I met a Vessun on the road once. He gave me a piece of his onion bread, a lecture on the uses of levers, and leaflet that proselytized the Vessunan high deities. I liked the bread.
- Nawin, Eswe healer
Vessuna have two arms, two legs, and prehensile tails as long as their bodies. Their black skin lies under short curled fur that comes in shades from creamy white to blue grey.
Sharp, pointed snouts ending in sensitive noses and large eyes with irises in shades of amber and yellow. Now and then a child is born with striking green eyes, which is considered a bad omen.
Vessuna are considered the smartest sapient species in the world--at least according to Vessuna. Their technological accomplishments and civilization longevity do tend to bear this out, though, no matter how other species may grumble about arrogant tree rats.
Civilization and Culture
Most Vessuna will change their names several times during their lifetime in order to reflect the belief that experience changes a person. While name changes most often happen as a result of momentous events, Vessuna can and do change their names in response to any change large or small. Sometimes all it takes is an emotional response to a sunrise. So long as the individual feels some core part of their being has shifted, a different name is appropriate. Of course, sensitive souls may feel this more often than stoic ones, so poets change their names more frequently than bricklayers, on average. Upon choosing a new name, Vessuna will then introduce themselves to everyone they see -- even family -- just as they would if they were a stranger. It is considered very ill manners to call someone by an old name, but some leeway is given to one's family and oldest friends. Most avoid using proper names in everyday conversation to avoid accidental slips, referring to individuals with pronouns (i.e. they), relationships (i.e. my north neighbor or your second brother), or gestures (i.e. pointing to someone present or waving in the direction of someone's house). There is in every community at least one jokester who fails to take this tradition seriously and may announce a change in name because they ate a particularly good (or bad) meal. While this is amusing to many, such souls are an embarrassment, and no one wants one in their own family.
Major Language Groups and Dialects
- 90-100 years
- Average Height
- 3.5 - 4 feet
- Average Weight
- 45 - 55 pounds
- Average Length
- Including tail, as long as 9 feet
- Average Physique
- Small and wiry, their bodies reflect both a cultural love of and a biological predisposition for climbing. They use their prehensile tails to swing as much as they do their arms.