180lbs-300lbs (Female)260lbs-420lbs (Warden)
|Lifespan:||250 Years (Average)|
The mysterious Yeosa'Unathi (Yoh-sa U-nah-thee) are a little studied race which inhabits the island chains and archipelagos of the World Sea of Moghes. The islanders diverged from continental Salt Swamps Clans around 15 thousand years ago, developing a peculiar culture of their own centered on the aquatic environment they dwell in.
The Yeosa’Unathi are more aquatically adapted than their mainland Sinta'Unathi counterparts. They have a thinner build, and they are on average shorter, their tallest coming in just above 7’5, with females being somewhat smaller. Their teeth, especially their fangs, are of modest size, although they have many more backward facing teeth than the average Sinta. Notable among them are the four maxillary fangs, capable of injecting venom into their prey. Yeosa’Unathi tails are long and slightly flattened, which allows them to swim underwater at high speed - this is complemented by advanced lungs and the ability to seal the nostrils while submerged. Yeosa’Unathi eyes, featuring regular slit pupils, are protected with a transparent film; the islanders are able to navigate fairly well in low-light environments. Domed pressure receptors are hidden within Yeosa’Unathi scales; alongside sensory pits on their faces and arms, those allow for detecting disturbances in the water, feeling vibrations and pressure changes.
The innate regeneration of Yeosa'Unathi is considerably slower than that of the mainlanders, owing to the slower metabolism. Because of this, they are also less tolerant of cold; Yeosa spend more time relaxing in sunrooms than most of Sinta. When working deep under the surface of the World Sea, the heat is preserved through the use of heavy wetsuits. Thanks to pressure plates and a keen sence of smell, they don't need to look around to notice humans or other aliens in the room. Notably, the islanders also tend to posess strong livers and kidneys; which makes them somewhat resistant to various toxins.
In terms of skin colour, the majority of Yeosa’Unathi seem to posess grey-blue or teal hides, although deviations are common in littoral areas.
When on land, Yeosa’Unathi tend to be somewhat sluggish and mild-tempered, spending most of their time socializing, with far less physical activity compared to an average land dweller. The islanders are often portrayed as lazy or careless by their neighbours; this impression is reinforced by their mostly subaqueous economy, since above-water activities are restricted to sunbathing for some clans. It is sometimes said that the Yeosa are better suited for space exploration than any other unathi, with pitch-black underwater caves and sun-baked lagoon waters providing a perfect area for training and, most importantly, psychological conditioning.
Although Yeosa'Unathi may seem phlegmatic, they are sometimes capable of surprising bursts of speed, expecially when agitated. Similar to those of the continentals, Yeosa children are much more proactive than the adults; they are, in fact, just as ravenous as Sinta children. It is ill-advised for strangers to approach them while in water.
Yeosa’unathi language shares some grammatical and vocabular similarities with Sinta'Unathi; however, its vocal range is by far wider to facilitate communication underwater. Yeosa’unath tend to speak loud while using heavy gesticulation. The written language seems to have been adopted from Sinta’Unathi languages, with words and phrases represented by curves, bent lines, sharp claw marks and circles arranged in circular structures.
Much like Sinta'Unathi, Yeosa have long and sometimes fanciful names, denoting their affiliation with a certain clan. The way those names are arranged, however, is completely different.
The first name of any Yeosa is their Clan Name; since the home islands and bays belonging to a certain clan tend be named after them (or the other way around, in case the clan had split from another and settled a new area), it may also denote their birthplace. Normally, the Yeosa are referred to by the first name.
The second name belonging to Yeosa is a Personal Name, self-adopted or picked by parents. It is normally reserved for use by few senior relatives and lovers.
Lastly, there is the third, so-called Working Name, which is usually reflective of the achievements of the Yeosa in question, or what they aspire to achieve. This may be the name of a profession, an important ancestor, or some notable attribute. Working names can be changed over the course of Yeosa life for a number of reasons. It may sometimes be used in informal situations by colleagues.
Unlike Sinta names, those of the Yeosa tend to have more vowels, separated by short, barking consonants.
Ssrezol Ghos Akzaz is a member of the Ssrezol Clan, born on Ssrezol Island. Once he became an adult, he adopted the work name Akzaz, which means "The Longboat", as he aspires to become an exeptional pilot.
Overall, the clan system of the World Sea is rather similar to that of the continent. The Kaahnepos (called Ksanepos in Yeosa dialects) have the same power over their relatives as their sinta counterparts; the Matriarchs serve as administrators, delagating tasks to others, handling clan posessions and watching over the young. However, due to a peculiar twist of Yeosa biology, there's a third element to that system, unheard of by Sinta'Unathi.
Every now and then, Yeosa of prodigious size may be hatched, without genitalia and with heavy features. The islanders call them "Wardens"; due to their size and endurance, those are often tasked with physically demanding jobs, like construction or clan law enforcement. Traditional Yeosa religion practices Warden veneration, believing them to be marked by spirits; a serious attempt on a Warden's life is considered a grave crime. Because of that, older and more experienced Wardens tend to take on shaman positions, carrying out rites, gathering medicinal knowledge and maintaining shrines for the benefit of their clan.
Overall, in terms of gender dynamics, Yeosa societies are considered somewhat more egalitarian than those of Sinta, owing mostly to labour shortage on the island; There's less differentiation between typically "male" and "female" jobs, although this separations still exists and may vary in-between clans. The direct legal guardianship over a female is also less widespread; it is assumed that all children, male or female, are the wards of their patriarch, with all matrimonial dispositions arranged through them.
Yeosa'Unathi share much of their universal concepts and mythology with the rest of Moghes; traditional Yeosa religion (popularly known as Aga-Eakhe) is based on totemic worship of Ancestors and other spirits. However, there's more to it than that.
Despite being polluted in many areas, the World Sea remains home to many large beasts, the likes of which Unathi haven't seen anywhere on land. As early as twenty thousand years ago, early yeosa groups began worshipping some of the monstrous creatures dwelling on the seabed. Revered by Yeosa, those physical avatars of the powerful spirits of old rest beneath the dark waters, their mere movements causing a change of sea. While a few of those may be hunted ritually or even for food, others are protected by the laws of Aga-Eakhe - or are simply too large, too dangerous or too rare and obscure to be chased.
Like many other cults, Aga-Eakhe has its own oral tradition and сommandments, designed to facilitate the survival of Yeosa in their aquatic homeworld. In a marked difference from the rest of Moghes, those religious laws are respected by the majority of World Sea clans (although in practice local traditions may take precedence). Nevertheless, should individual Yeosa or even an entire clan defy those laws in a particularly offensive manner, they might find themselves in exile, avoided or even attacked not only by their direct neighbours, but by a large portion of the region's population - news travel surprisingly fast in Yeosa'Unathi realm, and few desire to bring a storm upon themselves by taking in the blasphemers. Those exiles typically dwell on the outskirts of civilization, in the areas hidden or considered too hostile for other Yeosa to live there. While some may eventually return back to society, others settle in those parts of the sea permanently, sometimes even paving way for the colonists.
On Moghes, the boundaries between regions, cultures and even races are rarely set in stone - Yeosa realm is by no means an exception. Spread wide along the coast of the World Sea, islander communities coexist (and sometimes cooperate) with their Sinta brethren. This is expecially true for those living in the deltas and estuaries of the Salt Swamps - the birthplace of Yeosa'Unathi race - but also for those settling in proximity of major ports belonging to the peakies (Gazalor) and other ethnic groups.
Those coastal yeosa are generally known to the outsiders as "Yeosa Littoral", or simply Littorals - a name rarely used by the islanders themselves. While the name implies that Yeosa in question are lagoon-bound, this may often not be the case; ties with the land-dwellers, or lack thereof, have also been used as a criterion, although less so in recent years. What is true, however, is that the Littoral Clans may have adopted some Sinta ways through their constant mingling with the outsiders - some elements of continental cults and festivities, but also the newer political ideas, such as clan leagues, city-states and the Krukzuz. Technology worked the same way - just as the well-preserved units of Precursor crafts found their way to the poles and the peaks, polar and offworld-produced flechette pistols and wetsuits became more commonplace in Littoral areas.
While the majority of Yeosa gravitate towards the coastal areas, some have dwelled deeper into the ocean, - following the migration of sea animals, seeking shelter or driven by the spirit of adventure. Those who have settled the volcanic islands and archipelagos of deep sea became known as the Abyssals - an ethnic group connected to Yeosa proper, yet very different from any race found on land.
To their few guests, the Abyssals may appear uncannily secretive, if not strange. Abyssal Yeosa keep track of time intently, only travelling though the waters during certain hours, and sunbathing during others. They follow Aga-Eakhe to the letter, and tend to believe in many a superstition, performing augury and seeking signs before every major enterprise.
Society and Politics
Because of relatively low population density and limited above-water space, no large city-states exist in Yeosa realm. While some villages (and even floating towns, like Zahl of clan Akale) claim the title, there are few islands where several clans share territory, with the exeption of a few large archipelagos. While clan on clan warfare isn't as widespread as it is on land, such feuds are not unheard of. This includes banes - a form of traditional duel combat, widepread on the continent. Yeosa add their own unique flavour to the practice, fighting with two traditional knives made of wood and animal teeth, first made by Yeosa in their teenage years.
In recent years, the emergence of major clan alliances, such as the Hegemony and Ssen-Uuma Convent has prompted some Yeosa'Unathi clans to organize in the same manner. While many opposed such move initially, unwilling to invest what few resourses they had in such a project, the discovery of Precursor space vessels on the seabed (in particular, MPV Yhoos) prompted encroachment by continental powers, - which, in turn, fostered the copperation between leading islander clans.
The Rah'Zakeh League became a reality in 2287, when clans Sezal, Kssateh, Ghuez and Akale agreed to hold an annual conference on the island of Rah'Zakeh, also known as the Red Isle. Before that, Rah'Zakeh was favoured by Aga-Eakhe shamans, with one of the notable schools for the acolytes situated there. The founders of the League took upon themselves not only to uphold the tenets of Aga-Eakhe, but also to enforce it proactively, making sure that the land dwellers and outsiders do not thread on Yeosa in their own realm.
Day-to-day workings of Rah'Zakeh League are mainly centered around the so-called Tribunal - a judicial body, consisting of around two hundred Yeosa'Unathi shamans. When the clan conference is not in progress, members of the Tribunal make desicions on various matters, including:
- Prosecution on charges of piracy, tomb raiding, smuggling, misuse of Precursor and Ancestor-related artifacts and such;
- Resolving religious disputes; providing for acolyte education.
- Sea exploration; records of claims, arbitrage in case of territorial disputes;
- Protection of wildlife and environment in general;
- Standardisation of maps and measures;
- Dealing with appeals.
The decisions of the Tribunal are put into effect by a volunteeer force of Rah'Zakeh Sentinels; most clans have at least one Sentinel among their ranks. While normally those volunteers stay with their mother clan, in times of need they may be called upon to pursue the criminal, even on land. Armed with toxic flechettes, the Sentinels proceed with their search until the pirate is apprehended and brought before the tribunal.
The economy of Yeosa is similar in some aspects to that of their Salt Swamp cousins. Fishing, mushroom, fruit and algae gathering (including the popular Gukhe spice), salt production are all base trades for the islanders. The sea provides abundant harvest for the locals - some animal products, hunted for by the Abyssals, are especially sought after. However, due to limited territory, livestock keeping is rare among Yeosa clans, restricted to few coastal groups, - which makes yeosa clans poor in the eyes of continental farmers. Same can be said about fuel production - compared to savannas and swamps, biodiesel factories are practically nonexistant in yeosa realm, with many clans relying on sail and oars to traverse the seas until recent years.
While the World Sea remains mostly agrarian, the improvement of marine equipment and the subsequent discovery of Precursor artifacts on the seabed has opened unique opportunities for the islanders. Yeosa specialists on ancient technology are held in high esteem on on the Poles, and Precursor engines are often used to power Yeosa'Unathi vehicles and structures.
An important component of Yeosa'Unathi culture is a belief in equivalent exchange. Barter and gift-giving are often the key in inter-clan relations, even if the sums dealt with are symbolic; It is expected that the gifts are reciprocated, especially if the value has been magnified in giving back.
The Yeosa’Unathi clans populate a great many islands, but some are more relevant than others.