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BoneTalkers

Bone Talkers, Keepers Of The Dead.

Race Name Bone Talkers (Beheamin)
Appearance Semi-feral anthropomorphic American Shrews
Average Height 3-4ft, babies are very small only 6inchs at birth.
Weight 35-65lbs
Lifespan 35-65 years
Racial Language The racial language of Bone Talkers is a quiet whisper of clicks and ultrasound. They have to use more traditional means when dealing with other tribes.
Facial Appearance Long thin shrew snout, long whiskers and dark intelligent eyes.  Small pink ears that lay back against the head covered in fur.
Fur/Skin Colour Silver Grey fur covering the entire body and face, only the short tail and paws are pink.
Bipedal/Feral Looks Bone Talkers are feral in base build but anthro in their hips and legs, as well as their hand like paws. The body and head are very feral looking.
Distribution Widespread
Place of Origin Unknown
Behaviour Humanoid

A short introduction

The Bone-Talkers, also known as the Beheamin, are a race of anthropomorphic American Shrews, known for being committed to the care of the dead almost all over graveyards of Nakti. They are mostly accepted and highly respected due to this, and they are considered, regardless the religion, as important intermediaries between the living and the dead.

Behaviour

They live in the graveyards and crypts, arranging the bones and whispering to the dead. Living in and around the graveyards they dig burrows as they prefer the soil and to be near their beloved dead. Spending their lives maintaining the crypts and graves they can be seen all over Nakti everywhere there is a need.

Most tribes or clans welcome and tolerate their sometimes bizarre beliefs. Being quite useful as most don't like to deal with the dead and the aftermath of clean up. Praying to the bones and singing beside a grave regardless how old is where you will find a Bone-Talker.

Even a novice Bone-Talker can lead family to their lost member's grave, having an innate direction to the grave. People believe that the Bone-Talkers can speak with the dead as they will often know curious things about family of the loved ones. No one knows if this is a trick or if they can speak to the dead, this makes people revere them at times.

Many people come to the Bone-Talkers seeking knowledge from a dead one. Usually they will just console the person and let them know they were loved. Sometimes however something is shared that makes the person shake with awe and fear as no one could know such a thing.

Grave robbers and desacraters are hated like venom and will be attacked. Considering it a travisty, they will call out in their high pitched scream bringing more as there are more  the larger the city and need for the dead to be taken care of. They will attack with short blades which are wickedly sharp, more apt to call for help than attack.

If forced to, the Bone-Talker will mourn the person they had to kill and carry a bone on his waist as shame. It's not shameful to outsiders and to other Bone-Talkers but more of a personal shame that they take very seriously.

When a Bone-Talker dies he is placed inside one of their own crypts, and the bodies  washed  and sung to while mourning.  Eventually the bones will be places in small hollows within the families burrow. Many times a Bone-Talker will be seen talking to a family member's bones in the hollow as if seeking advice. Weither they recive any advice is debatable but most believe they do.

Distribution

Most everywhere they are welcomed and usually in most cities and villiges. Many don’t like or want to deal with the dead, so the Bone Talkers take on this task. Their original home is Abun and migrated outward finding welcoming tribes as they took on the job of tending to the dead. Many acompany caravans and traders, they make for quiet and attentive assistants.

Being a widespread people their history spans a good majority of Nakti. A good portion of their history is mixed with other tribes. Bone Talkers evolved on prairies and fields, enjoying the bounty of nature primarily insects which are a favorite.

Notable places or features

Many old battlefields are prime areas for Bone Talkers. They make small towns under them and dig out the bones and place them in built crypts for giving the dead a place to rest.

Building Style

Homes are dug into the ground and well kept. Large enough for whole families all dug out from the ground. If not able to dig in they will make mud bricks and build adobe like housings. Crypts are dug deep and large, usually under a hill or graveyard. The older the crypt the larger it is as they make additions. Soil removed is used for leveling out fields or is piled up away elsewhere or used where able. Able to dig quite effectively they use picks and shovels to get past rocks and obsticals.

Language, Culture and Religion

The racial language of Bone Talkers is a quiet whisper of clicks and ultrasound. They have to use more traditional means when dealing with other tribes.

Culture

The culture of Bone Talkers is a very reverent one. They evolved feeding on worms and insects and found more were located around the dead. It became a regular habit to feed and nest near or on areas rich in food. This evolved their culture as it began, they worship the dead and still feed on the worms and insect delights that scurry.

The religion is very important to them, and theirs is all about the care and respect for the dead. Homes have their own crypts or spaces where family and ancestors bones can rest. They sing and talk to them and ask advice. Laws are Built around the beliefs of the religion. Bone Talkers don’t normally steal or cause trouble as their religion has doctrines against such.

Be-Heam is the religion of the Bone Talkers. The church is built around the belief that the dead are the givers of life. Life may die but is laid to rest and feeds the world. Everywhere there is life there is death and the gift it brings. Their only god is one representing life and death, She is a beautiful white furred figure bearing an infant corpse in her arms.

The church is lead by a group of elders in the local area, they are chosen by means of writing and performing a song to the dead. The most beautiful and sorrowful that moves the crowd are chosen. The idea is to find the most poetic and respectful elders to lead the church. The elders will lead till their passing. Able to issue orders and commands to the priests and deacons, who follow orders with respect and grace.

Priests lead prayers and songs for the dead as well as sermons for the families living in the areas. Taking a active interest in the lives of the flock, priests are usually quite well known and deal with family issues and squabbles.

Habits

Singing and cleaning graves, chirping often as they use it for echolocation. People who can’t hear in the ultrasonic range can only see their muzzles move oddly. Sticking out their long tongue to clean their muzzle they look quite bizarre at times.

Quiet by nature they observe and help when able, not all are so helpful though. There are some who don’t follow the church or beliefs and break the mold. Being insectivores they are gluttons for their chosen food and can be found picking up a passing snack off of the leaves.

Common Health Issues

Arthritis in the elderly, fleas and sensitivity to strong chemical smells and loud noises. Having very sensitive ears used for echolocation sounds are noticed more so then others.

Taboos

Desecrating the dead or grave sites, Killing, Rape, Child abuse Sexual/Physical/Emotional, Incest, Drinking Ales, wines are fine as well as other spirits.

Laws

Local laws are used when being hosted in a town or city. When on their own they use the elder’s of the church to decide punishments for crimes that occur. Punishments vary from community service to banishment to hobbling.

Education

Education starts as a young cub, taught by the parents till old enough to attend church services and enter school. Math, Reading, Theology and Scribing are some of the many skills taught growing up.

Occupations

Priests, Poets, Spirits Brewer, Scribes, Librarians, Death Handlers, Shop Keepers

Oddities

Bone Talkers have very small eyes that see very poorly and thus use echolocation to see around them. They have a very deep love of insects and worms, and many take time to harvest them in the surrounding fields or wilderness. At night you can see them out and about collecting and worm grunting. (Worm grunting is using a stick with notches to rub against another staked in the ground which causes vibrations and forces worms up)

Racial habits

A natural compulsion or habit of digging their homes into the clay and soil. They prefer the damp soil and earthen smells. Normal huts and buildings make them feel exposed and unsettled. When a death occurs they will almost always take charge and command the situation. A death of a Bone Talker is taken with reverence and they will take the body to their family and intern them, even if a great distance away.

Sexual Behavior

Sex is a private affair but very frequent when within their own homes and chambers. One does not deny the joys of life and the gift of the pleasure of sex. Masturbation is also common among unmated members females and males alike enjoy such.

Sexual Inclination

Largely Hetero with a mixed of varying preferences.

Views on Sex

Modesty is the normal custom and sex with another species is considered gross and distasteful. Many consider it a taboo and not to be discussed and will be offended if approached with sexual advances. If forced they will bite and their venom will put a stop to it, while they leave or take the offender to the crypts. There they will wait and revive in the total darkness with only the sounds of soft chanting.

Breeding Info

Bone Talkers breed throughout the year. Pregnancy lasts for 120 days on average, giving birth to one to three small cubs. The cubs are helpless and totally blind and will squeak in an ultrasonics to call their parents and request food or attention. Childhood is short about 5 to 8yrs of age they are a sexually mature adult. Schooling continues on into life.

Relationship Habits

Mating for a lifetime Bone Talkers pride themselves in being a dedicated and responsive mate. Couples are usually quite close and affectionate but only in private. In public they are reserved and subtle but obviously a couple.

Additional Info

Venomous Bite, the bite of the Bone Talker inflicts a paralysis torpor state that lasts for hours and possible days if they are easily susceptible. Evolved from when they were mindless animals hunting insects and worms as well as small mammals. The bite would allow them to paralyze their prey and return back to their burrows and eat in leisure.

Being Shrews they eat a lot, no where near they used to as a small insectivore but more then most think possible for such small people. Favorite foods consist of worms, insects of all types as long as not foul or poisonous. Other foods consist of tubers and roots, edible grasses and seeds. Meats are welcomed when available but insects and worms are their primary favorites. Insects and worms are gathered around the areas plucked from crops or under rocks as well as farmed ant or termite hills.

Being nocturnal they mostly come out in the late afternoon and evening. Spending the nights tending the dead or performing their daily activities. In the daytime there are priests available for people to consult or take care of the needs of the people in burial rituals and advice.

The burial of other tribes and peoples are carried out as per the wishes of the families. Taking care of the grave digging and care of the body. After the body decomposes if so allowed they will intern the bones into their crypts. The Crypts are places people can morn their past family or consult a priest on matters concerning the dead. Crypts are lit as needed, small lamps recessed into the walls light the way.

Being almost blind lights have no use unless writing or reading. Writing is not with ink and quill but with clay sheets and imprinted with a wooden stylus. The sensitive paws of the talkers are used to read the tablets. Libraries and genealogy records are stored in shelves in the earthen walls of the crypts and libraries underground.

Other tribes coming to the crypts are blind in the dark so lamps and candles are lit as they visit and snuffed when gone. Lights and lamps are primarily for others and tasks requiring light. Others wanting a copy of the tablets written will be translated by a scribe orally and copied by the visitor wishing a copy. Handwriting is hard if not impossible as they are almost blind, but they do understand the needs of other tribes.

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