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Last layout update:
December 16, 2002 4:24 PM

 

Earth and Beyond | Jenquai Culture


Introducing...
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.

Society

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.

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.