clan/tribal unit with a common language and customs.
The vast majority of Gala live on the Mid
Step. A smaller group lives outside the Steps.
Will eat most anything from the water: jhejhe, kpilo-crawlers, fruftu-croakers
being some of the more common. Jhuun eggs are considered a delicacy
as is the rare and prized fruit of the hkxru plant. Hkxru leaves are
fermented into a drink called glosala.
They are ruled by a group of leaders who wield power from Tome Hall.
with Other Inherents:
The closest neighboring inherent to the Gala is the Ioehrii;
relations with them has always been tenuous. Some of those from the
Giiyez inherent have been allowed to settle within an enclave
in the outskirts of the Gala confines. Though they are estranged,
the Gala's strongest linguistic and cultural ties are with the Jinwaane.
They are on friendly terms with the Satii though the Satii
remain closed to them (and all inherents).
The Gala are believed to be the largest of all inherents. Their language
is the closest thing to a common tongue spoken by the various inherents
in the Steps. They were the first to attempt (unsuccessfully) to unify
all the inherents.
to living amidst the waters of the Mid Step, all Gala are excellent
Several Gala Idioms:
fat fingers: expression of joy upon catching a jhejhe (the
say one must feed their fingers to their children
if they failed to catch any jhejhe); also
can mean 'what luck'
net mender: old, mostly worthless (the Gala elders can't do
much other than sit around and mend the nets)
put someone in the pot: have your way with; take advantage
Most Kkhi live above
the valley, huddled around the castle compound. They are referred
Kkhi-Toppers by a smaller
group of Kkhi who live in the valley at Mill Town. These Mill-Towners
are the descendents of dungeon fodder (Kkhi jargon for 'criminals')
sent to work at the mill.
They are hunters and farmers, subsisting largely on a kind of squash
they grow. Those in the valley also gather berries, mushrooms, and
other wild edibles.
They are ruled by the Sdei (title given to the ruler of the Kkhi,
a position held by the eldest child of each successive Sdei). The
Sdei employs a council upon which sits his advisors among whom is
Jabu's father, the Falconer. The Sdei also has an army called the
Tditu. The Tditu is under the command of the Hijm.
with Other Inherents:
The only other inherent the Kkhi have contact with are those Gala
living outside the Steps. The Kkhi have enslaved most of these.
The Kkhi at Mill Town have mixed over two generations with the Gala.
The children of these mixed marriages are referred to as Gala-iin
(implied to have the rear-end of a Gala).
Those Kkhi living above the valley generally dislike those at Mill
Town and vice-versa. The Kkhi tell of a shadow-weaver named Draezel
who with his color-eaters, the darshadkolo, wreak havoc in
Several Kkhi Idioms:
build my fire in a puddle:
waste my time
knee-cutter: someone who is traitorous
turn my shadow inside out: twist my words; make me look bad
two wings underneath: to be crazy
The Satii live upon
the Lower Step at the end of
They have gardens in which they are able to grow some food. They also
consume jhejhe (fish) from the waters at the end of their confines.
The Qen'satii consists of four females each representing an
age group and each having a specific realm of concern. The youngest
is the Qen'sii; she is responsible for matters concerning the
children and elderly. Next is the Qen'aam who is responsible
for the security of the Satii including the warders (warriors). Next
is the Qen'oqi, responsible for the general well-being of the
Satii, including food distribution and healers. Lastly is the Qen'iieiie
who is responsible for education, rituals, and stories.
with Other Inherents:
The Satii have closed themselves to all other inherents. They maintain
a trading relationship with the Ioehrii and the Gala.
They have been at war with the Uuxt for as long as any can
The Satii are the only inherent to develop a number
system which incorporates the concept of the dii. Four is considered
the perfect number, but five is the dii, which increases that
perfection through its counterbalance with other four.
The Satii have closed their confines to all other inherents, thus
little is known about them.
a Satii weapon consisting of a handle (about an arm's length) with
a thin, curved blade upon one end.
a vision-journeying undertaken by the Qen'satii to seek glimpses
of larger truth and understanding.
spirit(s) that will sneak upon a sleeping youth and steal some of
their breath; they use the breath to fly upon.