The Prevaz are a serpentine race found in and around the region of Skianz.
The native folk of Skianz are serpent-like race called the Prevaz. They possess the upper body of a human or elf, but their lower body is that of a gigantic snake. The Prevaz are quite slimly built, to aid their navigation through the treacherous underdark they call home. They possess a fat reserve in their tales, keeping the upper body slimmer due to a lesser need for fat storage there. These naga are quite heavily muscled, although the males are more so such than females. Because of the everlasting darkness, the Prevaz have no eyes, instead relying on echolocation to find their way. To this end, large flaps of scaled skin crown their heads, much like a cobra's hood. They can widen or even hide the flaps if it proved to be needed. They do not possess eyes, although pits in the places of their eyes indicate they might have possessed eyes, in times long gone. At the sides of their neck they have four small openings (two on each side of the neck), in which lie the organs that produce the high frequency sound they use to get around. Males typically stand around 1.8 meters high, with their tail reaching lengths of around 4.5 meters. Females are stand somewhat shorter, around 1.7 meters, but have slightly slimmer and longer tails and measure around 4.8 meters in total.
The Prevaz live a long time, the oldest of their kind living to be around 200 years old. Young ones reach adulthood around 15 years old, but aren't considered adults until the coming of age ceremony is done. Also, they are coldblooded, although they require less amounts of warming up, due a special organ within the fat reserves of their tails, designed to absorb and contain heat. Typically, in the conditions in Skianz, a Prevaz needs to reheat him or herself every 4 days. Alternatively, if there is no heat nearby, they can go into a hibernation-like state, slowing down their metabolism and keeping them alive in low temperatures. They can stay in this state for approximately 6 months before starving.
Their echolocation allows them to find their way in absolute darkness, pinpointing obstacles, companions and so on. Their echolocation is extremely well developed. From the resonating frequency of a metal they encounter, they can deduce which metal it is, providing they have been teached how to do it. They also have the uncanny ability to sense a person's mood through body language alone, making hiding your real intent from them a problem in some cases. They are also able to detect texture and other small details, provided the materials enable enough sound to be reflected.
Due to the absence of eyes, the Prevaz have a bleak skin and dark scales, without much of a pattern present.
The Prevaz are a highly intelligent race, their intelligence being on par with that of humans and Fae. They have a rich culture, oral traditions and folklore, which mostly focuses on the concepts of form, the creation of form, the preservation of form and the attainment of the perfect form. Both Prevaz men and women are dressed quite extravagantly, but the concept of thick cloth clothing is rather unknown to them, seeing no need to hide the beauty of one’s body, except when absolutely needed (in cold climates for example).
In stark contrast to their harsh environment, or maybe because of it, the Prevaz put a large emphasis on the beauty of shape and form, wearing all kinds of jewelry and ornaments made by the many expert craftsmen Skianz has to offer. Art is held in high regard in this region, especially pieces that took long to be perfected, and almost everything the Prevaz use is stylish and beautiful as well as functional. From houses to dinner plates to roads, if it can be made into art, it will be. The buildings in Skianzes capital, Gwithva, also reflect this, with blocks of houses seamlessly flowing into one another.
In addition to their reverence of physical beauty, the Prevaz also strive to perfect their inner beauty. They also believe that songs can convey this inner beauty to those who hear the song. Beautiful melodies can be heard in many places in Skianz. They also have plenty of stories, but due to a lack of media to write them on, scrolls with those stories are extremely rare to come by.
Prevaz take partners for live, marrying with elaborate parties accompanying the occasion. However, most Prevaz do not marry until they are around 40-50 years old, because of the customs involving throne succession. However, it is not uncommon to have family and children before that age without marrying. The ratio men to women is about 35% men to 65% women. A great number of them live in the capital, but there are a lot of villages all across Skianz.
Because they like to share their arts with others, the Prevaz are welcoming and mostly very friendly to visitors. They are also keen on getting to know other beauty ideals, both male and female, discovered by those who visit the Prevaz capital. However, when one speaks ill of art or is not friendly in return for a good amount of time and isn’t willing to listen to the Prevaz, the Prevaz respond by swiftly escorting them and their belongings out of Skianz.
Daily Lives: Daily lives for the Prevaz are not set in stone. Depending on the needs, one might go out to gather food and hunt, while another might spend his or her whole day raptured by art. There is not really a distinction between the activities of men and women, besides the genres of art they like the most. However, every Prevaz day begins and end the same: curled up and asleep near one’s own miniature hot spring. All Prevaz at least try to sleep near a hot place, so they can begin their day full of energy.
Prevaz houses aren’t made like those that two-legged humanoids use. They mostly have a ramp leading up to the roof, where there is a hatch providing entrance to the interior of the house (or den, if you like). Normal door do not work so well when you have a long tail trailing behind you, and a hatch on top of the house as an entrance solves this problem nicely. Likewise, there are no stairs in a Prevaz’s house, instead relying on slopes and slanted poles to get from one floor to another. For doors inside the house, normal doorways are commonly used, with weighted cloth acting as the door instead of wood. The entire house is filled with pieces of art of difference kinds of artists and the inhabitants themselves. Due to this, every Prevaz house looks vastly different. All the waste is neatly collected in a separate room in the back, which is cleaned out very regularly.
Habits and Social Customs: The Prevaz are very polite to guests and conversation parties, the exception being close family and friends. When having a long talk with guests, It is custom to talk about art and other small talk every once in a while, even when talking about something urgent. It is believed that this clears and sharpens the mind, which is key in making sound decisions. When it is time for the guest to depart, small gifts are often exchanged, ranging from food to cutlery to small art pieces.
The Prevaz have the ability to slightly unhinge their jaws, not unlike normal snakes. They can eat a food item the size of a small chicken in one go this way without much trouble. However, when eating, it is considered extremely impolite to unhinge ones jaw and devour something in one go. It looks ungraceful. The almost barbaric sight of it is the biggest reason not to “eat unhinged” for most of the Prevaz population. Also, it is very rude towards the cook and means one doesn’t enjoy the taste of the food provided.
The Prevaz's pursuit for beauty is more akin to a lifestyle than an actual religion. Aside from that, most Prevaz worship their ancestors and the art they made. The Clehti is central in this worship.
Due to the (to them) abstract notion of light, they became interested in the religion of the Nine Candles, which gained a minority in Skianz in recent years. The other religions never gained much traction in this remote region.
Skianz: Great Art Prevaz: Serpent Gwithva: Museum Clehti: Clock Tower Lymnan: Painting Delow: Sculpture Kan: Song Drolla: Story
Skianz: Great Art
Clehti: Clock Tower
Strem: Stream, used to indicate family or clan
Skath Bargesi: Hovercraft
Konsel: Counsil, Jury
Yonker: Male Apprentice
Yowynk: Female Apprentice