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In Syben's Swamp 4 mos ago Forum: Test Forum


Son of Rajihya of the Khuna'aga Sept
Jasholk, son of Kandraya of the Khuna'aga Sept.

Ji'kara Ka, known also as Jikara or Jikaran.

Karimasana (Red Shields)

Khuna'aga (Fire Bloods)
Bright Red
359 lbs (162 kg)
7'7" (231 cm)
Ash Gray
A p p e a r a n c e
Jasholk is tall, even for Jikara, standing half a hand (4 inches|10 cm) taller than most of his brethren. Red eyes glow in the shadow of a heavy brow, just below where his horns protrude from his head. The base of his horns are ashen gray, only a touch lighter than his skin, but they quickly transition into a deep black. His outer horns are larger than his inner horns, all four of which gracefully curve back along either side of his crown. Between his horns and stretching down his back are tightly coiled, finger-thick strands of wiry hair that are a lustrous obsidian-black and feel as if they spun from were polished stone. His facial features are large and flat, with pronounced cheek bones and an angular chin. His ashen gray skin feels soft and smooth, but also hard like smoothed stone, belying the tremendous amount of packed muscle underneath, though there is a noticeable, if not gratuitous, definition to his musculature.

F a m i l y
Kandraya -- (mother of Ashurak, Bhindoo, Jasholk, Viraaj. First wife of Torrock) Roofmistress of the Khuna'aga Sept

Sundari -- (mother of Jagali and Priti. Second wife of Torrock) Tender

Torrock -- (father, husband to Kandraya and Sundari) Clan Chief of the Karimasana

Ashurak -- (eldest brother, first child of Kandraya) Warrior and hunter

Bhindoo -- (elder brother, second child of Kandraya) Warrior and hunter

Suhbreya -- (eldest sister, deceased) Was a Ji'dama

Jagali -- (elder sister) Ji'dama of the Khuna'aga.

--Jasholk -- () Warrior and Blacksmith

Priti -- (youngest sister) Ji'do (apprentice Ji'dama)

Viraaj -- (youngest brother) Child

B a c k g r o u n d
Jasholk (JASH-aulk) is a warrior and blacksmith of the Khuna'aga Sept of the Karimasana (KAR-eem-mah-SAH-nah) Clan of the Ji'kara Ka. He is the third son and fourth born of Kandraya, Roofmistress of the Khuna'aga Sept, and Torrock, Clan Chief of the Karimasana. As son of a Clan Chief, he bears the burden of higher responsibility and scrutiny of his people. He cannot simply abide by Ji'dansa Sah, but must set the example. And yet, for all of his accomplishments and merit as a warrior and blacksmith, he's spent the entirety of his life living in the shadow of his family. Everything he does is compared to the accomplishments of his siblings, who have been quite successful in their endeavors. Jasholk, on the other hand, grew up never being quite good enough to surpass the high expectations set by his prestigious family.

As a child he enjoyed working with his hands and during the time of apprenticeship he found himself drawn to the blazing forges of the blacksmiths. Once he had begun, he had not stopped and retains his position as a good blacksmith - not great, like his brother - when he is not attending to his duties as a warrior. On the battlefield, he could best nearly any Jikara, and yet he was never the best. Always standing in the shadows of those considered his betters weighs heavily on him. Nearing the end of his youth and having made no noticeable mark or achievement has filled him with a great sense of personal Sha. Being constantly compared to others has tempered his passion into steadfast resolve. Despite his shame, he never gives anything but his best and always strives to surpass his limits.

Many in the Clan think him simple and slow of wit, but few understand that he is often simply reserved, a quiet observer studying his surroundings. He can be just as conversative and playful as anyone else when engaged with those he is familiar with. Often, he simply just does not know what to say to those who seem to expect so much of him and receive so little. His demeanor is carefully controlled composure, stoic, but with the penchant for affability and mirth. He is a loyal comrade and an absolute terror to behold on a battlefield. When set to task his resolve is unyielding.
In Syben's Swamp 4 mos ago Forum: Test Forum

The Ji'kara Ka

"People of the Dragon"
"I am all that is and ever will be. I am the breath. I am the sun. I am the shadow.
Sleep now, as you turn back to sand, until The Mother shapes you again."
-Ji'kara Ka death prayer.


The Ji'kara Ka (pronounced: "GEE-kar-ah-KAH") are an ancient race from the days when the old magic was strong. In ages past they were prolific across the continent, living simple lives in easy lands as woodsmen, herders, and farmers. The Ji'kara Ka, colloquially shortened to "Jikara" and "Jikaran", are a large, hardy people with a high threshold for natural strength. This made them sought after as warriors and laborers. As time passed the Ji'kara Ka tried to break away from those roles in society - their numbers were collapsing as their brethren, pressed into service by their lords, died on battlefields and in labor camps faster than children could be born and raised to take the place of their dead fathers. Their unrest was met with force and the Ji'kara Ka were hunted and enslaved en masse, and for time, that was who they were.

Centuries passed, turning to millenia, before the broken Ji'kara Ka unified and escaped their masters. Not all could be saved and as the rebellion fled from the pursuing forces, others who were still enslaved were slaughtered before they could be rescued. This, the Ji'kara Ka consider the bitterest of betrayals and nearly led to their complete extinction. Those who survived were harried south until finally they reached the sun-scorched sands of Zamina, where it was thought they were surely die, for none survived in the brutal sand wastes for long. Instead, the desert tempered them, made them strong and served as a natural hazard for those who sought them.

They survived, if just barely, and then their numbers crept back up. They learned the ways of the desert and at some point, they stopped simply surviving and started thriving. They became a nightmare to behold on the battlefield: an impenetrable wall of horn and hammer and steel. A very short war started and ended within the same year, called The Mourning War in mimicry of its briefness and for the tears of those who mounred the dead; for when several lords, "The Mourning Lords", raised their armies they found Zamina extremely inhospitable - the forced a brutal, withering march through the desert only to break upon a Ji'kara Ka shieldwall.

Since being thrust into the desert, the Ji'kara Ka have only left twice in great number. Once, in ages past, to rid the world of those who had sought their total annihilation and once to seek vengeance upon those who had slaughtered their enslaved brethren. They keep to themselves and are fiercely protective of their lands, as barren and dangerous as they are. Anybody caught trespass in the desert are turned away, some in better condition than others. Merchants, scholars, and storytellers are the few who are allowed to visit the holds, though even they do so under constant supervision. They are content to stay in their homes and the rest of the world are content to leave them there.
"Mother Zamina is a treacherous mistress. She is not soft, soft things die here."


Zamina, deified in Ji'kara Ka culture as the motherly embodiment of the land itself, is not the shield that guards the clans from the outside world, but the knife pressed to the throats of any who reside there. Everday is a challenge, every step, every breath: from the sun-scorched sands that can blister travelers within hours to sandstorms that howl and flay flesh from bone and hiss with the crackle of energy as lightning skips across tiny metal pellets carried within the storm. Sands shift like rivers, swallowing entire caravans whole and great pits open up into the great subterranean caverns. All manner of venomous critter call the sands and rock home and at night deadly beasts hunt. A guard is kept along the region borders by the various clans and subsequent septs to turn away undesirables and to provide escort to the scant few who are allowed to visit their villages.

South and far to the west, in the shadow of the Harmodian Mountains and along the southern and south-western shore, Zamina is a desolate land bereft of immediate resources: Costal storms turn the sandy beaches into sludge mires churned by the crashing waves while storm winds pick up and fling muddy clumps of sand and debris with force enough to bring most to their knees as they are slowly buried alive. And yet, the Ji'kara Ka have metal and leather, food, water, and other basic resources. Their luxeries are simple, but highly sought after due to their exotic scarcity, a point which keeps the merchants coming at least twice a season: of the various favored trade goods, they are most reknown for "Jikaran Wine", a misnomer popularized by human nobles, which is a particularly potent and fiery spirit and the even harder to come by "Desert Leaf", another misnomer, and a potent drug used recreationally and in spiritual rituals that the Ji'kara Ka don't actually sell - thus its scarcity.

Some Scholars speculate that the Ji'kara Ka have access to hidden or abstract resources, which they do not readily reveal to outsiders. This had led to the conclusion that visitors are kept to peripheral villages and are not shown what must be hidden settlements somewhere in the sandy wastes - precisely where, however, is a topic of great speculation.
"I will share shade and water with my enemy on the very night I am tasked to kill them. I will share my blankets to ward off the cold, I will tend their wounds, I will give succor so that the next day they we may fight in honor. We feud, we fight, and we bleed, but we are all brothers and sisters of the sand."


It is said that the Ji'kara Ka are favored among the spirits of earth and fire. They are a hardy, stalwart race with unnatural strength and fortitude. Male Jikara, averaging just over seven feet in height, are generally larger and bulkier than female Jikara, who are just as tall, averaging just under seven feet, but who are slimmer and more compact. Both are titans upon the battlefield, though females tend to ere on the side of being more agile than their male counterparts. Four large, semi-flat horns extend from just above their brow in pairs that diverge at the base and angle back and slightly outward along the curvature of the skull. They have darkly colored hair, from shades of earth and sand to neutral blacks and grays, which grows in twisted, tight strands reminiscent of dreadlocks that are very durable and feel like smooth, polished stone.

Jikara have square and pronounced bone structures, with flat, thick facial structures that retain a blocky, squashed feel. They have pronounced brows and dark, deep-set eyes; large, squat noses; and thick, flat lips. Skin colorations range from sandy, earthen tones to darker grays and blacks. Ji'kara Ka have the eyes of fire spirits, wholly black with large irises of yellow, orange, or red. Notably considered to be a characteristic of earthen spirits, Jikaran skin is smooth to the touch, feels like polished stone, and is incredibly resilient. Their tapered ears are short and lie almost flat against their head.

Jikaran lifespans average about two hundred years, though they mature at a rate similar to that of humans. Elders do not wither as fast a human elders do, and Jikaran maintain the prime of middle-age for a hundred years before they begin to show the effects of the relentless march of time.

(1-20) Childhood(20-50) Young Adulthood(50-150) Adulthood(150+) Elderhood


The Ji'kara Ka have an organized, if eccentric and pragmatic society. They have a differing sense of morality and modesty and their punishments can be quite harsh or strange. They are organized into twelve clans, each of which is guided by a clan chief. Each clan is further organized into septs and those septs each have a central hold which serves as the seat of governance. There are twelve warrior societies, one for each clan, that are governed by the clan chief. Each warrior society has a specialty, such as rear guards or scouts. None will fight the same member of their society on a battlefield. The warrior societies keep their skills and wits sharp by constantly skirmishing and raiding one another. Loyalties between clan, sept, hold, and warrior society can be complex, but allegiance to the Ji'kara Ka trumps all. A member of any clan may seek to join any warrior society and still hold allegiance to both.

Social Culture
The social etiquette and customs of the Ji'kara Ka are otherworldly and complex and though a measure of leniency is provided to outsiders, they are not exempt from punishment, of which can seem utterly nonsensical and brutal. They rigorously follow a code of ethics call "Ji'Dansa Sah", meaning "The Dance of Honor and Obligation". To have "Sah" is to have honor and respect; to have "Sah" means a debt or shame has been incurred that must be remedied. Conversely, no one can rid themselves entirely of Sah, in the same manner that having, or seeking, much Ji can be a source of Sah. Much determination of accruing Ji and Sah through social interaction comes from intention, interpretation, and the reception of an individual's actions, which is determined by personal standing and relative familiarity or intimacy. Giving an expensive gift may be well received, or it may be take as to suggest a difference in wealth and as such be taken offensively. A gift for an elder mother may not be received the same way as by a young tender. Inversely, rejecting a gift can also be taken offensively. Ji'dansa Sah is a delicate, complex balance.

The social structure is perhaps one of the easiest fundamental principles to understand. In order of importance one should always prioritize what is good for: The People, then the clan, then the sept, then the hold, then one's family, friends, and then all other individuals. There are special considerations and leniencies for children and those who suffer ailments of the body or mind. First and foremost, all people are cared for: none go without shelter or food, none suffer when suffering can be prevented. The homeless will stay with others while homes are built, the hungry are fed, the ill are tended. In the tribe, everybody does their part to support the people as a whole. Hunters have their children tended by the tenders who then cook the meat that feeds the tribe, the tribe makes the tools that the hunters use to feed them. Ji'kara Ka community is a cycle of open cooperation.

Ji'kara Ka are industrious and hard-working, but when the day's labor ends they are passionate about their recreation and fun. Most days end with a gathering, often of which involves music, dancing, and recreational inhibitors. Luxuries and non-essentials operate on a trade-based economy and the Ji'kara Ka love haggling to the point where an entire evening can be spent bargaining, over food and drink and perhaps with pleasant entertainment of course. Most notable among Jikaran goods is "Saraba", misnomered as "Jikara Wine", which is a particularly potent and fiery alcohol that relaxes, reduces pain, lowers inhibitions, and induces feelings of pleasure, euphoria, and, while it does not cause arousal itself, it heightens existing arousal and feelings of pleasure. The latter effects being the most popular in other lands, especially among nobility. Second to Saraba is "Pata", meaning "Leaf", which is a powerful drug that induces great euphoria and sensory distortion. Pata is used recreationally in small amount, which results in very managebale effects, or in much greater amounts for ritualistic purposes such as a spirit journey. The Ji'kara Ka do not sell Pata to outsiders and are in fact prohibited from doing so by the Ji'dama.

Social Hierarchy
Each clan is governed by a Clan Chief, of whom are always male, who presides over their clan's economy, industry, infrastructure, and military. Each clan also has Ji'dama, of whom are always female, meaning "Honored Mother", who serve as social, spiritual, and educational leaders. While the twelve clan chiefs are all equal, Ji'dama are lead by one leader, elected by a vote of four-fifths of all Ji'dama from all clans, called "Ji'dama Maha", meaning "Great Honored Mother", to whom all Ji'dama show deference and respect to, no matter the age of the Ji'dama Maha. The clan chiefs do not have such a unifier. While the Clan Chief is the practical leader of the clan and has the final say in all matters, Ji'dama are powerful and hold great influence, meaning that they operate on a near-equal level to the chief.

The blood of an individual is not the only thing which binds one tribesmember to another. Two males who are of an intimate closeness (sexual or not) may adopt one another as "first-brothers"; two females may adopt one another as "first-sisters". It is not customary for a male and a female to adopt one another as first-siblings, as the general consensus that if they are so close they should simply marry. First-siblings are akin to blood relatives, but may hold a higher standing than blood-siblings. Two who wish to adopt one another must petition a Ji'dama for approval.

Love and sexuality in the tribe is somewhat flexible. There is no taboo about two males or two females lying with one-another, though displays of affection are considered to be very intimate and to do so publicly is mortifying. Younger generations seem less and less embarrassed and in recent years youths have begun organizing more private evening gatherings, away from children and elders, where they can be more flagrant with their displays of sexuality and affection. There are many who disapprove of such separation of community, mostly older generations and more conservative tribesmembers.

Tribe Roles

Female Ji'kara Ka hold the social power within the tribe. Males cannot hold property. A female who is the primary authority of the household is called a "roofmistress" and she is the only one who can permit or deny entry (The first wife of the Clan Chief serves as roofmistress of the entire hold). Women are the only ones who can propose marriage, but a male may ask. Though it is customary for males to commonly take more than one wife, it is the "first wife" who approves the taking of second or third wife, or so on. It is considered unseemly to have too many wives. First-sisters often take the same husband, even if one of them does not love the male. Females do not take more than one husband except in the case of first-brothers, in which case she may be first wife to them both.

Much of the social romantic relationship is subject to the governance of the Ji'dama, who can arrange a marriage or just as easily break one up. Ji'dama can also assign professions to those who remain undecided too long. Ji'dama also work with children to help them figure out how they want to work within the tribe: a child is expected to made a decision on their naming day, the day when they become a recognized adult of twenty cycles (a cycle is a period of one year, starting at the beginning of Spring and ending at the end of winter. The ceremony is held on the last day of Winter). Ji'dama also oversee religious practices, social justice, and manage various social affairs from simple conflict to blood feuds.

Work roles in the tribe are multi-functional. While no tribe member is ever truly stuck into a role in which they are placed, they simply cannot choose to abandon their duties. Ji'dama take precedence here as the determining factor of whether they will allow a tribesmember to change roles, however, only the Clan Chief can decide what roles need to be filled. Since adult members are past the age of apprenticeship, it can be difficult to take on another role that requires practice and expertise. Roles within the tribe are as follows:

Blacksmiths — are the only subdivision of crafters that have their own particular designation separate from simply being a crafter. Blacksmiths are held in very high regard, close to that of a Clan Chief or Ji'dama. A blacksmith, marked by the smith's hammer carried upon the belt, could walk through a battlefield and come out on the other side without ever being touched.

As children age they slowly become incorporated into the work life of the clan. They may begin at home, helping with household chores and may receive early instruction from others for roles they are interested in - functioning in a limited capacity until they reach the age of their tenth cycle, at which point they may start exploring various apprenticeships. Children are given time to explore and experience different professions. If they have not chosen a role to take up by their sixteenth cycle, a Ji'dama may assign them a role.

Clan Chief The leader of the clans who has sole discretion over how that clan operates (though a wise Clan Chief does not cross the Ji'dama). They are responsible for directing the economy and tribe growth and handling military affairs. Unlike a blacksmith or a Ji'dama, a Clan Chief is a free target on a battlefield.

Cultivators — are the herders and growers of the tribe, handling everything from livestock to crops to herb gardens. If it has to do with plant growth or a domesticated animal it likely falls under Cultivator jurisdiction.

Crafters — create everything from baskets to clothes to trade goods and luxuries like pottery and dried pata leaf. Crafters are the least multi-functional, as most specialize in a few particular fields and through apprenticeship pass that specialization on to the next generation. This is not always true when simple tasks are required in great number, such as basket weaving, at which point even a renown blacksmith may find themself sitting in a weaver's circle.

Hunters — hunters both hunt wild game to feed the tribe and protect against dangerous wild creatures. They also serve as surveyors of natural resources and procurers, often upon request, of various things found out in the desert.

Laborers — are the general contractors of the tribe. Laborers do everything from infrastructure work, such as packing roads and carving rock for homes, to building maintenance and repair, to mining stone and ore and hauling resources to stockpiles. Laborers fill all the gaps where hard manual labor is required.

Ji'dama — Mystical, wise, and secretive: the Ji'dama are Historians, teachers, religious leaders, and social adjudicators. They have a lot of say in social matters and have power over such matters. They can arrange marriage or work, they are the only one's who can approve and perform a divorce, they can choose a job for a tribesmember even if that individual already has a job (especially for those who remain undecided for long). Ji'dama are of the highest respect and do no commit violence. As such, none may commit violence against them. Should a Ji'dama walk through a battle, even the bitterest rivals stop to part ways for the Ji'dama to pass through.

Tenders — tend to the various chores and caretaker responsibilities within the tribe. They watch the children, cook daily meals, wash clothes, and perform an array of necessary household tasks for the tribe. Their roles are akin to serving as mothers, fathers, husbands, and wives to the whole tribe.

Siehk — the Siehk are the servants of the Ji'dama. They are their eyes, their hands, and their will. Where a Ji'dama cannot commit violence, her Siehk can. Siehk are agents of stealth and espionage and much of what they do is not well-known, even within the tribe. Siehk are always female and generally apprentice at a very young age. Ji'dama always get first pick of candidates ready for apprenticeship. Siehk apprentices who are culled from selection join the work force as normal.

Warriors — There are twelve warrior societies, one for each clan, who are overseen by the Clan Chief. Warriors of different clans are responsible for the safety of the clan, guarding against raids from other societies and coordinating with hunters to handle dangerous creatures. When a warrior is not attending to their duties, such as guarding or training, they operate inside the work force (many take the role of Laborer).


Ji'kara Ka believe in spirits of all sorts for all things, from tiny, dancing motes of light that are the spirits of heat and fire, to the malevolent shadows caught only from the corner of the eye, known as "Shades", though often referred to as "Shadows". Great spirits, such as those of the land and sea, they see as powerful deities. Their own homeland, Zamina, personified as "Mother Zamina", is considered to be a temperamental and spiteful mistress. The great spirits of the lands are always female and referred to as mothers. They commune with spirits through trance and meditation, often assisted by the use of Pata Leaf. Rituals include various alchemics to attract and entice spirits, such as paints, rock powders, incense, and so on, and, much to the chagrin of outsiders, a seemingly lack of modesty and clothing.

"The Source" is where all things come and to where all things return. All things are simply shaped energy, crafted by The Mother's hands. The Source resides in an alternate, lightless plane called Shamar, a place of infinite darkness split only by the light of "The Path" - the stream of energy that flows from the source into all planes, forming one central causeway of light with a multitude of smaller threads that reach out into the unyielding darkness. It was said in ancient days the Ji'kara Ka could "walk the path", meaning that they could harness the energy of The Source, though never in the same way that The Mother can.

The Mother is the supreme deity. She is the one who gives shape and life to the energy of The Source and she who stands against the darkness, which itself is a pseudo-entity, considered to be a thing that is alive but more of a force than a person. The Mother is depicted as both a woman who looks suspiciously human, but with Jikara horns and hair, with patches of shimmering, iridescent scales like layers of opals glinting in the light and as a great, twelve-winged serpent, like a snake who's scales were crafted from opals and with feathered wings like diamonds turned bright, yellow-white by the shine of the sun. The latter depiction is "The World Serpent", an avatar of The Mother, who is The Mother herself, who holds the planet in place among the stars by coiling around it.

Ji'dansa Sah is a belief which the Ji'kara Ka live and die by. Ji'dansa Sah is the perpetual daily balance of honor and obligation. To act in honor means to act in honesty and fairness, to be humble without dismissive, and to live in propriety. There is much overlap between the traditional sense of honor, but the Ji'kara Ka take those principles into further abstraction. Sah, meaning obligation, but can also mean shame or debt, is that which a tribesmember tempers their ethics upon. To have Sah is to owe or to have acted improperly. Sah must always be met, the debt paid, the shame redeemed, and obligations met. None can ever truly be rid of all of their Sah and too great an accumulation could, in the worst of circumstances, result in banishment into the desert. In the same manner, having too much Ji, especially in relation to the methods and intent with which is it sought, can be a bad thing and result in Sah (such as being overly prideful). All actions involve Ji and Sah, to varying degrees.

Ji'kara Ka abstain from killing whenever possible, but will not stay their hand if challenged. The unjustified killing of a another always creates a price of blood. No Ji'kara Ka will ever raise a hand to a blacksmith unprovoked. No Jikara will ever raise a hand to a child outside of punishment. None may raise a hand to a Clan Chief outside of an official duel or battlefield. To raise a hand against a Ji'dama in any circumstance is blasphemy and most cannot even fathom doing so. Ji'dama are only punished by other Ji'dama, or in some circumstances, especially when taking private penance, may instruct a Siehk to do so.



In Syben's Swamp 4 mos ago Forum: Test Forum

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Oh hello there
Oh hello there
Oh hello there
Oh hello there

I am interested in hearing your ideas and particulars. If you'd like to try and workshop something I'd request that you reach out to me on discord (.syben). I'm an advanced (to novelist) writer just shy of two decades experience.

Some quick facts for your consideration: I'm proficient in Worldbuilding, character introspection, and slow burn character development. I also have a penchant for the grand, dramatic, and(or) dark - but I am not beholden to the latter. I enjoy happy-go-lucky vibes as well. I write anywhere from several paragraphs to several pages, sometimes more or less depending on scene and character interaction, and I generally try to post atleast once a week, give or take.
I would be interested a roleplay derived from the Frostpunk concept without being strictly canon — I'm a homebrewer and much prefer OC and unapologetic thievery of ideas I lik from various sources.

I've played a tiny bit of the game, so I understand the groundwork, but for an rp (so far as I am considered) I would want to build upon that concept. Maybe add some magic or monsters or something. I am open to talking about the premise if you'd like. Best way to reach me would be via discord.

In Syben's Swamp 9 mos ago Forum: Test Forum
@Eternal Dreamer

It was for you haha! I'm on mobile and hit the wrong mention button. Whoop!
Welcome and good luck with all your roleplaying ventures!
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