Entertainment Edit

All of the alien races have music and dance in common, although of course they have very individual interpretations of what a "dance" is.

Hiver dances are very intricate and some of the best can involve thousands of individuals moving in perfect unison.

Hiver prefer choral music and symphonic arrangements for up to two–hundred musicians.

There have certainly been banned books, plays, operas etc. in Hiver society. A particularly famous version of the The Motherless Sons story arose a few generations ago, for example, which was construed as sharply critical of certain clans and even the Queen at the time. Naturally it instantly became a smash hit and performances of the play were suppressed, which led to secret performances and to certain Hiver's "accidentally" singing or playing a few key notes of one of the more poignant melodies in public as a form of subtle protest.

So far as entertainments which are unique to the Hiver, they enjoy a language of perfumes and pheromones which is incredibly sophisticated and can create the olfactory equivalent of poetry and painting with scents. A Human in the area would smell a great many things, but couldn't possibly get the full effect. A dog, on the other hand, might go mad.

Humans occasionally touch a chord of the Hiver soul with our written works. A Hiver language translation of classic Human poetry has recently begun, including the "Song of Solomon", which has become enormously popular with the Hiver masses. "Shir Hashirim" has been retitled "The Courting Song", and a popular novel has been written about the love affair between the White Prince Solomon and his beloved mate, the Black Rose of Sharon. The popularity of the poem and the novel has created a new demand for rare organics from Human colonies: many Hiver will pay very high prices for a sample of "cedar", "cypress", "henna", "myrhh", "rose", "apple" or "fig".

Dining Edit

Hiver also love cooking and fine dining — Workers in particular are usually capable of creating gourmet delicacies which are very strong on presentation — each individual makes the most of his food as their rationing tends to be tight and food is considered a clan gift. Hiver gourmands have a deep love of Human cheeses, yogurts, alcoholic beverages, vinegars and sourdough breads. They take deep pleasure in the variation of flavors and fragrances offered by our planet's busy little micro–organisms. Hiver also enjoy sugar, but prefer fats over carbohydrates. The ideal Human food from the Hiver nutritional point of view is generally some kind of triple fat super chunk frozen yoghurt — flavored with an alcohol, like rum. A thick egg nog flavored milkshake is considered particularly desirable.

Hiver can derange their senses, but alcohol is just a flavor to them — their neurochemistry is different enough that the molecule doesn't affect them. No Human could out–drink a Hiver, if the drink was alcohol. For a Hiver, it isn't the wine that's intoxicating — it's the cheese.

Cultures of lactose and a few other random sugars are able to intoxicate a Hiver — the standard alcohol molecule that Humans enjoy, although it registers as "tasty" and "interesting", does not affect their brain chemistry the way it does a Human.

If someone wanted to "mess with the crystals" of a Hiver, they would need to either sample the native alkaloids and micro–organism waste from that Hiver's planet, or figure out which ones on their own planet give Hiver a buzz. The active cultures of yogurt, as it happens, are pleasantly trippy. Some cheeses also pack a kick.

If any Human were to eat Hiver food, it would best be taken in small portions. It is very rich, and usually quite sweet and bland to the Human palate.

Pets Edit

Any sentient which nurtures its own young and practice any form of animal husbandry will keep pets of some kind. Hiver pets tend to be limited by caste. Workers sometimes have a very small and easily hidden pet — like a mouse or a tiny bird — which they will keep as a companion, share small amounts of food with and train to perform tricks, carry messages or do other amusing stunts. Warriors — depending on their duties — have been known to train and maintain various types of warbeasts as companions and guard animals; they are especially fond of raptors and other flying predators for this purpose. Princes may keep any sort of pet they wish, including quite large and impressive ones, if wealth permits.

A Princess or a Queen would likely be the exception to this rule — given the relationship they have with their own sons, keeping a pet of any kind would be redundant.

Competition Edit

Hiver are very fond of athletic contests of all kinds, and their games and contests are clan–based. A great athlete can win a great deal of honor and money for his clan, since Hiver are very prone to betting on sporting events.

Generally Warriors are the competitors in most sports, although there are specific Worker–based events and the dueling of Princes is considered the ultimate contest — elevated to the realm of the sacred.

Hiver possess a deep fascination with the Human game of chess. For some reason, many Hiver feel that this game is particularly beautiful. They play it obsessively and have been known to carve sets which feature Hiver Workers, Warriors, Princes and Princesses.

Some Hiver Warriors have made a challenge game out of eating the toxic plants we use as "spices" — their sensitivity to tastes and smells makes the consumption of hot peppers, garlic etc. an intensely painful experience, and they eat this food to prove that they can endure and even enjoy it. It would be the Hiver equivalent of the Sun Dance rituals of the Plains tribes of North America.

And yes, contests between pets are extremely common, although they are more likely to be used to settle personal differences or ease boredom within the ranks, rather than between clans. Many mothers forbid their sons to fight or damage one another, but they cannot control whether two Workers pit their voles against one another in a miniature pit match, or whether two Warriors turn their war–beasts loose in a back alley.

It should be noted that most Hiver games would have to be seriously altered in order to be appealing to Tarka or Humans. For one thing, they have to be made much, much less lethal. And for another, they have to be translated for persons with few limbs.

In essence, the Hiver are a centaurian race, in terms of locomotion and bodily control — so although they play a game that looks very much like polo at home, the position that would normally be occupied by a horse AND rider among Humans is simply a single player, as a Hiver. The game has rules very similar to Lacrosse.

Similarly, a contest that takes place between a man and bull in Spain would be a contest between a Worker and a Warrior among Hiver — the Worker bearing armor and a weapon, the Warrior nude but naturally well–armed. There are some rumors of this game being played by Hiver and Human prisoners who were held in a Tarkasian prison camp some years ago, but these are only rumors.