“There are two opinions regarding Thrays. There are those who adore them, and those who are wrong.” -Matriarch Han-jei Dei-Sholu
Thrays are amphibians considered either adorable or disgusting; no sapient being on Canno has ever expressed a middle-ground opinion about them. A Thray can be from any of six species, of which the largest are the Thrays of the Kedrul Basin (as pictured above); the smallest live in freshwater ponds and streams well south of the Ton-Ga bogs. They’re docile to a fault, which might’ve led to their species’ extinction if they hadn’t made powerful friends.
At some point lost to memory, the Ton discovered that Thray resin has astounding therapeutic effects and is swiftly, fatally toxic to lungworms.
Thrays conveniently became sacred animals among many tribes in short order, enjoying protected status and limitless supplies of fresh-caught feed. Up until the Loar War, Ton mages-in-training were put to work gathering enough bugs, slugs, snails and so on to feed their city’s Thray baths. Since Ton mages have become too scarce to be spared from artificery and battle-casting, the task now needs large hunting parties with special incense and very big bags. Either way, it’s a day-long chore for which the reward remains average pay and free access to the baths. An even trade.
Thray resin elevates mood in humans, providing a buzz similar to moderate drunkenness without the stumbling, slurring, and fool-making baggage of a stiff drink. It speeds healing, recovery from tiredness, and strengthens the immune system. Of course, to receive the resin’s full potency, one has to bathe with the Thrays. Sane people consider this a plus because Thrays are excellent creatures, but there’s no convincing some folk.
For their part of the deal, Thrays receive protection from myriad bog-predators, sheltered breeding grounds, and steady food supplies. All these things have made them extremely affectionate towards humans, which is only a problem for certain idiots. Despite changes elsewhere, the Ton remain deeply fond of Thrays. In the territory of some Houses, killing or hurting a Thray is punished more harshly than doing the same to nobility.
But you wouldn’t do that anyway, would you?
(Another big thank you to my friend Alice, and here’s her tumblr, Pocket Illustration. She currently takes commissions! Just throwing that out there.)