The Tyven

Introduction:

Of the free people of the Reflected Worlds, the Tyven are one of the more recent.  They were created during the fifth age by Morphael.  He wanted a race of spies that could move through the wilderness Tyvenwith the cunning of the quick fox, but had the intelligence and mind of a human.  So he blended humans with the fox, and threw in a few other things and came up with a race called the Tyven.  Unfortunately (for Morphael) they were a bit too clever and the whole idea of being under the control of someone went against their nature, so they planned and executed an escape from Morphael’s control and declared their race free.   Over the past few hundred years they have developed into their own societies. These stand aside from the current rule of the Eyes of Darkness, yet they do not actively oppose the Citadel.  However, they hate Morphael for trying to enslave them and actively battle against his rule.  The Citadel treats the Tyven under the old saying, ‘the enemy of my enemy is my friend’, and so they tolerate the Tyven settlements on what they consider Citadel lands.

Description:

Tyven stand upright from their human heritage, but retain the ‘dog leg’ bone structure from their fox relatives.  Their head is fox shaped, yet their mouth is capable of forming human language words.  Due to their fox heritage they are smaller than human, but not weaker.  They can be very strong and make excellent warriors due to their quickness, but they are also strong in magic and so it is up to the individual Tyven as to what they wish to become in life. 

Tyven have a definite scent.  To a human, as long as the individual in question has been able to perform normal grooming it will just seem like a light musky smell.  In fact, if the proper scents are blended with it during grooming it can be quite pleasant to the human nose.  However, if normal grooming cannot be performed for whatever reason it will develop into a sharp/sour scent similar to skunk spray though a great deal milder.  Due to this Tyven have a better sense of smell than humans, and can use it for longer distances.

Tyven have vertical pupils similar to a cat’s eye.  They also have the same kind of reflective lining behind the retina as a cat’s eye which is what gives them their low-light vision.  This reflective lining can make it seem as if their eyes are glowing if it is dark out and the angle is just right.  Tyven learn how to look downwards a little bit in order to prevent this from happening when it is undesired.

In personality they are mischievous, lighthearted, mercurial, confident, scheming, sardonic and serendipitous. 

Social Structures:

Tyven villages are small and rural, and depending on the location they can be constructed from surrounding materials like mud brick and thatched roofs, or burrows dug into the sides of hills.  They do not work in stone, and care little for metallurgy.   They work with their hands and their styles of armor are often leather based, or small hard tile plates sewn into a grid, or bamboo stripped and cleverly woven together into a mesh that can give more protection than steel in the right situations.  They trade with other races to get metal armor, weapons and tools that they may need (or just take them as the case may be).

Tyven society is very egalitarian.  Group decisions are usually debated until a consensus can be reached.  While this can often make reaching a decision difficult and time consuming it usually means that once a decision is reached the group is of one mind about what should be done.  Surprisingly quick and decisive action is usually the result once a decision has been made.  However, sometimes there just isn't time to call a council, something has to happen NOW!  Perhaps a life is at stake and there just isn't time to do things in a civilized debate.  In cases like that someone will swallow their pride, risk their reputation... and just take charge.  It will almost always be the one present who has the strongest reputation as they will feel the most confident that their actions will be understood for what they were. 

Their one time bondage to Morphael is also largely the basis for their resentment over anyone trying to "boss people around" or "take charge."  That kind of behavior is viewed as thinking that you're somehow better than everyone else.  While it may well BE that you're better than particular individuals, by Tyven society it is considered very rude to self proclaim it (or even to fail to deny it if another proclaims it).  Rather, it is your past actions and decisions that determine how much weight your fellows grant to what you say and it is their opinion of you that will determine whether or not your words are heeded. 

Being self sufficient and self reliant is not just encouraged it is demanded and from a very early age.  Though Tyven can be generous with those in their community that meet with an unforeseeable and unfortunate circumstance they do not tolerate individuals who are reluctant to "pull their own weight."  Those who are so inclined will find themselves forced into self reliance when they are ostracized and eventually (if their behavior does not change) ejected from the community. 

Natural born Tyven do not join the Citadel Military, only naturalized Tyven whom were originally human can tolerate a military structure with commanders who give out orders.  But when a naturalized Tyven is within their community he must maintain his Tyven role, pull his own weight and not try to boss anyone around or he will soon find himself returned to human form by the Tyven community.  Those naturalized Tyven who do join the Citadel as a Fallen Hero are considered spies by the Tyven, and they expect complete loyalty to the community and reports on what the Eyes of Darkness is up to now.

This is also known by the Citadel, who turns a blind eye to this spying for the simple reason that the Tyven are useful to them, and to acknowledge the ‘spies’ for what they were would cause a schism that would tear apart the arrangement that has the Tyven fighting Morphael, and the Citadel allowing Tyven communities to exist without direct Citadel control.  The Tyven believe that once Morphael is defeated there is time enough to break away from the Citadel and the Citadel figures that once Morphael is defeated there is time enough to take firmer control of the Tyven. 

Traits:

Most Tyven find eggs to be a favorite food, one that should be eaten without cooking.  They are typically quite fond of anything that is egg shaped (whether edible or not) and may quite often obsess over such objects.  Tyvendo not believe in ownership of people or things.  Due to having been ‘owned’ by Morphael before they escaped, freedom is their rallying call and belief.  Therefore, if they see something that interests or intrigues them, they simply take it. 

They are also perfectly willing to hand you a trinket that they have found if you are intrigued or interest in the object.  When it comes to their current clothing, armor or weapons, they don’t consider them as ‘theirs’, but they do think that they are very useful and therefore unless your need is greater than theirs, they won’t hand those away unless you have something better to trade.  Curiosity is also a defining trait and so they love mysteries and secrets.  The one thing they do “own” is a secret.  They are willing to barter to give or receive one, but beware they are very, very good at bargaining when it comes to secrets.

Racial Relationships:

Tyven reactions to other races are stereotypical, but individual relationships can (and often do) vary quite a bit.

  • Jenemos - Tyvens, unlike most races, love the Jenemos, for they too were creations of Morphael that not only abandoned his tyrannical rule, but managed to annoy him even more than the Tyven.  The Tyven sense of humor is not quite the same as the Jenemos almost religious reverence for the practical joke and the need to laugh at any mishap of enemy or even friend.  Yet even for liking each other they could not be more different. 
  • Gargoyles - Tyven annoy Gargoyles in every way.  Theft, as the Gargoyles see the Tyven removal of their belongings, is not a game at all to the Gargoyles and their serious nature makes too tempting a target for Tyven wit.  Though some individuals have forged friendships in the past, cooperative ventures between groups of Gargoyles and Tyven have seldom worked out well.
  • Humans –Theft, as the Humans see the Tyven removal of their belongings, and their refusal to acknowledge the authority of human leaders has frequently led to poor relations.  On the other hand, since Tyven make good advisors and are magically gifted they can be considered "useful."  Thus their antics are often tolerated by the longsuffering humans who find their presence slightly better than their absence.   
  • Verduren - Since Tyvens live in the moment, and Verduren take the long view, there is little understanding of Verduren by Tyven.  Generally they call them ‘Salad heads’ and think little of their intelligence.  For their part, the Verduren just smile and think of the Tyven as children, since they are one of the younger races, and children’s mistakes must be tolerated… it’s the long view.
  • Waerians - Some portion of almost every Waerian society is convinced that their race is better than all the other races.  Due to this attitude, Waerians who come around Tyven communities are subjected to subtle derision and mocking by the Tyven.  This has sometimes led to bad relations between the two cultures where they have had close contact.  In cases where the Waerian society is more relaxed or when the two races are able to overcome their antipathy they have found the other to be a solid ally.  However, since Waerian young are born in eggs, and the Tyven have an affinity for eating eggs, they are seldom trusted around Waerian nests.  Tyvens eating Waerian eggs is actually a myth, for no self respecting Tyven would touch a Waerian egg, though other possessions are a different story.  One of those items are Waerian Ancestor Spheres, which are inevitably tempting to the Tyven visitor.

Conclusion:

Tyvens are a unique race, with little patience for authority and the idea of personal possession. They hate Morphael and everything he stands for, and will fight him to the death.  There were no Tyvens when the Heroes fell, but some resurrected Fallen Heroes have chosen to become Tyven, and act as spies for their Tyven brethren.  Small, but strong, fast, clever and full of magic, the Tyven can become anything they wish, and are fiercely free and independent.

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