Author Topic: [AC] Phaaruun  (Read 1891 times)

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Offline Darth Grievi

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[AC] Phaaruun
« on: January 04, 2010, 07:49:10 pm »

((Rough Sketch, proper art comming later))

Biology

Like most of their homeworld's inhabitants, the Phaaruun posses six limbs. The first pair have evolved into massive taloned hands. For the most part, these are used for locomotion, but can be turned into vicious bludgeons if needed. The second, smallest pair, have developed long fingers and reach forward to manipulate objects and bring them to the "mouth". The third, final pair are moderately strong and again used for locomotion. These end in a foot with three toes with large nails.

Their skin is generally tough and slightly rubbery in texture, protected by a layer of subcutaneous fat. Except for the "head", the vocal sacks, and the palms/soles of the hands and feet, the entirety of the Phaaruun body is covered with downy, hair-like feathers. Above this soft layer is a sparse scattering of stiff, quill-like guard hairs.

The "head" of the Phaaruun does not contain any structures beyond an opening for the tongue and feeding apparatus to enter and exit. The brain and main sensory organs are contained within the massive hump on the shoulders, as well as the nostrils and vocal sacks.

Phaaruun have four senses; taste-smell, touch, hearing, and electric. The long tongue is flicked in and out of the "mouth" to taste the air, much the same way a snake does. Like the vast majority of carbon-based life forms, they react to direct touch. Their electrical sense works much the same as echolocation. They will generate a magnetic pulse, then wait for it to generate a current in anything metallic. They then sense this change in electrical charge as a fluctuation in the small field they generate themselves, like a knifefish on Earth. This only works at short range, though, and was evolved to determine whether an object was food or not. The vast majority of lifeforms on Uunaam reconstitute electrically conductive metals to assist in making their envois connections more efficient, like wires.

Despite their love for loud music, Phaaruun actually have excellent hearing within a short range of high-pitched frequencies, which they use for echolocation. The clicks and squeals are produced within the vocal sacks themselves, then focused by an oil-filled melon contained in the shoulder hump. Unfortunately for any crystalline races susceptible to shattering from resonance, these noises are of considerable volume and piercing quality. Phaaruun can quite easily induce resonance in many crystal structures without even realizing it. Lower range sounds, produced by expelling air out of the six nostril flaps on the flanks, are used for communication, and are of average volume.

The path of air for the breathing Phaaruun is as follows; From the large intake nostril at the top of the shoulder hump, the air is sucked into the single, central lung. From there, it is expelled into the vocal sacks and can either be used to produce echolocation clicks, "speech", or simply exhaled out of the flapped nostrils on the flanks. Most Phaaruun are capable of "speaking" with one sack while echolocating with the other.

Phaaruun reproduce sexually, with a male and a female. At first glance, there is little outward difference between the two, but on closer inspection it is noted that the males possess a pouch on their chest area, opening forward. The female has no such opening. Phaaruun lay up to four eggs at a time, which are then incubated in the father's pouch for several months. The young stay within the pouch for nearly a month after as they develop a coat of fur to survive the cold.

Phaaruun are liquivores, much like spiders. After taking down a prey item, (or ordering their meal), a pair of long, hollow tubes are inserted into the flesh, assisted by several sharp, blade-like structures that also emerge from the "mouth". Once the tubes are in place, one injects an enzyme into the food, while the other sucks the liquified material into the stomach. The enzyme works best when the meal is at just below the average body temperature for a Uunaam lifeform, but can work even in frozen carcasses. Water is ingested the same way, just without the digestive enzyme.

System

Main Star: Tuul
A variable, pulsing star, it has of late become relatively stable due to a massive release of energy in the form of a coronal mass ejection. Other than this, it is a general, main sequence star, ranging from 80% to 60% the size/luminosity of our sun over the course of several Earth months.

Asteroid belt: Remains of a planet that wandered too close to Tuul and was torn apart by the gravitational forces. No interest beyond possible mining expeditions.

Planet 1: Pheh
Small, rocky world with no atmosphere. Irradiated from close exposure to Tuul. Deemed inhospitable. Has three captured asteroids for moons.

Phaaruun Homeworld: Uunaam
About 150% Earth's size, with a gravity field to match. The standard Nitrogen/Oxygen atmosphere has been thinned considerably by the CME, but is still breathable by Phaaruun near sea level. The majority of the planet's water is locked up in the form of ice, and few large bodies of water exist. Thus, the planet can be considered a single supercontinent. Due to Tuul's variable nature, the planet experiences an ice age once every few months. This, more so than the planet's negligible tilt, is what causes seasons on Uunaam.

What little of the planet that remains unfrozen even in the "winter" teems with life, covered with vast grasslands that often flood during the "summer". The rest of the planet, though, is mostly ice-covered. That is not to say that it is lifeless, though. Various plants have developed extremely efficient life cycles that allow them to survive on what little nutrients they can gather, usually only growing and reproducing during the "summer". Phaaruun are native to this habitat, and occupy a similar niche to Earth wolves, hunting in packs to take down most prey, save larger carnivores.

Large portions of the planet are now covered in urban sprawl, both from the pre and post-CME era. It's usually obvious which is which, but in many places the two have melded together, the new imitating the old instead of just adding onto it or replacing it. About half of the planet is still slightly irradiated from the CME, but life is starting to finally return after thousands of years.

Uunaam has four moons, but all but one are too small to be of any real use, merely captured asteroids. The largest moon, Nuu, is about a quarter of Uunaam's size and possesses a very thin atmosphere of mostly heavier, exotic gases such as Neon and Chlorine. It was quickly skipped over for colonization.

Planet 3: Aamuure
Generally considered to be Uunaam's twin of sorts, possesses a much thicker atmosphere and stronger magnetic field due to its somewhat larger size and rapid spin. These both protected it from the CME, and basic life has continued to survive here. The thick atmosphere also acts like a blanket, keeping the planet's temperature relatively constant despite Tuul's fluctuations. Was originally targeted for colonization even before Uunaam's moons, and has once again gained that status. First preliminary colonies are being set down, but they are still heavily reliant on Uunaam for supplies.

Planet 4: Druun
Massive gas giant, tinted blue by the presence of methane. Has hundreds of moons, but none large enough to be of any significance. Effectively sweeps up any stray comets and asteroids in the system.

Personality and History

Many peacemakers across the galaxy insist that tolerance of other cultures is the key to the continued state of peace in the universe. The Phaaruun couldn't agree more. It's too bad that the opposite isn't usually true. It's not that they have a grating personality; indeed, they are quite friendly towards foreigners. It's that they never seem to take anything seriously. They will continue their celebration of life come war, disease, famine, or threats of apocalyptic destruction. Nothing, absolutely nothing will get between a Phaaruun and his enjoyment of himself and others. Even in the face of certain death, they remain giddy and positively chipper.

The majority of Phaaruun history has been lost to the ages due to a catastrophic event that nearly ended their civilization several hundred years ago. The species had nearly made it to space, and was desperately seeking to colonize other worlds, as their homeworld was running dangerously low on living space. They reached for the stars, unknowing that their local star was in a turbulent state. It was already a variable star, pulsing larger and smaller over the course of several months. One day, the sun finally released all its pent up energy in a coronal mass ejection the likes of which no being had seen in millions of years. All equipment failed, all sensors were fried, all life on the day side was instantly killed by the radiation. Auroras could be seen almost all the way to the equator as energized particles bombarded the atmosphere. To this day, life on the planet is still recovering, and the half of the planet that happened to be facing the sun is only just now becoming safe to inhabit again.

With half their population wiped out and all their technological advances reduced to nothing more than scrap metal, the remaining Phaaruun struggled to survive on what little was left. The largest problem was how to get food. In their thousands of years of civilization, they had gotten to the point where almost the entire food production system was automated. The only place the average Phaaruun saw the creatures they ate was either in a zoo or in an informational text. Needless to say, millions starved to death by the end of the year. By the end of the decade, they had been reduced to near tribal levels.

The once unified planet split into various factions, warring over what little farmland and livestock was left. Slowly, though, the technological infrastructure was rebuilt, starting with salvaging what little was left. One nation in particular advanced at breakneck speed, returning its citizens to the pre-apocalyptic standard of living after only 500 years of steady work. Its head of state, in an unusually compassionate move (or a deviously clever one), moved to accept all Phaaruun into her country. Those few who didn't jump at the chance due to nationalism, religious intolerance, or simple stubbornness soon found themselves the vast minority, a tiny portion of the population. They were quickly eliminated.

From this experience, the primarily religion of the Phaaruun developed. Simply put, its messages are "Party hard while you still can, because you or your companions may not wake up tomorrow," and, branching off of that, "Don't waste your time on the negative, because it will always be there. Instead, focus on the positive, and take comfort that it'll always be there, too. Both may change their faces, but they are always present."

Culture

The fist thing one notices about a Phaaruun is his unbelievably happy state of mind. Not necessarily optimistic, as he acknowledges that the negative exists, but all in all having a good time. Giddy is the word often used. It is often mistaken that Phaaruun simply don't understand the gravity of the situation they're in. They fully know that their state is dire, it's that they just don't care. They don't give a darn that they're going to die a long, horrible death, since they know they've gotten all the pleasure out of life that they could have. Typical interrogation techniques simply don't work on them. If the Phaaruun mindset were to be summed up in three words, it would be "I REGRET NOTHING!"

Though the Phaaruun technically have a military force, it is almost entirely useless for actual war. The "soldiers" often have absolutely no combat experience, even in simulation, and for the most part act as an emergency relief team, aiding those in danger from disease or natural disasters. Outside of this, they really have no purpose. Phaaruun communities tend to police themselves, with all individuals highly concerned with how he or she is viewed by the others. Actual punishments are rarely delivered, but when they are, it is almost always either indefinite solitary confinement, physical torture, or death. Few other things affect the Phaaruun mindset enough to be considered punishment.

Phaaruun do not have holidays in the traditional sense. Each day, a topic is selected to be thought about and celebrated as the individual sees fit. Phaaruun are basically given the excuse to party daily. Occasionally, there will be a "Free Topic Day", at which point Phaaruun celebrate for the sake of celebration. Common topics include the existence of various things, such as food, air, steel, electricity, or even Phaaruun themselves.

Phaaruun communal celebrations are noteworthy for their musical accompaniment. Anyone with the willingness to do so composes the soundtrack to the party, often with at least 10 artists contributing to the project. Phaaruun music is created by layering various patterns of beats to create highly complex, thumping rhythms, nearly fractal in nature. Some races find it highly relaxing… as long as it is played at levels other than the usual ear-shattering, lung-collapsing thumps of the average Phaaruun celebration. A few more fragile beings have lost their lives to the rave.



Can't post much more now, kind of tied up at the moment. Proper scanned image due Thrusday at the earliest.



Offline Kitkat

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Re: [AC] Phaaruun
« Reply #1 on: January 04, 2010, 08:19:34 pm »
Very interesting  :)

Their biology reminds me of creatures from Darwin IV

I like their universally happy nature (but the Chara'ai would probably view it as illogical :P)
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Offline UFO King

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Re: [AC] Phaaruun
« Reply #2 on: January 04, 2010, 08:24:05 pm »
I agree with Kitkat here. These guys are nice; I'm eagerly anticipating more.
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Offline omegatripod

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Re: [AC] Phaaruun
« Reply #3 on: January 07, 2010, 03:52:52 pm »
I very much like your race; especially their history. I look forward to more!

Offline Darth Grievi

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Re: [AC] Phaaruun
« Reply #4 on: January 07, 2010, 09:09:01 pm »
Getting the scanner up is running a bit slow...

In the mean time;

Technology

At a Glance
  • Radio Wave Communication
  • Colonies within Star System
  • Somewhat efficient Slower-than-Light travel

Technology Level: Tier 6 (characterized by the establisment of colonies within the home system and the beginnings of efficient space travel)
(Where Tier 5 is characterized by globalization and the first steps into space, and Tier 7 is characterized by Near-light travel and marked expansion outside of the home system.)

Communications

The Phaaruun have long used wired communication as their staple form of long-distance information transfer. Pre CME, entire cities were crisscrossed with such cables, both above and below ground. However, after the event, the majority of the wires and cords were fried and melted to the point of uselessness. This was a conciderable setback for the post CME civilization, but eventually a new form of communication was discovered. Extrapolating from their own electric sense, they eventually developed a method to create a low-level but wide range magnetic field. Electric circuits exposed to the field would generate electricity, and by pulsing the field, a Morse code-like message could be relayed. By using signalling towers, a message in a series of electric pulses could be relayed vast distances. One of the main drawbacks was that there was no way to make the signal directional beyond telling which towers to continue relaying the message and which to simply delete the data. Also, for the longest time there was only one frequency, so messages had to be carefully timed so that no tower received more than one message at a time, or else the pulses would interfere with each other. The issue of other pieces of electrical equipment being affected by the magnetic field was already solved; all machines had already been properly protected from the Phaaruun's own magnetic pulses.

Pre CME, investigation into the mysteries of electromagnetic radiation turned its search skyward, and found the heavens above awash in all sorts of exotic wavelengths. Space had been discovered, and as more was learned about it, the more the drive for colonization increased. The Event ended this, though, and it was thousands of years before Phaaruun scientists rediscovered electromagnetic radiation. This time, though, they devised a way to use low frequency waves to send and receive messages, much like their magnetic system, but now with directionality and virtually unlimited range. Unfortunately for those on the ground, the Phaaruun have yet to find a way to reliably reflect the transmissions off of the ionosphere, rendering it useless planet-side compared to the magnetic system already in use. However, once the first starships were launched, it became the perfect method for communicating with the astronauts. Currently, the vast majority of radio wave transmission is used to stay in contact with the Aamuure colonies and any ships traveling back and forth.

Space Travel

Phaaruun Space travel is, for the most part, primitive by most species standards. They have yet to even begin to aproach the speed of light, with the maximum recorded velocity of a Phaaruun spacecraft being just 0.05c (an unmanned extrasolar probe). So far, though, only relatively short distances have been involved in their travels, so this problem has not been much worry yet. Supply runs to the Aamuure colonies take little over a half-hour of flight time, most of which is used to gain and lose momentum while entering/leaving atmospheres. Untill recently, travel to Aamuure was one-way, due to the nature of how spacecraft are launched.

The flight of a typical Phaaruun spacecraft follows; Crew and cargo are boarded and properly restrained to withstand the impact of acceleration. The craft is placed in a metallic harness and loaded into a mass driver of massive proportions. It is then magnetically launched at high speed out of the planet's atmosphere, at which point the craft's ion engines kick in, accelerating the craft even further until it reaches the target velocity. It holds this velocity for several minutes before ion engines on the front of the craft begin the deceleration process. The craft is still going excessively fast once it reaches its target, though, so velocity is cut further by using the planet's atmosphere to "power-glide" the rest of the way, finally touching down red-hot on a landing strip several thousand feet long. Obviously, the landing gear and heat shields must be replaced after re-entry, but the core craft can be reused again and again if needed. There are currently about 300 such transport craft in circulation at this point, ranging from tiny, car-sized automated supply carriers to large passenger craft the size of a barge.

Phaaruun ships are not designed for combat in any way. Not a single one of their craft has either fired a weapon or been hit by one. Beyond standard debris and radiation shielding, the ships are completely helpless. However, if push ever came to shove, the mass driver launching systems could be used as a form of orbital cannon, hurling chunks of material into space to either act as a shield against incomming fire or as missiles.

Offline Yuu

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Re: [AC] Phaaruun
« Reply #5 on: January 08, 2010, 07:10:50 pm »
Their biology reminds me of creatures from Darwin IV

Beat me to it! ;D

Scanned the guys for now, I'll read them in depth some other time.

But as far as I can tell, they're pretty nice creatures, both figuratively and literally! :)

Offline Darth Grievi

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Re: [AC] Phaaruun
« Reply #6 on: January 14, 2010, 07:51:17 pm »
 :D

The Event

The Coronal Mass Ejection that nearly ended Phaaruun civilization began with severe disturbances in Tuul's already chaotic structure. Looking back at what few records survived, most scientists believe a large object penetrated the atmosphere of the star, likely an asteroid from the nearby asteroid belt. The fluctuations spread, and eventually the ripples converged and amplified each other, forming a massive outsurge of hot, irradiated plasma. Uunaam had only about eight minutes to react, by no means enough to do anything but turn to their colleagues and propose a toast to the beginning of the end.

The moment the cloud hit, the day side of Uunaam and its poles were heavily irradiated, killing off any life forms in the area over the course of a few weeks. The planet's magnetic field strained to funnel the charged particles to the poles, but plenty fell through, even at the equator. Auroras were seen almost globally. At about the same time, Uunaam's ionosphere surged with energy, and the vast majority of the Phaaruun's electrical equipment was either disabled or outright melted from the influx of electrical current. A portion of the planet's atmosphere was burned off, lowering the maximum altitude that any creature could live at without dying of asphyxiation. Ozone? Toast.

And that was just day one.

Over the next few centuries, contaminated water from the day side would find itself spread across the planet via the water cycle. This, combined with the increased UV leaking through the decimated Ozone layer, significantly shortened the expected Phaaruun lifespan. Most would die not long after becoming sexually mature from the cumulative effects of years of radiation exposure. Their once prodigious birth rate had become their savior, as those that weren't infertile more often than not produced only deformed monstrosities. Needless to say, those that had children often passed on a culture of "try as hard as you can, because its a one-in-a-million shot you'll actually get anywhere."

Food was a problem for much of this transitional period. While the common livestock bred as quickly, if not quicker than the Phaaruun, so it was not an issue of extinction. The main conundrum was efficiency. It was difficult, to say the least, to effectively feed thousands of virtually helpless animals without any tools more complex than rocks and hunks of shaped metal. Not to mention the problem of getting that food to them. Areas of open soil were few and far between on Uunaam these days. They eventually managed, though. In a way, their drastically reduced birthrate saved the Phaaruun from starvation.