The dvarsh are a species of terrestrial primate closely related to humans, who live in self-imposed exile from the world of their origin. Small, robust and extremely long-lived, they are the original from which countless human legends of magical little people have taken flight. It is their boast that they invented writing and metalsmithing millennia before humans developed proper speech. Departing sharply from the human experience, material technologies in dvarsh culture, while quite sophisticated, have typically been of less importance than technologies of the mind and imagination.
They and another, smaller, gracile species, the thrm, share common ancestry with anatomically modern humans some time close to that with another species, the Neanderthals, but resist revealing on which side of the divide they fall. Reproductive success for dvarsh/human mixed couples is reduced, but the hybrid children who do result are fully fertile and seem largely to express the best of both parent species.
Three self-identified subspecies of dvarsh are associated with distinct habitats. The zek, who lack pigment in their skin, and whose eyes have black irises and scleras, are native to the far northern hemisphere, but long ago established a presence on the Antarctic mainland. The haz, whose near-crimson skin contrasts with green hair, evolved in and populated forests of what became the Western Isles. The great majority of dvarsh, the atwezlo, with complexions ranging from ruddy sand to mahogany, most closely resemble the ancestral population from which all three rose. Dvarsh have inhabited such a diversity of habitats across the globe for so long that no candidate for a place of origin is beyond dispute.
Copyright © 2017 Robert Stikmanz (unless otherwise noted)