|The White Duke|
Join date: 2012-10-20
|Subject: The Aiste, Children of the Lormeowr Sat Oct 20, 2012 9:15 am|| |
Species Name: Aiste
To consider the average adult Aiste would be a fascinating task, if futile and ultimately misleading, as each member varies so greatly. Instead, it would be significantly more profitable to begin with the youth.
Aiste young, or Wyrdlings as they are known, appear as slender human children with translucent blue-green skin, revealing a convoluted array of anatomy beneath. To comprehensively catalogue Wyrdling biology has been attempted with various degrees of success over the ages, but such a description would require many tomes, such is its complexity. Beginning after five inert years, their development progresses as a unique coordination between conscious choice and automated reactions. Wyrdling bodies have incredibly broad genetic potential, capable of travelling down myriad developmental paths. For example, a Wyrdling living in an arid area is likely to automatically develop water-efficient systems, while they may consciously choose leathery wings and thick scales. In the Wyrdling state these changes can happen over a matter of weeks or even days. Once such a trait has been developed, it becomes significantly harder to choose an alternative; while the options are tremendously broad, each creature has a finite design space. Partially due to this limitation, Aiste generally only add to their basic humanoid structure rather than completely changing it, although there are exceptions.
While the scope of the options available to a Wyrdling choosing how they will develop may well be infinite, the extent of these is limited. Focusing on only a few additions, such as microscopic vision and dexterous multi-digital hands, can push these limits at the cost of diversity; such an individual would be very ordinary in every other respect. This is rarely an issue, as most Aiste are content to select a few unusual traits that complement their chosen pursuit. No Aiste can change their mental processes biologically.
Once an individual’s initial potential is spent, they are considered a fully formed Aiste. Even until old age, Aiste retain the capacity to alter their bodies, but this process takes much longer and requires some discipline. Finding an environment that naturally resonates with a particular development generally assists this process. For example, an Aiste that wishes to develop submarine capacity can accelerate the process by spending extended periods underwater. Depending on the significance of the alteration, environmental factors and mental determination, this can take months, years or even decades.
While there is great biological diversity within the species, all Aiste have a fairly similar mental schema, driven by a few common traits. All Aiste burn with a ferocious curiosity, yearning to explore and discover with all their being. Aiste tend to pursue a single task relentlessly, exploring each niche within their chosen vocation until they have an incredibly detailed understanding. By means of example, the Aiste hero Glaiom gave himself to the art of swordsmanship, genetically investing in dense, sharp blade-like protrusions from his forearms and a lithe, fast, flexible body, and became known as the greatest hand-to-hand combatant to have ever lived. While this is usually a lifelong pursuit, many Aiste have been known to find a new obsession, especially after a traumatic experience. In especially rare cases, individuals may have two simultaneous areas of specialty, although this is inevitably psychologically harmful while reaping unique benefits.
All Aiste possess a fairly unique memory, recalling with incredible precision everything they view that they connect to their fixation. For example, an entomologically inclined Aiste will likely remember every insect they notice, down to every broken limb, every flight pattern, every chosen landing surface. A sculptor may recall shape incredibly clearly, while forgetting the actual person who had that particular nose or where they were when they saw that curve. This capitalization on their niche compromises on their other memories, although not debilitatingly – Aiste can usually connect their memories to their vocations.
This fairly unique memory can be attributed to a system common to all Aiste despite other physical differentiation. It has become in recent years compared to the ancient human device known as the ‘black box’, saving every record of a vessel even if it is destroyed. All of an Aiste’s memories are converted to raw data stored within a blue octahedral crystal known as the Fisuil. An object of fascination to many Aiste, it seems intentionally designed to resist examination, reading null results or even damaging investigative tools. It seems entirely resistant to pressure or heat extremes, although they have been known to spontaneously dissolve into simple silica. Exactly why they should do this is open to speculation, although some suspect it is a defensive measure should the Fisuil become corrupted. Such claims are largely based on the consistent self-destruction the Fisuils exhibit when their host suffers an extremely traumatic and sudden death such as instant vaporization.
There is a great honor imparted to any who assist in delivering a deceased Aiste’s Fisuil back to the Llormeowr, the great entity at the center of the Aiste’s homeworld Bael. Resembling a city-sized supercomputer but very evidently alive, the Llormeowr has existed as long as the Aiste have. The most interaction the Aiste have with the Llormeowr is in the Fisuil Basilica, a hallowed place where the remains of the minds of the deceased can be interred, as well as where new Wyrdlings are born. Awakening fully formed from mystical alcoves, Wyrdlings inherit the Fisuil of a past Aiste whose memories have been reclaimed by the Llormeowr. However, it is fairly common for certain memories to be left imprinted for future generations, occasionally sparking a memory of another life. These gifts from the Llormeowr are always portentous, and are perhaps its clearest communication.
New Fisuil can only come into being through the coupling of Aiste. Being so physiologically diverse, breeding between Aiste is by necessity a fairly unique process. Fairly often, individuals will find another Aiste fascinating enough to be worth sharing lives with. Such couples resemble human marriages, though the Aiste are genderless. Over years of collecting memories of one another, their Fisuil will resonate sufficiently that they will independently create a partial Fisuil. While incredibly intricate and seemingly random, these halves will inevitably complement one another perfectly, forming a new, complete, crystal. These can be interred within the Fisuil Basilica as any other, and will create an entirely new Aiste.
Some Aiste, fascinated by a particular foreign species, will develop until they are physically indistinguishable from one of them. The only telling feature will be the Fisuil embedded deep within their anatomy, but as these tend to resist detection such individuals known as Changelings can be very difficult to identify. Less physical traits that can betray a Changeling include obsessive curiosity, poor grasp of intuitive social mores and disjunction with the usual mental map of an ordinary member of that species.
Even more rare than Chagelings are individuals who never left their Wyrdling stage, capable of completely changing their appearance in less than a week. These anomalies, known as Gwyllion, naturally happen incredibly rarely, when certain Wyrdlings inhabit an unnaturally neutral environment. With extensive training a Wyrding can be trained into being a Gwyllion. These tend to be extremely strange psychologically, even for Aiste: one may change their obsession day by day; another’s vocation may simply be shape changing itself. They are incredibly illusive beings, and when trained can be incredible spies and assassins. When changing between individuals of a particular species, such a transformation may only take an hour depending on how similar the forms are. Across the galaxy there are somewhere between five and eight currently alive, and they are perhaps the Aiste’s most deadly weapons.
Aiste historians agree that it is entirely evident that the Aiste did not evolve, but were created. Early Aiste did not have sufficiently thorough recording practices to clearly determine how old the species is, but by piecing together scattered memories imparted by the Llormeowr some facts about their origins can be determined.
The Llormeowr has not changed significantly from the early generations of Aiste, at least externally – it is certain that it has been learning since. Many speculate that it was the Llormeowr itself who created the Aiste, imparting it’s own curiosity and using them to experience the universe abroad. However, the question still remains, who created the Llormeowr? This frustrating question is the primary impetus of many Aiste, who see this as the greatest of discoveries as it will tell exactly what their purpose is. What they would do with the answer is another question entirely.
Most Aiste are so content to pursue their individual vocations that it’s a wonder that any society occurred at all. However, there are some Aiste who are fascinated with things like laws and community. As such, a governing body formed to facilitate others pursuing their own interests and, perhaps most importantly, to ensure that Fisuil were returned to the Llormeowr.
The direct descendant of that body, although it has grown and evolved over that time, is the Senate of Sidhe. All those Aiste who seek to champion particular views, as well as those who are personally obsessed with obtaining political power, gather to elect a High King or Queen and debate the running of the nation. In truth, the efficient function of the body is hindered by an extensive game of alliances and Machiavellian power plays. Even those who enter the Senate with the purest of intentions must quickly learn the tricks to get their voices heard.
High Queen Morgan has been in power for a surprisingly long time, having few challenges to her power to date. The primary reason for this is the fact that she appears both as pretty and intelligent as a freshly cut flower. Barely a moment passes when her long, golden tresses aren’t parted to allow some minor player to whisper sweet nothings in her ear. She listens, and of course acts, but behind those baby-blue eyes hides the precision, cunning and intellect of a diplomatic prodigy. While everyone thinks they have her in their pocket, she is in fact the power behind the power behind the throne. Her greatest concern is the prosperity of the Aiste, and will pursue that end come what may.
The Aiste people themselves have little society – indeed, only the homeworld Bael has any completely Aiste cultures. It is more within the Aiste’s nature to live among other peoples, learning what they can in small clusters scattered across the stars. As such, to care for their people and ensure the return of the Fusuil, the Senate of Sidhe must interact very broadly. The Aiste travel very far though, and not all can come under it’s benevolent gaze.
The other significant political power within the Aiste is the Church of Llormeowr. Those Aiste who devote themselves to the Father Entity itself and never leave its shadow are said to be given special favor from He Who Remembers. They facilitate the interring of Fisuil and the allocation of Wyrdlings to carers, as well as conversing with the Llormeowr. What they do recover tends to be in riddles, but the Church always has a strong voice in the Senate, as well as in the ears of Aiste everywhere.
The Aiste are by nature fairly individualistic, each pursuing their own ends with all their energy. As such, it can be quite difficult for culture to develop. However, on Bael itself, the various discoveries of the scattered people often reach home. Music composed by those who live amongst humans on windy plains can be compared to that written in solitude in deep underwater caverns. As new discoveries come back, those who collate the research of cosmologists from thousands of star systems begin to piece together documentation of the entire sector. In short, many Baelian Aiste are developing a universal culture. This is in constant flux as more and more information flows back to the Bael and Llormeowr.
Despite their disconnectedness, there are some common values held by most Aiste. Aside from a few radical factions the majority of the Aiste see the interests of the Llormeowr as greater than their own – that is, their pursuit of gathering knowledge is for the eternal Llormeowr’s benefit, not their own passing ones. Many too seek to know the origins of the Llormeowr, such that they can know their own purpose.
Perhaps most importantly, the Aiste are usually quite polite and law-abiding individuals. They are generally amicable to other species, if a bit awkward, and will abide by both the wishes of the Senate and the laws of the land wherever this is possible. There are exceptions though – those whose obsessions lead them down dark paths, and those who will serve the Senate above any local authority.
Factions: The Circle of Sidhe, run by the Senate of Sidhe, claims to the governing body of all Aiste, and is not unwelcoming to other species.
Last edited by The White Duke on Sat Oct 20, 2012 11:14 pm; edited 6 times in total
|The White Duke|
Join date: 2012-10-20
|Subject: Re: The Aiste, Children of the Lormeowr Sat Oct 20, 2012 12:15 am|| |
Faction info will go here.
EDIT: Soon, that is - I'm actually in exams atm, and so I'll wait a few weeks before I get stuck in. Just so you're aware, I'm still keen, just busy.