Introduction to Burmecians

We shall conduct an ancient ceremony to strengthen the sandstorm. Surely, no enemy of ours would attack with the powerful sandstorm protecting Cleyra.

- The Cleyran High Prist, before the Sandstorm ceremony begins.


This section will cover all the basic physiological and social facts about Burmecians and Burmecian/Cleyran society. If you are new to Final Fantasy IX, we recommend reading this page first before navigating the rest of the site. Or if you're the geeky type who's just looking for more Burmecian lore to read about, then go knock yourself out anyway.

It is noted, however, that in the Japanese version of FFIX, both Burmecians and Cleyrans are universally known as Nezumi, the Japanese word for rat. Whether they were intended to be called this for the NTSC and PAL versions of the game is debatable. Thus, they will often be labeled as such across this site from time to time.

In the FFRPG, they are simply known as Creimire.

Burmecian Physiology

Freya Crescent concept art, by rinpoo-chuang
Freya Crescent concept art, by rinpoo-chuang

Smaller and more slender-looking than the average human, Burmecians trace their ancestry to household rats and mice, of which they have evolved from. Although they are often, and in most cases ignorantly, dismissed as giant rats having learned to walk upright, this is far from the truth, as closer inspection reveals that Burmecians have inherited additional lapine and talpine traits during evolution.

The average Burmecian ranges between 4.0 to 6.5 feet in height, weighing between 80 to 200 lbs leaning towards lighter weights. They are lithe and generally lanky in appearance, their skinny frames accented by a set of large hands and wide feet with long, sharp claws that may have been used for digging and/or burrowing during their ancestral lifetime. Though they are normally skinny, Burmecians are not immune to environmental conditions such as obesity, muscular hypertrophy and anorexia. They have an average lifespan of 40 to 50 years.

Burmecians are universally associated with having steel-blue fur that is short and smooth to the touch, though they do have a few uncommon fur colors such as brown, white or black. Hair colors are either fair or earthly-colored, ranging between blonds, browns, grays, whites and blacks. Eye colors also typically differ between gray, green and brown. Burmecian teeth are sharp, but lack the elongated incisors that are commonly associated with most rodents. Although they retain the sensitive snouts of their ancestors, Burmecians do not sport whiskers. They also have a set of large, upright ears similar to those found on rabbits. During combat, Burmecians are more likely to rely on hearing than their relatively weak eyesight, a fact that gives them an edge in dark and confined spaces.

Their most distinguished feature, however, is their double-joined legs; combined with their aforementioned feet, Burmecians can absorb a tremendous amount of kinetic energy, allowing them to jump long distances or great heights like the Meadow Jumping Mouse, and survive long drops without suffering any serious fractures or other ill effects. Because of this, Burmecians have trained extensively in the art of jump-based combat, making them a formidable foe on the battlefield.

Society

Concept art of several Burmecians, shown in the official FFIX Artbook
Concept art of several Burmecians, shown in the official FFIX Artbook

Burmecians are a socialble and highly community-oriented race; to them, an individual Burmecian places family, friends and neighbors as having more value than material possessions. In densely populated areas such as towns and cities, Burmecians will look after a neighbor's children as if they were their own, with the understanding that said neighbor would do the same for them if the roles were reversed. Thus, young Burmecians (known as pups), will grow up having a large network of 'uncles' and 'aunts' who will continue to support and look after them as they grow into their adult years.

Burmecians worship a pantheon of numerous deities, all of which cater to different aspects of Burmecian society such as life and death, wealth, love, war and other endeavors. As a warrior culture, Burmecian deities are depicted in a war-like manner, even those who aren't normally worshiped as a war god; the god of love and fertility for example, bears two swords with the universal male and female symbols attached to the pommel of each sword, their blades crossed over one another as a sign of good fertility.

Cleyrans, in contrast, do not follow a similar model of worship; instead, they continue to practice the animalistic nature-worship of their ancestors, seeking their futures written in the flow of the sands and clouds that surround the Cleyran Tree they reside in. The Cleyran Priesthood is specially trained to foresee good fortune within these phenomenon, having trained extensively for years under the strict tutelage of the Priesthood's seers and oracles. Unlike Burmecia, Cleyran historians do not keep records of their history, passing down their history through word of mouth as a link to the deeds of their ancestors.

One common social trait that both Burmecians and Cleyrans share is their abundance of bards and dancers. Much of the importance of Nezumi culture places on dance and song can be traced back to ancient rituals in praise of sun and nature, many of which were carefully preserved by historians and cultural guardians. Over the generations, many new dances have been derived from the old ones, reworking the magic that empowered circle ceremonies and solstice celebrations to suit the needs and day-to-day demands of each Nezumi sub-culture. In Cleyra, for example, the shrine maidens of the Cleyran Priesthood perform such rituals to ensure that the sandstorm protecting their home stays strong, with the aid of a magical harp. It is said that the strings of the harp are made from Carbuncle's feathers and are supposedly indestructible; legend has it if they ever snap, it could spell disaster for Cleyra.

Behavior

A Burmecian and his companion, facing off against a pair of foes
A Burmecian and his companion, facing off against a pair of foes

While generally friendly, Burmecians tend to be forthright and action-oriented, a fact that gives them a reputation as impulsive, pugilistic creatures when compared to the other races of Gaia. They have little patience for subterfuge and double-talk, speaking their mind with almost no regard of the consequences. They rarely back down from a challenge, even if the odds are stacked against them - as a result, they are easily drawn to competitions and games of skill, such as the Festival of the Hunt. Cleyrans tend to be more aloof than their war-mongering cousins, having isolated themselves from the outside world and it's problems. As such, they view worldly and inter-community disputes with an air of indifference and neutrality, as one would normally expect from law enforcement roles.

Barring all social pitfalls, Burmecians can be an accommodating and gregarious race; hospitality, particularly towards strangers, is considered to be of the utmost importance. While they are primarily fighters, more relaxed Burmecians can be fun-loving, social and wryly humorous creatures, fitting readily into almost any adventuring group.

As noted earlier, Burmecians have a highly developed sense of smell passed down from their ancestors; to them, smell plays an important role in social interaction. A Burmecian can tell much about a person's personality from their odor alone, if not moreso. Through evolution, Burmecians have outbred the ability to produce scents to attract potential mates, many now rely on perfumes and colognes to accomplish the same purpose.

Burmecians once spoke in their own tongue during ancient times when Burmecia and Cleyra were one. Today they speak the more universal Gaian with a slight accent. Common Burmecian and Cleyran names tend to lean towards traditional English and Gaelic - examples include Shannon, Donnegan and Kildea for females and Dan, Gray and Kal for males.