"....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
昶始 - Chang Shi of Issareth
Bright Morn is a Calaryn, a dying race of all men, no women. If they are not killed in battle when young, they live to 200 and die naturally. To be reborn, a willing human woman, usually a wife, agrees to absorb their soul at their death; she then gives birth to them again.
As children they look like any other human child. That changes when they reach puberty and their Calaryn genes take over. Their wife-mother guides them through their changes.
Calaryns have their mothers' skin and hair color but when they come of age, multiple colors play across their bodies under the skin, like oil on water. The colors are affected by their emotions and physical well-being, so they learn how to control it to look like their mother's skin color.
Small wounds heal immediately, and they possess an awareness they can manipulate to sense what is around them. They also have exceptional physical abilities, making them extraordinary warriors.
As they grow older, past life memories intrude. On their 30th birthdays they become catatonic, spending a month lost in memories of the past lives they've already experienced.
Bright Morn is an unusual Calaryn. His wife-mother died in childbirth. There was no one to teach him who or what he was except an aunt too shocked to find her brother-in-law was now her nephew. Unfortunately his mother didn't have time to teach her how to train him properly so she never did.
When he was 19 his aunt died and he left his village, not knowing what his future life would be. He became a warrior for hire, gleaning small pieces of information about Calaryns. Then one night, close to his 30th birthday, Old God found him, near death, bloody and injured, surrounded by ten dead thieves who thought they could steal his sword. Old God is also a Calaryn at 187 years old. He decides to teach Bright Morn who and what he is, what he can become and together they seek to find what he was.
Translation by: M. Yim