The birdmen are a race of beings with feather tail and wings sprouting from their backs and other small features of avian origin, making them the only humans capable of flight. They are the direct descendants of the Old Ones, a forgotten ancient civilization of humans known for their advanced technology and creations; as such, they are credited with all Their work and legacy. Their population resides in Nisdos, under a closed-door policy and the protection of the Security Administration Agency.
While a minority, birdmen are treated as nobles throughout the world. They are a race in decline due to their small numbers, and have once faced slavery in the past because of their rarity and glorified features. In recent years, they have become known to constantly abuse the power given by their position and usually look down on other humans, despite being forbidden to leave their home country themselves, as leaving Nisdos is punishable by international law. They are often referred to as "caged birds" as a derogatory term by members of other races.
The Works of the Old Gods
The birdmen's religion is primarily based on the worship of anthropomorphic deities, as well as the veneration of concepts of nature. According to ancient mythology, the world was created by the goddess of the moon, darkness, beauty, celebration, truth, belief, creation, forgiveness, education and beginnings, Elconache, and her lover, the goddess of the sun, war, self, luck, fire, justice, endings, youth, emotions and marriage, Nilena. Birdmen worship their offspring and main deities: the clouds, the sky, the rain, and the stars, all of which are seen as the continuation of the life process.
Elconache is primarily associated with the moon, and in fact many birdmen refer to the moon itself as conache, a manifestation of their goddess overseeing the world. She is often portrayed in imagery as a woman of dark skin color of onyx, long gray hair of which can change its color according to the color of the sky, nebulae and galaxies in place of eyeballs, from which all can see, and a long dress made of water, connected to the sea. Nilena, similarly, is associated with the sun, and many refer to the sun itself as lena. She is imagined as a woman with golden skin, hair maid of fire, from which was born humanity, eyeballs made of earth and sand, as well as adorning heavy armor made of gold.
The eldest child, the sky, is the plane in which all exists and the start of life, and as such every year starts with a festival to celebrate the sky. The clouds and the rain are said to be the twins born from the inability of Elconache and Nilena to be together, so they are often associated with one's emotions and journey. The stars, their youngest children, represent the ending of life and the portal to the spirit world. Wealth is also said to have been crafted by Nilena as a gift to her lover, and are seen as a group of smaller gods who protect the matriarch and oversee one's character, so to disrespect money and gold, or to be greedy, is seen as an act of blasphemy and attack to the gods themselves.
They believe one's spirit is immortal and reincarnates many times in the physical world to achieve the total purification of one's essence, so then their spirit will be guided to the afterlife by the god of earth, nature, fertility, life and death, Fero, to meet Elconache and attain enlightment. Because of that belief, spiritism plays a significant role in birdmen's culture and way of life. Birdmen see science and religion as being equal and inseparable. In fact, they believe science, morality and progress are the physical manifestations of the machinations of the universe crafted by Elconache, and as such technological improvements are seen as being one step closer to understanding the relations between the body and the spirit.
Gender and sexuality
Customs and habits
Because of the wings they carry on their backs, birdmen typically cut their hair short or adopt braids, cornrows and such. One's hair decorations is an exhibition of their social status, and therefore they decorate their hair with feathers — called by them as fethers; of which vary, as people in lower social classes wear fethers of common smaller birds of white, brown or grey colors, while the socially ascended adorn fethers in bright colors and of birds of prey — e.g. only the reigning monarch of Nisdos can wear peacock fethers. Those fethers all have both religious and political significance and their trivialization, appropriation or misuse are heavily looked down upon.
Tattooing is common for the residents of Nisdos, and it is not unheard of for children of young ages to sport tattoos. While the use of fethers in one's hair marks status and rank, as well symbolizes religious and spiritual devotion, tattoos serve as rites of passage and marks of fertility and enlightenment. They are first given to teenagers when they reach 14 years of age as protection from evil spirits and the beginning of the path onto adulthood. However, unlike feathers, birdmen can also choose to be tattooed for artistic, cosmetic or sentimental purposes, and their rules and use are not as strict, as many families choose to forgo their process, with no political statements attached.
List of birdmen
Birdmen's culture and history are based on the Aztec civilization and modern Mexico.