Ayansh'i - A Minor Human Race
Origins and History:
Some three hundred thousand years ago the mysterious Ancients transplanted many Human-descended races across known space. They choose to place the Ayansh’i on Ghost (Reavers' Deep 3115), a heavily forested world. To what purpose has now been lost in the mists of time, but the Ayansh’i took to Ghost and have made the world their own.
Early explorers to the Ghost system determined from orbital surveys that massive structures were present on the planet and that a number of large life forms also existed. However, due to the differences in Ayansh'i physiology, they were unable to locate any human life forms. Thus when the explorers finally made landfall and began to explore the structures they were amazed to discover them remarkably intact.
Soon stories began to spread about the Ghost planet and it wasn't until two months later that initial contacts were made with the indigenous peoples. Apparently the locals had been observing the interlopers and only made themselves known when the Scouts were about to begin excavating a series of burial mounds.
The long night had little effect on the Ayansh’i with the loss of interstellar trade hardly noticed. Records show that when they were contacted again in 87 very little of Ayansh’i culture had changed in the intervening years. The Ayansh’i welcomed the Imperial scouts and when the border of the Third Imperium reached Ghost the world was absorbed with little effort, as the Ayansh’i recognized early on the benefits and protection to be gained by being a member world.
Physiology and Appearance:
Externally the Ayansh’i appear to be lightly built humans, averaging around 70 kilograms. They have irises that cover 95% of the eye, allowing them better vision in the lower light levels of their homeworld. They appear to have a longer lifespan than most of Humaniti, even the long-lived Vilani, with the previous Oracle known to have lived 250 standard years.
Little is known about Ayansh’i reproduction, except that twins seem to be relatively common. The Ayansh’i are also incapable of interbreeding with the rest of Humaniti, due to what appears to have been large scale genetic engineering performed by the Ancients, combined with a certain amount of natural selection on their planet. Oddly enough while the Ayansh’i both recognize and understand these concepts they claim that neither hypothesis is true. They claim their differences are the direct results of the conscious decisions of their ancestors, but they have not permitted archaeological expeditions on their planet to disprove either theory.
The Ayansh’i uses a naturally formed language of constants and vowels that is unique to their culture and is rarely spoken in the presence of non-Ayansh’i. As such the language is still as much unknown as the rest of Ayansh’i society. The Ayansh’i are very quick to learn other languages which has helped them maintain the secrecy of their own language. They will always speak the native language of visitors, often without an accent, both to be polite and to hide their own language.
The Ayansh’i are possibly best known for their contribution to the fine arts of the Imperium. Nothing on Ghost goes unadorned, from the humblest carving knife to the most impressive structure, and everything on the planet is a work of art. These art works are currently exported and collected throughout the Daibei Sector and may one day become as highly sought after throughout the Imperium.
Though the Ayansh'i rarely leave their homeworld they have, on several occasions, been persuaded to do so by clients they judge worthy. The "Ducal Gardens" on Wariner (Daibei 0507) were created by the Ayansh'i, as was “The Scepter of Seasons" possessed by the Archduke of Sol and the "K'sium Matari" in the Imperial Palace on Capital (Core 2118). Once the work is completed the Ayansh’i artisans always return immediately to Ghost.
Society and Government:
Ayansh’i society revolves around two realms, Ayata, the “world of the living” and In’chata, the “world of the mind” or “spirit”. Everything in the Ayata is seen as a manifestation of the In’chata, but while interpretation of the Ayata is up to the individual, only the Oracle and her disciples can interpret the In’chata. Most of the society is nomadic with only the Patza’itah, the ”disciples of the Oracle”, and their highly trained guards, the Inoshans, residing in the massive ceremonial centres.
It has been noted that the members of both the Inoshan and the Patza’itah are all twins, with one twin being in the Inoshan and the other in the Patza’itah. It is believed that this is a continuation of the basic duality of Ayansh’i life, Ayata reflecting In’chata, and the symbolic importance of twins in that system.
Each of the clans govern themselves, ruling over their ancestral hunting grounds as generations have before them. Each clan is made up of a dozen or more families and is lead by the oldest twins of the most senior family. The clans are traditional hunter/gatherers and have several ‘camps’ scattered across their hunting grounds. These ‘camps’ are permanent structures built high in the Sagitertius trees, which offers protection from some of the larger creatures of the world.
These trees are encouraged to grow into the shape of rooms, with the boughs shaped and formed to create living spaces. These living ‘walls’ are then carved to display what is believed to be the history of the clan, often using the stylistic scripts and designs loved by the Ayansh’i.
Military and Technology:
Warfare and conflict are virtually unknown amongst the Ayansh’i, with the Oracle resolving any major issues between the clans. Rare conflicts over hunting grounds sometimes result in brief battles between hunters. This is quickly stopped by the clan leaders, who take the issue to the Oracle for arbitration. As such, beyond the hunters, there is no formal military.
Technology is only used by the Ayansh’i where it has a functional purpose, and even then the technology is hidden within the design work.