Janessari

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The Janessari - known in Jendo'a as the Jende'ade, Jendo, or Children of Jendo - are a sub-culture of the Auresian Imperium that were originally a nomadic clan-based people. Initially formed from the gathering of several families who were driven from the lands that are now Auresia in the centuries before the rise of the Empire, they banded together and built their own culture based on strength, honor and a discipline formed from the bonds of blood and faith.

The Janessari would return victorious to Auresia nearly a century and a half after its foundations under the leadership of Cephorus I, the Jende'alor - high chief - of the Clans. He would rise to supreme power over the Imperium and be named its first Dynast Sovereign, setting into place the strict meritocratic system that now regulates the Realm, and firmly root the Janessari as a subculture in the nation's highest levels of society.

Contents

History

Pre-Imperium

Numerous families - whose names are forgotten to all now but the Janessari - left the lands that are now Auresia after falling into disfavor due to their open disdain for the dishonorable methods being employed in the conflicts of the Time of Troubles that had plagued Hattaria for many centuries. A return to the honorable ways was called for and ignored, and thus the progenitors of the Janessari way departed to build anew in distant lands.

Thus in 4581 the Clans united near what is now Theros Obsidia and raised the first villages and training halls in what became known as Theros Oran. In this quiet and concealed corner of Gotha, their new culture would thrive as the Janessari gradually rose to become some of the most formidable mercenaries the world would ever know.

The language was the first thing to develop. Over many years, the Janessari - named for their founder Lord Jendo and his wife Janessa, considered the "mother" and "father" of the people - had a tongue that was shaped from combining words from several Anarian languages, as well as modifying and creating new ones. The Janessari language as it is known in current times came about in those early years.

Mercenary Nation

Under the leadership of Jendo the Indomitable, in 5018 the Janessari began making their mark on the world as a mercenary culture built around the reputation they crafted as warriors and hunters. As time progressed, the Janessari became some of the most-sought mercs in all of Gotha. The histories available note that the original foundations of Theros Obsidia were set at around this time and some of the most cherished and vaunted traditions of Janessari life were developed, including the veskar'gos, the desol'nare and the seroya be haran.

Beliefs

Religion

Traditionally, the Janessari paid homage to an ancient religious faith that centered on three deities -

Gandolo, the God of Temptation, represented sloth and stagnation, and was said to constantly tempt the Jendo into idle consumption. He was opposed by Roon.

Roon, the God of War, represented destruction and change. He was seen as the bringer of change and growth upon the world. Roon opposed the tempter god Roon — the personification of idleness and stagnation — in a war that spanned eternity. The Jendo'a waged ritual warfare as a means of worship to Roon, seeking his favor as they defied the temptations of idle consumption offered by Gandolo.

Syr, the God of Fortune. He represented danger and chance, and the prospects of glorious victory or ignominious defeat. He was said to be a neutral observer of the eternal war between Roon and Gandolo.

Since accepting the tenets of the Orkanan faith, the only times since the ancient days that the Janessari invoke the Akaan, or Call of War, is whenever the Empire is said to be preparing for open hostilities. The leaders of the Clans gather, and the Call is made in traditional, ritualistic fashion, in the Hall of the Great Hunt at Veneziano Palace or Theros Obsidia. It is led jointly by the Jende'alor and a chosen second.

Death Watch

The Janessari Death Watch, - Kyar'sad in Jendo'a - are the closest-knit group within the ancient traditions of the warrior culture. These men - women are not permitted in the Watch - are hand selected who serve as the keepers of Janessari tradition. Some among the Watch are so marked for their intensity and skill as warriors, and they provide a hardened core of highly elite who serve many needs. Regardless of function, they are among the strongest and most capable warriors of the Jende'ade, and are kept close to the Dynast Emperor.

The first Watch was formed by Jendo the Indomitable in the earliest days of the Janessari. Each who would be suggested to the elders of the Jendo as worthy are subjected to increasingly rigorous trials of mind, body and spirit which test their dedication, their intensity, their faith and their adaptability. All who are of the Watch are branded with the symbol of the group on their left breast in a special ritual which is part of the annual rites of the Janessari conclave at Theros Obsidia.

Here, and only here, have outsiders only rarely been permitted audience to see the warrior traditions of the Janessari. This is likewise the only place where outsiders honored with the opportunity to attend may hear the ancient chants of the Janessari historical song Kai Werda Lemda - Path of the Warrior - which invokes the deep, visceral emotion and pride of Janessari tradition.

In the event of a dispute of succession, the guardians of the Death Watch convene to consider who among the candidates for the Golden Lion Throne is best suited for the task of becoming the next Dynast Sovereign. Once their judgment is made known, it cannot be challenged or abrogated. Any who openly question the judgment of the Watch can be slain by its members without reprisal from the elders or the Jende'alor.

Adoption

Whenever a noteworthy individual - who is not already Janessari - provides a great service to one of the Clans, earns its trust and becomes a treasured and valued asset to its works, the leadership of the clan can offer that individual a place among their ranks. In this, the clan leader will adopt the individual into the family, granting them the right to be considered Janessari in the oldest tradition of the ancient culture and to state their name and their alignment with that clan. The clan leader finishes the ceremony with the words, "Ni kyr'tayl gai sa'ad" - "I know your name as my child."

Adoption does not make the adopted a Dynast, but it does make them Janessari. While not related by blood, this person becomes dai'manda - a surrogate brother or sister - to the clan and gains the right to be among its members in peace or war, joy or grief, or any situation that arises. The person so adopted is for all intents and purposes given a new family and pledges their honor to the defense of the clan and its good name, and the clan likewise pledges to stand by their side in time of need.

The Janessari adoption is a deeply cherished and time-honored aspect of the way of the once-nomadic mercenaries. Through it, the traditions of the Janessari continue through the observation of their oldest mantra - "let he who sheds his blood by my side be forever my brother" - that proving trust and developing the bonds that come only through strife and challenge can build a relationship as strong as blood itself. Cephorus Maximus was so adopted, and the rest became history.

Of all the clans, the most selective to adopt is Clan Alexandros itself, as they have done so only nine times in nearly 2,500 years.

Traditions

Dacal'gos

The Janessari wedding ritual. It has been the means of every Dynast Sovereign wedding their consort since the days of Cephorus I, and every Dynast son and daughter in the Clans.

  • Mhi solus tome, mhi solus dar'tome, mhi me'dinui an, mhi ba'juri verde.
    • "We are one when together. We are one when apart. We will share all. We will raise our children as warriors."
  • Mhi solus ba'vata tome verde. Mhi solus j'are.
    • "However long forever turns out to be. We are one."

Vode'gos

The Janessari battle chant. Commonly it is used just before entering battle. Since the founding of the Second Imperium, in numerous conflicts, opposing troops would report hearing Auresian officers chanting strange words aloud as fighting broke out.

  • Oya'jye
  • Oya'jyo
  • Sare'cye
  • Narasuum
  • Oya! Oya!

The chant translates -

  • Life
  • Death
  • Revelation
  • Eternity
  • Let's live! Let's hunt!

Eite Auresian units - commonly the Senex Dragoons - will also perform the ritual dance and chant of the Kai Werda Lemda immediately before entering into battle. It is taught as a ritual battle chant that incorporates dance. In this form, it is a fearsome display of discipline and reflex that serves to warn an enemy of the power of the force that opposes them. Participants first hammer the rhythm upon their own armored cuirass before turning to beat the complex tempo on the plates of the man next to them.

Resol'gos

The Five Actions of Janessari Life. This series of lessons are the core tenets of the culture and its traditions and how they are transmitted to offspring and adopted kin.

  • Da'juur

Raising your children in the Janessari way.

  • Aaray'gam

Learning the weapons, armor and militant traditions of Janessari life.

  • Ara'navo

Contributing to the welfare of your brethren.

  • Nuhunar

Defending oneself and family.

  • Jendo'a

Learning and using the Janessari language.

Aya'han

The Janessari funeral chant, known for its fairly simple lyrics, but the deep emphasis on great emotion, resulting in a hauntingly beautiful sound. The term aya'han translates roughly into Hallish as "a state of mind of peaceful and perfect moment", where one is "surrounded by family and friends, simultaneously missing passed loved ones and companions to the point of pain".

  • Motir ca'tra nau tracinya...
  • Gra'tua cuun hett su dralshy'a...
  • Cuun hett su...
  • Those who stand before us, burn as flame in the night sky...
  • Our vengeance burns brighter still...
  • Burns brighter still...

The Aya'han was last conducted in 7567, when Emshandar III passed from this life and the Golden Lion Throne passed to his grandson, Cephorus IV. The newly-crowned Dynast Emperor led the chant, seconded by Princes Imperial Emthoro, Jerec and Soontir, as well as Lords Paramount Acilida, Barsavi, Humilio, Meraggio, and Thul.

Language

Jendo'a is characterized as a primarily spoken, agglutinative language that lacks grammatical gender in its nouns and pronouns. The language lacks a passive voice, instead speaking in active voice. It is has only three grammatical tenses—present, past, and future — but it is said to be often vague and its speakers typically do not use tenses other than the present.

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