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Senápi

The Senápi are a spread group of Sylvan People, more specifically, Monzen (mon + zen, montain, nature), adapted for forest in mountains. Their population is mostly humans from the Senzen race, with Hendrahs being the second most common.

Culture

Culture and cultural heritage

The steep mountains shaped most of the Senápi culture, especially on how to cultivate food. While quinoa is harvested as storage food, their recipes usually involve roots and fruits, hunting is common near the bottom, but only on short periods of the year, mostly when predators of their livestock are more common. Meat is conserved by smoking or covering it in honey, cultivated by beekeeping that live farther from the town centers. Hendrah tend to beekeeping more due to their fur and thick skin irritate less in case of stings.   The diet of the Senápi also includes insects. It is not uncommon for small plateaus on the lower mountains hold termite farms, and mostly are prepared as flour for bread. The proximity of those farms to people on lower lands gave incentive to many farmers hunt grasshoppers that plagued their farms and sell to the villages. This trade led to many Senápi be somehow fascinated with rice milk, exporting it to drink along with wine and to make cheese out of it when mixed with fungi and oils.   Now the biggest source of insect food for the villagers are actually two types of cicadas. While beetles are also a food source, cidadas are definitely the main dish. Both species tend to grow deep into the earth for over 8 years, emerging in intervals of two years each during spring, swarming by the thousands. Both species are common in the plateaus, but in the mountains there is little to no predator for them, the Senápi ready to hunt them.   Vencadas are cicadas with 20cm in length for females, and up to 30 for males. They that have a hard, but porous, exoskeleton. Their wings are leaf-like heat absorbers that radiate energy when they're flying during heavy rains. Their larvae can reach twice the size in their last years and may have come for air when rains get too heavy, which is one of the harvests the Senapi do if there are too many of them.   When they grow to adult form, they only have about a month to breed, females can leave eggs more than once, with more than one partner, while males root themselves into trees to drink their sap, and from the end of their abdomen bends upwards, looking like a bromeliad flower, breaking the exoskeleton into 15 aedeagi. They produce sperm until the end of their lives, and females swarm collecting them while using the sugar it secretes to feed themselves. Oddly enough other insects seem to seek males, working as some kind of pollinator when females perish, leaving unfertilized eggs on their open exoskeleton.   Females abdomen looks like a huge plant bulb, capable of bending inwards. It begins green, and gradually changes to a bright yellow, then a dark red. Females tend to lay eggs twice a week, dozens of them, laying one by one as they fly seeking males. Interestingly enough, when females die, the bulb pops up like Impatiens flowers, sending red egg-like seeds, flying off over a meter in all directions. Interestingly, most eggs just sprout when in contact with earth and water, where the larvae can quickly dig and hide. The eggs are quite durable, making the Senápi store them in dry places for years in case they need them. The bulbs are popular in the cooking recipes for being meaty due to their purpose to feed the eggs and absorb a lot of damage.   The most popular of their cicadas though, are the Replanters. Coming only in the winter, when temperatures in mountains can be at freezing temperature, Replanters grow up into 10cm adult forms, and are hermaphrodites. They reproduce with more than one partner, inseminating them, and fertilizing their own eggs. After doing this for a period of only two weeks, they dethatch their own abdomen, and start a regression to a larval state, opening their skeleton and going back to the ground.   What makes them interesting is that, while not as big as the other main species of food, the larvae have incredibly low metabolism. This leads many villages to collect bigger ones and make them live as livestock in big vases made of mud. Artificial selection plays a huge hole on keeping them in such isolated places. When trying to make them get bigger, the Senápi have it easier as the adult can lay eggs more than one year in their life time, they can feed in the same place they cultivate fungi, and some manage to give the cicadas virgin birth. Livestock Vencadas barely develop wings, as they have all they need for generations right where they exist.  

Government

  For unknown reasons, over 60% of the population in Senápi villages displays at least some kind of homosexual behavior. Due to their geographical isolation, the way their society fosters this characteristic is remains different and unchanged from the rest of the kingdom. Since Adália rarely recognizes the passing of a title that isn't directly related by blood, the villages and cities avoid this issue altogether, by electing for life, two of their leaders, usually called the Ibitihonsha, that formally, in the eyes of Adália, work as Elected Barons in control of a city.   The Ibitihonsha are, regardless of race, species or gender, the highest authority in the Senápi villages. In their belief, the mountains were given by the gods, and the Ibitihonsha, or Honsha, for short, assume a god-like position as the representation of humanity to protect both the divine place given by the gods, and the mortals.   The Senápi greatly value the democratic process of judging an individual's worth, and trusting their lives into protection and infrastructure on a leader loved by their people. Someone respected and admirable in the "purest feeling", as they like to refer to it. Due to this, as far as citizens are concerned, that is their highest authority, and most don't even consider Adália itself to be a country.   The reason Adália had little to no rebellions over it, was due to the mutual agreement the many Ibitihonsha had along with the Vice-Queen Adaly. The Mountain Summon recognizes the sovereignty of said villages, up to a point Marquises and Dukes have to respect their constitution (which came to protect slaves), as long as yearly taxes are paid directly to the crown via Cradle Knights (so there wouldn't be political discord), and castles built could be used and manned by knights in times of need. In addition, both parties recognize the land around them as part of Adália, and a sacred land worth protecting from invaders. Therefore Adália and the Sanápi aren't enemies competing for power, they're brothers seeking to keep the peace.   This leads many Marquises to negotiate with Ibitihonshas on how to patrol routes, lead merchants, and friendly cooperate in supplies and health workers. During the War of Flames, this alliance provided to be so strong with Ibitihonshas supporting the siege tactics of Lacey of Thirty Sieges, that they were their citizens were the least harmed in the entire war, as she made an Oath she wouldn't leave the smallest ethnicity of Adália perish into a memory. Many of the villages have honor the memory of the Cradle Knight that protected them having built "Temples of Lacey", where statues of her and Hoshas are together, along with tributes to the dead soldiers. Many referring to Lacey as "Queen of the Low Lands", which did not sit well with following Kings.  

Coexistence

  While humans in Adália live in peace with other species such as the Hendrah, there is very little power in the hands of said species. Many may engage themselves in councils but as they cannot breed with the Adalian Nobility, very few become nobles themselves where they can build alliances by marriage.   In the Senápi culture, they are pretty much seen as equals. Humans and Hendrah see each other as one of their own, only more furry. Hendrah actually have more advantages in their environment, being able to jump higher naturally and dig with ease. Also in some villages, Hendrah are more popular than humans since their offspring are always twins. The twins tend not to live in the same family though, many parents will lend the right of parenting to other couples in exchange for benefits.   Interspecies marriage between humans and hendrah are uncommon, but not unheard of. Some villages might find it off-putting, but there is not inherently illegal or taboo about it more than the rest of Adalian culture.

Common Dress code

The Sanápi are quite comfortable with nudity, where them having collective bath houses for the village being common. As such, having Hendrah and Humans wearing nothing or maybe very few attires is a common sight. This does not mean, however, that they lack clothing to protect them from winter or their errands around the mountain. Hiking, climbing and jumping from rock to rock using wind powers and tools make them fairly unique among Sylvan People. They even have helmets made from big dry coconut layers stitched together with colored leather, and filled with rubber, to absorb damage from accidents. Similar threads of coconut, or simply rubber and leather are used to protect knees and elbows. They like to wear capes made of a thick, resistant fabric, covering elbows, where they have pockets for some of their equipment and water. Often humans will have fur tied close to the neck emulating the appearance of a Hendrah. Some prefer wearing boots, some do not.   Pre-teens are given axes for climbing, usually tied to their arms, and locked with knots or simply by spirit alone. Other tools include knives made of rocks or bones, sling weapons, a macuahuitl-like cubs that hold more weight on the end, either with smooth stones on the end or iron. Warriors carry fairly long bows and spears.   Their main tool, however, are thick blades or hooks with a pair of sails on their end, tied with long hopes tied to belts. They call them "Wind Webs", and use it with their power of control wind to unleash them like arrows so they can swing the mountains at high speed.

Art & Architecture

The Senápi have always been known for moving big boulders and polishing them into round shapes, uniquely connecting each other as if they were always part of one set. With this ability of making three to four meter thick walls, they built strong foundations, making sure the mud in between the cracks would help guide the water to flow in predictable ways, both for its storage, but for their own safety and sanitation.   As their homes and themselves became known as the "unreachable", "unconquered". Since the era of Early Kings, slaves took refugee in the places where they survived the climb or were rescued. The Senápi did not appreciate most of those who couldn't survive the heights on their own, usually assigning them to take care of elders or babies, however, the slaves also brought their trades. Most of the castles in the giant mountains have been, at least in their foundations, built by former slaves and Senápi working together to protect themselves, complementing their tactics and style.   This goes the same for their farms, where they layer the ladders on the steps with several types of soil plus types of sawdust, and make them fertile pineapples and plants that grow tuberous roots.   Usually every ten meters or so, they also plant trees that spread their roots deep to prevent erosion, often bending them to their will so they can work as stairs as well. The rocks are still able to be grabbed by roots and several kinds of flowery bindweed, most cultivated for tea or animal food. Fructiferous trees are planted in the edges of farms, many growing on vertical walls of cliffs.

Birth & Baptismal Rites

When children reach 5 years of age, they leave their parents house and begin living in the pyramid hole. Pyramid holes are triangular moats, in shape of terrace farming, with a very strong roof made of leaves tied to logs, and on those logs hang hamacas (hammocks). The hammoks are often made by the same fabric of their cloaks, in fact many grow up and use their cloaks from the same piece of fabric where they slept when they go make their own house.   Other hammocks are circular, more sturdy, made by vine and rocks with some padding above. Pyramids are often schools and have extremely good drainage while children are taught about their tasks and how to take care of each other, especially on how they should handle younger ones.

Ideals

Gender Ideals

Monogamy is intensely the norm for the Senápi. Their concept of marriage differs from the rest of Adália. Marriages are five year periods, where they share the same roof. "Spending five monsoons together" is usually how they refer to it. After five years, partners are free of any legal obligation to provide for their families or keep it together.   Couples caught cheating in this five year period tend to be ostracized, and go through penitence that may involve physical pain for a few days or living exiled in the mountains for a month; while the period of time is defined by the Ibitihonsha, the type of punishment is chosen by the criminal.   Marriages in the eyes of Senápi imply raising a baby until early childhood, either by pregnancy or adoption. It is seen as inappropriate for couples to not have one, and heterosexual couples suffer great pressure by not conceiving or adopting, being expected to have one by year. The common mockery and puns around it being that the couple likes to have fun sowing but never harvesting.   Bisexuality is slightly frowned upon, under the prejudice that they are likely to "miss" something and cheat. As monogamy is a big deal for Senápi concept of integrity, this is a huge insult, often leading to violence. Despite that, homosexual relationships on forming a family and loving someone of the same sex is incredibly natural.   Adoption is quite common. Both Hendrah and Humans adopt from whichever species, often from non-married parents that legally cannot keep a child, sometimes even from places outside the mountains.

Relationship Ideals

Monogamy is intensely the norm for the Senápi. Their concept of marriage differs from the rest of Adália. Marriages are five year periods, where they share the same roof. "Spending five monsoons together" is usually how they refer to it. After five years, partners are free of any legal obligation to provide for their families or keep it together.   Couples caught cheating in this five year period tend to be ostracized, and go through penitence that may involve physical pain for a few days or living exiled in the mountains for a month; while the period of time is defined by the Ibitihonsha, the type of punishment is chosen by the criminal.   Marriages in the eyes of Senápi imply raising a baby until early childhood, either by pregnancy or adoption. It is seen as inappropriate for couples to not have one, and heterosexual couples suffer great pressure by not conceiving or adopting, being expected to have one by year. The common mockery and puns around it being that the couple likes to have fun sowing but never harvesting. Bisexuality is slightly frowned upon, under the prejudice that they are likely to "miss" something and cheat. As monogamy is a big deal for Senápi concept of integrity, this is a huge insult, often leading to violence. Despite that, homosexual relationships on forming a family and loving someone of the same sex is incredibly natural.   Adoption is quite common. Both Hendrah and Humans adopt from whichever species, often from non-married parents that legally cannot keep a child, sometimes even from places outside the mountains.


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