The concept of balance is important to both the tekk and the tikedi. The need for interdependence and cooperation is formally known to both sides as The Circle, and is maintained by a set of guidelines, mostly observed by the tekk and the Tarsin, but which effects everyone, whether they recognize it or not. It is unwritten and unnegotiated, its origin unknown, although it is believed to have been primarily founded by inference and trial and error over the course of several centuries. It is meant to keep interactions relatively peaceful between the tekk and the tikedi while supporting the survival and growth of both sides.
The Established Laws of the CircleEdit
- The tekk are allowed in tikedi territories, but may not enter a tikedi community or settlement without cause. The only acceptable cause is to take retribution on an individual who has damaged the balance. In such cases, no others may be harmed, unless they interfere with the tekk 's hunt.
- The Crater is the territory of the tekk , and any tikedi trespassing within its borders is potential prey for the tekk.
- Crater's Edge is tekk territory given for tikedi use, as are the deep western forests at the border of Tieke. This land is set aside for two purposes: to allow the tikedi to harvest the valuable herbs and minerals that the Crater offers, and to allow for a place where the tikedi can rightfully and regularly hunt the tekk for their bones, meat, and skin.
- In exchange for the previous, the tikedi give respect and understanding: they do not take more than they need, and they do not seek revenge when the tekk take tikedi lives.
Importance in Tekk CultureEdit
To the tekk, it forms a part of their religion and a means to strengthen their bloodlines and protect their home. They believe that all life forms serve a higher purpose, and that their own is to guide tikedi growth with the aim of perpetuating the tikedi's original peaceful and curious but respectful nature, and to encourage the tikedi's natural creative tendencies. They keep a watchful eye on tikedi activity, and readily cull those who become too aggressive, venture too far into tekk territory, or otherwise pose a threat to the greater plan. In return, they allow access to the fringes of their homeland and the resources (particularly medicinal plants) therein, which are often rare, difficult to cultivate outside of the Crater, and of unmatched value. The tekk also routinely sacrifice the weakest members of their species at Crater's Edge in southern Tarsin, which serves to both keep their bloodlines strong, and to keep the tikedi placated by giving them game to hunt and use for their own survival.
The balance has served for centuries, but the necessity of it has been shifting. While the Tarsin are still largely dependent on them, only some of the Priestesses of Teyka in Tieke continue to hunt and use the resources provided by the tekk, and only for ceremonial purposes. Their technological advancement is leading them to forsake and forget the old ways.
Dissent and Disagreement in Tikedi SocietyEdit
Many modern tikedi , especially Tarsin and Tieke, see the laws of the Circle as unfair and too heavily directed in the tekk's favor. For example, the tikedi are allowed to kill tekk that unlawfully enter their communities but often lack the capability to do so, whereas the tekk have no trouble dispatching trespassing tikedi in the Crater .
Shortly after his mother's death, Jahrd cites another common argument: Tikedi are only permitted to hunt at Crater's Edge and Tieke's western forests from those tekk that are offered to them, but the tekk choose their prey according to their own enigmatic criteria. Often the tikedi are left without any sense of closure.
With no means for proper communication with the tekk , and no way to physically challenge the substantially more powerful predators, they have so far had no choice but to go along with the established order of things.
The Seradin and The Breaking CircleEdit
The Seradin - figures of myth and legend in both tekk and Tieke societies - are blamed often by the tekk for damaging the balance of the Circle. The Tieke worship the Seradin and the gifts of technology that were left in Tieke hands following the Seradin's abrupt departure. The Tieke dependence on the tekk has begun to dwindle, and with it, their understanding of the need for the balance and for respect.