Terraverse setting info part 1: Canabi
I'm starting a quick overview of all the worlds withing the Terraverse universe. There are eight in total: Sol, Kakara, Anod, Sentrus, Canabi, Lestria, Nihil and Eo. (I won't be covering them in that order.) Each of these is getting its own thread and said thread will include the basic summary of the planet, a bestiary a timeline of important affairs up to the point where that world becomes important to the rest of the setting, and a quick summary of their technology. I'll be going in chronological order, starting with Canabi. The purpose of these threads is to be a reference for future stories and articles I may post, and to allow some brainstorming. In this particular thread, I need some creature designs for canabi because I only have three and that's not enough.
Canabi has only one habitable planet, Perene. Perene is a planet almost entirely covered in water, and no sapient life within its oceans. There are two continents on perene, both of which are massive plateaus raised hundreds of metres above sea level at their lowest points. These two continents include one common species and many unique ones, but the diversity of macroscopic life on Perene's surface is painfully limited. There are no large land-based creatures because the one and only sapient species drove everything larger than itself to extinction thousands of years ago. (Spear still beats claw, no matter how you look at it.) Each continent has a large number of lakes and streams and the local species are strong swimmers, but all of them are terrified of the oceans. Since at the point we are looking at (~1900) no serious research has been made into the oceans of Perene, we won't be finding out why any time soon. one continent is located north of the equator, is a long oval stretching east to west and is entirely temperate. The other, smaller continent is south of the equator, is also a long oval stretching north to south and ranges from semi-tropical to semi-arctic.
Normal adult height: 80cm
Normal adult mass: 10kg
Sexual dimorphism: Minor. Both sexes are the same size and rate almost identically in their physical abilities, with about the same amount of difference as humans. Males have slightly thicker arms and slightly thinner legs than females, and fat deposits are located more in the face, buttocks and chest. Female simini have a different abdominal structure that lends more strength to the lower body than the upper body. This latter difference is a major point of sexual attraction in simini. Other than that, they are the same.
Ability ratings:** 3/2, 2/3, 4/4, 1/1, 15/15, 35/35, 25/25, 10/10, 5/5, 5/5
Important abilities: Natural ability to absorb, emit and manipulate energy to a certain extent. They do best with electricity, but can also use heat and radiation. Large number of natural weapons, from poison*** claws and fangs to manes of poison quills. The quills detach when hooked, and once detached begin to pump venom into the bloodsteam of their target. The claws are retractable, and their sheaths are made of glands that secrete venom at the simini's command. Their fangs simply inject venom when biting. Finally, simini have natural chemical projectors in their hands and feet. These can project two chemicals at a time, and the spray is directed to mix them after launch. Their arsenal includes caustic chemicals both acidic and basic, poison**** and both endothermic and exothermic reactive chemicals. Can breath underwater, but only in fresh water.
Reproduction: Simini have immensely powerful sex drives, but poor fertility. (It is likely the former is compensating for the latter.) Physical traits to the contrary, simini do not have large litters and usually only give birth to 1-4 offspring at a time, usually having twins. Simini are most fertile during early adolescence, and lose fertility quickly with age. By middle age, both sexes are completely sterile.
Diet: Largely carnivorous, but possess the ability to digest most legumes and grains. However, this digestion is poor, and they mostly retain amino acids and simple sugars. They can get full proteins out of these, but cannot get carbohydrates and do not get enough calories from them. As a result, all simini attempts at vegetarian diets are doomed to failure and simini need meat in order to be healthy.
Noteworthy physical characteristics: Bipedal, mostly canid. Eyes appear more feline, and they have humanoid hands with four digits and retractable claws. Thin fur, varies from light blue to grey. Male simini have eight visible abdominal muscles just beneath their skin, females have eight as well but have a fat deposit over them making their abdomin smoother. Eight nipples, both sexes lactate when raising young. Neither develops noticeable breasts. Large manes made up of toxic quills running from their crowns to their shoulders.
Noteworthy mental characteristics: All simini have an abdominal fixation. The abdomin is the main point of sexual attraction in simini, and simini children derive comfort from contact with a parent's abdomin. Physical contact is a strong desire for simini children, at least in regards to their parents and other children, but upperclass simini dissalow most forms of physical contact with parents beyond infancy in order to encourage bonding with other children. Simini have an extremely sexual society, but due to their small population they feel that those who are capable of procreation are obligated to do so. They do not care about the sexuality of those incapable of procreation, such as the very young and very old, and do not place any inhibitions on what they are and are not allowed to do. They pressure their offspring very strongly to procreate at the earliest possible opportunity, (as their chances of success fall with age) not that it is usually necessary to do so because their sex drive is faulty and active from birth.
Alignment*****: Firmly neutral
Population: Small, ~17 million as of 1900.
Religion: Simini religion is a blend of hero-worship, mysticism, and a bit of mythology. They have a large number of folk heroes they actively worship, believing their prayers will aid said heroes in their work. They also see the ocean as a single divine entity of a largely malevolent nature. When a simini is killed unjustly or dies mysteriously, their religion places the blame on the ocean. At this point, there are two actions taken by the two major religions, which are to either burn the body to spite the ocean or to throw the body into the water to appease the ocean and prevent the death of others. The third community is secular and has no ritual in this matter. Simini believe the three noble houses and the families within share divine blood, and that the leaders of their houses are messiahs. They further believe that the royal house, created by interplay between the leaders of these factions, carries the divinity of all three houses and that the leaders of this house are living gods. Many tales are told of their deeds and the campaigns they lead, all of which make gratuitous use of hyperbole.
Politics: As mentioned, there are three simini noble houses and a royal house. The noble houses are the major simini factions and are always at war with one another. The royal house is a neutral entity intended as a mediator and a referee. This royal house is also responsible for the rules of war, and is the only reason none of the factions have been wiped out despite the others' best efforts. There are laws in place to prevent the royal house from possessing a military, but it constantly attempts to raise one and become its own independent power without violating them.
Economics: Simini unemployment is exceedingly low, last reported at 0.2%, due to the factions' perpetual war. Almost 1/8 of their population is military, and nearly half of their workforce is part of their military-industrial complex. Their civilian industries are primarily sexual, and the remainder consist of travel, sports, housing/furnishing and entertainment. Other industries exist, but are too small to significantly contribute to their economy.
Culture: Simini culture revolves around warfare and aiding their factions' war efforts. Beyond that, most simini desire sex and wealth (in that order) and their goals are largely settling down with a good mate, ("good" being defined by the quality of their sexual relations, with an odd amount of consideration for the other party) living in relative wealth and luxury and raising large families. Usually, only the former is ever achieved. Their entertainment is mostly in activities, mostly sex and sports. There are no inhibitions related to the sexes in simini society save one, which states that pregnant simini do not do manual labour or put themselves in harm's way. (Reducing danger to the unborn is just common sense, and all this falls under that.)
Sports: Simini sports are similar to human sports and most are recognizable. Martial arts tournaments are common, and sports similar to rugby are found as well. Due to simini having figured out how to use their natural abilities for flight, most of these function in three dimensions. Some also take place in shallow water. Simini males generally take positions where upper body strength is preferred, such as those revolving around throwing and catching, while females generally take positions where lower body strength is better, such as those revolving around running and jumping.
Children: Like humans, simini are extremely competant from an early age and most creatures are not serious threats to them as long as they are not taken by surprise. Simini are extremely protective of their young, and their treatment varies from one society to another. Royal children are taught from birth everything they might need in life. The "red" noble house teaches its children how to work and fight from birth, expecting them to pull their weight, and encourages relationships with the opposite sex so there is as little chance as possible than a child might miss their best chance of procreation. (Early puberty.) The "blue" noble house is the opposite, sheltering children and censoring all information that might reach them. "Blue" children are sexually segregated and all relationships between the sexes are discouraged. Their children are monitored around the clock and every action they make is dictated by their parents in a way that precludes any illusion of freedom or choice for the children. Their children are told horrible, horrible lies about the opposite sex to discourage interaction and even siblings are only allowed to see one another in the presence of both parents and physical contact is strictly forbidden. (As a result, the blue faction's children are seriously fucked in the head.) The "yellow" noble house allows children to make their own choices, but their parents pressure them very strongly. Children in poor families often work. Interaction between the sexes is neither encouraged nor discouraged.
*Immortality within this setting should not be confused with invulnerability or eternal youth. Simini have self-stabilizing genes. They stop aging if given time, and never die from old age. However, they are quite old once this happens and most never live to see this age. At this point, they are decrepit, senile and sterile.
**Ability ratings are a measure instituted in 2030 by Terratech. These are tested measures of physical and mental abilities, with 10 as the standard. The ratings are, in order, upper/fore body strength, lower/hind body strength, constitution, fortitude, metabolism, dexterity, senses, intelligence, charisma and resolve. The ratings listed are for young adults of a given species and are listed male/female. ALL of these ratings are important, especially in warfare. It's important to know that, for instance, simini do not hold up well in close quarters due to their poor strength, frailty and weak wills but are excellent at range due to their great dexterity, senses and intelligence. It's also important to know that they recover quickly from exhaustion, illness and injury and that they do not communicate or negotiate effectively and thus their command structure is painfully flawed.
***This venom thins the blood of the target, impairs clotting, expands their blood vessels, increases sensitivity and interferes with the adrenal system. The result is a target scratched, stuck or bitten bleeds faster and longer from these wounds (local effect, only impacts the wounds themselves) has lower blood pressure, feels more pain and their adrenalin rush is weakened. This is actually a fairly effective venom, as it makes the simini's other attacks much more effective and reduces the target's ability to retaliate.
****Similar to their venom, but the anti-coagulant, blood thinner and vasodilator are now systemic rather than local. The effect is weaker overall, but impacts the target's entire body. The venom is also now transdermal, which is another plus.
*****This rating tells how far a species leans towards order or chaos. Simini are neither lawful nor chaotic and firmly so. Simini do not like to be governed or oppressed, but do not dislike it either and follow rules by default wether there is reason to do so or not. However, should reason to change or disobey arise they are willing to do so. This does not vary much between simini.
Normal adult length: 60cm male, 40cm female
Normal adult mass: 8kg male, 10kg female
Sexual dimorphism: Moderate, with males being longer and thinner than females. Unlike most species on perene, the females do not have greater lower body strength or lesser upper body strength, instead having greater constitution and fortitude.
Ability ratings: 3/3, 3/3, 5/7, 5/7, 10/10, 24/20, 15/15, 5/5, 5/5, 5/5
Important abilities: Can shoot small, poison spines. Both sexes have the same two kinds of spines, one being similar to simini venom and the other being a paralytic. The former is effective against most wildlife, but all species even vaguely related to them have similar venom and are immune to it. (Simini, for example.) The paralytic is too weak to work effectively against most prey, but works fine against prey that is already weak and combines quite well with their other venom. Once again, most related species (such as simini) are immune to it. They can swallow prey whole, and the larger female is better at it.
Reproduction: Sexual reproduction, overpowering sex drive but poor fertility. (Seems to be a common theme on perene's larger continent.) No set mating season, and they mate while the males nurse off a female after every hunt. Their litters are normally of six pups, with 2/3 being male.
Diet: Carnivorous to the same degree as simini.
Noteworthy physical characteristics: Canid, similar in appearance to simini but quadrupedal. They lack the simini's mane, instead having a row of quills on the back of their torso and the ability to aim and eject them at high speed.
Alignment: Leans towards order
Population: They are the most prevalent species on perene's larger continent, numbering ~17 million. Simini have domesticated them, but have not exported them to the smaller continent in any significant numbers and they do not exist in the wild on said smaller continent.
Behaviour: They hunt in packs, targeting herds of smaller prey. They shoot prey with spines that inject venom similar to that of simini and chase them while the venom and bleeding take effect. When the prey weakens, the males pair up to herd prey toward a female's mouth and shoot paralytic poison into the weakened prey. The prey is then swallowed by the female. When the hunt concludes, the pack gathers and the males each find the female they helped feed and nurse off of her.
Children: The children are sickly for a short period after their birth, and take several months to get their strength. During this time, they hunt with the rest of the pack, eating smaller prey in the herds their pack hunts. Usually, the entire herd is small enough for them, but sometimes they pick a larger species and the young rnujoq end up having to eat the young from the herd. Their behaviour during and after hunts is identical to that of the adults, although wether this is instinctive or imitative is unknown. Once enough of the young have gotten their strength up, usually when there are 8+ rnujoq of two months or older, they split off and form their own pack. These infant packs are often sought and captured by simini, who keep them as pets and working animals. This is generally advantageous to the rnujoq, as they will be much better fed and much healthier with a simini master.
Normal adult height: 5cm male, 20cm female
Normal adult mass: 500g male, 4kg female
Sexual dimorphism: Extreme
Ability ratings: 1/3, 1/3, 5/5, 5/5, 15/15, 3/1, 3/1, 2/2, 2/2, 3/3
Important abilities: Ability to emit energy, not unlike that of a simini. However, they are oddly vulnerable to energy on most of their bodies. Female and male both swallow objects (not usually prey, usually berries and fruit) whole.
Reproduction: Sexual. Annual mating season in late winter and early spring. During mating season, females spend most of their time in their dens. When they head out to hunt, males bring food to their dens and hide while they eat. Once the female falls asleep, the male will wait for a short time and then come out to mate with her. If he times it right, she will fall asleep as soon as he is done and he can leave. (The act itself overwhelms her, preventing her from moving.) If he moves too early or too late, she will not be in deep enough to fall asleep when he is done and she will swallow him when he finishes. (He'll be too exhausted to stop her at this point.) He will bring her food during her pregnancy, and while she is pregnant she will allow him to mate with her without trying to eat him. The offspring are 75% male, enough to ensure that the females do not eat all of their potential mates. The litters are normally of eight young.
Diet: Omnivorous, mostly foragers and scavengers. Females actively seek out and swallow a male at two points in their lives but otherwise will not harm a living male outside of mating season.
Important physical characteristics: Canid, hairless. Large mouths with no teeth. Short and bulky, with small limbs. Both sexes lactate for a short time after the birth of their offspring.
Population: ~2 million
Behaviour: These creatures are scavengers and foragers in the wild, and are kept by the simini as food. They are sometimes served alongside grains and legumes in upper class houses, but are usually eaten without any accompanyment by proles. A common right of passage for simini children recently transferred to a new school is to swallow a live r'mibj whole in front of their peers. This act is described as "strange and unpleasant."
Children: The male r'mibj children are born alert and follow their father away from their mother and sisters. The females do not wake up for much longer, and their mother feeds them for several days. However, during their first growth spurt (females are born the same size as males and have two growth spurts the males do not) the females stop sleeping. During their normal sleep cycles they instead seek out a male of similar age and mate with him in his sleep. By the time she is done he is too exhausted to resist as she swallows him. Once this is done she continues to seek out males, but no longer eats them. They do this again during their second growth spurt. Many males will seek out females during the day in this time and feed them a fresh creature of similar size to sate their apetite, usually another r'mibj male, in order to reduce their chances of being eaten in the night without reducing their chances of premature mating.
~2000bc: Two tribes called the "Red Hill" and "Blue River" meet for the first time. The tribes squabble over local resources, but never seriously try to conquer each other.
~1500bc: The tribes have developed into city-states, with more power and influence than any in their region. After a disagreement over a massive deposit of iron ore, which both factions want for their weapons, they finally begin the first real war in the history of Perene. Neither state can seem to conquer the other, so they try to annex nearby land, tribes and resources to increase their power and chance of success. However, the gain is once more too even.
~1000bc: The nations have absorbed the entire continent, and are trying to conquer each other with all their might. It still isn't working, and peace talks are made. When the peace causes their economies to collapse, war begins anew, this time waged to maintain economy.
~500bc: The "Red Land" finally conquers the "Blue Water." However, the economy begins to collapse with no more war sustaining it. The Red Land secretly funds a resistance movement against itself so it may withdraw to its original lines while saving face.
~0ad: The "Blue Water" nation is back to full strength, now ignorant of its hated enemy's restoration of its power.
~500ad: The nations create a third party to act as mediators in their war, the royal house. The royal house ensures neither side conquers the other as their technology begins to seriously improve for the first time in history.
~1000ad: The nations invent lighter than air transportation and begin to travel over the oceans, discovering outlying islands. The outer reaches of these islands are curiously devoid of life, but the inner reaches are full of creatures the simini have never seen before. The simini take possession of these islands, although they always keep to the inner reaches and especially mountain peaks. They exterminate any creature they see as a threat to their people, especially anything larger than them.
~1500ad: The simini finally industrialize completely, and begin working on better forms of automated transportation. They discover a new continent, and race to claim it. With no royal house intervening in this location, the two sides wage war with no inhibitions for the first time in ages. However, sensing an opportunity, the colonies rebel against their masters and band together, forming a third nation called the "Yellow Sky."
~1700ad: The simini reach a modern level of technology and the Yellow Sky becomes a serious contender in the war. As a result, it gains representation in the royal house.
~1800ad: The simini enter space for the first time, and the royal house struggles to keep up with the other houses and mediate their warfare outside of Perene's atmosphere. Soon the entire system is under their control, and they all have their claims staked on particular planets. Terraforming projects begin, and move swiftly. Perene becomes a demilitarized zone where no house holds jurisdiction, and the people there are left alone. The factions retain a few strongholds, and are allowed to claim a certain number of people from the tribes outside their land to bolster their numbers.
~1900ad: Their terraforming efforts long since completed and no spaces left in the system, the simini are out of space to colonize in their system. They develop some methods of low FTL travel, and send colony ships out into space in search of planets inhabited with sapients. This is intended to circumvent their limit on recruitment and lend extra manpower to their militaries and workforces so they could conquer the other factions and gain more power. They now realise that with other civilizations out there, they can sustain themselves through warfare against other species and not have to fight a war on equal terms ever again. It will also allow them to eliminate the royal house so they are no longer restricted in the means they use to fight, allowing them to commit the most terrible atrocities that come to mind without anybody there to penalize them for it.
Simini technology is extremely advanced. They were the first known species to invent faster than light travel, their medicine is unsurpassed in any recorded civilization and they can create many, widely varying materials of incredible quality quickly and cheaply. They are the best and fastest builders known today, and they can (and do) build larger and sturdier structures than anyone else. They make the best armour in existance, with even their normal clothing being tough enough to handle most hazards. They use ballistic and rocket-based weaponry in most combat, but also use incendiary weapons in atmospheric conflicts and lasers in space. Their infantry have a strong preference for rifles, with submachine guns for close quarters and pistols as sidearms. Their military does not use shotguns, but they are common amongst civilian hunters. In melee combat, they use swords and knives exclusively because their armour is nearly ineffectual against edged weaponry. Their laser weapons are "drill" lasers, which use rapid, high-power pulses to inflict damage more rapidly than pulse lasers without the low efficiency or reliability of beam lasers and without as much hassle with blooming as such lasers have in atmosphere. (Although the issue isn't gone completely.) However, simini electronics are primitive and their sensors are vastly inferior to those of other species. Their propulsion tech isn't very advanced and they lack in social sciences. Their records are imprecise and unreliable, their economy is quite fragile due to its exclusive focus on warfare, and their society places too much emphasis on class and bloodline to allow those truely gifted at their careers to shine. Their military's leadership and logistics are a joke, their morale is terrible, their campaigns are a farce and those in power are too arrogant to acknoledge these issues, much less address them. Even if they did address them, they would not be likely to locate the sources of these issues and resolve them. As a result, all intersteller simini society is a gigantic powder keg with a lit fuse, and nobody is able or willing to put the fuse out.
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