Tajaran

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Tajaran are a playable race of humanoid mammalian aliens from Meralar, the fourth planet of the Rarkajar star system.

Tajaran are a whitelisted race; to apply to be one, you can visit the forums.

One Tajaran, Two Tajarans/Tajaran, The Tajaran People

Mechanics

  • Tajaran can speak a unique language of Siik. Use this in game by typing say ,j
  • All Tajaran have claws, and will scratch with them instead of punching, dealing extra damage.
  • Tajaran can see much better in the dark than humans.
  • Tajaran are less vulnerable to harm from cold due to their fur, but more vulnerable to harm from heat.
  • They are only able to wear voidsuits and voidsuit helmets designed/modified for their Tajaran anatomy. They are able to wear 'softsuits' (such as non-hardsuit space suits, biosuits, and fire suits).
  • Tajaran can be head of staff in any department. They are not allowed to be captain.

Overview

Naming

Nominal characteristics vary by region and ethnicity, below are some common styles as described with Earth-based equivalents. See the "Cultural Backgrounds and Ethnicities" tab for details on the ethnicities themselves. Bear in mind these are not strict hard-and-fast rules, simply the "common sounds" of each ethnicity's names; variations and exceptions do exist.

Hrarar - Commonly first name followed by family name or clan name. Middle names are rare. Names sound somewhat Middle-Eastern mixed with south-east Asian.

Siik - As above.

Hakar - As above, though middle names are more common, often as "honorifics" passed down through the family. Name sounds have more of an Icelandic bent at times as well.

Selem - Similar to the Siik. Names incorporate some Italian-sounding components as well.


Njarir'Akhan - First name followed by family name, suffixed by "enai-(Ruling House of the family)" in formal use when appropriate - for example, "Chii'akor Kasyir enai-Kaytam". Elements of Japanese and Ancient Egyptian names.

Njarjirii - As above. Names occasionally have Spanish-sounding elements.

Nerahni - As above. Names also include some German elements.

Siirkhani - Two-part hyphenated first name followed by family name. Names sound like a mix of German and Italian.


Zhan-Khazan - Simple mono- or duo-syllable names, no real last names. Might provide "Zhan-Khazan" as a last name if required. Due to the simplistic nature of their names, there's no real Terran approximation to provide, only examples such as "Khal", "Maaz", "Rhem", "Tarikh", so on and so forth.

Ur Zkan-Khazan - As above.

Shankamyan - Completely unknown, as no communications can be established.

Rhemazar - First and last name, same as the Hrarar. Name sounds also share much in common with the Hrarar, incorporating some Russian-esque components as well.

Biology

Tajaran are a species of omnivorous, bipedal mammal-analogues. Their body is covered almost entirely with a thick fur coat, the only exceptions being the palms of their hands and the soles of their feet and directly around their various mucous membranes. On many individuals the fur near their neck and head grows into a shaggy “mane”, not unlike a lion or horse's mane, which is made of tougher, wiry hairs. Tajaran fur colors generally have a singular color, with the mane generally being significantly darker than the rest of the fur, though stripes and other patterns of different colors are present among some ethnicities. The practice of dying sections of one's fur a different color is also not unheard of. Tajaran males on average range between 150 cm and 200 cm in height and 50 kg and 95 kg in mass. Females are typically slightly smaller in stature.

Tajaran have two fairly large and well-developed eyes set above a slightly elongated muzzle. Their pupils are generally large and oval when relaxed, and contract very quickly into a horizontal aperture in bright light. Their irises are narrow while relaxed, large when contracted, and are most typically shades of brown, gold, green, and rarely, blue to purple. Tajaran teeth are sharp and needle-like in the front and slowly grow thicker towards the back. The closest analogous tooth structure in a Terran animal is the raccoon. They do not have well developed grinding molars and have a strong dietary preference for meats, fats, and fruits, but are capable of eating other plants.

On the top of their head Tajarans possess two normally erect ears that are roughly triangular and rounded. Tajaran ears have a wide range of motion, and are capable of rotation up to ninety degrees and folding entirely back to the skull. Because of the structure and wide range of motion, Tajarans have a noticeably more fine range of hearing than other crew species.

Tajaran hands and feet both have five digits and are somewhat stubby compared to human extremities, with short claws as fingernails, similar in shape to cashew-nuts. Tajarans are digitigrade, and most equipment designed for humans or skrell that interacts with the legs (eg voidsuits) requires modification to fit. All Tajarans also possess a flexible, non-prehensile tail. This appendage is muscled and is capable of an exceedingly large range of movement.

Tajaran have a notably longer sleep cycle than humans, the average waking period for a Tajaran is between 30-32 hours with a subsequent 11-13 hours of sleep. This wake period is often punctuated by short (15-30 minute) naps. Tajarans can avoid sleep for up to 75 hours without experiencing severe negative effects in the short term, but tend to grow lethargic and unfocused over longer periods, or if skipping sleep regularly.

The Tajaran body is generally lithe, slender, and extremely flexible. Sexual dimorphism in body shape between males and females is generally slightly less distinct than in humans, though by what degree can vary depending on ethnicity and cultural norms.

Cultural Backgrounds and Ethnicities

The Tajaran have various ethnic differences between them, sometimes even varying from nation to nation, but they can be condensed to three. The Hharar, the Njarir'Akhan and the Zhan-Khazan.

Hharar

Hharar are the most numerous Tajaran ethnicity on Meralar, and were the most heavily represented Tajarans in the diplomatic delegations that dealt with Humans through the early post-contact years. This led to a fairly entrenched image of the Hharar as the 'average' Tajaran among Humans and their other interstellar neighbours. Their fur is quite silky, long, and very thick, and usually runs between umber and pale tan.


Siik

The Siik people are in many ways synonymous with the Hharar, and were the first Hharar of Zarraya. The original Siik were migratory, but slowly settled the southern warm belts of Zarraya with farming communities thousands of years ago, as receding ice sheets uncovered fertile soil and hardy plants. Siik history is filled with kingdoms, wars, and empires - the northern Selem empires and the southern Hakar kingdoms were and are both ruled by Siik families, although only Siik from Zarraya still refer to themselves by the name. During the fall of the Second Empire, most of the towns and cities held by the Selem declared their sovereignty and dominion over their nearby lands and became a patchwork of city-states and small kingdoms, often with uneasy relationships with their neighbours. The Siik speak Siik - imagine that.


Hakar

The Hakar are the original settlers of Hakarraya, taming the lands as per decree of the First Selem Empire and the last remnants of the ancient realm. As the Empire fell, local governors and nobles became petty princes and kings, deliberately muddling the true origins and history of their people while propagating the central authority, an all-powerful god-like emperor. The Hakar kingdoms declared war on one another many times over the centuries after the fall of the First Empire, aggrandizing the Old Selem Emperors as living gods and the new kings the inheritors of their divine grace. This has led to heavily idolized, absolute God Kings who maintain an iron-fisted rule over their war-weary nations. Today, only a handful of Hakar Kingdoms remain, each claiming to be led by the one true God-Emperor, entrenched in deep rivalry with each other. Although open warfare is all but impossible, they still try to outdo each other with huge displays of wealth and "proof" of godhood. As a result of the earliest Siik and Njarjirii settlers' interbreeding the Hakar are a little taller on average than the Siik and more lightly built, sometimes described as gaunt-looking by Zarrayans even when healthy. They speak Hakari, a bastardized version of ancient Selem.


Selem

The Selem are an ancient kind of Hharar, who named themselves after the first emperor of the Siik, Selem Hadii. Their history is long and often bloody, having dominated the political landscape of the Siik with two Empires for almost five hundred years. They impregnated cultural thinking, law and military tactics of the Siik with Selem ideologies and traditions. The decline of the Second Empire led to a bloody interregnum, as the political vaacuum was filled with budding nation states and invading Zhan-Khazan. This led to Zarraya's modern patchwork of territories and borders. A successor state to the Second Empire lives on as the Third Selem Empire, once again ruled by the Hadii. They hold the old twin capitals of Rakari and Hekari, and make no secret of their ambitions to re-unify the Zarrayan city-states. Selem are excessively proud of their grandeur and pedigree, looking down on the Rhemazar and Siik, finding them anarchistic and uncivilized. Their national language is Siikelem, a revitalized form of ancient Selem, however most Selem outside the inner circles of the imperial family speak Siik as at least a second language.


Njarir'Akhan

Njarir'Akhan are taller than the average Hharar, with narrower, more streamlined builds and a naturally lithe musculature. Their fur is thick, velvety, and sheds water very easily.This makes them much more at home in the water than their continental cousins, even at higher latitudes. Their fur is most commonly a darker, earthier variation of the Hharar's hues. Their facial features are softer, rounder, and shorter-muzzled than the Hharar, and their gaits are usually more elongated and sinuous, lending them a certain predatory grace.


Njarjirii

The original Njarir'Akhan migrated thousands of years ago from Zarraya, journeying across a colder Meralar's near-frozen inner sea at the end of an ice age to settle on the Njarir Merana archipelago, where fishing was possible in the still-liquid water. The Njarjirii are equatorial islanders with a heavily maritime culture, centered around generosity, individual heroism, pride, and feuds. In the past, Njarjirii were THE Tajaran trader-explorers, and their shipping routes knitted the islands and coastal settlements of both continents together. They are governed by a 'House' to each island and although they feud, form, and break alliances, they resist outside hostilities fiercely as a united front. Njarjirii are proud of their freedom, and historically very hostile to anything they might see as slavery as they regard personal freedom as given. They speak Akhani.


Nerahni

A large house of the Njarjirii who were hired by the First Selem Empire for their sailing expertise, at great expense, to help Hakarraya-bound colonists cross Njarir Etari safely. Through their new wealth and imperial ties they became the true sea traders of the Akhani. They have some of the oldest, largest, and most elaborately ornamented ocean-going ships on Meralar, passed down from generation to generation within each family. Each ship is well loved and cared for, and often carved with the names and stories of its dead crew, making the ships shrines to themselves and their achievements. A Nerahni ship was and is often the sole home of its families of crew, calling no port a true home - although they often returned to distant cousin houses' islands in Njarjirii territory for more extensive repairs and festival visits. The Nerahni were some of the most scientifically important Tajaran of pre-modern times, as they were responsible for much of the mathematics, nautical navigation, and complex shipbuilding techniques in early Meralar. They are capricious, nomadic and shrewd, considering "taking" and "giving" being the same, as everything has a price. As first into space, mainly as hired crew, their tradition of marking the crew's and the vessel's history into the hull of their ships spread among Tajaran spacefarers, making their spacefaring ships living history. They speak a slight variation of Akhani, peppered with sailor's terms and insults.


Siirkhani (not playable.)

The Siirkhani are the descendants of the original pupils of Raniira Merar, a prophet and divine figure of the Njarir'Akhan, who is alleged to have led them to the bountiful islands of the ocean in a time of need. With a rigid religious scripture which makes it impossible to leave the cult, the Siirkhani voluntarily isolate themselves from others and live a life of ascetics, prayer and reverence of history. In fact, many historical records were preserved purely because of the religious dogmas of the Siirkhani, and the efforts of their monasteries have helped to cultivate the lands around them. Due to their beliefs they do not marry outside their own religion, nor do they have any deeper contact to anyone beyond cordial trading relations. Still, they are tolerated almost everywhere, except in the lands of the Hakar, where they are an oppressed minority.

Zhan-Khazan

Zhan-Khazan are generally taller and stockier than even the Njariri'Akhan. The average height is 180 cm to 225 cm, the average weight is 70 kg to 110 kg. They have proportionally smaller eyes, heavier jaws, and tend toward a heavily muscled build. While the hues of the fur is often a soft white or off-colour grey, it is thick and pelty, with heavily tufted ears.


"Zhan-Khazan" (Not playable on-station, allowances made for a maximum of two Mercenary gamemode Zhan-Khazan antags, ideally not all the time either. Get with the Tajaran maintainer for any further clarification.)

Ur Zhan-Khazan who stayed true to their ways. They are raiders of the north, nomadic and heavily reliant on ice water fishing and herding animals. Their society is fluid and prone to sweeping changes as Zhan-Rhezar rise and fall, tribes splinter and form. The only constant is their lust for riches, blood and glory, which they live out on regular raids on the Cities of the Rhemazar and Siik. They speak Rrhangarr.


Shankamyan (Not playable.)

"The Savage Tribe", Zhan-Khazan who wandered across an ice ridge to reach the eastern continent. They speak a local dialect which diverged from Rrhangarr long ago. As savage as the lands they live in, the Shankamyan are extremely territorial and aggressive, making diplomacy or even concessions completely impossible. It is rumoured that they have eaten the diplomats who tried. It might be true. They do not show interest in leaving the planet. They also eat anyone who asks.


Rhemazar

During the chaos of the Fall of the Second Selem empire, they came. Zhan-Khazan led by an ambitious Zhan-Rhezar Rhem descended upon the weakened cities and warring successor kingdoms in the Northeast, plundering, razing and killing everything in their wake. The sheer size of the united tribe was unseen before, accumulating into the destruction of several loyalist armies, spelling out doom upon the struggling empire, and giving it the last push to oblivion. The tribe settled down in the smouldering ruins they had left, first creating an uneasy alliance with the local Hhrarar survivors and emancipated slaves. Soon, they were assimilated, Siik tenets integrated into the Zhan-Khazan way of life, transforming to the culture known today as Rhemazar. They live in a relatively new Noble Federation, led by a High Prince. The only civilized Zhan-Khazan, stoic, industrious and prone to form quick friendships, the interbreeding with the Siik led them to be leaner and smaller than their "wild" counterparts, although they are still distinctively bulky. They speak a heavily polluted form of Siik with many slang terms of Rrrhangarr present, betraying their heritage.

Timeline

A brief timeline of the most important historical events of Tajaran history denoted in Anno Domini

Unwritten time : The Tajaran spread across the northern and eastern continent and islands. Much of the history is murky and only shared by oral tradition.

440 - First historical records of Tajaran towns and cities.

880 - First mentions of the archetypal Hharar walled cities.

1000 - First records of Hharar and Njarir'Akhan contact. Periods of Trade and War follows.

1490 - The walled city of Rakari under the despotic governance of Amiira Hadii declares its sovereignty over the neighbouring state of Rolondor.

1651 - After a series of military victories and clever political manevuers, Selem Hadii forms an empire dominating most of the Hharar lands. Its capital is Rakari.

1720 - The southern continent is settled by eager Selem settlers and Njarijii sailors. Over time, the settlers begin to deify the Line of Selem Hadii as living gods, local authorities styling themselves as manifestations of his will. The Njarijii mercenaries continue to sell their services as traders, sailors and privateers, forming a separate culture altogether.

1895 - Fall of the First Selem Empire. Successor Kingdoms of the Hharar battle each other for supremacy.

1923 - The Succession Wars end, the Mjrir Dynasty ascends the old throne, forming the Second Selem Empire and moving the capital of the new empire to Hekari, on the southern coast of the northern continent.

1924 - Despite their best efforts, the southern continent does not recognize the Mjrir Dynasty, the nobility proclaiming themselves as the only true god-emperors.

1926 - In a bout of expansionism, the Second Selem Empire tries to spread through the Archipelago and subjugate the Njarir-Akhan houses. They staunchly refuse, leading to many, many border skirmishes and repelled invasion forces.

1928 - Electricity and steam engines become widespread. A revolution in the means of production begins, leading to the Industrial Age.

1940 - First Hakar unification war, the bloodiest one. From the 78 pretenders, only 6 remain.

1950 - Advancements in aviation and long distance communication (primarly discovered in the first Unification War) push the Tajaran further into technological progress.

2060 - After the continued setbacks against the Njaririi forces, the Selem abandon their plans of taking the archipelago, formally recognizing their sovereignty of the islands.

2100 - Increased raids from the Zhan-Khazan and economic stagnation hit the Second Selem Empire.

2111 - The eastern continent is first stepped on by the Selem conquerors. They are firmly and brutally slaughtered by the native Shankayam. Further exploration is dismissed for more pressing matters.

2120 - Second Hakar Unification war. Relatively bloodless, only few concessions were made between the six priest regents.

2140 - The fall of the Second Selem Empire. Zhan-Khazan raiders from the north raze and plunder in today's Rhemazar lands.

2140 - Third Hakar Unification war. After astounding military defeats, the lands of Mirmi and Krekara were carved up between the victors in an uneasy stalemate.

2143 - The Rhemazar tribe of the Zhan Khazan and the Punjiiras, a group of ex slaves turned raiders in the fall of the empire, settle in the ruins of the walled city of Nirni after an uneasy truce on a shared battlefield against a Selem loyalist ambush.

2150 - The aftermath of the chaotic fall of the second Selem Empire ends. Hharar holdings form city states based on cultural heritage and common dialect. Nationalistic ideals supplant subservience to the Emperors of old. Meanwhile, the Hadii build up their armies to form the Third Selem Empire.

2164 - The Rhemazar spread across the weakened walled cities in the north east and spread their dominion. Several petty tribal kingdoms form, squabbling under each other. The Punjiiras are assimilated in the process, mixing together with the tribal Zhan-Khazan.

2175 - Rormi Heresy. The pretender priest-queen Sa'kiir Malani-ka leads a huge portion of the nation's poorest in an uprising. The fighting is terribly bloody, and ends with an uneasy split of territory between Rormi and the martyred Sa'Kiir followers' territory, named Malani in her memory. Malani clan members in Rormi territory are hunted.

2187 - Another exploration, this time a shared effort by Hharar nation states and the Njarijii, is sent to the eastern continent. The Shankayam are very hostile and refuse outside contact, much like the Zhan-Khazan in nomadic tribes and temporary farming communities.

2188 - The former territory of the Second Selem Empire is now a rich tapestry of Confederations and Nation States centered around the walled cities of the Hharar. A flourishing of the arts and nationalist pride follows this period. The Hadii exert influence over old holdings and consolidate power, claiming all provinces of the Old Empire. They are rebuked.

2189 - The Rhemazar chiefs are now called kings, firmly establishing their dominions. Former Hharar in their lands begin to call themselves Rhemazar as well.

2190 - Fourth Hakar Unification war. A new generation of Malani wash over Rormi territory, lead by priests of the old order in a war of revenge for the murders of the family of their martyred leader. Malani now holds all of old Rormi, and forms a national religious government around the worship of their old leader, an eternal queen ascended in absentia.

2240 - Fifth Hakar Unification "war". A long, sweltering period of minor conflicts under the remaining nations, leading only to further stalemates and a war-weary population. Throughout, new weapons and advances in science lead to minor flares in the conflicts, but no outright war. It led to nothing and a white peace was declared on all sides.

2245 - The first modern computer is assembled by a Siik City State, quickly plagiarized by everyone, making it impossible to find out who actually takes the credit for kickstarting the Information Era.

2365 - The Unification Period ends, as the stakes would be too high for any new armed conflict under the survivors. Hakar God-Regents focus on outshining their rivals in other avenues and an uneasy Cold War begins. The remaining nations are Krebar, Malani, Rukur, Mirsaw and Rorlor.

2410 - The God King of Krebar manages to reach first into space with an unmanned satellite. What follows is a frantic space race of all nations of Meralar, eager to reach the stars. A golden age begins.

2425 - An united space program of the Rhemazar Fiefdoms successfully design a capsule capable of being manned by Tajaran life. The famous Nerahni aeronautical pilot Mahbrami Halan is the first Tajaran to leave the meralaran Atmosphere, much to the dismay of the Hakar.

2450 - The space race accumulates to manned stations in the orbit of Meralar and steady, reliable space travel possible. The Golden Age ends slowly, accumulating to envy and increased hostility around the globes. The Hadii did not forget their ambitions to rejunevate the Empires of Old.

2453 - The Hadii declare a Subjugation War on the old holdings of the Empire. Nation states band together to resist their efforts, Njarijii Houses pooling their effort on either side for profit and glory in blood. Meanwhile, the Hakar take up arms against each other in rememberance of the days of old, saying the "Sixth Unification War" is declared.

2455 - Fruitless skirmishes between the Hakar die down as they realize their positions are too fortified, abandoning the idea of the Sixth Unification War. Nothing changes for them. Meanwhile, the Hadii lay siege on Hekari, the coastal city supported by several Island Houses.

2458 - The fight over Hekari ends, the Hadii Patriach Shahah Hadii coronating himself in the Second Palace as the Third Selem and proclaiming the Third Selem Empire. Several border cities surrender to the Hadii, among them Rakari, the capital of the first Empire. The Third Empire pledges to unite all of its "errant subjects".

2468 - The Subjugation War ends with a crushing defeat of the Hadii Forces by the Military Alliance of the Hharar Nation States and the newly minted Rhemazar Federation, formed as a response to the threat of their sovereignity. While not beaten, several City States are liberated. However, the Third Selem Empire sees themselves as victor, having claimed significant lands and having secured both capitals of old.

2505 - The Tajaran have spread throughout the system, taking out their competition in a new space race. The planetary rings are dotted with mining, research and civilian stations as they notice strange, unexplained anomalies and radioactive readings.

2510 - The Tajaran continue to be puzzled about the amassing signals they receive outside their star system, finally sending a strong coherent electromagnetic emission containing the first ten prime numbers in order, the first ten digits of Pi, and a brief fibonacci sequence. SolGov responds with a formal diplomatic envoy just three years later - and only a week after the message arrives.

2522 - After human contact is established, the Tajaran enter cordial relations and play the political field to their benefit, ensuring that the liberal parties of Human Space keep a military intervention at bay. It culminates in formal treaties with Representatives of SolGov and the Tajaran Nations, negotiating as the so-called Pearlshield Coalition, Alarjir Iniye. They gain bluespace technology. Many Tajaran spill to the stars in older human starships - bought from corporations willing to turn a buck, do a good deed, and upgrade their own fleets - eager to explore.

2560 -Present time. Tajaran have established several colonies outside their home system and are a fledgling and ambitious interstellar culture. Their home planet is still highly fractured and frosty in its international relations.

Recent History

In 2410, Ramarlar Akham'Rar, the God King of Krebar, heralded a new age for the Tajaran as he launched an unmanned probe into orbit of Meralar. A simple propaganda spouting satellite, just to prove his splendor to his other God King peers. This led to a scramble for the stars as the Hakar tried to top each other for the "Apotheosis to the Stars." Other Tajaran nations of course took notice, offered scientific and economical support to their favored Hakar factions out of purely pragmatic reasons; a space race, after all, means satellites, and perhaps ring harvesting. Only five decades later, manned flight became viable enough for the Tajaran to reliably leave their home planet and explore deep space, accumulating into a boom in the economy and rejuvenation of the nations of Meralar.

With prosperity comes envy and splendour leads to bitterness. As the Tajaran ascended to the stars, old feuds broke out anew; the Zhan-Khazan tribes stirred in the North, hungry for plunder. The Hadii consolidated enough of their own resources to seriously attempt their plans to reforge the old Selem Empire, while the City Nations pooled their armies together to resist their imperialistic expansion. The Rhemazar Kingdoms unite under one Noble Federation to protect their interests, bound by kinship and stoic resistance against any Hadii incursion.

Even the Hakar, whose conflicts for the exalted King of Kings throne died down, took arms up again to fulfill their ambition to be the only true God of the southern continent. For ten years, the various wars and raids savaged the lands, the Hadii only making nominal gains, while the dynasties of the Hakar found themselves once more in a bitter stalemate. However, the conflicts died down after fifteen years. War begets patriotism, only serving to further cement the nation states of the Hharar cities, their populations no longer wishing for the traditions of the Selem empires of old, but rather looking for a bright new future. The Rhezamar, laying down their petty squabbles with each other, grew together into a Federation of considerable economic and military power. Even the Hadii won, their New Empire managing to annex the capital of old times, no longer a pretender, but a true successor nation.

With the conflicts dying down on their home planet, the Tajaran returned to grasping for the stars, leading to increased attempts to colonize beyond the borders of their native soil. Asteroid mining and the first steps to colonize the other celestial bodies of the system were only fueled by the competition of the nations of Meralar. Sometimes friendly, sometimes aggressively, with border skirmishes or true small scale space fleet fights for the control of the system.

In 2505, the planetary belt of Meralar was dotted with research, mining and even some civilian stations as the Tajaran noticed something strange... Distortions in spacetime that should be impossible. Communication they only partially receive. Curious, they sent electromagnetic emissions in 2510 towards the perceived distortion at the edge of the solar system, only to meet the humans.

Human Colonies near the system noticed the amassing of energy, communication and activity in the Tajaran's home system. A SolGov funded exploration team was sent to find out what these disturbances could mean, theorising it might be a sufficiently advanced alien species on the cusp of becoming an interstellar faction much like themselves.

They would be right.


Formalities and proper diplomatic contact were soon established, the Tajaran distrustful and ready to strike at first. But they did not risk their reserved position against a superior foe, playing the sympathies of the more liberal minded parties of Human Space to ensure they were left without military intervention for the time being. Tajaran flight was primitive in the eyes of Humanity, but not far from achieving the jump to Bluespace Drives and interstellar traffic. They estimated about thirty to seventy years for the alien species to achieve such. So, in exchange for free travel through their space, as well a tenuous non-aggression pact, a neutral buffer zone between the two races' territories, and the allowance to station fleets and refuelling posts in their home system, the Humans gifted the Tajaran the specifics of how to build Bluespace Drives in early 2522.

Alongside other cultural exchange and immigration treaties, the Tajaran soon enough spilled to the stars, eager to explore and experience the grander universe, taking their place to the stars.

The Tajaran are neither the most advanced nor the biggest of the Sentient Milieu, but they are proud, ambitious, and staunchly loyal to their chosen causes. Today they own their home system Rarkajar, another nearby star system named Arrakthiir containing an arctic world with several budding colonies backed by Meralar's nations and multinational alliances, have recently colonized another nearby system named Mesomori, and have laid claim to two other promising systems. A loose confederation known as the Alarjir Iniye, "The Pearlshield Coalition", has been established among the interstellar nations, but by and large the Tajaran political landscape is fractious, with the old, powerful Meralaran nations for the most part exploring their new horizons separately, the early fears of the danger their human neighbors might pose quickly forgotten with the gift of superluminal travel.

Lifespan

The average lifespan of a Tajaran can be measured in 70 human years as of now, but statistical predictions say it might be 90 or even 100 years in the near future due to rapid technological advancements in the medical field due to the conception of FTL travel and contact to other sapient life.

Language

Tajaran are capable of expressing many tones and pitches, leading to usually very expressive languages. The myth that they incorporate body signs into them mainly comes from a practice of speaking in one language while signing something else in Alai; however, body language is not officially incorporated in any major language. Native Hrarar Tajaran speaking galactic common or human tongues may often roll and extend R sounds due to the local accents, however this is not mandated and is up to the individual character.

(OOC NOTE : Only Siik, Alai and Akhani are present in the game as of now, but this might be subject to change in the near future)

As ever, different languages can have different dialects and accents. We expect players to represent these themselves.

Siik (siːk)

A language originating from the large Hharar agricultural communities scattered around the Meralaran temperate zone that evolved through trading caravans into a broad and nuanced, if complex and sometimes unwieldy, shared language of the trading houses and the rich. For humans, the language is difficult to speak without a great deal of practice and experience as it incorporates a great deal of pitch variation, yowls, and trills that are difficult to replicate with the human palate. As a Seleminite language, they have the archetypical third person usage to refer to themselves, often carrying over to galactic common and other languages as the first person represents trust or affection.


Alai (a:laɪ)

A standardized Tajaran sign language that was developed in Zarraya and gradually adopted by other nations, incorporating hand gestures and movements of the ears and tail. Sometimes colloquially referred to as "Siik'alai" due to its Hrarar-centric origins, it's nonetheless become the de facto international sign language of Meralar, one of the few instances of unity among the Tajaran.


Hakari

While lauded as the holy language, Hakari is a poor attempt to speak the ancient Selem language, filled with bastardizations, slurrings and a very simplified grammar. The melodious, almost fluting language is very simple to understand, but difficult to learn. The rules are arbitrary and have many exceptions, disregarding said rules completely for the sake of "flow." Native speakers get offended by foreign accents "polluting" their "exalted tongue." As a Seleminite language, they have the archetypical third person usage to refer to themselves, often carrying over to galactic common and other languages as the first person represents trust or affection.


Siikelem

Siikelem is the revival of the ancient Selem language, modernized and merged with Siik grammar structures and lend words for new concepts and objects previously not represented in old Selem. Siikelem is the best approximation of "modernized" ancient Selem and is widely used by both scholars and the finer society of the Third Selem Empire. It's a language of prestige and learning it is either native by the parents or needs to be paid with orpulent fees for those who made it their profession to teach it. As a Seleminite language, they have the archetypical third person usage to refer to themselves, often carrying over to galactic common and other languages as the first person represents trust or affection.


Rrhangarr (ræŋgaːr)

Rrhangarr is mainly spoken in the harsh northern regions of Meralar, a simple and harsh language with heavy emphasis on the R consonant and context-based grammar. Due to the relative ease of learning it, Rrhangarr is especially useful in trading on Meralar - although not on the coasts, where Akhani is overwhelmingly dominant.


Akhani (aːkaːniː)

The ancient tongue of the Njarir'Akhan, dubbed Akhani. While today's Akhani is somewhat polluted with lendwords from Siik due to its use up and down the coasts of Meralar by the crews of trade ships, Akhani is still a distinct language family on its own. Akhani has a very structured and formal grammar, with words mostly formed by common syllables and compound nouns.

Religion

Hrarar

Tajr-kii Rarkajar

By the Light of Rarkajar, we are Ascended.

A fairly old and well-known religious sect on Meralar, the teachings of Tajr-kii Rarkajar (roughly translated as "We who follow Rarkajar") pervade almost every aspect of modern Selem culture, from sun motifs in paintings to turns of phrase referring to "the Light". It is less commonly worshipped among the Siik and Rhemazar, and even more rarely among the Hakar due to their focus on the God Kings, but exceptions exist as with all things.

The Tajr-kii hold that Rarjakar and Mephir are locked in eternal battle over the fate of the dead. When someone dies, the soul travels to Mephir's realm, known as *The Bounty*. The Bounty is said to be a desolate wasteland of eternal wind and fire, where souls are drained of energy to fuel Mephir and reduced to dark, mindless husks, before eventually fading into nothingness. The hope is that Rarkajar's ever-watchful Eye can locate the soul before it is drained, and can be lifted from the Bounty to be safely stored within Rarkajar Himself (the process is known as Ascension).

There, the soul melds with the network of other souls stored there, gaining vast knowledge stretching back to the very beginnings of the Tajaran species. Some souls are even said to act as mouthpieces for Rarkajar, their whispers reaching the ears of the devout to lend guidance or consolation.

Rarkajar does not imprison them, however. If at any point a soul wishes to leave, they are taken to a place called *That Which Comes After*, which is said to be a large floating island of light with a door in the center. When the soul steps through the door, it is reincarnated within an unborn child to experience life once more. The child is said to retain certain traits from its soul's previous incarnations, and every incarnation allows the soul itself to grow in power. As such, souls that have been through many reincarnations - so-called "old souls" - are especially valuable to Mephir, and therefore Rarkajar must be doubly determined to locate these old souls so they cannot fuel Mephir's powers.

However, Rarkajar's failing is that He is unchanging. While He is vastly stronger than Mephir in direct confrontation, Her ability to change and grow allows Her to best Him with indirect methods, such as the aforementioned redirecting the dead to Her realm so She can siphon their power.

Taji-kiar Ajarr

Rough Translation: Those who Ascend

This holiday is practiced at the dawn of the equivalent of spring time on Meralar. It has symbolic meaning of souls freed from Mephir and The Bounty, symbolized by Winter, returning to life to begin their cycle again. For those who have lost parts of their family during this time, this is a time of public mourning and recognition of those souls, and prayers to Rarkajar for their rescue from Mephir. It is believed that these focused thoughts help Rarkajar find those lost souls, the thoughts of the living guiding His way.

WIP, other religions exist.

Njarir'Akhan

WIP. They're a hodgepodge of various beliefs from all over, along with their own regional traditions.

Zhan-Khazan

WIP. Ancestor and spirit worship are more common, focusing on forces of nature and the influence of the deceased. But given their fractured nature, their beliefs can vary quite a bit.

Relations

Tajaran nations have various relationships to other extrameralan life, mostly contained in aloof friendliness to cordial trading relationships. Among all, the humans are regarded as the most beneficial trading partner, considering history and dealings with SolGov.

Job Preferences

Tajaran have no job preference one way or another, their expertise and fields mostly dependent on their cultural background and educational history. However, there is no reports of Nanotrasen hiring them in upper echelon command staff such as Captain.