Culture and the Ajarat Cradle:
Near the mid western edge of Doran above the Lishdom of Tah’Linn and to the West of the Egasha Flat-lands lies the Ajarat Cradle. It is a region of forests and plains surrounded by an almost unnatural ring of mountains. These mountains were formed when a devastating weapon was used to in the Great War to destroy the nation who once dwelt here. The Ajarat Cradle was in times past a bustling metropolis and a centre for trade. A great transportation way of Waygates(?) had been built which allowed the people of this place to access to nearly all of civilization as it once stood so long ago. All that remains of this wonderous city are ruins and extremely the dense currents of ambient mana left in the area. This territory was claimed by a Wind Dragon after the Great War and it distantly watches and occasionally assists the survivors of the war who settled in the area. At first these survivors were humans yet the dense mana around them began to change their physiology and over the past 990 years the human survivors disappeared and only the JhoSSu’les remain.
The JhoSSu’les are humanoids and could pass amongst humans fairly easily, but upon closer examination there are tell tale signs of mutation. Firstly their eye colors are unusual in hue; white, purples and black are common. They are seldom heavy set and their bodies are lithe, limber and mercurial; the stronger of their kind bearing tight & compact muscle tones and possess incredibly strong tendons. Their facial features are unpronounced and soft giving them an eerie beauty. The skeletal structure of the JhoSSu’leS is no longer bone but cartilage and their muscles and organs are considerably less dense and resultantly lighter than the average human. They appear to move with incredible alacrity and their speed is tremendous being able to reach and maintain incredible speeds on foot. Their mutation however has rendered them far weaker and much less hardy than humans; severe injuries often need highly skilled healers who have sufficient knowledge of the JhoSSu’les physiology.
The JhoSSu’leS are a very amiable patient people who are by nature open-minded and quiet. They are respectful of others as long as that respect is returned. They believe in privacy and seldom pry or gossip only ever interfering in another’s business if there is certainty of a severe problem endangering a JhoSSu’leS. They can come off as rather distant and aloof to other races but never rude or brash.
They have a rational approach to religion and faith due to their exposure to so many other cultures beliefs (explained later) and believe one should find out as much as one can about the ‘Paths of the Spirit’ before choosing any particular one. It is also forbidden to force worship upon another no matter how strong the conviction may be, as a JhoSSu’leS saying states: “The right path is chosen not forced.”
JhoSSu’les culture is based around family units or JhoS. These Jhos are comprised of a matriarch and patriarch who are expected to either create their own homesteads within the Cradle or swear fealty to and join a pre-existing family usually one of the parents. Some homesteads can grow to be large towns in size and the families in charge of these large settlements are the loudest voices in the nation’s politics. Other powerful families are those in control of raw materials, good farmland, and trade points, this leads to a good spread of power over the nation and very little corruption as there is no central bureaucracy, or currency, trade is done via barter and relative worth. Problems are settled between families quietly and seldom violently. To many outsiders the JhoSSu’leS society is somewhat Utopian in its cohesion. Families leave each other to their own affairs and deal with their own problems. When a problem arises that one family cannot solve which endangers them or others another family will step in join them and deal with it.
All JhoSSu’leS upon reaching adulthood are sent to Niji’Sur where they are given basic military training and equipment at the fort there. The JhoSSu’leS forces have a total of 15 ranks each represented by the weaving pattern used to create their Aydglon uniforms. The higher the rank the more intricate and potent the patters are, the higher ranking patterns imbuing the robes with remarkable strength and flexibility. The tradition of martial training and the importance of continued practice make the JhoSSu’leS a disciplined and united people despite what might seem as a fairly fragmented social structure. Information is passed between families rapidly via messengers and carrier birds and it is seen as a good quality to be and keep others well informed. When trouble does make its way to the Ajarat Cradle the JhoSSu’les will already know and be waiting well prepared.
In the centre of Ajarats cradle lie the ruins of the pre war transportation system now known as Niji’Sur. The JhoSSu’leS have explored and reactivated some surviving gateways to other places in Pentarus.
They are a people who hold the adage strength through experience very close to their hearts and this is largely due to their discovery of the gates. They believe it to be the Wind Dragons will that they travel through the gates and into the world for if it were not the Wind Dragons desire he would surely stop them.
Travel through the gates is a ceremonial affair which takes place soon after a sighting of the Wind Dragon which is seen as a sign. JhoSSu’les eager to prove themselves and gain respect for their families compete for the honor to take this journey, the contests surrounding this selection are usually games held on the plains involving events which test the full spectrum of the competitors abilities, many families come to the meetings to compete, trade, arrange marriages and share news.
Fewer JhoSSu’leS are returning from their travels in recent years which has caused some concern amongst the more powerful families who have begun to forbid their members (and heirs) from competing and traveling the Niji’Sur. Those that do return are forever regarded as heroes and the knowledge and skills they bring back to the JhoSSu’leS continue to diversify and strengthen these enigmatic people. They have even begun the renovation of a part of the Niji’Sur ruins and plan to pool their knowledge in a great library allowing all JhoSSu’leS to access it readily.
Lifespan: 120 – 150
Height: 4’6 – 5’8
Lightning Reflexes: +5 to initiative
Blazing Speed: +5 BMR
Jumping: 3x BL to jump
Immune to broken bones: where this is mentioned in a critical replace with nerve or muscle damage, however healing such injuries takes double the time unless treated by someone knowledgeable in JhoSSu’leS physiology
JhoSSu’leS Weavers: The JhoSSu’leS use the metal Aydglon to weave garments of incredible strength and flexibility. There are 15 weaving patterns in the JhoSSu’les repertoire. The most complex and intricate patterns known only by a few master weavers and have possess great physical and mystical power. Such garments are only reserved for the greatest heroes or the most respected and richest families. Aydglon is a metal occurring in great abundance in the area and is linked to the Air Dragon by JhoSSu’leS mythology. It is often found very close to the surface of the ground and is a dull silver in color. It can be brought to a remarkable shine via certain patterning but only by the most skilled JhoSSu’leS weavers. This pattern is called the Air Dragons Dance.
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* Only flexible weapons such as whips, bow strings, garrotes etc
** Only known weavers are the JhoSSu’leS and only given within their people. A stolen robe of the weakest pattern fetches around 30,000. Imitations or if another way to use Aydglon then 15-20k
*** Dependent on patter usually raised in increments of +5 to Man Bonus
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The Ajarat Oryx is a slightly mutated genus of Antelope. They exhibit increased size (small horse), speed and intelligence. They have a greatly different temperament to others of their kind being less skittish and fearful, instead being far more confident and inquisitive. These tendencies have made them the mounts of choice for the JhoSSu’leS for as long as they have lived in the cradle