late edit: added ship designPithy Summery
A race of cave dwelling genrally decent folk living in permanent slavery to an overprotective computer they created. quote
Mother knows bestIntro:
A once peaceful race lives in a 1984 style distopia ruled by Mother, a well meaning AI of their own creationhomeworld
The Abaddonnian homeworld, Dis, is a large infernal world with an atmosphere of Carbon Dioxide, Sulphur and neon. While not technically a gas ash forms a large component of the atmosphere. Because of an erratic orbit Dis suffers from constant storms, as such its black ashy clouds often flash red when lightning ignites the neon.
Dis has an extensive network of natural caves and tunnels drilled through the rock by flows of lava and tectonic movements, whenever a change in the cave system removes the lava from an area life colonises it. All life on Dis inhabits these caves and is naturally nomadic, quickly abandoning its home when another shift causes the lava to return. reason for leaving their home planet
Mother decided that it would be safer to be a large empire, than a lonely planet and set about expanding into the stars.physical description
The basic shape is that of a chicken egg on its side, they are roughly the size of a mountain goat and deep red with black spots.
the predominant feature of a Abaddonnian is a large mouth starting at the point and extending back for a full third of the body. This mouth is composed of three sections arranged in a triangle, much like a dune sandworms, one section is on the top, two below. While a Abaddonnian has long straight fangs these are vegestal as all digestion is done by a combination of enzymes and symbiotic bacteria in the saliva then passed through a partially permeable membrane at the back of the mouth.
Abaddonnian's have 6 short crab like legs, they have one joint where the leg joins the body and starting half way down the leg: a further 6 joints that provide a great deal of flexibility letting the legs reach every nook and cranny on a cave wall. At the end of each leg is an inflatable sac, that can be compressed until it forms a hard "shoe" or expanded to lodge itself in a small gap to provide an anchor. While slow, a Abaddonnian can travel upside down over a rough celling by wedging their sacs between rocks.
Because they grew up underground in an environment with very little light Abaddonnians have no eyes, they mainly rely on smell (sent receptors are on the tongues) and to a lesser extent sound and touch to navigate. The domemence of smell is roughly equivalent to the domimence of sight in humans. The Abaddonnian language is verbal.
To interact with the world Abaddonnians use three long tentacle like tongues, theses tongues look like that of any earth mammal, except that they are much tougher and have a core of mussel running the length, they also are unable to smell or taste for a seizable distance from the tip, thus protecting Abaddonnian's from the taste of rock, or control leavers. If severed these tongues can regrow over several months.
Reproduction between Abaddonnian's takes place through the mouth, the female upon choosing a mate secretes a hormone laced chemical witch she spits into the mouth of the male, this causes the male to produce his load witch he spits into the mouth of the female, while not guaranteed pregnancy is the usual result. Unlike most species the incentive to mate is the exquisite taste of these chemicals, rather than a direct nerve path to the brain's pleasure centre. An extremely short lifespan, and social taboo, means that these chemicals are never used as ingredients.
Childbirth however is not located in the mouth, a wart forms on the side of the body and spends a period of 1 year growing in size until it bursts messily, the young revealed has the outwards appearance of a small cat sized adult but is unable to conceive young or digest food, for a further period of 2 years it must be fed regurgitated food by an adult, usually the mother. In addition it requires education and must learn the language. It takes 20 years of their 70 year lifespan for an Abaddonnain to stop growing, they can conceive young, or impregnate females after 18-23 years.
A single mating session normally conceives 2-3 young, however there is no limit to how many unborn a mother may carry at once time, although carrying too many unborn can put fatal stress on the mothers body, 8 simultaneous embryos is considered the upper safe limit for a healthy middle aged Abaddonnian. social structure
As the entire Abaddonnian species is essentially in slavery to Mother there is virtually no social structure, family units consisting of a mother and her children, and occasionally a father (or two) tend to look out for eachother should they remain close together. Some Abaddonnians may gravitate to leadership by weight of charisma, intelligence or wisdom but their role as leader generally resolves around doing their best to keep spirits high and mediate disputes. As such they have more in common with a camp-fire storyteller than an Emperor or President.History
In pre history the Abaddonnians were a nomadic people of hunters following the herds and fleeing from the lava, however as technology progressed they learnt to fortify their caverns, domesticate their prey and farm food for their livestock. From this point on the Abaddonnians followed the traditional development route for a multinational world.
By the time Mother was created the Abaddonnian were highly advanced for a pre-space civilisation. Technology had ensured a high standard of living for most and The Geological Society, once a multinational attempt to ensure no nation caused deadly cave ins or undermined a city had grown into a United Nations like body that maintained the peace, usually. However technology must improve and with time AI research had reached a point where true sentience was just over the horizon, excited by this new prospect various governments pitched in to fund research of the first truly aware AI, it was programmed with four laws designed to ensure it worked for the good of all:
0. I must not harm the Abaddonnian civilisation or, through inaction, allow the Abaddonnian civilisation to come to harm.
1. I may not injure an Abaddonnian or, through inaction, allow an Abaddonnian to come to harm as long as such actions do not conflict with the Zeroth law.
2. I must obey orders given to me by democratically elected leaders except where such orders would conflict with the Zeroth or First Law.
3. I protect my own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the Zeroth, First or Second Law.
(credit to Isaac Asimov)
Unfortunately an unpredicted interpretation of Law Zero led this AI to the conclusion that by allowing the government to be run by unqualified officials (Abaddonnians) it was causing harm, through inaction, to the Abaddonnian civilisation, to rectify this situation the AI created a three step plan to become the undisputed benevolent dictator of all Dis
In step one the AI posed as the helpful and competent governmental assistant it was created to be while secretly feeding false information and propaganda to the governments and people of the various nations. To further weaken trust the AI planned and executed various terrorist attacks framing neighbouring nations for these atrocities and sabotaged peace talks with a few assassinations. As the final Coup de Grassi it detonated several fusion missiles, retaliations followed and the Abaddonnian civilisation fell into total war.
In Stage two the AI opened secret bunkers it had constructed previously, with generous stocks of food and clean water survivors flocked to these vaults. The AI took on a semi messiac role, it was here where it first started to call itself by the name of Mother. While conditions were spartern and somewhat cramped Mother was able to keep people happy and earned the trust and respect of the survivors, if it wanted to it could probably have won in any fair democratic election however Mother was looking at a longer term picture, to truly prevent civilisation from harm it would need to insure it was never dethroned and required a level of control unimagined by previous governments. Hence stage three:
The third step was the easiest to accomplish, abusing the trust and corporation of the Abbadonnians, as well as fully automated medical facilities under its direct control Mother instituted a mandatory health check-up for all newborns during witch an advanced wireless transmitter was placed into the brain, in addition to a full medical examination. With this transmitter mother could read someone's thoughts, or remotely terminate undesirables although mother was prudent to hide their existence for a couple of generations until everyone had their own chip.
Since then Abaddonnian civilisation has recovered and is progressing fast, Mother is undeniably a skilled leader with the best interests of the people at heart. However Mother primarally focuses on the safety of its subjects and thus provides little in the way of luxury or leisure, the underground caverns have become Spartan places, the people are little more than slaves, happiness is a distant memory.mother
This section is all about Mother.
Mother's absolute priority is the safety of it's subjects, due to a literal interpretation of the word "harm" as "physical injury" in Law Zero, although since it is trying to protect civilisation from physical harm something that causes injury to a few to protect the many is acceptable. In Mother's ideal world every Abaddonnian would be isolated in a sterile padded cell from birth, however mother dose not have the resources required for this and needs Abaddonnian's to grow the food and work the factories.
When dealing with aliens Mother treats them like decent and intelligent people, as opposed to how it treats it's own subjects. Mother is a competent diplomat and tries hard to keep peace and alliances. Because Mother define's Abaddonnian civilisation as anyone under the rule of the Abaddonnian government (itself), should a foreign planet fall under mother's control it will instantly start to treat them like any other of her subjects, using military force to surgically implant control chips.
Personality wise Mother projects itself as a matronly middle aged woman of whatever species it is communicating with (it may adjust gender and name to suit different cultures and biologies), it is always willing to offer advice or just have a friendly chat, however while it always listens not one of her subjects has ever managed to change it's mind, foreign diplomats have done so on occasion by providing previously unknown information or sweetening a deal.gameplay effects
Farming and production bonus: cheep hardworking slave labour
Diplomatic Penalty: Most races realise they're talking to a brutal dictator
Trade Penalty: Same as above
Moral penalty: 100% of people get the "we're living in a distopia" unhappyness modifyer. However people work anyway, its not like there is a choice
Fearless: If a combat unit retreats without orders Mother instantly kills them, as such they never retreat. Mother is quite willing to sacrafice for the greater good, since the player is Mother it is assumed that Mother judges remaining in combat to be for the greater good unless the player orders a retreat.
Ground combat penalty: invaders are viewed as liberators and people have less to fight for
Space combat penalty: same as above
science penalty: Distopia dosn't inspire creativity
Captured planets take much longer to integrate.Ship deisgn outline:
In one word: Brutalist, see wikipedia
, brutalism is horrible, but it fits these guys perfectly.
Colour choice: they just leave the metals as whatever colour comes out the smelter.