Dionae Clusters

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Dionae Clusters

Clusters are groups of Dionae who share similar ideas, emotions, or goals and have interacted socially at some point may be part of a Cluster. These clusters are grown from group identity, if a diona heavily agrees with one or multiple clusters they will say they are from those clusters. This means clusters are very loose most of the times, with some exceptions. Clusters do not have to be physically linked to exist.

Some clusters are inside or a part of other civilizations, and will require knowledge of those societies. Find one that interests you, you don't have to know them all, and you don't even have to be from any of them!

Dependent Clusters

The Emperor's Royal Garden - Dominia

Special standard of the Imperial Dionae.

The Emperor himself perceives the Diona as the perfect subservient life form, and has a personal biodome connected to his palace that houses the Royal Garden, where all his most loved children stay. When a nymph is grown in his garden, it is grown in the best-imported soil and given imported comet-based water. These diona nymphs are the perfect gift for The direct vassals, pets, children, and jesters to the high nobility of Dominia, these gestalts are perceived as displays of immense wealth for nobility. However, the cost for keeping a diona satisfied in the chilly system of Dominia is somehow so much higher than everywhere else - especially since they are one of the Emperor's most loved beings. Dionae are generally a rare sight within the Empire Of Dominia, with a majority coming from The Royal Garden or being more of a “showpiece” as part of a noble house. Some Dionae will become employed as diplomats, as they generally have the utmost loyalty to the empire.

Citizen Dionae are not permitted to merge or split any of their nymphs with a gestalt who is not also a citizen. When a Dionae becomes a citizen they are given a necklace called a “Branched Blossom” made up of smaller interlocking necklaces called a “Branch”, each engraved with the first word in a nymph’s name. If a nymph leaves or merges with a gestalt they are expected to bring their Branch piece engraved with their name to be connected with the gestalt’s Branched Blossom. While it is not required to be worn at all times, it is required to be brought with the gestalt if they wish to get a visa approved, or to a court hearing.

Emperor Boleslaw’s Royal Garden

The Royal Garden of Dominia has been known to grow various types of flora - including Dionae. The Dionae grown within the Royal Garden are assigned various duties to assist the Emperor, some even finding themselves on his menu. Majority of the Dionae that are grown within the Garden will follow the Moroz Holy Tribunal. For the Dionae, the Royal Gardens are a paradise, with perfect soil quality and climate. An Imperial Dionae would rarely grow stunted and, like their gene boosted sires, they tend to be the most well maintained Dionae in known space. Imperial Dionae are usually tended to by their Imperial Dionae kin when nymphs, before forming into gestalts to be assigned a further use. The Royal Gardens, when not in use, have Imperial songs and Tribunal hymns piped through the intercoms to stimulate the growing Dionae.

Culture of Imperial Dionae

Imperial Dionae are raised immersed in high society Imperial propaganda. They tend to be well-spoken and hold a fanatical support of both the Imperial regime and the Moroz Holy Tribunal. Almost all Imperial Dionae assume a humanoid form for their artemin reverence to the Goddess in the Imperial religion, trying as hard as possible to appear as a human covered in red/yellow flowers. Results vary from an almost abstract form to humanoid in shape with eyes and "mouth" in approximately the right locations. Many Imperial Dionae find what appeals the most are those that are somewhere in the middle.

Unlike other clusters, the Royal Garden does not contain larger gestalt forms and as such, does not have it’s own “song”. Imperial Dionae instead find themselves drawn to Imperial religious melodies as a surrogate for this missing part of their usual lives. Many Imperial Dionae carry music devices containing various Imperial songs or Tribunal hymns to listen to in place of any Dioane “songs”. Dionae often wear practically nothing but Dominian capes however Dionae allocated to great houses tend to wear greatcoats made from imported Dionae Organic Weave. Importing the weave is expensive so such clothing tends to only be worn by Dionae allocated to great houses.

Blessed as they are by the Emperor, Imperial Dionae have their own collective zatimono which they often wear on their uniforms or capes with pride, regardless of what house they may be allocated to if any.

The Dionae of the Empire do not have access to communications from the Eternal Temple spire on Biesel and as such do not have much contact with the larger Dionae community, enforcing their elitism and fanaticism to the Empire. They are largely unaware of the various Notable Dionae Factions.

Diplomats

His Imperial Majesty's Royal Garden on occasion has produced Diplomats that the Emperor has recognized. Prized for their ability to speak multiple alien languages and for their skills in cross-species empathy, Diona Diplomats are often found near their human counterparts following closely and listening attentively - however few have managed to secure diplomatic positions without the assistance of a human, usually in service to a great house.

Diplomat Dionae would align themselves as a Consular Agent.

Priests

His Imperial Majesty is known throughout the Empire for his piety - which also spreads into his Royal Garden. A handful of those grown have forged their own path and have ventured into the clergy - many times finding themselves as low-level clergymen who spread their faith and knowledge of the Goddess by amalgamating with non-believers. Dionae priests tend to be highly respectable and naturally empathic.

Dionae that have taken this route would align themselves as a Chaplain/Priest.

Servants

Dionae that do not find themselves in elevated positions within the Empire will likely remain servants - usually working as Imperial Gardeners for the Royal Gardens and beyond. Typically involved in menial tasks around the palace varying from cleaning, cooking and gardening. Dionae cooks and gardens are highly favoured amongst Imperial high society. Servant Dionae undertake their tasks with gusto, usually fully immersed in the Dominian servile culture.

Dionae that had been cast aside as Servants would align themselves with the service departments, mainly gardening and cooking.

Harvest Dionae

Although most Dionae are put to work - there are a few that are grown for the sole purpose of being served to His Imperial Majesty. These Dionae are grown in a separate area of the Royal Garden and are not given any form of education. The lifespan of these dionae are quite short, usually spanning a couple of months before being slaughtered - however in rare cases and by unknown means, nymphs from the “harvests” have been known to escape and form edict breaking gestalts. With no song to call their own and with no formal education to speak of these Imperial Dionae tend to live terrible lives, falling in with pirates and criminals. Most that find themselves in Biesel end up joining the Songless Gang.

Dionae from this segment would be outcasts and labelled as edict breakers. Be aware - playing as a Dionae that originally was meant to be eaten can be quite tough if the secret gets out!

The Pests of Titan Prime - Vaurca Hiveship

This cluster, who have for 500 years been hiding away on the Vaurcan Hiveship of Titan Prime, has constantly been in conflict with the bug-like Vaurca. The original gestalt was scooped up from a Gas Giant by the Vaurca on a routine fuel-refill for them, and it worked its way and grew on the outside of the ship like a barnacle. Eventually, the gestalt dug into the ship out of curiosity, causing a vaurca drone to be sent out to scrape off the biomass causing the damage thinking it's a routine acidic blob outbreak. Upon being attacked, the gestalt fought back, killing the drone and eating what it could of the corpse - but it didn't learn any languages, and couldn't communicate with the Vaurca in any way as their primary form of communication is telepathic, robotic, and foreign. More drones came upon the death of the first and were deadset in their orders to remove the dionae. This attack was more vicious and killed many of the nymphs, forcing the gestalt to deform.

After the first encounter, the nymphs escaped in different directions. They scurried through the strange, dark ship, barely surviving off the little heat and light they could find. Every nymph had to adapt to the different situations they were thrown in to in different ways, some resorting to mimicry and others using nymphs to scout areas ahead, with the rare gestalt wearing a Vaurca exoskeleton to blend in. Their main goal was survival now, and so they adapted to the confined spaces of the ship, hiding at moments of activity and scavenging off of the Vaurca. They would take advantage of any situation, and constantly have to split and reform to survive. This continued for 500 years, adaptation and adversity, death and loss - being treated like a pest.

Eventually, the hiveship found Tau Ceti. Now that there is a form of communication between the Vaurca and Diona, the Queens and Unbound of the Zo'ra Vaurcan hives have apologized and been welcoming - even offering a small greenhouse to live on at the top of the ship. Some diona have taken the deal, some have left to live with the other species. All of them have shared trauma of this experience.

The Spirits of the Oasis - Moghes Wasteland

The Spirits of the Oasis are a great example of a symbiotic relationship between species - Unathi and Diona. Originating from a simple friendship between a lost Diona tending to wounded animals and a wandering Wastelander unathi on the brink of exhaustion, the clans of the Spirits of the Oasis have truly begun to understood and seek out any Diona on Moghes to assist in survival.

The origins of this friendship stem from a tale - the tale of Walking Sands, Clan Mother Dorviza, and the Last Plains Tyrant.

Clan Mother Dorviza was the eldest woman of her clan, and an avid Plains Tyrant tamer - knowing full well how to care for, feed, and tame one of these savage beasts. Walking Sands was a young and unknowing diona - born from the destruction of an Izweski laboratory in a nuclear blast. Both souls have learned something of the Wasteland, and in this tale, their combined knowledge will allow the survival of several Wasteland clans.

Walking Sands wanders through the Wasteland and comes across a wounded and trapped Plains Tyrant - the last one to be seen in the wild naturally. Lacking the knowledge or understanding of what it is, they approach it and the Plains Tyrant slashes out defensively. Understanding that the Tyrant is wounded and stuck, Walking Sands continues to try and get closer to try and see if it can help and gets attacked again. This continues until the Tyrant becomes too exhausted to resist, and falls unconscious. The diona cannot help, yet remains by its side for days growing shade and safety for the monstrous animal. Clan Mother Dorviza, knowledgable of traditional and ancient Plains Tyrants locations, comes to the scene after a scout from her clan reports a strange plant-like growth in a ruined temple.

Independent Clusters

The Viscerabelt - Tau Ceti Space

"We request blood to complete our rituals, for without, the Eternal will curse us." - The Ravenous Consumer of Beastly Monsters within the Cloud.

Located in the Romanovich Cloud around Tau Ceti, these Dionae have made their home in a region of the cloud called the Viscerabelt. This area of space is littered with asteroid and carp nests, and is considered the most densely populated area of space carp in the known galaxy - making it an exceptionally dangerous region of space in Tau Ceti.

The cluster has a deep-set view on blood, primarily focusing on its uses for religion. The Viscerabelt Cluster will use the blood in ritualistic dances, chants and prayers. Sitting under the control of Biesel the cluster often trades in culled carp products and minerals in exchange for blood.

Gestalts can easily be recognised by their brands referencing the Blood Eternal as well as their larger size. It’s common for Dionae from this cluster to be miners or hunters whilst also following the Shh’sha’shu.

The Blossoms of the Great and Divine Eternal - Deep Space

"The Blessed Eternal is the perfect life form. It is the light in the cold and the dark and the ash. Its tendrils are bountiful and expanding and terrible in its fury. But it is a benevolent ruler. " - Birthing From The Womb Of Heavy Matter

An extreme in the ways Diona can naturally develop culture, the Blossoms of the Divine Eternal are a cluster-based around their belief in The Eternal, a primordial entity which exists in Light, Energy, and Essence. The followers of the Eternal wish to create the densest materials in the universe by forging and reforging heavier and heavier elements - which they do so by devouring as much as they can and throwing themselves into stars once they reach a certain size - most likely the size of a Cetus form diona, large enough to be considered a stellar body. The gestalts of this cluster believe Diona are the embodiment of the Eternal in physical form, made to ensure all things born from stars return to stars ... eventually. This is the natural form of the universe.

The gestalts of the Divine Eternal appear seemingly randomly from deep space, located towards the centre of the galaxy. They typically have stories and experiences of celestial events - stars falling into each other, planets crashing, near-death experiences which they have lived through.

The Blossoms of the Divine Eternal are adamant in their encouragement of Diona to come together - literally. In times where a large Divine Eternal gestalt has come across a wild and 'unintelligent' diona gestalt, they have violently attacked and destroyed the creature and consumed its biomass for the expansion of their mindset and the Eternal's will.

The Biesellian Choir

Unlike most clusters that tend to arrive in a place through some great event, the Biesellian Choir was a slow, but steady immigration into Biesel. Gestalts first arrived as individuals seeking to spread the work of the Divine Eteneral to Dionae and non-Dionae alike, drawn to Biesel by its laissez-faire, free movement and trade attitude. The Choir have since established themselves within the slums of Mendell City’s district 11 where they live and grow. New Dionae either join the Choir from other clusters, immigrate from outside or are grown directly within the Eternal Temple, the centre of the Choir’s community. Growth is troublesome though, and many nymphs are born stunted and dead. Where other Gestalt communities might sell those stunted, dead nymphs to be used in fine cuisine, the Choir refuses to do so, uniquely finding the practice of other species consuming Dionae flesh abhorrent, they also return the dead to the temple to be consumed by their community leader, “Connected to the Blossoms Beyond”.

The Eternal Temple

Home to the huge argus cluster “Connected to the Blossoms Beyond”, the de facto community leader of the Biesellian Choir. The Eternal Temple is a steel temple dedicated to the Divine Eternal. The outer shell of the building is made of green coloured steel sheeting, welded and formed into natural forms giving the temple an almost organic look. A central, smooth spire rises upwards towards the sky. Internally, the temple is much the same visually. It is extremely well lit and houses a Dionae community centre as well as a large hydroponics bay for the growth of new Dionae nymphs and the mesh weave factories. The temple’s central worship area is essentially a room constructed of “Connected to the Blossoms Beyond”, who speaks with the congregation directly. For many Dionae, this is the only connection they have to the more educated, ancient Gestalts. The central spire is a transmitter constructed using Dionae quantum wave technology which is used to “speak” directly with the clusters further in deep space, to achieve consensus. The sound of this rootsong “transmission” can be dimly heard by Dionae in Republic of Biesel space as a whisper, “the Hum”, likening it to the sounds of wind chimes to those species incapable of hearing it. A pleasant sound. The temple itself is expensive to maintain, with high energy costs and general land rental and maintenance expenses being quite high. To this end, Dionae of the choir work to provide donations to the temple and the community. A Faustian bargain for some as this leads them to work for organisations that would enslave and even consume the Dionae themselves.

Culture of the Choir

Initially a highly religious, firebrand society, it has somewhat mellowed in the face of their “Biesellised” young, becoming the largest Dionae community in Biesel. As patriotic as any other, these Dionae as a whole tend to work towards the success of Biesel and often assisted authorities in dealing with hostile independent Dionae such as raiders from the Viscerabelt. The Dionae of the Choir are also one of the few Dionae communities known to utilize actual exotic-Dionae technology, such as quantum wave transmitters, organic mesh weave and sonic weaponry. These technologies are highly sought after and development into their use for non-Dionae is ongoing across many mega-corps, much to the discomfort of the Choir. Fortunately, no functioning non-Dionae analogues have been developed as they appear to require some form of unknown Dionae process and the Choir keeps these technologies close to their chest. Some believe it is only a matter of time before one of the enterprising mega-corporations makes a breakthrough.

Organic Mesh Weave

One of the few technologies sold to outsiders, the organic mesh weave makes use of high tensile, photoreceptive organic fibres developed by the Dionae to produce lightweight, flexible building materials which reflect beneficial light and radiation onto nearby Dionae. In practical terms, the mesh is often used as a clothing material, allowing Dionae to wear clothes that would otherwise stifle their gestalts, blocking light. The clothing is manufactured by choir Dionae within the temple and is shipped across Biesel, making it an expensive rarity outside of the planet. Any clothing style can be copied in this way and turned into suitable Dioane clothing. The “cloth” is also a hit with many humans within the warmer climes of Biesel as the mesh weave clothing, whilst still allowing one to maintain their dignity, actually projects the sun's rays through the clothes allowing one to tan whilst still wearing swimwear or beachwear. Whilst this might allow for a Dionae to wear a full suit and pants, the technology becomes less potent the more layers are added and generally, all Dionae, even the Choir, prefer to feel a star's rays on their bare “skin”, finding heavy or multi-layered clothing psychologically stifling.

Community members of the Choir can be broken down into three main groups:

Immigrants from beyond

Immigrants from Blossom clusters outside of Biesel tend to be the oldest and most religious of the community. These Dionae have to be “integrated” into Biesellian culture and tend to behave in the most alien manner, being highly against non-Dionae consuming Dionae flesh and actively preaching the Divine Eternal creed. Due to their lack of qualifications within Biesel and their attitudes towards non-Dionae these gestalts are only found performing low skilled work for NT, working as assistants, cargo technicians, miners and janitors. The irony isn’t lost on many of these gestalts, some being quite old, being thrust into low level, entry jobs with many grumbling at the work. The work must be done, however, as it’s the only way they can acquire funds for the Choir community so done it is, albeit begrudgingly.

Converts into the Choir

Many Dionae within the Choir originate from clusters not belonging to the Divine Eternal and have instead either converted or generally joined the community. These gestalts come in all shapes, sizes and creeds but most seem to find purpose within the Choir community. These Dionae tend to have all sorts of temperaments usually based on the original society they were from and as such tend to be found in all walks of life, from janitors to doctors.

Natives of the Choir

Few in number compared to converts, the natives are gestalts that were born and raised within the Temple and Biesel. Due to the age of the community on Biesel these gestalts tend to be quite young, with the eldest usually being around 30 years old at most. These gestalts tend to be the most “humanised” or “Biesellian” of the Dionae, speaking clearly and concisely and understanding the subtle nuances of cross-species interaction, as well as sharing the interests that most Biesellians might share. They are the most tolerant of non-Dionae cultures/activities and tend to grudgingly accept the non-Dionae culture of consuming Dionae flesh. Often patriotic towards Biesel and the Republic, these Dionae can be found serving as support within the Tau Ceti Foreign Legion, often as engineers, pilots and medical staff. They are also found working for law enforcement, something largely not done by the subservient Dionae, operating as investigators and support staff. Many Dionae work as local police for Mendell, policing the Choir and ensuring compliance with Bieselian laws. Though stellar investigators and support staff by virtue of the Diona's natural learning and deduction capacity, they are never found walking “the beat” as patrol officers due to their natural slowness. As such, these Dionae and Dionae in general are rarely, if ever, found working as security officers within the mega-corps instead taking their cadetships within offices as support staff and working as Forensic Technicians, Detectives and Wardens for the mega-corps. Having been raised around the Hum for their entire lives, these gestalts enjoy its sound and in their spare time can often be found listening at station windows for it. They tend to become saddened when they are separated from it for extended periods.

The Biesellian Song

Originally starting as a series of religious publications and pamphlets, the Biesellian Song has evolved into a full-blown news outlet for the Dionae and people of Biesel and the Choir, sending out digital news across the extranet. Though usually used for communion with the clusters beyond, the Eternal Temple central spire is sometimes used to broadcast the Biesellian Song locally across Biesel space for Dionae to hear if they wish. Though usually only heard as a whisper, when the spire broadcasts in this way it essentially acts as a town crier, shouting news. Dionae that are interested must concentrate to properly hear the messages which many do, however uninterested Dionae can easily ignore the “song” when it is broadcast.

The Songless Gang

The Songless Gang or simply “the Songless” are a ragtag group of mainly immigrant Dionae who have fallen into a life of organised crime. Dipping their tendrils in all sorts of ill-fated schemes, the most troubling is phoron smuggling, extortion rackets and thuggery. They are known to take on low skilled work jobs such as cargo workers or service roles to gain access to materials they can steal and sell. They’re extremely difficult to stamp out and the Choir works tirelessly with law enforcement to bring the gang down.

The Wild Ones - All Space

"Back in the ol' daysss of Wild'un huntin', they'd pay thousssandsss if you brought back a Wild'un dead. I jusst wissh we didn' kill ssso many... ya never sssee 'em much anymore." - Captain Kash Lardback

Majestic and chaotic, Wild Ones fly through space with only the knowledge of collecting and scavenging - with many suspecting that they report back to a much larger 'Hive'. Due to the culling of the Wild Ones - thanks to their gravitation towards orbital scrapyards and derelicts, and have since becoming increasingly hostile, leading to numerous groups or mercenaries to be hired to clear them out to retrieve the scrap collected by the Dionae and to also harvest the solid amber-like material found within the centre of large Dionae forms. Many are tagged and studied by researchers who aim to understand Diona's instincts better, with patterns suggesting that the Wild Ones are 'evolving' in a way to prevent themselves from being hunted; by moving primarily through nebulae, then absorbing the surrounding gases found and emitting it both increase their speed and cloud sensors. These "Wild Ones" are not legally allowed to be killed in Sol Alliance and Jargon Federation space unless they pose a significant threat - but Frontier laws vary depending on the system.

The Narrows - Frontier Space

"It's weird to hear about the life of these creatures - having founded their society on the outcasts of the galactic community? It begs the questions on how much we can learn from the Dionae." - Doctor Khali Al-Saquu

H-Z-63 nicknamed “The Narrows”, a now-abandoned prison based on an asteroid, developed by Hephaestus within the Frontier. H-Z-63 was unveiled as the perfect solution to deal with the swabs of criminal activity that had formed within the Frontier. It was hailed as an innovation that would bring new prosperity to the surrounding systems, especially with the number of criminals being sent that would soon be contributing to the galactic economy and no longer being burdens.

H-Z-63 would stand testament to Hephaestus engineering might - being used for almost a century before its destruction in June of 2452. The asteroid in which H-Z-63 was built rotated almost to sync with the orbit of it, taking days to do so, exposing a large portion of the prison base to cosmic radiation and light.

The destruction of the Prison could only be attributed to the rioting that had taken place, in part because the prisoners felt they had not been given sufficient privileges. It is unknown how exactly some prisoners had got hold of a few Dionae seeds, but they had. It was said that the Dionae were grown to help overpower the guards, and then assist the prisoners in escaping, but a stray bullet lodging itself into a welding tank forced all plans to cease - destroying a large portion of the life support within the Prison. All those without protective gear succumbed within moments, and those with gear fled the Station - leaving only the Dionae behind.

The Dionae soon banded, working together to assimilate those they could - understanding that chaos only brought destruction, and that a rigid hierarchy should be formed to ensure that order remained to ensure the survival and protection of the Cluster. H-Z-63 is still ‘owned’ by Hephaestus, however, the facility is maintained by the Dionae who taught themselves skills in numerous areas; such as Botany, Engineering and Mining. It was these three sectors that many of the Dionae are recruited into when they are hired by Hephaestus - it also is the sectors in which are governed by a Council.

Culture of the Narrows

Born into anarchy and strife, the Dionae of the Narrows value order and a clear hierarchy. Mainly split into miners, engineers and botanists, the Narrows Cluster embraces the basic Dionae belief of Experience with their society being based around experience in any given role, borrowing ranks that were held by the penal stations’ personnel. The oldest and most experienced gestalts hold higher status within the cluster with leadership sitting with three Argus forms: Echos of Sticken Earth - Mining Lead, A Sea of Growth - Head of Botany and Metal Forms Made Ready - Chief Engineer. Underneath these are gestalts known as Overseers which act to manage smaller groups of various workers.

An accurate depiction of how the Hierarchy works in the Narrows cluster.

The gestalts of the Narrows have an excellent work ethic and, due to their anarchic birth during a prison revolt and their close ties with Hephaestus Industries, value those who show strong leadership skills and empathy. Being able to use your force of personality to subdue an aggressor without violence is held in high regard within the cluster. Due to this, most Narrows Dionae, though friendly, are perfectly capable of “talking the talk and walking the walk,” being able to argue their own case with co-workers of the same “rank”, being sure to treat their superiors with the utmost respect.

After the activation of the Eternal Temple spire on Biesel, the cluster has been connected to the Dionae community at large and a large following of the The Eternal has grown. The Narrows cluster are kept abreast of galactic events by the spire connection, albeit from the Biesel Republic Choir's point of view, with most if not all being aware of the various Notable Dionae Factions.

The Rootsong Network aka "The Instructions"

The Narrows rootsong network is quite subdued and quiet, with only the three heads and the overseers singing instructions to the various workers across it. Non-Dionae visitors liken this noise to the sound of creaking tree bark in strong winds every few minutes. For Dionae the network is just barked commands given every so often.

Those on Biesel

Overall gestalts from the Narrows tend to work in Biesel as contractors for Hephaestus Industries carrying out mining or engineering roles. Some have been known to sign on to Nanotrasen as Botanists and Medical staff but all gestalts will have some connection to Hephaestus, perhaps working for them previously. Due to their links with the Biesellian Choir most Narrows Dionae will live amongst the Dionae community within Mendell Cities’ District 11. It is highly likely that they’ll follow the The Divine Eternal. Being largely friendly to all other clusters, it’s highly likely that gestalts from the Narrows will take a dim view of Dominian Dionae due to their elitism but harbour deep empathy for gestalts from the Titan Prime cluster, having both been born from anarchic beginnings and the Prime Clusters trauma, a reflection of what could have been had the Narrows not been left alone due to random accident.