There was once a beautiful little woman, dressed in red and gold, who used to come down from the mountains to dance and sing in the day of S.Juanne. One day a young man tried to steal a golden button from her blouse and nobody's seen either of them since.
— old Onfalu's tale
  The Janas are diminutive magical creatures, similar to little women around 12" tall, slender, and with long raven hair and pitch black irises.
Their skin is pale or ash grey, sometimes with a faint blue tint, and they are always described as outworldily beautiful. They usually dress in crimson red and black dresses, richly embroidered in gold and silver, or they wear nothing at all, in particular when they are communing with the natural element for a ritual.
  Despite their aspect markedly feminine, there are male Janas, but for the humans they are almost indistinguishable from their sisters. No human eyes ever witnessed the birth of a Jana, or seen a Jana's child, but from the little that the creatures have been willing to share, the newborn Janas are similar to S'ard babies in all but size and skin tone. They anyway grow at a much faster rate, reaching their adult aspect after only 3 years. After this short period, they don't seem to age for the rest of their very long life.  

Janas' magic

Among their magical abilities, the Janas can mutate their form to that of a human or another animal. They commonly prefer the form of ravens or moths, but when dealing with humans, Janas prefer to assume the shape of women. In addition to the shapeshifting abilities, a single Jana can summon and comunicate with natural creatures, and has a small degree of control towards the weather and the plant life in her immediate vicinity. With the aid of rituals and joining other Janas, they can bend the magical energies of the land to perform elemental magic and to control the natural elements in a more effective way. This will anyway require the availability of several focus elements and a true willingness of the Jana, on top of the blessing of the Great Mother.  

Janas' skills

  The abilities of the Janas are no restricted to their magical powers, as they are skilled crafters in particular in the field of weaving, embroidering, jewelmaking and baking. Their creations are so splendid that numerous legend are told about them, even if only very rarely the Janas imbue them with actual magical powers. Their voices are said to resemble the flow of the pure water from the Gennargentu waterfalls, or the song of the goldfinch, and they accompany their songs with an instrument similar to the launeddas    

Domus de janas

domus de janas .jpg
The Janas, for the most part, live in the domus the Janas, detached from the human's communities. This comunities usually are set in highly forested areas, along mountain cliffs, with sources of clean water and silver and gold veins nearby.   The domus are underground complexes of galleries and chambers that often reproduce the layout of the human village that sits closest to their territory. When that's the case, the Janas communities consider themselves to have a duty of protection towards the human village and will closely monitor the life of the human community.   A Domus the Janas complex is usually inhabited by 3-36 Janas even if there are instances of isolated domus occupied by only one of the creature, although communities larger than 36 units are unheard of. Each Domus the Jana holds in its depths at least one golden loom and the adjoined chests that contain the The Janas' treasure, the more the occupants of the complex, the more likely is the presence of multiple looms and treasure's chests.
  The Janas can, in their human form, bear children to humans, the Fadados. The Fadados don't have, contrary to their magical mothers, innate magical properties and can't shapeshift. Their aspect is very similar to that of humans, with the exception of somewhat darker eyes and general lithe figure. Most Fadados are female or female-presenting.   Despite the lack of innate magical power, they have an enhanced connection with the natural world and the energy of the land and tend to be more talented and successful Istrias than their human peers. This is partly due to the fact that most Janas take care of their half-human children as they would of their trueblood ones and most fadados are raised among the janas circles and into the Mother's cult. The fadados children reach maturity at around 20 years of age and at that point they are left free to choose their path in life. Most of them choose to join an istrias coven and stay linked to their mother's heritage, while others, more adventurously, see themselves as the joining point between the two cultures and choose to live among the S'ards communities to bring some more magic and reciprocal understanding in the everyday life of Onfalu. Very rarely a fadadu rejects completely their magical heritage.   In Arborea, after the approval of the Carta de Liga, Janas started to systematically mix with the Juighissas lineage, creating a strong community of Fadados, most of which descend directly from the cadet lines of the Arborea' house. These people are often in a position of power inside the government or influential economical leaders. It is a common habit for the ruling Juighissa to keep one of their Fadados relatives as an advisor for the whole time they keep the seat.

Cover image: by Andrea


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13 Aug, 2020 21:10

This is a beautiful article - a lovely introduction to the Janas. :) I love the bit about Janas children and about the embroidery. <3

Emy x   Welcome to Etrea!
18 Aug, 2020 08:58

I spent the longest time trying to find some good examples of the embroidery because of you! I have more pictures but I need to fix the layout of the pages to find a good place for them :)