Alate

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Alate in flight

"The word for 'world' is 'wind'."

Native to the mountains of Thrace, Goethe, and Rugeland. First appearance: Ice Queen of NUM (1948).

Physiology

Alates are tall, slender bipeds resembling pterodactyls. Their limbs are long and muscular, and their heads are distinctly reptilian, with a long narrow snout filled with tiny teeth. Alates have a second set of limbs attached to their shoulders just behind and below the first set, but these limbs are enormous membranous wings rather than a second set of arms (such as the Khul possess). An Alate's wings are leathery and surprisingly tough, considering how thin and light they are, and are no more prone to permanently debilitating injury than any other limbs.

Alates have two sexes (male, female), but they are indistinguishable to most other races. Only another of her race or a human with long years of experience living among the Alates would be able to determine an Alate's sex by observation. Alates are hairless, and their skin is smooth and generally has the texture of tanned leather. Their eyes are typically yellow, green, or blue, and their skin ranges from charcoal grey to muted shades of red and blue. An Alate's skin tone darkens when she is in the throes of strong emotions, although the specific emotion can't be determined by mere observation of the individual's coloration.

Culture

Alates are "noble savages", with a matriarchal tribal structure. There are estimated to be between fifty and three hundred Alate tribes. Brightly colored tattoos and skin-painting are common among Alates, both for simple decoration and to indicate their status in their tribe. They wear little clothing. The typical Alate will be found wearing an intricately beaded loincloth, and will be carrying her essentials in a series of pouches attached to a broad belt, which is worn diagonally over one shoulder and across her body. A knife is always found among these essentials, and some Alates also carry a long, narrow spear (called a "lance").

Language

Alates natively speak two distinct languages. The language used in everyday interaction is Haruka. Haruka is a complex tongue, and while the basic structure of the language is consistent across all of NUM, there are some variations in dialect from tribe to tribe. Alates from distant tribes may have trouble communicating with each other in Haruka, due to the differences in pronunciation and even vocabulary. Haruka may be written using a simple script, but written Haruka is rarely encountered. The Alates greatly revere the spoken word, and are averse to writing anything down. Only the least important messages are allowed to be written: any message or information of importance must be spoken aloud.

The second language native to Alates is Killillirukau. Killillirukau is a much simpler language than Haruka, and is used by the Alates to communicate across great distances. Killillirukau has a much smaller vocabulary than Haruka, but it is syntactically redundant: the same word may be spoken six or more times in a single sentence. Two Alates flying in a clear sky may be communicate with each other in Killillirukau from as far away as ten miles. Killillirukau has no formal alphabet, but it may be transliterated using the Haruka script.

Reputation

Alates have a reputation for being aloof and unforgiving, but they treat a spoken vow as sacred.

Racial Traits

  • An individual is an "Alate"; plural "Alates" <a tall Alate, several Alates on horseback>
  • The descriptive term is "Alate" <an Alate weapon, the Alate race>
  • Alates tend to have higher than average Wisdom, but lower than average Strength
  • Alates are Medium size
  • Alates have up to three ranks in Flight
  • Alates trained as couriers often have the Eidetic Memory feat
  • For purposes of using a lance, Alates are considered mounted while in flight
  • Native languages: Haruka, Killillirukau
  • Name style: Nahuatl