|Common Nicknames||fae-people, blueskins|
|Naming Customs||fluently flowling names with frequent usage of l and m|
|Distinctions||Newly reformed race from a previous changed one|
|Body Types||Almost always Sinewy or Toned. Never below Average|
|Weight||130 - 160 lbs|
|Eye Colors||White sclera and irisses same color as their hair or with a slight tone deviation|
|Hair Colors||Variety of pastel colors|
|Skin Tones||Variety of pastel colors|
Perhaps the oldest still-living race in the world of Aloria, the Maraya are the last remnants of the forgotten Meraic Civilization. When their race and world-spanning empire faced ultimate destruction at the hands of the Void Invasion of their time, the Maraya made a desperate attempt to preserve their own race and future in the so-called Tohn Valeer, a massive underground stasis vault in which a part of their race attempted to weather the storm of the Void Invasion. The stasis lasted far longer than was originally intended however, causing their sleeping people to undergo slow but strange physical mutations due to the imperfection of the magical stasis. When the Maraya emerged from their decrepit vault that had been sealed for nearly three thousand years, they were faced with a new, un-familar world with equally unknown inhabitants. Worse yet, the Maraya suffered severe amnesia and uncertainty, as everything they had once known was either lost or unknown to them. With only the vaguest whispers of their once-global rule in the back of their minds, the Maraya now struggle to find a place in the world where they are but an ancient whisper of the past with no clear future ahead of them. In 305 AC, a bio-engineered disease created by Allar and fuelled by Magics intended to cure their infertility had an unintended side-effect: It caused a complete reversal of their stasis mutations into what was assumed was the original form of the Meraic civilization, thus reverting away from the Circci physiology. The Circci leaders came together and chose to embrace this new form, rebranding their people as the Maraya (as opposed to Meraic) to create a clear distinction between their past selves and their present selves.
Maraya resemble Elves in many ways in their body shape, though there are many distinct differences that make them look very different. The most obvious difference is their skin tone, ranging from pastel colors of blue, orange and yellow. Their hair is similarly pastel colored between pink, light tones of purple and pastel colors of red, which also colors their irises (though the irises may differ a few shades from their hair color). Their body shape is always slender and graceful, to Ailor standards almost emaciated, though one would hardly ever see bones protruding from their skin, and they are quite healthy in this shape. Their most obvious facial features are their cranial formations, and their ears. Their forehead extends further up than for other races, forming two triangular shapes with smaller ridges that differ from Maraya to Maraya. Their hair starts behind their ridges, though ridges are often also played with in terms of hairstyling and accessorizing, though they cannot be pierced as they are bone. Maraya have also taken to henna tattoos and skin painting on their ridges to create more individuality. Their ears are very much shaped like Elven ears, though almost twice as long, curved slightly upwards, pointing outwards away from their head, and with two smaller loves that stick out from the earshell, causing their ears to resemble butterfly wings. The Maraya are able to move these smaller lobes separately from their ears, and they are also often decorated with earrings or piercings, serving no real functional role beyond aesthetics. Their face is always somewhat gaunt, though feminine in appearance with large alert eyes, a pointy chin and petit lips and a petit nose. Their hair is described as silken and quickly growing. It is very uncommon not to see a mele Circci also wear their hair at least halfway to their chest, if not to their waist. Maraya hair flows elegantly and smoothly, not being subject to frizziness or greasiness that seems to plague other races when not frequently washed. Male and female Maraya barely differ in physical appearance, aside from the fact that males tend to be more sinewy and toned in their masculinity, though the same could easily occur for females. While their race is not capable of reaching muscular, athletic or strongman builds, they are deceptively strong, possessing a lot of muscular density that makes them physically as capable as average Ailor, despite being far more slender. Unlike their Circci mutations, Maraya are capable of reproducing, and some Maraya babies have already been born, but the entire adult population that exists on Aloria right now are ex-vault survivors, meaning they must all be at least 15 years old.
Maraya can strongly be related to Altalar in their mental capacity and mindset, in that they long for a time when the world was at their feet, and all other races were nothing but animals groveling in the dirt. That being said, unlike the Nelfin, the Maraya cannot remember what the Meraic Empire was like, as the Chrysalis Stasis destroyed all memories of the past, even in their newly recovered physical appearance. This creates an uneasy situation among the Maraya in that they feel reason and right to be proud, but cannot for certain remember exactly what for. Maraya are prone to bouts of insecurity when confronted with their amnesia. Furthermore, Maraya have a strong wit and a quick tongue that they can use to unleash insults and quippy comments towards others. They are hypercritical of another’s actions around them, but prefer indirect witticisms and sarcasm over crass insults and japes when it comes to voicing their disapproval. Maraya continue to have a very low opinion of the other races, particularly the Nelfin, whom they believe stole their hegemony over the world. What little they could translate from what was left behind in the vault with them indicated that the Nelfin were nothing but animalistic tribals back in their day that they corralled like sheep for entertainment. This uneasy situation where the Maraya suddenly are the least relevant race to the rest of the world is hard to deal with for the Maraya.
Towards one another, Maraya tend to be more compassionate, though there is also a strong element of rivalry among them. They seek to be recognized among their kin as the best in one thing or another, and will go to great lengths to achieve this. They will, however, refrain from violence against their own race altogether.
Due to the changes of their physical appearance since the disease that struck them in 305 AC, all Maraya have suddenly remembered their old Meraic name, though nothing else seemed to have come back. That being said, what did seem to have come back with their reversion of their mutation, was their ability to cast Magic. While the change did not occur recent enough for any notable mages to have risen, some early spellcasting has been observed from some Maraya. Being reborn again, the Maraya also suddenly remembered the Shotala language, which came all the more convenient as the reversal of their mutations made it so they could no longer produce the mandible clicks require to speak X’sota, a language that effectively went extinct overnight.
Prior to the birth of the Elven Empire, a race called the Meraic ruled Aloria. Convinced of their own superiority, most ignored warnings made by their own scholars that a cyclical Void Invasion may be imminent, but some sought to preserve their civilization by volunteering to enter Chrysalis Stasis below ground. The exact process by which the Meraic wove Chrysalis in the past is unknown to them today, however it is often assumed it was done in a similar way as the Maraya do present day. With them they took the Tohn Sona, a now mostly undeciphered repository of Meraic knowledge and the foundation of the Great Purpose. Unforeseen was the Stasis Corruption that occurred due to the increased Void activity. A slumber intended to hold for centuries lasted for thousands of years, and the sleepers were physically altered as the insects burrowing into the outer layers of Chrysalis died there, becoming incorporated into the stasis medium. The surviving Meraic emerged as the insectoid Maraya. Aside from certain otherwise inexplicable insights and behaviors, they remembered nothing of their former lives. Furthermore, the other species which they had taken with them in stasis either did not awake, or had become so useless that they were immediately enslaved by the Maraya. Most notable of the creatures that also awoke with the Maraya were the Vissi creatures, Dwarf-sized insectoid bipedal creatures that otherwise had the intelligence of a dog. The Vissi were immediately enslaved by means of Chrysalis addiction, and appeared to reproduce rapidly while maintaining some ability to understand menial production orders like construction and cattle tending. From their sleeper vault, the Maraya spread out to various caves and ruined cities across Hadar which were long abandoned by their previous Allar inhabitants. Through the slave labor provided by the Vissi, the Maraya were able to set up a functional civilization in the short few years before the Chrysant Wars.
They first emerged fully to the rest of the world during the Chrysant Wars in 289 AC, when global conflict gave them the opportunity to seize more land from the Allar and Naylar who had mostly been ignoring their presence until now. The role of the Maraya in the Chrysant Wars is an often unsung tale, though it would be naive to deny that they had a positive effect on the Regalian victory through their harassment of the Naylar backline. In many cases, the war was used to properly establish Maraya territory, though it never fully formed itself into the extents of an actual state. Rather, several smaller Communes exist away from the sleeper vault, which no other race has yet located and is being closely guarded by the Maraya.
Limited contact with others followed, nearly always resulting in miscommunication and conflict. Only in the past few years have Maraya established ambassadors within the cities of other races, notably the Humans in Regalia. At best, their presence there is begrudgingly tolerated, as their race continues to receive no recognition or citizen rights in the Regalian Empire. The Maraya however are intelligent enough not to provoke the dominant military power in the world, especially since their race is at such a crucial point where further survival depends entirely on them being able to develop a means to reproduce peacefully. Some Scholars in Regalia have taken a keen interest in this race, and many believe the Maraya are actually key to unlocking many secrets of the ancient past. Many items and texts remain hidden in the sleeper vault which have yet to be translated, and hopes are that by working with the Maraya to solve their amnesia, they might be able to unlock the deeper mysteries of the past to fight the ever more destabilizing factors of magic in the world of Aloria. As such, despite not having citizen rights, Maraya have a unique cooperation with Ailor Scholars, trading experimentation to unlock ancient secrets with experimentation in an attempt to re-fertilize their race.
Recent Drow-Maraya interactions have caused speculations to be made about the Maraya being related to the Drovv race on Drowda that went extinct during the last Void Invasion. Drowdar elders have stated that the Maraya have an almost uncanny similarity in their appearance to the Drovv, with their chitin-like skin and shorter neck being the only real differences. This has led many scholars to speculate that the Drovv were in fact Meraic who somehow also survived their civilization’s cataclysm in another Chrysalis sleeper vault, but awoke much sooner. As a result, many Maraya are of the belief that more vaults exist across the world which are yet to be discovered. This has caused many Maraya to spread out in the world in search for any clues or evidence that might lead to the discovery of another vault to unlock secrets of the past and save their race from extinction.
In 305 AC, the Allar working in the Regalian Empire to attempt to find a cure in the Circci infertility, accidently created a disease that spread across the Empire and the whole world with a rapid pace. While the initial results were positive and Circci became fertile again, they quickly deteriorated and formed Chrysalis pods of themselves that remained unmoving for almost a month. When they finally broke free from these pods, out came the Maraya, the physical mutations that had turned them into insect-like people having completely reverted. Not only did they suddenly remember their old names, they were also capable of reproducing once more, casting Magic, and rebranded their race to the Maraya people, to distinctly distance themselves from the Circci, but also to create a new identity beyond the failed legacy of the Meraic Civilization. Because of the disappearance of the Maraya to weave Chrysalis, all Vissi abruptly died, no longer being able to be fed while the Circci were in stasis.
Maraya society revolves around the Great Purpose and is housed in so call Communes. The scrolls and tablets that make up the Tohn Sona provide them with both order and a sense of identity, even if they do not fully understand them. Nonetheless, their political structures are designed to further the species as a whole, not any one group, Commune, or ruling Union.
Maraya culture is still new, although much remains vaguely similar to that of the Meraic before them. While memory loss in the transition was nearly complete, some of the emerged have occasionally behaved in ways that seem inspired by their former lives. This is called Ka’kisa, or Illumination. Language is the most obvious example. Enough Maraya retained rudimentary spoken language for a common tongue to quickly establish itself, though it was quickly wiped out when the Maraya were reborn. Refined culture, from art and clothing to well-prepared cuisine is enjoyed by and created for the Maraya, Among Maraya, Families as a social structure do exist, although their needs are subordinate to those of the Commune and race, and more often than not are these families not even blood related. Due to them not even remembering who they are related to, the Maraya simply choose to form families, and invite others into their family units. Social power among Maraya is predominantly gender-blind, though more often than not, females are the dominant party in so called Unions. Maraya still engage in socially significant unions between two individual Maraya (this can also be same-sex unions). This is often a very personal choice for two Maraya, as they have to connect with one another on a higher cognitive level that is often hard to explain in Ailor terms.
The Maraya have no religion, save the Tohn Sona, or Great Purpose, outlined in a collection of documents left in every intact sleeping chamber. While it is self-evident that 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 that dominance. They do not recognize the 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 often be found studying the Tohn Sona, Meditating or analyzing their surroundings (often in cooperation with Allar) to divine their future aspirations and fulfill their spiritual needs. There is no notable dissension from the Great Purpose, as the world of law from the Tohn Sona, the only usable item from their forgotten past, is undisputed.
Economy and Technology
The Maraya have a mixed economy that relies on slave labor. Distribution of communal wealth, the greatest portion of Maraya wealth, is handled by the ruling Union within each Commune. The species is spared some of the corruption that has plagued systems of this sort in other races. While some bias may exist, the self preservation that species like Humans feel for their immediate group is quite similar to what the Maraya feel for their race as a whole. Some species narrow their sphere of concern to their immediate relations, Maraya expand it to the entire race, even to the point of undervaluing the life of an individual. However, their expansion has been consistently checked by the current inhabitants of Aloria, among whom they have found few, if any, allies.
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 Dakkar 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 Naylar 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 forces to use weapons, they will often use whip and flail-like weapons, such as the Ebhula.
- 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 that only other Maraya can hear.
- Maraya frequently attempt to awaken the other Chrysalis sleepers. It is speculated that many other species are still in sleeper stasis. Many of their attempts have met with failure however, as the stasis sleepers themselves are corrupted or too badly damaged.
- 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.