Tome Request – William
Tome Retrieved – ‘The history of the Black Shroud, from Amdapor to Gridania’‘ by Archon Niniri Niri
One cannot truly discuss the modern Black Shroud or its inhabitants without mention of the rulers of Gridania – the eternally mysterious padjal. In effect a subspecies of the midlander hyurs, the eternally-young individuals are created by the blessing of the elementals and certain bloodlines seem to be especially commonly blessed with padjal births, typically becoming nobility by virtue of this. Padjal have been a prominent feature of Eorzea during the Sixth and Seventh Astral Era.
The History of the Padjal – The origin of the Padjal is found in the subterranean city of Gelmorra, a mixed Hyuran-Elezen society formed by the refugees of the Sixth Umbral Calamity beneath the Black Shroud after their exile by the elementals of the wood in the year of 740. The Gelmorrans had always sought an end to their exile, devoting themselves to developing and mastering the art of conjury. Eventually, during the year 1076, a conjurer by the name of Jorin Lightheart successfully communed with the elementals and managed to negotiate a return to the surface for his people, who went on to found Gridania. For his achievement, the elementals blessed Jorin with a bright light, suffusing him. Less than a decade later, Jorin sired a son who was born with two bumps on his head which would develop into horns over the next few years. By the age of three this child, the first Padjal, was a potent prophet who had predicted many catastrophes and enabled Gridania to prepare for them.
By the age of twelve, this young luminary had ceased physical aging, and was declaring that he was a chosen mediator between the elementals and the people of the Shroud. He adopts the name I-Ohok-Pota, in reference to the sound of the aetheric communications of the elementals, and his family takes the surname Pota in response. In the year 1117 a second padjal, U-Kote-Num was born and taken by I-Ohok-Pota to be raised by him. With this birth and the recognition that the padjal were more than a one-off phenomenon, the racial name of padjal was coined. I-Ohok-Pota had increasingly assumed, albeit unofficially, a leadership role in the city-state but by 1123 this was made official with the granting of the title of Elder Seedseer. He would continue on in this capacity until the age of 273, when he passed away without warning while meditating. The Padjal would rule Gridania and act as key members of its conjury ranks from this point onwards until the modern day, with the current Elder Seedseer, Kan-E-Senna, rising to the ranks of Seedseer at the age of twelve in the year of 1561.
Kan-E-Senna – The current Elder Seedseer, Kan-E-Senna is a scion of the noble Senna house, a lineage noted for the sheer amount of padjal born into their ranks, and like many of the Senna her precognitive abilities were especially impressive. Upon becoming Elder Seedseer, Kan-E-Senna entered a seclusion in the Twelveswood until the oncoming Calamity forced her to return to Gridania, where she founded the city-state’s grand company, the Twin Adders. Through her holy lineage, skill with magic and prophecy, and willingness to lead the armies of Carteneau from the front alongside her fellow leaders, Kan-E-Senna has earned the respect of her subjects despite her youth, being only 28 years of age. The Elder Seedseer carries Claustrum, or the key, a staff created by a particularly powerful elemental known as the Great One, able to unlock all the wards of the elementals.
The Younger Senna Padjali – Raya-O-Senna and A-Ruhn-Senna are the younger siblings of the Elder Seedseer and comprise the other two seedseers of modern Gridania’s triad. Raya-O-Senna is a masterfully talented white mage of 21 years, more than making up for her lesser sensitivity to the whims of the elementals with an immense talent for destruction, protection and healing with her magics. The younger sister has become known as a fierce guardian of the Black Shroud, and is even served by two of the moogle beast tribe. Her younger brother, A-Ruhn-Senna is the greatest Hearer, a title assigned to those who commune with the elementals, to ever exist amongst the padjal. He is reclusive, preferring to hear the words of the Twelveswood than those of the mortals around him.
E-Sumi-Yan – By far the eldest extant padjal of Gridania, E-Sumi-Yan is generally estimated to be around 230 years old and it shows in his wisdom and intellect. Not only is E-Sumi-Yan the leader of the Conjurer’s Guild, he is also the figure most commonly tasked with raising the newborn padjal that emerge.
O-App-Pesi – One of the younger padjal raised by E-Sumi-Yan, O-App-Pesi is a Hearer of such skill that many believe that without the birth of the ever-prodigious Kan-E-Senna and her siblings, he would have likely been made the next Seedseer. O-App-Pesi is also a historian, specializing in research into the Allagan Empire.
A-Towa-Cant – A noted Hearer in his time, A-Towa-Cant was an unusual figure in the ranks of the padjal as he was an unconventional man who bucked tradition. He led a group of followers beyond the woods in order to cleanse the impurities of the wider world and became famed as a travelling healer and cleanser, eventually finding his end on the island of Vylbrand at the age of 198.
Other padjal exist beyond this despite their rarity, both in the past and in modern times, such as E-Una-Kotor, a guardian of Gelmorran ruins and the youngest of the current padjal, a young girl reportedly by the name of Gatty Orwell, raised outside of the typical padjali customs by a mother who hid her from the rulers of Gridania.