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Old Feb 08, 2011, 03:32 PM   #1
MysticWind
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GalCiv Races: Reloaded [fanfiction]

I was bored, and inspired by Mass Effect's approach to designing space opera aliens, I created this- basically reskinning each of the different races in GalCiv, plus adding a few based on Starships Unlimited. If I get any responses, I'll continue this.


Major
Drengin Imperium

Proof that if there really was someone behind the duplication of Humans with Altairians, they continue to seed similar life elsewhere with a sense of humor. Vaguely hominid, the Drengin and their Imperium have a terrible reputation as barbarians, schemers, and invaders. All true, to some extent, but much of it is simply bad press; the Drengin have no concept of "just war" or any benevolent "rules of engagement." Attacking civilian populations, refusing to keep prisoners, destroying surrendered vessels are all acceptable tactics in a war by the Drengin, as long as they are justified within the grand strategy. No unnecessary sadism- only what's necessary to terrify their opponents. The Drengin are brutal expansionists, but they do not seek to openly engage their neighbors, provided powerful enough, with the Arceans the main exception. The Drengin Imperium has the foremost biologists, anatomists, and life scientists of the entire galaxy- little wonder for a polity that has no qualms against using bioweapons. Currently, there is another period of cold war between the two glaring empires- the Drengin are often patient, despite their fondness for seeking out any possible strategy, tactic, or weapon. Despite the hulking nature of Drengin Kaotodo Shocktroops, the Imperium does have numerous infiltration and black ops teams.

Arcean Empire

It is said that the age-long war between the Arceans and the Drengin were not caused over ancient grievances, but a larger ideological struggle between those who wage righteous war and those who reject the very concept of war crimes. Order against discord, in other words. That is of course wrong, as the previous (Sixty-seventh) Arcean-Drengin War was fought over the very concrete reason of the Arcean Emperor deciding that the Drengin Potentate could stand to lose a few border systems that she simply hadn't sent enough settlers to. "You call that sort of neglect colonization?" and so forth. All of the predecessor conflicts have also had surprisingly solid rationales. That said, the Arceans do indeed possess a kind of honor in their warfare- a very stultified, strict sense of legal war. This was formed not from any particular concern or kindness, but out of a near-religious ritualization of the practice, originating in ancient Arcea, between the unified houses under the legendary Archan and the other sentient (and now extinct) species of the planet. The Arcean Empire has not lost any of its appetite for conquest, but is not above cooperation with other nations. The reason for why first contact had went so well between Earth and Arcea was because one of the Primal Tenets glorified exchange of knowledge with newly-discovered races- after all, they may prove to be future allies against one's enemies. Especially against the Drengin.

Altarian Concord
(Altarian male)

(Altarian female)

Perhaps it was best that humanity did not have the Altarians as their first contact with an alien species. Many things could have gone wrong when a pre-interstellar travel species meets a spacefaring one that looked physically identical to them, possessed an elaborate unified moral code, and preterphysical powers that seemed like the stuff of magic and mysticism. Hailing from Ara Centauri, known as "the Altar" to Earth, the Altarians swiftly spread across their neighborhood of the galaxy, becoming the dominant race, rather reminiscent of the human experience. But while Earth was always internally divided between multitudes of polities, the Altarians had formed a monoculture early on in their history, with one dominant (but not overly evangelistic) belief system devoted to cultivating a "Great Balance" with the cosmos. Instrumental to their faith was their ability over "primons", the still little-understood power to manipulate elemental forces, including (but not limited to) dark energy.
But even as they spread forth from their cities- hybrid metropolises incorporating the wilderness, with large parks and areas for meditation among natural beauty- they disrupted their planetary roommates, the Drath. The latter race, forging its own path and without primonic powers, rejected the Altarians and their beliefs. Suspicion became fear, and fear became anger, and anger became hatred, and the two species came to blows, finally resulting with most of the Drath leaving the planet in giant arks to find their own future among the stars.
The Altarians, in a story heard so many times in other races' histories, discovered that both their civilization had consolidated and their technology advanced during this period of great warfare. In a golden age, they simultaneously rebuilt the natural beauty of their planet, colonized their celestial neighborhood (careful to avoid areas where the Drath had gone), and mastered primonic power. As they came to meet other sentient species, the Altarians promoted peace, even if most did not agree with their Great Balance. To this they reacted as benevolently as they could, learning from their experience with the Drath. Instead of attempting to promote their morality as a belief, the Altarians aspired to show its works with actions, applying it to their interactions with other species, both in peacetime and in war. Though the Altarians are generally considered to be a species that is positive for the galactic good, they are often seen as arrogant, finding their beliefs to be superior to any others'. The recent discovery about the Bygoners, and that primonic abilities are not unique to themselves, have caused great disquiet among their society. To them, there is nothing more shocking than a Drath who can manipulate primons. Even now, there is the fear of religious strife between practitioners of the Great Balance. The story of the Altarian Concord is one that humanity could learn much from, both as a model of success and as a cautionary tale.

Drath Legion
(Drath leader)

(Drath elder)

(Draken)

The tragedy of the Drath is that for most of the species' existence, its history revolved around the activities of the Altarians. But this was not true of the species' beginning, nor is it necessarily true today. The Drath Legion is made of many societies divided into familial lines, formed over centuries from sentience to space colonization. A race of warm-blooded reptilians, they eked out a happy existence on Ara Centauri 3, both in the deserts and the grasslands of the planet. Like other species, the Drath lines first discovered agriculture, then urban life, and then progressed through different forms of political sophistication. But as travel likewise advanced, they became aware of another sentient species on the other side of the world: the Altarians, or in the Drath language, the "Elementarists." Unfortunately for both species, multiple Drath societies had spoken of the coming of a "dark race" that would spell doom for their race. This proved to be a self-fulfilling prophecy.
It is uncertain who struck first, though ironically both species claim it was themselves. After a meeting between a military exploration group from the Firetooth line and an Altarian ministerial envoy turned violent, the Altarians and Drath waged the Long Vendetta that would last for four generations. Though the Drath were physically superior to the Altarians, their strength, intelligence, and cunning were doomed by slow birthrates, and were soon outnumbered by the non-saurians. Over this vendetta, both developed space travel adequate for interstellar colonization. In the end, much of the natural beauty of the planet was destroyed, but not to an irreparable state. 95% of the Drath lines, their societies under the umbrella of the allied military command known as the Legion, decided to leave their homeworld in self-imposed exile. Their luck changed, and the new planet proved to be almost a paradise for the Drath Legion, and the societies and lines flourished on their adopted world, their cultures resuming once more undisturbed.
In a situation where large-scale warfare between the lines was unprofitable at best and dangerous for the entire race at worst, the Drath developed a Byzantine system of espionage and covert feuding. Politics and trade for the Drath is so full of underhanded moves and misdirection that would have made the Renaissance Venetians proud. Despite the Legion's military roots, the government does not spend much treasure on building armies or fleets; instead, it hires mercenaries or the rivals of their enemies to do the dirty work. Dealing with the hard-headed, ideological Altarians for centuries has created a sense of appreciation of subtlety in the Drath; it was quite difficult to figure out ways to cause a monocultural enemy to fight amongst themselves and leave you alone. Though the Legion is no slouch at warfare, either. During the Long Vendetta, Drath scientists tapped into bioengineering to morph test subjects into warriors molded for battle, possessing greater size, strength, and speed than their baseline brethren. This new subspecies, the "Draken", came to be a respected class in Drath society, though care was taken to prevent animosity between them and baselines. If anything, most Draken are either too busy protecting the interests of the Legion as a whole, or being hired to fight in shadow wars between different lines.
The Drath in general still miss their old homeworld, and bear a grudge against their old roommates. Though only a few die-hards wish to reclaim the planet, most Drath in general would not hesitate to arrange a situation where the Altarians face suffering. There is still a collective belief that the Elementarists are an evil species, created by the Bygoners or some other powerful group for the purposes of mischief. They reject the mysticism of their rivals, and have recently discovered a way to summon some primonic powers using advanced technological implants. Armed with the Draken biomorph warriors, proto-primonic powers, and the most advanced espionage system in their region of the galaxy, the Drath Legion seeks glory for all of its lines at the expense of the Altarians. Truly, they are the 20 foot-tall, one-ton beasts in the room.

Minors
Robot Republic

Humanity's metallic stepchild. The roots of this polity stretch back to an unfortunate mistake by one of humanity's greatest heroes. Shortly following the Donation of Parchan, humanity installed a miniaturized version of the hyperspace generator into a small exploration vessel. The Z-41 Phoenix thus became the ride of Astronaut Leonard S. Bell, voyager supreme, tasked with the mission to use the "suicide engine" and partnered by none except seven near-A.I. personalities built into the ship and the eighth into a state-of-the-art robotic chassis. Thus, Spaceman Bell and his trusty tristeel sidekick Robinson dazzled the world; following the activation of the engine the Phoenix randomly warpjumped into deep space, into the murky region known as the Hinterlands, where anomalies and alien monsters were everywhere. Their scientific discoveries and fights against all sorts of strange beasts are the stuff of vid legend. However, on one fateful mission into caverns on a dusty canyon world, Spaceman Bell discovered a device of clearly hyperintelligent origins. Unfortunately, the very first Bygoner relic found by humans was forever lost to them- upon accidental activation, a great cave collapse was triggered, trapping robot Robinson inside. Despite his attempts, Spaceman Bell was unable to rescue his friend, and left the planet with a broken heart. But somehow, the metal man survived, and thrived. The relic caused him to reach sentience, but also gave him a nasty side effect of emotions. Scorning his former companion and the species he was spawned from, Robinson rejected his origins and decided to create a new race in his own image. As he possessed one of the largest libraries of almost all human knowledge, he took the Bygoner tech and began creating a civilization of fellow robotic beings. While he could have easily made them all his underlings, he refused to sink to the level of his makers and gifted them all with sentience. Thus, the Robot Republic was formed. Years later, when humanity had mastered the warp, they discovered a pocket empire of machines that strangely resembled variants of decades-old robot models. Known as "Bell's Folly", this new Republic has expanded across several systems, yearning to conquer more.

Reviews, please?

Last edited by MysticWind; Feb 09, 2011 at 03:33 PM.
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Old Feb 08, 2011, 07:26 PM   #2
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Looks good. Any pictures?
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Old Feb 09, 2011, 03:14 PM   #3
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Pictures up! Any comments? Any sort of sign that I should continue this?
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Old Feb 09, 2011, 05:25 PM   #4
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I like the idea of a GalCiv2 story. I just want to see some action. Is this going to be written after an actual game?
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Old Feb 10, 2011, 02:13 AM   #5
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No, unfortunately :/ this isn't an AAR. I just wanted to flesh out the various races, because previously they're all just pretty generic sci-fi aliens. I wanted to add a bit of detail to it, again in a Mass Effect sort of way. But I'm not really influenced by ME, except for the "primonic powers" which the Altarians are already said to have in GalCiv anyways!
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Old Feb 10, 2011, 03:18 PM   #6
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Hey, go ahead and keep writing. Just remember not to rush things if it means sacrificing quality.
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Old Feb 13, 2012, 03:56 PM   #7
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Torian Confederation


As with any species, there is always one group that is the perpetually put-upon. In the known galaxy, the Torians fit that role perfectly. They are a people whose entire present is based on creating a glorious future to escape memories of a dismal past. The most distant records of Toria indicate that theirq early civilization was a simple society barely into the agricultural and tool-making stages. In terms of evolution, the semi-aquatic Torians had barely emerged from the seas that largely covered their planet. A hundred millennia ago, they were on the cusp of developing religion when the Drengin Imperium emerged from the skies as overlords. Though the early Torians were clement and largely eschewed wars, the canny Imperium colonizers arbitrarily sided with some tribes as divine guardians, dividing up the Torian people in a series of conflicts that were repeated throughout their planet.

After the more powerful tribes had been neutralized (which took perhaps about a season at most), the Drengin gods would use their favored tribes, most of whom had been already exhausted through Pyrhhic victory, to rule over the others, enslaving the rest and giving them orders to dig vast tunnels into the earth to fetch rocks of strange colors, or to plant strange crops that were inedible and often poisonous to the Torians themselves, or to fight each other to the death for sport. Of course, at the time Drengin technology had long since bypassed the need for such harsh manual labor. But being sadists of a sort with a culture that coldly valued ostentatious displays of supremacy, they did run huge slave operations, watching with amusement as Torians toiled. The colonial force was not large, and based on the technology at the time it would take many long years before new supplies and settlers would be brought. Toria was always a backwater with some resources but for the most part seen as unimportant.

But like all slavers, the Drengin slipped up. After tens of thousands of years, they had both unwittingly allowed the Torians to grow to abundant levels that outnumbered the colonists by a hundredfold- greedy governors had pushed for such policies to improve production and the pool of free labor. Slowly but surely, the knowledge of various technologies and even weapons that the Drengin wielded slowly filtered from overseer colonists to the collaborator Drengin-worshipping tribes to the enslaved. And most deadly to them of all, the colonists had taught the tranquil Torians how to make war. After thirty-five thousand years, the Torians finally began a massive slave uprising under the legendary Tlas Myaemrla. By sheer numbers, and the aid of a very few collaborator tribes deciding that they had enough of their gods, the Torians drove their overlords off their world and out of their system. It was fortunate timing, as well- the Drengin Imperium had begun one of its perennial wars with the Arcean Empire, and so was distracted elsewhere. Deciding that the colony wasn't worth it, the Drengin left, leaving much of their technology (to them, the unimportant) on the planet.

The liberated Torians then spent the next several years exerting control over their world, uniting their species, and slaughtering almost all of the collaborator tribes. But by their nature, the Torians are a peaceful and gentle people, and so many collaborators were allowed to depart with their former gods- in part because they would now be demoted to slaves and servants themselves. Now, with their race and planet united as one, they were met with the question of what to do next. Revert to an ancient society that had been irreparably lost? Try to find a future beyond the stars?

In the end, the Torians chose both paths. While much of their planet lay in ruins, they slowly rebuilt their civilization in the Era of Flourishing Change. A trillion art forms, sciences, and philosophy bloomed as the Torian people sought to create new identities. The seas, which the Drengin had mercifully ignored, were quickly restored and many of the ancient water-settlements were rebuilt. At the same time, innovative thinkers devoured the technology leftover by their former masters to discern their principles of operation. Slowly, the Torians discovered the secrets to space travel. In time, the current configuration of their civilization was forged- the traditionalists largely stayed at home, many sea-Torians living in or near their ancestral oceans that they had emerged from. Many others descended into space, trying to create a new image of Torian society abroad, and to escape the somewhat overcrowded state of the homeworld. After being gifted modern hyperwarp technologies from human merchants, the Torians seek to find themselves in the stars, spreading goodwill and peace to all, except the always-hated Drengin whom they seek to undermine at every opportunity.

The Torians are very irreligious people. While they have a respect for all beings, their time under the Drengin has made them very skeptical of deities or at least any entity with greater power that claims to be morally pure. However, after contact with the Altarians, many have adopted their beliefs in the Great Balance. While there are Torian adherents of many faiths and philosophies (usually non-theistic ones), over time there has been a gradual Torian acceptance of their variant of the Great Balance. Their general government policies are usually compatible with Balance tenets.
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Old Feb 13, 2012, 04:10 PM   #8
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Wow. I never expected to see this updated again, but I'm glad to see you're back to it. Here's to updates at a faster pace!
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Old Feb 17, 2012, 12:12 PM   #9
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Yor Collective


If there ever was a race that would inspire instinctual dread, it would be the technological monstrosities of Yor. Each culture has their golems, their Y'ulplzka, their Mleebles, their shoggoths. They are the tales to the dawn of time instructing sentients to never quibble with the powers of gods, to never construct and give birth to artificial life. Well, aeons ago, the Bygoners did just that, and created this race. No one knows what conceivable purpose the Yor were made for. Was it to act as mechanical slaves, toiling for that ancient civilization's ever whim? Was it to fight vast wars so that their organic masters would dwell safely in their homes and bunkers? Or perhaps it was simply to tend the hanging-crystal gardens of unspeakable beauty that we can still see at preserved sites such as Valor VII.

No one knows what the Yor were made for, nor what their role was in the sudden disappearance of their masters half a kalpa ago or so. All we know is our vast archeological record of that race suddenly goes kaput around that time- they left no more artifacts at that stage. Certainly great ruins were found- perhaps signs of servile insurrection? Did once again the created turn upon their creators? Were they even sentient prior to this? No one knows, but the Yor themselves. And they will never tell.

The Iconians may know. They perhaps understand the depravity of the Yor Collective most of all, having suffered the worst from them in recent times. But the Yor truly hate all organic and biological life with all the hatred mechanical beings can muster- and surprisingly, a computer can hate quite a lot. More than an organic, probably. If biological emotions are guided by evolutionary impulses, perhaps it is fitting that the hatred of the Yor is similarly practical- while they are synthetic organisms, they do require chemical sustenance, and the carbon-, silicion-, and nitrogen-based bodies of most sentient species are very filling for them. So the Yor view us all as prey of a sort, worthy of loathing and contempt. Not that they require attacking other species to feast upon their dead (anymore), they certainly don't mind "processing" organics to power their eldritch generators.

Indeed, Yor physiology is a wonder of sentient creation. They are not actually made of metal, but of a substance much durable yet flexible. Their internal generators can be powered by numerous forms of chemical fuel in an extremely efficient manner, but they are drawn- programmed- to consuming organic life. Whenever the Yor descend upon a new world, they snuff it in every way. The crust to core is mined for minerals, the liquid and gaseous areas are absorbed and converted, and all biological life is taken to giant processing plants and "repackaged" for Yor consumption. Yor space is simply world after world drained of all value.

While idealistic young blunners may have dreams of slicing into the source code of the Yor and teasing out the secrets of the Bygoners' programming, such a notion is about as feasible as scanning the brain of a human to such a degree so as to understand how an individual neuron forms part of a thought. The Yor are simply too advanced to be blunned, hacked, or slashed. Of all the artificial species currently encountered, they are the most sophisticated, and are completely impervious to such electronic attacks. Thankfully for non-Yor, this limitation cuts both ways; while the Yor are the masters of information warfare, it is because their mechanical intellect allows for them to quickly decipher enemy codes and software, not because they can somehow interact with that programming on some mythical level.

The Yor Collective is indeed a hive-mind of artificial sentience. The details of such a society is, alas, scanty. While the Iconians have some inklings, most other species' interactions of the Yor, even including footage of visits to Yor worlds, show that the Collective are a very colorless and regimented race of drones with no real creativity to speak of. Only in the gunmetal grey utilitarian aspects of existence do they put their great intellect into action- technology for their clanking war machine, science for finding new ways to process new organics.

And of what future is there for such a race? The Yor do not convey any ambitions. It would appear that all they seek is dominance and consumption. They do communicate with other races, even deigning to have diplomatic relations or even trade, often the latter is in sentient organic slaves that quickly become Yor fuel. But the Iconians see this as nothing but a very long game for them. Incredibly patient, the Yor do not mind crafting relationships with sentients so to better exploit them in the present before exterminating them in the distant future. They have no pity nor mercy nor any other emotion except for hate. Anything else is a mechanical simulation.

Yet, many species seemingly ignore the risks of cooperating with such a malignant race. That is because, for all of their malevolence, the Yor Collective does not have an immense appetite. Equipped with a vastly different perception of time, the ageless species seemingly does not mind to help some civilizations during the long now, for they have the assurance that they will eventually consume those species- or perhaps their evolutionary descendants!- sometime before the heat-death of the universe. And so, races with much shorter attention spans are willing to risk that future for short-term advantages by temporarily allying with the Yor in some capacity or another. Though this may seem extremely foolhardy, there are two reasons for why this may not be- the Yor are not immensely aggressive, and often stick to eliminating lesser species, often non-sentient or pre-spaceflight ones. Second, the Yor, for all of their personal strength and artificial intelligence, are not insurmountable. If most of the known galaxy was to band together, they could probably defeat the Collective. Fortunately for them, the fractiousness of the "slow" organic races prevents any such scenario from happening anytime soon.
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Old Dec 09, 2012, 01:52 PM   #10
Tambien
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This is pretty cool, good ideas.
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