The Sefora are an abundant race native to Serpentis and are very closely related to the predominant Serpentian race known as shyr. The sefora are a hardy and resourceful species. They are more adaptable to change than their Shyrven cousins, thus allowing them to become wide-spread across the universe.
Species and Hybrids
Primary SpeciesThere are two primary species of Sefora native to Serpentis: pateru and kartuu. Sefora came into existence shortly after the presence of shyr. Pateru are considered a "generic" Sefora species in that, unlike the Shyr, Kartuu, or hybrids, they lack any form of wings, manipulative core energy, or any other features. The only defining feature of a Pateru is their lack of features. Pateru are considered a neutral-passive-core species. This species is also the most abundant, second to the Shyr. Kartuu, however, are hard to miss. They are the only species of Sefora whose anatomical structure require them to walk on all fours. Moving bipedally is often reserved for displays such as to appear larger when confronting a threat, rival, and so on. Kartuu are winged with thick tails and have feathery crests in addition to feathers along their spine and around their pelvis.
HybridsFor most of recorded Serpentian history, Shyr and Sefora have lived side by side. This has resulted in a slew of hybrids. Because Shyr and Sefora are closely related, all hybrids are born fertile and are capable of producing further hybrids. There have been some twenty-five observed hybrids and more are being recorded. However, only a handful of these hybrids are recognized as official species by the Primum Species Association (PSA).
Officially Recognized HybridsThe Primum Species Association (PSA) was founded to observe and record the ever growing number of hybrids and establish rules that would allow reoccurring hybrids to become officially recognized species. Because all hybrids are fertile and Shyr and Sefora are constantly exposed to one another, the potential for new hybrids and reoccurring hybrids is at a constant high and the list is ever growing. The PSA recognizes hybrids as an official species when at least 500 individuals of a particular hybrid are recorded. Officially recognized hybrid species include Amzor, Seren, Shyrtuu, Patuu, Kyril, and Patiir.
Related SpeciesThere are a number of genetically similar species known as “False Sefora” whose cores or physical traits are not consistent with that of a true Sefora. Identified species include Vezdra, Kebiil, and Omgori. These species are located throughout the Shyrofor system. Not all are exclusive to a single planet like the Shyr.
Domestic vs “Wilderness”Because of early historical events on Serpentis — which is a highly controversial topic — early Shyr and Sefora went into hiding for several centuries before returning to their abandoned cities. Some pockets of individuals never returned to the city and chose to continue a lifestyle of living off the land. Some took this a bit too far and went from extreme survivalists to totally undomesticated and uncivilized beings who live like the creatures around them. Although a number have eventually turned to living domestic lives, many still roam unclothed and have never experienced the easy living of city life. These individuals are often referred to by townsfolk as “wilderness folk” and are separate from domestic society. It’s usually easy to tell who is a wilderness Sefora. Wilderness Sefora are not any less sentient and some may choose to transition to domestic life. For some of those who do, this can be a difficult transition. Rarely do domestic folk transition to a life in the wilderness due to the dangers ever present outside of the cities.
Anatomy and PhysiologySefora are fairly tall, bipedal creatures, with the exception of the Kartuu who walk almost exclusively quadrupedally. They stand around 6 1/2 - 7 feet tall on digitigrade legs that sport flat feet with three large, clawed toes. Generally, Sefora possess wider feet than Shyr and exhibit a skin color shift just above the ankle which is not found in Shyr. Sefora have longer abdomens than that of an Ethiean or Asiran and males especially have very narrow hips. Many species of Sefora are winged and those that are have deeper breast bones than flightless Sefora. A Sefora's bones, with the exception of the Pateru, have a honeycomb structure which enables the body to be relatively lightweight for flight. Because of the Pateru’s adaptation to a grounded existence, they lack the genetics for a winged lifestyle and therefore any winged hybrids involving a Pateru are less suited for flight with each addition of Pateru blood to the lineage. For example, if a winged Pateru’s grandchildren had children with a Pateru and so on, each generation of offspring would be less and less suited for flight. The feature that sets Sefora and Shyr apart from other sapiens and sapien-like races is their core. While cores that produce a tangible or aura-like energy are commonplace throughout the universe, the core of a Shyr and Sefora is a multitasking structure that wears multiple hats. The core functions as or plays a major role in every bodily system.
CoreA Sefora’s core is the very thing that keeps the entire being’s body alive and is a multi-functional organ. It is located at the middle of their abdomen, protected by the lower section of the breast bone and ribs. In short it is the heart, the digestive system, the reproductive system, a major player in the nervous system, a member of the endocrine and respiratory systems, and many argue it is also the soul. The core is also responsible for producing the energy or aura that many Sefora characteristically express from their bodies in various tangible forms. This energy differs based on the species. In relation, after food has been digested by the core for nourishment of the individual's body, any remaining material is broken down further and converted into core energy that is then stored for use externally. As a result, Sefora use 100% of what they consume and do not excrete waste. Therefore, they have no urinary system or colon. In some regards, the core is a second brain and often contributes to thoughts and feelings experienced by an individual. Some Sefora such as Kartuu and Kartuu hybrids have dual chamber cores, meaning one region of the core holds the individual’s energy and the other chamber is typically left open for the energy of a partner when that time comes. Kartuu are the only known species of Sefora with more than one core chamber. There are no documented species with more than two.
FeetThe soles of Sefora and Shyr feet are reinforced with a thick, rock-like padding made of keratin. Beneath is a spongey, shock-absorbent material. The keratin layer is tough and fairly resistant to puncture, but will continue to thicken over time. However, because Sefora and Shyr don't typically wear shoes, the simple act of walking about wears down the layer, keeping it in check. Sometimes the padding will begin to peel and peelings will have to be manually scraped or pulled away. There are products available to help individuals with upkeep of their foot pads. Sefora and Shyr are both capable of delivering lethal kicks with their powerful legs. They kick at a force of around 2000 lbs per square inch. With the addition of their sharp claws, a well placed kick could gore or kill a large animal or another individual. Because a Sefora's limbs are energy pathways of the core, an individual must take care not to develop infection of the limb (Limb Rot) as it may lead to Core Rot which could be life-threatening.
Face, Skin, and EyesSkin and hair can be just about any color under the sun, however, some colors are rarer in certain species. Hair color is usually similar to the skin color. And while Pateru come in all sorts of colors, hues, shade, tints, and tones, Kartuu are generally more muted in color. Amzor are often darker shades and Seren lighter tints. Kyril males are always nearly black shades while females are muted colors. Sefora hybrids like Patuu and Iithuu don't always seem to follow any sort of rule but may be considered less vibrant than the average Pateru, yet are not as toned down as a Kartuu. Some hybrids, chiefly Amzor and Kyriil, are well known for their bioluminescent bodily markings. Sefora have somewhat flattened faces, especially the nose, comparatively to Ethieans and Asirans. Their eyes are a bit large in proportion to their face and have cat-like pupils that become slits in high exposure to light but are otherwise oval-shaped. Their irises are wide and the sclera is usually not visible. Iris color, like skin and hair color, can be any color. Unlike Asirans, iris color is not influenced by core energy or type.
SensorySefora have remarkable senses. Their vision, smell, and hearing are quite acute allowing them to detect objects long before they're near. Because of their sensitive feet, this race is able to get a feel for the world around them through vibrations which comes in handy in the dark of winter. They are also capable of seeing quite well in the dark. Their eyes allow them to filter the littlest amount of light to give them an edge in the darkness of the planet’s winters.
ReproductionSefora are very sexual creatures and often mate for life. As such, mating is an important part of building and maintaining relationships, but it’s also a very sacred act and is the force that binds partners together. Sefora typically partake in dating and getting to know others. Unlike many mammalian creatures, Sefora females don’t have a particular season or time in which they are considered in estrus and instead may be encouraged into a mood if she spends a lot of time with a partner, familiar individual, or an individual with desirable core energy or characteristics. Males may produce a subtle musk unique to the individual, often subconsciously, which is used to entice a partner or potential partner and express interest. Becoming a “mated pair” is usually as simple as pairs mating for the first time. Reproductive organs are quite subtle in Sefora and serve no other purpose than for reproduction. Male and female parts are housed internally and the core plays the role of the teste and ovary respectively. They typically become sexually matured at around 20-22 years standard. Sefora don’t typically celebrate their initial partnership publicly or throw parties. If they do, it’s almost always after they spend time together. Initial “courtship” is a very intimate time for the pair and they spend a lot of time together, away from their typical routines. Mating is a time for a pair’s cores to interact more intimately than being around one another or through simple physical touch. Sefora have the ability to mate without the worry of unintended pregnancy simply because a burst of core energy is needed from the male to stimulate the female’s core to open and accept insemination. Without this burst of energy, fertilization is impossible. When a successful mating does occur, the female’s core absorbs the energy and seed provided by the male then merges these with her own energy and a piece of her own core. This little clump of genetic material is incubated in the female’s core for about 46 Serpentian days before being ejected into the uterus where the embryo is then carried to full term and a pup is birthed. A typical Sefora gestation period is about 367 days, or a full Serpentian year. Twins are generally rare because of the initial conception process. However, Kartuu are well known for producing litters anywhere around three to eight pups strong. The more the merrier. Pups nurse for two to three years. Near the end of the nursing period they begin to develop their first teeth, take a step or two, and begin to utter their first words. Sefora pups are rather quiet critters and generally communicate with persistent fussy chirps and grunts. Just like any baby, they love to put things in their mouth and should always be supervised. Pups don’t like to stray far from mother, but some (Kartuu and “wild” individuals) grow up learning fast that to leave their nest is very risky business.
Partner IdealsBesides personality and being easy on the eyes, there's a sort of trend for what men and women find most attractive in a potential mate. Skin color plays a large role in attraction. Cool skin colors, especially blue in males and green in females, seem to be popular with Amzor, and in Pateru, cool colors generally are a favorite. Seren women love a man with rich warm colors while the men prefer pastel women. Wing to body size (for those who have them) seems to be a factor as well. Women with winged partners often said they preferred a partner with larger wings versus smaller, and for men with winged partners it was the reverse. Being an “exotic” hybrid also gives individuals an edge. Sefora are not exclusive to partnerships with other Sefora or Shyr. Many Sefora form intimate relationships with other similar beings, particularly Ethieans and Asirans.
AgingSefora have an average life expectancy of about 300 years standard. Pups stop nursing around 2-3ys and become physically matured around 22-24ys. They are considered legal adults at 20ys. Individuals are in their prime from the age of 20 to about 80. Middle aged persons are around the age of 120ys+ and the term "old" is earned at about 200. Those that make it past 300 are regarded highly as wise and are well respected. Sefora develop very quickly in their early years (birth to maturity) due to the development of the core. Thereafter, the core stabilizes and remains the same for many decades until it begins to deteriorate around the 120 year mark. This allows Sefora to live for many many years.
DietSefora are omnivorous and very curious and adventurous eaters. The primary staples of their day-to-day diets include rice, vegetables, fruits, legumes, and animal proteins largely including land mammals, fish, Tespr and other insects. Sefora, as a rule, tend to avoid eating dairy — with the exception of cheese — because animal milks tend to cause "core burn." Kartuu are known particularly for having a diet primarily of animal proteins, including seafoods, in addition to a balance of plant products. Unlike other Sefora, they possess the jaw strength to crack open the tough shells of freshwater shellfish and crustaceans and extract the energy rich contents. Because shellfish and crustaceans are so exhaustive to harvest and are naturally in short supply, they're not commercially harvested and are therefore difficult to find in retail. However, some seafoods are traded in from off planet and are good alternatives for city-dwelling Kartuu who would like to supplement their diets. Oxi, or Serpentian Salt, (not to be confused with Serpentian Oxi which is the planet’s currency) is a must have mineral that Serpentians require in order to maintain normal body function. It is not sodium chloride and therefore does not taste like salt. It is regarded as savory however and is used in all types of Serpentian cuisine.
Common AilmentsCore Burn - Indigestion. Usually brought on by allergies, common virus, eating too fast or too much at once, or consuming materials such as animal milk, toxic plants or animals, and so on. Limb Rot - Aggressive infection of the arm or leg which tends to advance toward the abdomen quickly overtime and may cause necrosis of affected tissue. Typically brought on by untreated injury to the foot pad. If the infection is left untreated it will advance as sepsis to the core and become Core Rot which is life-threatening. Core Rot - Lethal infection of the core as a result of sepsis usually from untreated Limb Rot. The core weakens, shuts down various functions, and will eventually lead to death.
Primum anima “First soul”
300 Years Standard
Males - 7ft
Females - 6.5ft
Females - 6.5ft
Common True Sefora