The Tsumi appear somewhat humanoid, though there are various key differences between a human and a Tsumi as the average Tsumi is innately larger than the average human or Nekovalkyrja. They sport horns that can grow to large proportions with age, which can be very high due to selective breeding on top of a strong foundation in their genetics. The skin of lower-class Tsumi show hues of an extremely (almost sickly) pale Caucasian, an ashy grey, a deep crimson, brown, and a near black. Upper-class Tsumi, however, tend to buy artificial skin - and thus have colors that are well beyond the natural selection.
The Tsumi are space-faring nomads after being ripped from their home by the consequences of biological warfare. Survivors were forced to flee on a handful of ships and the flagship, giving up their home and narrowly avoided an extinction; now, they seek a new homeworld, even though some argue their fleet is their home now. The divide between the rich and poor has remained the same, with Tsumi living in conditions either lavish and decadent, struggling, or scarce and impoverished, in the worst times even turning to cannibalism - an act that due to its necessity has deconditioned the social stigma usually associated with it.
Known Tsumi history predated the ability of writing or even speech by a large margin. This history was discovered due to archeological expertise and leaps in technological capabilities. From the very beginning, the Tsumi were a handful of clans that hardly communicated, though the aforementioned archeological finds hinted at extremely ingenious weaponry used to wage almost constant war with each other; due to this perpetual war, the Tsumi made fast and swift leaps in their technological advancement.
This war over land eventually evolved into a war of religion, which ended with the rise of the Saweyan faith: a polytheistic movement that held a passionate following, became the dominant religion before electricity was even invented, and organized crusades against other religions - peaceful or otherwise. It was with this religion the Tsumi evolved, for throughout history the Saweyan Order always remained dominant, its pastors and inquisitors tracking down what they believed to be heretical elements and stomping them out whenever they arose and before they gained a decent following. To this day the religious zealots spread their propaganda across the fleet to keep everyone indoctrinated with their ideals.
This church, however, has no sympathy for the weak and poor, for it believes strongly in individual power - thus it takes little to no measures to help the impoverished.
Tsumi physiology properly represents them as the apex predator on their home planet, as the average Tsumi grows up to 290 centimeters - though this can vary from what they consider an extremely small 210 centimeters to an impressive 340 centimeters. Tsumi sport four arms - two on each side - and each has its own joint; the lower pair of joints is located just inches below the armpits of the upper pair. The lower set of arms are about as long in measurements as the upper set and are directly underneath them; if a line were pulled through the middle of the right upper arm's shoulder, it'd also cross through the shoulder of the right lower arm. Aside from their multiple arms and alien digits, the Tsumi are otherwise proportionate to traditional humans.
Tsumi have elf-like ears, sometimes with fur growing on the exterior, reminiscent of the early days as predators. The shape of their concha was to better detect and track sound. Tsumi also possess is their durable skin and extremely strong bone structure, their skin being much less sensitive compared to the skin of a human or a Nekovalkyrja due to the thickness that feels almost like leather. With massive concentrations of calcium and their high intake of vitamin D and K, Tsumi bones have evolved to also be far more durable and heavier than the traditional human’s, weighing them down a little.
On each of a Tsumi's four hands are five fingers, one of which is an opposable thumb. Various Tsumi at birth have a skeletal spike sprouting from the side of their wrist, arching slightly to cover the finger furthest from the thumb; this vestigial growth, however, is removed as it has no use besides causing pain if broken. It was once used for cutting and as a defense mechanism to shield the hand from blows; due to changes in diet, however, the Tsumi have evolved beyond it - thus the trait is slowly fading from the gene pool.
A Tsumi's general physique is often large and broad. Fat and obesity can occur with rich Tsumi, but these overweight individuals are shamed and ridiculed (even in public media) due to being viewed as weak and in betrayal of their warrior heritage. In art, it is far more common to see large, muscular men and women; the male ideal is broad, tall, with pure muscle, and with stained with both tattoos and scarification, while the female model features a large bust, wide hips, and an hourglass figure instead of the general broad male example. Both genders, however, share the same overall muscle structure, for the Tsumi always value strength - even in beauty.
|Feature||minimum M/F||maximum M/F||average M/F|
|Horn length (cm)||0||110/180||42/78|
Warslaves feature a similiar physiology to normal Tsumi. Their appearance remains virtually the same. The same can be said for their organs, though there is one key difference between a normal Tsumi and a Warslave. Warslaves possess a seperate organ located just next to the stomach, directly linked to the intestines and attached to the spine, somewhat similair to how the nervous system is attached. It derives nutrients and proteins directly from the intestines to fuel the swift drastical and biological changes. In early stages of infection by the HVI Strain, this organ is found growing as well. Though it overtakes the infected user swiftly. A warslave has subjugated, or at least slowed down this parasitic growth. It remains in check due to regular vaccination and anti-toxin treatments.
This is why the Warslaves are mentally conditioned as is - a beast that cannot function without their master. A measure that makes sure that if the master dies or abandons the Warslave, they do not wildly mutate and cause a plague. A Warslave that lacks the proper nutrients cannot use their biological abilities.
Tsumi diet, as the apex predator, always featured a high consumption of meat and flesh. Including cannibalism in the wretchedly poor ghettos. Tsumi are hardy beings, able to eat flesh raw. Though recently, this is a trait only the poor possess. Richer Tsumi tend to get nauseous, or even poisoned when eating raw meat. Though, they aren't without their farms. And while platters solely consisting of meat are not uncommon, grains and vegetables are present in Tsumi diet.
Tsumi have no clue what sweet is. Due to a lack of any sweet fruit on Teryan, but rather bitter and sour, and most desserts are attuned so. Featuring salted, dry treats, bitter, or sour fruits combined with dried meat. And washed down with a variety of alcohols.
Tsumi alcohol consumption is key, as there being no real age from where drinking is legalized. Though Tsumi spirits are strong and disgusting to outsiders, since some beverages are diluted from the blood of their livestock. As with most things, the Tsumi took it to the extreme. Leading to their footsoldiers carrying flasks of near-pure alcohol. Both used to disinfect wounds, and drink.
The environment on their former homeplanet, Teryan1), featured a very hot and arid climate throughout. Though there were varying continents, mountain ranges where the temperature dropped below -70 degrees celsius. Without these extremes, the average Teryan climate sat around 35 to 50 degrees celsius. In the arid mainlands, rain ocurred two to three times a month. Leading to very durable and tough plants with a bitter, or even sour taste.
A direct result of the arid, warm climate is that cattle as well as crops have a similair nutritional value to the plants. Tough, and stiff with fibre, providing a rather bad taste to those not accustomed to Tsumi kitchen.
Tsumi have from birth on, both in the ghettos and in the rich cities, a chip implanted. Which halts the flow of several hormones, effectively making them infertile. This chipping became mandatory and is injected along with several vaccins against diseases to newborns. To become pregnant, written approval is required from the Sovereign, or her officials. At which the two parents can visit the nearest hospital, and have the chip disabled. However, weekly check-ups are required after the chip is removed. Where various DNA tests are taken to ascertain there isn't another father in play with a disabled fertility chip.
The Tsumi life cycle is more than just lengthy. There's barely any of them, even now, that have died of old age. The eldest of the Tsumi aging around several centuries now. Though these are mostly seen as sage advisors, and do not see a battlefield any time soon. The Tsumi, with the wellfare in economy after the Saweyan church took over, saw a distinct change in their coming of age. A Tsumi pregnancy lasts five to six months, depending on how much nutrition is available. When a child is birthed2), after the chipping and vaccinating, goes through the infantile stage for roughly four years. At which they'll be able to walk and start with basic speech patterns. At roughly the age of six to ten, the child can be considered a 'teenager', with their puberty hitting at 12. Though due to the fertility chip, these are unpredictable. And can end as early as sixteen years of age, or last until the age of nineteen.
While there is no legal age, it is often frowned upon in Tsumi culture and even considered a sin in the Saweyan church to have intercourse with Tsumi that are younger than the age of twenty. There is no legal drinking, or gambling age either, nor is there any backlash like there is with the aforementioned rule. For underage smoking, drinking, gambling or drug use.
The Tsumi have two extremely important values, strength and beauty. Each and every Tsumi, rich, or poor, will strive for both. Though they're entwined quite closely. Strength is attractive. And with beauty, many doors that not even brute force could open, are open. The Karrak is a solid example of what a Tsumi is taught from birth on.
Elaborating more on beauty, where the poor mostly focus on tattoos and scar tatoos, AKA scarification3). White ink is often used to accentuate the scarification, though then it's up to debate whether it's really scarification, or a tattoo.
The rich tend to augment themselves with synthetic skin. Decorate their horns with golden charms and jewelry. Most rich Tsumi, are in fact barely their original selves. Featuring plastic surgery and the aforementioned synthetic skin. Though it isn't odd for the rich to also have tattoos, scar or ink. It's far more rare to see anyone from the slums or ghettos that have jewellry that is remotely worth something.
The Tsumi have a strong theocracy in place, following both radical, and less extreme teachings of the Saweyan Church. Though it is the only religion, others are considered heresy among Tsumi kind, and will be eradicated.
The Karrak is an ancient Tsumi tradition. Dating even before the Saweyan church, the Karrak, translating directly to “Bloodshed battle”, is a measure of power between two Tsumi warlords. While this tradition is now seldom practised, it was painfully present throughout the entire history. The rules are simple, a warlord challenges another to a Karrak. Who can accept it, or admit they are weaker and decline the challenge. Though if the challenge is accepted, there are no rules. Whatever lies in the power of these two competing warlords is pitted against eachother. A Karrak is as much a battle fought with soldiers as it is fought with assassins and political intrigue. An accepted Karrak is only over once one of the two warlords lie dead.
Wraiths are a Tsumi legend, they used to be a very real thing back on Teryan, though now, have all either gone missing or been killed in the Grief Battle. Wraiths were Tsumi far more in touch with their spiritual side. Every Tsumi is devout, though Wraiths are different. They're said to be blessed by the gods.
Though a lot of Tsumi fear Wraiths due to superstition. Fear of the stories that Wraiths possess magical abilities. Though in essence, they're illusionists able to bend and manipulate light in the minimalistic methods, often referred to as photokinesis. Able to conjure vivid illusions around themselves, very similair to a Nekovalkyrja's volumetrics. These Wraiths, paired with Tsumi superstition, are seen as mysterious and dangerous beings. The photokinesis is mostly limited to their own bodies. Some chose to have their face perpetually darkened; others had an ancestral spirit that hovered behind them, some even decided to cloak their body in a wispy, smokey color of their own.
Wraiths, from birth on, were trained warriors, assassins and soldiers. Their only directive was combat, serving as the elite guard of the Sovereign. They were the last line of defense against the HVI strain and, in the end, were slaughtered.
Warslaves are originally Tsumi prisoners of war, though now it's about anyone they decide is valid for experimentation. A Tsumi warslave has been infected with the wildly growing and mutating HVI strain. Which allows a more durable physique, physical regeneration, but most importantly, the ability to shapeshift one or two limbs into wild growths of flesh. This ability is trained, allowing the warslave to control the mutation, harden the flesh and actually form armour or even blades made of hardened, dried flesh. This can take the shape of, but is not limited: to claws, long bladed weaponry, surging, spiked tendrils. Warslaves are extremely versatile warriors. Though their mind is shattered and reconstructed to be emotionally dependant on a master. Which is genetically imprinted within them.
Without their master, the Warslave will be anxious and uncomfortable. Extended periods, a week to months, will cause the Warslave to become self-harming or even suicidal.
A Warslave takes maintenance and is not cheap to keep. They require weekly shots and injections for their infection to not grow worse and overtake them. While they have a completely functioning cure, it'd lower the Warslave's combat capability.
Firstly, a note on scarification, since it can be explicit for those with a tendency to be queasy. A short explanation directly copied from Wikipedia4);
“Scarifying (also scarification modification) involves scratching, etching, burning / branding, or superficially cutting designs, pictures, or words into the skin as a permanent body modification. In the process of body scarification, scars are formed by cutting or branding the skin by varying methods (sometimes using further sequential aggravating wound healing methods at timed intervals, like irritation), to purposely influence wound healing to scar more. Scarification is sometimes called cicatrization (from the French equivalent).”
Scarification can happen traditionally, by branding and cutting. Though because it being practised so often, a caustic substance was developed that is applied similair to tattoos, Injecting it just underneath the skin. Ocassionally laced with white ink as mentioned earlier, to line them out more properly. This substance irritates underneath the skin and offers light swelling.
Tsumi tattoos are, be it poor or rich, always intricate. They follow a certain story, though the most common theme is a religious profession or a scene that is inspired by the Liberation wars, the binary blood war, the Simpleton rebellion or the Ascendance.
The rich, in case of ink tattoos rather than scarification, tend to use fluorescent ink. It is way more expensive than the traditional ink, but has been perfected to radiate certain colours. There are Tsumi that go even beyond and have miniature LED lights implanted in the synthetic skin they swapped out for.
Tsumi art comes in a plethora of ways. Be it through song and music, drawing, sculpting, painting.
Though one of the more noteworthy artistic outlet is in synthetic skin. Referred to as skin artists, several individuals have perfected the practice of designing synthetic skin. With beautiful designs on them, both tattoos, LED lights as mentioned above or ink tattoos. Radiant or otherwise. Their canvas is a synthetic skin. Which can be bought and worn for a high price.
It's not uncommon for these artists to leave their signature on the synthetic skin. Though this signature is placed rather subtlely, if at all, under the armpit, in the inner thigh or on the buttocks. But as with most things, there will always be exceptions to these traditions.
The similarity most if not all Tsumi artwork shares, is that it once again is focussed on past events or their religion. Music breaks this tradition more often than the other genres of art.
Tsumi clothing varies broadly, but starting off with the poor: poor Tsumi wear about anything they can find in their respective ghettos, be it rags, sacks, bandages, or whatever else covers them up. Often, the rich dump their worn or tattered clothing in the nearest ghetto as hand-me-downs, though in the wretchedly poor ghettos, some Tsumi walk naked.
The rich draw a very fuzzy line between casual clothing and formal wear. Casual clothing doubles as a warrior's combat attire, where armor is not uncommon - though it fulfills more in terms of fashion than it does as efficient armor. The casual attire of most Tsumi is tight and constricting leather clothing, though there are the few who favor a more loose and baggy cloth-based attire - which are more scarcely available due to the popularity of the aforementioned leather clothing. This preference towards leather garments directly has to do with their thick, less sensitive skin, as some Tsumi claim to feel too naked without the leather; semi or full facemasks are not uncommon either. These constricting leather garments often take the form of a tight corset or a simple leather harness with metal etchings that are embossed and richly decorated. All in all, the leather and metal some Tsumi wear is richly decorated, engraved, or embossed to show religious symbols.
Both casual and formal wear features very bland and often dark colors, the most common of which are deep blue, black, and brown. White leather is not uncommon either. These fashionable armor outfits are often padded with animal fur or cloth, which is often dyed in bright and vibrant colors to add accents to the entire outfit.
Formal wear follows a far more streamlined gothic lolita style for females. While Tsumi males stick more to either cosmetic regalia, richly decorated with expensive metals, such as gold or platina, or dyed and embossed leather, or traditional bussiness suits retrofitted for their anatomy.
Tsumi kitchen isn't at all too impressive. While there's certainly dishes anyone can appreciate, there's a focus of quantity over quality. Though their kitchen features little to no finesse. Often heavily salted, spiced or peppered. Commonly, platters consist of grain, vegetables and an overabundance of flesh. However, it is not entirely uncommon for them to have platters that consist solely of meat.
Tsumi language features a sharp and swift sound. There are no conjunctions on verbs, there is no past tense, the time of actions are specifically stated. For example; “I went to the Jhonsons, a few days ago. I had a lovely meal.” does not exist in Tsumi language. The direct translation would be. “A few days ago, I go to the Jhonsons, I eat a lovely meal.”
While it might be confusing to outsiders, Tsumi have a very curt and no-nonsense way of speaking, leaving unnescessary flair behind. Which makes it so the system works. The Tsumi alphabet consists of 18 basic characters, though the combinations of these add another 56 to the extended alphabet. Their writing is from the bottom upwards, to form sentences. The next sentence(s) are found to the right.
|Number||Tsumi word||Number||Tsumi word|
|20||Du||1 000 000||Mee-ti|
|21||Du-unutum||10 000 000||Ti-mee-ti|
|22||Du-dutuo||100 000 000||Tian-mee-ti|
|30||Tre||1 000 000 000||Skeen-ti|
Tsumi names are lengthy. And back on Teryan, the naming policy was the Tsumi's first name, last name-ae city name. So, Mithrandis Ustarra-Ae Saweyal-Bren. Mithrandis Ustarra, from the city Saweyal-Bren5). Though, with them now being scattered across fleets, an addendum has been made compulsory for shipborn. Any child born on the Tsumi fleet has; First name, last name-ae ship-ra sector/city/ghetto. For example, Banelos Eraberk-Ae Stenerr-ra SeptanBA6). So, Banelos Eraberk from the ship dubbed Stenerr, hailing from SeptanBA.
Tsumi politics are very short and easy, there is one ruler, who's word is ultimately law. The entire social structure is dealt into what they prefer. Though the Tsumi are traditionalists, so every Sovereign sticks to the same frame. A Sovereign surrounds themselves with advisors and representatives of various ghettos. The advisor's roles explain themselves, they offer advice and suggestions for the Sovereign. Though no laws gets passed, no actions get taken unless it's her direct command. This has worked due to the Tsumi infighting, following a traditional divide and conquer pattern. Various Sovereigns throughout history have just let various Tsumi sub-factions war eachother so they were too weak to pose a proper threat to the throne.
Though the Sovereign's word is law. As soon as they state a war needs to come to a halt for a more important war effort, the Tsumi leaders of these warring factions better listen, or risk being crushed by the Sovereign's army. This entire ruling system has become far more unified by Saweya's voice. Where there were multiple Sovereigns battling eachother in the days of old, now only one remains. An attempt at the throne can occur at any time, however. Much like Mithrandis did with the previous Sovereign, before crowning herself.
A policing force is present in Tsumi society, though they're only present in rich cities. The poor are not policed, therefore, crime rules absolute in these fenced societies.
Though, the representatives of these ghettos also play an important role in the Tsumi hierarchy. As mentioned before, a Sovereign surrounds themselves with these representatives. For a variety of simple reasons. Trade, the representatives offer slaves, warslaves, gladiators, soldiers, servants, as well as other, non-Tsumi cattle, goods. Inked or crafted skin, raw ore, crops and all that. In return, they offer protection, manufactured food supplies, medicine and whatever else the ghetto may need. It is also not uncommon for the Sovereign to trade influence, laws or trade relationships with the ghettos. Sometimes, the ghettos offer gifts to gain more favour from the Sovereign. Or they trade for a certain law to be passed. Or rarely, to set up a trade relation between the ghetto and one of the Sovereign's outposts or cities. In which the ghetto will benefit and prosper greatly.
The Sovereign also elects city officials. Often these double as advisors, though not nescessarily so. These city officials run cities and outposts in the Sovereign's name and with her approval. Though she can still double down and pass municipal laws without question as well. While the leaders have to request her approval on laws they wish to pass.
The Tsumi are a spacefaring, FTL capable species. They had to, to flee not only their homeplanet that turned into a Plaguestar, but their entire system. The tendrils of this non-sentient 'being', rather mass of HVI strain, reached into space. Intent on destroying those that narrowly managed to escape during the Grief Battle in space by flaring out and killing them with their spacefaring hosts. This virus isn't capable of FTL and now wreaks havoc in the Saweyan system.
The Tsumi are traditionalists. Deciding to clad both their infantry and PA suits with massive amounts of armour, due to a lack of proper power sources that are small enough, yet potent enough, to fuel any personal power system. Their power armours are automated enough to compensate for this amount of armour plating. Yet, their traditionalism shows in the design of their weapons and armour. They're beautifully and intrically designed. Embossed with beautiful scenes that remember their struggles, all the way up to the ascendance and grief battle. They also have a knack, as well as a weakspot, for anything that glows. Anything bombastic and thus, have various cosmetic pyrotechnics to their armour, moreso to the heavier platforms than the traditional foot soldier's armour.
Tsumi prefer melee combat, though their weapons are still conventional. With metal projectiles, blackpowder and shell casings, diregarding the more potent technology other races or factions possess. Their way of going through armour isn't flashy or ingenius by any design. They believe that if the first bullet doesn't penetrate, the second in the exact spot will. If not the second, the third will.
As for melee. With their large posture and their innate strength, Tsumi bear large weaponry, forged with firearms integrated in those. Most commonly, these are systems similair to shotguns. To clarify, a pollaxe comes with two barrels placed on the pike, which allows for flechette rounds to be fired from those barrels. If it works, if it is strong, big and loud, it is traditionally Tsumi.
However, their medical care is surprisingly advanced. Even with the limited resources that their fleet has, they still have a way to properly engineer vaccins, operate on several Tsumi. One of the most advanced, and most expensive surgeries to the Tsumi, is full synthetic skin replacement. Where they completely 'skin' the patient, before seemlessly applying the new, selected synthetic skin. For purely cosmetic purposes.
HVI, or High Velocity Infection, in common tongue, or just called The Strain for short, is the naming the Tsumi gave to the bioweapon they developed during the bloody and messy liberation wars.
This virus was versatile, yet underestimated by the Saweyan scientists. It was used both to bombard the enemy in bile, a fire and forget weapon, since it'd grow into a wild growth and turn everyone within to brainless, flesh and tumour growths. The HVI strain is able to devour entire cities, deriving fuel from even concrete and metal.
It infects the hosts and feeds from them much like a parasite, causing cancerous growths between organs, until the host is torn apart from the inside and becomes an abomination of flesh. Several recordings have shown that infected Tsumi remain somewhat Tsumi in shape. It's theorized any living being will be remotely recognizable to their original species. Though, the name hints at the time this infection and mutation takes. Patient zero was completely dead only two minutes after initial infection. Dead, as in, no brain activity. Though the abomination it had become, still moved and sought out uninfected hosts and other biological materials to feed from.
Tsumi economy follows a system that works surprisingly well. There were the large cities back on their homeplanet, which produced their technological pinnacles, such as their synthetic skin, streamlined weaponry and intristically forged blades, pollaxes, axes, etc. And then they are the ghettos. Competing with eachother to either gain more advantages from the Sovereign, in terms of food, trade priveleges with the largers cities, the allowance of a certain amount of children or just the Sovereign's favour. Each ghetto compound trades resources with the Sovereign and get these priveleges in return. Creating wellfare for the otherwise poor ghettos.
However, there are still compounds that are wretchedly poor and filled with criminals. Cannibals, murderers, due to their bad placement, their insubabordinance or due to sheer bad luck. These compounds are limited, and the Sovereign is intent on shutting all of these down. But as Tsumi tradition has it, nothing is free. Nothing comes without labour. Even the rich realize this.