Jihdi Ethnicity in Totania | World Anvil
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Jihdi (jee-dee)

The Jihdi are the Eastern Humans, living on what the Western Humans call "the Neverending Peninsula." It is called as such because many adventurers never manage to travel to the edge on foot before giving up due to rough terrain or simply not getting somewhere fast enough. This is the Northeastern tip of Elone.  

Government Structure

The Government of the Jihdi is separated into two major sections, the legislative and the military.

The Followers of the Empress

The Followers of the Empress is a general term for the main branch of the Jihdi government. Aside from the Ninjas, who have escaped legislation anytime it is nearly introduced, everything else falls under this branch.   First, and most important, is the Empress, head of the government. She is the center of everything, and everyone takes orders from her.   Next is the Shang Jiang, or General, who is often the husband of the Empress. He leads the main military forces.   There are advisors to the Empress who bring ideas to her. If any speak out in a way the Empress dislikes, they are often exiled to the West or the Far North. They are the ones that seek to bring new legislation to the Jihdi.   Finally, there are the mayors who run the cities. They are not meant to introduce specific legislation, but instead simply to enforce the legislation of the Empress and come to her if anything is not working as intended.   The Jihdi name their eras after the ruling dynasty.

The Ninja Legion

The Ninja Legion is the independent military corps of the Jihdi. While the Followers of the Empress have their own military, they are not looked on the same way as the Ninja Legion.   The Ninja Legion does not work on orders from the Empress. They instead follow the Shàngwèi, or Upper Ranked. There is only one Shàngwèi, and he/she is often held in the same regard as the Empress.   The Shàngwèi commands the other Ninja, who are sorted together into Shìzú, or Clans. These Clans are very tight-knit groups, who work and live together. However, they are not always kept together. Each clan is meant to hold a certain number of different ranking Ninja. If one of the Ninja is promoted, and it goes against the maximum number of a certain rank that the clan is supposed to have, then there are two options. The Ninja can either decline the promotion to stay with their clan, or they can take the promotion and abandon their clan.   The Ninja Legion was inspired by what the Jihdi, particularly one of its founders Yan Jianguo, had learned from the Kamejin and their similar Ninja forces.

The Monks

There is, technically, a third branch of the Jihdi, being that of the monks that live in the mountain village of Baoying. This mountainous village is the center of religion in the Jihdi lands, as it also houses the Temple of .
Many that visit Baoying are confused to find the Monks that worship the God of Battle and Strength are peaceful. This is, however, exactly the point. The Monks teach that the greatest strength comes not from constant battle, but instead from peace. Then, strength can be honed, and the weight of it can truly be understood. Battle is only for when it is absolutely necessary. The main teaching the Monks give is this:
The Nameless Monk by Jarhed
"Inside of everyone, there is a storm. Leigong granted you that. Yet is a hurricane strongest after already going across an entire coast, or is the storm that strikes instantly and precisely stronger?"
The Monks practice giving up everything for Leigong. Then, they are able to dedicate everything they have to his teachings. They lose their names, their lives, even their hair. Only the Head Priest of Leigong, called the Nameless Monk, is allowed the title and a small fraction of hair to show their status.   The Monks do not follow the orders of the Empress. Religion is not the most highly regarded thing in Jihdi culture, yet it is respected, and therefore the freedom of the Monks is also respected.  


The Jihdi have many villages on their peninsula, far too many to be listed in a timely and coherent manner, so the only ones that will be listed here are major landmarks and cities.  


Shixing is the capital of the Jihdi Kingdom, it is a sprawling metropolis with traditional Jihdi architecture (to learn more about this, check the sidebar). It is separated into various districts, such as the central Empress District, where the Empress lives. This is not coastal, as many other palaces in Totania are. This is because the coast features districts like the Fortress District and the Naval District to protect from Ophidian invasions.   Shixing has what some people consider to be a wonder of the world, the Serpentine Fortress. This Fortress was used to defend against the largest invading army of Ophidians ever recorded around the city's founding. Very few people know how it happened, but the Ophidians exploded in front of the fortress, and identical statues that looked like them replaced them. Now, these statues decorate the land in front of the Fortress as a mockery of the Ophidian army and a show of the might of the Jihdi.  


Baoying is the home of the Monks, as well as the Temple of Leigong. To get to Baoying, one must climb one-thousand steps. That, however, is the easy part. Once there, to actually gain access, one must lift what the Monks call "the Storm Stone." This is an incredibly heavy stone which is meant to prove both the strength and resolve of those that arrive at Baoying.   Once inside, visitors will find remarkable architecture, with seemingly gravity-defying buildings that hang off of the mountain. The Monks claim that the mountain is strong, but the air is stronger, but many believe that it is just the clouds of Leigong himself holding the building up.   The central focus of Baoying is the altar, which is at the center of a fountain. To pray, one must sit in the fountain and be pelted with water from above. Yet they truly see the glory of the ornate altar and see it as it was meant to be seen, in a storm.  


Fuzou sits at the inlet of the bay where most Jihdi cities are, meaning it is the first line of defense. It is called the Watcher of the Bay, and is named after a naval genius by the name of Fan Fuzou. Its major attraction is the large Hong Lighthouse.  


Danmen is a split city, as it was not originally founded by the Jihdi. The Kamejin built the city of Horomoto as their only mainland settlement, yet when the Jihdi took the peninsula, they wanted it. They agreed to let the Kamejin split it, resulting in a singular city with two names and cultures. Despite having two peoples in it that are not on the friendliest terms, military forces have never been sent to the city, as both the Jihdi and the Kamejin do not want the city they see as their own to be destroyed.  


A mining city once taken by the Ophidians, it was taken back and heavily fortified, now being one of the most fortified locations in the world, outside of Lizardfolk and Dwarven territory. It is known for producing many minerals, such as Fuccium.  


Jihdi culture is incredibly vibrant. While it has not spread as far as some other cultures due to the Jihdi's dislike for diplomacy with the other people of the world, it is still recognizable at a glance for just how unique and beautiful it is.


The Jihdi are trading powerhouses, being next to a nation that relies heavily on naval trade: The Kamejin of the Abral Empire Archipelago.
A Really Funny Fit by Yumedatchi
  The Jihdi trade various things. Most notable among them is Jing. Jing is a material that is highly sought after for its smooth texture and vast colors. Its most notable use in western culture is in the Really Funny Fit, but for the Jihdi it is worn by nearly everyone. Jihdi merchants sell them to other Jihdi for cheap, but to non-Jihdi, it is often ridiculously expensive.   Still, people pay exorbitant prices for them because of just how sought-after they are. Yet it is not the only major export of the Jihdi. The Ophidians don't grow their own food, so the Jihdi do often trade rice and such to them in exchange for not being invaded. The Ophidians don't admit it, but they really do love the Jihdi rice.   The Jīnglíng Zhīzhū, or Elven Spiders, that produce Jing are highly sought after as pets for nobles, but Jihdi have refused to give away a cash cow to any outsiders. Some Elves have claimed to be in possession of an Elven Spider, either through purchasing one illegally or stealing it, but these claims have never been confirmed.   Another major export from the Jihdi is the metal known as Fuccium, a hard metal that is the most durable in Totania, but is often considered too heavy for army or weapons unless the one wielding it is incredibly strong. Monks of Leigong in Jihdi territory all use weapons of Fuccium, as well as having necklaces made of it around their necks. Dwarves flock to this metal, but the most prominent buyers are actually Gnomes and Halflings who use it for inventions.

Gong Fan and Xiong An by Jarhed
Current Leaders

In the current year of 547, the Empress is named Gong Fan. This makes the current era the Gong Dynasty Period. She is well-loved, but is believed to be rather strict.   The current Shàngwèi of the Ninja Legion is named Xiong An. Xiong An is a capable military leader who takes out any enemies with ease. He is believed to be on the level of power to rival even the strongest Draconian Chiefs, and his shady dealings make him much more terrifying.


Jihdi architecture consists of various styles, including Bilateral Symmetry. This is done to show balance in structures, and buildings are built maintaining this. Buildings are built simultaneously on both sides to maintain the balance, and any support structures like pillars must be even.   Jihdi rooms are often built to be more open to allow air in, and it is often that these buildings will surround an open courtyard at the center. This openness is also seen in the Jihdi's dislike of incredibly tall structures. Doing so does not allow for as much openness, so they build out rather than up more often than not.  


The Jihdi use a farming method known as Terrace Farming. This consists of exploiting the mountains and hills that the peninsula is packed with to farm more efficiently in a terrain not exactly built for that type of farming.   To allow for water preservation, an Earth mage by the name of Shen Meihui found a way to keep water with the crops even in the hilly terrains of the Jihdi Kingdom. Working together with her wife Guo Yu, a water mage, they designed the tiled hill design that would eventually be adopted by the wider Jihdi Kingdom for its farming.


Jihdi Art is unique in the world because it represents something far different from what other cultures seek to represent generally with their art. While Jihdi art is, in its own way, beautiful, beauty is not the main purpose behind the art created by the Jihdi. Instead, it is the strength of Leigong that guides their everyday life.   It is characterized by large and intense brush strokes, with thick lines and central figures positioned strongly in the frame. Often they will depict something that is the antithesis of this, with paintings of everyday life, gardens, or even the open sea to show the principle of Leigong's teachings, that strength can be found even in the most calm and mundane parts of life.
Gong He by Jarhed
  One can often find the calmest paintings in places like gyms and sports fields, as the calmer the image, the more strength it is said to show.  


Jihdi language originated as simply the Common that the other humans spoke. However, over time, it shifted into its own language, partially out of spite for the Western Humans that still tried to claim the Jihdi as their own. It was made deliberately as different as possible from the Western Common, becoming a language known as Jihnish. Written with various characters, it takes great study to truly understand the vast meaning behind Jihnish.  


Jihdi weddings to outsiders are both beautiful and terrifying, as the parents of each spouse must fight the one their child is marrying. If the bride or groom do not win, the marriage cannot continue, as they have proven weak. Then, they are forced to train until they are ready to marry again. Often, their partner will leave them.   Before marriage, though, Jihdi find partners in many ways. One popular way is on a pilgrimage to Baoying, where they trek the steps together with people and get to know them. Then, they go through a ritual of dates, each with different meanings behind them.   Date number 1 is meant to get the person familiar with their partner's mannerisms. Date number 2 is meant to get them familiar with their partner's life up to that point. Date number 3 is meant to familiarize them with what their partner plans and hopes for the future. This pattern continues until the couple believes themselves familiar enough, and in enough love, to wed.   In Jihdi culture, there is no difference in a wedding between two men, two women, or people of opposite genders. To them, a wedding is a wedding. It is a Jihdi proverb that says that a wedding of two of the same gender is a better experience as well, as overall they have a higher rate of success in the Wedding Duel than the straight couples.  

New Years

Jihdi celebrate the New Year differently than many other races in Totania. Parades from Shixing often travel from one side of the peninsula to the other on foot to celebrate. They begin with just enough time that, by the time they reach Baoying, it is the New Year and they can climb the steps and meet someone who is waiting for them. Kath the Eternal, the Golden Dragon Lord and oldest living creature on Totania, waits in Baoying to celebrate New Years with the Jihdi. He flies around the world to herald in the New Year, yet the Jihdi celebration is the only one he stays at.  
Profit by Jarhed
The parade itself consists of different floats and masks, most notable among them are ninja masks and, strangely enough, devil masks. The Jihdi attribute their continued survival to the Devils of Hell, who they claim have protected them since the very founding of their kingdom. They celebrate the New Year with Devil masks because in Hell time passes faster, so the Devils themselves do not get the chance to ring in the New Year.   The Jihdi call New Year's Eve "Night of the Devils" for this, and they use their journey to celebrate their neighbors from Hell. The parade will often sing songs of the Devils, including one called "Devilish Party." The chorus goes as follows:  
Tonight is a Devilish Party
Where we all celebrate!
All the Devils out tonight
And, oh, isn't it so great?
There are plenty of festivities related to Devils. They pass a baton (shaped like a horn, of course) from the front of the parade all the way to the back. If it makes it to the back before they reach Baoying, it is passed back up towards the front. The one who makes it to Baoying with the horn is forced to walk on hot coals to "appease the Devils." In reality, it's a fun prank that has no true purpose other than punishing a random person every year.

History of Jihdi

The Jihdi started off as a group of people among the other Humans in Nerodil. However, they had strong opinions on the way the King at the time, King Lezareus Regalcrest, was running the kingdom and led an uprising.
Thieh Liang by Jarhed
  The one that led this revolution was Thieh Liang, a noble cobbler in the city. However, Liang found that it was not as simple as it was made out to be. He was arrested and scheduled for execution. Liang, however, was freed by a fellow conspirator, the stealthy hunter Yan Jianguo.   After Liang was freed from prison, he led the Jihdi forces to storm the castle in an incredibly successful raid that ended in the death of Lezareus's daughter, Princess Neldras Regalcrest. Liang, in respect for the King's loss, realized that the movement had gotten out of hand. He apologized to Lezareus and moved away from Nerodil with his forces.  

The Founding

Liang knew that the Humans had already settled to the Western coast of Elone, but not the East. So he took his Jihdi to forces East, where they found an open peninsula.   He and Jianguo founded the city of Shixing, while some of their men had not remained with them and had instead climbed the Thousand Steps to the Temple of Leigong, where they built what would become Baoying.   Liang had seen the struggles of leading, and did not believe it was the correct job for himself. Instead, he believed the job was correct for his wife. His wife did not like her name to be written in history, so she is only known as the First Empress. Yan Jianguo became the first Shàngwèi of the Ninja Legion.  

The Deal

The Jihdi were often invaded by the Ophidians. Suzuishan was a city that was often taken by them and had to be reinforced so its Fuccium supply could be kept safe. Shixing was not as easy to defend, but often Liang and Jianguo managed it.   That is, until the Ophidians gathered as many of their forces as they can to take out the city. Much of Liang's forces barricaded themselves in the Serpentine Fortress, but this was what the Ophidians wanted. They surrounded the fortress and began to wait them out.   Jianguo, who had been diverted away from the city earlier, arrived too late to make an impact on the battle.
Yan Jianguo by Jarhed
Yet he heard a voice telling him that there was a way he could deal with the Ophidians with ease. All it cost... was a deal.   The number 1 Devil Stock Trader on Ba'al Street, Profit, had arrived to Shixing. Jianguo had heard tales of him before, and that he was not always trustworthy. But he also knew Profit could grant unbelievable wishes for a cost, and he needed to save Liang. So he shook hands with Profit and made a deal.   The Ophidians in front of the Serpentine Fortress began to convulse all at once. Some of them turned to stone statues to decorate the Fortress, while others exploded into the air as fireworks. Jianguo, sitting atop a building, watched the fireworks, and watched his friend Thieh Liang watching it from his fortress. He smiled, knowing that he had made his impact and saved the society that his friend had built. And as the fireworks exploded, Yan Jianguo withered away atop a building.  

Further Jihdi

Other Jihdi historical events are not as well known by non-Jihdi. Fan Fuzou was a Jihdi naval genius that repelled a force of invading Kamejin, who had an armada compared to his few ships, with incredible tactics. Other historical figures names have fallen into the annals of history, but the Jihdi have cemented themselves as a powerful and influential civilization.

Cover image: by Free-Photos


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