Species: Tache

Name: tache(s) [TAHCH(-ez)] (Note: the tache, many taches, a tache. The 's' is only used to indicate more than one individual - not the whole race.)

Homeworld: Vuh Ita

Height/Length/Weight: The tache are a sizeable people, both in hamin (humanoid) skin and emigonu (mix/hybrid) skin. [Note: The tache don't call their emigonu skin by that name - they call it their 'inner beast'. I'm using the term 'emigonu' because the tache, like the k'anta and the corata, are 'two-thirds Shifters' and I'm trying to streamline my terminology by cutting out multiple terms for the same thing. However, 'emigonu' is an inlanlu word, not a tache word.] There is no size difference between genders in height, but males do tend to be bulkier in hamin skin. Taches range from 6-7' tall and weigh between 200-300 lbs in their hamin skins; in their emigonu skins, they are 8-9' tall and weigh in around 400-600 lbs. Their hamin-skin tails are generally ~4' long, ~6-7' in emigonu skin.

Physical Description: The tache are simian shapeshifters, distant kin to but not precisely one of the tahori. They have two distinct skins, between which they can shapeshift with considerable effort, concentration, and qki usage. The smaller skin is the hamin or humanoid skin; they resemble extremely tall and muscular humans and can, occasionally, pass for one (usually being considered a berserker or druid). They have smaller, rounded ears with no earlobes, craggy facial features, blunt and heavy fingernails, and no hair anywhere but their heads, faces, and tails. Their manes are thick, coarse, and shaggy, their tails are furred, and males have facial hair, most often trimmed but occasionally fully shaved. Their tails are simian, surprisingly strong, and completely prehensile; often carried wrapped around their waists, the tache use their tails as a third arm, and some warriors even learn to use weapons (usually knives) with their tails. The larger skin is the emigonu or 'inner beast' skin, which is a blend of the hamin skin and an animal state; they are much larger, still bipedal but now digitigrade, and entirely furred (coarse fur, but not overly long or layered). Resembling a very large, mostly-upright ape, the emigonu skin has extremely long, muscular arms, huge padded hands, a savage primate-like face (complete with fangs, low brow, small eyes, and blunt half-muzzle), and elongated toes that enable feet to act as a second, less deft pair of hands. Even in emigonu skin, tache tails are prehensile and strong, capable of suspending the entire creature from a branch or ledge if necessary. Emigonu skin bears no genitalia; hamin skin has human-like genitalia. Shapeshifting itself is a fairly swift and unmagical transition between skins that heals most wounds (but not poison or illness); a tache builds their inner qki, physical perceptions are numbed for a few moments, and they transform seamlessly from hamin to emigonu or vice versa. Unlike true tahori, this process is more difficult and requires a lot of qki to complete, often considered the price to pay to make such a leap in size. If a tache's qki is almost dry or almost choked off, shifting does not numb the body and the process becomes wrenchingly painful, if it is possible at all.

Senses/Capabilities: The tache have an incredibly keen, long-range sense of sight, well-developed for detail at any distance and full color. (To compare, their sight is even better than that of the izune tahori.) They have fairly good ears (hearing somewhat better than humans), and a decent sense of smell (better than humans, much poorer than inlanlu tahori) which is largely attuned to specific hormones/chemicals, as well as blood. (To be precise, they smell blood and lust very well, rage and fear only barely less well - they largely ignore the rest.) The tache are an immensely strong people in both skins, able to easily lift more than their own weight (usually with one arm/leg…); most are also fairly enduring, especially under adverse conditions. They have the advantage of coming back from the brink of death even stronger than before, both physically and qki-wise, and it's from this species that the adage of "what doesn't kill you makes you stronger" originated. Taches are not particularly quick without heavy use of qki, being large and bulky in frame, but they tend to have excellent reflexes - and the women in particular are often quite agile.

Coloration/Clothing: The tache have brown skin (varies from medium-light to medium-dark; can be touched with a grey or green tint) and coal-black hair in hamin skin, often with vivid blue or green eyes. In emigonu skin, this translates to a base pelt of brown (same shade as their skin) with a thick black ruff coating the back of the head, neck, and upper shoulders; the face, lower back, upper arms, and upper chest are often flecked with black, as well. In both skins, the pads/palms of their hands and feet are very dark, and their tails are black-furred, occasionally mixed with brown at the very base. Many taches have pale circular markings around their eyes. As for clothing, the tache are very fond of diversity of color, fit, style, and function - almost to the extent of some decadent humans. All taches have clothing for nonviolent times, fitted for comfort and ease of movement, often styled to enhance the wearer's physical appearance (and to highlight his/her best features). Warriors have several sets of armor, one or two of them camouflaged, in various states of defense - leather, leather+chainmail, chainmail, leather+platemail, platemail - and also a few purely ceremonial/'for looks' sets. Hunters/gatherers have a few sets of armor, typically leather/leather+chainmail, and nearly always well-camouflaged; they also have special outfits designed for perfect freedom of movement (and lots of pockets) when ranging far afield. Craftsmen rarely have more than one obligatory suit of armor, usually simple but sturdy leather (unless the craftsman in question is a metal-worker, in which case it's usually chainmail or even platemail).

Races/Breeds: None anymore…

Language: The tache speak tashan, a sharp and grunting language filled with harsh sounds and deep-voiced inflections. Despite its savage sound, tashan is a fairly sophisticated language, both in structure and in vocabulary (which encompasses a very wide range of terms, even into specific magic-based words). Tashan evolves with each new race the tache encounter as they add words for concepts and names that their new acquaintances share. At one point, before the tache were nearly wiped out, tashan was being adopted as one of the widespread intersun languages, along with vocan.

Technology: The tache were intrepid inventors and dabblers in technology, although nearly all of their advancements were centered around travel or warfare (both offense and defense), rather than anything artistic or domestic. They are extremely skilled metalworkers, chemists, engineers, and woodworkers, specializing in explosive and long-range weaponry (akin to the k'anta) and their particular style of intersun ships. Though the tache typically did not trade or sell their ships, which were usually well-armored and even armed with ranged weaponry for limited mid-void battle, their designs became well-known throughout the universe as both admirable and fearful. The tache were not pirates, merely well-prepared for trouble - as a result, trouble rarely bothered them. The tache also had some of the finest armorsmiths for worlds around, craftsmen capable of making a suit perfectly fitted to a single individual that would last an entire lifetime with proper care. The tache themselves had multiple sets of armor, all meticulously maintained, and valued their armor more than any weapons they had - for a tache warrior could fight unarmed easily, but armor would help him survive an onslaught. Taches mostly used long-range weapons for their ships or hunting, preferring hand-to-hand combat or melee weapons in all other situations. Had they not been nearly wiped out, Vuh Ita would have likely become one of the most technologically advanced worlds in the universe, with the tache spreading their influence ever further throughout the worlds.

Magic: The tache don't use traditional magic. However, like all the tahori and tahori-kin, taches 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 taches can convert enough qki to increase their speed, reflexes, and strength for short periods of time - taches can use enhancement qki best in hamin skin and less well in emigonu skin. Many learn to use external qki (qki blasts or balls, qki auras, qki bursts used to enhance leaps), unlike some tahori (like inlanlu, who are not adept at both enhancement and external qki); in fact, the tache tend to be much better with their qki than even atihresi tahori.

Values: The tache value, above all else, strength. Strength of body, qki, will, mind, and heart. They are an extremely prideful race and hold their dignity in high regard, enforcing their rank and castes to preserve their own hard-earned reputations. Loyalty to a good leader is also valued, as rebels are more likely to be punished than saluted for their self-sufficiency; the tache are a strongly hierarchal people and their values reflect that. Mental intelligence is most important in strategy and engineering; the average tache warrior cares little about it, as his commanders will direct him and the engineers will provide him armor, tools, and transportation. (Note: This does not imply typical taches are unintelligent; they are merely uneducated. Their minds are still quite quick-witted; only some are easy to fool.)

Social Groups/Society: As mentioned before, the tache are strongly hierarchal in nature. They band together in huge clans, which often number in the thousands; each clan has a warlord, the strongest and most cunning warrior among them. Though the warlord achieves his rank because of his physical prowess, his experience and performance in battle, and his ability to lead others well, he also must be very knowledgeable about other races, be able to manage his clan's resources well, and know when to strike and when to be patient and wait. The warlord is, effectively, a king in his own right - he usually grooms his sons to succeed him, though they can be beaten out by a stronger, more competent challenger. (There is no actual law against a woman being a warlord; it's just incredibly rare.) Before the near-complete destruction of their race, warlords ran entirely autonomous clans like nations and fought each other for resources or honor, but since their numbers were reduced to a fraction, the few remaining warlords begrudgingly work together for the survival of those who remain. Each warlord is supported by the very best of his fellow warriors (typically his 'elite' captains), the finest craftsmen, and the most skilled hunters/gatherers. Every tache, except for the warlord, has an authority over him/her, and every tache, except for the children and the most unskilled of grunts, has some authority over others less experienced or less competent than him/her. Barring the warlord, no tache - even a high-ranking one - is invaluable or irreplaceable; the tache may have a complex hierarchy, but it is a very stable one that can survive 'key' taches being removed. Assassination of any but the warlord himself is a moot point, and to reach the warlord, one would have to go through nearly every other tache in the clan.

Reproduction/Aging: Tache gestation is eight months; children are grown in thirteen years, weaned and walking before they're one and entering adolescence when they're ten. Most tache do not take lifelong mates, nor do they put much stock in romance; the tache are a lusty people, taking many lovers as they please (with consent on both sides; women are not to be used). Tache women do have cycles, going into heat once a season (four/five times a year) for a few weeks at a time, once she's mature; mating outside the cycle will almost never result in children. Taches typically choose mates based on genetic compatability, striving to strengthen two bloodlines by mixing them in a child. (Note: As long as a tache is playing a part in furthering his/her bloodlines, s/he is free to mate with taches of the same sex - it is less common than hetero pairings, but happens quite often all the same.) Typically, a mother will tend to her child until it is weaned and walking (most wait until it's one year old) and then turn it over to the clan's extensive nursery, which doubles as day-care and school, until the child is ten and enters a more rigorous adult training program. Low-ranking taches are allowed to play a larger role in their child's development, but most see no need, as those who raise the children do a fine job on their own. There is no gender bias in the child-rearers; as many men as women take on the job in both age-groups. Children have pride in their bloodlines and are expected to live up to or surpass their parents, but there is little maternal/paternal affection towards them from the parents, other than pride in their accomplishments (or disappointment, depending on the child's prowess). Women typically have three to five children in their lifetimes, sometimes up to ten if they are in a more domestic caste (read: if they aren't warriors or hunters); men father as many children as they can, often between ten and twenty in their lifetimes. Taches are sexually mature between the ages of twelve and thirteen, and continue being capable of reproduction until their fifties; they live into their eighties.

Habitat/Settlements: Before the last war, the tache lived in grand cities, full of feats of architectural engineering and huge buildings devoted solely to crafting, weaponsmithing, armorsmithing, and battle training. Each clan held at least one city; the largest sometimes had five or more. Each tache had its own quarters, and many taches of similar professions were housed together in large buildings (kinda like condos). The warlord lived in a veritable palace with his most valuable advisors, captains, crafters, etc, as well as his favorite mate(s) (if they chose to join him). However, since the war, all the tache cities have been destroyed; the survivors live in cobbled-together towns, pale shadows of the glorious cities that once were. Many taches often share the same living quarters, whether or not they have a profession in common; most of the resources and space are dedicated to crafters and the smithies. The warlord typically has his own building, still, but it is nothing as grand as the old palaces. Before the war, taches lived nearly everywhere on their planet, able to survive all but the most extreme climates; now, they huddle together in the few places left on Vuh Ita where enough trees still live and air still exists.

Religion/Beliefs: The tache have no inclination to meddle in religion, spirituality, or philosophy. They're too busy with the more practical matters of being and staying alive, especially in the time after the war. They tend to be highly skeptical about gods, spirits, and/or the concept of a soul, preferring to tend to what they can experience in the flesh. (They do not argue that demons exist or that the Light is a type of magic, having seen evidence of both.)

Interaction w/ Other Species: The tache are an aggressive, proud people. They respect those who can hold their ground, they scorn those who pander or cower, and they fight those who refuse to work with them on their own terms. (Humans fall under that second category; qkaulom and most tahori are split between the first and third types.) Before the last war, tache clans would sail out, discover new-to-them worlds, and establish communication with the people there - then they would demand exclusive trading rights or tracts of land for a colony, in exchange for protection from pirates or other intersun threats. If the people refused, the tache would bring more ships and attack, either wiping out or simply unseating their opponents in order to get what they wanted. Only twice in their entire history of military conquest were the tache repelled; the first time, when they tried to conquer Alasa Ka and the tahori united and fought them off, and the second time, when they tried to take Cgorev for their own and were defeated by the qkaulom. The second time was the beginning of the end for the tache; the Cgorevinian qkaulom took to the void in their own ships, found Vuh Ita, and destroyed it, wiping out nearly all taches in the process. The few that survived did so by hiding on other worlds in the Vuh system, then returning to their home and trying to salvage what they could of its life after the Cgorevinian qkaulom had gone back to the Erdor system. Now, the tache are bitter and viciously defend what little they have left from any who would take it. In time, the race may get enough of a foothold to grow to its former prominence, but there are rumors that the qkaulom would not let that happen.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License