"If you don't have a taum now, you're missing out!"
- That one person with that one name
What are taums?
Taums are avian monsters that have two mouths; one is a beak, which can be inspired by the beak of any bird, and the other is a toothy mouth inspired by that of any beast, from bear-like fangs and boar tusks to rows of shark teeth. They have thick arms that end in bear-like claws, which can slice through the toughest of materials (e.g. dragon scales, metal, diamond). Underneath the big claws are dexterous human-like hands that can allow the taum to grasp onto objects. Their body type and structure is similar to that that of a human, including their legs and feet. They can run in a bipedal stance if preferred, but for speed they will often run on all fours.
Their purpose is very strange one: it is to find a place where they belong. Many are hermits, traveling from worlds, planes, dimensions, and space to find somewhere that is just perfect for them. At birth they will find themselves in a random place – it may or may not be the perfect place, but it’s always the beginning.
Since the way they are capable of traveling is a bit unconventional, the theory of parallel universes doesn’t work with taums. While there may be different versions of the same humans, animals, and places in different parallel universes, no such duplication can occur with taums. There is always only one of each individual taum, all across the dimensions and planes. No copies of an individual can exist.
Deeper in the Den:
Taums are all created by a sole taum. This original taum had once been by itself. Its home is in an empty void of space, where the stars twinkle beyond the horizon. In the middle of the void, there is an island with an overgrown tree that acts as a home for this taum. The taum is a creature of simple appearance, its fur not of rainbows or brightness but a dark mahogany brown. Its only shining characteristic is two golden crescents on its belly. This taum has wandered the many planes, looking through the past, the future, and different worlds, collecting items which it brought home. The items help the taum create life – a life that can go out and bring happiness to others, for itself to learn what it would want to do with its own. The original taum combines these items with souls, a warm embrace, and a breath of life. This is how a taum is born.
What are taums actually made of?
Due to their makeup of items from various worlds, taums are vastly diverse in appearance. From being composed of gold, blight, or magic, to being simple flesh and blood, taums can be born very similar to each other or extremely different. Some are giants and others small; some are fluffy and some have naked flesh; some are cute while others are terrifying.
No such thing is limited here but there are some distinctions between taums that have been observed.
The all rounder, a standard taum, may be the most common, but in general these are the jack of all trades. If they wished it they could find more power and grow stronger, or they could wish for their own stones to enhance themselves. They can be anything they wish, and the origin wouldn’t want it any other way.
These round small taums don’t have the usual body structure of a normal taum. They are very round, and almost an equivalent of a taum head, just with arms and legs. They are feistier due to size, but also just all the cuter.
These taums are the giants of the taum species. They can be 3 meters and taller. They have the strength and power to take down most other creatures. And depending on the size can end up being very destructive. There are a few who turn out to be guardians for special items or people, while others become harbingers of death.
Taums WIth horns
Magic or energy that creates psychic powers crystallize in taums that have the affinity or ability for it. The crystallization of this energy can give a taum one horn or multiple horns. Usually a three pronged horn taum is very adept in all kinds of magic.
Taums With stone
There are a few taums that hold stones in them or around them, these stones are much like the horns for taums, but their purpose are a little different. They hold the magic in them instead of the taum, due to that if it's missing its stone it won’t have its magic. Some taums are very protective of their stones. And for some, their very lives depend on the stones.
Taums With Wings
Flight is a very hard thing for taums. Taums for the most part are wingless, they can mostly fall with style (floating if they fall from a high place). But those with wings has a special gift of flight, the only problem is, it’s not very easy on their body. Due to their structures, wings can really offset their bones causing aches. They aren’t a thing to be envied among taums.
Daums (Dino Taums)
There are some taums that have a genetic build of a dinosaur, they are given the special ability to transform from a dinosaur form to a taum form. There are ways to get this ability for those who aren't made this way but, that hasn’t been discovered yet.
These taums have an affinity with fae and pixie alike, they are more attuned to the elements of their surroundings. Their sizes can be greatly affected too creating smaller than normal taums, along with the ability to float or hover. Wings if available act like horns and stones where they hold most of the taums magic.
These taums are disliked among the community save for a few. They smell wrong and are treated as wrong. These are taums that are hybrids with other species (abominations are taums made as hybrids of other peoples species with permission of both species owners - it is only a guest artist taum).
Taums with no ears
Sometimes you just forget to put ears on them.
Taums interacting with others
Taums have a wonderful ability to learn language fast. It will take them a week at most to learn a new language. After that they can slowly become more and more fluent, to a point where their foreignness to the place they’ve chosen is almost undetectable. If they deem you tasty-looking, they might try to take a bite out of you. Otherwise they will act according to their personalities. Some are easygoing and like to make new friends, and others you might only get to meet once.
Taums have run across humans multiple times in their travels. It has usually gone very badly. Due to this, they have adapted to be able to disguise themselves with an illusion of a human form. These human forms can be completely human in appearance, with no taum traits. Sometimes it’s the opposite, with a taum’s illusion barely having any human appearance to it. It usually depends on the taum, and what they feel most comfortable with.
Having human forms is fun for most taums, allowing them interact more safely with the world around them.
Taums are fantastical beasts with one thing always on their minds: hunger. Some taums prefer more conventional meals, like seeds, insects, and plants, while others like to gorge on the hunt for meat. They are food connoisseurs, wanting to try out everything to find that perfect meal. Some can end up extremely picky, perhaps eating stone only, or maybe only a rare item they can get once in a blue moon. Some even feast on souls – it really can be a handful to fill these taums stomachs!
Taums as pets
Sure, some taums are cute, and can learn language quickly – this makes them even more useful than a pet to someone who could wield power over such a creature. They can end up as a summons or even a lap pet. They eat a lot, though, and their teeth will grow back within a week or two even if pulled. They can be very destructive if not taken seriously.
A good nail file and teeth filing will make a taum proper for life as a pet. A collar (especially a shock collar) will help prevent hands from going missing.
The meaning of their lives
If they knew, i’m sure they would tell you, but they are trying to figure it out for themselves too. They’ll get there one day, much like you will. Keep exploring, make friends, and learn new things. The path will show up one day – when it does, you get to choose if you want to walk it or not.
A normal life span for a taum is usually 40 years on average. There are many who live well beyond that, while just as many will live shorter lives. Some taums find that they wish to live longer, so they find ways to do so, from curses of immortality to using others’ magic to help them stay alive. Even machines have been used to do this. Taums who use magic do so by using their life force, so taums with magic tend to have shorter lives than their non-magic-using brethren.