The Cetian civilization was the second Homo-sapiens race encountered by the Terran of Sol. Located on the planet Cestisus in the Pi Eridani system, a chance encounter with a Chinese survey ship led to First Contact.
Physically, Cetians resemble the people from Sol in most aspects. However, the vast majority of them carry the physical traits of Terran population groups located in the Near East and the eastern Mediterranean Sea regions of Earth.
Culturally, Cetians have a very rich and distinct lineage, tracing their history to what they call the Great Awakening. According to their history books, they are currently in their Second Age, known by Terran scholars as the Age of Expression.
The Cetians are divided into twenty-seven clan nations. Each of these nations is ruled by a Taros (King) or Tarsi (Queen) and are advised by the Jaila (Religious Council). The royal families can generally trace their roots to the origins of the Cetian civilization. Unlike ancient politics on Earth, the peoples of this world were not rooted in cycles of warfare based on power and greed. They practice a lifestyle called the Enum-we (We are one), which began at the clan level, and now practiced on the global level.
Modern-day Cestisus is represented by a government called the Canud, which is the central authority for politics and governance. On Earth, the title was translated into Consortium. The leader of the Canud is always a Taros/Tarsi that is chosen to rule for up to twenty years by planet-wide election. In this capacity, the ruler becomes the Grand Taros or Tarsi.
Although religion and the Jaila still plays an important role in Cetian society, the advent of the Canud also established a more unified vision of law, commerce, science, and security. The Authority is an institution that maintains law and order. The Cestus Orus is the central financial and commercial institution that dictates fiscal policy for Canud. The Sial is responsible for monitoring and resourcing science and research across the Consortium. The organization known as the Bastion maintains security and defense both on the world and off.
Prior to First Contact, the Cetian people seemed content in the belief that they had the luxury of time and space in which to expand outside of their own solar system. Their contact with the Chinese quickly changed that and after realizing that Sol was not that far away, initiated a fervor that has set their interstellar expansion goals into overdrive. Within five years of that historical event, the Cetians had colonized two neighboring star systems and have explored dozens more.
Junis is the primary religion of the Cetians. It is a monotheistic faith that is an extension of the Enum-we. Similar to Terran western nations, there is a separation between the religious and political institutions of the Consortium. Since the early days of the Canud, a level of trust was established between the two groups that Cetian religious and cultural beliefs would dictate governance without direct interference from religious leaders. Although it has not been a perfectly adhered system, the power and influence of the Grand Taros/Tarsi have maintained a degree of balancing to ensure the system works as it is meant to.
Although the Canud has instituted a centralized form of governance, the clan is still the most important Cetian self-identifier. Especially off-world, the clan identifier supersedes even the family identifier. During the First Age, the clan identification was more problematic and led to many grievances between them. The Second Age brought a level of enlightenment that slowly did away with the clan on clan hostilities which paved the groundwork for the creation of the Canud.
The clan structure established an extended family unit that is comprised of households with up to four generations living in the same unit. Some clans allow polygamy, which makes those families even larger. This is an older practice, which traces back to a strategy by making a clan larger, more powerful, in order to influence it rivals and neighbors. Modern Cetians don’t practice it as much, but it is still a relevant part of their society and can be practiced by either gender.
Each clan holds great swaths of land, called terrads. Some of the terrads have ample resources, and others do not. The Cestus Orus was created to ensure that all clans had access to needed resources. This was important in leveling the playing field economically and was a prerequisite for each clan to join the Canud.
Each terrad has a capital city, usually the most financially and militarily secure locations maintained by the clan. They are also metropolises that are equal to or better in amenities and technology when compared to their Terran counterparts on Earth. Other cities may be located in a terrad, but are comparably smaller and less populated. Almost eighty percent of the Cetian populous lives in urban environments.