The lower part of a gladifer's body, known as the equit, looks like a horse's below the neck, except that it has no tail and its feet each have four toes, three in the front and one in the back. The toes have hard bottoms, like little hooves.
The equit is covered with short fur. This fur is almost always a solid color, but that color varies greatly, from white to yellow to brown to black.
A gladifer's anus is in the back, similar to where a horse's is.
A gladifer's external sexual organ is a vertical slit about ten centimeters long in the front of the equit, which looks somewhat like a sideways mouth. This is very similar for both males and females (unless a male is aroused and his penis emerges), but a female's will have thicker lips and will sometimes be tinged with pink. (Although the sexes look similar to humans gladifers seem to have no trouble sexing each other.)
The size of gladifers varies more than with humans, but a typical adult will have an equit from 80 centimeters to a meter high.
Rising from the front of the top of the equit is the torso, which looks somewhat like a human torso above the waist. The torso's height will be about 60% of the equit's.
At the top of the torso on either side are the shoulders, similar to human shoulders, which connect the arms. At the end of each arm is a hand. The arms are jointed similar to a human's, but are much longer in porportion to the torso. When a gladifer is standing with its torso straight up (which is a typical position) its hands will reach down to its ankles. The hand is similar to a human hand except that it has two thumbs, one on each side of the palm, giving it six fingers. The palm and the four nonthumb fingers are also shorter than a human's.
In the front of the torso a little below the point between the shoulders is the mouth, which is a horizontal slit with a minimal lip. It has a wide human-like tongue but instead of teeth it has bony white plates which look like teeth which have been fused together. The mouth is only used for eating, not for breathing or talking.
The torso is covered with the same fur as the equit, including the arms and backs of the hands, but not the palms or the palm side of the fingers.
Rising from the part of the torso equivalent to the human neck is the capit. Unlike the other two parts of the body the capit is usually not covered with hair. For those individuals who do have hair on their capits that hair is finer and often lighter in color that the rest of their fur.
The capit is cylindrical, around twenty centimeters at the base, and about 40% as tall as the equit. It is gray with a leathery texture. Males' will generally be darker than females', and females' may be pinkish. Females' are also generally smoother. The capit tapers as it rises and then widens again at the top, so that the minimum diameter is about two thirds of the base diameter and the top diameter about three fourths of the base. The top of the capit is slightly domed.
The eyes are placed just below the ridge which joins the side and the top of the capit. There are two larger eyes at the right front and left front and two smaller eyes at the right rear and left rear. The eyes are black and pull into the capit a little when the eyelids close over then. When the eyes are closed it's hard to see the difference between the eyelids and the surrounding side of the capit.
The ears are small holes in the upper left and upper right of the side of the capit. They can be opened and closed.
The horn grows out of the top of the capit near the back. At its base it is about four centimeters from side to side and about one from front to back. It rises, tapering to a point, about as high above the top of the capit as the top of the capit is above the shoulders. It somewhat resembles a human sword, which is how gladifers got their name.
The breathhole is on the top of the capit just in front of the horn. This is used for breathing and talking. There are yellow or white hairs growing around the breathhole's opening which are used for smell.
Young gladifers resemble small adults except that their arms are proportionally shorter and they have no horns.
In general, gladifers do not have the taboos against nudity that most human cultures do, although some gladifer cultures disallow showing the sexual organs to anyone outside the family. Gladifers usually wear clothes, however, for warmth, protection, and decoration.
Gladifer clothing varies greatly from culture to culture. This section will only give a very broad overview of some of the items which are found in a broad range of styles.
The hnone, or apron, is a very common piece of clothing which covers the front of the equit (and thus the sexual organs) and is tied behind the lower torso. It is often highly decorated.
Shirts are often worn over the torso, similar to a human shirt. A shirt is sometimes combined with an apron.
The smy, or backcover, lays over the top of the equit. It often has containers on the sides. Thick backcovers are almost universal in cold weather.
Gladifers also wear shoes of different styles, usually resembling human shoes more than horseshoes, and hats, which have holes for the horn and breathhole.
Gladifer in some cultures wear a lot of purely decorative clothing, including armbands, legbands, rings, and ribbons attached to the horn. Painting the capit is also common in a few cultures.
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