Beathadach

The Beathadach of the forested mountain valleys of Llotheyan are huge beavers warped into an intelligent, semi-bipedal form by the wild magics of Lloth. The vast majority of the Beathadach population reside in the great timber city of Mor Beathadach on the shores of Loch Beathadach, a vast artificial lake of their own construction. Other Beathacach settlements exist, built out of roughly hewn timbers and centered around a large wooden gravity dam.
  Beathadach are huge creatures when compared to a man, and can be mistaken for exceptionally large bears at a distance. They stand up to 10 feet (3 meters) tall when standing upright, with a wide, flat tail up to 4 feet (a little over a meter) long. Their weight is likewise massive, at between 100 kilograms and 250 kilograms on average. Their lives are relatively short compared to humans, with thirty winters being considered elderly.
  Their fur colour is brown, but the exact shade varies wildly between individuals within a population. Most often their fur colour closely resembles that of tree bark or fresh lumber. As they age their fur begins to turn grey, first around the muzzle, then spreading evenly across the entire pelt. On rare occasions a pure white Beathadach is born. These albinos are usually regarded as omens if great change within the world, but whether the omen is a good or an ill one remains a mystery until that change happens.
  An industrious and hardworking species, they are expert carpenters and woodworkers, having mastered the art of joinery using only lumber and without any form of masonry or metal fixings. Many Beathadach lodges also serve as small workshops, especially in smaller settlements, but in most major ones dwellings and workplaces are separated.
  The Beathadach keep few written records of their own history, relying instead on a rich oral tradition and statuary memorials to past settlement leaders. Their written language is based on pictograms and numerals that resemble tally marks, and seems to be primarily used for inventory keeping and trade records between settlements. Most records are inscribed into strips of tree bark, however the Beathadac of Mor Beathadach possess a paper mill and write with either charcoal or with a unique ink made from the roots of aquatic plants. No record is ever intentionally destroyed, and the expansion of a settlement's archives is a never ending task.
  According to legend, when the Lady of the Lake first emerged to find that an artificial lake, Loch Beathadach, had flooded the valley of her home, she believed that the Beathadach were the world's dominant species. Only later on did she discover the other intelligent species of Lloth, and later still, human kind.


Cover image: by Dutrius

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