- 1 Overview
- 2 Physical Data
- 3 History
- 4 Culture
- 4.1 The Night-blessed and the Sun-scorched
- 4.2 Community
- 4.3 Family Structure
- 4.4 Education and Careers
- 4.5 Sports and Games
- 4.6 Language, Phrases, and Naming Conventions
- 4.7 Religion and Ceremonies
- 4.8 Dwellings
- 4.9 Wardrobe
- 5 Inventions and Technology
One of four intelligent races that have evolved on an ancient homeworld of the Kamir - once known as Kamm Shohob, now known as Kamsho. All four races on Kamsho are creations of the Kamir. Tupai adults average about two feet in height, bipedal with two arms with leathery skin flaps that expand to serve as wings, two squat legs, and a sinuous tail. They have blunt, pug-like snouts and shiny black compound eye clusters. Their fur ranges from dark green to gray.
There are two major wing structure types: Micropointers and Drakewings. This is akin to how some humans are born double-jointed and others are not. Drakewings are the norm, and Micropointers are a little rare.
Micropointer wings have a thumb free from membrane and a very short index/pointer digit, thus the name micropointer. Their fifth digit (or pinky) points straight down when the wing is stretched. Micropointer Tupai are often swifter than Drakewing Tupai.
Drakewings have membraned thumbs with digits of equal length. The membrane is a bit more broader which makes for better maneuverability compared to Micropointers. With muscular digits, Drakewing Tupai are considered to be powerful fliers that are capable of lifting several times their own weight.
Tupai eyes are compound and very similiar to insects. While the base color is black, they have an iridescent sheen that causes colors at different angles. Sight is divided into multiple facets, so Tupai, like insects, see many versions of the same thing.
The ears come in many different shapes though very often they're as tall as the head itself if not taller.
Tupai snouts are always pressed inward and never narrow (like a fruit bat). Like their ears, the noses (or noseleaf) are highly sensitive to not just scent but sound and vibrations.
Tupai are omnivores, but prefer live insects when they can get them. They're also partial to fruits and occasionally vegetables, but do not drink blood, contrary to the popular Terran assumption.
Like many sentient species, Tupai behavior varies from subject to subject. Personality-wise, they tend to be on the humble side, at least around their employers. Tupai have a great passion for flight, having created several airborn games involving skills in banking, diving and maneuvering. Many feel most comfortable in dark conditions. Some Tupai enjoy perching on shoulders; the farther away from the ground they are, the happier. A scratch behind the ears is considered the utmost type of praise from a Llivori. Not unlike Earthen bats, Tupai sleep hanging upside down and rarely any other way.
Tupai are capable of echolocation ie. sending high-pitched 'pings' to bounce off of unseen objects to help locate things or fly at night.
The Kamir created the Tupai to work as servants in their grand palaces on Kamm Shohob, Aukam, and elsewhere throughout Hiverspace. After the exodus of the Kamir, however, the Tupai were without masters. They became absorbed primarily into the cultural landscape of the Llivori, who employ them as inexpensive labor. Higher-paid Tupai are put to use as spies, often conducting aerial surveillance and other covert operations against the Opodians.
Most all Tupai are tasked with cheap labor, trivial tasks, or servant work. Higher paid Tupai work as spies for anti-Opodian organizations. They work under a variety of Hiverspace races, though they are most loyal to Llivori.
Tupai inherently lack senses of leadership and control, and are most content when they are led, which makes them perfect for the subservient role in their society. For whatever reason, they are convinced they cannot fend for themselves, and thus must find an employer if they are not born into a job. Many feel that they cannot function without a task. Some admit that they're afraid of doing anything else. Others believe that they are doomed to fail in whatever other endeavors they may want to try.
There are few things more important to a Tupai than employment, especially by a Llivori. Social status depends greatly on this; an unemployed Tupai is a great rarity. Tupai often hold multiple jobs, as a safety net - getting fired can mean death in many cases.
Tupai are very dependent on their employers, who often supply room and board. They literally live to work, and the Llivori are aware of their laborious nature. This has led to a steady decrease in pay, poor, work conditions, and very little breaks or time off, if any at all - not necessarily out of cruelty. In fact, Tupai are known for their steadfast loyalty to their employers, and Llivori regard them most fondly. Tupai refuse to voice complaints, even when their jobs become life-threatening.
The Night-blessed and the Sun-scorched
While the majority of Tupai fit this profile, there are small groups currently forming to try and break out of this dependent lifestyle. These independent groups are called Leaf Colonies (or according to their members, Night-blessed Colonies), and they’re usually divided into 2-4 subgroups called glatches, all toting the ideals and values of their colony while specializing in a certain role or skill. United only by their colonies’ ethos, most glatches live on the outskirts of Kamsho’s jungles, lead by an elder and his or her council.
Night-blessed Tupai call themselves such for embracing their natural instincts, and growing more active during the night. They’ve deemed their Llivori-employed brethren Sun-scorched, as many of them are required to be awake during the day. Those that are neither a part of a Night-blessed colony nor working for Llivori are called Wanderwings.
Most glatches are comprised of 40-50 Tupai, though major glatches such as Hook and Needle contain upwards of 100. If a Wanderwing fits the ideals and motives of a particular glatch, they may be accepted into its ranks.
Those of the Everdusk are far more observant than their Night-blessed brethren. Introverts and hermits, this colony is made up of veteran Llivori spies who have passed their skills to their offspring, promoting the gain of information and knowledge. With sharp wit and a tinge of greed, they make for excellent thieves, interrogators and trackers.
|Softstep - Everything stealth and secrets is Softstep, a band of thieves and shadowers. They’re a highly suspicious bunch, untrusting to a fault but by no means easily startled. They happen to be the only glatch that actually worships a goddess, known as Nocturi. They claim she blesses their wings and feet, making them silent as they meld into the shadows in search of their next stolen meal. Notably, these bats refuse to sleep anywhere blatantly public.|
|Shattergate – No lock or door can keep these Tupai out. At least, that is what the glatch boasts. They are tech-advanced hackers and know a fair bit about demolition and good ole’ fashion lock-picking. It’s all about what’s inside to them; if they find a container, it’s usually opened compulsively, even if there’s nothing of value inside. Shattergate also make good interrogators if they’re more learned in psychology.|
|Veiled Eye - Led purely by scent and sound, the Veiled Eye is a glatch that focuses on tracking. Named for the blindfolds the elders wear to express dedication, their sense of hearing is highly attuned, and they operate via thoroughly trained echolocation. Unendingly patient, the Veiled Eye tends to practice empathy and understanding, shying away from direct conflict. They're silent and wise, and place a strong emphasis on forgiveness.|
In a few words, the Wild Nettle is a colony of pure wilderness survival. While most glatches live on the outskirts of Kamsho’s jungles, these Tupai reside within the darkest reaches and live right alongside the dangerous wildlife. They know their land well, and it’s nigh impossible for them to lose their way. Of all the colonies, the Wild Nettle boasts the most skilled in combat, hunting, and gathering. The thrill of battle is something shared between all glatches, and they value strong self-reliance and quick learning while frowning upon weakness and passiveness.
|Hook and Needle – One of the first formed glatches born of necessity, Hook and Needle are survivalists known for the massive network of caverns they habituate. They are very much champions of honor and the fair fight, finding great sport in sparring. The laws of the jungle mean everything to them, and being wasteful goes against their code. Probably the most technologically advanced of the Wild Nettle, these Tupai are quite accustomed to modern weapons.|
|Bloodhide – A secretive glatch, Bloodhides are every bit as savage as the jungle. It’s hard to say if they’ve any real culture at all, behaving more like their extinct primitive cousins and brawling over scraps of meat. They might’ve dissolved into a self-destructive fray long ago were it not for the one thing that binds them together: the Hunt. The weapons they use are usually melee or throwing weapons, and they tend to shy away from technology if they can help it. It might be difficult to hold a conversation with one, as they don’t talk much. This glatch is not known for mercy or offering any sort of respite. Allied only with the Wild Nettle glatches and the Burning Wing, they barely tolerate the company of any Tupai they’ve deemed weaker..|
|Twisting Vine - In sharp contrast to Bloodhides, Vine-twisters are more wise and in touch with the nature around them. They know the plant-life well, and live exclusively from it, surrounding their glens with fruiting plants and lush vegetation. Because of their knowledge of flora, they know of potent poisons made from them, and typically use blow darts to bring down their enemies. Conversely, they’ve got just about every antidote, and are often sought out by other glatches when an unfortunate wingmate has been stung or bitten.|
|Thorn Palm - Thorn Palms do not see the monstrous wildlife as enemies. They’ve learned to tame many species, and form strong bonds with their companions who fight alongside them if threatened. Cheer and revelry are important aspects of life to Thorn Palms, and they throw celebrations fairly frequently.|
For these Tupai, echolocation is an art form. Everything from songs in tones inaudible by the human ear to mimicry and voice throwing can be traced to this glatch. Not only are they masters of sound, but manipulation and influence. Sweet-talking and swindling make them effective traders, if they aren’t socialites or engaging in politics. Sonorisus are the most traveled of the colonies and among the most modern in terms of how they live.
|Songweavers - As the name suggests, these Tupai are gifted with a very precise control of their voices. Reaching extreme pitches, they can send messages for miles if need be, each ping laced with subtleties that can imply danger or joy. If they're not focused on musical pursuits, they're entertaining in some manner, usually engaged in storytelling. A captive audience is all they seem to strive for. Additionally, deception is one of their strong points, along with the art of acting.|
| Scrivewrights - It might be tempting to call Scrivewrights merely intelligent, but there's much more to the glatch. They are indeed artisans, like all of Sonorisus, and they're particularly talented in the art of conversation and the intricacies of commerce, making them brilliant traders and salesmen. There is a great emphasis of etiquette and manners, which naturally has them at odds with their savage brethren of the Wild Nettle colony. Persuasive and silver-tongued, they can make rather influential leaders and politicians, with inexperienced debators crumbling before the practiced word-weaving.
|Biting Wind - The Biting Wind know the meaning of freedom. Their ranks are made up of escapees that have tasted it far too late in their life, and are bitter for it. All Llivori-employed Tupai are looked on as pets by them, and they maintain great pride for their race, hoping to restore their reputation as more than just manufactured servants. Llivori are deeply hated, regardless of how well they might’ve treated their employees, but these Tupai are not innately violent like their sister glatch. They tend to live in the present and take every breath as a gift, wanting nothing more than to bolster their servile race and share what they’ve come to call the Open Circle. It is the sensation of abject joy that comes with truly free flight, and it is said that no one flies quite like the Biting Wind.|
|Burning Wing - Feared by many colonies, the Burning Wing is a band of what Scrivewrights would call psychopaths. These Tupai are fierce and unforgiving proponents of an eye for an eye, and they will stop at nothing to exact revenge on those who are wicked in their eyes. While Biting Wind is more about purity and the celebration of freedom, Burning Wing are hellbent on freeing slaves of /any/ nature and making sure the captors bleed for it. They're highly unstable, often scarred by years of mistreatment or mutilated by careless employers. Since such blatant abuse by Llivori is so rare, this glatch is relatively low in number.|
Employed Tupai and Leaf Colony Tupai have vastly different cultural norms; Employed Tupai often adopt whatever culture their employers practice, while Leaf Colony Tupai have developed their own.
Most Tupai are born into employment. If a couple wishes to have pups, they must be employed by the same person, and they must be granted written permission. They are limited to three pups. Typical Tupai families involve an adult male and female and two pups. The elderly are looked after by the male, and the female is tasked with teaching the pups how to read and write Hekayan.
Leaf Colony Tupai raise their families in larger groups. Typical families include an adult male and female and four to five pups, with two generations of grandparents. Both males and females hunt, and pupsitters look after the children.
Education and Careers
There are no public teaching facilities that exist for Tupai. Private, specialized classes are available but often paid for by employers, as they are known to be expensive. In general, their parents, most often mother, teaches them literacy, and whatever her trade may be.
Sports and Games
Most Tupai games are impromptu and don't require points or teams. A popular youth game is simply chasing after a player with an object, like a flag or ball. Some play catch with the wildlife, some race, some just spar in the air.
Some Tupai will compete against Falari and other flight-capable races in the aerial olympic events in the Talon region on Falar.
The airborn game is point-driven and focuses on agility and speed. It's made up of two Tupai, the server and the darter. Using their mouth, feet or tails, the server tosses a hoop into the air and both them and the darter fly after it. The server must reach the hoop and catch it before the darter goes through it. If the darter passes through the hoop before the server can catch it, they are awarded 1 point. If the darter fails to go through the hoop before the server catches it, 1 point is awarded to the server. The game is over when one of them reaches 12 points.
To summarize, the server must catch the hoop before the darter can get through it. The darter must get through the hoop before the server catches it.
Language, Phrases, and Naming Conventions
- Kicked one too many times - Not particularly bright, in reference to particularly rough employers doling out boots to the head
- Thumb-bound - Essentially, hands tied, helpless
- Top-sleeper - A Tupai that has become, perhaps embarrassingly, too much like a pet, in reference to sleeping right-side up in laps
- Flying on torn wings - insane or foolish
- Shit-eating Opodi, feet-licking Opodi, etc. - Any curse against Opodi, used as an expletive
- Fluffed - Someone high-strung, in reference to fur standing on end
- Dragons - Slang for drakewings
- Kites - Slang for micropointers
- Bites - Slang for the more vicious Kamsho fauna that dominate the forests
Religion and Ceremonies
Tupai do not partake in any sort of religion (with the exception of the Softstep glatch) and generally dislike the inclusion of it, due to Opodian zealotry. They do, however, hold celebrations for their young learning to fly.
Employed Tupai dwellings range from square bathouse-like slats hung on walls to wherever they can hang upside-down. Leaf Colony Tupai vary greatly, from hollowed out redwood-like trees called kiamores and caves within cliff faces, to very modern tech-advanced "pods" they construct in canopies.
Wings don't allow much in the way of wardrobe, though Tupai can be fitted with bandoliers and packs that fit around their ankles. Higher paid Tupai have been known to wear embroidered sleeves that are hooked over thumbs and fastened across the back to form a shawl-like garb. Weighted cloaks are common, along with hats fitted for large ears. Necklaces made from woven cord, fangs and shells are popular among Leaf Colony Tupai, along with nose piercings, which are often frowned upon by elders, as it can hinder echolocation. Tupai lean towards broad, simple designs with desaturated colors and tend to dislike intricate patterns.
Inventions and Technology
|Hiverspace Races:||Aukami, B'hiri, Drrhaan, Falari, Gankri, Hekayti, Llivori, Lotorian, Lyiri, Muscipulan, Nemoni, Opodian, Pyracani, Riftwalker, Thul, Tupai, Yoridini|
|Normalspace Races:||Almedae, Calzonite, Castori, Centauran, Demarian, G'ahnli, Grimladhi, Kretonian, Mekke, Mystic, Nall, Odarite, Phyrrian, Theorian, Timonae, Vollistan, Ydahri, Yoescu, Zangali|
|Other Races:||Kamir, Il'Ri'Kamm, Positronic|