Once a couple... now follow as one. Until death approaches them again They'll wander the trails of none.
The Cemekaos might look quite human from afar, however the closer you look, the weirder they look. Under candlelight, their black skin make them look like uncanny shadows with blank eyes. They have no nose, nor ears, yet they can hear and smell. The nerves on their tongue extend through their jaws. Picking up vibrations and storing whatever they breath until they can feel something significant. Their teeth is bulky, managing to easily crunch bone despite their mouth not opening much more than a human would. Cemekao's saliva seem to polish and kill most bacteria on their mouth, some even like to call them pearl teeth. Their skin is thick and smooth, almost so one would think it to be oily before touching it . The hair in their head is just as dark, transits it almost seamless, it tends to crumple together, looking almost tentacle-like, hanging heavily like willow leaves. While hands do seem very human at first glance, the tips of their fingers are different, and can vary depending on the individual. Some have thick nails covering the top, but their base extends firmly to the middle of the finger tip, better sliding meat they cut without it getting stuck, and structuring it better along the bones so they won't break. Others have it slightly more similar to their toes, where thick nails look almost fused with the bones, and have better developed shock absorbers that can either keep them into place or retreat as they see fit. Their eyes are completely different from mammals, they have no iris, or any spot to see, yet they simply do. They're completely white, and can see in the dark. Elves theorize with them eyeballs might have layers where light bounces back and forward until they create an image, however collaboration with the cemekaos to understand such thing rarely includes any physical examination. Cemekaos have mammal characteristics, they breastfeed, although nipples only develop during pregnancy. They do perform childbirth, although their babies are born within only five months, and better develop while clinging to their mother's body, usually belly, back or tail. Genitals stay inward, preventing damage while rushing through trees or bushes. They can perform sexually while excited, however reproduction periods happen only every three years, the average time children takes to act independently. Cemekaos only have three, very thick, toes, starting half of where a human foot would in length. This lack in length makes them less suitable for long walks on foot, and the articulations of their phalanges can work better the weight like humans only when they're on four, moving them to push weight rather than keep it up. Their heel bone while less prominent to favor a palm-like shape on the bottom of the foot is cushioned entirely by a muscle that extends around its tibia. Thinner cemekaos seem to display three mobile phalanges on their toes, while heavier ones have only two, although there are exceptions. Their toe facing inward, is pollical in nature, it moves up and down and is more flexible to afford grabbing, just like a thumb would. This with very flexible and strong legs make the Cemekao naturally work with two sets of hands. The palms and fingers are smooth, but when pressed against a surface, small hairs pop out, a type of setae, the hairs plus the mold the skin stays, adheres to the surface, maximizing connection and using electricity to clings to walls and trees. Not enough to sustain their whole weight, but well enough, to assist their nails and hands. Although cemekaos can use soul magic to better enhance this ability. Now, their tail is something completely out of their ordinary. As their toes aren't perfect for walking standing, their tails can balance their weight white well. Being able to move on all directions, the almost lizard-like prehensile tail allows to find a center of gravity t o every position they may find themselves in both trees and land. One would think though, that a heavy tail might come with strong downsides on a human-like spine. Their tail tends to be as thick as a leg after all, taking space of half their buttocks. While walking on two legs, a tail dragging on two legs could be dragged, not forcing the spine as much, however on fours, there would be a big bump on the end of their bodies. Speaking like that already disregards the purpose of utility of the tail, especially when said tail can sustain the entire weight of the Cemekao, sitting on it, or hanging by it. Thus, they have an odd, perhaps unique, adaptation for this. While their spine tries to follow normally, and even space the vertebrae. right in the middle of strong muscles, there is a spaced out second spine, that drags and tangles tendons on the pelvis. Due to that, the buttocks of the Cemekao lack the purpose of cushioning weight on surfaces like humans do, and focus on managing weight and giving a slide mechanic to the tail, allowing the muscles to extend from where the tail-bone would be, down to the lower crotch, almost 80º apart from each other. The biomechanics offers the cemekaos a very versatile set of skills. They can literally sit their own weight and more on their tail without tiring it. Allowing four sets of limbs to grab whatever they need. Cemekaos can grow back part of their tails, although they have little control on the matter of how long it will take for bones to solidify, even with enhanced healing techniques.
Dietary Needs and Habits
The cemekao are by nature scavengers, few are the ones that feel the need to do any hunting of some kind, and due to their migrating nature, they do not settle on farming. This leads a vast majority of them having a daily familiarity with death. They are associated with it and relate to it. They eat whatever dead body they can find, mammals, lizard, fish. It is very hard for one to get some kind of poisoning from rotting meat. Their saliva keeps their esophagus clean, while their stomach is incredibly acid. This added to a low metabolism during fasting turns their needs into minimum, affording a low digestion when resting, usually in between the branches of a black willow.
Civilization and Culture
Kuraw Fwang, Kurani.
The Cemekaos share their minds with the companion soul they pick. Both of them do have some kind of access to each other's memories, however there might be a delay for their brain to be able processing their thoughts. They both have access to their muscles and spirit, which can be uncomfortable once the rites of soul transfer occur, however they soon adapt better to the practice of a new life. This includes sexuality. The spectrum of how they may behave is wide, and can change from one day to another after a soul is collected. All the culture, all the experiences, all the desires and interests are suddenly part of what one being used to be. It takes time to cope with it, to some of them be discarded or completely accepted as the body shows interest as well, not being a simple memory from a decayed body. Due to that, Cemekaos have very little of a perception of gender. They can understand what it is and what it feels, however due to them having little preference on what gender their companion soul has, some agender tendencies start to come into play unintentionally.
Common Dress Code
They do try find their own ways to honor the dead they devour. While they do not have a concept of burying, they make clothes of leather or fur that may be practical to them. They rarely cover their bottom due to their tail's movement being exercised up to 80º from where animals usually have tails to the middle of their crotch. Some do carry the bones of their companion's previous body with them.
Known as the shadows that gather souls, or silhouettes that read, the Cemekaos, are written in history as mysterious, neutral creatures that exist or as long as elves. Rarely seen by most humans, they are shrouded in myth, with each small region thinking of them as animals or spirits of the forest that should not be disturbed. The old age of their stories, where even the old gods and titans whose fury and anger rolled over earth and see, does make one not want to meddle with them. Empires were built and fall by gods and men, and both kept them from harm out of consideration and respect, the shadows that read would always try to avoid interference on what the world would become, but would share knowledge, both common or lost. Kings and scholars would joke one can't trust their own family, but one can trust a Cemekao. Having a society that is unseen to so many, to the point most wonder if they have one at all. The Cemekao are known as nomads that summon spirits to find and bring dead food for them, scavenging corpses like animals bigger than vultures and condors. Yet some of them can perform techniques not the strongest knight can, and know of things not the wisest among realms could imagine. However, what is present on both horror stories and adorable children tales, is the fact those creatures of the night weren't made to live for long... but they did so anyway. Not buy eating healthy, not by getting better medicine... but by removing a soul from a moribund and nesting it within their own body, sharing it forever until death comes for them again. It is not exactly known how or when did this solution come to be. The Cemekao believe themselves to be some kind of golem, a biological creation made by someone, long ago, that one day let them loose. Rare are the stories one will hear from their mouths, however there is a consensus that their bad resistance to the sun, almost like an allergic reaction, is a design failure from their creator. Their life expectancy barely hits 14 years without a soul as well, yet even so, the species survived. Cemekaos thrived long before elves can remember, every single one of them learned techniques unthinkable for the most skilled warrior and with more knowledge than any scholar. They became obsessed with knowledge being passed on forward. Effort and breathe couldn't be lost. It took effort, who knows how much, to get where they were. Considering how short their lives were, maybe a couple thousands of generations, if not more. All actively trying to cure death. The idea of studying became ingrained with their culture, to preserve the endeavors of t he dead, for they could live longer by the will of others that could never experience it, the effort of millions ended on what to them is merely childhood. Being thankful to the ones forgotten to time.