Race Name: Callistan Culture: Secular Individualist Status: Fallen Empire Primary Religion: Matriarchal Mono-Theist Goddess: Callisto Homeworld: Callisto 1 Home Star: Horgan -Basics- The Callistan Dominion was once a strongly unified militaristic species that spanned and subjugated several star Systems. They have descended naturally from local canine life. While the dominion has existed a very long time and made several major technological advances, most of the population has turned inward and spends its time in very disjointed, individualist pursuits. A large section of the population exists within Dominion territory, however, several Callistans have left in pursuit of adventure/discovery/fortune/fame. Much of this pursuit is a direct result of their religious background (which will be covered more below. For most of the races depicted in Starbound, a direct armed conflict with the Callistan Dominion would be suicide. Fortunately, This isn't a very large threat due to the current state of military and political disinterest among the population. Callistans who have left the home system largely exist as mercenaries, pirates, drifters, salvagers, explorers, and the like. Its very rare to see a very large group of them coordinating anything. One notable exception of this is the larger salvaging or piracy organizations (which will be covered more below). -Biology- As mentioned above, Callistans are descended from canines. The exact breed closely resembled earth's wolves. They have retained some of the traits of their anscestors: large ears, some fur, large dark eyes, some fangs. Many other traits were lost in their transition to highly advanced bipedal lifeforms: Much of their fur, claw size, etc. Callistans are nocturnal, this has had a profound impact of their culture and views of the universe. They experience discomfort in bright lights and heat above 20 Celsius. As a result of their heritage, they are also largely carnivorous. The main exception to this is their love of certain fruit juices. Fermentation has become a large business among Callistans for this reason. While it is true that they are highly individualist, they have retained their pack mentality and can work quite efficiently in a like minded group (even with other races). However, usually dissension in these groups usually result in heightened aggression or hostility from the Callistans involved. While this is common and accepted among Callistans, it can be a source of tension with other races. -Religion- One of the key differences between Callistans and other races is that their "god" does exist and has played a large part in their history. The Callistans named her Callisto after the nearest moon to their planet. She found them while they were still simple animals roaming the planets surface. Callisto herself is a synthetic being who escaped from her creators and roamed the universe for millennia before finding the animals who would become her people. She has a vaguely feminine form and very long slim features. Her eyes are large and pitch black, but apart from them she is completely white. What many would assume is her hair is actually a long thin antenna which she has yet to divulge the true purpose for. Much of her history is unknown, as she rarely desires talking about it. The Callistan pantheon is largely centered around the night sky. Callisto is a huntress who hunts and kills Horgan (their sun) every night. Being so disturbed by bright lights, Horgan always seemed antagonistic to the Callistans while they were developing. The second moon is know as Ri'snyk and has come to represent the darker side of the hunt or honorless killing. Maintaining hunger is the chief tennant of the Callistan faith. Callisto herself often taught them on her visits the importance of staying sharp and maintaining your drive to survive and thrive. This is largely what keeps the Callistan culture from completely collapsing in the current day. Horgan represents everything that Callistans abhore. He is typically depicted as a large, indulgent creature constantly eating and feeding any desire he might have before it has a chance to surface. Callistan children are warned that if they don't stay sharp and stay hungry, they will become "like Horgan." This belief is what leads many Callistans to show disdain for the Protectorate. On their first visit to Earth, one Callistan commented on how unlikely it would be for anyone their to ever be hungry. The representative from the Protectorate mistook that for a compliment and went on to expand on how they had largely erradicated hunger, disease, and poverty from their population. This disgusted the Callistans, as they value "the hunt" above all else. If you have nothing you are struggling with or fighting against, you have little purpose in a Callistan's eyes. Callistans view any pursuit as a worthy hunt if it involves a struggle and great accomplishment. They see Callisto as a scorekeeper for their individual "hunts" and hope to be found worthy in her eyes. While they are currently aware that she is not divine, they still have a tremendous amount of respect and love for her (and the moon that she represents) -Callisto's first visit- Initially, she came to their planet to reside and contemplate her purpose. Her first encounter with the proto-Callistans was what inspired her to stay. After landing on the planet, she had began scanning the local life and found that a large mammal was positioning itself in a very threatening manner in front of her. It reared up on its hind legs and roared and her. While she was more than capable of dealing with the creature, a pack of proto-Callistans rushed up and attacked the monster before she responded herself. She was impressed by these creatures who had fearlessly rushed a much larger foe. As she watched, she enjoyed seeing them coordinate and strategize together without words. She realized in that moment that the universe was largely purposeless and extremely dangerous. She made a vow that she would spend the rest of her life fighting against that venomous void. After the attack subsided and the large beast was vanquished, she sat down to watch the canines feast on their kill and was (by her closest approximation) surprised when one of the older males in the pack offered her a piece. He almost seemed aware of her strength and when she accepted his gift he sat near her and rested with his pack. She named him Artico after his shock-white fur (A name which she has carried over to all her appointed defenders). She shortly left the planet and established a base on the moon which would, eventually, be named after her. -History- While it is true that Callisto has influenced Callistan culture over the millennia, she never "ascended" them or did anything to directly improve their technological or biological advancement. Therefore, they have grown through the "normal" stages that a civilization travels to ascendancy: 1) Pre-tribal: The Callistan's earliest recognizable deviation from other species was as wolf-like canines (see above). This is also the time of Callisto's first visit to their planet and her first encounter with the species (see above). 2) Tribal: Many packs of Callistans formed into tribes and began looking for answers in the night sky. This is where they began forming many of the cultural impressions that would later coalesce into their various religions. This is also the time of Callisto's second visit to their various tribes (will be covered below). During this time she imparted the first seeds of the tenants of what would become their religion. She made them aware of the perilous nature of life and the harsh conditions that they would have to face in order to survive. They were awed by her tales of evil galactic creatures that could destroy their entire existence if encountered. The first commandment of their new belief system formed: "stay hungry." The newly invigorated tribes fought, learned, and loved as fiercely as they could. Being aware of the dangers they would face made the more terrestrial threats they faced on the planet seem pale in comparison. 3)Civilization: While many species struggle with the desire to preserve their home world or to achieve homeostasis, this was never a long consideration for the Callistans. They knew that in order to survive what was coming, they would have to look past the boundaries of their home-system and make a place for themselves among the stars. While some cultures had embraced something similar to marxism or communism, this was largely disdained by the majority of the Callistan population. If you wanted to succeed you had to find your specific hunt. If you wanted a place in the culture, you had to be part of the struggle. This is also the time of Callisto's third visit (covered below). She also told them that she would be waiting to meet them on their moon when they were ready to reach her. In this time period, much of the natural threats of the planet were tamed and/or harnessed. It was not long before Callistans had mastered enough technology to enter: 4)The Space Age: After discovering orbit, the Callistan's first destination for their space Mission was the moon Callisto. It was quite a cultural milestone to see their beloved goddess and interact with her in the base she had prepared on the moon. She showed them much of her technology, but did not share it with them. They were welcome to ask and learn, but she would not simply provide anything for them. Since many of their spacecraft were Single-Stage-To-Orbit (ssto from this point on), they had capability of flight both with and without atmosphere. Callisto would often, from that point onward, offer to take a Callisto SSTO vessel inside her Faster-Than-Light (ftl from this point on) vessel on errands and allow them to explore various phenomena at her destinations. This led to tremendous leaps in discovery for the Callistan people. These will be covered in the Technology secion below. 5)The FTL age: Callistans engineered their FTL technology around harnessing tiny and contained black holes (read more here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_hole_starship). This allowed them to travel great distances by bending space and time around their vessels. While it was dangerous at first, they eventually found themselves with a great fleet of armed vessels capable of bringing down many local threats. This was a time of great expansion, and marked the birth of the Callistan Dominion. The Dominion spread, thrived, and ravenously fought their way to securing quite a large amount of space. While Callisto was proud of their accomplishment, she also warned them that spreading much farther without preparing more would draw the attention of even greater threats. She encouraged her people to put more focus into pursuing their own personal endeavors and grow as a species more through growing personally than as a society. This lead to many more great leaps in achievement and where we currently find the Callistan Dominion today. ------------------ New 2/26/2018----------------- 6)The Golden Age:At the height of the Callistan Dominion's reach, Callisto herself proposed her a grand project. She had been planning a new ship design for a long time, and felt that it was time that the Callistans had ascended to a place they could help her accomplish it. She had long been researching the power of structures known as dyson spheres (read more here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dyson_sphere) and wanted to utilize a star to power her new flagship. At this time in Callistan culture, the religion surrounding her had become more of a political party with her at the head. She was immensly popular to the majority of Callistans, since she had been around for so long and assisted them throughout history. The people flocked to her idea and many of the head Callistan scientists had developed technologies that could assist in various ways. I'll cover more about the construction and design of the ship later, but it was completed. The name of the ship is "Kodari" after the large bear-like creatures that inhabited the frozen wastes of the Callistan Homeworld. Making the ship utilized the raw materials from all over callistan space, and is currently the largest object that callistans are aware of. In the process, the design was altered to house 3 stars. Large portions of power are routed into mass-dampening converters, which keeps the ship's mass from causing too many issues. The Callistan homeworld was converted into materials to form the ship, and most of the native life was transferred to biomes on board. For all practical purposes, the ship now serves as the Callistan homeworld. The only thing that remains from the original system is the moon: Callisto. This is kept inside the Kodari and pieces of it are given to worlds that pledge loyalty to the dominion. The Kodari is Callisto's flagship and the central ship in the Callistan fleet. Many Callistan worlds decided to take to space and follow the Kodari in smaller ships containing their respective populations. Over time, the Callistan Dominion became one of the few truly mobile star empires in existence (though mobile is a loose use of the word, since it technically is bending space and time around itself when travelling. Since Callistans were used to low lighting and cooler temperatures, space travel was an easy life to transistion to. Many enjoy the ability to soar among the stars in search of new technologies and hunts.