Lifespan: Immortal Height: 5'00"-8'00" Diet: Omnivore Sex: Anbinary Type: Non-Pony (Flying)
Kirin are unique in that they are never born - rather, they are created through the natural and unnatural accumulations of magic. When enough is gathered in one area, around one object, a process known as spontaneous sentience occurs - giving rise to abstract thought, realization of the self, and true consciousness. In the instant when this switch is flipped, the magic pours itself into the first mold it can find in the metaphysical framework of the world - and comes out the other side as a freshly-formed Kirin, vibrating with Magninium, confused and curious. To say that such circumstances are rare is an understatement, and yet - Kirin exist, flourish, struggle, survive, and adapt all the same, forging their own identities in a world that has no room for them.
The Core & Birth
Kirin are born as young adults, forming a body around their core in the instant of their birth. Though most races attain "common knowledge" over the course of maturation to adulthood, Kirins are born knowing CK from birth.
A Kirin's core is the object their magic first gathered around and formed a body around. Instead of a heart, their core resides in their chest and pumps Magninium through their body. Though their bodies contain arteries and veins, they bleed pure Magninium rather than the magic-blood mixture of other races.
There is a misconception that a Kirin's core must be hollow, like a wisp pony's. This is false; a Kirin's object merely has to have gathered an enormous amount of magic without first becoming a puppet. Objects that become puppets are incapable of becoming Kirins, even if they attain enough magic to seem like one. Kirin dislike comparisons to puppets and find the association insulting and dismissive of their intelligence.
Kirin generally feel disconnect to their bodies - a permeating sense of "otherness" between their magic, their true self, and their physical flesh. Many experience various body dysphoria throughout their lives, and go to great lengths to remedy this, especially through expressions such as clothing, dyes, tattoos, makeup, and rarely self-mutilation. Even among Kirin, self-mutilation is considered extreme and cause for worry.
Their body forms almost instantly after birth as a full adult. It operates as expected, and contains all expected organs, bones, and musculature except for a heart. Their brains, like all races', are composed of raw Magninium. They generally have a larger capacity for magic, though.
Kirin are incredibly rare, especially in less-saturated universes. They are generally looked upon favorably as races highly engaged in magic, with a striking appearance and great skill. Generally, the process of a Kirin's birth is somewhat known, but the specifics may be vaguer or less studied. It is already rare to find a Kirin in the first place - finding one willing to answer intrusive questions is a more difficult task.
In media, they are often portrayed as extremely worldly and wise mages, often slightly erratic but hyper-powerful. It is somewhat groan-worthy to see a Kirin appear in a story, as they are often used as hand-wave solutions to plot holes.
Kirin are midsized races, with lithe and lanky builds. As a race capable of flight, their bones are lightweight with air channels, and they have a greater lung capacity than landbound races. They are impressively quick and have swift reflexes, though their physical strength tends to lag behind their magical aptitude.
Their defining physical traits include a triad of hard horns on the head - one in the center, and two behind the ears. In all Kirins, the horn shape is identical, though the color matches their eye color. Some Kirin reportedly have a set of small wings at either side of the head rather than two horns. Rarer still are mutations that alter the horn's shape, though they again only seem to affect the back two horns.
Kirin's wings are a curious mix, with the outside covered in long feathers akin to pegasi, and the inner including a stretched membrane like a bat's. Their tails are long and thick, and typically terminate in a tuft of fur. Some may have a "stripe" of fur down the spine instead.
They are sensitive to high quantities of Magninium in the air, but rather than becoming disorientated or erratic, they become elated and eager to consume it. Kirin in general have a "sixth sense" for the use of magic, and are skilled in tracing Magninium usage.
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Kirins are a scattered and ununified people, and thus have no real culture to call their own. Social chameleons, they take on the traits of the cities they live in and adapt to their roommates, friends, coworkers, and partners. As a naturally highly magically-adept race, they tend towards magery as a career choice, though this is not a hard-and-fast rule. Many are somewhat private and introverted people, unwilling to open up to others or share trust freely.
Attuned to the level of magical saturation in the atmosphere, they are drawn to areas of high concentration and absorb the excess magic into themselves, honing their skills and processing power as a result. Many feel an indescribable "hunger" after going too long between these visits, though there is little ceremony around the event and few speak of it to one another.
Their unique appearance makes them easy to pick out in crowds, and they are oft pleased to meet other Kirins. A sense of kinship exists between them, though it runs no deeper than that - with nothing binding them except similar circumstances of birth, relationships between two Kirin can only grow if they organically have interests with one another.
When they are born, Kirin are bestowed with an understanding of their conceptual wavelength. Seconds after this birth, this connection begins to fade, until it joins the background noise of reality - similar to other races' perception. Still, in that moment, Kirin intuit their true name, and will almost always use it as an identifier or legal name. Because of this brief period of understanding, other names often feel inadequate or "wrong" to Kirin, and changing their names is a highly uncommon affair. Only strong, traumatic, identity-shattering events precede name changes.
In general, they hold names in high regard, and treasure being told others'. They are unlikely to forget others' names, and can be mildly offended when theirs are forgotten.
Cores & identity.
Kirins know what object their core is, and keep it a jealously guarded secret. The core is the deepest sign of intimacy to them, and an expression of their "true self". Some collect items related to their core, or visit places the core may be associated with and find these activities soothing. It is exceptionally rare for a Kirin to feel disgusted by their core or dislike it, even if it is an unpleasant or strange object.
They generally do not identify with broad objects that are not their core - i.e. a Kirin whose core is a gem on a keychain would not be interested in keychains as a whole, but may be interested in gems, gemstones, jewelry, or magery. They may make keychains as a way to connect to themselves, but would not hold special regard for the keychains nor consider them akin to their core.
Kirin struggle to find an identity outside of their core. They have difficulty finding interest in unrelated careers or hobbies, and many go through a plethora of jobs throughout their lifespan. In addition, bonds with non-core races can be hard for them to forge, leaving them further isolated. As they have no childhood, they are thrust into the world as an adult and often expected to adapt quickly. Many Kirin are characterized as resilient and flexible, both in hardship and schedule.
Many are mildly insulted at the concept of "being something other than one's core," as they claim that their core is, obviously, who they are in entirety.
The debate of whether a core truly dictates a Kirin's personality and appearance is hotly contested. One side posits that the Magninium gathering in a core would obviously already resonate with the core in some way, while the other points out that in a saturated environment, many of the standard "rules" begin to break down. Kirin generally have their own opinions on this idea, which they are not often willing to disclose.
Like all races, Kirins' conceptual wavelengths can still be altered by life-changing events or trauma. Unlike other races, they are more susceptible to extreme negative after-effects, up to and including suicide, as so much of their sense of identity and stability hinges on their relationship to their core and fulfillment of it. When that relationship is damaged or altered severely, many Kirin experience deep depression, anxiety, listlessness, intrusive thoughts, and self-loathing.
It is rare, but occasionally two Kirin who share a similar core object may come across each other. Once over the novelty of such a thing, the Kirin are not any more likely to befriend one another than any other two Kirin.
Kirin are incapable of birthing children, even with one another. They produce no fertile hybrids, and in the case of impregnation, it always results in a miscarriage. Kirin also notably lack a parental drive or instincts. They tend to think of children and teenagers as adults, with the thinking capacity of adults, and oft leave children to their own devices. They fail to grasp that children need direction, guidance, or comfort, and cannot emotionally and meaningfully connect to them. Most of the time, Kirin are not aware of these biases and act on them completely subconsciously.
It is exceedingly rare for a Kirin to babysit a child, let alone adopt one, and they seem to have no interest (or acknowledgement) that these are options. In addition, they are almost never teachers for younger students, and generally avoid work where they may come into contact with children.
Some Kirin may have fixations with the concepts of pregnancy, but it is more akin to an interest in something alien than anything else.
Kirin are naturally Immortal, meaning they do not die of old age, but can be killed through any other means. When killed, their body disintegrates to a magic-rich, fine dust, leaving behind their empty core. The collection of these cores is seen as heinous and disgusting by Kirin. Many prefer their cores to be treated as a cadaver in funerary rites, oft either buried or cremated, and are staunchly against disrespecting an emptied core.
They do not consider the "ash" to be part of this cadaver and disregard its fate when writing wills.
Kirin are omnivores with low caloric requirements. They typically only eat one medium-sized to large meal a day, usually at or around noon (or midnight for those that are nocturnal). They prefer foods that are rich in Magninium, and typically of sweet flavors. They also regularly consume small pieces of gemstones mixed into dishes.
Kirin are adaptable to any climate, and have no real preferences to where they live in terms of temperature or weather. They do prefer regions of higher-than-average magical saturation, but are otherwise not picky.
They are incapable of longterm living underwater and cannot breathe underwater without the assistance of spells. As flying races, however, they can naturally interact with weather and clouds, and can live in cloud cities without assistive gear.
- Kirin generally feel uncomfortable around animals and do not keep pets; they often struggle to empathize with the animal and may forget to feed or play with it.
- The backs of the wings can be difficult to reach, but as they are feathered, require preening. Many Kirin resort to buying preening brushes.
- Kirin love splashing in water like birds.