Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Sphere: InfoDump

I was working on a concept for a sci-fi RPG setting called Sphere. I posted a few things here, but, in all honesty, I've pretty much lost interest in the project.
So, here's the remainder of the Sphere-related stuff.

The Hermans. These are humans who, post-Singularity, downloaded their minds into android bodies to survive the ecological collapse of Earth. They are named after the first person to successfully make the transition from organic to inorganic life, a man named Herman Wauk. Over the centuries, the Hermans have reproduced by making copies of themselves with various tweaks or by 'merging' their memories/personas into a new body.  Hermans probably have a better understanding of the Singularity than anyone else the Sphere, but they're not interested in interacting with the Singularity. They're smarter than that. Hermans don't get along very well with the other factions/races, especially the Flawless.  

The Zarans. The Zarans are the descendents of the first Martian colonists. When the Singularity occurred and Earth's biosphere collapsed, a lot of people headed to Mars. Most didn't make it. Those that did, probably wished they hadn't. A pandemic broke out among the refugees. Over 95% of Mars's population died. The survivors were the ones who underwent radical genetic modification, splicing animal traits onto their DNA, effectively becoming something other than human. The entire planet was placed in quarantine for a century, to prevent the pandemic from spreading. This gave the survivors a chance to stabilize their physiologies and evolve a curiously spiritual society with an emphasis on tolerance and self-control. Zarans possess simian and felinoid traits, including a prehensive tail they can use as a third hand and superior night vision. Some, also develop psychic talents such as psychometry, telepathy and precognition.

The Wanderers are the faction that most closely resembles 'natural' humans. They are the survivors of Earth who did not settle on other worlds, but rather chose to wander the Sphere in caravans composed of antiquated, jury-rigged spacecraft.  There are dozens of Wanderer tribes, each one preserving a specific cultural heritage, but all of them united by a strong sense of individuality and personal freedom. Wanderers don't subject themselves to needless body-mods and most nation-states and polities consider them a nuisance. If not for their expansive trade network, the biggest and best in the Sphere, the Wanderers might have a much harder time. Historians and sociologists love the Wanderers as each caravan retains a strong oral historical tradition dating back to their Exodus from Earth. The Wanderers were responsible for the preservation of most of human culture and history.

Singularity Cultists.  Commonly referred to as Sings, they abound throughout the Sphere. They
  worship the Singularity as a deity and patron, and there are as many different creeds and beliefs among the Sings as there are asteroids in the Belt.  Most people have disdainful opinions of the Sings, considering them dangerous and deranged.  Many mainstream religions and political alliances actively persecute the Sings, either driving them out of their territories or executing them as vermin. Some Sings fight back, while others submit to the atrocities inflicted upon them. It varies from cult to cult.  Of great concern are the Sings that do seem to have some manner of contact with the Singularity; some of these cults possess advanced technology and access to information that no one else has. These cults, few and far between, are usually treated with more care than their psychophantic counterparts. Sings can come from any racial group or sub-group, but most are self-perpetuating, using the resources of the Ministry of Population to ensure their numbers.

The Wardens.  Depending on who you ask the Wardens are either jailers or guardians of the Singularity.  It is unclear if they are aspects of the Intelligences that created the Sphere, some sort of construct race or an extrasolar species that works in conjunction with the Intelligences.  The only thing known for certain is that they maintain the sanctity of the Sphere. Nothing gets in and nothing gets out. Manifesting as luminous, asexual humanoids, each Warden has a unique temperment. All are ferociously powerful.  Most people try to avoid the Wardens, but some people do interact with them. Some Wardens seem to enjoy social interactions with natives of the Sphere. It's not uncommon to encounter Wardens among the cities of the Jinn, or in Zaran temples.

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