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eoncommander

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No society could function without people to grease the wheels. It's good that Hannakona was able to make contact with such elements on Kamdor.
 

Vilhelm

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The Kammarians as a whole might be fairly unpalatable to deal with, but at least they can be dealt with. The lack of overt xenophobia, at least, means that the Free Traders can get their foot in the door, and even if the regime itself isn't amenable to abolishing slavery outright at least the unofficial ties to the merchant classes might be useful in spreading a little beneficial cultural "contamination."
In my current Shattered Ring game, my first contact was the Anathurians, a race of fanatically xenophobic reptilians. Thankfully, they weren't fanatical purifiers and let me send envoys to them to improve our relationship. Eventually, we formed a Research Cooperative federation and are good friends. This is why I love the new diplomacy rework--even empires that otherwise would hate your guts can become firm allies.
 

Macavity116

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In my current Shattered Ring game, my first contact was the Anathurians, a race of fanatically xenophobic reptilians. Thankfully, they weren't fanatical purifiers and let me send envoys to them to improve our relationship. Eventually, we formed a Research Cooperative federation and are good friends. This is why I love the new diplomacy rework--even empires that otherwise would hate your guts can become firm allies.
This. Ditto! The new diplomacy system has opened up so many new avenues and options that the game has a whole new dynamic feel to it, and it's much more intriguing as well.
 
Part Four: Smoke and Daggers (2204 to 2220)

RossN

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Yldar Free Traders 2220.jpg


The Yldar Free Traders, 2220.


Part Four: Smoke and Daggers (2204 to 2220)

Bemalona strolled around her office for the last time, tongue flickering in and out as she caught the taste of half remembered scents, fingers running lightly along the polished metal of her desk, pausing her at this window there at that.

She paused, her golden eyes falling on the desk once more. Perhaps she wouldn't quite miss all the paperwork. Or some of the state robes that made her scales itch even to think about them.

In a few moments she'd leave this place, have a brief formal meeting with her successor and then be on her way to a well deserved political after life of gambling, making credits, yacht racing and - if she had anything to say about - handsome male admirers with scales so polished she could see her face in their chests. Well, a girl had her wants and her needs and she knew she had done the state some service. Let her enjoy herself for Numa's sake.

Bemalona found her eyes turning to the grand viewport again. Even if she'd be a little late her successor could wait.

She'd really miss that view.

~~~~


Rhass corruption.jpg


The corruption of Governor Rhass that eventually lead to his forced resignation.

In the same year that contact was made with the Kammarians an ugly scandal that had been bubbling away in the background flared into public consciousness and consumed at least as much political will as the discovery of new and exciting aliens.

The great thefts of 2202 had seen the Numistic ship the Winds of Fortune depart with resources plundered from Lastagarvin's Shelter. Rare metals, computer parts, luxuries from perfume to wine had vanished into the depths of the caravaneer ship which in turn had vanished into the inky void. So much was known. However there were a few shrewd observers who suspected that not all the thieves has been Glost-Werheni. The raids had been a little too careful and clean, suggesting that a Yldar might have been helping them.

The Yldar form of government could be both a blessing and a curse. The golden circle of ruling plutocrats, ore barons and merchant princes - the 'Free Traders' themselves - depended at least as much on soft power of credits and influence to achieve things as they did on any hard written powers ascribed to the Board and the Chairperson. The Chairman or Chairwoman was elected by a secret ballot of Board members from among their ranks. Membership of the Board was traditionally by selection and internal vote once a space opened up in the ranks. Each member of the Board served for life, though retirement was allowed and members in poor health were authorised to use proxies in key votes. In normal times there were between five hundred and six hundred Yldars on the Board but the number engaged in active political decisions was far lower.

For many Yldars the weakness of the official government was precisely what they wanted. Partly this was ideological, a strong cultural impulse than a Yldar had a right to make his or her fortune without excessive interference from the state. However the role of history played a hand, with the Free Traders made up of effectively three fiercely independent worlds. A unified government could only push so far.

All of these factors perhaps helped Governor Rhass believe he could remain undetected forever. In truth they only added to the number of enemies and rivals ready to take him down. An adaptable charcoal scaled male from Pirgak's Freehold he had become the head of the administration ('Governor') of the Three Daughters. Traditionally reaching the rank of chief administrator was seen as a dead end job, a thankless role involving much paperwork but little authority and less opportunity to make credits. Rhass was unusually capable but not initially seen as very different. Only the exceptionally shrewd and/or paranoid supposed there was something more beneath his bland smile. In fact he was growing very rich from looking the other way for various shady individuals. When the Glost-Werheni had arrived this amateur dabbling in corruption had leapt to outright crime. The administrator had helped set up the circumstances for the alien thieves and pocketed much of the profits. By 2204 he had stepped up his game to working with smugglers and shipjackers. It was the chance arrest of one of the latter who unwisely seized an ore freighter belonging to one of the great merchant princes that ultimately ruined Rhass as the Patrol traced the links back to him.

Rhass retained enough favours and influence and blackmail material to prevent being sent to a disintergration chamber or even penal service as an asteroid miner but his career was over and after some truly epic bribes he retired to private life with his scales and much of his fortune intact [1]. In his place Board positioned a thirty five year old male from Oros named Jondru. In sharp contrast to his predecessor Jondru was legendary for his incorruptibility having worked as a legal advisor to the Patrol. Lean, serious to the point of humourlessness and austere Jondru was respected but had few friends. He soon proved himself a skilled administrator.

The first two decades of the the century were a period of political excitement. The opening of other solar systems to mining concerns had made many Yldars rapid fortunes and some of them tried to turn their success into politics. This in turn was resisted by the established merchant princes who attempted to buy out, recruit or squash their burgeoning rivals. The traditional weakness of the government and the peppery individualism of the citizens left to political parties and clubs rising and falling in quick succession but by 2211 four major political factions had unified and challenged each other for influence and wealth.

Faction system.jpg


By 2211 four major political factions had emerged among the Yldar Free Traders.

Governor Jondru had founded the Individual Choice Initiative, a progressive faction looking to press egalitarian reforms, including more of a voice for citizens below the level of the merchant princes. The progressives were not exactly pushing for the Free Traders to reform into a representative democracy but they did seek a new degree of transparency and meritocracy. Ironically they were in some respects calling for a stronger centralised government.

Vaguely allied with Jondru's progressives and far larger in numbers were the Xeno Rights Organization. Led by a male diplomat named Listhim who had unsuccessfully vied with Hannakona to lead the embassy to the Kammarians the 'xenoist' party was more conservative when it came to political reform but a strong voice for good relations with other aliens species for both economic and cultural reasons. The xenoists championed a multi-species society and while not surprisingly several of their more vocal members were Glost-Werheni and they were the default faction for the 'Outsider' mystics they enjoyed much support among the general Yldar populace.

Rhass's enforced 'retirement' had not lasted long. The former administrator had forgone the populist and instead joined and subsequently took over the Committee of Technological Mastery a pressure group for scientific and technological research. The technologist faction was composed of some of the foremost scientists in the Three Daughters and perhaps more importantly key industrialists and financiers. Keeping a technological edge was not just vital for the state it was invaluable for private business. The technologists enjoyed an uneasy relationship with the Xeno Rights Organization. On the one hand they were delighted with the research agreement signed with the Kammarians. On the other hand they were notoriously scathing about religion above and beyond the general Yldar secularism which naturally alienated most Glost-Werheni.

Chairwoman Bemalona had not been blind to the growth of factionalism and was aware of the irony that her own efforts had helped strengthen the government and thus open the field to potential rivals. Having built her name in the days where ideology was far less important than the ability to read a room and hard bargain with her peers the Chairwoman's initial instincts were to remain aloof. Two elements changed her mind. First in the Yldars encountered a bizzare 'void cloud' in the Kenn Hijal system that was apparently some form of dangerous alien lifeform. Second she recieved a report from the security section of the embassy on Kamdor providing details of the powerful Kammarian warfleet.

War with the Kammarians seemed unlikely and Bemalona herself had pushed for peaceful dealings with the alien empire. Likewise while the 'void creature' was certainly frightening their kind and similar void dwelling predators seemed rare. Still it was enough to lead the Chairwoman and her like-minded colleagues to found the Strength Through Conquest Coalition. The warhawks of the coalition wanted to dramatically expand the Yldar Star Navy to ward off any threat. The coalition had a tentative alliance with the Committee of Technological Mastery, many of whose members had worked on the new generation of hyperdrives, lasers, coilguns, armour and shielding that turned from the design phase to practical concept during this period. A firmer alliance was scotched for the simple reason that Bemalona distrusted Rhass and once admitted to an aide she found it difficult to be in the same room as him without instinctively reaching for a weapon.

In theory most agreed the trio of twenty year old Damghalla-class corvettes of the YSN should be at least modernised and probably expanded. In practice Bemalona found herself facing opposition even in quarters she might not have expected. Quite bluntly many of the merchant princes distrusted each other. The last major corporate wars between the plutocrats were in living memory and the temptation to rely on privately owned and impeccably loyal armed merchantmen and freighters was very strong. It took all of Bemalona's guile and favours called in to begin construction of more corvettes and the hiring of additional crew. By 2220 the YSN would have a fleet of fourteen modern warships, with more on the drawing board.

The second decade of the Twenty Third Century was quieter in some ways than the years that had gone before. YSS
Hempest the Fearless and YSS Mitgapp the Humble continued to chart a gradually expanding sphere of systems around Yldar core space. The science uncovered the debris of various enigmatic alien species including several artifacts from the presumed extinct Vultaum race and the active and belligerent presence of ancient mining robots that thankfully proved too slow to track Hempest with their weapons before the Yldar vessel executed an emergency leap to hyperspace. Non-sapient alien life was identified independently - strange lithovore worm-like creatures inhabiting the asteroid belt of the Craxima system, organic 'sheets' of flora or fauna drifting across the surface of Piddahfir IIIa and most intriguingly a form of electric life on Eswluq I.

Missing in all this were extant alien sapients [2]. After discovering three sapient alien species within the same number of years the lack of new civilisations dampened the spirits of some in the Xeno Rights Organisation. For others it acted as a spur to further exploration.


Election 2220.jpg


The election of 2220.

Chairpersons of the Yldar Free Traders were elected for twenty year terms and Bemalona's period in office was due to run out in 2220. Despite certain frustrations she was proud of what she had accomplished. The Yldars were a true interstellar civilisation that had navigated their way through the difficult first contact stage of space flight. However she was also aware that she was swimming against the tide in her hopes of winning a second term. At sixty one she was growing older by Yldar standards and there was the disturbing prospect that she would not last the full length of a new term. Ironically it was the presence of another candidate with a similar platform that stopped her simply stepping aside. Rhass was also running on a platform of building up the fleet and the former administrator had enough tame members of the Board under his thumb that he might just win. Bemalona gritted her teeth and began to campaign, less to win and more to prevent Rhass taking power.

The Xeno Rights Organisation, overwhelmingly the largest faction among the public was handicapped by the fact that their leader Listhim was an amiable non-entity. Instead the power brokers in the faction proposed the explorer Lathira as their candidate. It was a daring strategy. The commander of the YSS Hempest the Fearless was famous and well regarded but she was even older than Bemalona and had spent most of the past two decades in deep space without interacting with any of the other plutocrats.

Jondru was the dark horse. Even his critics admitted his honesty and hard work but his push for reforms rattled conservatives on the Board. The leader of the progressives had also supported increased defence spending but proposed pouring credits into defensive platforms and space stations. It was a canny move; Jondru deflected any criticism that he was weak on defence while also neatly avoiding appearing hawkish. The xenoists who for obvious reasons favoured a quasi-pacifist stance took notice.

On the first day of fourthmonth 2220 the results of the vote were announced.


Chairman Jondru.jpg


The election of Jondru as Chairman of the Yldar Free Traders, Forthmonth 2220.

Footnotes:

[1] The Yldar Free Traders did not practice long term imprisonment which was simply not practical aboard a habitat. Instead lesser crimes were met with fines of increasing severity while greater crimes meant penal service. The very worst crimes merited death by disintegration booth

[2] A few scientists believed the 'electric life' of Eswluq I to be sapient but there existed no method to prove this thesis.

 

RossN

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Heh. Imagine that. ;)
Well she has needs too. :)

I very much enjoyed the opening little scene. That felt very verisimillitudinous.

So from a potentially disasterous contact matters have turned out pretty well so far with Kammarians, though one might imagine potential shoals ahead in the future.
Thank you. :)

Part of my inspiration comes from love of roleplaying games (the ones with dice rather than graphics) and their habit of using 'flavour text' to set the scene before providing the pertinent information.

Well... that's an interesting way to meet a fellow interstellar civilization. At least they turned out to be amenable to diplomacy.

Also, I enjoyed how you depicted the Yldar as so adapted to their habitats they need mental training just to live on a planet.
Interesting indeed, even if I felt annoyed on behalf of the Yldar that they seemingly taste bland!

Thank you too. :) I really wanted to bring across the idea that setting foot on a planet would be weird and scary for a Yldar. Perhaps thrilling for some but never something mundane.

I'm impressed as always with the attention to detail, especially with the way you consider the psychological impact of going from living in a permanent enclosed, climate-controlled space to setting foot on an unfamiliar, uncontrollable planet. It definitely makes sense that the Yldars would have an agoraphobic strain as a culture.

The Kammarians as a whole might be fairly unpalatable to deal with, but at least they can be dealt with. The lack of overt xenophobia, at least, means that the Free Traders can get their foot in the door, and even if the regime itself isn't amenable to abolishing slavery outright at least the unofficial ties to the merchant classes might be useful in spreading a little beneficial cultural "contamination."
'Agoraphobic' is precisely right, though since it is a cultural norm for them they probably wouldn't think of it in those terms. :)

And good point about the Kammarians. It might take a while - and I suspect their slavery stance will prove problematic - but I could have had worse neighbours.

No society could function without people to grease the wheels. It's good that Hannakona was able to make contact with such elements on Kamdor.
Exactly!

Merchants might be looked down upon on Kamdor but that does not make them unimportant as such. :)

In my current Shattered Ring game, my first contact was the Anathurians, a race of fanatically xenophobic reptilians. Thankfully, they weren't fanatical purifiers and let me send envoys to them to improve our relationship. Eventually, we formed a Research Cooperative federation and are good friends. This is why I love the new diplomacy rework--even empires that otherwise would hate your guts can become firm allies.
That does sound a very cool game. :)

Yeah the diplomacy shakeup has made things a little more interesting.

This. Ditto! The new diplomacy system has opened up so many new avenues and options that the game has a whole new dynamic feel to it, and it's much more intriguing as well.
A very nice way of putting it!

I guess I'll see what happens when/if I meet another empire.
 

stnylan

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A few face to lead the Yldar, a different set of scales to measure the needs of the state. (I love hte allusions one can make with "scales" with the Yldar). Despite the "open" objective of "securing the borders" I wonder if this might not prove momentous in their other ideological aims.
 

Riotkiller

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A youthful new leader to offer a fresh direction; shall be interesting to see what new encounters they need to deal with - and how they manage to balance these new and somewhat competing political factions.
 

Nikolai

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Well, then. Wary peaceful existence it is. :)
 

Specialist290

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Jondru's star is certainly rising quickly (relatively speaking), and it's impressive enough that he's managed to take the Chair while remaining incorruptible like he has. Still, I imagine this isn't the last we'll be hearing of Rhass and his cronies.
 

Viden

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I find fascinating how you manage to make regular boring in-game events into interesting narrative facts.
 
Part Five: The return of the gods (2220 to 2233)

RossN

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Western Exploration 2234.jpg


Yldar exploration of the galactic West, 2234.


Part Five: The return of the gods (2220 to 2233)


'Very beautiful,' Chairman Jondru said, turning the statuette over in his hand, examining every tiny, perfectly chiseled scale and curve. Heavy and made of some smooth unfamiliar mineral. She, and it was clearly a she, looked both impressively lifelike and like nothing he knew living. It felt strange to be holding this artifact and with great care he set her down on the museum table next to the dark preserving cloth she had been kept in while in storange..

'Yes sir,' the historian replied proudly. 'Made from sagranite which accounts for the teal sheen. An early depiction of the Benefactress from Pirgak's Freehold. We've dated it to the Second Dynastic Fragmentation Era. Notice her coils? That fits with the primitive mythology of the period that saw the deity as an interstange between forms.'

Jondru's burgundy eyes dropped to the statuette again, before he looked up at the other male. 'I think mythology may not be the best word to use.'

The historian's rather smug smile faltered and he looked a little more uncertain - clearly an unfamiliar feeling. 'No sir, perhaps not.'


~~~~~

As one of his first acts as Chairman Jondru won the lasting affection of the Xeno Rights organization by backing the Glost-Werheni leader Soki B'Eren as his replacement in the administration. B'Eren, a russet furred female had won eternal fame as the original spokeswoman of the refugees that had sought sanctuary in the Three Daughters. Since then she had discovered a talent for bureaucracy and had long worked under Jondru. Her rise to a position of authority was greeted with delight by the Glost-Werheni across the habitats.

The mammalian aliens had quickly carved out a place in the Free Traders society. A disproportionate number worked in the field of entertainment where their sinuous dances and haunting songs enchanted Yldar audiences. Other services like food and alcohol also saw many Glost-Werheni involved and some had joined the Patrol and the YSN. Fewer were found in careers involving heavy physical labour for the ape-like aliens lacked the robustness of their snake-like fellow citizens. Likewise the pursuit of science saw the involvement of fewer Glost-Werheni thantheir numbers suggested. Neurological differences meant that on average the mammalians learned new facts more slowly than Yldars even if their long term memory was perhaps better.

And of course they had brought their faith. Small shrines to the goddess Numa peppered sections of the habitats and at set hours of the day any listener might have been able to hear the faint trilling of spiral flutes calling the faithful to attend ritual. Most Yldar were nonplussed by religion but took a friendly (if patronising) interest in the Numistic belief system. Even the hardened gamblers who plied their trade in the glittering leisure districts of Oros had to admit the Glost-Werheni who partook of cards and dice seemed to have a sprinkling of luck in their bets, whether begginer’s or divine.

Yldar ‘religion’ was a very different business from the overtly spiritual worship of Numa. Most Yldars were secular but for the minority who were not there were other options. The ‘Outsiders’ was an umbrella term for several different groups with varying beliefs but united in the idea that benign and advanced alien beings (variously called the 'Originators', the 'Ancients' or the 'Luminous Ones' from a poetic line in an early text) had created the habitats the Yldar lived on and that references in ancient texts to ‘gods’, ‘demons’ and other such beings were in fact surviving cultural memory of these aliens. Some Outsiders viewed the ancient aliens as having simply constructed the Three Daughters and transported the Yldar there so that the species would survive the destruction of their homeworld. These Outsiders tended to take a more moderate view of the ancient aliens, viewing them as figures to admire and a level of development to aspire to but no longer active and perhaps even extinct. Other Outsiders went further in their beliefs, theorising that the ancient aliens had played a hand in creating the Yldar either by modifying the DNA of their non-sapient ancestors or creating them entirely from the DNA up. These more mystical Yldars believed that the ancient aliens still existed out in the greater galaxy and were simply waiting for the Yldars to find them. When that happened the ancient aliens would share the secrets of their technology – including bodily immortality and mind transference. Many a mystical Yldar who shook her head in bemusement at the Glost-Werheni concept of immaterial souls and an afterlife believed passionately that she would live again in a cloned body with her mind and personality recovered and scientifically copied into her new body.

The explorations of the galaxy continued under Jondru's time in office with a drive towards the galactic South with the idea of eventually meeting the Kammarians. Similar if smaller pushes went on towards the East and the West. It would be in the West that the Hempest would make one of if not the most astonishing discoveries in Yldar history. In 2223 while charting the otherwise unremarkable Naos system the powerful sensor array of the science vessel picked up odd readings from an asteroid that had been partially hollowed out. Lathira and her team investigated their interest gradually giving way to confusion.

Familiar Shrine.jpg


The asteroid 'shrine' in the Naos system.

The Untold was a figure from the very earliest Yldar mythology, said to be the being that had shattered the Yldar homeworld. On Oros he had been seen as a gigantic azure scaled Yldar, on Pirgak's Freehold as a vaguely feminine shadowy figure on Lastagarvin's Shelter as a great star serpent who swallowed worlds and whose body was made of starlight. The shrine in the Naos system bore glyphs and drawing on all three tradition - or rather pre-dating them.

When the first reports of the discovery in Naos were transmitted back to the Three Daughters the Chairman and the Board were thrown into chaos. After a private session in which key scientists and officials including former Chairwoman Bemalona, Soki B'Eren and even the distrusted but politically powerful Rhass the government decided to pursue this tantalising and eerie strand of investigation. Ultimately more shrines would be discovered, all in the galactic West in systems adjacent to that which held the shrine of the Untold.

There were other mysteries that demanded resources and time. On Piddahfir B I extensive xenoarchaelogy discovered the remains of a gargantuan egg that had hatched at some point in the distant past leading some scientists to theorise this belonged to the same interstellar predator which had swallowed the 'Gourmand' ship. Less frightening and more thought provoking were discovery of an an alien 'vault' on an unihabited planet in the Poaa system that contained countless black boxes. Further investigation proved these boxes to be databanks.


Limbo.jpg


The enigmatic aliens of the Poaa system were at once extinct and persevered.

The discoveries on Poaa IV in 2225 caused nearly as much philosophical musing back on Oros as the discovery of the shrines. Naturally some scientists supposed they were related, that the unknown aliens of the Poaa system had also been contacted by the ancient aliens that had built the shrines. Certainly they were in close proximity to the shrines. Others felt that the specific link was coincidental but that the fate of the Poaa aliens was intriguing. As discussed before Yldar religion was essentially materialist with no belief in a soul or supernatural after life. There was however a strong mystcal-philosophical interest in the idea of continuity of conscious through brain scanning and uploading into new bodies. The Poaa aliens and the Outsiders had evidently shared the belief that death could be defeated by such advanced science and technology. With a reverence that another culture might have given to the holiest of relics the downloaded brain scans of the Poaa aliens were brought back to the Cevant system for safe keeping and - it was hoped - eventual reconstitution.

Fittingly the closest shrine to Poaa IV belonged to the Benefactress. Like the Untold this was a deity who had different representations across the three habitats, though unlike the destructive deity she was universally seen as female. In some stories her role had simply been a teacher. In others she was the mother of all Yldar. Regardless of the individual stories and their varations she was a potent benign symbol in Yldar mythology.

In 2232 the third shrine was discovered in the Terebellum system, to the Undaunted, a warrior personification. Then towards the end of 2233 YSS Mitgapp the Humble discovered the fourth and final shrine in the Thegglan system. The Percipient was a philosopher (on Oros), a poetess (on Pirgak's Freehold) or a prince (on Lastagarvin's Shelter.) The Yldar scientists led by Ketrilla painstakingly sorted through their findings and transmitted results back to the waiting government from the depths of space.

Long before the full findings could be released the Outsiders had caught wind of whispers in the air. The mystics were not a large portion of Yldar society but they were legal and present in every strata in Yldar society. Even the subgroups that bickered and debated endlessly between themselves were unified by their common devotion to goal of proving the connection to ancient aliens. They also knew that few state secrets could resist the universal language of money and as credits changed hands so did the secrets.

The final report from the Mitgapp would be endlessly debated but the basic conclusions were impossible to deny: in the ancient past highly advanced beings had intervened in the affairs of the Yldars. and had almost certainly lifted to them to full sapience. The poetic-religious tone of the writings ('the gods found our minds empty and granted us the gift of thought') left the interpretation ambiguous as to whether the proto-Yldar were semi-sapient to begin with or had been mindless animals. They had also constructed the habitats the Yldars now resided in ('...built three great sanctuaries in the heavens...')

Unthinkably, impossibly, the Outsiders, the endlessly mocked fringe mystics of Yldar life were proven entirely, utterly right.


On the eighteenth day of Tenthmonth 2233 a visibly emotional Jondru announced the findings in an official broadcast over holo. The reaction was temporary stupefaction among most Yldars and celebration among the Outsiders, especially when during the same speech the Chairman requested a consultation with representatives of all the main Outsider groups to help determine where society - all society - could go on from here. He probably suspected that there would be a wide range of views and a lack of consensus and he was entirely right. He was also relieved at the public response which was startled but free of panic; proof of the 'gods' or not there was little public appetite among the Free Traders into a theocracy. The Outsiders main political demand was more space exploration, which conveniently was something the merchant princes of the Board wanted anyway.

The vindication of the Outsiders shifted Yldar society into a more 'religious' direction but the variety among the Outsiders themselves and the strong ingrained secular values of the Yldars turned a potential religious revolution into a series of mild reforms. The key point of debate was whether the 'Originators' were still around and waiting for the Yldars to find them or whether they had ultimately left the Yldars to grow unto themselves. Such questions gripped the minds of intellectuals, but for most Yldars they were abstract. As previously mentioned 'Outsider' cosmology was materialist - the Originators if they still existed were not judging the sins of any individual Yldar and were not listening to prayers. The average Yldar merchant, pilot or miner once he absorbed the fact that his species had at least been altered by ancient and mysterious beings might have a differing idea of his place in the universe but it did not impact his day to day existence.

For the Glost-Werheni aboard the Three Daughters the spiritual turbulence among their fellow citizens was a source of bemusement, sometimes amusement - many a prelate of Numa found themselves nodding along to a Yldar explaining why their belief in the Originators was more scientific and rational than the Glost-Werheni belief in the supernatural goddess of fortune [1]. To their credit whatever their private opinions on superstition most Yldar were prepared to tolerate Glost-Werheni beliefs, including the belief that there was any similarity between their ways of looking at the universe.


The Old Gods.jpg


The revelations of the Originators.

Footnotes:

[1] Some Yldar intellectuals suggested that 'Numa' was herself an Originator but this was very much a minority viewpoint and unpopular among the Glost-Werheni.

 

RossN

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Once again the game has thrown me a curveball. While I had established the Outsiders at the beginning I didn't expect to run into the Old Gods event chain - or the Limbo events either. It gave me pause for thought in deciding how to handle this.

I took inspiration from real life UFO religions and the Chariots of the Gods style musings for the tenants of the Outsiders with their faith being simultaneously very mystical and utopian and also materialist and atheistic. This is genuinely a huge shift even if it doesn't impact the everyday lives of the 'common' Yldar much.

~~~~

A few face to lead the Yldar, a different set of scales to measure the needs of the state. (I love hte allusions one can make with "scales" with the Yldar). Despite the "open" objective of "securing the borders" I wonder if this might not prove momentous in their other ideological aims.
Yes scales are very useful that way! :D

I think in-game events rather stole a march on my ideas for Jondru's time in office but I certainly found myself wondering how he would respond!

A youthful new leader to offer a fresh direction; shall be interesting to see what new encounters they need to deal with - and how they manage to balance these new and somewhat competing political factions.
Indeed, and I think we'll see a properly religious faction emerge soon too, so lots of politics!

Well, then. Wary peaceful existence it is. :)
That is a lovely way of putting it! :)

Jondru's star is certainly rising quickly (relatively speaking), and it's impressive enough that he's managed to take the Chair while remaining incorruptible like he has. Still, I imagine this isn't the last we'll be hearing of Rhass and his cronies.
Yes I think crime and corruption are around for the foreseeable future which at least keeps things interesting!

I find fascinating how you manage to make regular boring in-game events into interesting narrative facts.
Thank you! I have to admit this game has surprised me more than once as I mentioned above!
 

stnylan

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To say these last few decades have been revolutionary for the Yldar is to understate the case.

In just one lifetime they have become one polity with the Glost-Werheni, met other strange and fearsome folk and phenomena, and now their very understanding of their place in the cosmos is brought into play.
 

Specialist290

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Hoo boy, that's certainly going to be a lot for Yldar society to digest. Still, they seem to be adapting to their new circumstances rather well, all told. I do have to wonder what's going to happen when they finally make contact with a proper Fallen Empire, now that a certain baseline of expectations has already been set.

I do have to admit, though, I'm a little surprised you didn't go with "Monetize the findings" ;)

The Limbo event chain is one I've always enjoyed whenever I encounter it. Looking forward to seeing how that one is resolved down the line.
 

Nikolai

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Really must be hard to be an Yldar at this point in time.
 

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Once again, enjoy reading and seeing how you make the culture and society come to life.