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Long and willowy in structure, the talayi male stands approximately 8 to 9 rands in height, and the females are approximately 6 to 7 rands tall. The most remarkable aspect of the talayi is their skin color, which ranges from blues to greens to a strange light purple. Their skin is also textured with veins of silver, gold, purple, and even black, giving them the appearance of an ever shifting surface, much like the sea. The thin webbing that exists between their fingers and toes are uniformed in color and often reflects the overall skin tone.

All talayi possess delicate, pointed ears and slanted, almond-shaped eyes. Their eyes, possibly their most distinctive feature, are clear, limpid pools of dark brown or black that show no whites. Though the eyes dominate the talayan face, their exotic bone structure enhances the feral quality of their appearance. Some racists claim that talayi are more beast than human, using that to explain the race's uncanny abilities in communicating with animals as well as training them. Unfortunately, their feral facial features and their seal-like eyes lend credence to their detractors, of whom there are many. Talayis are one of the few races of Primordiax that have a prolonged lifespan, nearly ten times that of an Unblessed human or salamae, which makes them the target of several forms of jealousy disguised as racial hatred.

Almost all talayi are tall and slender, moving like seaweed that sways in the oceans. Though their physical appearance can often be mistaken as fragile, most talayi practice the art of "saht t'lon", a slow, graceful meditative dance that tones muscles and develops strength, flexibility, and grace. Many foes have mistaken the talayi's slender build and doe- like eyes for weakness and gentleness. Trained talayi warriors rank high among the world's best fighters, due to their extended life as well as their unique water training regimen. The only race in the world to be well-versed in water combat, talayi assassins are highly prized but incredibly rare. Because honor and life are both highly prized concepts in talayan society, any person who chooses life as an assassin immediately becomes outcast in their society.

Most talayis wear their hair long and flowing, much like their traditional clothing. Warriors, however, often fix their hair into tight, elaborate braids before they head out to battle. Some talayis sport hair down to their ankle, and the cutting of one's hair becomes an event of massive import to the entire family. Tattooing is not common in this culture due to the fact that their skin already has so much texture. Most tattoos end up appearing distorted on talayan skin. Body paint, on the other hand, is extremely popular, especially wtih the younger crowd. Used to highlight ripples and waves on their skins, body makeup is an art among the talayi.


Most talayi live in small fishing villages along the coasts of Katayvan. Their houses are often built on the sea with great piers linking the structures to land. Though these rural establishments are extremely communal, male and female talayi live apart for most of their lives. The males prefer to be housed alone in one-roomed dwellings, while the female talayi cohabit in groups up to twelve members. A very few talayi women will live in smaller dwellings with a close female sibling. Living apart as they do for most of their adult lives, the talayi have two distinct cultures (male and female) that merge and flow together well with mutual respect nurtured from both sides of the fence.

At the beginning of each season and thus, the end of each season, male and female talayi will gather in a formal setting which includes a ritualized dinner and ceremonial dancing. Normally, this meeting takes place in the community's equivalent of a town hall. The men and the women sit on opposite sides of a long table with the male and female leaders of town on either end. A feast consisting of fresh fruits and seafood, eaten with only the sound of conversation and wind chimes, progresses far into the evening. After the meal, which serves as an excellent time for the sexes to become re-acquainted with one another, talayan musicians play from a raised platform (even if it is just a few planks of wood), while couples pair off for formal and ritualistic dancing. Naturalists who have studied the dancing styles of the culture found that the movement patterns in the rituals are much like the subtle communication dances of beehives. Finally, as the moons rise, the talayi pair off and return to the male's home.

The full gestation period for talayi is approximately nine months. Thus, any children resulting from the seasonal unions are born relatively close to one another. For the first three years of their lives, the children live with both parents in the father's home. At the age of three, they move to a communal children's home under the care of the entire village. At the age of thirteen, the male children move into a five-roomed building called the P'chai Bahn, where they eat, sleep, and take classes together. The female children are moved into various households where their personalities fit best. The entire village is extremely fluid, allowing people to move from home to home very easily. The girls grow into women in a home of their choosing, shaped by those whose personalities match their own. At the age of sixteen, the boys enter private rites of manhood. Once they emerge as men, they either live on their own or with a friend.

A healthy and happy talayan community boasts three animals for every one member of the village. The animal companions roam freely throughout the streets and into homes. Many of the houses have various size pet doors, and the town halls always provide feeding pens. Most commonly, the small, household pets roam through the village, though some communities have attracted bears, wolves, and even tigers. Along the coastal towns, large, wooden platforms float near the docks, providing safe harbor for seals and walruses. As much as the culture promotes animal companionship, most talayi are not vegetarian. Traditionally, fish has always been a dominant part of their diet.


No other race on the face of Primordiax has a more controversial history than the talayis. Some historians believe that the race originated in the depths of the great oceans of the world as sea people. They point to the talayi's coloring and lightly webbed digits as proof of their supositions. On the other hand, mystics claim that talayans descend from a strange mating between a sea god and a seal. These scholars claim that the race originally could shape-shift between the form of a seal and the form of a human, but they lost the ability when they fell from the sea god's favor.

An extremely radical group of researchers claim that the talayans are all that is left of the former great terik-moi, or Elven, culture. During the time of the Sundering, the elves, along with many other races and cultures, suffered greatly as the world ripped itself apart under the hands of the lost gods. Some claim that the elves, with nowhere left to go, fled into the sea. Their greatest mages performed a last rite of magic, allowing their people to become one with the ocean. In that final act, the terik- moi ceased to be, and the talayi were born of the sea. Other scholars completely scoff at this idea and believe that the talayi have always lived in the sea, even during the time of the terik-moi. When the Sundering occurred, the great dragons of the sea were released from their slumber and wreaked havoc on the underwater nations of the talayi. Having no other recourse, the talayi fled to the surface, sacrificing their water breathing abilities for the safety of land.

Whether they fled to the sea or from the sea, the talayans themselves believe that they were created by a coalition of deities and charged to be caretakers of the realm's seas and beasts. Most talayans believe that they were once animals-- the best of the beasts-- that were claimed by the gods and recreated to mimic their Aetherial forms. The talayans also believe that their long lives are the reward for their service to the creations of Aryoch. Each set of talayi mothers will pass down their animal totem to their children when they are born. This is often done in a form of a pendant or a piece of jewelry depicting the animal from which they believe themselves to be decended. Very rarely, a talayi may break from the familial totem and seek his or her own animal spirit.

Racial Bonuses

+ to animal empathy
+ to animal training
- to fatigue regen


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