Yith are scaled creatures, more massive than most other land sentients. Like snakes, they appear to be mainly tail, but they have four arms just below their head. They superficially resemble the Zun, but closer inspection shows that they are no more closely related to them than the Toaliralolo are to the upright humanoids. They reproduce asexually; if a Yith is cut into pieces, any sufficiently large piece will, under favorable conditions, grow back into an entire Yith, with some of the memories and experience of the parent. Normally, they divide themselves when they get too large to think quickly and maneuver stealthily. If a Yith is tired of life, she will divide herself into pieces too small to remember their parent's experiences.
Yith live in Kreis, Dreik and Rectek. However, in Rectek they are under a curse which suppresses their intelligence, and it is not generally believed that they have souls.
The Yith nervous system is very decentralized; they have no central brain or spinal column. Instead, there is a network of nerves throughout the body that not only transfers sensory information but processes thought and stores memory. Because of this, Yith tend to think and react more slowly than those who have a central brain. On the other hand, they cannot suffer concussionary brain damage. Thus, a Yith which grows back from a cutting of its parent will have some of the parent's memories. Memory is holographic, so each child will have a larger portion of its parent's memories than would be predicted by a simple body mass ratio.
Other systems (circulatory, respiratory, digestive) are similarly decentralized. When a Yith is cut up, the individual pieces work rapidly to form any parts that have been lost - eyes, mouth, and arms, for instance - and to form skin and scales over their exposed parts. There is theoretically no limit to how long a single Yith can live or how large it can grow, but generally a Yith will voluntarily fission before it grows larger than a ton or so. Larger Yith have more thinking capacity, but think and react more slowly, than smaller ones. A community of Yith will sometimes protect and feed one of themselves when it becomes too large to react quickly and maneuver easily, as an advisory oracle. Sometimes these oracles are disguised as small hills. (A Pliv mathematician in Kreis once calculated that if a Yith were to live forever, growing larger at a certain rate, he could have only a finite - though rather lengthy - duration of subjective consciousness, as he thought more and more slowly.)
The great god grew old and weary of unity, and decided to fission; so it sundered itself into thousands of pieces. To make the world more interesting, it made each piece different. Many were in matched pairs, but some were solitary. All, to one degree or another, slept and forget who they had been. The Yith are the only ones who retain both some memory of what they had been and the old way of fission. The other awake ones matched themselves in pairs and tried a new way of continuing.
Other, large pieces fell more deeply asleep and became the earth, sea, Mist and sky. Some smaller pieces remained alert though not rational, and became animals and plants.
As the great god prepared to fission, it first broke off bits of its claws and shed scales, which became animals and plants. Then it broke off pieces of its tail, which became the sentients. The Pliv and Zun looked up at the remainder of the god and saw that it was one, and went to worship it. The Llegesia, Blirthibo and Guerro' looked up and saw that it had divided in two, and they went and worshipped them. A bit later the Toaliralolo looked up and saw eleven pieces, and were satisfied. The Glaethryn, Ttambroc, Krinth and so forth looked a bit later and saw many pieces. But the Yith kept looking until she saw the god divide into dust too small to be seen.
Younger, speedier Yith in rural areas are generally occupied with hunting and foraging, not only for themselves but for their tribe's elder-oracle. When they are not thus busy, they sun themselves and whistle eerie fantasias. Little of their art is narrative or representative. They sometimes build temples for their oracles, which they decorate with interesting rocks and bones. Older, slower Yith often spend long days in conversation with Jhray.
No one is quite sure what the Oracle Yith do; since it takes them days or weeks to answer a question, no one wants to ask them something so frivolous.
In Kreis, some Yith have moved into the cities. Many of these are singers; some are merchants.
The Yith government consists of three parts. Enforcement of laws, and diplomacy with fast-living races, is handled by younger Yith. Older Yith occasionally make or change laws and treaties, handle diplomacy with Jhray, and pass judgment on criminals. Oracle Yith advise the younger Yith on both aspects. Exactly how the deputies, judges and oracles are selected varies from one local culture to another, but these aspects are fairly constant.
The most serious punishment meted out upon criminals is to be divided into pieces so small that the resulting children will not remember being their parent. Lesser punishments include exile and forced labor.
Altered time rate, -100 pts.
Regeneration (), Unaging (15 pts).
No upper limit on ST, HT or IQ, but for each 100 pts worth of ST, HT & IQ one must get another level of Altered Time rate and/or a decrease in DX. ST may not be more than twice IQ, or IQ more than twice ST.
Aging rolls should be made every five years. On a failed roll, the character loses a point of DX, but *gains* points on some other attribute.
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