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The Duodecim (十二宗家 Jūni Sōke, Twelve Originators) are noble families descended from the first twelve normal humans who mastered Ars Magus and played a major role in the Dark War. Following the conflict they became known as the "Duodecim", similar to the Six Heroes, and were deeply involved in the founding of the Novus Orbis Librarium. Due to the power they wield in the NOL, they are sometimes called the Twelve Spears (矛十二士 Hokoji Yū Nishi).
The family's primary duties are to provide the NOL with talented members and to dedicate themselves to the Imperator. All members excel in Armagus aptitude and combat, and many fought in and survived the Ikaruga Civil War. Most heirs of the Duodecim join the Military Academy at a young age, usually out of junior high or high school. They have special privileges and responsibilities, for example they have precedence over other students in special classes and student council, and upon graduation are guaranteed at least First Lieutenant rank. They must perform well and serve as role models, volunteer, and take part in events, and if they behave badly they can be stripped of their Duodecim title. They also participate in family meetings. Every family governs at least one of the Hierarchical Cities, and every month all twelve family leaders meet in one of these cities to discuss decisions.
The families in order are:
- The Mutsuki family (ムツキ家 Mutsuki Ke)
- The Kisaragi family (キサラギ家 Kisaragi Ke)
- The Yayoi family (ヤヨイ家 Yayoi Ke)
- The Uzuki family (ウヅキ家 Uzuki Ke)
- The Satsuki family (サツキ家 Satsuki Ke)
- The Minazuki family (ミナヅキ家 Minazuki Ke)
- The Fuzuki family (フヅキ家 Fuzuki Ke)
- The Hazuki family (ハヅキ家 Hazuki Ke)
- The Nagatsuki family (ナガツキ家 Nagatsuki Ke)
- The Kannazuki family (カンナヅキ家 Kannazuki Ke)
- The Shimotsuki family (シモツキ家 Shimotsuki Ke)
- The Gokuzuki family (ゴクヅキ家 Gokuzuki Ke)
Although they are called families, not all members of all Duodecim families are related by blood. Some families place more emphasis on blood relation than others. Each family has their own rules and traditions. Generally, the families are comprised of high ranking elites and nobles, so each has a variety of strengths and armagus.
The Mutsuki family is known as the most powerful family of the Duodecim. However, their relationship with the NOL has worsened, since they were left in charge of the ruins of the 5th Hierarchical City of Ibukido and started to mouth off to the NOL who like the Vermillion family, began to question their fascist reign.
The Kisaragi family does not care about bloodline or status at all. They gather talented children from all over the world give them combat training and an education. They do not care whether the child is an orphan or a noble, making it more of a social hierarchy. As a result, the family has a number of extremely influential leaders and soldiers. The family had been nobles in Magister's City: Ishana prior to being members of the Duodecim.
The Yayoi family is the polar opposite of the Kisaragi family, placing utmost importance on their bloodline. As a result, they are close-knit, stable, and strong. However, their strict rules regarding parentage is causing the family to get smaller with each generation, and some believe the family will fall as a result. The NOL has warned them to change their policies, but Tsubaki's father, the head of the family, will not listen.
Amongst the Duodecim, the Kisaragi and Yayoi families stand out as extremists and aren't well thought of; the Kisaragi are thought to be borderline mercenaries, and the Yayoi are thought to be bloodline-obsessed traditionalists. Even so, the Kisaragi and Yayoi families get along well with each other, mostly because of their apathetic attitude towards the common folk.
Important decisions are made in family meetings, and then relayed to the Imperator by the family heads. The twelve Duodecim family heads are the only people allowed to meet the Imperator.
Known members of the Duodecim
Duodecim [duˈo.de.kim] is a Latin word that means "twelve". Duo translates to two (2) and decem translates to ten (10) in Latin. Combined, they equal 12. Latin numbers after 10 are written backwards, which explains why duo is first.
Every family is named after one of the traditional names of the twelve Japanese months, with the exceptions of the Fuzuki family and the Gokutsuki family.