My Echani, Aéla, has a poor grasp of Basic (English), and as there is no official Echani dictionary or accent; I've had to make it up as I go, so to address this, I've been throwing together a new language. Canon (Or legacy?) pretty much accepts that nearly everybody speaks basic but considering the size of the of the galaxy, and that I can't even go to the other side of my own country without hearing another language entirely, I found this a little hard to fathom. So, I wanted to spice things up with a new language.
As for the accent, I place it somewhere in the middle of French and Czech; a similar theme of rolling R's, accentuated vowels etc. I've also used Tolkien's Elven language as a base for the written language, e.g. vowels placed above the consonants before/under the consonants after. I will no doubt -never- finish an entire language, however, I want to at least create a decent start for people to draw from.
Please keep in mind that I am no expert in languages, in fact, I only speak two: English and Bad English.
I have also taken the liberty of fleshing out Echani lore in general, tying it in with fanon lore about Thyrsus made by my dear friend Margo, and Nouane by Yanara whom we all know and love!
This is also -not- to be considered canon, only fanon. Nor will I be trying to force this upon other characters, this is simply the hymn sheet that I shall be singing from and if you wish to join me, great!
All thanks to Kahn Iceay at Templarsoftwilight for laying the foundations to the language.
A very, very brief overview of Echani historyAfter the collapse of the Arkanian empire (hundreds of thousands of years ago) the Echani and Thyrsian's scattered to the stars and resettled on uninhabited worlds. The Echani found a lush, green world with flowing rivers and oceans, and opted to live as harmonious as they could with nature. The Thyrsians, on the other hand, found a hot, desert type planet that was rich in resources and metals, named it Thyrsus and developed technologies that could let them survive in the hot climates. Trade was established between the two planets, one complimenting the other.
As time went on, the Echani, being the more devious of the two races, manipulated the trade to get increasingly better deals, and began to build a more powerful navy for colonising. They expanded their territory to Begali, and began colonisation efforts on Odiita, Yfelia and Sáræ and eventually began to pressure Thyrsus to become a satrapy of Eshan, which resulted in war; one which the Thyrsians were ill prepared for. Each planet was ruled by royal houses who often struggled for more influence and power, but all were subservient to the Empress of Eshan. Her empire, however, was doomed to failure from all the infighting and the ever persistent threat of rebellion.
Fast forward another few thousand years and the Echani empire collapses, leaving all 6 planets in a dark age. With no trade to sustain the planet's' infrastructure, famine plagues the Echani and Thyrsians for another thousand years. Thyrsus decides to seek trade from elsewhere in the galaxy and incurs a colossal debt which they tried to manage by establishing a black market within the territories of the old Echani empire, charging ludicrous rates and taxes for the trade.
As time went by, a reunification movement began on Eshan, by first the destruction of the various clan heads and so called royal blood. This movement was the catalyst for the thousand year reunification war which saw the reformation of the old empire under a more democratic confederacy. Thyrsus was the last to join, and a great many battles were fought to remain independent. However, it eventually relented under the agreement that their debt would be shared equally among the entire confederacy.
In reality, Thyrsus still got the raw end of the deal, and are still thought of as somewhat second class citizens. Racial tensions remain strong, and the threat of rebellion from Thyrsus is still present but on the whole, the Echani confederacy or Khyverniso Vorsisalo in Echani ("The confederation of six sisters.") remains at peace and a neutral party in the galactic war, seeking mostly to create a strong export market to clear the history of debt incurred by Thyrsus.
Superficially, the Echani appear very similar to humans in their anatomy, although the comparison can only be made on a superficial basis, for in their minds and souls the Echani are very much alien. Their skin is pale and unblemished as polished marble, yet with a surprisingly supple strength hiding beneath it. Echani blood is a pale pink in colour, with deoxygenated blood being almost white or even a pale blue. They had light skin, white hair and silver eyes. They exhibited among themselves a remarkable sameness in body type and facial traits. The most fundamental difference, however, can be seen when the Echani move, for they each radiate an inhuman elegance and poise. This is especially evident in the sinuous grace with which they fight and the dexterity with which they fight with which they field their weaponry. Every gesture is laden with subtle intent. On closer inspection, every aspect of the Echani physiology betrays their alien nature. Their hearts beat at twice the speed of a human's, and their lives are somewhat greater in span -- the Echani enjoy lives of around 200 human years that is normally unsullied by frailty. Echani medicine has eliminated nearly all naturally occurring diseases and genetic disorders within their homeworld. Although their physiology is rather robust and competent at fighting off foreign disease etc, they are by no means immune; their isolative nature and rare exposure to other species can leave them susceptible to disease.
The Echani mind is far more inclined towards extremes than that of a human. To them, all of life's experiences on a tactile and emotional level are available on a far grander scale: the exhilaration of battle, the pleasure of sound, the feel of another's touch upon their skin.
Their capacity to experience emotion enables them to attain transcendent bliss or, in contrast, experience soul-wracking sorrow. This spiritual intensity felt throughout their culture, manifesting in sublime works of art and music. Isolated Echani can find themselves falling into deep pits of soul wracking depression if they remain cut off from their culture, so for most Echani, regular meditation, music, art and combat is vital to maintaining a healthy mind set.
The Echani equivalent to the human larynx, in actuality, has much more in common with the syrinx of birds, that give the Echani incredible vocal ranges, and allowing them to create more than one sound at a time. This is used prominently in Echani language, as language is relatively simple even in comparison to galactic basic; tone, pitch, frequency and body language are much more important in Echani conversation.
It is in the interest of good health that an Echani is able to properly use their overtone, failing to do so often results in depression, severe headaches, blurry vision, palpitations; in some extreme cases blood clots and brain haemorrhaging has been linked to misuse of their voice, but many professionals simply call this "Kuthrae charnot alessenyi", or in basic "Died of a broken heart"
ReligionIn spiritual terms, they focused on the moon rather than the sun. Nailimisari is the moon goddess. They worship her, as opposed to the moon itself.
SocietyWith a birth rate of 7 females to 1 male,Echani females form the backbone of the species; and the driving force behind the development into a matriarchal society and the reason behind their deities being female.
Contrary to popular belief, Echani females to do not regard their males as second class, they instead value them highly and are extremely protective them; despite them enforcing military service upon the males to prove their worth, they regard them as, ironically, their protectors and often honour them in greeting with "kár'lo", meaning 'our protector'.
All Echani males are enrolled into the Larinkáoi, a particular branch of the military, for no less than 10 years after which they are allowed to leave to follow a civilian life however, their deeds in service and their military record heavily influence where they may start out in civilian life, and is often the limiting factor in whether they can be accepted into universities.
It is commonplace for males to gain command roles in the military to secure themselves a place in the political hierarchy or managerial roles within businesses.
Varra khat, which stood for ‘Soul walk’ was a two day long ceremony that took place on Echani’s 12th birthday, where the females chose what they wanted to dedicate their life to and before males were sent to the Larinkáoi. The ceremony had four parts; Nyat koróna, Chal, Donna naior and the Telcta chai
The Nyat koróna, is a ritual tea ceremony. They are then clothed in garments made by their mother and local priestess, in the colours of their family name. The young Echani is then lead into the common room of their family home where their family resides around a small table. Here, the Echani would begin to brew a pot of tea, normally Red Tea. As the tea brewed the Echani sat with their legs underneath them and their hands on their knees. An uncomfortable position that they had to hold till the tea was finished brewing.
Once the tea was finished brewing, they would stand, and take the hot pot of tea in their hands by the sides of the hot pot. This was to show their family their endurance, as they slowly filled each cup in a clockwise fashion. After serving the tea to the others they then served themselves two cups, a representation of more responsibility. After this they would place the pot back on the warming pad, sit, and with their family, sip tea, while their family reminisced on their childhood.
The Chal took place after after the Tea Ceremony. The young Echani would meditate alone, in their local moon garden for twelve hours. The significance of this was for the child to reflect on their life before this day, and their destiny afterwards. Often it was during Chal that an Echani would weigh their options for a future.
The Donna Naior, or ‘first test’ was the most prepared for aspect of Varra khat; dancing fight between the child and their Father. Should their father be unavailable through death, then the child could nominate anyone they wished, this was done via a handwritten letter, in which the child would have to write perfectly, and then have their local priestess perform a blessing ritual upon the letter and provide the wax with which to seal it; any deviation from this or poor handwriting brought great shame upon their family. The nominee was culturally (but not legally) obliged to accept, lest it bring scorn from Nalimisari and shame from their community.
If the child's father was dead, then it is assumed that they died for the Echani people, and is therefore ascended, and to refuse a nomination was to bring the honour of the father's sacrifice into disrepute. Only through consulting with their priestess, in which they would have to give good reason and receive a blessing to do so, could the nominee opt out.
The Donna Naior normally lasted for several hours, anywhere from two to eight hours. The fight was merely for show, though it allowed the child to display their abilities as a warrior.
After the Donna Naior, the final ceremony begins, in the dining hall of the family or clan. A massive feast, in which the now Adult Echani's whole family and nominated guests participated. A table as long as the hall could handle would be covered in foods, both Echani and exotic in nature. Pots of teas, Wine, and other beverages would be passed along the family as they celebrated the past and future of the now fully recognized Echani.
Echani cultureThe Echani take great pride in perfection, to them, everything is an art form where mastery should be sought; be it music or combat or even politics. In reflection of this, there are several "heads" in each form much like the political council responsible for governing Vorsisalo space.
Echani cuisine was a mix of very spicy foods with fresh and soothing snacks. Traditionally cooked slowly for hours with large variety of spices, fresh vegetables with plenty of meat, served in large pots in the center of the table with each eater taking their share into smaller bowls.
An Echani meal would normally be taken in 6 courses, with the main course (the third) being the only part to contain meat; and take around 3 hours to finish.
Regarded to be the premier art form for Echani, and considered by many to be a pursuit solely for an elite breed; those who have perfected music to such a degree that, even by Echani standards - a people who are naturally musically gifted, their ability and talent are considered to be exceptional.
Because of this, there are twelve figure heads of music in Echani culture: six composers and six singers, all of which are elected as representatives of each planet within the Vorsisalo realm, with the representatives of Eshan, "the first", being considered the very best of them.
The prestige of these titles is such that each representative enjoys somewhat of a celebrity status, but is also expected to act as an ambassador for their people. They are subsequently to be found at the heart of political intrigue.
To ensure that they are worthy of their position, each representative must be assessed every year to ensure that their talents have not deteriorated and are judged against the many who try for the position.
The current representatives for Eshan are Donna Assol'eru Aela Dasvarat as the First lady of voice, and Donna Saraess'ero Jílan Yllorikui as the First Lord of music.
CombatOne of the most notable achievements for the Echani is their mastery of martial art, their races' heavy dependence on body language for communication gives them a profound ability to predict their opponent's moves.
Mastery of combat is just another example of the Echani pursuit of perfection, growing mainly from their vast history of political strife, the warring of the ancient royal houses and the 5000 year long unification war which lead to the formation of the Vorsisalo realm as it is known to date.
This connection to war and combat has lead to every Echani citizen undergoing training in melee combat as part of their upbringing and education. Giving the Echani people the well deserved reputation as a race of fierce warriors.
A somewhat misconception of Echani is that of their martial traditions. They are perceived a race of scantily clad warrior women who communicate through combat, but the reality is much further from the truth, and much richer.
Their armours are usually synthetic bodysuits with hardened bio-plastic plating that grants the wearer a surprising amount of protection while giving them almost completely unrestricted freedom of movement. These are often hand crafted and beautifully stylised, featuring vibrant colours and tall crest of coloured hair; a daring display of their pride in their martial abilities but also as an aide to field commanders as most battles with Echani are quickly forced into a melee.
Serving as both a military and as a police force, the Vorsisalo Confederate Defence Force is responsible for maintaining peace within Echani space. Although tiny in comparison to the likes of the Republic, gained reputation in nearby sectors as a force not to be trifled with. Not having the industry or production capability to sustain a force which relied ranged weaponry and heavy armour, it instead became an expert mechanised force of deception and defence, often leading it's enemies into deadly traps. It's doctrine was one of Speed, Surprise and violence of action.
It became the reason for the peace and stability that is now found in the Nouane sector after a treaty was signed between the Nouanese and the Echani Confederacy; the Nouanese would supply the confederacy if they would use their military prowess to police the Nouanese empire and ensure the compliance of it's satrapies; which it quickly succeeded in doing. It's brutal and bloody assaults in key separatist strongholds broke the back of resistance fighters within a mere ten years of the treaty being signed. Although there are still some occasional small pockets of resistance that sprout in both the Nouanese and Echani territories, the entire sector lives in relative peace and unmolested from outsiders.
SpiritseekersFast and athletic, the Spiritseekers emphasise swiftness of foot and the importance of mobility in melee combat. Their armour is coloured deep blue, and bone white with a long red flowing crest.
Spiritseekers were generally armed with a disrupter pistol and vibrosword in combat or a form of glaive, combined with flashbang type explosives and a special amplifier in their helmet which the spiritseeker would unleash a haunting scream through as they charged their opponents, rending them with terror. These warriors were used as flankers and infiltrators, and when deployed against a distracted or unaware enemy, they would wreak havoc in enemy lines. It was said that hearing their battlecry would pull your spirit from your body so that the seekers could claim it.
Well-trained survivalists and marksmen able to find the eye sockets and neck joints of even the most heavily armoured enemy troops. Watchers are both reconnaissance soldiers, and intelligence agents having developed skills in both espionage and survival, these elite agents are able to adapt to their surroundings easily. They spend their tours of duty serving as either a field agent, gathering intelligence on their neighbours and enemies, or as forward observers in a combat role; reporting troop movements to commanders and serving as snipers.
LarinkáoiEvery Echani male must serve in the Larinkáoi for a period of no less that 10 years after their 14th birthday. Although this is a somewhat small period of time in comparison to the Echani life expectancy, many of the men decide to stay on longer as their achievement and rank within the Larinkáoi affects where is society they may go after their service is finished. The Larinkáoi soldier has been part of the Echani culture since it's creation and has become somewhat of a symbol of protection from evil. They are to be found in children's story battling evil spirits and creatures of the night. The embodiment of Kar, the goddess Nalimisari's mortal lover, who challenged all the gods of the timeless realm to win her pardon.
The Larinkáoi are the Echani's heavy infantry. Carrying large energy shields and plasma tipped spears. They often act as a deadly phalanx wall for their enemy to be pushed up against. Their unique spears a plasma blade one end and a cannon at the other, which they can use for peppering their opponents with blaster bolts until they can close to melee range. On occasion, they can be seen to field blasters by a select few within their ranks, but these tend to be roles kept for the Larinkáoi units that are stationed aboard naval vessels.
The warriors of this unit can be seen all over the confederacy guarding various buildings and memorials. They are the closest thing to police that can be seen in Echani territories and are trained to be absolute masters of shield and spear combat.
An Aeta Ignias was an Echani Honor duel. An Honor Duel was performed between two individuals, one of which was generally Echani, but one party could be of any culture. The duel was initiated by someone giving a challenge, either for honor, or glory. An Aeta Ignias could be either till the death of one of the individuals or till one was incapacitated in another manner. An Aeta Ignias was performed with a strict code of honor, if any participant violated any of the preset rules of the duel or any of the traditional rules, such as attacking an opponent while they were down, or striking in zones considered off limits (such as strikes 'below the belt') and won via these methods, a relative of the one lost, could claim the offenders life forfeit and could, at any point in time, attempt to take the life of the offender, or claim the right to their own Aeta Ignias.
Many Echani cities are tall and Gothic in their appearance, featuring high walls, remnant of ancient times, surrounding them. Many buildings were constructed to encourage the growth of wildlife along their walls; the stark contrast of luscious green topped with reds, violets, blues and pinks set upon tall, pristinely white stone spires and walls are the envy of many of the galaxy's architects.
Echani architecture is not only limited to the style of their buildings, but also in their ships. Long, slender and silvery white designs are common place.