There are nine main Zen'ji clans on Novusvita, as shown on the territory map below (note: White is human colony territory):*Must still update using a post of Lichen's somewhere*
Main Zen'ji clans:
The most "advanced" of the six clans, Iga is also the most aggressive. Their empire encompasses a vast part of the planet and covers large portions of the three continents of Cyro'bar, Gharo'zaghira and Amar'kano.
Their hierarchy and rule are simple. An emperor rules over three kings, one on each continent. The emperor himself is stationed in a large fortress on Bara'cûl, a large island between the three taken continents.
The emperor has the ability to issue laws, decrees and directly influence trade, military and diplomatic matters, though the latter is rarely used. Not even the kings have the authority to challenge his word, though they may issue regional decrees, such as primitive tax razes, slave trade orders and small military campaigns, on their own parts of the empire. The emperor has the final say over it all, however.
Their unstable nature hasn't stopped their advancement, however. They can almost be considered above pre-industrial, as primitive armoury-factories already exist near each of the four capitol cities.
Each of these cities houses one of the four rulers and are mostly build out of the empire's greatest asset: Iron. In fact, iron "plantations" - made up of iron harvesting Mineralian species - dot the empire, as do the smelting plants.
Iga is one of the only three clans to have developed an artificial, non trade-dependant form of currency in the shape of metal balls. The lowest unit (one credit) is a marble-sized iron ball. Next is silver at three credits. A gold ball follows at nine credits while the highest, a platinum ball, stands at twenty seven.
This three digit system is based on the numeric system of the Zen'ji as a whole, which is based on ones, threes and nines, whereas the human numeric system is based off twos, fives and tens. This is mainly due to them having three fingers per hand, and not five like humans do.
Iga have openly rejected human colonists, seeing them as "demons", and have even hinted at the possibility of war.
The great mariners of Novusvita, the Aari can be considered a circum-global kingdom, as the majority of Novusvita's oceans "belong" to them, mainly the New Pacific and Gara'n Oceans.
They have no large cities or settlements, as they mostly spend their lives aboard ships (some up to fifty meter long) constructed from reed-like plants found on the bed of shallow seas. They do have a number of port towns, but during certain times of the year, these may be completely deserted.
Like Iga, the Aari have developed a sophisticated trade system, also involving beads, though they have more units and their currency isn't equal to that of Iga's - the value is three times less. They share their trading system with the Valiero clan.
They are great fishers and even have some naval skill, as they have acquired varied weapons, even guns from humans, through trading.
Almost all Aari, man, woman or child, is a trader. They may sell anything from "fish" to gems to animals to the purple gel sometimes found growing on the ocean surface, considered a delicacy amongst the Zen'ji.
They have no strict rule system, living on the philosophy of "every man for himself", though you'll often find entire families living together, looking after one another, on the same vessel or in a frigid of vessels. Sometimes they tie their vessels to one another using the dead bodies of a rope-like, worm-like creature, creating a sort of "floating city" which can sometime have a mayor-like leader.
When humans arrived on Nuvusvita, the Aari welcomed them with open arms, as the saw these "Jaw Heads", as the Zen'ji call them, as a potential source of exotic trade deals.
The "tree people" of Novusvita's jungles mostly live on the large jungle island of Siera (as pronounced by humans) and have spread to some other parts of the world, such as the nearby continents of Cyro'bar, Xena and Thera'nal.
They live in loose tribes throughout the jungles and have developed simple tools such as hammers and spears. They often live in the plentiful tree-like structures throughout the jungles, though occasionally build huts when large enough trees aren't available.
Unlike commonly believed, the Svia do have a leader. Two, in fact. A mating couple, the strongest warrior (normally elected) pared with the female heir of the previous couple. It's a loose system, as many Svia tribes hardly ever meet, but it's effective, especially during war.
The Svia treated the humans as gods, when they first arrived.
People of the great Gharotheran Desert of Gharo'zaghira and Thera'nal, they are a mysterious and enigmatic clan.
They live a simple life, similar to that of some Middle-Eastern peoples on Earth. They even have a similar dressing code! They are amongst the only clans who actually beclothe themselves as protection against the harsh sandstorms.
They are often found either in villages built into the red cliffs of the canyons that crisscross the desert, groups of tents near oases on the dunes or in caravans wandering the sands.
Like the Aari, the Jay are willing to trade with others when they encounter neighbouring clans or tribes or even humans.
They have no apparent leader or hierarchy and are usually a peaceful people. It is often thought of strange, then, that they were the original inventors of the gun-like weapons that the Iga now prize. They are excellent gunmen and can ambush enemies using their camouflaging clothing and the sniper rifle-like weapons each carries - men, women and even children.
It burdens the minds of the Jay to think that it was, in fact, their ancestors who started the war of old. Before then, a vast part of the desert was grassland. A period of global warming changed that and the Jay nearly vanished. Desperate, they entered the neighbouring lands, searching for food. When they were rejected by the other clans, they simply took it. When the indigenous clans retaliated, the war broke out. It was the Iga who drove them back to the desert. Had they not learnt to farm the native fauna, they would surely have disappeared all together.
The cave people are the smallest of the clans, living in the mountains under Iga's mighty shadow, in the north of Cyro'bar.
They Are adapt to the darkness they dwell in, yet they have mastered fire, using it to light up their homes. They also gather the luminescent crystals of cave-growing Mineralians for both lighting and jewellery. They have no definite culture or society. No leaders or civilisation. They simply live off what they can find.
But this wasn't always their way.
Hundreds of years ago, they were part of a great civilisation. They were part of what was once the growing power of Iga. Then a prospering, fruitful nation, it was no surprise to the populace that Iga won the war. It was what happened afterwards that did.
The king became an emperor, taking over the lands of the clans he defeated, driving the rest to the far side of the world. Countless smaller clans went extinct because of Iga's actions. Within a few decades, they had turned into the industrial monster they now are. The people retaliated.
A great civil war broke out. A second war, long forgotten by history. But the power of the emperor was too great. The rebels were slaughtered. The survivers went into exlie, deep into the mountains.
Today, Oijah is the result. Their name's true meaning is not what most humans believe to be "dark people", thought to be a metaphor for "cave dwelling", but, instead, "the forgotten".
Even Iga does not know of their existence. They were only recently discovered by humans, who keep strict secret of their whereabouts.
The "city people" of the eastern continent were once a mighty people, reminiscent of the civilisation Iga once was. They used to rule over nearly the whole of Cyro'bar, with its vast grasslands (not true grass, of course) and mighty rivers.
It was during the war that half their nation fell.
Today they keep far from their western borders, in fear of Iga.
They are skilled in riding creatures similar to what humans would recognise as horses. Each child is paired with one of these animals (a new born, in fact) at birth and is taught to ride, what is initially just a pet, form a young age. The two are partners for life.
Many still live in the great stone cities of old, but much of the populace also live in simply hut settlements built of grasses and reeds. Those who live in these "country" settlements are mostly farmers of vegetation, livestock and Minerallians, especially "iron trees". The clan have learnt to trade iron to Iga in exchange for peace.
They have a single leader, and "elected king", of sorts, who is chosen annually from the best riders, warriors and wise men of the nation.
It was in their land that the humans first landed. Unlike the Svia, the Valiero saw humans as equals, not gods. A concept hard to grasp for some human colonists. The Valiero allow humans to build colonies in their land, and even allow some to move into their cities!
Human/Valiero relations are currently working on a universal language for both humans and the Zen'ji to use.
They are humans' "bridge" into Novusvita.