In Gridania, there are those blessed by the forest. They are known as the Padjal. The touch of the elementals causes horns to sprout from their heads. They are ageless children, fluent in the tongue of the forest.Wispily Bearded Woodworker (Gridania Carline Canopy)
Padjals are horned, youthful beings born rarely in the Black Shroud. They are not a naturally occurring species, but rather are born from Hyurian parents and gifted with power from birth by the elementals of the Twelveswood. Certain Hyurian bloodlines are known to consistently, if rarely, produce Padjali children.
Padjals are distinguished from Hyurs by their thin white horns and are naturally gifted in conjury. They can communicate more directly with the elementals that granted them their status and are naturally gifted with vast amounts of aether that can cause issues if not properly trained.
Padjal's aging slows to a crawl at some point in their youth, mostly retaining a child-like appearance from that point forward. The age their bodies stop growing varies from Padjal to Padjal, with some perpetually appearing as pre-teen, such as E-Sumi-Yan and O-App-Pesi, while others, such as the Elder Seedseer Kan-E-Senna, appear to be in their late teens to early twenties, visibly older than her younger siblings but significantly more youthful than an ordinary Hyur of her age.
Padjals have been known to live over two hundred years before succumbing to old age, still retaining most of their youthful appearances.
Padjals came into being shortly after the Sixth Umbral era, at a time where white and black magic were forbidden for their part in the coming of the Sixth Umbral Calamity. The Gelmorran conjurer Jorin communed with the elementals of the Black Shroud, who permitted the burgeoning civilization to live aboveground. Once aboveground, the Gelmorrans began building the city of Gridania, with the elementals' blessings.
Jorin and his spouse had a child born with two small horns, initially only bumps. As the child grew, his horns lengthened and he became able to predict natural events. Once more time passed, the child stopped aging and adopted the name I-Ohok-Pota. A second Padjal was born, given the name U-Kote-Num by I-Ohok-Pota, and the name Padjal came to be used for the horned children blessed by the elementals.
Padjals regularly hold positions of power and respect in Gridania's governing body, the Seedseer Council, due to their ability to communicate easily with the elementals that govern the Shroud and provide protection for the peoples of Gridania. The position of Elder Seedseer was created for the first Padjal and is taken by a Padjal in modern times.
The elementals sanction Padjals to practice White Magic, with the intention of keeping the art alive and not letting it be misused. Padjals are also regularly members of the Conjurers' Guild, the elementals allowing them to teach conjury to others. Practitioners are allowed to use a portion of the elementals' power under the Padjal's guidance.
When a child is born and confirmed to be a Padjal, they are regularly taken by the Conjurers' Guild and made to live at Stillglade Fane where they take a new name given to them by the elementals. Many Gridanians take pride having a Padjali child born into their family, with many families trusting implicitly in the conjurers of the Fane. There have been cases of families and parents unwilling or reticent to give up their children, though by Gridanian law, the conjurers can take them away against their parent's wishes.
Padjals are regularly referred to with respect as Sisters or Brothers of the Twelveswood, as part of their indoctrination and training in at the Stillglade Fane.
Naming conventions and language
The Padjali language is based on the sounds made by the aetheric waves that Padjal receive when the elementals speak to them. This language is also used for certain locations and creatures of Gelmorran origin, as well as some Gridanian Hyurian family names.
The language the Padjali names are based on is the language of the Ainu people indigenous to northern Japan. While not a direct application of the language, the Final Fantasy XIV lore team used its phonetic and spelling conventions in recreating the "overall feel" of the language.
The following rules applies to the naming pattern of Padjals:
- All are comprised of three words.
- The first two are the forename, and the final word is the surname.
- The first name is constructed of simple vowel-based word (E, Ae, Uo, I, Ea, etc.) combined with a longer companion word. In the case of males, the vowel-based word comes first. In the case of females, it comes second.
Words in the Padjali language are normally separated by spaces. However, when a group of words forms a single concept (such as a proper noun, or a compound word), they are connected with hyphens.
Several of the old Hyur families in Gridania that consistently produce Padjals, such as the Senna, the Yan, and the Pesi, have family names with roots in Padjali linguistics. When a child is born to one of these families, they are given a "normal" Hyur name (i.e. Bryce Senna) until they are confirmed to be Padjal, at which point they are bestowed a new first name based on the ancient Padjali tongue, and accepted into Stillglade Fane for their indoctrination.
Elementals themselves—such as Oha-Sok—have names in Padjali, being closely related with the origin of the language.
In addition to the names of the Padjal themselves, the Padjali language is used in names of ancient and sacred locations around the Twelveswood. These locations tend to be tied directly to Gelmorran society.
- The Thousand Maws of Toto-Rak
- Tam-Tara Deepcroft
- Ak-Inik varlet -> servant of the Inik house
- Ak-Mena varlet -> servant of the Mena house
Other Padjali words
- Gee-gee: Dwarf catfish.
- Haukke: To speak without words.
- Monoa: To sit silently on the land and speak.
- Toto-Rak: Man-eating beast of Padjali folklore.
- Ak: Honorific prefix attached to a deceased member of a house.
- A-Towa-Cant, deceased legendary White Mage.
- Kan-E-Senna, current Elder Seedseer and leader of the Order of the Twin Adder.
- Raya-O-Senna, second Seedseer and White Mage.
- A-Ruhn-Senna, youngest of the Senna Padjal siblings, White mage and third Seedseer.
- E-Sumi-Yan, master of the Conjurers' Guild and eldest living Padjal.
- O-App-Pesi, Hearer in charge of dispelling the Dark Divinity, Odin
- E-Una-Kotor, conjurer in charge of the exploration into the Palace of the Dead.
- Gatty Deepwood, a Padjali child hidden from the Stillglade Fane.
- I-Ohok-Pota, the historic first Padjal.