Pithy summery: The AEIOU are macroscale life that look like amoebas and they're also telekenetic. On one occasion they managed to achieve an individual with the intellect and telekenetic power of a deity. They're convinced it's still alive (it's plausible) and are dedicated to exploration so they can find it.
--- Origonal Post --- (go easy, it was my first ever race design)
Name: AEIOU (it was just a place holder but it grew on me)
Home Moon: EIOUA
EIOUA has a Terran environment, it is about half the size of earth, with a naturally thinner atmosphere with a slightly lower nitrogen content, the environment varies by region but is mostly grasslands with gentle or no hills and dense forests. There is no oceans but there are lakes many of which are truly massive.
EIOUA orbits a large barren world, it has a sister moon that is irradiated.
Reason for leaving their Home Moon: They want to find UOIEA, there are various reasons for this and they are explained in the society section.
an AEIOU looks like a single celled organism, with a large nucleolus surrounded by cytoplasm, their distinguishing feature is their size, an typical adult will be around 1.5 meters in diameter, with a spherical nucleus of around 30-40cm. The Average Life span is 240 years but merged AEIOU can live significantly longer, UOIEA is literally immortal.
the nucleus is the only living part of an AEIOU, it is a multicellular organism that is mostly devoted to a large brain, however it is also responsible for the production of a large number of specialised enzymes. Despite their large brain the AEIOU are only of average intelligence for a spacefareing race, most of their brain is devoted to telekinesis.
The cytoplasm surrounding each AEIOU is identical in every AEIOU, it serves three purposes, firstly it is a store of food, when the nucleus requires energy it will consume cytoplasm, the supply of cytoplasm is replenished by consuming plants or animals via phagocytosis.
Secondly the cytoplasm defends the nucleus, anything that threatens the nucleus would have to go through the cytoplasm first. In prehistory the cytoplasm also scared off predators with its large size, very useful for protecting a sleeping AEIOU but not so important when they are awake and can use their powers for defence.
Finally the cytoplasm is filled with enzymes that help regulate the environment for the nucleus by removing harmful gasses, however its effectiveness is limited and it cannot cope with hostile environments.
Unlike a cell an AEIOU has no membrane around their cytoplasm, instead they hold themselves together telekentically, at their normal size an AEIOU is capable of sustaining their telekinetic membrane from birth to death, even while asleep, but the use of artificial containers is very relaxing and thus very popular. Jobs that require little movement often come with company provided containers and few AEIOU sleep outside one under normal circumstances.
Every AEIOU has telekinetic powers from birth, although they get stronger with age. After holding together their cytoplasm, a typical adult AEIOU has less raw strength than average among spacefairing races, but their telekinetic powers are far more flexible than mussel: They can direct all their strength into a needle thin point, form forcefields both simple and complicated, as well as basic manipulation on the molecular level allowing pyrokenesis by exciting the atoms, or cyrokenesis by slowing them down. It is a lack of skill not power that prevents more complicated molecular manipulation. Since all these powers are just different applications for Telekinesis the AEIOU refer to them collectively as Telekinesis.
In addition to serving as their means of manipulating the world Telekinesis is also the way they sense the world, and move in it. Sensing the world is done by firing rapid telekinetic pulses, then listening to the echoes similar to a bat's ultrasound. Locomotion is done by telekentically rolling themselves around, or when in a hurry they can “sprint” by carrying themselves through the air.
another unique trait of the AEIOU is the ability for two individuals to merge, there are two separate ways of merging:
The first is not regarded as a true merge, in this two or more AEIOU share the same cytoplasm, this is considered the height of social awkwardness and rarely ever happens, when it dose one of the two has probably suffered a medical emergency and cannot maintain his own telekinetic membrane.
The second type of merge, considered a true merge is when two or more nucleui merge, this is permanent and results in two minds sharing the same body, they can communicate at the speed of thought, read each other's memory's and will never ever have a moment to themselves again. Few AEIOU merge like this they since even they normally end up insane, when larger groups merge insanity is all but inevitable.
However for the few that keep their sanity the combined being is smarter, and has more telekinetic power than the sum of their parts. They will normally rise in society quickly afterwords since they are more capable than their piers. Merged individuals are notably larger than a typical AEIOU, both in nucleus and cytoplasm.
AEIOU reproduce via a spawning pool filled with cytoplasm, AEIOU drop a small bud the size of a pea from their nucleus into the spawning pool, these bus send out long threads to fuse to other threads and buds, then withdraw the threads pulling the buds together and forming an “embryo”. This takes around a day. Genetic material is passed from one bud to another.
After about 3 months young AEIOU split from the embryo, float to the surface, form a membrane around some cytoplasm and levitate out the spawingpool. They are born with adult intelligence and emotions, but not with adult strength or genetic memories so they still need schooling. The amount of AEIOU born is directly related to the amount of cytoplasm, not the amount of buds so accurate population control is simple and easy (the government of a town/village/city also decide when to have another spawning)
Both the day when buds are given, and the day when young are born are the massive social events, the second biggest and biggest respectively, with speeches (traditionally no one can say anything disagreeable, so it usually falls down to praising the AEIOU and UOIEA on the giving day, and praising the children on the second) fireworks, and long parties.
The AEIOU had a history similar to earth, with nation states, large regional differences in culture. Nations fought, diplomats did diplomacy and spies spied. Private industry drove the economy and the AEIOU slowly became more advanced. However during their technological and cultural equivalent of the 20th century everything changed with the discovery and soon war with a forgotten species that lived on their sister moon. Every few months when the moons were close enough both sides would fire vollies of nuclear missiles at each other.
Both sides were desperately working towards the research and development of an invasion fleet, the AEIOU were years away when EOUIA was invaded, legions of invading troupes backed up by orbital nukes had the AEIOU on the run, their army was reduced to scattered units with no way of communicating, the government was shattered.
A small mountain fortress named UOIEA had survived untouched by the nukes, and had fought off two successive attacks, but ammunition was low, manpower was down to a third, the next battle would be down to telekinesis and most probably lost. Desperately the surviving officers hatched a plan, every survivor would merge, the general would control the result while the rest of the personal did their best to keep quiet. Few believed this plan would work, but they couldn't do nothing so they merged, this was the birth of UOIEA the greatest AEIOU to ever have lived.
It would suit romatic tendencies to portray UOIEA as a heroic leader who united the scattered AEIOU into a unified force that defeated a massively superior foe through desperation and bravery. The truth is far simpler, UOIEA defeated the invaders all by himself. By sundown on the day he was born UOIEA had slaughtered whole armies, withstood direct hits from nuclear missiles and crushed the orbiting invasion fleet, by the next morning he had personally blasted EOUIA's sister moon into a radioactive wasteland that it has never recovered from.
Since then UOIEA has rebuilt the destroyed AEIOU civilisation creating a golden age of 5000 years, until he suddenly announced that “something important has come up”, left the AEIOU extremely detailed instructions on how to run the world in his absence and left EIOUA never to be seen again. Now thousands of years ater UOIEA has not returned and the AEIOU plan to search the stars for their god.
AEIOU culture varies by region, and individuals often have their own ethos and beliefs. However most AEIOU tend to have a respect for fine art, intelligence, humour. They also tend towards diplomatic solutions (thank UOIEA for this one).
The true uniting point of AEIOU culture is UOIEA, except for a few eccentrics he is universally worshipped, although more hero worshipped than god worshipped. So while AEIOU know he didn't create the universe, and they are quite clear on the fact he is an AEIOU not a divine being and has his limits, yet deep in their hearts, so deep they don't even realise it, most AEIOU think the UOIEA could prove himself superior to a divine being if he ever met one. They rarely prey to UOIEA, and never admit to it in public since he's telekinetic, not psychic and one shouldn't distract him from whatever he's doing. The fact the UOIEA is hero rather than god worshiped helps the AEIOU avoid the worse traits of devout believers (overzealous preaching and crusading)
The AEIOU is also totally united in their quest to find UOIEA, but for a verity of different reasons, the three dominant ones are:
“The Flock”: Around 26% of AEIOU agree with this ethos. The Flock point to the numerous ecological and technological problems UOIEA predicted thousands of years in advance and assume that there are more on the way. They believe that without UOIEA they risk wiping themselves out by accident and hope to find UOIEA to ensure survival of the species. In the past the Flock was the domiment ethos, but it fell when the AEIOU started colonising space, few believe that there is a disaster that will hit across multiple solar systems without a long warning.
“The Proud Children”: Around 45% of the AEIOU believe in this ethos. The Proud Children believe that UOIEA left because the AEIOU were ready to live without him, they believe that the AEIOU should be self reliant yet wish to find UOIEA to give their species closure and to show UOIEA that he was right to believe in them. Radical Proud Children believe that UOIEA's instructions should be judged only on their merits, but even then most admit they have more merit than any alternative.
“The Duty Bound” Around 17% of the AEIOU follow this ethos. The Duty Bound believe that whatever UOIEA went out to do, he hasn't succeeded. They believe as a species it is their duty to find UOIEA and assist him in his task, or if he failed finish it for him. Followers of The Duty Bound are the most radical in the search for UIOEA and are willing to try anything even ideas as mad as exploring a black hole because “you never know”, at the end of their life it is quite common for a follower of the duty bound to take their life's savings, buy a ship and sail off vowing not to return unless they have found UIOEA, or at least a solid lead.
(the percentages are in total, any specific region may lean far stronger towards any of the 3)
AEIOU government is a republic (A correctly named representative democracy) that closely follows the principle of subsidiarity where power is as close to the people as possible. At first they have 4 levels of power: city/village/town, state, country, world. But a 5th and 6th soon exist, System and Empire respectively. Each citizen has 1 vote for each level of government, elections use Condorcet method with Cloneproof Schwartz Sequential Dropping. Few understand this system but filling a ballot is simple and it is accepted to be fair, besides it was chosen by UOIEA. (wikipedia has an article if you're interested)
As you go up the levels of power the number of political parties increases dramatically, however political parties can be classified by their ethos and normally form the expected alliances:
Parties that believe in The Flock tend to be conservative, and are well known for regulation. They also try to slow down scientific growth as since the faster they advance the further they get from the safe technology where they have clear instructions from UOIEA.
Parties that believe in The Proud Children tend to focus mostly on the day to day running of government; healthcare, education, law and order, the economy and foreign policy are given equal weight to the search for UEOEA.
Parties that believe in “The Duty Bound” are known for being highly irresponsible in government. They'll finance anything with no care as to the budget, especially expeditions looking for UOIEA but anything they think may help once they've found him. (Science, military, diplomatic studies). This tends to cause large amounts of government debt, that they practically ignore all but the most pressive domestic issues doesn't help. They're also infamous for psychology research into merging, hoping to discover a training regime that ensures the sanity of the participants. They're no closer than when they started and a created lot of insane volunteers. Of the attempt to create a second UOIEA none shall ever speak again.
ground combat bonus: while Telekinesis is less effective than modern weapons it is still very useful, it also means they can wield many weapons at once.
exploration bonus: their entire society revolves around finding UOIEA
Ship Range (or fuel or supplies) bonus, for the same reason as above
field repair bonus: Telekinesis is more useful than hands, maintenance is also a vital skill if you plan to go on long term expeditions.
(no manufacturing bonus because that's mostly automated)
Optional: make it possible to actually find UOIEA
Cannot use weapons of mass destruction (Nuclear, Biological, Chemical, Nanotech, etc), ever. UOIEA forbade them.
Cannot use genetic engineering, also forbidden.
Environmental tolerance: various reasons
ship attack and defence: ship technology was designed for exploration.
Merging has no gameplay effect as every population unit contains roughly the same proportion of merged and unmerged AEIOU.
ship design outline
Metal based ships, AEIOU ships have no corners or angles only smooth curves, they also use advanced telekinesis assisted welding techniques that mean you can't see any seems or weld lines at all, an AEIOU ship looks like it was poured into shape as a liquid rather than welded.
The AEIOU mostly use earth tone colours with bright metallic highlighting. (I'm very bad at choosing colours so if it dosn't work ignore it)
Species suggestions, story ideas and contributions.
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