December 06, 2004

The Tyen Race

Formal Race Name\Plural: Tyen\Tyeni
Nickname: House of Tye

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS:

Height Range: 165cm to 188cm
Weight Range: 54kg to 83kg
Build: Tall and lean
Hair/Eye/Skin Colour Ranges: Gray through black, rarely albino

Tyeni share many similarities with the Tir: they tend to be tall and slim, with sharp features and tapered ears. Unlike the Tir, they sport monochrome pigmentation in their eyes, skin and hair. The darker the skin, the more appealing; the richest black is a sign of good breeding. Albino Tyen are incredibly rare, and are thought to somehow be weaker, or less intelligent. A configuration of two calcium 'horns' protrude from their brow; they tend to be more prominent in males, rarely exceeding 3cm in length. These begin to grow sometime after birth (like teeth), and begin a pearly white, growing darker throughout puberty to ebony at adulthood. The Tyeni physique, in comparison to humans, is somewhat weak, but more agile and dexterous. More often, Tyeni depend on speed and cunning - rather than brute strength - in combat.

SOCIAL CHARACTERISTICS:

Life Span: Child 1 - 15, Young Adult 16 - 29, Adult 30 - 89, Old age 90 - 120
Population prior cataclysm: 2,045,500 (12%)
Population post cataclysm: 5,500 ( 5%)
Average No# of Offspring per family: 1
Type of Culture: Politician-Warriors, Merchants

Tyen Culture:

The Tyen culture is one of the oldest and most developed cultures on Aagos. Founded in Daar by Hejdedros Tye, the Tyen Empire (House of Tye) has had a bloody past, with more than its share of political intrigue; this has naturally had an effect on the Tyen culture as a whole.

Aggressive and proud, Tyen are known for being ruthless in their dealings with other races, driven by a belief that all members of other races are physically, as well as spiritually inferior. Naturally this has led to very strained relations with the other peoples of Aagos, notably the Tir, whom along with their Elven ancestors were subjugated by the Tyen and forced to live as slaves, labouring to feed and house their Tyen masters and build their cities.

However, despite the aggressive and expansionistic nature of the race, Tyen culture is well defined and (some might say surprisingly) rich, with centuries of traditions and customs, which each Tyen is expected to observe to the letter with sometimes dire consequences for any deviation. Life to them is a well-rehearsed play, with each player knowing well their lines; what happens off-stage, stays off-stage. No word, action, or plot is particularly evil - unless it comes to light. Politics, therefore, are often subtle, secretive, and violent.

Tyen organise themselves into houses, bound by blood the houses represent families, though their membership often extends to cousins and distant relations, and as a result the houses can often be (and usually are) quite large. These houses are then organised into a strict hierarchy, with each house often supporting a specific role in the society, or a grouping of like roles (such as minor government officials, or merchants.) There is very little movement within this hierarchy, which means being born into a specific house will typically dictate the career (and to some degrees, the life) path open to a young Tyen. The 'rank' of a house is denoted by a suffix appended to the name of the house itself, at each level of the hierarchy there is a unique suffix, these are as follows:

The Imperial house -ra
The Imperial advisors -ras
Major government officials and military leaders -eth
Minor government officials -es
Major merchant families -thal
Minor merchant families -thor
Major land owners and skilled craftsmen & artisans -mer
Minor land owners and public services -mers
Unskilled craftsmen and farmers -sa

Tyen names follow the convention of (name)('radu or 'du or 'ddu) of House (name)(suffix), meaning Tyeni traditionally have only one name, with a great propensity for naming ones children after a particulary honoured ancestor, thus names such as 'Neven IX' are quite common. Also note the optional suffixes 'du and 'ddu for the Tyen's name (pronounced d-ee and th-ee respectively); this signifies that the Tyen is a close relation of the families main bloodline; 'du is given to children and other direct descendants of the head of the house, while 'ddu is given to first and second cousins of the head of the house. Finally the suffix 'radu (ra-d-ee) is given to the head of the house. i.e. Neven'radu IX of House Corith-es.

Naturally it is believed to be advantageous for a house to marry off its children to houses of a superior social rank, or at least other houses of an equal rank. However, when this is not possible it isn't uncommon for Tyen to marry within their house, a practice commonly believed to strengthen the bloodline. Understandably Tyen have no taboos against incest or marriage between siblings.

Tyeni family structure is complicated. They often practice polygamy; one male may have up to four wives and several mistresses, and each of their wives might have two or three other concubines or courtiers, male or female. Adoption is commonplace, and makes for mind-boggling family trees. It is worth noting, however, that while it is common for Tyeni to have several partners, it is considered deplorable to have children with anyone save their husband/wife, this is especially true for women, and it has been known for a woman to be stripped of her citizenship and enslaved, along with the child for breeding with one of her concubines.

Tyen believe strongly in the sanctity of their blood and the purity of their species. The act of polluting the blood is regarded as one of the greatest sins a Tyen can commit, and while Tyeni sometimes take foreign concubines, or slaves into their bed, to breed with one is a crime, for which the penalty is the execution of child and parents. This is a solemn duty and it would be extremely rare for any Tyen, even close family, to offer mercy to anyone known to have broken this law.

The difference between the genders among Tyen is significant. Males head family houses and rule over any significant decisions regarding the family, the head of he family must be consulted before marriage, and even the naming of children. This is mirrored in government, which is the sole arena of men. However, Tyen women are offered great respect and protection from their family; they are the epitome of grace and dignity and are revered by the men of the household. It is the women who typically turn their hand to crafts and business management, with the men and sons often doing the 'legwork'. Women are also subject to far stricter etiquette requirements.

Female Tyen are expected to dress and act in specific ways, and these requirements often span all social stations. In public Tyeni women wear veils to conceal their faces, these veils are often woven from extremely expensive fabrics and decorated with gems or beads and striking, though elegant patterns. Typically hanging from the horns the veils hide the full face, and some might wear several layers. To be unveiled in public is a disgrace, and many Tyen women would rather be stripped of all other clothing than go without their face veil. To unveil a Tyen in public, or make the attempt, is a dire insult to her and her house, the equivalent to accusing her of being no more than a slave, and has often been the match which has sparked family feuds. Beyond the veil, Tyen women and men to some degree, tend towards a more conservative dress code. They do not show much flesh, which is seen to be more fitting for slaves, a slave is an objects, something to be shown off, where as to see a free person is a privilege, not a right. Therefore, Tyen tend to attract attention through the rich fabrics they wear, and the elegant designs of their clothing and jewellery, and much of a Tyen's wealth might well be spent on their clothing above all else.

Slavery is a very big part of Tyeni lives, having helped to found the empire and fuel its economy it has had far reaching effects on the culture as well. Most Tyeni households employ servants and own slaves, though typically slavery is reserved for members of other races. Never the less, Tyen women are occasionally enslaved, sometimes as punishment for their crimes or as an attack on a house by a rival house. It is perhaps this threat of slavery which encourages most Tyen women to adopt a generally docile behaviour around Tyen males, though far from submissive it is rare for a woman to directly challenge a man. Male Tyen are secure from slavery however, at least within their own culture, as the idea of male Tyen being enslaved is considered repugnant and a disgrace to all involved. That isn't to say, however, that they are not enslaved by other races...

Having founded their empire on slave labour and the efforts of subjugated races, most Tyen have been freed from the tedium of agriculture and other mundane though essential tasks. The vast majority of Tyen have, thus, lived very relaxed lives, comparable to that of nobility from other cultures. A very high proportion of Tyen have been afforded an education, with many going on to study the arts of philosophy, and as such they consider themselves culturally superior to all other races, and in part this is true.

Household slaves are often cared for well, and are often dressed in fine clothes (though notably of a different, distinct design) with female slaves often wearing half veils, much like Tyen free-women; these veils hang down from the nose, covering the lower half of the face, leaving the eyes on show. However, unlike other cultures where slavery can sometimes be a temporary state, in Tyen eyes slavery is permanent. Once trained and conditioned to the life of a slave one can never again be free and in part this is true due to the rigours of Tyeni slave training. Any children born of a slave are slaves themselves, and Tyen masters often keep a stable of slaves for breeding purposes, selling the offspring on after training and conditioning.

INTERACTIONS:

Full Bloods:
Human - Neutral / Mildly Disliked
Tir - Strongly Disliked
Skel'reth - Disliked

Half-Bloods:
Strongly Disliked (Though Tyeni may keep 'foreign' concubines around, to breed with one is abhorred.)

HISTORY:

Hejdedros Tye I organized the scattered tribes into one nation early in world history, becoming the House of Tye's first Emperor. He handed down to his successors his same ambitious love of conquest; the direct line of Tyen emperors has not been broken in a thousand years. Likewise, the will of the empire to enforce Tyeni superiority over the other races Aagos remained whole - by guile, trade, or war. Early in the history of the empire, the Tir were first to be subjected, along with the historically elusive Elves. Eventually, they expanded north and west to meet Humans and Skrel'eth at the southern border of Viroth, a time which marked the height of the empire's glory. The petty human kingdoms in that region - and their clannish Skrel'eth allies - fell quickly to the massive onslaught. That is, until the humans and Skrel'eth organized themselves into the Viroth Alliance under the leadership of Cumaill, the first King of Viroth. The imperial Tyeni army was quickly repelled, and a wall was built between the two nations. The second campaign, some years later, was nearly a complete success. A series of decisive victories left the King's army crushed, and the last obstacle between the Tyeni and their coveted world-wide empire was nearly passed. It was then that Cymur himself intervened, devastating the invading army with an outpouring of holy wrath. Over the next few decades, more and more of the Tyen's once mighty empire was lost to the Viroth Alliance, civil war, and Tir revolts. The power and glory of the empire faded, until they were forced into a submissive peace. Eventually, the Tyeni turned their energies to wealth by trade and art; conservative imperialists whispered of a time when they would rule Aagos again. The Darkness brought those dreams short, as a huge majority of Tyeni were swallowed up in it.

The old capitol of Musahyet is far to the south of Telantha, and assumed to be lost. Despite, most Tyeni alive still count themselves as imperial citizens, attempting to cling to their sacred culture. An exception to these, of course, are those who had already been outcast by the empire for criminal reasons, or traders and artisans who had given up their citizenship for a 'Northern' lifestyle.