Aiogara

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Sinistrals

Sinistrals are the sibling race to humanity, with a broadly similar phenotype to humans. They consider humans to be their sibling race. The real-world name derives from the word "sinister", in canon it is a corruption of ŝinorado (shin-no-rado), which is their eponym for themselves. They have a broadly similar physiology to humans, but display much wider sexual dimorphism. This results in Sinistrals being easy to tell apart between male and female, with even male speech differing from female speech, when speaking their native language. Sinistrals are known to live for up to a thousand years, and their intelligence rivals even the most brilliant human minds.

Physiology

Sinistrals have much faster metabolism than humans do, as a consequence of larger hearts, livers, and lungs. They require 30-50% more calories compared to a human of the same mass. This also means they're usually resistant to the effects of drugs and alcohol, moreso than humans, feeling nothing from tobacco, and taking much more alcohol to get intoxicated. Sinistral healing factor is less than that of humans, but doesn't generally leave scar tissue. They possess two magic sensing organs under their chin on either side, covered by skin. These organs will heat up in the presence of magical residue and leaking, allowing them a rudimentary form of magical detection.

Sinistral skin color is near consistent - an intermediate white-olive color. Their hair and eye color varies much wider, with blue, red, pink, grey, white, and all colors between for hair, and eyes being almost any color besides black. They do not grow facial hair. By far the most striking feature of the Sinistrals is their tattoo-like skin patterns. These are formed from birth and vary by sex. The females have rounded, organic patterns that can resemble vines, flowers and more, and males have fractal and geometric patterns. Each one is unique, like a fingerprint. The warpaint on their faces mimics these patterns on the rest of their body, and removal of it in front of others is seen as intimate for many castes.

Sinistrals, unlike humans, are not altricial at birth, with most able to crawl within three hours of birth, and to immediately recognize their parents. Sinistral children traditionally are not named until they begin to speak, which unlike humans takes the form of parroted vocalizations of what an infant hears. By eight weeks, a Sinistral child can usually parrot short phrases and may begin very basic language comprehension. Children usually begin to manifest full control of basic language by the 8 months mark. By a year old, a Sinistral child will be about the same appearance, age and skillset of a three to four year old human child, and from here, maturation rapidly slows down, as they are considered children into their 30s.

Magical abilities usually begin to manifest in children of about three years of age, and can take almost any form of a child's imagination, though the manifestations are usually weak and harmless, and parents will supervise their children for safety at all times. It is also around this time that the tattoo markings on their bodies begin to take shape and darken.

Diet

The primary staples of the Sinistral diet are rice, potato, nixtamalized corn, summer wheat and barley, and a small grain they call dalx which is similar in flavor to teff and grows in the warm temperate and subtropical archipelago. A culture that considers self-sufficiency a virtue has led to most Sinistrals growing a portion of their food, regardless of their class, caste or sex. The primary source of protein is seafood, especially shellfish. Crawfish, prawns, and mussels are common. Other protein sources include pork, chicken and goat.

Some Sinistrals practice consumption of humans, which is often incorrectly labeled cannibalism. Those castes allied with Arctis forbid the consumption of human flesh and consider it a revolting practice in modern times.

Culture

Sinistral culture varies by caste, but by and large is patrilineal, females tend to be expected to take up merchant, innkeepers, homebody and other jobs suitable for their sex, where males are more likely to be sea-farers, engineers, warriors and mercenaries. However, they do not divide society, and there exist exceptions to each rule, with no prohibitions for those who choose their own path. Armies are not sex-segregated, however females tend to dominate support roles due to natural talents for these areas.

The virtues of Sinistral culture are: self-sufficiency, education, respect for authority and tradition, and for lower castes, submissiveness to the authority of dominant castes. Children are not named until they have learned to comprehend speech and a parent can understand their child's personality. A this point, if a child displays personality defects, such as sociopathy, unwillingness to work, or unwillingness to comprehend morality at even a basic level, the parents will commit filicide of their child and bury them without a name, as if the child was never born.

Castes

Castes are genetically distinct subsets of Sinistral society, and differ in appearance, dialect, culture, and geography, as each caste controls one of many closely linked islands in the sinistral archipelago. Regimentation in society makes them more than clans. A caste determines several traits of the Sinistral, including their talents, weaknesses, physical appearance, and thus their general skill sets. The castes featured or mentioned in the books are:

Castes live on separate islands, but freely move between them via a network of bridges, canals and channels. The cities and large settlements of each island tend to be cosmopolitan and diverse. There does not exist untouchable castes, but some are considered inferior on the basis of usefulness and combat prowess.