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The Hri are a species of sapient intelligent felinoids inhabiting various nations in the region of Daistallia.
* 1 The Hri Species (Lynx sapiens)
* 2 Politics
o 2.1 Major Clans
o 2.2 Important Cheif Elders and Clans
o 2.3 Clan Elders
o 2.4 Clan Matriarchs
o 2.5 Defense
o 2.6 Attitudes Towards Government
o 2.7 Clan Speakers
* 3 Culture
o 3.1 Social Organization
o 3.2 The Sexes
o 3.3 Language
o 3.4 Dwellings
o 3.5 Cuisine
+ 3.5.1 Blood
+ 3.5.2 Milk
+ 3.5.3 Mice
+ 3.5.4 Meat
o 3.6 Independance
* 4 Life Events
o 4.1 The Kja'i
o 4.2 Marriage
o 4.3 Childbirth
o 4.4 Death
* 5 Religion
o 5.1 Gods and Spirits
o 5.2 Religious Practices
+ 5.2.1 Vision Quest
* 6 Economy
* 7 Notes of Interest
o 7.1 Springclaws
The Hri Species (Lynx sapiens)
See also: Lynx sapiens
The Hri are a sapient intelligent feline species. The resemble a cross between a hominid and a bobcat or lynx. Hri stand roughly 2/3 human-sized, averaging 1.2 metres in height for males and 1 meter for females, and weighing about 30kg for females and 40kg for males.
What government exists among the Hri as a whole is by the Council of Clan Elders. Each clan is represented by it's Cheif Elder. The Council holds meetings to decide policy for the clan. There are about 150 clans, which are at least theoretically equal. Many Hri clans are quite small.
The top ten major clans are:
Important Cheif Elders and Clans
The Council of Cheif Elders currently consists of 152 Cheif Elders. The important elders include:
Tkanka Kotaka - Clan Xhaekanga
Gaehkla Kregae - Clan Chungaepa
Waewaenka - Clan Kyaeksha
Fahin Khtat - Clan Haepeyu
Each clan has it's own Council of Elders, who make decisions for the clan. The eldest of the Clan Elders is the Chief Elder.
Status as an elder is decided by the Council of Elders. Each male Hri who reaches age 60 automatically becomes an elder. Some are honored by this status as young as 40.
There is also a Council of Clan Matriarchs. Formally, they have no power. However, in practice, the decisions of clan elders must be tacitly approved by the clan matriarchs. Status as a Matriarch is the same as for Elders.
Defense functions are clan-maintained, and are in effect a militia composed of a very argumentative populace. The clans frequently hold competitions to determine which militia unit seldom larger than a company or battalion is the most impressive. Such competitions also serve as sporting events. Their revulsion hierarchy ensures that their participation in prolonged offensive campaigns is extremely sporadic, at best. However, while it would be extremely difficult for Hri to conduct a campaign of conquest, they are superb guerrilla warriors and are capable of extremely effective defensive campaigns. Their diminutive size facilitates covert warfare, and their independence makes them capable of continuing resistance long after conventional command and control structures break down.
Attitudes Towards Government
The extreme love of independence by Hri counters clan authority. Many Hri feel little sense of responsibility to the clan unless it is confronted by an external threat. Respect for any authority other than clan or family is even less. Hri tend to ignore orders unless they want to obey them.
The Elders of each clan are represented by a speaker. Speakers function as interclan ambassadors. The Council of Clan Elders also chooses various Speakers for the Hri as a whole as representatives to the world.
An individual Hri is usually a member of a family of from 2 to 12 individuals under a patriarchal leader. Several families will combine into a pride with one dominant family. Families dwell in round tents. Hri society is dominated by the clan system. A number of families form a band, and a number of bands form a clan. There are about 150 clans, which are at least theoretically equal. Many Hri clans are quite small.
Hri society tends to be outwardly dominated by males. However, Hri males, in mixed groups outside the home, tend to be rather protective of their females--which often annoys said females.
The Hri speak several dialects of the same basic language. The Hri language is notable for it's large number of gutteral sounds. This is due to an elongated mouth and larynx. These sounds are not able to be reproduced by humans, thus the spoken Hri language is not able to be spoken correctly by humans.
Families dwell in verger, round tents, usually one family to a tent. Erected on wooden poles and a wicker structure, it is covered with skin, felt, or handwoven textiles in bright colours. The interior is simply furnished with brightly coloured rugs (red often predominating) decorated with geometric or stylized animal patterns. Knotted pile rugs or furs provide warmth and sleeping comfort in the verger. Other items found inside a typical verger include saddlebags, drinking gourds, and tools for spinning and weaving. The verger is pitched wherever the nomad finds good pasture for the herds. It is carried from place to place on a small wagon.
Aside from the door, the main opening in a verger is a small opening in the roof or wall which allows smoke from the fire inside to escape.
The fire is used to cook and to keep the family warm during the winter season. Dried dung is used to fuel the fire.
The mainstays of traditional Hri diet are the blood and milk of lish cattle, mutton, mice, and wild game. Small amounts of grain and vegetables are also eaten.
Blood is harvested by puncturing the flesh of a lish's neck with an arrow. The wound is closed after a small amount of blood is obtained. This operation can be repeated every month or so with no harm to the lish. The blood is typically drunk mixed with milk.
Blood is also consumed as black puddings or blood sausages. It can also be cooked with milk. The mixture is similar in texture to scrambled eggs. Butter, fried onions, and salt are common additives.
Lish milk is consumed in many forms. It is often drunk. Fresh milk is often slightly salted. Buttermilk, sour milk, and whey are also drunk. Dried curds, yogurt, and various cheeses and butters are also common.
Fermented milk is also common, and is the primary alcoholic beverage. It is either drunk "raw" or distilled into a clear tasteless vodka-like drink of high proof.
Wild field mice are a common part of the Hri diet. They are caught wild and eaten fresh on the spot, usually as a small snack.
Mutton and wild game are the most commonly eaten meats, although lish, beef, goat, and lam are also eaten. Fresh meats tend to be eaten raw or very lightly cooked. Meats are often air dried. Other methods of preservation include: pickling in brine and smoking. All parts of an animal that can be, are eaten. Hides, sinew, hooves, hair, bones, and horns or antlers are all used for various purposes. Intestines are commonly used for making sausages.
Hri are extremely proud and independant, to the point of abrasiveness. Clan and personal pride dictates total resistance to insult/aggression. Males, in particular, will not tolerate overt insults to either themselves or their clan, and are capable of extreme violence if they feel that the situation warrants it. They are careful, however, not to bite off more than they can chew and will often defer their vengeance to the most inopportune time for their victims.
Hri are capable of great concentration when their curiosity is stimulated. However, they may nonetheless lose interest in a lengthy "routine" project. Though impulsive, they seldom consciously act against their own best interests, and always seem to land on all four "feet".
An important life event is the Kha'i, a rite of passage which marks the entry of a male Hri into adulthood. Held biannually, adolescent males compete against one another in ritual combat to prove their strength and suitability as mates. Males not selected often leave their clans for a time to further prove their suitability by questing in unknown territory.
See also: Hri Religion
Hri religion is a mix of hylozoistic and animistic pantheism and Buddhism. Everything has its own spirit but all share the same spiritual essence known as Whrak Dharth.
Gods and Spirits
Hri religion includes the worship of a number of gods, demons, and spirits. The gods are frequently invoked; offerings are made to them, and ceremonial dances are performed in which they are represented by painted and masked men.
Spirits are believed to favor particular individuals and to render aid to them; particularly protective spirits dwelling in rocks and thunder.
The most important god is the Great Elder. Below the Great Elder are 6 powerful spirits, referred to as the Six Grandfathers. Next are the are the four spirits of the points of the compass, known as the North, East, South and West spirits, the spirits of the weather ,elements, and environment: wind, fire, lightning, fog, water, rain, smoke, mountains, steppes, rivers, and so on. Finally are the animal spirits. All animals possess a soul (animal spirit), and thus the Hri tend to treat all animals with respect. Certain animals such as the eagle, the bear, the lish, the otter and the beaver are regarded as particularly endowed with strong spirits.
Soon after making the Kha'i, newly adult males under go a visionary quest, known as Kae Lin. Questors deliberatly seek out isolated situations of privation. The purpose of this quest is the discovery of a totemic gaurdian spirit. The identity of this spirit is typically revealed through a vision, induced by physical and mental stress.
The Hri are primarily nomadic herders. They measure wealth in animals. There are a few scattered settlements engaged in sedintary agriulture and mining. These are exclusively female, and consist of approximately 5-10% of the population.
The important herd animals are Lish, Lam, cattle, sheep, and goats. Lish are the most important, providing the main food sources (blood and milk) as well as hair for felt. Most other animals are secondary sources of economic wealth.
Notes of Interest
Springclaws are a weapon unique to Hri culture. Springclaws consist of a a set of three blades 15-30cm long which fit in a harness which covers the wrist and the back of the hand. Normally recessed, the blades spring out beyond the hand with great force when triggered by the wearer. Thereafter, they are used like normal claws but with greater effect.