The species now known as Tzaries (Singular: Tzari) come from a planet relatively close to earth in galactic measurements. Their homeworld, Resh as it is called in the new dialect, a word meaning ‘Mother’, is a fairly arid world with two massive geologically active continents separated by an ocean. The Reshi year takes slightly under four earth years.
Although a fairly old species compared to humans, the Tzaries remained stuck in their development, their civilization mostly consisting of closely-knit clans ruling over city-states or small empires at constant war.
Change however came approximately six centuries of earth-time ago when Raskhan, a genetically engineered trans-Tzari, unified many city-states and over the next few decades conquered the rest of the world. However, unlike the warlords of old, Raskhan dispensed with traditions and forcefully broke up all cultural, ethnic, religious or national ties until only the Tzari Stratocracy remained.
The world united under one banner, Raskhan set about to raise the Tzari out of their evolutionary pit and transformed them into a star faring empire within a century. Which would lead them to clash with Earth’s heroes in 2012.
Tzaries evolved on a planet with fairly earth-like conditions although hotter and drier. But still they share the same basic building block as humans and can safely interact with them. Tzari blood utilize chlorocruorin rather than hemoglobin and thus has a green tinge to it.
Tzaries bipedal mammals which are slightly taller than humans, standing about six and a half feet on average. Tzaries are notable for being the species resembling humans the most, following the same general shape of body, limb and head.
Tzaries have bony features with pronounced lines along the jaw, cheeks and brow as well as a bony protrusion covering the nose and patches of bone-like armor covering parts of the hands, feet and chest, which they are born without and only grow at three eyars of earth-age during a process called plating. Tzari skin is rather leathery and tend to be fairly tanned due to their home world’s strong sunlight.
Their faces are similarly arranged to humans; with a large nose in the center, a pair of eyes with slit pupils, a mouth from which tusk erupt. The back and top of the head is typically covered with coarse dark hair. Like Humans, Tzaries have two arms and legs which ends with five digits, however unlike humans, their fingers are protected by bone-like plates.
Tzari ears are located on the side of the head although somewhat proportinally higher than human ears are. The ears are triangular in shape, often compared by human to cat’s ears in shape, and can be moved to face forward or backward.
Tzaries do not have particularly stronger senses than human, although their sight is more adapted to deal with glare and strong lights while their ears’s can rotate backward, allowing them to better pinpoint sound’s locations.
Although often overlooked by untrained humans, the gender of a Tzari is possible to tell by a variety of subtle differences between the two.
Dimorphic features include; the shape of the jaw, with males having squarer jaws where females have more triangular ones. Males develop a second set of downward pointed tusk at puberty while females only have bottom ones. Females also have two pairs of nipples on the belly whereas males don’t however females do not have significant breast tissues when not nursing babies.
Life Cycle & Reproduction
Tzaries are the only known true alien species (discounting Gimelians who are from earth) to be sexually compatible with humans; using similar genitalia for reproduction. However despite their appearance and compatible biochemistry, Tzaries and Humans cannot procreate together.
Also unlike humans, Tzari females are only fertile for a short period once per Reshi year (which averages at twenty earth six days) during which they enter heat which occurs during early warm season with the children typically born during the interim period between warm and cool season. Once impregnated, a female Tzari bears the children to term over a period approximating eleven months. For Tzaries, twins are the norms although lone children or triplets have been known to happen.
Tzari development follows a similar path to human developments, with the young first being helpless and feeding on their mother’s milk before growing stronger and more wakeful, but Tzaries typically develop faster than human babies due to their home world’s harsh conditions, reaching complete maturity at sixteen years of earth-age.
Tzaries are noteworthy for being rather pigheaded and confrontational in nature but also for having a noticeable pack instinct and loyalty with those they hold close. Due to their enduring nature, Tzaries are not averse to risk taking and typically see fights as normal and fairly harmless.
Being incappable of conceiving outside of heat periods, casual sex is the norm among Tzaries and is seen as perfectly ordinary for adults and adolescents to engage in. However when it come time to fing a permanent mate to reproduce with, Females are typically the one to proposition males they find attractive to mate. Attractiveness is not only judged by physical appearance but also by performance in work and combat.
Once a male has agreed, the two will typically engage in a series affair, progressively spending more time together to determine their compatibility. Once both are satisfied and, the two will typically make their union formal with the administration and typically procreate at the next heat period. Tzari culture however place no emphasis on monogamy and members of a couple are free to engage in casual affairs. Couples are most often from within the same corps but mixed corps couple happen often. By law, a bonded pair cannot be separated by their work and must remain together.
Homosexual couples and transgender individuals common within Tzari culture and typically do not face prejudice. Transgender individuals –who are refereed to as “Rhas’ Kin” after one of Supreme Lord Raskhan’s companion who was himself transgender — receive full recognition by the law and are free to pursue medical transition. Large segments of the Tzari population would be considered bisexual by earth standard, although Tzari culture doesn’t place much importance on sexual identity.
Most of the cultures of the old Tzaries have faded away with the centuries since the empire unified the Tzaries. All citizens of Resh and its colonies share a specific mega-culture; that of the Tzari Stratocracy. Under the stratocracy, all men, women and children are part of the military and holds ranks. The new culture favors order, loyalty, productivity and honor in it’s citizen.
Although all technically part of the military, not all Tzaries are fighters. The stratocracy is divided in corps; each handing a specific part of the Tzari empire. These corps include the warrior’s corps, the artisan’s corps (responsible for creating and maintaining equipment), the supply corps (handling the extraction and processing of raw materials and food stuff), the service corps (handling service industry for others as well as basic maintenance and entertainment), the messenger’s corps (also handling travel and transport) and the administration corps (handling all manners of bureaucracy necessary for running an empire) among many others.
Although often understood as a ‘warrior culture’ by others, Tzaries hold all profession to be of equal status; as a soldier is nothing without the artisan who armors him, the supplier who grows his food and the servant who give him the time to hone his skill by cooking and cleaning for him.
Although assimilation into the new culture of the stratocracy was strongly encouraged (and sometimes forced), Tribes and nations who voluntarily joined with the stratocracy typically saw themselves given much lenience if they upheld the cultural norms created by Supreme Lord Raskhan.
The Rangrol were one of the founding tribes of Raskhan’s new regime, a tribe of nomadic warriors from which many of the Ren-Ta’s concept were taken. Surviving to the modern day, the Rangrol continue to be stalwart warriors in the military, easily recognized by their intricate chiseled facial tattoos boasting of their martial achievements.
Even in the post-industrial age of Resh when Lord Raskhan conquered the world, the Qurhal were peaceful pastoralist with a fierce history of brutal guerrilla war against invaders who entered their ancestral steppes trying to conquer them, having repealed more invasions than history could remember. When Raskhan’s attention turned them, he chose to bargain with the people of the steppe rather than fight them, offering them the resource of the Empire in exchange for their loyalty. Even after centuries, Qurhal culture and traditional way of life is well alive, including their animistic religion which is often syncretized with the Imperial cult.
The Krenka were once slaves to a now extinct nation, but rose against their masters when lord Raskhan invaded their land in his campaign of unification. As reward for their bravery, the Krenka were freed and allowed to integrate within the stratocracy. It has become a tradition for Krenka to tattoo their faces with the defaced and twisted mark of their masters as a sign of defiance and pride.
Although the majority of Tzaries belong to a corp, an elite few don’t. Know as the lords, the are the top most of Tzari society. Lords serve outside of the bond of the corps and directly under the leadership of Raskhan or his appointed local high lord. The duties of a Lord is to ensure that Tzari society run smoothly and as such have the right to order all other Tzaries to obey their commands and are entitled to pronounce legal sanctions should they require to.
Unlike feudal lords of medieval earth however, Tzari lords are not aristocrats. By law lords are not allowed to own property beyond their armor and personal effects. They must reside within specially designated dwellings (Which although good are no luxurious),
Also unlike earth feudal lords, the position of a lord is not hereditary. All Tzari children are tested through their primary education on a number of factors. Those who perform exceptionally well in social, mental and physical disciplines can be given the chance to become the apprentice of a lord. Upon doing so, the child renege all family ties and rights, instead going to live with their lords. An apprenticeship last for two Reshi year until the apprentice have learned the art and sciences of war, stratocracy politics, Tzari law, religious rites, history and the philosophy of Ren-ta.
A crucial part of Tzari culture is ‘Ren-Ta’ commonly translated as honor. Although many know about the Tzaries insistence on honor, few understand the Tzari concept of it; often being surprised when Tzaries act in treacherous or unfair manner.
The the Tzaries, many things that humans consider honorable, such as fighting fair, are seen as dishonorable. For Tzaries, acting honorably is to do one’s duty in an efficient way and to think of the community’s needs above one’s own. As such, fighting fair is considered dishonorable for putting one’s ego over the success of their mission.
A few important part of the Ren-Ta code include;
- As a soldier; Always obey a righteous order
- As a commander; never waste any resources, including the lives of their charge in vain.
- To contribute to the Tzari empire’s cause to the best of one’s ability.
- To aid another in need whenever given the chance.
- To keep fighting for as long as one can, even if one should surrender to do so.
Family and Professional Life
Tzari childhood consist of the first Reshi year of their lives, when a Tzari youth reaches their first year, they begin their formal education which will last for the next two years. When come their third birthday, Tzari youths are convoked to the local administrative hall for their indictment ceremony where they will formally become apprenticed within a corps. Tzaries are free to chose any corps they want to join and may change profession if they desire.
Once their apprenticeship begins, the adolescent Tzaries are taken away from their family to live at their chosen profession’s workplace along with other apprentices. The first season of the apprenticeship often see the apprentices performing a large variety of tasks, with the second second forward seeing them specialize in one specific trade.
Most apprenticeships last for one year but others, such as scientific or technological training may take longer. Only when a Tzari has completed an apprenticeship are they legally considered adults; granting them the right to have children, own property and have full rights and privileges granted to citizens.
Accommodations, Goods and Food
Although Tzaries live in a post-scarcity environment thanks to technological and cultural improvements, Tzari culture remains notably frugal in all aspects. With both shelter and attire designed for practicality and easy of production above aesthetics. Tzari housing is typically small and modular as to be modified to fulfill the needs of the family using it.
Most goods including foodstuff, clothing, mass entertainment, shelter and services such as transportation, healthcare or mental care are paid for by the state and can be accessed by anyone at any time. Only high-end limited items require purchasing, with every Tzari receiving a requisition credit stipend. Such items include; access to limited seating events, personal transportation, special-order items and similar objects.
Tzari food and drinks are simple and rustic. Traditional foods are made to be easy to prepare in large quantities and to remain edible for long periods of time. Even in modern times, cuisine is strongly seasonal with the warm season focused on cold dishes while heavy hearty dishes are favored in the cold season. Due to technological advances, most meat is vat-grown rather than harvested from animals while agriculture is strongly hydroponic.
Although Tzaries are typically not known for their sense of fashion, generally wearing practical garments or armor but more regal attire are specially prepared for important celebrations. Many Tzari cultures have a long tradition of hair braining, mating and twisting.
Tzari Imperial Cult
The sole remaining religion of the Tzari has no official name. The imperial cult as it is sometimes referred to, is a monotheistic religion focusing primarily on order and duty. The cult is notable in that it glorifies Raskhan, who created it, as a paragon who was deemed worthy and as such received the first revelation. However both the cult and Raskhan himself deny any notion of divinity in Raskhan.
Another integral of part of the cult is ancestral worship. The cult has elevated many influential Tzaries to saint status for exploits of all kind; ranging from military victory, to inventions making production better to the creation of artistic wonders.
The Tzari language that has become the norm — Known as the Imperial Tongue — is a fairly guttural one with a harsh pronunciation. To humans, Tzaries speaking their language often appear to be yelling or angry even when they are not.
The Tzari alphabet is composed entirely of consonants with vowels as added accents. When written nouns and adjectives are typically compounded and so are verbs and adverbs. Tzari imperial tongue does not use any article.
Tzari naming tradition is a fairly straight forward one. Children are assigned a given name at birth, which is followed by their matronymic and finally their clan name if they have one. Clans are named after the paragons who founded them, raised to cultural hero and saint for their contribution to the cause.
As such the formula for name typically goes as such; [Given Name] son/daughter of [Mother’s name] of Clan [Paragon]
An odd note of naming tradition is the shortening of names, with names typically being shortened to only one or two syllable, always omitting the first syllable, when speaking to someone whom one is not intimate with. Full given names are typically reserved for close friends, family and lovers. This tradition was the origin of the term ‘tzari khanate’ as the leader’s name was often shortened to ‘Khan’ which was associated with the mongol lords of earth.
After becoming aware of humanity’s existence, the Tzari launched a conquering fleet with the intent of bringing the enlightenment of the stratocracy to humanity. The following conflict has become known as the Human-Tzari war of 2012.
The conflict, which lasted only for three days before the Tzari high command was destroyed and renegade leader Praetor Kiorga ordered the retreat of the force, was a devastating war for both sides, claiming the lives of millions. Although Tzari did not directly target civilians collateral damages from crashed ships, misfired weapons and malfunctioning power systems killed many.
Although the Tzari armada returned to Resh, a two (earth) years journey, thousands of Tzaries remained stranded on earth in the aftermath; not only soldiers but support crew including supply specialists, artisans and servants.
For her action in ending the war, Praetor Kiorga who surrendered to human authorities was pardoned and later became leader of her earth-bound kin, fostering cooperation among the Terran species and Tzaries despite opposition from biter and vengeful humans.
For the last four earth years, the majority of Tzaries have remained on their assigned reservation in southern Spain, which has grown into a miniature city.
Even though four years have passed, hate toward Tzaries has hardly subsumed and they are often seen as valid targets for discrimination. Common slurs used toward Tzaries include; Low brows (for their sharply defined brows), bone faces (for the bony protusion covering the nose) or space pigs (due to their tusks).