The nurlak are an ancient people whose history has become shrouded in mystery over time. The origin of the nurlak is unknown, though they are believed to be the oldest Sentient race on Demrefor, followed closely by the humans.
Nurlak vary in height from 7’0” to 4’0” and have no definite average.
The nurlak people are a very varied race. Though they are all humanoid, and generally have four limbs, they have a huge variety of body types, skin tones, and hair and eye colours.
The most obvious nurlak trait are their four arms; one upper set joining like most other races, and one lower set joining just under the side of the breast. They have extra muscles under their pectoral muscles, but unless they tone them they are not very visible.
Nurlak have four eyes. A larger, lower set of eyes and a smaller, upper set of eyes that make their foreheads seem larger. Their upper eyes are mostly nearsighted, and their lower eyes are generally farsighted.
Many nurlak can blink each set of eyes separately from the other, some even able to wink with each individual eye (which has been described as “creepy” by many).
They have ears similar to a rodent or a horse’s ears which vary in sound sensitivity and appearance depending on the individual’s family origins. These ears have no fur, like many other Sentients have, but are still very sensitive to certain pitches.
Nurlak skin tones range from dark brown to beige to pale pink-white. They generally do not have skins that aren’t a of shade of pink, brown, or yellow, but some nurlak families have recessive genes from other races such as seces and dassens, and will sometimes inherit colourful tints that make them look almost unnatural.
They have no limit to their hair; many nurlak having two natural hair colours (usually gradients or tips) that make it look like they have dyed their hair.
Similar to their hair, nurlak eyes can be an amazing variety of colours. Some have multicoloured irises or coloured sclera, and some nurlak have even had their eye colours change completely during puberty.
Nurlak mouths tend to be compact with white or off-white teeth, though some may have bites that are slightly off or their may be teeth unaligned.
At a glance, nurlak women and nurlak men do not appear to have many differences besides their reproductive organs. However, there are quite a few differences that become more apparent the more time you spend with nurlak; though they are rather subtle.
Nurlak women tend to have more curves, with wider hips and generally fuller faces, and carry fat in different places to their male counterparts. Likewise, the men have an easier time developing muscle mass and often have very straight figures.
The extra pectoral muscles on women may also develop into secondary fatty deposits similar to their breasts, but this is very rare.
The common deformity of closed-over eyelids has led to a new race of nurlak: the two-eyed nurlak, who do not have a second set of eyes but still retain all other nurlak genetics.
They originated from Fallen Cloud but, otherwise, there is nothing remarkable about them.
Spider nurlaks are nurlaks with 6 arms, giving them a total of 8 limbs.
Other common traits of spider nurlaks are fang-like teeth and birthmarks along their back that resemble spider patterns.
Spider nurlaks are most likely of both dassen and nurlak descendent; it is believed their extra limbs come from the dassen wing genes being confused with the nurlak arm genes, and that their fangs and birthmarks are traits carried over from their dassen ancestors.
Deformities and Disabilities
Most nurlak have four eyes, though a common deformity leads to the upper eyelids fusing and closing-over before the nurlak is born; this gives the appearance of a single set of eyes with a strangely high brow. This deformity is very easy to fix with surgical correction and most nurlaks who are treated at birth do not lose sight in their upper eyes; most who are not treated before they turn a year old have their upper eyes turn blind.
Usually, nurlaks born with amelia are born with their lower arms being stunted, though not completely gone. This also causes cleft lips, though cleft palettes are rare.
Many nurlaks are born colourblind in one or both sets of eyes; this is especially common for nurlaks with several human ancestors.
Reproduction and Lifespan
Nurlak males have two penises. They only use one at a time and struggle to make both erect at once. Some males have a preference to which penis they like to use; claiming it is more or less sensitive than the other. Rarely, some men will be able to use both their penises at once. Most of these men have been Star Seers and became famous among their tribes; often siring children to couples who struggled on their own.
Female nurlak have two clitorises, one atop the other. Generally one is more sensitive than the other. They also have very accommodating vaginas. They are able to have relatively comfortable intercourse with most other Sentients.
Nurlak usually only have 1 or 2 children at a time. More in a single pregnancy is rare. The gestation of a pregnancy lasts a little under 8 months. Babies can survive premature births up to a month before their expected date, though the further from their expected date the less likely the child will survive.
Nurlak children develop at an average rate. Most start puberty between 10 and 13 eclipses and finish development around 19 to 20 eclipses.
• The average lifespan for nurlaks is 100 eclipses.
• The oldest known nurlak died at 300 eclipses old. He was, however, bed-bound by the age of 140 due to an injury (although according to his journal, this didn’t bother him as he was a writer).
• The largest known nurlak pregnancy was in 8,320 AE when the Ka’te Spirit Caller, Seari Galan, gave birth to nonuplets.
• The number of children a nurlak will raise changes with the culture they live in, though the average is around 2-5 (or 6-10 in wolven countries).
The nurlak people are a very widespread race. They do not have many countries of their own, and instead they prefer to integrate into other Sentients’ cultures. Nurlak tend to adopt the culture of the country they are in and are said to be generally agreeable and peace-loving.
Nurlak are found in almost every land-dwelling culture, including the Har’py religion, and some nurlak even take their life to the ocean; living on boats and adopting the cultures of the mer and seces people.
Although nurlak are usually peaceful and enjoying sharing food, drink, and jokes with most, they can also be quite cruel people and are capable of horrific crimes.
Because of their tendency to integrate with other peoples, the few nurlak homelands on Demrefor that exist are at peace with most Sentient countries and are used as trading hubs for countries that are not swapping goods directly.
One of the few nurlak homelands, Fallen Cloud, is considered the most successful farming culture on the planet. They are one of the only mass-producers of the very rare, but very useful, cottonflower plant, and have trade routes to all major countries exporting food, clothes, and medicine made from the cottonflower plant.
Despite not having much culture of their own, there is evidence that nurlak are one of the oldest, if not the first, sentient Demreforian species.
Ancient temples can be found over the entirety of the known world. It is believed that nurlak were the creators of these temples due to the artwork inside: nurlak are the only recognisable Sentient people featured in the carvings and paintings, and although there are other animals in the art none are portrayed with the same reverence the nurlak are.
Except, perhaps, the twelve-armed serpents, who appeared to be worshipped as their rulers.
Art of the serpents shows mortal men and women donning serpentine skulls and transforming into great beasts. It is believed that these serpents were both the original incarnations of summoned Burnsay, and the physical form that ancient nurlak gods took.
Wild beasts such as dragons and gryphons on Demrefor seem to have an inherent dislike for nurlak. Even the zokex say they feel an almost unnatural distrust to the otherwise friendly people.
This instinct seems to be explained with the discovery of the city of Kal Korhalkrak, which was found after I’rekans uncovered an old cave that had been lost during ancient times during a cave-in. The city is one of the best-preserved cities yet found, although it is a morbid sight: mummified nurlak people scatter the ground and the walls of Korhalkrak are covered in graffiti. Some of the graffiti has been translated from the old language. Most of the translated writings are things such as: ‘they’ve come for us,’ ‘they’re angry,’ and ‘I can’t breathe.’
The outside walls of the city’s temple depict a bloody slaughtering during a strange ‘harvesting’ ritual, where nurlaks would kill animals and wear their skin. Not much else has been deciphered from the temple.
Nurlak do not have their own spoken or written languages. There is Ancient Demreforian, which is believed to have originated from the nurlaks, but it is no longer spoken or written as a common language.
Most nurlak will learn the language of the culture they are in or —if it is a nurlak-only culture— will simply speak International and nothing else.
Like most of their ways, nurlak will often adopt the laughter of the culture they are in.
The Self-Feeding Sickness
There is a rare nurlak illness known as ‘the self-feeding sickness’, which has only ever been known to occur in nurlak men. The origin of the sickness is unknown, but it is commonly introduced to nurlaks through undercooked gryphon meat, and then spread through bodily fluids. Poor hygeine is a major contributor for it’s spread.
It cannot be caught or spread by non-nurlak Sentients, but nurlak women can become hosts for the illness.
Once infected, a nurlak male may not show symptoms for anywhere between a week and a year, but the illness starts to show itself as an uncomfortable hot flush that has been described similar to insects under the skin. Once the illness progresses the nurlak will become increasingly paranoid, eventually becoming violent.
If left long enough without any form of treatment, the man will begin to consume himself alive in a frenzied panic, until he either dies or is restrained.
There are only two known treatments for the self-feeding sickness: a herbal tea made from cottonflower leaves and gala gala seeds; and the lesser-used chino nigelle cure, made from uninfected blood and chino flore poison.
Fallen Cloud in the Gallamor
In the mid-6,000s, the Felinic Gallamor was in famine. The nurlak country Fallen Cloud sent supplies to the Gallamor, and when the famine ended, Fallen Cloud was welcomed into the Gallamor and joined the meetings until the 10,000s; when Fallen Cloud was destroyed.
Fallen Cloud, New Fallen Cloud, and the Fire Towers
The Fallen Cloud kingdom (not to be confused with New Fallen Cloud) is the biggest producer of cottonflower plants on the planet. With an abundance of medicine, food, and cloth, it is also the wealthiest Sentient kingdom.
The major city of the original Fallen Cloud kingdom was called the city of Fallen Clouds, or “Fallen Cloud City” by some. The country was forcefully taken over by Sapious after its destruction.
New Fallen Cloud was originally a relief settlement on the Nurlak Islands. It was formed by refugees of the great Fallen Cloud fire, and it eventually grew into its own kingdom.
Queen Distro of Canis La’Can was able to return the stolen land to the nurlaks after the Sapious/Canis war ended, and Fallen Cloud was rebuilt.
Though the two countries shared the same king for several generations, they eventually split into two royal lines that rule separately.
After the country was rebuilt, the new major city was called Fire Tower City, after the large fire tower that stands in the centre.
After the great Fallen Cloud fire, the cottonflower farmers created a law to ban unregistered fires and built a wall around the country with strict import regulations. All Fallen Cloud and New Fallen Cloud cities have their own fire towers, which are the only places where fires are allowed to be lit and used.
The fire towers are tall buildings with a large cylinder chimney made of stone which mark the centre of the cities. The chimney is connected to a humongous furnace, and the heat is channeled through an underground tunnel system which leads to things such as stoves and bedroom vents; all vents have stone slates which can be used to cover them and stop the heat entering the building.
Those who volunteer to tend the fire towers are seen as public heroes because of Fallen Cloud and New Fallen Cloud’s fear of fires.
Nurlak people, unlike most other humanoid races, do not have left or right hand preferences. Instead, they are born preferring to use either their upper or lower set of arms.
Nurlak are often hired as babysitters; their extra limbs make it easier for them to care for children. This is especially common in wolven countries where families are large.
In old nurlak culture, parents would smoke cottonflower leaves before naming their children. This is no longer the norm, though it still happens in some places.
The only other farm that produces cottonflower plants at the same level as Fallen Cloud is New Fallen Cloud. Otherwise, there are very few farms that produce cottonflower plants; mostly the plant is grown by individuals.
Make Your Own!
If you would like to make your own nurlak character, you can use this base!