The Pale Ones / Humanity (Submission Article #4)
The Tooth of Vol Yhaera is a land of brutal simplicity. The land lives, dies, and changes all at the mercy of the Wind. Indeed, the living creatures of the land, the Irzhi and Myzi blossoms, seem more manifestations of its will than individual organisms, as their only method of reproduction is having their eggs or seeds scattered upon the Wind's gusts. The Katanari people consider themselves creatures of the wind as well, though they are divorced from it somewhat. Nevertheless they inhabit Vol Yhaera, and many seek to connect to the Wind in the same fashion as Bal Nashar, to fully return under it's wing and reach the level of being the Irzhi enjoy. However, this view of the Wind leaves out an explanation of the events that transpire at the Apex of Vol Yhaera, where the Wind doesn't blow and instead it is the flow of the water that determines the shape of the land. Yet Katanari still live there, in an existence completely separate from the Wind that is the lifeblood of the rest of their species. Except the Okunta Tenders of the Apex are not Katanari. They are much shorter, averaging a little under 6 feet tall, though they attempt to conceal this by wearing much higher versions of the Katanari's traditional Irzhi hide boots. They require many times more nutrition than the Katanari do; without regular access to water and food they quickly weaken and die, and it is for this reason that they live in the Apex, where both are readily available. It is said that under their cloaks they are scrawny and pale, with skin drawn tightly over their frames and log, slender fingers. That their masks contain a special cloth filter, for the acrid air of the Tooth is too much for them to endure without it. It is unknown whether the humans themselves know or understand how they arrived on Vol Yhaera. Regardless, they take pains to hide among the Katanari, knowing that discovery would mean the destruction of their already uneasy truce, and would bring ruin to the entire population, for it is only the Okunta who can properly harvest the moss and Iron so essential to survival in this harsh land. Though the destruction of beings not of the Wind would no doubt seem a holy crusade to many Katanari, it would very well mark the beginning of their end.