No environment cannot be adapted to.
Gifted with the ability to scale forests and other land-based obstructions with ease, the Vaien were the first to take over a generous portion of the surface of Rhyst. At one point, they even maintained an empire, though that has since fallen to ruin for various reasons. They, unlike Esche, do not take on random animal features, but rather all of one animal's features. In other words, they adopt a single species to take the traits of, which allows them to better fit their ancestral environments.
Their elemental affinity is to Ignis.
AN: Vaien are not as flexible as the Esche. They will always be, at minimum, substantially furrier than a typical kemonomimi (aka just animal ears & tail). How furry past this point is up to you. Vaien tend to inherit their parents' species, unlike in the case of Esche. There are always exceptions, but usually, you'll see entire lines in Vaien family trees of the same animal type. Typically, Vaien lean harder into said traits the more they embrace them while growing up, which means you'll see a variety of "animalistic intensity" among their members. One thing always remains constant, though: Vaien can only adopt a terrestrial, mammalian or avian species. There are no recorded cases of aquatic mammals or otherwise being taken on.
Culture & Society
The Vaien race is built upon a foundation of responsibility. By far and large, their goal is to help humanity along, though... often-times, this manifests as a desire to collect disorganized tribes into a cohesive faction or city-state. Even still, Vaien pride is born of said ideal; that they, while arguably "superior" to the other races, must uplift their "siblings" and bring them to the same level as themselves. And ultimately, this isn't always a bad thing. The Vaien empire brought roads, technology, and cohesion to the world, even if it brought unheeded war and conflict with it as well.
The Modern Age
“Those Houses once venerable and opulent. Left to the wastes; forgotten from the annals of history. From fact. To legend. To Myths, and with finality becoming only known as dubious tales of ill-reputed origin.”
Grimald, Lowenherz, Martinet
Many historians put little weight in the children of Vaiel as documentation became muddled over the course of many a year. Some will outright deny any ties in which Humanity (Humans, etc) may have had to the Vaien, stating that they are naught more than simply the animalistic progenitors of this centuries' Wildkin. The few documents showing that the Vaien were as intelligent and noble-minded as any human may be are signed by the following individuals of the three aforementioned houses; Lord Sverre of House Grimald, Lord Sigismund of House Lowenherz, and Lady Arianne of House Martinet.
There are many who do take these documents to heart, however it is with the belief (and general historical consensus) that the nobles mentioned in them were Wildkin, and not the aforementioned Vaien. Although a few portraits have been recovered in dated ruins depicting each member of these once-royal houses as bestial Vaien ranging from mammalian to avian, many a Historian will argue that it was simply a choice of the time to depict leaders and royals as animals based upon their noble housing in a state of reverence to Vaiel, with whom the Wildkin of yore were supposedly much more inclined to worship.
Historians have come to the conclusion that the Vaien of yore were taught and integrated into Arlandrian society proper, and that the remnants of House Grimald, Lowenherz & Martinet was simply an offshoot of Wildkin whom saw an allure to a more feudal lifestyle. Although there is little evidence of the Vaien's culture beforehand barring the supposed documents involving the Council of Nalian, there is much evidence supporting the Vaien's integration within Arlandria with the Hysen of old. Thus the mythos of the Vaien has become little more than fables and stories passed down from generation to generation. With the line between fiction and reality blurred to a point of no return.
However, there are on rare occasions Wildkin children whom are born with Vaien-like qualities. Some to the point that they are considered more 'Wild' than 'Kin'. The superstitious among the Wildkin see it as a sign from the spirit Vaiel, reminding them of where they once came from and that they could easily become mindless animals should they indulge too vigorously in the wilds themselves. Whilst the more progressive and scientific believe it to be some sort subdued trait that may crop up once every few generations from the Wildkin due to their ancestral ties with the Vaien.
Although these beast-like Wildkin look much like the ancestral Vaien, it has yet to be proven that they are actually blessed by Vaiel. As many mystical traits that Vaiel supposedly instilled within the Vaien are lost upon these mutated Wildkin, they do not have strong ties to flames as the Vaien are written to have been, nor are they as indomitable and unrelenting as historical documentation claims that the Vaien were. In fact, these furred and bestial Wildkin only mirror the Vaien of before in appearance and appearance alone.
Regardless, dependent on location, there can be a rather harsh social stigma against these bestial Wildkin. Born from either superstitious beliefs that it is Vaiel warning Wildkin that they are potentially treading a dangerous line between beast and man, or those that view these bestial Wildkin as inferior due to their animal appearance sporting the likes of hooves, claws, muzzles, etc. One such being a scholar whom wished to remain unnamed in this article stating that;
"A wolf is a wolf. A pig is a pig. Why would these be any different?"
Although I'm still unsure of the truth behind these findings. I choose to believe that not all of the Vaien which the majority of Wildkin may derive from, were as nature-bound as the Arlandrian's would have you believe. It's up to you, reader, if you can believe what's truth and what's fiction. I truly wish I held more evidence to support any such claims but, in the end this is merely a research piece attempting to explain the possible 'whys' of more beast-like Wildkin, and mayhap uncover the truth of an all too distant and muddled past.
- A published article of ill-repute made by an Isegrád Wildkin historian of infamy and ill-renown. It was met with a heavy amount skepticism, disbelief, and in some cases outrage for reasons long since forgotten. Many think the bad reputation which followed the articles publication is why the Historian's name has been stricken from the vast majority of Isegrád literature.
- Vaien are the only race believed to explicitly go out of their way to construct cities. They typically do so with large stone walls and gates.
- Vaien cities are second only to Hysen dwellings in defensibility, though they have considerably higher offensive capabilities in turn.
- Despite the reality of their former empire, few Vaien individuals push this concept on others. It grew mostly through absorbing tribes and villages, not through personal strife..