Viverren

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The Viverren are small, cat-like creatures of limited intelligence. They share much in common with the Sauro-Taru, and were probably created around the same time, again as soldiers.

Description[edit]

Viverren are small, cat-like creatures. They are bipedal, and usually stand about one to two feet tall. They are covered in fur and have long tails. Their arms are about the same length as their legs, but they do not run on all four. The possess opposable thumbs and are capable of highly detailed craftsmanship.

Intelligence[edit]

Viverren are quite intelligent, almost on the order of very stupid humans. They are able to make tools and even fairly sophisticated traps. During the Mage Wars, they were seen using all sorts of weapons, including clubs, longbows, crossbows, spears, even swords and shields. Viverren can learn to speak other languages, though their communication is described as very crude.

Over all, Viverren are actually considered sapient. They are self aware, and easily comprehend past, present, and future; and it is believed that at one time, their culture may have been quite sophisticated.

Language[edit]

The Viverren language is an aural/visual mix, a combination of spoken words and body movement. The spoken language is simple, with only a few dozen sounds, while the movement of the body in conjunction with the words has a great deal of meaning. Because of the subtle movements required, no human has ever spoken the Viverren language. Scholars, none the less, have learned to interpret it and many Viverren have proved capable of learning Common.

Written Language[edit]

Viverren had, at one time, a written language, which the modern Viverren have lost. Scholars have been able to interpret the language and translate it, but have no idea how the letters relate to the spoken tongue.

The Viverren alphabet consists of 8 photographic characters. Six of these can also be turned sideways to produce a different meaning. Viverren script has no capitalization or punctuation; letters are assembled into words, and words into statements read left-to-right. Another statement would then be placed below the first. Based on what Viverren texts have been interpreted, size and spacing have no meaning; the characters themselves have absolute meaning, making the written tongue very different from the spoken.

Books were created by flattening pieces of bark, cutting them into squares, and sewing the squares together with strips of animal hide. Ink was either animal blood or crude dyes made from plants or bugs.

During the Fifth Age, thousands of Viverren books were discovered in a cache in the Library of Arindell. When translated, books were found on every subject imaginable: poetry, philosophy, art, history, even science. Viverren science was almost laughably cartoonish, but the idea that these creatures could comprehend scientific thinking at all is quite extraordinary.

Culture[edit]

Modern Viverren are found almost exclusively in captivity. Previously, most Viverren lived in structures built by humans, or in the open. They have never been observed to build their own houses, although their level of intelligence would indicate capability of this. Viverren prefer tunnels or caverns underground, in close proximity to human settlements.

Unlike Sauro-Taru, Viverren hunt and eat the vermin that plague human cities (rats, mice, and Sauro-Taru). Strangely, they have never been observed to attack cats, and will even leave human households with a cat alone. They will kill and consume dogs, and will attack any human who approaches their territory, but will not eat humans they kill. Usually, they will mutilate the body, and place it as a warning at the edge of their territory.

Religion[edit]

Like the Sauro-Taru, Viverren have an organized, highly ritualistic religion. A few Viverren that have learned Common have explained it to human scholars. On the whole, Viverren believe in a single god, and the tenets of their religion stress loyalty to one's clowder; protection of one's family; and the sacrifice of material objects, placed in shrines. The more effort and skill put into making the item, the more worthy the sacrifice.

Once the item has remained in the shrine for a specified period of time, any who feels compelled to do so may take it.

Magic[edit]

The Viverren were, at one time, able to use magic. Viverran sorcerers were known adepts, and some extremely powerful. Most, however, have been described by adventurers as "really annoying".

Modern Viverren have demonstrated no magical ability, and attempts to teach them magic have been deemed "unwise".

History[edit]

The Viverren were probably created sometime during the First Chaotic Period; precise date unknown. Nothing is known of who created them or why, and they were likely created independently of the Sauro-Taru. Whether they are related to the Dakriel, remains in doubt.

During the Dynastic Period, Viverren spread all over the known worlds, when they were exported as slaves by the Marcon Alliance. When the Alliance broke apart, the "freed" slaves became nuisance infestations, and were often eradicated a few generations later.

Surviving Viverren clowders continued into the Ages of the Alliance. During the Second and Third ages, rapid urbanization and expansion in many regions led to the localized extinction of Viverren in many regions and worlds.

By the Fourth Age, deliberate steps were taken to preserve some Viverren, and today they can be found in many zoos around the Alliance. Entire populations are supported in enclosures. Many "wild" Viverren clowders still exist, though never far from human settlements.