THE Z'SĂ'ZA-'BÄA

Average Lifespan: 6 ¾ Tam'nýer—a''n Years / 200 Earth Years

Age of Maturity: 3½ Tam'nýer—a''n Months / 12 Earth Years


The age of maturity for a Z'sa'Ză-'Bäa is quite young to Earth standards, but in reality the 12 Earth years it takes for a Z'sa'Ză-'Bäa to age makes them a fully capable young adult. Their expectations at this age are much the same as a 21 year old human. At this age a Z'sa'Ză-'Bäa is considered to be at the beginning of their prime, ready to face the world, capable of caring for others, and having matured mentally in life to start to consider their own family or push for their independence and determinations for proving their strengths is at its pique. Do not be mistaken by the small number in Earth years, because a Z'sa'Ză-'Bäa at their age of maturity do not look like children.

Aging Process: Z'sa'Ză-'Bäa have a longer lifespan than quite a few races, though not quite as long as their cousins, the Khah'. However, much of their growth is the same. They are raised in the same manner as the Khah' with intentions of ensuring they could be independent and self-sufficient at the age of 3 ½ Tam'nýer—a''n Months. This means that they will generally have the appearance and maturity of a young adult. This, of course, varies person to person based on experiences, but typically speaking Z'sa'Ză-'Bäa who have reached the age of maturity will never be looked as as though they are a child, and they also do not physically look like they are a child by any means.

As Z'sa'Ză-'Bäa mature they develop a strong sense of self, community is very important, and they become intrinsically interested in the goings on around them. That being said, once a Z'sa'Ză-'Bäa reaches the age of maturity they are physically different to tell apart from a Z'sa'Ză-'Bäa as old as 4 Tam'nýer—a''n Years.

When a Z'sa'Ză-'Bäa reaches anywhere between 4 Tam'nýer—a''n Years and 5 Tam'nýer—a''n Years they will begin to show slight age marks. Their tails may become more worn, but not terribly. Their faces do not typically wrinkle, but if the Z'sa'Ză-'Bäa will start to show white fur around their eyes, nose bridge, as well as around their mouths. The hair on their head will not completely change, but it will begin obtaining a very faint saltiness or "peppering" of hair that has lost pigmentation. Most Z'sa'Ză-'Bäa will develop some level of arthritis in their shoulders, fingers, and knees from all of their excessive climbing, constant physical work and the climate of their mountainous homeland if they still reside there. Do not worry, even with this arthritic infliction, the community of the mountains has always made ways to ensure ease of life for their elderly.

Names:
Much like their cousins the Khah', surnames go before given names. However the separation usage of an apostrophe 'Paș'laõ' is not needed, making the name 'Pașlaõ' and ultimately a bit more complex than the Khah'.

 

Being a foreigner, you would probably ask a Z'sa'Ză-'Bäa what their last name is, but don't be insulted if they laugh. They are not used to outsiders, so this mix up can be seen as quite a juvenile misconception to them. They mean no harm, and will gladly inform you after they express their amusement.

Regarding their names, the Z'sa'Ză-'Bäa do not like their names to broken apart for the sake of a nickname. For example, Pașlaõ being broken into Paș or Laõ is unacceptable.

 

This is considered a destruction of one's name and considered more so as an insult.

Physical Attributes:

Known as 'The Beasts of the Mountains', the Z'sa'Ză-'Bäa are a simplistic folk. The legendary herders of the Wôrdiţ, and ferocious hunters of the lands they dwell in. These people are a distant cousin to the Khah', though they take great insult when they are confused for being the same race. The Z'sa'Ză-'Bäa believe that they have always been their own race and that no such kin has been shared between either race.

They average in height from 5'5” and 6' in both women and men. Their main differentiating attribute from their cousins, the Khah', is that instead of smooth skin over their body, they have a thin short fur layer. The ears of a Z'sa'Ză-'Bäa are elf-like in shape and size. These ears are very long and open in a similar location to humans with a thin layer of fur on the backside of them while being smooth and furless on the inside. Their ears are generally between 5 and 6 inches in length. They also have slender fur-covered tails that show a great deal of their moods. Their fur patterns can range from solid colors like black, white, reds, browns, golds, and sometimes they can have varying color patterns of stripes and spots. Some of these fur patterns can show up on the thighs and upper arms. They also have strong, sharp claws that are ideal for climbing. Their eyes range from yellow to green, on rarer happen stances they have brown to red, on the rarest occasion they will have blue eyes. Their faces are typically angled and sharp in feature, though some females can have much more delicate features.

Z'sa'Ză-'Bäa tails are far closer to feline-esque tails. They generally help with balance and also show their moods involuntarily. The base of the tail is easier controlled than the tip. They can wrap them around their own waist, but they are 100% incapable of grabbing anything and have no strength in them besides what someone can get when slapped with a dog tail on earth. It's a really big appendage so it has weight behind it, but it won't do any damage to anyone even when slapped with the full weight of a happy flailing. They do not wag like dogs though, ever.

Bristling is a very common attribute to the spinal fur of a Z'sa'Ză-'Bäa that does flow down their tail when facing extreme bouts of rage or aggressive displays of fear. This is not something they can typically control on their own, but is more of a reflexive response like humans getting goosebumps or goosepimples.

Z'sa'Ză-'Bäa teeth have only two sets of sharpened canine teeth, while each "flat" tooth has a narrower bite to it than other races. This is due to their more meat based diets.

 

In the image to the left we have an impression of Z'sa'Ză-'Bäa teeth in comparison to a Human teeth.

EYE, HAIR & SKIN COLOURS

*Z'sa'Ză-'Bäa have a larger array of eye colour than their Khah' cousins, but they are quite similar. The main difference is that the Z'sa'Ză-'Bäa can have what appears to look like red eyes, but is more of a rusted colour. However, unlike their cousins, the Z'sa'Ză-'Bäa are capable of having more blue than green eye colour, but this is exceedingly rare and hardly ever seen. While it is rare, it is not regarded with anything special.

*When it comes to hair and fur the Z'sa'Ză-'Bäa have a very muted and earth-like pallet to their bodies. The skin beneath a Z'sa'Ză-'Bäa's fur is also identical to the fur that is overtop of it. Much like if you were to remove the fur of a tiger would see these pigmentation within the skin as well. However, their hair on their head and tail does not always match what fur covers the majority of their body, but instead is usually complimentary to it.

Language:
Z'sa'Ză-'Bäa have been partaking in C'eröd, Tam'nýer—a''s univeral language for so long that if they did have their own language particular to their race, it is gone. The most they can find that echoes the past are drawings left on the mountain side.

Religious Views:These wondrous people, for all their engineering talent and survival skills, actually don't believe in the Gods. They have no qualms with others believing in them though, and this is a bit assumed too, since the Z'sa'Ză-'Bäa are known for their friendliness.

Truth be told, the Z'sa'Ză-'Bäa are a very atheist style race. The entire race as a culture do not believe that the gods could have ever been, or are even now something to consider important. Their view is that the people of Tam'nýer—a' have always been as they are. This also couples well with their refusal to care or see the real purposes of magics. While they may be shown apothecary magics, have been hit with hexes, and even been given protections, the Z'sa'Ză-'Bäa still do not believe these things to be anything more than superstitions.

They still tell some stories of superstitions like they would tell any campfire story. These stories are there to either scare children out of misbehaving, prevent people from being rude, or even just for fun.

The Z'sa'Ză-'Bäa people in T-'a'Ţăs'múr will all greet the talk of gods and goddesses as nothing more than silly superstitious babble. It is very uncommon for Z'sa'Ză-'Bäa from T-'a'Ţăs'múr specifically to ever follow the beliefs of any of the gods or goddesses. However, if a Z'sa'Ză-'Bäa were to follow any of those beliefs, then it would be them viewing them as something to guide them in their life. It wouldn't be seen the same way as the rest of Tam'nýer—a''n culture. Think of it like a virtue or moral to follow, but there is no deeper connection to it than that.

 

Magic:
When considering magic, you need to know that The Z'sa'Ză-'Bäa have little to no use for magic in their culture. The race is not capable of tapping into the worlds magics. Don't be mistaken though, the Z'sa'Ză-'Bäa believe in the power of magic, but they also strongly believe in the fact that they do not need magic to be the robust race that they have become.

Sexual Practices:

Z'sa'Ză-'Bäa are known well for being a rather open-minded race and their sexual proclivities do not fall short of this trait. Monogamous and poly-amorous relationships are abound in their culture. It is not uncommon for couples and small groups of three or four to form sexual relationships with one another. There is no right or wrong in choice of gender that one becomes physically involved with while on their journey of self-discovery.

However, while the Z'sa'Ză-'Bäa are known for polyamory they are not ones to participate in promiscuity. Their open-mindedness goes hand in hand with their honesty as well. It is not looked down upon to take many lovers in one's life, but they are frowned upon greatly should they be disloyal to their partners.

In terms of details in their bedrooms, they have a knack for being into suspension during sex. This could easily go along with a liking for being bound and so forth. This is something that certainly does vary from one Z'sa'Ză-'Bäa to the other, but this does seem to be a common trait. It is not entirely understood why the Z'sa'Ză-'Bäa are interested in these kinds of play, but it could have something entirely to do with their being raised in the mountainous regions and lacking a fear of heights.

 

Pregnancy:

Z'sa'Ză-'Bäa pregnancies are 2 Tam'nýer—a''n weeks long, and have a chance of producing 1 to 4 children at a time.​

Reproduction: The Z'sa'Ză-'Bäa can reproduce with themselves, Humans, Khah' and Nkhya'jra.

*Please note that if you do wish to write a crossbred character that in Tam'nýer—a' the child will always take after the mother more.


**If your character's mother is a Khah' or Z'sa'Ză-'Bäa your crossbred character must have a tail. The only time that a mother's tail will not pass is if the mother is less than half Khah' or less than half Z'sa'Ză-'Bäa.

Diet:
The world has been through some changes, as anything, it too, ages. Now the Z'sa'Ză-'Bäa have been residing on the mountains of T-'a'Ţăs'múr for as long as anyone can remember, and their traditional diets pair well with their climates. Because they live at such a high elevation, they retain their fur, unlike their Khah' cousins, so their food is generally spicy, and thought as a defense against getting sick and fighting the natural cool climate of their location.

However, over time, the spices their ancestors relied on have stopped growing in such an abundance, and they now trade with the Ãoni for spices in order to continue making their traditional dishes, such as curries. Some daring Z'sa'Ză-'Bäa are even going so far as to rewrite their traditional foods with what they can in fact grow and harvest themselves so as to not rely on the Ãoni so much. Although, the older generation find it difficult to get on board. Z'sa'Ză-'Bäa also partake is capturing large spiders (think tarantulas), skewering them and cooking them over a fire. This might sound terrifying and unappealing, but they taste like popcorn shrimp, so why not!?

Homes:
Z'sa'Ză-'Bäa homes in T-'a'Ţăs'múr are primarily made out of wood, scraps of metal and stone, creating a functional and somehow structurally sound maze of dwellings. While the Z'sa'Ză-'Bäa are a simplistic folk located in the mountains of T-'a'Ţăs'múr, there are a fair amount of settlements living among the Human Kingdoms. These specific settlements have come to appreciate intellectualism to a greater degree while cohabiting with the other species'. These settlements do not differ greatly from their kind in the mountains, albeit they do have a tendency to adopt and adapt with cultures when living outside their own homeland T-'a'Ţăs'múr.

 

Clothing:

Now, many do not venture to the Mountains of T-'a'Ţăs'múr, the Z'sa'Ză-'Bäa homeland. However, Z'sa'Ză-'Bäa will sometimes come to town to trade, or for a change of lifestyle, so whether you are Z'sa'Ză-'Bäa or not, here's what you should expect; very little in the terms of coverage.

 

On a whole, Z'sa'Ză-'Bäa clothing resembles the architecture of their homes; a patchwork. Consisting of scraps of fabric and leather, Z'sa'Ză-'Bäa clothing is made with accommodation in mind, as it tends to be riddled with pockets. The reason for this is that so an individual has the ability to take with them whatever they may require. But it also consists of very little in order to offer an individual as much movement as possible. Both men and women will wear loincloths without issue.

 

In contrast to other cultures, Z'sa'Ză-'Bäa clothing does not differentiate styles for men and women. The only way that the styles do in fact change is between classes, or rather, a sense of materialism. The Z'sa'Ză-'Bäa on a whole are not materialistic people. They are more focused on productivity, and what they need to survive and no more.

 

But some on the higher class would prefer not to wear patchwork and instead put P'ee K'äh towards having a more seamless style of clothing. For example, rather than having a coat made from multiple pieces of worn leather, they will opt for a coat that is made from large panels of leather sewn together and made to look as if a seamless piece.

 

The other way that a higher class individual will show off their wealth through clothing is by having garments made of dyed fabrics. Up in the mountains of T-'a'Ţăs'múr, there are no large water basins to permit dyeing to be a reasonable undertaking for them, so fabrics of many colours are a luxury item, even if the pieces are simply scraps, or seem to be haphazardly put together.

 

One common attribute throughout the classes though are satchels. In fact, for the Z'sa'Ză-'Bäa race it's somewhat of a fashion trend obsession that never seems to diminish over time. One could have many satchels, strapped to thighs, hanging off their hips, etc., or simply one that is made to be worn anywhere they so choose.

Shoes:

Shoes for the Z'sa'Ză-'Bäa might be as you expect, considering their clothing, and that is merely tough leather scraps wrapped around their feet. Now, we will say that they can attach in whatever way an individual desires or finds more comfortable as life in the Mountains can be dangerous and you don't want to be fussing about how comfy your shoe is at an elevation of 2,000 feet.


Jewelry:
Z'sa'Ză-'Bäa jewellery has the appearance of being crudely made, and almost always includes stones of some type, be they polished or not, and are used by them as a means of wares for trade, or personal trinkets as reminders of journeys they have taken.

 

Z'sa'Ză-'Bäa jewellery is always put together via a wire wrapping and/or metal melting technique, as it fits in with their extremely hands-on culture. Despite its more or less shabby look, their items can be quite beautiful and should never be undervalued as the quality is sure to last. Not only this, but some pieces of jewellery are much like our puzzle rings here on Earth, or fidget rings as well. This being said, it is not unusual to find necklaces or bangles that double as a baby's rattle either. Quite ingenious of the Z'sa'Ză-'Bäa to be sure.
 

Piercings:

On top of mere wire wrapped necklaces and the like, the Z'sa'Ză-'Bäa also partake in piercing. Of course, this has always been a younger Z'sa'Ză-'Bäa tradition. Locations for their piercings are primarily on ears, nose, and nipples because they're an exploratory race and have access to the metal wires from the spiders, which seems to naturally fight infection. The Z'sa'Ză-'Bäa also turn this metal into smoother gauge piercings for the ears in particular. Lip piercings and brow piercings work as well, as there is no judgement on where a piercing is placed, unless it is the navel, as it is covered in fur and can have dire consequences.

 

As previously stated, most piercings are a conquest of the young, as elderly Z'sa'Ză-'Bä would know that while climbing, or herding their beloved Wôrdiţ anything could get hung on something, or worse bitten off. That being said, it is common to see Z'sa'Ză-'Bä with ripped ears, a scar on the lip, or brow. Noses are generally safer. Nipples remaining covered would be a common safe choice as well. Piercings are an adored accessory, but nothing more than flash and flare for one's own personal aesthetics.

Last, but not least, it should be said that ear piercings are usually not close to one another due to their powerful hearing. Ringing metals in the ear would be distracting if not a little bit painful to constantly ring in their ears.


Appearance Etiquette:

Probably the most relaxed culture around as their only rule is really not a rule but more cautionary; keep your dangly bits wrapped up when climbing. We don't want you to drag anything against a potentially sharp cliff side. That's just not pretty.


Courting:
Currently N/A

Marriage:
Z'sa'Ză-'Bäa believe in marriage and monogamy socially, but they also believe in polyamory just as equally. Of course any partnership, no matter what race is based upon individual perceptions and preferences, but it is good to note that within Z'sa'Ză-'Bäa culture, both lifestyles are viewed equally and without stigma.

Marriage ceremonies are usually noted by flower crowns, worn by both parties and made by the opposite person. So, a groom would make his bride one, and reciprocally, the bride makes one for her groom. During the ceremony, whenever there is a presentation of food, the couple hand-fast, meaning that they tie one of each of their arms together with a fabric of their most beloved texture and colour, and feed each other during the festivities.

Death:

The burial rituals of the Z'sa'Ză-'Bäa are Sky Rituals. Sky Rituals consist of the deceased being taken to a highest peak outside of the cities so that they can be cut into pieces small enough for the wild birds of prey to come down and take them.

There are appointed Undertakers, though they are few and far between, that take the dead up to the very tops of the highest mountain in T-'a'Ţăs'múr where they perform rights for the deceased and prepare them for the birds of prey that only live at that altitude. There is a second choice for the deceased to have chosen for their afterlife and that is to become the new fertilizer for the tobacco crops at the tops of their village. The dead provide and return essential nutrients to the crops.

THE ARTS

Traditional Music:
The main instruments of the Z'sa'Ză-'Bäa are the Hang Drum, CasCas & the Cajon


Z'sa'Ză-'Bäa traditional music is fun but peaceful, most certainly capturing their spirit as a people. Whether played in the home, or in public during celebrations, there is laughter, dancing and happiness whenever music is afoot. However, it is not simply their music that captures their essence, but also their instruments. Created out of metals, wood and the manipulation of these two substances, in strokes of luck and keen sense of engineering, as well as the basics of seeds in a carapace, the Z'sa'Ză-'Bäa prove time again and again that they can make beauty and function with the ease of a child's imagination.

Traditional Dances:

The Z'sa'Ză-'Bäa really come alive when they dance. Their exuberance, their child-like creativity and energy never shine brighter than when they are playing music, coming together as a community and dance. It is a whole body movement type of dance, never stopping for a moment.

Like all examples of racial dances in Tam'nýer—a', we must borrow from youtube to give you an idea of what it would be like, so please enjoy this example. Do note though that Z'sa'Ză-'Bäa don't truly have 'traditional' dance as we have come to know them. They simply dance with their entire being as the music moves each individual.

SOCIAL STIGMAS

Homosexuality:

New generations of Z'sa'Ză-'Bäa don't really seem to care about sexuality. Meanwhile, older generations don't quite understand how the new generation might not want a family. For the Z'sa'Ză-'Bäa it is really a situation of older values being replaced by new ones, and not really a discrimination of sexual preference.

Aggressive or Violent Behaviour:
Due to how close knit the community is with the Z'sa'Ză-'Bäa it is nearly impossible to be mistreated and someone within the community not find out about it. Individuals who act hostile, aggressive, abusive, or violent toward other members of the community face banishment and exile from living within the community, and cannot gain access to the docking areas to escape the mountains. Due to their close knit communities too information travels rapidly, so an individuals chance of escape is nearly impossible.

If an individual is known to harm others in the community they suffer the harshest of punishments. It may seem barbaric, but the decisions are not made without discussion among the Matriarchs before exiles take place. If a Z'sa'Ză-'Bäa has committed a seriously heinous act that could traumatize the community such as rape, murder, torture, or attempted murder the penalty for this is a swift death. Executions are held on specific peaks in the mountains with a straight drop to dense forest floors below. This is a guaranteed death, as the Z'sa'Ză-'Bäa community does not take chance that criminals could return.

Due to these extreme reactions to abusive or criminal behaviours it is extremely unlikely for any Z'sa'Ză-'Bäa to grow up in an abusive home. They Z'sa'Ză-'Bäa take great care for one another.

CULTURAL TIDBITS

Bartering:

The Z'sa'Ză-'Bäa do not conduct any business with P'ee K'äh on a typical basis. Instead they barter for everything, because goods and services are worth more than a few pretty pearls. It is a "you scratch my back, I'll scratch yours" system. The only time that a Z'sa'Ză-'Bäa will take P'ee K'äh in exchange for their goods and services is if that specific individual is looking to board a ship. Even then, they will first try and barter for permission to travel on board before they attempt to gain P'ee K'äh for their troubles, as it is far too difficult to accumulate P'ee K'äh while living in the mountains.

Tattoos:

Despite denying any relation to the Khah', they have mimicked the tattooing of their cousins. Their own tattoos have not been capable of imbuing the Z'sa'Ză-'Bäa with any magical effects, however. These tattoos are usually around their wrists, ankles, upper arms, thighs, and occasionally their necks.

Method

*Main body of text was borrowed from The Planet D with some minor adjustments.

When tattooing the Z'sa'Ză-'Bäa use what we know as “the rake and striking stick method” where the artist will ensure that the individual's skin is well stretched out (sometimes by getting a second person to stretch the skin for them) before hitting a sharpened rake attached to a long horizontal handle with a thick solid stick in order to put the rake into the stretched skin.

This rake is traditionally made of bone, and is dipped into ink before being carefully moved into place above the area that is next to be tattooed.

Tam'nýer—a'© 2019-2020 by Nicholas Sébastien Faucher-Quesnel. Proudly created with Wix.com