Average Lifespan: 1½ - 2 Tam'nýer—a''n Years / 45-60 Earth Years
Age of Maturity: 3 Tam'nýer—a''n Months / 10½ Earth Years
At the age of maturity Giyu are physically, sexually, and socially mature enough to be on their own and often leave their mothers very quickly. Sometimes they will also leave their mothers before their technical age of maturity due to a common independence within the race itself.
Aging Process: Hatched from eggs that are roughly 6 inches in length and stuck together with a thick mucus and membranes that have a smell that has a tendency to attract predators, but thanks to these clutches being nested in Zeska there is no threat of predators to the clutches. Upon hatching a Giyu is very small, roughly 5 inches long from head to tip of their tentacle. Their tentacles are shorter and stubby at birth, but quickly change to slender and elongated as they can stretch from no longer being encapsulated within their eggs. The first things that young Giyu will do is continuously stretch and extend their tentacles repeatedly while growing while swimming close together and rarely straying from their siblings.
The Giyu are capable of sexually reproducing at 1 Tam'nýer—a''n month(3.5 Earth Years), however this does not mean they are fully developed mentally, physically, and certainly not socially. Physically in the sense of tentacle length and full strength in their upper limbs.
The 2nd Tam'nýer—a''n month is a time for getting used to swimming in strong currents, including against them, knowing what animals and plants are safe, as well as walking on land. Over time too, a Giyu will have to prove that they can harvest food and feed themselves. Walking on land is the hardest part of their development.
During the 3rd Tam'nýer—a''n month is when a Giyu is in their roughest part of adolescence. This is when a Giyu will start showing the depths of their personalities, but will also have a tendency to be far more aggressive and aching for independence from their siblings and mother. This is why it is not uncommon for a Giyu adolescent to suddenly leave their mother before they are completely mature.
A Giyu's name is very simple and does not change during their lifetime, even with things such as marriage. An individual Giyu is given one name at birth, but their name is preceded with the initial of either their mother or father. Which parent's initial chosen depends upon the gender of the child itself.
For example, if a Giyu's mother is named Viá, and Viá gives birth to girl she calls Onñe, Onñe's official name will be V. Onñe.
A species made for life in the oceans and surprisingly, a little on land as well. Much like the Sk'älik, the Giyu were gifted with a thin mucus layer over their flesh to keep from drying out. However, theirs was more likely to dry out in a mere candlemark or two (one to two hours), at the most.
The Giyu also had an advantage of height. With the top half resembling that of a human and their legs being more that of an octopus; 8 long, very strong tentacles allowed a fully extended height of 7 to 10 feet for the males and 6 to 8 feet for the females. Due to this amount of mass, male Giyu weigh roughly 900-1,300lbs at most, where as females weigh 800 to 1,000lbs. This species is not the lightest.
Ah, but how does a half human half octopus physiology deal with the different environments and breathing? Great question! When underwater the Giyu breathe through the pores of their tentacles. Of course, when on land they use their mouth or nose for breathing. That being said, breathing underwater comes more naturally to a Giyu, whereas on land, they have to think about breathing, and if they forget to use their mouth or nose when on the surface, then their tentacles will start to burn trying to breathe air.
Another fascinating tidbit about Giyu physiology is that when a Giyu becomes elderly, they begin to grow spines of coral out of their shoulders, upper arms and back. This stage of their life-cycle was called 'the return', as it was, as they saw it, a time for their bodies to begin returning to their ocean habitats, and continue on the cycle of life.
TENTACLE & SKIN COLOURS
These tentacled peoples are unfortunately near extinction, some even consider them to already be entirely wiped out, and this is because of the great war, Sẙg—stà' (see-ig-st-ah), between the Giyu and the Sk'älik for oceanic dominance. It should be noted that both sides were nearly wiped out, but the Sk'älik was claimed the victor due to their homeland remaining perfectly intact and having a more numerous population in the end.
What is mainly left over from the Giyu is the knowledge for animal husbandry, something this race was predominantly known for. This was most especially with the creatures known as the Krêk'h; gigantic sea creatures used for their talent of harnessing water and being able to pressurize it as a weapon, and their use as pack animals, rather than relying on ships. In a turn of what some would call cruel irony, the Sk'älik are now the ones who truly benefit from the Giyu's knowledge and dare to tame the beasts in order to milk the animals for their ink in order to make Krêk'h Vñîn or "Înkʌ-'r", an extremely potent and potential harmful alcoholic drink.
The Giyu have an odd mating habit, especially when taking into consideration that their race has been scattered to the wind, and they're so rare that they're rumored to be extinct. Nonetheless, you should know that if a Giyu male offers to shake hands with a tentacle, that you don't know where that tentacle has been, because one of the eight is his sexual organ.
Giyu mating practices are as on-the-go as mating can get. While the Sk'älik 'dance' (a.k.a. swim) while mating, it really is something of a wondrous dance and art form to watch, Giyu women are more trying to get the grocery shopping done, while the male chases close enough after her so that he can inseminate her. This mating process seems to suggest that the women really don't care, whereas the men feel the most pleasure. However, if the female becomes pregnant, ultimately blessed with motherhood, you could not find a more jovial being on the planet.
Giyu pregnancy typically lasts 1 Tam'nýer—a''n month (3.5 Earth years) and she will brood over her eggs for an additional Tam'nýer—a''n month until they hatch. This is another reason why it is common for female Giyu to not care for sex with Giyu males or giving birth as their lives are already so short.
You might be thinking that a whole Tam'nýer-a''n month is an extremely long time for a pregnancy and you wouldn't be wrong. However, this term proves very fruitful as a mother as a single clutch produces anywhere from 10-20 eggs and the eggs themselves are of similar size to an emu's: 15.25cm (6 inches) in length!
Reproduction: Giyu are only capable of breeding with themselves.
Ever since the war, Giyu have been more or less scattered to the wind. You may see a mother with her child on a ship, or gentleman selling wares in a market by the docks, but otherwise, they seem very few and far between. Their homes are where ever they can make them be it in caves that keep moist, or trying to fit into big cities with trips to the ocean. But what we know for sure is that not many dare to travel beneath the surface of the sea anymore. Their only safe haven is Zeska; a new hatchery grounds, hidden and sheltered by the rocky cliffs of the Ãoni Coast.
Giyu jewelry is very limited as to where they can wear it. Their tentacles are a major part of their body, but not something any member of their species would feel right in constricting with jewelry. That is why, if a Giyu does in fact partake in this form of beautification, it is usually one of two pieces max, and in the form of traditional arm cuffs or necklaces.
All their jewelry is mainly made from a particular metal that can oxidize, but rarely
rusts due to the protective oxidized layer that occurs when it first comes in contact with water. This is perfect, because Giyu have to stay wet, for the most part, and whatever they wear needs to be able to handle the wear and tear of being wet and drying out frequently. Most arm cuffs have a hammered appearance, like in the example shown. Whilst Giyu do have arms as Humans do, they can also use their tentacles as arms as well, and usually use these strong muscles to hammer their jewelry.
The Giyu tend not to partake in any piercing whatsoever as they seem extremely sensitive to it. In other words, it's rare to find a Giyu that has the pain tolerance to go through with piercing, and if done, it only found on the earlobes.
If you envision the arms and the feet, all those movements being mimicked by all a Giyu's tentacles and their torso and arms, you'll have the right idea. Beautiful, and sometimes erratic movement creating one beautiful, fluid performance.
Julie Gautier - AMA
(her husband is Guillaume Néry)