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 [ACCEPTED] The Bahnu species

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Posts : 8
Join date : 2012-10-22
Age : 25
Location : Belgium

PostSubject: [ACCEPTED] The Bahnu species   Mon Oct 22, 2012 1:18 pm

Species Name: Bahnu

Physiological Description:
Bahnu are carbon based life forms requiring oxygen and minerals similar to (non-existent?) humans. Their body temperature is roughly stable around 310 Kelvin (= ~46-47 degrees Celsius) and are most at ease in warm climates of around 300 Kelvin (= ~26-27 degrees Celsius). They have a roughly humanoid shape, but more hunched back, similar to a gorilla. An average height of 2 meters 30 centimetres, with 2 meters being considered small for an adult, and 2.5 as rather large. Bahnu women tend to be slightly taller than the men. Average weight for an adult is around 150 kg. The average lifespan is 100 (Thuan) years, with Bahnu generally working until their 80th birthday.
Bahnu are mostly fur/hairless, but both men and women get beards. Their faces are best described as a mixture between a gorilla and a bulldog.Their legs are rather thick so they can support the full weight. They can also run on all fours, but prefer to walk upright if they're not in a hurry, going at about 6-8 km/h walking and can go up to 25 km/h on all fours on average.
Their hands are large while their fingers, of which they have 7, are short compared to the palms and like ours differ in length slightly. No claws or talons or whatever, not even nails.
secondary sexual characteristics are very hard to spot for outsiders, mostly having to do with hair/skin colour and some slight variations in body structure, but nothing obvious. Skin and hair colours have a very wide spectrum, including black, grey, brown and green of all flavours. Orange and dark red are rarer, and mostly from the Bahnu that live more towards the equator. Bahnu are child-bearing but aren't mammals, their young can immediately eat most food its parents can. It takes 23 years before Bahnu are considered adults.

Biological History:
Bahnu evolved from tree-dwelling primate-likes. Much of their bodily form is still clearly descended from before, for instance their arms and legs were formed to easily swing from tree to tree, and though they lost their prehensile feet their hands are still shaped as to easily be able to grab hold of the immensely thick branches of the jungle trees. They preyed on smaller tree-dwelling animals through their superior strength, and also hunted much larger ground dwelling animals through group hunting and picking at them from above, often throwing stones and later as they went into a tribal phase, spears or bow and arrow or traps.

Home planet:
Thua. It is a verdant planet with large oceans laying about as close to its star Maris as the earth to the sun, but Maris is a much larger star. Thua itself is a bit bigger than Mars. One Thuan year is about 17 earth months long, and a single day lasts 31 hours. The climate around its tropics is equivalent to the one on our equator, with the poles being about Mediterranean. Around the equator there are mostly deserts, but some of the largest rivers on the planet also run through it providing the deserts with large refuges.
The jungles, which cover most of the non-mountainous areas hold most of the planet's population of Bahnu and also most of the biodiversity. Many areas of the jungles have been sacrifices for technological progress and agriculture, but thanks to the Bahnu's technology jump (more on this later) most unnecessary cutting for fuel has been avoided. The jungle itself consist of gigantic trees growing well over a hundred meters tall, sometimes even reaching towards three hundred meters.
It has three moons: Cryu, La and Thalusha. Cryu is very small and in close orbit. A common urban legend says it will crash Thua, but in fact its orbit is taking it away from Thua an almost immeasurably tiny bit every year. La is a much larger one more akin to the Moon, and Thalusha is even smaller than Cryu, not much more than a meteorite that decided to stick around really, and in a long eliptic orbit that goes diagonally compared to the ecliptic (correct me if I'm wrong, I don't know the English terminology for this, but I mean the plane the planets are all in)
There are several other planets in the Maris system, but most of them are gas giants or cold or hot uninhabitable rocks.
The planet's main produces are Raggan hardwood, Folista meat (a tree-dwelling slug, considered a delicacy on the planet) and enormous amounts of noble and other rarer metals and elements which for some reason the Thuan soil holds much more than most planets.
Their main needs are iron and steel

Short history:
400 years ago, the Bahnu were still mostly in a medieval era, with early 18th century technology and a strictly reinforced rank/caste system. In 2402 (of their epoch) an unmanned combat frigate spaceship crashed in Clan Kluuda territory. Kluuda, which at that point was a fairly insignificant clan, salvaged most of what it could and based their technology on what they found, quickly leaping miles ahead of all other clans in terms of technology, and either conquered most neighboring clans or assimilated them through marriage. Due to espionage networks put in place by other clans though, most major clans managed to get their hands on the technology too, or at least the schematics and theories. An all out clan war threatened to break out, and a cold war between the largest clans came that lasted over eigthy years, but due to some of the smaller clans that were left functioning as diplomats and negotiators, the conflict was settled peacefully, albeit grudgingly, forming the Pact. At this point, about 200 years ago, space exploration became a new possibility, with their own technology having almost caught up with what they had found from the crash.
By now, there is a large and populated space station called Union in orbit around Thua, and 2 of its 3 moons have settlements on it, though terraforming (thuaforming? Razz ) is still out of the question. On one occasion which is now known as the Second Contact Incident, an alien exploration craft arrived in the Maris system, but an over-eager captain of the spaceship that contacted it destroyed the ship. The captain faced trial according to the Pact later, but the diplomatic damage was done and no further contact has been made with the same faction of aliens since then, or with any aliens at all.
Both individual clans and the Clanless (see later) have been starting space exploration programs, slowly reaching beyond their own system.

Social Structure:
The Bahnu social structure is clan-based, the leaders being called Thua-ri. Every Bahnu is part of one and only one clan, and they are duty- and honour-bound to increase its wealth and position. There is no distinction made between male and female, though the system evolved from a matriarchal one. At this point, the clans have more or less grown out to be what we know as nations, with the biggest and most influential ones striving to outdo each other in every possible way, and smaller clans still more focussed on the "daily struggle". While relations between clans have calmed down since the cold war, they are still rivals, especially the largest ones. Corporations and similar are clan-based, though through the Pact, it is now possible for Bahnu to move freely over the planet without restriction due to clan. history is largely told differently throughout the clans, each from their own perspective, and often making themselves a bit more glamorous.
The caste-system has softened over the years. There are still more or less the labour/servant/soldier/ruler castes, but they aren't as strict as they used to be, though this can differ between clans. Generally speaking, marriage between castes is not looked down upon (though it'll still be a bit out of the ordinary), and technically speaking, even a labour caste Bahnu could make it to be amongst the ruler caste, but those cases are rare. Those that are not satisfied with their caste can usually work very hard and get themselves integrated into a higher caste after long years of work. Additionally, a scientist caste more or less segregated itself from the servant and ruler castes.

Native Culture:
Most of this hangs together with culture, but I'll expand on religion a bit here:
Religion was never something the Bahnu were particularly zealous about. Early tribes adopted a nature worship, but as they evolved into clans, it evolved into a sort of ancestor worship. It was never enforced or forbidden, and disputes were much more often territorial and clan-based rather than ideological. Smaller cults and churches worshipping all kinds of deities formed and died out, so it can be generally accepted that most Bahnu believe in something, but religions are generally tolerant of each other (though exceptions exist of course). Currently, ancestor worship and atheism are the two largest beliefs, but they are not organised as a church would be.

There are still many separate clans, but most of them are but small individual nations. The ones here are major political, territorial and military forces:
The Kluuda (pronounced klu-uda, with a short break), the original finders of the Ship from Beyond as it is now known, they have kept their status of most important clan from before the cold war, despite having been on the verge of collapse. Kluuda can be a tad arrogant, believing themselves to be the ones who have uplifted the rest of the Bahnu and generally be a bit supremacist. They still hold onto their most advanced pieces of technology and are thus still slightly ahead of the technology curve. Due to the pact they had to share most of what they held back with the Clanless though.
The Fulong (with a long u, as if it was a German u-umlaut), the only clan not to suffer from the Cold war. They both produced weapons for the other clans and acted as main negotiators. Their rivals would silently claim they actually schemed the whole cold war into being for profit. They are a more traditionally minded clan, with more strict castes, and their Thua-ri being held above all. The royal family tends to eschew space exploration for more profitable activities down on Thua itself.
The Neehi (the ee is pronounced similarly to the "a" in "raven"), one of the earliest to steal the technology and thus able to reinforce its already considerable standing amongst the clans. It has always been warlike and expansionist, and is unique in that the soldier and labour caste are fused into one. They were the first to set their eyes on colonising space, the captain of the ship in the Second Contact Incident was from the Neehi clan.
The Rathol, while this used to be the largest clan before the crash of the space ship and the cold war, it has since fractured into smaller clans, though the Rathol clan still stands at an impressive 3rd largest clan. It is known to fund prestige projects in spite of more necessary projects to aid its population, because of the largest clans, it has the lowest average wealth.
The Clanless: Formed from the Pact, it is less of a clan and more of an organisation comparable to the European Union mixed with the UN. They have been given land on the borders of the Kluuda, Rathol and Neehi clans, but the Union space station has been constructed by the Clanless, and is also controlled by them, though all clans have a diplomatic delegation and some other facilities there too. They are governed by a Council of 5 members, chosen through a delicate and complex voting method and the closest thing to a democracy the Bahnu have. They are the main force behind space exploration.

Each clan/faction has its own system for everything, including their own military, social services, etc.

Space: It is unknown where the ship that crashed came from, but all Bahnu technology has been based on it. The Bahnu propulsion is also emissionless, but is fairly slow and mostly for stabilisation and precise and short-range manouvering. Spacefaring craft also use "regular" propulsion motors due to the diminished effects of their normal propulsion systems in vacuum.
The newest and experimental crafts have a strange kind of teleportation called the Flash Drive System (FDS) which has been salvaged from the Ship from Beyond. Bahnu scientists do not fully understand how it works, but are able to reproduce it. Basically, a bundle of energy is sent out and as long as the ship is locked onto the energy signature, it can freely and instantly teleport to the bundle's current position. These jumps are very energy intense though, even for short distances, so it is treated with care. The longer the energy is underway the faster it goes (another detail which baffles Bahnu scientists), making it capable of faster than light travel. The craft equipped with this are still very rare and only just started their missions.

military: Weaponry is mostly projectile based, also in space, using railgun/mass driver weaponry to accelerate the slugs to lethal velocities with barely any recoil. Some experimental weaponry exists of thermal lances and weapons launching globs of superheated plasma, but only a single functioning thermal lance prototype unit already exists and plasma weaponry is a thing of the future.
Ships, spacecraft and tanks etc can be equipped with magnetic shields capable of deflecting, stopping or even reflecting projectiles, but they would be useless against any kind of non-metallic slugs or energy weapons. Personal types of these shields also exist but are a rarity and generally only available to high ranked military or rulers.

Infrastructure: Cities are largely hidden amongst the giant trees of the jungles, with most industrial transportation happening through underground tunnels which used to be large cave-complexes. Most of the complexes are still intact, but the upper levels have been remodelled and sometimes extended for this. The primary means of transportation for the common man are maglev cars and trains on special roads designated to each. Visually, most cities would be invisible through the trees, in which the Bahnu used to live, but they have since built around the trees, often artificially reinforcing them and building around or against them. Wildlife is kept away from the cities with large fences with electric deterrents
In the mountains, the cities are usually inside the caves in the mountains, though again vastly expanded due to technological improvements and additional needs of the people. Most of the desert areas have been abandoned with only low-tech settlements here and there.

General: While some clans or regions are more impoverished than others, most have a good degree of wealth. Most things run on clean energy with rather efficient batteries, mostly coming from the Kayrin reactors based on the main reactor of the Ship from Beyond. While making and starting one is a difficult and often dangerous task, once operating, they are virtually self-sufficient and safe for over a hundred years before they die out permanently. Died out Kayrin generators are a lot more dangerous and are usually flung into their star. Each city or settlement has one or more large Kayrin generators with almost always at least two in reserve. Cars and similar sized vehicles generally run on batteries, but larger industrial machines potentially have a small generator in them. Industrial complexes also generally have their own generators.

Military Forces:
All clans have at least some standing army, the Neehi being the one with the most, but most of it is land or aerial based. The Bahnu space armada is virtually unexistent. Each of the major clans has a several space ships, but only a fraction of those are military. All the clans and the Clanless together might come to about 20 armed craft, with at least 5 of those being meant for exploration (including the tree Clanless ships with the experimental teleport) and most of those with crews of 20 or less. The largest spacefaring military threat is the Union space station (mostly) controlled by the Clanless. Unbeknownst to all clans, the station actually holds a very large mass driver at its core, which the Clanless installed to both repel potential invaders (they knew there were warlike species out there because the spaceship that crashed was an unmanned warship), and to use as a final deterrent should politics escalate to heights like those of the cold war.
The Union is built as a ring surrounding a long cylinder which houses both the mass driver and most of the command structure. Clanless military command is seated there, and there are also several laboratories there. The outer ring has a more public function, with a large area devoted specifically to diplomacy, and there's docking areas, maintenance, staff habitation centre etc.

Last edited by El_Nazgir on Tue Oct 23, 2012 2:39 pm; edited 4 times in total
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