The satyr-like marsupials known as Moffles (derivative Moffish; masculine Mofforn (seldom used), feminine Moffix, juvenile Moffet) come in a great many shapes and sizes, but all have the same general characteristics.
A short, pointed muzzle terminating in a Very Small, smooth rhinarium is set between a pair of highly reflective, slightly luminescent eyes. Set immediately above the brows is a set of antlers that arch back over the scalp and each passes through a bizarre, circular hole in the corresponding ear. The antlers can vary, from single, ribbed prongs of a gazelle to spreading, moose-like forks. The ears themselves are large and pointed, though they can't be that effective due to the hole.
Bipedal frames between three to six feet in height when fully grown, with four-fingered hands and non-cloven hooves. The coarse mane runs from the scalp to just above the tail; it is common practice for a Moffix to back-comb a portion so it covers her brow. A large poof of softer fur grows from the chest, very occasionally spreading back over the shoulders to form a ruff. Similar fur grows on the limbs below elbow and knee, forming a thick feather about the hooves. The tail is mousey thin with long, coarse hair and the last few vertebra fused into a poisoned spur that juts from the skin. This spur or barb is usually hidden under the fur and is an important part of both self-defense and an icon of Moffish culture.
Basic overview of history
Moffles are an ancient race of sagodjur, or scandinavian faerie beast, originating from modern-day Norway from when the world was young. It has been said that Moffish legend goes back to the days when the cosmic heifer freed Asc the first man from the imprisoning ice, but as mortal eyes cannot actually read Moffish script this can't be proven one way or the other. At some point the race as a whole were bargained out of their magical powers by either the trickster god Loki or the mad red being Moffish religion hints at. In fear the of old gods they migrated in every direction, settling in any place where conflict could be found: France, Wales, Scotland and even as far as Greenland to name a few western destinations - Syria, Jordan and ancient Asia to the east.
Mechanics of existence
Moffles are sagodjur, and as a result are subject to the laws of Faerie, despite no longer possesing concious access to magic. They are invisible to the mind that doesn't believe in magic, appearing only before children and poets and alike dreamers. They are omnivorous, relying mostly on roughage and oily green leaves such as nightshades.
Complete physical and muscular maturity is attained at five years, and in the case of the Moffix, oviposition begins at seven and will last about thirty years. Well, wither thirty years or sixty-odd eggs: a Moffix here and there has been known to hold off for several decades. The ordinary lifespan can reach three centuries, though a Moffle will often choose ritual suicide long before that time (more on that later).
The concepts of love and affection are treated quite differently to the way mortals do. Two star-struck Moffles intent on becoming life mates will bind one to another in an intimate ritual that results in the poison barbs of both parties being swapped to one another's tails: it is unknown how this is acheived. After this bloody "Rebarbing" office, which can take place at any point of the Moffle's life, the pair will remain together until death, almost never leaving one another's side for the rest of their lives. This binding is primarily for survival, as by instinct a Moffle is a selfless creature and if not presented with another entity to preserve and tend to, will pine away and eventually die from isolation and misery. The fertilizing of eggs does not factor into Rebarbing.
More on the mental aspect
Despite the aforementioned selflessness, Moffles will rarely form close attachment with members of their own kind, let alone any outside. Eggs being allowed to hatch into Moffets are extremely thin on the ground, and Rebarbing is not as common a circumstance as one would think. Artificial emotions of rejection and abandonment, brought on with the loss of magic, clash with the inherent need to preserve another individual and ultimately wreaks dreadful havoc on the Moffish mental state. To be short, Moffles are a disturbed folk.
Moffles posses incredible strength, even after the race was denied the use of magic, but mother Moffixes are rendered all the more durable, or "bouncy" as the term goes, for their need to shelter a developing egg before its shell becomes glass-hard. A Moffet's fur is fire-proof for the first year of its life, and the pelts while difficult to obtain are worth a fortune apiece.
On this subject also, the chemical buildup of a Moffish eggshell is almost metal-like and can be cut or melted, for use in a great many applications, from printed circuits to manufacture of vehicles and architecture. If heated into a gas, the shell can also make a fatal neurotoxin.
Lightning and electricity in all its forms are deadly to Moffles, who are coincidentally water-lovers. There have even been sightings of an aquatic variety, nicknamed Mermofs, though this is rare.
The egg of a Moffle varies greatly in size, but never exceeds 12% of the female host's total mass. The egg is almost lozenge in shape, with a dark glassy shell of extreme durability split into chunks. Between the chunks, light from within the egg can be seen to glow extremely brightly immediately after laying, dying down to a glimmer after a few hours, after which time it becomes sterile. A female will produce one or two eggs every six months or so, which her mate fertilises externally while the glow is still bright. When extended, the genitalia of an ordinary 5' tall male is roughly the same shape and size as a teaspoon.
The female has the option to reabsorb an unlaid egg whenever the need arises. This is usually achieved by a severe blow to the abdomen after the three-month mark, or simply through proper thought process any time before that. In fact, this thought process can be employed indefinitely, thus preventing any egg from developing in the first place.
A fertilized egg will hatch into a Moffet after three months of care. Normal practice dictates the male keep the egg in his pouch for the duration.
Ascension & mortality
There will come a time in a Moffle's life, usually after the century mark, when their bodies begin to change radically. This ascension begins with extreme mood swings, from suicidal to extremely narcassistic, an extremely difficult period for the Moffle in question. He or she will begin to lose bodily systems one by one over a space of months, the nervous system being the first to go and rendering them completely oblivious to pain, until they reach the "Dead Apex" where complete paralysis consumes them for a full sixteen days. Not many Moffles can survive the Dead Apex, which requires much planning ahead, like a twisted kind of hibernation; not only can the Moffle starve or asphyxiate, but they become prey to the ancient magic their own inherent power once repelled - if they are consumed by this magic, they can become anything from wretched were-things to zombies, in which case suffocation would have been a much happier option. That or ritual suicide.
You see, killing a Moffle is... difficult, to say the least. If you must do such a thing you must challenge it - oppose it - tell it your intention in any way. A Moffle needs to know it must die, or else it is immune to almost any wound or intent of bodily harm, and that includes anything self-inflicted. No matter what grevious injury, magic or mortal, the Moffle can and will endure despite unbelievable agony. This longevity, while useful at times will mostly prove problematic, and this is where ritual suicide comes into use.
By going through the steps followed by uncounted Moffish generations, the individual can break to their mind the news that they must die, and when that poisoned barb is drawn across wrists and throat, death is achieved quickly and efficiently.
If, by some rare quirk or other a Moffle survives the Dead Apex, their metabolism bounces back with a vengeance, boosting hormone quality, and by extension muscle mass. Sometimes even the potential to harness magic returns, which is the primary hope of all Moffles planning to endure the ascension. In this ascended stage or form, a Moffle will become aggressive quickly, more possessive, quicker to strike out and a lot harder to calm; their strength and durability will scale indefinitely too, at the slow cost of their sight. Opaque blood vessels begin to layer in spirals over the surface of the eye, usually beginning a few weeks after ascending, and continuing to do so until the Moffle is rendered either completely blind, or a tiny pinprick of lens remains to let in only the brightest light.
Traditional belief system
Generally speaking, at least as far as previous generations go, the over-arching "religion" of Moffish culture is fairly simple. Most know the old stories inherently, though it's considered Bad Luck to talk openly of them.
They whisper of a Gap in the sky, reached only by ascending the rays of after-storm sunlight, the rainbow or any form of light produced atmospherically or celestially or whatever. In this Gap resides a mad being who abandoned the Moffles upon ascending to a deathless state; any Moffle who wishes to find Him must either find a way to climb there on the light beams or take their own life having lived a "good life", the intricacies of which vary between individuals.
Sometimes Moffles who are near death, or those who have lain down on a hilltop at twilight at stared into the sky until the unassailable vastness pressed horribly upon their minds and hearts, have seen this Gap, described as a "great, square sinkhole only upside-down in mid-air" and have been cited as seeing the dead bodies of long lost friends falling from the darkness within. It is thought that one must climb the indeterminable height of this Gap to find the mad red being and seek acceptance. It is not surprising then, to know that most Moffles are plagued with vertigo.
This break-armed rune is the primary religious icon amongst the Moffles; it is unclear as to what this pertains to, barring the pose adopted by an individual committing ritual suicide.