He looked down at me, his yellow-green eyes bigger than my head, staring into my young, naked body. He seemed to smile, a mouth with no teeth, only a pointed, snakelike tongue. His vivid deep pink glow was so bright that I wanted to look down, but I could not look away. Drums pounded, and I was in him, and he was in me, for only a brief moment. Then the world turned, over and over, and I saw countless human faces, made nothing before his might. I saw a pink naer who killed violently, growing smaller before my eyes. And then he was gone, and I saw all the blood that had watered the stones beneath my bare feet.My family is in a unique place to speak about the naered, for my grandmother Aisha was once one of their subjects, until her parents were killed and she was cursed to experience the past of everything she touched. Now, the Supreme Emperor's power lives in our family line, with my mother Ophelia Evenbrook Colbreak able to hear the present, and my brother Gabriel able to see the future. All of them hear the naered when no one else does, especially my mother. The water-weavers have made our family what it is, whether we'd like to speak of it or not. Their great power to gift and curse the human race has defined our abilities, and the Supreme Emperor's lust for power has changed the course of history in uncountable ways. I am also a Dissipator's daughter. My father is famous because of his ability to kill naered. Combined, our family is about as intimate with the naered as a Paragon noble family can be. Here, I'll define what little we Crathlians know about the naered physically.
Naered are long and slender, slithering through the skies like airborne snakes or eels. Their heads are their most solid parts, shaped like the head of a lizard, but with small fins around the ears and, in some naered, one set further down the body. Their bodies are limbless, growing more mist-like down the body until the end, which sheds water, especially in warmer temperatures. Contrary to the old wives' tales, naered are not capable of passing through walls with the walls remaining untouched, but they can stretch themselves to narrower circumferences in order to fit through smaller holes or doorways. They can, however, rend apart flesh and stone alike by running through it. In addition, they can run through humans without killing them, instead giving them a gift or curse (more details below), though how they do this is not fully understood. There are some reports of humans being able to physically touch a naer without passing through, but the truth of these rumors is doubtful. Naered are believed to have only one physical sex and are referred to by a separate pronoun exclusive to the naered in the Shui language (Crathlians generally use "it," while many other languages use their neutral pronoun). The Supreme Emperor is one notable exception in that humans and aignaoithe worldwide (except in Shui Lu) refer to him as "he," and primary source documents from his rise to power use he as well (though many of these refer to all naered using gendered pronouns, both masculine and feminine). It is believed that the naered once referred to themselves as one human gender or the other, at their discretion, but this is debated by scholars.
Gifts and CursesThe naered are most famous and infamous for their ability, given by The Creator in the Gift of the Serpents and the First Shapeshifter, to run human beings through and leave them with a power of the naer's choosing. These abilities can be useful in combat (levitation, energy shields, enhanced hearing or speed, etc.), or they can be curses, designed to punish. For example, my grandmother, Aisha Al Anbar, was the daughter of two revolutionaries who hated the rule of the Supreme Emperor. In retribution for their collaboration with shapeshifters, her parents were killed in front of her, and she was run through by the Supreme Emperor himself. From then on, she experienced the past of everything she touched, including her own skin, and is doomed to remember her parents' deaths in vivid detail for the rest of her life.
Genetics and Reproduction
Naered, as previously mentioned, have only one physical sex. They reproduce by physically mingling with another naer in a particular way, mixing the genetic information, and breaking themselves apart, creating a new naer that is a combination the two parents. Apparently, this process is not done lightly, for it weakens both partners for several years afterwards.
Growth Rate & Stages
Though few have seen young naered, given that they are hidden deep within caves for their protection, they are reported to be very small (around six inches long) and worm-like upon birth. They continue to grow throughout their lives at what is believed to be a continuous rate, reaching sizes as large as the Supreme Emperor, whose head is larger than an average-sized house and whose body is several hundred feet long. He is believed to be around a thousand years old, though his exact age is unknown. Most naered that fight (i.e., the ones we as Crathlians see) have heads as large as a thoroughbred horse and are twenty to forty feet long.
Dietary Needs and Habits
Naered need plenty of water to survive, and thus they live around several large freshwater lakes, as well as a sprawling aquifer underground. It is also theorized that they break down small organisms in their water for energy, but we in Crathlia do not have access to any research that has been done about this. Primary sources state that they drink (or absorb) tea.
Geographic Origin and Distribution
The naered exclusively make their home in the natural springs and lakes around the Mountain of Life, though they fly over and control half of the continent. The lands of their control have long been called Shui Lu, though they also exert power over some surrounding independent human nations, including the desert nations of eastern.
Perception and Sensory Capabilities
Naered possess all five of our classical senses (sight, sound, smell, taste, touch), though the degree to which they sense these things is unknown. It is believed that they have better hearing than even the aignaoithe and that their senses of smell and taste are basically one in the same, both very strong given that they exist as part of the air. Like the aignaoithe, they also possess the sixth sense of telepathy. They can, within certain boundaries of distance, sense the thoughts of any sentient being whom does not block his or her mind in some way. Unable to speak aloud, they project their voices into the mind, which means that their voices may be easily disguised as one's own internal monologue or the voice of a loved one.
Written by Cordelia Colbreak Evenbrook
Can gift or curse human beings with powers of their own
The average is 200-300 years, though they can live much longer.
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