AppearanceEditJokka are three-gendered aliens: anadi (female), emodo (male), and eperu (neuter). They are bipedal and digitigrade, with five-fingered feet and toes; Jokka born female will tend toward paw-like feet, while Jokka born male may have toes long enough to be useable as hands. Males also have dedicated foot "thumbs" with scythe-like claws. All Jokku claws are retractible on both hands and feet. They have skin rather than hide or fur, with decorative spots, stripes or spirals; skin color can be broadly ranging from white to black, with yellows, reds, browns, blues, purples, grays possible. These colors tend to look muted to human eyes but are complex to Jokku vision. Jokka have both manes and tails; manes can sprout all the way down the spine or be limited to the head. Tails are horse-like, with the spine forming the bridge anywhere from three to eight inches before petering out. There are also ruffs on the forearms and over the "insteps" (which looks like the lower leg in a digitigrade stance).
Jokka have wedge-shaped faces with tufted ears, hollow fangs (more distinct in females than males) and omnivorous teeth. Their eyes are forward-facing and have oval pupils set in a vertical orientation.
Most Jokka have patterned skin: usually spirals, dots, loops or stripes. Different markings are considered more attractive depending on the time period; symmetry is more valued in modern ages, while specific patterns might be more valued in earlier ones. Number of markings, "crowding," and color/translucency are also factors. These markings can sometimes have poetic names, often based on plants: "flower-opening," "leaf-from-stalk," "unopened seed," etc.
Jokka live around six decades... if they die of old age. They are more likely to die of physical hardships.
Perhaps the most obvious of Jokku physiological eccentricities is the ability to change sexes. This is a hormonally-induced process that can happen naturally twice in a Jokkad's life: once within the first seven years, and then again in the next seven. If by their twentieth year a Jokkad hasn't Turned they're considered to have settled into their sex for the rest of their life.
Turning from one sex to another can be relatively painless (the transitions from neuter to female, for instance) or rather traumatic (from male to anything else involves sloughing off the external organs). Turning can be accompanied by fever, vomiting, confusion, fatigue, mood swings and skin changes, and generally takes one to two weeks.
Notably, all Jokka are born with the potential to be any of the three sexes. Neuters also have vestigial generative organs, undifferentiated unless they Turn; breeders who Turn neuter don't loose the differentiated tissue within their bodies, the size of it merely shrinks and becomes vestigial again. In this fashion, a neuter who was once one of the breeder sexes is more likely to become that particular sex again if it Turns again. The ability to procreate is limited to the breeding sexes, but the ability to feel pleasure isn't.
There can be Jokku Turnings outside the pubescent stage of life, but they are rare and usually induced by unusual hormonal changes.
- See Also: Jokku Writing
Much of the spoken language has remained relatively similar throughout the history of the southeastern edge of the continent. Grammar has changed more than the vocabulary. Modern Jokka Riha uses a system of articles (like our "the" and "an") for various needs, including indicating plural forms; the predecessor to Modern (called Mysterious after the age) did not. This explains some of the issues that crop up here and there: how Ke Bakil, the name of the world, capitalizes the word ke as part of a proper noun while modern Jokka don't do this as a matter of course, having plugged ke and its family-members (det, ba, pu, etc) into their modern article system. Those words, in the previous age, were titles, not articles.
- See Also: Jokka Vocabulary
Social structure among the Jokka differs from period to period. In the "modern" age starting with the nomadic clans, which organized along family lines. The head of the clan was the eldest male, with the neuters as support and females as either permanent parts of the clan or available for trading to other clans. Males might occasionally also be traded among clans, but they were always rarer than females.
By the time of settlement, clans began slowly to move toward houses, where a house might include a family and its employees, or several families that had been slowly become more interrelated because of interbreeding. Around this time, the concept of family began to be subordinated to the concept of House groups, and children may be born and not know which of the Jokka in the House were their parents.
Important Philosophical ConceptsEdit
Crime and PunishmentEdit
- Related Articles: Broken
Different towns have different holidays. Most Jokka observe the passing of the year, which is usually indicated by an aurora. And most Jokka have an agricultural holiday, or one presaging winter or spring (for example, het Kabbanil's summer fetes and het Narel's Leaf Gathering). Additionally, the various religions and philosophies have their own festivals, and since there are many, the number of those festivals will vary depending on how many followers of each there are in any particular town. Most large hets will have at least one temple, and a temple quarter for shrines and religious observations.
A Jokkad's name has three parts: person name, current House and birth gender. For example, 'Thenet Reña-eperu' refers to the Jokkad named Thenet, of House Reña, born eperu.
Notably, names may have male, female and neuter variants.
- See Also: Jokka Vocabulary
- The Jokka are migratory nomads. Groups of families are called clans, and wander through set patterns between water-ways.
- "Freedom, Spiced and Drunk"
- "New Stories"
- "A Trifold Spiral Knot"
- Ekanoi's Age: The Founding of the Cities
- The Jokka have settled into rudimentary towns. Sporadic trade springs up between them, brought by caravans led by sturdy eperu. Groups of families are far larger and are now called Houses.
- "Money for Sorrow, Made Joy"
- "Anadi Dolls"
- "His Neuter Face"
- "The Smell of Intelligence"
- Thenet's Age: The Dwindling
- Trade is trickling to a halt. Towns and cities are frozen at their population levels by lack of resources. In some places, birth rate has fallen below the death rate.
- "Fire in the Void"
- "The Worth of a Shell"
- "Stone Moon, Silk Scarves"
- "The Pearl in the Void"
Population of the continent during Thenet's Age is listed as ~100,000.