Sacred CropEach Starcircle is also defined by a signature crop. For Northern Ainong Starcircles, they are known for honoring Phast as holy.
In the south, Starcircles seem to worship the rice they harvest. In between, corn and other crops become sacred objects, central to their own starcircle.
Villages within a starcircle take special pride in their signature crop. They often claim that their variety of the crop is the best in the world. Each village has dozens of specialized varieties of that crop. A few unique varieties are so rare that they fetch high prices in foreign markets.
PhastPhast vines grow into the bark of trees. It's hairy beards, much like lichen, can be harvested for use much like grain or rice.
Phast can be dried and ground up for flour or fermented into alcohol, or Siduri. When ground or fermented, it takes on a red-purple color.
Ripe Phast beards turn a red-purplelor, but quickly turn white after being picked. Phast grows clonally- that is, new grafts of the mother plant can be implanted into host trees. Overplanting Phast is a common practice for quicker harvests, but it kills the host trees. Conifers are best for hosts as some decidious trees are toxic to Phast growths. Compared to Wheat or
Rice, Phast is always obvious in its red purple coloring, if ripe and proper. Rotten or stale Phast foods tend to take on a blacker appearance.
Jiva GiantslayerOne of the popular folk heros of many Ainong tales are the Jiva stories. Jiva varies from each story, always being a lazy girl whose own foolishness gets her into trouble- but she always manages to triumph through her own trickery. She slays giants or steals vast wealth from Salira kings or Tomasi wizards. Jiva always is seen as clever and young. All Ainong know a Jiva story.
All Ainong claim Jiva came from their village, and that Jiva is the same Jiva in all the stories. That the one true Jiva came from their village, not anywhere else.
Ainong Naming ConventionsAll Ainong have a first name, starcircle name and a family name. Family names among the Ainong are unique in that it is created when an Ainong couple first marries. Some keep their birth family's name, others don't. The practice varies from family to family.
Each starcircle name is compounded together for each starcircle the Ainong belongs to. The order of precedence is complicated, varying from geographic perspective to myth and legend.
First Names: Jiva, Cam, Gich, Kao, Nguket, Qann, Janya, Zhel, Ushkan, Rada
Family Names: Lastwater, Newblood, Heart, Cornwalker, Swordeater, Blackphast, Rootpicker, Rebel, Flagtaker, Suntiller
Starcircle Name: Bog, Rog, Lav, Vhi, Din, Thi, Juong, Ahi, Az, Urka