Hvetshran exist in many types and, just like humans, no two Hvetshran are the same. However, they do have several traits in common and their differences can often be linked with a certain aspect of their being, the way body length is influenced by gender and living conditions.
One of the most important traits of Hvetshran is that they have two forms. Even though these forms are not that different from each other, this means they have two appearances as well. Their usual, normal Hvetshran look is when they move around crouched, their skin scaled and their senses like a reptile's. Their other form would mostly be referred to as the 'human form.'
Body Height Edit
Both Hvetshran and human kind have an average body height of over 150cm (5ft.), but the Hvetshran species is usually about 30-35cm (1ft.) longer. Born smaller than a human baby, a Hvetshran female grows up to over 190cm (6ft. 3in.) and a Hvetshran male can easily reach up to 200cm (6ft. 7in.). This means that, just like humans, there is a gender difference in body height. Despite or possibly due to the fact that they are taller than humans, Hvetshran do not always walk bipedally. As their skin is not as sensitive, they can use their hands more to support themselves when they are moving on four limbs.
The Hvetshran have the same basic structure as a human: two legs, two arms and a head on a neck, all of which are attached to the torso. The organs are in the same place as humans' too.
Comparing them to humans, the arms and legs of a Hvetshran are proportionally longer by a bit. They can be used for bipedal walking, even though Hvetshran often crouch or crawl over the ground, or even climb or hang in trees. Bipedal walking is seldom a habit for a Hvetshran.
A Hvetshran's claws are longer and stronger than their human nails as well. As soon as the individual matures, these nails serve as hunting tools, since they are just like predator claws. The claws on their hands are usually sharper while the feet's are stronger, because they serve more often used for cutting and supporting the body when walking, respectively.
The Hvetshran spine has much stronger and longer spinous processes, that have a pointed end and even come through their skin, only partially covered by their usual skin. These are used as a weapon, protecting them from attacks from behind, as well as causing damage by throwing their back against someone or something. Another use is making marks on their path so as to not lose the way, or to scratch open big surfaces such as bark, to reach what's below.
The common Hvetshran skin is covered in scales of a middle to dark colour. Lighter-toned skins are very rare, even in the clans far up north. The only clan where it is rather common to have a lighter skin, which is mostly grey or beige, is the Grlyt clan. In other clans, it happens occasionally, and in the south it happens seldom to never.
The colour of a Hvetshran's scales is partially genetically dependent, though it is not too uncommon to have a colour return only five generations later. Apart from that, green and brown tones are also somewhat more common in clans that live in a forest or in a habitat with a green vegetation; brown, red and orange in sandy environments; grey, black and blue in clans that live in a cave or colourless habitat.
Every Hvetshran has a tail, that is around 15cm (1/2ft.) at their birth and grows up to over a metre (4ft.) by adulthood. Hitting puberty at the age of about thirteen, their hormonal changes will start and cause a cycle of shedding and regrowing of the tail. Most of the population will drop their old tail at the end of the winter, and grow a new one in a week or two. However, only one third will follow this cycle regularly; about half of the Hvetshran start this process earlier or later, between midwinter and the first weeks of the budding season, and about one sixth will not do this at all.
Apart from a number of very distinguishing traits, a Hvetshran has quite a few similarities with the human species, just like for instance merfolk or vampires do. These mostly show when they are in their human form.
When Hvetshran are in their human form, they have a skin very much like a human's. However, unless they have another race of human's blood running within them, they are usually Caucasian in this form. Apart from that, their skin is even more pale than the usual, since they are not often exposed to sunlight.
Even though Hvetshran are often crouching or crawling, their body is adapted to bipedal walking as well. The majority of Hvetshran walks upright hovering with their heels slightly over the ground, and only stands up or walks for short distances to be able to investigate an environment without climbing up. Hvetshran who have trained themselves or lived among humans for a while on the other hand, would walk using their entire sole and can do this for a longer time or distance.
Hvetshran do not use their human form a lot when they live in a clan or on their own. They use the form only occasionally, when they are exposed to extreme temperatures or when they pass by human-inhabited areas, since a human would not be able to distinguish their form as suspicious from a distance. Urban Hvetshran on the other hand use human form regularly, to blend in with their environment.