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  • Writer's pictureEli Z.

Ta'al Whip Masters

The Ta'al are known for many things, from being master horse trainers to having a very heavily class structured tribal culture, but they are known most for the whip masters. A warrior class able to wield old world magic in combat, masters of riding, knives, bow and arrow, and their most feared weapon; the bullwhip.

Normally the bullwhip doesn't make a very good weapon. They usually require a lot of room and don't have the ability to block, deflect, or repost an opponent's strikes. The whip masters however are an old blood line of warriors, tracing back to very first Innatraeans, who are able to use old world magic in combat by instinct. A normal bullwhip, in their hands, becomes a fearsome tool for destruction that follows the will of its holder. Whether it be wrapping around an opponent, tree limbs, deflecting arrows, or striking down multiple enemies before coiling back into its wielder's hand, they seem literally alive and are nearly unstoppable.

Becoming a whip master is a matter of bloodlines, but has been known to skip generations, or appear out of nowhere. The Ta'al will begin to feel an affinity for the whip, if they are meant to be a whip master, this draws them into their ranks, after that learning to wield their power takes years of dedicated hard training, which some do not survive.

To truly understand the whip masters we must also discuss two other sub classes of Ta'al. The Ahavah, or "Beloved Ones," and the Cha'eth or "Engravened."

Ahavah (beloved one): The chosen mate of a Ta'al whip master. More importantly, they are the only one who truly understands, and completes their individual whip master. It is an Ahavah's place within Ta'al society to care for their whip master in every way.

Becoming an Ahavah requires being chosen by a whip master and going through the Eh'yeh, or "Binding Ritual." During this ritual the bullwhip, and a substance known only as fire blossom oil, are used to permanently scar the chosen Ahavah. This marks them with a unique pattern of scars individual to each whipaster. Many Ahavah are encouraged to go shirtless after this ritual, so their scars can be seen by other Ta'al, they view this as a thing of true beauty.

Traditionally during this ritual the whip master makes a vow of dedication to their Ahavah. There are however those who do not view this with the sacredness it deserves. Some bind for power and control, bind those unwilling, or even trade Ahavah and treat them as lesser Innatraeans.

Many whip masters choose to hang up the specific bullwhip used in their Eh'yeh, because it has touched their Ahavah, and will only be used in private from then on.

**An example vow. Valen's Eh'yeh Neder (Binding Vow):**

"Mine. From this breath to our last. Sheli. Mi zeh n'shima el arour akharon.

From this dawn until the final night. Mi zeh sahar ad el sof layla.

From tomorrow until the end of days. Mi makhar ad el aharit ha'yamim.

May we always find each other. Luchal anu tamid masa hasheni.

Through pain. Drek kevrosh.

Through suffering. Drek qal.

May we always be each other's light. Luchal anu tamid hasheni oror.

Two souls are one. Ahavah el harit ha'yamim.

From this life to the last. Mi zeh miktal ad el sof.

I am yours. Ani sh'lach"

Cha'eth (The Engravened): An Ahavah who chooses to have their scars tattooed. It is a silent, never spoken of, form of respect, dedication, and love. No one except their direct family, or their whip master, may touch a Cha'eth.

Becoming a Cha'eth is a ritual performed by an Ahavah, of their own free will. During this their scars are tattooed in a unique way and they make a vow of dedication to their whip master. Not all Ahavah become Cha'eth, but those who do are respected nearly as much as their whip masters. Causing harm upon, touching, bedding, or mistreating another whip master's Cha'eth is a crime punishable by death.

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