|Appearance||Colorful, humanoid parrots.|
|Facial Appearance||Different beak sizes, varying from large to small.|
|Fur/Skin Colour||Varies according to subspecies.|
|Bipedal/Feral Looks||Bipedal but digitigrade, instead of wings, their arms resemble an extra pair of talons.|
|Distribution||The Bika Islands|
|Place of Origin||-|
|Behaviour||Easygoing, passionate and hot-blooded.|
The Bika are the native race of the Bika Islands. They seldom travel, prefer to trade with whoever comes there. They are a race of non-hybrid anthropomorphic birds. They are a warm-blooded and oviparous race.
AppearanceThe Bika are colorful and diverse, but generally speaking, they are digitigrade and with long tail-feathers. Their arms are talon-like and their shoulders are sometimes draped with long feathers. Beyond that, their appearance vary according to their sub-species.
The Bika are known for having four different sub-species living in the island.
- Bika Brambur
- Bika Bidi
- Bika Beika
- Bika Bao
Large, stocky, small-beaked and owl-like. Green and yellow. Generally wear cloaks as they are often out at night, but during the day they dress in simple loincloths.
Small, round, small-beaked, beady-eyed, blue, green and yellow.
Often nude or dressed simply with leaves. Sometimes wear head-dresses made of leaves, flowers and discarded feathers.
Medium-sized, slender, medium-beaked, with a large colorful headdress that can be unfolded intentionally as a display or unintentionally when angry or threatened. Their bodies by contrast are usually light-colored, either white or pastel-tinted, tough black Bika Beikas occur. The females tend to wear bindis in a colorful fabric while the males tend to stick to loose monocoloured pants and a sash.
Medium-sized, slender, large-beaked. Colors: all the colors, all of them. They always have a white “mask” They are usually at-least bi-colored, with different colours for their belly and their back, with a white “mask” around the eyes with black spots or stripes. The females often wear tops made of shells and a loincloth, often enhanced to the side with leaves and the males wear shorter, but similarly colored loincloths.
Generally speaking, they are relaxed, passionate and easy to get along with, but with a hot-blooded streak. They don't hold grudges for very long. As one of their sayings go: ”it will be washed away in the next monsoon.” That is, in times of hardship, you set aside petty grudges and stand together.
Petty grudges are easy to find on the Bika islands, as the tribes all have a strong sense of identity and their passion often leads to personality conflicts, both inside and outside the tribal groups.
More specifically, these are the stereotypical behaviours of the different tribes. Keep in mind, that these are stereotypes, and not something that apply to every single individual, or even most. It I just a general sense of what a “typical” tribe-member would be like in the eyes of the Bika.
Nocturnal, shady, often up to no good. Can often get away with bad behaviour due to their commandeering presence. Older Bika Bramburs act like dirty old men and women, being lewd and inappropriate.
Early-birds. Practical and hard-working, and almost obnoxiously optimistic. Because of their small stature and build, they are generally considered unattractive compared to some of the more colorful bikas, but without their grounded, down-to-earth attitude, very little would actually get done on Bika.
Like to sleep in, very extroverted and chattery. They can be primadonnas, and quite judgy, though being sociable, they tend to channel the judgment into "friendly advice”, whether solicited or not.
Libertine and individualistic, out to experience all the pleasures the world has to offer. They can be quite argumentative and prone to disagreement. As the saying goes, “The one who can get a hundred Bao to agree, will surely be king of Bika.” That is, it is impossible for all of one tribe to agree on anything, let alone all four, so there will never be a unified ruler of Bika.
The most common type of stories told are tales of alcohol-fueled antics, either one's own or others'. The second most common are saucy, near-pornographic romantic tales. The third most common are stories related to various tribal folk heroes, who overcome adversity in a way befitting the tribe's sense of identity.
Brambur heroes tend to use raw force to get their way, and can often act in morally questionable ways.
Bidi heroes tend to come in pairs, or in groups of five. They are well-coordinated and tend to succeed through hard work or by convincing others to work together.
Beika heroes are social engineers, they use charisma and emotional manipulation to get their way.
Bao heroes are often tricksters, and tend to succeed through having a quick wit. In spite of their tactics, they tend to be morally upstanding, if prone to “harmless” practical jokes.
When it comes to more organized entertainment, the most common is bibani-theatre, a sort of shadow-theatre where a large cloth is erected, traditionally between two trees, in front of a bonfire. A ditch is then dug between the two, where groups of 2-3 Bika operate shadow-puppets. While the puppets are intended to be seen in silhouette, they often look quite interesting on their own, made of wood, paper, leaves and shells.
The stories rely heavily on stock characters, witty banter and slapstick, with sound-effects provided off-stage by a skilled mimicry artist. Because of the complicated nature of the puppets, malfunctions are common, which are often incorporated into the story through improv, leading to the stories portraying a somewhat gruesome universe where people's limbs and heads fall off at inopportune times.
Wren Kalinda is an annual festival, usually celebrated a month before rain-season. It lasts around three to four days of dances, performances, celebrations and impromptu contests and games. The most common are the Kalinda, a form of dance/combat game that is also used throughout the year to settle minor disagreements. It goes thus: a challenge is issued, usually with a mild taunt. The challenger can choose to ignore the challenge without any loss of honor. Unless there is a score to settle, the taunt is supposed to be seen as an invitation, and not a serious insult. Many unfortunate incidents have been started by visitors misunderstanding this aspect of the culture.
When the combatants are ready, a crowd forms around them. Many festival-goers carry bows and roarers and these will be used to add a rhythmic soundtrack to the fight. The battle cannot start without some form of musical accompaniment. The goal of the mimi wackla is to display dominance over the opponent and work the crowd in your favour, not to knock the opponent out (again, unfortunate incidents, misunderstandings). However, some fighting skills are generally necessary, and watching some of the more skilled Bika fight is quite impressive. The fighters are pulled apart once it's clear who “won” and before anyone can get seriously harmed... usually, anyway.
The Bika don't need much in the way of instruments as their vocal range is quite large on its own. The two exceptions to this are roarers and musical bows. Musical bows are played by biting the string with your beak, letting it act as a resonator, and plucking or hitting the string with a stick, while adding harmonics by voicing. This produces a rhythmic melody suitable for dancing or fighting to. The roarers are more general noisemakers and consist of a small piece of shaped wood connected to a string, which is then swung around, producing a roaring noise. It is quite common during festivities, and you generally can't have a WW without at least somebody getting hit in the head with one accidentally.
The main sport enjoyed by the Bika is Lakti, a variant on four-square. Four participants stand in a square. Each position has a rank assigned to it, going clockwise: King, prince, duke, pauper. The ”king” position is often marked out in some way, by lines in the sand or whatever object is on hand. A ball made out of wrapped cloth is tossed from player to player using their claws. Should one fail to catch the ball, they are eliminated, all the players below move up a rank and a new participant is brought in for the pauper position. The goal is to stay in the king's place for as long as possible. The trick to the game is to catch players off-guard by feinting, changing the flow of play, tossing the ball in an unexpected direction, or simply psyching out the opponent.
Food and drink
The Bika maintain a mostly vegetarian diet consisting of seeds and fruits that they sometimes augment with fish and insects.
As for alcoholic drinks, the two main ones are “Kilicawe”, also known as “Bika milk”, which is a creamy liqueur made out of agave and coconut, and “Macawe”, a strong spirit mixed with herbs. It is NOT hallucinogenic, in spite of what rumours say.
While the usual dress code of the Bika is quite simple and utilitarian, it's not due to lack of skills. Textile makers make quite an intricate lace out of agave fiber that is generally used for minor decorations, but are also used to line formal-wear. Formal clothes are generally only worn at night, during weddings or funerals and consist of gowns and frock-coats in muted, but lively colors.
Generally monogamous, with the exception of the Bao, who practice polyamory. That being said, they are fairly open about sexuality and are no strangers to sleeping around, especially with foreigners as they don't have to worry about conception or most sexually transmitted diseases.
Inter-tribal relations are generally frowned upon. Hatchlings are born naked, blind and helpless, generally carried around in a cloth on their mothers back until they develop into fledglings. The fledglings have pin-feathers, which fail to cover most of their skin. The fledglings are generally taken care of by their parents, with the exception of the Bidi, who practice communal rearing.
They are somewhat preoccupied with racial purity, but in a passive-aggressive way, where perceived imperfections will be used as a fodder for insults, yet no serious attempt is made to prevent inter-racial marriage. Those that do are generally seen as humorless bigots. The standard retort is ”at least their love is pretty”, meaning that while their offspring may end up looking motley in the bika birds eyes, the love that conceived them is still worth celebrating. As a result, inter-racial couples are reluctant to admit to martial problems for fear of being met with pity.
The Bika have a history of being sold as slaves by the Abunese, and possibly the Hat'Nyans. Some Bika chose to remain in Abun as voluntary servants. Because of the abolitionism and their generally nice treatment, the Bika and the Abun have a friendly relationship these day, with the Bika island being a popular place to visit for relaxation and leisure.
Farming is the backbone of the Bika economy, with tourism a close second. Farmers grow agave that is harvested for nectar and exported for its sweet, exotic taste, either in pure form or brewed into one of its alcoholic beverages. Traders can generally find an endless supply of customers looking for hard-to-get items or a memento from warmer climes.
They excel in hand-to-hand combat and the use of bows and slings. Worth noting however is that they have very little in the way of martial culture and no organized military, and most Bika have only ever experienced mock-combat, making their skills impressive, but untested.