Note: Much of the information contained in this document would not be known to the average character, and, in fact, some of it is unknown even to the Tasiv themselves. Please refer to the segment entitled "Rava" for more reference regarding publicly accessible information.
The Tasiv are a race of humanoid insectians, hailing from the harsh, high gravity world of Tasivid. By nature, they are a warlike race that does not believe in the concept of equality: one is either superior or inferior to those around them. This fundamental philosophy pervades every strata of their culture, leaving a command structure that could, theoretically, be traced from the highest Matriarch to the lowest slave.
They are extremely suspicious and distrustful of non-Tasiv, and are quick to seek their own self-interests over the interests of other species.
Additional note: Tasiv words have no plural form. Thus "Tasiv" can be used to represent a single Tasiv, a group of Tasiv, or Tasiv in general. This principle applies to all their words.
Tasiv have a distinctly insectian physiology, but also share many features with reptilian and mammalian lifeforms.
The typical Tasiv stands somewhere between 5' and 5' 6" at full height. They have backwards bending knee joints, giving them an unusual gait and posture. Their legs are designed for jumping great heights and scaling vertical cliffs, so they have extremely powerful legs. Because their leg joints are different than most typical humanoids, Tasiv typically do not stand at full height, but normally stand with their knees bent, giving them a slightly slanted posture, and leaving them even shorter by several inches.
The Tasiv have three digits on each of their hands and feet, positioned to form an opposing vice grip. Along the length of each finger and toe appendage, durable climbing claws can extend, originating from openings in the palm (or base of the foot), giving the appearance that the claws actually protrude from the fingers, but they do not actually do so. When the claws are retracted, the only visible trace of them is small, hard nubs that stick out of the palm. In the case of the hands, these nubs actually aid the Tasiv in holding objects in their hands.
The Tasiv head is a semi-triangular shape terminating in a wide rounded point. They have a under slung jaw and a row of small, sharp teeth containing approximately 50 teeth. They have a long flexible tongue with a complex muscle system, which can be manipulated in a prehensile manner.
Every Tasiv has a hard carapace from the time they are spawned which covers them from head to toe. The carapace is very durable with minimal flexibility, and composed mostly of calcium and other organic minerals. Their carapace also contains a high content of non-organic minerals that have been incorporated from the sand of Tasivid which becomes lodged in their carapace by high winds. This carapace is not an exoskeleton, and thus a Tasiv never has a need to shed it to grow, but rather, the carapace grows with the Tasiv. At hatching, the carapace is relatively soft compared to its adult form, and once the Tasiv reaches about six years of age, it will be hardened entirely.
All of the Tasiv's body, especially the carapace, is marked by a notable regenerative ability. Hypothetically, a Tasiv could regenerate its entire carapace if it were removed. Because of this remarkable healing ability, the carapace that surrounds the Tasiv is a form of organic armor.
Surrounding the carapace and separating the carapace from the Tasiv's sensitive skin beneath, is a thick, spongy tissue made of a porous network of living and dead tissue. This tissue is tough and durable as well, although much more flexible that the carapace, and is able to be compressed to many times smaller of a size. This makes it an excellent shock absorber, and allows Tasiv to absorb significant amounts of kinetic energy without taking damage to the organs within its body.
Tasiv have two eyes on opposite sides of their head, offering them approximately a 300 degree view of their surroundings. These eyes are actually compounds made up of hundreds of different segments, with one dominant focal point. A Tasiv's central nervous system is so designed that it can process the information from each of these segments with equal focus. What this means is that if a Tasiv were to be surrounded by text, it could read all the text at once with only minimal exerted concentration. Because of this ability to process so many different threads of information at once, the Tasiv are superior multi-taskers, able to handle complex operations simultaneously.
By far their most used sensory organ, however, is their antennae. The antennae are made of a special form of carapace, which is perforated with small holes which allow for stiff bristles to extend. This bristles are in turn covered with fine hairs, branching down to the microscopic level. These hairs are incredibly sensitive to a myriad of energy fluctuations. While actual sensitivity varies from Tasiv to Tasiv, a typical Tasiv can pick up sound, vibrations, air currents, scents, electrical currents, a variety of energy emissions, and, some say, even movements of the Force.
By moving their antennae, they are able to gain a clear perception on which direction a particular sensation is coming from, thus giving them a superior spatial awareness of their environment. Their antennae are also used to a variety of other functions, such as intraspecies communication, manipulation of close objects, among other things.
Diet and Immune SystemEdit
Due to the harshness of the their native world of Tasivid, the Tasiv have a strong digestive system which can handle just about any organic substance. They, however, are not carnivores by choice, and will typically opt for vegetarian diet if available. This does not stop them from eating meat if survival depends on it, or if they merely have acquired a taste for it.
By default and tradition, the Tasiv diet subsisted almost entirely on a substance known as Beffti, a tough, fibrous fungus with a bitter flavor and a musty odor. Beffti is one of the few plants that can live on Tasivid, and contains a high level of moisture beneath its tough outer layers.
In addition to their highly efficient digestive system, Tasiv also have an extensive immune system with an extremely active anti-body system which can produce protean anti-bodies at an astounding rate. While the Tasiv obviously are not completely impervious to sickness and biological toxins, they are highly resistant. Their anti-bodies are hereditary, meaning just about every generation of Tasiv has more types of anti-bodies than the one previous. What this means, in terms of dietary requirements, is they are able to eat just about anything, regardless of the state of rot, and garner nutrients without poisoning themselves. This is also where their resistance to chemical toxins comes to as well, as their immune system is capable of flushing inorganic substances, even heavy metals, from their body. This is achieved through a a special form of anti-body that will attach itself to foreign objects such as chemical or heavy metal molecules, and will than attach itself to a special organ in their digestive system. The organ then absorbs the antibodies, along with whatever the antibodies are attached to, into itself, where it can be disposed of with the rest of the body's waste.
Practically, this means that a Tasiv is capable of flushing almost any kind of poison, chemical, or heavy metal out of their body, given enough time. They are not immune to all such contaminants, however, as this immunity function can be overwhelmed if too much of a toxin is introduced all at once.
Digestion takes place through a collaboration of gizzard stones and an extremely concentrated stomach acid which is irritating to the bare skin of any humanoid with a low PH. The acid is not typically dangerous, however it can cause pain and irritation in the unlikely instance that this stomach acid should make contact with bare skin.
Tasiv, like many insects, do not have the same sleeping pattern as other humanoids, but instead go into a sleep like state known as torpor. Torpor is a state of low activity that a Tasiv will go into as a form of rest and regeneration. While it can include non-responsiveness, it need not be. Thus, it is possible for a Tasiv to "sleep" without ever losing consciousness. In this state, however, Tasiv are sluggish to respond to stimuli. The Shaman view torpor as an almost sacred thing, and quite intentionally will lose consciousness in hopes of being blessed with a vision from the spirits.
The most obvious differences between male and female Tasiv is coloration. Females tend to be brightly colored, or at least have more colors on them, while males are almost always a shade of brown. Beyond the coloring, however, the physical differences between the two are subtle at best: males tend to be slightly bigger and stronger (not noticeably so, however) and females tend to have slightly longer antennae. Females also put out a much different set of pheromones than males, so to races with an acute sense of smell, it would be possible to easily tell the difference simply from scent.
Most of the differences between the genders are psychological, which is detailed in the respective section.
The Tasiv utilize both verbal and non-verbal communication regularly. In terms of verbal communication, Tasiv do communicate very similarly to most humanoids. Air is forced over a series of muscles in the throat, producing a variety of noises. The Tasiv did not have lips for altering the sound of this air, nor do they use their tongues in communicating. They do, however, have a much more complicated system of throat muscles, which can be manipulated with a high degree of control.
Their throat muscles allow the Tasiv an excellent degree of mimicry, and, given enough practice and control, a Tasiv could, theoretically, reproduce almost any sound with a high degree of accuracy. While this could help them to speak in other languages without even an accent, very few, if any, Tasiv would devote the time and energy to such an endeavor as learning to speak a language viewed as inferior to their own. Because the Tasiv vocal muscles are much less tense than most humanoid ones, there is a distinct vibration that passes through them, giving the normal Tasiv voice a flat voice that sounds something like combination of a rock sliding against a rock tone broadcast over a low quality speaker. They, as a general rule, are capable of speaking most foreign languages like Basic quite clear and understandably, however.
Tasiv communicate amongst themselves via nonverbal communication to a very large degree. Much of this is done through the antennae, which can be a very good indicator of mood, to one who can interpret the seemingly random movements. In fact, so much of the antennae's movement is subconscious that unless the Tasiv in question is consciously thinking about what to do with its antennae, they will automatically begin moving in patterns that clearly represent a mode of thought, intent, or mood. This information is really only clear to another Tasiv, however, for unless the person in question has spent a great deal of time around a Tasiv who was willing to share openly what it was feeling at a given time, it would be extremely difficult to connect the subtle differences of the antennae's movement to a particular mode of thought.
The Tasiv reproductive cycle is different than most humanoids, owing to their more insectian nature. Tasiv do not give birth to live young, but lay eggs. A female is capable of laying eggs about one every four months, and lays typically five or under eggs at a time. Thus, biologically, it would be possible for a single female to produce as many as twenty hatchlings in a year.
The cycle "begins" with the nesting stage, when a male and female will both seek out an isolated place to establish a nest for the coming children. Depending on the context, this can mean several different things, but the stereotypical application is that a Tasiv pair will go into isolation within their village in their own dwelling, and not be seen for many weeks. The Tasiv in question will often grow extremely impatient with everything other than their mate, and this agitation is taken out on any interlopers who would try to interrupt them while they are preparing their "nest".
The mating stage is next in the cycle, when the male and female actually have intercourse. In most circumstances, mating is an action of necessity and their is little feelings of intimacy or romance invoked. It is not unheard of, however, for Tasiv to choose mates based on romantic feelings and thus achieve a higher level of intimacy. During this stage, both the male and female become highly aggressive to any outsiders due to the vulnerable nature of this stage. It is not uncommon for one or both of them to attack anyone who enters their nesting area without the slightest of provocation, and deaths have occurred from this attacks. Most other Tasiv are extremely respectful of Tasiv mates and their nest, however, and wouldn't think of entering, except under dire circumstances.
This stage typically lasts about a week, until the female lays her eggs, starting the next stage of the cycle, spawning. During this stage, the female lays her eggs, typically from one to five at a time. The eggs are approximately eight inches long and an oblong oval shape, usually an off-white to light brown color. These eggs hatch after approximately a month. The female Tasiv reaches the apex of aggression about the time of the hatching. By this point, the female Tasiv has reached nearly feral levels of aggression, and is all but unapproachable, except by the mate. Even the mate will find himself a victim of the occasional aggressive action, if he is not careful. Within a few weeks after hatching, however, the Tasiv female will have lost almost all of this unusual aggression.
A hatchling Tasiv measures an average of ten inches and weighs about five pounds. For the first few days of their life, they are mostly helpless, having only a limited ability to move about, and pretty much having no instinct but to eat. It is not uncommon for hatchling Tasiv to attempt to kill and eat their eggmates immediately after hatching, and thus, they are most often separated from their siblings immediately.
Once a Tasiv has been hatched, they enter the hatchling stage of life, which persists until about six years of age. During this stage, the Tasiv's carapace is much softer than adults and their mental faculties are undeveloped. This age is characterized by an absolutely insatiable curiosity about the world around them, and an utter lack of self control. A hatchling Tasiv will do whatever it wills, regardless of the consequences or punishments for committing such an act.
By six standard years, a Tasiv has reached full physical maturity, at which time it would be biologically possible for them to reproduce.
By mechanisms largely unknown, the Tasiv have the ability inheriting knowledge from their ancestors at hatching. This knowledge, stemming mostly from inherited genes in conjunction with something know as the Hive, has been known to stretch as far back as a third generation, but it is not complete. That is to say, a newly hatched Tasiv does not inherit the complete knowledge and memory of their parents and grandparents and so on, but rather, they inherit distinct fragments as well as a very general overview of things that their parents knew. This knowledge is not vivid, nor is it really usable to a newly hatched Tasiv at first, however. For example, a hatched Tasiv does not immediately know the Tas language merely because his parents did. It does have a basic understanding of what the words mean, and because of this understanding, will learn the language at what appears to be a phenomenal rate.
Tasiv often cannot differentiate between what memories and knowledge they have acquired and which ones were inherited, especially in their early years, leaving them often convinced that they have done things that they never have. Because of this strange ability, belief in reincarnation is wide spread, as many Tasiv will develop traits very similar to one of their parents or grandparents.
The Tasiv have remarkable regenerative abilities, which can repair massive amounts of damaged tissue, and have even been known to survive serious bodily injury. While they cannot completely regenerate limbs entire or lost body parts like that, if a severed limb is merely held immobile correctly to the site it was severed from, the limb will regenerate back onto the body, given enough time.
Because of this ability, Tasiv do not age in the same way that other species do. They claim that they are immortal, and, if nothing killed them, they would live forever. As far as knowledge extends, this is actually true, since there has not been a Tasiv in recorded history that has died from what could categorically be considered "old age". This is, however, mostly due to the harsh conditions of their world and the violent nature of their society rather than an abnormal longevity.
Tasiv do not mark the passing of the years of their lives with any great interest. Few know what year they were born, much less the month or the day, and even fewer actually care. Once they have reached adulthood, the number of years a Tasiv has been alive is of no concern to them.
A Tasiv will stay physically and mentally agile well into adulthood and beyond, provided reasonable standards of nutrition and health are met. Given enough time, however, a Tasiv's regenerative abilities would eventually fall off rather sharply, leaving the body in a shocked state which would kill it. More than likely, this would occur within about a one year time line, so that one year, a Tasiv might be as fit and physically capable as any Tasiv in the prime of their life, and the next year their health might decline to the point of death. The actual amount of time that must pass before this regenerative failure is debatable, and only Professor Mul Rava has even come up with a number. By his estimates, a Tasiv's immune system and regenerative system would fail after about a hundred and thirty standard years, given optimal conditions. There is absolutely no data to confirm or refute his number.
To sum up the stereotypical Tasiv's psychological make up in a nutshell, they are patient, dutiful, loyal, stubborn, selfless, conformists who are obsessed with production of any kind.
The praised attributes of a Tasiv are conformity, selflessness and loyalty, and there is probably not a Tasiv alive who does not like to be complimented on these characteristics, with the possible exception of the Empress, who breaks a great many stereotypes. Tasiv live and love to be considered part of something greater than themselves, which most often comes in the form of their tribe. Once they are part of this greater entity, their identity is nearly irrevocably tied into that entity, so much so that they would joyfully die for the betterment of that entity.
To this end, Tasiv will do whatever it takes to be accepted into this greater entity, making them ultimate conformists. While to many other humanoid species, this appears to be a disadvantageous thing, the Tasiv have such selfless concept in this frame of mind that they are much more happy, even if they are in an unyielding system that grants them no freedoms or individual rights.
Creativity, while not shunned by the Tasiv as a whole, is not a trait that is held in high esteem. It is not that the Tasiv do not feel a need for innovation, it is more simply that they feel that innovation is a right that is bequeathed to the leadership, and it is not for the common Tasiv to attempt to find new ways of accomplishing things. Therefore, creativity is not encouraged in the typical Tasiv, and it is unlikely that a Tasiv will develop any real innovative or even complex problem solving skills unless they achieve some position of authority.
The idea of dominance and submission is another key point in the mindset of a Tasiv. The concept of equality is nearly unfathomable to the Tasiv, who see everyone and everything as either better or worse than themselves, but never equal. Competitiveness is a common byproduct of this world view, but not in the ways one might expect. It is very unusual for a Tasiv to challenge a direct superior, but it is not uncommon for two people who are not in the same direct chain of command to strive to prove who is dominant, if the need arises.
It should also be noted that the idea of being beneath or in submission to another is not disgraceful or embarrassing to a Tasiv. To their way of thinking, everyone except the Empress is beneath someone, so there is no shame in that. The philosophy of the Tasiv is it is better to be dutiful, loyal, and productive beneath someone than be dominant and unproductive.
Productivity is a pivotal point to a Tasiv's sense of self worth, and whether or not they feel successful. Regardless of whether they are slave or matriarch, there must be a sense of productiveness to achieve satisfaction.
This productiveness does not need to be something quantifiable, although that is common as well. Regardless of whether their duty is working in a factory, as a guard, or an adviser, there must be some sense of accomplishment at having produced something. This can be a very abstract idea to non-Tasiv, who fail to see how a soldier is a productive force, but Tasiv view everyone who does their jobs as productive members of society. In this way, a slave who works hard at the tasks he was assigned might feel more vindicated in his life than a Veridna who failed in her tasks.
The Hive is a phenomena beyond description and understanding. It has been called many things over the centuries of Tasiv history, and has been completely forgotten about in the modern era. It is, in essence, a telepathic link that connects every Tasiv mind to every other Tasiv mind. The Hive does not exist as a separate entity of the Tasiv, but is actually comprised of a small portion of every Tasiv's mind, each individual contributing a tiny contribution to something immensely beyond their own power and understanding.
In the modern era, the Tasiv are completely unaware of the existence of the Hive, leaving it as a vast sprawling well of energy that remains untapped. While some of the Shamans have been to pull energy from the Hive and have been able to see into the Hive's endless tunnels, most of the Tasiv did not realize that it exists or affects them at all. The only way the Hive is typically manifested in the average Tasiv is by an acute sense of empathy that a Tasiv will sometimes feel for another Tasiv, as they both telepathically connect through the Hive.
At one time, the Tasiv scholars and Shamans postulated that the Hive had actually achieved a sentience and autonomy from its original purpose. They believed it had become a coordinator of their race, ensuring that every individual was doing their part to contribute to the ultimate greater good. The attitudes towards the Hive varied from age to age, but eventually it became a more and more disbelieved and forgotten about until it had slipped beneath the consciousness of Tasiv minds. Now it exists as a barely tangible thread felt in the minds of the perceptive Tasiv.
There is an important note of distinction in the general psychology and mindset of Tasiv exiles. Because Tasiv attach so much importance to the social group they belong to, to be exiled from that group is a fate worse than death and worse than any torture. Since Tasiv society so praises productive members, and obviously exiles are not capable of being productive, exiling is reserved only for those who anger the Matriarchs in the worst possible ways.
A sharp psychological change occurs to Tasiv who are punished by exiling. Not only have they lost their place in society, they lost their very identity and what sense of self they had. It is not uncommon for these exiles to become crazed and feral creatures that will attack anything that tries to approach them. Most exiles, however, will simply die within a matter of months out in the harsh desert; lacking the will to live for the entity they were once a part of, most will not even exert the effort of trying to save their own lives and will perish to hunger or dehydration.
There are only a handful of examples of Tasiv exiles who have possessed the sufficient sense of purpose to keep themselves alive.
The Tasiv have a social structure that is seeped in tradition and ritual. As a general rule, the Tasiv are not keen on making changes, especially to their way of life and society, so even in a modern era full of change, the core fundamentals of their society remain largely the same.
Tasiv society puts a great emphasis on the "greater good" over individual desires, which is nearly a moot point since much Tasiv desire nothing more than what is best for the Tasiv as a whole.
The spoken language among the Tasiv is Tas, a strange combination of hard consonants, clicks, and almost musical whistle notes that give the language an almost random sound. Their language is one of those facets of their normal, every day life that the Tasiv have zealously sought to withhold from non-Tasiv. Despite the fact that there are very few non-Tasiv species that would be able to come close to emulating the noises they produce in a way that would make the language understandable, they adamantly refuse to teach the language to anyone else, or to let their language be studied voluntarily.
There are three distinct dialects of Tas that have emerged over the years.
High Tas is considered the purest form of the language. This dialect is used often in official proceedings and rituals, as well as by older members of the race, and those simply wanting to be proper. It is considered quite formal and old fashioned. This dialect contains a great many more clicks and much less whistle noises. High Tas is still widely used, especially by the Shamans.
Common Tas, sometimes called Poet's Tas, is a much more informal dialect of Tas, which is used just as widely as High Tas, but carries with it much less weight. Especially from the Tasiv who dominantly speak High Tas, Common Tas is considered to be rough and slightly crude, generally associated with the lower strata of society. This is, of course, a gross generalization, as Common Tas is used by some tribes more than others. In current society, the use of Common Tas is a sign of intimacy, familiarity, or some sense of camaraderie. It is characterized by a much more musical tone, and some non-Tasiv species find it quite pleasing to listen to.
Imperial Tas is the third and most recently developed dialect, and has come about due to the relatively recent changes in Tasiv society. Imperial Tas can best be described as a bastard version of Tas that was meant to bridge the gap between the other two dialects in a way that would make them seamless. It obviously has been gaining in popularity since the Empress declared it to be the official dialect of the Tasiv Empires. While it's usage is almost universal, the use of the other dialects is not forbidden, and so Common Tas and High Tas are still used in their applicable and preferential circumstances.
The written language of Tas is the same for all three dialects without variation. Written Tas is a complicated form of hieroglyphics, with each symbol representing an idea. The basic system is that the "subject" of a "sentence" is represented by a larger central hieroglyph, called the "Rune". Around the Rune various other symbols are inscribed, and based on the symbols and position, one could tell what the Rune was supposed to mean.
There is also a transliterated form of written Tas, developed using the characters and symbols of Basic. Because the Tasiv scholars who developed it did not have a complete grasp on Basic, however, the transliterated form is needlessly difficult and lengthy, and, as such is seldom used by the Tasiv, except in instances when they must communicate with one another using technology that does not support their runic system.
The Tasiv have a strong, fierce system of Matriarchy, in which males play a very secondary part. While this may have softened a touch since the inception of the Tasiv Empire, it is still the core of Tasiv society, and has not diminished much in its scale. This whole system is similar to other social insects such as ants and termites in concept, however in a sentient race such as the Tasiv, it plays out to a much more sophisticated degree.
Females exclusively can hold positions of leadership and dominance while males are considered second class citizens at best. It is expected that a male will fulfill his obligation to society by being a soldier or just a general laborer, since the Tasiv do not see males at being worthwhile at anything else.
Most often this is manifested simply by a female's willful and intentional overlooking of any male that she does not have to directly associate with. Although given that male citizens have no actual rights, it is not uncommon for a male to find himself "hijacked" into doing work and tasks he is not responsible for by a passing female who needs help. The only way he could extricate himself from this instant obligation is if his female mate, if he is mated at the time, or other female superior intercedes on his behalf.
Males are expected at all times to show proper respect to females, which can vary to some degree depending on their respective social status. There is, however, no expectation that a female will show any sort of expect to any male, even the most venerated elder Shaman.
The Tasiv have an extremely stratified society with clear lines of demarcation between each caste. There is a hierarchy of castes, stretching from the least to the most prominent. Determining what caste a Tasiv is part of happens at their coming of age, an event called Veltmere, which is spoken of in the "Upbringing" section.
Social status is very important to a Tasiv, although they do not necessarily view being higher on the social ladder as an objective. Certainly, the higher the Caste, the more superior the Tasiv is viewed, but a great many Tasiv do not view these higher castes as ambitions that should be reached for.
Although a Tasiv can normally change its class by fulfilling whatever requirements are made by the caste above it, most do not, simply because of their resistance to change. Most would feel more satisfied endlessly working at a menial job that had been provided to them than trying to disrupt things and claw their way up to the next strata. Such power struggles, however, are not unheard of, and tend to happen in flurries: when one Tasiv manages to change positions there will be a flurry of readjustment before things return to their normal, static state.
Slavery is a very common facet of life in the Tasiv culture, although it has different implications than in other societies. To the Tasiv, slavery is a choice form of punishment, a way of penalizing people for disobedience or wrong doing while still leaving them as contributing members of society. The most common scenario is that a Tasiv will do something to annoy a high level tribal member, who will than deem that the offender be put into slavery.
Slavery is a semi-permanent thing. A slave may work itself out of slavery, though this decision, traditionally, can only be made by a Matriarch. Once a Tasiv is declared a slave, they receive a black tattoo on their carapace, that can never be removed, and thus every Tasiv knows that they are or once were a slave. Slaves are considered to be property of the tribe (citizens are also considered property of the tribe, but in a more positive light) and are available to any tribal member for service. Slavery is one of the few positions in Tasiv society where a female is always outranked by a male; a female slave is considered to have fallen so low that she is to be utterly without value, thus it is expected that every member of society will disrespect her. Female slaves are quite rare, however, and often do not live long after garnering the scorn of the entire society.
Slaves are also often taken from other tribes in the form of prisoners of war and can, in some instances, be traded off to other tribes in exchange for goods. Slaves from other tribes are normally kept for several years before being ransomed back to their proper tribe.
In every tribe and village, the raising of young Tasiv is done in a central creche. Most tribes, in fact, do not even typically allow a female Tasiv to keep her eggs once she has laid them, but rather take them immediately into the creche, where they are raised by specialized workers. This keeps the hatchlings from knowing their parents, and also keeps the parents from knowing their offspring, which the Tasiv hold is essential to having an ordered society.
Immediately after hatching, the hatchlings begin to learn the harsh lessons of life through the swift and severe discipline of the caretakers. Most hatchlings have longer work days than adults, where they are expected to learn massive amounts of information on a daily basis. They are trained in everything from fighting to the customs of their people to the language of Basic, and are expected to be proficient at all the subjects taught by the time they reach 11 years of age.
Sterotypically, Tasiv children incredibly curious, oddly passionate, and playful. The passion and playfulness are usually beaten out of them quickly, as games are considered to be a waste of time and emotion is seen to be the root of all discontentment and chaos.
Once they reach Veltmere, which is the Tasiv coming of age, the young Tasiv are taken to stand before the Matriarch, at which point she will decide what the caste the hatchlings will go into based on her own personal preference and the needs of the tribe. The only exception to this rule is that of the Shamans, which will be dealt with in that particular segment.
While Tasiv are perfectly comfortable in the wide, sprawling and featureless deserts of Tasivid, they have a strong like for tight, almost claustrophobic enclosures as well. This is represented a lot in the architecture of their villages and the customizations of their ships. The basic dwelling unit of a Tasiv village is called a Kaisou. It is a circular pit that extends about four feet below the surface of the ground. The roof is a dome made of baked clay, and this extends about three feet above, giving a total clearance of only seven feet at the highest point. The walls and floor are also made of clay. The floor is covered with a very fine sand called "Tki'sedik", or "Wind Sand", to make it less of an irritant.
Off of this central room, there may be a number of different alcoves. Most commonly there is two: one that acts as a pantry for any goods the occupants might have, and the other a bedchamber. More prominent members of the Tribe may have much more elaborate Kaisou, with many more rooms and chambers to fit their whims. Often, in crowded villages, especially where there has been a sudden population increase, it is not uncommon for many Tasiv to share one Kaisou, with many separate bedchambers off of the main room.
The Kaisou is determined to be the property of the Tribe, or, indirectly, the Matriarch. The female with the highest social standing in the dwelling, however, is considered to be the caretaker, and thus to make any and every choice necessary regarding the occupants therein. This applies even if a female digs and constructs her own Kaisou: it still belongs to the Matriarch, who may decide that another female is going to live there, one of superior social standing. This new female then may acquire dominance over a Kaisou that the former female had dug.
The cultural aspect of mating among Tasiv is normally a terse, almost afterthought. A female selects her mate, one who is otherwise unspoken for, and gives him an armband that he must wear, signifying that he is bound to her, at which time he will go to live with her at her Kaisou. At this time, they are considered to have been mated, and the male will remain with the female for as long as she wants. This can range from a lifelong commitment to a mere day, depending on the situation. The most common occurrence is that a female will change mates roughly five times, keeping them for several months to several years, before finally settling with one mate to remain with for the rest of their lives. A female who changes mates too often is typically frowned upon as being uncouth.
A male's role in this whole process is absolutely minimal, to say the least. He must abide by the choices made for him, and is expected to be an excellent servant to his mate at all times. The only two ways he can contest the decision is either by attempting to appeal to the Matriarch, or by joining the Shamanic Order. The Shamans are once again the exception to the rules in this case. Refer to the appropriate section for more information on this.
Contests over mates are common among Tasiv, especially when a male has done something to distinguish himself. In these instances, a lesser female may and often will challenge a a superior for the right to claim the male as a mate, and this can often become a matter of pride. The challenge is often a physical one, resulting in a fight to submission, but other types of challenges have occurred as well. A wise Tasiv female is wary about reaching too high, however, as trying to steal the mate from a Tasiv who has ready access to the Matriarch's ear, or has much command in other ways, is a good way to learn just how vengeful a Tasiv can be.
Tasiv are ruthless expansionists who don't much care who or what stands in their way. Given their almost complete lack of fear and strong desire to see their social unit succeed, war was a common and almost constant thing amongst the tribes for thousands of years. Wars usually were over resources, which are scarce on Tasivid, but also was and is over tribal pride. It is not uncommon for a Matriarch to command war against another Matriarch for the simple reason of some personal argument the two exchanged.
The ultimate goal of war in the Tasiv context is the submission of the enemy, and very seldom do they kill anyone or anything that submits. Because of this view, wars among Tasiv tribes were sometimes near bloodless, and other times would result in the near eradication of tribes that were too proud to submit.
The war ends when both Matriarchs agree to terms of defeat, which may vary depending on how "important" the war is. The losing side typically has absolutely no bargaining power in this instance, since attempting to negotiate is seen as a refusal to submit. Often the terms are simple, such as the victor taking a ransom of resources and the hatchlings of the village for their own.
Rituals and TraditionsEdit
Both ritual and tradition are very important to Tasiv culture, and the Tasiv people take great delight in large amounts of both. Rituals allow them to feel that whatever is taking place is of great worth, and traditions allow them to feel like they are part of something so great that it spans the generations and time itself.
The specific rituals vary from region to region and tribe to tribe, but most include some sort of symbol made in the sand or on an ostracon and some form of spoken phrase.
For instance, a common ritual exercised by a Matriarch before she begins mediating any conflicts that have been brought before her includes her forming the rune of justice on the floor and standing on it while reciting the words "justice, guidance, spirits, to me" before taking her seat and beginning to mediate. These sorts of little rituals are wide spread through the social strata, but they are especially common in the upper echelons, forming a network of protocols that is difficult to comprehend to most commoner Tasiv. This is why appeals to the Matriarch are not common, because there is a specific set of protocol that must be followed, and few except the learned know all of these protocols.
Symbols and ColorsEdit
Symbolism is a very sacred thing to the Tasiv, who look for omens in a great many of things that others would overlook as trivial. Given that there language is comprised mostly of symbols with modifiers, they see symbols as signs of communication, and thus look for symbols for communication with the spirits.
Colors, also, have a high degree of significance to a Tasiv, for each color is in itself an omen. They have developed an entire system by which a color can be analyzed to determine its meaning some of the more common colors and their meanings are:
Black: Slavery, prison, defeat, exile
Yellow: Bravery, warrior caste
Green: Shamanic caste, growth, fertility, food
Blue: Royalty, ruler, Matriarch
Red: success, correct, victory, good fortune
White: Failure, traitor, error
While these colors can mean different things, depending on their context, this is the most common theme ascribed to each one of them.
Art and MusicEdit
Sculpting as long been the sole art form of the Tasiv people, which served not only as art, but also as a functional and practical tool. The Tasiv are renowned sculptors, sometimes spending years to create detailed masterpieces with painstaking detail. Most of their tools and weapons, traditionally, were carved from stone or hard clay, given the lack of other mediums to work with on the planet of Tasivid.
Music, while something that has persisted over the ages, has never been a very popular thing among the Tasiv. This changed somewhat during the Tilysav Dynasty, when the Empress herself was said to have become quite fond of some foreign music. Ironically, the music she became so interested in as music fit for an Empress was created by a band called the Denizens: a low talent, low class, thrasher garage band that's career matched their tonal appeal, which was nearly non-existent. Despite this, the Empress took an interest in the band because of a unique attribute that the song writers had unknowingly included in their music.
The Denizens utilized a great deal of percussion instruments and tempo changes, quite inadvertently creating a rhythmic pattern that mirrored traditional Tasiv music structure. Tasiv music is not so much written as it is computed, because there is actually a mathematical formula that is applied to determining beats and cadences. It gives the music a chaotic sound at first, because there is no constant tempo, but there is a discernible pattern once a deeper look is taken. Most species detest the music as being uncomfortably formless while the Tasiv praise it for having a rigid and complex structure.
Almost all Tasiv music is percussion, leaving little room for tone or melody. To non-Tasiv, it sounds more like many different percussion instruments at semi-random intervals than music, but Tasiv find the noise pleasing. Music is not used as a recreational entity in Tasiv culture, but more often is used in rituals.
Dealing with other races almost always takes place through highly trained diplomats, who, for all their training, might still not have even the slightest idea of what sort of people they are dealing with. The Tasiv are notoriously "Tasiv-centric", and tend to apply their mode of thought and way of thinking to everyone. Hence, there is much potential for confusion when the party they are dealing with does not behave in the way that a Tasiv would. Sometimes the diplomats acquire a good grasp of the xenological lifeforms they deal with, but even in these instances, their actions are dictated by rulers who still might not understand. Frustration on both parts is a very common occurrence when dealing with the Tasiv.
Tasiv also are highly suspicious of other species, whom they automatically view not only as being inferiors, but also as enemies, unless proven otherwise. While it is not uncommon for the Tasiv to act cordial to races that they are in negotiations with, at all times they are wary of being back stabbed, and at all times they make sure to leave at least one available avenue that they could strike at their "friend" from. Tasiv politics is guided very much by the cloak and dagger approach, unless an ally manages to prove their undoubted good intentions. If an ally did manage to demonstrate their utter good will, they would find themselves granted remarkable esteem and trust from the Tasiv, who would likely view them as an extension of their tribe/social unit. The Tasiv do not give loyalty easily, but when they do give it, it is not given half way. In this way, the Tasiv have a very rigid sense of honor, that a true ally must be defended at all costs.
Council of TribesEdit
During the latter years of the Age of Endless Wars, the Matriarchs of eight great tribes came together and formed the Council of Tribes, which was to be the ruling body over the Tribes. The Council did not end war, nor was it intended to, but rather it provided a new forum from which the Matriarchs could have disagreements and exercise their power struggles to show which was the more dominant tribe. To non-Tasiv, the exact function of the Council is quite mysterious; certainly it did not end up being a medium for peaceful exchanges, or any other non-violent purpose. For the Tasiv, however, it made perfect sense to have a structure by which the relative strength of each tribe could be assessed. Also, it did provide the Tribes with an easily accessible means of cooperating with each other in their conquests over each other; Tribal alliances were as furious as sandstorms, and tended to last about as long.
Every seventeen months the Council would undergo a dramatic contest, in which the entire power structure would be re-evaluated based on a series of tribal contests. These contests were usually fights against a champion of the Matriarch's choice. While the Empress changed some this when she came to power, the Council of Tribes still exists as an advisory panel to the Empress, and the Tribal Contests are more for sport and tribal pride than actual ranking. Now only the Empress decides what ranking each Tribe shall be given, and they that want to advance must earn her favor usually by outperforming the others in service to her Empire.
During the Age of Endless Wars, there were hundreds of small tribes of Tasiv, each one usually just the size of the village they lived in. As the eight major tribes grew, however, these smaller Tribes usually found themselves conquered into extinction. Many of the tribes willingly allowed themselves to be assimilated into the larger tribes for protection. Eventually, only the eight major tribes covered most of Tasivid's surface, with only a few small isolated tribes existing in small pockets of mountains.
Imperial function: Officers
Otivaserntic is a tribe that has constantly made a name of itself. Ambitious and high reaching, the Otivaserntic has a reputation for brutal Matriarchs, innovative ideas and policies, and savage conquests. The Otivaserntic was the tribe behind the founding of the Council of Tribes, the various trading agreements with off world traders, the alliance with both the Galactic and later the Loris Alliance, and the founding of their own Empire of Tasivid. Also the founders of the capitol city of Kaphal, Otivaserntic's reputation is well founded.
The other tribes have eventually come to accept the Otivaserntic Tribe as being the leaders and front runners for the Tasiv people.
Matriarchs and Notable FiguresEdit
Otivaserntic currently has no Matriarch due to Visna's unconventional political move to change tribes. This tribe has featured such prominent members as Tilysav, the first Empress, Visna, her daughter, and Ghic'thenc, a Shaman who was later exiled.
Imperial function: Diplomats
The Hittixic'Gaoti have long been known for their love of trade and barter. While some might think that their love of trade is a materialistic desire to accumulate wealth, this is not a fair statement. This tribe seems to take a genuine interest in interacting with others on friendly terms. While the Hittixic'Gaoti are probably one of the most friendly and outgoing Tribes, they are by no means accepting of outsiders, and are still always primed to go to war. Most of the diplomats a non-Tasiv deals with will be from this tribe.
Their capitol city of Ptikihh was once a hub of trading among a large conglomerate of villages, and still is home to one of the largest market areas on Tasivid. The tribe has also taken to building caches of resources and goods in hidden locations around the planet.
The current Matriarch is Maaic'Zinje, an old former Tieac, who is enigmatic and unpredictable.
Imperial function: Shamans and advisors
Odd and unpredictable, the Midndraic Tribe have always been a sort of outsiders. But they breed powerful shamans and have powers that few Tasiv understand, which earns them both respect and fear. Their motives and actions are erratic and seem very inconsistent to those outside of their tribe. It is not uncommon for the Mihndraic to earnestly pursue a goal or objective, only to give it up almost immediately after obtaining it.
The current Matriarch is Kress'Akki, a sharp Tasiv who is quick to make friends, when it suits her purpose.
Imperial function: Builders
Hard working and studious, members of this tribe are well known for their brilliant minds and hard working ethics. If Tasiv have a reputation for being hard workers with a slavish mentality, than the Veminic'Trovin have a reputation for a downright masochistic work ethic. If told that it is very important for a certain task to be finished quickly, the Veminic'Trovin have been known to work themselves literally to death to complete the task. They are unconcerned with politics and intrigue, by and large, so any rank they gain among the Council of Tribes is purely by happen stance.
The current Matriarch is Skettil'Gnesakah, a relatively young Tasiv who has great ambitions for constructing.
(krin-dr-ohs) Imperial function: Slavers / Soldiers
This tribe owns more slaves collectively then the others. They feel no need to get their hands dirty with work, and they make quite a sum of money through their slave trade. The Crin'Dros have a fair number of non-Tasiv contacts through the slave trade, and this has given them a fair bit of power. They have a reputation for being cruel and harsh, both in combat and to their slaves.
Matriarchs and Notable FiguresEdit
The current Matriarch is Thessig, who was a Handmaiden to the previous Matriarch before she was kill, and has made the Crin'Dros more aggressive than they previously were.
Empress Visna Crin'dros is also of this tribe, despite her having once been Matriarch of the Otiversnetic Tribe. She changed her tribal status at the prompting of several of her advisors.
Imperial function: Scouts
Explorers and discovers, they are known for their curiosity. The Hraenykk have even less fear than the normal Tasiv, which is saying quite a bit, and they are known for being fast and agile. Most often is more concerned with the pursuit of unknown things than any sort of politics.
Matriarchs and Notable FiguresEdit
The current Matriarch is Xainntia, and the assassin Kyttl'threndek was once part of this tribe before his exile.
Imperial function: Agriculture and medical work
While other pursued skills of war and destruction, the N'Jahert had no qualms of living (relatively_ peaceful lives developing better ways of raising food and means of preserving life. Much of this tranquility is a shallow veneer, however, because beneath their love of medical learning and agricultural ventures, the N'jahert are just as warlike as their other Tasiv brethren, albeit a little less competitive in some of the internal power struggles.
The current Matriarch is Ethinc'tis.
The Kelnetrik Tribe has a reputation for being brutal soldiers with little remorse or mercy. They are not overly ambitious, therefore a perfectly happy remaining in a lowly position as long as they are pointed towards the enemy. Most often they occupy the lowest station in the Council of Tribes ranking, but this is of little concern to them. War is what they live for, and they consistently have put out the best soldiers.
The current Matriarch is Nith'visni.
Each layer of the social strata of Tasiv society is divided into a Caste. A Tasiv is put into a caste by the Matriarch or village leader upon the Tasiv reaching adulthood. While it is possible for a Tasiv to change what caste they belong to, this is not always an easy thing.
Professor Mul Rava speculated that each Tasiv is born with a genetic impulse that propels it towards a certain Caste and job, and if this impulse remains unrealized at adulthood, the Tasiv will fight hard to get to where it belongs.
Matriarchs are the highest figure in the Tasiv social tree and is obviously restricted to only females. A Matriarch is a ruler of the tribe and tyrant, who may do whatever she wishes and will be obeyed at all costs and commands. The tribe members view the Matriarch almost as a deified being, and reverence and obedience are both required at all times.
Matriarchs are unique also in that it is one of the few Casts that someone can be born into. If a Matriarch decides to have a daughter offspring, she may have the child raised separate from the other Tasiv children, and the child will grow up to be the next Matriarch. If the Matriarch dies without a blood heir, than combat usually follows provided there is no other logical heiress.
A Veridna, or "Handmaiden", is a right hand agent picked by the Matriarch to carry out her will. A Matriarch can have any number of Veridna, but typically the number is small, limited only to the Tasiv that the Matriarch trusts completely. The Veridna are bodyguards, escorts, confidants, messengers, regents, and sometimes friends to the Matriarch. Their authority is almost entirely on par with the Matriarchs, and there are very few foolish enough to question the word of a Veridna.
The training to become a Veridna is extremely grueling, almost on par with the training Shamans must endure for their craft. Because they are special agents, they are extremely well versed in combat, but they also receive diplomatic training, as well as leadership training. In some tribes it is typical for a Veridna to be appointed as the leader of a village for long periods of time until another leader can be found or trained.
Advisors run the gamut of being spiritual soothsayers to pragmatic strategists and everything in between. Much like Scholars, advisors spend much of their time learning and researching, because they know that they will be asked to give advice to the Matriarch at some point, and bad advice could mean a rather limited life span.
Advisors often are delegated leadership tasks as well, and being in control of a village or several villages is common for an Advisor. This position is restricted to females only.
Diplomats are highly trained Tasiv that spend their time trying to secure the Matriarch's will with any potential allies or enemies. While the Matriarch will often deal with problems directly, more often she will dispatch Diplomats to issues that are either beneath her notice or simply ones she does not have time for. Like Advisors, Diplomats will often find themselves in leadership positions too, so they must be well versed in the knowledge required for their station.
Almost exclusively, Diplomats are the only ones who will deal with any non-Tasiv relations. As such, they typically spend great amounts of time and energy learning Basic and whatever other languages needed.
There are many varied tasks that a Scholar must be able to preform, but most often Scholars are the scribes, record keepers, clerks, and librarians of their tribes. They also have been known to function as researchers and what others would dub "scientists", for their exploratory investigations, but this is a rather limited function. This is the highest station a male can potentially achieve, and it is still almost entirely composed of females.
The Shamans are a strange anomaly in Tasiv society. This caste is only available to male members, despite the fact that it is a position of prominence and respectability. Essentially Shamans are special agents who are in touch with the spiritual forces of the universe. They are trained heavily in all things, from politics and warfare, to mechanics and their own spiritual power. Any male may choose to become a Shaman, or undergo the trials to become a Shaman, regardless of his social status. Even a slave may undergo these tests, if he so wishs. Despite the assumption that most males would seek to become a Shaman to gain an almost equal stature with the female element of society, this is not the case. very few males try out for the Shamanic Order, and even less make it. There is a strong stigmatism associated with failing at the trials. Because of this, Shamans are quite scarce, numbering in ratio probably only one shaman to every 50,000 to 100,000 Tasiv. Of the smaller tribes, before the Tribes were consolidated into the eight major tribes, it was common for there to just be one Shaman for the tribe. The Shamans have a close knit sub-culture, and any given Shaman could probably name every other Shaman.
Shamans are still subject to the Matriarch, however, even though they are also subject to the Shamanic Order. A Shaman is another form of agent that the Matriarch can deploy and use for whatever purpose she deems. In the modern era, Shaman are often used for tasks that involve the larger galaxy, as they have the expertise to mingle with galactic society easier.
see the section on the Shamanic Order for more information.
Tieac, or "Augers', are sort of female version of the Shamans. Composed entirely of females, the Tieac serve the Shamans as servitors and helpers. While Tieac do not endure the rigorous training that Shamans do, nor do they have the same power that the Shamans do, they are valued in their own right, and have a reputation for being seers and soothsayers.
The Warrior Caste, or Tiyafih as it is called in High Tas, is really a misnomer. Every Tasiv born into society is taught how to fight, so Warriors are not so distinguished by their basic knowledge of combat. Rather, it is the Tasiv's proficiency and devotion to war that allows them to be a part of this Caste. Warriors train nearly constantly at their craft, which is not always straight across combat. The Warrior caste can also include military leaders and other military related needs.
This Caste is open both to male and female, although most females who are warriors end up in leadership positions as opposed to grunts. This caste is typically disproportionately male.
Specialists are much like workers in that they are and are expected to be, drones which do their job and little else. Specialists, however, are more thoroughly trained and educated to fulfill a very specific need. Often this is technical, such as learning to construct complex electronics, or maintain machinery. It can also be things such as animal training or any number of other tasks that require a higher level of training. Both males and females can hold this position.
Workers, better known as "drones", together form the majority of the population. Very little is expected of a worker: merely that it is obedient, and it is devoted to the job it was given. Most jobs are done by workers, from the basic factory work up to military jobs such as being a gunner on a capitol ship. While some Tasiv will challenge their way into a higher rated Caste, most are content to remain where they are as long as they are convinced that their job is a boon to society.
A slave in Tasiv culture is one who has been conquered, convicted of a crime, proved to be incompetent, or otherwise angered the Matriarch or other rulers of a Tribe. While slaves are certainly ostracized, they are not necessarily mistreated. Tasiv slaves do not have "owners", but rather are considered the communal property of the village or tribe. They do have an Overseer, usually a Worker, who is responsible for ensuring their behavior and productivity. Depending on the Tribe and Overseer, some slaves have quite comfortable lives. Slaves typically do not have assigned tasks, but merely are expected to answer to the beckon call of any tribal or village member who wants their assistance.
As a side note, this is the only way that a non-Tasiv could be introduced into Tasiv society. There are a few examples of non-Tasiv slaves that have been briefly inside Tasiv society, but seldom do these slaves live long, as most non-Tasiv lack the hardiness to survive in the conditions that Tasiv call home.
The Tasiv Empire is the ruling body of all the Tasiv people. Formed by Empress Tilysav, it claims every Tasiv born as being a member, even exiles. This is an important note because even though Exiles are not allowed to be in the presence of other Tasiv, they are still Tasiv Imperial citizens, and thus subject to Tasiv law where ever they go.
More details on the Tasiv Empire can be found in its specific entry.
Religion / Shamanic OrderEdit
The wide spread religious beliefs of the Tasiv people are propagated by the Shamanic Order. Please see the Shamanic Order entry for information concerning the Shamanic Order and the religion of the Tasiv people.
The Tasiv have long had a fear of technology that has only recently started to change. The former Empress Tilysav was quick to recognize the benefits in maintaining high technological devices, and she worked hard at convincing the Tasiv people of this. The Shamanic Order was the group most resistant to this change, but eventually the Grand Circle embraced technology as being a part of the natural order of the universe, and even began to incorporate technology into their trials and operations.
Despite all this, however, there is still a strong preference by the Tasiv in general to rely on more primitive means of conducting business. Whenever possible, they will avoid using technology that is unnecessary.
Mounts and Beasts of BurdenEdit
In keeping with their tendency to conquer everything that presents itself, the Tasiv have put to use every form of life on Tasivid possible. These are the most commonly used animals.
The Ocrik is a hexapod insectian animal that is native to Tasivid. They are fierce, extremely territorial, and reside in the rocky cliffs in the mountains and canyons. They are not clever animals, but they are extremely persistent, and the Tasiv often use them for combat mounts and for tracking. Once they have determined something to be a threat, they will stop at nothing to destroy it.
A quadruped with teeth filled jaws, the Dexun are insectian predators that burrow into the sand and hunt at night. They are extremely intelligent, to the point of being semi-sentient, and have a wide range of temperaments, ranging from friendly and sociable to vicious and volatile. There are stories and myths about Dexun that have saved Tasiv life by getting them out of the burning sunlight and into their burrows. The Tasiv train them as guard dogs, and they are often seen patrolling in high security areas. They are often so well trained that they do not even need supervision, most of the time, but will be able to identify a friend or foe and raise an alarm if needed.
The Tasiv utilize a collection of unique weapons amongst a more conventional arsenal. Most of the weapons they use are ritualistic, with traditional value behind them, and are close combat weapons.
This is the symbolic, functional, and traditional weapon of the Shamans. It consists of a circular center piece and three blades extending out from the center at 120 degree offsets. Each blade is twelve inches long and crooked at the end about 90 degrees in a consistent direction. The weapon can be used in melee combat, and can also be hurled like a discus. Some Shamans are highly proficient at using their Tsi as thrown weapons, while others prefer to keep it in their hand. The Tsi are usually used two at a time.
The Inis is more of a ceremonial weapon than a functional weapon, but is deadly never the less. It is a five and a half foot long staff with a heavy head consisting of a textured sphere with a thatched pattern of raised edges. The staff is a symbol of authority and rulership for a Matriarch, and she carries it whenever she is conducting official business. The the hands of a strong Matriarch, it is, without a doubt, a lethal weapon.
The Ysku blade is one of the main weapons used by the Tiyafih. It spans about 36 inches, tip to tip, and is designed to stretch from the base of the elbow to about 18 inches beyond The end of the hand. The grip has three finger loops for the Tasiv hand, allowing a warrior to utilize a twisting motion in the wrist to get extra momentum out of the weapon. The most powerful aspect of the weapon, however, is that the blade portion covers his entire forearm, allowing for powerful elbow strikes to be made with the weapon. The tip consists of a curved, slender portion shaped so that it is not overly sharp, but designed to punch through armor. The weapon is traditionally made entirely of a solid piece of Orav stone and weighs around 15 pounds.
The Keshk pole arm consists of a one foot pole attached to a one foot head. Much like the Ysku, the head is a blade designed mostly for piercing heavy armor. It contains a curved point with a precise angle to optimize armor piercing strength. The Keshk also has curved barbs which function to catch and tear whatever they can, be it flesh, bone, or armor. The weapon is traditionally made entirely of Orav, but more modern versions have featured an Orav head with other materials used for the pole.
The Lasher, a specialty weapon designed by Marrak's Military Armaments on commission to the Tasiv Empire, is a less than lethal device designed to do one thing: inflict pain. The Tasiv make good use of this weapon in any area that is volatile and cannot tolerate actual gunfire. The weapon also sees considerable use by taskmasters and others who deal with prisoners or slaves.
Professor Mul RavaEdit
Professor Mul Rava was a Devronian professor at the prestigious Deshnal University who learned of the Tasiv race from a shipping company that made regular trading trips there. Intrigued by the descriptions of the tribal insects, Rava had made a special trip to Tasivid to learn more about them.
Rava spent a few days in Kaphal upon arriving, which at that time was still open to non-Tasiv. After watching the Tasiv for a short period, he decided that they would make interesting subjects for a more in depth study. Gathering up supplies, Rava flew a one passenger shuttle deep into the desert and came to a very remote N'jahert where he landed.
The Advisor who had been left in charge of the village was very curious of this strange creature that wanted to live among them. Rava had expressed his desire merely to observe; he had brought his own food and supplies, and would pose no drain upon the village resources.
There were very few Tasiv that could speak Basic, so Rava's study was limited mostly to observation, but he found himself privy to many of the more private workings of the village. He seldom had a chance to ask what the occurrances meant, however, and was left to draw his own conclusions. The Advisor did grant him a little time to ask questions, but she did not answer many of his questions at the prompting of the local Shaman who was very suspicious of Rava from the beginning. Whenever this Shaman spoke with Rava directly, he spoke nothing but misleading answers, giving Rava some very wrong ideas, especially concerning the Shaman as a whole.
Rava ended up staying close to five months before departing back to the university to publish his findings. He spent almost two years sifting through is notes and finally published his findings in a volume know as "The Tasiv: A Closer Look". The first production run of the volume was a mere 300 copies, designed mostly to be distributed to several University staff members to see if there would be enough interest to warrant funding for more volumes in that series.
Rava, however, never released any more books. Not long after the first volume was published, Empress Tilysav of the newly formed Empire of Tasivid issued the Silence Edict, which prohibited any Tasiv from speaking to non-Tasiv about anything considered "private", such as their way of life or things of that nature. A Shaman Wanderer had found the first volume of the series about his race, and tracked down the publisher as well as the writer. Shortly there after, the company that had published the volume was approached by a team of Shamans, who delivered the ulitmatum: turn over all copies and rights for the volume and recieve compensation, or die. The executives of the company wisely chose the former.
Shortly thereafter, Professor Rava himself vanished. His whereabouts are unknown, but it is strongly suspected that he was abducted at Tilysav's command. The Shamans tracked down as many of the original print volumes as they could, minimizing the number of circulating volumes to only a handful. There are still several Shamans who roam the galaxy, searching for any other copies that might have been made.
The first volume of the Tasiv series by Professor Mul Rava contains no great secrets, nor any overly insightful knowledge, unlike what many would have thought given the Tasiv passion to destroy every copy they could. Rather, it contains a rather summary overview of the Tasiv, and is littered with misconceptions. Mul Rava did a remarkable job at documenting and interpeting what he witnessed, but given that there was no way of verifying what he was seeing, mistakes were bound to appear.
He did a fairly good job of documenting their biological make up, even conducting a few tests on the more cooperative Tasiv, thus he was able to detail much of their physical make up. He was also correct in his assumptions about the Tasiv life cycle, despite having never actually seen the Tasiv eggs or the inside of the Tasiv Kaisou.
As far as Tasiv society went, he was able to establish that they were a matriarchal society and that they had a very rigid power structure. While he never did figure out what all the Castes were, he did manage to pin down several of them.
In future volumes, he had intended to go into much more detail concerning their society, he was never given that chance. Rava was captured by several Shamans assigned to find him and he later died in a Tasiv prison during the attack on Kaphal by T'jrin.
To understand the tale of the Tasiv, one must first delve far into the past and understand their connection with the Uvossak...
Age of GreatnessEdit
5000 BBY Truly it was the most magnificient of times. Science was at its apex, learning approached omniscience, peace and contentment walked hand in hand with every being in the smattering of stars collectively called the Vintu Roran, also known as the Vin Rora Cluster. Or so the Uvossak thought.
The Uvossak, numbering only one hundred, thought themselves gods. Indeed, their claim to deitiship seemed well founded: they had lived for thousands of years without death of one of their ancient race, they were more powerful than every creature they came across, and their knowledge far surpassed any other within the Vin Rora Cluster. They had formed the Uvossak Ultimacy, the surpreme order in the universe that would last forever. The Eternal Ultimacy.
All that lacked was servants to do their bidding. Yes, there were creatures within the cluster that would suffice as servants, but they were hardly the ideal, and so the Uvossak set out to create their own servants that would fulfill their needs. Dividing into four groups, they set out to create four races.
One race was made from reptilean antecedents, and to these was given great minds and mental powers. These were called the Gretecians. Another race came from avian bloodlines, given a sharpness of navigation and reflexes to make them superior pilots. The Aovos were their title. The third was assembled from arachnid genetic material, breed and designed to be unstoppable warriors. The Kinshai was their name. And the last was a complex of insectian ancestors, that were called the Tasiv. They were to be the builders of the Ultimacy, the tireless, selfless workers.
The four created races, through centuries of tweaking, were perfected and bred. They performed their tasks flawlessly: the Tasiv set to work building amazing and massive cities on the planets the Ultimacy controlled, the Gretecian began developing great technological devices, and the Aovos and Gretecian proved their combat prowess by excursions out of the Vin Rora Cluster. Truly it was a golden age for all that seemed as though it would never end.
And yet end it did, in tragedy.
One of their number was named T'jrin, and T'jrin was not like the other Uvossak. While the others were content to work together and share in the sense of accomplishment, T'jrin began to feel that his work was much greater than that of his peers, a fact for which he should be especially honored. Perhaps there was some legitimacy to T'jrin's claim; he was quite gifted, and the Tasiv were the product of nearly his sole genius. But regardless of his claims, what he did next was inexcusable.
The thought had consumed him of setting himself up as the sole ruler of the Ultimacy. Yes, he would be the Ultimate One, the ruler of all. Once the idea had taken hold, he began to construct a devious plan. In his genetics lab, T'jrin engineered a virus that would be deadly to his people, likewise making himself an antibody that would render him immune. A carefully planned leak in the laboratory infected one of his peers, and before long, there was an epidemic among the Uvossak.
Many died until only a handful remained. These few discovered what T'jrin had done, and were outraged. Never before had the Uvossak felt the need to discipline their own, and so they had no idea what could be done as punishment. Finally it was decided that T'jrin would be declared an exile, and banished away from the glistening cities of the Ultimacy.
The survivors, however, knew that they most do something to protect themselves from the virus, or else they would die as well. They decided to put themselves into stasis and wake up some time in the future, after the deadly virus had run itself extinct. Before they did this, however, they met together to decide how they could keep T'jrin a prisoner somewhere, so he would not be free to roam the galaxy.
It was decided that the Tasiv, of all the races, would be the most ideal jailers. Despite the fact that they were not the race intended to be warriors, the Uvossak had taken note of the strong aggressive streak the Tasiv had. More importantly, however, a certain segment of the Tasiv had begun to exhibit strange powers that would render them immune to any telepathic manipulations T'jrin might try.
The group of survivors managed to force T'jrin on to a hot and dry, but bountiful planet, where he took refuge in a high cliff cave.
One of the Uvossak agreed to forgo the stasis sleep for a time, instead spending a few hundred years training the Tasiv to ensure that they would have the power to keep T'jrin prisoner on this world, which the Tasiv immediately named Tasivid.
The Uvossak, who's name was Re'hou, trained the Grand Shaman and founded the Shamanic Order. He showed them how to use the deposits of crystals on the planets as focal points for their powers and taught them many other secrets before T'jrin was able to infect him with the virus and kill him.
This was the end of the Age of Greatness.
Age of the Long NightEdit
Battle of MindsEdit
3000 BBY The Tasiv were left to their own devices, their only directive being to ensure that T'jrin did not escape. Anxiously, nervously, they began to build cities and camps around the base of T'jrin's cliff top haven.
He would routinely call to them, implore them, attempt to manipulate them and try to deceive them. The Grand Shamans saw that he was gaining credibility with many of the non-Shamans, and they knew that something must be done quickly. No plan of action could be reached, however, for every voice had a different idea.
It was a strange and ethereal presence that concocted an answer. It agreed to orchestrate all of their energy into a powerful psionic attack which would cripple T'jrin indefinitely. The Grand Shamans did not know what this strange entity was, but they agreed to its plan. And so began the Battle of Minds, and the Tasiv Shamans first experience with the Hive.
The Battle of Minds was such a torrent of unleashed energy that nothing like it had ever been witnessed by the Tasiv before or since. The focal crystals deposits around the planet erupted into gouts of flames and lightning, as well vortexes of negative energy that literally sucked the life from the things around it. By the time the battle was over, T'jrin lay comatose and near death and the face of Tasivid had been forever changed into a wasteland.
But there was peace.
For a time.
With no enemies or objectives, the Tasiv returned to what they knew: building and expanding. Only this time they found themselves without guidance, direction, or goals. They built whimsically, often destroying what they built only to start again. Over time, they began to drift into different social groups that took to calling themselves "tribes".
Without any sort of external guidance, genetics took over, and the matriarchy grew to be the normal leadership in the tribes and villages. Before long, it was firmly rooted.
Without any opponents or even direction, the Tasiv began to atrophy in many different ways, growing lax. Yet even as they did, a new threat was winging its way to them.
The Great WarEdit
Perhaps they were drawn by the Battle of Minds, perhaps by some other inexplicable force, but one way or another, a rogue band of Dark Jedi had found their way to Tasivid, and chasing on their heals was a group of Light Jedi.
The Tasiv did not care for light or dark; they made it abundantly clear that the Jedi were not welcomed here, and that they should leave. Instead, there was another war, this one called the Great War. It was not great in terms of numbers or size, but rather in terms of ferocity. The Jedi, whether light or dark is uncertain, were able to kill a tribal Matriarch, securing the Tasiv hatred for all eternity. The rest of the Jedi were systematically hunted down by the Shamans and killed in the Great War. Some would say that it was after this occurrence that the Tasiv truly acquired their taste for war.
Lost in the Sand of TimeEdit
The end of the Great War brought about many changes. It was decided then that the Shamanic Order would be entrusted with defending the Tasiv people not only from T'jrin, but against any Jedi that might come to the area. Because of this, Shamans would be tasked with a dual allegiance: first to the Order, than to conventional Tasiv society. It was understood by all in the matriarchal society that the Shamans would have to be granted certain leeways in some situation, so that they would be able to effectively do their job.
As the years wore on the Tribes polarized more, drifting further and further apart and growing more competitive with each other. The past began to grow more and more forgotten, especially since the Tasiv kept little to no written records of the time. Myth and legend superseded history, and before long, even the name of T'jrin was not remembered as being more than a malevolent spirit whose presence was a thing of the past.
During this time, many great and legendary deeds were done, only to be buried amidst the flowing sands of the desert.
Tribal pride and competition began to escalate, and before long, the Tribes were in a race to outperform each other. It did not take long for this competition to turn into open warfare. The constant war further removed any memory of the past from the collective conscious of the Tasiv. The Hive was so thoroughly weakened by the division of the Tasiv psyche that it ceased to speak with Tasiv, except on very rare occasions. These were a feral times, when the only concern among the Tribes was conquering of their enemy, which was their brethren.
Age of Countless WarEdit
Out of the Gereshk Dunes give a strong village leader named Otiva, who had high ambitions and an obdurate will. Throwing off the yoke of previous tribal affiliation, she declared herself to be the Matriarch of Tribe Otiva or Otivaserntic (translates "Otiva the unbreakable spirit"). She denounced the lack of structure in Tasiv society in general, and the lack of structure among the Tribes especially. Adamantly, she demanded that some form of governing body take shape.
The other Matriarchs were skeptical of this new comer's legitimacy much less her message, and paid her little mind at first. This, however, merely gave Otiva the chance she needed to consolidate her power. Several strategic neighboring villages fell to a combination of subversion, political conniving, and outright military brutality. Once she had a strong power base, Otiva set out to accomplish what no Tasiv in history had ever done: kill the dreaded Ganas.
The Ganas, a behemoth insectian creature with armor plates hardy enough to stop all but the most intense blaster fire, was the penultimate challenge for Otiva. The Matriarch knew that she would earn her tribe an eternal name if she could manage to have the beast killed. Over a hundred Tyhefa, Shamans, and Tieac trained many years and, in conjunction with over two hundred other Worker caste soldiers, the Otiva Tribe was successful in hunting down and destroying one of these fiercesome beasts. The death toll for the operation was extremely high, but Otiva was willing to make that sacrifice.
The Otiva tribe hollowed out the Ganas, and made it into a Shrine, building a foundation underneath the shelled remains. They dug a network of tunnels underneath, which is where the tribe lived while they built a village around the shrine. This town would be known as Kaphal.
Kaphal grew mightily, simply because a great many Tasiv were willing to join the tribe that had defeated the beast. Otiva demanded tribute from visitors, and got it, and was able to build on to the Shrine, which soon was turned into the Grand Temple. The massive structure of the Grand Temple was the pride of Otiva, and she built a large wall around Kaphal, giving much room for the city to expand in.
Because of the name and renown Otiva earned for herself, she was able to bring the structure she so desired to Tasiv society and to the Tribes. To this end, she founded the Conclave of Tribes.
Despite this, however, things did not change much on Tasivid: the tribal warfare continued, the centuries slipped unbidden.
But the destiny of Tasivid was written to change, and destiny would not be denied.
Kaphal had become an old city, and a relatively peaceful one. Despite the fact that it was controlled by the Otivaserntic tribe, it was considered a sacred place, to be free from the strivings of tribal combat. It had been many years since the great walls of the city had been needed to repel anything except for the high winds.
All of Tasivid had settled into a sort of war-driven complecancy, with little need for any major changes. Indeed, the Tasiv were quite resistant to most forms of change, and so this complacency seemed ideal.
But once again from the Otivasernetic tribe, came one who's ambitions would change the face of the world around her.
Tilysav Otivaserntic was hatched in the privacy of her mother's nest in a small village called Mei'lav, far to the south of Kaphal. The daughter of Xyieff, the Matriarch of the Otiva tribe, Tilysav was raised in Mei'lav by one of the Matriarch's handmaidens.
From a very young age, Tilysav learned that she loved power. Often she would exert her authority over the villagers in the most mundane of ways, merely for the sake of feeling the power of her position as heiress. She spent much of her time learning from the elder Tasiv of Matriarchs of the past who had been affluent and successful. Figures of authority intrigued her immensely, and another significant portion of her time was spent following in the shadow of her mother as the Matriarch went on official business.
In the early years of Tilysav's adolescence, the first offworld traders came to Tasivid. They landed a cautious distance away from Kaphal, approaching with good intentions to conduct trade. The Shamans were consulted, and one of the High Shaman approached the offworlders and spoke to them, for Basic was a language that had been learned during the Great War and had been passed down among the Shamans.
The traders were from a company called Tiguel's Exotic Imports, which was a small company that specialized in importing rare and novel items from out of the way places, and they felt that Tasivid had qualified as out of the way. When asked where they had learned of Tasivid, the traders had replied that they had read about it in the Imperial archives. An Imperial scouting party had surveyed Tasivid, found it to be of little to no value to the Empire, and left. This scouting party had mentioned indigenous life, however, so the traders had come there on a gamble.
Xyieff agreed to allow the traders to come to Kaphal whenever they wished and trade with whatever tribe they wished. The price for being allowed to use Kaphal was small: information on the outside galaxy. Despite all the rumors that had persisted from the days of the Great War, very few Tasiv actually believed that there was intelligent life around other stars.
So the agreement was set and the traders began regular trips to Tasivid.
The information the traders began bringing would have been considered mundane by most standards, but to the Tasiv, it was shocking: apparently there were thousands, if not millions, of other races that existed in the galaxy that the Tasiv had always felt was theirs by right. Of course, only Xyieff and a few others were privy to this information at the beginning. There was no telling what the effect would be if this news became wide spread too soon.
Tilysav became interested in the literature that was brought too, especially the historical and current event papers. She commanded a Shaman to teach her Basic so that she could read the papers without the use of a translator, and forced him to stay with her for nearly a year without leaving. As soon as she was able to read, she became enthralled with one figure in particular: Palpatine.
The traders had brought a fairly balanced mix of information: some of it propaganda from the Empire, some of it propaganda from the newly forming Rebel Alliance. It didn't matter how the Rebel Alliance tried to vilify Palpatine, however; Tilysav perceived that he was a male who had understood power and control. The more she read about the Empire, the more she wanted it to be her own.
Yes, she decided, she would form her own Empire, just like the Galactic Empire.
Age of Boundless ConstructionEdit
Foundation of StoneEdit
It was not long after, Tilysav was given a chance at leadership when her mother died unexpectedly at the hands of an assassin from a different Tribe. The reason behind the attack was unclear, but Tilysav did not waste the opportunity. She took an iron fisted control of the Otivaserntic tribe, and led a swift and severe retribution against the tribe that had killed her mother.
After established herself as one who would not tolerate insurrection of any form, Tilysav began to expand the trade agreement with the offworlders. She began to ask for things such as power generators and computers, things that would modernize Tasivid. The traders, who had been making an extremely tidy profit off of the goods they sold from Tasivid, were more than happy to comply with these requests.
The Tasiv themselves, of course, were resistant both to this change and to the technology behind the change. Tilysav made it clear, however, that she would not back down, nor tolerate any dissenters from her goal of empire building. Gradually, her choices were accepted.
It was the beginning of the Empire of Tasivid.
Empire to EmpireEdit
It did not take long, however, for Tilysav to hit a serious obstacle for her new Empire: the Tasiv simply did not have enough to offer the traders for the high expense goods that Tilysav needed. There would need to be a better way to get what she wanted.
Years past, and Tilysav watched in disappointment as Emperor Palpatine died and the Galactic Empire crumbled to dust. The pathetic replacement, a laughable "organization" called the New Republic, captured neither Tilysav's attention or loyalty. There was no structure to this suppose republic, with a thousand voices pulling it in a thousand different directions. No, Tilysav had no interest in those mongrels as potential allies.
Tilysav began to hear another name that gave her hope again: Grand Admiral Gandel. He was an Imperial warlord who did live up to Tilysav's expectations of what a leader should be, and she hatched a plan: sell this Imperial warlord Tasiv labor and goods in exchange for Imperial equipment.
The Grand Admiral agreed, probably for more selfish reasons than helping Tilysav construct an Empire of her own. Regardless of the reason, the Galactic Empire under Grand Admiral Gandel sent a team to Tasivid, to set up an installation near in Kaphal and various other places around Tasivid. It was an investment for the Imperials: spend some resources now and reap labor in the end. The Tasiv did not mind this arrangement much. The fever for expansion that Tilysav had was spreading amongst the Otivaserntic Tribe.
Once Tilysav was able to equip her warriors with Imperial made blasters, there was bit of unfinished business to take care of. With the momentum of a rolling ball, Tilysav sent an army from village to village, subjugating them and putting them under the authority of the Empire of Tasivid. Command posts were set up at each of the major villages, and, over the course of a year long campaign, Tasivid was unified and consolidated under the banner of eight tribes, under the banner of one Empire.
Under one Empress: Tilysav Otivaserntic.
The Empire helped the Tasiv construct a military grade shipyard and defense system in orbit around Tasivid, figuring that several billion Tasiv workers could turn into quite an asset for production. The Tasiv did not mind either, because they gained the capability of producing their own defensive fleets. Before this time, any starship building had been a ground based activity, and consequentially limited to very small ship sizes.
It had seemed like an eternity since the dream of reaching the stars had come to the Tasiv, but now it was almost within their grasp.
Age of Dynastic BirthEdit
A Step into the Greater GalaxyEdit
Once again, however, the dream seemed to be snatched from their reach: Grand Admiral Gandel died. The Imperial forces fell into disarray and retreated back to reconsolidate their power, leaving the Tasiv to their own devices. While in the long term, being free of their obligation to the Galactic Empire was a boon to the Tasiv, in the short term left them hindered. They still did not have a steady income of the resources required to build what they desired. They needed an ally to fill the void left by the Galactic Empire's departure.
This ally Tilysav found in another person who had intrigued her greatly: Jade Croft.
Tilysav entered negotiations with the Loris Alliance, and was soon able to make a suitable arrangement: in exchange for shipments of Orav ore, the Loris Alliance would provide the Tasiv not only with defense and other resources, but with ship blueprints for their new shipyard.
Tilysav willingly agreed, and entered into a very profitable alliance with Loris. The Lorisians established an embassy in Kaphal as well as stationing a few garrison ships, but otherwise did not impose on the Tasiv the way the Galactic Empire had. Despite the misgivings Tasiv had about non-Tasiv, the Lorisians were tolerated with good humor, mostly because the Empress declared all Lorisians to be automatically Tasiv Naviri, or "Honorable Helpers of the Tasiv". To not honor a Naviri was and still is a punishable offense.
Even while Tilysav was openly embracing the Lorisian people, she began to grow more and more weary of outsiders and non-Tasiv. It was about this time that the Silence Edict was given, forbidding Tasiv to talk to non-Tasiv about their society or other such private matters.
The Edict also had other stipulations as well. Exiles were no longer permitted to actually leave Tasivid, but were forced to remain on the planetary surface. An order was passed to the Shamanic guild as well, requiring that they track any exiles who had left Tasivid and bring them back. The Shamans took this one step further by tracking down Professor Rava as well, and permanently silencing his work.
This paranoia would only increase in the future, eventually ending up with not allowing non-Tasiv on the surface of Tasivid, unless they were Lorisians on official business.
Unknown to the Tasiv, deep within Tasivid itself, T'jrin had awakened after thousands of years of sleep. Using his telepathic abilities, he found that the powers of the Shamanic Order had greatly decayed over the years, and the very powers that had once been designed to hold him prisoner, now made it easier for him to manipulate their minds. Carefully, he began plotting to set himself back up as ruler of the Tasiv. In his state of weakness, he did not want to push things too far, too fast.
Yet, even as T'jrin was shaking off the bonds of slumber, there was another awakening occurring: the Hive.
Strengthened by a newfound, albeit strained, unity among the Tasiv, the Hive's influences began to trickle back. Certain members of the Tasiv felt it stronger than others, but slowly the powers of the Hive once again were becoming a power to be reckoned with.
With the means to expand, the Tasiv did so, beginning a poorly planned, sloppily executed, age of expansion. The Tasiv, after all, had no experience in dealing with other climates, and they were much too proud to ask for help on something they were certain they could handle themselves.
In an amount of time that others would have considered unnecessarily risky, the Tasiv began construction of colonies on a variety of neighboring planets. Most of the planets were difficult to survive on at best, and some were down right dangerous. Still, the Tasiv were an adaptive people who never shied from a challenge, so they met the problem face on. The colonies thrived, for the most part, though certainly not without their problems and casualties.
During this exploratory and colonization phase, Tasiv scouts landed on a rocky, barren planet known as Opeih, even though they did not know it by this name. While surveying the planet, they found an old freighter, which had apparently made an emergency landing and had fallen into a deep ravine. Digging out the freighter, they discovered a high capacity computer core securely stored in the hull, which, unbeknownst to them, had been created by the Gretecians, one of their sister races from the days of the Ultimacy. Unsure of what to do with the core, they had taken it with them.
With the help of the Loris Alliance, which was the Loris Empire by this time, the Tasivid constructed a large space station, which Tilysav hoped to be the center of commerce and travel for the sector.
This Station seemed like an ideal place to use the salvaged computer core they had recovered, and this gave birth to Nexi, an eccentric AI who controlled every conceivable function on the Station.
The Station, however, while considered a modest success by Tilysav and the rest of the galaxy, was not so well received by certain members of the Tasiv, who viewed this deliberate attempt at inviting non-Tasiv near their homeworld as the most recent in a long string of insults to Tasiv culture. And T'jrin was keen to use this, hoping to stir up a rebellion against Tilysav which would effectively weaken and divide the Tasiv people so that he could re-emerge and take control of the entire Tasiv race with little to no contest.
Tensions began to grow thicker by the day.
Tilysav, sensing a change coming over the Shamanic Order, began to make plans of her own. The Order was outdated, uncontrollable, and did not fall in line with her views of the Tasiv Empire (the name the Empire of Tasivid had been changed to). Remembering back to her childhood hero of the late Emperor Palpatine, she thought of his struggle with the Jedi Order, and how similar her own problem was. All she needed was the same thing Palpatine had needed: an excuse.
Despite the tension building that was taking place, Tilysav took the time to leave Tasivid to a secret retreat off planet. Her whole goal was to mate and produce an heiress.
She had two offspring: one a female of strength and vitality, and other a sickly male. During the hatching, the male instinctively clamped on to the antennae of his eggsister, leaving her permanently disfigured. Tilysav gave the male to her Veridna, Taknysh, declaring that he was to be killed.
Taknysh, however, took a liking to the hatchling, and kept him in secret. When she could hide him no longer, Taknysh put the hatchling, whom she named Ivik'thras, on to a shuttle which was set on autopilot to fly to a random place. The name of this random place: Salko. With her daughter Visna in tow, Tilysav had returned to Tasivid.
This was the dawn of the Age of Blood.
Age of BloodEdit
If the darkest hour is just before dawn, than perhaps the most peaceful time is just before war.
Best Laid PlansEdit
Tilysav's return to Tasivid was peaceful enough, but not without an air of tension. Yes, there was tension everywhere on Tasivid, as if every individual sensed a coming conflict, but did not know where or when it would come. Nor did they know that Tilysav herself might be the one responsible for this conflict.
She had decided that the Shamans needed to be vilified if their excommunication was to be accepted by all. Tilysav may have been Empress, but she was smart enough to know that there were Tasiv who would draw the line at fighting the Shamanic Order, for fear of angering the entire spirit world. If Tilysav could show them to be traitors, however, demostrate that they had been misled by evil spirits, they could be outcast much easier. And Tilysav would not leave her people without a guide; she had already ordered many Tieac to form a cadre that could act as a replacement to the Shamanic Order.
Proving them to be traitors, of course, would take some work, so Tilysav had resolved to help them along by rigging up some sabotage to be done by slaves dressed in Shamans robes. All she needed was a good target and a perfect time.
Ironically, T'jrin had plans for the Shamanic Order that fit right in with Tilysav's: he intended to use them to strike at strategical targets on the Tasiv Empire, ignite civil unrest, than emerge and bring peace to the Tasiv using strong arm tactics and win their loyalty. T'jrin did not like all that the Tasiv had built, feeling that they had overstepped their bounds as the builders they were intended to be. He intended to destroy most, if not all, of what they had accomplished, so that there would be no vestiges in their mind of things they had done without his help.
Using the Shamans as his agents, T'jrin began the lengthy process of setting things up for his violent overthrow of Tilysav and her Empire. To do this, an external enemy would be needed, an enemy that would be the arm of T'jrin's destruction, take the blame for the destruction, and would play dead when T'jrin rose up as the savior of the Tasiv. To this end, he made contact with the Kinshai, a race long ago begotten to be great warriors. They would make the perfect enemies, and he certainly did not mind sacrificing some of them to achieve control over his wayward children.
Halfway across the galaxy at Salko, Ivik'thras had come under the protection and tutelage of a former Black Sun Virgo, Nilanna, who took an almost maternal liking to the young and vulnerable Tasiv who fairly gleamed with innocence. Nilanna had taken control of Salko, and thus when Ivik'thras had arrived in the system, the matter had been deferred to her. The note hand written in Basic text that was impeccably neat, yet still difficult to read, had merely said that the youngster's name was Ivik'thras, and he could never return to his people. No explanation was given as to why, nor even an explanation of who his people were.
Unsure of what to do with him, Nilanna had decided to "adopt" the young Tasiv into her home. She had assigned a tutor to him, in hopes of teaching him of life on Salko as well as the galaxy at large, though there were many murmured questions about what sort of role the alien could possibly fulfill in Salko's society.
Ivik'thras learned Basic very quickly, having been given a solid foundation in the language from Taknysh before being smuggled off. Once he could effectively communicate, he quickly earned a reputation for having a question for every possible situation. Everything was so new to him, and he simply had to know why people did what they did or how.
These were very happy times for Ivik'thras. The tutor he had been assigned with, a middle aged human named Summer Reyna, was a woman with a gentle and patient temperament who never seemed to tire either of Ivik'thras' questions, or of his incessant ability to get himself into trouble through sheer curiosity. No matter how busy Nilanna was, she always made a point of it to have dinner with Ivik'thras each night. During this time, Ivik'thras would regale her with stories of the exploits of the day, and likewise beg to hear every detail of her daily activities. Nilanna often would tell him in great detail the business that she had attended to each day, and, although he never would have much to say about her business, he seemed to understand everything with a keenness that belied his years.
The happy times, of course, did not last forever. As years wore on, Ivik became more withdrawn and much less talkative. While he did not lose his sense of curiosity, and certainly did not lose affection for those around him, it seemed as though the weight of the galaxy had been strung across his shoulders.
When questioned on it, Ivik's answers were usually vague, although sometimes he mentioned visions that he had. Horrid, bloody visions of people like himself suffering and dying. A short while after this, he began telling Nilanna and Summer that "they" would be coming for him soon, but refused to say more.
The Imperial Heiress Visna, meanwhile, had spent her time learning from her mother, and watched each political move the Empress made with great fascination. Despite being young, Visna perceived that her mother was rushing headlong towards a trap with her intentions to wipe out the Shamanic Order. Even if she was successful in convincing the Tasiv people that the Shamans were misled, it would never suffice in their minds to wipe out the entire Order. The Tasiv people would not give up thousands of years of tradition because of bad leadership.
The more Visna thought about it, the more she came to the conclusion that the title of Empress should belong to her, not to her mother. After all, she was young, strong, and had shamanic blood in her veins that Tilysav did not. Yes, Visna could see things that Tilysav was unaware of, and because of this, Visna knew that she would be the next Empress. And that was a position that she was just not willing to wait long for.
With a cunning cleverness that she had both learned and inherited from her mother, Visna began to hatch her own plain. Starting by securing the loyalty of one of Tilysav's disillusioned handmaidens, Zinsh, Visna began consolidating support and supplies so that she could overthrow those that would remain loyal to her mother.
Tasiv, by nature, are patient when it came to things such as planning and scheming so it was no surprise that conditions proceeded slowly but surely towards the inevitable flashpoint. Visna, who's father had been specially chosen as a mate due to his shamanic bloodline, began to become more cognizant of her extra-sensory inputs, and gradually she found the Hive. And, through the Hive, she found her eggbrother, Ivik'thras.
Delighted at the pandemonium his existence was sure to cause her mother, Visna immediately informed Tilysav, who, in livid rage at the Handmaiden Taknysh, sentenced the Veridna to be tortured until death. She than dispatched a team to go retrieve her offspring, who had been foistered away among humans.
The team traveled to Salko and stoically informed Nilanna that they had come to take Ivik'thras back to his people. Nilanna was justifiably suspicious of the intentions of the robed Tasiv that appeared at her doorstep, but Ivik'thras seemed to accept it as fate that he must go, and ultimately relented to their wishes. She refused to accept the reward they offered her, however, not wanting to feel like she had sold the child to his fate.
Ivik'thras was taken back to stand before his mother, who made it quite clear that he was unwanted and his life was an accident, yet he would be permitted to live for the time merely because of the Empress's mercy. He was given over to his sister, who treated him as a slave, forcing him to do hard labor despite his sickly stature and the fact that his left foot was shrivelled from hatching and could support very little weight.
These sadistic actions on the part of Visna were spawned simply because she could sense in him great power, and she hoped the work would kill him so that she would not have to do it out right. Better to say that he was so sickly he could not perform hard work than she had executed him for fear of what he could become.
The flashpoint was like a lightning bolt. No one saw it coming, even though they had all be preparing for it. Indeed, of the three separate factions that had been quietly gearing up to fulfill their desires, Visna's forces, T'jrin's, and Tilysav's, all of them felt the glow of superiority as the trap sprang, and all of them found sharp surprise that they themselves were caught in another's trap.
Tilysav's move had been the opening move. A few key, but conveniently minor, facilities erupted into flames and shrapnel as the planted explosives detonated. The Tasiv patrols in the area, oblivious to the larger agendas that swirled around them, called in the report that several Tasiv dressed in Shaman's robes had been seen fleeing the area. Tilysav issued orders that all Shamans were to be detained on sight, and any that resisted were to be killed.
Seeing the distraction as a perfect chance to strike, Visna launched her own attack. Several hundred of those who's loyalties she had been able to secure began an assault on the Grand Temple, intent on bringing Tilysav to death. A team of assassins also lurked in the Temple, ready to use the distraction to take Tilysav from behind.
T'jrin also saw this as an excellent time for his attack. Using his Shaman pawns, he signaled to two Kinshai warships that had been waiting for just such a chance to strike. The warships dropped into the system and immediately set about attacking Nexus Station and other orbital facilities. The warships were eventually routed by the Tasiv Empire's defensive fleet, but not before the two ships could inflict serious damage to the Tasiv orbital structures and bombard Kaphal from the sky.
Meanwhile, on the ground, T'jrin had also coordinated an army of Shamans and other Tasiv to attack Kaphal, their objective simple: make sure Empress Tilysav, and her two offspring were dead. T'jrin was most worried about Ivik'thras. While he couldn't connect much in the Hive the way Tasiv could, he could still feel enough to know that the Young Tasiv was an unknown variable.
Absolute chaos reigned in Kaphal for a few short hours. The raining turbolasers from the warships above inflicted untold casualties on all sides of the conflict. Tasiv slew Tasiv, unsure of who friend or foe was. In the confusion, Visna seized opportunity and killed Tilysav.
Ivik'thras suddenly found himself in contact with the Hive, which, for the first time in modern history, began to speak to him. The Hive, obviously weak and struggling, directed him to the edge of town where he found an Ocrik. Climbing on top of it, Ivik'thras guided the beast telepathically a short distance to where T'jrin was hiding in a cave. Ivik'thras became a channel of the Hive's power, and that power was unharnessed against T'jrin.
The battle was anti-climatically short. T'jrin managed one roar of rage as he realized that he, too, had been lured into a trap by something greater than himself, then he died. As the giant being collapsed to the ground, blood pouring from every orifice, Ivik'thras was driven into a frenzy of madness, having experienced billions of lifetimes in a split second's time from all the different Tasiv that made up the Hive.
Unable to cope with the massive wave of conflicting feelings which carried him off like a wave, Ivik'thras hobbled as fast as his damaged leg would allow into the deep desert.
Visna was quick to restore what order she could, having to issue a wide variety of executions to convince everyone that the fighting was over. Eventually, however, the Tasiv realized that their Empress was dead, and Visna was the legitimate heiress. No one dared to oppose her. She looked so young, fierce, and strong, even though she was missing an antenna from her struggle with her brother at hatching.
Declaring herself the next Empress, Visna set about to pull the survivors back together, for there had been innumerable casualties. At the prompting of some of her more sly Advisors and as a political move to strengthen the already strong Crin'dros Tribe over the weakening Otivaserntic Tribe, the Empress declared herself Visna Crin'dros and declared Crin'dros to be the Imperial Tribe. This move was derided by opponents, but only briefly. Empress Visna was quick to prove herself impatient with any sort of insurrection or disagreement, and was equally quick to silence loud mouths.
All that remained now was to rebuild... And then to expand.
Such is the destiny of the Tasiv: always building, always expanding.
Terms and wordsEdit
Mai'ush- A respectful title reserved for Matriarchs and other female leaders.
Veltmere- Coming of age, or time that Tasiv children are considered adults, 20 for males and 17 for females. They are taken before the Matriarch and she decides their position in society. This is a time of great celebration.
Ta'kaci- Derogatory term, roughly translates to "Foolish Coward", loses it's sting in translation.
Akimi'tis- A respectful title that a male is expected to use when addressing a female.
Naviri- honorary title given to someone who has helped out the tribe. The tribe name goes in front, for instance an Otivaserntic Naviri is someone who has helped the Otivaserntic tribe in some way. A Naviri can only be officially appointed by a Shaman or the Matriarch.
Tewanir'lut- an event when the gods will return to Tasivid and lead the Tasiv people on a galaxy wide expansion.
Tirnij- "Weak One", this term is generally used to describe aspiring Shaman, although sometimes it is used as an insult
Tiasnihh- "Great Triumph", a great holiday in which every tribe will stop fighting for two days and celebrate.
Tasivid- "Where the Tasiv dwell", the planet that the Tasiv come from. Sometimes a generic term used to mean "home"
Kaisou- a basic housing unit for a Tasiv, partially buried with a domed roof
Yennoa- A staff made by Shamans, they are capable of channeling a Tasiv's force powers
Tiyafih- Warrior's sect or caste
Jhanrien- a healing trance that a Tasiv Shaman will fall in after taking serious damage
Fiaravik- In the Tasiv religion, this is the afterlife, shaped by what is done in reality.
Kuyis- A small species of saprophytic insects that are considered a necessary pest on Tasivid.
Inis- The ruling scepter of a Matriarch, large and set with many gems, often associated with mercy and justices.
Suraik-Creature from Tasiv mythology. Similar in appearances to a dragon. They have a long neck, wings, power legs and forearms, as well as two horns. They are generally pictured as blue colored, matching the sky. It is said that these creatures are very sharp and quick witted, and enjoy talking in riddles.