Meet the Desulti
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The Desulti bear some resemblance to the kangaroos of the former human planet of Earth. Over the course of evolution, they have become more bipedal than their ancestors once were. One of their distinguishing features are their naturally strong legs. They are also covered in moderate amount of fur, which grows thicker or sheds thinner depending on the local climate. The colour of their fur varies from orange-red to grey.
Reproduction may occur when females of the race enter estrus. Females have pouches to hold their joeys, who spend the first few months of their lives in the comfort and protection there. Unlike their marsupial counterparts on Earth, females also have mammalian breasts for feeding their joeys in later stages of infancy when they begin to spend time outside of their mother's pouch.
In their earliest days, the Desulti formed nomadic tribes that lived in close harmony with nature in small settlements. Their society was somewhat basic, though with some early technological development in fields such as metal working, agriculture, literature and mathematics. The majority of their history and culture was passed down verbally, along with the occasional cave painting.
As the ages passed, and their population grew, Desulti settlements increased in both size and number. But they began to reach out to one another, and the flow of ideas, technology and resources began between groups. A notable factor was resource distribution; those living on the coast or in temperate areas would find it easier to grow food or raise livestock than those further inland. This lead to them trading food for minerals dug up from beneath the desert. Technology continued to advance, as existing discoveries opened new fields of innovation. Social norms and political operations also began to change, as the traditional tribal community structure began to be replaced with ones better supporting of the larger population and the groups within it. Nations began to emerge as alliances formed between the otherwise independent settlements. Wars were very occasionally fought over differing ideals, or even over control of technology. Several of these can be traced back to isolationism among some groups.
Eventually, the Desulti achieved a rough level of technological development roughly equivalent to 20th century Earth. The quality of life began to improve for many with improvements in medicine, education and transportation. Combustion and electricity generation entered wide-scale use, while the use of media to transmit voice and imagery emerged shortly after. It was at this point in time that some individuals began to theorize the use of flying machines, to traverse the air and beyond. Around a decade later, the first flying machine was successfully launched, and caused quite a stir amongst the Desulti. Just as a new means of transportation was opened, a new field of aerospace science became popular.
As time passed, the Desulti gradually united under a single banner; mostly through diplomacy, though this did lead to significant political and military tension in some areas. This was mainly due to differing political views, with opposition coming from settlements (and even some small nations) of isolationists opposed to the formation of a unified government to rule the entire race. Some of these were eventually integrated through diplomacy or as part of a now infamous series of conflicts, while others were able to maintain their independence on the condition that they agreed to a treaty. A couple of factions refused, and exiled themselves to remote areas.
Technological innovations continued to evolve, and among countless other things provided new sources of energy. As these were coupled with existing discoveries in aerospace transport, the Desulti realized that they may finally be able to power a vessel capable of space travel. This lead to a long series of experiments in unmanned rocketry, which saw varying success before a sound method of launching spacecraft was discovered. Work began on the Desulti's first spaceship, and the various components and systems necessary to support its mission and crew.
Following several failed attempts, a spaceworthy ship was finally constructed. A small team of the brightest and best of the Desulti volunteered, and underwent rigorous training for space flight. In a spectacular ceremony, the ship was launched. Its initial mission was to travel to and survey several nearby planets. As improvements were made to the ship's engine, life support and communications, later missions had the ship reach surrounding star systems and identify colonize-able worlds.
At around this point, the Desulti began to make contact with new races in the galaxy. For most, this was a cause for celebration and hope for the new opportunities in trade, co-operation and cultural exchange. Others, particularly the remaining isolationists, took a more xenophobic view. Despite their objections, official diplomacy soon commenced with the new races to differing extents.
After claiming several new planets as their own, the Desulti have begun to explore further into the stars than ever. While isolationism and xenophobia remain an issue, for most it is a time for the race to expand its fledgling presence among the stars.
HomeworldTisetora consists of several large continents, separated by oceans containing coral reefs and scattered islands and archipelagos. The environment around the coast consists of temperate grassland dotted with forests, hills, mountains and occasional rainforest. The local wildlife tends to thrive here, though grazing tends to take place in more remote areas. Further inland lies bushland with a drier climate, but still containing plentiful vegetation and animals. In the very center of the continents lie vast deserts with sparse yet well-adapted flora and fauna.
Surrounding Tisetora are several solar systems, each with a couple of planets suitable for colonization. The environments of these worlds are less habitable than Tisetora, being mostly barren and desolate (but with one or two volcanic or icy planets). The Roos have been gradually establishing colonies in these systems over recent years.
Society / CultureThe majority of the population inhabits urban and suburban areas near the coastline. These areas are highly developed, and tend to be the home to the race’s most advanced faculties and innovations. In the bush and desert, the Roos tend to inhabit towns of differing size, as well as cattle stations and mining outposts. The lack of rainfall makes full-scale inhabitation infeasible, but, this area is still famous for its role in mining, tourism and its inseparable role in history and culture.
In the colonies, the Desulti tend to live in self-contained enclaves designed to be as habitable (and, where possible, comfortable) as possible considering the planet’s environment. Small-scale terraforming is sometimes used to improve the planet’s conditions to an extent, though the resource costs to make it into a veritable paradise has deterred larger scale programs.
Overall, Desulti culture is relatively laid back, with a strong focus on recreation and mateship. This can be traced back to periods of social change in the race's past; as communities moved away from the traditional tribal structure, an individual would find themselves in a larger population than ever. As such, they tend to form their own "tribe" of friends in order to have somewhere to fit in. This can lead some races to view them as lazy, where in actual fact they simply value being able to unwind and share time with their friends.
They are not strictly monogamous, but may choose to only maintain a single relationship at a time. Doing so is considered to be a sign of dedication towards their partner. A Desulti will spend time befriending and generally getting to know potential partners before they decide to settle down together. While heterosexual partners are generally considered the norm, homosexual ones are also socially accepted by most (but not all) provided that certain etiquette is displayed (namely not imposing one's sexuality on another who doesn't share it). Partners are generally referred to as mates, though this term is often used as affectionate slang for a friend.
Traditional activities include outdoor barbeques and various types of sports, but Desulti also have a wide range of personal hobbies that vary with individual interests. Some tend to be quite competitive, which comes to the fore when other races are involved.
GovernmentIn many ways, Desulti government resembles a democracy. They are governed by a parliament of elected politicians, headed by a single leader. The lowest ranking politicians tend to represent a specific area or colony, while the highest ranking ones head up a department representing an important area of society - health, education, defence, economy, etc. - and are responsible for proposing major decisions in these areas. Such decisions are voted upon by the politicians, and in some cases the public becomes involved as well (normally during an election).
Individual Desulti take a varying interest in politics. Most don’t really follow it unless major decisions are being made, or if the current politicians are deemed incompetent.
MilitaryWhile they have never been a warlike race, the Desulti still maintain a standing military force priding itself on professionalism, initiative and dedication. It currently consists of two main branches; the Army and Aerospace Force. The Army is responsible for ground-based forces such as infantry and armor divisions, as well as units fulfilling a more supportive role. The Aerospace Force, on the other hand, came about as space travel began to enter widespread use. It was formed after the traditional Air Force was merged with a newer force for fighting in space, with the idea that a combined force with the correct hardware could operate both in and out of a planet's atmosphere. As a result, the Aerospace Force utilizes aerospace craft for combat and transportation for both atmospheric and space-based purposes. They also have their own soldiers, posted to stations and ships and trained to fight in these environments. Overall, the Aerospace Force will maintain and man ships and stations in a planet's orbit and general proximity, as well as in bases on the surface, while the Army posts garrisons in similar bases.
The primary objective of both branches is defending Tisetora, its colonies and the connecting space lanes from hostile action. Such action is mostly in the form of pirate raiders and other rogue organizations. It also enforces border and immigration control, and conducts exploration, anti-smuggling, rescue and disaster recovery operations when necessary.
Examples of an Army soldier and Aerospace Force officer in dress uniform.
Law and OrderHistorically, tribes and settlements each had their own set of laws and enforced it themselves. When nations began to form, members would agree upon a shared set of laws, and often support an internal organization to enforce them. As the Desulti began to unify, the need for a centralized police force became apparent to replace the multitude of separate forces on Tisteora. However, the formation of such a force raised several issues in terms of resources and management. Instead, it was found that each should be allowed to remain in operation in their original area to enforce the new set of rules shared by all. However, they would follow a universal set of guidelines, equipment and resources (including information and joint operations), as well as report to the politician governing law enforcement.
Outside of Tistetora, colonies tend to maintain their own government-backed police force. Others rely on locally-stationed soldiers to serve the same purpose, or even an impromptu militia in times of need. The basic laws prohibit theft, assault and murder, but others cover more complex fields such as privacy, personal freedoms, illicit substances, corruption and so forth.Having come far from their tribal roots, the Desulti technological level rivals that of other races. They have access to similar technologies in terms of spaceships, weapons, medicine, mining, robotics, media and other major fields.
Relations with Other RacesIn general, the Desulti are quite friendly when it comes to dealing with other races. That is, provided that other races are willing to make the effort and act the same towards them. The level of diplomatic contact varies, with some races electing to maintain an embassy in the capital or even an envoy ship in orbit.
Humans – The Desulti have had little contact with humans; mostly explorers and traders seeking opportunity in distant lands. A couple of those who have met them pointed out that the Desulti bear resemblance to an animal on earth, called a “kangaroo”. While the humans found this amusing, the reactions of the Desulti have been mixed. Some wonder if they’re an evolutionary predecessor or a paranormal sign, while more think it’s a coincidence.
Avians – After discovering an automated probe launched by the Avians, the Desulti established long-range contact with them. It would be many years before an envoy would be sent to Tisetora, establishing a permanent line of communication between the two races’ governments. Several missionaries have tried preaching their belief in Kluex to the Desulti, but with very little success.
Apex – Diplomacy between the Desulti government and the MiniKnog is very limited, since the two rarely see eye-to-eye (especially on issues of personal freedom and scientific ethics). On the fringes, Desulti space is known to be a destination for Apex fleeing the regime. Often intercepted by the Aerospace Force, they undergo a screening process before being accepted and registered as refugees (or, in rare cases, rejected and turned back). It is not unheard of for rebels to seek out refuge in Desulti space, and may well be accepted as “political refugees”.
Florans – As a result of some Florans’ aggressive nature towards non-plant races, there have been several incidents between them and the Desulti (the most infamous of which involved a young joey reportedly being eaten). As a result, the Desulti have set a stringent series of policies and processes to regulate the presence of Florans in their society. Only those found to be benign enough not to pose a risk are allowed entry. Should they be found unsuitable, they are forced to leave Desulti space.
Hylotl – Given their nature and philosophy, the Hylotl are usually welcomed with open arms into Desulti society. Larger cities and colonies sometimes have a dedicated Hylotl district, complete with traditional architecture and festivals. Hylotl cuisine altered for Desulti digestive systems are a popular delicacy, while temples are known to teach Hylotl ideals of beauty, peace and empathy.
Glitch – Relations with the Glitch has mostly consisted of expedition forces sent by both sides. Contact has also been made with some Glitch “kings”, but full-scale diplomacy with the race has yet to be undertaken. Even so, the occasional self-aware outcast may be seen in Desulti space as they flee persecution from their own or seek a new life. While most pass through on their way to parts unknown, a few have been known to stay.
Novakid – Despite their short memory and attention spans significantly limiting official diplomacy (not to mention their rarity in Desulti space), the Novakid are still known to be good company to the Desulti. They tend to be very excited to meet new races, and the Desulti have been no exception. Both races are more than willing to learn more about the other (even though the Novakid will inevitably forget), and perhaps share a few drinks as well.
Peglaci - Given Tisetora's climate, the majority of its population (except those to the distant North and South) have little experience with snowy cold. Despite this lack of understanding of what the Peglaci experience in their native environment, the Desulti believe their peacekeeping ideology is a noble endeavor. The Aerospace Force has worked with them on various joint operations and projects with them in the past.
Leeven - It is not uncommon for Leeven to seen in Desulti society, especially those who become business owners while on their rite of passage (in which they hunt for "prey" in the form of profit). The Desulti's friendliness and laid-back nature, along with their territory's safety and stability, have been to thank for this. While there have been various minor disagreements, such as when Leeven believe the Desulti to be lazy or Desulti believe the Leeven are untrustworthy, the two races manage to maintain good relations overall.
However, there is a minority of the Desulti that are very xenophobic of outsiders, and oppose the centralized government now in power over most of the race. While this minority rarely commits any act more severe than rioting or assault, the authorities are always monitoring them to prevent a major terrorist attack. But this minority has grown bolder in recent years, and many suspect that they are planning something.Desulti armor harnesses their naturally strong legs, taking their acrobatic abilities to new lengths...literally, as it increases how far they can jump. The appearance, complexity and effectiveness also varies between sets. Basic civilian models are designed for use by bushwhackers and resemble rugged yet comfortable clothing, including trousers, jeans, coats, jackets, vests and hats. More advanced models are used by the military, taking on the form of traditional armor and helmets with a camouflage pattern.
Tier 1 (Bushwhacker) and 2 (Frontiersman) armor.
A short story based on the Desulti has been written, focusing on the crew of a Desulti freighter stranded in space.
The Desulti Chronicles: Stranded
A very special thanks to LinkTheGamer for his creative input, and also to TheGoldenPlague, OmniGeoff, Newominus, Amfumi,UnsoundM and MrKalcifer for their excellent art.
Jonesy - Original Idea/Lore
Flying Anonymoose - Coder
Newominus - Original Spritesheet
RyuujinZERO - Original code
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