Jehanan

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Extract from the Novo Bialostok Akademy Journal of Xenoanthropology

Publication blocked and all copies excised by order of the Mirror

Jehanan skull: side view

The Jehan are an intelligent species found on the planet Jagan in the Bharat System.

In appearance they are reptilian, with a forward-sloping body, a long flexible tail and powerful legs each bearing three clawed toes making them almost tripodal in appearance. Their upright stance frees their forelimbs for tool use and whilst they are omnivores their teeth suggest that their early ancestors were carnivores not unlike the Early Cretaceous bipedal predator Deinonychus or the Late Cretaceous Velociraptor Mongoliensis of Old Earth. Their skins are scaled but smooth to the touch; there is a considerable variation in coloration within a distinct population. The adult displays short rounded horns over the eyes that appear to be a sign of maturity; infants are known as hatchlings and youngsters are known colloquially as soft-scales and shorthorns. The Jehanan are endothermic but lay eggs. Nurture of the young is equivalent to that of humans, with monogamy the basis of society.

Initial analysis of the Jaganite fossil record indicates that the Jehanan are not a native species to Jagan, appearing on the planet less than a quarter of a million years ago. The basic Jehanan appearance suggests that they evolved for a warm environment, although a number of races in the highlands and northern areas indicate adaptation to the cold: a shortened snout and a more compact build. They are not related to the Jeweled Kings or to the more mammalian 'native' Jaganite life forms such as the hrak. A limited number of animals on Jagan are distantly related to the Jehanan such as the molk, kaichesh, sherakan and zizunaga. Some plants also appear to be alien: naragga and the Nēm. A few life forms on Jagan indicate advanced genetic engineering, such as the lohaja tree.

The eyes of a Jehanan are forward looking, small, black and deeply inset with protecting eye-shields, suggesting that they evolved under a harsher brighter sun than Bharat. An analysis of their vision indicates a slightly different visual spectrum to that of humans, shifted towards the ultra-violet and away from the red end of the spectrum - surprising given that Bharat is a red giant. In comparing Jehanan visual acuity with stars within sufficient distance to permit an interstellar migration, the principle candidate for the Jehanan world of origin lies within the dead Mokuil system.

The Jehanan voice box is capable of rendering a rich and complex variety of vocalisations. Whilst a Jehanan can learn and speak Náhuatl, it is impossible for a human to duplicate the full range of sounds of Uheru or Ssagatiak.

Jehanan societies on Continent Four demonstrate a wide range of cultures - many 'barbarian' and tribal in the more hostile environments, and a number of city-based cultures in the Five Rivers region and the Empire of the Golden King. As the site of the Imperial spaceport the lands of the Five Rivers have been subject to the most study.

The societies of the Five Rivers are stratified with a local kujen ruling each city and claiming the surrounding territories. From body language, Jehanan appear to have once lived in strict hierarchical groups which still underlie their modern cultures. The tribal peoples of the Arachosian Highlands and the jandars of Ouarsene seem to have regressed towards this form of social organization.

An archaeological overview of the Five Rivers region indicates that many settlements are extremely ancient. A comparison may be made with the Tells of Mesopotamia and the Nile valley of Old Earth. Jehanan villages are usually built on these mounds, which in the Five Rivers region provide protection from the periodic flooding of the Phison and its tributaries. The height of the tells indicates continuous inhabitation of at least tens of thousands of years.

The cities demonstrate similar levels of habitation.

The city of Takshila appears to be built on a succession of earlier cities, with the lower levels still used as thoroughfares and for living space. It appears as if the city has been periodically rebuilt, with access to the older levels retained. This means that the extent of a Jehanan city is misleading, as it should be assessed not merely on extent (and height, given the Arthavan period khus towers) but also on the hidden levels underground. The Jehanan tendency for underground dwellings may indicate that the species used such shelters in its evolution or that the tunnels are a historical remnant of a need for shelter against attack. Takshila, and possibly other cities, appear to be built upon the foundations of settlements predating the Jehanan arrival on Jagan. Ancient Jehanan legends tell of conflicts of the gods, which may relate the wars between their own ancestors and the Jeweled Kings and other sentients on Jagan.

Following the dominance of the Jehanan on Continent Four, there is evidence that their societies suffered a long slow decline, only to recover relatively recently in the Arthavan period. Whether due to political disintegration or a depletion of resources the Arthavan civilization suffered total collapse in a thermo-nuclear war, rendering Jehanan society back to pre-industrial levels. This heroic age is better recorded than the earlier periods but has already achieved the trappings of legend, with a belief that it was the success of the Arthavan culture that caused the wrath of the gods, resulting in Arthava's Fire with its personification of an atomic mushroom cloud. Legends of lost cities in the ice of the Cold Lands may refer to Jeweled Kings settlements or older structures. It is possible that the solar output of Bharat has significantly declined during the period of habitation on the planet, resulting in the increase of the polar caps and a squeezing of the temperate zone.

Following Arthava's Fire five or six centuries ago there was an influx of Jehanan from the less damaged hinterland during the Time of Ghosts. Despite the devastation of urban centers productive farmland is at a premium on Jagan and the clement river lands are of great importance. Major centers such as Fehrupuré and Parus were almost depopulated in the war, with the survivors thrown back into savagery.

Jehanan religion is complex in nature and surrounded by a rich sequence of epic poetry. Central to much ritual is the Nēm fruit. The principle Jehanan deities represent a duality between night and day with the solar god being of great importance, but not related in name to Bharat. Other lesser figures are respected as protective spirits - some possibly deified Jehanan and others derived from unknown mythological or alien sources.

Despite the ancient warfare between the Jehanan and the Jeweled Kings the two species are no longer in conflict, and there is a limited level of interaction between them. Analysis of surviving Arthavan period artefacts suggests that the civilization of the Jeweled Kings had a major impact upon the Jehanan renaissance. The Jehanan appear resentful of the 'asuchau' human presence, possibly because it undermines kujenai authority, disrupts existing patterns of trade and reminds them of their own decline.

There is thus reason to believe that the Jehanan on Jagan are a remnant of an earlier interstellar species that we might categorise as Fifth Sun, with an earlier pre-collapse technology at least equivalent to Imperial. The circumstances leading to their migration and settling upon Jagan, the disappearance of all other colonies and the destruction of their homeworld are unknown.

SS:HOR

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