The Bayë (singular Baa) are a social humanoid species in Aeniith. They are of a completely different genetic origin from the Amelae, Zuna, and Rili. As such they cannot breed with any other species group, unlike the Amelae, Zuna, and Rili who are all able to interbreed.
The Bayë are divided into five subspecies: the Mei, Megana, Nonil, Quiluma, and Nirfai. They differ in their physiology, especially in bodily proportions. Each subspecies is dealt with separately below where necessary.
- Average Height:
- Mei: Females: 172cm; Males: 178cm
- Megana: Females: 180cm; Males: 182cm
- Nonil: Females: 152cm; Males 156cm
- Quiluma: Females: 155cm; Males: 160cm
- Nirfai: Females: 170cm; Males: 174cm
- Average Weight:
- Mei: Females: 63kg; Males: 82kg
- Megana: Females: 70kg; Males: 86kg
- Nonil: Females: 49kg; Males: 58kg
- Quiluma: Females: 55kg; Males: 63kg
- Nirfai: Females: 62kg; Males: 67kg
- Bayë are by far the longest lived humanoids in Aeniith. Nirfai have the longest lifespan, living on average over 3000 years. The Mei and Megana usually live around 1000-1200 years. Nonil tend to live about 1500 years, and the Quiluma around 800-1000 years.
- Mei: Skin color is tan to olive. Skin on each finger and toe is darker by a few shades than the rest the body.
- Megana: Skin is generally quite pale with a slight bluish tint. Skin on fingers and toes has a purple-grey tone.
- Nonil: Skin is a dusty brown. Fingers and toes are a darker brown.
- Quiluma: Skin has a golden hue; fingers and toes are dark orange.
- Nirfai: Skin is very pale and translucent. Digital darkening is very indistinct.
- Mei: Hair consistency is of medium coarseness, color usually ranges from light brown to black.
- Megana: Consistency is similar to that of the Mei. Colors include bright red, which has become a trademark of the Megana.
- Nonil: Hair is often paler than the skin, being usually very wispy and pale. Colors from white to almond-pink.
- Nirfai: Hair is very thick and grows quickly. Colors range from blonde to black and red.
- Eyesight in all Bayë is keen, especially in the Nirfai and Quiluma. Colors can range from hazel and brown to blue and grey. The Megana are known for having violet or red eyes. Eye sockets are set slightly higher in the face than those of humans. Bayë have the ability to see ultraviolet and infrared light, which helps them in hunting prey.
- Bayë have a special system of blood veins that allow blood to flow extra quickly to their limbs. These veins are near the surface of their body and as such are covered by very thick skin. This thicker skin is manifested externally as ropes extending from the sides of the neck to the inner elbow and again from the inner thigh to the back of the knee. On the outside of this thick skin, small protective plates develop as the Baa ages. By early adulthood, these plates are done growing and appear as a flexible but very tough cover of cartilage-like scales. When in dangerous situations, such as battles or treks into perilous regions, Bayë may wear extra protection over these blood ropes, as they are called, such as sheathes of leather or canvas, as fully cutting through this skin is the equivalent of damaging a major artery and is life-threatening.
Gestation and Endocrine System:
Puberty of both sexes is reached around the age of 65-70 years. Females go into heat once every ten years, at which time their sex drive triples. Many females, especially Megana and Quiluma, may become rather aggressive around this period. Upon each mating, there is a roughly 0.5 % chance of impregnation, but the Bayë had devised several successful methods of birth control, so most Baa females have on average 1-3 children over the course of their life. Females’ fertility peaks at the age of 200, afterward slowly decreasing until the age of about 900, at which point it is very rare for a Baa to give birth.
Gestation lasts for two years. Twins are quite common among Bayë, especially identical twins. Babies are born live but far less developed than human babies, with their eyes shut until nine weeks of age. They are covered with a thin pink layer of film known as the birth pouch. This pouch must cover the majority of the newborn’s skin for at least two days after birth or the baby’s skin will dry out too quickly, causing skin problems. The mother will remove the pouch briefly, then cut and reassemble it to cover vital parts of the baby’s body, while still leaving it room to eat, breathe, and urinate/defecate. In effect, the baby wears a wet outer skin for 2-4 days after birth.
Birth for Bayën females is relatively painless, as the babies are born much smaller in comparison to the birth canal than human or babies of other species. There is a relatively low infant mortality rate. All babies are born completely hairless and are extremely sensitive to light for the first few weeks.
Bayën children are breastfed until the age of eighteen, which is the physical equivalency of a two-year-old human. Bayën babies often become ill if they are fed something other than Bayën breastmilk, as there are crucial enzymes in the milk that are necessary for many vital functions of the developing baby. Symptoms of malnourishment in babies include breathing problems, irregular heartbeat, dry skin, spontaneous bleeding, digestive problems, infections, and respiratory problems.
Miscellaneous Anatomy and Physiology:
- Bayë have six digits on each hand and foot. Thus their numeral system is based on six, and their year is divided into six parts.
- Ears are large and cupped to increase hearing ability.
- Males have soft hair that grows around the ankles.
- All Bayë have very slight and usually latent telepathic abilities, but this talent is rarely trained or used. Many Bayë do not consider it anything different from other species’ “intuition” or “instinct”, so slight is the strength of the power. But outsiders often notice the uncanny Bayën ability to understand the motives, thoughts, and feelings of others before speaking to them at all.
- The Bayën nose curves up slightly.
- Bayë have a clear nictitating membrane in their eyes.
- Sexual dimorphism does exist, but it is less pronounced than in other species, so some outsiders report difficulty in distinguishing females and males by immediate appearance alone.