satyrs Species in Scarterra | World Anvil

satyrs

Satyrs are human sized beings with the hind quarters of a goat, including a short tail. They have pointed ears similar to elves but pointed outwards. Satyr ears move more than elf ears and help convey emotions unless the satyr consciously represses their ear movement.   Satyrs also have horns. Male and female horns grow at a slow steady rate for most of a satyr's life, but males have a temporary pronounced growth spurt in their horns during adolescence and females do not. Thus, adult males tend to have much larger horns than most females but satyr kids have very similar horns. The two satyr kids below are fraternal twins.  
comissioned art of satyr kids by Zeta Gardner
  Male satyrs often boast about the size of their horns as a symbol of their virility. Horns vary between being straight, slightly curly, or very curly. Watery satyrs often have distinctive corkscrew patterned horns.   While not as nimble as actual goats, satyrs' goat legs can let most satyrs outrun most humans and elves pretty easily, and satyrs are excellent jumpers. They are also sure footed as mountain goats and are great at finding and standing on tiny ledges safely. Much to the surprise of onlookers, satyrs can climb trees pretty well too.   Adult satyr hooves are distinctly cloven, but satyr kids have hooves that are tighter together. The pronounced cleave in their hooves occurs during puberty.  
Male Kionus Satyr by Zeta Gardner
Satyrs have prodigious stamina and can outlast most other humanoids in wrestling, fencing, dancing, long distance running, and especially drinking. Satyrs require less sleep than humans and most other human-like mortals able to function normally with about five to six hours of sleep a day as opposed to the seven to eight most humans require.
  It is rumored that satyrs cannot swim or they swim poorly due to their goat legs. This is not true, satyrs (and goats) are natural swimmers. Most satyrs just love the land more than the sea, and they generally don't like getting their fur wet with the major exception being the Poseidonus satyrs.  
by me with Hero Forge
Satyrs are rumored to be able to innately enchant listeners with their musical ability. Satyrs do not have any innate inborn supernatural ability with music, but most satyrs are talented musicians due to years of practice. Most satyrs are not spell-casters, but the majority of satyrs who are spell-casters happen to be bardic spell casters, reinforcing the myth that all satyr music is literally enchanting.
  Above the waist satyrs usually resemble elves very closely except for the horns. The average satyr has more muscle tone and baby fat than the average elf, resembling most half-human half-elves but satyr's ears are fully elfin, with the same average size and shape as most full elves, though they do tend to be pointed outward a bit, especially when they are in a heightened emotional state.   The fur on satyr hind quarters is far more goat-like than human-like and it's relatively uncommon for their leg hair and scalp hair to be exactly the same color and texture, but it is usually similar.   Satyrs manifest elemental ethnic traits in more or less the same manner that elves and humans do. Most satyrs have dominant earthy traits but major exceptions exist such as the Poseidonus satyrs which usually have dominant watery traits and the Kionus satyrs which usually have dominant airy traits.  
Satyrs with fiery traits are sometimes viewed with superstition and mistrust by other satyrs. There is an old goat wives' tale that says satyrs with obvious fiery traits, especially red hair are likely to be of poor moral character because of the supposed "Fire satyrs" of history though in reality the "Fire satyrs" differed from the other. Modern Confederate satyrs tend to manifest a lot of physical fiery traits but they usually have temperaments and moral values very different from the "fire satyrs" of yesteryear.
by Me with Hero Forge
  Satyrs tend to have hedonistic natures and strong libidos. Satyrs both male and female, seem to have a bias towards being more attracted to other races than themselves which has kept their numbers down over the years. For details on what can result from satyrs mating with other races, check out Half-Satyr Babies.   Satyrs have famously poor impulse control on more things than just sex. They are somewhat prone to gluttony. They often overly indulge on alcohol or coffee (satyrs claim their ancestors discovered coffee). They are prone to risk taking and are fairly easy to talk into dares, challenges, or games of chance. They are more than a little prone to emotional outbursts. Satyrs also enjoy athletic contests immensely and relish the adrenaline rush of testing their limits.     Satyrs can be annoyingly stubborn but they also are known to be fickle. Romantically speaking, they are infamous for falling in and out of love easily. They also fall in and out of hate easily meaning satyrs can be surprisingly forgiving to people who wronged them. While a satyr's anger can be intense and frightening, they rarely hold long lasting grudges or vendettas.    
by Me with Hero Forge
Most satyrs are very open to new ideas and new experiences. Unfortunately, their minds are somewhat more open to hostile magic relative to other mortals. The dark elves of Kahdisteria took advantage of this on a large scale and magically enthralled many satyr slaves, often using Control Collars.
    Satyr's lusty nature range the gamut from being playful flirts to despicable rapists. If there is even a single rapacious satyr on the loose, humans and elves are often prone to be prejudiced against all satyrs. This reached a fever pitch during the Red Era with a lot of retaliation and counter retaliation between satyrs and humans as well as a civil war between satyrs. Satyrs that took a loose view on the value of consent were known as Fire Satyrs and this led to modern prejudices against satyrs of fiery ethnicity (even though the original Fire satyrs were usually not of fiery ethnicity).   Nowadays satyrs police their own, vigilante style. They will try to "disappear" any satyrs that hurt their collective image. This vigilante attitude towards all crimes, not just rape. Misdemeanors are punished with humiliations and public shaming, mid range crimes are punished with theft "restitutions" and severe crimes are met with quick executions. Satyrs are not shy about visiting their brand of justice on non-satyrs who they feel deserve it.  
Some satyrs, aware of the bad reputation stemming from their less conscientious brethren, go out of their way to appear pious, kind, gentle, honorable, and/or non-threatening around non-satyrs. This is something most satyrs agree with in principle but many satyrs believe the Herd of Fauns took this too far and blunted the vitality that defines satyrs.
by Me using Hero Forge

Basic Information

Anatomy

Satyrs famously are famously goat below the waist and humanoid above the waist.   They have furry goat legs ending in cloven hooves and short goat tails. While they kind of bob a little funny relative to humans when running, a satyr's legs are strong and agile. The average satyr can easily beat the average human in both short distance sprints and long-distance marathons.   Above the waist, their torsos and arms are similar to humans. Their facial features are elfin as they have descended from full elves long ago though their facial features are generally closer to half-human half-elves than to full elves. Their ears are of comparable size and shape to full elves though they tend to stick out more. Their ears even move about in response to the a satyr's emotional state though some satyrs can consciously suppress this.   Satyrs are generally strong and agile on average tending to be robust individuals. It is debatabeable whether they are born with this or if their athletic prowess is the result of parents encouraging their children to excerise and engage in exploratory free now called "free ranged parenting" on 21st century Earth.

Genetics and Reproduction

Satyrs reproduce the same way most humanoids do. Females are pregnant for about eight months. Twins and triplets are more common among satyrs are much more common than most other demi humans. About 25% of births are twins and about 1% are triplets. Satyrs can usually predict twin births in advance because these pregnancies usually take a bit longer (and satyr fetuses kick a lot).   Male and female satyrs alike have a well-deserved reputation for promiscuity. Satyrs often have a preference for having liasons with non-satyrs and this slows down their general rate of reproduction given that most of the offspring of interracial liaisons are not satyrs.   Conception rates are fairly high when two satyrs copulate and are fairly low when satyrs copulate with non-satyrs. Satyrs cupulate a lot, so mixed race children of satyrs are still fairly well known. For full details on how that turns out, check out Half-Satyr Babies.

Growth Rate & Stages

Satyrs mature slightly slower than humans, reaching the age of majority at eighteen instead of sixteen. Satyr kids, much like goat kids, have lots pent up energy, curiosity and exuberance. Satyrs mellow as they age, but older satyrs can show surprising bits of youthful energy from time to time.   On average, satyrs routinely outlive humans by ten to twenty years. While it's not unheard for for humans to live a whole century, this is a lot more common among satyrs though admittedly satyrs are prone to risk taking in their youth so a lot of satyrs die young. That said, if a satyr can endure all their youthful follies and survive to age forty, odds are pretty good she will live to see her ninetieth name day.   They tend to age more gracefully than humans remaining surprisingly spry for most of their golden age. Female satyrs remain fertile much longer than female humans, with some mamma goats capable of bearing kids into their early sixties.

Dietary Needs and Habits

Satyrs have a high metabolism and they tend to eat a 25% to 50% more than humans. Satyrs are not especially picky eaters equally happy to eat meat, vegetables, grain, fish, fruit, or almost anything humans can. Satyrs usually are fond of novelty in all aspects of their lives and they are usually eager to try new foodstuffs.
Midday Pie with wooden cutlery by Me using Nightcafe
  They cannot exactly eat a tin can but they have tough stomachs and can handle food that humans cannot including fruits and meats slightly past their prime or even grass and hay though they will usually only push the envelope on their dietary sources when food is scarce.   Satyrs tend to lead physically active live so most younger satyrs are pretty lean, but satyrs that are more cerebral and less physically oriented than their fellows often develop pot bellies if they don't cut their food intake down.  It is pretty common to see satyrs plump up as they get older because they exercise less but keep eating the same food they had in their vibrant youth.

Additional Information

Geographic Origin and Distribution

Satyrs often have wanderlust and they crave new experiences so they can be seen almost anywhere.  They do not like to overstay their welcomes, and their welcomes are often fairly thin around more stodgy and repressed cultures.   When satyrs choose to put roots down somewhere, they often end up doing so in areas where new people rotate in an out regularly such as crossroads towns or seaports.   While satyrs like the bastions civilization and the opportunities they offer, but they also like wide open spaces and wilderness areas.  The continents of Penarchia and West Colassia have relatively large pockets of satyrs.  The rest of the world has fewer satyrs but almost no location has zero satyrs.   Most satyrs use goat terms to describe themselves. They call their young "kids" and they call their extended family units "trips." "The herd' includes any satyr trip that is culturally connected to a satyr's main trip. Herds usually have a geographic base.   Confederate satyrs make up most of the free satyrs of East Colassia.   Kionus satyrs dwell in the cold northern regions of West Colassia.   Mediterranean satyrs make up most of the inland satyrs in West Colassia west of the The World Seam Mountains.   Poseidonus satyrs are the most widely geographically dispersed, loosely united as a herd by their love the sea.   Satyr fauns represent a subculture of satyrs that developed in Kantoc.   Each of the above herds are fairly well known and has thousands of members, if not tens of thousands of satyrs. Minor herds with dozens or hundreds of members permeate Scarterra, one such herd is in Border Baronies Region, nicknamed "the Mountain Goats".   Occasionally, satyrs will sometimes talk about "the Great Herd" with capital letters referring to all satyrs everywhere. Individual satyrs may or may not feel any true loyalty to the Great Herd.

Average Intelligence

Satyrs have the same intellectual range as humans.

Perception and Sensory Capabilities

Almost good as full goats, satyrs have a much wider field of vision than humans, roughly 270 degrees (as opposed to the approximately 190 degrees humans have).   Satyrs have a keener sense of smell and hearing than humans.

Civilization and Culture

Major Organizations

More often than not, satyrs join organizations dominated by other races rather than form all-satyr or satyr majority groups though this does not mean that satyrs never manage to rise to positions of leadership in these organizations.  
Satyrs often assimilate into the religious practices of the lands they occupy or they can independently develop unique religious preferences.   Most satyrs view Nami as the spiritual mother of satyr-kind. Zarthus and Korus are commonly held in high regard as well because satyrs value music and nature respectively. More aggressive and violent satyrs occasionally end up in the Testers.   Satyrs do not often join the priesthoods of the other five deities, but no priesthood in Scarterra is completely devoid of satyr members.
comissioned portrait of Aleesia the Satyr by Zeta Gardner
 
by Me with Hero Forge
While there are plenty of satyrs who are law abiding and part of honorable organizations, often gravitating towards trading organizations, wineries, breweries, and professional armies, not all satyrs are all that respectable.   A disproportionatley highly number of satyrs are drawn to fringes of society and many become involved with the criminal element or semi-legal professions such as mercenaries and bounty hunters

Beauty Ideals

Satyrs run the full gamut of elemental ethnicity in mortals that other mortal races have. Each herd has different tendencies but the plurality of satyrs have at least some earthy traits.   Sometimes satyrs dress to blend in with the non-satyrs around them, sometimes they dress to stand out. Often but not always, satyrs lean into their identity as highly sexually beings and dress immodestly as they can get away with, but other satyrs bow to pragmatism.   Satyrs do not wear cosmetics, adopt complex hair styles, or shave and bathe more than the basic health requires though there are always exceptions with satyrs. Some satyrs like wearing lots of jewelry and others do not.   For personal fashion, as well as most other things, it is largely up to the individual preferences and to lesser extant, their herd's preference.
Female Kionus Satyr by Zeta Gardner
female Poseidonous satyr by Zeta Gardner

Relationship Ideals

commissioned male satyr kid by Zeta Gardner
Satyrs rarely even pretend to be monogamous, but they do feel a strong sense of purpose to look after their kids well.   It takes a village to raise a child and most satyrs believe takes a trip to raise a kid. While the mother is the primary caregiver more often than not, most satyr kids grow up among many "aunts" and "uncles" who may or may not be not be their actual aunts and uncles by blood.   Among satyrs, found family is generally viewed as being equally as important as blood family, if not more so. Sometimes non-satyrs can be adopted into these found families
 
The father or presumed "father" may or may not be a major factor in the child's life. Satyrs are generally much better at working out amiable "co-parenting" relationships with ex-lovers than members of other Scarterran mortal races usually manage with their ex-lovers.   Cultural practices between different satyr herds vary but almost every satyr parent or mentor believes in encouraging physically active, exploratory play. They will step in to make sure their kids are not seriously hurt but they believe minor scrapes and bruises are good teachers.
commissioned female satyr kid by Zeta Gardner
  Most satyrs put relative little stock in lineages and many believe the high degree of focus that other races put on their lineages is somewhat frivolous. When satyrs bother to speak of their own lineage, they are matrilineal, since one is never completely sure who the father is, especially with satyrs.

Major Language Groups and Dialects

Most satyrs speak Elven as their mother tongue while a small number of tribes speak Common instead. Being gregarious sorts, most satyrs make an effort to learn several languages.

Common Dress Code

Satyr dress codes vary widely. Some satyrs choose to dress to blend in with the non-satyrs around them and some dress to stand out. Some goat folk prefer to dress in bright vibrant colors and others prefer more subtle earth tones.   Satyrs are not especially modest, often showing more skin (or fur) than humans and elves around them. Satyrs often favor clothing that is durable and easy to remove. Satyr fashion sense varies widely from individual to individual and herd to herd.   Kionus satyrs dress practically for survival and comfort only making minimal nods to stylistic touches, usually of religious significance.   Mediterranean satyrs usually dress practically for their work and dress to mimic the styles of the humans around them or else defaulting to simple earth tones.   Codenya satyrs and satyr fauns are often said to be like peacocks in that the males tend to dress bright and flamboyantly and the females favor more natural earth tones.   Poseidonus satyrs of both sexes usually dress immodestly and favor flamboyant outfits and loud colors.   Satyrs of all stripes are individualistic and many choose to flaunt the informal standards of their herd.  
Comissioned male Mediteranean Satyr by Zeta Gardner
When it comes to armor, satyrs are pragmatic and will dress in the best protective gear they can afford, rarely bothering to make a fashion statement with their armor.   Satyr warriors tend to favor relatively light armor to preserve their mobility as they favor hit and run tactics which they excel at as they can easily outpace most other mortal infantry with their nimble goat legs.

Culture and Cultural Heritage

While satyrs love physical pursuits, but this doesn't mean they only think about sex and wine. While not especially literate, they appreciate intellectual pursuits and regularly impressive surprise non-satyrs with their intellectual depths.   Different satyr cultures may sing different songs and use different instruments but almost every satyr grows up inundated with musical traditions. They also appreciate poetry, clever riddles, philosophical debates, and acting. They also tend to be knowledgeable about the wilderness and herbalism.
Comissioned Male Poseidonous Satyr by Zeta Gardner
  While they appreciate the aesthetics of beautiful things, they tend to value experiences over things. It is fairly uncommon for satyrs to become painters, sculptors, or master craftsmen. Satyrs that choose to work with their hands often work in the culinary arts working to make fine food and beverages.

Common Customs, Traditions and Rituals

Satyrs usually like to mingle with non-satyrs, but they usually keep their funerals as mostly satyr only affairs only making exceptions for very close friends.   Funerals are split into a two equal parts. One part dark and somber and one part vibrant and lively. After a period of respectful silence and fasting, the somber portion is broken by a mournful dirge that sounds a lot like sad goat bleating (making a noise most non-satyrs find nigh unbearable). After this the satyrs will feast and drink to celebrate the deceased person's life.   The satyr bereavement process often includes hooking up with other satyrs. Some joke that without the cultural practice of funeral sex, their race would have gone extinct long ago.

Common Taboos

According to legend, the first satyrs spent anywhere from one week to several months living as regular goats.  Most satyrs have enough kinship with goats that they view it as taboo to eat goat meat.  Some satyrs view it taboo to partake of goat's milk and cheese and others do not.   A few take this even farther and are pescatarians or full vegetarians though satyr vegans are rare.   Satyrs have few if any sexual taboos almost never even pretending to practice monogamy.  While their drives tend to lead them in a heterosexual direction, most satyrs are at least bi-curious towards the leafer lifestyle.

History

According to the satyrs' own stories, the first satyrs were especially hedonistic Second Age elves that were polymorphed into goats and then partially restored to their original bodies retaining a mix of goat and elf traits.   The satyrs were both a part of and apart from mainstream elf society. While sometimes the satyrs' hedonistic ways were viewed as refreshing, at least in small doses. More often than not the satyrs ways were considered problematic and unwelcome. This led to a cultural tradition of satyrs being nomads, so they don't stay too long to wear out their welcomes. It wasn't just for social niceties, satyrs have a love of novelty and often travel seeking new experiences.   Being on the fringe of society and always traveling gave them a cultural imperative to hone their survival skills which resulted in most satyrs developing a strong respect for nature.   During the Second Unmaking most satyrs chose to ally themselves with other races seeking strength in numbers. The satyrs suffered their losses, but a fair number survived into the Third Age.   Once the threat of mutual annihilation was lifted, satyrs once again found that their welcomes around so called "civilized folk" were often limited, causing them to resume their previous nomadic ways. This is not always the case, as more than a few satyrs have put down roots in places where they can get access to good farmland such as the Village of Satyrs in Fumaya.   Once fairly unified under a single culture, as satyrs spread throughout Scarterra they split into different cultures and tribes as regional differences set in. Satyrs call these different groups "herds" and refer to the satyr race as a whole as "The Great Herd" though most have relatively little loyalty to the Great Herd.

Common Myths and Legends

Satyrs love storytelling and their tales are often exaggerations or pure fabrications that often contradict each other but most satyr stories of their own origins agree on the basic premise that their ancestors were elves polymorphed into goats and then turned back into elves, but not entirely.

Interspecies Relations and Assumptions

There is nothing resembling a "Satyr Homeland". Most satyrs enjoy spending time with non-satyrs and most satyrs have at least a bit of a wanderlust (in addition to their other lusts), so they exist on the periphery of the societies of other races, most commonly humans and elves. Satyrs can and do work any profession that humans or elves work. Satyrs are likely to pursue vocations that are well-suited to traveling, but this is a tendency, not a requirement. Either as individuals or small groups some satyrs choose to put down roots and become permanent parts of non-satyr communities.   Of course with satyrs, you cannot talk about interspecies relations without talking about interspecies relations.   Satyrs commonly seek out sexual partners from among other races and more than a few among the other races have heard the stories and seek out satyr lovers out of curosity. When satyrs mate with non-satyrs, there is a is a fairly low chance of conception from any single romantic encounter but satyrs rarely settle for a single romantic encounter. For more details of the result of satyr coupling with other races, check out the article Half-Satyr Babies.  
While stories of satyrs strong ties to the Fair Folk are greatly exaggerated, there is a kernel of truth in these tales. Relative to their small numbers, satyrs are far more likely to have sexual relations with Fair Folk than most other mortals and more than a few satyrs have a few drops of faerie blood in their veins and Fae Warlocks are proportionally more common among satyrs than among humans.
by Me with Hero Forge
 

Satyr Character Creation Rules

  Satyr have the same basic 1-5 Attribute spread that most humanoids have for most attributes.   Legendary Stamina:  Satyrs receive a free bonus dot in Stamina and can potentially raise their Stamina trait to 6.  In addition they can drink anyone under the table and eat food from questionable sources.  They receive a -1 difficulty bonus to hold their alcohol or resists ingested poisons.       Natural Athletes: Satyrs receive a -1 difficulty bonus on all non-magical Athletics rolls.     Nimble Goat Legs:  Satyrs can cover ground on long distance about half again as fast as humans on foot with the same physical attribute spreads. They also can inflict two extra dice of damage with the kicks, though it's still bashing damage.     Keen Senses:  Satyrs receive a -1 bonus on all Alertness rolls.     Weak-Willed:  Satyrs have poor impulse control and their minds are more susceptible to magical manipulation.  Satyrs have a +1 difficulty penalty on all Willpower rolls other than Feats of Strength rolls.   Satyr characters start out with 10 fewer freebie points than human character.     While not required, most satyrs should take at least a dot or two of Athletics, Brawl, Etiquette, and Performance as these things are pushed heavily on almost all satyr kids.   For more character creation guidelines, check out So you want to play a satyr?
Genetic Ancestor(s)
Lifespan
80 years
Average Height
Satyr females average 5'5" and satyr males average 5'9". There is a standard deviation of about three inches.
Related Myths
Related Technologies

Articles under satyrs



Cover image: by Zeta Gardner

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