"Used to be, people in the empire loved us. We were nobility, mages, courtiers... sometimes thieves and spies, too, but always in service to the throne. Then Belhar crumbled, and what was left for us but to cling to her embers as long as we could?"
--Lusina en Errion, Heir to Maidenbridge
Sexes: Male and Female
Height: Ranges from between 5'5 ft. to 6'6 ft., with males and females standing at roughly the same stature.
Weight: Roughly 20% lighter than a human of the same height.
Skin: Mothfolk have human-typical skin, though they additionally grow layers of thick, downy "fluff" along their forelimbs and around the neck.
Hair: Much as humans. Typical coloration ranges include whites, reds, pinks, and browns.
Eyes: Human in shape and size, though mothfolk eye color typically ranges from black to red and brown.
Ears: Mothfolk have long, tapered ears similar to elves. Some individuals may have a thin coating of fuzz along their ears.
Lifespan: About 60 to 70 years.
Maturity: 16 years.
Mothfolk are winged humanoids, generally considered to be of elven ancestry. They typically have slender or bottom-heavy figures, long legs, and flawless elven features, including tapered ears. Unlike their groundborne cousins, mothfolk have large and sensitive feelers atop their heads, giving them greatly enhanced perception, as well as large gossamer wings that appear delicate and nearly translucent — belying the great strength and agility those wings possess.
Mothfolk females tend to have large hips and buttocks, though males are also considerably wider of hip than men of other races. Both sexes grow thick, soft coats of fuzzy down around their forelimbs and shoulders, though males tend to have much larger manes and archetypally grow quite large beards, often becoming indistinguishable from their shoulder fluff. Females' average breast size ranges from B to C-cups, and males have human-style and sized phalluses.
Mothfolk have a notable, and apparently involuntary, fascination with fire. Bright flashes of light or eruptions of fire can leave mothfolk stunned and confused for several seconds, and subconsciously, they find themselves drawn to even smoldering campfires or dazzled by the moon glistening on a placid lake.
Fire is hypnotic to them in all its forms, and mothfolk must take care to limit their exposure to sudden lights and open flames.
Mothfolk are an oviparous race, meaning that after copulation, a female moth's belly will begin to swell with growing, fertilized eggs. A mothgirl's pregnancy will typically last about three months, whereupon she'll lay a clutch of between two and six eggs, each about fist-sized and sheened with a delicate waxy covering. The eggs must be tended to for an additional month, whereupon they will begin to disintegrate, and the newborn moths will claw their way into the world by eating their own shells.
Around the time she lays her eggs, a new mother will begin to lactate. Newborn mothfolk must be breastfed for six to nine months before they can eat solid food. During this stage of their lives, infant mothfolk have much of their bodies covered with thick scales, including over their backs where their wings will someday be. Around six years of age, young mothfolk will molt off their scales, revealing soft skin and new, gossamer wings beneath — and can begin flying shortly thereafter.
The history of mothfolk and the Belharan Empire are virtually inseparable. The Imperial heartland was also where the first primitive mothfolk settlements were located, and they quickly became subjects of the human-elven hegemony. Because mothfolk are, by and large, a peaceful and loyal people, they found life within the empire to be relatively prosperous and rewarding, and as they provided more soldiers and workers for the young Belharan Empire, so too were they rewarded with greater privilege and power.
Several cities and provinces were ruled by mothfolk nobles, and Belharan history is replete with stories of moth generals and wizards earning great victories through their cunning and guile.
When the empire broke apart following the Godswar, many mothfolk-controlled provinces became de facto states of their own, giving rise to a loose chain of city-states to the west of what's left of Belhar now controlled by mothfolk. The naturally gentle disposition of these mothfolk has reportedly not been of great help to them as barbarians and marauders rampage across the countryside.
Society & Culture
While the Belharan Empire was predominantly human and elven, mothfolk remained one of the most civilized and peaceful of the demi-human races living within its borders. Because of this, mothfolk aren't likely to have ever had a developed culture or society entirely their own, but rather were shaped and molded by their place within the empire.
Mothfolk of the empire typically belonged to large blood-tied clans, such as the Hawkwing or Rosetree, living in and around a certain Belharan settlement. Those of noble rank adopted Imperial stylings and surnames, such as the knightly Errion family of Maidenbridge. In either case, mothfolk regularly contributed to the ranks of the empire's magicians, and were widely regarded as being among the best enchanters and mage-smiths in Belhar.
It is generally believed that mothfolk once possessed a great cult dedicated to elemental fire, and several prehistoric ruins from this worship can be found scattered across the rolling plains and forests of the heartland. This faith was almost entirely subsumed into the Church of Lumia during the imperial supremacy, though as Belhar continues to fracture and its churches have lost much of their power, perhaps the old faith of the fires will emerge once again.
Only one of the conditions below must be met to unlock the Mothfolk Codex entry:
- Met Lusina