(Having trouble with the pronouns? Check out this post, and be sure to tune in to the latest episode of the podcast while you’re reading it!)
Sean again. Now that we’ve shown you how Covenant’s playable species will get their “racial bonuses”, let’s introduce you to them! The first up are the calerre.
Appearance: The calerre look reptilian, but they’re not. They have smooth yellowish skin, stubby tails, wide, powerful wings and heads with long, tapering muzzles. Their eyes are superficially similar to human eyes, but have no pupils.
Reproduction: Calerre are viviparous and sexually dimorphic. Men and women have some differences, but they’re mostly cultural (especially in the Old Empire) and insignificant from the perspective of game mechanics.
Biology: Calerre are warm-blooded, give birth to live young, and suckle their children with specialized saliva glands. In fact, the only effective difference between them and Earth mammals are a lack of hair or fur and a lack of mammary glands.
They do not have bones in their wings. Instead, they use hydraulic pressure to support and shape them during flight. This allows them to fold their wings under cloaks or coats during cold weather.
They are thinner than humans and lighter and have more efficient muscles, giving them them greater-than-human agility.
They experience pain and pleasure differently than humans. Their experience of pain is more clinical – more like a damage report than debilitating sensory input. Pleasure, on the other hand, is heightened. Therefore, they have a reputation for being both very sensual and very, very tough.
They have a distributed autonomic system and redundant organs. Their neurological system is also distributed throughout their bodies, giving them both conscious awareness of their bodily functions and, with practice, conscious control of their biochemistry.
Psychology: Their memories are encoded on the quantum level on the water in their body fluids, giving them perfect recall. This isn’t as desirable as it sounds, though, and much of their psychology is dedicated to dealing with unpleasant memories that they can never forget.
There is anecdotal evidence that calerre maintain some form of direct but subconscious communication with both their past and future selves. This has not been proved, however, and the mechanism behind it is unknown.
Lifespan: Calerre stop aging between 25 and 35. Their maximum lifespan is unknown, and possibly unlimited. However, they can die from almost everything else that humans can, including hunger, thirst, injury, and suffocation.
History: The calerre founded the Covenant approximately 120,000 years ago. It was one of the first democracies in the Orion Arm.
The more conservative and reactionary calerre left Cadelle as soon as they developed starflight. They are the ancestors of the Old Empire, which was founded approximately 10,000 years ago.
The Covenant and the Old Empire have a complicated relationship: often hostile, yet always yearning for re-unification.
Abilities: The calerre have three main species abilities.
- Flight: The calerre use their wings for flight. They aren’t as maneuverable as the lighter chiroptim, but they are more powerful fliers.
- Biochemistry: Calerre have access to their own list of body modifications, which include increases to their senses and resistances. They can even change their genders. Calerre can add, change, and remove these mods between chapters and, by choosing the right abilities, even during them.
- Tanking: Calerre are probably the second best tanks in the game after a valka Battle Matriarch. They can either dodge-tank with their phenomenal agility or absorb damage that would take other species out of the game.
Handles*: These are single words that I use to try to get a handle on the calerre, hence their name.
- Civilization: The calerre represent civilization spreading across the galaxy, both in its positive aspects (the Covenant) and negative aspects (the Old Empire).
- Hope: If you can make it to the Covenant, you’re a citizen, and the calerre will fight to rescue and protect you.
- Inclusive: The calerre in the Covenant bring in refugees from across the galaxy and from every species.
- Idealism: The calerre in the Covenant deal with their long memories by not doing bad stuff that they’ll regret later.
- Evergreeen: The calerre in the Covenant have an ever-changing culture and love new ideas and experiences. It’s a good way to avoid stagnation when you’re immortal.
- Conservative: The calerre of the Old Empire deal with their long memories by freezing society in place. Change can force you to do things that you’ll regret later.
- Honorable: The calerre in the Old Empire have a strong sense of honor. If someone loses hir honor, then you have an excuse to do whatever is necessary to deal with hir, which may help you deal with the memory of it later.
This post is getting pretty long , so I’m going to split it into two parts. Tune in for Part 2 tomorrow.
* Wait, didn’t I say yesterday that it’s bad to reduce a species to one word? Yeah, I did, but this is a starting point, not an end. Also, some these handles may seem contradictory. That’s a feature, in my opinion, not a bug. People and societies are contradictory. Anyway, contradiction produces tension, and stories need tension.
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