The Tajaran have divurged in cultural practices since their freedom from The Slavemasters 30 years ago. But much remains unified.
A large portion of the Tajaran menu consists of varying types of soups and stews, made from nearly every combination of edible flora and fauna. Most of the following items do not fall in that category, which makes them notable.
Jun'Darik - Fermented fish steeped in salted wine. While the native fish of Ahdomai have yet to be exported, it has been discovered that this recipe works just fine with the alien race known as "Space Carp."
Kahal'ket Al'Kiha (Mountain Cake) - A simple cake made with Chur'eech Nuts and Berries, and baked with rendered blubber of the Elu'a Eil.
Jurl'Mah Tul'Cresh (Sweet Soup) - A very sweet broth made from fresh fat, meat, and Jurl'Mah.
Azuragh'Mah (Blue Star Or Azure Star) - Cooked Jurl'Mah syrup, moulded into a decorative shape, and studded with Chur'eech Nut flakes.
Rraasi - A popular Tajaran food, named for the one-eyed fish used in its preparation. Lightly spiced with shredded tha'draa and served cold on a heated plate. Popularized by the Inadd clan, this unusually spicy dish has become favorite of many Tajaran worldwide. Rraasi is generally within acceptable norms for the human palette, but due to it's slightly pungent nature it is considered an acquired taste.
El-A'hum - Thin cuts of the Elu'a Eil smoked with the wood and leaves of the Sanu'dra tree. The resulting flavor is not entirely dissimilar to a glazed ham. This meat is typically eaten with a side serving of Sanu'dra bark, and its portability and easy storage makes it a popular trail food.
The Tajaran bar cabinet contains, for the most part, wines and ciders created by fermenting whatever flora is available. Distillery is becoming more and more common with the integration of skrell and human technology, although traditional brewers have shown distaste for any hi-tech machinery touching and staining the process. While these drinks were once spiritually important and restricted solely to the domains in which it was created, worldwide trade now allows for bars and taverns anywhere to provide a number of solutions to your drinking issues.
Haithul Var - A rich, expensive drink. It's made only through the most tedious of processes, from a poisonous fruit from the ocean floor. Sun dried, the fruit loses much of its moisture, and the venom is baked away to leave only the most rich of anti-oxidant filled syrups. Usually mixed down with water after fermentation, this drink is considered to taste something like a first kiss, your mother's milk, and honeydew nectar. Humans have yet to taste a pure version, as most bottles of this wine are considered practically family heirlooms. Asking for Haithul Var in a pub will get you nothing but a ridiculing laugh, as this is a drink reserved for wedding gifts and culturally important events. When afforded, the bottles are bought directly from the supplier. Some five star hotels may serve a single glass to VIP guests.
Ruhl-sek (Salted wine) - This drink is made from the otherwise inedible Sanu'dra pods, confining the production of the drink to the mountain regions of Ahdomai. Traditional brewing of the wine is done in the deeper ends of lived-in mountain caves, where the air is unusually warm. The pods are placed in a natural stone pit where they are crushed to a pulp with flat stones. The remaining pulp is then picked out by hand and wrung, leaving a transparent green soup. At this point salt is introduced and mixed into the soup to neutralize and corrode the indigestible elements of the soup. A carpet of Sanu'dra leaves add the much needed sugar and isolation the brew needs to ferment, and is left undisturbed for several months. The end result is a greenish, salty wine with a transparency not unlike Terran white wine. The wine, depending on the minerals in the stones used, may also have a hint of earthy flavour.
Gless-fahid - Made from the fermenting of the purple petals of the Thaa'dra lichen flowers, this cider is the most common bar-served beverage. Varying in texture and taste from brewery to brewery, there are more than 150 recorded brands of Gless-fahid. While there are many varieties of the drink, the taste most often encountered is a bitter, spicy and anise-like taste. The drink can be found as a thick syrup full of taste, as a thin watery pink liquid with a tendency to form a layer of foam when poured correctly, and anything between. A popular blend among spacefaring tajara is to layer the thicker brew under a slowly poured layer of foaming Gless-fahid, inspired by Terran beer.
Gless'Uhuhnli - Made from the same flowers and the same fermenting process as Gless-fahid, the difference between them is that Gless'Uhuhnli is brewed from only the white petals of the Thaa'dra and that psychoactive herbs are added after the first week of fermenting. This has given the Gless'Uhuhnli a scary reputation in most circles, while some bars specialize in only selling this brew. The liquid is thin and white, and could be mistaken for milk.
The Tajaran calendar has its roots in religion, most notably Tajr-kii S'randarr, in which the days and weeks were mesured by S'randarr's orbit and the shadow of S'ranjir. When compared to the Human-Sol Calender, the Tajaran "year" consists of Fourteen months with between 24-29 days in each.
Vhul'tedak - The first month in the year, with only 24 days in the month, often associated with new beginnings. Day's at this time are somewhere between 20 hours long at the start of the month, extending up towards 24 in the later days, S'ranjir's shadow passes across the northern plains at about mid point in the month, typically associated with the end of Messa's light and the beginning of S'randarr's
Vhul-Vajvin - The second month in the year, with 27 days in the month, the days gradually becoming longer throughout, with the days typically ranging from 24 hours to 27, the nights still last longer, with S'randarr and Messa hanging low in the sky, the nights are long and cold, unsuitable for crops and causing heavy snow falls in the northern regions and heavy frosts in the equator. S'ranjir's shadow passes over the equator towards the end of the month, typically blocking Messa's light from the region
Vhul'vishin - The third month in the year, with 25 days in the month, this month marks the beginning of spring for the equatorial regions, with the frosts becoming less frequent with rain storms becoming more, interlaced with slush and snow, this creates a a bed of slush and water wich slowly disapates over the coure of the month, a break in the oceanic ice to the north and south brings the rivers anew, with the days reaching past the thirty hour mark in the later days of the month, this is usually the time where the yearly crops are planted, weather permitting of course, S'ranjir's shadow does not pass over Ahdomai during this month, making it a promising season.
Vhul'shadav - A longer month truly marking the beginning of spring, with 29 days in the month the spring storms begin to alleviate during the time when S'ranjir's shadow passes over the northern plains with the days becoming ever longer reaching to about 34 hours of day light towards the end of the month what crops that were washed away by the spring floods are often replanted during this time, with S'randarr and Messa rising in the sky spring begins to creep across to the north and south, with S'ranjir's shadow passing over early in the month and the days growing gradually warmer and longer.
Vhul-vlunes - A shorter month, with 25 days, summer had begun towards the equator with spring finally clawing its grasp into the northern and southern territories, with the large amounts of snow and ice melting large rain and thunder storms hang over the northern plains at this time, huge falls of rain, slush and snow have often caught one unprepared, while a time of growth for the equatorial regions and to a certain extent the southern regions, with S'ranjir's shadow passing mid way through the month across the southern territories it is arguably more temperate while in the north it is considered one of the more harsher times, with the advent of Humanity, global warming has arguably caused these times to become harsher, with floods extending down towards the equatorial regions.
Vhul'yivis - considered to be the first true month of summer, with 26 days, when S'ranjir's shadow passes over the equatorial region Trivruun Aliavar is declared, comparable to old earths "Summer Solstice" festival, this time, called when S'ranjir's shadow passes over, great feasts are had between communities, in which the meat's, harvested from the northern plains are cooked under the shadow of S'ranjir, it is said that the out come of the festival, which families claim victory in the many competition, both modern and traditional in nature, are to be blessed by good fortune, as well as the out come of the years harvest, this practice is most common in the equatorial regions due to it being S'ranjir's shadow that starts the festival, but the practice is considered a world wide tradition, while some of the more, modern influenced Tajara frown upon this practice, it is still comsidered great form for a Tajara to have traveled from across the galaxy to attend Trivruun Aliavar.
Vhul'Shaerr - This is the month when summer really digs its teeth in, the days along the equatorial line have about 40 hours of day light, with only twenty or so of night, the heat also starts to dig in, the weather becomes placid and the crops begin to grow proper, in the north and south, this is considered breeding season for the livestock, the comparatively mild temperatures and weather make it excellent for the breeding, and eventual slaughter of livestock. One of the longer months at 29 days, a time of relaxation in the equatorial regions and a time of work up north and down south, these months tend to bring in a lot of tourism, where humans can actually stand the cooler temperatures, while many Tajara frown upon this, a few enterprising businesses have started up in places like Naylar, very cleverly and thoroughly scamming human tourists out of their money. S'ranjir's shadow passes over the southern oceans towards the end of this month, often said that boat caught in the shadow are granted luck, or cursed depending on whether it is S'randarr's light or Messa's light they see last.
Vhul-Srarr'tidd - The eighth month, this is where summer begins to loose its grip, the days gradually start to become shorter, S'randarr and Messa hang lower in the sky than before, in the very extreme north the snow begins to fall again, temperate rains begin, bringing the last floods that are needed to irrigate the crops, the days become cooler and more overcast, as the heat dissipates, while still remaining warm, livestock grow, and as a result, the older livestock's are slaughtered, providing meats, leathers and hides for trade down at the ports. throughout the archipelagos this is considered prime fishing season, with sailors often bringing in hauls of fish that could probably sink a small vessel, brought on by the temperature change, the more more temperate, and often, bigger fish are brought up from the depth's. a short month of only 24 days S'ranjir does not cast a shadow through this month as the farmers prepare for the harvest.
Vhul'Rhavis - Regarded as the harvest month, when autumn begins to take hold, and when the later plated crops are ready for harvest, a long month of 29 days, with S'ranjir casting its shadow early in the month, the days are roughly 33 hours long at this point, with the nights starting to become bitter, even in the equatorial regions. In the north and south, the livestock is brought into the sheds to protect them from the bitter winters while they grow for the slaughter. The harvest itself starts when S'ranjir's shadow passes over the land large agricultural machines, often belching smoke can be seen working the fields almost the entire time during this month, some relics from the slave master days, some of the more richer families have imported modified human machines to make work easier. The nights get longer and harsher with each passing day as winter begins to return with a vengeance.
Vhul-Tirr'gatir - The tenth month in the year, with the nights getting colder and the days getting shorter this is when the majority of trading is done, large bulk-carriers take of from the ports, laboring into orbit with their bellies full of produce, more come down, giving out and taking in with equal measure, on a clear night it has been described as the stars falling. the engine flares of craft as the launch and take off. In the north the weather deteriorates rapidly, blizzards of snow, rain and slush sweep down from the ice caps under S'ranjir's shadow, often difficulties have been expressed getting good to and from the north, but a mix of diligence and good fortune means that the majority of goods make it intact, it is this time of year where the mining produce is transported, mostly safely from the mines to the ports and factories.
Vhul'Krahat - With the autumn storms taking full effect, this short month of 25 days, with only about 24 hours of light per day, one might say that this is when the Tajaran society, in the north at least begins to "Hibernate" while this is true in a sense, even during the dark nights filled with wind rain and snow, work continues underground in the mine shafts. In the equatorial regions, ships still come and go almost daily the bad weather reaching here only later in the month, improvised rain shields are often seen set up between the streets in places like Naylar, and Jormitar, what are essentially curved plastic sheets set up over the streets to help stop with the flooding, hypothermia is not uncommon for anyone caught out in the rain for any extended period of time. S'ranjir casts its shadow across the Archipelago's mid way through the month, often bringing with it heavy rains and the absence from Messa's light.
Vhul'Yerrvis - often referred to as Messa's month, due to the snap frosts that occur during this time, the heavy rains and snows suddenly die down, revealing Messa's cold blue light, during this time the temperature drops sharply, so much so that in the northern and southern territories the oceans start to freeze while the bulk of the storms sweep down and dissipate about the equatorial regions. a long month of 28 days, changes have been observed in the climate during this time attributed to global warming, while not a significant impact it still has people worried on what might come. S'ranjir's shadow passes low across the southern sea's speeding the winter freeze under its shadow.
Vhul-Hisiv'gis - The month of Vai'thok Aliriklyt, the opposite to Trivruun Aliavar in which could be compared to Winter Solstice, a long month of 29 days with only about 20 hours of daylight per day, Vai'thok Aliriklyt is conducted almost entirely at night, conducted among small family groups in their homes by the light of a fire, often a delicacy is cooked, some of which families save up all year for to by from the traders in Naylar and Jormitar, a modest ritual affair, the warmth of the fire and its yellow flames are said to ward of Messa and her cold blue light, declared after S'ranjir's shadow passes over the Equatorial regions. With calm weather, and only a light, but constant snow over the north and south Vai'thok Aliriklyt is usually considered a safe time to travel, for Tajara to return home for the turn of winter.
Vhul'Bisslev - The last month in the year, a short one with only 24 days. This month, falling directly after Vai'thok Aliriklyt, the times for celebrations are pretty much over, with the days still short and the nights still harsh, and as the year turns red lanterns, among older families are lit, to signify a new begging as S'randarr rises once more over Ahdomai. S'ranjir does not cast a shadow over this month, with the winds lying low and the storms at bay it is often commented upon as the coldest month, but also one of the calmest a good sign one would think, of a new beginning.
Arts and Recreation
For a long period of time, the working class Tajaran were almost wholly illiterate. As such, without a proper method of recording their own history, feelings, and anything of the sort, they would often use songs and melodies to relay such ideas and concepts since they lacked the pen and paper to do so normally. Poetry and novels were a thing for the upper class. Amongst those who worked in the stoneworking industry, sculptures created out of ice and such were other ways that they could express themselves.
However, the theater played a key role for both classes of Tajaran. During times of great political or economic turmoil, seats for plays and, as technology progressed, films often sold out relatively quickly. The performances displayed contained humor, drama, or other themes that both classes could understand and find enjoyable, particularly so the working class. Unable to read prominent literary works of their time, plays based off of written scripts conveyed to them these stories in a way that did not require literacy. Often, these acts also contained musical masterpieces and tunes that would be incorporated into the cultural songs the working class favored prior to the revolution.
Because of this widespread illiteracy, written works tended to be considered things crafted specifically for the upper class to enjoy. Multiple priceless literary works were lost in the burnings of books and other written items following the political upheaval that took place during the revolution. Many Tajara resented these works. However, in recent years, it could be said that there has been a small resurgence of literary works (mostly those brought in by the humans and their corporations). However, for most of the Tajara, oral tradition remains the go-to method of passing down their history. There may even be finely-crafted clan tapestries or paintings to assist in recording the happenings of a generation.
Clans and Families
The Tajaran social structure is based loosely on their social structure underneath The Slavemasters.
Families are large, normally consisting of 5-12 individuals in the immediate family and 20-100 individuals in the extended family. Family names are shared through the paternal side of a family, and it's not uncommon for distant relatives generally share a family name. Many Tajara employed by humans prefer to use their family name second.
Clans were tight alliances of families based primarily on occupation and location, although this definition has grown more nebulous in the modern age with the shift from a unified government to a splinter of factions. Extra-clan relationships are encouraged to foster new inter-clan alliances (and genetic spread), and clan membership for ones' immediate family is maternal. Informally to many, most clans in the modern day are considered 'sub-clans', being under alliance to one of the major factions, as described below. Many clans are directly named after the leading family of the clan, but not all families within the clan will share the same surname. As such: a Tajara with a surname of Hadii likely has a lot of political power on Ahdomai. A member of the Khayyam family, which exists within the Clan Hadii, is also worthy of respect, but will still bow to their Hadii clanmates.
Alliances are the major power structures on Ahdomai, their boundaries set effectively marking out cultural regions. After the revolution, the primary clans that had big names within the winning faction rose to an exceptional level of providence, with many lesser clans gathering behind a primary clan. While ostensibly the major clans only hold a large portion of land, the general power attributed to them comes from their packs of locational alliance-clans that gather under their banner that comprise the major 'nations' of Ahdomai. To continue with the above example, the tajara of family Khayyam would be considered on debatably even(with variation depending on personal family status) in respect on par with a member of family Vad'ya under Clan Vad'ya, which is in alliance under the Hadii. Generally, the leading clan is considered in alliance 'over' while subclans are considered in alliance 'under', with occasional lesser clans even under those, although often the distinction blurs after a few generations, with lesser clans than under the prime being absorbed.
For ages, Tajaran ancestry has been matrilineal - In most cases, if a marriage contract hasn't been established to state otherwise, a child's clan/family/ancestry is considered matrilateral. In practice, this tends to make the female tajara's role in politics rather more critical than it is in human politics- From a tajaran standpoint, killing all the women is closer to what killing all the men of a family would be in human society. While a patriarchal bent is still in place, ultimately a tajara's sister's son would be succeeding him, not his own progeny.
By the Light of S'randarr, we are Ascended.
The oldest and most widespread religious sect on Ahdomai, the teachings of Tajr-kii S'randarr (roughly translated as "We who follow S'randarr") pervade almost every aspect of modern Tajaran culture, from sun motifs in paintings to turns of phrase referring to "the Light".
The Tajr-kii hold that S'randarr and Messa are locked in eternal battle over the fate of the dead. When someone dies, the soul travels to Messa's realm, known as The Bounty (the stripmined section of Ahdomai know as Messa's Bounty is said to be a partial physical manifestation of Her realm). The Bounty is said to be a desolate wasteland, where souls are drained of energy to fuel Messa and reduced to dark, mindless husks, before eventually fading into nothingness. The hope is that S'randarr's ever-watchful Eye can locate the soul before it is drained, and can be lifted from the Bounty to be safely stored within S'randarr Himself (the process is known as Ascension).
There, the soul melds with the network of other souls stored there, gaining vast knowledge stretching back to the very beginnings of the Tajaran species. Some souls are even said to act as mouthpieces for S'randarr, their whispers reaching the ears of the devout to lend guidance or consolation.
S'randarr does not imprison them, however. If at any point a soul wishes to leave, they are taken to a place called That Which Comes After, which is said to be a large floating island of light with a door in the center. When the soul steps through the door, it is reincarnated within an unborn child to experience life once more. The child is said to retain certain traits from its soul's previous incarnations, and every incarnation allows the soul itself to grow in power. As such, souls that have been through many reincarnations - so-called "old souls" - are especially valuable to Messa, and therefore S'randarr must be doubly determined to locate these old souls so they cannot fuel Messa's powers.
However, S'randarr's failing is that He is unchanging. While He is vastly stronger than Messa in direct confrontation, Her ability to change and grow allows Her to best Him with indirect methods, such as the aforementioned redirecting the dead to Her realm so She can siphon their power.
He will do what he can for the betterment of all Tajaran. If that means he must submit to NanoTrasen demands, then he will do so.
The largest and most organized Tajara clan on Ahdomai, the Hadii are one of the few Slavemaster clans that survived the rebellion. The Hadii survived the war betraying the other Slavemaster forces and joining the rebellion. Their treachery was the final blow that shattered the Slavemaster forces.
Since, the Hadii have remained in prominence in modern Ahdomai. Due to their centuries of leadership experience, large holdings, and extensive technical records they are considered the leading clan for most of the northern continent. After the war they have intermarried with several "Lesser" clans, and their numbers have grown noticeably.
The Hadii are directly supported by Nanotrasen, and they have been a driving force behind many of the Nanotrasen programs on Ahdomai.
The Hadii always been heavily involved in infrastructure and bureaucracy. Pushing for improvements in such is second nature to most older Hadii. Ahdomai as a whole had been ravaged by the war, and Hadii-lead expeditions have become a common sight across the northern continent, distributing texts and records to the poor and unfortunate. Many of the larger public works on Ahdomai have been funded, in part, by the Hadii.
The official clan stance on NanoTrasen is complete assimilation with the company, and Hadii leaders have been quoted stating they wish to work within human organizations to improve human views of Tajaran as second-class citizens outside of Ahdomai.
She has seen many things in her long life, but above all she knows one thing: It is better to be dead than to remain a slave. Never Again.
Originating from the northern region, the Kaytam were one of many clans that were forced to relocate to the rockey Ertaz archepegalo alongside a number of exiled lower-class scientists after a failed rebellion against the regional slavemaster forces. Whilst they did succeed at killing more than a few of their masters, the rebellion ultimately failed and the bulk of the original Kaytam clan was wiped out in the resulting purges.
Many of the clans involved with the rebellion were entirely wiped out, and the remaining Kaytam were placed under the strictest, harshest conditions The Slavemasters could subject them to. For decades prominent Kaytam Tajaran were used in public demonstrations of force, a clear reminder to other clans the price of any disobedience. Across the planet the name was practically synonymous with the word criminal.
When the liberation of Ahdomai began, centuries of repressed anger flared to a head on the Erstaz regions. Almost overnight the region erupted into an angry, bloody revolt, and less than three days after the first hostilities not a single Slavemaster was left free on the Archepegalo. As the Kaytam turned their attention towards the slavemasters on the mainland, the weapons manufacturer Hosari Technologies took note and threw their support behind the southerners.
The Kaytam were a key force in the war, and gained a reputation as being extremely ruthless and blunt. Due to the high concentration of low-birth scientists, they are one of the leading technological forces on Ahdomai, especially in military applications of technology. While they share no love of how humanity treats them, as long as the Kaytam remain independent and free of slavery they are willing to honor the agreements they made during the revolution..
Every policy that the Kaytam enact focus towards a singular, concrete goal: preventing the return of The Slavemasters or any who would take their place. To that end the Kaytam will stop at nothing to remain free. While NT has shown that they do not consider Tajaran equals by any means, they have not attempted wholesale enslavement of Ahdomai and they possess the same advantage the Slavemasters had over the Tajaran initially: Technology. As long as NT has that advantage the Kaytam have stated that they will happily co-exist.
Internally the Kaytam are an unusual mix of discipline and chaos. The clan as a whole has a set of strict set of laws that every member is expected to follow, however there is no true central government on the archepegalo. Instead a loose republic of the various islands regularily meets to discuss regional policy roughly twice a year.
Militarily each island has at least one private military corporation that acts as either a police force or local militia. As crime is uniformly high across the entire region thanks Kaytam immigration policy, most of these PMC's remain at high alert year-round. More than a few PMCls are also tied with various ballistics arm's and weapon's manufacturers. Kaytam weapons are a chief export, and are well-known for quality and a unique depleted uranium slug.
- Sil'Caw is a small, but growing clandestine cell organization with political ties in Jormitar and to the rest of The Kaytam. It has been branded by local media as an extremist "tajaran supremacy" movement, but has received little publicity outside Ahdomai. The organization works to cripple oppressive species and organizations, and has on several occasions targeted the Unathi and more recently, Nanotrasen. There is a partnership between the Syndicate and the Sil'Caw that allows the Syndicate to hire trained tajaran experts for a reasonable price, and in return the Sil'Caw can trade reliably with the syndicate for explosives and alien weaponry.
We wish for peaceful co-existence between Tajaran and Humanity, absolutely... but we cannot allow them to rule Ahdomai. We must stand on our own feet. If we do not, our culture will never regain its former glory.
(Still being worked on.)
The Nazkiin have been the main driving force behind the so-called "Co-existence" movement. Where the Isolationist movement pushes for NanoTrasen to leave Ahdomai completely, the goal of the Co-existence movement is for Ahdomai and NanoTrasen to exist as close allies, but nontheless independent factions. They see the Hadii as too greedy, too eager to let NanoTrasen take control of Ahdomai, and not concerned enough with restoring the Tajaran culture to its pre-Slavemaster glory. Nazkiin's main policy is said cultural growth, to which end they formed the Iniye-Aw'dhim, which has become the largest, most widespread expedition of its kind, to find what records and artifacts the Hadii did not archive and the Slavemasters did not destroy.
Their stance has caused some friction with the Hadii, especially the more extreme Hadii sects who see any kind of anti-NT policy as a threat to Ahdomai. Despite the opposition, or in some cases because of it, the Co-existence movement has garnered a sizable following, and the Nazkiin's status as the creators and overseers of the Iniye-Aw'dhim has given them a solid political foothold for their stance to be heard.
|Species on BestRP|
Human - Tajaran - Unathi - Skrell - Dionaea - IPC - Aviskree - Kidan
Vox - Xenomorph - Cortical Borer - Assimilation Borg