Created: 16 February 2024, 20:33:49 UTC
Last updated: 6 April 2024, 16:41:35 UTC


The Greater Faunid Society

Shared Language​

As Faunids developed as a species, a need for a common language arose. Though many Faunid regions have more distinct dialects and local linguistic quirks, there’s a universal dialect that developed naturally due to a reliance on travel and barter. Local dialects are never so different that someone from a different area Atalav could not understand it, but because of regional specialties and different levels of isolation, as with all languages, Faunids’ language developed somewhat separately once communities began to pop up in separate Atalav regions.

Families, Fawning, & Reproduction

While nearly all Faunids are capable of traditional birth, older individuals consider this practice to be taboo as fauns conceived this way are “less pure” than those created solely by the goddess Herne. No one knows how great of a role Herne plays in the creation of traditionally birthed fauns, if any. Despite this, only fauns of matching subspecies (such as merfaun x merfaun) can have a traditional mating and birth, while mixed subspecies couples can opt for adoption or Fawning through Herne.

Through fawning, two Faunids offer up a gift each for Herne, and in return are blessed with a fawn crafted in the image of the two parents. Fawning is celebrated each year during the month of February and is the most typical way for Faunids to make additions to their families. Fawns are only ever created during Fawning, as this is when the spirits begin to stir due to shifting lunar activities, drawing them closer to Atalav’s plane of existence. Alongside the birth of fawns, some regions host special events to both honor Herne and to greet the spirits from the Middling Plane, who now return to Atalav as fawns.

Corrupted Faunids are not able to participate in Fawning as their link to the goddess Herne has been permanently severed. 

Unique Abilities and Traits

Faunidae’s most significant trait is their unnatural intelligence, which developed in the absence of previous advanced societies after the world ‘reset’ post-Blissen. This intelligence was only furthered as the world’s continents collided once more into a new Pangea, and Faunids were able to gather in larger groups and over vast areas, each with their own set of conditions for survival. Their dexterous hands were also a great benefit during this evolutionary period as it allowed them to accomplish a great amount of delicate work that would have otherwise been impossible, advancing them past many other species that exist alongside them.

Their hands are considered a gift from the goddess Herne, whereas their feathers (the second trait that separates them from pre-Blissen species of deer) do not have any particular origin attributed to them. It is not unlikely that due to the tumultuous natural environment during Faunidae’s early existence, some qualities evolved in response, only to become less needed for survival as Faunids (due to their intelligence) were able to establish secure communities, and now remain more as an aesthetic echo of past forms than serving a variety of functions. Others believe that feathers are an additional gift from Herne meant to serve as identification, alongside different hair types, especially if, like in the past where communities were not intermingling as frequently as they do now, some feather colors and patterns were more common in specific areas.

Shedding & Molting

Compared to standard cervids, Faunids are incapable of shedding their antlers. As they go through life, they will have velveted antlers that grow until maturity, at which point the velvet will fall off and reveal their adult antlers. Damaged velvet, improper diet, and careless handling all affect the individual’s antlers. Some Faunids  will have a minor celebration whenever an individual’s antlers have molted, as this is considered a milestone in one’s life since antlers will remain unchanged at that point onwards.

Throughout the year, feathers continuously molt and shed in order to replace broken or damaged ones. The process can be uncomfortable and sometimes changes a Faunid’s feathers, like length and color. Some Faunids respond to the natural environment, resulting in seasonal coats, changing colors depending on the time of the year. However, seasonal coats are not typical, and are considered a remnant of a time prior to Faunid civilization, serving functions that are no longer necessary in Faunid society.

Community Life & Technologies

The Bartering​ System

During the early days of Faunid communities, there were fewer of them, and all of them experienced very significant restrictions on resources. Before Atalav was more populated, most Faunids lived in one of four areas: the Western Coast (Makino and part of the Salmon Coast), the area between the Bullran Cliffs and the Cold North, the South (the area surrounded Lavandul), and the southeast islands of Inaling. As time passed and these groups interacted more and more, smaller towns began to pop up, which also made trading and travel easier, allowing these developing communities to bring more merchandise with them when journeying. 

As Atalav saw the establishment of more and more Faunid villages, the bartering system settled into itself, and a monetary system never developed. Because it is fairly easy to settle into an existing village as long as you are adequately prepared and have something worth bartering for, be it merchandise, services, or skills, Faunids are able to experience the many communities across Atalav and encourage continued exchange.


While there are some universal jobs such as tailors, metalsmiths, farmers, and woodworkers, most Faunid communities also have highly specialized occupations, for example: gardeners with extensive knowledge of local flora. Makino has several jobs related to the Rosen Forest that do not exist elsewhere, such as producing dye from the Rosen flora (a job reserved exclusively for those living in Makino) and lace production from the resulting dye has many designs you’ll find only in Makino. On the other hand, the Dry Plains have inspired several techniques for preserving food and the creation of wind-and-weather resistant fabrics and buildings, technology that the locals then brought elsewhere in exchange for employment. Like with Makino, many Lavandul residents are well-versed in farming and often find great opportunities outside of Lavandul as a result of their expertise, as capable farmers are always desired in Atalav. To imagine what Faunids might focus on in their respective regions beyond basic necessities, look no further than the environments of these communities.


Faunids’ respectful relationship with the natural environment imposes some restrictions on materials for their day-to-day lives, but not to the extent that community development is hindered. Resources such as paper, glass, leather, some crude metals, silk, limestone, salt, and similar basic resources are a staple, although their availability varies depending on your location.

Because Faunids exist in a society where one of the greatest crimes is exploitation, the retrieval and maintenance of resources is highly related to how much is needed for specific projects. While limestone might be available, it should not be carelessly mined and instead calculated as best as possible to meet requirements for a building or similar, and any excess should be repurposed either in the local community or brought to a region where limestone might be unavailable or more difficult to access for bartering. At the same time, if a large amount of silk was created in the limited time period that it can be made in Makino, that quantity will sustain the barter system until the next time the larvae cocoon. There is no universal way to determine what is excess and what is not, but all Faunid communities have developed their own ways of utilizing excess materials so that there is as little waste as possible. The existence of local production specialties also helps in maintaining this system; each region is highly aware of what their environment produces and seasonal shifts, and can care for it while resources are obtained so that it has time to recuperate. This means that sometimes a local specialty is unavailable for some time in intercommunal trade.

Clothing & Weaponry

While completely optional, clothing is readily available. Because of the mentioned restrictions on materials, cotton, silk, flax, wool, ramie, fur, and leather are typically used for clothing, but some regions choose to incorporate metal, bones, lace, or specific dyes in order to make more extravagant clothes. These are not as typical and often these additions require bartering with several different communities in order to achieve specific looks. All clothing is handsewn and requires a great amount of time and effort, making sewing a highly valued skill, extending beyond clothes, as well.

Like with clothing, some Faunids choose to create weaponry or protective gear with a variety of skills involved, be it metalworking or leathercraft. Favored items involve swords, daggers, dirks, bows, and similar, with bows being the most accessible. Faunids typically wear light defensive gear in their day-to-day, but stray from heavy armor, not only because it can be impractical, but also because of the many materials involved in creating it, the exception being those whose occupation involves protecting their respective communities. In these cases, larger weapon and sturdier armor is desired.


Life and Death

Death Ritual​s & the Afterlife

Each Faunid community has its own set of typical funeral rites, changing slightly depending on some factors such as season and the passed one’s wishes. To die is for the soul to be released from Atalav’s plane of existence; spirits are not necessarily conscious, but can ebb and flow in strength and presence depending on the movement of the moon, such as during Fawning. It is said that Herne’s consciousness spans all planes of existence, and it is how they are able to guide spirits during both death rites and Fawning. However, it is not possible for corrupted Faunids to enter the cycle of reincarnation by Herne’s hand, as they have abandoned their faith during corruption. Only souls untouched by corruption are considered suitable for rebirth and Fawning, whereas corrupted souls continue to roam endlessly.

Some burial options include…

Vulturine Burials overlap with many of the other burial rites, but sometimes involve some additional steps (such as a declaration of intent that the body is gifted to the earth as well as the splitting of the body rather than preserving it whole). In a vulturine burial, a qualified Faunid prepares a corpse to be gifted to nature’s most fundamental components. Specific body parts are offered to certain flora, fauna, or natural processes. The most common and revered are: air (vulturines and birds of prey), water (fish, aquatic quadrupeds, and natural decomposition in the sea), fellow forest and desert walkers (bears, wolves, and similar), earth (burial, insects), and fire (burning).

Traditional Burials involve burying a naked body in the earth so that the organisms therein can turn the body to dirt once more. Graves are sometimes marked, but only in ways that do not needlessly interfere with the natural world, such as planting a local flora over the grave that can be related to the deceased.

Sent Burials place the deceased on a raft made of wood and weak grasses which is then sent out into the ocean. Once the raft disintegrates and the body sinks into the water, it will feed the creatures within, while ocean birds may speed up the process while the raft is still afloat. This burial style has become less common with the discovery of Merfaunidae as it may interfere with their habitats, but some villages close to the shores may still occasionally hold a sent burial.

Sentry Burials are typically reserved for Faunids of high regard, particularly for those who served as Defenders during their lifetime. The individual is clad in colorful berries, flowers, dyed salts, and other natural preservatives that are both decorative and functional. The body is placed in a secluded area for years at a time, where it is meant to be preserved until natural decomposition begins. Tales mention Faunids who had sentry burials who were slowly turned to stone by Herne as a sign of gratitude for their dedication to duty and persevering faith in life.

Faunid Society Guidelines

While every settlement on Atalav has diverse expressions within their own communities, there will always be a societal bond that binds Faunids together across the continent both in faith and practice. This overarching connection is what allows all Faunids to thrive and coexist in relatively peaceful and mindful practices. These rules were created for any and every Faunid as a clear way to show their devotion and respect for Herne. This also allows those who don't wish to perform traditional ceremonies to be known as loyal and true, as Herne is a fair god and is capable of discerning the sincerity of your actions. Any Faun who deliberately disobeys and ignores these societal guidelines begin to walk the path to Corruption. 


​Intentionally dispatching a soul is an act that not only ends another's journey, but also creates an endless chain reaction of misery. The cycle of death amongst previous species is what hastily pushed Earth into the Holocene Extinction event that led to its temporary ruin. As all life is sacred under Herne, to murder any living creature is to take up arms against Herne themself. The only exceptions are if the creature in question, whether intentionally or unintentionally, is committing acts that will harm others; a kill should only occur to end needless suffering. For example, if an animal is struck with illness or lethal injuries, corrupted Faunids wreaking havoc, rotting vegetation, and so on.


​It's known that deer are not obligate herbivores and have been witnessed to eat small portions of meat in the form of eggs, small mammals, birds, bones, and so forth. Faunids are no exception and are fully capable of consuming atypical forms of protein as long as they adhere to Herne’s ethical guidelines. The consumption of your brethren is prohibited. Consensual or not, the act of cannibalization will kickstart the process of corruption.


​The definition of exploitation for Faunids is to deliberately mistreat someone or something for personal gain. Any intentional exploitation is deemed immoral.

En masse farming, unethical harvesting, elimination of Faunids and other fauna for land, and excessive production are all unnecessary actions that benefit no one except the individual in question. Introducing non-native species must be done in extreme moderation and under close supervision, with intention to remove the plant at the end of its lifecycle. It is common for farmers to not only maintain cleared land for personal vegetation but to also support native wildlands that neighbor these cleared areas. The grasses and native species that had to be removed in order to grow gardens are either replanted in new areas or are properly harvested with zero waste.

The line between unethical and ethical in a discussion of exploitation can be subtle and tricky. It’s not a rule meant only for farming and relations with the natural environment, but for everyone and all communities. An innkeeper cannot work their employees for unsustainable hours nor should the innkeeper look for any form of profit. When creating products for the community to enjoy, the act should not be done perpetually in the hope of gaining profit or overworking your fellow crafters. Selfishly hoarding items beyond your means takes away the ability of others to partake in the creative production and therefore stops them from distributing riches fairly. All of this falls under exploitation.


One does not need to be Lawful Good within their community to be an upstanding member and remain on good terms with Herne. Tricksters and jokesters thrive and scandals can liven otherwise mundane days. However, even these individuals know not to play games with their god. There is no doubt that He exists. He can be seen in visions, through the creations of Fawns, and through blessings. To not believe in him is nearly impossible and will lead to ostracization. You do not need to actively worship, mention, solely base your morals around this god, or have a basic shrine within the confines of one's home, but you do need to adhere to the societal rules that make up the communal bonds all Faunids share. Herne can see through insincerity—you cannot trick them. Therefore, to charade faith and moral actions will not do you any good.


There is no way to “own” a living creature in a system that denounces exploitation, and therefore there are no “pets.” Companions, however, are relatively common. These are creatures who wish to live alongside a Faunid out of their own will, whether it be a domestic feline, a sheep, or even a Lapine. Farmers house and care for their companions (note: these are not livestock), and in return they may receive wool, milk, or similar. Animals that are kept in enclosures for their own safety, such as small mammals and birds, should have these enclosures reflect suitable environments. It is not uncommon for farming to be a generational profession, as companion animals often find comfort in those they have lived around. 

No matter what is being built, sourcing material should only occur if it does not damage the environment in which the material originates. Using wood and metal for architecture must be done sparingly and only if it is called for. Most wood used has been marked for clearing fire hazards, infestation, invasive species, or general decay. Animal hides can only be sourced from very specific sources, including individuals that died of old age or were found already dead. Due to the moral limitations, materials such as precious gems and metals are rare to come across in large quantities, and many resources can only be harvested seasonally and must then be stretched over the year in order to not interfere with natural growth cycles. Faunid housing structures tend to make use of and echo the natural environment, such as building alongside cliff structures, not carving into them, or building pathways around trees, not cutting them down.