species:yazata

Yazata

Gol Shir-del, artwork by Farisato

The Yazata are one of the few sapients native to Liang.

They are a primarily subterranean, living in the planet's large, natural caverns, although they have always maintained insular communities due to ongoing hostilities with other native species, such as the Elves, and the Taianese.

The species is notable for a large sexual dimorphism, with the male and female members of the Yazata species being radically different in physical presentation. The male “Atar” tending towards large and conventionally terrifying beasts, and the female “Ahura” tending towards lighter, more mobile and effeminate frames.

Through genetic scanning and analysis, it is clear that they share a common ancestor or archetype with the Angels, but were deliberately made to different standards. As a result, the females of the species are smaller, lighter, and thinner boned, in order to allow them to take advantage of the frequent, hot updrafts in the underground caverns. This, in turn, allowed them to escape the heavier male Yazata and thus survive longer in primitive pre-civilization tribes, where they might otherwise have frequently died violently during copulation or in childbirth. This sexual divide pervades Yazatan society to this day, so far as to enter into the Yazatic language, with many different and sometimes derogatory words referring to members of the opposite sex still existing in common use, and society holding different general places for the Yazata based on gender subspecies.

There is also an extremely small, yet significant population of “feminized” Atar and “masculinized” Ahura. “Feminized” Atar are males who possess the smaller humanoid or elf-like forms that are characteristic of the Ahura, although with masculine secondary and primary sexual characteristics which grant them appearances similar to that of human and elf males. Conversely, “masculinized” Ahura are females who possess the large and bestial forms characteristic of the Atar, albeit with feminine secondary and primary sexual characteristics. As a result, Yazatan courtship and sexuality is one of the most complex and poorly documented.

Although the Yazata are now what most scholars would consider to be civilized far beyond the basic needs of hunter-gatherers, especially due to having been used as counterpart to the Angels by higher powers, the dichotomy remains in their physical forms.

In terms of appearance, the Yazata are vastly more diverse and distinct than their Angelic counterparts. However, the males are almost universally heavier and more bestial in appearance than the females, who possess frames that are human or even elf-like in appearance.

Among the Ahura and the rare humanoid Atar, the presence and type of “demonic features” varies from individual to individual. Not all Atar possess wings, but each individual possesses at least two “demonic” features that mark them out as Atar. These features include skin and eye colors along the entire color spectrum, bat-like wings, horns, elf-shaped ears, tails, cloven feet, clawed digits, and fangs. The Ahura possess no marking features that are universal, but the types of marking features present tend to match among family and ethnic groups. For example, the Ahura and humanoid Atar population on one continent may tend towards having wings and horns while a population on another continent may tend towards having pointed ears, fangs, and clawed digits. However, on an individual basis, exceptions are a common occurrence.

The Atar and bestial Ahura are far larger, heavier, stronger, and more imposing than their more feminine and humanoid counterparts.

Though Yazata and humans share many anatomical and physiological features, the Yazata themselves are notably superior in many aspects. Faster, stronger and with superior senses, their finely honed abilities closely mirror that of any humans that are at the pinnacle of what genetic engineering can give. As a result, several Yazatan DNA sequences can be found within the Taianese. However, a few key, distinct differences are also present.

Easily measuring 7 meters or more in span, Yazatan wings are fully capable of propelling a healthy adult through the air. Strong, light and fast, the wings have a surprisingly wide range of motion, enabling high speed flight and various aerial acrobatics. However, this is a tiring affair, and in order to compensate, the Yazata prefer to glide, using drafts and air currents to ease their usage of energy. Surprisingly, the metacarpals of the wing are sophisticated enough to roughly hold large objects, and though lack fine motor skills necessary for hand work, can use the sharp and bony tips at the ends with accurate, lethal precision.

A Yazata's muscles do not atrophy from disuse and remain well toned regardless of physical activity levels, and are noticeably stronger than an equivalent human's build. Unlike the Taianese however, their musculature is not abnormally dense to the point of changing their buoyancy as a tradeoff that enables flight. Other improvements over baseline humans include improved oxygen storage and efficiency of use, allowing Yazata to sprint for far longer periods of time, as well as sustain their flight. Yazatan muscles also have a faster contraction time and precision, better allowing their bodies to keep up with their improved reaction times.

In comparison to humans, Yazatan visual acuity does not decay with age or living in confined spaces. Additionally, in order to aid in flight, Yazatan eyes also feature a visual acuity is generally 20/10; in order for both a Yazata and a baseline human to see something with the same degree of detail, the Yazata may stand 20 feet away, while the human must come to within 10 feet. In addition to these differences, Yazata have both improved peripheral vision clarity, and night vision. The most striking feature they have however, would be their nictitating membrane.

These clear and translucent membranes slide over their eyes from the sides to act as protective covers when flying at high speeds, and like second eyelids, can blink to sweep away dust and tears as well.

The Yazatan circulatory system holds a number of improvements over that of the baseline human. In addition to being in peak physical condition throughout their lifespan, the circulatory system prevents aneurysms and the like through having more durable, elastic arteries, veins and capillaries. Perhaps most importantly, Yazata are also more resistant to both positive and negative g-forces, especially due to the addition of specialized valves. Located in key places, these help to prevent the loss of or excessive blood pressure changes during high-g maneuvers or even acceleration during freight transit. As a result, Yazata are known to be some of the most capable fighter pilots, making moves that would otherwise cause a red-out or blackout in humans.

Yazatans are capable of regrowing entire limbs and recover from neurological damage that the average human would not. Given enough time, any injury will heal, with cosmetic scarring being the only indicator of any previous injury. They remain susceptible to diseases however, but with the very worst symptoms being far better managed as to almost never be debilitating or lethal. Additionally, the time being sick is usually cut in half at the very least, with the vast majority of diseases resolving themselves with enough rest and a proper diet.

Though major Yazatans of particular note have been documented to live for centuries thanks to the aid of heavenly master's aid, the average Yazatan has a life span of roughly 200 years, living twice as long as the average human. Exceptions however, do exist. Most however, do age, but remain in their physical prime for the majority of their lives. Additionally, Yazatan young obtain sapience and the ability to speak only weeks after birth. When mature, Yazatans physically appear to be anywhere from 18-35 and remain fit throughout their lives. Even as they come closer to death, it is only within the last 50 years that they show signs of aging, but these are typically limited to whitening hair and the subtle changes in personality associated with such age.

Offsetting this however, is their low fertility rate.

Unlike many other species, the Yazatan metabolism is variable in accordance with the individual's needs. While others are more likely to starve to death or become obese from a lack or excess of caloric intake, Yazata are less prone to such conditions. When deprived of sustenance, the Yazatan metabolism carefully slows itself down to preserve the individual without excessively interfering with their individual performance. When pressed with a fight-or-flight response in this condition, their metabolism quickly goes back into a heightened state in order to allow them to act accordingly without hindrance. Meanwhile, should a Yazata consume an excess of calories, their metabolism will accelerate in an attempt to use up the excess energy, increasing body heat in response. Due to cellular limitations however, this increase is only modest, and as a result, a Yazata can become obese with enough consumption.

This state will not last as they will revert to normal once their diet does as well however.

Though all Yazata are capable of using Magic, the system of magic they use depends on the planet that they originate from and what anti-pantheon they served. However, this may change with exposure to another system of magic. Regardless of which magical system they use however, one universal constant is the presence of a flaming ball of fire above their heads. Capable of burning or not burning objects according to the user's will, it acts as a semi-hard, tangible object that can provide limited protection, reflexively appearing upon magical exertion. Its manifestation can be consciously controlled however.

Additionally, it is worth nothing that only Females or Feminine Males are capable of flight.

Unlike most other winged and horned species, Yazata are peculiar in that both can be changed in size at will. Though this transformation costs magical energy, their wingspan can vary from anywhere within a single foot to their full, complete span of 7 meters or more, while the horns can be over 30 centimeters long. This ability to transform is particularly important though, as their presence also governs how much of their magical energy can be accessed at any given time. With their full wingspan and horn size present, they may access their magic in full. In their smaller state however, the majority is stored away. This is especially important with Yazatan males, as they can suppress their more bestial aspects and 'humanize' their appearance, allowing them to smoothly fit into society and infiltrate or just go buy the groceries for the miss.

The transformations are typically very dramatic, with smoke, fire and scent of brimstone. Most choose to suppress the brimstone however.

The Magic used depends entirely on their homeworld and the system used there. Though the abilities they have and the power they wield may vary from system to system, powerful users generally remain powerful, and skilled or able individuals remain so across the magical systems available. In many cases, one magic system can be used in the domain of another with reduced efficiency. This flexibility allows magic to be used across many worlds, and is as a result, a formidable force to be reckoned with. In no way an exhaustive, the following list gives examples of what the Yazata are capable of.

OOC Notes

  • Halifelism is their major religion, venerating Halifeli, the deity of wisdom, through her prophet Shanoz
  • species/yazata.txt
  • Last modified: 2020/06/17 07:34
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