Highly cultured and ethical, centaurs are one of the most influential creature-kinds in Valadae. They are a lively and passionate kind, and often very linear in their personal and social pursuits, making them (in ratio to the populace) one of the most highly and diversely skilled creature-kinds, second only to the morwulves.
They are also one of the ten ruling creature-kinds of Valadae, making them a cultural force of significant stature and influence across the eleven allied kingdoms.
Centaurs are a curiosity among Valadilian creatures, as far as their physiology is concerned. Their entire biology (to the unlearned observer) appears disadvantageous to existing with any decent level of efficiency. The lower halves of their bodies are equine in structure, while the upper half has all the appearances of a hemlan (Valadilian equivalent to a human), including a full torso, arms, and head. But appearances can be deceiving; as is the case with centaurs.
Their bodies are incredibly strong and fast, capable of bearing three times their own weight and maintaining a full gallop for hours. Their skeletal structure has twice the flexibility of other creatures of similar size and frame, enabling their upper torso to twist and fold back around and over their equine backs (with maintained exercise, a centaur can strap their own girth harness, and even braid their own tails).
Aside from their obviously unique physique, shared features among centaurs include long pointed ears and a short mane of hair growth following the length of their 'hemlan' spine, from the base of the torso to the nape of the neck (although a full unbroken length of mane is uncommon in females).
All centaurs have two hearts, two respiratory systems, and two sets of nostrils (one set on their face, another behind the pectoral muscles between their front equine legs), giving the stamina and sensory awareness required to handle their large bodies.
It is believed the centaurs have the largest gene pool of all the sentient creature-kinds in Valadae. Proof of their robust genetic diversity can be clearly seen in the broad range of skin and fur colours and combinations, as well as physical features like the nose, eyes, hooves, and mouth.
As previously summarised, centaurs are well cultured and highly ethical, and are raised from a young age to uphold the conducts of duty, faith, and compassion toward the less fortunate.
Centaurs are passionate and assiduous by nature, and given the linear nature of a centaur's overall upbringing, many excel at their individual professions and personal pursuits. They are keenly receptive to discipline, which has resulted in their warriors being the most renowned military force in Valadae, and their Healers, the most sought-after by the common populace.
Art, science, and literature are traditional recreations in centaur society, although warfare is also a highly placed subject in their education, even though their kingdom, Gelian, has been at peace for hundreds of cycles.
After the desolation of the War of Shores, many of the creatures-kinds who once boasted grand military forces were either brought to the brink of extinction or so badly decimated as to be unable to fully recover their original numbers and defences. And so, to bring stability and balance, the centaurs dedicated an entire branch of their culture to the cultivation and growth of an army; one they could dispatch and share with any allied kingdom that request aid.
It is this force, the Centaurion Army, that has crowned the centaurs as achievers of continued universal unity between the eleven kingdoms of Valadae.
Non-magical Becoming Magical
Centaurs are an Et'denin creature-kind, meaning they are not naturally connected to the external manna flow of the world (in short, incapable of using magic). Determined to expand their abilities for the benefit of others (and the repute of their kind), the centaurs immersed themselves in the study and practice of Light and Healing magics to the point that, over the sentydes, certain bloodlines became inherently Denin (capable of wielding magic).
It is the rarest of evolutions between Denin and Et'denin creatures, and the centaurs are the only known kind to have achieved the manipulation with permanent hereditary results.
Valadilian Trivia: The earliest recordings of centaur culture depict them living in several separate clans that often quarrelled and warred against one another, until a unity between two Tribal Head offspring started a chain reaction of peace, eventually leading to a complete uniting of the centaur tribes, under an elected monarchy rule which continues to the present.
Valadilian Trivia: Centaurs do not reach the full age of maturity until the age of 60. Between the ages of 40-60 they are considered in their final 'adolescent' stage, during which their brain finishes developing, and their reproductive systems fully mature.