samanayr information

Below is the basic information on Samanayrs
For more information on specific species, please visit the species page

History | Appearance | Habitat | Diet | Society | Life Cycle | Names

History

Many years ago, Samanayrs were hunted to be kept as pets, and for some of their magical properties. They went into hiding, fleeing to the north, deep into forests, and far into desolate areas to escape detection. They tended to band together based on color, as green and brown Samanayrs found they were better able to hide in forests, white Samanayrs better able to hide in snowy areas, and so forth.

They remained in hiding for many years, scattered bands widely separated from each other. They only emerged with the arrival of the Sharians, a rather young race of benevolent bipedal dragons. Over the course of a few years, the Samanayrs came to trust the Sharians, and word spread that there was at least once place in the world safe for Samanayrs to live. Word spread, and Samanayrs and Songs flocked to the Sharians lands.

The Sharians established the Song of the Rainbow Hotsprings, a series of hotsprings deep in their territory where the Samanayrs could live safely and interact with the Sharians. The Song of the Rainbow was the original Song established there, one of the first times in many years that Samanayrs of varying colors had formed a Song together. There have since been several Songs of the Rainbows, with the members generally serving as ambassadors between Samanayrs, Sharians, and other peaceful races.

The Song of the Rainbow Hotsprings is now considered the center of Samanayr society. While there are only a few Songs that make their permanent home there, many Samanayrs visit every year to visit with their fellows and the Sharians, exchange items at the Expedition HQ, and seek out new Song members.

Appearance

Samanayrs vary greatly in appearance, but most are basically equine in appearance, no more than two feet high, with four legs of varying lengths, large back-swept ears, and fluffy foot-tufts over cloven hooves. Most Samanayrs have colored eyes and an equine mane and tail. There are also dozens of different traits that a Samanayr can have and many different species that a Samanayr can be.

There is no limit to the coloration and patterns that a Samanayr can have, although some colors are rarer than others. Black, for example, is a fairly rare color, and white is more common. Markings and patterns vary widely from individual to individual, although again some are more common than others, such as colored foot tufts or a multi-colored mane and tail.

Habitat

For the most part, Samanayrs live in and around a hotspring. Each Song tends to have their own hotspring, or will share with a close Song or two, and the area around the hotspring is considered their territory. Samanayrs generally feel more comfortable in a sheltered area, such as a forest, and artificial enclosures make them uncomfortable.

Although enclosures are a problem for them, artificially-created hotsprings are not. If a Song cannot find a natural hotspring to base their territory around, they will either just make do without, or try to find a Sharian willing to create one for them. There are some beautiful Sharian-crafted hotsprings, with sculpted pools, tiny steams, and waterfalls for the Samanayrs to enjoy.

Some Samanayr species also have particular habitats that they prefer. Northerns, for example, prefer a colder climate, while a Desert Samanayr would feel most at home in a warmer place.

Diet

Samanayrs are able to exist on a hardy vegetarian diet, and are capable of eating anything from grass to leaves to certain varieties of moss. Ideally, however, Samanayrs prefer a varied diet, consisting of a variety of different foods. Some examples include fresh new grass, berries, nuts, seeds, flowers, honey, and sap.

Those Samanayrs that are fostered, or have a close relation to the Sharians, are able to enjoy an even wider variety of treats. A Samanayr is always eager to sample something sweet, and are especially fond of fruit and anything made with sugar.

Society

Samanayrs live in breeding groups called Songs. Each Song is led by a single stallion and can include as many mares as the stallion can support. To prevent overcrowding in closer quarters, a Song is generally limited to one stallion and four mares.

As mentioned earlier, the Song makes its home around a hotspring which it may share with one or more allied Songs. While not prone to violence, Samanayrs are particularly territorial, and inform others when they are intruding with a fierce song of anger. Although this is enough to drive off most unwelcome Samanayrs, there are times when the Song is challenged, such as by a Song looking for territory of their own. In these cases, a ritual battle may occur.

Each Song has its own unique music, which is sung by Song members to identify themselves to strangers and draw the Song members closer together. Those particularly well versed in the Samanayr language can come to identify which Song a Samanayr is from by the accent of their music.

Samanayrs originally communicated through music, and are able to produce a wide variety of trills, notes, chirps, whinnies, and other such noises. Though the basic vocabulary of the language is the same, some Songs develop their own dialects, particularly if they are more isolated from other Samanayrs.

Samanayrs are also able to pick up other languages, such as the Sharian and human languages. When speaking human words, however, they have a rather strange accent - they pronounce the letter 'r' as if it were written as 'yr,' so that a word like 'are' will become 'ayre.' Some Samanayrs are able to lose this accent, but it's more common than not.

Life Cycle

Foals are born at various times of the year, although the majority are born in the spring when food is most plentiful. They are not born with their true colors, but have a more muted and simplified version of what their true colors will be. Mares usually give birth to a single foal, but there are cases of twins, and exceedingly rare triplets.

Samanayr foals develop quickly, and are designated as adolescents, or yearlings, when they reach their first year. At this age, the foals undergo their yearling shed, and their true colors begin to be revealed. The shed usually takes place over the course of their second year. At one year of age, the foal is also named.

A Samanayr is considered fully adult at two years of age, and at that time must leave their birth-Song. Young adult Samanayrs who have recently left the protection of their birth-Song tend to form single-gender bachelor Songs before either founding or joining their permanent adult Songs.

Once it joins its adult Song, a Samanayr will remain with it for much of their life. Some elder Samanayrs choose to leave their Songs once they reach an advance age, choosing instead to travel between the Songs and lend their wisdom where needed.

Names

Foals are always named by their mothers at one year of age. Before a foal receives it adult name, they are called by nicknames or called "colt of so-and-so" or "filly of so-and-so." If the mother is unable to name the foal, the task goes to the father or other closest living relative.

Samanayrs names follow the pattern of (something) of the (something) (something). For example, Shine of the Starry Sky. The names vary widely, sometimes reflecting a Samanayr's color or personality, and sometimes seemingly having nothing to do with the Samanayr at all.

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