The Lily People are a primitive humanoid race that inhabit Mure in Marcus Malone's Firefall.
The Lily People's basic anatomy could easily be mistaken for humans, however their hair was not only rooted in the head, it was also rooted to the back of the neck, and down the length of the spine, producing a mane of hair that ran completely down their backs and end somewhere around the nap of the knee. In addition the Lily People had sharper hearing compared to Humans.
Due to generations of selective breeding by the Tower People in creating the perfect stock, all of the Lily People are physically fit beings, though their genetic diversity is mostly homogeneous, resulting in most of them to possess predominately dark hair and similar builds.
A typical male stood at five and a half feet tall, stocked with 195 pounds of solid, bulging muscle. Females were built similarly to their male counterparts, and stocked with muscle though their hair ended at the ankle rather than the knee. Despite their bulky frames, females still maintained their feminine curves.
Their muscular builds prevented both genders from straighten their legs and arms without excessive effort, making the Lily People stand with a subtle bent-over posture marked by a slight bend to the knees.
The Lily People were originally descended from the lower caste of the Tower People, however they were stripped of their clothes and possessions to be bred to become a herd of beasts to produce an ample meat supply. After the Tower produced a docile herd, they were released into the wilds to reproduce of their own free will.
The Lily People adapted well in the wilds Mure, becoming knowledgeable of the woodlands. They lived a peaceful existence around the Lily Lake. The only disruption to their way of life were the periodic harvests and the fearful firefalls. More or less they lived in complete ignorance, never knowing the roles they played as livestock at harvest, only knowing that their time came at an end when it came.
One of the Lily People, Elder Nep wishing to end the harvests implored to the willots to beseech to the Creatures from the Sister World to bring them Hur, a mythical wizard from the Lily People's legends that would free the herd. The willots agreed in exchange for an arm and a leg from the Lily People.
However Hur turned out to be a human named Jacob Rowlin, chosen by the willots to achieve the effect of a wizard. He was intended to appease the Lily People to stage a revolt against the Tower People and then be returned to Earth, but after living amongst the gentle herd and falling in love with one, Jake decided to stay but refused to lead the Lily People in war.
The willots manipulated the Tower People in bringing firefall upon the herd to initiate their own rebellion. While the herd was threatened at first but Jake, using natural elements from the forests of Mure created crude shelters for which the Lily People could take shelter in having the herd to have virtually no casualties.
The primitives overcame their fear of fire, after Jake showed them the benefits of a warm hearth. During this time, Jake created crude fire arrows to hunt down one of the giant birds that flew above Mure. As it turned out the bird was a mount for an arion who was a patrol officer maintaining the borders of the willot preserve.
The Lily People were in danger of being evicted from Mure due to an ancient treaty the outside world had established with the willots who by rights were the rightful owners of Mure. To avoid this, Jacob negotiated a new treaty with the willots and the Lily People allowing the latter to be allowed to live on Mure legally.
The Lily People were a peaceful race that lived in a vast clearing around the pond from which they drew their name: the lily pond. The Lily People were a primitive society, wearing no clothes and having no concept of tool use, regarding themselves as peaceful animals.
The Lily People organized themselves as a herd, and was composed of about thirty members. They were led by the Elder, who was the oldest of the Lily People selected by the amount of white hair he or she possessed as it was a symbol of many years of wisdom. Generally, the herd stayed together seeking whatever shade might be lingering at the edge of the clearing. The only times the herd ventured beyond the clearing was during the morning, when the forest was less dangerous, to collect edible plants or for walks down the soft paths of clover through the forest.
The Lily People being a primitive folk, possess a simple concept of mathematics. They can count beyond ten, however any other number higher, would be referred using their hands as a reference. For example for thirty people, it would be referred as six hands full.
The Lily People coveted the nectar of the lilies, which was alcoholic and was saved for special occasions. During these occasions, the males and females under the influence of the lilies would mate resulting in the females becoming pregnant.
The herd completely lacked any kind of family structure. Newborn children were simply members of the herd. Mothers cared for and nursed their own newborn, but allowed hungry babies to be passed from mother to mother as the need arose. The identities of the fathers from these one night stand relationships were never remembered due to the lilies influence and lack of interest.
After the coming of Jacob Rowlin, he introduced them to the concept of marriage and family units, which they refer as small herds. The practice was adopted by the Lily People with a few of its members becoming permanent couples and raised their children together.
During the harvests, the willots would come to announce the names of who would be brought to the Tower. Those that were chosen were members that had reached their prime age of 25 years. The Lily People never questioned the harvests only regarding it as the time when each member of the herd would end. Though the Lily People knew harvest time was death they never suspected that they were livestock that would be slaughtered. Those chosen would be brought to the Tower where they would be semi butchered to provide meat to the Tower People. The only exception to the harvests would be the elder, who was selected by his age to lead the herd.
Firefall was an event used by the Tower People to maintain their cruel hold over their livestock. Utilizing primitive gunpowder, the Tower People rained small bits of flaming pieces of charcoal over Mure, agitating the vines to leave the vicinity of the forests to the lily pond. With the vines encroaching upon their territory, and without any protection from the burning bits the Lily People were forced to endure the pain and maintain silence lest the vines take them. The adults used their bare backs to protect the children, but many of their number were taken by the vines as the children had not yet been disciplined enough to endure the pain. Firefall was only brought down upon the herd when the refused the harvests or when the approached the Tower.
While not technological or socially adept, the Lily People possessed an oral tradition of story-telling. Their stories mostly revolved around the figure Hur, a powerful wizard that traveled from world to world using his magic liberate herds and bring them deliverance. According to the willots these stories of Hur may have arose from the anxieties and fears brought on by the harvests. The stories of a mythical figure that delivered them from harvests was a way to comfort the youngsters.
- Firefall by Marcus Malone (2011)