Though there is no documented record of the origins of the caste system, it is theorized that the roots of the caste system date back to the hunter/gathering period in the first and second millenium. Back then, it was informal, and done for the purposes of survival; the warriors of the tribe would go hunting, and those physically unable to hunt—most often the elders and very young—stayed behind. The elders, therefore, began taking care of the young while the warriors were away, hunting. During these times, the elders began to devote their energies to other things, such as studying, researching and inventing. Eventually, to aid their research, the elders realized that they needed raw materials—raw materials which had to be mined, something they were unable to do.
It is believed that it was at this time that the elders began employing the young to do the mining and a lot of the heavy work for them. When the young got to a certain age, they were often mentored by the elders and then sent off to the hunt with the warriors. Eventually, these age distinctions became more and more formal, and, eventually, the caste system evolved out of these traditional practices.
The Aarijkhi caste
This is the caste of the infantile and very young. Those that belong to this caste are too young to work or are unable to comprehend the things that are asked of them—as in the case of the intellectually deficient. For the children, this is the first year (often known as pre-adolescence) in which they spend most of their time with their mothers.
There is a practice among many black market slave traders of taking Aarijkhi children, and selling them as Dhaarjikhi slaves. This is, of course, completely immoral, and results in a full demotion to Dhaarjikhi, and immediately put to work as a slave.
The Dhaarjikhi caste
This is the caste in which the members are most often put to work and/or traded as slaves. In the early days of the Republic, the slave trade only involved local cities, but eventually branched out to the coasts of neighboring nations. Due to cultural differences, some Vartiiaian-born slaves never advance further than the Dhaarjikhi caste because they were traded into a foreign country with differing practices and views on slavery (including those of lifetime slavery). This is, of course, unfortunate, but it does continue to occur. Wingless are confined to this caste and unable to advance past it because of their inherent inferiority. However, all other Asperati in Vartiia have the potential to advance past this caste.
Once an akhti, a Sage from a local academy comes to the slave camps and selects up to ten Asperati to take with him to the academy and teach. This number, at first glance, may seem small, but many academies have sprung up in recent years, that up to one hundred Dhaarjikhis a year are promoted from this caste.
The Djaarijkhi caste
This is often a period of pause, as the young adult is attending secondary education upon graduating from the studies of the Sage, or seeking and maintaining work in any of the service industries. Most of Vartiia is of the Djaarijkhi caste, and this is most often the highest caste any Vartiiaian ever reaches. Upon reaching this caste, those individuals who seek to become clerics and priests enter their respective temples, churches, and monasteries, and do not emerge for many, many akhti, at which they have reached the Phaarjikhi caste.
The Khaarikhi caste
Adults who reach this caste have become influential members of society—become politicians, acclaimed writers, important inventors, etc. As a member of the Khaarikhi caste, it is automatically assumed that you haveproduced something of lasting value to Aspirati culture, and have, therefore, been elevated to this caste. Many foreign diplomats enter Vartiia as Khaarikhis.
The Phaarjikhi caste
Influential elders and priests of society. Khaarikhis that have been elected into the Council of Twelve become Phaarjikhis, and the Royal Family is Phaarjikhi by heritage. Many religions see this caste as being most divine—the closest to the Creatrix as can be reached by mortal Asperati.
There are many different locational variations of the standard rituals that celebrate caste advancement, but all pure Vartiiaians celebrate advancement in some form…