Osheah

Description:

kayndred

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Osheah
« on: February 25, 2020, 09:27:41 PM »
Osheah
Inspired by: Owls, the Great Eagles of LotR, Argentavis
Written by: kayndred




Average Lifespan: 500 to 750 years / Birthright at 13, Offering at 30
Average Height: 6 - 8 feet at the shoulder / 5'8 - 6'3 wingless
Average Weight: 180 - 200 lbs
Average Length: 11 - 13 feet, beak to tail
Average Wingspan: 22 - 26, tip to tip

Origin:
When Mother Night cast her long shadow over the world to lay it to sleep, the Osheah opened their eyes.

If the Osheah were once bound to one skin, enough time has past now that no one remembers it. Perhaps if anyone dug far enough back into the annuls of the Blood they would find stories of a people, somewhat migratory, very private, living in the woods and forested mountains of the colder climates. Maybe there would be little rumors hidden in dusty pages about their unnatural use of Craft. Maybe they flew before they walked the forest floors, featherless and quiet. Maybe they were never there at all.

Their history is speckled legend, passed down as quiet song and whispered verse, and speaks of figures as both bird and not. The tale of Oselwhy and her plague-dreams of a shadow that leeched across the land, devouring everything it touched, that only those who flew would survive. The ballad of Erihgwho, great warrior who defended their skies from bat-winged invaders with his siblings. Of Yelwher, the mighty Queen that led them down through the forests and across the mountains, spreading their people wide so that they would grow, and whether the passing of the shadow.

Because Oselwhy did not know when, and Erihgwho did not know why, and Yelwher did not know who, but they knew what, and what it was was death. What it was was Witch.



Before Witch, the Osheah lived as secret shadows, more creatures of myth than fact. Their preferences were for the boreal woods that span the continent in both realms, favoring the larger game that grew where human Blood could not reach. Sometimes a youth would stray toward a settlement for the easy game of livestock, but those times were rare, and those few people who saw them, landen or Blood, were never believed. Winged shades, nightmares with gilded eyes, they were stories to frighten children into behaving, rather than creatures of genuine fear. Even those who spread their tales would grow to doubt their memories of the incident, and the Osheah would pass once more from the gossip circles of their closest neighbors.

Then there was Witch, her presence washing far ahead of her, and there was no way to stay hidden as her talons reached across the land. Forced from their deep homes in the heart of Askavi's forests out, through Dark Gates and across both realms. On silent wings, the Osheah fled, their numbers dwindling with the crossing, with deaths. They took up roost in new places, cold places, places that were mountainous and strange, forests similar but full of different peoples. Askavi and Glacia in Kaeleer became their new hiding places, unable to part fully from their ancestral home. They adapted, or they died, and they settled, and sank into their new shadows, wrapped in illusion and secrecy.

When Witch passed into the Darkness, and ripped the Winds from them, and the Osheah rejoiced in her passing even as they mourned their siblings, their displaced family, the safe travel of great distances lost to them.

The recent disasters across the territories have roused them again, however. Wary of the machinations of the human Blood, the Osheah creep out, testing the waters, observing their neighbors from closer than ever before. Soon, there will be confrontation. Soon, they will be known.

Appearance:
Before their disbursement the Osheah were typically only found in shades of dark brown banded or dappled with black, with long tufted ears and dark brown eyes. They were night hunters who used their tree-bark patterned feathers to hide during the day while they slept. After their migration and the subsequent necessity of adaptation, it is more common now to see Osheah who live in snowy areas having white feathers and yellow eyes, although they do retain their black bands and dapples; or, in less densely wooded areas, lighter browns and orange eyes.

They are equipped with four long talons and razor like beaks, and are experts at both aerial combat and hunting using their great wings. Paired with their eyes and the ability to rotate their heads in almost complete circles on their necks, Osheah are excellent hunters and dangerous enemies.

As people the Osheah look like average mixed blood from whichever place they've come to inhabit. Favoring darker hair and golden eyes, there are still those who sport lighter locks and paler skin. On the taller end, they typically stand about a hand above their neighbors.

Behavior:
Quiet, careful, quick predators, the Osheah are most at home among the woods, hunting other animals that inhabit their territories. Their diet consists primarily of deer and the smaller elk species as well as caribou and reindeer, although they are opportunistic, and will kill wolves, small bears, wild cats, and human livestock if the situation presents itself and there is a pressing need for larger hauls. Osheah in more temperate climates will also eat fish, reptiles, amphibians, and other birds. They have versatile diets, although their size normally means that those who aren't hunting large game are eating frequently to maintain their health. Even wingless their appetites are voracious.

Their careful interactions with humans mean that conflict between them and their wingless Blood relatives is low, and they are exceptionally cautious of integrating with them. There are several Osheah settlements or parcels that have moved closer to humans over the years and share borders with them, although they are hard to spot unless one knows what to look for and is looking intentionally. These groups, typically between seven and ten Osheah, will occupy abandoned farms or houses close to forested areas, and a few of their group will cultivate their human social skills to divert suspicion. These more socialized individuals are generally quiet, appearing thoughtful and contemplative, and are all intensely private. They maintain similar sleep patterns to their feathered-alternate form, and those that are not as familiar with human Blood generally come off as a odd in comparison. This is only bolstered by the fact that many of their mannerisms attempt to translate over and fail. 

Parcels are the places where children are born and raised until they can shift from one skin to the other, an achievement celebrated with festivities that are lively and loud by Osheah standards. While Birthright and Offering ceremonies are affairs overseen by immediate family members, first shifts are observed and celebrated by the whole parcel, and are often for all children of appropriate age. Training typically begins after they receive their Birthright, lead by a Priest or Priestess of tenure, and children are coached for months prior to their first attempt in how to draw the change to them so that it is as smooth as it can be when they first attempt it. This is also why the entire parcel is present for their shift, so that if there are any complications they can be addressed by as many healers or priests and priestesses as are available. Once an Osheah child is competent in their shift, they are taken by a family member into the forest to learn how to hunt and live in their second form.

After achieving their Offering and effectively reaching their age of majority, many Osheah go on tours or pilgrimages from one parcel to another. The settlements of Osheah hidden in the deep wood are frequently part of their route, and it is expected that they spend some time living among their relatives at wing while they decide on their path. While on these travels Osheah touch on several aspects of Craft and define what they want to specialize in, be it the calling of the Caste or something else. These trips may take decades, and it is not uncommon for a parcel to host an Osheah in transit for several months or even years while they learn from the group that has claimed that area.

While not bucking the court structure, Osheah have a very loose interpretation of it. A Queen will hold a parcel, and is normally the sole staple figure of a family, but due to the migratory nature of their groups and the mixing of blood from all over, keeping a stable court is not a priority. A fostered youth may take up the position of court healer or Steward or Master of the Guard while being hosted, and may return to that same position years later if they desire to rejoin the parcel and settle in a specific location. A standing parcel, without fostered youth, will more often than not see two positions held by one individual, or one position spread across several, depending on their strengths. Since farming is not high on their list of necessities due to their hunting practices, most Osheah know some craft, or become proficient in house and land maintenance. Some may even trap and kill small game to earn marks, though hare, small birds, squirrels and other such forest animals are not typically on their menus due to their high metabolism and dietary demands.

Some Osheah find they prefer a life in the forest rather than one that moves between. Those Osheah return to the deep wood, where the hidden families are, and they give themselves over to the shift. Once committed only exceedingly extenuating circumstances see these Osheah return to the community of their skin-shifting kin, either to deliver important messages from the Black Widows among them or in times of crisis, like their flight across the realms.

Psychic contact is their primary form of communication in their feathered form, and those Osheah who are not masquerading as human Blood typically find language difficult and fumbling. They speak via fluid use of sensory input and emotion, sharing images as well as thoughts. Their spoken language is one of lilting, rolling consonants and long vowels, and is closer to avian singing than their non-blood owl counterparts. It's common for the members of the parcel who interact most with human to have accents, slight or otherwise, no matter what language they speak.

Of note are the Osheah's particular traditions regarding the dead. The body is sacred and celebrated, and if an Osheah is killed in travel or in battle their body must be retrieved to be properly mourned and disposed of. Funeral rights are very private, and only well integrated parcels are wholly witness to each other's family burials, otherwise, if a member of a parcel is new, the ceremonies are done only with immediate family.

Names and Naming Traditions:
Typically beginning with a vowel and containing part of, if not all of, a question, Osheah names are frequently as much a sound as a inquiry. There are some exceptions (Oselwhy, Erihgwho), but all Osheah names contain a one or the other - this is viewed as a type of gift from parent to child, a way to help them find purpose. Osheah who interact more directly with their human neighbors will pick a name that fits with the naming conventions of the territory their parcel is in and add it as a first name, going by that name in public while their 'last' name is their true name.

Yelwher: yell + where
Crywho: cry + who
Sihowrig: sing + how
Echhat: echo + what

Mavian Ysigha
Ingrid Ahowri
River Cryyva
Chihye Ahwher
 Eating something this cute will definitely inspire you! Provides a random writing prompt upon use. Make sure to save whatever prompt it gives, as the item will be deleted upon use.   When cut just doesn't cut it! (White to Opal)   A fancy certificate awarded to those noble writers who finish what they start. Redeem it to get a bonus of 10% more marks for a completed thread.   The Darkness has a surprisingly lenient return policy! (No Birthright to Red - Darker Jewels not guaranteed.)   Wow, it's really heavy!   2 Birthrights, 1 Post. (Birthright Blood Opal to Red)  

The Darkness

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Re: Osheah
« Reply #1 on: February 26, 2020, 03:25:13 PM »
Approved
 What’s better than one shiny? Why, three shinies, of course!	   How nice! This item allows you to re-roll the Jewels on one character sheet for free.   How nice! This item allows you to re-roll the Jewels on one character sheet for free.   How nice! This item allows you to re-roll the Jewels on one character sheet for free.   How nice! This item allows you to re-roll the Jewels on one character sheet for free.   A fancy certificate awarded to those noble writers who finish what they start. Redeem it to get a bonus of 10% more marks for a completed thread.   A fancy certificate awarded to those noble writers who finish what they start. Redeem it to get a bonus of 20% more marks for a completed thread.   A fancy certificate awarded to those noble writers who finish what they start. Redeem it to get a bonus of 20% more marks for a completed thread.   What’s better than one shiny? Why, three shinies, of course!	   What’s better than one shiny? Why, three shinies, of course!	   Wow, it's really heavy!  
 

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