to carry the full weight of an unborn child for the entire term of pregnancy.
Ecology and Habitats
Due to their minimal need for drinking water compared to others, they are more adapted and suited for desert climates. Flying through clouds provides most of their moisture requirements. Because of this, Lyn-Srial can be found almost anywhere, but are typically found on top of dry mesas or mountain peaks where they face little competition for food and safety.
Lyn-Srial seem to favor discipline in all things. They are quick to acknowledge authority, or take it. Lyn-Srial have a tendancy to see the world in absolutes. They believe in good and evil, right and wrong, for or against. And while this is only a genralization, it is a cultural phenomenon and so really only those not raised in a Lyn-Srial community would be the exceptions to it.
Lyn-Srial observe a very strict caste system. They have nobility, artisans, soldiers, and peasants. Cloudweavers and religious clergy are considered nobility. Peasants who serve a life in the military are able to claim citizenship when they reach retirement age. Since the children of citizens are also citizens, many Lyn-Srial veterans will wait to have children with a mistress or a younger alternate mate once they've reached retirement.
With a protruding brow and nictating membranes, the eyes of a Lyn-Srial are well adapted to the bright sunlight they experience while airborne. Their face is dominated by their rigid beak and their dextrous tongues are as expressive as a humanoid's mouth.
Civilization and Culture
Following the traditions of the Pantheon of Ra, the Lyn-Srial have names just like those of Earth's ancient Egyptians.
There are three major organizations among the Lyn Srial.
- As devout followers of The Pantheon of Ra, the Oonoot (priesthood) holds the most power and are the unfying force among all the settlements. They live almost exclusively in the arces.
- The military takes its role as defenders seriously, travelling between the arces and the settlements more than any other group. Besides overseeing the Ooaoo caste, the Emir will also mobilize the Nedess bypassing any authority the civic leaders might have, whenever Ra or Ra's Priesthood declares a crusade.
- The civic leaders manage the day to day affairs of the various Niyoot. Each is independent of the others and takes on the personality of its Herey-tet. Each Niyoot is comprised of hhenemoo and Nedess, with the Nedess having virtually no say whatsoever in the running of their lives. This is a large change from they way their homeworld was organized. On their homeworld, the word Nedess meant something more akin to commoners and was applied to all the citizenry. As flying people, they exercised far more freedom of movement than a landlocked humanoid would have had. As a result, the civic leaders would compete with each other to make their Niyoot favorable to all commoners skilled and unskilled alike. On Rifts Earth, survival of this beleagered species led them to disperse into separate independent city-states and take a far more draconian approach to life. After 200 years, the commoners became nothing more than forced laborers, "for the good of all," and a caste of skilled artisans was set apart from them, keeping the title for "citizen," hhenemoo.
Featherless Hawks with golden skin, the more lustrous gold they appear to be, the more beautiful they are percieved. Their eyes are large and range from deep blue to green. Lyn Srial wings are their mark of status. Since they seek peaceful lives, they desire to have unblemished wings that nearly glow in the light of the sun. It is the mark of a laborer or vagabond to have scratches, tears and holes in his or her wings. The exception to this are those who serve in military occupations. In their cases, scars in their wings are seen as marks of honor and badges of courage. Woe be to a Lyn-Srial who bears the marks of a warrior on his wings who has not earned them in battle. A Lyn-Srial should be able to account for every scar with a tale of battle deeds.
Every Lyn-Srial has his or her own song. It is a wordless song. It is a personal song, giving insight into their soul. It is called a Hessi. Unmated males will sing their Hessi in the presence of unmated females or sometimes just when they are alone. Unmated females who hear it will respond with their own Hessi. This will continue until two Lyn-Srial sing hessi that harmonize with each other. That is how they know they've met their mate. They mate for life or until something so soul-wrenching occurs to change their Hessi. The searching is called "Looking for an Echo" or simple "Echoing" and is a reference to the echoes that occur in their natural canyon and mountainous environs. Looking for an echo could take many years, especially on Rifts Earth because of how dispersed the Lyn-Srial Niyoot are.
Major Language Groups and Dialects
Due to their beak, the Lyn-Srial have very flexible vocal chords and an amazingly dextrous tongue that, combined, enable them to mimic almost any sound they hear. And while they can never properly duplicate the labial sounds of lipped speakers (b, m, p, v and f sounds), they can approximate them well enough. Lyn-Srial speak their own language, Mitu ra, which is so surprisingly similar to ancient Egyptian that one can understand the other in both written and spoken form. (Note: the Zem also speak this, but each is currently unaware of the other's presence on Rifts Earth) A majority of the Lyn-Srial in North America can communicate passably in American.
Common Etiquette Rules
Lyn-Srial will normally conduct their daily lives with their winged arms in a rest position, clasped behind their backs. They do this because their wings take up a lot of space and also tend to obscure the vision of and generally get in the way of those around them. When greeting each other, Lyn-Srial wil extend their wing-arms with open palms. This would be done in the same manner as waving would be for humans and also serves the same function as shaking hands would be (as a greeting, not deal making) between humans. As one would expect, such a display would be inpractical while flying and Lyn-Srial skip pleasantries while in flight, preferring instead to vocalize their greetings as necessary.
Common Dress Code
Since the Lyn-Srial came to Rifts Earth with bronze-age technology, they have had to quickly adapt to survive. They did not have the luxury of slowly adapting, one geneartion after another, inching towards the future, so they've maintained their traditional dress in all official matters and ceremonies but adopt more modern dress out of necessity for work and life. Each Niyoot of Lyn-Srial quickly adopted local customs of dress whenever they interfaced with surrounding communities. Since these customs were the product of local materials and crafts, each ended up with its own character. But since Lyn-Srial are among the most travelled species on the planet, one can often find a mix and match of styles in any Niyoot. The Lyn Srial of North America generally wear little clothing, as the weather in and around the Grand Canyon is quite warm and even the winters are not very harsh. They will rarely wear metal as its weight impairs flight, but otherwise will be dressed similarly to the Apache. The neme headdress is a mark of leadership and is worn by leaders of both civil and military affairs.
Culture and Cultural Heritage
If one would compare the Lyn-Srial culture to one from Earth, it would be that of Ptolemaic (Hellenistic) Egypt. Devoted to art and science and culture, they were learning all they could about the world around them, inventing geometry and making great libraries of their accumulated knowledge. At the same time, under the benevolent guidance of the Pantheon of Ra, they've dedicated themselves zealously to the destruction of evil and darkness. Unfortunately, it has been ingrained in them that the ends justifies the means. So, while they are crusaders against evil and darkness, they tend to disregard the value of individual lives when compared to a greater good. This puts them sometimes at odds with the famed Cyberknights.
The Lyn-Srial came to Earth during the first hundred years of the coming of the rifts, when the rifts were at their most violent in scope, power, and prevelence. The rift that brought them to Earth was over the Himalayan Mountains. One of their floating citadels, the Arx Nolatha came through the rift, and as it was one of their most important centers for religion and science, it was followed by many defenders and even another arx, the Arx Cosa. None returned to their homeworld. Once the Lyn-Srial arrived on Rifts Earth their connection to their Gods was severed and they were beset on all sides by supernatural evil. Confronted with technology that far surpassed their own, they had to adapt quickly or perish. They adapted and survived. Some settled in the high himalayan valleys of what was once India, Nepal and Bhutan; while others took their arces* along the prevailing winds in order to find a safer and more hospitible environment. In the intervening two hundred years, the Lyn-Srial have settled in several places such as Pin Valley and Kali Gandaki Gorge in the Himalayas, Qosqo in the Incan Empire, the Blyde River and Fish River Canyons of Africa, Capertee Valley and the Blue Mountains of Australia and among the sandstone pillars of Wulingyuan China. In North America, they settled on the isolated peaks and cliffs of the Grand Canyon. They maintain this globe-spanning community through the periodic visits of their arces. The Pantheon of Ra has also arrived on Rifts Earth, making contact with their lost Lyn-Srial children. With their Gods' help, the Lyn-Srial have managed to construct two more arces, Arx Miunithal and Arx Rotons. The four arces continue to circle the planet, two in the northern hemisphere, and two in the southern. * arces (pronounced: ark'əs), plural of arx, a floating citadel.
Interspecies Relations and Assumptions
Lyn-Srial get along famously with the Incas, since they both openly worship Gods form the same pantheon. While they are both primarily centered on the Sun God Ra, each has experienced a different mix of lesser dieties. The Zem and the Lyn-Srial are unaware of each others'presence on Rifts Earth. Some of the Zem will attempt to join the forces of Ra somehow, but the rest will try to avoid them at all costs.
If a player wishes to speak like a Lyn-Srial in-character, try not closing the lips and using only the tongue to approximate all B, M, P, V and F sounds.
Note: Changes made to this Species for this world alter the Savage Rifts Race in the following manner:
Note: Changes made to this Species for this world alter the Savage Rifts Race in the following manner:
- Take the Frail hindrance: reduce toughness by 1.
- Take a minor hindrance: Susceptible to Poisons and Toxins (airborne or gaseous only) reduce rolls to resist these by 1.
- Take the positive ability: Environmental Resistance: Cold, +4 to resist effects and damage from cold is 1/2.
- Take the positive trait: Resistant to dehydration: Double the duration until effects and halve the fatigue due to lack of water.