So… I know I didn't mention this chapter, but that's okay, yes? It's the first forty laws (I don't know the "more obscure laws" so don't ask) as well as some cultural notes. The rules you haven't seen are bolded. ;)

Laws of the Hokshi

1. Humans are food, nothing more.

2. If you grow attached to a human, eat it.

3. Never begin a relationship with a human.

4. Do not tell humans the Creation Story.

5. Once you have bitten a human, you must kill it.

6. Do not bring a human to the Village.

7. Never kill another Hokshi.

8. Never ever smother a Light, yours or that of another Hokshi.

9. Never show a human your Light.

10. Never ever tell a human the truth.

11. The breaking of any of the aforementioned laws (laws one (1) through ten(10)) is punishable by death.

12. Always keep your Light with you.

13. Never take another's Light without consent of the owner.

14. Never give your Light to anyone but a Hokship.

15. When your Light fades, eat.

16. Always properly dispose of bodies.

17. Kill Zentqrin on sight.

18. Do not disrespect the gods.

19. If a human sees your Light, kill it.

20. Do not tell humans about the Village.

21. If it can be avoided, do not leave the Village for extended periods of time.

22. Do not travel anywhere except to hunt or with special permission.

23. Do not abort a pregnancy.

24. If someone else breaks one of the first ten (10) laws, you must turn them in.

25. Obey the Elders.

26. Do not reveal any Hokshi laws to a human, even if it does not reveal the true nature of the Hokshi.

27. If a human learns the truth, kill it. Immediately.

28. Human laws are not the laws of the Hokshi.

29. Do not use your qrin to help a human.

30. Never spend the night in a human's house without eating it.

31. Do not risk damaging the Hokshi alliance with the Kaern.

32. Never tell a human of Hokshi religion.

33. Lie to humans about anything related to the Hokshi.

34. New Hokship are appointed by current Hokship.

35. Once a Hokshi has been appointed Hokship, only by breaking one of the laws can the position of Hokship be revoked.

36. Do not tell humans of the Kaern, the Phasti or the Zentqrin.

37. Do not tell humans the history of the Hokshi.

38. Use any means necessary to seduce the humans, with the exclusion of breaking another law.

39. Do nothing that could risk exposing the Village and/or the Hokshi to the humans.

40. If sentenced to death, a Hokshi shall be hanged by the neck until dead.

And then rule 0 is, of course, Kasey and Taylor must live happily ever after.

Now for some cultural notes…

1. The Hokshi and Zentqrin hate each other on principle, because that is what the gods instructed them to do. There is likely more hatred between these two races than between any other two races (Kaern, humans/frinok, Phasti, Hokshi, Zentqrin).

2. Hokshi (the language) has changed very, very little over the centuries. As a result it is very functional in allowing Hokshi from around the world to communicate, as well as interacting with Zentqrin.

3. Mri (family) in Hokshi culture refers to a unit of a mother and her children. Male Hokshi will always have the same mri. Female Hokshi will gain a new mri when they bear their first child.

4. More on mri. Very few families have household rules; the laws of the Hokshi are all that is needed. They keep the society running smoothly and Hokshi mothers have seen no need to add to those.

5. The laws (along with their religion, Zentqrin-Kaern-Hokshi politics, and Zentqrin law) are drilled into Hokshi children from a very young age.

6. The Hokshi do not use money. They trade and work together for the greater good. If a Hokshi does not contribute to the society in some way, they can be punished for it. (Probably one of those "more obscure rules," yes?) This means that some of the Hokshi farm and work with humans to get what food and other resources they need. Other Hokshi cook, or sew, or whatever. Name it, someone probably does it. They have medics and morticians (often the same people). And then they have their Hokship and the Hokshir.

7. The Hokship and the Hokshir are expected to do nothing more than keep everything running smoothly. The Hokship are not elected. They are chosen by the other Hokship when a Hokship (or the Hokshir) dies (see law 34). The Hokshir is the Hokship who has been Hokship longest. Therefore, the Hokshir might not be the oldest Hokship, since there is not definite age someone becomes a Hokship. On a side note, the youngest Hokship in the Montana Village was made Hokship at the age of 33.

8. There are many Hokshi Villages around the world, and they do not all reside underground. They simply reside in places not easily accessed by humans. Whether this means halfway up a mountain guarded by trees and fortified by magic (Virginia Village) or by living in deserts (California Village), they avoid letting humans discover their strongholds, if you will.

9. Hokshi-human interaction is intriguing. The Hokshi do not hate humans. They view humans as a food source, much as humans see cattle. As a result, Hokshi and humans can interact without anyone dying, and it is not a particularly momentous occasion (as it is when Zentqrin and Hokshi interact and no one dies).

10. Now, the Lights. They are, simply, magical lights. They let the Hokshi do things humans can't. The Lights are the closest thing Hokshi can have to a lasting relationship that is romantic and sexual (they still represent the dead husband from the Creation story) and as a result, it is very painful to smother a Light (see chapters 32 and 33).

11. More on the Lights. Hokshi are born with their Lights, which are taken by the Hokship until the Hokshi's thirteenth birthday, on which the Light is returned in a ceremony called "the Lighting." Kasey mentions that this is likely the most important day of most Hokshi's lives; that is why David is so upset that Kasey won't be there for his (David is only twelve in the story).

12. Even more on Lights. They dim, as does the magic, if a Hokshi does not feed on humans. The Light will stay bright if the Hokshi loves a human, but the magic will still fade. But the magic is much like regular energy; if there is something that causes an adrenaline rush (such as Kasey's fight with Nem'ermere), more power will return very temporarily.

13. Now, Lights, feeding and sex. Fun stuff. They can eat without sex, but it is almost unheard of for a Hokshi to have sex without feeding. Make sense? As a result, almost every single Hokshi loses his or her virginity at the age of thirteen (when they get their Light and their qrin).

14. Now, the qrin. Hokshi have a very limited control over their magic if their Light is not on their person. But their control is far greater when they are touching the Light. Also, the qrin is taught in school. They start learning the qrin at different times, because they start learning it when they turn thirteen.

That is Hokshi culture. If there's anything else you'd like to know about, feel free to PM me about it.

A few very limited notes on the Zentqrin and Kaern cultures…

1. Zentqrin do not have their own language. They speak Hokshi.

2. Kaern do have their own language, one that (as far as I know) cannot be learned by anyone who is not Kaern.

3. The Zentqrin gets senses emotions and intentions, which must then be interpreted by the Zentqrin. The only thing the gets will give definitively is names. (Hence the reason that Phoenix knew Kasey's name before being introduced.) It can also help determine if someone is human, or Kaern, or whatever.

4. Kaern. Nem'ermere d'Assisi is not the norm. Don't get that impression, because she borders on crazy even by Kaern standards.

I think that's all I have on the Zentqrin and the Kaern for now. There will be more notes on the Zentqrin at the end of 'Abomination' (whenever we get there). If you want to know more about the Kaern read 'Child of Earth, Child of Fire' by Leminkain and talk to him.

And that, my friends, my lovely reviewers, all of you who have added this story or me to a favorites or an alert list, that is the last thing to be said for this story. Thank you all for reading. I hope it was worth the time.

Kiyoshi'sGirl64 and Kiyoshi