Sha’an (pn. shah-ahn) are a species of sentient biped canids who have over time fluctuated between disjunct and cohesive societies. They innately posses some ability to control their parent Deity Sham’ayn’s magik and those who are able to control this magik historically dominate the region of The Blade or period of Sha’an history they live in.
Like many of the other Sentient Species, the Sha’an were created by Aster and their parent Deity. However, unlike all of the other Sentient Species—including the Turath—the Sha’an were created without a purpose, or a directive to aid their parent Deity with any specific task. As a result, the species as a whole were left to their own devices which has repeatedly led to a collapsing civilization.
|Average Height||Average Weight||Distinctions|
|1.85 m. 6′ 1″||86 kg. 190 lbs.||Pointed Ears, Thick Short Tail|
Just shorter than their somewhat-relatives the Turath, the Sh’an average height is just under two meters and they also sport tails. In comparison to the tails of turths, Sha’an tales are bushier, shorter, and wider. Their appearance is also more canine, with a longer muzzle with a smaller circumference. Part of the magik they may be able to tap into is the ability to shape-shift into other living beings. This is not limited to the other Sha’an, or Sentient Species, but the change is entirely aesthetic so a shani impersonating an Avotoc will still sound like themselves.
Jazt’a (pn. (jAz-t-A) is somehow a similar language to Jistlek, despite originating on opposite ends of Omneutta. The symbols are similar on a basic level, and many pronunciations of vowels and consonants are the same or quite similar. However, the characters are Jazt’a are morpheme based and represent words or abstract ideas rather than letters themselves. The language itself consistently follows a prefix-word-suffix combination, resulting in sentences that can be rather blocky but convey complicated ideas quickly and efficiently.
Government and Social Structure
Each shani exists in one of two kinds of governing bodies—a Reign or a Remnant. Remnants are the most prevalent in numbers and distribution, as most Remnants are fighting amongst each other to become a Reign. Reigns control larger sections of The Blade, almost always multiple planet-stars. Remnants do not usually control multiple planet-stars, but it does occur. Both Remnants and Reigns are ruled by a Sha’an known as an Achran, who functions much like a king or queen in each group with their own court.
Different Reigns and Remnants appear and fade over time but each faction, whether a Reign or Remnant, always keep the same name and use Reign or Remnant to indicate the faction’s status. The exception is the Reign of Vulpeck, a mythical Reign that has not been seen in The Blade for hundreds of years. Vulpeck was the first group of Sha’an recognized by Sham’ayn late in the Am’n. All factions seek the approval of Sham’ayn, and Vulpeck is the universally agreed sole recipient of her blessing. Some Remnants still seen include Bitis seen in the Annals of Dystopia series, Bostaur, and Aegol. Symbols for Reigns and Remants can be seen below.
Little family dynamics are preserved within these Remnants and Reigns, as the traditional family units of parents and offspring often become separated due to conflict or resource scarcity. Due to the lack of community, many ‘families’ die out after a handful of generations, unabled to find non-related mates. Female shani can have litters of two or three from 15 to 35 years of age, capable of reproduction in roughly the first half of their lifespan. These mothers raise their young for as long as they can, or until the children leave to seek better lives elsewhere. Many Sha’an live outside the territory of the local Remnant, instead seeking food and shelter in the wilderness.
Religion is intertwined with the dynamics of the Reigns and Remnants. In addition to their belief in the powers of Sham’ayn herself, many shani believe that other Deities have cursed them as a species or their Remnant particularly, ironically despite curses being the domain of their own parent Deity. There are many ceremonies, rituals, and rites to be found across The Blade, and many are related derivations all intended to incur Sham’ayn’s blessing. One of these traditions is for young Sha’an to craft a small token of offering before they make their mask and offer it to Sham’ayn in one of the temples across The Blade; this ceremony is said to bring luck to the shani for the remainder of their life.
Relations with Other Species
Shani are not outwardly hostile as a species to other Sentient Species, but due the actions of some members, or The Blade’s reputation for constant warfare, some other communities across Omneutta are known to be initially unwelcoming to shani. Many are expected to assimilate to the local culture, or in the case of many city-centres abandon what few aspects of their own culture they still posses.
Some shani carry the howling from their religious ceremonies and rituals elsewhere after they leave The Blade. The odd melodies and harmonies from these traditions can be found permeating the local music of places across Omneutta where multiple Sha’an have settled over time. Due to the lack of a unifying culture, there are no species-wide instruments or musical traditions. Drums and other percussion made from wood and animal hides come the closest to being a universally-Sha’an instrument, and many piece of music composed for or by shani contain them.
As a species there is only a few individuals with the technological knowledge to truly call the Sha’an a space-faring society. Many “space-craft” built by shani across The Blade are cobbled together haphazardly from the remnants of other crashed ships, or unfinished structures. The knowledge to craft brick buildings is fairly widespread and metalwork to a lesser degree, but long gone are the days where all shani lived in thatch or wooden huts.
Main Article: Sha’an-Space
The Blade is full of signs of the civilizations of yesteryear; abandoned dwellings, incomplete construction, and partially-industrialized landscapes cover Sha’an-Space. This disrepair even extends to some of the oldest celestial bodies across The Blade that are falling apart themselves.
Main Article: Domo-Starako
Many tales weave stories about Domo-Starako, where Sham’ayn created the first Sha’an who formed together the Reign of Vulpeck. Due to the Sha’an’s lack of record keeping, and the dilapidation of any of the structures created during the earliest time of the Sha’an, which planet-star was at one point called Domo-Starako is now a mystery.