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It is an easy mistake to make to consider the Nayabaru to be strictly hierarchical and assorted into tiers. Rather, their social structure might be described as “anarcho-totalitarian” - it grants very little leeway while in a framework of almost zero absolute hierarchy.


An important thing to understand amongst Nayabaru is that there are several ways to respect a person.

Title Respect

Most often, respect is given based on title and profession (these are often more or less identical, in that a title inherently represents a set of overlapping professions).

This respect is given to all Nayabaru, to the degree that they are a good representation of their title and profession, inasmuch as the Nayabaru in question can judge. For most Nayabaru, this means that they deal with each other with a base level of respect, since they cannot judge each other in the respective other profession. For members within a profession, this causes an (almost) meritocratic hierarchy.

It's important to understand that Title Respect is given wholly independent of personality - unless personality is an important aspect of the profession/title. It's no less real. A Nayabaru cannot turn off the Title Respect they feel, even to someone whose personality they find unseemly.

Nayabaru without Titles of course cannot get any Title Respect. This is bewildering amongst adult Nayabaru, and its strangeness can cause instinctive animosities.

Title Respect is easy to give between strangers.

Experience Respect

The second most frequent respect is one based on age and experience. This respect increases linearly relative to how long someone has been in a profession - for the vast majority of Nayabaru, this is identical with their age, minus a small offset. A larger difference may accrue in the case of someone who changed professions, although this is a very rare occurrence amongst Nayabaru, usually signifying a lost title.

This is a mostly abstract kind of respect. Someone outside the Nayabaru's profession will still not heed them any more about something not covered by their profession, but they will try harder not to be in the Nayabaru's way, and divert more resources to them if they are ill, in need of food, or water.

Nayabaru without Titles can get Experience Respect, although this is difficult, and only works amongst the community they reside in. Strangers cannot impart Experience Respect on the Titleless - but they can impart it on strangers that have held a Title for their entire lives. This is discernible through the Nayabaru tattoo system.

Social Respect

This is respect given on the level of how demonstrably honest and agreeable a Nayabaru is.

It is the respect that shapes young Nayabaru most of all (who can benefit neither of Title Respect nor Experience Respect). In these young Nayabaru, it decides what professions are open to them. Only the most respectable are considered as future Lashala.

This is not a hierarchical respect - it is a manifestation of communal protectiveness. The Nayabaru have niches for those low on Social Respect (as long as they do not fall into the negative, as criminals such as murderers and thieves would be) that they consider just as important for the community as the Lashala. Nonetheless, you want your Lashala to have a strong empathy and intense levels of honesty, whereas some professions have much less of a need of this trait.

In adult Nayabaru, Social Respect has very little bearing, although it can be cause for increased snits and disagreements based on a 'sense of nagging distrust' in those at the very bottom of the Social Respect gauge. Given these are all quite strictly regulated by the Lashala, this isn't much of a problem in practise, however.

By definition, Social Respect cannot be given amongst strangers - a reputation needs to be built, and the way Social Respect works on Nayabaru is that it only exists on a personal basis. A traveller thus will grant none of the strangers he meets any Social Respect - though this usually does not matter.

This respect is one of the most important assets of Titleless Nayabaru - the one they can bank on in the early years after choosing a profession or switching to a different one.


Often discounted by Nayabaru if asked about this formally, and indeed a very weak bond, friendship does exist between Nayabaru. They are very social creatures and of course they enjoy the company of some Nayabaru over the company of other Nayabaru, independent of any respect they may have earned.

Friendship is the lubricant for specialisation where merit cannot distinguish the involved Nayabaru. Two Nayabaru Hesha that are friendly with each other and equally capable at interrogation and patrolling may split up the tasks amongst each other, so one becomes better at patrolling, and the other at interrogating, until merit can be used to justify the choice post-hoc.

Friendship is the first thing to be thrown under the bus when a problem arises, however. A Nayabaru will not help a friend that has gotten wrapped up in a dispute. It simply wouldn't occur to them.


See Titles.

Interaction Rules

The Nayabaru social structure is quite instinctive for them, although trying to chart it quickly becomes unwieldy. It follows a few basic de-facto rules that cause some rather complex social structures to arise:

  • “I may not obstruct anyone in their profession.”

    and the complement:
    “Nayabaru outside of my profession cannot tell me how to do my profession.” (often supplemented with the non-instinctual, cultural “I will not be offended by Nayabaru outside of my profession saying necessarily stupid things about my profession”)

  • “It is important that I act in accordance with my profession as well as I can.”

    and the complement:
    “Nayabaru within my profession should constantly be assessed for their merit; if my merit exceeds theirs, I have the responsibility to teach them and take care of them; if their merit exceeds mine, I have the responsibility to do as they say.”

  • “It is important that I am useful for the community.”

    and the complement:
    “If any Nayabaru appears to me to not be useful, I must confront them. If they do not convince me of their merit, I must report them.”

  • “If I am asked for advice on any matter, I must give it, without bias as to whether it will be heeded.”

    and the complement:
    “If I need advice, I may ask anyone.”

(“It is not generally important what I do outside of my profession,” is something that follows logically but is worth pointing out explicitly.)

On top of those instinctive rules are the tattoo-based rules:

  • “Nayabaru with tattoo scars are defective to the degree they are scarred and should not be trusted with anything relating to the scarred profession. No one can override this statement.”

  • “Nayabaru tattooed with shun-marks (or with tattoo scars of shun marks) from your region are to be driven out of your community by force. Nayabaru tattooed with shun-marks (or with tattoo scars of shun marks) from other communities are probably dangerous and should be avoided, arrested or exiled, unless your superiors say otherwise.”

Shunning is the worst form of punishment imaginable to the sociable Nayabaru. Solitude is an unbearable thought to them, and community with community-breakers is only marginally better (though preferable to solitude).

Dispute resolution

Nayabaru have strict rules defining what a dispute is and how it ought to be escalated.

Grumbling, whining, and complaining about circumstances are never a dispute. These will net the Nayabaru in question some negative Social Respect, but that needn't be a problem, given that it's low on the list of Respects to give.

Non-profession related insults are also not a dispute. Again, this will strip you of Social Respect. This usually means that such spats rapidly come to an end, as few are willing to respond in kind.

Profession-related insults, on the other hand, may be a dispute. It depends on whether they are simply rank-based - i.e. whether you are being shuffled down the pecking order - or if they are basic - i.e. you are challenged as to whether you befit the profession at all. Latter are a dispute. (It doesn't matter if these are from someone in your profession or outside of it. Any sort of verbal challenging of your basic merit in your profession is a dispute.) These are considered Title Disputes.

Professional disagreements are also a dispute, although these are often resolved before their 'dispute' nature becomes truly manifest. These are also considered Title Disputes (although in the early stages are rarely explicitly referred to as such).

Criminal activity is also a dispute - thievery, murder, vandalism. These are considered Acute Disputes.

Title Disputes

Title Disputes are escalated in the following manner:

  • The parties of the disagreement speak with each other openly about the dispute. If they cannot come to a conclusion:
  • The nearest Nayabaru of the same profession as the attacked's profession (which in some cases may be distinct from the attacker's profession) is asked for advice. If the attacked Nayabaru is considered in the right at this point or any further point, punishment befalls the attacker. If there is no such Nayabaru, they have no advice, the attacker is considered in the right, or the advice is not mutually acceptable to the disputing parties:
  • The highest-merit Nayabaru of the attacked's profession that both Nayabaru agree on (usually the respective Gan) is asked to decide. If such a Nayabaru does not exist or they cannot decide:
  • The Lashal of the attacked's community is asked to decide. If such a Nayabaru does not exist or they cannot decide:
  • The Lashal of the attacker's community is asked to decide. If such a Nayabaru does not exist or they cannot decide:
  • The Ganlashal of the attacked's community-region is asked to decide. If such a Nayabaru does not exist or they cannot decide:
  • The Ganlashal of the attacker's community is asked to decide. If such a Nayabaru does not exist or they cannot decide:
  • The Maklashal may optionally be asked for advice. If such a Nayabaru does not exist, they have no advice, or the advice is not mutually acceptable to the disputing parties:
  • The disputing parties are both stripped of their titles, tattoos and exiled from their respective communities.

It is generally considered highly shameful to have to go to the Lashala.

Acute Disputes

Acute Disputes are so named as they require immediate action. A matter considered an Acute Dispute will result in any involved parties being detained as soon as possible, with as much force applied as necessary. The Lashal of the community will be alerted and (1) investigate to what degree an actual crime occurred (occasionally, such things are just a misunderstanding) by speaking with witnesses and/or inspecting records, (2) choose how to deal with the matter.


There are several options available to Lashala:

  • Reparations
    The most frequent punishment for minor infractions and disputes - the offending Nayabaru will be asked to make reparations, going either to affected victim(s) (rarely) or to their community (often, unless it makes no sense).
  • Incarceration
    Rarely used - the Nayabaru is kept in a prison-like environment for a while. They only have contact with their Hesh during this time. Such times are usually kept short, as they are considered barbaric.
  • Torture
    Even more rarely used - only of interest if the captive Nayabaru could give information of value to the interrogators (e.g. location of a kidnap victim, if such a thing were to ever happen - or where his fellow thievers took the loot). Usually, the threat of exile or incarceration is enough, but for those already exiled neither of those tend to be good deterrents. Exiled Nayabaru may leave torture-encounters with quite a few fingers fewer than they went in, even if they are quick to yield.
  • Title-Stripping
    The removal of the Nayabaru's title and the associated tattoos. The Nayabaru must sacrifice one glyph from their name, but may return to the community, taking on a different profession. This is a very public and highly humiliating ritual.
  • Exile
    The removal of the Nayabaru's title and the associated tattoos. The Nayabaru loses their name and their right to a name (formally - informally, it is often “kept” but scrambled by the affected Nayabaru). The Nayabaru gets a neck-tattoo, marking them as an exiled Nayabaru. This, too, is a very public and highly humiliating ritual.
nayabaru/society.txt · Last modified: 2022-11-11 03:42 by pinkgothic