• Gazelli

    (ga-zel-ee)

    “If you dare to travel outside the town and passed the farms with their pastures, dotted with sheep. Past the barns and brambles of blackberry, along the paths and into the forest, you might hear a note or two of a sweet song. Like honeysuckle on the warm, spring air it tugs you along. Deeper into the forest, into the foothills of the mountains. In the shadow of that great ridge of rich earth and stone you may paused to listen, strain to hear that ethereal whisper on the wind. Beware, dear man, because it is no less than that song of the Gazelli you hear. In the corner of your eye to you catch a glimpse of bone-white horn, sweeping and gently curved like a goat? Did you spy a lovely face, framed by two, delicately pointed ears? The eyes of topaz, agate or jade. The ghostly gleam of a blonde tresses, the feeling of shapely fingers grazing your hip. Turn back, dear man, turn back. It is the witch song of the Gazelli in your ear, tempting you with song, rare meat and sweet wine. Turn back, dear man, turn back. Better to be in your bed with your proper wife than tangle the heather downs with a Gazelli, if you guard the spark inside you. Beware these beast men, these children of Faery, goat-kin and antelope get. Their lurid minds give way to unspeakable appetites. No, stay from the woods, dear man. Nature is beautiful but lurid, unpredictable and base. The Gazelli are no less.”
    -Gregor Vetrov, Village Elder

    “Can you believe that old codger? Still spreading rumors about my people like we were some plague upon the world. You know I heard he used to lurk down in the low dells, looking for some Gazelli tail. What's that bit about the fox and the grapes. It's easy to bad mouth something you can't have? Yeah, not too far off the mark with that one. Do you really want to know the Gazelli? To see our limbs, strong and supple, gleam in the bright light of a warm fire? To enjoy dark beer and smoked meat, to see fine armor, swords gleaming in moon light, gems polished to a thousands shades of fire. There is no finer thing made than what has come from Gazelli hands. Take my hand, beautiful. Let me show you the true magic of the Gazelli.”
    -Amara 'Dark Fox' Deldarrien, Gazelli Trapper

    Physical Description:

    Gazelli are easily identifiable. a gift from their Eldritch drenched blood or so goes the popular belief. They are comparable to humans with Long, Faun like ears that frame either side of their face, given them an animalistic appearance. Each Gazelli has sweeping, curving horns growing from their skulls. These horns, which often take the shape of goat, bull, deer, or antelope horns, come in a spectrum of natural colors. The most common colors are white and black but brown, gray, and cream is not unheard of. It is Gazelli custom to paint their horns, to honor the death of a loved one or to mark a great experience.

    Cultural Wear:

    Gazelli dress for their own comfort and thus adhere to no strict dress code, though wool and leather are well loved by their kind. Another cherished material is fur; including but not limited to rabbit, squirrel, mink, ermine, fox, wolf and bear. Jewelry is well loved by the Gazelli, who stake their pride on finely made jewelry as well as arms and armor. Glass and paste gems, fools gold – anything false- are things no gazelli would trade in, and are treated with disdain.

    Biology:

    Gazelli take a lot from their Cervidae ancestors. Both males and females have scent glands at the base of their horns that produce an unmistakable scent mark to other Grazelli. This is not unlike how deer and goats will scent mark trees by rubbing and scrubbing them with their horns on them. Gazelli horns are hard and sharp, not merely decorative. The Gazelli breeding season takes place in congruence with the Summering, the summer solstice festival. A Gazelli female will gestate for around ten months or 44 weeks, depending on the care she receives while pregnant.

    Nature:

    Delighting in both their passions and their crafts, Gazelli present themselves as an affable, light hearted people. They are often quick with a wry grin or smile; for some their good humor is almost infectious. The Gazelli value community; large families are traditional and they find it easy to reach out to their neighbors. Gazelli are clever and take to crafts with easy skill. They are merchant people, easily settling into professions as craftsmen but not all Gazelli are bound to home life. They know a great wanderlust, a need to see and experience new places. This has led to a small but lively Gazelli presence in the adventuring community, etching out a niche for themselves as traders and artists. Some Gazelli have risen to notable ranks as great explorers but they make unlikely warriors, lacking the stern discipline and order of other races. That said, Gazelli are a passionate, confident people and there are few shrinking violets among them.

    Culture:

    Gazelli live in expansive communities, usually led by a small council of elders, mainly comprising of both blood related or chosen family members. Gazelli live close to the heartbeat of the land, tending their flocks and farms with caring pride. Festivals and faires are common in among the Gazelli, celebrating each season as it arrives. Their Four major festivals are Winterfaire (winter solstice), Green Dawn (spring equinox), Summering (summer solstice), and Gold Harvest (fall equinox). The Summering is the most pivotal of these festivals as it marks the arrival of the summer solstice and the beginning of the Gazelli breeding season.

    History:

    Not being inclined to write much down, little is known about the Gazelli's long history. It is known that though they have their hidden valleys high above in the mountains, they send merchants and herds out in nomadic bands, moving from town to town with their sheep, selling wool and mutton and their handiwork. They have been both rivals and trading partners of the dwarves, sharing a taste for gems and a fondness for mountain pasture. During the war of the mage's folly, they mostly managed to keep one step ahead of the mages' forces, their nomadic nature meaning they rode ahead of the storm like a ship pushed by strong winds, lingering in no place long. After the conflict, they returned to their mountain pastures, and have slowly reestablished small villages in the high places.
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