The Sonavyakti and the Human/Nagdelian Conflict

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The Sonavyakti and the Human/Nagdelian Conflict

Postby Greyhawk » Thu May 11, 2017 10:09 am

I was not sure which forum to put this into. I finally settled on this one, since by the strictest definition, it is a "fan creation".

As I pointed out in a couple of other threads, I am not at all satisfied with the current revealed Lore. It is too vague, too abstract, and in many places, too cliche even by the somewhat loose standards of the superhero genre. I started out intending just to come up with a more plausible and satisfying origin for the conflict between the Nagdelians and the Humans. Along the way, I began to wonder why our benevolent superheroes had not taken it upon themselves to rescue alien species from oppression, from dying worlds, or from being trapped in broken down spacecraft. These aliens could easily be given an unused level of the FHS Justice on either a temporary or permanent basis.

Therefore, I have taken it upon myself to populate one level. I chose Level 17, but was ordered off by GladDog, therefore I settled the Sonavyakti on Level 15. However, the final decision is not mine to make. If my ideas are incorporated into the game, they could easily be settled on any level the design team felt suitable.

This 9-part essay is just the most basic and abstract foundations for the level. I am willing and able to create signature Sonavyakti NPCs to give missions and provide story background to players. It might even be a good idea to have one or two superpowered Sonavyakti signature NPCs somewhere in Apotheosis City to provide players with their first introduction to the inhabitants of Level 15 and their story. I would also be happy to provide mission arcs and mission scenarios for the level. Just let me know how much information you'd like me to provide and I am prepared to work tirelessly to insure that Level 15 is a fully developed, fully immersive, and fully unique experience for players who adventure there.

I am not a programmer, nor am I an artist. I am a storyteller. Given the right tools (such as something similar to the CoH Mission Architect interface), I could happily churn out hundreds of missions for the level and dozens of unique NPCs with deeply involved (and I hope, powerfully emotional) stories.
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Re: The Sonavyakti and the Human/Nagdelian Conflict

Postby Greyhawk » Thu May 11, 2017 10:11 am

Part I : Sonavyakti and their Cora Tree

Starting point

Kepler 62e is the Nagdelian home world. Kepler 62f is the Sonavyakti home world. Kepler 62e (fictional version) is a jungle planet while Kepler 62f (fictional version) is a temperate planet.
"Sonavyakti" is taken from Hindi. "Sona" = gold, "vyakti" = person.

Brief Description of the Sonavyakti

The dark-skinned Sonavyakti are perfectly proportioned, small, hominid primates (no tails). Adults (both male and female) are between 1 and 1.5 meters tall. Their face, chest, belly and buttocks is clear, but the rest of their body is covered in soft, fine golden fur (#FFC125). Most of the fur is about 1.5 centimeters long, but running from the back of their head down their spine all the way to their tailbone is a palm-wide crown line of thick, rich hairs that can grow up to 30 centimeters long. In labor-class Sonavyakti this is usually kept trimmed short, but in those Sonavyakti in non-physical labor occupations this crown line is allowed to grow to its full length. Their fur is brushed daily. When long, the crown line is either worn free-flowing or braided in a variety of different styles.

The Nagdelians kept the Sonavyakti as pets or slaves. Because the Sonavyakti are sentient hominids, they were trained in a wide variety of complex tasks including bookkeeping and translation. Their golden fur made them pleasing in appearance to the Nagdelian elites who in turn kept detailed records of breeding lines producing the glossiest coats. Skin was harvested from dead Sonavyakti and used as fur accents in everything from furniture to clothing. They were also slaughtered for their meat. Their bones were often carved into jewelry or used as decorative accents.

Cora Tree: The Centerpiece of Sonavyakti Civilization

Deciduous, thin-bark, hardwood. Grows to about 30 feet tall. Lives approximately 120 years. Wood is tight-grained, approximately 12 growth rings per inch. The spring-summer portion of each ring is dark aquamarine (#458B74) while the fall portion is dark orchid (#8B4789). When dried, the summer portion fades to a light aquamarine (#76EEC6) while the fall portion fades to a light orchid (#FF83FA). This wood is highly valued among the Sonavyakti for its colorful appearance. It is finished with either a natural clear lacquer or stained to shift the overall tone darker or lighter. This is why so much Sonavyakti furniture and carving is in shades of green and purple.

Photosynthesis in the leaves of the Cora tree breaks down nutrients at the quantum level. A small portion of the quantum material is then recombined into a variety of copper and iron isotopes which collect in the capillaries on opposite halves of each tear-drop shaped leaf. One half of the leaf develops an olive green color (#8E8E38) from the collected copper while the other half develops a firebrick red color (#CD2626) from the iron. The metals are used in CO2 (copper side) and O2 (iron side) transfer with the atmosphere which fuels the photosynthesis. In the fall, the leaves are gathered by the Sonavyakti and burned. The ash from the leaves is combined with charcoal from the wood and heated to approximately 1800 degrees Kelvin in stone furnaces. The crude copper-steel alloy that results is the base metal for all Sonavyakti metallurgy.

On board the FHS Justice there are no seasons. However, the deciduous Cora trees keep to a fixed 267 day growth cycle. If we take Day One, as the day sap begins flowing, there is a 32 day period where the sap begins forming in the roots and works its way upward to the farthest end of the branches. In larger trees, the first third of this cycle is much faster than in smaller ones. This sap can be boiled down into an edible syrup suitable for consumption by either Sonavyakti, humans, or any other species with a compatible digestive system. It is sweet, with a slight caramel aroma and flavor. However, it does leave a very mild metallic aftertaste on the back of the tongue that many humans find unpleasant.

From the 33rd day of the growth cycle buds begin to appear. The buds form a bright red flower that takes 6 days to reach full bloom throughout the tree. The flowers last for approximately 18 days. Male blossoms produce a non-hypoallergenic pollen with a smooth, hard outer husk. Female blossom produce a few drops of nectar that captures the male pollen and dissolves the husk either when it is carried to them by insects or blown by the wind. Male and female blossoms occur on the same tree but not on the same branch. The nectar is non-toxic and if gathered in large enough quantity (which is laborious and time-consuming) it has a slight vanilla aroma and flavor. When the female blossoms fall a small dark brown fruit grows which dries on the branch into an edible nut before falling to the ground. If the nut is planted outside the area where the blossoms have fallen, it can grow into a new sapling. It will not grow if planted within the blossom fall of its own tree or other Cora trees. From blossom fall to nut fall is 57 days.

Leaf buds appear on the same day that blossoms begin to open. It takes three days for the leaves to reach maturity and begin photosynthesis. It takes another 7 days for the leaves to reach full size. The day after nut fall, sap begins to stop flowing which causes the leaves to begin to lose function. They turn pale orange on the iron side (#FF9912) and pale yellow (#FFEC8B) on the copper side. Five days after nut fall photosynthesis shuts down and the leaves begin falling, as well.

The trees remain dormant for 148 days before sap once again begins to form in the roots and move up the trunk.
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Re: The Sonavyakti and the Human/Nagdelian Conflict

Postby Greyhawk » Thu May 11, 2017 10:13 am

Part II: The Origins of the Human/Nagdelian Conflict

Twelve years after leaving Earth orbit, the FHS Justice arrived at Kepler 62 seeking to learn more about planets 62e and 62f, both of which were known to fall within the "Goldilocks Zone" allowing for the development of life. What they discovered was that long before their arrival, the saurian Nagdelian civilization based on 62e had seized control over both planets, enslaving the much smaller and physically weaker hominid primate Sonavyakti society on 62f.

The Astrodiplomatic Corps from FHS Justice immediately began trying to establish friendly relations with the Nagdelians since they were clearly the dominate society. Representatives from the FHS Justice Astrodiplomatic Corps on Kepler 62e worked to build a relationship with isolationist Nagdelians by teaching their engineers and scientists how to harvest Unobtanium and how to use it in faster-than-light spaceflight. They also worked to develop friendly trade agreements with the Nagdelians despite stiff resistance from a supremacist political alliance within the Nagdelian military.

Unknown to either the Astrodiplomatic Corps or the Command and Control section, a secretive band of crew members and superpowered humans were working without authorization to rescue as many of the free Sonavyakti from Kepler 62f as they could. Their plan was to secretly house them on the empty 15th level of the ship and then wait to reveal their accomplishment until after FHS Justice had left the vicinity of Kepler 62. Soil was brought up from the planet surface, environmental conditions such as atmosphere and temperature were stabilized, and food plants were brought on board in the form of seeds along with 2000 Cora tree seedlings. Just under a half million Sonavyakti were transferred from Kepler 62f into Level 15. Tools and building materials were taken from disparate places around the ship so they would not be missed and given to the Sonavyakti who were settled on Level 15. Wildlife from the planet was also brought on board in order to create as stable a biosphere as possible. Birds, insects, small herbivores, medium herbivores used for food, and a small selection of predators, as well as a variety of edible freshwater fish, scavenger freshwater fish, and predatory freshwater fish, were all introduced into Level 15. One-third of Level 15 was given over to wildlands where the animals were established. A large fresh water lake was placed between the wildlands and the remaining two-thirds in order to provide an appropriate environment for the fish. The settled area was further divided by the Sonavyakti into three sections: a small city, an agricultural zone, and a forestry/mining zone of 500 cultivated and carefully tended Cora trees (the remaining seedlings were scattered randomly through the wildlands).

Through subterfuge and bribery, those individuals from FHS Justice who were involved in the conspiracy to "liberate" as many of the Sonavyakti as they could managed to keep their secret hidden until Nagdelian slavers landed on Kepler 62f looking for fresh stock to breed in with the domesticated Sonavyakti population on Kepler 62e. The slavers immediately notified the Nagdelian elites that a large population of Sonavyakti had been "kidnapped" and secreted away on board FHS Justice. When the news reached the Nagdelian elite, it prompted a military coup d'etat of the civilian imperial government. Once they secured political control, the military launched an all-out strike on the FHS Justice with the intent of retrieving the Sonavyakti and returning them to Kepler 62f.

The Command and Control section of FHS Justice was caught completely off-guard when they were attacked by a sudden wave of fighter ships from the surface of Kepler 62e seeking to "rescue" the "stolen" Sonavyakti. Fortunately, the superior technology of the humans along with the fighting prowess of the superhumans brought the attack to a swift end. Those FHS Justice Astrodiplomats still on the planet surface were executed by the Nagdelian elite, who were now firmly under control of the supremacist faction in the military. The execution was broadcast to the FHS Justice where it was picked up and circulated throughout the civilian network before the Command and Control section realized what was happening. Command ordered an immediate cessation of the broadcast, sealed the ship, and set off on an immediate departure to space outside the perceived range of existing Nagdelian space ships, but the damage had already been done. Enough Unobtanium related technology had been taught to Nagdelian engineers that it took very little time for them to develop a fast, small fighter class of interplanetary ships that could chase after the FHS Justice. This same technology was also developed into Nagdelian colonizing ships, providing the Nagdelians their first opportunity to spread their civilization beyond the Kepler 62 system.
Last edited by Greyhawk on Thu May 11, 2017 10:28 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Sonavyakti and the Human/Nagdelian Conflict

Postby Greyhawk » Thu May 11, 2017 10:14 am

Part III: Sonavyakti Social Organization

Sonavyakti society is largely egalitarian. There is no fixed social hierarchy and no bloodline elites. There are no words in the Sonavyakti language for "king", "prince", "queen", "princess", "noble", or "aristocrat". The concept of a nobility is completely unimaginable for them outside the context of their enslavement. Naturally, the language uses a variety of Nagdelian terms to describe social ranks in Nagdelian society, but the thought of applying such vocabulary to themselves horrifies them.
The base unit of their society is the nuclear family: mother, father, children. Because of their long history of enslavement, grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins, and so on are not generally held to be part of the "family". Vocabulary related to social relationships is very simple:

Kha = father
Sha = mother
Vra = son or brother
Shra = daughter or sister
Khada = grandparent or grandparents (either male or female)
Vrada = male relative other than father or brother
Shada = female relative other than mother or sister

In free Sonavyakti society some political organization is, of course, necessary. Blood lineage is largely ignored. A group of ten families forms a neighborhood cluster that cooperates in agriculture or crafting. Once every thirty days a council meeting is held with one representative from each family (usually the eldest male or female) to discuss any problems that arise. One person from each council of ten families is chosen to attend an annual tribunal. This tribunal might have as few as five members or as many as a hundred, depending on geographic convenience, trade association, or some other quality as need arises. There is no larger political organization than these tribunals. Disputes that take place between geographic or economic zones overseen by different tribunals are handled through written correspondence. Inter-tribunal correspondence also serves to organize large festivals, trade fairs, or other gatherings that serve to expand individual social networks.
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Re: The Sonavyakti and the Human/Nagdelian Conflict

Postby Greyhawk » Thu May 11, 2017 10:16 am

Part IV: Sonavyakti Structures

The Sonavyakti are familiar with and understand electricity, but they do not use it. They do employ many different kinds of hand tools that are forged from the Cora alloy by very skilled smiths. Their word "Cora", can either be the tree, the wood, or the metal. To build a house or workshop, they start by digging out an area the size and shape of the intended structure. Since each adult individual is between 100 and 150 centimeters tall, the floor is placed one meter below ground level. A stone slab or a series of stone slabs is then laid as a foundation. Stone pipes carry water throughout the structure. Every room has both a sink and a toilet facility. Wastewater is carried into a subterranean septic system with the main septic collection point located ten or fifteen meters from the structure.

Two meter high Cora wood walls on a Cora wood frame are then added to the foundation. The walls are topped with Cora wood panels that have been shaped into a curve, giving the interior a domed roof. Dirt is then piled on top of the structure up to a meter deep. Most families grow a vegetable garden on top of their house. A workshop or merchant will place a sign indicating the nature of their business on top of the dirt. Wild grasses or flowers are allowed to grow freely on top of those mounds which do not contain vegetable gardens, however, any tree sapling that appears is rooted up and added to the kitchen fire.

Houses have their kitchen and chimney in the back half of the house. Smiths place their forge and chimney in the area where a house would have a kitchen. The front half of the house is a gathering room for family meals and family social activities such as storytelling, teaching or music. A long hallway connects the front half to the kitchen. Bedrooms are arranged on each side of the hallway. In a merchant or craft building, the front room is use for commercial activity. A smith will often use one of the rooms off the hallway as a kitchen, adding a second chimney to the structure at that room. There are no windows in Sonavyakti structures. Multi-level structures are rare, but in those cases where they are deemed necessary, dirt is heaped up around the first floor in the same manner as it would be if it covered the roof. Level 15 has one major difference from the planet-side society: in the center of each cluster of ten families there is a three story structure. The first floor of this structure is completely open with a kitchen facility along the back wall, except for one room that contains six toilet facilities and two sinks. The rest of the floor is open. This open space is primarily used as a meeting hall for the Council of Ten Elders. It can also serve to host community festivals and celebrations or other large-scale social events. The floors above contain those administrative offices which are required to maintain communication with the rest of the ship. Trade delegations, wholesalers, visiting emissaries (if any), civic record keeping (which was never practiced on their home world), etc. are housed on either the second or third floor.

Pathways run between structures forming a loose, non-geometric traffic grid. These pathways are often paved with large slabs of stone. Such pathways have rain water drains running down their center and the drain also serves as a traffic dividing line. Drains are often covered with metal or wooden grates to make traveling simpler. Strangely enough, stone-paved pathways on Level 15 still include these drains even through there is no rainfall.

Trundle sewing machines and trundle looms are often found in at least one structure within each group of ten families. These are often employed by a crafting family which produces all of the cloth materials and clothing required by the group of ten. This crafting family sells to both the local family of ten, other families of ten, wholesalers in the administrative structure, and occasionally outsiders who visit Level 15 and stumble into the weaving or tailoring shop. Dust is used as the basis of economic transactions among the Level 15 Sonavyakti, just as it is everywhere else on FHS Justice. On their home world, rare golden coins from an ancient, pre-Nagdelian contact civilization are sometimes found, implying that at one time the Sonavyakti had a much more complex society than was present when humans arrived at the Kepler 62 system. At the time of human arrival, Sonavyakti used the same currency as was found circulating through Nagdelian civilization on Kepler 62e.
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Re: The Sonavyakti and the Human/Nagdelian Conflict

Postby Greyhawk » Thu May 11, 2017 10:17 am

Part V: Sonavyakti Religion, Literature, Culture

Spirituality and culture among the Sonavyakti are highly regarded social activities. Their religion revolves around worship of an abstract single deity known as Ajagara. No images of Ajagara are ever made and none among the Sonavyakti can describe this deity, nor can they assign a gender. When pressed for such details they become agitated and question why a spiritual being needs a physical description. There is a book of tales about individuals down through history who have called upon Ajagara for aid. In most cases, the god remains silent, but on some occasions miraculous rescues take place. If questioned about why Ajagara is so arbitrary in rescuing those who worship the deity, the Sonavyakti earnestly assert that each individual is responsible for their own life. Taking care of the people as a whole is the job of the deity. Taking care of an individual life is the responsibility of the individual. Their long history of enslavement has made them keenly aware of the individual's ability to choose how one responds to a crisis while also endowing them with a great ability to move forward in the face of great trauma and sadness. The most popular tales from their holy book revolve around one person, usually male but sometimes female, who accomplishes some terrible trial with tears in their eyes and a song of thanksgiving on their lips.

Storytelling among the Sonavyakti is not restricted to their religion. Individuals who feel like doing so will write a book of tales or poetry or both and illustrate it with drawings created by the writer. Every book is illustrated. Visual art is just as important to their storytelling as the words on the page. There is a Printer Tribunal that collects the original manuscripts, arranges for reprinting and distribution, and manages royalty payments to the creators. Merchants of all kinds, even smiths, will have a small selection of these books for sale regardless of whatever craft their primary commercial activity revolves around. The written language is heavily embellished with flourishes and decorative marks, making it extremely difficult for outsiders to learn. Oftentimes an outsider struggling to learn the language cannot decipher where the characters end and the embellishments begin, even under the guidance of a Sonavyakti tutor.

Although Sonavyakti stories have as much range and diversity as those produced by any sentients, some archetypes and expectations are consistent. Every story has a central hero. The hero is usually the eldest child and can be either male or female. The hero is separated from their family by slavery, either because the hero is traded away or captured or because the family is traded away or captured. The remainder of the story concerns the trials and tribulations experienced by the hero as they seek to be reunited with their family. Surprisingly, even among the Sonavyakti on Level 15, there are no stories where a slave experiences manumission. Sonavyakti literature is marked by an acceptance of fate coupled with a firm belief in the individual's ability to transform an evil fate into a good one. Popular on Level 15 and unknown on their home world are stories of free Sonavyakti who avoid becoming slaves either through the aid of their friends, the aid of outsiders (including humans, naturally) or the aid of Ajagara. Apparently avoiding slavery altogether is just as important to them as accepting it when it happens.

Recently, as a result of exposure to Unobtanium, individuals among the Sonavyakti on Level 15 have begun experiencing a variety of powers. These individuals are very rare, naturally. Once the powers manifest, the individuals tend to drift down to Apotheosis City in search of training. So far, no stories of superpowered Sonavyakti have appeared in the literature, but that does not mean such stories will never be written, only that they have yet to be written.

Music is also very popular among the Sonavyakti. They have very few native instruments, but they use them in profoundly complex ways. There is a small, eight-stringed, bell-shaped lute or guitar like instrument, a flute with eight note holes and two pitch dividers, a set of three drums that usually feature Cora-wood bodies and heavy leather percussion covers, but can be made from almost anything that falls to hand, a palm-held ocarina-type Cora-wood flute, and a Cora-metal sixteen note horn shaped like a damaged saxophone. The music is built around a sixteen-note chromatic scale rather than an eight-note octave pitch with no distinction made between full tones and semi-tones. After the evening meal families will often gather for an hour or so of shared music and singing. After the music, they often retire to their individual bedroom for reading and other individual activities. Musicians can be found entertaining the common room of the few and far between taverns or inns, but large concerts or other musically-centered activities are seldom organized and very rare.
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Re: The Sonavyakti and the Human/Nagdelian Conflict

Postby Greyhawk » Thu May 11, 2017 10:19 am

Part VI: The Sonavyakti and External Trade

Cora-wood and Cora-metal products are the centerpiece of Sonavyakti external trade. The wood and metal are finished into hand tools, dishware, table settings, cookware, decorative ornaments, decorative statues, weapon mounts, and so on. There is a small trade in bladed weapons, knives and swords, almost all of which are produced by a single community of ten smith families located at the edge of the domestic Cora plantation.

Cora tree syrup and Cora blossom honey do occasionally find their way into wholesaler offerings for trade with the rest of the ship and others. However, due to its extreme rarity, it commands extremely high prices. It is not uncommon for the per ounce price of Cora blossom honey to wholesale at twice the price of gold bullion.

The Sonavyakti grow a variety of unusual fruit, vegetables, and grains that are sometimes sold to wholesalers who then sell them to distributors who carry the produce to Apotheosis City and other settled areas of the ship. Naturally, because of their rarity outside Level 15, these products command very high retail prices and are considered delicacies.

Kurano = a root vegetable, deep blue (#4876FF), tastes like a sweet carrot, looks like a turnip
Didinao = a root vegetable, pale red (#FF6A6A), very spicy, grows like a potato
Lekando = off-white (#FDF5E6), very mild root vegetable, almost flavorless, usually mixed with others
Khano = a leafy vegetable, pale yellow (#FFF68F), grows like spinach, tastes like romaine lettuce
Sharno = a leafy vegetable, tight ball like cabbage, off-white (#FDF5E6) with vivid red (#FF0000) veins
Kukunao = small, hard, dense fibrous orange (#FF9912) vegetable, often shredded, faint cheesy flavor
Dekando = leaves of the Lekando, bright orange (#FF8000) with red (#FF0000) veins, taste like onion
Shekido = looks like bright yellow (#FFFF00) roma tomato, tastes like a tart apple
Widinao = large, similar to spaghetti squash in shape and flavor, pale blue (#B0E2FF)
Klaxklao = grows on trees, a kind of citrus fruit, sweeter than oranges, deep blue (#4876FF)
Klaxklanao = grows on trees, a kind of citrus fruit, very mild flavor, bright pink (#FF1493)

Textiles made on Level 15 are mostly coarse. Raw flax is brought into Level 15 from outside sources and the weaving families transform it into linen thread, dye it, and weave it. Most of these woven textiles are sewn into draperies, table linens, wash cloths, and so on. Either these finished items or bulk rolls of cloth are often bought by wholesalers who sell them outside Level 15. Clothing made by tailors and worn by the Sonavyakti is primarily just for adornment. Males and females alike can be found wearing a single clothing item (a vest, jacket, or skirt) as a bright compliment or dark contrast to their golden fur. These items do find their way into wholesale channels from time to time and eventually into the retail channel. The bright colors and abstract geometric patterns enjoy great popularity among young people trying to stand out in a crowd.
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Re: The Sonavyakti and the Human/Nagdelian Conflict

Postby Greyhawk » Thu May 11, 2017 10:21 am

Part VII : The Lonely

Slavery is an odd institution. Some individuals enjoy being slaves. Their food and shelter is provided for. They are supplied romantic partners who have no choice but to find some way to get along until such time as the master is satisfied with their offspring or gets bored and sells one of them. Their tasks are often hard, but simple and strictly defined. They know exactly what is and is not permissible both in their work and in their free time. Some slaves even become fond of the protection and shelter their master provides. For any of these individuals, slavery is a gift not a curse.

When the crew and heroes "liberated" the Sonavyakti from enslavement a significant portion of those who settled in Level 15 quickly developed a sense of remorse. Suddenly they were expected to provide their own shelter and find some way to earn Dust in order to provide for their food and other needs. Being forced to think, reason, and imagine their own solutions to problems that occurred in their relationships or in their search for sustenance became overwhelming for these individuals. They began to dream once again of the security of knowing that no matter what happened, a Nagdelian master would be there to solve their problems.

In addition to those individuals who felt slavery itself was a form of freedom, there were others who longed for some favorite food or activity left behind. The crew and heroes who transformed Level 15 into an environment suitable for the Sonavyakti could not include everything the planet offered. They choose those food plants and animals that appeared to be the most popular as food, a decoration, or as companions, but the vast majority of species were left behind. Nothing, for example, from the seas or oceans could be brought on board because there was no salt water environment built on Level 15. These individuals also began to feel resentment toward the FHS Justice members who had brought them to this new environment that lacked their favorite food, their most loved decorative plant, or their favorite animal.

These two groups, those who longed to return to slavery and those who felt deep loss at some precious memory, banded together in a secret society that runs through Level 15. They call themselves, "The Lonely". They meet in the underdeck area where the piping and support systems run that keep Level 15 comfortable. Once in a while they vandalize these systems, creating havoc above ground. Terrorists dedicated to destroying the Level 15 sanctuary in order to awaken the other Sonavyakti to the reality of what The Lonely refer to as "the great imprisonment", will often venture above ground to assassinate Tribunal Representatives during their meetings or while they are traveling to and from Tribunal meetings. There is no food in the underdeck, so any of those who live in these warrens must from time to time venture above ground in order to steal food and other supplies. They also stockpile weapons and explosives both in the warrens underdeck and in hidden caches above ground. Some of The Lonely have two lives, one above ground that appears normal, and one below ground that involves carrying information to the terrorists or bringing them supplies.

In order to recognize one another both above and below ground, The Lonely wear a vest of deep blue (#009ACD) with the image of a Gargarano embroidered on the back in bright gold thread (#FFD700). There have even been occasions, and probably will be again, when large groups of The Lonely venture above ground in an effort to capture political control of Sonavyakti society. Their hope is that if they can capture control of Level 15, then they can assist a Nagdelian invasion force in taking over the ship. In order to achieve this aim, they have established communication centers in the underdeck warrens with electronics equipment stolen from Apotheosis City.


Part VIII: The Wildings

The Sonavyakti joined the FHS Justice a mere 12 years after they left Earth. They have been home on Level 15 for nearly as long as the crew has commanded the ship and the residents of Apotheosis City have worked to create their own home. In those two centuries not everyone has adapted well to life on Level 15. Every society has outcasts, those individuals who don't conform to the expectations of family and culture. But when trapped aboard a space ship sailing between planets there is no place for these outcasts to flee. Even as simple as Sonavyakti society is, there are many who find it too confining and too limiting of their personal freedoms. Those Sonavyakti who cannot conform to life in the settled lands have only one place they can go: the wildlands across the lake.

The Wildings are Sonavyakti who have given up on civilized society. They are seeking a sense of passion and freedom that Councils of Ten Families and Tribunals cannot provide. In the wildlands they hunt, they fish, they gather fruit and nuts from wild trees, they harvest wild fruits and vegetables, and they build shelters from the hides of the animals they kill. 1500 Cora tree seedlings were scattered in the wildlands. A mere hundred remain. Without the care and tending of trained arborists, they died of old age, they failed to grow, or they simply failed to adapt. Wilding groups congregate around these trees. They build their shelters here. They make charcoal from fallen branches. They smelt the leaves into Cora-metal and forge the Cora-metal into weapons. Anyone who approaches their communities is attacked. Anyone from settled lands seeking to gather fallen Cora leaves is driven off violently. In addition to Cora-metal weapons, the Wildings are often armed with Cora-wood staffs or clubs. They also make bows and arrows from Cora wood. Their bowstrings are made from Windelow gut that has been stretched, dried, and braided.

No one among the Wildings weaves or sews. They run through the trees and forests of the wildlands dressed only in their natural golden fur. Dark blue (#00688B) and deep crimson dyes (#B0171F) are made from flowers and fruits that grow in the wildlands. These dyes are then used to add stripes, spirals, polka dots, and other decorations to their bodies.
Last edited by Greyhawk on Thu May 11, 2017 10:28 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Sonavyakti and the Human/Nagdelian Conflict

Postby Greyhawk » Thu May 11, 2017 10:23 am

Part IX: The Gargarano and Windelow

Every biosystem needs an apex predator. On Kepler 62f, the Sonavyakti called the apex predator a "Gargarano". If some crazy geneticist combined bears, wolves, and tigers, the final result might be something like a Gargarano. It is equally comfortable on four legs and two. It stands as a way of surveying the terrain or reaching scents carried high above the ground. When it runs or moves it mostly stays on four legs in order to keep a low profile. The Gargarano has two forward-facing eyes, giving it excellent depth perception and powerful distance viewing. It sees in color and the response rate of its retina is fast enough to detect camouflaged prey moving through grass, leaves, or brush. When upright, an adult Gargarano stands just over two and a half meters tall. Its long, powerful limbs are built for speed, its broad, muscular torso is built for power. Despite its bulk, the Gargarano has a wide, soft connecting tissue in every joint, including its spine. This combination of features gives it the flexibility and maneuverability of a cat, the aroma sensitivity of a dog, and the power of a bear.

The large, toothy snout beneath the forward-facing eyes and the fringe of beard around the back jaw, give it a face that combines features of both wolves and tigers. It is covered in fur. The males are usually brown (#CD6839) with black stripes (#000000) on their back, sides, thighs, and arms. The females are usually a sort of dusty gold (#CD9B1D) with black stripes (#000000) only on the back. One breeding pair produces two cubs in a single birth. Most often, the cubs are either both male or both female. One of the difficulties in balancing the continued survival against the necessity of maintaining a hunting population is the nature of the birth patterns. Geneticists that oversee wildlife management on Level 15 have samples from 78 individuals on Kepler 62f that they can use to modify the naturally occurring breeding cycle when necessary. Heroes are called upon from time to time not to kill Gargarano in the wildlands, but merely to capture a fresh genetic sample to check the viability of the current population. In rare cases, they may even be called up to neutralize a breeding pair long enough for a wildlife biologist to inseminate the female with material from the preserved samples.

Game control efforts in the wildlands on Level 15 seek to restrict Gargarano population to six breeding pairs, but naturally this effort sometimes fails. When it does fail and the population exceeds six breeding pairs, then one pair will attempt to cross the lake and colonize the settled lands. There is very little the Sonavyakti can do when a pair of Garagano make it across the lake. When this happens heroes are called upon to assist in removing or destroying the rampaging pair.

Windelow

The wildlands is host to several dozen species of herbivores, some large, some small. The most common is the Windelow. In the wildlands there are two groups of Windelow, normal and those mutated by exposure to Unobtanium.

Normal Windelow = the size of a rabbit, hind legs of a rabbit, head of a gopher, black or white or spotted (both black on white and white on black). Burrows in the ground. Eats leafy plants. Is especially fond of Khano and Dekando. If one makes it across the lake, or if a pet escapes an owner, it can consume a full kilo of produce each day.

Mutant Windelow = Exposure to Unobtanium can cause the mostly harmless Windelow to change dramatically. It grows so large that when it stands on its hind legs it can look a Sonavyakti farmer straight in the eye. The fur changes color to a blazing yellow (#FFFF00) or bright red (#FF0000) or spotted (both yellow on red and red on yellow). Its forward claws lengthen and sharpen and it grows large, curling fangs descending from the upper jaw. Mutant Windelow are more fond of eating farmers than of eating crops.
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Re: The Sonavyakti and the Human/Nagdelian Conflict

Postby GladDog » Fri May 12, 2017 6:43 am

Nicely done.

Things I like;
A great narrative that puts reasoning and emphasis behind the Human/ Nagdelian conflict.
Developing an interesting race of (mostly) friendlies that can be introduced to the game well after launch, with just bits and pieces of their story being introduced early.
Makes a race that can help to gradually show the importance of trade with other races to the game.
Interesting crafting potential
Nice intro of a deadly enemy
Great potential as NPC sidekick characters

Things I did not like:
Very little other than this would be very complex to introduce to the game at launch for an indy project.

I'm going to integrate this race of slave laborers to my story developments for the Forgotten, if you don't mind. There, your idea can get to level 17! :D
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Re: The Sonavyakti and the Human/Nagdelian Conflict

Postby Consultant » Fri May 12, 2017 7:22 am

Many interesting story elements here, but we are NOT embracing this origin story as canon for the Nagdellians, as we are going in another direction.

That being said, we enjoyed the stories too. :)

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Re: The Sonavyakti and the Human/Nagdelian Conflict

Postby GladDog » Fri May 12, 2017 8:02 am

Perhaps this would be a great setting for a newly discovered planetary system, introducing the Sonavyakti as a new Human allied race, and develop a race of antagonists that are not happy that they are losing their slave reservoir. Perhaps the Sonavyakti could become sidekick or 'pet' characters that all players can get, not just controller and mastermind types.

Introducing this race could be a large expansion of the crafting system, because of their brilliance in making useful items.
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Re: The Sonavyakti and the Human/Nagdelian Conflict

Postby Consultant » Fri May 12, 2017 10:13 am

I agree that there are a lot of great elements that could be adapted into the SoH storylines. Very creative.

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Re: The Sonavyakti and the Human/Nagdelian Conflict

Postby Greyhawk » Fri May 12, 2017 11:35 am

Many interesting story elements here, but we are NOT embracing this origin story as canon for the Nagdellians, as we are going in another direction.

That being said, we enjoyed the stories too. :)
No problem. I have a dozen stories that would benefit from inclusion of the Sonavyakti. I can certainly find a place for them.

Clearly the civilization I have labeled "Nagdelian" is not. It is something entirely different. That's okay. I already have a political, economic, and educational side worked out (I just didn't include it here because I can't find any reference to these in the established canon for the Nagdelians). It is a simple thing to give the culture I've created a different name.
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Re: The Sonavyakti and the Human/Nagdelian Conflict

Postby Greyhawk » Fri May 12, 2017 11:41 am

Perhaps this would be a great setting for a newly discovered planetary system, introducing the Sonavyakti as a new Human allied race, and develop a race of antagonists that are not happy that they are losing their slave reservoir. Perhaps the Sonavyakti could become sidekick or 'pet' characters that all players can get, not just controller and mastermind types.

Introducing this race could be a large expansion of the crafting system, because of their brilliance in making useful items.
One of the things I worked very hard to establish in this short background study is the creation of items that could be incorporated into whatever trade system Ship of Heroes eventually develops. Clearly, the SoH design team is building something completely different that has no use for Cora-wood, Cora-steel, Cora-syrup, and Cora flower honey. No problem. As I mentioned in my reply to Consultant (just above this one), I have a dozen stories that will benefit from using this civilization and their products.

So, with apologies, GladDog, the Sonavyakti and their products will not be appearing on Level 15 or any other Level. Guess the Forgotten will have to get their sidekicks from someone else. :D
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