The Slithu are large humanoids. Their faces are characterized by a prominent snout, with the nose out at the end of the upper jaw and an eye on either side; they have fine muscular control of their outer ears, and can turn them to face the direction whence a sound comes, or even close them if they don't wish to hear anything. The males have red or brown hair and dark orange skin while the females have yellow or light brown hair and light orange skin. The male stands approximately 6'2 and the females stand approximately 5'10".
The Slithu humours give them power to create illusions convincing to all senses. They are most convincing to smell and sight, less so to psi. Mostly they use this to improve their own appearance, using this magic rather than paint and jewelry to decorate themselves. However, some of them have stronger illusive powers and can make themselves or others nearby appear to be completely other than they are - as a tree or animal or non-Slithu sentient, for instance - or make things appear where there is nothing but air.
The Slithu are marsupials; the mother gives birth to a litter of two to four babies after about fifty days of gestation, then carries and nurses her babies in her pouch for about eighty days. During the latter forty days, the babies can leave the pouch safely, but return to it to nurse.
Slithu are omnivorous, and live an average of forty years in favorable conditions.
The Slithu's primary sense is smell, but they have good hearing and sight as well.
The Slithu can mate with the Briacite, but their offspring are sterile.
The Slithu have the advantages Acute taste and smell (+5 levels (10 points), is typical, with a standard deviation of about 1 level).
The old orthodox religion of the Slithu involves the worship of a family of gods by appropriate sacrifices. Most Slithu believe that their pantheon is a noble branch of a larger family which includes the other races' gods, minor spirits, the Enemies, the mortal sentients, and their ghosts. Much time is spent in tracing genealogies of the divine family and its less reputable cousins.
Each of the gods in the divine family has the rule of some aspect of the world. The chief gods are thought to rule over various occupations and social classes. The minor gods, their children and grandchildren, rule over lesser things.
Skelestrim - Father of the First Family of the Slithu, Father of the
Nobles among the Slithu.
Nelmera - Mother of Diplomats.
Mbahyoov - Mother of poets and songwrights.
Chlorimanri - Father of Merchants.
Tisvahyu - Eldest son of Mbahyoov and Chlorimanri, father of literary agents.
Itichembri - Father of Hunters.
Jumarou - Mother of Thieves.
Hyaristy - Father of Farmers.
Ejachuy - Mother of the mad (juhyalamuy).
Ulyrgrem - Father of Entertainers.
Tchevieri - Mother of Houseservents.
Each of the gods is worshipped with sacrifices that are considered valuable to him or her. For instance, a poet will often give the first royalties upon a poem to Mbahyoov, a farmer will burn the first fruits of his crop for Hyaristy, etc.
There is a semi-rigid caste system among the Slithu. If you are of the family Ulyrgrem, then you are expected to be an entertainer, but not required. This caste system is more rigid in some Caligoi than others.
There is no separate caste of priests; a few people of each caste are chosen each year to be priests of the caste's patron god.
In those places where the Slithu rule themselves (i.e., not Rectek), their forms of government are peculiar in the role they give to the mad (juhyalamuy). These unfortunate persons, who are considered to be blessed by Ejachuy, are the electors and members of a special council in the legislature in south Triyk. Slithu monarchs generally have at least two mad persons (mad in different ways) on their councils.
Once a year the Slithu hold a five-day festival for the remembrance of old poems and the first public recital of new ones composed in the last year. Three days are given to the old songs, two days to the new. On the evening of the last day, poems in honor of those who have died in the last year are sung. There is mourning also for the lost, unfinished poems which died with their authors.
Occasionally, the ghost of a poet who has died in the last year will appear at the festival to sing a poem which he had finished, but had not yet told anyone about, when he died. This happens very rarely, and those who hear these ghost-poems directly from their authors count themselves very fortunate.
Almost all Slithu take some part in the theater (hyilest). This is very unlike modern Western narrative theater; it is something like medieval pageantry, and something like special-effects film. Complex illusions formed by many Slithu working in concert carry the burden of the action, story and symbolism. There are usually no actors as such.
Juhyalamuy, which translates as "unreasonably happy", signifies many persons who would be considered mad in other societies. It signifies all creative or cheerful varieties of insanity. Other forms of madness, called "mbalamuy," include depressions and unpleasant delusions, inability to consciously control one's illusions, and a few others. The Slithu are peculiar in their treatment of both. The juhyalamuy are given a special role in the government (q.v.). The mbalamuy are sent from town to town, well-treated everywhere they go, but allowed to stay nowhere for very long.
Most Slithu cultures have a strong nudity taboo (unlike the Briacite). However, in hot climates, illusions are often used in place of actual clothing.
To the top of this page.
Main Caligo page
Back to Jim Henry's home page.
Email me: Jim.Henry@pobox.com.
Get a GoStats hit counter