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Cuerryn

The Wildlings

Basic Information

Anatomy & Morphology

Slightly shorter than most eldar, Cuerryn still stand out when in a crowd. The predatory way they move makes them seem more agile than other eldar.

Biological Traits

Rare bloodlines among the Cuerryn are considered genetic throwbacks, and display silver hair regardless of their age. They are also capable of producing pheromones that attract all wild creatures, sentient or otherwise.

Not deviating from what is expected of the eldar, the two genders are easy to tell apart. Males have little body hair but are capable of growing a full beard, while females have no body hair at all.

Genetics and Reproduction

Easily the most numerous of the eldar races, they make for a good percentage of the total population of any region they call home. While they have a fairly good birthrate, the number of Cuerryn that lose their lives due to environmental hazards is enough to keep their overall growth rate at reasonable levels. Most see such losses as a necessary culling of the unfit and the unlucky. Their numbers are more evenly split between children, adults and elders than most eldar races.

Growth Rate & Stages

Up to their third decade of life, they are treated as children, while they reach adulthood about seven decades later. Someone is only thought of as an elder after they have twenty to twenty-five centuries on their back. These elders are more often found providing counsel and guidance.

As they grow older, they start to look slightly more feral and their hair turns silvery white, as is normal for their species. With age, comes a slight dulling of their keen senses and they lose some of their agility. When they fall to the ennui that defines the species, most display mentalities that seem savage and alien even to other eldar and some elders are unable to live in cities.

Ecology and Habitats

Cuerryn are famous for the elegant design of their tree houses that are as if grown on or from the trees. As their dwellings get closer to the ground, wood is replaced by stone, following similar design and craftsmanship. Fluid lines, plant motifs and high arches are the trademarks of traditional Cuerryn architecture. Public buildings do not really stand out but are marked on the outside.

Dietary Needs and Habits

Few races live off the forest as efficiently as the Cuerryn. While they are omnivores by nature, most of them prefer meat as the main course with vegetables and fruit serving as side dishes or decoration. With a variety of fresh herbs at hand, even a campfire roast smells good enough to shame a master chef. Both males and females are expected to know how to cook.

Cuerryn packs tend to eat together, whether out in the wild or in a more civilised environment. Meals are often an excuse for their more playful sides to show, and they rarely stay quiet unless they absolutely have to. The leader of the pack always gets first pick, but the others share the rest of the meal equally. When guests are invited, they are treated as pack members.

Additional Information

Social Structure

Family

The only real deviation Cuerryn claim over traditional Eldar families is that they find it easier to choose someone as their mate. Despite that, the affair remains a deeply personal thing that only the people involved need to worry about. More often than not, their chosen mate is outside their own pack, a remnant of ages past when blood had to stay fresh in a family.

Children are generally raised in the manner expected from an eldar race. Cuerryn can be very protective of their young and will get rather brutal with anyone threatening them, but the children are not kept in a bubble. Minor cuts, bruises, and broken bones are part of everyday life, and their guardians rarely fret over such injuries, viewing them as important lessons.

Government

The cornerstone of Cuerryn hierarchy and society in general is the pack, a tightly knit group of individuals that band together for common goals. The alpha of the pack is the ultimate authority and orders from local rulers are seen only as guidelines. Beyond that, Cuerryn have a strong belief in the value of the individual and their ability to govern themselves.

Justice

In traditional Cuerryn law, when a crime is committed, the guilty party is arrested and held captive until the case can be brought before at least two elders. A single Elder can play the role of a judge if necessary, but usually, a more balanced solution is sought out. In the case of rape, punishment is informal, with the offender being given a brief head start before they are hunted down by the victim's packmates.

Facial characteristics

Their wolf-like eyes, usually black or brown with a few rare blue and golden ones, have a feral glint to them and their teeth are unusually sharp.

Geographic Origin and Distribution

After the Sundering, the forest-dwelling Eldar found a new mission in life. They claimed territories with bow and claw, taking it upon themselves to protect the Earth from anything that would threaten nature. In a massive sweep, local populations were given a choice, adapt or die. In the following decades, Cuerryn adapted as well, to a more modern way of life. The Exodus marked their mission a failure, so they took to the stars in search of new worlds.

Civilization and Culture

Naming Traditions

Their names usually translate to things found in nature or combinations of, with the first name followed by another that is not always common among relatives. Their first names are chosen based on what sounds good, but the last names denote their lineage and allegiances. Those familiar with Cuerryn culture can use them to discover many details about their owner.

Average Technological Level

While they were not as keen to using technology as other races, before the Sundering, they understood the practical uses of it and will employ it as necessary. The only common rule seemed to be whether something damages their environment or not. Because of this preference for “green” tech, they traditionally preferred to deal with pre-industrial technology, but modern advances have brought new toys to their hands.

Major Language Groups and Dialects

Cuerryn use one of the oldest and most informal dialects of the eldar language, that has since evolved to include terms specific to life outside the forest. They sound rural to other eldar, but others find their dialect as flowing and elegant as the other dialects of their species. Pheromones and body stance are a silent part of their language that cannot be taught to outsiders.

Common Dress Code

Usually wearing green, brown or black, with fur and animal parts used to decorate themselves and their clothes. Their outfits focus more on practicality but are light and usually considered elegant by other species. Cloaks and hoods are favoured, but it is just as likely to see a Cuerryn roam the woods with nothing but a knife on, especially since they are not shy of nudity.

They like braiding their hair, and most wear it long with rather intricate designs. Males also braid their beards when old enough to grow them, but rarely wear them longer than a few centimetres. Elaborate tribal, animal, or nature themed tattoos are quite popular, but it is only those living in cities that bother with piercings or more extreme body modifications.

Culture and Cultural Heritage

Recreation

As agile and graceful as any eldar, Cuerryn love dancing more than most arts. This does not mean that they shun other forms of expression, but those that can dance well are admired for it. Other types of artists that are appreciated are musicians, actors, woodcarvers, and storytellers. Festivals, art contests, and public performances can be given in any location, even outdoors.

Sports contests are especially popular among the Cuerryn, and they jump at the chance of testing their skill against worthy opponents. Their keen senses make them excellent archers while living in the woods has prepared them for running and avoiding obstacles. Martial arts are popular, especially among younger members of the race. Elders, on the other hand, prefer team sports.

Cuerryn humour is usually not as sophisticated as that of more civilised Eldar races. They see the appeal of physical comedy and are not beneath pulling pranks on people they know. Joking is seen as a show of affection, but it can also be used as a means to offend. Open to the humour of other races and species, they are generally not offended when lines are crossed by mistake.

Daily life

Starting their day shortly after dawn, Cuerryn are usually early risers, though they can easily sleep in if the previous night was particularly taxing. They try to get most of their duties done by early afternoon, spending the rest of the day relaxing, training or spending time with friends and family. By the time the sun has gone down, they are already prepared for the next day.

Nights among the Cuerryn can be eventful, as many visitors have discovered. Not requiring more than a couple of hours of sleep, they prefer to spend their nights partying in private or public settings. The tamest of nocturnal activities for the Cuerryn is sharing stories around the campfire, but even that can get rather physical before long, in one way or the other.

Medicine

A good percentage of Cuerryn medicine is directly tied to herbalism and natural cures. Most are quite knowledgeable when it comes to things like which root helps with a certain problem or which leaves to put on a wound. Serious injuries are given first aid on the field until a more efficient cure can be found. The dead are buried so that their bodies return to the land.

Heraldry

Cuerryn are quite fond of nature and animal motifs for their heraldry. Important families or packs can be recognised by their markings, and so is their territory and holdings. The moon is among the most popular sources of inspiration, and it is no surprise circles and crescents can be found in many crests. Predatory animals are favoured, but stags and boars are also popular.

Each pack has its own symbols, but most Cuerryn also mark themselves with the symbol of their family or even a personal mark. These symbols can be found on clothes, weapons, armour and even everyday items. Tattoos and piercings of such symbols have been increasingly more popular in modern times, often serving as gang colours in some places.

War

Cuerryn are always ready for war and, while they master many weapons, most avoid maces and hammers. They take pride in their craftsmanship and skill with spears and composite longbows. They all carry a close combat bladed weapon, though sidearms are not uncommon. Cuerryn prefer light or medium armour, relying more on their agility and speed to avoid injury in combat.

Their weapons are usually curved, but some are designed after natural weaponry found in animals and plants. Metal claws, quill-like darts and fang shaped knives are among the most common items found in the traditional arsenal of a Cuerryn. Their armour is decorated with fur, animal parts and various etchings that commemorate important events in their lives.

Common Customs, Traditions and Rituals

Attunement

There are more than enough Attuned and Infused among the Cuerryn to leave their mark on their society. From their spiritual leaders to some of their most accomplished heroes, those with an affinity for Attunement always rose to lead their brethren. This has not changed even as the wild elves took to the stars.

Before the Sundering, those individuals were handled in the following manner. Upon discovery of an Attuned or Infused child, the family or pack was expected to bring them to an appropriate mentor. They were not always accepted, for a variety of reasons, and this kept the number of wild casters among Cuerryn at a higher percentage than in most eldar races. Those accepted for training spent years learning their mentor's personal style.

Time

On Earth, Cuerryn used a lunar calendar that they followed almost instinctively. Informal festivals were held every full moon, with those present giving into their base instincts for a few nights of revelry. In contrast, new moons were considered a time of introspection and reflection upon their actions. For all other practical purposes, like measuring time, Cuerryn follow the standard calendar of whatever country or region they live in.

Education

Some Cuerryn choose to learn from those already following a path as apprentices, while others find established schools more useful, even going to other regions and countries. Elders are expected to teach the younger members of their community when they can. All are expected to be literate and have at least some basic knowledge in the ways of the forest.

Common Taboos

As long as a sexual practice can be found in nature, the Cuerryn have no problem with it no matter how bizarre, primitive, or brutal it may seem to other races. Individual tastes vary, but very little is considered abnormal, and they tend to be quite open about their sexuality. Willing partners are considered the norm, but sex can be used as a show of dominance.

History

Evolution

It is not easy to say exactly when the first Cuerryn walked the earth, but most biology researchers point to the first group that split from the ancestors of the eldar. These early pack hunters chose the lush forests of their area to hunt and die in, adapting quickly to life in the woods of Central Europe. Not true Cuerryn yet, these creatures were already on that path.

Over the centuries that followed the initial split, several members of the group would venture south, eventually reaching the rocky desert, leaving the woods to the rest. That group would eventually evolve into the cat-like ancestors of the Tekalad, but the ones left behind are recognised by most as the first true step in the evolution of the Cuerryn as a race.

These synapsids were already displaying traits common to mammals but, as they remained on the ground, their evolution introduced physical traits usually encountered in wild canids, like wolves. Later generations of Cuerryn would develop pheromones that affected canids, and it was not long before packs of these creatures could be seen leading a larger pack of wolves.

This symbiosis between pack hunters would last for the next few thousands of years but, eventually, most Cuerryn evolved past the ability to produce these pheromones. The wolves drifted away but their time with them affected the early Cuerryn in profound ways, dictating much of their later behaviour and system of beliefs, while it also affected much of their physiology.

It was a few million years after the initial split that the Cuerryn started walking on two legs. They still had a tail, but it was almost useless. Still predatory, these biped creatures had sharp claws, fangs and keen senses developed for tracking down prey. The new perspective of the world helped expand their minds, and it was then that the race first noticed the world around them.

It would take them a bit longer to lose the tail and move to an upright position, but their senses and predatory instincts remained intact, giving them an advantage for survival in the woods. Lean and physically inferior to many of the predators in their territories, they had to rely on teamwork and their increasing intellect to re-establish their threatened dominance over the land.

Their reign as apex predators would come to an end after a chain of geological and climatic changes that forced them out of their territories. With their forests destroyed by drought or snow, they moved further south, to the Balkans. In the remaining forests, they would claim new hunting grounds and they would be there when the other eldar races started to emerge.

Civilisation

Historians were hardly surprised to find out that early Cuerryn cultures were centred around packs. They were even less surprised to discover that pack and family were one and the same back then. Observing other predators, Cuerryn first used caves to shield themselves from animals and the elements before moving to the more familiar environment of the lush forests.

Taking a cue from their prey, primitive Cuerryn turned to the treetops for shelter and the first village built by the race was several metres above ground. Pack hierarchy determined who claimed the largest space and got first picks from hunting. While still mostly carnivorous, Cuerryn learned to survive on fruit and nuts when game was scarce, but they never developed farming.

During one of the early winters, the Cuerryn nearly went extinct, unable to find any animals to hunt. The reason for this was a new breed of predator, sweeping down from the north. While this seemed like a disaster, the Cuerryn would soon find one of their greatest assets as a race. The creatures looked like wolves but were larger and would not attack unless directly threatened.

Moonbeasts, as they would call them later, were the result of crossbreeding between wolves and the creatures that evolved into the Cuerryn. Drawn to the Eldar, they had followed their kin south and surrounded the first village. It would not take long for the Cuerryn to learn how to lead the beasts. They hunted together, and it was this new symbiosis that helped the race survive.

Hunting with the wolf-like beasts opened a whole world of possibilities for the Cuerryn, who learned how to handle and tame other animals. It would also leave a lasting mark on their society and even modern members of the race form strong bonds with wild animals, treating them more as companions than pets. Despite rumours, Cuerryn frown upon mating with animals.

As their society evolved, they discovered the practicality of wearing clothes to protect their bodies and the use of tools to help them create more efficient weapons and better houses, that now could be found on the ground as well. This entirely practical attitude towards equipment and possessions of any sort would remain with the race for the rest of their history.

By the time the other Eldar races joined them in their territory, Cuerryn were thriving but still tribal and what few Attuned had emerged were treated as gods and demons, depending on which pack or tribe they belonged to. After some initial skirmishes, tensions between Cuerryn and other eldar dulled, with attraction and interbreeding paving the way for more civilised cooperation.

Historical Figures

Lith Maethor, Keeper of Balance

Common Myths and Legends

While most Cuerryn are secular, almost all of them entertain a rather animistic world view, respecting nature as a living entity. A few of them still hold to worship of a pantheon of nature and hunting gods like Artemis and Cernunnos, seeing them more as ideals than actual deities. There is little conflict between the two groups as their underlying philosophies are the same.

Interspecies Relations and Assumptions

Though friendly to most, Cuerryn can be suspicious or outright hostile to whatever they perceive as unnatural. Some live in secluded cities and settlements away from other species, but the vast majority of them prefer to mingle with all the other races found in their native regions or even outside them. Cuerryn are among the eldar most likely to get intimate with others.

Genetic Ancestor(s)
Scientific Name
Fae sidhe ferox
Lifespan
Potentially immortal
Average Height
1.65m for males, 1.55m for females
Average Weight
67kg for males, 55kg for females
Average Physique
Both genders tend to be fit, even by eldar standards. Males generally display more muscle than most of their kind. Females often hold the most impressive figures among eldar.
Body Tint, Colouring and Marking
Their skin ranges from pale to tanned, and their hair can go from brown or black to red.
Related Myths

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