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Range: Leonines are native to Elcenia. They primarily live in Espaal, Anaist, and Imminthal.
Lifespan: 70 Elcenian years (51 Barashin years)

Leonines resemble lions, on a humanoid body plan (with digitigrade locomotion). They have retractable claws on their hands and feet. (Their hands are relatively non-dextrous, with little independent movement in the three fingers and a thumb per, but they are capable of making wizarding gestures well enough to cast spells as normal for the mainstream tradition.) Both sexes are about as tall as human males, or taller, depending on ethnicity. They age somewhat faster than humans: mane growth signifies physical adulthood in males and the beginning of regular estrus signifies the same in females, both at about age eleven or twelve.

Leonines are carnivorous, and outside of certain plant-derived potions, they eat an exclusively meat diet. They are also naturally polygynous: it is typical for females who recently began experiencing estrus to form groups of two to five friends, who must be courted as a package deal, but some males court and marry more than one group of females. Leonine women outnumber men by 2:1, but many leonine males are still left without wives according to this habit.

While they are capable of integrating successfully into societies dominated by other species, leonines remain subject to a number of instincts that lead them to behavior their neighbors may consider uncivilized.

First, estrus (occurring for a couple of days, thrice annually, in healthy adult females) prompts overwhelming interest in mating for the leonine experiencing it, and any males not very closely related to her who can smell the distinctive pheremones. (It is customary to control these features of estrus with potions in developed countries.) Multiple males not closely related to a nearby female in estrus will typically fight over her if they might be evenly matched, and regardless of her more sober preferences, she will generally sate her urges on whichever wins the fight. Males forced into close quarters over a long period of time will preemptively fight (or agree that one would be the clear winner), and if an up-to-date result of this matchup is known, they will not necessarily attack each other should a female in estrus wander by.

Second, hungry leonines without access to food are not unlikely to attack and eat sapients of other species, regardless of what they would think of this proclivity while full.

Third, leonines within families are extremely competitive with each other, even when there are abundant resources for all: co-wives compete for resources from their husband, siblings and half-siblings compete for resources from their parents. Mothers help their offspring, but otherwise, short-term cooperative behavior within a domicile is uncommon. (They do exhibit longer-term cooperation in sharing residences at all.)

Leonines include the following ethnic subgroups, which may not be exhaustive but jointly constitute the majority of the population:

  • Anaistan: Found throughout Anaist, but with concentrations in Aveha and Ekanedae. By far the shortest leonine group. Long snouts, large paws.
  • Espaalan: Found predominantly in Esmaar, with populations in Saraan, Imilaat, and Oridaan. Tend towards plumpness, and have longer fur and thicker manes than other types, as well as a characteristically blunt snout shape.
  • Tropical: Concentrated in Imminthal (where leonines are the dominant species), but with a presence in Egeria. Taller than other leonines. Thin fur coverage, large ears. Sometimes white-furred.
  • Unintegrated: Found in Ryganaav, and on certain reservations in Saraan. Unintegrated leonines do not participate in societies not their own. They are characterized by lean appearances, narrow eyes, and long tails. Fur tends to be more noticeably yellow than others.