• Zayeaf

    (zie-eef)

    ‘Listen child! For I speak of the Syr Bazrad, the first; the sown children and your ancestors! Long ago in ages past, even before the long ears came, there was the Shaesha, the mighty one, the gardener of the world. The Shaesha was strong and smart and created wondrous things. All our arts, sciences, tactics and knowledge came first from the Shaesha.’
    ‘The Shaesha was not the only one in the world. The Rakhoshi, or spirits inhabited the world too. At first the Rakhoshi welcomed the Shaesha and they lived alongside each other in peace. But the Rakhoshi soon became jealous of the Shaesha’s talents and creations, for no matter how they tried they could not equal the splendor of the Shaesha’s creations. For many years the Shaesha taught the Rakhoshi but alas they could only ever imitate his creations, never create themselves. The Shaesha was saddened but was comforted that the Rakhoshi so diligently applied themselves to his teachings.’
    ‘The Rakhoshi had deceived the Shaesha though; for as he taught them their hearts were poisoned by jealousy and frustration, unable to truly create. And so the Rakhoshi planned the Shaesha’s downfall. The Rakhoshi went to the Shaesha and challenged him to create new life, his greatest masterpiece.’
    ‘ “Surely one so great as you could create all manner of creatures Shaesha!” The Rakhoshi argued. The Shaesha agreed and started creating life. He first created all manner of plants and herbs, giving them powers of healing and harm and the ability to feed on starlight but no thought. When he was finished he presented his first creation to the Rakhoshi, but they were unimpressed. “They cannot move or create, this is what you claim is life?!” they exclaimed, and the Shaesha was saddened for they could not see the beauty of his creation. So the Shaesha created the Bugs and Animals, giving them movement and the ability to interact and feed on both plants and each other and presented them to the Rakhoshi. “ While they can move, they cannot speak, are you unable to create true life?” the Rakhoshi wheedled, preying on the Shaesha’s pride.’
    ‘So the Shaesha thought long and hard and created the Syr Bazrad, the sown children from his own scales. He taught them all his knowledge and delighted in their ability to create like him. He imparted upon them the wisdom and knowledge of herbs and plants and showed them how to hunt and survive. It was then the Shaesha became suspicious of the Rakhoshi’s intentions and warned the Syr Bazrad to be cautious of them, for the Shaesha finally could see that jealousy had poisoned the Rakhoshi. Instead of presenting the Syr Bazrad to them, he began working on his final creation. This being would protect his creations both from the Rakhoshi and from themselves, for he was no longer naive to the evils of the world.’
    ‘By this time the Rakhoshi were suspicious and decided to spy upon the Shaesha and his children. They watched from the shadows and their hearts dripped the foulest poison upon seeing the Syr Bazrad and their ability to create. They tried to speak to the Syr Bazrad with their honeyed words and gilded eyes, but the Syr Bazrad remembered the Shaesha’s warnings and did not reply. The Syr Bazrad cast their gaze from the Rakhoshi and remembered their foul stench, and that is why the Zayeaf know where the veils between worlds is thin. This angered the Rakhoshi and they descended upon the Syr Bazrad in a terrible fury, their noxious fumes poisoning and their foul voices shrieking in rage.’
    ‘It was then that a great form rose, winged and letting out a mighty roar that shook the earth! The Shaesha flew in on the back of a black winged beast, markings like rivulets of blood dripping from its hide and fire hotter than a smiths forge pouring from its mouth! We call them Dragons now, but he was the first young one, and it is in honor of him we call a lineage a dynasty! Every Rakhoshi fell upon the Shaesha and the winged beast, and their rage was terrible. The Shaesha knew that he had done all he could for his children the Syr Bazrad, but he gave us two final gifts. Using the last of his energy he banished the Rakhoshi to a void, able to see the world they had lost by their own folly but never walk it again, and his vast knowledge and remaining power to the great winged beast to watch the Syr Bazrad and discipline them should they ever start to become like the Rakhoshi. We call him Dynastus and this is why you must be vigilant in your studies and strive to be like the Syr Bazrad the first, or he will come for you!’

    Genesis

    The Zayeaf ascertain they came from the Syr Bazrad (loosely translated to ‘seed’ or ‘the sown’ and pronounced see-ear baaz-raad) from which each caste came from and the creator deity ‘Shaesha’ (loosely translated as ‘mighty’ or ‘gardener of the world’ and pronounced shaw-ez-shaw). They ascertain that while each caste is more suited to their appointed task which comes naturally, all have the capacity to be anything. While this may seem a contradicting statement within their caste society it has been proven very effective and they have had a remarkably stable government because of it. The one trait above all others that the Zayeaf value is survival, and their culture evolved to embrace this allowing for a clear line of command and the ability to adapt.

    History

    Before the War of the Mages Folly the Zayeaf knew of and were aware of the world and nations around them but had no interest in interacting with other lands. While they would trade openly within their borders they were militant isolationists and had such strict trading customs that most other countries would not bother trading with them, if they knew of them at all. There were a few exceptions to this isolationism, they have good relations with the Tu'toni and the Mangsa, and have been known to aid them if asked.

    Due to being such avid isolationists there has never been a successful invasion or occupation of Zayeaf territories or lands. Initially the Mages Fraternity attempted to infiltrate them through their usual means of ‘offering’ help and a better way of living, but the Zayeaf rejected their offers repeatedly and after the Mages realized they would get nowhere with their usual methods they resorted to raw military strength. When even their powerful forces were repelled by the Zayeaf they resorted to the final option of ‘writing off’ those lands completely and damaging the veil in that area beyond repair. The Mages ripped gaping holes and thinned the veil between worlds allowing fiends and demons to cross far more easily over to their lands. While the rest of the world undoubtedly suffered great losses and enslavement the Zayeaf fought primarily demons and devils and to this day there are areas of their lands where they cannot hunt or occupy due to the amount of demonic activity in the area. This has caused the Zayeaf and Mangsa to become extremely sensitive to tears/ variations in the veil (more so than they already were) and while they cannot discern exactly why the veil is thin or torn around a person they treat that person with intense suspicion. While the Zayeaf are more open now that the War is over they still tend to be suspect of outsiders, however the younger generations are generally more accepting. They also have more active trade affairs after the war and have become less isolationist.

    Society

    Zayeaf Society has structured itself into distinct groups that, while forming a loose caste system, does not restrict an individual from rising to another station should they choose. This ‘rising’ through the ranks is not discouraged, though the entrance of one who goes from a non combatant occupation to a combatant occupation will be educated on the potential hazards of their new chosen station.

    While ‘rising’ does exist and is encouraged when it happens, it tends to be rare due to the unique placement system the Zayeaf use with their young. While a Zayeaf may know who their birth parents are, this does not necessarily determine who raises them, as all Zayeaf in a ‘generation’ or the result of a mating period are put into a communal clutch. After they hatch, they are tested and observed to determine where best to place them. They are mentored in this profession and are raised as part of that ‘caste’, so while an individuals parents might be artisans, they may be placed into the warrior caste if they show the predisposition for it.

    Males and females are treated equally and given the same rights, both in regards to property and station though death bouts over mating have been known to occur, they are rare. While life partnerships do happen, they are the exception rather than the rule, with most Zayeaf preferring to mate and agreeably part ways soon after. This both ensures a diverse population, and reenforces the communal raising of young.

    The Zayeaf do not believe in slavery, and such practices are outlawed within their borders. Indentured servitude does exist, usually to pay off a debt or as payment for a service, although the individual must be of age and a contract must be signed with a copy going to both parties and to the governments records. Said contract must contain the amount of time, the amount of debt/ payment being made by said contract, provisions for violation of contract (added time, etc), and food/lodging/care provisions for the indentured party. While Zayeaf respect other lands laws while in them, should they see another Zayeaf enslaved most will endeavor to ‘purchase’ said individual to free them, and in return the other would owe a blood debt, usually paid off by a time in indentured servitude.

    While the Zayeaf do practice magic, it is heavily monitored and most of the populace looks upon it with a wary eye. This is not to say it is looked down upon, but due to the effects of the war the Zayeaf are cautious to never allow such unfettered power to run rampant. Very little is known about Zayeafan magics to the outside world apart from the fact that few spellcasters venture out of Zayeafan territory.

    The Zayeaf are extremely cautious of outsiders, with the exception being their longstanding allies the Mangsa and Teutoni. Much of this is due to the effects of The War of The Mages Folly and the horrors brought upon them. While the other races faced subjugation the Zayeaf and Mangsa faced annihilation; the Mages fraternity unleashed the denizens of the dark realm upon their lands and they feel the effects to this day. Due to this all Zayeaf are required to serve in the military for two years.

    Racial Description

    Zayeaf are characterized as scaled humanoids with distinctly reptilian features. Zayeaf have evolved to have hair and hair can be expressed as anything from fine individual strands, to dreadlock like extensions, to feathers. Zayeaf much prefer warmer climates and while they can tolerate colder climes, they move slower outside of combat and become noticeably irate far more easily in them. Zayeaf have 5,4, or 3 fingered hands with some individuals having noticeable claws on both hands and/or feet and have been known to have reverse jointed legs. Zayeaf have a wide range or eye color and shape, with both vertical and horizontal split pupils as well as round existing. Zayeaf have a variety of teeth types with some individuals having nothing but canines/fangs to those with only flat grinding teeth to those similar to humans. Zayeaf run the gamut with tails, some having them and some do not or have shortened versions of a tail. Players will wear either a latex or silicone prosthetic depicting reptilian features or full face paint in a scaled/ plated pattern with appropriate detail no simple large ‘v’ strokes on the face to represent scaling/plating in a contrasting color/ shade of the base face paint. Players can choose whether or not the character has hair and how it is expressed, how many digits they have and whether they have claws or reverse joints however they must be appropriately represented as such. If a player chooses to have their character have fangs they must be represented with an appropriate dental prosthetic/ denture. If a player chooses to have their character have a tail it must be represented as a reptilian tail in keeping with their coloring.
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