Kaninfolk

The kaninfolk (also known as rabbitfolk) can be found in grassland, tundra and woodland environments across the Northern Continent.  

Lifecycle

Kaninfolk have a high mortality rate for infants. Only 30% reach their first birthday. Kaninfolk develop quickly learning to speak by age 3, reaching sexual maturity around the age of 8, nearly 5 years earlier than their human counterparts. They are considered adults at approximately 12 years of age. Kaninfolk generally have shorter lifespans and higher periods of reproductive activity.  

Society

Kaninfolk are highly social and live in tight knit villages, of up to 450 adolescents, adults and elders. These villages, known as colonies, are often isolated and camoflauged to protect the largely peaceful population. Kaninfolk villages may grow or shrink over time, with the pairing ritual acting as both a selection mechanism and population control.   Kaninfolk colonies often form symbiotic relationship with other cultures where they exchange goods and services for promises of protection from predation.

Culture

Major language groups and dialects

Kaninfolk within the Northern Continent most commonly speak The Elder Tongue, and less frequently The Human Tongue or other dialects and languages from neighboring cultures.

Shared customary codes and values

Kaninfolk are incredibly social creatures. Adults without partners find themselves excluded from colony activities and are expected to leave the colony for another colony or humanoid village. Unpaired adults who remain or who are unable to find mates elsewhere often suffer significant mental and physical health issues.   While same sex couples or polyamorous groupings do exist, they are often frowned upon by kaninfolk society. Similarly, given the strong focus on reproductive pairings, non-binary and gender-fluid individuals struggle to find their place in kaninfolk society and often choose to leave. It's more common to find these adults and couples outside of kaninfolk colonies than within them.

Average technological level

While kaninfolk colonies do not show signs of industrialization or mass production, they do have a significant traditions of engineering and craftsmanship. Unpaired kaninfolk often reappear in humanoid settings and become highly sought after artisans or craftsmen.

Common Dress code

Kaninfolk have a wide variety of clothing traditions, largely dependent on the location and external relations of a colony and the physical environment. Most kaninfolk clothing is made from plant or animal fibers. While intricate in design, they often have subtle colors that are similar to those found in their natural surroundings. These clothes have the effect of accentuating the kaninfolk's natural camoflauge.   The winter coat of an Ice Takin is particularly popular for woven clothing in the far north.

Art & Architecture

Music, song and poetry are the primary forms of art for the Kaninfolk. The variety of instruments used and produced by the kaninfolk far exceeds any other known culture. Kaninfolk and harefolk singers are popular across the northern continent, with the latter being more likely to be travelling troubadours.   Musical instruments created by the Kaninfolk are highly sought after by the nobility of all nations. These instruments come in a variety of sizes and forms, but almost always show a wider tonal range and a higher level of fidelity than similar non-kaninfolk instruments.   Rumor outside of the kaninfolk is that their keener auditory senses give their craftsmen a distinct advantage. The kaninfolk do not address the matter directly. If asked, they state that they love music and it's more likely a result of practice and volume rather than any distinct physical advantage.

Common Customs, traditions and rituals

Children

Due to high child mortality rate, kaninfolk are not given names at birth. They are raised by their biological father until they receive their name at the onset of adolescence.  

Adolescents

After naming, children become full members of the village and are educated by and cared for by the town elders. During this period they continue to learn in a town school, practice crafts and prepare for adulthood.  

Adults

Adults are serial mongomists. They form a new pairing roughly every three years as part of the pairing festival activities during midsummer.  

Elders

Elders are not expected to participate in productive activities. Kaninfolk elders are often indistinguisable from adults, being both physically and mentally fit. However they now take on the role of the voice of wisdom, guiding and making decisions for the village. They are also collectively responsible for the education and guidance of named kaninfolk, until they reach adolescence.

Birth & Baptismal Rites

Kaninfolk have an extremly high reproductive rate relative to other species. Their reproductive cycles are shorter and multiple births are more common.   As a result, birth is simply another day-to-day part of live in a kaninfolk colony.

Coming of Age Rites

Naming

Becoming "named" is the key milestone as one reaches adolescence. To receive a name, they must be able to meet the basic expectations of members of the colony. These include being able recite the basic teaching songs, prepare meals, as well as basic crafts such as woodworking and making/mending clothing. Those who reach this developmental milestone are awarded a name by their parents (or the colony head) at the midsummer naming festival. Children who do not receive names by their eigth birthday are usually given to other cultures where they serve as domestic servants, companions, or occasionally, pets.  

Adulthood

Upon reaching adulthood (their 12th birthday), kaninfolk are recognized and allowed to (expected to) participate in the Pairing Ceremony held during the midsummer festival. During this ceremony, all eligible adults participate in an elaborate set of rituals involving music, singing, dance and crafts. Each eligible female is expected to select one male partner for the next 3 years and take up residence at the female's home. After the three year period, both members of a couple rejoin the pairing festival. An individual may have up to 9 different partners over the course of their adult life.   For three days following the festival, Kaninfolk generally remain in the home familiarizing themselves with their new partner.   In colonies with close ties to other cultures, kaninfolk who do not find a partner in the pairing ritual may choose to leave the village to seek a partner from another culture. Kaninfolk, humans, and most humanoid cultures can interbreed -- so mixed species pairings, while uncommon, are not unheard of in far northern villages.  

Elders

Those reaching menopause (approximately 40 years of age) are considered elders. During the midsummer ritual, they are officially recognized as part of the council of elders and do not take part in the pairing ritual.

Funerary and Memorial customs

Kaninfolk view death as simply another part of life. Perhaps due to their heritage as prey, they have simple ceremonies held by immediately family to acknowledge death and move on. Memorials, shrines and even grave markings are uncommon.

Common Taboos

Unpaired Adults

Unpaired adults are considered deviant and are excluded from the colony activities. Remaining in the village as an unpaired adult is strongly frowned upon and unpaired adults may suffer from physical or mental abuse.  

Harefolk

Kaninfolk are often confused with harefolk, who appear similar, but have very different social structures and other characteristics. Kaninfolk view harefolk as antisocial deviants, similar to unpaired adults. Referring to a kaninfolk as a harefolk is considered highly insulting.  

Herbivores

Kaninfolk are herbivores. The eating of meat is one of the strongest taboos in Kaninfolk culture.

Common Myths and Legends

Kaninfolk are often misrepresented by other cultures as being immune to disease and poisons. Rather, the high rates of reproduction makes them, as a species, highly adaptable. Over several generations, kaninfolk rapidly develop resistance or immunities to pathogens. However sufficiently deadly pathogens can still wipe out entire colonies before adaptations can develop.   The kaninfolk themselves believe to have originated as prized smallfolk companions of the Giants. They hold the "breeders" as creator-gods, in equal parts awe and fear.
Significant presence in

Comments

Please Login in order to comment!
Powered by World Anvil