by Max Barry

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by The Hooshy Snack Manufacturers of The Celestial Shurayu Republic. . 185 reads.

Zumri Šúráyu

Six phenotypical Shurayu
Obviously, we Shurayu are the pinnacle of biological perfection and a breed apart from all others, however, for practicality’s sake we shall compare ourselves to our abominable telluric-homunculi copycats, the Erṣetim-of-Old (Rest in piss, savages!) for a common frame of reference.

Shurayu-Erṣetim height comparison and Shurayu-Erṣetim skull comparison
The Shurayu are a race of magically-adept giants possessing mesomorphic builds and fair-to-olive skin, who are dark-of-hair and light-of-eye, resembling the Erṣetim-of-Old in nearly all physical ways except in size and lifespan, with the average Shurayu standing at seven-feet-and-five-inches, 32% larger than the average Erṣetim and with a muscle mass 32% denser, and living on average around three-hundred years, though some especially genetically-gifted Shurayu have been known to live well into their five-hundreds.

Along with that obvious difference, Shurayu express very little emotion through their faces, their near-constant blank expressions giving them a statuesque quality. In contrast, Shurayu possess exceedingly intense and expressive eyes, which were always found unnerving by the Erṣetim, with their flat and unintelligent eyes, thanks to the extreme contrast between the still face and the powerful eyes, which in the words of the Erṣetim "Burn with some strange, distant power as incomprehensible as it is terrible to behold. The simple gaze of a Shurayu can instill such an acute sense of wrongness the fight or flight response of the gaze's recipient(s) can be triggered."

Besides this, there is a rather curious trait Shurayu possess, that being their possession of an abundance of nerves along their jaws, especially emphasized in men. It is assumed this strange and evolutionarily useless trait exists thanks to the meddling of Ištar, the Love-War-God. It is theorized that Shurayu men first grew beards to protect their sensitive jaws. The touching of one’s jaw is seen as an extremely intimate act, and to touch a Shurayu’s jaw unbidden is to invite their wrath.

Due to Shurayu being created in Ur-Kuríbadnáti and then being placed into Ur-Pagradnáti, Shurayu possess an innate fundamental difficulty comprehending concepts relating to the physical sciences and mathematics. Ten-thousand years of eugenics have had little effect in alleviating this, however it is possible for Shurayu to master these concepts, albeit with significantly more difficulty and with a much greater chance of a mental break.

Unconscious perceptions of the Shurayu mind
Conversely, Shurayu are naturally attuned towards magic, occultism, extradimensional matters, and other spiritual and metaphysical concepts considered “esoteric”. Whereas the Erṣetim-of-Old had extreme difficulty with such concepts, sometimes being driven into insanity in the pursuit of understanding them. Whenever Shurayu dream, they are unable to visualize the physical world as it is, rather, due to their spiritual nature, their unconscious minds perceive the physical world through a spiritual lens. All Shurayu are what the Erṣetim referred to as "Schizophrenic", a nonsensical term used by them to describe their seers that they sloppily applied to the Shurayu. The proper term for this power is Šabrû, the ability to see and communicate with spiritual interlopers on the physical plane. Where the infinitesimal amount of Erṣetim who possessed this power suffered greatly and took foul medicines to suppress it due to their physically-attuned minds being unable to cope with the perception of the spiritual, it is an intrinsic trait in all Shurayu, and in their minds to communicate with the denizens of the Ur-Kuríbadnáti is as easy and as normal as communicating with the denizens of Ur-Pagradnáti.

An agitated Multépiš
Due to their spiritual heritage, Shurayu are intensely magical beings, all possessing some measure of magical ability, able to draw power from Ur-Kuríbadnáti. The magical ability of Shurayu varies wildly and can be honed, trained, and strengthened through intense study, meditation, rituals, and the simple passage of time; those trained with magic are called Multépiš and are held in high-regard.

Diagram of a Napšutišqillatum
Shurayu possess a magnetic field called a Napšutišqillatum originating from their heart that extends ten feet away from their body in all directions filled with particles called Akám. These invisible shells and the particles within them act as powerful albeit breakable shields towards spiritual and extradimensional entities. Napšutišqillatumú also have a less-significant use in Ur-Pagradnáti, acting as a field of psychic energy rather than a shield. When threatened, a Shurayu’s Napšutišqillatum activates and gives the non-Shurayu in its radius a tingling sensation on their skin and an acute feeling of inferiority and a desire to avoid the threatened Shurayu borne of the Shurayu’s innate feeling of superiority and disdain. This ability is amplified by the number of Shurayu nearby, and as a result, visitors to the Grand City of Shuraya were often rendered silent, glassy-eyed and knee-bound from the countless Napšutišqillatumú amplifying eachother coupled with the city itself, in all it’s immensity and ancient majesty. The potency of one’s Napšutišqillatum is dependent upon it’s Akám-Content, which is dependent upon genetics and so extensive eugenics have been undertaken to improve them.

(Extremely) simplified example of a Pagrušimtum
Shurayu believe in the concepts of Kuríbišimtum and Pagrušimtum. These concepts dictate that all things located on the physical plane have a fundamental shape that dictates the physical form of the thing, it’s physical abilities and chemical composition, and that all living things possess a spiritual shape that dictates subconscious tendencies, affinity with magic, and resilience toward non-euclidean entities. Through great effort the physical and spiritual shapes of something can be divined, though it is an exceptionally difficult and laborious feat, taking up to millenia for physical shapes and is nearly impossible for spiritual shapes. With something’s physical shape divined, it is then theoretically possible to change it, thereby changing all things that share the shape.

There is one known occurrence of the physical shape of something being altered, that being when ATRAḪASÍS changed to shape of the Shurayu, to allow them to inbreed with impunity to prevent the extinction of his people.

The only changes to a thing’s spiritual shape has been done by the Ur-Iláni to the Shurayu after the Sinking of Šanûyapam, giving their creations a natural inclination towards group-behavior and the Napšutišqillatumú to protect them from spiritual enemies and to a certain extent, earthly enemies.

Erṣetim - The inferior copies of the Shurayu made by the Napšutadnát (For the purposes of this dispatch this refers exclusively to humans)

Ištar - Shurayu God of Love and War

Ur-Kuríbadnáti - The Spiritual Plane, home to magic, spirits, the gods, and birthplace of the Shurayu

Ur-Pagradnáti - The Material Plane, home to science, physical life, and home of the Shurayu

Šabrû - The ability to perceive spiritual things on the physical plane

Multépiš - Mage, a Shurayu with magical training

Napšutišqillatumú - Soul-Shells, the magnetic fields which surround the Shurayu

Akám - Dust, the particles that constitute the Napšutišqillatumú

Kuríbišimtum - Spiritual Shape

Pagrušimtum - Physical Shape

ATRAḪASÍS - The man who freed the Shurayu and founded Shuraya, creator of Atrahasianism

Ur-Iláni - The Gods of the Shurayu

Šanûyapam - The lost continent in southern Šurrâtar where the Shurayu first made their home

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