The Brinn'si is a wild horse-like animal that lives in Southern Santharia, in and around the Aj'Nuvic Grounds. It is very small, being only about 8 or 9 palmspans high, but sturdy and strong. The Shendar people will often catch Brinn'sis to teach their smaller children how to ride. A Brinn'si is the perfect mount for a very young child since they are usually gentle and easy-going, not prone to spooking or meanness.

Appearance. Brinn'sis are attractive little animals. They resemble a horse in their general build, but their ears are proportionately much bigger, about a palmspans and a half long, with wider, rounded tips that are darker at the ends. They have wide foreheads and delicate little white muzzles, with faces somewhat shorter than that of a common horse. Their almond-shaped eyes are large, fringed with long thick lashes like most desert animals, dark indigo, and always seem slightly wistful, giving them a deceptively quiescent look. Males, called Brinns, are usually about 9 palmspans high- few are as tall as a ped. Females, called Brynnas, are slightly smaller, though rarely below eight. Their summer coat colours range from a solf ithild grey to a light dun colour and they always have a pale cinnabrown finely striped or streaked pattern showing on their legs and a strong, dark brown dorsal stripe running from withers to croup. Their manes are upright and bristly, extending down over the withers and usually a shade or two darker than the coat, and the long tufts on their cow-like tails are the same colour. In winter they develop a thicker, snowy white coat, to which the faint stripes contribute a slightly dappled effect. Both these coats provide them with excellent camouflage no matter what time of year.

Their feet, however, are very different from most horses. Instead of a solid single hoof, Brinn'sis have three toes on each foot - two shorter side ones and a central middle one. This seems to provide them with greater stability when running on shifting sand or in rocky areas. Brinn'sis are not especially fast, but they are agile and sure-footed where a horse would slip. Return to the top

Special Abilities. The Brinn'si is an extremely intelligent animal, with a mischievous, playful streak in its character. They are very curious and inquisitive animals. However, if mistreated, a Brinn'si can prove temperamental and stubborn. The Shendar might say of an obstinate person that he is “behaving like a Brinn'si” or “acting like a Brinn”. Brinn'sis are also notable for their greed, for domesticated ones will happily eat themselves into serious colic if not watched. This does not appear to be a problem for the wild ones, probably because they have to range a fair distance to get to food and need to be more watchful for predators, etc. Return to the top

Territory. Though they are mostly found throughout the Aj'Nuvic Grounds, and the foothills of the Nirmenith Mountains, Brinn'sis may be seen in other areas of Southern Sarvonia as well. Domesticated ones are around every Shendar camp and have found their way into the desert towns as well. The occasional bardic student, without the money for a
horse, will sometimes buy a little Brinn'si from the Shendar and use it for a pack animal. However, they are too small to be of much interest as a general work-beast, most people preferring the bigger and stronger aka'pis. Return to the top

Habitat/Behaviour. Like
horses, Brinn'si live in small herds, but their social structure is quite different. They live in family groups of four or five couples and their offspring. Although one Brynna is usually the head or senior female, there is little aggression or fighting for dominance. Brinn'sis usually mate for life and if one of a pair dies, the other will grieve deeply. If there are no young ones to care for, the survivor may well pine away and die as well. Return to the top

Diet. The Brinn'si is not a picky eater. It eats nearly everything the Aj'Nuvic Grounds flora has to offer, including the strong flavoured mil'no plant, the hard leaves of the white sisters or the pricky cacti growing in the grounds. Like the brown kara it has no difficulties in eating or digesting the biggest spikes any cactus might have. It loves especially the flowers of the falserock cactus, though it might well get stung when attacked by the tiny falserock lizard.
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Mating. As previously mentioned, Brinn'sis mate for life, usually around age 3-4 years. In the spring, when the herds begin to migrate through the desert, they often come across other groups. The unmated colts and fillies of each group will interact and play together. Usually matching up occurs at one of these meetings. The new pair may join either herd, or, if there are several pairs, may join up to start their own. Mating will occur during the female’s first heat season after joining. Gestation lasts 11 months, so foals will often be born in the spring.
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Usages. The Shendar people will often catch Brinn'sis to teach their smaller children how to ride. A Brinn'si is the perfect mount for a very young child since they are usually gentle and easy-going, not prone to spooking or meanness. Brinn'sis are friendly and sociable little animals and even wild ones will often be found grazing around the Shendar aj’nuvic or among the herds of aka'pis. A quiet, non-threatening person may often walk right up to a wild Brinn'si and pet it or stroke it. However, the least move that the animal perceives to be dangerous and it will disappear into the distance. A Brinn'si can often be a pest, since they love to play and will tease the Shendar animals to chase them by nipping and then galloping away. However, they are very appealing little animals and it is difficult not to like them.

Brinn'sis are also sometimes hunted for their attractively coloured hides but never for meat - they are too stringy and tough to be really edible.
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Lore/Gossip. The Brinn'si, though found nowadays in many places, has its origin in the region of the Shen-Kha'si, the north-eastern sub-tribe of the Shendar. Their sister tribes claim in jest that therefore the Kha'si have taken some characteristic properties from them.

The Shen-Kha'si are the tribe which is the most settled down of all three Shendar sub-tribes, due to their pottery making, though they still follow their nomadic tradition and most of the tribe's people are still wandering with their herds of aka'pi around - at least part time. This being partly "settled down“ makes them more earth-bound, more persistent in their ways. According to the claims of their sister tribes, they are not as open to changes, not as free in coming and going, and they are the most conservative of their people - maybe because they fear the loss of their nomadic tradition. So they are often seen as stubborn and difficult to persuade, but on the other hand, very innovative and able to play around with ideas. They are very friendly. Due to their location they are the subtribe which is the most hospitable to foreigners. Most northern living people think of the Kha'si when saying Shendar.

So the Brinn'si is very much seen as an animal related to the Kha'si, and a Shen-D'auras when annoyed by a stubborn Kha'si might well refer to her or (mostly) him as Shen-Brinn'si instead of Shen-Kha'si. Especially at Rah'mat times when all the tribes meet to elect a new leader, teasing is one of the favourite entertainments, and naming the Shen-Kha'si lovingly Shen-Brinn'si is tradition.

Rah'mat is the place and the time when a special Brinn'si event takes place - the race. Children up to nine years who own a Brinn'si start for a race. It is a very difficult race, for the Brinn'sis are often distracted by the audience, which claps and shouts to incite the riders. The animals just stop running to see what is happening. So all is involved from much laughter to bruises when a Brinn'si decides suddenly that it has run enough for the day and the child flies over his head into the sand. There is no need to mention that only very rarely a child from the D'auras or Siuu is the winner. Return to the top

Myth. The myth about how the Brinn'si came to be is one of the rare examples where another god apart from Baveras and Foiros is involved - Jeyriall.

Jeyriall's Gift. It is said that the brinn'si haven't been always living in the Aj'nuvic Grounds, but that they were created out of sympathy.

Long ago there was a Shendar child of the Kha'si, a girl called Brinn'si, who was too ill from birth on and too weak when she grew up to be able to go out and find her partner for life, her aj'nuvic. She knew that she would never have a friend like this as all others had. So she became ever weaker, out of sadness and sorrow. Her father was a potter in Uderza, and when he saw his child at the brink of death, he tried to make an aj'nuvic out of clay to please the child. Of course, this clay animal was only tiny compared to a real aj'nuvic - and it didn't resemble much an aj'nuvic either, for the father was good in doing pots and plates and tiles, but had never done an animal before. It was a difficult task, for the legs didn't support the body. But the father, needing the fire to do his pottery, worshipped Foiros and when he prayed with all his soul, Foiros hardened the clay animal, so that it couldn't break easily.

The child was very pleased, and death was not a threat anymore. But after some time passed, the novelty wore off, and the clay animal, though nice and lovely to look at with its brown colour, was not alive and not really an alternative to an aj'nuvic. So the girl fell back into her depression. But her mother, a Baveras adherent, didn't want to give up, and taking the father's example she prayed hard - to Baveras. She prayed day after day, till Baveras felt annoyed to have to give so much attention to this case, being addressed every day. But of course, she saw the loving mother and honoured her persistence as well. But what could she do? She brought life to the people with bringing water and moisture for the crop, but she couldn't give life itself. So finally she went to Jeyriall and asked her to help, and Jeyriall agreed.

Jeyriall brought the clay-animal to life and therefore it is often also called "Jeyriall's Gift“. And this animal became the mother of all other brinn'si which now populate the Grounds. Though very pleased that Jeyriall was so helpful, Baveras was a bit frustrated that she herself hadn't contributed so far and she didn't want to stand back behind Jeyrial and especially Foiros. So she quickly added to the clay-animal some of her colour - grey - but it was hastily done, so the brown of the clay shows through it on the legs and is clearly seen on the back, where a stripe runs from withers to croup. But more importantly Baveras gave it a bit of her character properties - so it is said that the hardness in enduring extreme climatic conditions is a gift of Foiros, and the playful nature of "Jeyriall's Gift“ is a present of Baveras.
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