In Air Riders, Tai and Keiko’s relationship is fraught with unknown enemies and disaster as danger on their mountain home creeps ever slowly forward and betrayal lurks within their walls.
The Zephyrus are not overly religious; being attuned to the nature of their mountain home and the moods of the weather comes naturally to them, as do their flying abilities. They do hold a special respect for the lightning storms of Zeus though, which strengthen their own powers over the air. You can find out more about Zeus and Zephyrus religion here.
I was inspired by many things for the Zephyrus culture. The Eastern philosophies of balance and warrior nature helped shape the quiet people, their practice of the taiga – a kind of slow martial art – as well as their hierarchical respect for their elders.
Children tend to live with their families until they leave to start their own. Zephyrus tend to bond early, forming a sort of ‘engagement’ to join after the age of twenty-one, as Tai and Keiko have in Air Riders. Families live in simple stone dwellings, with doors in the ceiling, stuck to the side of the mountain and accessible only via flight.
The thick, ancient forests of Ireland and the soaring mountain peaks of New Zealand and Iceland helped to shape the hard landscape the Zephyrus occupy when they are on the ground. Of course, when they venture too near to the forest they can be at risk of the creatures within…
There is no specific ruler of Zephyrus society. Instead, all voices count. Leaders are elected for each Wing, to guide and mentor others, not to rule them. They can be replaced at any time, should people be unhappy with their decisions, but generally all is tranquil and logical, with issues brought forth and discussed openly and calmly to find a resolution.