The Jenquai are descendants of the first colonists
of Jupiter, or more accurately, the moons of Jupiter.
Their ancestors set out from Earth on long-haul
ships, knowing that their return was unlikely. They
have evolved into a culture that values knowledge
above all else, and they have become masters of
their space environment.
The Jenquai government is both political and religious
in nature, and is made up of several rings, each
of which controls various aspects of Jenquai life.
Money is viewed as a vulgarity by most Jenquai,
though they accept it as a necessary evil when dealing
with the Progen, and especially the Terrans. The
Jenquai believe the universe is abundant in resources,
which should be available to all. All basic needs
and items are available to the Jenquai people without
a system of money or credit.
This indifference to economic concerns leads to
interesting, and frustrating, dealings with Terrans.
In fact, the Jenquai have developed a computerized
droid simply for dealing with Terrans over monetary
concerns. While this economic system works in Sol,
the outlying colonies rely more on a barter-and-trade
system out of necessity.
Jenquai society is based upon the principle that knowledge
and illumination are the only worthy virtues to which
sentient beings can ascribe. From birth to death, every
Jenquai is measured by how he or she advances Jenquai
society and technology. They are very conservative in
all aspects of their culture except the pursuit of knowledge.
Traditionalism and ceremony are evident in all aspects
of Jenquai society.
An individual's caste and clan define his or her role
in Jenquai society. From early life, Jenquai are taught
and trained by an adept of the religious caste. These
mentors, called adepts, are part-scientist, part-researcher,
part-philosopher, and part-theologian. Upon reaching maturity,
the Jenquai chooses a caste and clan to which he or she
will belong for the rest of their life.
The three castes of Jenquai society are the explorers,
or Sha'ha'dem; the warriors, or Shenwa; and the tradesmen,
or Sharim. However, these castes are not as factional
or as rigidly defined as those within Progen culture.
In addition to a caste, each Jenquai belongs to a clan.
Jenquai clans more closely resemble monastic orders than
blood-related families. There are nine major clans and
dozens of minor clans, each being known for a particular
characterization or philosophy.
The Jenquai physiology is a result of adapting to the
alien environments they initially encountered. They are
strict vegetarians, and they are generally tall and thin.
Their metabolism adjusts quickly to the available food
supply, whether feast or famine. This allows the Jenquai
to be comfortable in a much-colder climate as long as
food is available.
The low gravity of most Jenquai worlds means that Jenquai
are weaker than either Terrans or Progen. But they do
have faster reaction times and acute sight and hearing.
Dexterity is also highly valued, and nearly 40% of Jenquai
are left-handed or ambidextrous. Equipment designs reflect
this by being neutral as to handedness. Musical talent
is also widespread.
Jenquai are often seen by the other races as taciturn,
aloof, and irritable. This has led the Jenquai to seem,
to an outsider, almost xenophobic.