The Ohiatur are an ancient avian race that lives on the planet Igolath.
Ohiatur are, thanks to the lower gravity of their homeworld, nearly twice as tall as an average human with four thin limbs, each with three clawlike fingers, and a pair of large wings that differ in color, much like human sin differs in color. When not in use their wings are folded back across their bodies. They have a more hollow and brittle bone structure than humans.
They are capable of walking on their two feet which more resemble the feet of terrestrial birds. Much like terrestrial birds, most walk on their toes. Their entire bodies are covered in small feathers which protect them from the cooler conditions of their planet.
The Ohiatur have two eyes on the sides of their heads like most terrestrial birds, as well as curved beaks that can vary in size slightly.
Ohiatur normally live for around 200 of their years if they take care of themselves. Some have even lived as long as 250 local years if their history is to be believed.
Much like ducks, the Ohiatur are able to float in large bodies of water and dive for food. They are omnivourous.
Despite being a much older society than Earth the Ohiatur have yet to invent anything like an automobile. If anything their technological state would be reminiscent of Europe during the Middle Ages.
The Ohiatur societies, which are split into small fiefdoms, are bound by ancient traditions during what they call the Falling, where their ancient texts describe fire falling from the heavens and blanketing the lands in darkness. There is speculation among many that this could possibly refer to a giant meteor that showered the planet as it broke up and struck the surface. There’s evidence of a massive bombardment from orbit.
They are a matriarchal society, each fiefdom ruled mostly by queens, but there have been a few kings. The monarch’s rule is absolute; however thanks to the Ohiatur’s more peaceful temperament wars are rarely fought as that would lead to unnecessary death.
The monarch’s, after laying eggs and raising them to a certain age, give their children a small piece of their land to govern for a local year. Whoever the monarch deems best suited to rule will become queen after she dies. Until then the future crown cannot have children, although they can take a consort as long as they take precautions. If those precautions are not taken and the future crown bears children, their right as future monarch are taken away and given to the next worthy, as restraint is very important to the Ohiatur.
The common folk do not have such restrictions. It is normal for a female Ohiatur to lay eggs only once in her life. There have been cases where females have laid eggs twice.
Their surprisingly low population count for a civilization of their age and lifespan (only just now reaching one billion) is due in part to their planet’s severe winters. Most of the population lives in the northern hemisphere and every winter most of them head into the Cave Cities, ancient cities that, like their name implies, exist in caves. Ancient records indicate that they were dug during the Falling and even after the effects of that time were over were still used to keep the population from dying during the winters.
The main reason why the Ohiatur do not migrate like terrestrial birds do is because of what they call the Ice Wall, large mountains coated with ancient ice that extends too far into the atmosphere for normal flight to be possible. The equatorial mountain ranges do have caves but no explorer that has ever gone in has ever returned. The only one who did was reported to have gone insane and murmuring something about demons.