Visten Minarchy

Species suggestions, story ideas and contributions.
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Space Krill
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Joined: Mon Sep 12, 2011 12:05 pm

Visten Minarchy

#1 Post by Duke_of_Naeimon »

I'd like to contribute, feel free to point out things that could be improved.

Visten Minarchy

This largely individualistic, amphibian species originated in the shallow waters of a large moon, Vist, which orbits the gas giant planet of Razol's Eye. They achieved sentience almost half a million years prior to these events but have only recently ventured outside of their native solar system called in their native language Ib Amarall, meaning "The Giver of Existence". Their star is called Hos Yinil, „Our Light“. The three neighbouring star systems of Pek Istym, Hos Olgul and Tar Varbriga, have been extensively explored by the small, albeit advanced Visten Sentinel Fleet. Two small outposts in Pek Istym and Tar Varbriga systems and one large diaspora in Hos Olgul system mark the extent of Visten expansion. In recent years eleven ships have gone missing and a number of automated probes have ceased transmitting in mid-flight prompting some concern within the Fleet. Reports of strange ships detected on the fringes of Tar Varbriga system only add to the mystery. Hopefully some answers will be found soon.

The homeworld of the Visten people is not a planet but rather a large moon, tidally locked with its larger counterpart, the ash covered Serwa, in a three year orbit around Razol's Eye. Although the tidal stress is great and both moons experience occassional large tremors it is a nice place to live by Terran standards with one large sea and numerous smaller lakes nestled among rolling hills and even though the predominant colour of plant life is not the ubiquitous green of Earth this moon holds a certain charm. Hos Yinil is an M type star (red dwarf) whose light and warmth are somewhat feeble even though Razol's Eye is orbiting fairly close to it. Those conditions meant that the plants needed to adapt to absorb all the available light thus renedring those on Vist predominantly black in colour. Seen from space Vist looks like a black orb, interspersed only rarely with lights from the few and far between Visten cities.

Visten have always been most comfortable within the watery confinements of their home sea but have adapted and evolved into amphibians as the time progressed and their intelligence increased. Their ancestral nests and foraging grounds are still there but most of their industry and cities are on solid ground with canals serving as streets. A typical Visten most closely resembles a Terran seahorse albeit with two pairs of prehensile limbs in the upper part of torso. They are omnivores with razor-sharp teeth who use sonar for communicating. The predominant color is blue-red for males, green-purple for females and pure black for neuters. Each adult female Visten experiences one mating cycle every 20 years which accounts for the relatively small population of 350 million. Average lifespan is 300 years although some can live to be over 400 years old. They can breathe for up to a day the native carbon-methane-oxygen atmosphere of their home without any difficulties although water is a more natural and preffered medium. For prolonged stays on the surface they use transparent bubbles filled with water equiped with a semipermeable membrane on each side through which they can extend their „hands“ for easy manipulation of objects. In recent years genetic tampering has produced a new kind of Visten with enhanced lungs and rudimentary legs.

Visten have always been a rather solitary species whose members preffered solitude. This changed to some extent in the recent millenia when it was realized that to form a functioning civlization and conquer the sea ( and later land) one must work with others to a greater degree than was common. To achieve that the Grand Conclave was established. Every adult male and female citizen is obligated to participate in at least one of the five yearly conclaves where matters of system-wide importance are settled. There is no „government“ nor politcal class per se but the Sea Chair from which one presides over the Conclave is almost always filled by the eldest member of the Technic, Sentinel, Faith or Navigators Guild, the four most preeminent guilds. Other than having to participate in the Conclave meetings and joining a guild of their own choice Visten are generally left in peace in order to pursue their own agendas. After all, it is only common sense to expect from a reasoning and thinking being to behave in a way most beneficial for all. Violence is rare outside of mating dances and those are almost never lethal. Of course the occassional, inevitable sociopathic killer can become a nuissance best quelled by the efficient Home Wardens, retired members of the Sentinel Guild.

After mastering the sea some 60 000 years ago ( this being the Year of Sentience ~380 000 , according to the Visten calendar) Visten turned towards conquering the land. Those first feeble attempts were met with scant success owing to the physical and psychological limitations of those early Visten. Only after much hardship have those braver and hardier than others managed to overcome those limitations and venture on solid ground. First settlements started appearing 40 000 years ago but those were nothing more then a few huts by the sea, used mainly by those who wanted to understand things such as chemical reactions, fire, mettalurgy etc. The first and oldest city of Peftol , „Grounding“, started developing in the early years of the Fifth Exploration, 15 000 years ago making it the de facto capital of the Visten Minarchy. After those initial problems were overcomed progress became swift and even seeing that the first fusion plants were on-line as early as 13 220 and first spaceships were operational by 12 870. Over the next ten millenia Visten have ranged far and wide within the confines of the Ib Amarall system but the universe beckoned. First interstellar arks entered the Hos Olgul, „Blue Light“, system by 4432 (YS 436 879) making it a staging area for future exploration. By the year 1000 ( YS 440 311) this first diaspora had as much as 45 million inhabitants. Ships became faster and smaller since cyro-bubble technology was discovered and regular travel between the two stars was possible cutting down the trip to mere 75 years. Some 400 and 350 years ago outposts have been constructed in Pek Istym and Tar Varbriga star systems with 6 other systems being targeted for expansion by the end of the century.

Excellent farming
Average miners
Superior stamina (underwater)
Poor spys
Excellent loyalty
Poor diplomacy ( no contact with alien civs yet)
Superior research
Poor combat skills

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Re: Visten Minarchy

#2 Post by eleazar »

Welcome to FreeOrion :)

This is a good start. A couple things from the Species creation guide:.
Summary - A pithy sentence describing the core concept of the species, what makes them different, interesting. If you can condense it to a phrase, so much the better. This will be of great benefit to future readers sorting through these threads.
Add it to the Species Index - The Species Index is on the wiki. It's a sortable list of many of the species concepts, and a good way to keep your idea from getting lost or forgotten.
For the Visten themselves:

* We don't have (nor plan to include) moons, so to be in the game, they will actually have to live on planets like everybody else.

* "Prehensile limbs" You mean like a tentacle, or something like a seahorse's tail?

* Describing them as seahorses gives the impression that they are tiny. If so, i wonder how they could have survived predators pre-technologically with such a slow reproductive rate. I can't think of anything on earth that reproduces so infrequently. For the species to survive they would have to an extremely low death rate to accidents or predation, or sickness, whatever.

* You describe them as amphibians at the top, but they seem pretty ill suited for land. How did they move around before they genegeneered rudimentary legs? Or do you mean that they are amphibians now?

Space Krill
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Sep 12, 2011 12:05 pm

Re: Visten Minarchy

#3 Post by Duke_of_Naeimon »

OK sure, scratch the "moon" part, make it a planet.
* I deliberately used the "prehensile" bit ( def. being "chiefly an animal’s limb or tail- capable of grasping") cause it gives a bit more leeway when imagining the creature, it only has to be flexible enough to use tools so it can look whatever one imagines it.
*As for the size I intended to put that in but it slipped my mind later on, I imagined them to be some 3m tall, and as I pointed out at the end their superior stamin should have given them an edge which would counter the low birth-rate since if you can run for long enough and fast enough your average predator will look elsewhere for an easier prey. Also I could probably add a bit which would say something about their young being in a sort of a community crèche guarded by e.g. neuters.
Visten have always been most comfortable within the watery confinements of their home sea but have adapted and evolved into amphibians as the time progressed and their intelligence increased.
*I think this bit from the PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION part answers the question.

As for an opening sentence describing them, how about something along the lines of:
"Looks like a seahorse but flys those space fighters like a hawk"...
Oh and as for a type of planet most suited for them I'd say Earth would work fine cause it has plenty of water but still enough dry land for constructing a few cities and exploiting the land. Maybe an archipelago-like planet, but def. not an ocean world. Well, not anymore...

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