Thursday, 11 June 2015

Animals and animal lords

Animals are not mindless beasts. The dwellers of Gdera's Lower forest maybe know this best - their beastly neighbours are smart, some even wise, and have a mind of their own; some are tricky, others helpful, yet others ignore people as long as they can have their way.
The animal lords are not their masters - as many examples have shown, beasts are strong-willed and individualistic. But they all acknowledge the undeniable power of their lords, and follow most commands. Gross mistreatment of a species may result in their tribe declaring war on the violators.
"I will not tolerate you mistreating my kindred so badly. You will release them by dawn. Fail to do so, and I will swear my people to follow and harm you any way they can, for as long as our brethren's suffering lasts. Do not test me."
— Asgaan, queen of the orlas
Bug fairies all know animal speech, and gladly act as translators. As most people don't understand beasts well, fairies help in repelling them from fields and houses, guard flocks, and protect children from being harmed by animals, but also talk beasts into becoming pets, not always to the joy of parents.
"Oh, for crying out loud. Get the fairies here, the naddis are ruining the vegetables. And make sure they don't use them for jousting this time, the poor things didn't give milk for two days after their last brilliant idea."
— Laqihe, farmer
Famous animal lords are the proud lord of the gubras Gahatenge; the mysterious umarva queen; and Eonorora, the sad and gentle lady of the neribrees. Most can take human shape but show features of their kind, like colouring or strength.
Not all lords are known (some even regard a lortsen lord as a ridiculous idea). Neither is it known if there is a hierarchy, or just one lord - or pair thereof - to each species. There seems to be a difference between the Crowned and the Uncrowned Lords, but what it is, remains unclear.

Artists' notes
I very much love stories that tell of the times when people and animals still lived together and humans knew they were just one kind of animal too, and understood the language of animals. So given the opportunity of my own world, I put Kitas in that era.

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