Dionae

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The cold, desolate void of space, the only home Dionae have always known.

Overview

Dionae are a race of slug-like plantoid creatures with advanced intelligence compared to any known animal. They do, however, have two unique aspects that set them apart from most animals or intelligent species in the galaxy: their ability to form together into "gestalts", allowing them to similar if not greater levels of intelligence compared to that of a human and for their ability to gain experiences and memories from the blood and DNA of other intelligent species, meaning in simple terms, they can learn from drinking blood. Dionae also do not need to drink or eat to survive; instead, they need to consume some form of radiation, whether that be alpha radiation or just light from a simple lightbulb. While not required to survive, Dionae are capable of eating or drinking to grow more biomass and may do so before a nymph merges or leaves a gestalt.

Important Notes

Dionae can explore numerous employment opportunities, even that of Command Staff in the ranks of NanoTrasen. Although they are limited, Dionae can be found as Research Directors, Chief Engineers and Chief Medical Officers. They, however, cannot be First Responders due to their severe slowness, risking the life of the patient.

Dionae
D. Primis
Dionae410x320.png
Native Language(s): Rootsong
Faction(s): Mult.
Location(s): Mult.

Nymphs

Diona, also referred to as nymphs, are the singular or “baseline” form of a Dionae. They are a slug-like creature very comparable to a plant. On their own and especially after being grown, a nymph’s intelligence is comparable to a dog, although through experiences and genetic learning by absorbing DNA, a Nymph can become about as intelligent as a young child. Nymphs are capable of speaking most human, Unathi, and Skrell languages(link to the languages page).

Dionae Gestalts

A Dionae Gestalt is a collection of nymphs who have formed together to create a gestalt. The number of nymphs in a gestalt can vary from only two or three nymphs to upwards of a million, there’s no true known limit to how big a gestalt could be. Each nymph within a gestalt will usually handle tasks to help the whole collective such as helping with movement, acting as a hand, or speaking. However, Dionae Gestalts are not a hive mind. They are a collective and, barring some exceptions depending on the gestalt’s mind type, each nymph may have independent thought. Nymphs in a gestalt will usually confer with each other and come to an agreement on which actions to take such as what to say or where to move to, although sometimes a gestalt may designate some nymphs to make decisions on their own for the whole collective. While each nymph is capable of speaking in a gestalt, how a Dionae may utilize communications can vary from gestalt to gestalt and is dependant on their mind type. Some may elect to have one nymph speak for the entire gestalt while others will have each nymph speak at once, sometimes a bit chaotically.

Multiple forms of Dionae gestalt are defined by the number of nymphs that make up the collective. These have varying levels of intelligence and mobility, with more nymphs generally allowing for greater levels of intelligence within the gestalt but less mobility. The most common and important of these forms are the Cyclops forms, also referred to as the worker form. A Cyclops gestalt is generally made up of half a dozen nymphs that take a very human-like form, usually having two arms and two legs. They are the form seen most employed throughout the galaxy, capable of working most jobs that humans could, barring some that require a quick response time or that may breach their conditional pacifism.

For more information on these forms, see: Dionae Forms.

Language

Dionae are capable of comprehending hundreds of languages if exposed to the correct amount of genes, however, their physical limitations restrict them to only being able to speak a handful. The typical Dionae will likely speak Tau Ceti Basic and Rootsong - but can emulate other languages such as Freespeak and Tradeband, albeit slowly to enunciate the words correctly. Sinta'Unathi is also amongst the languages easily emulated, but Dionae will tend to fall flat when speaking Siik'Maas as the translation is sometimes lost due to their inability to imitate the same gestures as a Tajara.

Their language, named "Rootsong" (as translated), uses various limbs and membranes to imitate what most would see as "natural" sound leaves whisking in the wind, branches rubbing, and even some instrumental sounds, at times (flute-like sounds and drumming being common). However, to those who can discern it, Rootsong is a true orchestra of language. Syntax and grammar are simply part of the song, reflected in tempo and beats, while emotions are conveyed through pitch and the imitation of weather effects, such as wind and moisture. Most interestingly, the sound itself is only a byproduct of their body structure as some humans have successfully learned Rootsong without the emotional intonations through violin and calliope organs. Xeno historians often use Rootsong as evidence that the Dionae evolved in conditions involving an atmosphere.

Naming

Dionae naming conventions vary heavily based on the gestalt, but have one consistency; They do not go by just a first name and last name but instead use experiences, emotions, actions, or ideals as their source of identification. These experiences that define them can change just as the individual changes and therefore can be both literal and metaphorical. Some examples of where these might come from can be from routines in their lives, remembrances of mortals, a particular fascination or emotion, a unique location where an important moment occurred, or even just a defining feature on their body. While there’s no limit on the length of a gestalt’s name, they tend to have them shortened to four to ten words to make them more readable when written.

Individual nymphs normally take a short, less nuanced name only containing one or two words. Younger nymphs tend to use less refined words meanwhile an older, more experienced nymph will have a more nuanced or more complicated name, an example being “Bright warmth” for a younger nymph’s name and “Incandescent Comfort” for an older nymph.

As a player, it is up to you to decide what makes an experience, and you have a whole galaxy of cosmically ageless ideas to choose from. Be creative!

Experience Is What Matters

The only time when one Diona is venerated above any other is when a more experienced and therefore more knowledgeable gestalt is present. This more experienced Diona is seen as more valuable due to their vast stores of knowledge and therefore are protected over less experienced ones in a dangerous situation. A more experienced Diona will often take up the responsibility to educate a new one on their environment- including but not limited to the ways of local alien civilization. This is to simply get the newbie up to speed so they can be quicker on their way to learn more about their particular interests, whatever that may be. More often than not, the older Diona is the more experienced, however, this is not always true as a Diona gestalt may have spent its whole immortal life simply floating in a gas giant until it was scooped up into the fuel tank of a starship.

Signs of Age

As individual nymphs grow older their bark will begin to grow much thicker. Young nymphs tend to only have a very thin layer of bark on them, making them a bit more flimsy but also quicker as they’re not weighed down by excess bark. However, as a nymph grows older and their bark’s thickness grows they’ll begin to become more durable, but at the cost of having slower mobility, with the oldest nymphs becoming nearly if not completely immobile. While there is no known cure or treatment to reverse the process, nymphs who live on light and not radiation tend to grow their bark at a slower rate.

This leads to the communal methods of living where younger gestalts provide for the whole who cannot move, like the Eternal Temple.

Appearance

Whilst Diona bark is always brown, Diona are capable of being grown with different shades and hues of bark. This is primarily affected by their age and the conditions in their growth site such as temperature and the type of radiation they were exposed to.

The following is a rough idea of what conditions would affect their bark’s shade:

  • Default: Generally grown in a pressurized space station or temperate planet, and being exposed to a mixture of stronger and weaker radiation types.
  • Lighter: Generally grown on warm planets, and being primarily exposed to weaker forms of radiation such as light.
  • Darker: Generally grown in space or colder planets, and being exposed to stronger forms of radiation such as cosmic rays.
  • Green: Younger Diona will generally have a greenish hue to their bark, although this will fade with time.

Psyche

Dionae differ incredibly compared to other species in terms of their emotions and psychology; primarily in how it affects each nymph and how it would be displayed in a gestalt. Dionae feel a myriad of diverging reactions to certain issues - which is what sets them apart from others. When a Nymph first becomes sentient, and the ability to grasp more intricate and complicated ideas becomes easier, there is a rare chance for complications to arise which are deemed ‘Cognitive Obstacles’ and can easily be seen as mental disorders.

‘Cognitive Obstacles’ parallel mental illnesses that frequently find themselves rooted within other species across the Orion Spur. These ‘Cognitive Obstacles’ affect Dionae uniquely in the sense that each nymph can experience these differently from another. Dionae can form ‘Cognitive Obstacles’ similar to that of PTSD, Anxiety, and Tourettes. It can be expected that Dionae that fall into this category of ‘Cognitive Obstacles’ will have bursts of unintended chirps, additionally coinciding with spasms. Some have noted that they have intense bouts of paranoia and periods where they will experience an existential crisis.

Dionae can also form ‘Cognitive Obstacles’ similar to that of various depressive disorders. These are often seen as a mortal danger - where if an individual nymph begins to feel symptoms similar to the depressive disorders, such as intense periods of feeling impending doom or simply feeling lifeless, will eventually spread these thoughts through a gestalt which will eventually perish. Nymphs that are deemed a hazard to the entire gestalt are usually cast and left to find a treatment or possibly perish if unable to find or receive one.

Splitting Disorder is a temporary disorder that occurs in gestalts that have split off into smaller forms, usually for work purposes (an Argus splitting into Cyclops forms to work in an office). The disorder is characterized by increased anxiety within the Dionae at being apart from each other and intense fear that harm might befall one of the split forms, getting worse the longer the gestalt is split. This fear of danger varies from gestalt to gestalt, with some split forms being “braver” than others. Splitting Disorder can temporarily be relieved by brief re-merging via physical contact. This usually appears to other species as close hugs or hand-holding followed by happy chirping of the nymphs within the gestalt. It can be permanently cured by a full re-merging or after a long period of separation through long periods of separation can instead turn into a Depressive Disorder. The death or injury of a split partner tends to be extremely traumatizing for the other partners, with the level and manner of the trauma dependent on each nymph, with some being “braver” than others.

Pacifism: What to do when fighting!

Dionae follow the ways of Conditional Pacifism, which in layman's terms dictates that whilst violence should be avoided there are circumstances that require it. Based primarily on utilitarian principles where if a negative consequence were to arise from the initiation of violence then it is abhorred, however, if a positive consequence were to arise then the violence is deemed necessary.

For example, participating in a defensive war is a good way to define Conditional Pacifism.

History

There is no known true origin or homeworld of the Dionae, instead, they have only been found spread throughout the known galaxy, generally in a wild and unintelligent state in space. The first discovery of a living Dionae was made by the Skrell in 2217CE when a Skrell Exporalty Vessel discovered a derelict and damaged ship infested by Dionae. Originally, they believed that the Dionae onboard were just some form of plant life, although after discovering a nymph capable of speaking incoherent Nral’Malik, a translator was quickly devised and communication was established between the two species.

Communication would be established with more Gestalts and Clusters over the following years, with many of them being positively integrated into Skrell society. Being the first two species to discover each other in the known galaxy, Dionae and the Skrell developed a somewhat unique bond within the Jargon Federation.

While Humanity would discover Dionae throughout its exploration and expansion of the Spur, communication would not be made with any Dionae until after Humanity’s first contact with the Skrell.

For a more extensive history of Dionae, see: Dionae History.

Place in the galaxy

As Dionae have no real nation or homeworld to call their own, Dionae tend to be very nomadic and spread throughout the spur, with many theories claiming they may originate outside of the spur entirely, possibly even the Milkyway. Many dionae, especially older dionae whose bark begins to hamper their movement greatly, do settle down, especially within the nations of other species such as the Republic of Biesel, Jargon Federation, and within the Unathi Wasteland

Each human nation treats Dionae in a slightly different way, with some allowing them to be ordinary citizens while others have them strictly banned. For more information on how each nation treats Dionae, see: Dionae Relations. The human nation with by far the largest population of Dionae would be the Republic of Biesel. Dionae within the Republic are generally treated nicely, although there tends to be some light discrimination such as a lower wage when compared to a human’s wage. The Republic and most human nations in general that allow Dionae require each nymph to be chipped to differentiate nymphs and to keep track of their splittings and mergings from different gestalts.

While not an independent nation per se, The Bieslesian Choir and the Eternal Temple, in general, can be considered an important Dionae faction, being an organization and cluster-based around the major Dionae religion, the Eternal. The Eternal believe that Dionae were made to ensure that all things born from the stars are returned to them. They believe that Dionae should spend their time gathering knowledge, experiences, and biomass so that one day a Titan form gestalt can be formed and Dionae can be a star once more. For more information on the Eternal, see: The Eternal

Due to the long history between Dionae and Skrell, Dionae are treated extremely well in the Federation. However, This doesn’t mean there aren't’ drawbacks for Dionae in the Federation. Dionae are barred from holding certain jobs in the Federation, especially some high up in the government. Due to the inability for Dionae to use or interact with psionics in any way, Dionae tend to have issues with using some Skrell technology and appliances without assistance.

Character Guide

Mechanics

  • A universal sense of conditional pacifism.
  • Access to the species' unique language, Rootsong with,q prefix.
  • Lives off of light and radiation, will take damage and eventually die if they lack either for too long
  • Heals damage while in light or radiation.
  • Not affected by lack of atmosphere or pressure.
  • Slow movement speed.
  • Inability to run.
  • Can split a nymph from their gestalt and control it. Can also switch between the split nymph and original gestalt at will, as well as still hear what’s happening near the other.
  • Can split completely into several nymphs through an ability or when they take too much damage, as well as reform into a gestalt with enough biomass.
  • Can regrow limbs with enough nutrients and while exposed to light or radiation, faster with radiation.
  • Can devour certain creatures and objects by grabbing them, aiming for the mouth, and clicking yourself.
  • Can use the Create Structure verb to form their biological mass into a wall, floor, or glowing bulb.
  • In an emergency can absorb the local atmosphere for nutrients.
  • Can be stunned with a flash, causing them to fall down for a few seconds. Cannot be protected against with normal equipment due to the nature of a Dionae’s eyes.
  • Can emote with *chirp and *mchirp.

Important things to think about when creating a character

While creating a Dionae there are several details about them that you should consider:

  • What does their name mean and why did they adopt it?
  • Where do they come from? Was it a planet or a cluster? How could it affect their view on other species? Will it affect their bark color?
  • What type of mind type do they have? Is it something unique or something listed on the mind type page? Why did they develop it?
  • What brought them to work on the station?

Character concepts

Preaching To The Choir Upon Rustling Leaves

  • They are a 57-year-old Dionae from the Royal Garden of Dominia.
  • They have light bark and stand at about 6'2" as they believe height is important, having been grown in the Royal Garden of Emperor Boleslaw.
  • They are a priest within the Moroz Holy Tribunal, sent outside the Empire to ensure that citizens outside are following correctly, and perhaps trying to bring new blood into the fold.
  • Due to their growing up and blood memories, they have an extreme dislike of IPCs and Cyborgs.
  • They are considered an Emphatic Echo, due to how social they are, and the needing of reading facial expressions.
  • Speaks Tai Ceti Basic, Tradebrand, and Sign Language.

Eternal Adventure Through Void Interrupted By Violent Greed

  • They are a 898 year old gestalt of a former space whale.
  • They have deep dark bark and stand at 5’8”, their bark is grown enough to the point that their mobility out of space is quite limited. They are covered in sharp thorns.
  • They are a journalist covering the abuses done by humans to the Dionae species and others in the Spur.
  • Due to never taking human blood and the trauma of their greater gestalt being destroyed, they have a deep fear of humans' capacity of violence.
  • They are considered a Bloodless Band due to never once imbibing human blood and refusal to spill any.
  • Speaks Tau Ceti Basic and Tradeband, due to not taking in much blood and their limited scope of skills.