Sentience and sapience on the Zoasfier
Referred to as the five Endowed Species by elves, others use some variation of intelligent, sapient, sentient or similar. On the Zoasfier, it has happened more than once. While an exact definition is debated, at minimum each of these beings use complex tools, communicate in a sophisticated language (written and/or oral), create religions/ mythologies, and have some sort of societal hierarchy.
A human is what you expect, the same as on Earth. If you are reading this, you are probably one of them. Descended from great apes.
plural: humans; adjective: human; average height: 5 3⁄4 foot; age at maturity: 16-20 years; average lifespan: 70-80 years
scientific name: Homo sapiens sub. campi (thinking man of the plains)
Elves are closely related to humans, and likewise to great apes. In fact, humans and elves are two subspecies of the same species and can interbreed. Elves have more sharply defined facial features and darker complexion than humans. They are also notable for pointed projections on the top of their ears. Although infant and toddler elves develop faster than humans and reach adulthood at about the same time, the speed of aging slows rapidly and elves enjoy very long lives. Stereo-typically, elves are acutely in touch with nature.
plural: elves; adjective: elven; average height: 6 foot; age at maturity: 15-18 years; average lifespan: 400-450 years.
scientific name: Homo sapiens sub. sylvani (thinking man of the forest)
Mayom are a type of macaque. Humans call them Sindran Brown Macaques, they call themselves mayom. Mayom have long prehensile tails and prehensile feet. They have a coat of gray-brown fur over all of their body except the face, which has an inverted triangle shape. The mayomi diet is diverse, but focuses on fruits and eggs. Mayom have an innate need to tinker and invent, causing some other species to consider them pests. Within mayomi culture, when a youngster reaches maturity (defined by mayom as "having seen six winters") he is given some money and supplies and forced out of his home. The mayom must then complete a several-year journey wherein he or she must learn as much as possible and attempt to develop new inventions. If successful, the mayom will return home to mate.
plural: mayom; adjective: mayomi; average height: 3 3⁄8 foot; age at maturity: 6 years; average lifespan: 25-30 years
scientific name: Macaca Fascicularis sapiens (striped thinking macaque)
Brocca are related to badgers. Brocca have moved completely underground, and some live their entire lives never seeing daylight. They retain the badger's propensity for burrowing and digging. They eat grubs, roots, and tubers found underground. Professions within broccan society include miners, fungus farmers, and root carving (almost all home furnishing are made from tree roots.) They have built incredibly elaborate caves in which their homes and cities lie. Brocca are mostly reclusive, but occasionally meet with others at sett entrances to trade. Broccan root carvings are highly prized by some human nobility.
plural: brocca; adjective: broccan; average height: 4 foot; age at maturity: 10-11 years; average lifespan: 35-40 years
scientific name: Meles troglodytes (cave dwelling badger)
The boar-troll is derived from chalicotherium, an animal which went extinct during the Pleistocene era on Earth. The name is a bit of a misnomer, as they are more closely related to horses than to pigs, although all are hooved animals. Boar-trolls have tusks protruding from the lower jaw, a deep chest, and walk using thier knuckles like gorillas. The hair is rough, especially down the middle of the back. Boar-trolls are strictly carnivorous. Hunting parties have been known to kill and eat other endowed species, thus opportunities to study them have been rare, and many details are sketchy. What is known from survivor reports is that they do communicate with each other in a combination of gestures and guttural speech, and wield a variety of hunting weapons, including spears and axes.
I've provided images of a chalicotherium- as archeologists think it might have looked- and my own crude sketch of a boar-troll, complete with axe, loin cloth, and necklace of rocks, shells, and teeth. Imagine something in between, because that's how I imagine it.
plural: boar-trolls; adjective: boar-troll-like; average height: estimated to be 6 1⁄2 to 7 feet; aging data unknown.
scientific name: Chalicotherium ferox (fierce gravel beast)
Note: What follows is a spoiler. Hover your mouse to read, if you really want to.
If you think bottlenose dolphins on Earth are smart, they've got nothing on the Zoasfier's black dolphins. The black dolphins live around the large continent on the backside of the Zoasfier and its inner sea. They will be discovered by an expedition of elves, and the two races will learn of each other's unique culture and way of life to their own astonishment. Magic will play a role in bridging the language barrier, which leads to the revelation that in terms of sensitity to magic, the black dolphins leave all others far behind.
plural: black dolphins; adjective: delphinic; average length: 8 feet; age at maturity: 11-13 years; average lifespan: 60-70 years
scientific name: Tursiops praeter (exceptional dolphin)