Often mistaken for Bestial creatures in lands other than their own, the kayka are one of the more commonly forgotten Sentient races.
There are debates on whether or not they should be considered Mystics instead of Sentients, as they don’t tend to travel off of their home continent Aurn’la Ann, but they are very insistent on being a part of Sentient endeavours and laws and were officially categorised as Sentients during the forming of the International Alliance.
They have been known to have an affinity with magic that even felinics and kitsunes do not match, and some have been known to communicate with magical beings and gods in ways other Sentients never dreamed were possible. This is uncommon, however, and most kayka try to live normal lives.
Av. Height (standing): 3’11”
The kayka are a quadrupedal race that resemble large foxes with multiple tails. They stand about stomach-height to the tallest of Sentients, and a little over eye-level with the shortest. Their height is deceptive, as they are a very bulky race that is larger than one may assume from simply hearing their measurements.
Kayka have 9 tails. Each tail is about the same length as their legs, though it may vary for some individuals. They groom their tails almost constantly to make them look beautiful and soft, with fluffier tails considered more attractive, and lift them in order to show them off like a bird displaying its plumage. This display isn’t just for finding partners, however; they are displayed to anyone the kayka likes the company of.
Kayka have thumb-like toes replacing the dew-claws that allow them to hold things. Their paws still have trouble gripping most objects, as they do not have the same dexterity that hands do, but it means they are able to do basic everyday things such as writing.
A kayka’s entire body is covered in a thick layer of fur. The fur of a healthy kayka will be glossy and water-resistant, while unhealthier kayka’s fur will be duller and hold more water.
Kayka fur is able to be absolutely any colour, and have any patterns in their markings; even markings and colours considered unnatural for similar species. No matter the colour of their fur, however, their skin will always be either pink or black— except for their nose and paw pads, which are often closer to their fur colours.
Like their fur, their eyes are also able to be any colour. Genetic mutations such as heterochromia are extremely rare, with only 2-3 children born with it per year. It is also extremely uncommon for kayka to be born blind, though many have mild colour-blindness.
Kayka have long, foxlike muzzles with flexible lips that allow them to talk. These muzzles are very sensitive to touch, and most kayka do not like them being touched.
They have large incisors and pointed canine teeth that help them bite and chew, though they have trouble doing so with their mouths closed, and their tongues are the longest of all Sentients’.
Male kayka are bulkier than the females as they have an easier time developing muscle. They also have singly-coated fur that is longer and more wiry than the females’.
Female kayka hold fat easier than male kayka, though they can’t build muscle so quickly. They have double-coated fur that helps them conserve heat in their naturally cold environments, keeping both them and their young warm.
Wolf-Faced / Keskosko
The Keskosko kayka, more commonly known as the wolf-faced kayka, are a warrior race of kayka from Arnondark. They were relatively cut off from other kayka until 105 AE, when they built their first port that created a supply route to Neamin.
They have wolfish features that they have inherited slowly over time through the selecting pairing of fighters. They are more muscular than normal kayka, with broader features and longer teeth. Their magic is generally weaker than other kayka’s magic, but their physical strength is much easier to build.
Like other kayka, their culture is built on pride and honour. This honour, however, is a little bit different to the regular honour of kayka. Instead of believing in the honour of individuality and excelling at your own pursuits, their honour is based around their family units and the protection of the weak.
The one-tailed kayka are from Slilily. They are the smallest of all kayka, and only have one tail. Their magic is weaker than other kayka, and much more unstable.
Their unstable magic makes it difficult to live with other cultures, but it is extremely helpful to them fine in their native environment, as their dangerous magic protects them from the amount of large, carnivorous wild animals that share their homeland.
Deformities and Disabilities
“Eyeshifter” is the name given to an inherited disorder where kayka are born unable to properly to control their magic. This disorder is believed to come from a physical issue in their blood, as eyeshifters often have compromised immune systems and treating this issue tends to help lessen the effects of their uncontrollable magic.
Eyeshifters tend to have explosive personalities and dangerous strength, which do not mix well together.
The term eyeshifter comes from the disorder’s trademark; eyes that constantly change colour, rippling iridescent rainbow as the magic inside the eyeshifter struggles to settle in their bodies.
Most eyeshifters die young, usually in magical outbursts that cause large accidents.
The most famous eyeshifter death was the death of Magical Sai Hyfi Manasa in 3,583 AE. The eyeshifter became so enraged after being cheated on by her human partner, she burst into flames and exploded, her organs splattering the walls and her bones impaling and killing several people.
Relationships and Life-Cycle
Kayka are very patient with their love life, and most don’t begin looking for a partner until their early 30s. They may go on a few dates or court several partners until they find the partner they wish to marry. They will rarely leave their spouse or take another partner after the loss of their first, and often talk about true love and soulmates.
To other Sentients, kayka may seem rather disjointed from their spouse. Most describe it as looking like the sort of relationship you would find between coworkers who rarely speak, but kayka are offended by this notion as they simply prefer to keep their love for each other between themselves.
When in private kayka are known to be extremely romantic. They have extravagant courtships in which they decorate their houses and give each other gifts of food and jewellery (most of which is homemade), and have even been known to take weeks off work just to spend time with their partners at home.
Once a year, during the month of Glif, adult kayka females will go into heat in what they call the “sicasca” (fertile time). This time only lasts a couple of days, four at the most, and is the only time of the year kayka are able to conceive children.
They usually don’t have children until their 30s, when they’ve found their permanent partner.
Kayka gestation generally lasts 5-6 months, with the pregnancy becoming visible within the first few weeks after conception. These pregnancies don’t restrict the mothers too much; they may feel heavier, but most expecting kayka say they are unencumbered by their unborn children and continue life as normal until their births.
They have litters of 3-6 children. These children are born with snow-white fur and are blind for about a month until they begin to open their eyes.
Kayka will drink their mother’s milk until they are an eclipse old; usually only stopping because their mother falls pregnant with another litter and the milk dries up.
As kayka develop their pelts begin to colour, and by their 5th eclipse where they start puberty, their fur patterns and colours are clear. During puberty, a kayka’s overall development will slow slightly, giving their body time to adjust to the major changes as they begin to mature sexually
By 8 the worst of their puberty is over, and their development slows to a near-crawl until 17, when their development speeds up and hits a steady pace. And by 20, their development has evened out with most other Sentients.
• The average lifespan of a kayka is 50 eclipses, and the oldest known kayka died at 70.
• Kayka are one of the few Sentients that are unable to have children with partners who are not their own species.
• Kayka rarely miscarriage their entire litter, but when one of their unborn die they are simply absorbed back into the womb. It is believed at least 2 kayka foetuses die per pregnancy and are absorbed by their siblings.
• Orphaned children rarely go unadopted, but most are separated from their biological siblings. This is because most kayka are happy to take on one or two more children alongside their own, but cannot handle more.
Kayka culture is based on honour and they are raised with high standards and expectations.
Excelling with Passion
Kayka believe they must excel at whatever they choose to do. If they become a shopkeep, they will only sell the highest-quality goods; if they become a blacksmith, they will only use the best materials and create the best weaponry they can; and if they become warriors, they must train as much as they possibly can. Procrastination and slack work is considered shameful, and it is rare for a kayka to not provide fast and reliable service.
Kayka believe those who do not do their best must seek something they are able to put their passion into, and it is not uncommon for kayka to change their profession several times before settling on something they are able to devote themselves to.
Because kayka put so much emphasis on being the best they can be they are commonly mistaken for not being disability friendly. However, kayka are very adamant that their passions are about personal growth, and not about being better than or surpassing others.
They say that those with disabilities may have a harder time working, but as long as that person is doing things to the best of their own personal ability they are respectable and have as much honour as anyone else.
Another misconception about kayka work ethics is that they are against the use of aids and enhanced tools, but this is false. Kayka are more than happy to use anything they can to raise the quality of their work. Things commonly seen as “shortcuts” by other Sentients, such as enchanting dishes to wash themselves, are considered good work ethic in kayka culture as they increase productivity while giving the worker more time to do other things.
Lack of manners in kayka culture is considered one of the worst personal offences you could possibly inflict on the people around you. Those who are impolite are likely to be ostracised from kayka societies; if not driven out by force (generally, this is only in smaller towns). Even one act of rudeness can be spread by word-of-mouth, and those who have made the mistake of offending a kayka may find themselves without friends in a matter of days.
Though kayka manners can be complicated for non-kayka, there are a few simple rules that, if followed, will let a kayka know an attempt is being made.
- Do not make eye contact.
- Ask before making physical contact.
- Don’t overshare.
- Never assume; always check for facts.
- Never ask for help, but accept it when it is offered.
- Offer to help others.
- Always acknowledge if someone helps you or provides a service.
- Pay more than is asked for.
Kayka accents are very loud. They have trouble controlling the volume of their voices. Their pronunciation can sometimes be a little off as well, due to the shapes of their mouths.
Their own language is quite unique compared to other Sentient’s languages; it includes growls and hisses as words with meanings instead of using them only as expressions of emotions.
The written kayka language is surprisingly neat, considering the difficulty kayka have with holding pens. It is made using very circular motions, with many of the letters looking like swirls.
Kayka do not laugh or cry vocally. Instead, they have a unique body language which indicates emotion.
Clothing and Armour
Kayka prefer not to wear clothes; their fur regulates their temperature and covers anything that could be considered impolite.
However, if they are in countries that require clothes, they will pick clothes that match their friends’ wardrobes. They will spend a lot of money to get matching outfits custom made.
Kayka have 4 names: a first, middle, and last name, and their title.
Their full names are only used in legal documents and formal events. Otherwise, when speaking directly to a kayka, you must use their first and middle names only. And when talking about a kayka, you only use their title and last names.
Their first name is chosen by their mother, with their middle name being chosen by their father.
Their last name is made from a merging of their parents’ last names, and is unique to them and their siblings.
Their title can be a description of themselves or their work.
Enchanter Kishka Moro Faul is an example of a name. Beautiful Coa Annya Gaisi is another.
Kayka often live with kitsune people, and will often offer to carry them when they get sick in public. The kitsune are the only race that kayka allow to ride them, and they absolutely despise having other Sentients ask to sit on their backs. This is especially true for the foxen people who, a lot of the time, do not even ask and simply leap onto a kayka’s back.
Kayka are the only Sentient race to be both quadrupedal and mammalian.
They are big fans of art such as painting and sculpting; and though they find it difficult many choose to make their living creating amazing art pieces.