|Common Nicknames||Cat-people, Cat-faces.|
|Max Age||70 years.|
|Naming Customs||Elvish, with Tigran elements (such as double S,R,T or Z).|
|Languages||Modern Elvish, Common.|
|Subraces||Tigriss, Reggss, Dahss.|
The Tigrans are an old race. Much like the Elves, they have been around since the recording of modern times.But despite their time as a race, next to no information exists on their pre-slavery culture or existence. Throughout the ages before the Cataclysm, Tigrans were the hunting sport and prime target for Elven slavery. The Elves thoroughly exterminated their culture and whatever possible civilization they might have had. Despite the loss of their identity however, Tigrans have recently started to redefine themselves beyond mere integrating into other cultures. Certainly, the struggle for personal and racial identity is central to many Tigrans today.
Tigran subspecies don’t formally exist, but different trends in physical appearance have been categorized. These categories are called Skavvss, which share some common traits. They all have fur covering their bodies in a primary and secondary color tone. The secondary color is often seen in softer areas of the body. They all have cat-like facial features such as a muzzle, cat eyes, and cat ears as well as feline feet/hands. They walk on the ball of their feet, when put in Human terms, and have long retractable nails on both hands and feet. All have a long tail which is roughly half the length of their body. The differences are seen in three distinct groups. The Tigriss are often the smallest, Human sized Tigrans with more colorful fur colors, ranging from nearly any color except for green and pink. The colors are however always dull, never flashing bright or vibrant. These tend to also have fur patterns ranging from stripes to spots. The next group, Reggss, only have earth-toned fur colors and tend to have much thicker fur on their neck, their tails, and chest. Reggss are often one head taller than Tigriss. Finally, there is the Dahss. Dahss are often Orc like in size, and it is very uncommon for them to be seen out of the wild. They have much larger upper jaw canines and are exclusively gray or white furred.
More on Tigran Physical Characteristics.
Tigrans are generally denounced by non-Tigrans as stupid animals, and in many cases this is true. However the Tigriss certainly have potential for intelligence, in some cases to the height of Elves and Humans. Tigrans tend to be very objective oriented, making them decisive, but lacking proper thought behind their actions. This makes Tigrans generally impulsive and emotionally-driven in their actions. Tigrans are also not known to be good debaters. Despite their history as being the boot heel of the Elven Empire, they are proud beings that thrive when complimented but become sour when insulted. Perhaps the most peculiar mental characteristic about Tigrans is that they are utterly incapable of using magic in any form or way. They simply cannot draw from the Void or Exist, as when attempting to do so, these dimensions simply don’t answer to them. It is unknown why this happens.
More on Tigran Mental Characteristics.
The known history of the Tigrans dates as far back as the early days of the Elven Empire when it expanded its reach far north to Ithania, long before Humans even set foot in the region. However, with the Elves’ destruction of any remnants of Tigran history, very few things are certain. What is known is that Tigrans did possess some advanced pieces of technology, and those inventions likely contributed to the oppressive reaction of the Elves, who quickly took to attacking and enslaving the Tigrans, just as they had with many other races. After centuries of subjugation at the hands of the Elves, little to no free Tigrans remained in the wild. Tigrans remained a slave race until the Cataclysm, which brought all magical power to a close. With the Elves’ greatest strength gone, enslaved Tigrans were able to overthrow their long-time oppressors and flee south. After some time, the city state of Ssil was founded, a city that is still populated by nearly entirely Tigrans even today. With race relations still difficult, banditry and piracy have proved common among Tigrans, contributing only further to their unsavoury reputation. Tigrans to this day hold a heavy grudge towards Elves, however, and have been known to target them in aforementioned endeavours.
More on Tigran History.
Tigran Society nowadays is not necessarily much of a society, rather a large heap up of Tigrans in some spot trying not to kill each other. Ssil is the only true Tigran city that can truly claim its society is fully Tigran, though smaller pockets of Tigrans do exist elsewhere, some even in the Regalian Empire. Tigran society is very split between the what they themselves refer to the Free Branch and the Domestic Branch. The Free Branch is mostly dominated by banditry and piracy, Tigrans trying to make a living by stealing from others. The Domestic Branch is mostly dominated by slaves and indentured servants. Tigrans nicely fill a niche in the Regalian Empire in that Regalia technically banned slavery but still permits indentured servitude. Most Regalian Tigran owners do not pay their servants, and the Tigrans have nowhere to go to complain about their masters, as they have no rights in the Empire. Similarly, Tigrans are being re-enslaved by the resurging Talar kingdoms, in an attempt to rebuild what they have lost on the backs of slave labor.
Tigran politics is difficult to describe, largely as they don’t really have a formal way of governance. The city of Ssil just exists, in that nobody really takes care of anything for the public good, and everyone is just watching out for themselves or their next of kin. What limited political structure there is, mostly exists among the pirate and brigand groups of Tigrans. Those often have an Alpha Tigran, which is usually the meanest and largest of their group determine the course of what happens. The position tends to be hereditary, though no clear successor is decided upon until it becomes clear which child of the previous alpha is the strongest. Successions tend to be very chaotic, as they allow other families to claim stronger heirs.
Tigran culture is best described as a confused mixture of all cultures and none. One cannot truly identify a Tigran culture, as it has not existed for centuries. The majority of the servant and slave Tigrans simply adopt the culture of their owners, and the pirate Tigrans often adopt the culture of Unquale Elves or Qadir, with a heavy preference for the latter. The culture of the Tigran city-state of Ssil can best be described as “First come first serve, strongest are always served first”. The city, to many outsiders, looks like a cesspool on the constant verge of civil war, though Tigrans claim it is fairly peaceful to them. Tigrans often dress in simple robes or loincloths, as their fur would make any larger clothing look dirty and require constant care. Despite their looks, Tigrans tend to have a very high hygiene, even more so than Ailor. They frequently wash and bathe, and in some cases it’s seen as a bonding experience to brush each other’s fur in a family environment. Tigrans also have a natural liking for anything shiny, causing them to adorn themselves with piercings and jewelry, preferably made of gold. Despite the common misconception that Tigrans are as loose with their vows as common house cats, Tigrans actually have a strong sense of family duty and responsibility. Mates are often selected for life, and children are hardly ever abandoned for any reason. Tigrans don’t formally have a language. They speak a dialect of Common nowadays simply because it is easiest to them, in which they put heavy emphasis on the double pronunciation of S, V, R and A. Aside from this dialect, Tigrans are able to communicate through a complex form of body language and hissing noises. Somehow all Tigrans just instinctively understand this form of body language even at young ages, and it is often preferred within Tigran groups to use this over spoken language.
Tigrans don’t really have any assigned Religion. Elven slave Tigrans believe in Estel, and Human servant Tigrans believe in Unionism, and so on. In Ssil, however, a modern revival religion of a desert Tigran goddess is making ground quickly among the Tigran populations. Worship of the Goddess Basskarr largely involves bringing valuable offerings and praying in the direction of a large cat-like statue made of sandstone. The statue is often painted completely night-blue, bar for the white eyes. The Tigrans who worship Basskarr believe she will one day chase the sun out of the sky, bringing eternal night, a time where the Tigrans will come forth from their misery and bring about a Tigran Empire to undo the wrongs done to them so long ago. Basskarr is generally seen as a benevolent and charitable goddess, bestowing gifts and blessings. The Tigrans do not curse her when misfortunes befall them, they simply note that bad things happen in the absence of good things due to the lack of offerings. There appears to be some form of link between Basskarr and the worship of ancient Tigrans, as the statue bears striking resemblances to several ruin statues and wall paintings in the Ithanian desserts, but they may as well simply be effigies of rulers during ancient times, which the Tigrans have misinterpreted simply because they don’t understand the context.
Economy and Technology
Tigran Economy exists only in the purest and simplest form of bartering and self-sufficiency. Tigrans take care of themselves by foraging or hunting what they can, and otherwise stealing what they cannot. Trade between groups of Tigrans barely ever takes place as self-sustenance is important for Tigrans, and they prefer to hoard rather than to share. What limited trade does happen, is servitude in return for gold, often Regals, which are then smelted into jewelry. The wealth of a Tigran is not measured by the coin or food they have, it is measured by the amount of jewelry they have on themselves. Tigran technology is otherwise just a copycat of Elven technology. Tigrans use Elven ships, Elven swords and Qadir daggers. Their houses are built in Human styles, and whatever technology they use around their homes are usually old remnants of Elven Empire days, like fountains having been converted into drinking wells.
Combat and Warfare
Tigrans have not formally participated in any large scale warfare at any point in the recent millennia, but frequent guerrilla or bandit raids happen, alongside the frequent piracy. Tigrans prefer to use their raw strength and agility, coupled with their sharp claws over any weapon. Whenever they do handle a weapon, it is usually a sword, and hardly ever an axe or a bow, as these weapons are not seen as elegant or efficient extensions of the body in combat. Tigrans often prefer light armor, or none at all, simply because it allows faster movement. In general Tigrans rely on their speed to avoid being hit, and to gain the upper hand. Tigrans almost exclusively strike in ambush settings, or at least when the opponent does not expect it. They are masters at picking where and when to strike, and avoid being caught out.
- The fiercest Tigran Pirate ever to have existed was Nakul “The Clawed Demon” Kahn. Rumored to be able to slash through a brick wall with just his claws, Kahn sailed between Daendroc and Kelmoria for fifteen years, plundering Dwarven ships filled with riches from the mines and terrorizing Elven cities along the coastline, before suddenly disappearing from the world view.
- At one point in time, a Tigran tried to form an effective bureaucracy in Ssil and name himself king, after he had gathered a vast fortune in slavery, large enough to pay others to force his way through. Unfortunately, he met his end at the hands of a common street thug, who didn’t even know who he was, just for the sake of stealing his golden earrings.
- Scholars have noted that dissected Tigrans cannot be told apart from dissected Elves. Their internals look almost identical, coupled with their strangely similar ears. Elves denounce this information as pure ridicule and racism towards them, but Human scholars often suggest more behind it.