Yes, that's probably going to be the subtitle for Here Be Dragons. If you've been reading my work for longer than two or three weeks, you should long since have realized that I have a horrible sense of humor, which frequently manifests in wordplay and puns, and that I rarely feel the need to restrain such.
In any case, the response to my talking about dragon stories was quite positive, so I've decided this Trycanta Tuesday shall be devoted to the race with scales and wings known as the mazor. We met a few mazo-human crossbreeds (called maquor, from "mazo" and "nequo", human) in Homecoming, but there's so much more to learn...
Mazor are herbivorous reptiloid sentients, one of the two native races of the planet of Trycanta. They are approximately human-sized and walk upright, resembling a cross between a raptor dinosaur and a pterodactyl. All mazor have two contrasting colors of feather-edged scales covering their bodies, with their eyes matching one of the two.
A male mazo, or maze (MAH-zeh), will have the same color of scales all over his head; a female, or mazi (MAH-zee), will have one color on her face, but a different color on the top and back of her head. Both sexes wear a tightly wrapped garment which covers the torso, made of a single long strip of cloth, brightly dyed or embroidered.
Most mazor choose to live within forests. Their cities are built in the tops of trees, which are carefully pruned and tended to allow for the passage of large flyers while remaining healthy and whole. Human or lyrro visitors are at a distinct disadvantage, as the cities were designed to be navigated only by those with functioning wings.
Mazo society is matriarchal and group-centered, with the extended family as the basic unit. A mazi who does not marry usually remains in her mother's home and finds work to contribute to the household or helps to tend the children of her married sisters. She will never be the grandmother herself, but neither is she considered a burden.
Mazer seldom remain unmarried much past their age of majority, due to a long-ago gender imbalance which has not yet perfectly equalized. They are expected to marry exogamously, and mothers often arrange marriages for their sons, though this practice is falling out of favor in the more modern (and human-exposed) cities.
As a very general rule, mazor usually appear more dignified and thoughtful than humans. Logical thinking and the greatest good of the group, often at the expense of the individual, are emphasized in mazo culture. Social pressures are seldom overtly visible to outsiders, but a society run by mothers brings guilt into play with ease.
Passions, in mazor, are expected to be channeled mainly through the arts. They place a high priority on grace of movement, equating it with clear expression of thought, as seems only natural in a people whose most common language is gestural rather than oral. Dancers, therefore, are among their most treasured and well-regarded artists.
Visual art, too, is prized among mazor. One of the Tamazo words for "home" combines the sign for "rest" with that for "beauty", and no home is complete without a work of art somewhere: a painting or drawing, a sculpture in clay, stone, or metal, or a piece of stained glass, whether a simple suncatcher or a full window.
Lastly, and sometimes surprising to outsiders, most mazor are passionate lovers of music, especially music which mimics or is inspired by the life of the forest. Mazi grandmothers will encourage as many members of the household as possible to learn an instrument, so that their practicing will fill the house with music all day long.
Relations between mazor and humans range from avoidance to friendliness to outright intermarriage (with suitable shape-change magic involved). However, for one invention, even those mazor who loathe humans in every other facet will bend their rules slightly. Almost without exception, mazor are very fond of chocolate.
Thanks for reading, and questions or comments are welcome! Let me know what else you might like to find out about the mazor, or the lyrror, with whom they share their world, and I'll cover it next Trycanta Tuesday! Coming up on Thunder Thursday: a progress report, and perhaps a snippet, of Playing with Fire -- see you then!