Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Genius Loci races: Shankeh

One of the strangest people of Kitas; the shankeh are long-legged, with blue skin, hair, and eyes, with long heads and four fingers. Their nickname "messengers" is in fact a sign of respect. Indeed most shankeh are message runners, with a reputation of being incorruptable. Shankeh eat an enormous amount of salts, making their food inedible to others.

"It has been decided to instate a staff of shankeh in the council, to put an end to blackmail and corruption regarding false messages, wrong deliveries, and loss of mail."
— spokeswoman Ruuno Efdill

Their mentality is often difficult to understand. The reason for this may be their lifespan: at fifty-six years of age shankeh start aging quickly, and die no more than three months after their sixtieth birthday.
Because they pledge most of their time doing what they love most - running -, to the community, shankeh are highly regarded. Unlike most peoples of Kitas, shankeh keep to themselves. They have a universal culture of their own, less dependent on origin and birthplace, and are allowed many exceptions from social rules.

"If given a choice, no, I would not want to know my time of death; but since I do, I plan my life. The voices taught us to be happy with what we have and not ponder how unfair it seems that everyone else has twice the time we are given."
— Wankerah, shankeh, at twenty years of age

Artist's notes
I find shankeh both tragic and cool. There is a background why shankeh are so very different, but I don't think I'll reveal that just yet. That said, they are a great storytelling device - the trustworthy messenger can get into all kinds of troubles, or ask for help, hand over dangerous messages to innocents, or the wrong people... infinite possibilities of what could go wrong.

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