Janya Nobility Caste

The Janya

The Janya (“Janes”, pejoratively) are the civilized folk of the Solar System. They possess art, culture, science, as well as a supernatural rapport with vastly powerful beings of energy (which is the basis of their theosophy). They have spread throughout the system, colonizing as they go. An immigrant species, the Janya are not, in fact, native to Mitra.

At the physiological level, there are several different genetic expressions on Janya heredity. All are essentially interfertile with each other, although offspring are always of one of the existing castes (there are no hybrid or partial caste Janya).

Description

The Janya tend to be tall and slender, with cinnamon colored skin and dark brown or black hair. The Nobility caste, with a genotype more suited to low gravity, tend to be taller and thinner still. They also tend to naturally have much less body hair, and what nature doesn’t address the nobility augment with ritual hygiene. Skin tone variations are frequently tied to social status; with higher caste families tending to have a deeper reddish tint to the skin, darker skin tones emerging over time with exposure to solar energy (the closer the world to Surya, the greater the effect), and eye pigments darkening to pitch black with Sādhanā interactions with solar Shakti.

The Nobility Caste have been known to paint their foreheads with Path markings denoting their specific religious affiliation.

Janya Noble Lineages

Accha, Anga, Asmaka, Avaha, Avanti, Bajji, Banga, Chedi, Gandhara, Kalinga, Kamboja, Kashi, Kochcha, Kosala, Kuru, Ladha, Magadha, Malavaka, Malaya, Malla, Matsya, Moli, Padha, Panchala, Sambhuttara, Surasena, Vaccha, Vanga, Vatsa , Vriji, Yona.

Physiology

The Nobility Caste and Cleric Caste possess similar genetic expression to each other (but not the other castes). Their physiology is a variant most at home in low gravity situations, with average height exceeding two meters, but the mass remaining approximately the same as the Artisan Caste (65-85kg). Sexual trimorphism is a factor, in that the Cleric and Nobility castes express three distinct reproductive roles and the related anatomy to support them. All three roles are not biologically required for reproduction (Nobility and Cleric Caste children are still occasionally born to Artisan Caste parents with only two sexes), but participation of all three increases the chance of Cleric caste children by an order of magnitude.

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Art by Vincentius Matthew

Parliament

The capital city of the agrarian moon Dhumala is named for the architectural marvel that houses the combined political power of the ruling classes (predominately of the nobility caste) for the Solar Kingdoms.

At the top rank of political power in the Kingdoms is the Thearch of Mitrakam, the Prophet of the Faith. In a constitutional monarchy, that would be the equivalent of the monarchy. Since the Kingdoms are a theocracy, the head of state is an elected member of the Orthodox Church of Uhuru Medhā (the state religion).

Underneath the Thearch is the Mitrakam Parliament (which operates with the advice and consent of the Thearch), consisting of the House of Lords, and the House of Commons. The House of Commons, the so-called lower House, consists of 49 locally elected representatives of the Artisan or Savant Caste from each Kingdom and 7 from each Province, for a total of 427 members. The House of Lords, the so-called upper house, consists of 195 Lords Temporal and Lords Spiritual. The Lords Temporal consists of 9 princes or princesses from each Kingdom or Dominion, for a total of 90 members. The Lords Spiritual consist of 7 magi from each Kingdom, Dominion, or Province, for a total of 105 members.

At the local Kingdom, Dominion, or Province level there is a Prime Minister, selected from among the local governors of the various States (geographical areas).

There are no gender requirements for membership or leadership. At the Dominion level (Maricha and Subahu), Kravyad are eligible to be elected Governor of the various States and therefore Prime Minister of the entire Dominion in question. By the second millennium, this has been an entirely hypothetical possibility.

Janya Artisan Caste

The Janya (“Janes”, pejoratively) are the civilized folk of the Solar System. They possess art, culture, science, as well as a supernatural rapport with vastly powerful beings of energy (which is the basis of their theosophy). They have spread throughout the system, colonizing as they go. An immigrant species, the Janya are not, in fact, native to Mitra.

At the physiological level, there are several different genetic expressions on Janya heredity. All are essentially interfertile with each other, although offspring are always of one of the existing castes (there are no hybrid or partial caste Janya).

Description

The Janya tend to be tall and slender, with cinnamon colored skin and dark brown or black hair. Skin tone variations are frequently tied to social status; with higher caste families tending to have a deeper reddish tint to the skin, darker skin tones emerging over time with exposure to solar energy (the closer the world to Surya, the greater the effect), and eye pigments darkening to pitch black with Sādhanā interactions with solar Shakti.

The Artisan Caste traditionally paint their foreheads with Path markings denoting their specific religious affiliation.

Janya Artisan Lineages

Aggarwal, Anand, Arun, Bhat, Chande, Chander, Chandra, Charan, Darsha, Goel, Jai, Jana, Kapoor, Kishore, Kumar, Lal, Lalit, Madan, Malhotra, Manohar, Mehta, Mittal, Nara, Narayan, Nath, Neel, Nigam, Nirmal, Nita, Pal, Patel, Pawan, Prasad, Rai, Rajan, Raje, Raji, Raman, Rana, Roy, Sahni, Sai, Saini, Sara, Sehgal, Sen, Sethi, Shan, Sharma, Srini, Subram, Subramani, Subramanian, Suri, Uddin, Verma, Vijaya.

Physiology

The Artisan Caste is the most common phenotype of Janya, at nearly ¾ of the population. They have generally pleasing proportions and are suited to a variety of physical environments, including light to moderate gravity. Skin tones tend towards the cinnamon, and hair is dark brown or black. Those of Outcaste heredity make up less than ten percent of the overall Janya population, and tend to lighter skin tones. Historically, the Outcaste population emerged at the same time as the Cleric caste, and selection was related to the high incidence of the Andhaka characteristic in the newborn of certain families. This is no longer the case (Artisan lineages are no longer reassigned to Outcaste status), but the Outcaste currently do have a wider range of Sādhanā talent than the Artisan caste does.

Average height is approximately 190 centimeters, and mass ranges from 65-85 kilograms in healthy adults. Artisan physiology is sexually dimorphic between the two sexes (while Nobility and Cleric caste physiology is intentionally tri-morphic), although there is a strong presentation of intersex physiology that accounts for nearly 10% of exemplar Artisan births (and upwards of 25% of exalted Artisan births). Artisan society is extremely inclusive of such individuals at both the juvenile and adult stage. Medical Technik (Ayurveda) allows for pre-natal and adult reassignment as a relatively trivial matter, which allows intersex individuals to transition to the more traditional binary roles temporarily or permanently as a matter of reproduction. Ayurveda (and society) also allows for the reverse.

LowCaste Female Without Armor

 

Episode Four, Intermission

Viewed through a staticky viewscreen

The Sulas Tine, privateer corvette that serves as ship’s boat to the Parindra II has ferried a small assault team to the surface of the planet, Captain Chabra at the helm. The assault team consists of (Gunnery) Chief Mala, (Operations) Chief Niazi, the new Bosun Braseloc Moigne (a Kravyad), and a handful of Janya Outcaste brawlers from Mahanadi currently between refinery assignments.

Chief Niazi is being brought along because of his slightly larcenous background, with the expectation that zhe can help with security systems and the underground prison layout. Chief Niazi is, unfortunately, rather less than a front line fighter, and the command staff hasn’t spend the money to outfit the crew for hostile environment protection.

Which is to say, by the time the team humps their way through the hills surrounding the location identified from orbit most likely to be the prison camp, Chief Niazi has started taking damage from frostbite. Chief Mala is leading the expedition from the front in his new combat armor enhanced shipsuit. Everyone (except Chief Niazi) is equipped with non-lethal weapons.

The team arrives at the area designated “Landing Zones One and Two”. It’s twenty-five meters wide and a few hundred meters long, generally running magnetic northeast to southwest. In the southwest corner (LZ2) are four hardened (open) hangars. Inside each is a Chekhov class orbital interceptor in good condition. They aren’t occupied or spun up, but look as though they could be in fairly short order.

To the west, across an open and clear space, the bunker entrance to the underground building complex designated Bunker B. To the south, across an even further space, Bunker A. Bunker B is closer, so the team moves that way, swiftly and silently. Two industrial sized reinforced doors block access to the complex, but Chief Niazi makes short work of the mechanical controls. The doors retract sideways into the front of the entrance. Inside, a five meter wide hemispherical tunnel that extends downwards at a fifteen degree angle. There are a series of flickering grim actinic lights illuminating the path downwards. There is an alcove immediately to the side of the entrance, with a rotating amber light indicating the doors are open. There are also monochrome monitors of the external cameras outside the bunkers and the landing zone. Everyone hustles in, Chief Niazi operates the controls, the doors close (and the amber flashing light deactivates).

There’s a brief discussion about whether to prop the doors open a sufficient amount for a Janya to pass through in an emergency, when Chief Mala notes that the controls are all labeled clearly in Jangla (which is definitely not the language of the Abhva invaders). This derails the rest of the “do we leave the doors open?’ discussion.

Advancing down the incline, deeper into the complex, the team arrives at a hub location. There are cross passages that lead to open spaces filled with machinery, and a number of fairly secure doors (one of which is labeled “Quarters”. Someone is heard to say “Looks like it’s clear”, before Makara defenders open up with dragoon carbines, two on either side of the open space the team is inhabiting (at the base of the ramp). The team acquits themselves honorably over a sustained firefight. One of the Makara is rendered unconscious with non-lethal weaponry, and another is essentially pinned and hopeless until reinforcements arrive, which accounts for half of the first resistance encountered. Unfortunately for our heroes, the other two Makara are in fine condition, have radioed in for reinforcements, and seem unlikely to lose morale any time soon.

On the other side, though: four smoldering corpses of Janya roughnecks, Chief Niazi and Bosun Moigne’s reluctant surrender, and Chief Mala’s hasty retreat towards the surface. As he withdraws, Chief Mala tells the survivors to let the Makara know about the orbital bombardment that’s on the way.

Episode Four, Session Three

Scene Seven: Interdicted Space, between Quadrants III and IV of the Yami Belt, above a bitterly cold planetary fragment dubbed “Ice Station Zebra”.

Captain Chabra commands the helm to break orbit while maintaining emissions control conditions in engineering. Zhe is still potting an escape trajectory when the Abhva work-camp launches Combat Orbital Patrol fighters. The crew does their best to slink away unnoticed, but in the end the Abhva fighter detect the Parindra II (even if they don’t manage to catch up).

Meanwhile, Chief Niazi, inspired by Captain Chabra’s spiritualism magic, patches up Gunnery Chief Mala.

Scene Eight: Back on Mahanadi

Captain Chabra and Chief Mala try to drum up sympathy for the war casualties inflicted on Mahanadi since the start of the latest conflict. Unfortunately, they’re not having much success. The executive staff of the Parindra II mete with the Fleet Intelligence officer assigned to the world, Lieutenant Nishad Surasena. Through a combination of deception and diplomacy, the crew manages to convince the Lieutenant to arrange an orbital strike on the Abhva work-camp…but only after the Parindra II liberates the camp of its prisoners. It’ll mean less glory for the privateers, but a safer quadrant.

On the way back to the ship, the crew picks up some medical supplies, and a handful of Janya roughnecks looking to take the fight to the Abhva.

Janya Savant Caste

The Janya (“Janes”, pejoratively) are the civilized folk of the Solar System. They possess art, culture, science, as well as a supernatural rapport with vastly powerful beings of energy (which is the basis of their theosophy). They have spread throughout the system, colonizing as they go. An immigrant species, the Janya are not, in fact, native to Mitra.

At the physiological level, there are several different genetic expressions on Janya heredity. All are essentially interfertile with each other, although offspring are always of one of the existing castes (there are no hybrid or partial caste Janya).

Savant Caste Physiology

Less than 5% of the overall Janya population is of the Savant Caste, whose physiology significantly divergent from the remainder of the Janya.  Average height for a Savant is 155 centimeters, and mass is between 100 and 120 kilograms, with highly developed musculature suited to the high gravity environment of the planet Kaikasi. Due to the massive amounts of subtle energies (Prana and Shakti) generated by Kaikasi, their skin tones range from a dark gray to absolute black, and is essentially hairless.

Savant Caste Society

Savants less conscious of social divisions within their own caste than the other Janya castes. On a personal level, Savants overall tend to be bold, patient, honest, and curious (some of the qualities can obviously conflict) .

The Savant enclaves on Kaikasi are built out of the dvīpa (floating mountains) native to the world, which orbit hundreds of kilometers high above the crushing surface. The inhabited dvīpa are still moderate to high gravity environs, which suits Savant physiology as well as providing a variety of useful research and engineering environments. There are a few hundred such enclaves, and thousands of inhabitable dvīpa, massing from hundreds to hundreds of thousands of cubic kilometers in volume.

While the Artisan Shreni (Tech guilds) organize their adult society, the equivalent concept for the Savant caste are Parisad (academic councils) of the great universities of philosophy and science above Kaikasi.

SavantFull-Half

Elementalism Combat Magic

BASIC COMBAT MAGIC

As the Siddha divide magic into the realms of Elementalism, Vivacism, and Spiritualism, so are the basic effects of their magic, in terms of attack, defense, advantage, and overcoming advantage. Elemental magic can affect matter and energy by manipulating Akashic forces, Vivacist magic can affect living beings through the manipulation of Prana, and Spiritualist magic can affect sentient creatures through manipulation of Shakti.

INTERMEDIATE COMBAT MAGIC

Intermediate Siddha magic in the three realms is concerned with the primordial forces aligned along the “movement” axis, and the “pattern” axis. Primary Elemental forces are aligned as follows:

Towards Movement: Wind
Away from Movement: Stone
Towards Pattern: Water
Away from Pattern: Fire

 

Elementalism

Episode Four, Session Two

Scene Four: Aboard the disabled Pretya Marauder. Officer Quarters, Janya habitable.

There are four Janya present in the barricaded room: Captain Chabra, Chief Mala, Chief Vãhakah, unknown ungendered Janya captive.

Zher motives and history are unknown, but Captain Chabra is making an effort to be diplomatic, and coax them out of hiding (to retreat with the rest of the group through the Abhva Engineering deck, back to Mate Goff and the boarding craft).

“You should come with us, we’re terribly wealthy.”

“Do you have any useful skills? We’re always hiring new crew.”

“…and we don’t do background checks!”

Artire Piyalia Dutta agrees to follow the privateers back to their vessel, and tell the crew everything she knows about Abhva operations in the area.

Scene Five: Aboard the disabled Pretya Marauder. Engineering deck, marginally habitable.

One of the Makara officers from the bridge is leading a repair crew of a bare handful of hungry ghosts (Pretya) in efforts to re-initialize the fission primed anti-matter powerplant. The catalyst leak has been repaired, so there are minimal levels of stray alpha and gamma radiation bouncing around the small, enclosed space.

Captain Chabra and Chief Vãhakah leap into a brawl with fists, blasters, and the arcane technomagic domain of spiritualism. It goes…poorly. Chief Vãhakah is severely wounded. Captain Chabra is not, but his existing repertoire of shakti based magic is more suited to a support role, rather than specifically offensive or defensive.

One of the Pretya gets away despite stiff resistance, and brings a handful of the crocodilian Makara back with them. The Janya evac to their ship.

Scene Six: Aboard the Parindra II, in an empty technical space that will make a fine sick bay, someday.

“We really need to hire a surgeon”

Captain Chabra is uninjured. Chief Vãhakah is severely injured. Chief Mala is severely injured. Piyalia Dutta is relatively unharmed.

“Where were you captured? What do you know about where the Abhva are based?”

Piyalia provides flight times and acceleration profiles of the Pretya Marauder, which when combined with the naval data that kicked off this trip, get an overlapping “inclusion zone” of where the prison camp may be.

Interlude

High above the bitterly cold planetary fragment in the Yami belt, the Parindra II gathers information using passive scans of the inhabited outpost below (much of which is below ground, but still detectable by temperature differential.

Looks like a industrially cleared landing zone, and three connected building complexes.

 

Technology Levels in Rockets and Mayhem!

Rockets and Mayhem is a game of retro-futuristic Pulp action. Retro-futurism and aesthetics are generally inspired by early 20th century (pre-WWI) science fiction design elements (and post-WWII possibilities). How we accomplish that specifically in Rockets and Mayhem is with Technik, the marriage of technology with Sādhanā (magic).

In practice, what this means is that mundane technology of a level up to the equivalent to the 1930’s USA in commercially and commonly available throughout the solar system. The Janya refer to this as “Primitive Tech”. Advanced technology in excess of that, including classic science fiction tropes, is available as through technomantic production, including advanced composite ceramic alloys, antigravity flying harnesses, energy weapons, longevity serums, telepathic inhibitors, and designer pets. This is labeled “High-Technik”, and is commonly available to the Savant, Nobility, and Cleric castes. “Low-Technik” is what you get when you combine the practical parts of Primitive Tech with the efficiency gains of High-Technik, and is commonly available to the Artisan and Outcaste clans of Janya.

Primitive Tech is what the Janya label sciences and technologies that involve only the mundane akashic forces of the universe, exclusive of the subtle mysteries of prana and shakti (life and sprit energies). Approximately equivalent to mid twentieth century technology, Primitive Tech is not as advanced as Technik, but may be used with little difficulty by the Andhaka.

Kravyad Primitive Tech allows for metal and polycarbonate prosthesis, internal combustion, jet aircraft, multi-stage rockets, ballistic or laminate body armor, automatic weapons, nuclear weapons, industrial fission reactors, and weak solar panels. Primitive Tech allows allows for the possibility of integrated circuits and information technology, but these are regarded as heretic technologies by Vratya Order of the Orthodox Church (the use of heretical technology is one of the few remaining capital crimes in Janya society, and is prosecuted by  a trial by tribunal instead of jury).

Low-Technik is the basis of the colonial expansion throughout the system, and the basis of local industrial production on the worlds, moons, and provinces. Based on the alchemical foundation of Technik, in a somewhat problematic marriage to the physics of Primitive Tech, Low-Technik is usable by the Andhaka peoples of the system (although they are not able to produce this level of technology).

Low-Technik allows for artificial limb and organ replacement (at roughly 85% efficiency), electric vehicles, single stage to orbit spacecraft, personal rocketpacks, ablative bioarmor, (bulky) personal scale gauss weaponry, long range mechanized rockets and linear accelerators, geothermal energy, fuel cells, and deuterium-hydrogen industrial fusion.

High-Technik is the domain of high-caste Janya, and the Savants who theorize and create it in a synthesis of their study of alchemy and physika (chemistry and physics, enlightened through the practice of Sādhanā). High-Technik is not usable by the Andhaka, in fact the sufficient presence of Andhaka individuals may destabilize the technology to the point of disaster. High-Technik is responsible for the intra-solar commercial activity that holds the Solar Kingdoms together.

High-Technik allows for the regeneration or metamorphosis of biological systems, reactionless thrust and contra-gravity and mass displacement systems in spacecraft, forcefields and mono molecular blades and plasma weapons at the personal and mechanized scale, industrial cold fusion levels of power generation using esoteric principles, and the capability of communicating with the bodiless hosts of the empyrean; the Radiant Celestials.

Episode Four, Session One

Scene One: Interdicted Space, between Quadrants III and IV of the Yami Belt

Darkspace is cold, dark, and there is barely any atmosphere to speak of. There are notable amounts of scanner interference, and physical debris.

The Objective is for the Parindra 2 to disable an Abhva ship (the smaller the better), board her, and ply the navigator with the persuasive spiritualist magics of Captain Chabra. In truth, there are a number of incorrect assumptions at the foundation of this plan.

24 hours travel from of the orbit of the Independent Beltworld of Mahendrak (the leading edge of Quadrant IV), the Parindra 2 is…waiting, having taken up close position to a jagged asteroid to disguise its scanner profile. Passive Scanners examine the proximity for hostile presence.

Less than a day later, they have a promising contact. Using a stealth approach, they engage in an extended game of cat and mouse with the vessel (a Pretya Marauder), eventually closing to point blank range undetected.

Scene Two: Interdicted Space, between Quadrants III and IV of the Yami Belt

A Pretya Marauder at Point-Blank Range

Combat is…brief. Gunnery Chief Mala disables the Marauder with one shot, blasting through the hull to crater the atomic powerplant that enables the vessel to travel under its own power.

Scene Three: On-board the Marauder; which is cold, dark, and there is barely any air to speak of. It is also “hot” in at least one respect.

The Captain, Gunnery Chief Mala, Gunner’s Mate Goff, and Engineering Chief Vãhakah are the boarding party, taking the docked corvette inside the Parindra 2 as a boarding craft. Gunner’s Mate Goff, having overindulged while in port, stays with the boarding craft.

Based on the size of the Marauder, standard crew is likely somewhere between ten and fifty. Chief Mala is still bruised and bloody from wounds dating to the last adventure that he has still not sought treatment for. Nonetheless, easily provoked, he’s the first one through every door and passageway. This will turn out to be an unwise decision.

The boarding craft nestled snuggly over the hull breach inflicted by Chief Mala earlier, the three crew jump down onto the engineering deck of the Pretya vessel. Captain Mala and Chief Mala are in EVA rated armor, but Chief Vãhakah is made of sterner stuff (literally, Vãhakah is of the Savant Caste). Having never been on board an Abhva ship before, Vãhakah doesn’t notice that while the air is thin, it is neither as dark nor as cold as expected.

A brief firefight breaks out between the privateers and the engineering crew of Pretya (Hungry Ghosts) that are attempting repairs. Chief Mala dispatches them with his glitter cannons, taking minimal psychic damage in the process (the Pretya possessing terror based mental attacks).

Advancing through the ship, Mala encounters a captive Janya in what seem to be officers’ quarters. When the Janya begins acting erratically, Mala stuns her, too. She is left behind in the quarters, and the privateers advance to the bridge.

There, the command staff of four or five Makara officers (there isn’t enough time to be entirely clear). Once again, Chief Mala is first into the breach. Unlike the easily dispatched Pretya, however, the vicious talons of the crocodilian Makara, plus Mala’s previous injuries lead to him being severely injured and unconscious within moments of entering the bridge. Chabra and Vãhakah pull him to safety, and retreat back to the relative safety of the officer’s quarters, and the unconscious Janya hostage.

Captain Chabra still hasn’t noticed that while her magics may be persuasive, they’ve never been tested on someone who doesn’t speak Jangla before. Plus, which of the five Makara on the bridge was the navigator?