Mtani ( m-TAH-nee)
are a sapient species from southern Frasfu, mainly living in the Canopy
. They have green skins that are almost completely covered with plants that grow directly from their bodies. Only their face, palms, and soles have exposed skins. They tend towards reclusiveness, living in their own country of Ulalia
Mtani have green skins covered with leaves, moss, and some flowers. However, these plants grow directly from their skin, which has a soft texture and is as hard as tree bark. Only their faces, hand palms, and feet soles expose their green skin. A single mtani will often have leaves and flowers from different species all growing together. It's due to this that they usually avoid clothes; they don't have any of the parts that other people consider taboo —and their skin grows natural covering anyway. The eyes are usually pitch black, with no iris, although dark greens aren't unheard of either
Unfortunately for me, I haven't been able to analyze any mtani corpse; they take care of their dead swiftly and privately. So everything I know about their body is from watching them.
Mtani perform most bodily functions in a similar way as the other species, but there are some differences.
Reproduction is performed through an elaborate process known as arborification
. This process starts with two (or more) mtani hugging each other for about an hour. If all participants are ready to mate, which means having a sizable number of flowers growing from their body, a tree will grow to encompass their bodies. During about three months, the mtani will remain in a hibernating state, after which the tree will crumble to dust and at least one mtani will be born from it.
It's rare for an arborification to end with no newborn mtani. What's less rare is for one of the adults engaged in the process to die of suffocation if they don't enter hibernation quickly enough. In this case, the other mtani will survive but the newborn might suffer from a disease or malformation.
Mtani historically lived in various peaceful tribes around the Canopy. But in recent times, their leaders realized that they needed to unite to prevent other countries from exploiting their division. And so the Republic of Ulalia
was created, with an executive council made up of the democratically elected tribe leaders.
Since then, their involvement in international affairs has increased, although they still like to keep to themselves whenever possible. Settlements on the coast are very open to foreigners, but the inner parts of the Canopy rarely see members of other species.
Most people in Frasfu see mtani as mysterious and exotic people, even those who have been in contact with their kind. They are extremely rare anywhere else in Frasfu, and when they do appear in public, most people treat them with caution and respect. After all, they're peaceful people —but also famous for the legends about their ferocity when provoked.
The word mtani
is not the one members of this species use to refer to themselves. They simply call themselves "the people". Mtani
is just what the first explorers from the Kingdom of Nguen
called them when they first saw them.