ROUND THREE: CULTURES.   Posted by The GM.Group: 0
The GM
 GM, 162 posts
Sun 10 Jul 2022
at 01:49
The Astani (non-human culture):

     The Mahalzhan System has no natural way to support life, but that does not mean that life has not found a way. That way is the Astani. They evolved in and upon the asteroid belts in the system on the rocks of ice and feed upon the solar radiation emitted by the twin suns of the system. In appearance, they resemble rays. Flat bodies, long tails with flat circles on the end, and an array of compound eyes on the front. They are generally a green or aqua color due to the structures in their cells which process the solar radiation into sugars. The astani are intelligent despite their appearance. They form small family clans that move among the asteroids and posses great curiosity. Their levels of technology and advanced culture are still in primitive states though. They have a cult-like reverence of the larger yellow sun and rudimentary funeral rites to mourn lost family. Since they are around the only form of life in the system, they have no fight or flight type of reflex and are fairly innocent of threats or potential allies.

Chatters (uplifted post-animal culture):

Chatters (a shortening//corruption of "chatterers") is the name self-given by the spacefaring nomad wandering uplifted magpies from the Longo Drum. Once successfully uplifted, they felt confined, caged. At the first opportunity, they all left to spread throughout known space.

Chatters average about five feet in height, with some barely over four feet and a few rare individuals standing up straight at a full possible height of five-foot-six or five-foot-seven.

Height is not a valued trait among Chatters, though, because being larger makes flight harder. Chatters can fly, especially the lower the gravity. (Chatters value high-quality spacesuits-- they don't like feeling grounded.) Flight takes energy and can be tiring in anything but short durations, though-- no Chatter would attempt to fly a mile without landing and resting on the way, and probably not a half-mile, either.

Chatters value cunning as a personal virtue above all else. They love to share stories about cunning individuals, especially other Chatters.

As a group, they value their own community, wide-spread as it is. A Chatter will push themselves hard if what they are trying to achieve will somehow benefit all Chatters.

All Chatters have some mild psi talent. In most, this manifests merely as a mild empathy talent-- picking up on surface emotions nearby-- but some have stronger abilities.

(Chatters, as a group, and most often individually, are generally chaotic good with neutral good tendencies.)

Cornerstone (human culture):

In the far reaches of the empty void of space, located somewhere on the Mahalzhan System. Hidden beneath the asteroid belts, there lies a single, giant tower drifting across the stars, seemingly unaffected by the debris. This is Cornerstone, a space station with the biggest human population to date, 30 trillion. The tower was built as an ambitious marketing plot by the mega-corporations of today to make their first ever station to house a twelfth of a Galaxy's entire human population. Not only that but they planned on Mahalzhan System to be their first ever successful settlement. To the corporation's distress, none of the planetoids were very inhospitable. So they activated Project Sleeping Beauty, where the ship would hide in an asteroid belt to avoid radiation poisoning (they were highly confident it's defenses would protect the station) and put the colonists to stasis. They waited a few hundred years and the planetoid's radiation was worse. Not only that, but the corporation that made the station had considered it as a lost cause and deemed the station's inhabitants as unretrievable.

This was not Cornerstones end though, turns out this asteroid belt was still a viable safe zone from the radioactive cloud. And it was also profitable, which the colonists immediately found out as they explored the belt. Now Cornerstone today has been a thriving community that has a mining operation on the asteroid belt. The teenagers, at least the adrenaline junkie kind, made a specific sport for their community. It was called Asteroid Riding, a dangerous sport where riders ride on a small asteroid and use their jet packs or boots to head toward an asteroid field. Where they perform high stake stunts for the obtainment of Fame and another hit of adrenaline.

Harvest's Diner (human culture):

Somewhere orbiting around the planet called Harvest, there lies Harvest's Diner. Don't let the name fool you, it's not a place where you relax and have delicious food provided by the resources of the crop planet itself. No, it's a colony ship of unknown designation, meaning that it's a rogue ship. Added to the mystery of this unknown human colony ship is the fact that its inhabitants aren't human, but alien creatures.

These entities are not known to any organizations or factions across the universe, however if a Farmer from Harvest would see these things, they would recognize them instantly as Scavs. These creatures are vermin that have been eating the planet's bountiful crops since humans got here. They resemble that of otters but with mole-like paws. They tend to vary between small or large sizes. And they mostly were wild beasts, eating a poor farmer's crops because it's in their nature. But these entities aren't like their planet-based cousins, they stand upright, wearing armor and wielding several advanced weaponry that not a lot of primitive races would know how to use. These things were highly intelligent.

They orbit around the planet, hidden by a very advanced stealth field of their own design, raiding any delivery cargo and stealing any produce they find, making sure their identities remain unnoticed (hazmat suits that hide the face and skin greatly help their identities from being recorded). These strange and intelligent beings are very passive creatures actually. They aren't the violent sort, only wishing to scavenge the Galaxy for a simple meal here or their. These space pirates originally came from some corporation's laboratory and have managed to free themselves, they've been scouring around the Galaxy for food and they just happen to find their homeworld. Must be some sort of instinct of theirs. Either way, they're scared of humans and prefer stealing and running tactics. Sometimes, they rescue their animal cousins from poachers and let them join in on their crew.

Home Culture (post-human culture):

In the solar system from which Mankind originated on Old Earth, there have been two population crashes since the Diaspora began, first in the 22nd Century CE, when the generation ships were launched then again in the 27th Century with the launch of colony ships with FTL drives.  In the thousand years since then the Transhumans of the home system have taken strange turns both physically and mentally.

It is unlikely that pure strain humans would recognise the Darklings of Mercury's Ocean Caves, the Swimmers of Europa, or even the Telempaths of Earth as human.  Even the Martian desert dwellers or Venusian airship citizens, while they still look human, have changed radically inside.

In the Home System however, multiculturalism abounds and the strange creatures Mankind has become, regard each other equally, no matter how they have changed.

Kakapoo (diverse culture):

The planet Kakapoo remains the only world settled from the Longo Drum. It is a water world with a somewhat advanced post neolithic culture consisting of dark-skinned humans, Uplifted octopodes and magpies.

When Longo Drum passed through the Lilith system, some bright spark thought it would be a good idea to swap a Vein for a picture which somehow had calming properties.

When the inevitable happened a group found themselves on the far distant planet now called Kakapoo. Here the three species were forced to work together to create a world of floating, woven islands adrift in the shallow seas. A world with no metallurgy but with all sorts of other strange and advanced technologies found nowhere else in the universe.

The inhabitants of Kakapoo have yet to develop interstellar travel but they have colonized all four of the local star's terrestrial planets and the smallest of the three gas giants.

The Omelasians of Harvest (human culture):

     While most of Harvest is commercial farming, that life just isn't for some. Structured hours, set schedules, and production quotas make for a boring life. Occasionally, some walk away. They find their ways to the coasts and look for the Omelasians who live there on rafts and live off the ocean life, scavs, and small garden plots. They are pacifists and welcoming of new arrivals. They live in small villages all along the coasts of the main continent.

The United (alien culture):

The United are fungal beings from Lilith who travel known space in search of knowledge and wisdom. They are especially interested in studying other cultures.

The United can control their height, and try to match what seems average for those around them (so when among humans, they're usually between 5-foot-7 and 6 foot in height). They are bulky compared to human standard average, usually weighing about 300 pounds. The United move slowly compared to humans, with a maximum unassisted walking speed of about 5 miles an hour (they don't really run).

Their eyesight is barely human average, their hearing is slightly better than most humans, and their sense of smell is quite good.

The United value perseverance as a personal virtue above all else. They like to speak with pride and admiration about individuals (or communities) who don't give up in spite of adversity.

The United are an odd mix of group mind and individuals. They are all psychically linked-- to something. Although each seems to be an individual, they can, at will, access the total knowledge of everything that all other United past and present have gathered, and can mentally search it like an online encyclopedia. ("But also not the same as that," say The United, but they find it challenging to put into words how it is different.)

The United drink liquids, but do not need to eat very much//very often. They are immune to all poisons that aren't fungicidal.

When threatened, The United can emit a light cloud of spores that can be mildly calming, or violently hallucinogenic, or which can cause a violent allergic reaction in most species, according to whatever the United deem appropriate at the time. This is something they very seldom do, however, because it's hard to make a United feel threatened-- they feel very little pain and can repair their wounds fairly quickly and easily just by drinking (or absorbing) fresh water. (There are also legal ramifications for them releasing spores in public places, sometimes with heavy penalties if subsequent investigation suggest there was not a very good reason for them doing so.)

(The United, as a group, and most often individually, are generally lawful good.)

This message was last edited by the GM at 20:48, Thu 14 July.