Appearance

Primordiax - Kestrel FemaleOf all the humanoid races on Primordiax, kestrels have the distinct honor of being the only race that sports feathers. Female kestrels stand between 5.8 and 7.5 rands, generally, and male kestrels range anywhere from 6.3 to 8.4 rands. Normally, kestrels are much lighter than they appear to be due to their hollow bones, a possible remnant from days when their ancestors could fly. Female kestrels weigh between 40 to 75 crowns, and male kestrels normally weigh between 50 and 100 crowns. Despite their low weights and slender appearance, kestrels remain quite hardy and strong.

Kestrels have distinctly humanoid eyes as well as high cheekbones and a prominent, humanoid forehead. Fine feathers cover their faces, and larger feathers sprout from their bodies, providing warmth and protection. Most kestrels have a prominent plumage on their heads and it possibly serves the same purpose that hair does in other races. A kestrel's beak serves as the breathing mechanism as well as the eating mechanism for the race. The beaks are quite prominent and extremely flexible, allowing for intricate speech and fine dining. Kestrels, however, do not spend a lot of time kissing with their beaks other than a simple press of their tips. Kestrels show signs of affection by preening another kestrel's neck feathers. If the object of affection lacks feathers, a kestrel may simply stroke his or her beak along the underside of the person's jaw where it meets the neck.

Primordiax - Kestrel MaleKestrels do not sport many tattoos or piercings due to the fact that their feathers tend to hide markings on their skin. They will, however, often have their feathers streaked or striped with vivid dyes that compliment their natural colors. This process is known as "kryping" and was first developed by kestrel warriors living in the peaks of the Askakedja Mountains. Most kestrels sport a variety of neutral colors such as black, white, and varying shades of brown. Very, very few kestrels are one solid color, and those that are normally sport white, black, or brown feathers.

Kestrels do have wings, though they are vestigial organs and completely useless for flight. Females have a smaller wingspan than males, and they also tend to have a more delicate structure to their wings. Males will often use their wings to intimidate by making themselves appear larger and bulkier than they actually are. Kestrels who find themselves in combat will often fluff out their feathers and slightly spread their wings, creating the illusion of additional bulk and size.

The kestrel's beak may be the least humanoid feature on the race. Kestrels breathe and eat through via their beaks, which come in a variety of solid colors. The top of the beak sports two nostrils through which they take in air. Through conscious effort, a thin membrane can block these nose holes in order for a kestrel to hold his or her breath without water entering the beak. Kestrels do not have teeth but can drop a serrated layer from within their beak to break down meat. In addition, a segment of their esophagus acts as a preliminary stomach, secreting strong digestive juices to further break down their food. Thus, most kestrels appear to have thick necks, but people often mistake this for sheer feather mass. Kestrel beaks often come in various shades of orange, copper, and yellow. A very few clans have distinctive color markings around their beaks.

Society

Kestrel society is extremely complex, though, from an outside observer, it can appear extremely simple. In fact, several races consider kestrels to be backwards or even barbaric. Scholars specializing in the kestrel race claim that their society holds more complex nuances than any other race on Primordiax and that it takes a lifetime of study to begin to be accepted into one of the kestrel clans, which are also known as aneskis.

When in their homes, also known as eyries, and village, kestrels prefer to wear as little clothing as possible. Most of their coverings consist of strips of leather decorated with beads and painted feathers. This adds to the common belief that kestrels are quite barbaric, but kestrels communicate with body language more than any other race. Thus, clothing can often hamper their ability to completely express themselves. In addition, a kestrel's own feathers can often be more insulating than any clothing they could wear unless the weather becomes extremely frigid. In combat, however, kestrels fully arm and armor themselves, often with their wings tucked securely within protective casings. Kestrels often dress up for all of their major ceremonies. Most of their formal costumes consist of loose, flowing gowns for the women and short kilts for the men.

To all kestrels, tracing their lineage back at least three generations, approximately 150 years, is not only a matter of pride but a matter of honoring their ancestors. Most of the noble families can trace their ancestry back over 700 years. One family, the Mortajari, claim that they have a family tree that stretches over 1000 generations, and that their elders can recite all the major branches in their personal lineage. In addition simply remembering family names, family debts and promises are also meticulously detailed in written form. A kestrel's offspring may often find that he or she inherits her parents, grandparents, and great- grandparents' honor debts as well as promises. Kestrel politics are often horribly convoluted due to the generations upon generations of inter-family debts and ties.

History

All the major aneskis of the world are located in various mountain ranges. The largest concentrated population of kestrels can be found in the Askakedja Mountains of Mitralon. Thus, many kestrels, mostly those of the younger generation who find their customs to be too confining, live in the city of Askagard. A very small tribe of kestrels seem to have originated in Katayvan, the southeastern continent of the world where the kingdom of Troj is located. These kestrels differ greatly from the ones that trace their history thousands of years back into the Askakedja Mountains. The kestrels of Troj tend to have colorful, bright feathers and markings, making them resemble the wild parrots also found in this area.