Isis's government is ruled by a heriditary ruler. This system was brought about as a result of the Rushite rebellion and dreamers. Rusho, the hawk-derived prophet who started a new religion, only trusted a certain geneticist to run both human and animal-derived affairs. This geneticist became known by the title of Lifeshaper, and his descendents, the Sanchez family, are the heriditary rulers. One way they maintain their power is by controlling the series of dams that maintain the main water supply on Isis, via the main river. The heriditary rulers, the Lifeshapers, are strictly limited to worldwide matters, and local towns have a good deal of local autonomy. The ruler/Lifeshaper has the support of the Chirstian, Moslem, Rushinte and Hebrew communities, and is often invited to their major rites. Succession is not strictly linear, limited to the descendents of the first ruler, and is often chosen among those whose genotype is most like the ruler. The descendents became the highest "caste" on Isis, called the Shapers. Other humans and the animal derived peoples are often regarded as dangerous peasants, a la the fellahin vs. the arab. It is the Shapers who decide which among them becomes the Lifeshaper. Many of the Shaper class also rise to mayoral positions and other government.

Before the Lifeshaper system, the ruler was called the Chief Engineer, who was overthrown in the Rushinte rebellion.

Elaborate courtesies are extended to the Lifeshaper.

The three "castes" of Isis are the Shapers (the descendents of the original Lifeshaper Sanchez), the Untouched (humans unrelated to the Shapers), and the Shaped (the animal-derived hominids).

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