No race on Remnas is as varied in appearance or culture as the beastmen. Physically altered by their Seedman ancestors’ hunger for the flesh and blood of the great beasts, the beastmen have animalistic features while retaining the intellect of men. The degree to which they are beast-like in body varies wildly between individuals. Some may have only the ears or tail of their animal clan and others might be covered head to toe in fur with the face and head of a beast. Others still are a disconcerting blending of the two halves of man and animal.
The degree to which one resembles their clan animal is called a beast aspect. Whether a high or low beast aspect is considered more favorable depends on the clan and local culture. The boar tribe is an extreme example, as the boarmen associate their man aspect with weakness and base marriage and breeding eligibility around both partners having high beast aspects. Some scoff that they actively desire to be ugly, but the boar tribe believes that this is the reason they are such fearsome warriors. In southern Remnas, a low beast aspect is most favored simply because being covered in a thick coat of hair is unbearable in the hot climate. There is a cult in northern Remnas, were discrimination against beastmen is rampant, that preaches that the beastmen got their “dreadful” appearances because of their sinful natures. Their crime was deicide, as they hold the great beasts to be divine beings. The beastmen can only be redeemed by adhering to a strict code of morality and seeking to breed away their beast aspects. The cult has attracted many followers even though its critics claim that its philosophy only reinforces the harmful stereotypes among other races that fuel anti-beastman attitudes.
The beastmen run the gamut in customs and values from one extreme to the other. The Minotari, the bull people, are extremely patriarchal. Power males keep large harems of mates, and Minotari females, when they make a rare public appearance, must keep their heads and faces veiled at all times for fear that their beauty will make all who gaze upon them wild with lust. The cat clan, by contrast, is freewheeling and easy going with its sexuality. The fox clan respects cunning and intuition above all else. The rabbit people will go to extremes to promote consensus and harmony within their communities. Cataloguing the traits of all the beast clans would fill an encyclopedia.
The beastmen have an often contentious relation to the Magefolk. They say that in the earliest centuries of the Second Age, the time after Seed Tribe gave way to the beastmen and other races that came after them, some beastmen retained the mystical abilities of their great beast ancestors. The Magefolk, a race that gained the ability to tap into the magical energies of the earth, tried to continue the practices of the Seed Tribe, hunting down beastmen for their rumored powers. Horrified that their kinsmen were being murdered and their organs used in magical rituals, wars broke out between the beastmen and mages. The casualties were great, but eventually the mages were forced to accept the beast clans as fellow men and the practice of live sacrifice rendered was taboo. Still, the beastmen have never fully trusted the mages and are deeply suspicious of magic.
The first book in the Tales of Remnas series, Flower Among the Ashes, can be purchased at the Amazon Kindle store. Today is the last day that the ebook will be discounted by 50%.
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