Bayakas exist in two ways: in myths and legends told by the traditional folk people of western Yvatshun, and in obscure accounts of travellers being saved by bird people. Though they are similar in description to Vesdorians, few scholars believe that the latter came from the former; Vesdorians appeared as humans with wings on their backs. Historical accounts are entirely consistent on this matter. Additionally, numerous Vesdorian skeletons exist in certain tombs and collections, while Bayakas skeletons are yet to be confirmed.
Though details vary, all descriptions suggest that multiple clans of bird-people dwell in the western Khatsanaras. Bayakas are part bird and part man, bearing either a pair of wings on their backs -- similar to Vesdorians -- or wings attached to their arms. Some legends say they have the heads of birds, others say they only possess bird beaks on human faces, and others still say they wear bird skulls and have otherwise human heads. Almost all accounts say they have digitigrade legs and the feet of birds. Stories are also consistent at describing the Bayakas as being capable of flight. Their skin is medium to dark grey-brown, and their eyes are usually said to be golden. Their hair is red to grey and long and tangled, often interwoven with beads and feathers in elaborate patterns. Legends say they live for a very long time.
They are believed to live in huts and caves deep in hidden valleys, chasms, and ravines in the mountains. They wear hide and plant material, adorning themselves in a variety of accessories made of wood, bone, raw gems, and feathers. They very rarely speak, but work as small groups, coordinating quickly and quietly. There are reports that some Bayakas even know how to weave textiles and dye them earthen colours. All accounts describe them as being helpful to humans, often saving them from perils such as hostile wildlife, injuries sustained while traversing the mountains, or sometimes even warning them of impending danger. Legends say that if one sees a Bayakas and all is well, then one had best become wary, for danger is coming.
If one ventured far enough into the Khatsanaras, one might chance upon a stone face or figure carved into a face of stone or a boulder. These are believed to have been carved by Bayakas, but the few explorers to have studied these stone carvings in detail say there is no sign at all of being worked by tools; however, the stylisation of the carvings indicates that they were designed at least by someone. Some secondhand accounts also mention explorers witnessing a Bayakas working on one of these carvings with a feather. This tale, combined with their alleged longevity, leads some to believe that they carve using feathers, a task that undoubtedly takes an extremely long time. It is for this reason that Bayakas are associated with patience.