|Focus||Genetic modification and engineering|
|Conjugation||Children of the Vein/Venule or Veinite/Veinite|
The Children of the Vein are one and yet many, a myriad of clans, fiefs, and tribes bound together in purpose and faith. Originally disparate peoples, drawn by the Beacon’s call, those who would become the Children of the Vein earned their place through strength, resilience, and bloodshed. On the planet Helocytus, the Veins (clans) discovered the tools of creation, gifts of science and understanding in cloning, genetic engineering, and all manner of biotechnologies. And at the source of these boons, the Veins claim to have found the divine, a god, or some path to it.
Through their holy devices, the scientists of the Veins zealously pursue progress, evolution, and growth towards the perfection of life, apotheosis. But there is no single path to this end. What god might be, what it wants from its people, and the genetic lineage of each Vein and soul are a spectrum of limitless diversity. All will seek, an endless competition. Many will fail, a lesson and celebration. But only the strongest shall survive.
The clans, fiefs, and tribes (referred to colloquially as "Veins") of the Children of the Vein owe their heritage to a myriad of species and cultures. Rather than melting together into a homogenized identity, many of the Veins have retained or built upon their individual origins, resulting in a complex and labyrinthine sociological footprint. These beliefs, complexities, and wild diversities result directly in heavy competition between the many Veins of the faction, with Veins new and old, great and small, rising and falling with the seasons as the eternal cycle of conflict leads to endless political intrigue, technological and scientific competition, disputes and acquisitions of territory and resources, and even flashpoints of violence ranging from duels and assassinations to arena fights and pitched battles. So while the Veins largely strive to maintain high standards of living for all, no Veinite lives a life unfamiliar with struggle and competition. That said, a handful of commonalities are agreed upon by most cultural researchers.
All Veins fundamentally believe in the same God and faith, though how each envisions God, how they worship, and what exact tenets they ascribe to can differ wildly. Shared tenets include a “survival of the fittest,” mentality, by which progress is exalted, but death and failure are also accepted and even celebrated. Failure is as much a divine gift as the Blood of God, as it is often only through failure that strength can be achieved. Many Veins also eschew the use of the Bleed or inorganic technologies, such as robotics and cybernetics, on the principle that biotechnologies and science are the natural tools of god in the universe. Veins seek to perfect themselves and the natural world, whereas the Bleed, robotics, and cybernetics are often viewed as a distortion or “cheating the system.” Most Veins harbor no hatred for those that do use the Bleed in Beacon Space, or for roboticists, a handful of Veins even experimenting with both of these things, but it is religiously and culturally looked down upon within the Children of the Vein.
Alongside their ever-present faith, Veins also uphold the sciences, particularly genetic science, biology, biotechnology, and associated fields. These two elements, science and faith, are not separated as they might be in some cultures, but are inextricably interwoven in most Veins. It is through science and the Blood of God that the Children of Vein can iterate upon their lineages, improving and evolving themselves and their kin towards God’s perfection. Ritualistic elements are common to scientific practices in the Veins, and a healthy competition between clans and fiefs is celebrated, a continuation of Helocytus’ divided history.
But even as the Veins pursue what appears to be a singular goal, their paths to it are explicitly diverse and varied. The Children of the Vein uphold diversity and the singularity of each sapient life, even going so far as to consider each Clone an individual separate from its origin. All life has a value, and as such deserves respect, sapient or not.
Though most Veinites are assigned a name or designation at birth to identify them early in life, many Veinites follow a tradition of renaming where the person in question chooses their own name once they come of age or start themselves on a defining life path.
There are a variety of naming conventions, but the most common and unique among the Vein is the selection of a particular phrase or series of words that an individual may feel best represents their personal identity or interests as they see it. The name can be as long or short as an individual desires, though many settle for a two-word phrase. Example names include "Chorus of Limbs", "Golden Particular", "Luminous Rose", "Olive Blanch", and "Sting of Clarity".
The Thucidian Calendar, named after the star of Thuces around which Helocytus orbits, is oriented around monthly "Cycles" (aligned with faction turns in the game - Turn 03 would be the Third Cycle) of an "Age", as opposed to named months out of a year. Though the Ages are named after the four seasons (the current time being the Age of Spring), each Age is entirely arbitrary in length, chiefly dictated by theological and administrative decisions that align with major shifts in policy, interstellar politics, and religious motivations. As an example, the current Age of Spring may last anywhere from 10 to 1,000 Cycles or more, until such a time comes when the leadership of the Vein elects to designate an end to the Age of Spring and start anew in the 1st Cycle of the Age of Summer.
On the Subject of Species
Among the Children of the Vein, one's species is not considered a fixed point of identity, with many citizens having modified their genetics so thoroughly as to become something entirely biologically unique in the sector. All forms of sapient life are welcome among the many varied peoples of the Children of the Vein as fellow children under GOD, though certain veins may trend toward one particular genetic lineage or another due to semi-homogeneous subcultures and shared beliefs and practices within a particular clan.
Refer to People of the Sector.
MBR (Pronounced "Amber")
Commerce has taken on a whole new meaning for Veinites with the introduction of the Monetary Bio-Recognition credits, also known as MBR. Pronounced "Amber," this system has revolutionized how people handle their finances. MBR is a heavily credit-oriented monetary system managed by financial institutions such as the Vein of Gracious Charity, which are one of many responsible for managing accounts. These financial institutions scan your MBR chip, which is genetically encoded to you, like any other card. The chip is made of a proprietary translucent amber that carries all of your financial information in its micro-encoded crystalline structure.
The MBR chip is so convenient that it could carry other financial reader-compatible functionalities, allowing you to use it on more traditional card scanners around the sector. Some even choose to have the chip implanted in their forearms for added convenience, while others keep it in their wallets like an actual card. MBR credits are the lifeblood of commerce on Helocytus, and its usage has become an integral part of society. With MBR, financial transactions are quick and seamless, making it the perfect solution for interstellar commerce.
"Step into the future of finance with MBR - the genetic code to your financial success."
"Choose MBR and explore the universe of financial opportunities."
The Beacon called to many. For some, it was the invitation of an alien civilization, or the distress signal of a dying race. For others, it was a promise of exploration, treasure, or the beckoning of something greater, a divine power reaching out to its children through the darkness. Many faiths ascribed religious significance to the Beacon when its summons were first discovered, but often these congregations sought only to confirm their own beliefs and scriptures. Some of those who now call themselves Children of the Vein were amongst these, but most who would come to Helocytus were drawn to the Beacon for their own, more secular purposes.
Centuries ago, the first of those who would become part of the Children of the Vein arrived in Beacon Space, settlers searching for whatever it was that had called them. By the time they arrived, the Beacon’s source seemed to have fallen silent. Its precise origin could not be determined, and many of the nearby worlds were unpopulated, abandoned, or inhospitable. Nonetheless, some managed to make landfall on a world of astounding beauty - Helocytus.
Helocytus’ air was breathable, its temperature amenable, and a great number of its flora and fauna miraculously edible. From orbit, a towering specimen of megaflora was spotted, the boughs of a great tree stretching thousands of feet through the atmosphere. Landing parties established outposts in the shade of its broad leaves, and researchers were quick to begin studying it, fascinated by the strange, red, blood-like sap that flowed through the tree's limbs, the bodies of smaller trees like it, and into the earth of Helocytus. But as work began, scouting parties started returning wounded or not at all, bringing reports of violently aggressive wildlife with them. Helocytus’ treasures were well guarded. And as many would eventually discover, they were also a rarity within Beacon Space.
The first years of colonization were wearying and deadly. Fighting back the thick, barbed vines and dense jungles of Helocytus expended tools and resources quickly, dulling blades and damaging heavier equipment. The planet’s greatest beasts, forged by nature to survive bleak deserts, jagged mountains, and twisted forests of hungry flora, soaked round after round of ammunition, some needing a dozen or more fighters to bring them down. And with tensions and desperation mounting, groups of settlers began to turn on each other, fighting to make Helocytus their own. The planet was dangerous, but it was livable. And ship after ship of settlers would arrive over the following years, hoping for new lives, but succumbing to violence and bloodshed.
Years passed, and Helocytus earned a reputation as a trap for newcomers to Beacon Space. Many risked death before they even set foot on its surface, flying beasts roaming the skies and anti-air weaponry bristling from what encampments managed to survive long enough to erect them. Walls of fire burned slowly through the deepest forests, set to drive away Helocytus’ beasts, and the flowers of rolling plains were ripped out to make room for agriculture and pastures. But even as much of the planet was at war, curious researchers and scientists sought to discover more about their new world.
The first to study Helocytus and its lifeforms had barely enough time to take samples before the fighting broke out. Whatever they may have discovered was lost, burned, or the work never completed. The bloodiest conflicts would take place in the shade of the great tree over the following years, and any attempts to restart experiments nearby often ended quickly and violently. But as time passed, fighting spread further across Helocytus, alliances solidified, and some hoped studying the nature of the planet could give them an edge towards victory.
Many Veins claim to have been the first to know the truth of Helocytus’ power, but the greatest discoveries predate the formation of the Children of the Vein. Chief amongst these findings was The Blood of God, or Panacea. Within the sap of Helocytus’ great tree was a skeleton key of genetic science, a macromolecule that could open the doorway to engineering, editing, and splicing that had before been thought impossible. To use it would change the fundament of one’s identity, but reveal a seemingly limitless number of new genetic advancements and evolutionary possibilities.
Word spread quickly of the discovery and the experiments that followed. Clans, fiefs, and tribes turned their fighting back towards the great tree of Helocytus, some in defense of the scientists’ work and others hoping to claim it for themselves. People began to cut through the bark and the roots of the great tree to draw out its sap, drinking it and bathing in it. But the Blood of God required careful splicing to have its effects truly realized.
The long war of Helocytus could have once again cut the research short, but the greatest of the clans managed to negotiate a truce, that no fighting should happen in the shade of Helocytus’ great tree. Whether the clans intended to betray each other or truly work together was never clear, but the ceasefire held nonetheless. Members of many clans offered themselves up as subjects for the testing of the Blood of God, and Helocytus itself seemed aware of this change.
The fervor of the planet’s beasts waned in the presence of those who had received the Blood of God. Some remained aggressive, as was their nature, but it was no longer as strong as before. They did not seek out those touched by the Blood of God, hunting them for miles through the twisted forests, as they would new arrivals to Helocytus who dared to enter the wildest lands. And the effects of Helocytus’ pollens were dampened as well, many who had struggled with each breath finding new strength. The first seeds of belief had been planted, that Helocytus was the product of something greater than any had yet understood.
Further discoveries would only reinforce the developing faiths of Helocytus’ peoples. The Blood of God opened the door to genetic enhancements and cloning that allowed the living to evolve, and the dead to live on. The planet’s great tree offered up more gifts in the form of its fruits, used with the tools of science to birth space worthy vessels, and the red amber of its sap. Tunnels were unearthed, winding into unknown depths of Helocytus’ interior, and the very earth itself seemed to resist those who explored them. Some claim the strongest found the deepest caverns, and returned with tales of unspeakable divinity. Others say none have ever returned from the lowest points, their lives given over to Helocytus.
The great tree was named Providence by the faithful, though it knows many names: Wakwak, Eglé, The White Tree, Yggdrasil, amongst others. Homes were shaped into it and around it, from its roots to its highest boughs, and Providence became Helocytus’ first city and capital, one of the few places where the clans would stay their weapons. The people of Helocytus united under faith and purpose, the Children of the Vein, but never truly forsook their competitive and war-storied past. Even as they found their faith, it splintered as the wood of a tree into a thousand shards, each clan interpreting and building upon the fundamental truths of their belief. So, too, would each clan take the gifts of Helocytus, and seek different paths of evolution, change, and replication. Yet from this seemingly anarchical division, the Children of the Vein have built great wonders in the name of God, pursuing divinity as one.
The God of All Life
GOD’s true nature is unknown to all, but what is known is that it or some piece of it is on Helocytus, deep within its core. What GOD is doing is unknown, or may even be unknowable to our feeble mortal minds. What we do know is that GOD’s sacred Blood that flows throughout the planet provides us with life, safety and knowledge. Using its sacred Blood, we have been able to thrive, incorporating its genetics to further our development, in the hope of one day becoming worthy enough to be one with it. It is for this reason we worship, study and tend to it, as without its mercy we would be dust.
Each Vein of our holy order attempts to integrate more of GOD’s sacred genetics into ourselves to become more worthy of its divinity. Each Vein studies the genetics of the sacred Blood and attempts to discover new ways of integrating it into themselves. The more genetically integrated a member is to the Blood of GOD, the more worthy they are. The more worthy a member, the more GOD accepts them and allows them to enter deeper into the planet and not be harmed by its fearsome immune system. When a member of the Children of the Vein dies, most are laid to rest on the planet so that they can be fed back to GOD, but the most worthy are allowed to ritually die off-world. This ritual death is one of the highest honors anyone can be tasked to do, as it is their Blood that will feed off-world nurseries of our God so that its benevolence may spread for all to prosper.
Because of this, many Veins have also taken the sacred duty of spreading our GOD’s sacred genes into other societies under the guise of medical tourism. This helps increase the understanding of the Blood of GOD and our genetic practices in foreign environments. The Veins that undertake this missionary work often return with samples of their discoveries and labors, and place non-Sapient examples into Zoos for presentation and examination.
Unbeknownst to all, GOD is actually a celestial predator that it embeds itself into the crust of worlds and slowly consumes the actual planet itself, creating a miscible biosphere as a byproduct of its activities. It operates on a timescale of many millennia, where the maturity stage is planetary predation. It seeks out planets of the right size and material and begins the process, consuming the core slowly and converting the materials into gases, minerals, and biomass.
GOD is most commonly simply referred to as “GOD,” or "the God of All Life", but it is not uncommon for Veins to have their own names for their deity based on their own languages, cultures, and theological interpretations.
Faith is interwoven into the culture, lives, and work of members of the Children of the Vein. While Gene-Priests and Carrionites are tasked with focusing their efforts on faith, even Symbiotes and Genetechs have minor religious functions as part of their duties. Some of these are more ritualistic, a visible and practiced respect for nature and life, while others are more functional. Symbiotes, as captains, may have their crew confide in them with doubts and religious questions, and Genetechs may elaborate on finer points of faith to foreign customers or newer members of the Children of the Vein. It is difficult to discern for outsiders if this practice is a cultural norm or a recommended religious practice, but depending on the Vein it may be either or both.
Denominations typically divide along Vein lines, members of a clan all focused towards a particular interpretation of God and their religion, but this is not a hard rule. Larger Veins especially may include several different interpretations of faith and God within them. While it is rare for any Vein to utterly despise another for differing beliefs, that difference in beliefs is an impetus, one amongst many, towards the greater conflicts and competition between clans.
Faith is also a deeply personal and individual journey. While members of a single Vein often share many beliefs, it is not uncommon for individuals within a Vein to have small personal variations of theological interpretation and religious practice. This is often noted as one reason for the individualism of clones in the Children of the Vein, as their religious beliefs and practices often draw heavily on learned experiences. Physical texts and scriptures exist, but these works are greatly varied and inconsistently approved by the Hemispheres, so faith is often passed on through example and oral tradition.
Culture and religion are also deeply intertwined for the Children of the Vein, so the cultural elements of “survival of the fittest,” and “failure to be learned from and celebrated,” are significant aspects of faith as well. Competition between Veins, whether in laboratories or on battlefields, is an opportunity to build strength or examine one’s weaknesses, though ulterior motives may always be at play.
The same can be said of faith and science. Genetic scientists are constantly studying and experimenting with new genetic strains and pursuing scientific advancements, not only for the betterment of their science, but also in pursuit of divinity and perfection. Clones, Drones, and Bioships are constantly being adjusted and the practices of their creation modified to better utilize the power of Helocytus and the Blood of God.
All this said, the faiths of Helocytus are as diverse as its Veins and their cultures. While fundamental elements remain true, what god is, how it functions, how it should be worshipped, and what rituals, if any, must be undertaken are products of individual and Vein theology. The goal is the same, a movement towards divinity, but the paths to it and the purpose of each life along that path are a myriad.
Each clan, fief, and tribe of the Children of the Vein, known commonly as Veins, have their own internal structuring and hierarchies. Some focus on strength, training to serve as soldiers and guards. Others seek knowledge, working to uncover new secrets and weave new genetic advancements. A number keep their eyes fixed on God, raising priests and debating philosophy. And others still pursue politics, diplomacy, engineering, and the maintenance of the Veins’ way of life. Few clans fixate on any single one of these, but all focus their attention and hone their skills differently to the glory of god.
On a grander scale, the Veins each appoint a member to the two great councils of their united leadership, Pathos and Logos, the Hemispheres. The leader of each Vein sits upon Hemisphere Pathos, the lower council. Pathos deals in much of the day-to-day business of the Children of the Vein, and often sees the most heated debates. Each Vein also appoints a special representative to Hemisphere Logos, the higher council, which considers and guides the grander goals and needs of the Veins united.
In moments of great need or dire threat, the Hemispheres may also appoint a single individual, the Ethos (Non-Player Character), through holy trial. The Ethos descends into the deep of Helocytus to commune with God. Only a few are capable of this, those who have woven the greatest portions of the Blood of God into their being. Upon their return, if they return, the Ethos is anointed with great power, to guide the Children of the Vein through any hardship. Once their task is completed, the Ethos must return to the earth, to the deep places, never to return.
In most things, though, the Veins run themselves. They are free to choose the duties and paths of their own lives, the modifications of their own bodies, and the interpretations of their faith’s fundamental principles. Many Veins are not heavily hierarchical, and titles often denote duty or job instead of social status. That said, each Vein will often have similar genetic identities, religious beliefs, cultural norms, or collective purposes. Larger Veins may include a number of divisions devoted to similar or different tasks or beliefs, but even the smallest Veins typically share some common element that binds them together.
Members of the Children of the Vein may commonly refer to themselves as "Siblings" or "Veinites".
The following lists include examples of existing titles within the Children of the Vein. These are not complete, definitive lists of all titles, but a sampling of a few existing titles within the faction. Unique titles often exist in different vein subcultures.
|Gene-Priest||A high-ranking religious official, often in the circle of leadership of a Vein.|
|Carrionite/Bishop||A mid-tier religious official, similar to a bishop, who performs important rites and administrative duties. May be temporarily elevated by Hemisphere Logos with a divine mandate to accomplish an assigned mission for the faction at large.|
|Litanist||Preachers and philosophers, who focus their time on studying, meditating, and espousing the faith.|
|Missionary-Surgeon||Religious scientists who spread the gift of god to other worlds, plying their craft in minor genetic modifications, cosmetic surgeries, and some doctoral care.|
|Thanarch||Religious overseers of land and nature, so named because they guide the ashes of death into new life, fertilizing the soil with the dead, clearing diseased flora, and administering burial rites and the religious aspects of cloning.|
|Calcifier||Strengthening the bones of the faith, Calcifiers are the investigators of heresies, falsities, and malpractice. They require education in both science and theology as a result.|
|Genetech||A specialist in genetic modification and genetic science.|
|Phenotech||A research role, focused on studying the effects and traits of new genetic modifications and evolutions.|
|Copywright||A specialist in the growth and care of Clones.|
|Fleshwright||A specialist in the construction of Drones.|
|Void Nurse||Caretakers of burgeoning bio-ships and bio-crafts as they are coming into existence, tasked with managing their growth and guiding their forms.|
|Editor||An assistant to a Genetech, often focusing more on the practice and application of genetic modification and genetic science than the more theoretical aspects.|
|Scribe/Writer||An assistant to a Copywright or Fleshwright, often focused on maintaining the genetic data for Clones and Drones.|
|Designer/Sculptor||A specialist in cosmetic work and minor genetic modifications, often working as assistants to Missionary-Surgeons, but sometimes practicing alone.|
|Gardener||Civil engineers for bio-buildings and bio-constructions, as well as caretakers of megaflora specimens and projects.|
|Boneweaver||Someone who specializes in the maintenance and engineering of underlying structures of biotech constructions, including Clones, Drones cloning cocoons, bio-buildings, and bio-ships.|
|Skincrafter||Someone who specializes in the visible, outer layer and visual presentation of biotech constructions, including Clones, Drones, bio-buildings, and bio-ships.|
|Bio-Artisan||Entry level title for those looking to work in fields of genetic science, cloning, or related specializations.|
|Symbiote-Captain||Captains and primary pilots of bio-ships and heavy bio-machinery. A high-ranking title, typically in charge of larger crews.|
|Bosun||Crew on bio-ships and in larger bio-machinery, tasked with manning weapons, sensors, and other related duties.|
|Sequencer||Genetic observation, analysis, and archival specialist. Mother-Sequencer Dandy Daffodil is the preeminent master sequencer of the Vein of the Iridescent Claw.|
|Scholar-Superior||Chief scholar, researcher, or professor of any scholarly field.|
|Seed-Abbot||Chief data manager and financier of an organization.|
|Administrator-Cardinal||Colonial governor and head administrator.|
|Military and Defense|
|Marshal of Flesh||A military officer similar in ranking to a Lieutenant Colonel however, due to an evolving battle field, are expected to lead their battalion and complete objectives on hostile planets with no support structure.|
|Leukotype||The general title for ground troops and boarding regiments of the Children of the Vein.|
|Caretaker||Similar to a national guard, the Caretakers are tasked with remaining at home or guarding holdings of the Children of the Vein from attack. They sometimes also operate as a form of law enforcement and peacekeeping.|
|Bond-Mate/Companion||Pilots of bio-fighters and bioshells (bio-mechs), bonded with their bio-machine.|
|Symbiote-Captain||Captains and primary pilots of bio-ships and heavy bio-machinery. A high-ranking title, typically in charge of larger crews.|
|Symbiote-Admiral||Admiral and commanding officer of a fleet of bio-ships. The highest ranking title a naval officer may acquire.|
Unlike many of the inhabitants of Beacon Space, the Children of the Vein focus almost exclusively on biotechnologies. Everything from cloning cocoons to buildings and even starships and weapons are grown and constructed through bioengineering methods. Major examples of common Vein biotechnologies are listed below.
- The Blood of God: A powerful macromolecule, the Blood of GOD was not created by the Children of the Vein, but is heavily cultivated and utilized by them. Contrary to popular belief, the sap of the great tree Providence and other trees like it contains a number of other chemical properties and applications in addition to the Blood of God, which is one of many elements present in the sap. Incorporating the Blood of God into someone’s genetics does not make them believe in the God of the Children of the Vein or drastically morph their appearance by default, but it can be applied to alter someone’s genetics or allow for more recombinant possibilities. Some scientists term DNA altered by the Blood of God MNA, or Meta-Nucleic Acid, as it is more malleable, and the incorporation of new genetic material, even from other species, is more easily achieved. Those who wish to incorporate the Blood of God into their genetics are often encouraged to come to Helocytus, as the process requires time and large, expensive biomachinery to complete.
- Bioships: Birthed from the fruits of the great tree of Providence on Helocytus, Bioships are sculpted and grown by Void Nurses, shaped towards specific designs from their malleable beginnings. Protected by chitinous hulls and living vacuum-sealed hide, Bioships maintain a synthesized organic FTL reactor which requires a specific variation of FTL fuel suitable for digestion. Despite how they appear, many Bioships are as fast as any inorganic starship, with a high degree of maneuverability, while their interiors are often designed to be pleasant and suitable for the intended occupants, with the interior compartments of commercial passenger vessels often being akin to the designs of other inorganic yachts and cruise ships. Bioships are bonded with a pilot early on, called a Symbiote-Captain, who connects with the ship in order to guide it through the void. Bioship crews, particularly those of military and fast transit vessels, will often acquire biological modifications that greatly improve resilience to acceleration G forces, as well as other modifications that assist in interfacing directly with the Bioship. Bioships are self-aware and intelligent creatures, unlike drones, that are conditioned and designed to desire a life of service as a vessel - as such, the brain of a Bioship may function with a limited degree of autonomy, and services a similar role as shipboard AI for inorganic vessels, though far less humanized as many AI are and more prone to developing personality quirks and preferences.
- Bioshells: The mechs of the Children of the Vein, Bioshells are also bonded with their pilot, called a Bond Mate or Companion. This connection is somewhat sacred and deeply personal. When a Bioshell perishes, its Companion often undergoes trauma, requiring therapeutic care. If a Companion perishes, but their bonded Bioshell somehow survives, the Bioshell often becomes aggressive and dangerous to creatures and entities around them, even allied soldiers, as they enter what is commonly known as a "Berserker state".
- Clones: Clones are produced in cloning cocoons, most of which are only found on Helocytus. These cocoons use large quantities of the Blood of God to function, and produce clones of a predetermined age. Some Veins have leaned more heavily into cloning than others, seeking perfection through replication, whereas others barely utilize the technology in favor of variation. Clones are considered fully independent living individuals separate from their parent person, much like any child, and are each afforded the same rights as a person as any Veinite.
- Drones/Simulacra/Homonculi: Non-sapient extensions of their master, drones are effectively biotechnological robots that come in a wide variety of forms for labor, service, utility, combat, and more. They perform very specific tasks, as set from initial design, and operate only at the behest of their master - drones are not capable of emotion or free will, unlike Bioships and Bioshells, and they dedicate their mental functions to accomplishing assigned tasks and routines. It is deeply sacrilegious and illegal for anyone to command another person’s drones without their explicit consent, as the use and command of another person's drones is considered the equivalent of using another person's limbs without their permission.
- Bioconstruction: The vast majority of Vein construction is accomplished through bioengineering. Some buildings are entirely living, open spaces supported by bone-like pillars or tree-like frames, but few structures maintain any degree of intelligence.
- Electrogenic Nerve Wiring: Electrical wiring for various constructs made up of electrogenic organs and nerve strands.
- Dynamic Chromatophore Displays: Skins and membranes designed to display programmed colors and images like computer and TV screens.
- Biolums: Bioluminescent lights with modular coloring and brightness.
- Bioreactors: Energy generation technology that digests and processes various fuels, with comparable energy outputs to various conventional tech reactors at large and small scales.
- Plasmic Gas Thrusters: High power maneuver thrusters that create an electrogenic-chemical reaction to produce plasmic gas ignition and thrust.
- Signal Organs: Various sensory micro-antennae, photo-receptors, and other organs that send and receive different forms of common signals over long distances remotely, like radio.
- Logic Minds: Specially designed, trained, and conditioned brains used for computation, system control, and data management.
Some examples of common and unique Vein equipment below. Most of the listed tech can be scaled for personnel, vehicular, or naval use.
|Carapace/Bone Armor||Strong deflective plating and reinforcing material.|
|Combat Skin||Flexible, shock-absorbing light armor made of grown hide. Variants can be vacuum-sealed, climate controlled, self-repairing, or cloaking.|
|Energy Scales||Ablative armor with reactive and refractive functionality. Scales refract energy and burn away to reduce incoming energy weapons fire, and burst against explosive force in order to reduce the concussive effect on the protected entity.|
|Leviathan Hide||Armored, vacuum-sealed skin for Bioshells, Bioships, heavy drones, or other vehicles.|
|Aegis Bubble||A complex and highly advanced form of defensive technology that produces a film of energy-neutralizing gas, creating a shimmering, oil-like bubble sheen around a central gas-producing lung. Extreme thermals and kinetics are absorbed and neutralized on the surface of the bubble. The bubble will pop once it absorbs too much energy. Rare.|
|Melee Weapons||Anything you can possibly imagine, made up of advanced bioengineered materials, from bone swords and shock whips to venomous fangs and ship-grappling tentacles, and more.|
|Acid Throwers/Explosives||Fast-acting anti-armor acid throwers, using an armored bladder to carry and fire the acid. Also comes with a variety of explosive variants, including acid grenades, acid bombs, kill drones, etc.|
|Spike Guns||Standard ballistic munitions weapon firing high-caliber spikes from a simple bone rifle, pistol, SMG, sniper, etc. May have armor-piercing spike rounds and cannon variants.|
|Needle Guns||Low-caliber anti-personnel weapons designed to fragment and shatter into tiny shards upon impact. Has poor armor penetration and is most commonly used with bone pistols, shotguns, and SMGs, but causes massive internal damage to unarmored personnel. May include variant venom rounds for poison effects or neutralizer rounds that deal less internal damage while temporarily stunning a target.|
|Frag Seeds||Explosive seed pods that burst upon impact. May be used as traditional grenades and explosives or fired from bone rifles and shotguns. May have armor-piercing rounds, incendiary rounds, burst grappler round for disabling targets, and cannon variants.|
|Spore Bombs||Explosive fungal pods that release toxic clouds of spores which cause damage to tissue and light synthetic materials and obscures vision by its cloud-like nature. They may be set to burst on various triggers, including timed triggers and proximity triggers, used as mines, grenades, and other explosives. Includes multiple variants, such as nonlethal knockout spores, paralytic spores, hallucinogenic spores, and combat support stimulant spores.|
|Drone Guns||"Smart guns" that fire insectoid-like drone munitions that try to home in on their target.|
|Chemical Lasers||Powered by miniaturized bioreactors and energy bladders, chemical lasers use advanced chemical reactions to produce an energy beam that is focused and fired through an eye housed within a bone rifle or other such weapon. May be upscaled with chemical laser cannons.|
|Electrogenic Shock Weapons||Weaponized electricity through the use of electrogenic organs and nerve wiring. Often utilized to disable personnel and machines.|
|Electrogenic Gauss Cannons||A magnetic accelerator cannon powered by electrogenic organ coils and nerve wiring.|
|Plasmic Gas Explosives||Various plasma explosives which may come in the form of grenades, bombs, etc. Once triggered, the bladder ignites into a superheated bloom of plasma.|
|Strategic Bioweapons||Chemical and microbial weapons of many kinds, used for large scale destruction and lethality. Rare.|
|Mutagenic Bombs||Hyper-mutagenic compounds contained within explosive devices. Upon contact with the mutagenic payload, organic targets will rapidly corrode into a dark toxic sludge that will reform shortly after into a berserk, formless abomination that can devour metal and bone alike and will target anything near it. The unstable organic mass of the creature will break down after a time. It is resistant to ballistics and explosives but vulnerable to various types of energy and acids. Rare.|
|Anti-Nanites||Weaponized microbials designed to destroy nanites and electronics. Rare.|
|Screamer Cannons||Inspired by and derived from the Screamer Wyrms of Helocytus, these weapons project powerful waves of energy that can completely atomize whatever is struck. Rare.|
|General Service Drones||Unspecialized and unimaginative drone forms of average size with a humanoid shape, designed for providing general labor services.|
|Specialist Service Drones||Specialists drones come in many forms and sizes, specifically designed for accomplishing certain tasks. They may have many limbs, wings, fins, enhanced vocal projectors, worm-like bodies, a multitude of eyes, or even exist as complex art installations or furniture. Remember: drones do not feel and have no capacity for independent thought beyond task completion and routines.|
|Body Doubles||Body double drones are designed in the likeness of their master. Both the master and the drone must have communication organs implanted or grown in their brain stem. Body doubles can be manually controlled by their masters. Rare.|
|Warrior Drones||Combat and security drones that come in many shapes and sizes, much like specialist service drones, servicing different combat and security functions such as starfighters, attack animals, and ground troops. Unlike Bioshells and Bioships, warrior drones lack instinct and intuition, and are generally considered inferior to regular soldiers due to a lack of high level problem-solving skills and tactics. They are often used as a supplemental force to a professional military or security unit. Warrior drones are designed for long-term use.|
|Kill Drones||Kill drones are living weapons, ranging from rolling bomb beetles to living smart missiles to swarms of short-lived human-sized insectoid monsters like the Locust Reaper Swarms and more. Unlike warrior drones, kill drones are generally short-lived and single-use, living to serve a single command and die.|
|Spy Drones||Designed for recon, observation, and statecraft, spy drones are generally small and capable of flight, often made to look like mundane creatures such as flies.|
|Medicine Drones||Small drone consumables that can be used to help recover from minor diseases, neutralize toxins and poisons, distribute medicine, and make minor repairs to recent organ and tissue damage. Medicine drones are one-time use and will dissolve into the user's body.|
|Neural Worms||An invasive, parasitic drone that attaches itself to the brain of a target after infiltrating the host body. The neural worm drone may then exert a limited range of motive control over its host at the command of the drone's master. Neural worms rapidly deteriorate after infiltrating a host, lasting anywhere between hours to standard day before dissolving harmlessly into the biology of the host organism. Rare.|
The Children of the Vein control the planetary government of each of the following worlds within the sector.
|Children of the Vein Territories|
|0909||Center||Telas||Core world, sector-wide transit hub, TTGI base.|
|0904||Gøra||Maize||Frontier world, tourist destination, military and harvest operations.|
List of Known Veins
The following is a list of known Veins. This list is not exhaustive or all-inclusive - there are many other Veins within the faction, but these are some known examples.
|Name of the Vein||Description|
|Vein of the Crimson Maw||The Vein of the Crimson Maw is a clan specialized in naval warfare, priding itself on the quality of its bio-ships. The Strike Fleet "Rites of Spring" represents a large proportion of this vein's population and resources.|
|Vein of Curious Intent||A fringe clan with minimal presence and little political influence on Helocytus, their people are known travelers involving themselves in many different endeavors across the sector, but their purpose is largely clouded and mysterious.|
|Vein of Dark Labors||A clan of lawyers, diplomats, information brokers, and assassins.|
|Vein of Fathomless Bounty||Former clan of industrial-scale fishers, recently disassembled by other Veins.|
|Vein of Glorious Delights||A highly influential clan with a heavy focus on expanding and spreading Vein culture across the sector through media, business ventures, and missionary work. The Vein of Glorious delights is known for its many celebrity personalities, and is partially responsible for the establishment of Mos Fit: Designer Genes and Parts on the planet of Mos, as well as the LifeSpace social media network and the Victorious Records label.|
|Vein of the Heavenly Path||A clan of pilgrims and explorers lost long ago to the uncharted void in the 1,301st Cycle of the Age of Winter.|
|Vein of Holy Contribution||A minor clan known for their soldiers and administrators.|
|Vein of the Hydra||Zealous and militant, the Vein of the Hydra is one of the greatest clans in the Children of the Vein, known for their heavily apparent bio-modifications, extensive drone production, and advanced bioshell designs. They are warrior-philosophers and monster-makers, with their primary base of power being the Garden of Beasts on Helocytus.|
|Vein of the Iridescent Claw||A minor clan known for cataloging and collecting genetic data, exotic creatures, and cultural artifacts of artistic value. This vein has a frigid relationship with many of the other clans within the Children of the Vein due to accusations of their unproductive nature.|
|Vein of Many Eyes||A clan of professors, scholars, researchers, surveyors, and archivists.|
|Vein of the Mother's Palm||A clan focused on cultural outreach and missionary efforts, often providing charity, aid, medical expertise, and conservation resources. Responsible for the Kardakouk Advancement Foundation.|
|Vein of Paradise||The Vein of Paradise is a major clan which provides banking and financial resources, genetic vault storage services, and financial assistance for Vein medical procedures through the New Eden Gene Bank, with major operations offices on Helocytus, Telas, and Magalca, with local branches found all across Beacon Space. They have recently launched a biomidification clinic on Ikaros, known as Ikaros Speed, specialized in athletic enhancements. They are known for their wealth and influence.|
|Vein of Silent Spores||A secretive clan rumored to specialize in mind-alternating substances.|
|Vein of Subtle Service||A clan specializing in intelligence-gathering, information brokering, and transit services.|
|Vein of the Vermilion Willow||A growing clan largely based out of Telas, descended from earlier generations of pilgrims. They specialize in farming and biome development and have provided a great deal of support and assistance to the TTGI project. The Vermilion Willow Vein has risen in status in recent cycles as they have been appointed with the responsibility of governing Telas on behalf of the Children of the Vein.|
|Vein of the Thorned Crown||A greatly despised clan that uses bleed magic to force a creature's genetics into an unnatural purpose. They have been working underground with criminal organizations that seek their dark services. Most Veins will attempt to kill this clan on sight, but they are very elusive as of yet.|
|Vein of Blue Blood||A secretive clan whose goal is to reverse the genetic mutations of bleed magic on creatures to get to their "true genes". As such they actively practice bleed magic which has harmed their reputation.|
|Vein of Consecrated Incense||This clan is focused on working with the Mos government in rehabilitating their biosphere. They have introduced new subspecies of exciting fauna and flora adapted to the Mos environment and have recently seen moderate success.|
|Vein of the Shaded Grove||A highly dedicated and faith-first military clan with ancient Helocytus bloodlines. Led by Gene-Priest Obsidian Whisper, this unwavering shock force comprises infantry and bioshell divisions specializing in guerrilla tactics and advanced biomodifications, enabling them to flourish in the harshest environments found throughout the sector.
"To walk in darkness is to embrace the unknown, and in that void lies the potential for great power." - Gene-Prist Obsidian Whisper
Children of the Vein NPCs
|Dandy Daffodil||Mother-Sequencer||Vein of the Iridescent Claw||She/Her. The Hemisphere Pathos representative of a lesser vein known as the Vein of the Iridescent Claw. A collector and patron of the arts, including the catalog and collection of exotic lifeforms. Unpopular within the Children of the Vein at large due to her vein's "unproductive" nature, but a traveled and material woman that enjoys some degree of influence among the elite of other cultures beyond the Vein. She is flamboyant in personality and style, and surrounds herself with people and drones that please her artistic hungers... But among those closest to her she is known to be shrewd, calculating, and subtle in her machinations, a result of a lifetime of survival within the ruthless atmosphere of Vein culture and politics.|
|Dawn||Brother||Vein of the Mother's Palm||He/Him. A leading figure in the Vein of the Mother's Palm, Brother Dawn is a medical philanthropist and scientist focused on assisting improving the quality of life for all through biological enhancements and medicine.|
|Elsley Arbor||Bishop||Vein of Holy Contribution||She/They. Former Telas operations leader for the Children of the Vein and Pathos representative of the Vein of Holy Contribution, Bishop Elsley Arbor had appeared before the Telas TerraGroup Initiative in the Third Cycle of the Age of Spring to pledge a wealth of Vein resources, strength of arms, and medical expertise to the Telas project after they had been granted divine operations mandate by Hemisphere Logos. Bishop Arbor had been responsible for the command and coordination of Vein organizational efforts to seize, restructure, and support Telas, with Bioshell Infantry Divisions "Gospel" and "Hymn", as well as Strike Fleet "Rites of Spring", being assigned to their temporary command for the duration of the operation. Under Arbor's command, Vein forces engaged with the Silent Night Cargo Specialists of the Tahora Whai and the security agents of Amelhart Institute Black Site XT-09 on Telas, as well as Aguamala Syndicate hunter fleets La Lanza and La Casa de Fieras over Mos following an Aguamalan attack on Arkbeast "Deliverance". Despite leading the Telas operation to ultimate success, Bishop Arbor's operational command was plagued by strategic and tactical blunders, which are speculated to have resulted in Arbor being recalled to Helocytus for commendation and having their command stripped at the conclusion of the operation. Bishop Arbor has not been seen again after a reported private audience with Vein leadership in the Forbidden Citadel. |
|Gentle Rain||Observer||Vein of Curious Intent||He/Him. A non-voting observer on the board of the Dew Fog corporation, a Starlit Court-founded enterprise. Gentle Rain has connections to chemical production operations within the Vein of Curious Intent.|
|Golden Particular||Seed-Abbot||Vein of Paradise||She/Her. Matriarch Logos representative of the Vein of Paradise. Seed-Abbot Golden Particular is the head of the New Eden Gene Bank, which provides banking and financial resources, genetic vault storage services, and financial assistance for Vein medical procedures. The New Eden Gene Bank maintains major operations offices on Helocytus, Telas, and Magalca, with local branches found all across Beacon Space.|
|Howling Star||Celebrated||Vein of Glorious Delights||She/Her. Athlete, celebrity, influencer, media mogul, tycoon: there's nothing Howling Star can't do, or so she thinks. Howling Star rose to fame as a gladiator and social media darling, advocating biomodification and organic-positivity. As a lover of Mosi culture looking to branch out of her media empire and plant new roots, Howling Star found eager investors among the Larkspur Combine, and now her dream has borne fruit with Mos Fit: Designer Genes and Parts, a new business venture offering organic biomodification services and advanced biocosmetics on Mos, ranging from genetic enhancements to cosmetic alterations and everything in between.|
|Luminous Rose||Scholar-Superior||Vein of Many Eyes||They/Them. Scholar-Superior Luminous Rose is a member of the Vein of Many Eyes and a professor of the College of Signs. Their field focuses on astronomy and associated sciences, as well as the interpretation of GOD's signs and wonders in the cosmic order. They believe in a hybrid school of chaos and determinism in the divination of signs.|
|Magnolia Pale||Oracle-Superior||Vein of Many Eyes||They/Them. Oracle-Superior Magnolia Pale is a member of the Vein of Many Eyes and the survey leader of the expeditionary operations of the Strike Fleet "Rites of Spring". They are an expert in multiple fields of research, with a focus on biome analysis and cultural studies.|
|Meticulous Claws||Bio-Artisan||Vein of Paradise||She/Her. An ant-like An'kar person working on Kardakouk as a junior under a cyberneticist specializing in limb replacement.|
|Ochre Haze||Defender||Vein of Dark Labors||They/Them. An accomplished Mycelian lawyer from the Vein of Dark Labors operating primarily out of Telas and the TTGI Station. Rumored to have been the cause of many medical afflictions among their legal opponents, though never definitively proven to be at fault in the court of law. Currently most notably defending BBTV Anchor L. Calbrecht, though actively engaged in other ongoing legal battles.|
|Olive Blanch||Administrator-Cardinal||Vermilion Willow Vein||She/Her. Leader and Logos representative of the Vermilion Willow Vein, a proud Telas native, and recently appointed Administrator-Cardinal of the Telas governing office by the will of Hemisphere Logos. Quoted upon their appointment: “Proud citizens of Telas, the Age of Spring is here, and together we shall achieve greatness. It feels like a dream to have this goal so close. As a child growing up on this once-barren world, I envisioned a planet rich with life, and a joyful and thriving society enjoying the bountiful fruits of paradise. That vision is now within sight. I promise you, with all my will and faith, that I will work hand in hand with you, my fellow citizens, and the great minds and laborers of the Telas Terragroup Initiative, to see this great work completed. By our labors, we have provided a life of opportunity and plenty for our children, and in turn, they shall repay our dedication with the shaping of a brighter future.”|
|Red Scale||Symbiote-Admiral||Vein of the Crimson Maw||He/Him. Overall commanding naval officer of the many bio-ships of the Strike Fleet "Rites of Spring" and leader and Pathos representative the Vein of the Crimson Maw, a vein specialized in naval warfare. He's a seasoned veteran of many battles, but chafes at the command restrictions imposed upon him by Hemisphere Logos. The vessels of the "Rites of Spring" are all commanded and crewed by the Vein of the Crimson Maw.|
|Obsidian Whisper||Gene-Priest||Vein of the Shaded Grove||Born into the Vein of the Shaded Grove, a deeply rooted clan on Helocytus devoted to their dark god. As she matured, she developed a fascination with military strategy and biomodifications, employing unorthodox techniques that led to her rise as a Genetech.
Fueled by her unwavering embrace of dark faith and taboo biomodifications, her successful implementation of discoveries led to numerous successes in defending off-world exploration efforts, elevating her profile among the leadership of the clan. With her prophetic oracular ability and zealousness, she commands the respect of the most hardened members of the Vein, earning her the prestige of Gene-Priest.
Under her expert guidance, the highly specialized and fanatical Bioshell Infantry Division "Tribute" is renowned for its lethal precision and unwavering loyalty to Gene-Priest Obsidian Whisper. Employing advanced biomodifications and guerrilla tactics, Tribute is feared throughout the sector for being a disruptive and unpredictable force on far-flung battlefields.
"The greatest strength lies not in the light, but in the shadows that it casts. Embrace the Bloom, for it holds the key to unlocking the power of flesh and the potential for greatness within us all."
- Gene-Prist Obsidian Whisper
Children of the Vein Player Characters
|Rimor||Agent||Vein of Subtle Service||Rimor is a tanned bark like skinned grass like green haired ocean blue reptilian eyed humanoid clone native of Helocytus. He was cloned to have compact muscles, light composite-like bones, expanded lung capacity, and increased blood flow making him durable and fast. Rimor is a part of the Vein of Subtle Service as an agent within their large network of specially designed agents, brokers, and transporters. Rimor was typically assigned jobs where there was little to no civilization where his survival skills were necessary to completing the goal, but as of recently was sent to investigate the Free Agent program. He was also given freedom on how to pursue the investigations and choose to join the program to gain first hand accounts on the program.|
- A cult in service of a dark god
- A people focused as cloners and genetic engineers
- Society broken up into clans and petty fiefdoms
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