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Avolix is a species of sapient horse-sized Prolixocephalans. They are wizards which may remind one of the kind you might see in children's media who know their way around potions and mineral-based magic.

Although best known from the kingdom of Kosmimia, small populations of savage Avolix with varying culture exist all over Graennarune. This page primarily covers Kosmimian Avolix.

Biology Edit

Avolix are very, very strange 8-limbed horse-sized terrestrial cephalopods. Their arms and legs are, in reality, cephalopod arms, and the whisker-like appendages on their faces are very small tentacles. Their bodies are covered in fur rather than moist skin, with a scale-like covering on the ends of their clawed limbs which bear talon-like hands and feet. Their organs are divided between their torso and their tail-like abdomen. Internally, they have a skeleton made of nacre. Their limbs have vertebrae-like skeletal segments which grant them high flexibility similar to the neck of a bird.

Avolix Baby

Avolix hatchling (image may be replaced)

Baby avolix have compressed appearances with large heads and short faces and limbs, and they are extremely fluffy. When they first hatch, they lack any of their adult markings and are no bigger than rabbits. They are completely dependent on parental care.

Avolix breathe through a pair of nostrils on their throats. These nostrils are flexible on a level similar to mammalian lips, and lead directly into an inflatable sack which is their primary method of vocalizing. A trachea-like tube connects the vocal sack to the lung, which is located in the hip area and is built from a cuttlebone-like structure. Avolix voices have a wide range of pitch, and their unusual vocal anatomy makes them able to make complex sounds that a human could never imitate. The cries of their babies sound like frogs.

Without access to modern biological science, neighboring races commonly assume the avolix to be chimeric in nature. They themselves do not know what they are, but insist they surely cannot be chimeric birds or gryphons because they have no feathers. Regardless, their strange nacre skeleton combined with their many mammal-, bird-, and arthropod-like traits in the absence of genetics or biological science still seems to support a chimeric origin even in the eyes of their best philosophers.

Diet Edit

Avolix are omnivores. As far as getting plant-based nourishment goes, they are built for browsing--using their toothy tongues to pull leaves from tough branches.

Avolix Determined Little Hunter

A young and determined avolix goes hunting with their parent

However, they are unable to live a fully herbivorous lifestyle and need meat to survive--for this, they have a tool-assisted dromaeosaur-like hunting method where they make use of hook-shaped tools to hold down large prey so they can kill and/or eat it. This method is still used even to kill their livestock, and most avolix are taught how to hunt in this manner from a very young age.

Reproduction Edit

Avolix have an annual mating season in the spring. Unlike aquatic cephalopods, they do not die after mating. They lay 1-8 leathery reptile-like eggs, which hatch into unfathomably fluffy rabbit-sized babies after 2 weeks. Due to the general chaos of mating season, child-raising is a community effort because it's usually difficult to determine the sir of any given avolix child; the most consistent exception is royal babies, which are kept track of by barren aids to the royal family.

Avolix reach full size in 10 years, but are able to reproduce as early as their 8th year.

Culture Edit

Avolix traveller

A typical avolix traveller one may encounter. The horn is that of a Unicorn Hippogryph, worn for good luck.

Avolix Merchant

Avolix merchants typically pull their own carts, rather than using animal labor. This makes them unusually strong.

Avolix in general have a culture of tolerance and forgiveness, and they can be uncomfortably welcoming. They teach their warriors to continue to act friendly even in the heat of battle, as though it's just a friendly sparring match--much to the confusion of their adversaries. However, some of this is an act--they mostly want to have a good enough reputation so that they can trade and sell potions without having to spend hours at borders and checkpoints. Still, whether it was originally an act or not, it heavily influences how they treat outsiders--even ones they don't or can't trade with.

Avolix are heavily wizard-themed. They live in stone and wood houses which always have a room dedicated to magic work, and it is not uncommon for them to have rooms dedicated to books they use for spells and inspiration--for the poor, this usually doubles as the bedroom.

Religion Edit

Avolix worship mountain gods who share their names with minerals, as the crystals which are central to avolix magic are mined from mountain caves overseen by these gods.

Afterlife Edit

Avolix believe in an afterlife, and have a story about how it came to be.

It is said that long ago, their souls were eaten by the fearsome horse-like Soulvore, causing them to cease to exist soon after death. One day, a mother avolix and their children were caught in a rock slide and one of the children, Reyoi, was the only survivor. The souls of Reyoi's mother and siblings were eaten by the Soulvore, and Reyoi vowed to kill the beast to avenge them.

So, Reyoi spent years forging a sharp blade that could slay the Soulvore, and on the day he planned, they faked their death with a false poison, leaving a note that they wished to be buried with their blade in hand. As their funeral begun, the Soulvore arrived as expected--and suddenly, before it could strike, Reyoi rose and, in a single sweep of their blade, sliced the Soulvore's head clean off. It is said that all of the souls it devoured poured from its torn flesh as its jaws splayed in a silent death scream.

Although the dreaded Soulvore had been slain, Reyoi was not immediately treated as a hero--the witnesses were too shocked to praise them and soon dispersed. Reyoi did not want praise anyway, and vanished to search for their family's souls.

Although souls were no longer devoured from existence, there were no meetings with old family members as ghosts, nor any other encounter with souls. Everything seemed exactly as it had been before, in fact--just with the knowledge that the Soulvore was dead. This changed when Reyoi returned, having had no luck finding their family's souls. Reyoi learned of and spoke to Ambole, a magician who had begun to look into finding a way to contact souls themself. They combined their knowledge and attempted to contact one soul--any soul.

The soul they found was one of Harson, a kind old avolix who had died a few weeks prior to the Soulvore's demise. They only knew that because the soul screamed its own name over and over. They managed to calm the soul and ask it what was going on, but the soul could barely describe it in physical terms. Eventually, Reyoi and Ambole managed to learn that being a free soul without a body was actual torture, and the sheer void of being in the belly of the Soulvore was vastly preferable.

Reyoi realized that the reason they could not find their family was because their family was no doubt being driven mad by this bodiless state. Immense guilt fell over them, but Ambole kept Reyoi calm, reminding them that there was no way they could've known. Reyoi attempted to say they were going to create a new Soulvore to help all the souls. Neither Ambole nor even the soul of Harson would let that idea fly--partly because nobody even knew what the Soulvore really was, let alone if it could be recreated by any magic known to avolix.

With no clear solution, Reyoi left for a nearby mountain shrine to ask the mountain gods what could be done for the souls. Reyoi's prayer was answered by Tanzanite, a mountain god of communication who had heard the cries of the free bodiless souls. Tanzanite asked Reyoi for the full story of what had happened, and then told Reyoi to wait there. Tanzanite left, but returned shortly afterwards with 6 other mountain gods--Selenite, Obsidian, Moonstone, Lepidolite, Deep Amethyst, and Rose Quartz, who all shared Tanzanite's concern about the souls. Together, they promised to help give the souls a sort of physical body to preserve their sanity, and to allow their own mineral counterparts to be used to communicate with the souls of family and friends.

Reyoi asked how souls could be given body without filling the world to the point that no person or beast could walk through them. Tanzanite revealed to Reyoi that the very Soulvore they had slain was itself a soul with a body, which lived on another plane where everything worked differently--how else could something its size fit so many souls in its body? Reyoi did not understand this answer, but accepted it anyway.

And so, by the hands of the mountain gods, every lost soul was turned into a ghost with a ghostly body, which lived on a separate plane of spirits. Many of the oldest souls found peace and vanished, while younger souls, with their minds cleared, could watch over their families and friends from the afterlife. Reyoi returned home to spread the word of what the mountain gods had done, and afterwards they gathered a collection of crystals and, for the first time in so long, got to speak with their family.

Criticism Edit

Some avolix believe the origin of their afterlife to be little more than a story, as the mountain gods today are not nearly as open to speaking directly with their worshipers. However, strong believers point out that a multitude of screaming bodiless avolix souls everywhere was probably enough to explain that. Still, others argue that there is no evidence that the mountain gods would be capable of manipulating the fate of souls on such a scale--or else they surely would've slain the Soulvore themselves.

Clothing Edit

Due to their size and anatomy, it is very difficult for avolix to clothe themselves. As a result, they are rarely clothed when they are not working or travelling, unless it is to show their rank. The clothes they do wear as needed include hats, jewelry, backpacks, saddle-like decor, bracelets, anklets, and other things that are fairly easy for them to place on or remove from their bodies. It is also a common practice during breeding season for those who wish to abstain to wear heavy masks that require assistance to remove.

Relationship with Gender Edit

The concept of gender among Avolix is seasonal. As they have a strict annual breeding season and no sexual dimorphism, the concept of gender being relevant outside of the act of reproducing is foreign to them. However, they are nonetheless respectful of other cultures' gender constructs; they have little choice in the matter, being one of the few races--if not the only race--with seasonal genders.

Relationship with Intimacy Edit

Avolix Life compressed 2

To an avolix, there is absolutely nothing romantic about this.

As a result of the nature of avolix reproduction, romance as we know it is non-existent in avolix. However, this should not be confused with a total lack of intimacy. In contrast to the western fear of any slight physical touch being misinterpreted as sexual, avolix will cuddle, groom one another, and even sleep in the same bed as long as they are on friendly terms with one another. This can occasionally cause non-avolix with a western relationship with intimacy to wildly misinterpret friendly offers from avolix.

Trivia Edit

  • Although avolix are prolixocephalans, some liberties are taken with this universe's iteration of the species. In particular, actual prolixocephalan skeletons are not made of true nacre--instead being aragonite reinforced with chitin, directly derived from the material of the cuttlebone. The choice to make fantasyverse avolix skeletons be made of nacre was a matter of that sounding more fitting of a fantasy creature, especially a fantasy mollusk.

Quotes Edit

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