Ralsiian Species (Phase World):
Members of the monarchial, nobility based Ralsiian species form the backbone of the Ralsiian Star Empire (RSE).
The Ralsiian species it's self is a matriarachal species with an ancient and clouded background that burst onto the scene of intergalactic politics quite recently, and is native to a planet inside a habitable "bulge" in the otherwise blasted core regions of the Thundercloud Galaxy; Devastated both by ancient apocalyptic war some 50,000 years ago and by the radiation and stellar disasters natural closer in to the core.
Though many think the Ralsiians to be a uniformly arrogant species, the simple fact is that most people outside the Empire see only the nobility; Different classes of Ralsiians exist in social terms, and attitudes and beliefs can vary widely; The reason for such beliefs is that the most mobile of the Ralsiians in traveling are the wealthiest and usually nobility, giving people belief that all Ralsiians are like them.
The Nobility, a large class of persons with inheirited or granted titles, rules over the rest of the species and indeed the Empire in a semi-democratic fashion, with a government that is rather similiar to that of the German Empire of Pre-WWI Earth, though more power is placed in the hands of the Queen of all the Ralsiians, who serves doubly as the Empress of the Ralsiian Star Empire.
Land holdings are considered more important than wealth, though the upper middle class industrials, similiar to the "robber barons" of industry of the Victorian and Edwardian eras of Earth do command respect from the Nobility, and marriage between the two groups is commonplace and acceptable. Likewise, military officers, no matter their starting class in society, are well respected, especially those in the Royal Ralsiian Navy or the Ralsiian Naval Self-Defence Force, both of which come from the same illustrious history of victory in the War of the Quadruple Entente, which over half a millenia later is still immortalized.
Descendants and relatives of the Countess of Kriesdale and her family's bloodline (Not directly related to the Imperial Dynasty) often command as much respect as members of the Imperial bloodline because of Lady Admiral Jeryllyn Iethan Lictor, the Countess of Kriesdale, and her famous victory over the Quadruple Entente at Antir's Rock, followed by a vicious, swift, and tremendously succesful campaign that broke the back of the Quadruple Entente and led to it's total defeat.
Ralsiia, the homeworld of the Ralsiians, is a largely desert and ocean planet of rather hot temperatures comparable to those that could be found in such regions of Earth as the Negev desert, etc. Fresh water is fairly scarce, and the earlier Ralsiians were largerly herders and, along the coasts of their oceans, fishers. Trade between far-flung islands and continents, and even locations on continents, was carried out in early Ralsiian history largely by the sea, as the deserts and mountains of the continents were not ideal for long range travel; This is the beginning of a Ralsiian naval excellence that has transferred into space warfare.
Dueling is a historical practice among the Ralsiians, and is still in affect today. Ralsiian nobles virtually all possess energy shields designed to respond to and deflect high-speed projectiles, forcing assailants to usually take them on with swords or daggers at close range in melee combat that can slip under the shield's speed-activation threshold; These shields are very different from those commonly seen in the Three Galaxies and operate on totally different principles.
The harshness of the Ralsiian climate and the unique positioning and nature of the system allowed for some naturally M.D.C. ores to exist in the planet; These became the basis for early weaponry that could actually damage the evolutionarily tough Ralsiians who evolved naturally as a response to the climate and high radiation levels in a system with three suns and a brown dwarf into minor M.D.C. beings.
Many of these traditional dueling swords and daggers are passed down from generation to generation and are still ready to be stained with blood to this day; the art of making blades from natural M.D.C. metals is a complex one, and the families of swordsmiths gain great renown, with the art being passed down in a ritualistic manner from generation to generation.
Indeed, the naturally M.D.C. ore "Admontium" has been vital in the history of Ralsiian culture and the eventual formation of the Ralsiian Star Empire, and the RSE is really the only place where natural M.D.C. Ores are smelted and turned into heavy armour plating for starships, etc, in the entirety of the Three Galaxies. It is unknown why these M.D.C. ores exist, but largely believed to be part of the general oddities of the Rals System and the "Bulge" in the Thundercloud Galaxy where it exists.
Without such natural M.D.C. elements on the planet, it is unlikely that the Ralsiians, once evolving as M.D.C. beings, would ever have, without assistance from outside, progressed beyond the hunter-gatherer stage. However, the same evolutionary causes which drove their evolution in that direction are probably in some ways related to the climate conditions on a planet which has such M.D.C ores and other natural, super-resistant material.
The Ralsiians can be found with all the ranges of ideals and attitudes as humans and other humanoid species, but many can be found to be similiar to those of persons of comparable class and status to those of late Victorian/Edwardian era England.
The main exceptions here are in regards to the unique marriage and lineage of a matriarachal society. So called "Bonded" pairs of mates/lovers, the closest things to marriages for the Ralsiians, are not uncommon and are encouraged. However, oftentimes, parents or the matriararch of the family when it comes to nobility will choose a suitable breeding partner for a member of that family. Such relationships only last until offspring are produced, and can be declined by either party under law.
There are no general taboos against homosexuality or Polyandrogeny (IE: A woman taking multiple husbands), though Polygamey is exceptionally rare, to say the least. There are laws against incestual relationships, though they were once relatively common among the nobility, especially the royal dynasties, for keeping the title in the family, so to speak. Some hardliners of the old values of the Ralsiian culture defy such laws, and usually get away with it legally, though would be usually socially ostracized (In rare cases such relationships are still accepted but invariably cause debate and uproar among some). Homosexuality by both genders is not uncommon, though it more often takes the form of a bonded individual having a lover of the same sex, which is not considered adultrous.
Like in many such cultures, the lower middle class and working class have rather stricter moral values than those of the Nobility, the "Robber Barons" and the Upper Middle Class.
Ralsiian scientific advance has leveled off recently, but had been continuing at a very impressive rate, equal to their massive colonization efforts. Military service is a popular and well respected avenue for glory, power, and advancement in Ralsiian society.
Likewise, independant merchants are common enough, with the RSE's Royal Ralsiian Navy protecting a vast Merchant Marine. The Ralsiians are still very much a trading society, despite the military overtones; Their militaries truely came of age protecting trade, not in and of themselves, and hence trade is the real goal of the Ralsiians, though in the case of primitive cultures or those where conquest would provide the better goal in the long run, or, if a species was not conquered, could pose a threat to trade (Over a dozen wars against other species that have since been conquered by them have been justified by the Ralsiians because said species was a threat to safe trade.), conquest as become commonplace.
Religiously, the Ralsiians have numerous large Pantheons of Gods that they worship, as well as one relatively minor single-god religion. Athiesm is increasingly popular, however, and there is no state religion. It is unknown if any of the Ralsiian Pantheons are based on actual "Gods" or not, and so far none have come forward with such claims. The assorted Pantheons of the assorted Ralsiian religions are still decently popular to the point where large temples on many worlds and bizzare secret cults and animal sacrifice is still accepted and considered the norm in society.
Overall, the Ralsiians, descendants of a desert culture, are now principally a trading nation ruled by a nobility which largely gained it's own titles from trading in millenia past on the waters of Ralsiia; Though they have a strong military, they are not a true warrior race, and their naval influence is more or less a direct result, even if subconscious in some ways, of trade protection. They are enthusiastic and optimistic about the new opprotunities presented by the formal opening of relations with many governments in the Three Galaxies, and an vast increase in out of Empire trading should be expected.
At the same time, the archaic and intricate system of their society is one that is not the most stable, though it appears that way, and the Ralsiian Nobility needs strong leadership to survive the upheavals that will come as they fully enter the galactic stage; Luckily they have it in the form of Saverana II.
The ingenuity and stubborn determination of the Ralsiian species likewise rivals that of humanity, as richly proven by their explosive outward expansion.
Though Ralsiians can be found in virtually any conceivable role in the Empire, and primarily as traders, big game hunters, explorers, and a variety of scientists in the rest of the Three Galaxies, their culture is just touched on here; The full writeup for the Ralsiian Star Empire details more of it, and even then, there is room for great diversity.
An interesting note is that there is no known Ralsiian Cosmo-Knight in history; Indeed, they had no historic references to the Cosmic Forge at all, the first being a concern to Cosmo-Knights, the second being a bit of a relief, though as the Ralsiians gain knowledge, they are quite fascinated by the concept.
Some Ralsiians wonder if it was their unique system or the conditions of their evolution this caused this apparent lack of connection with the mythical cosmic forge. Agitators from among conquered species have suggested it is because the Ralsiians are utterly unworthy of such a gift as an entire species.
Most, however, dismiss it as an irrelevent superstition; Though there are no Ralsiian Cosmo-Knights, there have been heroes enough in the Ralsiian Star Empire. (Of course, those heroes usually are not dedicated to the common principle of good but rather that of the further benefit of the Star Empire.)
It should be noted in favour of the Ralsiians that none of the species around them in the "Bulge", even those that have produced Cosmo-Knights in other areas, have done so there; Indicating it may be something related to the region of space.
No Cosmo-Knight has yet ventured into the "Bulge" in the "Realm of Destruction" where the heartland of the Ralsiian Star Empire exists to discover the reasons for this, but that is only a matter of time.
Some optimists also hope it is merely a matter of time until the harsh world of Ralsiia produces her own Cosmo-Knights, saying the people in this time truly need champions of justice as the Ralsiian Star Empire and the Ralsiian species in particular faces the continuing shock of absorbing it's self into the society of the Three Galaxies.
Alignment: Any, but Unprincipled, Anarchist, Scrupulous, and
Aberrant are the most common. Principled, Miscreant, and Diabolic Ralsiians
Appearance: Ralsiians vary in height rather widely, from 5'6" to 6'6", with females tending to be, on average, two inches higher than males. Ralsiians as a whole have a rather light brown, best described as tanned skin colour, though it comes naturally. Hair colour is wild and varying, and can be virtually any colour known, including exotic greens and purples and such. However, eyes are exclusively solid red, and glow brightly. The Ralsiians have rather long prehensile tails that are quite useful and used as an additional appendage normally; They're quite comfortable with them. The colour of the light fur on the tail matches hair colour; It should be noted that with the exception of the tail, Ralsiians don't have body hair below the neck, though they have hair in all similiar places to humans above the neck. The Ralsiians in general are also known for a rather unusual level of attractiveness.
Attributes: I.Q. 3D6+2, M.E. 4D6+6, M.A. 3D6, P.S. 3D6, P.P. 4D6+6, P.E. 3D6, P.B. 4D6+6, SPD. 3D6+6
Horror Factor: None.
Size: 5'6" to 6'6"
Weight: 125 to 250 lbs
M.D.C.: 3D6 + 1D4x5, plus an additional 1D6 per level of experience. Strength and Endurance are NOT Supernatural.
P.P.E.: Normal is 2D6; Varies with O.O.C.
I.S.P.: Varies with O.O.C./R.C.C.
Average Life Span: 550 years average; With the latest medical technology, the longest recorded life for a Ralsiian has been 638 years. Short of cybernetics, Ralsiian medical technology is equal to that of the rest of the Three Galaxies, so it is unlikely that figure is to increase for maximum possible lifespan, without major cybernetic augmentation.
Natural Abilities: Invunerable to radiation (But does NOT emit radiation), can see into the ultraviolet range of light. Prehensile Tail, with +1 to strike and parry with the tail, and the tail itself is +5 to dodge. Add +20% to climbing rolls when the tail is used.
Magic: Only if a magic O.O.C. is chosen; relatively rare.
Psionics: 18% of all Ralsiians have psionic abilities; Of those that do, 50% have minor psionic abilities and would have a normal O.O.C. in addition to them; Another 50% would be powerful psychics and can choose between essentially any psychic O.O.C. or R.C.C., except Psi-Stalkers.
Bonuses: See natural abilities for all appliable.
Damage: As normal S.D.C. damage, except a power punch, which does 1D4 M.D.
Attacks per melee round: Three base, varies with O.O.C.
Vulnerabilities/Penalties: None beyond standard for humans.
Enemies: Varies with individual; Racially, the Splugorth and TGE.
Languages: Ralsiian at 98%, with Elven, Wolven, and an equivlant to Latin all at 60%, as well. There is also a rough equivlant to Trade Four, which is normally at 60%, but at 40% when speaking to Trade Four and English/American speakers because of differences; Multi-linguality comes easily to the Ralsiians, and they have a +10% bonus to learning new languages.
Most other skills are determined by O.C.C., however, members of the nobility can have melee combat duelling skills at 80% automatically, regardless of current O.C.C.; Such skills were taught from birth and have become heavily ingrained in the noble sub-culture and psyche.
Essentially any that would be appliable to a member of the Ralsiian Star Empire and some that could be picked up by other Ralsiians under unusual circumstances.
Cosmo-Knight notes: Cosmo-Knights are unheard of among the Ralsiian species; If a Ralsiian Cosmo-Knight were to come into existance, than he/she would be the first among her species and an object of both fascination, and possibly distrust and fear by other Cosmo-Knights and the Ralsiian Star Empire's government....
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Writeup by Marina O'Leary (LusankyaN@aol.com ).
Reformated by Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).
Copyright © 2001, Marina O'Leary. All rights reserved.