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 Post subject: Races of Velizar
PostPosted: Sun Feb 06, 2005 1:48 pm 
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Introduction to the Races

First of all, I’d like to state yet again my appreciation of the very concept of FreeOrion and the hard work of the great people that make it happen. Also, how proud, as a long-time MOOer I am to be able to help in any way possible.

A long time ago, when I accidentally stumbled upon the site, an idea brooded in my head about the races I’d like to play. I was (and am) mostly a lurker on the boards, but it just couldn’t give me rest. So, I decided to try and create them. It’s harder than it seemed at the time and I had to invest a lot of effort to try and make them both interesting, recognizable and relatively original at the same time, and you judge whether or not I have succeeded. (A small disclaimer: I have never read the other proposed races, so I have no idea if similar concepts were already proposed. If so, sorry, I didn’t steal anything, we just think alike and should petition together to get the desired idea in the final version of FO. ;))

For some technicalities: I didn’t post every race in its own thread, because I didn’t want to clutter the forum. I didn’t name the thread by a race because they are all unique and important to me and I wouldn’t want to differentiate favorites. I understood that the procedure if someone wants discussion is to post races like this, rather then in the Post your races thread. I’m not sure even now that they are finished and would really like to hear your opinions, questions, and suggestions for expanding/downgrading/changing a part/blaming alcohol. And yes, I am aware that the races are a long way from now, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t discuss them.

Also, some credits, which I promised to mention, are due: To Milos Stanojevic, my great and talented friend that has endured me bugging him and done the concept art (which I should post in a day or two, bear with me). To Ilija Smiljanic, Boris Junkovic and Zeljko Bareta, who were a valuable source of input to me and staunch allies.

Now, on to the races! Hope you’ll like them…


‘Others know you best by that which you despise.’

_________________
Sometimes, a man's heart is that of a wolf, and the path of enlightenment his alone to walk upon.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 06, 2005 1:49 pm 
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Arachnix

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'Take no heed to the affairs of those lesser, for we alone are the true Children of the Creator.'

The Book of Grsk'Eaq.


Introduction – The Arachnix, a misshapen result of the early Orion nuclear weapons testing; Spiderlike in appearance, they now seek to find their mysterious creators and at long last sate their hunger.


Homeworld – The irradiated small planet Kreeshk on the outskirts of the former Orion Empire, where there are no longer any other lifeforms save for the Arachnix.


A reason for leaving the home planet – Arachnix, the only true examples of sentient life, seek to find the forgotten god who fathered their race and rich worlds he made for them which hold an abundance of prey to capture and consume.


Social Structure – The Arachnix are rather solitary beings. Each controls a certain amount of territory, covered in the web that is both his home and hunting ground, which they fiercely defend from any intruders. There are no cities in the common sense. Instead over time entire worlds are intertwined in thick weblike substance that the Arachnix produce, virtually rendering any other lifeforms incapable of escaping the monstrous carnivores. This substance seems to be composed of tough, flexible fibers of organic polymers, which regenerate swiftly after “shedding.” The strands have extraordinary adhesive properties, making them perfectly suitable for building lairs, blunt weaponry and tools, and with newfound spinning technologies, even hulls of interstellar ships, whose engines are powered by raw muscle strength of assigned squads of slave workers.

The Arachnix communicate and cooperate with others of their species, yet are as likely to see them as a threat or an ally. They do work for the good of the species and the quest for the God, spreading their race and offspring throughout the galaxy, but it is the single entity that counts, as they do not have a government in the common sense. Their highly solitary ways of life disable any form of centralized rule, and the only times they seek the company of their kinsmen is the breeding period, so that they would produce their spawn and prolong the specie. The only strands that keep their empire together are the awareness that what is good for the entire race is good for the individual, and the difference they feel compared to other, tainted races not created by their majestic god. In a way, with their dispersed government, the Arachnix are the one sole example of true democracy in existence.

’Good and evil are terms invented by the lesser races to give cause to their actions.’

Elder Qrrsg’Arh.


The Arachnix as individuals are typically cold, distant, and cruel. They do not feel affection or love, and are not outward with their emotions at all. But, despite their seemingly emotionless demeanor, are very capable of feeling attachment, hatred, and understand honor completely, even if it does not play a significant role in their own culture (this leads to them both respecting the ’honorable’ races for their zeal and downgrading them for the limitations they feel are self-imposed and flawed).

'Small plans lack the power to stir the soul.'

Arachnix proverb.


In spite of their religious pursuits, unlike some of modern spacefaring races, the Arachnix could hardly be called fanatics. They pay no mind to other, lesser races, and generally do not try to exterminate them (yet they have no qualms of doing it if it is deemed necessary), and to convert them to their faith would be both blasphemous and a sacrilege. The creation of universe and the quest for their Forgotten God is a part of their religion and culture, for they are the sole children of the Creator, and the galaxy is their eden, their promised land, yet they readily pursue more trivial goals of conquest, power and luxury. However, strangely, in the galaxy He created, there live lesser beings incapable of understanding the mandate that is given to the Arachnix, as stewards and rulers of His legacy. This in turn leads to Arachnix diplomacy being a fabled point. They consider themselves the only true examples of sentient life in the universe, while all other are thought of as lower and prey. While some attempts have been made to change this view by aliens trying to prove their worth and some native scholars alike, this is a general truth which is not questioned in their society, leading to them having very few friends in the cold depths of universe.


History - The irradiated planet now called Kreeshk was once on the outskirts of the Orion lands, a small, depraved rocky world named Fiel. In the early ages, before even ancient Orions rose to their power, due to lacking of any sentient life found intelligent and its insignificance to any either strategic or colonization efforts of the Empire, it was chosen by the Orion Military Command as the ideal location for undercover forbidden weapons testing facilities. Soon the planet was labeled 'uninhabitable' and not long after, automated dropships came with heavy loads of devastating nuclear, chemical and biological weaponry and commenced testing its deadly effect. The majority of pre-sentient life on the surface of planet had been extinct, or dastardly mutated by the time the horrifying facility was disbanded, yet a specie remained to dwell in the newfound ecological nightmare.

Unbeknownst to the Orion militarists, a race that was once similar to a small Terran spider had also horribly mutated, changing forever into a gigantic, grotesque form of the tiny web-spinning animal. At first, the new step which their evolution has taken had done nothing to their intelligence, and what would become the Arachnix was a cunning and skillful, yet unintelligent predatorial race.

Over the many ages of evolution, the dominant specie of Arachnix has slowly overtaken the majority of the planet, which was now covered in thick layers of their webbing, their home and hunting grounds at the same time. Their food source running low, as the prey became scarcer and scarcer while their population constantly multiplied was the death sentence for millions of these creatures, either from starvation, or because their stronger kinsmen ate them for food. Soon, only those who were the strongest, most skillful, most cunning could eat and survive, and then only the best from the race had produced offspring.

'Hard times had befallen Kreeshk. The prey had diminished and diminished, striken down by the hunger of our ancestors. It was hard to live. Many have died. Soon, only those most wise or powerful could survive. Soon, we would be birthed. Soon, we would eat.'

The Book of Grsk'Eaq.


While they could survive in small numbers consuming weaker specimens as food and the low number of the remaining prey, the evolution continued its path, increasing their mental capabilities more and more in the ensuing harder and harder times, eventually spawning an Arachnix capable of higher mental activities than hunting and avoiding being hunted. Soon, from his offspring there were more to come, and in a few centuries the entire race had developed reasonable thinking. By this time, remaining prey had been entirely wiped out and with their newfound wisdom, the Arachnix had to ensure a stable food source for their harsh famine.

’Oh, Creator, omnipotent, omniscient, He whom we quest for in the abyss! We, your children, beseech you, do not abandon us because we had forgotten.’

Prayer to the Forgotten One, 1:2.


Years passed and one day, in the never-ending quest to provide more food, a lone Arachnix had stumbled upon the long abandoned, shattered weapons research facility, bearing a mysterious insignia. One of the Elders of the race, Rrksh'Erdh, deciphered it as the sign from the long-forgotten god which created their race, the god Arachnix now swore to one day find deep in the bowels of the universe hovering over their scorched homeland.

During the ensuing years, numerous attempts to create a vessel that would enable them to rise from their home planet failed, and more and more of the people fell prey to the hunger. One day, however, a group of the most skilled Arachnix manufacturers was able to succeed where others failed: with the aid of the few remaining secrets found in the Research Facility that became a legendary temple to the Creator, they had spinned a ship which could rise over the land. It was then a one way step of hundreds of Arachnix lifting towards the skies, ready to find their mysterious maker, create an empire which would one day span across the galaxy and at long last sate their hunger upon the worlds their noble father created for them to feast upon.


Race Attributes – Minor Penalty on Diplomacy.
Greater Penalty on Farming.
Minor Bonus on Combat.
Minor Bonus on Production.
Greater Bonus on Mining.
Minor Penalty on Trade.
Minor Bonus on Unrest.
Minor Penalty on Espionage.
Minor Bonus on Environment.
Minor Penalty on Population Growth.

_________________
Sometimes, a man's heart is that of a wolf, and the path of enlightenment his alone to walk upon.


Last edited by Velizar on Thu May 26, 2005 12:08 am, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 06, 2005 1:50 pm 
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Ashak

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'A battle is not fought with sharp weapons; what fights the battle is the heart of a warrior.'

Ashak Warrior Code.


Introduction – In ages past stalwart members of the Orion Empire, afterwards becoming the harbingers of their homeworld's unfortunate doom and heartless mercenaries, from the once peaceful, compassionate and serene humanoids to the enigma of the sector, warriors with their own code of honor whose face has never been seen, the Ashak.


Homeworld – A barren planetoid hidden in the Rzawrek asteroid field, named Tirashak.


A reason for leaving the home planet – The culture of the race has changed much in the past. Yet in the vastness of space the minds of Ashak now seek glory, honor and epic battles with worthy foes to fulfill the legacy that binds them to this world.


Physical description – The greatest mystery of the Ashak. They are obviously humanoid and bipedal, yet little else is known of them past their imposing body armor, which they carry at all times. Ancient Orion records are long lost, and no one has ever seen an Ashak outside their trustworthy suits, which hold great religious value to them, and which they would never take off.


Social Structure – A fierce warrior race, little is known of Ashak society, due to the fact that the surface of their worlds has been untainted by alien feet, as their ancient laws dictate. What few scraps are revealed, however, are that the Ashak support a unified central government, the center of which is believed to be on their mysterious homeworld by some, but the majority of xenoresearchers generally consider that the asteroid from whence they came holds great religious value to them, far too great to sustain such mundane facilities, so the concrete seat of their power is uncertain. It is well known, however, that Tirashak is still inhabited and poses great cultural, religious and ethnic value to the Ashak, with several theories claiming that it is used as training grounds for their mighty fighters (quote from Lergar the Mighty, an exiled Ashak pirate: 'Forget your discipline, your laughable training grounds or your puny chemicals; only within the unforgivable surface of the Homeworld one finds the smith whom brings steel into the hearts of men.'). It is a known fact that they believe comfort to breed complacency and self-indulgence, and actually seek out hostile environments, in the hopes that facing the challenges of surviving in dangerous and uncomfortable surroundings will make them tough, disciplined, and self-reliant.

The Ashak have no official religion. It is known that great respect is paid to three symbols, presentations of their ways of life, guiding and inspiring them to greatness: Ashak of Light, Rzawrek of Darkness and Velik of Battle. But, Ashak themselves strongly deny that these are gods and no rituals in their names are conducted. Yet, their society, besides being highly traditionalist, especially reveres and adheres to council of the spirits of their noble warrior ancestors; it is further speculized that they are even worshipped, so most scientists believe the Ashak adopt an ancestral ethos as cause for their actions, believing in the traditions and rites of stalwart fighters of the past instead of bowing before unseen transcendent gods. Unconfirmed speculations seem to indicate that on the surface of Tirashak exist three gigantic monolithic structures, dedicated as glorious monuments to the rise, fall and rebirth of their race, incarnations of symbols posed by Light, Darkness and the Battle which at the same time separates and binds them together, their legacy.

’You will burn out quickly and uselessly. Behind you, only ashes will remain.’
’So be it! At least we will be remembered as fire! Behind you, the only thing that will remain will be the sleazy trail of a slug.’

A dialogue between Taelon Zyelin Relaer and Vozd Malygos concerning the Ashak defeat at Pyrexia III.


The Ashak are a warrior species, and their government seems to reflect that. The only known ruling body is the leader of the people himself, whom bears the title of Vozd. It is not known if these Vozds are despotic or limited by the will of the people. Those who study Ashak culture also remain undetermined whether this is a hereditary title or not, though some theoriticize that it is in fact gained, either in a serious of bloodfull gladiator-like combats or by a great and valorous deed in combat (newer studies confirm this to be indeed true). Their leader, a heroic figure in their society, rules by his popularity as well as his past accomplishments.

'Dense forests do not grow with ease. Stronger wind breeds stronger trees.'

Ashak proverb.


The goal of the Ashak is to seek glorious battles and mighty foes among the stars. Their respect is earned not by honey-coated words or twisted morals but by the ways of the blade, and they would always be ready to aid a worthy warrior. What many of the alien races do not understand is that the Ashak are not set to conquer the galaxy as a whole, for then there would be no one left worthy enough to fight against, but seek constant challenges among the stars. To attack a weak and crippled enemy would be a breach of warrior ethics to them, and sometimes they might even give a nearly annihilated, but worthy and noble foe a chance to rise to power and fight them once more, protected until then by their might as their vassal, awaiting with glee great battles coming once they rebelled against their rule, sometimes even marked as intentionally harsh and brutal to stir more revolt. They care not for triumph or loss, or the galactic politics, as only the urge for battle guides them, so they often ally only with much stronger or much weaker races, which present not opportunities for grand battles, as they would fight only those equal to their might. This leads to them being labeled treacherous and untrustworthy many times for breaking a pact with a weakened or strengthened ally, as many races fail to see the penultimate truth: conflict among them is inevitable. In peacetime, the people worry about society becoming soft and decadent, and chafe at their inability to perform deeds of valor comparable to the legendary exploits of their illustrious forebears, yet a weak enemy diminishes both their dignity and their thirst for combat.

’A beast who has suffered millennia of pain, pays no heed to the slash of a mere sword.’

Ashak Saying of Derthrean.


The Ashak bear no hatred for anyone, save those who denounce the call of the blade. This, however, means they scorn two of the space faring races of the present: the cowardly, preaching and peaceful Derthrean, who represent all the Ashak despise are a race that would best be seen annihilated, and the self-righteous, sneaky Feralok are untrustworthy and even more devious than the former, as they would rather use blades of others against their foes, afraid of gloriously fighting for themselves on the valorous battlefield. Though they disdain Sleksix’ fanatical pursuits, they approve of their warrior prowess.

However, as everything about the Ashak, their society remains a deep mystery, as black as the depths of cold space around their homeworld. Perhaps someday these secrets will be brought into the light. For now, they remain hidden in their souls alone.

’It is better to die standing proud, then to live on one’s knees.’

Ashak Warrior Code.



History – Once upon a time, during the Golden Era of the Orions, a peaceful people, proud and productive members of their Empire, lived on the wind-swept lands of Ashak Prime. Humanoid in appearance, they happily spent their days among other blissful races, learning from them and teaching of themselves. Then, one day, the communicators stopped beeping, and the Orions, their wise and grand leaders, were nowhere to be found.
The Ashak fell in disarray, quickly dividing into several opposing blocks, frightened by the loss of their beloved masters, accusing each other for this. Soon they reverted to their pre-Orion ways of savagery, death and war. In the onslaught between themselves, a losing faction, as an act of utter desperation, launched the first of the nigh-forgotten ancient nuclear missiles that were still located in the plains of Ashak Prime. Soon, it was followed by another, and yet another after...Soon the entire planet Ashak, the 'Fruitful One' was first contaminated without merit, and when the opposing factions, in their deranged bloodlust, could not see nor stop the horror which they cast upon themselves, the world was ultimately destroyed.

’Days of defeat are harder to forget than days of victory.’

Ashak Warrior Code.


A giant explosion shook the foundations of galaxy, as a monument to the forever lost Orions, one that was destined to be the end of the Ashak race. Yet as if it was the spiteful will of a strange deity, before the face of total anihilation, there were a rare few whom anticipated the horror the blindling bloodshed would reap upon their misbegotten race. These survivors had prepared for the apocalypse by building a series of crude, yet effective life-sustaining facilities far beneath the surface of the doomed world, and retreating into these havens upon the start of the carnage.

By sheer fortune alone, some of them suceeded in enduring the destruction of most of their world. Once the fires of obliteration had withdrawn and dust settled over the dead world, the scattered bunch of survivors, most of whom were former military personnel, left their caverns and stepped into a new, frightening existence. The now desolate asteroid field orbiting around a broken shell of a planet that was once their homeworld, was, by their grief and pain at their tragic fate, dubbed Rzawrek, the 'Sorrowful Many', in their language. Yet among all their pain, grim determination was also born: they solemnly swore that they, no matter what, would not forsake their homeland for any reason and all the fighting skills they learned butchering their own brethren would be put to use in the hands of others, so that one day they may have the source needy to once again plunge Ashak from the iron grip of Rzawrek, new symbols of their fate. One of life and eternal happiness, a memory to the great olden times; and one of death and undeserved grief, a true testimony to the frightening present. The now-legendary warrior armors of those who so efficiently slaughtered themselves became a symbol of that oath, and of solemn faith the Ashak had sworn upon; until their motherworld was brim with life once more, their shameful, tainted race would never reveal its true form to another. And to this day, though the true reason is cast aside to the mists of time, they still hold on to that promise.

Yet in finding resolve to endure upon this empty hull of their homeworld, they had for the first time also found something they had forgotten generations ago: hope. So, in light of this newfound spirit, their world was renamed Tirashak, or the 'Heart of Ashak'.
After the initial adjustment to the new environment, the plans for fulfilling their oath were under way. Not many eclipses of the moon passed before the Ashak mercenaries, undefeatable warriors without fear of death, were heard of and hired constantly by other space faring races, scorned by some as not having remorse nor regret, the resurrection of their home being their only concern.

'Mastering others is strength. Mastering yourself is power.'

Ashak Warrior Code.


As time passed since the Fall of Orions, the universe changed. And as it grew and changed, so did the Ashak, nurturing and honing their skills over time, becoming efficient hunters, the thrill of pursuing and capturing their prey more and more possessing them, growing into their passion. Slowly, they turned to their legendary forebears for guidance and approval, following the ways of those before as their own, claiming great warrior traditions over time. As years have gone by, their downfall became their teaching, and the thrill of battle against uncountable foes, began to consume them, marking forever that the fall of their ancestors would become the beginning of their rise. The bounties soon became irrelevant; the resurrection of Ashak, a symbol of both that fall and rise, but a forgotten dream, for was it not its harsh surface which taught their race the ways of battle? It was the joy of combat, the valor of defeating an opponent and the urge to stand triumphant that had taken the Ashak hearts. No longer did the two great names remind them of the grim present, nor of the exalted past, for where once two stood now three dwelled and the Symbol of Battle, Velik, had joined Rzawrek and Ashak in their souls, perhaps as the mightiest idea ever, a pledge to their strength. The promise of Tirashak became but a monument and now, honorable and glorious battles were what had taken their spirits, the legacy of their ancestors which would be fulfilled.

’There is no shame in falling. Shame lies in not rising back up.’

Ashak Warrior Code.


So now, their hearts mysterious as their origin or their visage, the Ashak are ready to find epic battles and worthy adversaries among the stars which would spill untold glory over them, and fulfill the teachings of their past, honoring their noble forefathers. It matters not whether they would triumph or stand defeated, it matters not whether the cause is just or vile, as what they seek is combat alone, for it is their life now and their existence.


Race Attributes – Greater Bonus on Combat.
Minor Penalty on Trade.
Minor Penalty on Diplomacy.
Minor Penalty on Environment.
Minor Bonus on Research.
Minor Bonus on Unrest. (however, unrest factors are reversed, so peace instead of war creates unrest)

'When the hordes of their ravenous butchers preying upon the peaceful lands of Nalbaria IV encountered no resistance, no warriors defending the world, the Ashak went into a horrible rage and slaughtered the entire Nalbari race into extinction in only two days of bloodthirsty and repulsive murderous orgies. Was this not xenocide? Is this not a crime?'
'They were weak and cowardly to hide behind the innocent. A race that has spawned such disgusting beings deserved not to live.'

A dialogue between Ashak and Derthrean Senate representatives concerning the alleged genocide of Nalbari.



Appendix #1: Old copy of an Ashak mercenary service contract.

'Target: DXV-135.267.34, native tongue 'L'eersa'in'. Contractor: The Grunthor Empire. Resistance: Native Military (no NBC weapons arsenal, moderate equivalent technological development, number span-thousands), Native Militia, Allied Irkshaz Military (moderate/low equivalent technological development, number span-hundreds). Additional: Eradication of any civilian native life and destruction of all habitation zones. Allocated forces: One regiment. Estimation of Casualties: Low. Estimation of Value: 45637 Standard Orion Units.'

_________________
Sometimes, a man's heart is that of a wolf, and the path of enlightenment his alone to walk upon.


Last edited by Velizar on Thu May 26, 2005 12:10 am, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 06, 2005 1:51 pm 
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Derthrean

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'The tracks of those whose laws lie in blades, reek of damnation.'

Derthrean Book of Truths.


Introduction – A race of awe and wonder, of duality and oneness, of unyielding pain and great serenity, the floral Derthrean strive to cleanse the galaxy of evil and release themselves from the painful curse cast upon them by their beloved Goddess.


Homeworld – The deep marshes of the swamp world Taalen, a biological ecotopia.


A reason for leaving the home planet – Because in their eternal pain the Derthrean found true peacefulness and serenity they now quest to teach other, blessed, races in renouncing their sins and discovering truth without condemning themselves to certain doom.


Social Structure – The Derthrean are a race of calmness and tranquility, a race of maelstrom and order, a race of bliss and pain. Though they spend their whole lives fighting it, their society, which they conceive as flawless and beckoning, is like themselves, a slave to their pain.

The Derthrean are a sharply divided race, split by the legacy of their forebears. They are divided into castes, strictly defined segments of society complete with distinct religious and social mandates. They are born into a caste, they mate in their caste, and they die as a member of a caste. Because the breeding has been so isolated throughout the millennia, there are even physical varieties in different castes, so it is generally not difficult to differ a warrior from a diplomat by appearance alone. The Derthrean castes are divided as follows: the most benevolent Priest caste, the Worker caste, the Grower caste, the Provider caste, the Scholar caste and the most despised of all, the Warrior caste.

The Worker caste depicts those whose progenitors the Goddess intended for the simple life of service and menial work. Those born as Workers have a vast and extensive area of duties, leaving the other castes free to pursue greater goals. Their evolution has spawned Derthrean capable of great and constant physical toil, albeit somewhat more simple-minded than the rest of their race.

The Grower caste engrosses those charged with the knowledge of intricate biotechnology the Derthrean practice. They grow their technology organically. All their devices are bioengineered lifeforms, grown and shaped to fit their needs. They are mistrustful of inorganic technology to the point of disgusting it, and purely cybernetic races are not even considered true life, but a disfigured perversion of Goddess' promise. And the powers of these knowledge are kept safe in the minds of the diligent and focused, even if often over-zealous and unrealistic Growers.

The Provider caste works to keep the society functioning. It handles matters of commerce, bureaucracy and trade and represents the vital link between the ruling Priests and the remaining population. Their wit is great and encouraged, but so is their arrogance.

Those of the Scholar caste are both frightening and heroic to the other Derthrean. They pursue lives of extensive study and decipher knowledge lost to benefit their entire race, but to do so, they need great quantities of Goddess' Scourge, which in turn marks their lives as short and extremely painful. Decades of such lives have caused extensive mutations and horrid alterations of their visage. But frail shadows compared to others of their race due to their exposure to the virus, their vast minds care little for Goddess or anything beyond their lives of research.

'There are those braver in front of the face of death then that of life.'

Derthrean Saying.


The lowliest of all, those disgraced and shameful, those whose ancestors did not heed the words of the Goddess, the Warriors, represent the worst of the Derthrean. Physically imposing compared to others, yet brutish and mean, they live pitiful lives filled with all their brethren despise. All who fail their caste or society, insult the Goddess or her legacy, denounce peace and devotion as their goals or those born from their damned midst are sent into the Warriors, to end their wretched existence as soon as they earn it. Small absolution can be earned if some rise from the dirt of the Forsaken (common name for the general population of Warriors) and become Templars, those who wield their bloodful blades to protect the wards of Goddess from harm of others, yet their lives are barely better than of their brethren, and their sole solace is Her comfort, the despise of better souls as hard to bear, though they do deserve some respect as Her slaves.

And the last and most valorous, the caste of the Priests both rules the society and serves the faith absolutely. They are divided by her mandate into four subclasses, namely the Disciples, Acolytes, Adepts and the holy Derthrii. The Disciples are young and yet new to the ways of the Goddess, and their lives consist of learning and praying for penance. The Acolytes have understood her first vows and now study ancient scriptures and pray in monasteries for clarity. Adept present the backbone of the society, and though their time of devotion is lessened by their ruling obligations, they lead the empire in the name of the Goddess intelligently and flawlessly, commanded only by the holy leaders. And these holy and wise leaders, the so-called 'Painless Ones' are the Derthrii of the race. Legends spoken of them say that they are so favored by the Goddess that pain itself is to them non-existent, and that their very presence is a sign of her favor. This is in fact not true, but a ghastly rumor, and it haunts them all the time, yet is kept unknown to the remainder of populace, which is why becoming one of the Derthrii is a dream for all.

'Peace is not the absence of war; it is a virtue, a state of mind, a disposition for benevolence, confidence, and justice.'

'Studies of Conflict', Unknown Author.


Religion, as presented, plays the fundamental role in their society. Each Derthrean, whether high or lowly, exalted or ashamed, lives to please the Goddess, in hopes of releaving the terrible burden of pain and earning forgiveness for the betrayal and bloodlust of their ancestors. Temples erected to Goddess are the most fantastical grown structures in the lands they inhabit, massive glimmering spheres which have a tremendous effect by their sheer size and beauty. The Priests tend to matters both of faith and of state, and the Derthrean willingly obey their every advice with due respect. As they are charged with a sacred mission, their faith stresses the importance of gaining new converts, liberating the misguided races from their illusions. The Derthrean find that success in attracting new believers tends to be a self-perpetuating phenomenon, alleviation of a small part of the terrible sins their race committed. They tolerate those of different faith, viewing them sorrowfully as deluded children, yet are stern advocates of the Goddess’ justfulness and great evangelists in her name.

’People whom hate are first foolish, then cowardly, but never heroes.’

Derthrean Book of Truths.


Being stern pacifists, they view the use of force as justified only as an absolute last resort. They vehemently oppose fighting in wars, or even having wars conducted in their name. Yet even when times of war are forced upon them, they refuse to countenance violating the rights of their opponents.

'Zeal is fit only for the wise, but is found mostly in fools.'

Derthrean Saying of Sleksix.


The Derthrean are a peaceful, serene and enlightened people, whom hate no one (note: Their diplomacy is generally considered the most sincere, as they can do little to lie. Their emotions are relayed through a subtle change of color, due to biochemical reactions of blood enzymes in their bodies) However, a few races, diabolical in nature, have earned their despise since the initial contact. The fanatical, bloodthirsty Sleksix represent the worst that could happen to a clouded mind, and their unyielding pursuit of deranged power disgusts the faithful, yet wise Derthrean. And those most vile, the Ashak warriors, whose lives are constantly governed solely by sorrow, blood, and death, remind them of their tragic past and depict all they have forever sworn to deny. Yet the Derthrean have no wish for battles and pain, and all they would do against the foul infidels is pray to the one true Goddess for the salvation of their souls. Until perhaps, their very existence comes into threat by savage brutes that threaten their ways of life from every dark shadow.

'What lies behind us and what lies before us are small matters compared to what lies within us.'

Derthrean Book of Truths.


History – The endless marshes of Taalen, the swamp world, hide many untainted wonders of life within, life amazing and strange to the eye of a foreign beholder. For uncountable species dwell under the murky waters of Taalen, among its treetops and in its skies. Indeed, the surface of the rich planet is an ideal home for a true ecotopia of life, numbers of different species measuring in billions. Yet only two of that plentiful stock were ever able to form true reason...and they have done it in unison.

For only on Taalen did nature provide such a strange, yet somehow fitting pair: a plant and a virus. Alone they mean naught. Together, they are formed to become one of the galaxy's most impressive creatures: the Derthrean. Countless millennia of evolution had spawned a peculiar creature, whose very existence astounds all that come to know of them.

It is widely known today that Derthrean consciousness represents a half parasitic, half symbiotic relationship of viruses living in the bodies of plants. Neither the virus has intelligence, and a plant without it is but an empty shell, yet somehow together, their neural synapses are compatible to create a reasonable being. It is also known that the virus is highly localized and it exists only on Taalen itself and furthermore that, ironically, though it brings awareness to the host plant, it is also toxic to its nervous system, inflicting great amounts of pain to the host, slowly murdering it the greater it spawns, and in the end, killing the plant itself, effectively meaning that the greater the intelligence of a Derthrean, the more pain he endures, somewhat similar to various Terran consciousness expanding narcotics. This pain, in turn, which might be considered a tradeoff for their intelligence, the Derthrean see as the punishment of their deity for crimes long committed against the faith.

Xenobiological studies indicate that a long time ago, the race was consisted merely of mobile plants, which although agile and movable, had no reason. It is also speculated that the formation of the parasymbiotic relationship first came as an accident, when a plant which would come to be known as Goddess stumbled upon one of the viral sites on Taalen, and miraculously for a unreasonable being, relocated itself before inhaling too much of the virus (it is common knowledge that the infestation survival rate among non-Derthrean is 0.000026%). The disease then spread through her neural system, fusing with the strangely matching DNK and altering it, sparking first seeds of intelligence and reasonable thought. And the first thoughts of a newborn sentient race were not profound at all;

For, finding root in ancient Derthrean legends, the protoplant started carefully fusing others of her species with the virus, content with enduring pain as a substitute for reason (Derthrean themselves claim that neither the ’Goddess’ as they dubbed the protoplant, nor any of the earlybreds suffered any of the normal symptoms of viral infection, but this theory is highly unlikely and probably credited to their beliefs). Research also indicates that her motives were not wise or glorious, but simple at best: pure domination. Yet later on, it seems, slowly at first, for unclear reasons the prodigal Derthrean exposed herself to more and more of the parasite, and expanded her consciousness beyond any boundaries known to even the present of her race, inflicting upon herself more and more pain, yet becoming in the process arguably the most intelligent documented being in intergalactic history. Her lifespan was cut short by the process, however, but in this limited time of enlightenment the fabled Derthrean Book of Truths is claimed to have been written and the ways of Goddess presented to her offspring.

'Pain is a lie, truth lies within resistance. Through resistance I achieve power. By power I find strength. With strength I gain peace. In peace I discover my soul. Through my soul I am closer to Goddess, who shall set me free from the pain eternal.'

Derthrean Book of Truths, Foreword.


Yet, legends continue, her teachings were left unheeded and mobs of local warlords fought one another like primal animals over mundane or even foolish things: pride or viral territories, resources or hatred, it did not matter. Atheists and warmongers, bloodthirsty and murderous, they butchered hundreds upon hundreds of their leaf and blood for trifle matters without a thought of the carnage they brought, and the punishment that would follow for their sacrilege, maddened in the chaos of greed and war. And Goddess’ call was swift and righteous.

For it is then that the Derthrean claim the Goddess’ Scourge, or Unyielding Pain, was given to them, as a punishment for their sins against the true faith (note: Historical findings oppose this view. Pain is merely a part of viral infestation of the nervous system, to this date found incurable. Newer academical theories indicate that the a fundamentalist movement prevailed in a war-torn society and inflicted their views upon the race to maintain easier control.). In a blinding flash of light and but a single tear of their disappointed and horrified Creator, the agony which would torment them forever for their bloodlust was inflicted. And the entire race would have died out at the hands of the vengeful Goddess had it not been for the first ’children of faith’, the first Derthrii.

'A stone guards the memory of a great mountain. A spring hides the thought of an ancient river. A breeze savors the dream of a mighty hurricane. The sole thing a sword remembers is pain and blood.'

Derthrean Book of Truths.


It was them, the true servants of Goddess and forefathers of today’s Derthrean, who realized the dangers of war and foresaw the justful apocalypse. In their unyielding faith and sorrow for their mislead brethren was born the seed of a new race, noble and peaceful, which would strive against the accursed legacy of the Heathen Wars to earn penance for their arrogance and betrayal of the true Goddess. They had taken the future of their race into their hands, renounced hatred and war, and promoted peace and benevolence as the only hope for salvation of the dreaded curse. The celebration of the just Goddess began, her wishes for the future of her race finally coming to fruition and a more dignified way of life spreading throughout her offspring, always focused on seeding her truth and hope for relinquishing the pain she embroided upon them for the sins of their vile ancestors.

Race Attributes – Greater Penalty on Combat.
Greater Bonus on Faming.
Minor Bonus on Trade.
Greater Penalty on Unrest.
Greater Bonus on Environment.
Minor Penalty on Population Growth.

‘And the Rassak, amused, came to me and asked: Behold, the lore of my race is filled with bloodshed. Yet I feel no pain. My gods protect me. How can your Goddess be righteous if she is cruel?’
‘And, confidently, I said to him: Your wars were led for freedom. The Goddess is just.’
‘And the Feralok, disbelieving, came to me and said: Behold, the history of my people is overwhelmed by clash of weapons. Yet I feel no pain. My strength protects me. Your Goddess is an ideal, nothing more.’
‘And, doubtful, I replied to him: Your wars were led for fear. The Goddess is just.’
‘And the Ashak, gloating and intimidating, came to me and shouted: Behold, the tales of my forefathers brim with conflict. Yet I feel no pain. My ancestors protect me. Your Goddess is an excuse for weakness.’
‘And I could not answer. For I could not understand. Could it truly be that our beloved Goddess is not just?’

‘Journals of a Heretic’, Unknown Author.

_________________
Sometimes, a man's heart is that of a wolf, and the path of enlightenment his alone to walk upon.


Last edited by Velizar on Thu May 26, 2005 12:15 am, edited 3 times in total.

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Feralok

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'It takes the strength of two to be as one.'

Xealin Naeyean.


Introduction – An ancient race of noble philosophers, thinkers and psionics, the clever Feralok always strive to rise up to the heritage of their past without endangering their ways of life, their fabled neutrality and brilliance being the envy of many.


Homeworld – Snow covered lands of the cold tundra planet Leioch IV.


A reason for leaving the home planet – The Feralok have at last reclaimed some of their ancestral legacies and are prepared to seize the role among the black beyond that their ancestors once hailed as their own.


Social Structure – The Feralok ancient traditions, though they may seem peculiar to alien eyes, brought them great wisdom and prosperity and they hold these rites as sacred. As the teachings of their forefathers command, the Feralok society is divided into three orders.

’The sweaty, huge form of the Rassak towered over me after having me thrown to the floor of the pit by a swift left feint, followed by a quick svarog maneuver. Smiling, confident of his victory, pinning me tight to the ground he asked me: Do you yield?’
’And then I fought back.’

Kealin Nearis, Lyean philosopher and a former prisoner in the Ashak arenas.


In the Psi Schools of the Feralok, the innate psionic abilities of their genetically enhanced minds are celebrated, along with great personal contemplation and philosophic study. To truly develop the full potential of their talents, strict concentration, focus and a life of great perseverance and devotion are required, so not many become one of the philosophic Orders. The applicants for them are, further more, thoroughly tested to ensure that only the best ones are even considered for the rigorous duties of enlightenment. The Followers of the Ways are divided into two Orders, those who adhere to the rules of personal advancement, Lyean, (Light Seekers in Common), and those who harness the power of Tyaen, or the Dark Bringers.

To the Lyean, named by the rituals in which they find their unique psi strength, the mind is a sacred and deeply personal thing which is to be advanced solely by each individual. This focus draws them to develop the innate powers of limited precognition, logical reasoning which surpasses their entire race and reaches even the levels of complex inorganic beings, and those who develop their abilities to the fullest may even achieve short ranged teleportation merely by concentrating hard enough to envision themselves at the desired location. The Tyaen, on the other hand, consider their powers a gift which must be used to the fullest, and they recognize its true power in manipulating the minds of others, shaping them as clay and influencing them to their own will. They focus more on the outward uses of their psi powers, so those whom favor this path can acquire telepathy, limited mind control and may even hurt the minds of others by great concentration, though never fatally.

'The race which makes a great distinction between warriors and scholars will have its battles led by fools and its thoughts guided by cowards.'

Ancient Lea’Tyen proverb.


Both Orders harbor their own elite warriors, which are often used as the deadliest blades of the Feralok armies. The Lyean train the brave Feraes, warriors which rely on the natural talents of their order, for whom speed is the prime requisite. And the elite Tyaen fighters, the Saeyl, are unseen combatants whom use the tricks of the feeble mind to ensnare their targets. Both schools view each other with some disdain and mistrust: the Tyaen because they consider the Lyean are negating their own nature, inhibiting their talents, and their powers somewhat flawed compared to their own, and the Lyean see the Tyaen's domination of minds as an affront to the sacred laws and rites of their order. Yet, taught by the lessons of ages past, both learned they are the most powerful when combining their powers together, so as all of their race, they strive for complete neutrality and peace between the two.

The finest leaders of both Orders are gathered in the Naeyean Conclave, the highest religious authority of Feralok. The Conclave then decides upon one sole Feralok, the Moenach, whom shall govern their race justly alongside two other members of the Triumvirate. As a race, the Feralok respect these schools of faith, but since they praise their natural talents and propagate philosophical, not religious views of the world, the prideful people bear no fanaticism or humble admiration.

The second leader of the Triumvirate hails from the people themselves, from the Feralok Council, the Regna Gather. The membership in the Regna Gather, as in the Naeyean Conclave, is divided by two equally: the Elected Members and the Noblekin. The Noblekin are distant descendants of ancient rulers of Feralok, and as such retain much of their elite position in the society, especially due to the fact that some of their families might one day rise to emperorship. They also, together with Elected Members of the People, whom are chosen as the most deserving of their race, decide upon a champion which would represent them in the Triumvirate, the Ceales. The two of Regna Gather once warred among themselves, but saw the futility of the conflict and arose above it.

At last the third, and ultimate leader of the Triumvirate and Feralok is the emperor, or Taelon. Each Taelon hails from the Royal Family, bearers of the lineage closest to that of ancient kings of their race. Once their rule was supreme and their word law; however, with their keen minds the Feralok realized the dangers of this system, and the noble and just Triumvirate was established by the hand of the Prophet, Xealin Naeyean.

Decision in the Triumvirate are brought either by consensus, or if not possible, the majority of two. The Taelon is the leader and spokesman of the Triumvirate, but in reality is but an equal member. The Orders of Ways pertain to their own duties of enhancing themselves, pursuing and teaching the arts of knowledge and philosophy and training elite warriors. The Regna Gather generally decides upon the path the Feralok take, but the Triumvirate brings any decision to fruition.

’A passion for knowledge is the greatest expression of inner strength of a being and an explicit form of its self-esteem.’

Xealin Naeyean.


The Feralok are a highly intellectual and contemplative race, their society placing great emphasis on art, architecture and philosophy. They dread and despise physical toil, and revel in finer heights of achievement, seeking knowledge, self-awareness and beauty above all else. They place a high value on creating beauty and expressing oneself, and the production of artistic masterpieces is considered the acme of achievement for individuals and societies. For those who lack significant aesthetic talents, this ideal holds that the best life is one devoted to cultivating an appreciation for works of genius that others have crafted. As a very insightful race, the Feralok have great respect for those who withdraw from the world and lead a life of meditation and reflection, seeking answers and greater wisdom. While the elite of the race pursues these noble goals, workers, farmers or others of low refinement and meaningless lives are generally scorned and despised by society as a whole.

'They speak of each other as demonic, vile and malignant and would like nothing better than complete obliteration of their ancestral foe. In their hatred, both betray a weakness. Both have much yet to learn. For where is the wisdom in destroying what we perceive as evil? How can one comprehend good if he was not wronged? How would one conceive light if there was not the shadow that envelops it? The laws of balance govern the universe. If a crusade was led for the ultimate justice, where would it begin? And most importantly, when would it end?'

Feralok speech in the Orion Senate of the Rassak/Sleksix blood feud.


This race understands well the intricacies of galactic politics, and what is more, finds great delight and craftiness in them. To understand and study other lifeforms is a thrill not to be considered lightly. However, they do have some reservations for the warrior, treacherous and unreasonable Ashak, whose sole desire for bloodfull wars they left long behind them and now can not comprehend. They do revere the solid peacefulness of the Derthrean and enjoy the simple naivness and childlike curiosity of Rassak. Otherwise, united in their diversity, they remain mainly neutral in conflicts of others and often use them as pions for their goals, exploiting their petty desires for their ends, a portrait of perfect politicians. The Feralok strive to keep balance among other powers in galaxy, preventing opposing sides of ever overtaking one another until it suits their needs to consume them in their own empire.

They believe their social organization to be supremely wise and just. Since they are committed to maintaining the status quo, they generally give a great deal of deference to the government unless they become convinced that it has lost its legitimacy and poses a threat to the social order which had ended eons of bloodshed.

The politics of Feralok are rather seclusionist, with a tendency to isolate themselves from conflicts, yet remain entwined in the gust of things, manipulating others for their own ends, sparking the stories of their cowardice among the more militaristic races. However, these rumors are quickly proven wrong if facing the Feralok, as they are unafraid of taking up arms for what they believe in and fierce in combat when forced to be so.


History – As the ancient histories of many worlds mention, the Orions have visited and enlightened many races of the galaxy. On one of the planets which sparked their interest, Leioch IV, the cold world, there thrived a race far different than many. The olden Feralok were a race naturally endowed by formidable psychic abilities and wondrously resilient to the planet’s harsh climate, yet sadly feral and unyielding to the truths of Orions. Through all reason they denounced the voice of the outworlders and retreated to the cold to defend their ways of life. Standard practice would be to brutally conquer the natives and enslave them for reeducation. However, standard practice often proves wrong; and as it would soon be seen, with the Feralok, nothing is standard.

After some vicious skirmishes with the native populace, the Orions saw the unclaimed potential in the minds of the noble humanoids. At that time dwelling in research for genetically altering intelligence, they had decided to boost the knowledge of this defiant race, uplifting them to sentience, in order to convince them of the error of their ways. The project was a stunning success and first of those which would become known as the Feralok were born.

At first, awed beyond words by the power of the Orions, the Feralok saw them not as fathers, or creators, but as one would look upon a god. Worshipped and revered, obeyed and respected, Orions marveled at the progress of their creation. The Feralok gradually became highly intellectual and introspective, achieving great heights in not only their cultural advancements, but personal, individualistic advancements as well. Prideful of their achievements, theirs was an era of prosperity and enlightenment, secluded from the workings of the empire by the protective wing of their Orion fathers. But, it was their pride which would spark their downfall. As their insights grew and grew, and miracles of art and knowledge became increasingly stupendous, so did their pride. They abandoned their ways and distanced themselves both from their kin, and their benefactors, seeking to discover their own greater purpose in existence, each in turn becoming isolated and aloof to his brethren and their primordial bonds of fellowship. More and more mistrustful of the Orions, the Feralok started to question the motives of the outsiders, seeing them as a threat now, not gods, nor creators.

Yet in seeking comfort in solace, they had shattered the greatest strength of their race, their powerful unity, and their creators despaired at the now scattered tribes of the once noble and solidary beings. Feeling that their work had only sown the inevitable downfall of the Feralok, the Orions prepared to abandon them to their ways, which spelled certain doom, and leave them to the chaos that would surely emerge. Yet, by this time despising their harbingers, the Feralok would not let it come to pass. And it came to be that before those who fathered their might and reason would leave the sinister world, they had been slaughtered by the hands and minds of their progeny without remorse or regret.

Knowing of the onslaught which would ensue from the Empire, the rebelling Feralok had established the single body which would survive the upcoming strife and live until the days of the Third Rise: Iaeren Selean, the Watchful Eye, a service to their race demanded of many: to support the Orion technology and prevent their empire from ever finding out of the newfound liberty (or ingratitude). In reality, all the power was divided between the scattered tribes of their race, sparks of conflict already brewing, echoing the coming of the dark age which would shake the foundations of their beliefs and burn a searing scar into their minds that would not heal for a millennia.

Over time, the Feralok clans grew more and more wary of each other, with constant bickering and backstabbing portraying their petty differences. Legends hold that an assassination of an important clan leader by a rival tribe sparked the conflict; yet today it bears no matter. What is important is that the tribes divided into several blocks, and fought in an apocalyptic war now known as the Bealin Eranea, War of the Five Blades, named so by the now extinct grand clans held responsible for most of the slaughter. As in any civil war, one could scarcely differ friend from foe, as ancient friends feuded, aided by ancient enemies. It was an uncertain, dangerous and tragic time of strife, where great victories and epic defeats were all but uncommon.

From the flames of war, several greater clans emerged, rising above others, be it in ways of cunning, ferocity or honor. Slowly at first, these larger clans overtook those lesser by words, weapons or both, uniting their race, until at the end but a few sharply divided great tribes and only dozens of independent smaller ones remained. The great tribes of these days were the technocratic, scheming and cunning Xeas’Tarados (’Born for victory’, it was common that the name of a tribe would also serve as its motto), whom though somewhat lacking in strength of arms, excelled at negotiating service of their interests, the numerous hordes of Rein’Meara (’Soil of the land’), whose power was of legend, and whose numbers far surpassed all else, the elusive and wise Lea’Tyen (’Honor and Speed’), whose miniscule numbers were outmatched by elite training of their enhanced skills, the greedy and honorless Brae’Nar (’Love of Wealth’), who cared more for glitter of gold than their brothers’suffering, and the fanatic order of Ori’Neol (’Sons of Orions’), who were a religious sect devoted to earning penance for betraying their creators.

At first, large disputes were seen among the Brae’Nar and Rein’Meara, and a sharp rivalry between Xeas’Tarados and Lea’Tyen, with Ori’Neol’s unethical practices and adoration of the despised Orions disdained by all, including the Watchful Eye, which usually held itself neutral in the matters of tribes. In time, the disputes between the former two led to open vendetta, in which the Rein’Meara called upon the noble Lea’Tyen for aid. Though normally plotting and guiding other tribes against each other, weakening them before consuming them, disfavorable towards open warfare, the Xeas’Tarados could not ignore this, not only pledging to aid the exploitist Brae’Nar, but enlisting the aid of the battle eager Ori’Neol as well, promising their strange faith dominance in the aftermath of war, not trusting them, but both needy and willing to use their assistance in the bloodbath, in turn forcing the hand of their rivals, the Lea’Tyen, as well. As the war progressed, these five great tribes gradually set aside their differences and stood united against each other in two blocks, aided by various minor fractions at times: the Raen’Kala (Xeas’Tarados, Brae’Nar, Ori’Neol) and the Quatros’Shan (Rein’Meara, Lea’Tyen). The conflict continued for many generations, splitting the racial heart into two, with both sides gaining strength today to lose it tomorrow, exploiting the minor tribes as was seen fit.

In the end, it is said that the exhausting stalemate was broken at last by the famous battle of Raik’Thol, the last stand of the mighty Brae’Nar fortress against a hopeless and desperate assault of the Rein’Meara hordes, which saw the extinction of the entire defending clan, and nearly of the victors as well. This was the moment the deceitful Xeas’Tarados betrayed their allegiance to the Raen’Kala, grudgingly forfeiting their feud with Lea’Tyen, and joining the Quatros’Shan, thus paving their way to victory and ultimate end of war. Yet once the alliance, with the aid of the crafty traitors, prevailed, a desolate image was left, with one great tribe being utterly wiped out, and the Ori’Neol, whom stood alone at the end, and whose genocidal and merciless practices earned great wrath of the winners, either grievously punished by murder or exile, or, setting their tribal marks aside, swelling the ranks of the more tolerant Lea’Tyen (seeding the spark of the great warriors’ future zealous pursuits of philosophy) and the turncoats of Xeas’Tarados not only avoiding penance, but seizing all significant power on the long last united Leioch, snatching it away from the weakened hands of true victors, with many small clans still restless and uprising against the new order.

As time passed, however, matters greatly changed in the lands of Feralok. After the colossal battle that changed the foundations of their nation, the Rein’Meara, thought of as muscles of the victorious side, grew more and more apathetic and careless towards the workings of their race, greatly losing their very identity, and over time, along with many lesser tribes, fusing into the new general populace, free of tribal constrictions, signing off their name in the annals of history, never to grasp their clan weapons again. The children of Xeas’Tarados, now rulers by birth alone, separated themselves from the people, becoming as their ancestors, cunning and pragmatic leaders, yet now made nobility and ruling class, masters of politics and plots. The Lea’Tyen also followed the path of seclusion, even if in a different and more profound way. Accepting the remnants of Ori’Neol into the fold, they embraced some of their religious teachings, and slowly turned from a warrior order into a philosophical school, center of enlightenment, study of the possibilities of their minds and development of gifted elite individuals with these capabilities, setting the stage for an era of discovery and knowledge. And the Watchful Eye stood strong, as vigilant as in the olden days. Tribal divisions, seemingly forgotten, slept under the surface of the world, but would still have great influence at the events which would follow this brief oasis of peace in their harsh history, aptly named the Second Rise of Feralok.

Not much time passed before the rule of Xeas’Tarados progeny was recognized as formal, and what was now a Royal Family claimed a pivotal role in leading the society. The Taelon, or Emperor, was by blood the most direct descendant of ancient tribal warlords. Over time, the position, from a relatively ceremonial one, grew to increasing power. The will of the Taelon became the desire of the people. His power was absolute, his word law, his wishes unchallenged. This time saw the spawning of many emperors, some wise and beneficial for their race, more of them selfish and uncaring, the majority cruel and heartless, yet this was the legacy of the Second Rise, and was obeyed unquestioningly. Until the appearance of Taelon Kryetas Maelar, the Horrid.

’To sate your desires, you have to be born a king, or a madman.’

Unknown Author.


As it was spoken, not only a few emperors were cruel. Many had followed selfish whims and inflicted great pain upon their own race. Many were remembered as horrible, terrifying or dastardly. Yet only the name of Kryetas Maelar the tyrant, would be written by shaky hands with blood in place of ink, only his reign still mentioned in hushed voices, only he was the single being that had plunged an entire planet into a decade of warfare and bloodshed. Only those of the race whose memory is painfully clouded, or those extremely brave merely shudder at the mention of his name. With the aid of elite and support of the royal family, he had so oppressed his Feralok kinsmen that murder, pillaging and destruction were considered trifle matters on Leioch, and slaughter a word of everyday speech. And still the Feralok frightenly speak of glee with which this monster performed the most vile and heinous crimes in the royal torture chambers.

After some years of this tyranny, the blood of even the most passive and peaceful citizen would come to boil by the deranged orgies of pain and cruelty. The ancient spirit of Rein’Meara started to fuel the rebellion not only against the vile Taelon, but his royal cohorts and supporters as well, seeing an end to the Second Rise, and setting the stage for yet another great war, this time for survival. The New Dawn, as the rebels dubbed themselves, would first fight a guerilla warfare against the Old Way (or Noblekin, common name for royalists), which would burst into open war later, but it would not embody the legacy of ancient tribes once more, for what once were the steadfast Lea’Tyen had problems of their own and would keep neutral of the greater conflict this time.

For the fate of Lea’Tyen was very different indeed than that of any other tribes of the War of Five Blades. With the inclusion of remnant Ori’Neol, the clan had made a gradual turn from valuing warrior prowess alone to contemplation and self-awareness, similar to the Feralok of the First Rise, yet acknowledging their specific situation. So in time, they had ceased to exist as a unitary tribe and instead became a philosophical order, bent on discovery and knowledge, study of their unique psychic powers as well as development of practical uses of their enhanced minds in combat by the traditions of the Old Tribe, becoming vessels of wisdom and clarity, and yet dangerous harbingers of destruction, as well. At first, practices of both of what are now known as orders would be studied by all, yet over time, as their prowess grew and grew, a schism appeared in the official dogma, and it was marked by the slow appearance of specialization that would bring much upheaval and disturbance, plaguing the order of what was now the widely acclaimed Feralok faith for decades to come.

Two paths were believed to be open for further exploration, two aspects of mind enhancement many blinded philosophers deemed irreconcilable: what is now known as the Lyean, the Path of Light, and Tyaen, the Road of Darkness, were the common names of these differing schools among the general population. The order weathered out the first disagreements, yet soon, more and more scholars left the neural techniques of both sides, choosing to focus their entire lives to divulge the secrets of one or the other. In time, the Lea’Tyen divided unto two, among whom arguments and disputes were a common sight (the schism in dogma is explained in Social Organization and will not be reviewed here). This in turn lead to the fabled Congress of Naeyen, called to settle the disputes among the orders, yet succeeding only in provoking even greater division, the separation of the Lea’Tyen, the faith itself, and ultimately, an inter-religious war between the two, with the maddened monarch and rebellious masses only aiding in boosting the conflict. This entire dark time of impending war, both between the Old Way and New Dawn, and Lyean and Tyaen would be remembered in Feralok history as the last great strife and the War of Pride.

Centuries past, as Leioch was once again the battleground of mighty armies and bloodful clashes. While the religious war was of lesser influence towards the general carnage, it did not stay behind in cruelty, savagery or hatred, only amplified by the fact that the battle was fought between elite warriors of the former Lea’Tyen. And, though sparked by the appearance of the oppressor, the class struggles did not come to halt after his demise, with the New Dawn opting for a change of the ancient system by revolution rather than reform. Neither side in any of the conflicts was able to seize a permanent, lasting advantage, and the intense strife was slowly driving the entire race into extinction. Also, until the end, the two different wars never crossed paths, as neither the royalists nor the revolutionaries were able to enlist any of the scholars, consumed by their own bloodshed.

'In the spark of war there will be salvation, and in the darkest hour there will be a light.'

The Messiah Prophecy.


It had seemed that the race of Feralok would only stop their insanity once it was too late, once doom came over them all. And things would have gone that way indeed, had it not been for a single man. As the ancient, vicious blood feuds continued to take their toll upon yet another generation of Feralok, one eccentric mystic stumbled upon a pivotal insight. For the end of the last era of conflict marks the rise of Xealin Naeyean. It was this unknown man, this unlikely prophet whom would be destined to be the savior of his entire race. Xealin’s voice was the first to cry out over the fortune of Feralok, his was the first renounce of ancient, never-ending wars between brothers. It was he who had spoken of unity and racial solidarity; it was him who the masses adored, the kings respected, and all of the philosophers looked up to. Strangely though, he was born in such a time that could not carry the entire weight of his vision. Tragically enough, he had lived in an era that would see the end of the ancient Lea’Tyen, as Xealin was the last one who had studied both sides of the mind, and with his untimely demise, prevented to reveal the last known techniques to his followers.

'What truly marks a person are not his words, his deeds nor feelings, it is the choices he had to make and their consequences.’

’Life of Xealin Naeyean’, Moenach Wielom Faeos, Foreword.


Although there were many different factors that led to the ending of the War of Pride, all had begun by his fabled Pilgrimage throughout the burdened planet. Soldiers, generals, ordinary men in their inherently good hearts, as Xealin preached, listened to his words and after centuries of slaughter, there were but a few deaf ears to his reason, and but a few chose to cling to ancient hatreds over turning a new, better leaf in Feralok history. So, when their race was nearly at the brink of extinction, a savior came, and his teachings were not left unheeded. Soon, over time, a great portion of the warring sides were the followers of this unrecorded cult of brotherly peace, and he would play the key role in the eventual end of the War of Pride, the crafting of sacred harmony which stands now, and the beginning of the Third Rise of his race.

Of course, the healing came slowly, and many of those in power had renounced the prophet’s words. Yet, Xealin and his followers were patient, knowing full well that peace and reconciliation among their tortured nation was not a mere dream, but a matter of patience and time. So they played the crucial role in forging the peace generations only dared whisper of. A hard, uneasy, tense peace, but one that would be crafted solid and stand to these days. The complicated, yet righteous and solid structure of the Triumvirate was established as a compromise of all to keep the hatreds at bay, guarding peace and prosperity of their kind. Sadly, establishment of this near-flawless government and introduction of social order was the last act of the patriot, hero and savior, one who had conquered many by reaching out to their hearts, instead of their weapons. Nigh sooner have the dusts of war settled, and a time of peace and learning entrusted to them, had the Prophet been slain by a treacherous plot, grievously before he had managed to reform the orders of faith, reestablishing ancient Lea’Tyen practices of neural study. And only when last ties with their ancestral legacy have been severed, did the beleaguered philosophers come to realize the truth: the original division of techniques only led to weakening themselves; and now, the new methods they established required far too great a concentration to maintain both neural of study, and the old ones died with their mentor, the last true Lea’Tyen, Xealin Naeyean, the liberator, peacemaker and prophet.

'Nothing in the universe is as powerful as an idea whose time has come.'

Xealin Naeyean.


And as peace settled over the lands, and the war-torn society began rebuilding, their way paved towards prosperity and keen understanding, a new sense of purpose echoed through the minds of the Feralok. To pursue knowledge of the universe and learning all that they can with their superior intellect. So, accepting at last the legacy left behind the long passed uplift of the Orions, a consensus was reached to seek them out and rejoin the Empire once more. But as the Watchful Eye sought out their banished mentors, their hails went unheeded. Somehow, something happened to their wise benefactors and they were no more. Alone in the universe, the Feralok, for the first time in their history, sensed fear. Yet, to the leaders of the nation this had dawned as a new beginning for their race. They reasoned that a twist of fate had brought them the highest, and greatest of all challenges; to find other sentient life in the galaxy, study it, and ultimately master and dominate it, assuming the mantle of Orions and the scepter of rulership as the only ones worthy: their pupils, equals and one day, successors.

A grave weakness, however, is that despite all their efforts, to this day the Feralok society is in state of a relative, tense and shifty peace. Though the governmental structure keeps conflicts at bay, maintaining the current status quo, and many work to incorporate it even more, there are always rebels and extremists of all sides to weed out, as all feel that their share could have been greater, especially former enemies, not yet reconciled with those they hated with such great fervor, but the fear of another devastating civil war is too great for any. This is a time of rebuilding and healing, of creating their racial awareness, a time of turning to themselves and reaching to the inner soul of the race. A history filled with hostilities that left great scars upon their collective consciousness had led them to seclusion and isolation from the other races, so this is why in most conflicts they are neutral and exploit others’ faults for their own gains in the tradition of old Xeas’Tarados. For are they not the eldest of the known races? And does their legacy not command them to prevail united?

Race Attributes – Greater Penalty on Farming.
Greater Penalty on Mining.
Minor Bonus on Trade.
Greater Bonus on Diplomacy.
Minor Bonus on Espionage.
Minor Penalty on Production.
Greater Bonus on Research.

'My people! The time has come once again for us to reach the stars, the universe we have so long been deprived of! Do not fear, my brethren, for it is on this great day that we shall finally receive what is our birthright! As our noble ancestors have, so shall we stand among other sentient life, proud of our accomplishments, proud of our might, proud of being who we are, the noble race of Feralok!
It is on this day that we look upon the skies above not as their servants or prisoners, but their equals! It is now that we shall, united, roam the galaxy as never before and see what we had never seen! Now is the time that we shall return to where we belong!!
Rejoice with me, my brethren, for it is now that we have returned home...'

'To Tame Fate', Taelon Zyelin Relaer, Epilogue.



Appendix #1: Legend of Vengeance

Legends speak of an ancient sect, constituted by the few surviving Ori’Neol, which managed to endure through all hardships and conflicts of their race and exists still even now. Furious for the betrayal and deception that led to their downfall and maddened by grief over the sudden disappearance of their fathers, they even now lurk from the shadows, awaiting their time to strike, seed their vengeance and return the race to its primordial, righteous state.
Some even say that it was them who had murdered the wise prophet, Xealin.


Appendix #2: Legend of Return

Tales speak of a descendant of the unifier, one of Xealin’s disappeared bloodline, whom would come one day, strong willed and stalwart, and bring unity to the psi schools by discovering methods that would restore harmony, ushering the race into a renaissance of prosperity and enlightenment.


Appendix #3: Xealin’s Demise

Many had stood to gain from the death of the prophet. Militarists, extremists whose goals peace would not fulfill of both among the orders of faith, the royalists and the populists did not desire end of conflict, but complete and utter annihilation of their enemies and fulfillment of all their goals. Though many investigations were led, to this day on it is still unknown who truly slaughtered the beloved messiah.
Of course, wild tales even go so far as to speak of his death as revenge of the extinct Ori’Neol, but these are merely children’s fables.

_________________
Sometimes, a man's heart is that of a wolf, and the path of enlightenment his alone to walk upon.


Last edited by Velizar on Thu May 26, 2005 12:15 am, edited 3 times in total.

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Rassak

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'Three are the principles to which we adhere: honor, heart and freedom.'

Rassak Tale of the Reckoning.


Introduction – Once mere slaves of the vile Orions, Saurian Rassak are at long last ready to forge their destiny and claim their rightful place among other grand civilizations of the universe.


Homeworld – The lush green jungle world Dynalon.


A reason for leaving the home planet – Released from the clutches of their vile enslavers by a vast and bloody revolution that ultimately earned them their freedom, and emerging victoriously from a civil war with their former brethren, the Rassak had known little of their world alone. However, at long last this noble race of Saurians has prospered enough to carve their rightful place in the stars above with pride and honor that are natural to their hearts.


Social Structure – The ultimate governing body of the Raasak represents the High Council, where the Elders of the race, judged most deserving and wise, those who have distinguished themselves through service to the empire, or great achievements in military, economic, or scientific endeavors, decide upon the course which Raasak should take. The Elders are chosen among the people, blessed by their priest to show the favor of the gods and at last inaugurated by the Quaestor. All the choices and the laws brought by the High Council have to be confirmed by the Quaestor for them to hold any merit. The Quaestor is the monarch of the Raasak, the highest Raasak bearing possible, which brings great honor to his family and great power to his claw. He is chosen among the High Council as the most worthy, honorable and wise Raasak and his rule lasts until his demise, but this is not a hereditary title, although it is not forbidden for two or even more generations to bear the title of Quaestor in row. The Aediles Council is chosen on a lower, regional or planetary level among the Raasak, and its duties pertain suggesting legislations to the High Council and enforcing the decided matters on their fields of influence.

Religion also plays an important part in the lives of the Raasak, though it is separated from the matters of state. The Raasak faith is polytheistic, with twelve gods whom father their specific domains. Each individual, however, besides worshiping the pantheon, practices worshipping a single god stronger, as his personal protector and benefactor, and this is his own patron god. Much can be said about a person knowing his choice of a patron god, and it is especially important for people in power. Also, certain guilds practice worshipping some gods more often than other (ex. Soldiers often worship Sauros of War as their patron god, craftsmen choose Megalas of the Arts, and scientists pertain praying to Cosmos of Reason). The priests are highly respected in the society, but the state is secular. A unique part of Rassak faith is their relationship towards their gods: they are looked up to and revered as one would behave towards a wiser, respectable elder. The Rassak do not bow down to anyone as the Gods shaped them in their own image, so in their faith there is no shameful self-humiliation or frightful adoration towards their deities, to whom they feel related by a strong bond.

The Raasak culture, due to their ancient slave history, is highly solidary to each other and they are very conscious about the good of the empire. They see the well being of all members of their race as the true measure of their society’s success. Their public-spirited willingness to assist their kindred helps their racial spirit be one of harmony, and one of their greatest strengths. They are a peaceful people and seek to establish peaceful coexistence among the stars, but if this is not possible, they are unafraid of taking up arms for what they believe in and are fierce in combat, especially if someone desires to take their freedom. They value three principles above all: one's heart, the inner awareness of emotions, righteousness and insight, one's freedom, a sacred thing to be surrendered to none, and one's honor, the supreme ideal to be grasped, and seek to establish friendships with others who share these views. Yet, though welcoming in nature, they are mistrustful of aliens and outsiders. Sadly, their former slave attitudes are the source of their initial wariness and distance towards outlanders and gaining their fellowship is not an easy task. They are often hasteful and quick to take offence, especially the younger ones, with an extremely idealistic perception of the universe and their role in it. However, if one gains the trust of a Rassak, he shall gain a devoted friend 'for as long as the shifts of time pass' and would only end this friendship if a grand treachery or dishonor was made by his ally, as he is honor-bound and responsible for his compatriot. They finally have the chance to endorse their own needs and use their productive talents for the good of their race, and they are not naive to throw it away easily, as the sacrifices made were far too costly.

’Soldiers! Heroes! This shift of time, the High Command has erased our names from the military ranks, our core was sacrificed for the freedom of our race. You do not have to fear for your lives, they exist no more. Mortals are born to die once. Shame and honor live forever.’

Speech given to the defenders of Rassan IV against overwhelming Arachnix armies by Legate Sordes.


For now, the only enemies of the Rassak are both formidable and evil beyond reason, lurking surely from the infernal corners of the galaxy: the fanatic Sleksix, their mislead, hateful and fork-tongued brethren and their former masters, the much dreaded Orions. Unlike their fallen enemies, they are known to destroy any traces of their enslavers, fearing that the usage alone of their knowledge would lead them down the path of corruption and vileness. While they have been known to have taken a liking to both the peaceful Derthrean and the resourceful Feralok, any aliens have yet to prove themselves and gain their trust.

But should any of them seek to threaten the Rassak, they shall not cover, nor fear of fighting 'till the bitter end for the glory of their race, their hearts, their honor and above all, their freedom.


History – The tale of Rassak is a long and painful one, bloodful and sorrowful, and yet glorious and honorable. What would soon become a mighty race of prideful and noble Saurian creatures, however, had a most lowly beginning. For from the moment of their birth, the Rassak were mere slaves to a viler, and lower race than they.

The fruitful jungles of Dynalon had always been a haven for the Saurian ancestors of Rassak. Among its great trees and bountiful life slowly thrived the evolution of their specie. Ancestral legends say that these primordial Rassak were prideful hunters and noble rulers of the lands promised to them by the covenant of the Pantheon. Until in the time before written time, the skies of the Homeworld rained fire and the outlanders came, soaring upon the winds of flame.

Many shifts of time, far too many sleeps of the stars passed for any to remember these ancient times. However, the Rassak lore holds that the aliens, who later revealed themselves only as Orions, have without mercy assaulted their peaceful forebears. Even with the valiant defense they mustered, the massive weaponry and strange technologies of the invaders drove them to near extinction. It was only when all hope had faded that the last free Quaestor had surrendered to the rampaging horde, damning their race to an endless life of servitude.

For eons the Rassak toiled heavily under the cruel fist of the foul aliens, those they did not and could not understand. Endlessly they watched as their hatchlings, elders, females and warriors had to bow down before the lowliest of the claw-wielding demons and work tirelessly to sate their hunger. That the crafty talents of those as skilled as even Megalas herself rot in the working pits of the enslavers. But, even in these dark times, their spirit was still strong and they had never forgotten their ancestral legacy, the promise of the Pantheon keeping their souls sated and their minds sane among the dishonor and grim fog of their days. Some say that in one of the many dark and hellish shifts of time, a burning comet swept past the night sky; others claim that without a single omen or a token, the Gods blessed the tortured Rassak with their gifts. For it was in half a century before the grand Reckoning they would arise to lead, that those favored by the Gods as the future liberators of their children were born.

In a mere village hut, born of the enslaved and the soil of the land, the children Rassakar and Slexor came to be. Honorable and truthful, brave and wise beyond their young years, it was known that they were meant for greater glory than rotting in the slave pits of their misfortunate world. Rassakar, hatched but a moment before the younger Slexor, was of a brilliant mind, beloved by all, serene and courageous beyond words. Slexor, curious and inventive from young age, was the executor of their daring plans and the fist of their claws, passionate, rash and powerful. It was they that would bring their diseased people the only cure: their stolen freedom. Legends speak of their daunting deeds, yet that which would be the beginning of their noble crusade is to these days spoken silently and instills fear into the hearts of their kin: the fabled and horrific Slaughter of Zegrrak.

For some time it seemed that the might of the oppressors was slowly fading, their hold over the misfortunate slaves weakening and their power diminishing. Whispers were heard of a new spirit of defiance born, and even of a great rebellion being stirred throughout Dynalon. Yet, at this time, Rassakar and Slexor cared not for these tales, the elder busily learning the ancient and half-forgotten arts of philosophy, science and lore, while Slexor, a soldier beyond merit or contest, was to enter a blessed union with the lovely Krresa of House Werksha, their love legendary to this day. Blissful in the gray mists, they could not comprehend what the future would hold, what great glory, or great sorrow.

For the claw of the aliens was indeed losing its sharpness, for reasons still unknown to the Rassak, and the rebels were slowly growing into a potent threat to their diminished might. So, in order to terrify the populace, they had commanded their forces to make an example of the center of the rebellion, the beautiful city Zegrrak, by slaughtering every male, female and hatchling, every single Rassak in the town, and leaving it a smoking ruin, which they, without any mercy or regret, did. One of the greatest losses of over 1.000.000 butchered was young and beautiful Krresa, the love of Slexor’s life.

And when the procedure from their hometown reached Zegrrak, Rassakar and Slexor did not find the merry bride, or the joyous ceremony. Instead, all they had seen were the countless corpses of their brethren, the pyres of their flaming homes and the lands of their people covered in rivers of green blood. Their sorrow and pain were beyond the strike of the greatest claw, beyond mortal comprehension. It is said that this was the tragic moment that both blessed and cursed them both: for within his rage and pain, young Slexor, carefree and mighty, had died, and birthed from his ashes a grim, avenging harbinger of his lost love, unyielding and hateful, and Rassakar, mortified by the sheer possibility of such vileness, no longer a benevolent and trusting scholar, sworn to aid his brethren in the gaining of their freedom, until every one of the evil enslavers would draw breath no more. That this was the moment of their Ascension, when they were revealed as the Messiahs of the Pantheon. Yet, in the chaotic whirlwind of events unfolded, the spark of Slexor’s downfall was also sown.

’There is but one name for he whom values his life more than his freedom: a slave.’

The Teachings of Rassakar.


Shifts passed, and the ’example’ of Orions did the exact opposite of what their blackened hearts desired: the memory of Zegrrak instilled courage and unyielding desire for freedom, defiance and passion unseen in the heart of every Rassak. The skies of the Homeworld once again shook with the wrath of Gods themselves and the lands were covered in endless bloodshed as the revolution, now known as the Reckoning of the Enslaved, bathed in rivers of blood and mountains of flesh the beautiful lands of Dynalon. And amidst all, stood two names that gave a shining example of bravery, nobility and honor to all of their tortured race, which would suffer no more: the brilliant, cunning and wise tactician and strategist Rassakar, and the merciless, fearless and prideful commander Slexor, the first leader of the most elite warriors, the fabled Freedom Fighters, two godlike brethren, the heart and soul of the free spirit of Rassak. The aliens were losing on all fronts as the centuries-oppressed race had battled with all the ferocity and bravery of Sauros himself, for he who has no freedom has nothing to lose. And the figures of Rassakar and Slexor, leaders, heroes, fighters, held their spirits high and made them unbeatable. Victory was inevitable, and only a matter of time, and the future would have been indeed bright at last…until the Second Omen came, another senseless bloodshed, made even more tragic because it was among brethren, the grim wrath of Chretenn.

For, ever since the tragedy of Zegrrak, his lost love and his rise, the single thing leading Slexor’s mind, the sole thing keeping him going through each shift more painful, was the thought of revenge against those who did him and his race so much harm. While others, including his beloved brother, merried over victories won and triumphs taken, he silently contemplated in the corner and prepared for the next battle, hoping it might be the one where the Gods would let him end his existence and join his beloved. Yet his strength was far too great. The praises and tales of his heroism faintly concerned him and over time he became more and more angry, merciless and brutal, even to his own kind, caring only for defeating the opposition. His power corrupted him, poisoning his mind. Slowly, his rage overtook his senses, and after a while the only thing left in the shell of the former beloved Slexor, the Second Messiah, was hatred and malice to all and the urge to defeat the demonic invaders once and forever, by any means necessary. However, his gradual decline had gone unnoticed by all, fanaticism watched as bravery, cruelty changed into righteousness, and madness viewed as sorrow; he was still worshipped as a savior, and followed by many. Everyone, that is, save for his wise brother, Rassakar, who tried to reason with him and prayed to the Gods that his brother would prove stronger than his blind rage. Until the final battle, near the plains their cruel foes landed in so long ago, which now harbored an Orion fortress, strong and terrifying, the battle where all would be put to dice and where their freedom would be wagered, yet which would be remembered not by this glorious moment, but solely by the grief and pain it caused: the battle of Chretenn.

’Twas Slexor and his Freedom Fighters which would arrive first at the soon-to-be battleground, followed by a part of the rebelling Saurian Army. The Orions, all knew, were pushed to the back of the wall, left with this last stand, mighty as it was, and would fight like a caged beast. Their numbers vast, and their knowledge far superior, this would not be a battle between underpowered foes, but of equals: good and evil, enslaved and enslavers, natives and outlanders, Dynalon and Orion, The Pantheon and whatever lowly hell spawn the aliens worshipped, the ultimate battle to judge the fate of Rassak. And, instead of a glorious warsong, it would be a sad ballad, a reminder of their misfortune forever.

Rassakar, alongside the majority of the army, was due to arrive in the dawning of the three following shifts of time, and Slexor led the reconnaissance forces and a part of his own Freedom Fighters. Yet, in his rage-consumed mind, in his urge to quench the life out of his foes, he decided not to wait for his brother and leader. Slexor had that day passed the final threshold between sanity and madness, and forfeit his life as a Rassak, becoming something far too terrible to ponder about, falling from all grace and turning into what his progeny is now: the Fallen. No longer a prophet of freedom and of Gods, but a butchering brute, he ordered his meager forces to assault the Orions at the spot, which they complied, trusting inexplicably their beloved leader. Events unfolded with the aliens easily countering the threat of rebels for an entire shift, slaughtering noble Rassak warriors in thousands like mere animals. And after the first shift, after many slaughter and needless bloodshed, the dispirited Rassak, seeing the insanity of their still unyielding leader, started to flee the battlefield. All save for the Freedom Fighters left with him and Slexor himself. This could have led to his doom. It should have. It was not to be.

Slexor was not the most feared fighter of all times for no reason. And his rage and bloodlust only increased when gazing upon his retreating comrades. So for two shifts he fought with all the strength of a madman, all the cruelty of an Orion and all the ferocity he could muster, alongside his own elite fighters. A small chipped rock against an entire mountain of adversaries. And against all odds, he who was Chosen by the Gods only to be cast out for his shadowful heart, stood triumphant as light shone upon the dawn of the third shift.

’Many achieve their desires, but lose themselves.’

The Teachings of Rassakar.


And when Rassakar arrived with the remainder of the military, all he could find was once more a death-filled, war-torn battlefield. Yet, this time, it seemed, he arrived maybe not too late, as screams of agony were still heard. When the rebels came to investigate, what they would find would haunt them to their graves and imprint a ghastly image in generations of future Rassak. For they encountered no Orions, no vile demons or hellish enslavers, not a single one left standing. The screams where indeed of their brethren, yet not done by the hands of their ancestral foes. They had arrived to see Slexor himself, now a truly terrifying sight, bloody, scarred and insane, with what was left of his fellows, butchering and murdering all who dared flee the battle of Chretenn. Bathing himself in the blood of those he considered unworthy cowards, he had killed his own brethren with all the savageness of an enslaver, at long last becoming as those he despised so much. In his dementia, he offered Rassakar the entrails of his last victim, claiming that the flesh of cowards would give them immense power, a gruesome figure of terror in a scarred land.

Rassakar bravely denied his brother and his madness, and, with pain in his heart turning it into shreds, decided to end it once and for all, to release Slexor from his wretched existence. Legends speak of their battle, brother against brother, the true Messiah against the Fallen, for an entire shift of time in a duel never before nor after seen in the entire universe, and at the end, after a long, bloody and shattering battle, by the will of the Gods or a twist of fate, Rassakar’s honor prevailed and won the day.

'Savior, conqueror, hero, villain. You are all things, brother, and yet you are nothing. In the end you belong to neither light nor darkness. You will forever stand alone.'

Rassakar’s last words to Slexor.


Once again it should have all been over. Yet, a strange thing happened on the desolate battlestead: Slexor the Terrible, he who killed his own race in his madness, the butcherer of Chretenn, the Fallen Messiah, a Saurian without honor, heart or soul, was viewed and hailed by some as a hero. The Savior against Orions, the Conqueror of Chretenn, the Destroyer of Unworthy, were his names shouted by them. His body, broken in battle, was stolen as soon as he fell down, and taken to an unknown place, hidden by his followers, who now claimed the galaxy as their sacred goal. For did their beloved Slexor not show them that those who do not seize the power are weak and cowardly and that now that the demons are gone, the galaxy is ripe for the taking? Did Rassakar defeat the Orions in the final battle or did he kill the one who has out of jealousy? And it was then that in these misguided and deluded Rassak the greatest shame of their race would be born, and that those the galaxy would come to fear would be spawned: the sons of Slexor, the Sleksix.

So, the blades of war had not yet even cooled down, before drenching themselves in blood once more. Brother against brother, father against son, the fields of Dynalon were filled by grim battles among the decimated Rassak, hailing the names of their prophets, willing to die and murder for their beliefs. No more Orions, they found new foes among themselves. It is said that Rassakar unwillingly led this war, only when all hopes for peace had been lost, and that it was a costly, bloodful and sad victory, a mournful loser’s triumph.

'The sins we often regret are the sins we never commit.'

The Teachings of Rassakar.


Yet in the end, the true Rassak prevailed over the power-crazed Sleksix, who had fallen so low and desperate to even claim Orion knowledge for themselves, in order to gain new power. But, when all was over, Rassakar proved a true testimony of his race, and alas, a fool none the less. For when gazing upon the captured followers of his past brother, he could do them no harm. Instead of punishing their crimes and treachery by fire, Rassakar simply could not end their existence, for they were, after all, his brethren, and to slay them would be becoming as Slexor had. So, a choice and a chance was given to the surviving Sleksix, which now even denied their noble legacy and name: those who would not forsake their misguided ways would be sent into the deep and cold abyss of the unknown universe in the last functional of the ancient starships of the invaders, exiled from their world, never to return again. Many, tainted beyond repenishment, with scorn and hatred towards their kin and a fanaticism unseen among the Rassak, accepted. Little had any of them known what would become of the galaxy if they survived.

Now at last truly free, the Rassak prospered greatly under the guidance of the Messiah. Rassakar, as wise as ever, laid down the foundations of order and justice, and alleviated the three principles into hearts of his brethren, those he considered above all else. It is still spoken fondly that at the moment of his death, a blue light passed over the sky, mourning the loss of Rassak greatest son, and celebrating his ascension as their new god, he who had brought them their taken freedom once more. Hailed as the greatest hero and leader, a father of their spirit and race, and ultimately, proven his worth to stand among the great Gods themselves, his true brethren. All the memories of the Orions or the Sleksix were either destroyed or served as gruesome memories of tragic past and uncertain future, never to be spoken of, yet never forgotten.

’Better a grave then a slave.’

Freedom Fighter Motto.


Using in time their productive talents, the only gift of their unfortunate slavery, and a great curiosity and thirst for knowledge they found in their hearts, the Rassak soon discovered many wondrous things, including space travel. Now at long last, they are ready to stand proud among other sentient life, claiming their rightful place among the stars, ever watchful of the darkening horizon.


Race Attributes – Minor Bonus on Mining.
Minor Penalty on Unrest.
Minor Bonus on Diplomacy.
Greater Penalty on Espionage.
Minor Penalty on Environment.
Minor Bonus on Population Growth.
Greater Bonus on Production.

Sometimes I see the darkness in your eyes,
'Tis what you seek, and yet, what you despise.
It overcomes you, like an ancient curse,
Strange, you feel better, but, alas, you are worse.

A new-forged weapon is placed upon your hand,
You try to wield it, but you fall at its demand.
Honor defiled, heart to pain has led,
And all our freedom only served those dead.

You may enjoy it, with blood you're getting wet,
Sa'brak awaits you, a new home you will get.
Rise over the mountains, and yet through the skies,
Then fall beneath and commence eternal cries.

A slave of darkness, reveling in the sun,
Your power's mighty, but your soul's forever gone.
You've broken all vows, save one which will stand,
Smiting the pure ones, the champion of the damned.

Once you taunted evil with your mighty sword,
The blade brightly burning must be painful to behold.
Grim determination is forged upon your face,
But a single tortured shell, in eternal chase.

You sought to gain what you can not control,
Fallen to the evil, sacrificed your soul.
Rage smitten bodies lie beneath your feet,
Sad victory shows the bitterness of defeat.

Last brink of valor asks if this you have sought,
Destroying evil or the pain that you brought.
Desire not important, for Rassak you are not,
Condemned forever, as Fallen you shall rot.

'The Birth of the Fallen', Aedile Raptorus.



Appendix #1: The Great Gods of the Rassak Pantheon

Tyrain, God of Honor, supreme god of the pantheon, god of nobility, chivalry and just behavior, he who respects honesty and truth, the mightiest of all gods, as all of the Rassak value honor and justice above all. Once a soul is destined to pass into afterlife, by his side sit the lords of order and chaos, counseling his judgment.

Velos, Goddess of Love and Husbandry, the Gentle One, who embodies the tender emotions of affection, nurture and happiness.

Pteros, God of the Hunt, which resides in the soul of every Rassak for eons without end, as their life and their joy, as it has been for their ancestors and will be for their progeny.

Sa'brak, God of Death, who commands the fiery realm of those noble passed to afterlife, and serves as a grim reminder that no matter how our lives have been judged, it is in death we are all equal.

Megalas, Goddess of the Arts, harmony and peace, reflects the finer points of Rassak misfortunate heritage, as the ages past in slavery brought them great talents and productive skills. As much as songs, pictures or storytelling, hard work and toil are also considered a valuable and revered art, so industry is also her domain.

Cosmos, God of Reason and Time is whom all those of great wisdom, wit and intelligence pray to. The one who enlights the souls and appeases the ever-growing thirst of the seekers of knowledge by inspiring wondrous discoveries in science and the lord of order, watcher of death and life, rival and friend to chaos, the gentle wind which calms the storms of the universe.

Sauros, God of War, he who knows that to defend one’s beliefs, the strength of claw is sometimes sorrowfully inevitable, and that no shame is cast for fighting in just causes.

Larnak, God of Wealth, the symbol of greed, yet of cunning. Craving, and giving. Desire, and fulfillment. Merchants usually pray to him for sucess.

Callas, Goddess of Subterfuge, shadows and thieves, in desperate times a necessary evil needed to outmatch a dastardly foe. There is little love for the dark goddess among the general populace.

Ywella, Goddess of Life, a joyous reminder that life is a wonder to be celebrated, other half of Sabrak’s grim truth, that in order to be remembered as true Rassak, one needs to fulfill his life with honor, freedom and heart in mind.

Rassakar, God of Freedom, he who has arisen as the father of their race, the Liberator, the Wise, and the Noble. Since his ascendance, his name is uttered with unrivaled respect and reverence, for to Rassak, he is the ever-watchful guardian of their greatest treasure: freedom. His priests are the Rassak elite warriors, the noble Freedom Fighters.

Xelex, God of Nature and Heart, of emotion and sincerity, of the world both around and inside us, he who judges benevolently those pure, he whose domain is the great beyond, the lord of chaos which fathers both life and death, the questive flame which burns the rotten wood, both a counterpart and a foe to Cosmos’ order.


Ichtis, Goddess of Vileness, dishonor, trickery, all those evil, bloodthirsty or treacherous. The thirteenth goddess, he whom no one pure bows down to, eternal enemy. It is rumored that those wretched, twisted beings whom serve the dark goddess forfeit forever their soul. To call someone a follower of Ichtis, is to give an ultimate insult which the Rassak would not use lightly, but if stated, the lout is forever scorned and shunned from the society. The Sleksix, cursed and piteous entities, are often labeled in this manner.

Image
Evolution of the exiled Sleksix.

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Last edited by Velizar on Thu May 26, 2005 12:20 am, edited 5 times in total.

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Sleksix

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'To tame a krissha, a Rassak is enough. To tame an Orion, one needs the soul of a Sleksix.'

The Forgotten Annals of Slexor.


Introduction – From the deep deserts of Shakkar, there come the Sleksix to avenge the hellish years spent in slavery and most of all, find and slaughter their mortal foes, the cowardly Rassak.


Homeworld – The red sands of Shakkar the desert realm. On this planet water is sparse and life cruel, harsh and ruthless. However, their ancestral homeland is the rich planet Dynalon which one day they shall reclaim.


A reason for leaving the home planet – Highly fanatical, as soon as they have once again reached the knowledge of space travel, the Sleksix swore for two things: to spread the word of their Gods to the entire galaxy and to finally smite their heathen ancestral enemies, both the weak Rassak and their wicked enslavers, the mythical Orions.


Social Structure – The only few whom each Sleksix absolutely trusts is his family, the priests and to a much lesser extent, members of his own tribe. The Sleksix are clandestine in a way that they are all divided into twelve tribes, split open by the gods they worship and the rituals they pertain. The leaders of the race and the tribes are the priests of the gods, whose word is law. They share the same religion as their mortal enemies the Rassak, yet their views of it are much more extreme, to be certain, fanatical. A hatchling is observed by local priests and it is they whom decipher from his demeanor for what purpose is he destined, and their will is not questioned (this is the most important day of Sleksix lives, it is known as the 'Embrace'). The fanatical Saurians greatly revere combat and slaughter for their cause, thus the tribes of warriors are believed by many to be the most favored of the gods. There are no rulers or representative government in their society. The only real power in the worlds of Sleksix is firmly divided by twelve claws of the Hrrash, high priests who lead their tribes and are gathered in the Rikshen, the highest council of Sleksix, over whom traditionally presides Hrrash of Sauros the Conqueror. To become a more than a servant to the gods, to be their harbinger is the greatest feat any Sleksix can strive for, as from a mere acolyte in the village temple to one of the Hrrash each has more power and is loved by the gods more than any other of their kind. The temples are the centers not only for faith, but for the every question on the future of the nation, the future which is always focused on two goals: to spread the commands of their Gods throughout the universe and wreak justfull vengeance and havoc both upon the cowardly Rassak whom had defied their teachings and their demonic enslavers, the foul Orions.

The Sleksix believe that failure to reply in kind to a slight or injury is an intolerable sign of weakness, so feuds and hatreds often last for generation, as is the case with their animosity of their Rassak forefathers. Though they share the basics of Rassak religion, where it teaches peacefulness, the Sleksix speak of war, where it advises calmness, the Sleksix bring in strife, where the Rassak speak of future, the Sleksix desire vengeance for the past; where the cowardly Rassak beg for peaceful coexistence, the mighty Sleksix shall subdue the galaxy and offer it to their Gods as the ultimate sacrifice.

'And so shall the mighty claw of Sleksix reap through the galaxy like the powerful blades of the Gods' Children, setting the skies of the unfaithful on fire, wreaking rightful havoc upon the heathen as we bathe in their blood. And there will be a mighty uproar in the universe as the great Gods themselves rejoice, for those that had defied them will draw breath no more, and all that will remain shall be just and pure and life will be blessed as it had been in olden times.'

’The Joy of the Gods’, Xres’sk, Hrrash of Sauros.


Each god of Sleksix, besides ruling his domain, is a great warrior and a mighty fighter, yet all bow down before the prowess of the so called ’Fighter Gods’, the trinity that empowers the pantheon. Also, Slexor the Father is respected as much as the warriors, and his priests are revered as if they were heroes of great renown. Unlike the Rassak, the Sleksix actively seek out lost Orion technology in order to use it to further their aims, only increasing the hatred between the two foes. They are known to respect strength and power above all else. The Sleksix, a fruitful race whom believe the Gods entitled to rule the universe, will sacrifice anything for their religious beliefs, and many worlds shall be sundered in their crusade.

Of the known races that would become their servants, except the Rassak, the Sleksix are known to despise Derthrean, whose peacefulness they envision as weakness. They hold some respect, however, for the warrior Ashak, whose culture seems to be somewhat similar to their own.

’On the path of power, mercy has no place.’

The Forgotten Annals of Slexor.



History – Eons ago, when the galaxy was still young, the homeworld of the mighty Sleksix was the paradise planet Dynalon and they were still known as the Rassak. The Gods, in their everlasting love for their children, blessed them beyond reason, or merit. Life was far too pleasurable, and the entire race dwelled in luxuries undeserved, submerging in decadence and softening their vigor and might, ultimately losing the respect of their gods. Ancestral legends speak clearly of the grievous punishment for their weakness: of the creation and deliverance of the demonic harbingers of their wrath, the Orions, bloody and hopeless battles which should have proven the worth of their Children, the failure of the too warm-blooded Rassak, and years spent in slavery to the wretched spawns of the hell pits whom their children still seek to overcome. Shifts upon shifts, their Rassak predecessors, pathetic and weak, without courage or power, toiled under the claw of the treacherous aliens. Until the skies rained fire, and the Liberator God was born on the wings of flame.

’Mercy is sought with claws widespread. Freedom is taken by strength of a clenched fist.’

’Voice of a God’, The Ascension, Volume Three: Echoes of Zegrrak, Karros of Lore.


Servants of Ichtis, their minds clouded by lies, still preach of his puny elder brother, the cowardly Rassakar, yet the lonesome and only truth is that Slexor the Mighty was above him in all ways. Brave, noble, without equal in knowledge or combat, it was known even in his young years that he alone was the progeny of Gods and a blessing to his kind. A blessing the Rassak, weak as ever, would fail to revere as it was due.

As time passed, Slexor saw the ultimate truth of the aliens’ weakness and deciphered the Gods’ call to him, for his nation’s freedom. With only his loyal comrades, in many great battles, he defeated those who dared defy his blade, and the alien demons were no more. And this was the moment his own flesh, his accursed and unworthy brother unsheathed his mask and proved the true traitor, the prodigal servant of Ichtis, and a cowardly slave till his death. For he denied Slexor, failed to see the true calling of strength, and foolishly confronted the true God. His heart sad, but his soul mighty, at the carnage covered plains, filled with remains of his pathetic enemies, noble Slexor had grimly and with great wrath slain the betrayer with ease, and at this moment proven his zeal and worthiness to the rest of the Pantheon, now revealed as his bloodbrethren, and arisen to the sky towards them, leaving in his wake the majestic nation of Sleksix, his children. And from the broken body of the weakling Rassakar, Slexor the Great at long last arose to the skies above.

Yet, the corruption the traitor planted had flown too deep in the souls of the unworthy Rassak, and only those powerful enough could see through his web of lies and accept Slexor’s gift. Like cutting meat off the bones, they had arisen to challenge those weaker and became what they are even now, mighty and fearless, zealous and unyielding.
Great battles were led across the Motherworld, and the Gods smiled with glee upon their true children’s carnage. Victory was close and the race would have been purified forever, had another betrayal not been committed.

’The Rassak seem to love stories about the fall and !SPAM! of those who rise up too high and fly.’

Answer to the refusal of Slexor’s teachings by the Rassak, Unknown Author.


For Ichtis herself, Goddess of all traitors, vile above all, cowardly in soul and puny of claw, aided the Rassak in their dying moments, preventing the truth to prevail and banishing the just Sleksix to the desolate world of Shakkar, remaining the last safeguard of her cowardly children. Triumph denied, they had lain in wait for many years, praying to the great gods for liberation…and retribution.

And at long last, the time has come. The galaxy awaits the discovery of the True Faith, and all those who oppose it, be they the demonic Orions or the cowardly Rassak, will fall under the zealous blades of the gods’ children. The Sleksix have at long last come to spread their seed across the universe and unlock their true destiny, their ascend to the Gods.


Race Attributes – Greater Bonus on Population Growth.
Minor Bonus on Combat.
Minor Penalty on Research.
Greater Penalty on Diplomacy.
Minor Penalty on Farming.
Minor Bonus on Mining.
Greater Bonus on Unrest.
Minor Penalty on Environment.


Appendix #1: The Great Gods of the Sleksix Pantheon

Sauros, God of Wraith, Ruler of the Pantheon, master of elemental fire, revenge, weaponry and rulership. His priests have the greatest influence, his word beckons the Sleksix hordes into righteous carnage.

Tyrain, God of War, conflict, strife, triumph and bloodlust. He is the right hand of Sauros, the executor of the Gods’ will, the Guardian in Battle and the Fearsome Commander. His tribe constitutes the bulk of Sleksix armies and revels in mighty combat, with his priests guiding the people to victory.

Velos, Goddess of Abundance, she whom provides those of strength with means to endure, those whom follow her call give all to those whom can take it for the glory of the race.

Pteros, God of Slaughter, last of the fighter gods, second one of Sauros’ fighters. While Tyrain inspires the mighty army which looms over the battlefield, Pteros protects the crafty fighter that stands alone. His troops, the zealous Blades’ Chosen, have evolved from the once-noble traditions of Freedom Fighters corrupted by Rassak, and depict the fastest, most cunning and elite warriors ever seen, whose strength lies in feasting on the flesh of their fallen enemies.

Sa'brak, God of Death, time and decay, keeper of elemental earth, whom presides over the glorious kingdom of eternal battle, promised land for those honorably fallen for the true faith.

Megalas, Goddess of Craft, industry, toil and work, the whip that guides to excellence. Her followers are both the raw workforce and the skilled craftsmen of the nation. The Sleksix care little for art, the majority of it being made for faith purposes alone, so this aspect of her worship has not been acknowledged, and their craftings are bulky and robust.

Cosmos, God of Lore, the keeper of truths and knowledge, yielder of insight, guardian of elemental air. The Sleksix do not busy themselves much with science and understanding, dismissing power of the mind as weak compared to strength of arms, most of their history being oral alone, so the tribe of Cosmos is of relatively small influence and he is mainly worshipped in his guardian aspect.

Larnak, God of Opportunity, wealth, exploitation and moment. This clan sees true glory in enriching themselves by profiting from others, and while the other tribes question the need for trading over merely taking something, they are wiser to notice chances all around them, so under their silvery tongues and presumably safe and trustworthy appearance, should perhaps be feared more.

Callas, Goddess of Shadows, trickery and mischief. Her tribe is the smallest and not liked among the other clans, as even the Sleksix retain their disdain of her cowardly ways.

Ywella, Goddess of Blood, sacrifice and justice. Her followers glorify pain not only as a motive for action, but as a state of living; They alter their own bodies as a testament of devotion to their goddess and faith. Their skin is a mottling of scarring and sweeping tattoos, so they are even more disheartening then the rest of their kin. Life is still worshipped as Rassak had, but the devotion had changed to one of perversion, bloodfulness and twisted manner.

Slexor, God of Power, the Father of all Sleksix, Lord who walked among them, who has arisen to godhood from the corpse of the cowardly Rassakar, he whom the mighty Sauros recognized with the supreme domain of might, supremacy and superiority. His tribesmen are living reminders of his legacy, and the duty of the destruction of unworthy the Sleksix have sworn upon, especially of their mortal enemies, the Rassak. Those of Slexor’s brood are charged with predicting the will of the gods, are wise advisors and judicators of holy scriptures.

Xelex, God of Universe, exploration and travels, the judge whom guards eternal power and awaits the Sleksix to join their father’s side. Those of his tribe are keen and swift scouts and seekers of secrets of the unknown.


Ichtis, Goddess of Weakness, ruler of the despised element of water, she whom weaklings and pathetic creatures worship, those who lack strength, courage and furiousness of true sons of Slexor. Hers is the hated tribe of the Exiles, all those who speak against the righteous Priests, the faith, or those so miserable to show mercy towards the infidels; the worst insult in Sleksix society is to call someone a Servant of Ichtis, and wars have been known to erupt because of a brash word. The Rassak, whom embody all the dark goddess represents, are often named followers of Ichtis.

_________________
Sometimes, a man's heart is that of a wolf, and the path of enlightenment his alone to walk upon.


Last edited by Velizar on Thu May 26, 2005 12:20 am, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 07, 2005 10:03 am 
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Man, that’s a lot to read all at once. I’m about half way through and as much as I hate posting before reading an entire thread, I figured I would post some comments now before I forget them.

Let me just say first of all.. excellent job. You’re a very good writer.

Arachnix - If the length of your articles are any indication then this must be one of your least favorite races. It’s actually my favorite race so far. I would like to read more about their life cycle and how they overcame an insect’s lack of bones. (without bones no insect could become larger then a crab, and even then only under water.) Perhaps they use their own webbing to hold their internal organs in place?

Ashak - Your description leaves out much detail about how they survive after their world is blown to bits. Had they already gone into space? How did they produce any food in an asteroid belt? Do their crops also grow in zero G?

Derthrean - You say that the race is made up of castes, and yet you then say that anyone who fails is thrown into the warrior caste. This sort of violates the idea of castes. I also don’t think it quite makes sense, if the even the warriors hate battle then who makes ships? That sort of thing requires a lot of effort.

I know you’ve structured your descriptions in a sort of pyramid structure, with the info getting more specific towards the end, but in several places you refer to concepts that are confusing until they are explained later in the document. Among the three I have read the Derthrean is epically confusing. The reference to pain and short life for the scientists doesn’t make any sense until it’s explained 2/3 of the way through.

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PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2005 10:25 am 
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[rant]If someone had ever told me that getting a few concept art pictures scanned and posted would nearly take longer than it did writing the races down...[/rant]

But, anyways, I didn't want to post 'till it was done. So it meant a long time. Ablaze, thanks for the comments. You might notice that I have altered Ashak history in this regard a bit, hope it makes sence now. The Arachnix are not my least favorite, they just have a pretty straight-forward evolutionary history (unlike the bloody sagas of others). Thank you for both pointing out and answering the bones question in a reasonable way (it sounds cool, too!). For the Derthrean: When I say 'fails the caste or society', I mean that they are responcible for something...really terrible. The Warriors are considered a place for scum, so scum is send to die as soon as possible (it is generally believed that Warriors, due to Godess' scorn, live extremely short lives; because no one cares, this has never been denied- Derthrean have no prisons). There are no other ways to change a caste. As for ships and resources, they have an enormous toil on weapons of war (which are made by the Warriors themselves, as inefficient as it is), but they are perfectly capable of having a fleet of trade/exploration/colonization ships which might be converted to warships in worst of times (these are handled by other castes, respectedly).

I realized how confusing it might be to read it like it is, but here's a quick tip for all: read the history section first. It should make things easier to understand.

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PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2005 9:07 pm 
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Very nice drawings. My only issue is that the majority of your races look unoriginal, that is they look like spiders, dinosaurs and in most cases very human like forms as well. I think you should try and draw for example your spider to have spider features, but not acutally look like your classic spider. It should look more alien. Very good though.

The Derthrean look original, very nice.

The Sleksix have been done before (ya know dinosaurs with no legs, only snake tails), although the little leg like fins does add something new and I do think they look very cool.

The Rassak look too much like a dinosaur.

The Feralok look cool, defintely look psychic, though still they look too human.

The Ashak look like some kind of robot droids. They look like robot ninjas, though I think they look too human. A machine race should be more original and not look like metal humans (like the borg do, sigh).

And the Arachnix. Well, they look like spiders, only I see no difference between them and any other spider I've seen.

Overall you are a very good drawer though, nice work on your races.


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 Post subject: I like conceprt drawings
PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2005 2:08 pm 
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I like the concept drawings for all sorts of things - They could be lifted from the paper they are produced and placed into the game. You could even animate a few (5 frames) in a certain animation style.... I don't know how to call it, but the drawing stays the same but the lines move a little....

Anyhow, what would be cool would be to lift all sorts of drawings and invert them (so the lines are white) then interpose them on such things like a green grid, or stone tabled image, or whatnot.

During "Turn Complete" it would be interesting if small parts of rthe race you were playing were posted for you to read, as well as an interesting picture.



- - -

I really like the quotes you added - however, some come from famous philosophers. I believe it was Plato who was the author of the quote "... idea has come"

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PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2005 5:01 pm 
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utilae:

Thanks a lot for the advice. Sadly, I can't really claim credit as I'm not the drawer (a friend of mine did it). This is the most primitive concept art: I was actually hoping that some of the talented guys on the forum might flesh it out a bit.

I agree on the unoriginality/human-likeness, in spite of it I don't really know what could be done about it, so let me try to clarify a bit why they look like they do:

Arachnix- Here's where I agree 100%. They should look more alien. In fact, you'd be suprised how some of the actual spiders appear...ghastly. Any ideas on how to improve them?

Ashak- I don't know where you got the idea that they were Robot-Ninjas of DOOM(tm). I share your humanlike machines revulsion, but that is not the case here. They are a humanoid warrior race whose actual visage is never revealed because of their heritage/culture/tradition. That's just their body armor. Thought it would be cool to have an armor-clad race.

Rassak and Sleksix- To this I also agree, but with some reservations. The point was to give the Rassak a relatively 'noble' dinoSaurian look, whereas the Sleksix, their 'evil' descendants would have a more 'sinister' serpentine appearance. You are probably right that their bodies are not too alien, though (personally, I like the heads).

guiguibaah:

Great ideas there. As for the quotes, you are correct. Some are entirely my own creation, but others have been borrowed a bit, and seeing as I didn't really know all the sources, adapted. They could remain the same or I suppose I could try to find all the quotees and restore them. Think Plato would mind? :lol:

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PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2005 7:22 pm 
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We definitely need a race of sentient moose (mooses, meese, whatever)... and a race of sentient pelicans.

That being said, Warcraft 3 with the Nerubians and to a greater extent World of Warcraft with the Silithid have done a lot with the "evil spider creatures" idea already, might want to look at those for ideas.

I actually like MOO3's selection of races pretty well; some, like crystalline and cybernetic and gasbag and parasitic races, seem almost a given. Too bad we're [apparently] only going to have a short list in 1.0...


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PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2005 7:54 pm 
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A sure-fire way to make lots of "original" races, ala Warcraft III's Nerubians, is to combine two or more existing racial achetypes: Nerubians are Undead Spiders.

Note that an archetype can be more than just a particular animal-inspiration for the form, or degree of robiticization. In Star Trek, the races are often defined more by their social structure or beliefs than their form... (cranial ridges notwithstanding)

So, you could have some Ultracapitalist Cyborg Snakes, or some Ascetic Communal-Minded Spiders, or some Environmentalist Honour-Ritualistic Liquid-Metal Changlings, or some Espionage-Apt but Isolationist Gasbags...

Edit: Actually, if it weren't for art considerations, you could pretty easily randomly generate combinations of form/animal, metabolism/roboticization, and one or two culture and/or philosphical bases in order to get an infinite supply of "original" races.


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PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2005 10:41 pm 
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Geoff the Medio wrote:
Edit: Actually, if it weren't for art considerations, you could pretty easily randomly generate combinations of form/animal, metabolism/roboticization, and one or two culture and/or philosphical bases in order to get an infinite supply of "original" races.


That's a phenomenal idea. I agree about the art issue, however, what if many of the non-corporal features you referecened were randomized for each AI race? Or if at least that was an option available at game start, you could ensure that a player could never become complacent in their approach to AI opponents and minimize the benefit of metagame knowledge....

just a thought.

'Ling


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