The Tahora Whai (/tahoɾa faĭ/), which translates roughly to ‘Followers of the Whales’ in Dynaean Pidgin, are a connected people who survive the harsh reality of space by whaling of the sector’s void-borne megafauna (known as ‘Tahora’ by these Dynaeans) and raiding. While based predominantly around Dynae, in the Teuthem system, the Tahora Whai is composed of a cosmopolitan mix of people who came from across Beacon Space and beyond. Linking all Tahora Whai together is the Vāk, a neural network that enables near-instantaneous communication of thought and emotion via cybernetics. Capable of intense peer-to-peer dialogues of brainwaves, this technology is also able to interface connected individuals simultaneously with the community, manifesting several emergent behaviors and properties recognized as the faction Tahora Whai.
“I am a monster? What an antiquated concept!
How does it feel, the adrenaline coursing through your frail veins? The fear, crawling around your mind like a wounded animal? It must be horrifying, to feel well and truly alone as you die.No, you have it all wrong. We are a monster, and we hunger”
The Vāk and Erinaa
Central in Tahora Whai society sits the neural link—known by the Whai as the Erinaa that is built into the cybernetics of its people. The voice and song of the Erinaa is ever present in each person in the Tahora Whai and allows rapid communication of thoughts and ideas. Enabling this connection, AI systems onboard stations and ships as well as latent harmonies of near-by Tahora megafauna. The collective consciousness of the Erinaa is an emergent property of these interactions, and is not controlled by a single entity, but rather a reflection of the society's wants, thoughts and emotions.
Functionally, the link enables the Whai to work efficiently and in harmony, breaking down the barriers and constraints between the diverse population of aliens and cyborgs. Integration with the neural link varies from person to person. The strength of one’s connection to the link operates on a spectrum and roughly corresponds with social roles and milieu they operate in and their proximity to the amplifying Tahora. (See more below in Spectrum of the Link) When deeply connected to the Erinaa, or otherwise connected with the people around them, Tahora Whai will often sing together, as the system finds melody and rhythms to be a more effective medium than any form of spoken words.
The backbone of the Erinaa is the Vāk, a technological marvel developed 347 Sector years before present during The Great Migration. Creating a pseudo-telepathic connection, the Vāk imitates the poorly understood FTL signals of the Great Tahora. Personal Vāk interfaces with the network are usually incorporated into cybernetic implants and functional tattoos, but varies heavily from person to person depending on species, degree of integration, and personal preference. The appearance of Vāk cybornetics is hyper-customized to the individual and can be as discrete or bombastic as suits the carrier. Tahora blood (taken from the megafauna) is also incorporated into these devices and ceremonially consumed by utilizers of the Vāk, although academic observers dispute the actual function of the blood in the network.
Relay facilities to amplify and focus the natural signal of the Great Tahora within a system. Within a short range—astronomically that is: within 2-3 light seconds—Vāk communication and the Erinaa is clearer and more precise without the delays found in conventional technologies. Within a solar system, multiple facilities can extend the reach of the Erinaa, but in a limited form: stream-of-consciousness communication is impossible due to loss of detail and inevitable delays. The most impressive facilities are found at the heart of both Tinara and Starnaby, two great space stations of Dynae. There, the Tahora Whai tend to a pair of small Teuthemi Leviathans named Kahurangi and Anahera. These two whales are physically connected via a mess of cables and machines in the station’s bowels which synthesize the whales’ capabilities of song to amplify signals of local Tahora Whai. This complex rendering effective links throughout the Teuthem system. While most clear and detailed within orbit of Dynae, thanks to the Great Tahora, faster-than-light communication can connect individuals across the system.
Smaller facilities, found in a handful of other space stations and bases controlled by the Whai, organs of the megafauna are artificially supported and connected to hives of machines. These relay beacons help amplify and extend the range of Vāk communication to cover local space. Although theoretically possible, true instantaneous communication of extreme distances is relegated only to the megafauna themselves. Observations indicate that the Great Tahora are even able to connect with each other across interstellar distances.
The technology that can maintain this life within the detached whale organs and process the signals is large, heavy, and incredibly expensive to maintain, let alone implement. Guarded closely by the Whai, the relay facilities and tended Great Tahora are impractical to outfit aboard ships and non-permanent installations.
Between two people, personal cybernetics and support Vāk communication through touch. Holding hands, hongi, and other close gestures are commonplace among Whai. Joining together, the stream-of-consciousness of thought and emotion may be isolated from others. This connection does not require expensive and complex relay facilities or computer intelligence. Alone, out in the stars, two fellow Whai can unite and communicate effortlessly with merely a touch.
Beyond two individuals, however, the complexity of Vāk conversations increases exponentially and third-party interfaces are required. Most commonly seen aboard Tahora Whai starships, advanced computer intelligences empower small isolated communities to connect. Known as The Gam (also used as a verb), this ship-link helps unite the crew in collaborative action. Outside of the range of relay facilities or the Great Tahora, crew members must be hard-wired into the ship’s intelligence to properly engage with the Gam (wireless transmitters introduce too much noise and interference for all but the most power-hungry computer intelligence.) Crews connected to the Gam may sing or chant to melodies evocative of sea-shanties and other work songs. By creating a unified beat and consistent tune, the crew easies the processing load of the ship’s computer and translates the complexity of thought into a more seamless medium. On raids, these chants are often performed as war cries and challenges (similar to Maori haka) that are broadcasted to terrorize their targets.
Joining the consciousness of the Tahora Whai is a dangerous and mentally taxing process for the uninitiated. The complexity and intensity of conversation was observed to be too much for an individual to endure without extensive preparations.
When children of the Whai reach maturity and when new members are invited into the fold they are gradually introduced to the Whai. Taking these initiates out into the abyssal void of space away from the intense network of Dynae and Vāk relay facilities, mental exercises and limited connections help ease newcomers to the intensity of the link. On board the Whai ship outside the Tuethem system, final modifications to Vāk cybernetics and easing into the link is conducted in the safest means possible. Despite the extensive precautions, less than forty percent (40%) of candidates manage to successfully link without extensive mental strain. In rare occasions, potential Whai are rendered catatonic or even brain dead by the experience. Successful integration with the ship-link and the crew is marked with a commemorative tattoo by the ship’s artist and the Whai are taken back to Tuethem to experience the totality of the link. The day that Whai jumping back home, now connected to the link, is known as Link Day. A sense of indescribable understanding and compassion is remarked to flood the Whai in their first moments and is irreplaceable and forever bonds the Whai together.
Those that survive but are unsuccessfully link to the network are given opportunities to later connect to the link, but are often employed as free-merchants and mechanics. However, ‘front-line’ roles of raiders and whalers are restricted. Meditation and mental focus programs are made freely available to this community to refine their cognitive acuity and manage the stress and strain of connection. While not perceived yet, the Tahora Whai hold an immense compassion for the candidates who do not initially pass and endeavor to provide the resources and aid to incorporate more into the loving embrace of the Whai. <See Waiata Link Day>
One of the more peculiar aspects of the link is the social resource known as Mana unconsciously perceivable between linked Whai. Loosely translated as spirit, honor, and prowess, Mana is an ambiguous measure of the prestige inherent to an individual. Neither a metric nor value, it is the general feel of a person’s essence as aligning with the ideals of the Whai. The faces of ships, often given titles like “Captain” or “Admiral” are typically individuals with significant Mana. See More: Leadership
Degrees of Integration into the Spectrum of the Link-
Individuals have varying levels of integration of the Vāk into their day-to-day lives. Less intensive connections allow some to more fluently express themselves with outsiders. On the other hand, deeper links allow greater empathetic insight and sense of community.
For Examples: Spectrum of the Tahora Whai Link
Cybernetics of the Tahora Whai
Access to the Erinaa and the Vāk technology requires a specialized cybernetic implant. The nature of these cybernetics varies from species to species, and from user to user, but generally consists of some Tahora blood (or synthetic analog) and electrical components. Some alien species cybernetics are fully bio-mechanical while others are only wires and silicon.
Some Whai consume copious amounts of Tahora meat, blubber, and blood to hopefully enhance their links, mental fortitude, and physical prowess. This practice is generally agreed to be unnecessary as only occasional ingestion of Tahora products, much lower than the average Whai diet, is believed necessary to maintain healthy and effective neural connections.
Before the Vāk, the planet Dynae was one of the sector’s preeminent cybernetics hubs. Military, industrial, and civilian cybernetic augmentations and enhancements designed for ranges of sentient bodies were widely produced on the planet. What knowledge and facilities that survived the Great Cataclysm have continued production and development with the Tahora Whai.
Whaling and Piracy/Professions
While regarded as either fearsome raiders or prolific and protective whalers in much of Beacon Space, the Tahora Whai are more than a pair of professions. Even within the groups that tend to predominantly hunt whales or pirate space, few individuals are defined by any one field. Ships and their crews are usually equipped to engage in both industries with many modifications and tools serving dual purposes. Beyond these ships a diverse network of professions consisting of shipwrights, mechanics, salvagers, gunsmiths, armorers, butchers, merchants, traders, cybernetics manufacturers, tattooists, researchers, etc. support what is commonly seen as the ‘average’ Tahora Whai. The popular image of scruffy void-borne menaces of trade falls flat when observing Whai society as a whole, but this image is cultivated to maintain a fearsome reputation.
Tattoos of the Tahora Whai
Visible on all Whai bodies are the characteristic ink of tattoos. As all Whai are individuals, the reasons one might adorn themselves with tattoos vary:
- Symbols of Achievement and personal journey. While much of Whai society is centered around the technological marvel of the Vāk and the Erianaa, the Whai tattoos reflect an individual’s life.
- Aesthetic enjoyment
- Socially respected, if rightfully earned - they are often reflections of an internal spirit and character, and if not
- Tattoo artistry is a deeply respected art as the skill doesn’t come simply from a steady hand and fine craftsmanship, but are viewed as a seers who can pierce through the physical body, draw forth one’s internal nature and indelibly mark it on one’s skin.
- Without connecting via a neural link, taking the measure of another whai takes all but a glance at the other’s ink. “Without the link, they may speak silently via their ink.” -- an anthropologist of the Tahora Whai
- The physical representation of Whai tattoos is species dependent. While traditionally described with the language of ink-based skin art, the tattoos of the Tahora Whai may manifest as imbedded lights, pheromones, scars, and sonic signatures. These shapes, smells, and sounds are often copied onto one’s clothing or armor so that they can proudly project their identity and personal history.
Leadership and Organization
The democratized nature of neural cybernetics and the Vāk technology among the Tahora Whai facilitates a society without direct and delineated hierarchies. In two instances, this flat structure is directly challenged.
- On ships and in fleets, it is common for sailors to support a “Captain” or “Admiral” as the face of a vessel, however, this relationship is fluid and hinges upon the respect and prestige of the individual, known as Mana, as an effective crewman and not for a title.
- The title Kaiārahi, a term that generally means guide or teacher, is often used in more academic settings to describe a well-respected person who can share knowledge in a particular field or might have the influence to shape the general culture of the Erinaa. These individuals would also be considered to have a lot of Mana.
Ships and Technology
Centuries of struggle on the fringes of space with a dying planet have led many Whai to scavenging and salvaging of technology. This practice is most visible in the ships and fleets of the Tahora Whai. Repurposing and retrofitting old vessels for new uses is all too common, with many sector standard hulls looking nigh unrecognizable after a Whai mechanic has done their repairs and ‘improvements’. Not simply bodging disparate parts together, some technicians will incorporate biological components--typically bones and organs collected from Tahora--to augment and enhance a ship’s capabilities. Much like the tattoos of the Whai, no two crew’s ships are alike; the form and function of a Whai vessel will reflect the nature of its occupants. Nevertheless, many of the tools for pirate ships and whalers are similar enough to serve dual purposes in a pinch. The shared utility of harpoons, tethers, signature reduction (aka cloaking) devices, nets, and other munitions make discerning the intent of a Whai ship merely on sight a fraught encounter. Many of these vessels were built, retrofitted, assembled, or simply passed through the dock-yards of Ulfbert Magnus over Dynae.
While classically scavengers and raiders, Whai are also have a knack for creating their own gadgets. Famously the Vāk technology, which enables a pseudo-psychic communication link, is a Whai invention. As well, the near-ubiquitous cybernetics of the Whai that have a long history on Dynae and much of the planet’s expertise in the field survived The Final Dissonance. Modern Dynaean and Whai technologies and devices are typically bespoke pieces that are designed and innovated for specific individuals and situations.
Personalization of one's equipment is a universal practice among the Whai. Tells a story about how and by whom the objects were used. Scrimshaw carving, engraving, etching, painting, patterning, texturing, and all manner of craft are utilized to augment and individualize their stuff. A highly decorated, but used and maintained, tool or device is regarded as a prized possession.
Direct barter is the preferred medium of exchange between the Whai. However, in many situations, a transfer of goods both ways is cumbersome or infeasible. In such instances, the Whai turn to social credit in the form of Mana. It is a phenomenon of the collective’s neural link and serves as a loose measure of prestige or spirit of an individual. Honor and status are exchanged in the transaction in favor of hard currency or discrete recorded credits. Rather, purchases are done on faith where one’s trust among fellow Whai is risked. One’s standing within the Whai and their crew or tribe will reflect their potential purchasing power if they lack a coherent good PR service for barter.
Hoarding assets beyond what is necessary for survival is looked down upon by the Whai. No halls of gold or crystal palaces are found on their stations. Resources are dispersed evenly and pooled together during times of need. The medium of the Tahora Whai's neural link sustains this social equilibrium. Those that excel and are highly regarded among the Whai, like the Kaiārahi, but not at the expense of others. While good fortunes provide aid to all ships, downturns and disasters affect all. The new age of exploration and expansion has brought great prosperity to the Rangi, though some Whai remain cautious about unfettered and unsustainable investment.
Whai merchants who buy and sell wares with outside groups are the few who will accept foreign currencies. However, these traders prefer direct barter as a more reliable and concrete system that does not rely on the fortunes of foreign factions and their fiat currencies. Goods used solely as intermediate trade resources (gemstones, rare minerals, etc,) are similarly avoided or devalued. The few vendors in the Rangi who exchange currencies offer some of the least competitive rates in the sector, not to mention their exorbitant handling fees.
Food among the Whai tends to be simple fare that can be easily grown in void-space or is fashioned together from plundered rations and luxury goods.
- See more detail on the Whai Cuisine page
As a consequence of the Vāk link, written communication is uncommon for Whai. Few ever feel the dread of unread emails or walls of text found in end user license agreements. Written accounts and histories are additionally rare outside of engaging with outsiders. Whai tend to prefer an oral tradition of storytelling and song. Memory for details, pleasing wordplay, and simply a good tune are all cherished. Sometimes performed audibly, these works are most powerful understood through their mutual link. When passing Tahora Whai ships find each other in the deep abyss of the void, recounting tales and signing ballads in this manner creates an instant party for these crews.
This tradition may manifest itself as Poems, Sagas, Ballads, Shanties, Worksongs, and War Chants. Some Whai dedicate themselves to the memory and mastery of this medium to preserve it for future generations, they are sometimes called Bards or Skalds.
Examples of stories include:
- The Song of the Beacon - a foundational myth of Dynae that arose after the creation of the Tahora Whai
- Enlightenment of Tiki Kiwa - an origin myth of the Tahora Whai’s neural link
- A Billion Billion Stories - a poem attributed to the skald Rishi Brage, depicting the uniting of the planet Puluhan with the whalers of Dynae
- Waiata’s Link Day
The Tahora Whai are a metropolitan community that welcomes dedicated and intrepid folk from across the sector. When Whai speak, a diverse range of languages, accents, and modes of communication are present.
When the first humans found the gleaming planet of Dynae they found an inhabited world full of various alien species. In an attempt to establish a universal planetary language, the human crews constructed a concise and easily teachable tongue. To do so, a limited selection of phonemes and a concise grammatical structure allowed for easy adoption by some native Dynaeans. As foremost an oral language, some species were unable to replicate even the reduced sounds. Over several centuries of mixed use, Dynaean Pidgin has drifted and evolved. Mostly spoken by the human populations, a significant influence from Maori and other Polynesian languages have expanded the sounds of the language. Several sapient species such as the Strigo have also added to the phonology of and created several dialects.
Bleed users, known as Lenses, and the phenomena of the Bleed are fairly uncommon among the Tahora Whai. The secrets and arcane rituals of Lenses from Dynae were lost during the devastation of the planet. Use of the Dynaean word for Lenses fell out of practice and was effectively lost. Through the incorporation of new folk into the Whai, Lenses have joined the Whai. Vāk connections with Bleed users are often muted or muffled out of an overwhelming caution for all parties. As such, there is mild trepidation and overwhelming curiosity regarding the Bleed among non-users.
The improbable events that occur around regular users of the Bleed may be seen as bad luck onboard other starships in the sector. But to the adventurous Whai, Lenses are seen to amplify the inherent mystery of space. Ever the storytellers, Whai crews encourage Lenses on their expeditions because they often make already treacherous missions more eventful and exciting. Although it might heighten the danger, the chance that million to one odds ship maneuvers can work seem to be much more plausible. Strange occurrences, unpredictable oddities, and impossible timings seem to follow these ships. Ballads about these journeys naturally take on an increased cinematic or theatrical flavor.
People of Tahora Whai
Whai, meaning ‘Guides’ or ‘Followers’ depending on the exact context, are people connected to the Vāk and considered part of the culture of pirates and whalers as seen on Dynae.
Dynaean Species The rich history of Dynae incorporates centuries of discovery and migration of various peoples including Strigo, Grumm, Brigans, and Humans.
A cephalopod-like species of alien who claim the first discovery of Dynae when the Gates were first opened. Their name comes from the first humans who observed the dished facial-disks in the Strigo’s head as similar to that of owls and strigiformes. Strigo have exceptional hearing, lithe tentacles well-adapted for microgravity, and a tonal whistle-language.
Heavy-set scaly species of reptilian aliens who arrived on Dyane during The Age of Colonization. With deep gravelly voices, they are able to speak most languages and have immense respect for the mores of community and social roles.
Small crustacean-like aliens, Brigan communicate through a sign-language but often prefer to link via the Vāk. Brigan history is hard to pin down, some sources indicate that they came to Dyane with the Strigo hidden aboard their ships. They form close bonds with childhood friends and often perch on the shoulders of fellow Whai.
Perhaps the most populous group of Whai, Humans arrived in Dynae at much the same time as they did elsewhere in the sector, cerca 645 Sector Reckoning . Upon their arrival, the human colonies decided to adopt a constructed language (based on Maori and other Polynesian languages) with limited phonemes to teach to the local Dynaeans. The Humans of Dynae were not from any one location but carried many influences from Oceania into the culture of the planet.
A slender scaled species with vestigial wings. Brax populations on Dynae were decimated during the planet’s countless civil wars. The final death knell for the Brax almost came with the Great Calamity, but a meager population managed to settle in orbit just prior to the attack.
Although not a distinct species, the rugged survivors of Dynae’s great cataclysm are often regarded as a coherent entity. Amidst the wasted surface and badlands, several generations of people have eked out a living in the shifting sands and inhospitable atmosphere. Estimates of the population varies, but most scholars assume that only a fraction have adopted the link.
Non-Dynaeans and New Whai
Although suspicious of many outsiders as potentially surviving descendants of The Discordant, the Whai welcome all who seek to broaden their understanding and deepen their empathy with the link. People of many different stripes from across Beacon Space may find home and community among the Whai.
Altered Humans of the planet Puluhan in the Nusantara System. They are distinct from other humans and are characterized by thick, callused skin, an absence of body hair, and nictitating membranes protecting their eyes. Many Puluhanni joined the Tahora Whai after Whai fleets rescued the planet from the menace of the Antaboga, a void-snake that disrupted space travel in Nusantara.
Dynae, the home planet of the Tahora Whai was first colonized centuries before the creation of the Vāk and before the arrival of Humans to the sector. The planet was once a paradise world and the Teuthem system was home to the space fauna known as the Teuthemi Leviathans. Among the histories and mythologies of the Dynaean people and the Tahora Whai, the Teuthemi Leviathans and their song served as a beacon guiding people to the glorious planet of Dynae.
With the multitudes of people from far-flung planets and galaxies, competition for Dynae’s resources resulted in countless wars and conflicts on the planet. Political power ebbed and flowed between the warring states and they all left their marks on the world. From the arrivals of the first peoples and on through the tumultuous Glitch, conflict was a constant worry for Dynaeans. This era has been collectively titled the Age of Discordance, a time before the enlightenment of the Vāk.
Creation of the Vāk
During the periods of Dynaean Wars general respect for the local megafauna as dangerous but valuable resources in the Teuthem system. Whaling had been a common practice during this entire period, but it was not until The Great Migration brought a plethora of megafauna to Beacon Space that interest in the Tahora expanded. In year 1 of the Teuthemi Calendar (347 by Sector Reckoning) one noted researcher, Hakina Paraone, and their team discovered a means to replicate the song of the majestic Teuthemi Leviathans. The resulting technology was named the Vāk, or Voice, and allows for light-speed communication of thoughts and emotion between individuals. Transcending the restrictions of traditional conversation, a greater sense of empathy and community was quickly apparent with its users. In a matter of months, the researchers brought the technology to a community scale and it was widely adopted. However, the explosion in use of the Vāk also came with its detractors.
Dissidents, who were more often non-adopters, warned of a potential societal collapse and the possible dangers that connecting relatively untested and unproven cybernetics to one’s brain would fundamentally change, and perhaps, even erase one’s own personhood. In the year 6 of the Teuthemi Calendar, studies by the Vāk research team found that the cybernetics subtly resonated with the thought waves of local megafauna, but concluded that the effect was limited and could be completely mitigated with firmware updates. None-the-less, many alarmists overestimated this resonance, claiming that “science had gone too far” and that “a cult of whale worshipers had made thralls of the Dynaean people.” A cultural revolution was soon underway and the debate over the Vāk broiled in the public sphere.
Most, if not all, who utilized the Vāk quickly came to the conclusion that the wars over Dynaean and Tuethemi resources were petty squabbles motivated by simple and crude desires of power-hungry individuals. This framing positioned the detractors of the new technology as not simply Luddites, but as politicians clinging onto the power structures that facilitated their greed. In a matter of only a few years, what had been a discussion in the media over what this new technology could mean for social equality and transcendence of what it means to be part of a society turned into a full-scale war: The Final Dissonance.
The Final Dissonance
(c.10 - 27 Teuthemi) It likely began as physical harassment and assaults by gangs shortly after the widespread subsidization and adoption of Vāk cybernetics, developed into two opposing coalitions militarized to end the other. Those that would later be known as the Tahora Whai were the utilizers of the Vāk and proponents of the cultural and social revolution that the new technology facilitated. Opposing the Tahora Whai was a coalition of counter-revolutionary forces that included established political and government entities, religious organizations, and reactionary civil militias, all known collectively as The Discordant.
For a decade physical confrontations and propaganda battles were fought in the Teuthem system up until The Great Fleet Battle of Jōtun (which took place in the rings of Teuthem's smallest Ice Giant) in the year 27 decimated The Discordant. Most fled the system finding new homes amongst the stars, but a small handful hid themselves away on the planet plotting an ultimate last hurrah.
(28 Teuthemi c. 319 BD ) Exactly one Dynaean year after the Battle of Jōtun, counter-revolutionary agents in tunnels below Dynae’s greatest cities and in deep mines simultaneously detonated nuclear warheads deep beneath the surface. As shockwaves triggered chains of explosions in power stations and destroyed much of the planet’s infrastructure, millions of tons of dust and debris were unleashed into the atmosphere. Most notably, reactive salts that had been securely locked in the planet’s crust became aerosolized with the detonation. Resultant chemical reactions caused the desertification of much of the planet, poisoned the meager rains, and killed off keystone species. In a matter of moments, Dynae was forever changed. The dust filled air blocked out the light from the star, nuclear winter ravaged the planet, and climatic shifts destroyed Dynae's diverse lifeforms.
The people of Dynae, those that were unable to escape to orbit and beyond, faced the brunt of the devastation, wreaked by the Discordant’s final death-throes. Most turned underground into caves and mines, sealing themselves out from the toxic atmosphere, hoping that the rocks had not shifted overhead. It was in these hovels and homesteads that thousands of Dynaeans managed to weather the decades of storms and survive.
For many other planets, life in the post-apocalypse would have been a cut-throat world and scavenging tribes of rival gangs seeking to latch onto what little power was left to grasp at in the dust. However, two factors provided Dynae its salvation. First, the populace of the planet, using Vāk technology and the song lent heavily into its hard-as-nails roots and worked together propping each other up. Secondly, Dynae’s void-borne population of pirates and whalers could provide from their quarry amongst the stars the food and resources needed for bitter survival. These starship crews, formidable in their own right, were driven by a sense of solidarity and community with the Dynaeans trapped on the surface yearning to rebuild their world.
The reconstruction process would take several centuries to stabilize. One of the first projects undertaken by the Whai was the expansion of the orbital stations above Dynae and in the Teuthem system. Construction of long-term housing and increased amenities in the station Tinara, the de facto capital of Whai space. Multitudes of new Tahora in the sector resulted in a flourishing whaling industry and challenges to intersystem trade.
The Golden Age of Piracy
Known by others in Beacon space as The Beacon Wars, the Second Teuthemi Century provided many crews with ample targets for raiding and adventure. Several whai crews became quite notorious and were even commissioned as Privateers by warring factions. The efficacy of the letters of marque granted to Whai crews is often debated on the whole, but several notorious interventions and blockades by pirating fleets incontrovertibly swung the tide of battle. However, Whai fleets suffered much of the same lack of perceived reliability as mercenaries during this time. As each Whai and ship often operate wholly independently, few factions could organize enough simultaneous privateering contracts with Whai to prevent others from targeting them. The Machiavellian critique of mercenaries, although often overly broad and pessimistic, became the de facto argument against contracting Whai. Seen as opportunistic, undisciplined, and faithless only a handful of factions continued to involve pirates from sector-west in their conflicts.
In many of the hexes Sector-West of Beacon Space’s Center system, travel for non-whai is severely interrupted by the presence of Dynaean ships. These systems are collectively known as Kikorangi o te Tahora Whai, or simply The Rangi.
OOC Faction Truths
- Ritualistically tattoos themselves to show of their achievements
- Space whalers and pirates
- Have a neural network of Artificial intelligence and cyborgs, both human and alien
- Shalini Mageo - The Faction Representative at the Telas TerraGroup Initiative
- Rishi Brage - Skald of the Whai
- Häl Gillmin - “Beacon Times” news reporter for Sector West and the Rangi
Langgan Ruin Explorers
- Alhaji - A bleed-sensitive archeologist exploring the ruins of Langgan
- Beamish - Helmsman of the exploratory vessel over Langgan
- Zakk Neuberg - Gravitational Lens aiding in the ruin exploration
Fictional and Historical
- Hakina Paraone - Historical, Lead Researcher of Teuthemi Leviathans and co-founder of Tahora Whai communication technology
- Tiki Kiwa - Alledged first user of the Tahora Whai's Vāk and the eponymous hero of the myth Enlightenment of Tiki Kiwa
- Paku Tangaroa - A personified Great Tahora made famous by the myth Enlightenment of Tiki Kiwa
- Ezekiel Blacktallow
- Melrakki Whēkau - eccentric shipwright
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