The Leddies (pron. Vunizh: LED-dyeh; international: LED-dee) are a human Nation in the Continuation universe. They are known for being pluralistic and for exploration of gender. They principally inhabit the galaxy of Diatonan with an early presence in Sylmor. Their language is Vunizh.
The Leddies were one of the Ra-Ledis peoples on Daughter. There is little specific information about their early cultural affiliations. One theory holds that the Leddies represented the major cultural heritage of Ra-Ledis colonists from Earth with the Ránlans and Kiris developing specialized subcultures based on specific areas of socioeconomic expertise. During this era, the Leddies' Vunizh letters became the standard writing system.
The Terraforming EraEdit
The Leddies used Kiri-Ránlan terraforming technology to terraform 41 planets in Diatonan and 4 in Sylmor (the only Nation to terraform more planets is the Samas.) The Leddies referred to their sphere of cultural influence as Leddra. Later, they developed an interplanetary government called the Confederation of Leddie Planets, but the term "Leddra" remained in common use. Their culture was always marked by loose pluralistic alliance with a strong emphasis on personal freedom.
Circa 1420 BE, the Leddies also had some conflicts with the Samas over Samas incursions into their space. This became known as the Leddie-Sama War (ended 1423 BE), though military action in the conflict was fairly rare.
The Cession of SylmorEdit
In the centuries after the Ash'torians claimed the Ránlan worlds in Sylmor (c. 1300 BE), the Leddies ceded their 4 Sylmor planets to the growing Ash'torian empire and consolidated their power in Diatonan. Their Nation remained comparatively stable for about 3000 years.
Conflict with Ash'torEdit
In the centuries after the War's End, the Leddies colonized some of the devastated Sama worlds in Selbûn. Circca 2000 AE, this brought them into armed conflict with Ash'tor, intent on expanding its sphere of influence to these worlds. This conflict ended with Ash'torian victory when Ash'torian general Naeq Sha'blonoq caused the collapse of a Tide, effectively blocking Leddie ships from efficiently reaching Selbûn worlds.
Leddra was an early and important participant in the development of jae technology for Jana Walking. They formed the third formal Jana program, after Perdita and Ash'tor, overseen by First Walker Laran West-of-Now. Leddra was the first Nation to ally with the Pey as a police force in Jana. In the later Jana Era, Leddra suffered considerable socioeconomic trouble and fragmentation. In 618 J, the Confederation formally dissolved and became the Independent Leddie States.
Though Leddies are culturally diverse, their physical appearance is somewhat stereotyped: they tend to have light-orange to dark-red hair and very pale to mid-brown skin. They tend to be thin. There are, of course, many exceptions, partcularly since Leddies fairly readily absorb immigrant populations. Since the dominant Leddie phenotype is rare in other Nations, it has been speculated that it was a product of genetic engineering in pre-terraforming times. Their Earth-based ancestry seems predominantly Eurasian.
Leddies are very socially diverse and readily absorb practices from other peoples. However, some overarching trends are apparent. They have a higher instance of polygamous unions than other Nations and a higher instance surgical sex changes. They tend to be gender egalitarian, and homosexual and heterosexual unions are equally accepted.
Gender and Sex ExplorationEdit
More than other Nations, Leddies show an interest in exploring the confines and possibilities of anatomical sex and gender roles. Their most common religions include gender-switching deities and their stories often feature characters without explicit gender. However, Leddies traditionally regard sex as a switchable binary rather than a continuum. Their language strongly encodes either masculine or feminine names, and surnames are traditionally passed through the same-sex line. Names may be changed at will, however, and numerous Leddies may play with the gendering of their names in their adulthood. For example, a man may take his mother's surname. Leddie society expresses a tension between androgyny/gender flexibility and sex-gender binaries.
Law and GovernmentEdit
Leddie government traditionally functions as a democratic republic with citizen participation based on a combination of direct voting and delegating representatives by caucus. Their schooling includes rigorous civic training. Their legal philosophy prioritizes freedom of expression: under this philosophy, laws that limit freedom should do so in the name of preserving a greater freedom. For example, murder is illegal to give people greater freedom and security in their daily movements. They rarely employ a death penalty.
Leddies prize religious freedom but practice two religions which are culturally dominant.
Ag-Diat (Vunizh: "worship of reason")Edit
Ag-Diat emphasizes the virtues of questioning, evolving, relearning, and exploring. It has four gods, which are widely understood to be mythic/metaphorical, at least in part. They are called the two "Good Gods" and two "Evil Gods," though all are understood to be essential for the balanced functioning of the world. The Good Gods are the Silent God (a mysterious, very powerful figure) and Diatal, a god of calm and reason. The Evil Gods are Presarro and Usuzh, who lay obstacles to challenge humanity. Presarro is a tempter. Usuzh is a trickster figure who often changes sex. These gods are often considered aspects of each other and/or of the human psyche.
"The Stander's Question"Edit
"The Stander's Question" is a short text from the Ag-Diat tradition that depicts a Stander and a Walker of undisclosed gender who meet and have a conversation. The Walker is lighthearted, the Stander serious. The Stander claims to have a very important question that the Walker must convey to a common acquaintance, but it is impossible for the Stander to articulate it. The text is widely regarded as absurd, and its core question seems to be whether it has meaning or whether meaning matters.
Ag-Ork is a younger religion that grew out of Ag-Diat, based on the teachings of the historical figure, Orkrysal (earlier Orkryshtal). He was a philosopher who, during the Leddie-Sama War, preached peace through calmness, the reunciation of conflict, and love of humanity. He is sometimes called the Fifth God and depicted a continuing spiritual presence. One of the most famous sects of Ag-Ork is Kovam, the Mind-Taxing school for hypertelepaths.
A version of "The Stander's Question" by Arwen Spicer on An Archive of Our Own.