“Before him stood his bride-to-be, her angelic movements captivating the grocer utterly. Body clad in gown the color of the sky, crown adorned with sleek feathers, frills with beads of gold and white, and a smile of pearl. No other man was as blessed as he.”

The Tides, Peaks, and the Plains, -6y

 

The frills, otherwise known as leaves or folas, are a semiflexible structure on the side of our faces. Their existence has baffled thinkers and inquirers for ages, as they seemingly have no meaningful purpose or function, unique to other body parts. They do not aid in sensory input to any amplified degree of other areas of skin, nor do they aid in balance. The body can survive their removal, though blood loss and extreme pain will result initially. They do not grow back.

No notable difference in their structure exists between the two genders. Perhaps they serve no other function than to aid in facial recognition. Two lobes with the larger on top are most common, but while the structural difference between the two genders is minimal, the number and size of the frills can vary to the extreme between people. Parents often have similar looking frills to their children in this regard, like other facial and physical features.

Many Rene inquirers believe it is a vestigial structure, one that once had a purpose back when we were as a race closer to the appearance of horses. It may have had a function similar to the antennae that horses use to sense their surroundings. Others vehemently disagree, contending that it is a protostructure, one of the first steps to ascending to a higher plane of biology, and that its purpose will be clear as more of our being advances to compliment it. Developing to higher existence is one of the theoretical methods to usurp the Cycle, though dissenters hold that this has likely been achieved and therefore irrelevant.

It has long been known that mankind is one of the few species able to tolerate extended exposure to conditions in certain desolate subterranean systems, labeled ‘Divine Caverns’. These systems are found in seemingly random areas, but in oddly high concentrations in Rabant and westward. Many Rabants believe in a benevolent divine presence blessing or inhabiting these substrata, though the reason they do this is largely debated. Many believe it is simply a respite from the large and dangerous local creatures who expire for unknown reasons upon inspecting these areas. A blessing, perhaps.

The reason this is mentioned is recent studies into creation of the new metal has revealed some unrelated and unintended effects. An inquirer by the name of Vorges Sidsek was in the middle of a test on the material and discovered his pet manta had suddenly ceased life function in much the same method as the Divine Caverns, though far quicker. Oddly though, the inquirer himself began to expire as well. Finding it immediately very difficult to breathe, he was also shocked to find the ends of his sleeves close to the study beginning to fray and dissolve. In a panic he removed the article along with the turban, as his was a single unit. He began to find it impossible to draw a breath, but did not black out as a result like one would normally by choking. He retained all his faculties for the entire time it took him to evacuate himself from the room, though the time was far longer than he could hold his breath. He later described it as an extremely unique sensation, almost like drinking. Quenching, in a way. He however noted that he did not experience this feeling until after he had disrobed his upper body – before he had done this he very much was close to faint. It took him several minutes of hard breathing outdoors to expel the feeling from his lungs in order to draw full breaths again, at which time the other sensation had left.

Other inquirers dispute the reasons for his survival while his manta expired so quickly. Many contend it is related to our unique biology and that it has something to do with skin contact with the air, but Sidsek is adamant that his survival is somehow related to his frills, as the unique feeling came from that very localized area. The cause and effect of the substance is being actively investigated as a result of this incident, as is the role of the frills in his survival.

 

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