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Nayabaru titles are one of the most important aspects of their society.

Loosely speaking, they represent a Nayabaru's profession, although the Nayabaru would describe it more as a responsibility. Nayabaru of comparable titles are little societal islands, mostly free to conduct themselves amongst each other as they please, with their work rarely judged by outside forces.

Despite largely being organised into independent hierarchical columns, Nayabaru do possess something of an overarching leadership position - a community's Lashal helps in dispute resolution, assigns titles to young Nayabaru, and runs Taro.

It is entirely possible, although rare, to hold several titles at once. It is also entirely possible to hold no title, although attitudes about this in Nayabaru society vary from region to region and over time. At the times the books A Thread Between The Stars and The Sky's Umbilical Cord are set in, Asheenagiji's Reeva peninsula is the most tolerant to Nayabaru without a title.

Title prefixes


The prefix “Gan-” to a title might be comparable approximately to the human habit of referring to respected people as “Master”, and describes actual hierarchy (although only within the profession).

“Gan-” is the prefix used within a group of Nayabaru with the same profession to refer to the one of highest respect. Amongst the profession itself, it is obsolete - the Nayabaru in the profession do not need to be told who their highest-ranking is. It is used outside of the profession, however, to direct enquiries to the most qualified. For example, a Nayabaru having a question about biology would be referred to the Ganseklushi of their community. (The Ganseklushi in turn might refer to a lower-ranking Nayabaru if they are busy, but they're considered a first contact.)

The different professions group differently, based on how many of them exist in a given community.

Some have several groups within a community, and in consequence several Gana. In larger towns, Hesha fall into this category - you might run into two or three Ganhesha there.

Some have one group within a community. In most places, Seklushia have only one group. Sometimes that group is as small as two - one Ganseklushi and one Seklushi, latter perhaps an apprentice.

Some are necessarily solitary within a community, and only group between neighbouring communities. Presently, this only concerns the Lashala, befitting their strange but important role in Nayabaru culture. The Ganlashal is one that decides on who may be a Lashal when a community's Lashal dies without having decided on and/or educated an heir. The Ganlashal is the most respected Lashal in all immediately neighbouring communities. (This means that two neighbouring communities may, indeed, have different Ganlashala! This is totally normal.)

Gan- titles are consensus work. If there is dispute, no one is Gan. If a Gan is necessary for the group to function, the community's Lashal may arbitrate until a Gan is found. Uncooperative Nayabaru will be excommunicated with no hesitation.

One can become Gan through good work alone.


Hava, on the other hand, are chosen positions, filled by the Lashala like any other profession. The prefix can be translated, roughly, as “ultimate”. The associated tattoo changes are complementary, so that at least in theory, a Nayabaru in the basic profession can be upgraded to a Hav if the need arises, but this is avoided if at all possible.

Hava resolve disagreements between Gana, and coordinate them for the whole community, or between communities where no more than one group of the profession exists in a single community, but they may not do what humans would call “micro-managing”, and they may not second-guess the actions of the Gana where they do not interfere with the stated meta-goal.

How many Hava there are for a profession overall depends on the need for coordination, which is usually low. The fewest professions even have them. A few examples:

  • The Karesejat is Havhesh - a position that was considered important for the high time of the kavkem ↔ Nayabaru war, but has since effectively been absorbed into the title Karesejat and thus not usually used as a term any more.
  • The largest communities in Vatenas each have a Havdarhal and Havbaskaat.
  • Marmoa do not have Hava, although they may temporarily agree on a kind of Havmarmo when the need of a great artistic or architectural project arises that pools several Marmoa and their Gana together.
  • Seklushia do not have Hava.
  • Yeresoa do not have Hava.


Maka might be tentatively translated as “penultimate”. They are similar to the concept of Hava, with an important distinction: They cannot decide anything. They resolve disputes between Gana, possibly even between Hava, but their resolution is one that must be assessed by the parties in the dispute and accepted or rejected individually. In addition, their knowledge of the profession is strictly theoretical - if they were to practise the profession, they would not be chosen as Maka.

Maka are rarely permanent. They might be particularly booksmart Nayabaru that are chosen by the Lashal on the spur of a moment to resolve a matter. Nonetheless, a handful of permanent Maka exist.

Of these, the most notable are that the Karesejat is Maklashal and Makdarhal, both:

She 'judges over' any Lashala in dispute that call upon her for dispute resolution. She cannot enforce her decision. She cannot muscle in on a dispute that she considers her presence useful in, either. She must wait for the Lashala to approach her.

Makdarhal is of course far less spectacular. It corresponds to what humans would diagnose as “well, d'oh, she's the most intelligent person on the planet, and she understands physics better than anyone”.

Important titles


One of the strangest positions amongst the Nayabaru are the Lashala. To someone who does not know Nayabaru society, they may seem to hold all the power.

Indeed, they are central to any Nayabaru community - but they do not lead anyone in it any more than any others in the community do.

Their job is to assess the correct profession for a young Nayabaru, to monitor the members of the community throughout their life, and to thus know enough about each Nayabaru to be able to make decisions if there is a professional dispute.

They decide the structure of a Nayabaru community as they assign the professions - however, they work on a generational basis. If someone comes to them requesting more Hesha, they will raise more Hesha by carefully arranging for them at the next Taro, but it will take for them to become adults before this bears any fruit.

Reassigning professions is not typically done - definitely not for reasons of need of someone in a particular profession, and only very rarely on request of a Nayabaru who feels misfiled and wants a second chance in another profession (which is necessarily just a shortcut on falling from grace in their previous profession - the tattoo scars aren't optional). If there is truly urgent need for someone in a profession (e.g. the only Seklushi in town unexpectedly came to death), neighbouring communities will be asked for help until the next generation can fill in.

Note that Lashala typically do not bother to hold names - everyone refers to them simply as Lashal. If for some reason they were un-titled and survived the ordeal, they would be made to take on a four-glyphed name.


The title Karesejat is a war-time creation and it has persisted since then. It would likely disappear once the kavkema are extinct (not that this is likely to ever happen). The Karesejat is many things, but most notably:

  • Havhesh - she is the supreme commander of all military forces, no questions asked.
  • Maklashal - she advises the Lashala if there are disputes amongst them.
  • Makdarhal - she advises the Darhala if there are disputes amongst them.
  • automatically grants a high Social Respect even amongst strangers.

The current Karesejat, Terenyira, in particular is endowed with an extremely high Social Respect due to how well-known she is as an individual. She also enjoys near-infinite Experience Respect due to her current nature as a de-facto immortal being.

Other titles


The Hesha are the Nayabaru most often encountered in the stories told about Nekenalos, as they are the ones most likely to interact with kavkema. They are the guardians of their communities and continue a tradition of treating kavkema as deeply dangerous and in need of brutal subjugation.


The Yeresoa are Nayabaru veterinarians, taking care of all number of beasts of burden, but also of captive kavkema with their wildly different metabolisms. They are the second most likely Nayabaru to interact with kavkema and generally do so frequently if one is in captivity. Comparatively speaking, they are quite friendly to kavkema, but since they are obsessed with keeping them alive, the kavkema deeply mistrust them regardless.


The Seklushia are Nayabaru doctors, psychiatrists and biologists. They have a reputation for using kavkema as lab rats in their research. It's not undeserved; to Seklushia, kavkema are assets, and it's thank to Seklushia that captive kavkema are forcibly bred (although the Yeresoa tend to the actual breeding).

Seklushia have traditionally worked together with Hesha by supplying them with the tools for biological warfare, such as Serrata. Most of their use for kavkema is in exploring new options in this space. That said, only major settlements would indulge in this arrangement. It's unsurprising that Katal is especially notorious for this.

These are easily the most hated and feared Nayabaru amongst the kavkema.


Darhala are Nayabaru scientists, merging human professions in the space of physics, chemistry and mathematics. They do some engineering, although anything on a grander scale requires the help of the Otana.


Otana are Nayabaru engineers and architects. They work closely with Darhala to make science happen turn Darhala theories into practical applications.


Neesea are Nayabaru explorers and trappers. These Nayabaru set up anti-kavkem defences further out from the community, complete Nayabaru maps, and generally spend a lot of time roaming.

They are usually only loosely tied to a community, instead existing in a kind of meta-community for Neesea that weaves between the communities. Statistically speaking, they are the most likely Nayabaru to fall prey to kavkem attacks. They are also the most likely Nayabaru to make friends with kavkema if approached in the right way, giving them information about developments that might harm them, e.g. in exchange for refraining from sabotaging or otherwise attacking the Nayabaru (or rather, the area the Neese is responsible for, seeing as the rest of the planet is effectively invisible to them).

They work together quite tightly with Hesha, both since they get information about what needs protection from them, and because a Neese will often (but far from always) be accompanied by a Hesh for protection.


Marmoa are Nayabaru artists. They are responsible for sculptures and banners.


Baskaata are farmers and miners.

nayabaru/society/titles.txt · Last modified: 2022-11-18 04:49 by pinkgothic