The most visibly "human" of the Hominids of Hadanum, the Jana have been engineered with a variety of adaptations and enhancements by their den-noh (known as "All-father" or "the Fist"). As a result they an inherently diverse people, prone to expressing a wide variety of pre-programmed genetic traits or mutations. With widely varied hair and skin colors and textures, they are also the least consistent of the hominids in appearance. They live to the west of where the Urdreh, Dwar, and Kasgen have come into contact with each other, isolated in part by the deadly Jibai Mega that covers the land and surrounds their village settlement of Thallsen. The policies of their den-noh, the failure of long-range radio communication attempts, and the mega meant historically few if any reports of contact between the Jana and other hominids occurred.
A single Jana might appear as one of any of the ethnic groups that once existed on Dead Earth, or none. When viewed as a group it is difficult to determine familial ties. Each Jana may appear radically different than the next due to direct genetic intervention during breeding by their den-noh. Jana have not been allowed by the hierarchs, servants of the Fist, to mate freely with other Jana of their choosing. The genetic differences can manifest themselves through hair color which ranges from black to orange, white, and even greenish, skin color, height, or a number of other outwardly visible physical traits.
Nearly all Jana are born with what they call a "gift." A gift typically expresses itself during the first few years of adulthood. These gifts include extra organs, superior talents, strengths, and resistances, or visible alterations of the physical body. Unusual mental abilities, body weaponry and defenses, and acute senses are most common among beneficial gifts. Some gifts while beneficial to a Jana's survival, may leave weeping sores or leathery skin. While they might offer some protection from the native life on Hadanum, they could also produce an offensive smell or otherwise aesthetically unpleasant feature.
Some Jana are lucky enough to be born with more than one beneficial gift, but a few are born "giftless". These unfortunate Jana are tolerated within the community but not allowed to bear children, even amongst themselves. These "giftless Jana" are often the hardest workers amongst their kind, however, as they try to make up for that which they were born without. Some Jana suspect that the requirements for passing Shaming Ceremonies have been skewed against giftless Jana.
Less fortunate are the few who bear gifts gone wrong that have a negative impact on survivability. Intended beneficial mutations that kill or otherwise incapacitate are not unheard of among Jana, and new mutations that are wholly negative will often kill Jana in their youth or force them out through inactivity and resulting Shamings.
The Jana have few "general" traits, due to a wide spectrum of body types, but are, on the average, faster, stronger, and more intelligent than the humans from Dead Earth while retaining their overall look. Even a "giftless" Jana is likely to look somewhat exotic compared to Old Humans, with unusual hair/skin/eye color combinations.
The Jana worship a huge, fist-shaped construct that is a remnant of their days prior to arriving in Thallsen, their current home. The Fist is a den-noh, though some Jana have taken to worshipping it in a sense.
Jana society favors the strength of the individual over the group. The individual is measured by his or her deeds and overall value to the Jana. A lack of value is
The Jana share their wealth with one another, Once a season, the Jana attend the "Rites of the Worthy," a ceremony in which individuals are judged for their accomplishments, and their contributions to Jana society. These are followed by "Shaming Ceremonies" where those who did Jana that pass this test regularly are allotted extra portions of food and other goods. The worthiness of each Jana is decided by communion with the impartial Fist.
The Jana are the only race other than the Kasgen to have a working knowledge of mining and forging metal tools. Jana claim that their direction, inspiration and technological advancements come directly from The Fist itself.
The primary concern of the Jana is one of survival. Surrounded and isolated in a relatively small community, they focus on improving quality of living and defense of their borderlands.
Content copyright © 2012 by Robinson Mason
Copyright W. Robinson Mason III - World of Hadanum and Other Tales