Tajaran are a furred bipedal race with feline-esque traits from Meralar based in the Rarkajar system.
- Tajaran can speak a unique language of Siik. Use this in game by using ,j
- All Tajaran have claws, and will scratch with them instead of punching, dealing extra damage.
- Tajaran can see much better in the dark than humans.
- Tajaran are less vulnerable to harm from cold due to their fur, but more vulnerable to harm from heat.
Nominal characteristics vary by region and ethnicity, below are some common styles as described with Earth-based equivalents. Bear in mind these are not strict hard-and-fast rules, simply the “common sounds” of each ethnicity's names; variations and exceptions do exist.
- Hrarar - Commonly first name followed by family name or clan name. Middle names are rare. Names sound somewhat Middle-Eastern mixed with south-east Asian.
- Siik - As above.
- Hakar - As above, though middle names are more common, often as “honorifics” passed down through the family. Name sounds have more of an Icelandic bent at times as well.
- Selem - Similar to the Siik. Names incorporate some Italian-sounding components as well.
- Njarir'Akhan - First name followed by family name, suffixed by “enai-(Ruling House of the family)” in formal use when appropriate - for example, “Chii'akor Kasyir enai-Kaytam”. Elements of Japanese and Ancient Egyptian names.
- Njarjirii - As above. Names occasionally have Spanish-sounding elements.
- Nerahni - As above. Names also include some German elements.
- Siirkhani - Two-part hyphenated first name followed by family name. Names sound like a mix of German and Italian.
- Zhan-Khazan - Simple mono- or duo-syllable names, no real last names. Might provide “Zhan-Khazan” as a last name if required. Due to the simplistic nature of their names, there's no real Terran approximation to provide, only examples such as “Khal”, “Maaz”, “Rhem”, “Tarikh”, so on and so forth.
- Ur Zkan-Khazan - As above.
- Shankamyan - Completely unknown, as no communications can be established.
- Rhemazar - First and last name, same as the Hrarar. Name sounds also share much in common with the Hrarar, incorporating some Russian-esque components as well.
Tajaran are a species of omnivorous, bipedal mammal-analogues. Their body is covered almost entirely with a thick fur coat, the only exceptions being the palms of their hands and the soles of their feet and directly around their various mucous membranes. On many individuals the fur near their neck and head grows into a shaggy “mane”, not unlike a lion or horse's mane, which is made of tougher, wiry hairs. Tajaran fur colors generally have a singular color, with the mane generally being significantly darker than the rest of the fur, though stripes and other patterns of different colors are present among some ethnicities. The practice of dying sections of one's fur a different color is also not unheard of. Tajaran males on average range between 150 cm and 200 cm in height and 50 kg and 95 kg in mass. Females are typically slightly smaller in stature.
Tajaran have two fairly large and well-developed eyes set above a slightly elongated muzzle. Their pupils are generally large and oval when relaxed, and contract very quickly into a horizontal aperture in bright light. Their irises are narrow while relaxed, large when contracted, and are most typically shades of brown, gold, green, and rarely, blue to purple. Tajaran teeth are sharp and needle-like in the front and slowly grow thicker towards the back. The closest analogous tooth structure in a Terran animal is the raccoon. They do not have well developed grinding molars and have a strong dietary preference for meats, fats, and fruits, but are capable of eating other plants.
On the top of their head Tajarans possess two normally erect ears that are roughly triangular and rounded. Tajaran ears have a wide range of motion, and are capable of rotation up to ninety degrees and folding entirely back to the skull. Because of the structure and wide range of motion, Tajarans have a noticeably more fine range of hearing than other crew species.
Tajaran hands and feet both have five digits and are somewhat stubby compared to human extremities, with short claws as fingernails, similar in shape to cashew-nuts. Tajarans are digitigrade, and most equipment designed for humans or skrell that interacts with the legs (eg voidsuits) requires modification to fit. All Tajarans also possess a flexible, non-prehensile tail. This appendage is muscled and is capable of an exceedingly large range of movement.
Tajaran have a notably longer sleep cycle than humans, the average waking period for a Tajaran is between 30-32 hours with a subsequent 11-13 hours of sleep. This wake period is often punctuated by short (15-30 minute) naps. Tajarans can avoid sleep for up to 75 hours without experiencing severe negative effects in the short term, but tend to grow lethargic and unfocused over longer periods, or if skipping sleep regularly.
The Tajaran body is generally lithe, slender, and extremely flexible. Sexual dimorphism in body shape between males and females is generally slightly less distinct than in humans, though by what degree can vary depending on ethnicity and cultural norms.
The average lifespan of a Tajaran can be measured in 70 human years as of now, but statistical predictions say it might be 90 or even 100 years in the near future due to rapid technological advancements in the medical field due to the conception of FTL travel and contact to other sapient life.
Tajaran nations have various relationships to other extrameralan life, mostly contained in aloof friendliness to cordial trading relationships. Among all, the humans are regarded as the most beneficial trading partner, considering history and dealings with the USDF.
Tajaran are capable of expressing many tones and pitches, leading to usually very expressive languages. The myth that they incorporate body signs into them mainly comes from the fact that Tajaran sometimes indicate mood with their tails and ears. However, there are no such components present in any of the main languages, only Canilunzt incorporates body language. Tajaran speaking galactic common or human tongues often roll and extend R sounds, which is attributed to their accent. They can consciously avoid rolling their Rs.
A language originating from the large Hharar agricultural communities scattered around the Meralaran temperate zone that evolved through trading caravans into a broad and nuanced, if complex and sometimes unwieldy, shared language of the trading houses and the rich. For humans, the language is difficult to speak without a great deal of practice and experience as it incorporates a great deal of pitch variation, yowls, and trills that are difficult to replicate with the human palate. As a Seleminite language, they have the archetypical third person usage to refer to themselves, often carrying over to galactic common and other languages as the first person represents trust or affection.
While lauded as the holy language, Hakari is a poor attempt to speak the ancient Selem language, filled with bastardizations, slurrings and a very simplified grammar. The melodious, almost fluting language is very simple to understand, but difficult to learn. The rules are arbitrary and have many exceptions, disregarding said rules completely for the sake of “flow.” Native speakers get offended by foreign accents “polluting” their “exalted tongue.” As a Seleminite language, they have the archetypical third person usage to refer to themselves, often carrying over to galactic common and other languages as the first person represents trust or affection.
Siikelem is the revival of the ancient Selem language, modernized and merged with Siik grammar structures and lend words for new concepts and objects previously not represented in old Selem. Siikelem is the best approximation of “modernized” ancient Selem and is widely used by both scholars and the finer society of the Third Selem Empire. It's a language of prestige and learning it is either native by the parents or needs to be paid with orpulent fees for those who made it their profession to teach it. As a Seleminite language, they have the archetypical third person usage to refer to themselves, often carrying over to galactic common and other languages as the first person represents trust or affection.
Rrhangarr is mainly spoken in the harsh northern regions of Meralar, a simple and harsh language with heavy emphasis on the R consonant and context-based grammar. Due to the relative ease of learning it, Rrhangarr is especially useful in trading on Meralar - although not on the coasts, where Akhani is overwhelmingly dominant.
The ancient tongue of the Njarir'Akhan, dubbed Akhani. While today's Akhani is somewhat polluted with lendwords from Siik due to its use up and down the coasts of Meralar by the crews of trade ships, Akhani is still a distinct language family on its own. Akhani has a very structured and formal grammar, with words mostly formed by common syllables and compound nouns.
Tajaran have no job preference one way or another, their expertise and fields mostly dependent on their cultural background and educational history.
“Banded Pearl” in Old Selem. The home planet of the Tajarans in the Rarkajar system, a terrestrial oxygen planet on the outer edge of the Goldilocks Zone, leading to lower surface temperatures. It is rich on resources to the point where it is theorized that the planet was originally two and they smashed/merged together. Supporting this theory, Meralar possesses a planetary ring of four to five layers, with no moon. The Meralar day is about 43 hours long. The planet is sort of chilly. There's lots of ocean, and a “tropical” belt that's roughly terran temperate. This belt covers a band of the south of the northern continent, and the northern coast of the southern continent (and a few islands and atolls, of course). Between the two is the only always-liquid portion of the planet's oceans, and it is heavily trafficked by traders and fishing ships. There is also an eastern continent that is relatively unexplored due to hostile natives. Much of the northern and southern continents have subarctic climates, and there are large polar ice caps at both poles.
The Tajaran have various ethnical differences between them, sometimes even varying from nation to nation, but they can be condensed to three. The Hharar, the Njarir'Akhan and the Zhan-Khazan.
Hharar are the most numerous Tajaran ethnicity on Meralar, and were the most heavily represented Tajarans in the diplomatic delegations that dealt with Humans through the early post-contact years. This led to a fairly entrenched image of the Hharar as the 'average' Tajaran among Humans and their other interstellar neighbours. Their fur is quite silky, long, and very thick, and usually runs between umber and pale tan.
The Siik people are in many ways synonymous with the Hharar, and were the first Hharar of Zarraya. The original Siik were migratory, but slowly settled the southern warm belts of Zarraya with farming communities thousands of years ago, as receding ice sheets uncovered fertile soil and hardy plants. Siik history is filled with kingdoms, wars, and empires - the northern Selem empires and the southern Hakar kingdoms were and are both ruled by Siik families, although only Siik from Zarraya still refer to themselves by the name. During the fall of the Second Empire, most of the towns and cities held by the Selem declared their sovereignty and dominion over their nearby lands and became a patchwork of city-states and small kingdoms, often with uneasy relationships with their neighbours. The Siik speak Siik - imagine that.
The Hakar are the original settlers of Hakarraya, taming the lands as per decree of the First Selem Empire and the last remnants of the ancient realm. As the Empire fell, local governors and nobles became petty princes and kings, deliberately muddling the true origins and history of their people while propagating the central authority, an all-powerful god-like emperor. The Hakar kingdoms declared war on one another many times over the centuries after the fall of the First Empire, aggrandizing the Old Selem Emperors as living gods and the new kings the inheritors of their divine grace. This has led to heavily idolized, absolute God Kings who maintain an iron-fisted rule over their war-weary nations. Today, only a handful of Hakar Kingdoms remain, each claiming to be led by the one true God-Emperor, entrenched in deep rivalry with each other. Although open warfare is all but impossible, they still try to outdo each other with huge displays of wealth and “proof” of godhood. As a result of the earliest Siik and Njarjirii settlers' interbreeding the Hakar are a little taller on average than the Siik and more lightly built, sometimes described as gaunt-looking by Zarrayans even when healthy. They speak Hakari, a bastardized version of ancient Selem.
The Selem are an ancient kind of Hharar, who named themselves after the first emperor of the Siik, Selem Hadii. Their history is long and often bloody, having dominated the political landscape of the Siik with two Empires for almost five hundred years. They impregnated cultural thinking, law and military tactics of the Siik with Selem ideologies and traditions. The decline of the Second Empire led to a bloody interregnum, as the political vaacuum was filled with budding nation states and invading Zhan-Khazan. This led to Zarraya's modern patchwork of territories and borders. A successor state to the Second Empire lives on as the Third Selem Empire, once again ruled by the Hadii. They hold the old twin capitals of Rakari and Hekari, and make no secret of their ambitions to re-unify the Zarrayan city-states. Selem are excessively proud of their grandeur and pedigree, looking down on the Rhemazar and Siik, finding them anarchistic and uncivilized. Their national language is Siikelem, a revitalized form of ancient Selem, however most Selem outside the inner circles of the imperial family speak Siik as at least a second language.
Njarir'Akhan are taller than the average Hharar, with narrower, more streamlined builds and a naturally lithe musculature. Their fur is thick, velvety, and sheds water very easily.This makes them much more at home in the water than their continental cousins, even at higher latitudes. Their fur is most commonly a darker, earthier variation of the Hharar's hues. Their facial features are softer, rounder, and shorter-muzzled than the Hharar, and their gaits are usually more elongated and sinuous, lending them a certain predatory grace.
The original Njarir'Akhan migrated thousands of years ago from Zarraya, journeying across a colder Meralar's near-frozen inner sea at the end of an ice age to settle on the Njarir Merana archipelago, where fishing was possible in the still-liquid water. The Njarjirii are equatorial islanders with a heavily maritime culture, centered around generosity, individual heroism, pride, and feuds. In the past, Njarjirii were THE Tajaran trader-explorers, and their shipping routes knitted the islands and coastal settlements of both continents together. They are governed by a 'House' to each island and although they feud, form, and break alliances, they resist outside hostilities fiercely as a united front. Njarjirii are proud of their freedom, and historically very hostile to anything they might see as slavery as they regard personal freedom as given. They speak Akhani.
A large house of the Njarjirii who were hired by the First Selem Empire for their sailing expertise, at great expense, to help Hakarraya-bound colonists cross Njarir Etari safely. Through their new wealth and imperial ties they became the true sea traders of the Akhani. They have some of the oldest, largest, and most elaborately ornamented ocean-going ships on Meralar, passed down from generation to generation within each family. Each ship is well loved and cared for, and often carved with the names and stories of its dead crew, making the ships shrines to themselves and their achievements. A Nerahni ship was and is often the sole home of its families of crew, calling no port a true home - although they often returned to distant cousin houses' islands in Njarjirii territory for more extensive repairs and festival visits. The Nerahni were some of the most scientifically important Tajaran of pre-modern times, as they were responsible for much of the mathematics, nautical navigation, and complex shipbuilding techniques in early Meralar. They are capricious, nomadic and shrewd, considering “taking” and “giving” being the same, as everything has a price. As first into space, mainly as hired crew, their tradition of marking the crew's and the vessel's history into the hull of their ships spread among Tajaran spacefarers, making their spacefaring ships living history. They speak a slight variation of Akhani, peppered with sailor's terms and insults.
The Siirkhani are the descendants of the original pupils of Raniira Merar, a prophet and divine figure of the Njarir'Akhan, who is alleged to have led them to the bountiful islands of the ocean in a time of need. With a rigid religious scripture which makes it impossible to leave the cult, the Siirkhani voluntarily isolate themselves from others and live a life of ascetics, prayer and reverence of history. In fact, many historical records were preserved purely because of the religious dogmas of the Siirkhani, and the efforts of their monasteries have helped to cultivate the lands around them. Due to their beliefs they do not marry outside their own religion, nor do they have any deeper contact to anyone beyond cordial trading relations. Still, they are tolerated almost everywhere, except in the lands of the Hakar, where they are an oppressed minority.
Zhan-Khazan are generally taller and stockier than even the Njariri'Akhan. The average height is 180 cm to 225 cm, the average weight is 70 kg to 110 kg. They have proportionally smaller eyes, heavier jaws, and tend toward a heavily muscled build. While the hues of the fur is often a soft white or off-colour grey, it is thick and pelty, with heavily tufted ears.
Ur Zhan-Khazan who stayed true to their ways. They are raiders of the north, nomadic and heavily reliant on ice water fishing and herding animals. Their society is fluid and prone to sweeping changes as Zhan-Rhezar rise and fall, tribes splinter and form. The only constant is their lust for riches, blood and glory, which they live out on regular raids on the Cities of the Rhemazar and Siik. They speak Rrhangarr.
“The Savage Tribe”, Zhan-Khazan who wandered across an ice ridge to reach the eastern continent. They speak a local dialect which diverged from Rrhangarr long ago. As savage as the lands they live in, the Shankamyan are extremely territorial and agressive, making diplomacy or even concessions completely impossible. It is rumoured that hey have eaten the diplomants who tried. It might be true. They do not show interest in leaving the planet. They also eat anyone who asks.
During the chaos of the Fall of the Second Selem empire, they came. Zhan-Khazan led by an ambitious Zhan-Rhezar Rhem descended upon the weakened cities and warring successor kingdoms in the Northeast, plundering, razing and killing everything in their wake. The sheer size of the united tribe was unseen before, accumulating into the destruction of several loyalist armies, spelling out doom upon the struggling empire, and giving it the last push to oblivion. The tribe settled down in the smouldering ruins they had left, first creating an uneasy alliance with the local Hhrarar survivors and emancipated slaves. Soon, they were assimilated, Siik tenets integrated into the Zhan-Khazan way of life, transforming to the culture known today as Rhemazar. They live in a relatively new Noble Federation, led by a High Prince. The only civilized Zhan-Khazan, stoic, industrious and prone to form quick friendships, the interbreeding with the Siik led them to be leaner and smaller than their “wild” counterparts, although they are still distinctively bulky. They speak a heavily polluted form of Siik with many slang terms of Rrrhangarr present, betraying their heritage.
A fairly old and well-known religious sect on Meralar, the teachings of Tajr-kii Rarkajar (roughly translated as “We who follow Rarkajar”) pervade almost every aspect of modern Selem culture, from sun motifs in paintings to turns of phrase referring to “the Light”. It is less commonly worshipped among the Siik and Rhemazar, and even more rarely among the Hakar due to their focus on the God Kings, but exceptions exist as with all things.
The Tajr-kii hold that Rarjakar and Mephir are locked in eternal battle over the fate of the dead. When someone dies, the soul travels to Mephir's realm, known as *The Bounty*. The Bounty is said to be a desolate wasteland of eternal wind and fire, where souls are drained of energy to fuel Mephir and reduced to dark, mindless husks, before eventually fading into nothingness. The hope is that Rarkajar's ever-watchful Eye can locate the soul before it is drained, and can be lifted from the Bounty to be safely stored within Rarkajar Himself (the process is known as Ascension).
There, the soul melds with the network of other souls stored there, gaining vast knowledge stretching back to the very beginnings of the Tajaran species. Some souls are even said to act as mouthpieces for Rarkajar, their whispers reaching the ears of the devout to lend guidance or consolation.
Rarkajar does not imprison them, however. If at any point a soul wishes to leave, they are taken to a place called *That Which Comes After*, which is said to be a large floating island of light with a door in the center. When the soul steps through the door, it is reincarnated within an unborn child to experience life once more. The child is said to retain certain traits from its soul's previous incarnations, and every incarnation allows the soul itself to grow in power. As such, souls that have been through many reincarnations - so-called “old souls” - are especially valuable to Mephir, and therefore Rarkajar must be doubly determined to locate these old souls so they cannot fuel Mephir's powers.
However, Rarkajar's failing is that He is unchanging. While He is vastly stronger than Mephir in direct confrontation, Her ability to change and grow allows Her to best Him with indirect methods, such as the aforementioned redirecting the dead to Her realm so She can siphon their power.
|Species on CHOMPstation|
Akula - Demi-Humans - Dionae - Humans - Nevrean - Promethean - Rapala - Sergal - Skrell - Tajaran - Teshari - Unathi - Vasilissans - Vox - Vulpkanin - Xenochimera - Xenomorph-Hybrids - Zorren - Alraune