The Gurhai universe is a place where fantasy and science breed. Evolution is guided by both magic and natural selection; intelligent species are marked by their prowess in arts both arcane and martial. Technology is powered by steam engine or by magical energy, and a handful of races have come out on top of the galactic economy with their vast trade networks and widespread population. Disc-shaped worlds are circled by tiny, spherical suns in a flat layer of existence in the middle of an egg-shaped shell made of gravitic ore, the only material in the universe that produces magic. Intersun ships sail on the unbreathable winds of the void, their bellies full of forests and their decks full of people of any imaginable shape.
Along the edge of the universe is a sun system called Ka, comprised of three worlds and a sun that completes a circuit around them every day. Alasa Ka is a primal world, barely civilized and unscarred by industry, unnoticed by intersun travelers; it’s covered with deep forests, high mountains, and expansive deserts. The natives of Alasa Ka are tahori, a race of shapeshifters who have three skins or bodies with one clever, animalistic set of instincts, intuition, and intelligence. Though they were once human druids in ages long gone, the tahori have since evolved into several different races and spread across their world, living as nomads or in tribal settlements, with technology no greater than the most basic of metalworking, and even that is rare.
Among the tahori, the most populous people are the inlanlu. Strongly social and hierarchal, inlanlu band together in tight-knit packs and claim a territory to hold against all others, creating a safe place in which to live and raise children. In their hamin skin, they resemble humans, though the colors and markings of their fur show on their skin, and a plumed canine tail hangs behind their knees. In their sanero skin, they are huge predators, some five or six feet high at the withers with hulking shoulders, powerful legs, and a blunt-muzzled face reminiscent of a dire wolf or a spotted hyena. Their emigonu skin is a bipedal mix of hamin and sanero skins, rough-furred and clawed, but deft-handed and agile.
The inlanlu tahori speak Uhjayi, a root-based language strongly supplemented with body language, tonal inflection, and expression. Because of their innately social nature, Uhjayi is extensively concerned with the relationships between people and one’s attitude to another; because of their primitive lifestyles, much of their vocabulary is nature-based with a side of shamanic magic and spirituality. Their written script is phonetic, comprised of lines and dots, both of which are easy to etch into smooth bark with a clawtip or a small knife.
Like other tahori, inlanlu are unknown to the great intersun races, including humans. However, on the human colony world of Sige, some individual tahori have established homes in rural communities and small towns. Sige is the only place where inlanlu and humans interact and meet, and it’s the only place where a human like yourself can learn to speak Uhjayi. The human race and most people on Sige do not officially know that tahori exist, and even the few humans who have met tahori are largely ignorant of their culture and physiology.
As one of these people who are unfamiliar with inlanlu tahori, you will be guided through lessons speaking Uhjayi – and as you go, you’ll also learn more about the tahori themselves.