Spectrum of the Link

From Beacon Space

The Tahora Whai’s neural link, the Vāk and Erinaa, is experienced in a multitude of ways. A stronger and more powerful link can increase one’s connection to their community, however it may reduce one’s ability to achieve tasks necessary for the continuance of it. The level of integration with the Erinaa, the song of the Tahora, varies from individual to individual and can be adjusted throughout their lifetime to suit their roles. Requirements and personal preferences are the key divers of how connected one is to the Whai as a whole.

There are three rough categorizations of integration with the song: low, medium, and high. Each level has its benefits and shortfalls and will often require tuning.

Levels[edit]

Low Integration[edit]

At low integration Whai can still communicate via the Vak but verbal communication is the default for most. One’s connection to the Tahora is not too strong, with limited deep insights. Basic knowledge sharing and connection with fellow Whai is possible but often relies on surface level thoughts and emotions. Whai with low levels of integration are often the faces of the Whai for foreign diplomats and merchants, they are able to better connect and communicate with non-Whai. Professions that require inflicting harm on others (be they Whai or outsider) often lead to lower levels of integration to prevent emotional overload.

Arne the Trader[edit]

Having to deal with other societies and their reliance on verbal communication leads Arne, who trades tahora products with the Assembled Commonwealth, relies on verbal communication with non-Whai. He limits his connection to fellow Whai and tweaks his link to assist his verbal communication. Alienating his customers with the arcane ways of the Whai is a concern for his trade.

Oliana the Raider[edit]

With her tribe's hunting ground proving low on tahora, Oliana took to raiding. To avoid the emotional backwash from inflicting violence on others, she tweaks the empathic settings of her neural link. Raiding is a necessity for the welfare of her tribe and the Whai, but she tunes her link so that the horrors she may inflict don’t overwhelm her. She dreams of being able to return to the more empathetic and communal nature of the Whai, but recognizes that cruelty of suffering she witnesses is unavoidable for a pirate.

Koa the Tattooist[edit]

Koa always had a paintbrush in hand as a child, he was gifted from a young age. He dreamt of using his skill to tattoo his fellow Whai. While anyone can travel from settlement to settlement and put ink to flesh, using the blood of tahora in the ritual requires a sacrifice. Koa diminished his link to enable him to intimately work with his custom ink and prevent it from clouding his emotions while tattooing his subject. The connection he has to the Whai is reduced but it is a price he is willing to pay to work in this revered medium.

Medium Integration[edit]

The baseline standard for the Tahora Whai is known as Medium Integration. The majority of the population is connected at this level. In addition to a pseudo telepathic and empathic connection with other Whai, they have an innate sub-conscious understanding of the Great Tahora around them. The society of the Whai has expanded and prospered, not just survived, thanks to this link.

Frigg the Whaler[edit]

Her innate connection with the tahora allows her to hunt the megafauna far more effectively than others despite her youth, In addition, her link allows her to identify and single out those Tahora that can be culled without disrupting the balance of the pods in her tribe's space.

Kaia the Civilian[edit]

Kaia lives on Tīnarā and works with one of the more popular clothing suppliers. The connection of the link and the empathic bond it creates allows the Whai society and her to function at a far more efficient level than the resources available to us would otherwise allow. Her fellow citizens have excess time and money to buy the fashionable clothing that her store offers.

High Integration[edit]

Also known as Deep Integration, High Integration with the Erinaa provides immense empathetic connections and a near tangible line to the gestalt of the Tahora Whai. Whai that are able to witness and thrive with this connection are regarded as Kaiārahi. There are tales of Whai who are able to peer into this abyss and provide great insight. This power however is not without its sacrifices: traditional forms of verbal and non-telepathic communication may be forgotten, potential loss of self, and complete emotional overload leading to brain death.

Kofi the Finder[edit]

On board a whaling ship, finders, like Kofi, use their deep connection to the Tahora allowing them to seek them out and track his prey from far distances. His deep connection is so great that he is incapable of actually harming a Tahora. Kofi is like many finders, an elder of a tribe who took on his role when his physical prowess declined; his knowledge and connection allows him to still serve his tribe.

Alva the Warden[edit]

Alva has always been a good judge of character. Crime and punishments are rare enough in the Rangi mostly because of how the culture of the Whai functions. However, where there are people there will always be those that break the rules or lie for gain. Alva uses her empathic connection to see past the veils of lies that they might even have told themselves to get to the truth and meet out a just outcome.

Ruslan the Mystic[edit]

Ruslan is a Seiðr, or Mystic, who investigates the link. Most Whai don’t care about the nature of the link; the link works, they are part of it, and that’s good enough for them. But for Ruslan, they desire to know more and delve into the depths of the complexity of the Tahora Whai’s neural network and the philosophical questions that follow. Academics like Ruslan vary in design, objective and method, but all explore the effects of high integration.

Emari[edit]

Also known as the Bleed or space magic, the Emari is rare but not unheard of among the Whai. Sorginak, users of this power, also tune the intensity of their link to suit their lives. For many Sorginak that regularly use their abilities, they reduce their integration with fellow Whai to prevent negative consequences and side-effects of the Emarii from affecting bystanders.

There are also Sorginak who use deeper connections to study the phenomena. A Sorgin who uses high-integration links take on greater risks for themselves and their peers.