Centuries ago during a Summer Fire Festival, a druid met a woman and laid with her as is tradition for the holiday. Little did he know that woman was his own goddess, Afara, in disguise. She became pregnant and begot the first three founders of centaur ancestry.
Centaurs are people who look like horsemen that fused with their steed: they are humanoid until the 'waist', where they gain four-legged lower halves which resemble the bodies of hoofed beasts (like horses). Despite their appearances, centaurs are not beasts in part nor whole, and do not identify with them. They have long, conical ears; angular facial structures; and large nostrils to breathe easily while running. Every centaur has excellent night vision and keen hearing.
They are opportunistic omnivores, and most won't shy away from hunting people. The larger individuals are physically strong and durable, making them great warriors. The smaller members of the species often make up for the lack of brawn with magical potential. Centaurs are swift, can turn on a dime, and their bodies have a surprising level of flexibility.
Centaurs have a natural affinity for druidic magic and other nature based magics. Magic outside those categories are usually not as easily learned by them.
See #here for some tips on character creation for the species.
They are very group-before-self minded. Centaurs are taught to look out for each other, for family, and for the land they walk on. An individualistic centaur is a selfish or conceited centaur in the eyes of his or her society. Leaders of a centaur culture have earned the respect and loyalty of the majority of the tribe they're in. Most tribes train their offspring the moment they can walk, which is usually within a few minutes to a few hours. Children born with deformations are killed for the group's survival and to spare the child from a difficult life.
As a species, druidism is very common. Their ancestry makes them to feel most at home with nature and often less so in heavily urbanized areas. Because seasonal fae and nymphs are common in nature, centaurs often work with and learn from them. Fae are typically favored over other races.
As a side note: It's both disrespectful and an invasion of personal space to get on a centaur's back prior to consent. Only trusted friends or better may do so because of the issue of the species being mistaken for actual mounts in the distant past by many other races.
Centaurs often live in small groups (often called 'tribes') found across the globe. Many tribes are xenophobic, and most communities prefer hunting and foraging, or agrarian lifestyles.
Afara is their matron and often primary goddess. Polytheism is not forbidden, but centauric followers of Omanesh are usually rejected, outcast, or killed depending on the society.
Branches are groups of centaurs that have similar features and can breed with each other. Major Branches have large numbers or are widely spread across the globe; Minor Branches have small numbers or smaller global spread. The size of a branch is not indicative of its power.
- The Nadroc, who are most recognized by their equine-like lower bodies and single hoofs on each foot, are collectively physically stronger and higher in stamina than the Karema. Their bodies are well-muscled and solid (leaning towards burly). Being big-boned, they are very rarely thin even among the smaller variety. Culturally, thinness implies sickness and weakness, and is usually seen as less attractive. These centaurs are notorious for trying to fatten elves and other thin-framed individuals. They do especially well as warriors, knights, and the like. Nadroc average between 7 to 10 feet tall (213cm to 305cm), depending on their bloodline. They can be found in a variety of natural colors and markings found on true equines, though bloodline affects trends.
- Major Nadroc Tribes
- Northern Rhychstad Tribe (playable)
- The Karema are most recognizable by their cervine*-like lower bodies and their dewclawed cloven hooves. They are collectively more agile, more dexterous, and more adept with magic than the Nadroc. Their bodies are usually slimmer than those of the Nadroc. They often make good magic users or ranged fighters like archers. Karema can have horns or antler-like protrusions on both sexes, but the men usually have a larger set. They thrive in the woods, forests, and grasslands found in cold, seasonal, and lush regions. Their height (4ft to 12ft, or 122cm to 366cm in common range) and color patterns are specific to their bloodline with very little variation within a tribe. As a branch, they are one of the most diverse in size.
- -Cervine=deer family
- Major Karema Tribes
- The Udune (coming soon)
- The Lightfarers are descendants of Afara’s children that found favor in Evy and became loyal to her. These centaurs have ovine* lower bodies, horns, and dewclawed, cloven hooves. On average, they are smaller in size than the other centaur branches—rarely are there individuals taller than 5’5” (168cm), and the smallest adult is no shorter than 3'10 (94cm). The men are normally bulkier than the women, and both sexes grow horns. Their coats and hair grow similarly—curly coat, curly hair; straight coat, straight hair--and come in a variety of natural color patterns, lengths, and textures. Their skin and bones are especially tough, giving them more physical resistance to injury. They are energetic, and have an affinity for supportive spells and light magic, making them excellent healers and buffing (or debuffing) mages.
Lightfarers are the explorers of the centaurs. Many will travel across land and sea for adventure. Like other centaurs they are fond of nature, but individuals are just as likely to live in urban places because it provides opportunities to share and discuss Evy’s Light with other people. Lightfarers that stay with their families live in tribes led by their spiritual leaders. A few small tribes can be found tucked away within the plains, prairies, or mountainous regions of Ilaria and Atraea.
- -Ovine=sheep family (not to be confused with Bovine)
Creating a Centaur
Although it is completely acceptable for centaurs of different branches to be involved romantically with each other, a centaur can only procreate with members of his or her own branch. There is no such thing as a Half Karema/ Half Nadroc, for example.
OOC: The typical Greek portrayal of a centaur, a man severed at the waist and slapped onto the front of a horse body, is not what ROTD centaurs look like. The ROTD centaur body is more streamlined. They do still resemble mounted horsemen, but they also have conical ears, angular faces, large nostrils and the color of their coat covers most or all of their body.
For example, a common Rhychstad centaur is striped like a zebra, but s/he is not striped only on their lower end, but their upper body, also. If a centaur is furry or wooly, it stretches across most of the body. Hair color usually matches their tail or coat color.
What to Do
ROTD centaurs have natural coat colors like brown, white, black, tan, etc. Nadroc centaurs, for example, can have any coat color natural to horses or other equines we see today, even if a lot of those colors were bred into the species in real life. Just make sure your centaur's appearance runs in the bloodline of their tribe.
A Nadroc centaur from a tribe that is mainly dappled, with a black or brown base coat, will realistically be in that range of colors and not pure white or striped.
What Not to Do
Unnatural colors like those found on a rainbow, neon colors, and the like are not acceptable for natural centaur coat colors. Unnatural markings like triangles, squares, stars, faces, and the like, are not acceptable for natural coat markings.
I understand that finding face claims and drawings that fit this scheme may be annoying, so normal centaur pictures and face claims are acceptable to use. Just keep in mind what the species actually looks like.