Worldbuilding: Reapers, Part 3

The busiest of Trero’s Custodian Reapers.

Red roses climbing an old brick wall.
Photo by Chantal Garnier on Unsplash

The Eins & their Einlings

Ein are creatures the size of a donkey. They are slow and sluggish and will mind their own business as they wander, almost as if the world around them isn’t of any consequence. To the point where there’s a good chance you’ll see one walking into a wall – only to do it again, hoping the wall had moved. And that is how they spend their lives. Passive. Quiet. Noses to the ground, grazing.

And a back full of Einlings.

They host up to twenty of those small, exceptionally active and playful creatures and carry them to wherever they need to be. Which, usually, means buildings. The small Einlings fit perfectly into the inner workings of structures both old and new alike, where they repair anything from wiring to more complex machinery. Not an easy task with their limited resources, which means they often hoard wire and scrap to bring back to their Ein for keeping. Which often ends with their Ein covered in all of that, the bits and pieces braided into their fur like makeshift armour.

Incidentally, if Einlings are also known as mischievous thieves, picking up anything small that isn’t nailed down and even remotely useful (or just shiny enough).

Appearance

Ein look like a wide-backed cross between a donkey and a sheep. They have floppy ears, stubby tails, and cloven hooves. A coat of long, curled wool covers them from head to hoof and a layer of feathers spreads across their back.

Unfortunately, the wool can grow so unruly it often covers their eyes. Fortunately, they have their Einlings to pull the wool back or trim it.

Einlings, on the other hand, come in all manners of variations, though here’s what they all have in common: They’re small. Lithe. Have bodies that resemble squirrels or ferrets, and nimble, three-fingered hands with opposable thumbs. Some have wings allowing them short flight and others strong tails that grow out a meter long (which is a few times the actual Einling’s size). And then there are those that have very large, wide ears and those that have antlers – and some that have all of the above combined. Their bodies are covered in short, soft fur coming in browns and blacks and whites and some have feathers. But not all.
Einlings also have a peculiar set of teeth: Half their mouth is equipped with small, sharp teeth and the back where there might be molars are instead flat, sharp cutters they use to cut through wires.

Symbolizm

Einlings represent childish joy. Their likeness is often turned into good luck charms and frequently adorn children’s bedrooms.

In turn, Ein are often associated with parenting and providing. Orphanages tend to feature them in one way or the other.

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