|Subraces||Ka, El and Haat|
|Common Nicknames||Sleepers, Old ones, Burrowers|
|Naming Customs||Fluently flowing names with frequent usage of l and m|
|Distinctions||Ancient sleeper race re-awakened by the Cataclysm|
|Height||5'5 - 6’2|
|Eye Colors||Varied on Subrace|
|Hair Colors||Varied on Subrace|
|Skin Tones||Varied on Subrace|
The last remnants of the ancient Meraic Civilization and survivors of the Void Invasion, the Maraya, otherwise known as the Sleepers, are the oldest still-living race in Aloria. When faced with imminent extinction, the greatest minds and mages of the their world-spanning Empire came together and constructed the Tohn Valeer; massive underground stasis vaults intended to preserve their species in an centuries-long slumber. Their slumber could only last so long, however. At the end of the Void Invasion that had pressed them into their vaults, Magic was drained from the world, an event unforeseen by the Meraic. With each passing century, extinction loomed ever closer to the sleeping race, with Tohn Valeer vaults worldwide failing without the Magic used to sustain them. While some vaults became the final grave of their inhabitants, others managed to preserve the lives of their inhabitants, and others still were subject to magical corruption, altering the biology of the Maraya within. Eventually, with the destruction brought by the Cataclysm and the Wildering in the Allorn Empire, the vault seals were broken and exposed, and the sudden burst of Magic preceding these events re-activated the magic of the vaults, awakening those inside. Wrought by memory loss and the effects of long term hibernation, the Maraya that emerged into a world that was alien and hostile to them. Guided by their Tohn Sona (holy scriptures of the past), they set out in the world to try and reclaim some of their lost glory. In immediate opposition to the Allar and Slizzar, the Maraya continue to struggle in a world where they increasingly come to realize that their past is long behind them, and that they have to adapt to survive in a world that is too full of other Races all fighting for dominion.
The El-Maraya are the most common form of Maraya found as they were born from the Tohn Elaya, the vault for the common folk. Back in the Meraic Empire, the Meraic Race experienced speciation. This means that the Maraya were split between two Races that had a shared ancestor, but diverged in development at some point in history to form two distinct species. The El-Maraya resemble Altalar in many ways in their Body Shape, though there are some very distinct differences. The most obvious difference is their skin tone, ranging from pastel colors of blue, orange, yellow and red, while their hair has similar pastel colors. The color of their irises is often a very bright variety of these main colors, for example sky-blue, bright pink or vibrant yellow. Other prominent features are their cranial features and their ears. Their cranial features are usually two triangular shapes with smaller ridges extending outwards growing up from their forehead, differing in shape between individuals. Some shapes can also be disk-shaped, and some can also be rectangular, as the edges differ wildly. Their ears are much like those of the Altalar, but twice as long and curved slightly upwards, with two butterfly-wing shaped lobes hanging on the underside that give them a very butterfly-wing-like appearance. Their hair, despite not being made of actual silk, has a very silken feeling to it, which can quickly grow to longer lengths. Male El-Maraya can also grow facial hair, but often shave it off. It is said that El-Maraya hair can grow upwards to an inch a day on their head, until it reaches to around their waist, when the hair growth stops.
The Ka-Maraya are the less common form of the Maraya found as they were born from the Tohn Kaya, the vault for the scholars and the philosophers. The Ka-Maraya are the sister-clade to the El-Maraya, sharing a common ancestor in the Meraic species, who represented a more philosophical and religious caste within their civilization (though have since abandoned that distinction). The Ka-Maraya are considerably larger than the El-Maraya who are generally slim and athletic. The former are bulkier and larger (despite their more scholarly inclined disposition) and are as such often mistaken for the male dichotomy of the El-Maraya, even though both El and Ka-Maraya have male and female genders within their Subraces. The Ka-Maraya have a similar skin tone palette to the El-Maraya, but all their colors are less pastel and more gray-muted with darker tones. Their eyes are the same, and they also have cranial formations on their forehead. Additionally, they can also have these on their cheekbones, their chin, and they have (usually) two sets of horns that flow from their cranial formations on their forehead to follow the curve of their skull backwards.
Most Ka-Maraya don’t have hair on top of their head, though when they do it is usually a very color-muted variety of their skin tone. That means to say for example, if a Ka-Maraya has a darker blue skin-tone, then their hair color is black but with a very light tint of midnight blue. Additionally, nearly all Ka-Maraya males have some form of facial hair growth that grows much faster than any other Race’s facial hair growth. It is very common to see a Ka-Maraya with a full beard, the older and more venerable ones even having beards down to their chest. Ka-Maraya also have a number of skin-deep formations on their cranial formations, their cheeks and neck that often appear like sub-skin veins but are actually thicker skin shapes. These differ between individuals. They furthermore have long ears like those of the El-Maraya, but these ears tend to be more angular and pointed, and the lobes on their ears are not butterfly-wing-shaped but more like actual triangles. Finally, the Ka-Maraya have a non-prehensile strong muscular tail that is about as thick as their upper leg when flowing from their spine, but narrows at it goes closer to the ground. Towards the end, the tail is shaped like that of thresher shark. They are able to move this tail around with some efficiency to strike people, but it is not flexible enough to hold items or their weight. It can also be used when swimming to provide better steering underwater, but does not enhance their swimming speed.
The Haat-Maraya were once El Maraya, but were corrupted by their Tohn Haat vault’s magical bindings failing and Void Essence leaking into their chambers. The Haat-Maraya as such physically changed away from the Meraic racial standard (of either the El or Ka-Maraya) but remain genetically Maraya and part of their racial category. The Haat-Maraya have the same shape as the El-Maraya and can also have the same pastel skin tones, but there are a couple of notable differences. Firstly, their nails are much longer and resemble black claws more than actual nails. A bone-like blade extends from their elbow parallel to their upper arm towards their hand with a slight inward curve and a sharp end. These elbow blades can actually be used to fight opponents and inflict a lot of damage when impaling someone. Their hair grows just as fast and just as long as the El-Maraya, but is nearly always black with some red or blue tints possible. Their hair also happens to be one of their most distinctive features aside from their horn crown: they have some amount of physical control over their hair, being able to pull strands together into spider-like legs, and are able to jab these at others who come close. As opposed to their elbow blade, these spider-leg-like hair jabs don’t inflict any piercing damage and at most can become obstructing to vision when repeatedly jabbing in someone’s face. Somewhere under their fast growing hair, they have the same ears as El-Maraya, but usually hidden underneath.
This hair can be used to hold up the weight of a Haat-Maraya suspended from the ceiling, where the spider-leg-like hair strands act like spider legs that chitter over the ceiling and using the flexibility of the hair to hold onto any crevice or object they can grab a hold of. It is as such possible for Haat-Maraya to even use their hair on the ground to drag their body around if for some reason their hands and legs are restrained, but they obviously refrain from doing so out of the notion that this looks incredibly silly. Haat-Maraya faces and head shapes are also very different. On top of their head is the so called horn crown that all Haat-Maraya have, which is a cranial/horn formation growing out of their skull. The skin on the edges of their face and their forehead transitions into a much darker brown or black toned bone formation with horns ranging in different directions, usually two major horns and two smaller ones, so four on each side. On top of these bone formations are two sets of three smaller spider-like eyes which the Haat-Maraya can actually see from if they close their normal eyes. Haat-Maraya eyes also differ from the other Maraya species, with completely black sclera, bright red irises, an orange limbus, and the absence of a pupils. These eyes (and those embedded within their horn crown) also glow in the dark, not enough to illuminate a room, but certainly bright enough to be visible in a pitch black room.
- Note: Haat Maraya because of their completely alien appearance, general behavior, and evil traits, it is not recommended to roleplay this sub-race outside of the Regalia sewers or beyond Regalia. Guards can and will likely imprison and execute with severe prejudice without warning.
Maraya Common Traits
All Maraya species share the same age and height restrictions, but do have different Body Shape restrictions, as noted on the Proficiency Page. Racial breeding between the sub-species can result in one of three options. If for example the mother is El-Maraya and the father Ka-Maraya, then a child may be born as either an El or Ka-Maraya, or it may be born as a Nol-Maraya. Nol-Maraya aren’t officially defined on this page because they are a form of sterile (to their own species) mutt Maraya that is not able to reproduce with other Nol-Maraya and as such seen more as a physical abnormality than an actual racial category. Nol-Maraya take physical traits from both parents. They could for example inherit the mother’s ears and facial features but the father’s tail. They simply can't reproduce beyond mating with other Ka Haat or El-Maraya, in which case they do, either they or their partner give birth to the Maraya variety of the other non-Nol-Maraya partner. Maraya age up to 400 years old, but this aging principle follows much of the Ailor process. Maraya become adults at the age of 20, after which they continue to age at a normal rate until they reach around 100 years old, which is 80 years in equivalence to Ailor. Then, they continue to live another 300 years after their 100th birthday, but remain as if 80 years old throughout that time, until they finally die of old age around 400. Note, characters above the age of 150 years old require a Special Permission application from the Forums. Maraya do not give birth like other Races, but instead produce small eggs immediately after intercourse (both males and females can produce eggs). These eggs continue to grow from fist sized to about child sized for over several months, absorbing plant matter that is put onto the shell. A child is eventually born with a connection to their biological parents, but able to adopt any person as their parent should they so wish if their real parents are absent.
All Maraya have an ability called the Race-Weave. Race-Weave is a barely understood old Meraic ability that allows the Maraya to affect the racial abilities of those around them that are not Maraya. For each Race, the effect is slightly different, so a bullet point list is described below to define each effect. In order to use Race-Weave, the Maraya make use of small glands on their palms which are capable of secreting a sticky and very sweet resin-like substance that they can weave between their hands. This is usually done by clapping their hands together, and then pulling them apart, which causes strands of this Maraya Chrysalis to form between their hands. A couple of hand gestures causes this Chrysalis to take the shape of a web or shape, after which they hold it in front of their mouth and give it a blow of air in a direction. It then flings towards a person, where it will latch onto them and sink through their clothing/armor/skin regardless of protections, and get absorbed fairly quickly. There is a chance that they can miss this “shot” ability against a fast moving target, but as soon as the Chrysalis is attached, it cannot be removed, as it immediately starts being absorbed by the skin. The absorbed Chrysalis through the skin does not negatively affect the person in any way or cause long term issues besides the Race ability blocker effect described below. If no time limits are defined for these Race-Weave blockers, assume they all last up to half an hour and can only be used once per person per day. This ability also cannot be spammed during combat and requires the Maraya to not be under attack. A Maraya only produces enough of the Race-weave resin to perform this ability three times per day.
- Ailor = Disable Will of Faith Abilities and any Sanktist or Rettist abilities the target may have cannot be used on the Maraya.
- Sihai = Target suffers from severe auditory and visual illusions of things attacking them and the sky and the moon and stars rapidly rotating.
- Dwarf = Target is given a sudden urge to go collect things, anything of value, so strong that it even overrides their desire to fight like an obsession.
- Qadir = Target goes blind, and is unable to connect to any remote command Clockwork devices, but can still use physical touch to command Clockwork. Additionally, they lose the ability to use their Soulshot ability.
- Songaskia = Forces the target Songaskian out of Elder Shift and disallow their Elemental Ability usage.
- Altalar = Disables the target Altalar from using their Will of Arcane.
- Avanthar = Forces an Avanthar out of their Caste, and reduces their Body Shape to one level higher than their natural level. Cannot re-use a Caste for the 30 minute duration.
- Cielothar = Causes any stone sung crystals or gems to cause intense pain if embedded in the skin of a Cielothar. Also cancels all of their Ritualism abilities if they have any.
- Sihndar = Disables all passive and active uses of the Powers of Taint, any that were already active are disabled or removed.
- Isldar = Disable all racial abilities for the Loyal and Zealous Isldar, of all types of loyalty, and remove active abilities.
- Kathar = Disables target Kathar's Threlwar Bond and Threlwar Summons and block a Kathar Ritualist from using Kathar Ritualism if they have any.
- Manathar = Disable Cardinal control over their snakes, force Apostle back to their natural form and deny them shifting, Lector cannot use Telekinesis hands, Black Manathar go blind.
- Yanar = Disable all of target's Ovalation, reverting the Yanar back to a Barkling which is a slow and “base” Yanar made out of purely bark. While they are this form, they are however very durable, albeit unable to talk.
- Allar = Target suffers severe levels of paranoia and suspicion towards other Allar. Generally the closer an Allar was to the subject, the more they will be forced to think they are plotting to back-stab them.
- Slizzar = Using this ability on a Slizzar will deny them the Proficiency boost from Colluding, but it will not be visible or make any noticeable difference, so it cannot be used to identify Slizzar.
- Varran = Target Varran is unable to control Living Metal anymore, causing all of it to just melt to the floor and evaporate away, requiring them to fetch new Living Metal.
- Orc = Disable target Orc poison protections, force them to devolve back into a frailer proto-Orc at Body Shape Toned, with much smaller tusks and grayer skin.
- Url = Cancels out target Url emotional inhibitions and reservations and send them into a berserk state of anger and temper and wilderness.
The El and Ka-Maraya have roughly similar personalities, which are seemingly conflicting with their world view of wanting to regain their lost glories. One would expect the Maraya to be very arrogant and cold like the Altalar, which is true, but not at face value. Many of the Races experience the Maraya as the most two-faced Race in existence, able to have a poker-face that is so effective and thorough that it is nigh-impossible for the other Races to tell whether they are being truthful or deceiving. Maraya are masters at masking their own emotions and intentions, and know just what to say to make others comfortable around them while keeping their true motivations hidden. This doesn’t mean that all Maraya are inherently evil conspirators however, it simply means they are excellent liars. Many of the Maraya don’t buy into the glory reconquest ideology as professed by the Tohn Sona and are more than happy to just be alive, haunted with vague memories of the utter destruction and suffering imparted on them many millennia ago during the Void Invasion. Now living in a world where Void Invasions are seemingly a thing of the past, and with little loyalty to their old memory, the Maraya remain flexible and fluid in their movements from social circles to social circles, using their crafty personality to get in good graces anywhere they like. The Maraya have an overarching ideology that wishes for them to become great again, but ultimately there is no urgency to this plan and many Maraya have accepted that they simply need to have a larger population before this even can become a priority.
Haat-Maraya however are a different deal altogether. Haat-Maraya have in turn both been physically and mentally corrupted by the Void powers and much of their personality has also been corrupted like that of a possessed person. This is not to say that the Haat-Maraya are incapable of feeling fear and anxiety. If anything, they have a crippling fear of death and will go to any lengths to avoid it, but much like their Ka and El-Maraya cousins, they are very good at deception through lies and keeping their own agenda hidden. The Haat-Maraya get along very well with abberants and Kathar, especially because they are essentially aberrants (though not officially) and because the Kathar allied with them when they were awakened from the Tohn Haat vault. They take up a small subsection of Kathar society and have several colonies on the southern coasts of the Dread Empire, fulfilling several espionage roles for the Dread Empire. Their general personas are driven to self-satisfaction, often through sadism but also lust, greed and destruction. The failings and misery of others is pleasing to them, and especially with the masochistic Kathar, they love inflicting what the Kathar love to have inflicted, making them a perfect match for one another (even if Kathar still sort of consider them a useful vermin). They are capable of kindness in rare moments and compassion, but usually only when it concerns situations where it benefits them, or where it concerns people who they consider their personal property or terrain. The Haat-Maraya don’t buy into the concept of Meraic revitalization, they simply concern themselves with their own lives and the continuation of themselves as a species under the umbrella of the Maraya Race.
Maraya history is an enigma, even to their own people, constructed around vague fragments of the Meraic Empire, either through what still exists on the surface world, or from the trinkets, writings, and memorabilia remaining in the Tohn Vaults. These scraps of knowledge allow brief glimpses into what the Maraya once were, but are scarce; such materials from other vaults dwindle over time, suffering from failure of magical archive wards, or from simple passage of time, destroying nearly all Meraic written material. Modern scholars estimate the initial period in which the Maraya were intended to sleep was for roughly 300 years; instead, their stasis lasted for at the very least 2500 years. Their Vaults numbered 177 initially, a number gleaned from the Tohn Sona, a religious text, and one of the very last surviving remnants of Meraic literature, though only 55 of these Vaults have ever been discovered in modern times. Of these 55, only the Tohn Elaya, Tohn Kaya, and Tohn Haat offered life; most were reduced to ancient, intricate crypts with little more than dust, while others fell victim to natural disasters like earthquakes and flooding, only discovered by stumbling upon their last fragments.
When the Maraya awoke, they collectively could not remember their past. In three separate locations the Ka-, El-, and Haat-Maraya awoke in utter darkness to irreparable ruin and failing Magics. Of the dozens of rings and levels constructed in their great underground silos, barely a handful remained, their heritage and ancestry utterly crushed by rockslides and the erosion of time. The newly awoken Maraya spent months or even years still inside their Tohn Vaults, subsisting off Magics which needed to be manually re-activated to initiate a painfully slow opening process. The first of these vaults to open was the El-Maraya Elaya Vault, which suffered no complications in opening, and released the Maraya Home Swarm. This Swarm, a large fleet of airborne houses suspended and merged with a single balloon of Meraic origin, made the first preliminary scouting expeditions around the vault, concluding to them the world had been taken over by new Races. The Maraya concealed themselves high above the clouds of tropical storm, making use of devices left behind by the Meraic to observe and collect information on the Allar and Slizzar beneath them, in the initial stages of the foundation of the Essa Empire. Elsewhere, they watched as the Ailor established the Regalian Empire after casting off the shackles of their tyrannical Regalian King.
Here, the Maraya came to the realization they could not seek conflict; less than 50,000 Maraya had awoken from the Elaya Vault, they were receiving no communication from any other Tohn Vault, and their advanced astronomy and navigation skills opened their eyes to two dire truths; they had far overslept their target, and there were no remaining Meraic cities. What little had survived of their settlements and structures had been absorbed and cannibalized into Altalar cities. The tropical storms which followed their Home Swarm kept them hidden from sight by the surface dwellers for decades, until the reception of an emergency signal from the Tohn Kaya Vault, whose inhabitants were unable to open their main vault door. The Home Swarm descended from the clouds to Sendras, discovering an Allar Void Cult making residence directly on top of the Tohn Kaya door. The first contact of the Meraic inheritors to the new Alorian races was slaughter; the Home Swarm Maraya proceeded to utterly eradicate the tribal Allar and force the Tohn Kaya gate open, releasing their Tohnsa-Ka-Meraic, which would go on to become known as the Queenship in modern times. The Queenship was constructed by the Meraic civilization, and outfitted with technologies still unparalleled today. Powerful propulsion systems enabled the Queenship to take its place at altitudes untouched by modern Alorians, and crystalline structures built into the Queenship allowed it to alter the very weather around it, creating the clouds with which it would hide itself in later times. United, the Maraya would bring together their Tohnsa and the Home Swarm, electing the Tohnsa as their capital ship, from which they established a government in 172 AC, and formally adopted the name ‘Maraya’, differentiating themselves from the Meraic civilization which had come before them.
The Tohn Haat, conversely, never released their distress signal. Disgusted by what they had become, the Haat-Maraya rejected Meraic teachings and hid within their vault for far longer than was intended, even past the establishment of a Maraya government by the other opened Vaults. By the opening of the Tohn Haat in 192 AC, the Haat-Maraya had long since resorted to cannibalism for sustenance, out of fear of what the world outside would force them to confront. The generations would inherit the Tohn Haat from the first Haat-Maraya to awaken would become increasingly violent and cruel, with frequent internal conflict, and aforementioned commonplace cannibalism. The Tohn Haat was forced open by Kathar from the outside, who had led an expedition into Altalar lands in which the Tohn Haat lay. Initial relations between the Kathar and the newly freed Haat-Maraya were unspeakably hostile but, through this hostility, the Kathar developed an appreciation for the Haat they could harbor for no other races. With massive efforts on behalf of the Kathar to translate and negotiate with the Haat, so as to prevent the Haat attacking them for use as a good source, they were convinced to join the Kathar expedition in their return to the Dread Empire, and found colonies to live life how they desired. To this day, the Haat retain a taste for Kathar, who they can very easily see as both a dish, and a lover.
The Home Swarm and Tohnsa-Ka-Meraic were witness to all of this, but could not intervene from their place in the clouds; even with time to reproduce, and the bolstering of their numbers by the scholarly Ka-Maraya, they numbered only around 230,000. With only two decades of existence as a formal state, they elected to instead record the events and their observations, disappear back into the clouds, and establish a plan at a later point. In the meantime, they were confronted with increasingly disheartening experiences, as each Tohn Vault they tracked down was discovered to be an empty ruin, devoid of all life. The first recorded instance of an intervention of the Home Swarm in regards to the Haat was an attempt to seize a ship carrying Haat eggs between two colonies in 261AC. In doing so, the Ka- and El-Maraya cemented their lasting hatred from the Haat; envied by the Haat-Maraya for their lack of mutation, the two sister clades had made their first contact with their relatives an act of theft, trying to steal the unborn children of the Haat. Although the theft was a success, a stowaway remained aboard the fleet until it floated somewhere over Daenshore’s northern coastline. This stowaway initiated a series of fights which would disable a number of levitation devices and cause the disconnection of a breeding chamber ship from the Home Swarm, which would crash onto the land below, killing all on board and leaving rubble over a mile-long stretch. The Maraya of the Home Swarm chose to abandon the wreck and accept the eggs as lost.
Thanks to the work of the Maraya still aboard the ship as it fell, however, many of the eggs store inside survived. These eggs were taken by the Altalar and Ailor nearby, who saw them as curiosities. Of these eggs, a significant number simply died, locked in Altalar cabinets and seen as little more than trinkets. Ailor, on the other hand, saw much greater success. Attempting to keep the eggs warm with dried hay, the Ailor inadvertently provided them with the plant matter necessary for them to survive and gestate. When these eggs hatched, hundreds of Maraya were raised in the slum towns of Daenshore, even in spite of apprehension regarding the sudden appearance of this apparent new race. The Maraya of the Home Swarm and Tohnsa-Ka-Maraya labelled these the Skyfallen Maraya, of Ka-, El-, and Haat-Maraya origin. These Maraya adapted to Ailor and Altalar culture quickly, and prompted the Home Swarm to alter its tactics; with the appearance of their kin on the ground, it was only a matter of time until their fleet was exposed to the world at large. Nearly a century after the opening of the Haat Vault, the Home Fleet chose to act, falling upon the Essa Empire in 287 AC. Collapsing under the weight of an already-invading Regalian Empire, the Essa lacked their Allar defenses and access to resource-rich regions they had previously possessed. The Maraya readily took advantage of this, testing their now-functionally sized military, and using their invasion of the Essa Empire as a staging ground to test their might, refill their resources, and announce their presence to the world. They descended from the tropical storms generated by the Home Swarm, invading the Allar with strong guerilla tactics, hopping from one side of the Empire to another, consistently outpacing the military minds of the Cro-Allar.
The Maraya played a small, but influential role in crippling Allar logistics which would enable Regalia to utterly crush the Essa Empire, but formal agreements or positive bonds between the two were never established; the two warring parties simply shared a common enemy. If anything, the Home Fleet continued to treat all foreign nations as enemies, no matter their standing or actions. By the time of the Bone Horror Crisis however, the Maraya began to understand making enemies out of everyone would not suit them in the long run, and they began sending sleeper populations and envoys to various corners of the world to learn more about the locals. Eventually however, many of these envoys would have children who themselves would integrate and spread the influence and culture of the Maraya into the various states in the world. The relevance of the Tohn Sona declined massively in these latter years; the message of racial superiority and an optimistic, utopian view of the world became less of a driving aspect of their society, and more like a goal stuck as a pipe dream. Many of the Maraya abandoned their old ways, and simply opted to try and live as best they could in the alien world they were now a part of.
Maraya society is a very flat society of indifferent democracy. That is to say, the vast majority of the Maraya believe in the concept of communal decision taking and voting on important matters, but are so comfortable that the ruling classes do a good job at it they simply don’t show up at voting processions. Theoretically every Maraya has a right to vote on the business of the Home Swarm, but very few actually end up voting and most of the meetings are mainly participated in by the elected representatives which are often elected for life and merely pass from one parent to another. The Maraya have essentially produced a de facto aristocracy, without it explicitly being aristocratic in nature. Most of these aristocrats are Ka-Maraya in nature which makes sense, since the seat of government is on the Queenship, the Tohnsa, where most of the Ka-Maraya live. Those living on the ground and away from the Home Swarm are rarely loyal to the Home Swarm however, as the primary directive of the Maraya is to operate independently and thrive away from the collective, if only to come back at some distant point in the future to contribute some value to the Tohn Sona’s future development.
Maraya culture is entirely lacking. What little Maraya were able to gleam from the Tohn Vaults has been incorporated in their architecture, language and writing, but practically everything else is a mixture of the other Races. At the Home Swarm, most of the fashion and cultural practices are Altalar in nature, a culture which they most self-identified with in comparing it to their Meraic cultural traditions. Aside from this however, most Maraya on the ground adapt to whatever they feel like, while Haat-Maraya are nigh perfectly integrated into Kathar society. Maraya as such remain flexible and fluid, a trait in culture which aids their predisposition to being pragmatic and good at lying to others as personality traits.
Maraya culture is something of a patchwork. Maraya architecture, language, and writing is descended from the Tohn Veer Vaults of their Meraic ancestors; however, everything else is derived from the works of other races. The fashion and practices among the Maraya of the Home Swarm are lifted from Altalar; the Haat-Maraya, on the other hand, take practically everything from the Kathar for themselves. Fluidity, as such, is perhaps the most defining feature of their culture. However, over time, some more self-determined Maraya have elected to create their own cultural norms and activities, suchs as sports involving throwing inflated balls into raised rings. The Home Swarm cuisine is derived from, but not identical to, the recipes of the Altalar, with a greater emphasis placed on red and white meats and breads, while imitating their visual styles. Conversely, Haat-Maraya take almost their entire cuisine from the Kathar, with the single defining aspect being the consumption of Kathar meat when available.
Arts and leisure among all Maraya is constructed largely around the crystals that their technology revolves around. Marayan music is a combination of voice and the resonation of their crystals, creating a sound that can, when conducted correctly, take on an almost otherworldly beauty. Art in Marayan colonies is some of the most abstract of any culture in Aloria; rather than making use of paint or pencil, the Maraya align crystals of differing colors to shine light onto a canvas to produce vibrant fractals that have no express visual meaning, but are instead meant to evoke an emotional response in its observer. Although migrant Maraya and even some non-Maraya have attempted to recreate this form of art using stained glass, the sheer clarity and brightness of color found in authentic pieces cannot be imitated without the crystals themselves.
Maraya literature is one of the few aspects of their culture not dependent on their crystalline technology, this being the core reason why most Meraic texts failed to survive their slumber. Instead, their texts are written into paper and parchment, intended to be easily stored and moved around. Nearly all of the modern Maraya writings are authored by Ka-Maraya scholars, with an keen affinity for the exploration of philosophy and the roots of the many external practices adopted from other races, such as the self-aggrandizing tendencies of the Altalar, or the ease with which Ailor seem to submit to their own kind, even to detrimental ends.
The Maraya lack a standard religion; instead, they have the Tohn Sona, or the Great Purpose, outlined in a collection of documents stored in every intact vault sleeping chamber. While it is self-evident they are the superior Race and others exist to further their own goals, the Great Purpose serves as a road map to actually re-establishing dominance. They do not recognize any existence of a deity, or a higher power beyond their own ability to shape their future. The Maraya see the Tohn Sona as an evolving set of instructions with three real sources, ranked by first to last in priority: that which can be deciphered from the Tohn Sona, that which comes from illumination, and that which has been newly learned post-emergence. As a result, with regards to life philosophy, Maraya can sometimes be found studying the Tohn Sona, meditating or analyzing their surroundings (often by stealing or enslaving Allar for this purpose) to divine their future aspirations and fulfill their spiritual needs.
Economy and Technology
Maraya economy is laughable compared to other Races in the world of Aloria, with virtually no commerce among those who live with the Home Swarm, but their technology is extremely interesting. Technology constitutes a significant portion of the daily lifestyles of most Maraya; the water used for drinking, bathing, and farming by the Maraya is collected and purified by Meraic-derived devices. Agriculture at large is similarly dependent, with a few select fields tended by massive crystalline constructs intended to efficiently harvest vast quantities of grain while simultaneously ploughing the field behind it. All of it cannot be operated by non-Maraya and practically all of it is kept on the Home Swarm and aboard the Tohnsa-Ka-Meraic, but the technology produced by the Meraic millenia ago surprisingly still functions as if it was produced mere years ago, and continues to serve the Home Swarm as it moves around the known world, reaping resources where it goes. Allar are routinely enslaved for simple jobs and maintenance, which is why it’s commonly said the only non-Maraya Race living on the Home Swarm are Allar, though this isn’t strictly true. Some foreign guests have occasionally been allowed on, and at least one Regalian Empire ambassador lives in one of the aft ships, though denied access to the inner ships. The Home Swarm continues to move around, occasionally attaching to cliff sides and mountains like a large colony of lanterns, before being swept up by the wind again when local resources have run dry. Their technology is also extremely similar, if not far more advanced, than modern Artificaurorum devices. Some have concluded that the art, therefore, originates with the Meraic and was the basis for the Regalian Empire's Artificaurorum, though the research and original materials of the founders of the technology form remain inaccessible to the outside world to prove this.
Combat and Warfare
Maraya are rightly considered an invasive species. While some liken their motivations to that of an insect infestation, the similarities are only superficial. Whereas Human expansion is often motivated by individual greed, and a Race like the Kathar do so out of religious zeal and retaliation, Maraya wish to expand their holdings in order to take Aloria back from the host of inferior species that now appear to have taken control. Not only would achieving this goal fulfill the Great Purpose, it would correct what Maraya intuitively feel is wrong: Aloria should be in the hands of what they view as the most competent Race. It is no coincidence that the first interaction Maraya had with another species was one of fierce combat. To this day, many of the old Allar kingdoms lie in ruins, their wreckage inhabited by the Maraya or dismantled to fuel colonization. Maraya, in particular, are skilled in agile movements in hand-to-hand combat. Their agility and surprising flexibility further assists in their ability to defeat foes, while if forced to use weapons, they will often use whip and flail-like weapons. The Ka-Maraya are more prone to using their own fists and heavier weapons however, while the Haat-Maraya also fight with their hair, elbow blades and claws.
- The siren-like song of the Maraya was instrumental in helping newly emerged Maraya Communes find one another. Maraya communicate over long distances with communal singing, able to bridge miles as long as ten Maraya sing in unison, producing a song which only other Maraya can hear.
- Almost all Maraya wear their hair long. While they can cut it (and grow it back), they have a cultural inclination to long hair as the Meraic are always presented as having long hair on what little material they have available on them.
- Maraya love crystalline based jewelry, necklaces and earrings. Quartz, colorful gems and stones are especially loved.
- Carbonated drinks actually do exist in Aloria, produced by a particular Alchemical process. Maraya however absolutely hate carbonated drinks. When offered a carbonated drink, a Maraya would prefer to leave it standing on the table or counter to lose its carbonated property and become room-temperature before drinking it.