The Many

Many Bodyguard and Trader

“A lot of you inner skeleton types don't get what we're about. You think bringing Gods out to the universe is an excuse for spreading ourselves out into your grand galactic elbow room. Well one thing we understand, as a species, as a culture, is fluidity. We're not going to try and push you aside, but you'll never stop us flowing into the cracks!”

- Yzenn KK'Kl, Antiquities dealer or refugee to the Federation of Humanity (dependant on year)

The oldest of the spacefaring civilisations, the Many are an arthropodic species whose high mutation-rate, shortish reproductive cycle, and centuries of interstellar expansion have led to massive physical diversity. Swathes of the Many bear real similarities to native insect species found on both the Earth Empire planets and of those of other humanoid groups. No insect species remain on any Zebulon planets, which is something the humanoid races have developed numerous theories over, given the ongoing skirmishes over resources. Prior to first contact with humanity, the Many and the Zebulons were the only two sapient, spacefaring races, which meant that they fought over resources as well as physical and mental differences.

Their government and 'national temperament' follow a cycle repeating their early political history: Throne (absolute monarchy); Overthrow (French revolution style Terror); Republic (functional marxist utopia); Might (Stalinist military junta); Anarch, (total collapse of order); Assembly of All (megademocracy); Senate (democratic republic); Her Majesty's Parliament (constitutional monarchy); then back to Throne. During each of these cycles they develop a specific and meaningful political grudge with another of the sapient races. For example, during the Republican phase, the Many often force trade embargos on the Earth Empire, and likewise during the Throne, they contend with the Co-Operative.

The mouthparts of the Many are incapable of forming many of the sounds used in Human and Zebulon language, but due to the breadth and pace of change of theit civilisation, they are adept at making effective and easy to use translation devices. These can be hand held, but are more commonly worn as headgear, collars or pendants.

All of the sapient members of the species are female with the males being tiny mindless things whose sole function is the distribution of genetic material. They are created partway through their mating cycle, specifically in the transmission part, and carry the genetic material of one female across as many miles as necessary before finding another female who is in the receiving part of her cycle. Once they have delivered the genetic material the male dies, leaving behind a tiny husk. Most mating remains within a district due to practicalities of distance. However it is encouraged for fertile females to travel widely during their mating years, thus allowing genetic material to be spread more widely, and preventing stagnation within a village or region. The Many believe that each individual is attended by a personal pantheon of Gods, which settle in place at the moment of death, and that they have a sacred duty to fill the universe with these Gods.

On worlds they have settled, the Many tend towards scattered, agrarian living arrangements, seeing the cities of the Human cultures and the campus arcologies of the Zebulon as hive like, and thus a little bit backwards, a tad primitive.

Generally the Many believe in an open market, where people pay what an item is worth, although the worth depends on supply and demand rather than actual material costs. With the changing ruling structure, changing trade embargos and large biodiversity stretching across the Many as a whole, this tends to mean that their market is very volatile. Prices for items can change wildly over the course of a day or remain stable for years. There is a lucrative business for those of the Many who are adept at tracking patterns and numbers, they are able to gain large amounts of money by working trade spaces in which they are able to buy in advance things which they know are about to become very desirable. Trading can be a very dangerous occupation for the Many, as it can ruin or make their fortune in one afternoon. Equally, other species struggle to understand the changing attitudes of the Many towards their off world trading partners as the cycle rolls from one stage to the next, and this has led to many violent episodes.

‘You are wearing red. I do not understand, do you not wish to respect the Queen?’

- Sixth Royal Second-Fusil Ra’kki T’zzz.

Fashions within the Many’s culture change with the government. During the Throne, Many dress as befits their station, taking their lead in clothing from those at the top, workers wear practical clothing, but with a twist. Overthrow is when the many dress similarly to one another, in whatever was the previous stage’s working clothes, along with ribbons to proclaim their devotion to the Overthrow. During the Republic clothing styles are practical to the extreme, shading slowly into military uniform styling as Might comes into session. Anarch is typified by a distinct lack of care towards ‘fashion’, in which the Many dress however pleases them. A number of human fashion pundits have argued that this is when the truest expression of each Many’s inner self comes forward.

Assembly of All causes a rise in tailored lines and quality cloth above fripperies and embellishments. The Senate stage sees a rise in leisure wear as work wear, as people feel safer and more able to relax. Her Majesty's Parliament, which is the final stage before turning back to Throne, sees a rise in embellishments and formal wear, but following the tastes of the Parliament, or current popular celebrities, rather than the Monarch.

‘Today we begin the spiral change from Throne into Overthrow. Now is the time to decide which side you will stand on as our cycle continues. The Royal Army, or the Revolutionary Army.’

- Subordinate Third, Structure Royal, Fifth Cohort.

As with the fashions of the Many, so too the military organisation. Each stage of the overall cycle has a different structure, typifying the natural organisation of that time in early Many history. Some cycles lend themselves to a hierarchically structured army; either drawing their leaders from certain families or villages, or choosing them based on merit. Other stages require a police force made from the people, where it is expected that neighbours will report on other women in their broader community.

Aside from this however there is also an extensive and very stable secret service, which does not change with the stages, and instead remains as it is throughout the cycle. This secret group draws heavily on the Many who exhibit Neuro-External powers. The Many consider Neuro-External powers to be simply, another trait, which comes out in some families more than others, due to breeding. However they respect the powerful abilities that it gives their sisters. No one on the street is entirely clear who the secret service answer to, and outside of the upper echelons of current government, you would be hard to pressed to hear more than a whisper of it.

What they are: Unpredictable, Changeable, Societally cohesive, Whimsical.

What they are not: A hivemind, Drones.

Inspiration: Real world insects and other arthropods, historical references appropriate to the current form of government at any given time.

many.txt · Last modified: 2012/12/31 13:06 by helen
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