• May 10, 2017

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Birdfolk are the dominant folk of The Inbound Lands. Though their ancestors were not originally evolved in The Inbound Lands, they migrated to its shores and are considered, after generations, as one of the native species in what had been an otherwise previously abandoned continent.

This article covers:

  • Social structure
Social Structure

Though Birdfolk do bond romantically and may choose mate for life, they do not have the family structures or obligations common to Walkingfolk. Though physically very similar in appearance, Birdfolk vary in key ways – such as beak structure, feather coloration and formation, and bone – and these genetic differences mean that pairings do not always result in offspring. Even if a Birdfolken becomes with egg, the hatched offspring may be sterile.

As a result, Birdfolk culture has evolved in ways that aids with the dispersal of healthy genes and offspring. Rather than a Walkingfolk-style family structure, Birdfolk social structure relies on the concept of the Flock, a large community whose members are invested and organized around business structures, lifestyle, and interests. A Birdfolk may join any Flock, but they may only belong to one at a time, and as their loyalty is freely given, it is expected that their loyalty to the Flock to be complete. Should a Birdfolken no longer feel that the Flock represents their interests, they are free to begin the transfer process into another, more appealing community. Largely migratory, Flocks are based around the caravan and caravel structures of the Birdfolk (though members may dwell in primarily one location due to Flock duties or specialties such as diplomacy, representation, inventory management, or maintenance).

Birdfolk may choose to mate for life, but are not expected to do so. In choosing romantic partners, they may choose to mate within the Flock structure, or they may choose to mate with reoccuring partners along the migratory path. However, either party is free to leave the Flock as they wish whenever they wish to transfer, and so any romantic arrangement typically ends when the transfer occurs.

As a result of this migratory pattern, the ability of any Birdfolken to transfer Flocks, and the non-obligatory relationships between mating pairs, the genetic material of the Birdfolk thrives despite setbacks.

The migratory nature of the Flock places ever more importance on the communal hatching grounds, which serve to gather, shelter, and protect the fragile eggs, and to provide safe grounds for raising young. When an egg is laid, the egg is transported to the nearest hatching grounds and cared for until it hatches. Though their initial weeks are delicate, young Birdfolk mature quickly, and under the guidance of a Flock of guardians, the young hatchlings help to oversee the care of the eggs.