Species: Izune Tahori

Name: izune tahori

Homeworld: Alasa Ka

Height/Length/Weight: Like all the tahori, izune have three distinct 'skins' (bodies/forms). In the hamin ('human') skin, they stand 4.5-5.5' tall (typically 5') and weigh between 75-125 lbs (typically 105 lbs). In the emigonu ('mix') skin, they stand 5-6' tall (typically 5.5') and weigh between 125-175 lbs. In the sanero ('animal') skin, they stand 5-6' tall and 6-7' long (plus another 2-3' of tail), weighing in at 150-200 lbs with a wingspan ranging 13-16' from wingtip to wingtip.

Physical Description: Izune are a race of the overarching species of the tahori, and as such, they have three distinct skins, which they can shapeshift between freely. Their smallest (sort of) skin is the hamin or humanoid skin; they resemble humans in every detail, except for a feathered tail that reaches to their calves. In hamin skin, izune are completely hairless - including a total lack of mane and eyebrows; their skin retains any patterns that their plumage may have. They're also extremely athletic in shape and constitution, which is a tendency that extends through all their skins. Their middle or 'mixed' skin is the emigonu skin, a blend of their other two skins; they stand bipedally and digitigrade. They possess the same clawed, powerful talons, but their bodies are still somewhat humanoid (although larger, stronger, and less vertical); their tails are longer, closer to the full length of the sanero tail, and their arms are powerful wings with taloned fingers (where a bat would have its other fingers - at that joint in the wing). Their mouths are beak-like with teeth in the back of the jaw. The emigonu skin is considered to be the best skin in which to fight, being fast and agile like the sanero skin, but not quite so fragile, while still being capable of (slow) flight; it also bears no genitalia. Their largest and most animalistic skin is the sanero skin; it resembles an oversized bird in virtually every way. Izune, like all the tahori, are perpetually hungry unless their largest skin's belly is full (and then, they can't shift until some of the meal has been digested and eliminated from their systems, lest their stomachs explode upon changing to a smaller skin). Shapeshifting itself is a swift and unmagical transition between skins that heals most wounds (but not poison or illness); an izune employs their inner qki, physical perceptions are numbed for a moment, and they shift seamlessly from hamin to emigonu to sanero and back - they must go through the emigonu skin if going from hamin to sanero or vice versa. If an izune's qki is almost dry or almost choked off, shifting does not numb the body and the process, while still short (1-2 seconds), becomes wrenchingly painful. Izune can also gather extra qki (over a span of 1-2 minutes) if they have massive wounds in need of healing, in which case shifting becomes much slower (5-15 seconds) in order to heal all wounds; the alternative is successive shifting between skins multiple times in order to heal wounds in stages.

Senses/Capabilities: Izune have the keenest eyesight of any tahori; their senses of smell are negligible, and they also have fairly keen hearing. They're also exceptionally sensitive to wind and changes in temperature or air pressure, making them aware of any weather changes well before they manifest; likewise, izune are very attuned to the presence of magical or qki energy and are thought to be the best of all tahori at detecting it, even in small amounts. Izune eyesight and qki-detection do not vary between skins, but they do have better hearing in emigonu and sanero skins, as well as a slightly better sense of smell in hamin skin. As for capabilities - izune are very swift in flight and agile, but their endurance is poor and most are very weak, even in hamin skins. Izune can reach a flying speed of up to 130 mph in sanero skin (200 mph in a dive) and 70 mph in emigonu skin (110 mph in a dive); they can manage a running speed of 20 mph in hamin skin and up to 30 mph in emigonu skin, much slower on the ground than the other tahori. Most izune are extremely agile in the air in sanero skin, as well as in the trees or even on the ground in hamin skin, but their emigonu skin lacks the deft grace of their other two skins. They are strongest in emigonu skin, able to stand up to a dosa in its hamin skin, but when compared to the other tahori in their equivalent skins, they are frail. Comparatively, izune are as agile as atihresi and aresa (moreso than inlanlu, dosa, and ehsora), weaker than all the others, less enduring than all the others, and faster than all the others (in the air; slower on the ground than all but aresa).

Coloration/Clothing: Izune don't typically wear clothing, even in hamin form; those who do are usually the ones who interact most frequently with non-izune and/or spend a lot of time in hamin form, which is unusual for the species. (When they do wear clothing, it's often very soft and form-fitting, providing minimal noise, weight, and excess fabric - it generally covers their entire torso from neck to groin, but leaves their limbs bare.) Izune do not wear shoes. As for coloration… Hamin skin is a lighter, desaturated version of the color and pattern found in sanero skin (which persists in emigonu skin, unchanged). Various izune races have an incredibly wide spectrum of colors - shades and hues of brown and grey are most common, with black and white often present as highlights, but the hafyuh izune in particular are usually vivid greens, blues, reds, yellows, oranges, and purples. Eyes can be any color - quite literally - and are often the more disconcerting shades of pink, orange, and purple. Beaks and talons are generally yellowish, gold, dark grey, or black.

Races/Breeds: Izune are separated into several distinct races, which rarely interbreed but often come together in multiracial flocks. (Those who do interbreed are rarely fertile; any chicks produced are typically of the larger izune's race with only a few trivial aspects of the smaller race.) There are four primary races: the guni ('broad'), the fakeh ('smart'), the farini ('agile'), and the sakho ('silent'). Guni are the largest of the izune, the strongest, and typically the most enduring; they are usually brown in color, often mixed with white, greys, or black around their heads and wingtips. They have heavy, hook-tipped beaks and powerful talons - their wings are strong and broad, hence their name. Guni tend to be the calmest of the izune, the 'warriors' of the flocks. Fakeh izune are average in size and build, unexceptional in speed and strength and agility - overall well-rounded birds. Fakeh are uniformly black in color with gold beaks and claws (some have white, light grey, or golden flecking on their chests and undersides) and have short, less curving beaks with thin talons. Fakeh are extremely intelligent, inquisitive, and mischievous - they love to meddle and have no qualms about annoying someone to achieve their own ends. Farini izune are tall and very slender, the most agile of the izune and usually the fastest; they tend to be a solid mix of colors, often grey and gold (with brown, black, and white thrown in as highlights), and have a short but wickedly hooking beak with small but sharp talons. Their wings are long and narrow, aiding in their speed and agility, but making them unfit to coast and soar for very long. Farini are very quiet, observers before anything else, but they have a well-hidden passionate nature - they are quicker to fight and defend others than the dahgeh, and they feel more strongly about emotional things than the rest. Sakho izune are thickly-built but usually short, densely feathered and often medium-to-light grey or even white. They are nocturnal, possessing excellent night vision, and can fly absolutely silently on their short, broad wings. Sakho are the cautionary ones, the visionaries, the seekers - they are most often shamans for their flocks and treated as elders, even while still young. Other races, far less populous than those four, include sa-ehkashuh izune ('lake bird'), akafuh izune ('drumming bird'), lykanunimi izune ('tall bird'), hafyuh izune ('bright bird'), and gekasayi izune ('ice bird'); of those, the sa-ehkashuh izune are far more common than the other three.

Language: Izune speak zunish, a noisy, sharp, and often harsh language that is primarily comprised of cawing, whistling, and shrieking. Nearly all of them also speak Uhjayi, simply because their hamin-skin mouths have a lot of difficulty managing to speak zunish without breaking a vocal chord. Zunish itself is a fairly complex language, despite its ear-shattering sound, with a wide vocabulary - not many non-izune manage to gain listening comprehension fluently.

Technology: Izune dislike technology and do not dabble with it. They don't even engage in metalworking - what jewelry or weaponry they have is traded from others - usually the atihresi or inlanlu. Despite disliking technology, they're very quick at understanding how it works and have been known to disable k'antan guns and bombs before.

Magic: Izune are particularly adept with magic, especially elemental magic (wind, obviously, being a favorite). Many are self-taught elemental mages or shamans, figuring out what they can do and how via trial and error. Most izune magic-workers do not take apprentices or teach the younger izune their 'secrets' - magic is considered a solitary path that one must walk alone. As a result, izune mages and shamans are far less skilled and powerful than most equivalent magic-workers of other races. Like all the tahori, izune are qki-converters; they not only have an internal and self-sustaining source of qki in order to shapeshift, but they can also draw on the raw, unrefined magic of the world and convert it to qki to enhance their physical abilities. All izune can convert enough qki to increase their speed, reflexes, and strength for short periods of time - izune can use enhancement qki equally well in all three skins, unique among the tahori. Many learn to use external qki (qki blasts or balls, qki auras, qki bursts used to enhance leaps), unlike inlanlu (who are not adept at both enhancement and external qki); izune surpass even atihresi with superb external qki.

Values: Izune primarily value intelligence. Each breed typically values its own brand of physical prowess - guni their endurance, sakho their silent flight, farini their agility, and fakeh their well-roundedness. Izune also value a strong honor code, a sense of chivalry, and fierce protectiveness towards family and territory.

Social Groups/Society: Izune live in flocks, though some can and do live in small family groups or even alone. Flocks are entirely communal with no set leader(s) - the izune within each flock come and go as they please, generally bring in a surplus of food to feed those who can't hunt (the young, the old, the sick), and band together to protect their hunting/fishing grounds from anyone who would trespass. (Unlike inlanlu and atihresi, who often share hunting grounds between different races and different packs, izune are strictly territorial about them.) Flocks function on common consensus and majority rule; those who disagree are welcome to strike out on their own. Most flocks see an immense amount of membership change over the years, since flocks tend to be stationary and many izune are not.

Habitat/Settlements: Izune, perhaps predictably, live in huge trees or in niches in the sides of cliffs. Families will typically build nests together, adult siblings do the same, and loners in the flock will band together to build nests as well; nests are woven together by hand, sans tools, from branches, leaves, vines, and weeds gathered from the surrounding area. Many izune decorate their nests with brightly-colored fruit or flowers when such is available. Izune can live in many climates, but they are not as far-ranging as inlanlu or atihresi; only gekasayi izune are comfortable in cold, snow areas. Most izune flocks live in large forests near spacious open areas or in cliffs overlooking a large lake or a sea - izune hunt from the air, so an open air to dive down running or swimming prey is necessary. Most of these areas are fairly warm throughout the year, though izune don't mind a more seasonal climate.

Religion/Beliefs: Izune, being so attuned to magic in its myriad expressions, believe that any creature with magical energy or qki is 'alive' and therefore to be respected. (This includes certain crystals, planets themselves, some weather formations, etc.) They take great care to honor the spirits of their food and their enemies after killing them, and they hold elaborate communal rituals for the birth and death of izune within the flock. Elemental magicians and shamans usually lead these rituals and are the ones to teach young chicks to respect the spirits.

Interaction w/ Other Species: Izune are extremely aloof, even to the rest of the tahori. They pride themselves on being noble and chivalrous, but they don't necessary meddle or interfere in the affairs of other people (the fakeh izune being an exception to this generalization). Izune are only hostile to k'anta at first meeting; they give all others a chance to establish their intentions and set the tone of their interactions. Because of this cautious patience, many assume the izune to be fearful, emotionless, or arrogant. Humans are especially prone to misjudging izune, but even other tahori who are familiar with the bird-people have made similar mistakes upon first meeting them. Atihresi tend to place themselves as rivals to the izune, and ehsora are typically friendly towards the izune, but the izune have no particular bias against or towards either of them.

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