70% Aallae: The Aallae are a sentient species native to the planet of Kennars, making their home in the extensive cave systems below the surface of the planet. They possess six limbs, the front pair of limbs being used for manipulation while the two hind pairs are used for locomotion. The Aallae stand at about 1.50 meters tall when walking on all four of their legs, with a stocky build to minimize their surface to protect against the cold of the planet. They are adapted to live in the cold, with a thick layer of subcutaneous fat as well as a coat of fur that is colored white or gray. They have no eyes owing to the fact that they have evolved to live in caves like the rest of life on Kennars. Instead, the Aallae possess a highly developed sense of hearing, a highly developed sense of smell as well as echolocation. They communicate using a complex system of clicks, in addition to chemical communication through pheromones. The Aallae are, on average, about as intelligent as a human, and were roughly in the technological equivalent of the Information Age when humans arrived on Kennars. A subspecies of the Aallae that live closer to the surface have developed rudimentary eyes and even thicker fur, with their fur also becoming whiter to match the color of the snow.
Planet Name and Description: Kennars, the home planet of the League, is a Mars-sized planet orbiting far away from the star of Qesa, an orange dwarf star. It shares the Qesean system with the gas giants of Sitoria and Izeon, but is the only planet considered habitable due to its solid surface and non-crushing atmosphere. Due to the distance Kennars orbits from its star, the average temperature is tens of degrees Celsius below zero, and the entire surface is covered in vast sheets of ice and snow. As one can imagine, this makes it almost impossible for vegetation to grow and difficult for humans to settle. The only area of the planet where surface flora and fauna can be found is a thin band around the equator that receives the most light from Qesa and therefore experiences the highest temperatures on Kennars, but even here it is not warm enough for liquid water.
Kennars is highly volcanically active, with many volcanoes and hydrothermal vents that provide an energy source for human and Aallae settlements alike. Volcanism and tectonic activity over millions of years have resulted in an intricate network of caves that spans the entirety of Kennars, connecting distant parts of the planet and providing shelter for both human and native Kennarsian life.
The caves of Kennars host a highly developed and diverse biosphere, the energy source of which is provided by Kennars’ many volcanoes. Thermotrophic and chemotrophic bacteria feed off the heat and inorganic molecules coming from underground hydrothermal vents, storing them as chemical energy. These bacteria are the primary producers on Kennars, and form the base of the food chain.
History: When humanity first arrived in the Qesa system, they found Kennars as it is today, a planet covered in ice, almost certainly unsuitable for colonization. During the initial exploration of the planet it was found to be already inhabited by an intelligent alien species that the ship’s crew named the ‘Aallae’, who lived in the caves deep below the surface of the planet. The colony ship sat in orbit for a long time, the colonists unwilling to settle on the harsh surface of Kennars, but also unwilling to attack and drive the Aallae out of their caverns. However, the colony ship was not designed to last forever, and as more and more components began to break down and maintenance costs increased exponentially, it became clear something had to be done. Unfortunately for the humans aboard the ship, the Gateway that had brought them to Qesa was closed, and they were left with no other option than to settle onto Kennars. The colony ship landed on the planet, immediately being reassembled into the first arcology, its reactor transformed into the beating heart of human civilization of Kennars.
The settlement of Kennars proved more difficult than anticipated, however. Despite landing in the warmer equatorial zone, many colonists died as a result of hypothermia and frostbite. The insulation of the colony ship, suitable for reducing heat loss from radiation, did not prove adequate to protect against the harsh cold of Kennars. Before the first arcology was completed a quarter of the population had already perished. Additionally, many of the new arrivals did not appreciate having to live in the arcology, unsure whether they would see tomorrow.They beseeched the Aallae for help, to let them move into the aliens’ caves and avoid the frozen surface. The Aallae, however, were reluctant. They were wary of the newcomers, and the caves were already becoming overpopulated due to a recent population boom. Most of the Kennarsian colonists were furious that the Aallae had declined their request for help. Anti-alien sentiments soared and riots broke out, forcing the colonial government to crack down before the arcology would be overwhelmed. A human-supremacist group, calling themselves the ‘Children of Earth’, used the discontent of the population as well as the weakening government authority to stage a coup. Taking control of the arcology, they sent out expeditions to found a number of new colonies and prepare for war.
The Aallae Wars were a series of conflicts between the various nations of the Aallae, and a number of human settlements under the banner of the Children of Earth. The human colonists were technologically far more advanced than the Aallae, but did not know the planet as well as the aliens did and were far more vulnerable, being situated on the surface. The conflicts were brutal, consisting mostly of tunnel fighting as the colonists attempted to invade the Aallae caves. Human patrols would disappear in the night, picked off one by one by the Aallae, while the Children of Earth would flood Aallae caves with neurotoxic gasses, killing anything inside. The war came to a head when a human strike team managed to infiltrate one of the largest cave-cities of the Aallae and detonate a nuclear weapon, killing tens of thousands while sacrificing themselves. In response, the Aallae used ice-boring machines to drill into two human arcologies, including the human capital, and detonate their reactors, wiping out a good chunk of the human colonists and beheading their leadership in one fell swoop.
After that, the war was over. In the chaos that followed, faraway settlements broke off, declaring their independence. Minor skirmishes were fought between human arcologies, but these soon stopped as many realized that fighting on Kennars was too wasteful. Rather than taking the Aallae caves or fighting one another for scraps, the Kennarsians focused their energy towards improving their own fortunes. New materials were invented, both to resist against the cold and to build stronger structures. The Kennarsians learned to make robots to do the most dangerous work in the icy wasteland. New power sources allowed for the generation of more heat, boosting food supplies and quality of life. The largest arcologies signed treaties of mutual assistance, and soon even the Aallae opened up again and started trading with humanity. As the Kennarsians finally overcame the planet’s challenges, the Kennarsian League was born.
Culture and Society: Given the environment on Kennars, humanity is relegated to living in enormous artificial complexes powered by geothermal or fusion energy. These surface arcologies are self-sufficient and are capable of supporting tens of thousands of human inhabitants. It is here where the Kennarsians spend almost the entirety of their lives, living, working and having fun. The greatest of the arcologies are the dome-cities. These, as the name suggest, are cities built under an enormous dome that allow its inhabitants to see the sky without having to go outside into the cold wilderness.
Of course, the arcologies, or Arcos as they are called colloquially, need a lot of maintenance to run properly. Food needs to be made, the temperature must be maintained and breaches must be carefully searched for and repaired. Every Kennarsian is assigned a job based on their qualities and abilities, and they are expected to spare no effort when doing their job, for others depend on them. This has led to close-knit communities where people are willing to help one another and be selfless for the good of the arcology. However, there is also a darker side, as there is a lot of social pressure to perform one’s task well, and those who are unable to meet the community’s demands are ostracized. The exception to this rule are those who are too old or too sick to fulfill their duties. Instead, the ill are treated freely, and the old are allowed to retire into positions that require no manual labor. At high latitude, in the coldest areas of the planet, it is a struggle to even do the most basic tasks, and so the most desperate measures are taken for the survival of arcologies. Here, people are treated as an expendable resource, like the food they eat or the hydrogen in their reactors. Unproductive people are exiled into the wilderness so that they are not a burden on the rest of their community, and those who actively betray their habitat are outright executed.
The Aallae, on the other hand, make their home in the caves of Kennars. Here they farm fungus-like organisms that feed off the microbial mats that grow near the underground hot springs. Aallae cave-cities are adapted to their unique biology, with little to no visual cues, instead most of the information is provided in the form of smell or sound. The Aallae are a tribal people, having large kinship groups, each with their own customs and traditions. The tribes combine into larger nations, which are a political unit comparable to the modern nation-state. There is some migration between Aallae cave-cities and human arcologies, but migration and integration is more difficult due to the fact that the Aallae are blind.
Governance and Politics: The Kennarsian League is a confederation consisting of and founded by the various human arcologies, habitats and Aallae nations and tribes on Kennars. Its primary purpose is to organize mutual assistance, resolve disputes between members and pool resources. The League is run by the League Council, an assembly of representatives from the various polities in the League. The Council decides the future direction of the League, allocates resources and serves as a mediator for disputes between the League’s members. Agreements between the League’s members can only take effect when implemented by those same members, as there is no central police force or army to enforce them.
Given the large amount of human settlements on the planet, there is inevitably some variety in how each is run. In general, however, every arcology is led by an Archon, an elected position with dictatorial power. They, and an appointed council of advisors, make every important decision for the settlement, from the amount of food that is to be produced to the daily allotment of reactor heat. The Archon is essentially just another job in the settlement, and has no special privileges or rights compared to the other inhabitants.
Because Aallae societies have existed on Kennars for millenia, there are many different kinds of government in the Aallae nations.
Technology Overview: Materials science: The Kennarsians have invented a number of advanced materials to help them live on the surface of Kennars. One of these materials is alpha-beta pykrete, an advanced form of pykrete that is transparent. It is made out of ice and fibers from plant waste, making it a tough material that can be made using materials that are locally available. Alpha-beta pykrete (also known as AB-Pykrete), is used on the outer layer of the dome-cities, combined with a middle insulating layer and a structural inner layer. Another important material is synth-wool, an advanced textile that is even warmer than regular wool while also having the benefit of being far lighter. This allows the Kennarsians to go outside into the icy wasteland while maintaining their dexterity, a great boon for soldiers and citizens alike.
Robotics: The Kennarsians have also created robots that aid them in doing many of the tasks an ordinary human would find difficult in the harsh environment of Kennars. These robots do much of the outside labor, like repairing the outside walls of the arcology, harvesting ice to use as fuel for arcology fusion reactors, and many other kinds of work.
Medical science: A number of important advances in medical science have greatly contributed to the survival of the Kennarsian people. The first of these is the use of advanced bionic limbs to replace limbs lost to frostbite and amputation. This allows Kennarsians who have had accidents or have been exposed to the cold for too long to still live full lives and be productive to the community. Advanced methods to treat extreme hypothermia in the field have also been invented. Finally, the Kennarsians have also developed a way to artificially induce a state of suspended animation that helps those who have been caught in dire situations survive the harsh environment for far longer than they would normally.
There are of course also other miscellaneous technologies, like sensor systems that can penetrate the worst snow storms, the use of ice-boring machines to travel around and other inventions.
Military Overview: Every human arcology and Aallae cave city maintains a small military force, primarily tasked with disaster relief, search-and-rescue operations and humanitarian aid. Kennarsian soldiers see little to no combat, except for rare encounters with wild animals or human exiles that have banded together.
The League’s soldiers are equipped with laser-based weaponry, with little to no moving parts in order to avoid jamming. They are also equipped with gear suited for the cold wilderness, and Kennarsian vehicles are properly equipped to deal with the deep snow. Some arcologies even use flying vehicles and VTOL aircraft to transport personnel. The Kennarsian military prefers to use a mobile form of warfare emphasizing stealth, the use of small units and hit-and-run tactics, disappearing before the enemy even knows they were there.
As the League has almost no presence in the wider Qesean system, it has no military space fleet. The only space-based military assets consist of an impressive satellite array around Kennars used for gathering intelligence, monitoring the weather and keeping watch.
Ashevelen was a scientist on a colony spaceship, Traversing the galaxy in search of a new home. Through a wormhole they traveled, a device called Gateway, But soon after its use, it ceased to function, and they were alone.
The planet they arrived on was inhospitable at best, With a radioactive atmosphere and toxic plants. Carnivorous animals roamed the land, a deadly test, For the humans to survive here, they would need a chance.
But Ashevelen was not deterred, she had a plan, To alter the human DNA, to make them fit for this land. And so, The Chosen were born, immune to sickness, able to withstand The harsh conditions of this planet, and to live for centuries at a time.
The Chosen worshiped Ashevelen as a living god, And she built a utopian society, a paradise for them. But secretly, she hated the worship and the adoration, For she knew that if the truth were known, it would cause devastation.
For in the early days of her experiments, not all went well, For every one Chosen, ten Rejected were created, a living hell. Deformed and twisted, some died of tumors, some were beasts, But most retained their minds, and still worshiped Ashevelen, hoping for a cure at least.
Three hundred years have passed, and Ashevelen still hides her true nature, Lest the worship turn to anger, and a civil war ensue. But she knows that one day, the truth will come out, And she must face the consequences of what she has done.
So I had a couple of questions was going to ask on discord but it seems like thats not an option. 1.What was the level of technological advancement and exploitation of the solar system at the time of the exodus? 2. while we cannot use STL travel to reach other colonies, can we have some presence, perhaps outposts, on starsystems closer to our system? like, less than 10 LY away. this would obviously be a challenge for the civilization to manage, but in a dense starcluster might be semi-manageable.
EDIT: oooops noticed this is full, sorry about that.
So I had a couple of questions was going to ask on discord but it seems like thats not an option. 1.What was the level of technological advancement and exploitation of the solar system at the time of the exodus? 2. while we cannot use STL travel to reach other colonies, can we have some presence, perhaps outposts, on starsystems closer to our system? like, less than 10 LY away. this would obviously be a challenge for the civilization to manage, but in a dense starcluster might be semi-manageable.
EDIT: oooops noticed this is full, sorry about that.
1: General tech level in earth isn't specified closely but cybernetics, genetic engineering, obviously the construction of the arks and gateways, etc was possible.
2: Consider the difficulty of actually sending people to those other locations. If you don't want the trip to take thousands of years, you're sending them at some significant fraction of c. I actually have a nation in the works that did this for one colony. The difference is they're not ferrying materials around. The main reason for colonizing besides the ideal of spreading humanity further to the stars is, of course, resources. The cost of sending materials back and forth at any appreciable fraction of c would completely negate the resources you'd receive. This is of course not including the extra resources required to accelerate and decelerate a larger payload due to its greater momentum.
All this is to say, yes* *you aren't gonna be taking a shuttle to alpha centauri and back on a routine basis and your communications with them are likely on a big delay.
Hello everyone! We've had a long and bumpy road to get here, but I would like to thank our most dedicated players who have stuck by The Next Generation in the past 10 months, and I'd like to announce that applications are OPEN again! We're reaching the end of a long storyline and some fresh blood would fit in wonderfully.
May the eye of the storms guide all of us forever, in few things or many, small things or vast; blessed be the cycle of heaven and cursed be the weight of the void
GOVERNMENT FORM: Human-alien tribal confederation
Human (Arjuani): ~34%; near-baseline humans, adapted for life in high-gravity and high temperature environments, with some modifications - trace amounts of silicon and iron, and cellular redundancy against the effects of radiation poisoning; split across many tribal/ethnic lines after 250 years of survival across the vast network of habitats throughout the Upper and Lower Shabaka, but broadly united in a shared religion and history (the Arjuani Cloud).
Yaeph'La: ~30%; the nomadic remnants of an advanced alien species who had long ago settled in the Easifa system in a fleet of ships over many generations; despite some early tension, they recognized the human arrivals as fellow refugees, and so hesitantly shared some of their genetic engineering and habitat construction technology with humanity
Gremlins: ~21%; genetically engineered organisms created by the yaeph'la settlers; appearing as the six-limbed lovechild of an eel, a beetle, and a pug, they are particularly notable for the resilience and intense conductivity of their nervous systems, making them easily augmented with cybernetics
Cloudkin Pilgrims: ~5%; explorers and traders of one of the two indigenous alien species on Easifa'Thani who safely dwell within the colonies through the use of highly pressurized suits; a gaseous, vaguely jellyfish-like species who dwell in the upper layers of Easifa'Thani in numerous 'bubble towns', and they mainly assist with human and yaeph'la habitat construction. In recent decades, with the help of their allies they successfully launched a set of massive spiralling ships that emerged from the deepest layers of Easifa'Thani several decades ago and now orbit their home star
Gaians: ~4%; water, soil, and plant-worshiping heavily modified human-reptile hybrids who mainly dwell in low gravity environments, further edited with plant cells to be energized by UV radiation; renowned as gardeners, a number of them live as warrior monks in patrol around the location of the gate and the promised return to Earth; descended primarily from what was once the Children of Gaia
Asmovund: ~4%; heavily deformed and poisoned human puritans encased in cybernetic shells; their tolerance for AI and obsession with the Yahsud Alnaar has left them in a semi-ostracized state, while tensions run high between them and the gaians following a number of skirmishes and religious disputes; descended primarily from what was once the Asimov Foundation
Hybrids: ~2%; Human-Yaeph'La hybrids; while some prejudice lingers, the last 250 years of co-existence in shared and connected habitats had inevitably led to some cases of human and yaeph'la becoming romantically involved and, through genetic engineering, for the creation of what is technically a third species
POPULATION: Approximately 245 million inhabitants of the Upper Shabaka, and another 103 million inhabitants of the Lower Shabaka, including approximately 40,000 Cloudkin. Another 32 million exist on various habitats, stations and ships across the moons of Easifa'Thani and the system's asteroid belt, with varying degrees of autonomy -- these 'void-dwellers' have the highest percentage of Gaian and Asmovund communities. The Cloudkin pilgrims aboard their ships are estimated to number about 20 million.
PLANET NAME & DESCRIPTION:Easifa'Thani is the closest planet of the Easifa system to its home star. A silicon and iodine rich hot gas giant with a thin layer of carbon dioxide surrounding functioning as its outer atmosphere, it was far from being the first choice for settlement by the original Yaeph'La colonists. However, upon the discovery of Easifa'Mal's ancient destruction and the chaos caused by the Yahsud Alnaar, the mining outposts constructed there were repurposed for city-scale human habitations.
Like many such habitats, it is built inside of a pressurized silicon-based 'island' suspended amidst the storms of Easifa'Thani.
Of particular interest is that Easifa'Thani possesses a unique biosphere all of its own. While studying it in detail has proven almost impossible due to the monumental gravitational and atmospheric pressures and the extreme temperatures, there appears to be a wide variety of complex life that occasionally emerges into viewing range. Of particular note are the 'cloudkin', gaseous colonial organisms that possess some form of sapience and intelligence - sufficient to build their own complex 'bubble towns' out of harvested silicon gas, and to reverse engineer lost human technology and repurpose it into high-pressure environmental suits that have allowed some of them to dwell among the humans of the Lower Shabaka. Meanwhile, a mysterious, sluggish species of vaguely flatfish/trilobite-like organisms exist in the deepest regions; even the cloudkin have had little contact with them, but they seem to be content in their slow and ancient strolling.
HISTORY THE STAR WITHOUT A HOME: The Miracle Agreement was a pooling of resources, a humanitarian alliance of religious and charitable groups, NGOs, communes and cults who were quick to see the writing on the wall. Their individual efforts to help limit the disastrous effects of climate change and nuclear warfare had been of limited success, and so in secret their leadership arranged for the creation of a series of colony ships. With heavy hearts those 200,000 colonists fled through the gate aboard the Five Miracles and supported by a small fleet of technical and support vessels, hoping that perhaps they might yet discover something that could be sent back through the gate to help the people of Earth.
Sadly, the arrangement of the Miracles had been a slow and rocky process. The gates had already been open for some time when they launched, and so whereas most expeditions had already begun to settle when the gates closed, for the Miracle Fleet it was a shocking and desperate close call. A terrible silence filled the darkness as they pressed onwards.
As the fleet made their way to Easifa'Mal, the predicted garden world, the fleet faced an unprecedented disaster. The planet was surrounded by advanced machines of unknown design. The fleet attempted to transmit signals and communicate with the machines, but the only response was violence. Evasive manoeuvres were attempted and an exchange of fire, but sadly the Second Miracle was torn to pieces and the fleet scattered, desperately fleeing in every direction.
The remaining four miracles and the core of the fleet, desperate for some kind of shelter, headed deeper into the system - the massive hot gas giant, Easifa'Thani, could perhaps serve as a shield. Sadly, the length of the journey forced a desperate delaying action, and the Third Miracle was evacuated with only limited success as the captain ordered they hold the line.
As the First, Fourth and Fifth Miracles got closer, they received transmissions of an unknown source - another fleet of ships, alien in design! Supported by structures that formed a vast network of industrial sites, refineries, habitats, bridges and ports that surrounded the gas giant. Communication was a tense and desperate affair for several months - the alien fleet was larger and evidently more advanced than their own in many ways, and some kind of virus had severely damaged and corrupted the AI that the Miracle Fleet made use of and rendered much of their data and software erratic. In desperation many had turned to unorthodox or analogue memory aids, using anything they could to keep track of crucial data.
"We promise. We will not hurt you."
YAEPH'LA & THE PROMISE: In time the creatures revealed themselves to be Yaeph'La, an alien species who had fled their own home world's destruction in a fleet of generation ships. They explained the situation - that they had settled on Easifa'Mal and had some success terraforming it, but in their experimentation and eagerness they had awoken some kind of ancient orbit-wide, self-replicating automated weapons system. This vicious enemy - named the Yahsud Alnaar, the reaving fire - had destroyed their old colony and forced them to flee to their industrial and mining facilities on Easifa'Thani, expanding them with the help of the gas giant's indigenous silicon-based organisms into functioning long-term habitats.
If the humans would work with them - share their technology and their DNA - they could live with the Yaeph'La. They would work together to make this most inhospitable world their new home. In desperation, they agreed, and an uneasy peace was formed - in time and with understanding, generation after generation, coldness gave way to something resembling genuine kinship.
OTHER GROUPS OF THE PROMISE: As the decades rolled by, a number of religious and cultural differences among the colonists began to grate - most notably among the Children of Gaia, representatives from a 'lifestyle collective' back on Earth fascinated with genetic engineering as a way to survive the apocalypse. While some chose to remain among the other settlers on Easifa'Thani, the majority assembled their resources and returned to the gate, establishing an elaborate sealed habitat in its vicinity and awaiting its return. They were begrudgingly assisted in this endeavour by members of the Asimov Foundation, who had been studying the Yahsud Alnaar in a hopes of reconfiguring and controlling the swarm and had learnt some of its weaknesses.
As the years have gone by the immediate existential dread of the Yahsud Alnaar has been replaced with an uneasy wariness, and an understanding among most for the need to cooperate. Communications became easier and easier with the cloudkin. Although there have been moments of violence or disagreement, the countless tribes that have gradually formed and joined the Easifan Promise have worked together to create a new history and the possibilities of new futures. It is not entirely accurate or optimistic -- and their balancing of science to superstition may prove worrying to outsiders -- but it has kept them alive.
Alive, and not alone.
CULTURE & SOCIETY: The people of the Easifa system are remarked to be strong-willed and community driven, united by memories of disaster and the continuous effort to survive by any means. Their songs are at once themed around death, while maintaining hope. Their art -- murals and paintings, scrawled upon the walls of their ships and engines -- are abstract and symbolic, but often use dark and melancholic scenes highlighted by bright moments in high contrast. Their stories often deal with the nature of time and the overcoming of grief. All have elements of mathematics or technical skills baked into them on some level - a form of memory aid in the face of centuries worth of gradually lost knowledge.
Cooking meanwhile is viewed as a delicate but crucial past-time, the limited carbon-based biodiversity of the habitats forcing them to carefully synthesize new flavours with great difficulty. Legends speak of a time when 'spices' were abundant at the birthplaces of humanity and yaeph'la, but most write this off as impossible. Nevertheless, they serve as a strong motive for some more daring adventurers to attempt expeditions to Easifa'Mal or beyond its orbit to the lost ships of humanity, in order to acquire new species or recover some element of lost yaeph'la technology.
By contrast, alcohol or relaxant drug use are (besides being very rare and difficult to grow) forbidden under all but specific medical circumstances - there are no safe environments in which a person can 'slack off', as in the event of an emergency a person could be called upon and would need to be highly alert. Coffee is the notable exception to this, being highly prized by all human cultures in the Easifa system and ranging in scale from luxury to commonplace swill used as an intense caffeine fix.
GOVERNANCE & POLITICS:: Initially the colony ships were led in a clear chain of command, with decisions made by those with relevant information and skillsets as problems emerged. Individuals could voice criticisms anonymously, but these were merely used as information to consider, not a form of decision making themselves.
After the scattering of the fleet and the settlement on Easifa'Thani, however, the needs of survival have drastically shifted the structure of the various colonies. Long stretches of time residing on isolated ships or stations has led to sets of self-organizing tribal lineages speaking a range of dialects and creole languages. The Easifan tribes have no centralized authority - rather, the promise in its fullest sense is a series of treaties, a set of agreed upon rules and deals that are frequently reviewed at large gatherings on Easifa'Thani known as Headmeets. At its core, it is a point of mutual cooperation, aid, and defence against the dangers of the Yahsud Alnaar and the vacuum of space.
TECHNOLOGY OVERVIEW: Three hundred years of disaster and struggle have not been kind to the descendants of the original colonists, and the various Easifan tribes are fortunate to have survived at all - even if much of their infrastructure is needing constant repair and patchwork effort, with limited new industry to fill the gap. Nevertheless, they make the most of what they can, and their willingness to work with aliens and to study their enemies has given them some new knowledge to work from:
The original technology they brought with them on the Five Miracles has been in a steady state of disrepair. One of the most important pieces were a set of prototype fabrication models they acquired from the Mensura group, but most have broken down by this point and recovering functioning pieces of the ones aboard the wreckage of the Second and Third Miracles have been a source of constant danger and difficulty. Notably, the nature of life in the Easifa system encourages a quickness to grasp new scientific concepts and creative use of what resources are available.
Hardlight, an unusual technology possessed by the Yaeph'La they reverse-engineered from the Yahsud Alnaar. Photons are condensed into a lattice temporarily, creating highly durable constructs that require a constant source of power, or elaborate but short-lived remote-controlled holograms that can fool visual or temperature sensors.
Genetic engineering and hydroponics are fields that the yaeph'La and gaians are both specialists in, though they hesitate to make it widely available. Rather, yaeph'la and gaian representatives can be found on many ships or stations.
Crucially, the Arjuani - and thus most of the Easifan tribes, though they vary in how much they actually respect it on an individual basis - are violently opposed to advanced AI. While they do use very limited AI and computers to assist with the necessary calculations and projections of life in space, the viral signal that the Yahsud Alnaar emits both significantly limits the consistency and advancement of their computer systems and has created a superstitious opposition to AI out of principle.
MILITARY OVERVIEW: The various Easifan tribes are varied in their militarism; the Yaeph'La, Gaians and Asmovund being the most warlike and consistently well equipped for conflict - even occasionally engaging in raids on other tribes. Though, with their large population and limited hardlight construction the Arjuani are capable of the single largest military force of the Promise.
Because of centuries spent in space and fragile indoor environments the Easifan tribes have limited skill in ground combat and few veterans of occasional raids to Easifa'Mal to pass on what little they will have learnt, and their infantry are primarily trained to fight with low-lethality or bladed weapons to limit the risk of damage or hull breach. However, they are adept pilots, and while the civilian nature of many of their ships limits the capacity or willingness to fight (as opposed to simply fleeing), they possess a number of powerful ranged weapons.
GOVERNMENT FORM: Technocratic post-baseline oligarchy
Time: 00.0001%; Immortal digitized human consciousness and original founders of the Sevenfold Summation.
Luminous: ~2%; Hybrid digitized human and diplat consciousness in networked forms specialized for administration, translation, diplomacy, and education.
Current: ~2%; Human and diplat derived brains and nervous systems supported in compact, AI-assisted mechanical shells for maximally efficient research, medical and engineering work.
Temperature: ~3%; Heavily modified humans or diplat augmented with DNA from various predator and extremophile organisms, for high survivability and exploration or combat in extreme environments.
Length: ~8%; Hybrids of human and diplat DNA who now serve as a genetic template for further augmentation and primarily work in law enforcement and administration.
Mass: ~15%; Heavily modified diplat whose strength, endurance and weight have been greatly increased and primarily work in low gravity environments, mining, or heavy industry. Some have also been augmented with gravity-conduction implants directly into their body.
Quantity: ~66%; Baseline or near baseline diplat, who go through regular assessments over their life to determine their potential recruitment into higher measurements and otherwise work in a wide range of jobs, particularly food production, construction, office work or machine operation. Have a natural lifespan of roughly 20 years. --- NOTE: This also includes the inhabitants of Crechetown -- a small, isolated colony of near-baseline humans raised on one of Moumlet's more isolated mountainous regions from a mixture of descendants of the original crew, and vat-grown fertilized embryos that survived the expedition. While official policy is that baseline humans should be treated the same as baseline diplat, inevitably the human population is rarely 'promoted' and when they are it's always to 'higher' measurements.
Undefined: ~4%; Any diplat not aligned with the Sevenfold Summation - tools at best, enemies of the state at worst.
POPULATION: Approximately 4 billion 'baseline' diplat (Quantity/Undefined measurements) and approximately 1.3 billion of the 'other' measurements. There are approximately 40,000 near-baseline humans in Crechetown, while the 'Time' measurement number only about a thousand.
PLANET NAME & DESCRIPTION:Moumlet is the second planet of the Mensura system; a rocky terrestrial planet with a radius approximately 12% larger than Earth and a mass of 1.28g, carved apart with great industrial pit cities and networks of caverns and chasms, and possessing an unusually large magnetic core. The stronger electromagnetic fields of Moumlet than many other habitable worlds have created a number of unusual formations in its crust, leading to a highly uneven surface covered in deep, arching chasms. Moumlet's oceans are thus disconnected from each other by long, interconnected continents and possess relatively low salinity, but completely fresh water is very rare – most organisms on Moumlet possess specialized salt-filtering organs.
Because of the uneven surface and high density of iron ore, Moumlet's crust is often described as 'pockmarked' or 'hollow'. Coupled with its relatively close proximity to its home star, many organisms are partly subterranean or amphibious, and despite centuries of exploration there still remains entire underground ecosystems and waterways that haven't been fully catalogued or understood yet.
Following centuries of increasing industrialization and the firestorm experiment, Moumlet's atmosphere has become thicker and its oceans chemically unbalanced. While some life still survives and the Summation has introduced a number of genetically engineered organisms to help keep the atmosphere breathable, purify toxic waters, and keep the ecosystem varied, the planet has become more and more imbalanced. Its once oxygen-rich atmosphere has been contaminated with traces of chlorine and ammonia, and in certain regions, gas masks are still required. The biodiversity of the planet has sadly plummeted to a fraction of its original variety. --- NOTE: Moumlet is a reoccurring name for the planet in several diplat languages, particularly those of the compacts that allied themselves with the Summation. While this has since been adopted as its formal name, a number of earlier Mensura reports refer to it as 'Moleworld' prior to this, and some members of the Time measurement still refer to it as such between themselves.
DIPLAT BIOLOGY: The diplat are omnivores – living on a mixture of various roots, plants, arthropods, fish, and meat that they scavenge from predators or bring down in ambush, though by the time the Mensura group discovered them they had long since transitioned to the use of industrial-scale farming and aquaculture. They were originally prey animals on their home world, with leathery skin covered in a coating of short, dark red fur, inhabiting a number of underground cave networks at the shorelines of several natural waterways. Despite their short lifespans -- naturally only living for about 20 years before suffering a kind of severe neurological decay that causes extreme memory loss and eventually renders them comatose -- their sensitive hearing and tight knit family units allowed them to easily predict the movements of predators and set up increasingly large and well-defended communities. With time, this has led to larger and larger family networks that thrive through careful ambush tactics and an eagerness to claim new burrows at any cost.
Diplat possess a set of four highly light-sensitive eyes and multiple ears allow for survival both above and below ground. They average at just under a meter in height when full grown, with males being slightly larger. This difference is further emphasized by males possessing a set of defensive quills along their back, shoulders, hips and the sides of their head that they are able to flare up in a kind of threat display, though this is nowadays just the subject of traditional festivals or low-stakes contests.
Female diplat lay clutches of three or four thin-shelled eggs at a time, traditionally in a nest of soft, muddy soil. When the eggs hatch in a few weeks time, the babies are transported in her pouch to a communal crèche, usually set aside in a particular well-defended central area of the community. In the modern day, most mothers lay their eggs in a small but cosy room layered in soft, cushiony materials or a sterilized synthetic mud.
HISTORY ARRIVAL & DISASTER: For the Mensura group -- a thinktank funded by some of the wealthiest STEM-field giants -- the gateway expedition was a twisted dream come true. On Earth they were held back by the whims of the masses and endless redtape. But out there? Anything could be possible. To this end they constructed four ships, with the first three -- the Aspect of Nous; the Spirit of Nous; and the Conviction of Nous -- being primarily research and exploration vessels. Each had a crew of about two thousand, supported by cutting edge AI and terraforming systems; carrying human embryos and DNA for thousands of plant and animal species; and with fabrication modules to help create any tool or machine that would prove necessary to their research or terraforming efforts. Once they had sufficiently surveyed and built up the infrastructure for true colonization, the final ship -- the gargantuan Body of Nous and its 10,000 passengers, still finalizing construction -- would follow them through the gate.
They launched with excitement, but almost immediately disaster awaited. The gate had opened in orbit around a massive gas giant, and the Spirit had entered at an angle that quickly left it spiralling to disaster. A tiny fraction of the crew and their equipment managed to escape and were incorporated into the Aspect and Conviction, but it was with heavy hearts and the taste of death that they proceeded in their surveys.
At first, the loss seemed like the storm before a rainbow - resource rich, most crucial of all the system they had arrived in was host to a habitable world. More so, it supported an abundance of alien life! The news was met with equal parts curiosity and paranoia. Endless possibilities surely awaited, and the signals sent through the gate back home were met with both excitement and dollar signs. Their families, colleagues, and backers awaited final construction of the Body of Nous and the chance to join them...
...then the gate closed, and paranoia gave way to panic.
Of the 4,039 remaining crew aboard the Aspect and Conviction, only about one and a half thousand would survive the fighting that gradually broke out over the next few months of silence. A number of fabrication modules were destroyed outright, and the Aspect's AI was hacked and its code damaged in ways that wouldn't be fully repaired for decades.
Order was eventually restored when reasonable voices managed to get across that the ship's couldn't sustain any further loss of machinery or hydroponics. Throughout the conflict, some had put the remaining fabricators to work on the material gathered from asteroids and moons of the gas giant in the construction of a new gate, but all attempts to reopen the gate and restore communications with Earth and the countless other expeditions were met with abject failure -- in the violence and chaos, there had been a loss of crucial data and the death's of those who might have known the secrets to gateway construction.
For months they were adrift, without a concrete plan. Some of the world's brightest minds trapped in a pair of boxes with nothing but their research to wile away the time.
Meanwhile, only passingly aware that they were now being observed and scrutinized by dangerous alien visitors, the diplat compacts continued their endless squabbling and industrial expansion.
ASCENSION & FIRST CONTACT: As the surviving crew of Aspect and Conviction set about their jobs and continued their observations - with the crew of the Conviction in particular setting about the construction of an elaborate shipyard and fueling station around the gas giant, eventually named Indra for its storms and the role it would play in the war to come - some began to experiment in more detail with the shipboard AI. Some theorized a way to help recover some of the corrupted data, by using a human brain as a filter. The experiment was seemingly a failure, and one that killed the subject's body. As a result the research was abandoned...
...only for the subject to suddenly 'wake up' inside the Aspect's communication network, the ship's AI having split into a new matrix based on the subject's memories and personality.
Once more division spread throughout the crews as to what to do with this information, and it was in the process of deciding that a kind of direct democracy had formed -- old command structures slowly ceased to apply with returning to Earth seeming more and more unlikely and the changing needs to life in space. In a vote that would define the human settlers of the newly christened Mensura system, 72% voted for the digitization research to be opened up - some immediately set about uploading themselves, others refused, and yet others held off to observe the long-term effects.
It was in the months that followed that a second defining issues would arise - what to do about the diplat, and their homeworld. The original purpose of the expedition had been to gather data and set about the preparations needed for terraforming operations and permanent colonization by humans. While the planet wasn't technically uninhabitable, its higher gravity and atmospheric composition would make permanent human habitation uncomfortable, and its massive indigenous population would no doubt severely limit the potential limits of human settlement.
Some argued that the mission must be maintained - at any cost. Others felt that 'colonization' efforts should involve communication and re-education, teaching these "diplat" to live similarly to humans. Yet others felt that if the mission had already failed, peaceful co-existence and mutual assistance was the best path. In the debate and vote that followed, a cautious hand of peace was reached out - but perhaps too soon. The diplat languages were still understood in only small amounts and without full context, and several of the largest diplat compacts were engaged in a generations old war of attrition.
What goodwill might be earned was further mired when several crew members of the Aspect, landing on a supposedly uninhabited region of the planet to collect samples of plant and animal life, were suddenly met by a small group of diplat soldiers on some kind of training exercise. Their fabricated weapons proved deadly and disorientating to the less visually-orientated diplat, and in a reckless act they kidnapped some of the soldiers and killed the others.
Onboard the Aspect they began to experiment on and dissect the captured soldiers, much to the horror of other crew members. Voting almost moved to return the bodies, only for the detection of primitive ground-to-orbital weaponry revealed a frightening attempt by a diplat compact to destroy their ship.
Two narrow misses and 26 hours later, and the crew of the Aspect retaliated by redirecting an asteroid. It certainly destroyed the weapon -- and somewhere in the vicinity of 800,000 people.
As the next century would reveal, these figures would prove tasteful by comparison.
THE SIEGE: Prior to the arrival of the Sevenfold Summation, diplat society was highly fragmented - as the various family networks had grown in scale and complexity, not all interactions and disagreements were resolved with violence. Rather, the debates and compromises gradually began to incorporate more and more families, eventually producing some of the first huddles, accords, and compacts. Up until recently, these compacts had been the main political structure among the diplat, led by representatives from their member families. They arranged trade deals, tunnel and burrow rights, surface and oceanic infrastructure projects, and set limits on military action between families and against other compacts.
By the time the Mensura group had begun their attack, the limits of the various compacts had revealed themselves - endless arguing and debate, overindustrialization, ecological disaster, overly conservative attitudes toward new technologies and ways of acting, and wars of attrition leading to generations old blood feuds – were quickly accelerated by the effects of orbital bombardment. Without centralized authority these compacts often forced each other into bitter conflicts over resources, and so the diplat were perpetually ravaged by war -- made all the more intense by the fact that most of their cities and settlements were underground, formed in great fortified networks of tunnels and chambers that could easily be used to disorientate or bog down attackers.
Attempts by the crew to reach out and arrange a ceasefire quickly proved difficult, until another diplat compact - rivals of the ones they had been bombarding - reached out to them. They would gladly help fight a mutual enemy in exchange for assistance in their own efforts to reach the stars, and for a time this
In the years that followed - as the exact nature of diplat warfare became clearer to the remnants of the Mensura - the opinions of the crew gradually became more and more poisoned. Efforts to 're-educate' diplat compacts to abandon their family-centric and often nepotistic structure were met with polite refusal at best and sometimes outright violence. On at least two occasions former allies switched their view of the Mensura, using the tools and weaponry that the Mensura had supplied them in order to built new anti-orbital weapons.
Coupled with the fact that more and more of the crew had digitized themselves to stay alive, and the personality-damaging issues of long-term data storage that were revealing themselves... the Mensura slowly but surely began to change. Scientific discovery, now having become little more than a series of hobbies and private experiments in the wake of the group's focus shifting to militarization and warfare. The biosphere of Moumlet became increasingly deranged, as bio-weapons were unleashed and genetically engineered predators or human/diplat hybridized vat-grown soldiers were sent in to fight in the tunnels.
By the 99th year of the siege, over 5 and a half billion diplat were dead. Most of the Mensura were digitized by this point, or had elected to simply terminate their own lives on their terms. A few had decided to work with the diplat, hacking into and escaping into the diplat's subterranean information networks. On the 100th year, two things happened.
The Phel-Noss Deepweave Compact revealed a massive railgun, of stolen Mensura design, and fired a series of thermonuclear slugs at the Aspect as it rested in orbit. The ship was torn apart -- its molten fragments plummeting to the surface or left adrift -- and the Conviction was forced to retreat to the shipyards at Indra.
The vote to begin the firestorm experiment was unanimous, where prior votes on it had always met with resistance. A series of biochemical weapons -- a modified terraforming tool -- were detonated in the atmosphere and dropped into the depths of pit cities. The sky turned a sickly yellow, and the lungs of the planet burned.
THE SEVENFOLD SUMMATION: The Mensura still didn't desire complete genocide. Their attitude towards the diplat compacts who had allied to them had combined with their own increasingly warped philosophy, and the distribution of other engineered organisms that would limit the amount of chlorine and ammonia in the atmosphere spared life on the planet from total extinction.
What few compacts who had remained their allies were hesitant to accept the genetherapies they were being offered, but the Mensura made it clear this was a demand - albeit a politely worded one. They were the "subjects" to a ruling class - in both the political and the scientific sense. The siege continued for just a few more months, though at that point it was a more straightforward series of demands, followed by inevitable suffocation of the few that stubbornly refused.
Fabrication modules were put to work rebuilding diplat infrastructure, while genetic engineering was used to try and heal the most crucial parts of the biosphere. Following the full seizure of power by the Sevenfold Summation - as they referred to themselves in tandem with their diplat subjects - what compacts remain are now a shadow of their former selves and officially work under them.
CULTURE & SOCIETY: The need for close-knit family and the winding nature of diplat burrow-networks had created a culture of strict familial reliance and expectation. “What would my family think?” is not a 'maybe' question to the diplat – it is a hardwired first priority. Because of this, the diplat historically have struggled to form large-scale polities with strict territories or hierarchies – nepotism is often a given, and what wars have cropped up have either been tiny but brutal family disputes, or have been vast multi-generational wars of attrition involving long-standing alliances through marriage connecting hundreds of families and hundreds of thousands of deaths.
This reflects itself in diplat language and naming conventions – most diplat cultures emphasize family names, with 'personal names' usually being a family-chosen title or phrase. For example, 'Pirrik-Nunn Kuik the Ever Indecisive' was notorious in her trading family for the way she constantly waxed and waned in her goals. By contrast, her aunt 'Pirrik-Nunn Oul the Stargazer' went down in history for engineering the first spaceworthy scouting robot, the photos from which helped reveal the vast resources of their solar system... and the first hints that outsiders were watching them.
GOVERNANCE & POLITICS: After being stranded the surviving crew of the Nous had reorganized themselves into a form of direct democracy. But unfortunately for the diplat, more and more hardline and authoritarian voices gained ever greater influence in the crew's decision making regarding them -- and all the more so as the siege went on. Combined with their gradual digitization, immortalization, and integration of their minds with the Nous' AI, the crew became more and more apathetic and clinical in their view of the diplat. What started as (theoretically) good natured attempts to assist the diplat with medical and organisational intervention gradually involved more and more use of genetic and cybernetic science into forcing the subjugated diplat into a strict (yet supposedly 'meritocratic') caste system.
By the time the siege had come to an end and the vast majority of surviving diplat were subjugated, and in the centuries that followed, the remaining crew of the Nous -- or whatever remained of their minds, anyway -- had become the ruling caste (the "Time" measurement) of a hyper-authoritarian religious cult with eugenic elements. The Sevenfold Summation is strictly organized and top-down in its approach, with ordinary ("quantity") diplat carefully monitored and assessed throughout their lives to determine what 'higher measurement', if any, they should belong to.
These various measurements, in turn, are internally organized by individuals of their measurement appointed to a higher rank by their "Time" or "Luminous" superiors. How easy life is largely depends on the nature of a group's assigned work -- the "Mass" labourers on the mining colonies of the resource-rich hot planet of Agni have an abysmal survival rate and frequently suffer extreme respiratory problems due to the toxic gases they're exposed to, while "Length" office managers on Moumlet have a fairly safe environment and their own personal quarters with limited customization.
Despite the Summation's best efforts, however, the original system of the 'compacts' still exists among many diplat - particularly the "quantity" and "undefined" measurements. While rebel compacts were gradually stamped out over the course of the siege, their survivors continued to rally around and infiltrate compacts allied to the Summation. Some "Time" and "Luminous" are willing to unofficially acknowledge said groups, seeing their continued existence as a kind of 'secret society' being the necessary cost of limiting further rebellions -- others, however, fear that said groups are simply a ticking timebomb. Both views are forced to recognize that the family-orientated nature of diplat society makes the compacts - or something similar to them - an almost inevitable issue.
TECHNOLOGY OVERVIEW: While the crews of the expedition lost a great deal of their data, technology and skillset over the course of the early disasters of the expedition and occasional diplat victories during the siege, the ensuing two centuries of relative stability and the absorption of allied diplat compacts has allowed them to quickly restore most of what they had lost, and to even exceed their original capabilities in certain fields.
Advanced AI based on "grey brain" techniques, procedural generation and heuristic matrices. Coupled with extensive neuroscience has allowed them to digitize and replicate conscious organic minds into AI
Advanced genetic engineering over centuries of refinement and experimentation, including AI-assisted analysis to quickly decode and map the DNA of newly discovered or alien species and deduce new arrangements and potential modifications or hybridization of DNA between different species
Efficient nanite-based molecular reconstruction, with 'fabrication modules' containing everything needed to construct a new colony ship given sufficient time and materials or synthesize new chemical compounds
Efficient high-pressure and subterranean construction techniques and meta-materials capable of withstanding extreme pressures
Gravity-conduction technology, allowing the creation of fields with reversed and destabilized gravity or which concentrate gravitational force into a given area; this is used extensively to ease construction and industry in high gravity environments, or to simulate gravity onboard ships or colonies; relies on the rare material orichalcum to function, though orichalcum can be synthesized at great cost
Prosthetic limbs and organs capable of replicating or even exceeding the natural abilities of baseline human or diplat; combined with their neuroscience to integrate these implants and cybernetics into both injured or healthy individuals on a large scale
MILITARY OVERVIEW: During the siege, warfare between the Summation and the diplat compacts was a messy, clinical affair. From the safety of orbit the invaders redirected asteroids and devised all manner of chemical and biological weapons -- meanwhile, the architects and engineers of the diplat built and reinforced ever deeper and more elaborate underground fortresses, while their researchers devised counter-agents. On the ground, allied and rebel diplat compacts waged relentless wars of attrition, fighting over useful resources throughout the endless tunnel networks while defenders established hyper lethal traps or bottlenecks. Intentional tunnel collapsing and suicide-runs were commonplace tactics. On the occasions that combat spread into wider chamber and pit-cities, trains and elevators were often hijacked and armed with artillery and area denial weapons, while human and AI-augmented six-limbed walkers and low-altitude aircraft fought in mountainous regions or rough terrain.
In the two centuries since the siege, war has been a rare concern - small insurgencies or terrorist groups, and a short-lived rebellion on the shipyards in orbit around Moumlet. As a general rule, these have been dealt with localized security forces armed with simple kinetic or ballistic weapons. While the fabrication modules have the blueprints for railguns or other more advanced military hardware, a combination of decay from lack of use and a lack of solid military knowledge -- besides members of the "Time" measurement who commanded forces during the siege -- leaves them woefully unprepared for a war against an equivalent civilization.
A small, scattered fleet of lightly armed patrol ships help secure and administrate the colonies of the Summation -- at last count, they numbered 73 vessels, most under 300m long and primarily armed with repurposed mining lasers or EMP weapons.
Top row shows, from left to right: a diplat/Summation mining shuttle > a modular exploratory research vessel, essentially a smaller version of the colony ships the Summation originally arrived in > a hypothetical Sevenfold Summation battleship Bottom row shows the actual relative sizes: the battleship is approximately a kilometre long.
HOLDINGS -- The Mensura System: In the course of their three hundred year presence in the system - and especially following the end of the siege - the Sevenfold Summation has successfully colonized a number of planets and established numerous waystations and communication relays.
Agni is a small, resource-dense planet close to the system's star. Setup following the Summation's victory, it serves as the centre of several highly dangerous mining colonies. The high percentage of "Mass" measurement working here has led to the formation of a distinct cultural identity from mainstream diplat society -- and rumours of rebellion, in the shadows.
Moumlet (also known as diplat prime or moleworld, depending on who you ask) is the homeworld of the diplat species and the centre of power for the Summation following their victory during the siege.
Indra is the massive gas giant that the Gate originally opened in orbit around. Its dense storms of gas and numerous moons provided a vast abundance of material, sufficient in the extreme for the Summation to set up extensive shipyards and make several failed attempts at constructing their own Gate. In time, this failed structure served as the central structure for Spirit's Loss, a massive space station and observatory serving as the heart of the system-wide network of waystation's and comms relays used to coordinate the colonies.
Shiva is a second gas giant closer to the edge of the solar system, a rich blue due to the high density of cobalt and an atmosphere composed primarily of hydrogen and helium, along with traces of hydrocarbons and nitrogen -- it also contains a higher proportion of ices such as water, ammonia and methane. The discovery on one of its moons of a mysterious element, Orichalcum, has allowed for the development of gravity-conduction technology.
ADDITIONAL INFO: (Anything else you want to include that there isn't a spot for up there.)
Government Form: Federal government commissioned by the various syndicates and other groups in the Ogygia system
Demographics: large portions of the colonists when they left Sol, had already been modified for living in space, and Non-human Intelligences had already been part of the lives of many space working peoples. Over the hundreds of years since then, great diversification happened as a result of largely pro-transhumanist attitudes, invention of new technologies. Cyborgs, Biomorphs, reverse cyborgs, AI, and more. There is also a sentient technological xenobiological species within the Ogygia system though they are not currently considered a part of CFS they are under CFS protection until such a time as formal first contact is made. There is some question as to what constitutes a person, but the CFS tends to lean towards inclusion, not “technically” being a person also doesnt necessarily have the same negative connotations as it might have in other governments.
Population: It is difficult to put an exact number due to the variety of intelligences within the Calypso Federation of syndicates that do not have the same kind of distinctions between group, network, individual, along with the varieties of digital persons who might have a central consciousness but hundreds of personas, among weirder things. They have a fairly low population if you factor in only embodied persons, but would have a very high population if you factored in other intelligences. --- (This is probably a good place to insert a flag or other representative image) ---
Planet Name and Description: The Ogygia system is a triple star system with many planets and moons, however, none of them are places for unmodified earth life, most of the CFS population lives on the habitats and moons surrounding the Gas giants Willow and Capek. There are two planets with natural biospheres, Le Guin (a hothouse world) and Kukulkan a hellish superoceanic world.
History: The crew of the arkship Calypso was drawn from numerous sources, most of which viewed earth with a degree of hostility, There were spaceworkers who helped work on arkships of earthers to deal with “their mess” and Earth Imperialists were always interfering, wanting control of the outer system so that they could serve their people. Within the outer system despite scarcity there was a sense of “surviving together against the cold void of space (and earth capitalists) which lead to the organization of fierce syndicates and unions which formed the basis of much of Calypso society, along with Dissilusioned researchers and others who had left earth behind. There was also a sizeable population of Volitional AI, Artificial Lifeforms seeking to escape copyright laws, enthusiastic inner system recruits wanting to “make a difference” and various transhumanists who sought to escape earth persecution.
The Arrival of the Calypso at the Gateway made many Earth nations nervous due to previous Labor disputes that occasionally led to violent conflict with earth interests, tense negotiations had been made before the ship was allowed to enter earths orbit (especially given its armed belter escort)
The time of arrival was another tense one, various disagreements, claim jumpers, splintering factions. But most of the crew of the calypso and their escort knew that creating an infrastructure to serve the needs of the people would be important to survival. This eventually lead to the formation of the CFS (though it had a few intermediary steps to this process). The CFS helped get the disparate groups work towards a common goal of settling the system. They had some conflict with other groups, mostly resolved without bloodshed, but there were a few wars over the last 300 years. Occasional eras of piracy. And emergence of Malignant Intelligences and Catastrophic Processes. While these incidents might have drawn other nations to fear AI, human augmentation and other technology, The spacers would not let a few violent groups sway their view of synthetic life as a whole.
They eventually discovered sentient, technological but non-spacefaring life on the planet Le Guin, though given its orbit among the far more distant 3rd star of the system, and fear of accidental conflict, CFS has yet to make formal contact.
Signs of intelligent civilization on a brown dwarf megastructure have been found and probes were sent (some sentient) but knowledge of what lurks there remains unknown. A few organizations within the Calypso system have been working on slower than light interstellar spacecraft (with a few having launched) to nearby stars, many of which are planned to be one way journeys, often associated with spiritual desires of exploration.
Reactions to the gateways reopening has had mixed responses of wonder and fear, wanting to see how their distant cousins have progressed along with fear that not every civilization on the other side would be peaceful.
Culture and Society: The people of CFS are quite varied in lifestyles however they trace their lineage back to spacer cultures from the Sol system, adapted to life in enclosed environments of habitats and spacecraft, with the basic unit of society often being the space crew. These crews often seek like minded syndicates to join. With numerous unions guilds, and leagues forming the basis of much of society. The strong interdependence people experienced, with both eachother and technology, means that things like the AI of a starship became full citizens pretty quickly, as they were already seen as part of the basic social structures within society. Large scale space habitats become hubs for various spacer crews to come together and share stories, resources and whatever else.
Virtual reality at various levels of immersion is a fairly common form of entertainment, originally designed for therapeutic use on long space-flights but evolved into other entertainment forms. There is a sorta subculture of Specialized AI who specialize in bringing to life these artificial worlds, acting as the consciousness behind hundreds of persona’s with unique personalities. Generally these personalities are lower resolution than the personalities of full individuals, especially when not being actively interacted with (some virtual reality gamers have special personality processors installed that increase the resolution of Personas they interact with by interacting with the core conscious (though this has to be approved by both parties) virches come in many genres, some of which are more optimized for biologics, others for machines (sometimes quite abstract)
There are many ethical questions people of the CFS deal with, perhaps one of the more spoken about is the existence of the “Undead” advanced medical technology, compilations of brain scans, memories and patterns forming in cybernetic prosthetics, AI symbiotes, and intelligent software make the line between life and death quite fuzzy. In some cases a sense of continuity exists, other times, the spark of consciousness seems to fade, leaving behind shambling digital (and in some cases) physical corpses. Yet, these previously “zombie” undead may at a later point redevelop sentience and often have a complicated mental relationship to who they once were, who they were before often hazy. Different groups react to this news differently, with many seeing undeath as a new stage of life, seeking ancestral knowledge in special “Crypts” aboard habitats. But the process is often considered an intimate affair to be done by friends and the deads community, rather than opportunistic outsiders.
Governance and Politics: Most habitats and ships (along with lunar and planetary bases) have some form of government, though sometimes quite informal. Syndicates and other workers associations play a major role in civic life. The Federation itself was created in order to provide public infrastructure for all parties, extend legal protection and representation for disparate groups, settle disputes and deal with bureaucracy, providing (usually voluntary) technical standards, handling traffic and asteroid and settlement claims along with providing for defense. The Federation has some aspects of old space agencies, often organizing into “Missions” selecting personnel based on past experience. Most elected officials are selected by blocs and coalitions who are in turn created by representatives of individual syndicates selected by the syndicates members.
Technology Overview: Given the tough environments of space, and the fact that the ancestors of Calypso helped construct the arkship, its not much a surprise that the Calypso Federation of Syndicates has a fairly high tech base. The need to adapt to their new environment, and the numerous health threats of space, and a comfortability with working alongside artificial beings has given them advanced biotechnology, robotics, AI, cybernetics and similar transhumanistic technology. Their experience with constructing arkships translated well to the development of other large scale space infrastructures with fairly advanced torchships, large space habitats with their own ecologies and automated mining and manufacturing operations tended to by sapient “shepards” that ensure non-sapient automated systems don’t get out of hand.
Military Overview: Given their status as a space based civilization, the CFS has plenty of spaceships, but most of them are designed for non-violent ends (that said a torchship can be quite dangerous in the wrong hands. A dedicated federation patrol fleet exists to deal with pirates, Catastrophic Processes, Malignant Intelligences and other threats. Most of these ships are not purely combat in design, and often perform things like rescue operations and other emergency services. If an existential threat emerged, the CFS could probably create a competent military fleet relatively quickly. Given their preference for life in space, their technology for ground war is a bit less developed, but they do have power armor designed to be used on a variety of hostile environments ---
Additional Info: (Anything else you want to include that there isn't a spot for up there.)