Cultural Keywords

Cultural Keywords

...keywords of this species is by no means exhaustive. Anyone with any experience with language beyond its daily use knows that language is ever changing. "Keywords" as a term deals with the words and phrases that are unique to a sentient species; their definitions are cultural rather than etymological, and may retain little resemblance to their original meanings.

P-|-shing, Humanity and Their Words: A Cultural Examination of the Values of a Conquered People

dreng dreng, noun & adjective

This is a Warrior's concept that was then adopted by the lesser castes. To a Warrior Caste member, it means nobility, magnanimity, and imperturbability. It is the respect a Warrior shows cen's weapons and superiors. On the battlefield it means the Warrior doesn't show concern or fear in the face of danger, not because the risk of cen's life is unimportant, but because fear is useless.

The lesser castes, always eager to try to rise to the level of import of the Warrior Caste, define dreng as something that embodies all aspects central to the survival of the Human Republic: self-control, efficiency, law-abiding, and practical. It is showing deference to the IGA, to superior Sentients, to their Republic, Caste, and finally to cen's Family.

Members of all Castes use the term in a way that relates to gaining and showing. Cen gains dreng by finishing cen's task early or with little waste. Cen shows dreng by acting with propriety. Its opposite keyword is "jendr".


Drengin dreng-inn, noun

Refers to a Sentient who displays the virtues of dreng.

Can be combined with "linking verbs" to indicate the nature of a Sentient's being. Ex: "Cen is Drengin."


Sahktriya sock-tree-ya, noun

Sakti-kriya (Sanskrit) [from sakti power + kriya action] An inner power or force recognized and taught from immemorial time in India, embracing spiritual, intellectual, as well as psychic elements, which can be exercised by any adept, whether ascetic or layman, and said to be most efficient when accompanied by meditation or bhavana. Its reality depends on the inner merits of one's character and on the intensity of one's will, added to an absolute faith born of knowledge in one's own powers. When applied to ceremonial or ritualistic practice, sakti-kriya is akin to a magic mantra.

The definition is not my own, and can be found here:


Dyzu dee-zoo, noun

I intentionally transposed the “y” and the “z” from the original to make it less jarring for English speakers.

Dzyu (Senzar) Real knowledge; the one real (magical) knowledge, or Occult Wisdom; which, dealing with eternal truths and primal causes, becomes almost omnipotence when applied in the right direction.

The definition is not my own, and can be found here:


Jendr yen-der, noun

The opposite of dreng. Spoken in terms of “falling” towards a state of jendr. Jendr is my own creation.


Wickt wikt, verb, noun, adverb

Can be used as a verb, noun, or adjective. A wickt is the Siloth reproductive organ. Due to the nature of Siloth mating, a wickt is a long, bladed sex organ. The Dominating Siloth uses its “wickt” to cut its way into the Subjugated Siloth. A common swear word throughout Humanity. Telling someone to “Get wickt” or “Go wickt yourself” has obvious American parallels.


Crèche kraesh, noun

The crèche system was born of necessity. During the time of the First Exiles, death was common. It became the responsibility of the community to raise the children of the deceased. During raids or time spent hunting, gathering, and farming, the old and infirm would watch the children.

Crèches are schools, daycares, and boot camps all in one. In the infancy of the Republic, all children were taught the same skills. As the caste system developed, so did the purpose of the crèches, with different crèches teaching different skills based upon aptitude.


Iron Womb iron woom, noun

The Iron Wombs are the main method of reproduction within the Republic. Use of Iron Wombs is seen as more dreng than a natural-term birth, because there is no downtime for the mother nor an increase in overall food “waste” (think hydroponics vs. dirt farming). In addition, Iron Wombs allow families to “birth” multiple children, in six months time compared with the normal nine months.

Children born from an Iron Womb are called “True-Born” and their in-utero counterparts dubbed “Natural Born” (see glossary).

The mechanization of the birthing process has created some twisted familial lines throughout time. As a means to introduce “better” genes into a familial line, women are encouraged to seduce higher-caste individuals and steal their sperm. The children of such meetings can be fought over and the rights to the child given to the victimized family. In cases where the mother’s family status is extremely low compared with that of the father’s, the child is abandoned into the low-caste family. More on this in the Republic Family section.


Requisition re-qui-zi-shon, verb

There is no money within the Republic, thus there is no buying nor selling; they don’t even have words for these concepts. Everything is requisitioned, or “reqed” from the Oniwabanshu. The relative qualities of food, goods, and equipment requed from the Oniwabanshu are based on caste hierarchy.

There is trade, and a substantial amount of it, despite the risks involved. In a culture where everything is measured, tracked, and metered out, accidents and other misfortunes can have doubly negative effects. Trade (a shirt for a melted hammer; a box of protein for a blanket) can mean the difference between a promotion or demotion. The government is most concerned with the trades of its higher castes, as well as weapons. Random and regular sweeps by the Civil Police are meant to suss out hoarders.

The Ashi-Kage thrives on this trading network, acquiring stockpiles of government-issued goods in exchange for favors and status items produced in the Settlements far from city centers.

Status symbols are allowed by the Oniwabanshu, as long as an audit of the person or family’s assets is clean.


True-Born(s) troo-born, noun

The most dreng of the birthing options within the Republic. True-borns are grown in Iron Wombs, from two Human, nonrelated partners.


Natural Born(s) na-tur-al-born, noun

A Human, conceived and gestated in utero. The least dreng of birthing options within the Republic due to the excess time and drain on the working mother. Of necessity, many from the Settlements practice Natural Birth.