The Bakhyar, often referred to as Beastmen, are a race of humanoids that are large hulking humanoids with animal like traits. In days of old, people believed that the Bakhyar were cursed humans – men who had angered the gods and were changed into beasts. This is a myth. In fact, the Bakhyar are one of the oldest races in Calamia.They lived in the central lands long before humans and eventually began migrating across the sea. They’re a strong, proud, closely-knit group of people, who take great pride in their land, families and way of life.
The Bakhyar are bipedal beings, large in frame and body. The smallest of their kind stand around 5’10″ while the tallest are about 7’8″. Their bodies tend to be thick, heavily muscled, and broad, though females have slightly smaller frames than the males. Their facial structure is quite similar to a human’s. However, their noses are broad and akin to bear like, with a soft pad and are often a shade of brown, black, beige or dark peach in color. Bakhyar commonly have round eyes, sometimes narrow, which show no whites, only the iris and pupil. Eye color can vary, though average shades are brown, gold, hazel or green. Blue, gray, violet or dual toned eyes are uncommon. Their eyebrows tend to be thick and full, males having hair often grows longer and hangs by the temples.
Their faces are fleshy, the skin more leathery than supple, but soft. Their flesh can be any tone of peach, brown, or gray, and can contain lighter or darker patterns. All bakhyar are covered in hair – not fur – except for their face, hands and feet. This hair is long and dense, making them look furry like an animal and giving them an often shaggy appearance. Males also grow thicker hair around their jaw and head, which can grow quite long. Females do not grow long hair, and tend to have a fluffier look all together. Their hair colors can range from shades of gold to bronze, a ruddy red to brown, gray or black. Lighter shades, such as white, light brown, honey, crème, tan or gray are uncommon.
All possess some form of under bite, where their lower canine teeth tend to stick out and up over their top lip. Their ears are situated in nearly the same place as humans, but are shaped quite different. Many have ears similar to a dog, being wide and slightly pointed, some have floppy droopy ears, where others have ears shaped similar to a bears which tend to be more rounded.
The most distinctive trait of Bakhyar is the growth of a pair of horns. These horns are not overtly large and serve no real purpose other than looks and possible defense. They grow just above their forehead hairline, and resemble those of a ram, goat, markhor, ibex, bharal or mouflon.
There are several subspecies of bakyhar differentiate by their feet. The two most populous are the big footed, which have what look like oversized human feet, except they only have four one large toe and three slightly smaller toes. The tops of their feet are covered in hair, but the toes and the bottoms are their softer leathery skin. The other subspecies has cloven hooves and ankle joints similar to a horse or elk.
Bakyhar can only breed with bakyhar, though the subspecies of bakhyar can interbreed without problem. They reach adolecense at about 28 years of age, and magical maturity as well. Barring premature death they can live up to 300 years of age.
A rural people, the Bakhyar usually like to wear furs, leathers, and durable fabrics. Because the Bakhyar live off the land they have a great respect for nature and try to utilize everything they harvest, grow, or kill. So it isn’t uncommon to see objects made of metal, bone, wood, stone, or shell, used in everyday items. Bakhyar are also noted for making excellent pottery, firing it in stone furnaces.
The Bakhyar are not a unified people; each village is independent of the others. Most tribes respect one another’s autonomy and quarrel rarely. Villages will often come together for feast days, especially during the fall hunts. Only the Hidokyn (he-doe-kin), wandering groups of barbaric Bakhyar, are treated with hostility. These outsiders possess no honor and suck up resources wherever they go. The Bakhyar settlements refuse to trade with them, and will often go to war or kill any Hidokyn that enter their territory.
The Bakhyar do not automatically attack foreigners, as many believe. In fact they invite others within their communities openly so long as they appear good-natured, and are very warm and friendly. Overall the Bakhyar people are somewhat neutral towards other races and have no real forms of prejudice when it comes to appearances. They are, however, opposed to those that threaten their ways of life, or the natural world around them.
They enjoy showing off the fruits of their labors, offer trade with visitors, and give food and shelter to them for a day or two. Of course, they expect to hear stories of their guest’s travels. Bakhyar love to hear tales and news from the outside world, as well as fictional stories. They are great storytellers themselves and admire anyone that can spin a good yarn.
Within Bakhyar society, prowess determines ones rank in society rather than gender. Therefore, a skilled female warrior will always outrank a less skilled male. Skill is not based on strength alone, but a combination of strength, cunning, intelligence, and wisdom. For the Bakhyar, this does not mean that one individual is more important than another. In fact, they respect diversity and believe that all people have a place in society. Among the Bakhyar, the skills of every individual are precious and considered a boon that will help their clan succeed. The chieftain is always the main decision maker of the clan, and is always the highest ranked of all the Bakhyar. A Chieftain can be male or female, so long as they established their rank.