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Inus are humanoid creatures possessing canine traits and features such as canine ears and a large, fluffy tail. Most inus are of an average human size, a little taller due to their perky ears that are about the size of a hand's fist. Their tail extend from their spine, slightly above their bottom. It's usually about the length of an arm, just barely touching the ground with the tips of their fur when pointed straight down. Those traits can vary though, with some specimen sporting long, sloppy ears or really short tails. There have also been reports of giant inus prowling the jungle but they remain tavern rumors or they could just be the result of illusions.
Some people consider inus to be little more than nekos with their cat elements replaced by a dog's genetic material, but those assumptions are wrong. Inus and nekos actually differ greatly from each other, up to the point where fertility between the two races is all but impossible. Inus are also known for having a wide variance within their genetic pool, causing many different subspecies to form over the generations, which are often referred to as different breeds. As such, an inu's appearance may vary greatly from one to another. Even though inus are usually associated with dogs, since these are the most common representatives of the species, inus claim a larger canine heritage in general. Specimen with more vulpine features are considered inus as well.
A crafty and adaptable species, inus tend to not be very proficient at magic. There are exceptions of course but, when hunting or fighting, inus will typically rely more on their own physical abilities or on the technology at their disposal.
Aside from their looks, the senses of an inu differ from those of an human as well. Inus are known to be much more susceptible to sounds, capable of hearing frequencies of up to 50.000 Hz, compared to the 20.000 Hz a human is able to hear, and they are capable of picking up lower volumes as well. However, this comes at the price of being more vulnerable to extreme noise and ultrasound. Their sense of smell is much more developed and also affects their sense of taste, causing some inu's to be predestined gourmets.
Lastly, an inu's eyes are less capable of picking up small details than an human would, but they are very good at perceiving movement. Their eyes can detect and accurately identify a moving object from almost a kilometer away, a precious ability to survive and thrive in the jungle. The size of an inu's pupils is also larger than that of a human, making them naturals at playing the 'big puppy eyes', but also allowing them to see well in low light environments. Even though inus lack the perfect night vision of some other races, their eyes are well rounded for both night and day.
Other notable differences are inus' naturally high endurance, as their blood circulatory system appears to be more efficient than average. Most inus are easily capable of outrunning other beings of similar size and, even though they are not the fastest runners, tribal packs often chase down their prey until it's too exhausted to flee or fight back anymore. On the other hand, they often lack the dexterity required to perform very precise and detailed work. Whether this is directly linked to their slight disability of seeing tiny things or not remains unclear, but inus naturally struggle in fields where a very high precision is vital such as surgery or clockwork. It requires an inu a lot of additional training to overcome that handicap. It rarely matters in everyday life though, as inus can perform regular dexterity-based activities such as using a gun or driving a vehicle with just the same efficiency as humans.
Another issue worth mentioning is the inability of their digestive system to properly process grapes, raisin and theobromine, which is commonly found in chocolate, tea and cola. Contrary to common beliefs, inus are not the only race affected by this physical inability to process these materials, however, their bodies react to far smaller amounts of intoxication than that of a neko, for example. Although small amounts are usually not much of a problem, consumption of larger doses can result in kidney failure, posing a potentially lethal threat. Bitter Chocolate is especially feared, as it's concentration of theobromine is so large that even a tiny sample can prove deadly. This particular threat has been dug deep into overall inu culture. As of today, throwing things like a chocolate chip muffin at an inu is considered to be a serious provocation or even a declaration of war. In inu-slang, this particular item has crudely been nicknamed "Death Muffin" and can be found in a variety of swear and insults.
Inus are very social beings. They often form large packs, usually consisting of family members, but also including people they hold close. They are more open than many other species and, in some cases, are even willing to welcome other races as pack members, as long as they grew attached to them. A pack is usually formed of 2 to 40 members, although there have been sights of much larger communities.
A pack is usually led in a strict hierarchy with one Alpha, male or female, at the top. Depending on the pack, the rest of the pack members are considered equal or placed on a ladder which measures their individual usefulness to the overall community. Thus, the position of an Alpha hold great responsibility and personal involvement as they are expected to always go more lengths for their pack than any other member, and they can easily be overthrown should they don't prove worthy anymore. Fights for dominance remain rare though, because regardless of its hierarchic structure, a pack stays together most of the time and develops a sort of instinctive bond between its members. This allow them a remarkable amount of coordination, that especially shine when they hunt. Once cut off from their pack, an inu might miss that bond and can easily become affected by solitude and loneliness. This ability to form bonds differs greatly from individual to individual though and there are, in fact, many inus that completely lack that kind of instinct and go through life as lone wolves.
Once separated from their pack, an inu will often attempt to either find their way back into it, or try to form a replacement relationship, usually in the form of very deep bonds, forming a new family or simply making a new pack. This social trait run deep in inus, making them very loyal and caring in general. Once they consider someone a member of their pack or a friend, they would often literally fight to the death to protect them. They make loving but possessive partners, but also fearsome warriors in battle as they rarely give in as long as one of them is in danger. In the most extreme and tragic cases, this has caused entire packs to perish to threats they could not overcome.
Another quirk prominent to inus is their habit of subconsciously communicate their feelings through their body language. While it allows them to get a much better understanding of the feelings of their kinsmen, thus aiding in forming the aforementioned deep bond between them, it also makes most inus terrible liars and horrific politicians or diplomats and one can easily read the feelings on an inu, by looking at the different possible combinations of ear and tail positions.
Reynkes are cousins of Inus with some features and traits of foxes.
- Credits to Rcs619 and Amaroq for the design and description of inus.