Shaya is the crown jewel and capital of the Shaya Confederation. They were instrumental in drafting the charter, and eight centuries later they are still the de facto leaders. While no one member world is greater than any other, Shaya is certainly first among equals.
Shaya is built around the catalyst of the goddess Shaya, who was slain on a barren moon. Her energies transformed that moon into a lush paradise, her power a beacon throughout the surrounding systems.
Millions of primals were attracted to the catalyst, reborn into the image of the goddess herself. At first, these primals became drifters. Over time, those drifters matured into modern Shayans. Many Shayans are embarrassed by this fact, and consider drifters to be a lesser species.
Their ships are constructed from dense redwood, grown into specific shapes. Taking a vessel from Shaya kills it, a price that the Shayans coldly pay. Shaya try to disguise this fact as best as possible, doing everything they can to bring the appearance of life to the vessel. Plants are abundant, and every Shayan has a garden.
The Shaya are very touchy, and savage in combat. They see their failure to protect their fallen mother as a lack of preparation on their part, and have resolved to change. For while Shaya is dead, she is not gone. One day she might live again, and they never give up hope.
They are a martial people, but with a sharp cultural divide. Military Officers are considered beneath most other nobles, a blemish on their careers. This is part of why the navy is so ineffectual. Skilled captains are actively discouraged from joining, leaving them with the dregs.
Politically, the Shayans answer to The Tender, the true caretaker of Shaya. The Tender is a Shayan, but has been elevated to full guardian of the catalyst. In essence, elevated to demigod status. Each Tender selects a council of caretakers, and these caretakers oversee the rest of Shayan society. When a Tender dies, the caretakers are responsible for elevating a new Tender from their ranks.
Shaya is a full colonial power, with nineteen worlds colonized over the last two centuries. They rule these worlds loosely, but are rarely loved by the worlds they subjugate. In recent years, many Shayan nobles are growing increasingly alarmed at how quickly Ternus is growing.
Shayans are human, with a few minor twists. Their eye color changes over time, based on the type of magic they consume. They are generally taller than humans, but only by a few inches.
Their nature is something they can easily hide, as the glow from their eyes fades after eating. Most dine in private when around humans, to avoid the inevitable questions.
Like Inurans, Shaya are delicate and graceful. Humans are considered brutish beside them, though there are plenty of relationships between the species. A beautiful human is still beautiful to Shayans, but a Shayan is more likely to be beautiful. They are also more likely to be weaker than humans.
Shaya and Magic
Shayans do not age. They feed on magic, and as long as there is magic to feed on, they live. When that magic goes away, they die. Magic is literal life to them, which is part of why they rose to power so quickly.
Most Shaya do not like leaving their world. They want to be near their goddess, and they do not want to risk being away from her life-sustaining energies. Those who venture into the void are considered fearless, and accorded much respect.