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Reference: Jumi Cores

Where Humans and Humanoids need their heart and brain to live (and most of them lungs or gills or some other breathing mechanism), Jumi need only their Cores, large, globular, solidified mana that bears striking resemblances in both color and crystalline structure to various gemstones.

The Cores are exceptionally delicate, and many describe them as flimsy and frail as tissue paper.  In the early days of Jumi history, Jumi were well known to become very ill when winds became too powerful.  Most fabrics can also irritate the Cores, and many can even outright scratch them; so far, the only natural fabric that consistently proves safe for Jumi is silk--otherwise, synthetics are created.  Even with safe clothing, though, if the the fabric touches the Core, there is a constant "pressure" applied to the Core that is a bit annoying, similar to a waterlogged ear for other Humanoids.  As a result, it is extremely rare for Jumi to cover their Cores at all, even in battle except with spell-based shields or the cover of their surroundings, and nobody important in Jumi history was ever known to always have his/her Core covered.

When Cores are scratched, although they can heal, it is a very slow and painful process.  Minor scratches to the Core are the equivalent of shattering bones to others.  Deep scratches are torture, provided the Jumi even survives.  It takes no effort to harm a Core.

In return for how delicate these are, Cores offer Jumi a plethora of abilities.  The foremost and most common is Jumi Recognition.  Cores can detect Jumi from a particular radius (that changes depending on the Jumi using it.  The Clarius is capable of locating Jumi the world over, and more powerful Jumi like Lady Blackpearl can extend over an entire continent if s/he is at the center) and tell the sender who the Jumi are, where they are, and provide a very detailed history that implants instantaneously, allowing the Jumi to act as if s/he has known the unknown Jumi his/her entire life.

Another feature of this is Life-Syncing.  It is well known in philosophy that nobody can truly understand another, that even getting into someone's head, one makes mistakes by simply having a different appearance, a different background, etc. than the other.  For Jumi, however, "true understanding" is not only possible, it's fairly common.  Two consenting Jumi can synchronize their Cores such that they understand each other perfectly--they "create" a "second history" for themselves, as if they had been the other, had looked like the other, had lived as the other had, and had made the same decisions with the same justifications the other had.  However, this must be consensual--even the Clarius cannot forcibly understand another Jumi.

Telepathy is also a feature of the Cores, and actually, the Jumi only developed a spoken language to communicate with nonJumi; they much prefer to speak through their Cores.

Cores also offer healing.  Even if a Jumi is decapitated, that head will simply rot and a new one will grow.  In fact, so long as 30% of the host body remains intact, the Jumi Core will completely regrow the remaining on its own.  The more damage the body sustains, however, the longer it takes to grow, and also the more powerful the Core, the less time it takes to grow.  Jumi can be perfectly separated from their hearts and brains and still function normally, since all the "humanoid" body is is a host home for the Core, which stores all the conscious, subconscious, unconscious, and biological/informational systems.

Because of this, Jumi can also shut down many "human" systems, such as feeling pain, feeling emotion, feeling specific emotions, breathing, and the body's need to go into shock when put under incredible duress, allowing a Jumi to finish any physical task even well after the body itself shuts down.  In fact, many Jumi opt not to feel emotions or breathe at all, particularly those who work in fields where breathing in toxins might irritate their Core (since the Core is still linked to their biological organs, even if the organs are unnecessary, and while the Core can never be destroyed or rotted from, say, overexposure to methane gases, it does produce a mild irritation that, because the Core itself is affected, the Jumi cannot simply turn off).

In battle, the Cores offer all the power for Jumi.  Once the power is used up, the Core becomes "temporarily inert," and the Jumi will black out instantly or become paralyzed, depending on how much power remains.  The Core recharges entirely on its own at a logarithmic rate, though the presence of pure mana can greatly accelerate this.  Thus the more power that needs to be recharged, the faster the charge, and the less power that needs to be recharged, the slower the charge.  The Core is a multitasker, so even completely drained of power, not only will it recharge, but it will actively work to heal all wounds and recover fatigue, which slows down the recharge rate only slightly.

The Core will also divert power from one area to another as it sees fit.  So if a Jumi needs to lift a heavy boulder, the Core will divert power from any speed-allowing muscles and put them into strength-allowing muscles.  It will do so instantaneously and naturally.  Similarly, it can diver power from emotional drives and put it into physical drives, and vice versa.  As a result, an ultimately powerful Jumi can arise, dead in emotion and conscious desires.

Cores are also the source of magic for all Jumi, and thus all Jumi (except two) can use it.  Only Elazul and Lady Blackpearl were ever known to be unable to use magic (though in Lady Blackpearl's case, nobody ever knew).

There is, however, an amazing flaw with Jumi in spite of all these "rule-breaking" bonuses (no matter how delicate the Cores are, Jumi are trained first and foremost to defend their Cores before slaying their enemy) that offer nonJumi advantages.

The first is a lack of potential.  A Jumi is only as powerful as his Core and cannot pull an "act of desperation" and draw power from the world around him.  And so there is no emotion or adrenaline rush.  Only Elazul and Lady Blackpearl have been shown otherwise, though the latter is questionable because of Lady Blackpearl's sheer power, and Elazul was only capable of it because of his trainer, Noah/Kaburi.

The second is tunnel-visioning.  Many battles against Jumi have been won by finding out their objectives and creating the illusion that the objective is much more ferocious than it really is.  The Jumi Cores divert all power to accomplishing this task, and so their higher tactical abilities are greatly hindered, allowing for easy ambushes and guerilla warfare to greatly even the odds.

The third and final is a lack of growth.  Jumi can only grow in power by completely depleting their Core's energy and then resting for a maximal recharge.  But only about 2-3% of an increase is gained with each full rest.  And if anything strenuous is done to a Jumi during an attempt at "resting growth," the Core only recharges to 100%, and they must be drained again.  So when military units see a group of resting Jumi, they attack, and some of the more brilliant tactics have involved "lazy defenses/assaults," forcing the Jumi to work harder than necessary until they fall back into a retreat, whereupon the "real" assault begins.  Only Lady Blackpearl is capable of growing in power without this need for a drain/recharge, and in fact her Core grows in power each and every day.

Finally, culturally, Cores are very sacred to Jumi for all the above reasons.  As such, Jumi do not allow others to touch their Cores, and they frequently won't even touch their own.  However, one will frequently find Jumi with small bits of others' Cores, typically fashioned into jewelry (especially rings and pendants--specially made chains allow for necklaces to drape over Cores without harming them, and Cores cannot harm or irritate other Cores, and in fact many Core-on-Core contacts feel "calming" to other Jumi).  This is an act of great friendship.  Jumi will, if the person is deserving enough, go through an hour or so of misery to offer this person a piece of his/her own Core.  Relatives and very close friends are the recipients of such gifts.  It is an act of honor, and it signifies a bond between the Jumi and the recipient that cannot be easily broken--a "life contract," to most people.

However, lovers will never get such a gift.  Instead, lovers get to touch each others' Cores with their host bodies.  This allowance is an act of the highest trust, faith, and devotion a Jumi can give another.  It is extremely private and sensual, something never done where others can see.  It is the Jumi's version of "marriage," specifically the sealing of vows part of a marriage.  When a Jumi allows another to touch his/her Core (always done by guiding the other person to it, letting their hand rest on it, then letting go to let them do as they please, never lowering it to some "you have my permission"), that Jumi is saying s/he will stand by the person no matter what, even if the act is not immediately returned (it rarely is--Jumi come into these rituals on their own terms and are never pressured by either the other or by their own society/friends/family/community).

And that is, of course, because the Core represents absolute vulnerability to any Jumi.  To touch it, knowing you could destroy it by simply pressing too hard once they have removed their hands from yours, speaks entirely for itself.

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