Tribal Data

• Life span: 40+.
• Height: Just over 5’, males inches taller than females.
• Body Type: smaller, similar to the Last
• Eyes: Black.
• Hair: Long, black. Warriors dye their hair with Henna, and effect a dreadlocks aspect for ceremonies.
• Head: They have pronounced eyebrows and foreheads, but are otherwise very similar to homo sapien sapien; head is oval.
• Heart: On the left.


• Food:
Omnivores who eat well, but cooking is limited to the heat from volcanic vents, as is their technology, until fire is returned to them by Jack.
Water and fruit juices; beer, wines, and strong spirits.

Traditional Dress

Stone-age: grass shorts for men, grass tops and skirts for women. Later cotton, wool, and flax clothing is reintroduced.


They wear little jewellery, except small and personal artifacts.

Royalty wear a headband made from small leaves.


Stone dagger, tomahawk, wooden spear
Later: Bow and arrows, weapons of the Last. and Ancestral weapons.


The Second speak their own language, but in Book Two a school is set up to teach the children Ancestor and other tongues, including English.

Important Things

• The Prophesy (this link).
• History of Ancestor Taris.
• The Sword of Destiny.

The Trials of Passage

The trials are a test of adulthood, and there are different versions for girls and boys. These are described in detail on the dedicated page.

Imperial Marriage

The term given to people technically married to the Empress or Emperor. This occurs when a girl or boy do not marry at age 16.

This was the case with both Lo Si and Won Long, the latter having no interest in affairs of the flesh.

Jien Noi's grandmother, as Empress, understood the terms Deru and Weid, and ordered their union. She commanded they produce offspring; considering the children of a Druid marriage would be very special.

Scientific Record

Homo erectus lived in the orient and covered a large area that included all of Asia. They are well documented finds in China and the fossil trail indicates they travelled south from Beijing some 500, 000 years ago.

Modern homo erectus have been traced to Maba Man, Shaoguan City, Guangdong 100,000 years ago.

There are later discoveries in Guangdong and Yunnan Provinces, indicating they were still alive as recently as 18,000 years ago.

Socially Inclusive Society

The Second are especially a socially interdependent society, all working for the greater good (of all). They do not use money or barter, simply working for the common good of all within their specialties and skills. They usually follow the trades of their parents, learning to prepare the feast, and share it equally.

Like modern peasants, they work when there is need, and rest or play when there is nothing to do. Unlike modern westerners, they do not invent work, but simply enjoy their lives, and especially times with family and friends.

The Old Capital

This was abandoned after the Dark Time, and its location virtually forgotten.

Jack discovers its remains, and this becomes the base of the University.

The temple of the Old Religion is also rebuilt upon the ruins of the old; a place of great Earth Power. A small town develops to support both, but no Queen has as yet been appointed.

The Twelve Tribes

Feature: The Second


Go to Characters: Jien Noi 


The Second or homo erectus


The Second are homo sapien erectus

The islanders are homo sapien erectus, created by the Second Ancestor, Xor, with the assistance of the Eleventh, as an alternative to the Last.

They had similar development, but were not based upon the Cro Magnon template, rather continued the development of the original line from Homo Ergaster.

That stated, the DNA match would reveal the Second and Last as closest cousins.

The Second are a stone-age folk who have lived in isolation from the rest of the world, since coming to the island circa 30, 000 years BC, when all humanity was fleeing south due to the last ice age.

Captain Taris of an Ancestral Starship contacted them, and Empress Zhao Ræm took her people to the island for safety. Taris lived many of their lifetimes, gave them an ethical code, and used his spacecraft's shields to protect and hide them, even from modern-day satellites.


Empress Zhao Jien Noi

Image: Empress and Gatekeeper Jien Noi - Click to enlarge

The Guardian
Taris took several wives in turn, the first from Gu Long Dux, gave rise to the line of Guardians. They were unrelated to the lines of the Gatekeeper and Seer, who both came from Imperial lineage. The Guardian was stationed on the Outlands, watchful for external threat. Only the Guardian had the power of transportation, gifted by possession of the Signature of the Guardian.

The succession of Guardians remained steadfast to their work, each training at least one successor. That lasted until they suffered badly 12,000 years ago during The Dark Time, or Deluge. By then Taris was long dead.  Exposed on the Outlands, the last of the Guardians died, staring out to sea, and stars above, atop the Sentry rock. Millennia later, Jack discovered his remains, and The Signature stone.

During The Dark Time the population of myriad number, were reduced to a mere few hundred. Since then the Second have recovered and now number 6,000. However, during the times of destruction, much of their knowledge was lost, such as the ability to make fire, bows and arrows, and boats. These are recorded in caves in the Valley of the Ancestor, and are more detailed, when later discovered in the Corridor of Knowledge.

Daily Society
The typical life span of the Second is a little over 40 years, less than 50 maximum, meaning the age of consent is 16. They are a monogamous society, and sexual relations are not condoned outside of marriage. However, many brides become pregnant before they wed, if only by a month or so. This is an accepted, and almost expected, practice.

Children are of central importance, as their numbers, although self-sustaining, remain low. Due to their short life span, the Second produce offspring as soon as they marry. Usually a mother delivers her first baby before age seventeen, and by twenty, she will have begun her working life. As with many native cultures, the Grandparents look after the young, with most females working for fifteen years, or into their mid-thirties. By then, they have also become grandparents, and look after their grandchildren, allowing the parents, their grown children to work.

During the Dark Time, the age of consent was lowered to puberty, simply to create new life and prevent the extinction of their species. When numbers grew, the age returned to 16, and people were allowed two children. The only exception being the Imperial family, who had to produce one Empress, one Gatekeeper, and one Seer every generation.

All children marry at age 16 after completing the Trails of Passage. Only two still alive did not do so: Jien Noi and Lien Noi - both waiting for the right man to enter their lives. Noi is a title similar to Miss, and explained on Jien Noi's page. Islanders marry at the Harvest Moon, being a very auspicious time. Ages are also counted from the child's first Harvest Moon.

MarriageWith comparisons to Cantonese tradition
Weddings are allowed on any day on or after the sixteen birthday of both betrothed. If one person is younger, the marriage ceremony is in two parts, the younger remaining at home until the age is reached. The Trials of Passage take place as normal, during the week before the sixteenth birthday.The marriage rituals described below are based upon current, Mainland Cantonese traditions, the author completing them himself, as written:

  • The bride and groom should never see each other on the eve of the wedding; doing so brings bad luck.
  • The bride will spend her last night at home with her parents, and her best female friends.
  • The groom will spend the night at the home he has made for his bride, and is accompanied by his best friends. He must drink a lot of alcohol, and remain awake all night long. There will be females of loose morals around to tempt him to enjoy his last night of bachelorhood; honourable men do not indulge.
  • On the morning of the wedding, the groom and his entourage go to collect the bride. They are told to go away. The groom's party try all means to enter the family home, but are always thwarted, sometimes being repelled by buckets of cold water, or similar discouragements. Eventually the father or bridesmaid answers the door, and demands a forfeit. These can be anything, but one of the groom's party usually has a good clue; one not offered immediately. There will be half a dozen forfeits.
    • The author relates, "When I did this, the first was a sum of money, but the amount was not specified. We offered hundred RMB notes to no avail, until one of our party was whispered something by the bridesmaid. He in turn looked either up or down as we closed on the required amount. In my case, that turned out to be ¥468.85RMB. Another forfeit was one hundred press ups, but fortunately, my comrades were allowed to take a shift. It was a total hoot!"
  • The bride will be professionally made up, wearing special clothes, and looking stunning.
  • The capture of the bride is not Cantonese tradition, something added whereby the hunter (groom) becomes the prey. This echoes the matriarchal society of the Second.
  • The bride and groom leave the family home, she deeply upset and shedding tears for the life she is leaving behind. Her cohort follow, bringing with them wedding gifts for the couple, and their new home.
  • The parents inspect the new home, and if it is acceptable, the marriage goes ahead. In Canton, this officially happens the day before, although the home has already passed inspection. Similar in fact for the Second. However, these rituals bring substance to the occasion.
  • There is a break in proceedings for people to take refreshments; regards the Second this is a light lunch, for Cantonese, a full midday meal to honour the bride's greater family and whole village.
  • The subsequent marriage ceremony is followed by the main evening banquet.
  • The newlyweds leave early to spend their first night together, alone, in their new home.

Any who eschew marriage, or cannot find a suitor, are married to either the Imperial or Royal houses. This ruse supplies the palaces with new staff, who are normally used as workers according to their upbringing and aptitude. Females often choose to become cooks apprentices, or Ladies in Waiting; men becoming guards, messengers, or handyman. Normally, these people are allowed to marry at a later date, should they find a partner. However, unless released, they will continue in service to their ruler, and their profession.

Not all palace staff are recruited this way. Some like the Provost have hereditary roles to fulfil, and senior cooks or Maids in Waiting can be selected because of talent. Messengers and soldiers are often from families with long traditions in the role.

The Trials of Passage
These represent a test of adulthood, and are taken during the two weeks before an adolescent attains age sixteen. The tasks are different for girls and boys, but each sex completes the same series of tasks. The tasks are detailed in full on this page.

Only three men alive have completed all the trials in one day, n'Gue, n'Gnung, and Jack.

Sun Calendar
The use of the Sun Calendar was abandoned after the Dark Time, they using a lunar Calendar instead. Some, like Lo Si, still understood the solar Calendar, but it was too complex for the ordinary people. Empress Jien Noi realised that at their busiest time of year, Harvest Home, many people were lost to take the Trials of Passage and getting married.

Jien Noi asked Lo Si to devise a Calendar based on the sun, of which he already knows of through his work. The Empress has certain requirements, such as the year beginning during a quiet and pleasant time of year, the Spring Equinox is chosen.

The change from a five day week lunar cycle, to a six day week sun cycle, with one day off, was Lo Si's idea, as were twelve five week months, with one short holiday month of five days, six every four years.

Births were also changed, and were recorded as the day of birth.

The Yellow People
One widely held belief by modern palaeontologists, and the Eleventh, is that modern Oriental races are descended from the product of interracial mating between the Last and Second, which also included a little Neanderthal. The creative and scientific halves of the cerebral cortex are reversed in the Second and oriental people, and opposite to the remainder of the Last. The Chinese believe they are descended from homo erectus, and with their last known appearance in the fossil record dating back only thirteen millennia, in Cantonese Guangdong, the author's use of Cantonese naming systems becomes self-evident, and a clue to ancestry. This also explains why Chinese is a conceptual, and not a logic-based language.

Modern Chinese people consider themselves to be directly descended from homo erectus, a contentious point of scientific discussion that is not resolved to this day. However, whilst fossil records tend to disprove this theory, intermarriage between homo erectus and homo sapiens certainly occurred.

The Second have natural yellow skin, and are slight of build. Their cranial capacity is on par with homo sapien, but their long-distance vision, like modern-day Cantonese, is poor. Males are a little larger than females. The Second look similar to the Last, but have pronounced eyebrows and foreheads.

The Chinese as a nation, are proud to call themselves The Yellow People, and will labour the point during conversation. This led the author to create the Second as being truly yellow-skinned people, and hence revering this Chinese conception. There are other Chinese connections.

Naming Convention
Most characters and place names of the Second are Mainland Cantonese, and not Hong Kong dialect.

Science Fact - Use of Fire
Human ancestors first gathered around campfires 1.42 million years ago. Scientists have discovered this was first done by homo sapien erectus. Link to Wiki.This is accepted as fact, but begs the question, did homo erectus discover the use of fire for themselves, or did the Ancestors teach them?

Facts & Snippets


The Island is located in the central area of the South Pacific at about longitude 150 West, latitude 25 South.

There is a submerged volcano at position -25.085599, -148.345642 that proved suitable. The size was about right were it were poking above water. It featured several smaller crowns as well as a large central caldera, which was perfect.

The Island is also far away from all commercial air and sea routes, and highly unlikely to noticed.


• The Ring of The Knowing Eye - left with The Seer. This is the only one that is not a ring, but a stone, like a large Tiger’s Eye.
• The Signature of the Guardian.
• The Ring of the Empress.

• The Ring of The Ancestor – belonged to Taris (not Oma).
• The Ring of the Earth – returned to the Shaman in Book Two.

Matriarchal Society

The Second are the only Tribe to officially have a matriarchal society.

The lineage passes from the Empress to her eldest daughter. As with many ancient cultures, the female was venerated as the producer of new life; children, and the Empress retains full and absolute power.

The Old Religion

The religion was all but lost to the Second during The Dark Time, but is one of respect for Mother Nature, not seen as a plethora of gods to worshipped, but of thanksgiving for Gaia's bounty.

The Second and the Eleventh, are the only two Tribes to live in harmony with Earth and nature.

In Book TwoChapters 15-16, Jien Noi officially pardons the Shaman, and restores the Old Religion. Jack completes the task, by returning The Ring of the Earth to the Shaman.

Male Prerogatives

Excepting the fact that a man should never go against his wife's wishes, the head male accepts or rejects a suitor's proposal to marry his daughter.

A second is the final test that completes the Trials of Passage. This is the whim of the prospective father-in-law, and can be virtually anything. It is usually short and easy.

A third, only intimated in the text of Book One, is when the prospective 'in-laws' inspect the house built for their daughter. If not satisfied, the father-in-law can cancel the wedding. This seldom happens.


Although naturally yellow skinned, the Second, and especially the men, often develop carotenemia, which makes them appear golden or almost orange.

In part this is in response to abundant pheomelanin deepening the already yellow skin pigmentation.

The Ancestors created this effect by altering the gene code, as the Fourth, their first experiment with pheomelanin, were susceptible to uv light.

Notwithstanding, the main cause is dietary; men especially eating a lot of carrots, sweet potatoes, mango, pumpkins, and carotene rich foods.

Pale Skin

Some of the Second, like the Seer, have noticeably paler,jaundiced looking skin. This is due to cooking and brewing using volcanic vents. The sulphur lightens the skin, but makes it smoother.

Uses of Wild Carrot

The seeds of the wild carrot (Daucus Carota) are used to prevent unwanted pregnancy.

An open secret it that they are also taken as an abortifacient. Healers are discreetly allowed to treat unwanted pregnancy.

The flowers are used as a creamy white dye.

Usage of Plants

The Second use many plants for medicinal or specific purposes: henna for dyeing, and extract of Hovenia Da Phai Nai uses as a hangover cure.

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