Created: 16 February 2024, 20:38:10 UTC
Last updated: 16 February 2024, 20:38:10 UTC



Faunid history begins in the aftermath of Blissen(*1), the nuclear event which successfully wiped out all organized civilizations over the course of two decades. After failed attempts at regulating natural resources created extreme scarcity, many nations chose to restrict international access to water, metal, coal, oil, and crops. With costs of these resources skyrocketing, political discussions turned into extortions, many smaller countries either being absorbed by larger nations or completely annihilated due to government mismanagement. Global agreements of nonviolence fell apart as each country scrambled to supply basic needs for their citizens. The war that followed was too great to be called a World War – within years, every single functioning state had ceased to operate. The first bomb dropped was Tzar Bomba, and in its wake over the next decade followed roughly 9, 000 more. There was not a single day in the Final Decade during which a clear sky could be seen. No government had time to recuperate or organize safety measures as every week required constant international supervision and retaliation in order to secure even the smallest remnants of natural resources. When the final bomb exploded, it was not as part of any attack, but a self-detonated leftover which shattered a city without any people nor living things left. It was the world’s loudest farwell. 

Though most of Earth at this point was nothing but flattened terrain covered in ash and debris, some stretches of land such as remote forest areas and greater bodies of water had managed to escape nuclear impact. There, smaller woodland and oceanic creatures, mostly those with the capacity to hide deepsea, burrow or fly, were able to continue thriving. Larger predators were more readily exposed to moving radiation, acid rain, and ash, and their species died off within years of Blissen. With a lack of predators around, the remaining animals began to rapidly multiply, moving closer to areas of high radiation as the unscathed areas grew too small to contain them. With lowering amounts of radiation, it became mutative rather than deadly. This process still required thousands of years, with Earth hosting only small living creatures and a limited amount of flora adjusted to the radiation for the next million-or-so years.

1 - Blissen is a word derived from Middle English’s ‘Blissen’, meaning to erase (v.) of “sin”, as well as the contemporary English word Bliss. Proto-Germanic pronunciation would be something like, “Blisse”. Sometimes, in academic context, referred to as Mikilaz Dau (/mikilɑz/ /dauþuz/ IPA) meaning ‘the Great Death’. Some regions have a preference for one over the other, but Blissen is the most commonly used in colloquial speech.

Phase II

Alongside the evolution of surviving species, landmass movements caused the collision and merging of all continents into one supercontinent, essentially re-creating the Pangea era. At this point, most of the radiation had calmed down and flora had begun to grow unhindered again. Now with more room to grow, both plants and animals quickly migrated, some species settling permanently in new regions. Not as prominent nor diverse as contemporary biomes, the Pangea still housed a previously impossible number of climates. Before, the heavy ash clouds and constant interference of radiation and mutated viral and bacterial diseases had made it difficult for any sort of climate diversity. The Pangea allowed for biomes to develop more distinctly, directly impacting the local species. 


Though the Earth had largely stabilized at this point, weather and resources were still unreliable, leading to an advantage for any creature capable of not only traveling long distances, but also climbing and digging. One of the largest animal present on the Pangea was the deer; its size allowed it to access all regions of the Pangea much more easily than its smaller cohabitants. In northern regions, you’d commonly see Moose, Elks, and Caribous, while southern Pangea hosted deer such as Pudu and Muntjac. As larger herds of deer gathered, a  subspecies of deer developed anatomy which supported vertical spines, perhaps in order to carry supplies back to the group rather than having to migrate to unknown lands without guarantee for food. This gatherer-style community encouraged larger and larger gatherings of deer, forming groups much larger than present-day deer herds in the wild. Despite the distance between these communities, bipedalism occurred at a fairly consistent rate across all of the Pangea (North to South), though those with flatter terrain still favored quadrupedalism. Bipedalism consequently allowed for the development of four-fingered ‘hooves’ that somewhat resembled hands, but not quite.


Now with a new set of evolutionary advantages, settling in herds was more beneficial than ever; labor could be divided to guarantee survival and make use of individual skills. At this point, most activities and group-bonding was instinctive, and there was no shared language. Additionally, without a common language between the groups, there was no sense of civilization nor any overarching institutes linking communities of deer together. 


Herne changed that. Although the earliest beginning of Faunid tracks back to Blissen, deer did not quite go from deer to Faunids until Herne first approached the scattered herds across the Pangea. Although he has no true form, written records (from some time after Herne’s first appearance, when Faunids had developed a written language) did not deviate much from one another, except for some communities which depicted him as looking much like themselves. When comparing these records, Herne’s most prevalent form is that of a Bush-Antlered deer, texts emphasizing his… ‘impressive antlers, wider than some of us stand tall… sunlight reflecting off of him in a way that made him look temporal but majestic… a creature difficult to depict in art, and even more so in words.’ 


After approaching the Faunid leaders, Herne gifted them with skills and a language that would unify them. Their primordial hands turned from crude to creative, able to not only hold tools but also make art. The common tongue encouraged stories and debate as much as it did organization. Finally, Herne gave to the Faunids feathers, the purpose of which has been lost, but many older texts refer to them as ‘markers of purity’. Similarly, Herne went to the wild cats of the Pangea, the best survivors of all the predators that remaned, and gave them strength where he had given Faunids intelligence, cunning to match the Faunid’s shared language, and sharp, deadly fangs instead of hands both to hold and to fight. With greater intelligence than ever before, Faunids learned to cultivate both the land and knowledge. It was a time of flourish.

Phase III

Herne’s gifts pushed Faunids into the final and most recent phase of their development: civilization. 


Where before Faunids had gathered in herds, wth a semblance of structure, they moved away from simply banding together in groups and began forming villages and larger towns. The level of advancement is comparable to the former Bronze Age, characterized by a variety of metalwork, the emergence of skilled labor, a myriad of written records (both academic and artistic), as well as a bartering system. Many Faunids took up specific trades, such as: guards, archivists, tellers (a form of priesthood), metalworkers, farmers, and artisans. As a result of these trades came more developed resources, no longer confining Faunids to wood, but also allowing for experimentation with silk and glass, along with more refined weaponry and homegoods (lanterns, for example). 


Despite these changes, Faunids did not develop a form of capitalism or otherwise class-based economy. Exploitation of other beings and the land is considered treason against Herne, who became the primary deity of all Faunid communities. Shrines in Herne’s name exist all across Faunid civilization, and even if prayer is not a necessary part of Faunid life, belief in Herne is. To stray from Herne and his moral teachings is to set yourself on the path to Corruption. Faunid civilization in Phase 3, while advanced, does not keep animals nor overwork the land; it aims for balance in what it takes and gives. 


With the creation of a universal Faunid language, trading between Faunid towns became more and more common, as did interactions between these groups.