Sazashi

The Sazashi are one of the primary Sophont of Ethnis. Utilizing a process called Therianthropy, the Procession created a hybrid species of Sazakraht and Verin called the Sazashi.

The Verin created many Kinds of Sazashi, each with a specific desire, known as Akjhe, programmed into their minds. They were subjected to thousands of years of systemic servitude, and denied even the most basic rights.

Eventually, the Sazashi brought a reckoning and revolution upon the Procession, and it was reduced to rubble. Though this revolution is ancient history, it's rare to find a Sazashi who does not draw pride and fierce individualism from their history.

The Sazashi are the youngest Sophont, but you wouldn’t guess it by looking at what they have accomplished. To call them a force of nature is to deny their strength. The beast whose metal they were cast from, the Kytherian Sazakraht, is a force of nature—the Sazashi were engineered to greater aspirations. The Verin made them by merging their own genetics with the Sazakraht.

They take pride in their revolution from their creators, a fact which shows in all aspects of their fierce independence, but they cannot turn their backs (nor do they wish to) on the natures the Verin coded into them.

Each and every race of Sazashi was built for a purpose that’s evident not only in the construction of their bodies, but in the shape of their minds. They call this their Akjhe (aw-hay). Though it was planted by the Verin, they are proud of it, and see it as part of what makes them a step up from the Verin. For while others may search their whole lives for meaning, the Sazashi are born feeling theirs.

Kind Akjhe
Aen The discovery and unraveling of intrigue is exciting.
Helyk I shall make physical the wonders of the world.
Hiserabi What you find today may save tomorrow.
Kajh Nothing tops the exhaustion of putting in a hard day of hard work.
Khirmagne Tame the Dangerous.
Nasyk Where others wither, I will thrive.
Parisan I must defend all which I value.
Ral-mi I must defend my people.
Shejlt-Rajh I value my beliefs above myself.
Sighre Be Helpful.

  Physiology

The Sazashi physical appearance dates back to their creation by the Verin. Their bodies are formed from a hybridization of the Verin and the ultimate predators of Jhoutai, the Sazakraht, each sculpted by the Vadakendanic Procession for a purpose.

Evolution has not had much chance to work on the Sazashi, as they came to be only five thousand years ago.


Fur, Fang, and Claw

All the Sazashi are born with a coat of fur. The color, thickness, and patterning differs per Kind. Some Sazashi, especially ones that were formed later, have fractal patterns in their fur.

Sazashi have the jaws and facial features from their Verin ancestors. The only noticable difference is the fangs and tusks. Many Sazashi, especially ones that came to be early on, had enlongated tusks and fangs. Some are so extreme that they can overlap their lips, such as with the Khirmagne.

Sazashi are also born with a unique set of claws or nails. The design of these claws and nails are dependent on what they were originally designed to do. Some Sazashi kinds have retractable claws, while others have flatter, more nail like structures.

Ear, Eye, and Tail

Each Kind of Sazashi has unique configurations for their ears, eyes, and tail. These changes are mostly cosmetic, but especially in the eyes and tail, most Sazashi have modifications that afford them with every day benefits.

Sazashi ears are taller and more Sazakraht-like than their Verin ancestors, standing upright and with broad pinna that can swivel and fold. Their internal auditory capabilities are not more or less powerful than other Sophont.

Eye color and shape differ between the different Kinds of Sazashi. Some have vertical slits while others have rounded pupils. The colors of Sazashi eyes can push the beyond natural coloration, due to their verin-engineered heritage. All Sazashi eyes have a tapetum lucidum, which grants them better natural night vision than Human or Verin. This does mean that uncovered Sazashi eyes will reflect light in low-light scenarios.

Controls
 

  Akjhe

As a Sazashi, there's a constant internal battle we all face. We were built for servitude, physically designed for certain tasks and neurologically engineered to excel at those tasks and take pleasure in them. That engineering is our Akjhe.

Is it submission to do these things because we enjoy them? Should we deny ourselves these things, just to spite the tyrannical natures of the Procession? Should every Kajh be an artist because she was built for manual labor, and should every Helyk avoid the arts for the same reason?

Or do we each stake our own paths as individuals, and decide for ourselves who we are—whether that coincides with our 'purpose' or not.

If we live blindly by it, we allow it to control us. If we do the opposite of it to spite it, then we have again allowed it to control us.

All we can do is live as ourselves, and decide day-by-day what that means.

— Mach'hal Tor Jin Tor Jhoutai
Ral-Mi Philospher on the Akjhe Condition

Akjhe has long been the most divisive aspect of Sazashi philosophies. It is an issue which other Sophont may be able to sympathize with, but which is otherwise an ethical debate unique to their species—at least if androids are excluded from the discussion, as they often are.

This division has split the Sazashi into two primary camps of thought: Aempian and Siosian—known to the general population as Agonists and Antagonists. The Agonists maintain that Akjhe is an instinct to embrace. Antagonists believe that to keep it, is to choose to live in the prison made by the Procession.

Agonists

The large majority of Sazashi see their Akjhe as a powerful edge, even if it came from a dark time in their history.

Agonist cultures prescribe and practice daily rituals to fulfill their Akjhe, or turn to Purpose Flower and other substitutes to fulfill their yearning.

In trying to create servants, the Verin made the next step of evolution. We were made to excel in labor, in the arts, in history... why throw that way and regress to anything less?

Antagonists

This counter-culture seeks to supress their Akjhe either by will or with Fal-IdAkjhe, a class of Akjhe-Antagonist drugs.

They aim to curb the Yearning, so that they may make decisions without it. More strict Antagonists see even the Catharsis as a risk to their free will, and so suppress it.

When you strip away everything the Procession used to exploit us—the clumsy shackles they used to hold us down, then we are unstoppable.

— Siosian

The Three Stages of Akjhe

The effects of Akjhe cycle on a weekly basis. There are three defined phases.

Yearning

The need of a Sazashi to fulfill their akjhe is as powerful a biological imperative as safety and sexual impulse. Most sate their akjhe daily. Career choices, relationships, and friendships can all be affected by this drive.

Agitation

The longer a Sazashi fails to fulfill their Akjhe, the more agitated they become. Without Akjhe-suppressants, their yearning becomes painful. An Aen may fixate on organizing their space, and a Parisan may develop agoraphobic behaviors.

Catharsis

Whenever a Sazashi fulfills their akjhe they feel a stimulating rush of serotonin similar to a good meal or intercourse with a loved one. The rush of this catharis can depend on how long a Sazashi went without satisfying their Akjhe.

 

  Kinds

Each created with purpose, each living with intent.

Alephus Ashiman
Inventor of the Sazashi

When the Procession created the Sazashi, they did not create every Kind at once. Instead, they created each as they identified the various political and economic needs of their society.

The first batch of any Sazashi was a combination of the indentured and the convicted, both transmogrified into the new Kind of Sazashi. For most, this was a one-way journey, and they lived the remainder of their lives in their new bodies.

For generations uncounted, pockets of Sazashi life were created, exploited, and forgotten. Society and culture gained no foothold except in those rare cases where a defect or hack allowed them to have offspring. Each Kind went through many iterations in that time.

YearSazashi
Role
103XX
Sighre
Labor (Resource)
110XX
Kajh
Labor (Construction)
115XX
Hiserabi
Exploration (Scouting)
119XX
Ral-Mi
Coordination (Survival)
123XX
Nasyk
Exploration (Survival)
123XX
Khirmagne
Exploration (Survival)
127XX
Parisan
Defense (Miltary)
128XX
Shejlt
Defense (Cultural)
133XX
Helyk
Analysis (Cultural)
138XX
Aen
Analysis (Systems)

Aen

Portrait_Sazashi_Aen.png
Akjhe Mantra

The discovery and unraveling of intrigue is exciting.

Population
  • Urban Majority
  • Rural Moderity
  • Colonial Minority
  • Celestial Moderity
Instinctual Traits: Prehensile TailAen Recall
Learned Traits: Mental TrackingPattern Recognition

The Aen are reknown for their analytical prowess and precise memory. Their Akjhe rewards discovery, optimization, and experimentation. If an Aen was not involved in the invention of something, they were certainly involved in the optimization of it.

Historic perception of the Aen paints them as revolutionary intellectuals, progressive powerhouses, and keen inventors. Hyper-fixation is common, with many spending decades or even lifetimes attached to one interest.

Helyk

Portrait_Sazashi_Helyk.png
Akjhe Mantra

I shall make physical the wonders of the world.

Population
  • Urban Moderity
  • Rural Minority
  • Colonial Minority
  • Celestial Minority
Instinctual Traits: VirtuosoThick Tail
Learned Traits: Artistic AwarenessWeaver

Helyk are attuned to the impacts of art on the mind. Each Helyk has an intimate definition of what art is. They hold an innate ability to convey and decipher messages through artistic form, bringing influental works to life.

Their abilities with Meta and manipulation of the mind through art make them fantastic Auric wielders. The Helyk lives in a world of abstraction and representation. Some fear interacting with Helyk, expecting them to use their abilities to influence others decisions.

Hiserabi

Akjhe Mantra

What you find today may save tomorrow.

Population
  • Urban Majority
  • Rural Moderity
  • Colonial Moderity
  • Celestial Moderity
Instinctual Traits: Partially Prehensile TailFacultative Quadruped
Learned Traits: Pocket CropPrehensile TailBarometric Sense

Hiserabi are the most agile Sazashi, with a vertical mobility comparable to their horizontal speed. All Sazashi appear somewhere, but Hiserabi can be found everywhere—from lowest cavern to highest tree, and every city in-between.

The Hiserabi have been a victim of history and institutions, and bear stereotypes of thievery, hoarding, and more. This reputation, as well as the too-slow reform of opinions, has left most without a choice in this fate.

Kajh

Portrait_Sazashi_Kajh.png
Akjhe Mantra

Nothing tops the exhaustion of putting in a hard day of hard work.

Population
  • Urban Minority
  • Rural Moderity
  • Colonial Moderity
  • Celestial Moderity
Instinctual Traits: Over-extensionReinforced Keratin
Learned Traits: Muscle LockDead-Blow Musculature

The Kajh are the most physical of the Sazashi Kinds, their strength and Akjhe combine to make them some of the best builders and craftsman in the universe. Their Akjhe instills a love of physical action which takes a multitude of forms, such as dancing, brawling, building, and brewing.

Kajh stand at the forefront of a multitude of industries: architecture, shipbuilding, mining, construction, conflict, and colonization all appeal to their nature.

Khirmagne

Portrait_Sazashi_Khirmagne.png
Akjhe Mantra

Tame the Dangerous.

Population
  • Urban Superminority
  • Rural Minority
  • Colonial Minority
  • Celestial Superminority
Instinctual Traits: Barometric QuillsThick Hide
Learned Traits: Gastric RegenIron Stomach

Survivalists by design, the Khirmagne homestead at the boundries of danger; They tame the wild, and make the unlivable livable. With an Akjhe that invites peril, they are not a populous people. They fling themselves towards risks, teetering on the edge between thrillseeking and fulfilling a deathwish. For a Khirmagne, no danger is too daunting to taunt.

The Khirmagne excel in toxic environments, and are commonly selected for colonization, sanitation, and farming.

Nasyk

Portrait_Sazashi_Nasyk.png
Akjhe Mantra

Where others wither, I will thrive.

Population
  • Urban Minority
  • Rural Moderity
  • Colonial Moderity
  • Celestial Moderity
Instinctual Traits: UndercoatMetabolic Mastery
Learned Traits: Selective HibernationLactic Antagony

Nasyk are among the hardiest races of Sazashi, especially for surviving in extreme climates. Wielding their natural metabolic control and superb immune systems, they survive and grow where most other races would succumb to slow and painful deaths.

The Nasyk possess an arsenal of survival traits. Combined with their wanderlust, a Nasyk is rarely found at the heart of society, and instead are often found expanding its bounds.

Parisan

Portrait_Sazashi_Parisan.png
Akjhe Mantra

I must defend all which I value.

Population
  • Urban Minority
  • Rural Moderity
  • Colonial Moderity
  • Celestial Minority
Instinctual Traits: Acute Stress NegationPowerful Tail
Learned Traits: Trauma ResistanceSelective Imprinting

The Parisan are natural defenders and stand tall among the other Sazashi. They are driven by a fierce desire to protect what they hold dear, and have the muscle to back it up. Both physically and mentally, they are capable of holding against even the most daunting opponents.

The Parisan's Akjhe gears towards seeking out opposition, finding a place and a people to call home. Once they imprint on something or someone, they will give everything to keep it safe.

Ral-mi

Portrait Sazashi Ral-Mi
Ral-Mi by Lorsynth
Akjhe Mantra

I must defend my people.

Population
  • Urban Majority
  • Rural Moderity
  • Colonial Minority
  • Celestial Minority
Instinctual Traits Powerful TailHyper-Empathy
Learned Traits: Unspoken CommunicationSituational Awareness

The Ral-mi are communally oriented, capable of discerning and deciphering the subtle social cues that all sophontic beings give off. They can pick out lies, assuage fears, and bolster their allies with ease.

Family and group dynamics, whether by blood or by choice, follow a Ral-mi wherever they travel. They are renown for hosting great parties and feasts, no matter if there is an occasion or not. Those who come between a Ral-mi and their family will be reminded of a Ral-mi's physical strength.

Shejlt-Rajh

Portrait Sazashi Shejlt
Shejlt Rajh by Lorsynth
Akjhe Mantra

I value my beliefs above myself.

Population
  • Urban Majority
  • Rural Moderity
  • Colonial Minority
  • Celestial Minority
Instinctual Traits: Prehensile TailRigid Discipline
Learned Traits: Imbued BodyMeditative Acuity

The Sheljt measure their worth by their beliefs, and defend their views to the hilt. In order to do that properly, Sheljt become the masters of their ideas, understanding in and around the definition of what they believe in. This conviction makes them the influental educators, keepers of the faith, and traditionalists.

Sheljt are known to be precise and strict in their beliefs. Even the most relaxed of the Sheljt have a well-reasoned logic behind their personalities.

Sighre

Portrait_Sazashi_Sighre.png
Akjhe Mantra

Be Helpful.

Population
  • Urban Superminority
  • Rural Superminority
  • Colonial Superminority
  • Celestial Superminority
Instinctual Traits: Tremendous StrengthBarometric QuillsFacultative Biped
Learned Traits: King of BeastsSuperior Tail

Sighre possess tremendous strength, and are capable of ripping down massive structures with their bare hands. Most are smart enough to learn language and live among society, but are so shunned by it that they are forced to survive in the wild, shoved off into reserves or hunted by locals.

The Sighre's prospects are limited due to their size, which averages fifteen feet in length. They struggle to fit in cities and Wayships. Despite these set backs, they are useful for clearing land for colonies.

Modern Sazashi

Each Sazashi has a complex relationship with their Kind, the other Kinds, the other Sophont, and the Banners themselves. It's impossible to forget the gruesome atrocities commited against them, and too easy to forget the atrocities committed by their ancestors.

Regardless of their affiliations with the outside world and those within it, each Kind of Sazashi shares a bond with their fellows—a certain unifying challenge pitched by roles their Akjhe and traits beckon them to fulfill. Is it a betrayal of the self to embrace the strengths of these traits?

Though the Sazashi originate from Jhoutai, which is under the control of the ValuSelu Pact, they may find an identity for themselves in any Banner and home—whether it's in trying to embrace the past and restore it, or deny and escape it.

To be Sazashi is to have an intimate bond with Purpose.


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Comments

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4 Apr, 2021 17:21

The layout of this article is absolutely *stunning*! Love the look and various bits of information.

I'd love to see your own opinions on my main world, Xardia, and it's Free D&D 5e Module!
5 Apr, 2021 19:52

Much appreciated! It was a ton of back and forth and experimentation to get something we were both proud of! Glad you enjoyed!


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5 Apr, 2021 14:09

This is such a beautifully put together article, with so much information packed in concisely! I love the art - Lorsynth does such great work! :D The 3D model is a really nice touch too.   Wonderful job, as always. I really enjoyed learning about the different Kinds of Sazashi. <3

5 Apr, 2021 19:52

I'm glad you enjoyed Serukis! The Sazashi is a hard topic to fit into a single article with many sensitive topics! So I'm glad you enjoyed!


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19 Apr, 2021 03:40

Ooooh this latest update is everything I hoped it would be. <3 Sazashi for life. :D

Author of Fillimet, bright fantasy land of possibilities, and Vazdimet, its darker spacefaring future.
19 Apr, 2021 16:05

They lookin' pretty sweet! So proud of how they came out. Feels good to finally represent them!


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