The Yashelin are the oldest sophont species, and the center of their civilization belongs on the Planet of Aravu. These avian-like creatures are a nearly immortal species which were created by the Ida, who is also responsible for creating the rest of the universe.
Yashelin are winged, avian-like bipedal humanoids. Their hair, wings, and backs are covered in thick body and flight feathers, while their torso, arms, and legs are covered primarily in down feathers. Their faces are the least feather-dense part of their bodies, which have only the lightest dusting of hair-like down protecting it. Each Yashelin's wings and feathers are different, up to and including their tail feathers. They are much lighter than their appearance suggests, owing to a specialized muscular and skeletal structure. While flight is still difficult at their weight in Kivria's gravity, they have little problem in the more forgiving gravity of their native planet, Aravu.
The Yashelin are creatures determined by their Spirit first and their Body second. According to a Yashelin's spiritual strength, skill, and determination, they may alter their bodily appearance to better reflect their spiritual self. This usually requires the help of their Creator or medical personnel who specialize in spiritual health.
SubspeciesAll Yashelin belong to one of the below subspecies, listed in order of age:
OfaninThe Ofanin, meaning the Personified, are debatably Yashelin in origin. The five Ofanin are personifications of the elements upon which the Ida's universe is composed: air, fire, water, ground, and consciousness (see: The Creator Creates the Universe for more information). The only Ofanin who is undoubtedly Yashelin, or even a sophont, is Ezeki, the personification of consciousness who is mostly unconscious of what it is.
SerayinThe Serayin, meaning the Orbited are the second oldest wave of the Yashelin species. This small group was designed by the Ida to 1) provide Ezeki with company and 2) help the Ida and Ezeki lead those Yashelin who would come after them.
IdinThe Idin, cleverly meaning the Created, are third oldest group of Yashelin, divided up into multiple waves according arbitrarily to when the Ida felt inspired enough. This group of Yashelin continued to grow until they were 5000 people strong, a number which satisfied the Ida by virtue of beginning with 5. The Ida largely created the Idin with the growth and development of a healthy Yashelin society in mind, and as such, they sometimes are stereotyped as having rather utilitatarian sounding names and/or purposes.
TikiranAfter a long pause in the creation of the Yashelin and as a result of a fascination with harvesting Arakin spirits, the Ida began to transform the spirits of select, young Arakin spirits who had died into Yashelin. They are nearly identifical to the Idin, except their hair does not match the color of their spirits even when older and they usually do not receive Names which confer special abilities.
OtherOther, controversial subspecies of the Yashelin include the , the Katuqin, and birds.
"If it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck..." Esther teases. "I don't quack like a duck!" Oz exclaims. "Right, we quack like proper Yashelin," Areta agrees. "Areta, no--!" "Quack!" Nanatu exclaims in Oz's ear from beside her, having been deep asleep mere minutes ago. "Quack, quack, quack," Kiana echoes his little sister automatically, and unrelatedly he stretches out his baby white wings and flaps... much like a duck. Oz thwacks her giggling goddaughter on the back of the head.
Genetics and Reproduction
Originally, the Yashelin were unable to reproduce. Their genitals were purely for pleasure and excreting waste. No one is exactly sure what happened to change that, to the immense distress of the Ida itself, and suddenly they were able to interbreed with the Kivrian Henin and Awassi peoples either as the mother or father, but not with one another. Pregnancy usually lasts between eight to ten months.
Growth Rate & Stages
There are four commonly accepted major life stages for a Yashelin person.
MaliMali range from 0 to 1000 years old. These are the children of the Yashelin, and are comprised of our world's equivalent of toddlers through teenagers.
KipiriKipiri range from 1000 years old to 10,000 years old. As they get closer to 10,000 years old, the lanyin training wheels are slowly removed to allow them the freedom to better explore their interests, and maybe even begin to settle down into one or several of these interests as careers or hobbies.
Lanyin10,000 + year olds
ElyeElye is a newer term and it is reserved for those of great age, usually defined by the speaker but used most frequently for the Serayin and their closest in age Idin companions.
Ecology and Habitats
Yashelin are best suited to a cool climate and do not do well in the heat. An ideal Yashelin environment would be a valley/plateau high in the mountains, with plenty of open space (ie, minimal tree coverage) to aid in flight. This hasn't stopped many Yashelin from living just about anywhere other than this.
An adult Yashelin reliably molts their feathers once per year, while younger Yashelin typically molt twice or even three times a year. The adult molt usually occurs in mid-spring.
A Funny Noise
A new year, a new quilt, and a Sikna to entertain. Oz takes out her entire stash of textile scraps, or what feels like it to Kiana, and tells him: "Choose your favorite and I'll add it to our quilt." It takes Kiana over 30 minutes to choose while Oz works. When he finally finds a vibrant yellow scrap, he presents it regally to Oz. Oz lovingly takes the large scrap. While she inspects it, she affectively coos before she can bite it down. Kiana giggles and predictably says, "Birdie." "Yeah, yeah," Oz sighs, with a shake of her head.In addition to traditional speech, the Yashelin also communicate via a series of avian-like sounds. Trills, whistles, hoots, coos, and hums, you name it, the Yashelin have got it. All of these sounds communicate different things to one another without necessitating the usage of a spoken language. These sounds are usually reserved for quiet, intimate settings, where it's easiest to hear, but they also come out in unexpected places. If someone startles a Yashelin, they'll almost definitely provoke a loud trill. These noises are usually used to convey emotion and/or get another person's attention.
“Truth is, I’m dying from lack of attention.” “That does sound dire,” Rafa teases, moving out of the doorway. “I’ll see if there’s anything I can do to help. We've got a mali on our hands, though, so we’ve gotta behave.” “A mali? Where?” Gafir gasps, rushing past Rafa. Gafir searches the house and pretends like he can’t see Ravi run up to him, looking deliberately up and around, never down. “Ravi, where are you?!” Ravi trills loudly, flailing to get their attention. When that fails, he yells, “I’m down here!” “Down where?” Gafir pretends to start to walk away, still ‘looking’ for him. Ravi clings to Gafirel’s leg with a giggly, “Noooo!” “Ooooh!” Gafir finally looks down. “What’re you doing down there?!”
Feathers & Wings: Body Language
“I promise!” Eve lies and flaps her wings again, this time actually hovering, startling herself. She lands, spooked into silence and wide eyed. Oz gives in to laughing, ruffling Eve’s hair.Wings and feathers, believed to be the Yashelin equivalent of our eyes being the window to our souls, are a critical facet of nonverbal communication between Yashelin. Examples of wing-based nonverbal communication include:
- Wings folded and held tightly to the body imply that the Yashelin is in significant pain.
- Wings mantling over another person is considered possessive and protective behavior
- Fluffing up ones feathers - usually associated with wing flapping - is associated with childlike excitement, while bristling them is a sign of aggression.
- If the feathers are twitchy, the Yashelin is likely restless, agitated, itchy... or all of the above.
- Preening is a nonverbal form of communication shared between Yashelin. It's a social behavior and intended as a sign of affection and of trust.
“Mara, would you sit down on the bed and face the wall, please? Scoot until your knees are touching the wall.” Maran doesn’t have the energy to disobey. He leans his forehead against the cool wall and closes his eyes, resigned to whatever she might do while his back is turned. Eve settles behind him and preens him, using her own nice smelling preening supplies. He’s putty in her hands, and when she makes as if to stop for the night, he hoots 'threateningly'. “Keep going?” Maran nods, whole cheek pressed to the wall now, and Eve gently pets his wing feathers and his back. She even combs, oils, and braids his hair for him, careful not to touch his scalp directly, and what a rare treat it is to have his feathered hair pampered in skilled, unfazed hands. At his request, she scratches him in just the right place at the base of his wing, and he hoots in itchy relief. If he was a dog, his back leg would’ve kicked... His wings do the dishonor for him.
Geographic Origin and Distribution
The Yashelin are primarily found on the planet of Aravu, where they are the dominant native sophont species. While no Yashelin have left ever the shores of Kotuye, the Yashelin have explored all but the harshest of environments on the planet of Araki, having seemed to have forgotten that they themselves live on an entire planet until the recently released satellite pictures of their world.of the
Perception and Sensory Capabilities
Yashelin are tuned into the spiritual energy in the world around them. This usually manifests itself as an ability to see the spiritual imprint of other people and things, often called halos. If a Yashelin mixes their spirit with another Yashelin, they are able to communicate with one another in a pseudo-telepathic manner if they are in close quarters with each other. Extrasensory capabilities are determined on a case-by-case basis, since no Yashelin has the same exact special abilities.
Civilization and Culture
Names and Purposes are of utmost importance in Yashelin society, given immediately to the Idin upon their creation and, for the Tikiran and others, accompanied by Naming Ceremonies once they reach approximately 50 years of age. Names are usually not just names to the Yashelin, though they can be. They usually define the individual in some important way. Take the Idin Yashelin Zibibi. Zibibi's name means Shadow, which has given them the ability to disguise themself in darkness but also makes them avoidant of bright lights, barring them from certain tasks while making them ideal candidates for others. In contrast, the Tikiran Yashelin Hiko's name has no meaning in the Ivu language and thus does not provide him with any particular power nor define any aspect of his free will. Every single Yashelin without fail, meanwhile, has a Purpose. Purposes are three word phrases that further define the individual and their abilities. Going back to the example of Zibibi, their purpose is to organize chaos. This grants them the power to organize and decipher what others see as chaos, as well as an enjoyment of these things. Hiko also has a purpose, which is to demonstrate emotion. Naturally, the compulsion to verbally or nonverbally share his feelings has a massive impact on how he interacts with the world.
Major Language Groups and Dialects
The primary spoken language by all Yashelin is, followed closely by . Other languages are regarded as optional for the majority of Yashelin, and are only required to learn if one's career path or interests align in such a way that they must.