"....the pressure of his finger on the shoulder sent ripples of multiple colors under the skin. They fanned out and around the spot, and across his chest. He pressed the same hand on the man's abdomen and watched as colors chased across his torso. His hand hovered over the young man's cheek and he gave it a gentle nudge. Color chased color across his face."
Bright Morn of Issareth
Bright Morn, the Calaryn:
To all outward appearances, a human child at birth; until puberty released the Calaryn genes and he finds he is part of a diminishing race of males who live to 200, unless cut down in war or by accident. Before they die, they find a willing human female who agrees to absorb their "essence," their "soul," and give birth to them again, where they start over, thinking they are a normal human child. Upon puberty the wife-now-mother teaches them who, and what they are, and what their lives will be like, with new abilities and concerns.
Their skin will change. They have inherited their mother's skin color but must work to maintain it. If they do not, colors play under it, eddying with emotions and feelings, visible to everyone who looks at them. It takes little effort and energy to control it, and they catch on fast. Calaryns recover from small wounds and injuries quickly, sometimes immediately. Their eye color changes, usually a lighter color ringed by a darker with flecks of other colors. If someone is there to teach them, they can alter their sight abilities.
As they grow older, they begin to have memories from their past lives. They do not "remember" like humans do, but go into a trance, or catatonic state, while they relive the memory. On their 30th birthday they live for a full month in the memories of their past life and a little of the one before that.
Bright Morn is not your normal Calaryn. His mother died before she could tell him about himself. He had to rely on a loving, but somewhat scattered, aunt who loved and cursed him at the same time. The aunt had had little time with her sister before she died and did not retain much of what she was told. The fact that her dead brother-in-law was now her nephew, was incomprehensible to her. Instructions about his future fell largely on ears that refused to hear, and a mind that refused to understand her nephew was only half human.
The aunt died when he was nineteen, leaving him with little knowledge of what would happen to him as he grew older, and being human was secondary to being Calaryn. He became a warrior for hire, learning bits and pieces about himself, but never enough. Until Old God finds him one night, near death, bloodied and injured, surrounded by ten thieves who thought they could steal his sword, the sword with the birds and vines, etched down the fuller in gold and silver.