For a little extra dose of the Sun Cycle world building this week, I am going to continue on with my meet the races sections– this week, the Parua.
We’ve already met two Parua, Annika and her daughter Mitzia as they begin their journey to the Parua Story Rock to tell the stories of their people. So, here they are– the Parua!
The Parua are a race of intelligent rodents. They stand between 3 and 4 feet high, though modern day Gigants (the Parua word for the oversized forerunners of their next, taller generation) can be as large as humans. Parua fur ranges from nearly white tan, to black and covers all shades of browns and grays, and can be spotted, mottled or patched in any variety. Parua eyes are always a blood red, like those of an albino. Parua have a long furless tail with a tuft of fur on the end, oversized front teeth, clawed feet and hands. Parua find it difficult to stand fully upright, and maintain a forward leaning posture, like that of a jerboa standing on its hind legs. Parua can live to be over 40 years of age and reach maturity at the age of 3.
The Lion in the Hospital: A Tale of the Parua
Let the other races squabble over who was first, we are Parua, we know our place. All the other races were given their forms—we earned ours. Many years before we were as we are now, we existed. Our ancestors were much smaller then, the size of the other dessert mice that run throughout the lands, for what are we but the largest of these mice? Some say we are but rats, as though this were an insult, for what are we but a tribe of rats grown larger and more successful than any before us? In those days we were the size of the other rats, mice and jerboa, but we were always smarter than those cousin creatures. Now there was one city in particular, deep in the empire of Phalia where we lived—the menfolk call it Gazapan, but we know it as Paruapan, the Home City. Here we lived beneath the notice of man and Jinn. Now many of our brethren lived at this time in the hospital, where men sawed legs and bled boils. We watched and learned and within a handful of years we knew to do the doctors jobs better than they did. Now it was that one day while the hospital was busiest helping men from a battle they had been hard at work cutting each other apart in, a lion wandered in on the chaotic scene. The doctors were busy, cutting off arms and sawing off legs, and closing the eyes of the dead that many did not even notice his presence. Now our people watched, and it was clear to see that this lion had a large thorn stuck through his paw. After a few minutes standing there, unnoticed the lion became angry, and opened his mouth to roar—hoping to attract the attention of some doctor to help him. But when the men heard a lions roar they became instead afeared, and backed away in terror. Now this simply angered the lion more, for he was in much pain. Now our people were watching as they always were, and finally some of our kind became brave enough to approach the lion. They removed the thorn, though it was as large as they themselves were and tended the lion’s paw. Now after this was done, the lion stood on his hind legs and spoke—for he was not simply a lion, but an aspect of Padaga come to test the menfolk. “You humans saw me in pain, and ignored me—then back away in fear when I called out to you for help, but these humble creatures bravely approached and performed in your place. From this day forward these mice will grow and flourish and be your equals.” Then he looked at those members of our kind and asked in a soft voice, “What do you call your people, little mice?” Our chief approached, “We are Parua, great Padaga,” and these were the first words spoken by one of our kind and in those days the first Gigants began to arise—smaller than even the children of our day, and the Gigants would come and then our people would grow till we found this size, which for now is tall enough. We are Parua, and we were not given our form—we earned it.