Nine in Water, Many Beyond

In the tongue of the Karicarya, their world means 'Adoring Sunrise'. In the Saenoch's speech, it is 'Open Palm'. The name of this world is unknown as of this writing, but most other subjects...well, that's a different story.

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12. Constant Difference - The Areadil

"Never known one so little before, pipsqueak! What are you, half mouse? Oh no wait, you're an Areadil! The leftovers, the ones made from scraps! They'll mistake you for trash if you carry on being that height! Drag you off kicking and screaming to the incinerator like the rest of the garbage! That's right, you're gonna die in here, flea folk! Die alone and forgotten!"

Paliephor couldn't decide which part of her savannah landscape she liked best, so made her people from a little bit of everything. As a result, they are a people with little in common, even appearance. Areadil range from as pale as apple blossom to as dark as obsidian, with all shades in between. Their hair colour ranges from platinum blonde to coal black, and their eyes from ice blue to deep brown. With even their appearance being different, the only similarity connecting the Areadil can be found when they run.

Due to Paliephor being mostly flat savannah, she knew her Areadil would need a way of crossing the land while hunting, exploring, or simply living. Thus, an Areadil's leg muscles are stronger than galvanised steel and more supple than surgical rubber tubing. Such strength allows an Areadil the power to sprint at top speed for far longer than any other race, crossing Paliephor's grasslands and leaping up into the branches of their treetop cities. Areadil use their powerful leg muscles to sprint vertically as well as horizontally, and a particularly fast one can sprint across the surface of the water.

Where the Areadil get this innate physical advantage from depends on who you ask. Ask the patrons of one of the many treetop bars in Paliephor's capital Kharasma, and you'll get about a hundred different answers. Every Areadil has their own unique perspective on everything from the creation of the Areadil, to the other races, to the way they should live their lives. The last one in particular has been a hot topic for debate for several years now, and like any debate on Paliephor, the extremes take control and lives are lost.

Like her people, Paliephor is one of the smallest amongst her equals. Her total size is enough to support all the life on her, but there's very limited room for population growth. This has sparked a conflict of interest between two groups of Areadil.

One side has cut out all animal products from their lives, creating low demand for breeding livestock, and therefore creating low supply. Through their theory, these vegan Areadil will be allowing for further dramatic expansion of their race's population whilst eliminating the need for cruel factories and slaughterhouses.

The other side believes that as the population of Paliephor barely changes, there is little need to change their lifestyle too dramatically, and that the vegan Areadil are only harming themselves by forcing themselves to such an extreme. Some have even directly accused the other side of deliberately harming their own children by denying them essential nutrients needed while they grow. Such accusations only drove the first group of vegan Areadil to assume a defensive stance, preferring to enter high-ranking positions in individual cities as role models and implementing bans on producing excess meat and other animal products. In retaliation, the omnivorous Areadil began imitating them in other towns and cities, creating an opposing force that extended to the extremes. Consuming any kind of plant matter was seen as a sign of weakness and of support for the opposing side.

Years later, the division between the carnivorous Areadil and vegan Areadil - who took to calling themselves Aemic Areadil and Vitalic Areadil respectively - is still distinct, marked by the land of Paliephor herself. To the north lie the Aemic cities of Gasam, Tyzenn, and Sivath, stretching south through the grasslands to butt heads with the Vitalic cities of Vovels, Glamilk, Constance, and the Vitalic capital of Kharasma. The only neutrality to be found in this animalistic civil war can be found in the eastern, mostly immigrant-populated, city of Werelf. From Werelf, they watch as the two opposing sides act as if civil war has officially been declared. People-runners aid defectors in secretly crossing over to the other side without their image being projected and publically shamed. Spies act to sabotage the other side by spiking food and defaming the enemy. Like all differences on Paliephor, the battle between Aemic and Vitalic Areadil is sure to end in bloodshed.

The constant tensions and borderline civil war between the Areadil people contrasts sharply with that of another race. One that stands as proof that the people of the Lands can get along, both with their own race and the others...

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