|Common Nicknames||Scout of Estel|
|Habitat||Daen, The Far West|
The Neefaar are strange creatures with an unknown origin who were the first of Estel’s plant-based heralds to arrive into the lands of the Allorn Empire. But, they were ignored, and soon hated for what later messengers enacted, and some even fell into the arms of the Kathar who warped them into corrupted reflections of their former selves. Following the Wildering, the birth of the Yanar, the Neefaar attached themselves to this plantlike Race, while also remaining in service to the Kathar. Considered rare among the creatures of the world, the Neefaar are truly living relics, especially those purported to be from the era before the Cataclysm, yet they are not time capsules of information so many likely would wish them to be. Instead, they are stoic, and some would say broken, remnants of a previous age.
Emerging from the same mists of mystery as the Nenya and the Grul-Yanar, the Neefaar were a much more common creature that emerged within the final decades of The Mage Wars, serving as the true first signs of what was to come. But at the time, they were largely ignored, or seen as curiosities. Supposedly speaking in an unknown tongue, some were initially enslaved by the Altalar, though a worse fate befell those in The Far West. There, the emerging Kathar took and twisted them, Void Essence warping the beings into silent, fearsome mounts of battle, which ironically is the same path their now distant kin would take on Daen. In this region though, the Nenya and their other servants arrived, and the Altalar were forced to fight many devastating battles. Whether the Kathar also faced such foes before the Cataclysm is unknown. The Neefaar were right beside their often much larger brethren, but being more populous, often played more an “infantry” or common interference role. When the Night of the Fallen Star took place, unlike the Grul-Yanar who had vanished, the Neefaar often fought against those who sought to kill the Nenya. Yet, they did not die like their likely progenitor. Instead, a number survived, fleeing into the wilds, and soon found a place among Cielothar society. As the Yanar too emerged, they sometimes drew out Neefaar that seemed timid or aged. With time, and likely far less pain and suffering in the case of the Kathar, the Neefaar became valued mounts of the Yanar, who gradually shaped them to carry several individuals in or on their branches and bodies. It wasn’t until 130 AC that the twisted, Wyld-Warped Neefaar were discovered, the shock initially freezing both sides of a battlefield since normal Neefaar also stood with the Yanar, Cielothar, and Avanthar. Today, the Neefaar represents perhaps the most extreme dichotomy of creatures in Aloria, one variety wielded by the Kathar, and another by the Yanar, both capable of taking on passengers for ranged combat and sturdy transportation.
The Neefaar are large beings of nature, but so diverse due to the manipulation of the Kathar that only general traits can be discussed concerning their physical appearance. They stand between six and nine feet tall, with a heavy weight that gives them their slow movement speed. Their heads are fairly angular, with slightly pointed “ears” on either side of an impassive face, though there are no attached ear canals or similar organs. This head is leaned slightly forward, connected to the body by a thick neck that leads to a broad torso, with a pair of thick, humanoid arms with four fingers. Their legs have thick bases, with powerful support, and lack feet or toes though some root-like protrusions grow from these thick, bottom-heavy limbs and are called toes by others. Further description of their coloration and other physical traits is described below.
Neefaar are all female, or at least feminine given small traits of their physical appearance, and also the words of the Yanar who interact with them. Further diversity exists within the two varieties, so stark in appearance some believe it is more appropriate to call them different species. However, as the base of the Wyld-Warped Neefaar is so similar in overall makeup, this has yet to happen.
Normal Neefaar are sometimes called Greenbright Neefaar to distinguish them from their twisted sisters. Their physical appearance is often that of willow or oak trees, with vegetation along their bodies accordingly matching up, and growing from their “hair” or series of Rest Branches, the sturdy seats formed to allow others to ride upon them. Their main rider’s seat is often positioned next to their head, in the crook of the neck and around the “collar” of bark and vegetation that makes up their head meeting their upper body. Their eyes are always a pale green or pink, with smooth faces and clear humanoid features beyond their pseudo-ears. They are also known to sustain bird nests and other creatures within their forms, and other plants freely grow on their bodies. Greenbright Neefaar do not speak, but are said to hum and even lightly sing in Nen’yavaye, causing Yanar to hypnotically join in. What is being said is impossible to know, as other than these noises, only grunts or cries of pain are known to emerge from the stoic beings.
Wyld-Warped Neefaar, by contrast to Greenbright Neefaar, have been actively and terribly corrupted by the Kathar, though a number were also likely warped by the Wildering disrupting Magic across Aloria (the same power that twisted the Wylathar). Their physical appearance varies wildly, as their forms do possess the same humanoid form to that of their fairer sisters, but saturated with Void Mutations, though with a more plantlike edge. Their eyes are always some form of Void Mutation appearance, solid black, red, or with an altered limbus, with their natural color of deep green only occasionally being retained. Their eyes are known to be ringed with dried black sap that darkens their eyes, while their hair is often stiff and sharp, punctured by beautiful, though startlingly colored, flowers. Their bark-like skin often browns so dark that it reaches the spectrum of black, colorations unhealthy appearing like ashen grey, though certain areas can also be calcified into a solid black or grey on an otherwise dark brown bark body. Spines may grow from their back, and otherwise look twisted, though their Rest Branches are often in similar places. Their main rider’s seat is behind their head, in a dominant position. Wyld-Warped Neefaar never speaks, and instead only scream as they enter a battlefield, a mournful wail of a battlecry that is enough to chill even some riding them, with similar sounds of pain when injured.
Life Span and Development
Little is known about the lifespan and development of the Neefaar. There are some who say the creatures are dying out and unable to reproduce, though others disagree. Despite centuries passing, new and vile Neefaar still come forth from Kathar lands all these years later, while Yanar of Daen still ride these great mounts as needed in defense, attack, or even simple travel. Some suspect groups of Neefaar, who often congregate when left amongst each other, do as the Yanar do, somehow instilling life into an object planted into the ground, causing a new adult Neefaar or more to emerge from the earth whole. Others believe that Neefaar, when dead, simply travel into an area of plant life, and reforge a body to emerge anew. No Neefaar young have ever been seen, and so it is likely that until one learns to properly communicate with these majestic beings, the mystery will continue.
While the Neefaar might have once had words, wisdom, and more to share with Aloria, the loss of the Nenya and the Cataclysm has seemingly broken their spirit, even among the Greenbright Neefaar of the Yanar. Their minds according to the Yanar are silent, and most remain dead quiet, not making noise except the thumber or rumble that walking causes when in peaceful surroundings. The Neefaar seem almost slaves to their instincts to serve others as well. While not known to labor, or to produce for others, they are still ridable by whomever their owner approves to climb aboard, and the most protest a Neefaar usually shows to an unwanted passenger is a glower. The Neefaar’s desensitization also appears to extend to battle. While they will fight, their main role is as slow-moving, small battle platforms, with ranged units of Mages and archers fighting from their positions on the creature.
Territory and Groupings
Neefaar are wholly “domesticated” though this is somewhat folly as a statement since they have never shown a truly wild side during their entire existence. They served the Nenya, and now they serve the Yanar and Kathar. They are, however, kept in Nee Fields, large paddocks of light vegetation the creatures may walk through, and gather with their own kind. In some areas, these regions may be gated, but in more natural settings the borders are less solidly laid out, with heavier bouts of nature. Neefaar are social among their own kind, or at least they appear to be. They group up, forming small circles, but seem to largely just stand there with closed eyes until summoned. This extends even to Wyld-Warped and Greenbright kept in the same area, though it is notable that in a group the two subtypes will cluster together making up a portion of the unit and not disperse truly among one another.
- Neefaar, despite their heavy nature aesthetic, do not seem to really care about nature around them. While some have been noted to let animals rest on their bodies, or form nests in their crooks, when a Neefaar moves, it doesn’t help protect what has been made, simply obeying the directions of their rider.
- Neefaar do not seem to fear fire, though it certainly can hurt them. Why is not clear, but some believe decades if not centuries of having flaming arrows and Mages around them has meant they only care when their bodies are harmed by the substance, and not by its proximity.
- Some believe Neefaar are perhaps an even earlier attempt at the Yanar by the Nenya, but if that is true, their inability to adapt likely spelled doom for them as prophets of Estel, forcing the Nenya to form the Grul-Yanar instead.