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12 Virs Factbook

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12 Virs Factbook

Postby 12 Virs » Mon Feb 08, 2010 12:26 pm

12 Virs Factbook


Overview

The Empire of 12 Virs is a nation of furries, ie anthropomorphic animals. It consists of twelve species, called "virs" (from the Indo-European root word weru, as in "werewolf", for example). Their society is rigidly heirarchical, with each vir occupying a particular caste which dictates their role and status. There are four major divisions, with three virs occupying separate castes within each one. In order of highest to lowest caste, they are:

The priestly castes:
  • the Dracovir, or dragon-folk
  • the Snagavir, or snake-folk
  • the Simivir, or monkey-folk
The aristocratic, or warrior castes:
  • the Felivir, or tiger-folk
  • the Equovir, or horse-folk
  • the Canivir, or dog-folk
The commoner, or tradesmen castes:
  • the Murivir, or mouse-folk
  • the Lepevir, or rabbit-folk
  • the Cocovir, or chicken-folk
the slave castes:
  • the Caprivir, or goat-folk
  • the Bovir, or cow-folk
  • the Ebrovir, or pig-folk

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Postby 12 Virs » Mon Feb 08, 2010 12:27 pm

Descriptions of each Vir

The Dracovir, or "philospher caste", are the highest caste among the 12 Virs. A typical adult dracovir is about 10 feet tall and resembles a cross betweeen the classical "Western" and "Eastern" dragon image--long, sinuous reptilian bodies, but large wings--dracovir can fly--and powerful limbs and jaws. They are a mysterious folk who mostly keep to themselves and rarely intervene in society; when they do, however, they are terrifying beings to be around. They are sometimes called "The Immortals", because a dracovir's lifespan is about 10 times that of the other virs, and they apparently mature and age at 1/10th the rate. Thus, any Dracovir you're likely to meet will be centuries old. They are feared by the simpler, more superstitious folk, and it's commonly believed they possess magical powers. That hasn't been proved, but since the average dracovir is far older and more cunning than the other virs, it's an understandable belief. How the dracovir make their day-to-day living is unclear.

The Snagavir, or "priestly caste", are second to the dracovir. They resemble snakes, about 10 feet long and as big around as an anaconda or python. They form the organized priesthood of the 12 Virs, directing the various rituals and sacrifices to the gods, and monitoring the behavior of the aristocratic castes to see that they don't become lawless and oppressive. They are a mendicant caste; that is, outside of their priestly duties they don't work for a living and must depend on charity from the other virs. This ranges from being the well-fed minister of a felivir lord to being the local village holy beggar. Like the dracovir, they're often thought by superstitious folk to have magic powers, such as the ability to read fortunes and predict the future.

The Simivir, or "monk caste", are the third-highest priestly caste. They resemble monkeys, about 5 feet tall and long-armed and -legged, and possessing a powerful prehensile tail. They are the "wild cards" within the rigid heirarchy of 12 Vir culture, performing personal ministry to the other castes while living among them and accepting any work, however menial. They're often found as teachers or lawyers. One of their most important social roles is as a tribune, or representative of the lower castes. If a low-caste vir believes he has been wronged by an upper-caste one, there is little the lower caste vir can do on his own. However, he can plead his case to a simivir, who can in turn call upon the upper caste vir to account for his actions. The upper caste vir may dismiss the simivir's plea, but in doing so he may jeapordize his own social standing, since respect for the gods and their priestly representatives is the basis for rule among the 12 Virs.

The Felivir, or "royal caste", are the highest aristocratic caste. They resemble 7 foot tall anthropomorphic tigers, with attitudes to match. They are the temporal rulers of the 12 Virs, and (so long as the priestly castes back them up on this) their word is law. The lands of the 12 Virs are divided up in feudal style, with a central Emperor who actually has very little power, smaller Kings, Princes, Dukes and so on. There is constant friction between the sub-rulers as each jockeys for position and status, with the hope of some day being elected Emperor (the position is chosen by vote among the highest noblemen, called "Electors".) The end result is a nation permanently at the brink of civil war, with minor clashes constantly going on here and there.

The Equovir, or "baronial caste", are second to the felivir. They resemble 8 foot tall anthropomorphic horses, with long heads and necks, solid hooves for feet, and hands whose fingers end in hard, hoof-like nails. They are the land-owners among the 12 Virs, holding estates of various sizes by leave of their felivir lords. They also serve as officers in the 12 Vir military.

The Canivir, or "soldier caste", are the third-highest aristocratic caste. They resemble anthropomorphic dogs or wolves, about 6 feet tall, with padded feet and clawed hands. They are minor land-owners, soldiers, policemen, and sometimes organized criminals (among the 12 Virs, it's often difficult to tell the difference between the mafia and the police). Poorer canivir will sometimes sell their services as bodyguards to wealthier commoners, although they will still insist on the respect that comes from having the right to carry weapons.

The Murivir, or "shopkeeper caste", are the highest of the commoners. They are the smallest virs, only about 3 feet tall, and resemble anthropomorphic mice or rats, with pointed noses and long, hairless tails. They are the shopkeepers, businessmen, and most importantly, the money-lenders among the 12 Virs. As such, despite their small size and the law forbidding them from carrying weapons, they are among the wealthiest virs and have social clout that reaches beyond their lower-caste status.

The Lepevir, or "craftsman caste", are second to the murivir. They resemble 4 foot tall anthropomorphic rabbits, with long ears, strong legs and puffy tails. They are the builders, the inventors, the makers of things bought and sold by the murivir, with whom they are often partners. This can range from high-paying goldsmiths to common tinkers or cobblers. Like the murivir, they are forbidden from carrying weapons, and tend to rely on their wits and skill to get by.

The Cocovir, or "courtesan caste", are the third-highest commoner caste. They are unique in that they are anthropomorphic birds rather than reptiles or mammals. They are about 5 feet tall and resemble large chickens or pheasants, and like the dracovir, they can fly. The males are brightly feathered, the females drab. They are the entertainers, the innkeepers, restauranteurs, secretaries and other "service industry workers" among the 12 Virs.

The Caprivir, or "herdsman caste", are the highest of the slave castes. They resemble anthropomorphic goats, about 6 feet tall and shaggy. Their menfolk sport large curling horns on the top of their heads, their women are smooth-headed. Caprivir are by law the property of the felivir, although it's not a personal master/slave relationship. Rather, families of caprivir are "owned" by families of felivir. The caprivir are herdsmen, raising sheep or goats on the broad pasture lands belonging to the felivir. Although generally free to run their personal lives, they are not permitted to live an any settled abode, and are required to pay a "flesh tax" consisting of a portion of their herds to their felivir masters for the right to live on the land.

The Bovir, or "farmer caste", are second to the caprivir, although the two castes often dispute who is of higher status. They resemble anthropomorphic oxen, 6 feet tall, broad-shouldered and very strong. Their menfolk also sport horns. The Bovir are serfs; that is, rather than belonging to another vir, they are considered belonging to the land owned by that vir. Most of them work on the large estates owned by the equovir.

The Ebrovir, or "chattel caste", are the lowest caste of all 12 Virs. They resemble athropomorphic pigs or wild hogs, snouted and tusked. They are the unskilled laborers of the 12 Virs. Every ebrovir has a bond making them the property of another (non-slave) vir, who has the right to demand labor for them as well as dictate most of their day-to-day lives, such as where they live, whether and with whom they can marry, and so on. Although the priestly castes do attempt to support them--even an ebrovir has the right to appeal to a simivir--the ebrovir's lot is not a happy one.

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Postby 12 Virs » Mon Feb 08, 2010 1:03 pm

Stereotypes Among the 12 Virs

Society among the 12 Virs revolves around the caste differences, making it a rather tribal and (in a sense) racist society. The best way to understand the vir's attitudes towards each other is to consider a common form of insult. Removing the suffix "-vir" is disrespectful, as it implies denying that vir's "human" nature and viewing them as mere animals. Each insult term, however, has a different meaning based on the vir it's taken from:

A "draco" means an obscure, maddeningly inscrutable person. Not necessarily an insult, as being compared to a dracovir is going to be seen as positive any way you look at it.

A "snago" can mean either a beggar or sponger, or a con-artist or trickster.

A "simo" can either mean a nosy busybody, or in a more positive way, a clever fast-talker.

A "felo" means a rapacious, grasping, domineering person.

An "equo" is also domineering, but more in the sense of being stubborn and traditional. "Simo" and "equo" are roughly analogous to "liberal" and "conservative" in 12 Vir society.

A "cano" means a bully or thug.

A "muro" means a miser, greedy and grasping, though more cowardly and not as domineering as a "felo".

A "lepo" means a space-case or geek. Actually not that much of an insult, as it implies intelligence, just lack of social skills.

A "coco" means, when applied to a cocovir, an excessively flamboyant one. When it's applied to another vir, it means they're a homosexual. The term comes from the fact that cocovirs have their gender-roles reversed compared to the other virs. Cocovir culture is matriarchal, and cocovir males are usually accorded the same treatment as other vir's females.

A "capro" is a rather vulgar term implying someone who is into bestiality. It comes from the urban legend that caprivir herdsmen like to engage in sexual relations with their flocks.

A "bo" is a dullard or simpleton.

An "ebro" is an extremely vulgar term, basically the 12 Vir's version of the "N-word". It implies a totally subhuman being. It's not used casually; in some places you can be fined for saying it in order to prevent fistfights or worse from breaking out.

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Postby 12 Virs » Mon Feb 08, 2010 1:21 pm

12 Vir Religion

The three priestly castes each preach a religious faith to the other virs, known separately as "The Way of the Dragon", "The Way of the Serpent", and "The Way of the Monkey". The three faiths are not exclusive, and most virs subscribe to more than one over their lifetimes.

The Way of the Serpent is the most formal, organized religion. It preaches a belief in a pantheon of various gods and the principle of reincarnation. Its main teaching is that one should adhere to moral law, called dharma, to attain salvation through progressive reincarnation until moral perfection is achieved and the soul becomes one with the gods. In many ways it is similar to Hinduism.

The Way of the Monkey is a somewhat less formal and organized religion. It stands opposed to the Way of the Serpent in that it denies the existence of the gods and of the individual soul. Instead, it preaches a belief that all individuals are in fact different facets of a single Soul. Adherance to dharma is not needed for salvation, rather the main principle is karma, the belief that one should do good because harming others is the same as harming oneself. In many ways it is similar to Buddhism.

The Way of the Dragon is an entirely personal, unorganized faith. It teaches that the Way of the Serpent and the Way of the Monkey are, while seemingly opposite, actually "two sides of the same coin". Both dharma and karma are real, even if one can only perceive one or another at a time. The main principle is to free the mind from preconceptions and see the fundamental truth behind the illusionary world. In many ways it is similar to Daoism or Zen.

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Postby Castra » Mon Feb 08, 2010 1:31 pm

It is the Official position of Castra that the only way to deal with a Furrie is to
Image


*hands out a flyer*
Image

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Postby 12 Virs » Mon Feb 08, 2010 2:02 pm

12 Vir Culture

12 Vir civilization is PT, pre-industrial, roughly around the early medieval period technology-wise. As mentioned above, the rulers of the 12 Virs are the felivir, and their goverment is basically a feudal empire. At the top of the feudal system is the Emperor, or "King of Kings". The rulership is not necessarily hereditary; instead, upon the Emperor's death the senior felivir lords, known as the Electors, vote on who (usually among themselves) assumes the title. The Emperor has very little actual power, as the feudal system devolves most of it downward.

Below the Emperor are a collection of Kings and Princes, ruling over various domains within the lands of the 12 Virs. They in turn devolve their powers downward to baronies headed up by equovir, and further down to small land-holdings run by wealthier canivir. The system is very similar to medieval Europe, where senior lords would demand payment in the form of crops, manpower, and military support from their vassals.

The priestly castes supervise this, and serve as a check on the aristocrats. Rulership among the 12 Virs is assumed to be by divine right; an aristocrat holds their position because they have the favor of the gods (as interpreted by the priests). This is expressed by upholding justice and being merciful and charitable. An aristocratic lord who oppresses his subjects too much risks being accused of impiety by the priestly caste, and in the worst case being put under interdict, or anathema. A lord under interdict has lost their right to rule, and their land and property are fair game for any other lord to seize. So a rough sort of justice prevails, although at the cost of almost constant low-level civil war.

The aristocratic castes are the only ones permitted to carry weapons, or to have land-holdings. Commoners can own small amounts of land within cities, basically enough to live and conduct business in. Each commoner caste has their own rights and obligations. Money-lending, for example, is the sole domain of the murivir, as it's considered immoral for other virs to practice it. The slave castes, of course, can neither carry weapons, own land, or have a say in where they live and work.

Besides the practical exercise of power among the higher and lower castes, 12 Vir culture has in place many customs and social duties that reinforce status. Chief among these is "obeisance", the demanding and delivering of gestures of respect. A lower-caste vir is expected to show signs of deference and submission to a higher caste one at the risk of punishment for insolence. This can range from a simple salute by a canivir soldier to his equovir or felivir commander, to outright prostration of ebrovir slaves before their aristocratic masters. Egalitarianism is an alien concept to the 12 Virs--the saying "all virs are created equal" would be met with derision, or at best, thought of as some obscure simivir philosophical point.


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