|Avg. height:||6.5 ft. / 200 cm|
Flaids [flædz] are an intelligent species restricted to Flora and adjacent islands, north of Verduria. They are the closest Thinking Kind to humans; evolutionarily, they belong to the same genus, and the two species probably diverged no more than a million years ago.
Flaids are taller than men (averaging over 6.5 feet), with large flat heads and large feet.
Their origins are obscure: they appear in no early legends, and the first historical references to them date to about 300, when they are already in possession of Flora (earlier, to our best knowledge, occupied by the iliu). The flaids themselves say that they won the island from an ogre in a wager.
Flaids are peaceable in disposition, but fierce when roused— conquerors, pirates, and scam artists who try to cause trouble are quickly dispatched or sent packing. They also politely but firmly discourage humans from settling permanently on their islands.
To outsiders, they seem full of contradictions. Though conservative by nature, they are inquisitive, and great copiers of other people’s good ideas; staid and intensely domestic, and yet playful in their humor, and rambunctious as youths; generally firm believers in a no-nonsense morality (see Irreanism), which however they explicate with humor, fantasy, and compassion.
They love nothing more than deep, abstract studies— alchemy, trigonometry, and morality are favorite subjects— though they are always in the mood for stories or large meals. At the same time they throw themselves into practical work— they are well known for gardening, shipbuilding, and porcelainware, as well as their traditional fishing, farming, and hunting.
The Kebreni like to call them “friendly but insane”; the Verdurians consider them nerdy and eccentric, but shrewd.
Flaids are perhaps the only Thinking Kind whose relationship with the iliu is unstrained. The flaids respect the wisdom of the iliu (whom they call naupeler ‘ancient ones’); both sides paper over the religious difference— the ilii consider that Irreanism is correct but incomplete; the flaids downplay what seems to them an excessive interest in abstract, unverifiable theology.
Flaid (rhymes with plaid) is the flaids’ own name for themselves. It’s borrowed directly into Verdurian as fleád. The Cuzeians and Meťaiun called them pauriū— it’s uncertain who originated the term or what it means. The Kebreni reflex of this is pery.