- This is the story-based description of the Shen'ihr. For official rules on Shen'ihr characters, go here.
Shen'ihr is the name given to a race of technologially and physiologically advanced humanoids residing in the eastern reaches of our galaxy. Outwardly, they are indistinguishable from attractive humans. Inwardly, they possess a heightened intellect and are genetically predisposed toward psionics and ki power.
The Shen'ihr reserve a great paranoia against demons and magic in general, as it was once a tool that nearly destroyed them, as a people. Because of their experiences, these people are now largely oblivious of proper names for their race (frequently referring to it as "my people" and other variants) or their homeworld (using "the homeworld" and other variants), since it is believed that posessing such names can give a magical villain some power over them again. Only a few select persons of their government know these names. Because Cardinalian society is so dependent on proper names and designations for things, the astronomical society has named the planet "Beta Zion III". The people of that planet, then, are sometimes referred to as Zionans. Native Shen'ihr may or may not answer to such a term, but will not use it themselves, in recognition of taboos.
- 1 The Homeworld
- 2 Extrasolar Territory
- 3 History
- 4 Military
- 5 The Inquisition
- 6 Government
- 7 OOC and RPing Notes
The homeworld of the Shen'ihr is a globe of similar size to earth, though approximately 18% larger. 60% of the planet's surface is covered in ocean, with the remaining 40% split between four landmasses and two polar ice caps. Three of the four landmasses can be considered 'subcontinents' (of comparable size to Australia), with the primary continent being larger in area than North America, but smaller than Asia. The smaller subcontinents were all, at one point in history, contiguous parts of one pangaeic landmass. The eastern and southeastern subcontinents of Badru and Cat-Mezah were created when a comet collided with the planet hundreds of millions of years ago. A tremendous crater in the ocean's floor between these three serves as a testament to that ancient disaster. The western subcontinent of Sahai was removed from the main landmass by a powerful geologic upheaval several million years ago.
By human geographic standards, the primary landmass spans a full one hundred degrees of latitude from north to south, and approximately fifty-five degrees of longitude east to west. The northern edges of the continent lie at roughly 76-degrees north, the southern tip at twenty-four degrees south of the equator.
A tall range of mountains runs down the middle of the main continent. For over three thousand kilometers in the northlands, this mountain range becomes a sheer cliff, with a drop of approximately three thousand meters at its highest point. Shen'ihr geologists conclude that this unusual formation is a direct result of the prehistoric comet that impacted the planet.
Capitol City: Prennya
- Aenan province is located in the central-east area of the main continent. It is bordered on the north by Artur and the capitol of Kiz'Anei, to the west by Khurun, and on the south by Irandan and the Basin Sea. Aenan maintains a number of holdings in the northern and eastern arcs of the Ring Atoll and shares the southeastern subcontinent of Cat-Mezah with Irandan.
- Along with its western neighbor Khurun, Aenan is considered one of the Shen'ihr's 'breadbasket' provinces; the central-western third of Aenan has suitable soil for farming and raising feed animals. Larger population centers are located closer to the eastern coastline where the land gets rockier and less useful for growing crops.
- Aenan's economy is equally based on food exports, manufacturing, and fishing, however Prennya is home to several of the Shen'ihr's most prominent learning institutions.
Capitol City: Kaldesh
- Artur is one of two northern provinces, occupying most of the large, rocky plateau in the northeastern corner of the main landmass. Because of the altitude and extreme northern latitude, Artur is cold almost year-round, giving this province the nickname of 'The Winterlands.' Mining, crystal harvesting and manufacturing are Artur's primary economic drivers.
- Some of the highest mountain peaks in the province have been turned into advanced telescope observatories, taking advantage of the rarified atmosphere. Other high-altitude locations have been converted into planetary spaceports.
Capitol City: Wokudo
- Situated 2500 kilometers East-Northeast of Aenan, Badru is one of the three subcontinental islands sattelite to the main landmass, with an area approximating 8.3 million square kilometers. Its climate is largely tropical, heavily forested, and the island is dominated by a cluster of long-dead volcanoes that have served as some of the most prolific crystal-harvesting sites on the planet.
- Having escaped much of the devastation that consumed the main continent during the Great Wars, Badru boasts many of the Shen'ihr's oldest settlements. For hundreds of years, Badran communities have been worked into the dense forests, using the trees and natural landscape as part of the cities themselves.
Capitol City: Kett'nic'gan
- Chelten is the middle-western province of the main landmass, stuck between Selvarm on the north, Khurun on the East, and Duba'en on the south. Three thousand kilometers out into the ocean lies the subcontinent of Sahai, where Chelten maintains territory along with Selvarm and Duba'en.
- Chelten's western shore is extremely rocky and inhospitable, and houses only two major port cities. Only one city, Ohndec, is older than two centuries. Its sister city, Declan, was founded one hundred eighty winters ago after a three-year terraforming and landscaping project. A number of smaller fishing and lesser port towns dot the shoreline where the landscape can support them.
- Chelten's economy is powered by fishing, farming, and imports/exports between the main continent and the subcontinent of Sahai.
Capitol City: Aclatl
- Duba'en is one of the two southernmost provinces on the main landmass. Its landscape is a mixture of impenetrable tropical rainforest and dense swamp. Owing to the inhospitable environment, Duban cities are few and far between, but extremely sophisticated and densely populated. Approximately half of the Duban population, resides within its holdings on the subcontinent of Sahai.
- During the Great Wars, efforts were made to try and clear more land within the province for conversion to other purposes, such as farming or cityscape, but ultimately met with failure.
- Tourism, shipping, and maritime industries motivate the Duban economy.
Capitol City: Akah-Sanzah
- Irandan is the second southern province, taking up the eastern half of the tapered southern end of the primary continent. It shares the southeastern subcontinent of Cat-Mezah with Aenan. Like Duba'en, much of Irandan is uninhabitable jungle and swamp, bearing ancient scars of clearcutting and slash-burning attempts from ages past. Following their Duban neighbors, Irandi cities located inland are sparse, dense, and very technologically dependent. Much of the population is clustered along the coastlines, packed into the southern and northern arms of the mainland portions of the Ring Atoll, and scattered across resort towns surrounding the Basin Sea.
- Naturally, Irandan relies greatly on tourism and maritime industry to motivate its economy.
Capitol City: Ankaule
- Lying dead center in the primary landmass, Khurun is a province of all rolling grasslands and open plains. Its abundance of arable land has been almost entirely converted to farming and herd grazing; Khurun produces nearly half of the homeworld's entire crop food supply.
- Khurun also bears the anthropological distinction of being the cradle of Shen'ihr life. A valley known as "Kiz'ren al-zath'ki," has been confirmed by psychometric analysis to be the origin of modern Shen'ihr evolution - that is, where the current Shen'ihr species last deviated from a common primate ancestor. Bone fragments and skeletal remains uncovered in the valley have been confirmed to be over one hundred thousand years old.
Capitol City: Vragesh
- Historically, Selvarm has been a brutal, barbaric land. During the Great Wars it was the least developed of the nations, its survival owing largely to the higher-than-average mutation rate and exceptional savagery of its inhabitants. In the later years of the wars, Selvarm began to acquire and incorporate technology faster than it could understand the concepts, at the orders of their new ruler. When Varin began his Crusade to throw down the Warlords and unify his people, Selvarm was the first province to be brought to heel, thwarted by the very technology they had so desperately tried to understand, and became the catalyst for the Crusade's further success.
- In modern times, Selvarm remains a harsh place. Not nearly as cold as the high-altitude province of Artur, Selvarm nevertheless maintains a great number of military installations, training facilities, and materiel manufacturing. The province has also expanded to acquire some holdings on the subcontinent of Sahai, which it shares with Badru and Chelten.
- Mining plays an important role in the Selvish economy, as new mining techniques are developed to safely extract minerals and crystals from the deep parts of the Arturi plateau.
- The first colony to be established by intrepid Shen'ihr pioneers some two and a half centuries ago at the beginning of their space program. Aryvaan boasts enormous continental forests and a noted lack of intelligent, evolved humanoid life. For five hundred solar years the Shen'ihr have harvested timber from the world, and replanted with genetically engineered trees designed for fast growth and dense wood.
- Aryvaan has nine large cities and dozens of smaller mill towns scattered through the central continent.
- Second planet settled by the Shen'ihr. Vyshaan is a metal-rich world with little in the way of indigenous flora or fauna. Rare nilshai crystals are produced here. The Shen'ihr have also parceled out territories for other species' interests to lease for mining or other purposes. Even the Shen'ihr cities on Vyshaan have significant alien populations.
- Third planet settled by the Shen'ihr some seventy-five years past. Ordulaan possesses a rich volcanic soil across much of its primary landmass, and the Shen'ihr have rapidly converted it to a high-output agriworld. Food is exported to the homeworld, the other colony worlds, and a considerable excess is sold to other sovereign interstellar states.
- The most recent planet discovered to be suitable for a Shen'ihr colony. Miyaritaan still has only one city, established roughly forty years ago, but its mountainous terrain and unique stellar position makes it a prime planet for situating terrestrial observatories. Scientific endeavors deemed too dangerous or radical for pursuit on the homeworld or more populated colonies are relegated to isolated laboratory complexes dropped into Miyaritaan's wilds from high orbit.
Rise of the Warlords
The Plague of Magic
A Golden Age
Main Article: Shen'ihr Military
Main Article: Shen'ihr Inquisition
The Shen'ihr are not, as some outsiders first believe, ruled autocratically by their King. At the end of the Unification Wars, with so many dead and the provinces in ruins, Varin Staciadon and his followers formed a new government to lead the survivors. He declared them as One People, never again divided by color, origin, or power, and named himself their King. There was opposition at first, and no small amount of resentment over Varin's bid for power, but his supporters were many and none could deny the results the man could achieve.
But Varin never truly *wanted* absolute power. He believed it was absolutely necessary to have one strong voice leading them out of the ashes of a catastrophic civil war. Too many men with power leads to conflict, clashing of ideologies, chaos, and war. Varin and those closest to him began constructing a way to gradually shift power from his descendants to the people; as a safeguard against any of his descendants that might attempt to usurp this vision, Varin created one of the first true psicrystals, embedding his desire for a unified, cohesive society into the gem and setting it in what would become the King's circlet. Varin's second son Denerin continued this tradition, using his father's knowledge and crafting a second gem with his own ideals and personality encoded within. And so it has passed this way down the line to young Davios.
- Municipal Government
Individual Shen'ihr cities are governed by multi-member councils proportional to population, with each city's population and council size being reviewed approximately every five to seven winters by the Provincial Assembly. Cities are broken up into named 'wards' by population density; each ward elects one council member by universal suffrage. Councilors may only serve two consecutive terms, though they become eligible to campaign for a council seat again after two years out of office. It is common practice for two (or more) very popular councilors to 'trade off' council seats so long as their ward continues to support them.
- Provincial Government
Governments of the eight terrestrial Shen'ihr provinces are larger Assemblies, comprised of representatives nominated from each municipal district. Provincial Assembly sizes can vary from province to province - Artur has the smallest Assembly at just seventy-eight seats, while Aenan has the largest at one hundred sixty-eight. Candidates for Provincial Assembly must have served at least three terms as a Municipal Councilor and have a substantial measure of legal knowledge or experience. Provincial Aldermen serve for three years, and as with their municipal counterparts, may only serve two consecutive terms.
Seats on the Provincial Assembly are appointed by the crown from a short-list of elected candidates from each city. Incumbent Assembly Members are given preference if they maintain a presence on their respective lists, however it is not unknown for the crown and High Court to unseat someone in favor of another candidate.
Provincial Assemblies are presided over by a Chairman, elected by the Assembly itself. On the Homeworld, Provincial Chairpersons also maintain a position in the High Court. This post requires the candidate to have served in the political sphere for at least thirty winters or more, and be extremely well-versed in numerous legal fields.
- Planetary Government
There are four colony planets in Shen'Ihr space - Aryvaan, Vyshaan, Ordulaan, and Miyaritaan - each governed by a proportional Colony Council, Aryvaan's council is the largest; there are eighty-one members representing. Miyaritaan's council, of course, is the smallest with only twenty seats. Vyshaan's Colony Council is unique, as they have permitted aliens to have representation. They are not elected by Shen'ihr, but by their own people, and have voting power only on issues that affect Vyshaan as a whole. Colony councils are chaired by an elected official.
- Kingdom Government
At the head of the entire Kingdom is the Staciadon Dynasty and the High Court. The High Court is the Kingdom's legislative body, presided over by the throne. In the time soon after the end of the Unification Wars, Varin Staciadon and his immediate descendants wielded enormous amounts of power - spiritual, psionic, and political. In recent centuries, the throne has abdicated much of its authority to the Court; the powers it does retain are limited, and typically involve overseeing political procedures, granting Royal Assent to new laws, and appointing Provincial Aldermen.
If an appointed Alderman does not meet with the High Court's approval, a sitting member can put forth a motion for a Vote of Confidence. The court must then review the appointee's history (and often summon the individual for questioning), and vote whether to endorse or reject the Crown's appointment. If rejected, the appointee is struck from the list, and the Crown must choose another - who must then be endorsed by Council as well.
The monarchs are also responsible for maintaining the integrity of the Mindsea. Through the powerful gems set into their crowns and the purity of the crystals in the Ter'iadon Caverns, the Staciadons act as the gravitational force that binds the Mindsea together. It is a subject of some debate as to whether or not the Staciadons are even needed for the task anymore, as the Mindsea has grown so large and vast that its own psychic mass should sustain it. Critics of these claims point to the Kinslayer War, and how the Chorus found more and more converts after Castor Staciadon was slain.
OOC and RPing Notes
The Shen'ihr are an extremely, and imperturbably, secular people. They scoff at the very idea of religion, disavow the concepts of fate, destiny and predeterminism, and consider a belief in 'luck' to be the sign of a weak mind. They have evolved over four thousand earth years of powered society, and they tend to be excessively proud of this fact. Because of this natural bent towards power, most Shen'ihr in the last few generations realize that in the larger galaxy, their species is the exception rather than the rule. This knowledge has imbued a deep sense of superiority in the Shen'ihr, and their attitudes frequently tend toward arrogance and hubris when dealing with largely unpowered alien races.
The Shen'ihr are also a culturally diverse species, despite having over two thousand earth years of a unified planetary government. While a certain amount of homogenization is to be expected, such as being able to find food from any provincial flavor in markets and eating establishments, or people frequently borrowing obscure words from provincial dialects for everyday conversation, each province has a unique culture and history. Shaped initially by the Warlords that forged each nation into a global power, then through their descendants and dynasties. Feel free to use the discussion side of this page to suggest themes, place names, landmarks or other ideas for the eight provinces.
When the Majin cults rose, it affected the entire world. Not even the remote nation of Duba'en went untouched, though it certainly escaped serious harm. It wasn't so much that the Warlords were faced with slaves wielding dark magic and summoned demon minions that truly frightened them. That was easily enough dealt with by them and their evolved, power-wielding followers. It was that if a slave discovered the "true name" of a person, a singular statement that resonated with everything that comprised that individual's personality, their magic could give them unlimited control over the named one. Although none of the Warlords ever fell victim to the cultists' naming magics, they saw what such magic could do in their subordinates. In a singular, never-to-be-repeated moment of collective self-preservation, the ruling Warlords joined their forces and began a bloody, worldwide purge. The slave uprising was put down with brutal efficiency, at the cost of millions of lives. Modern Shen'ihr scholars theorize that as much as 25% of the global population was slaughtered in wiping out the cult's influence. During this period, the primordial Mindsea that would grow to connect all Shen'ihr was just beginning to form, and this event had a fundamental effect on that process, wriggling deep into the foundations of their collective psyche. The crater left in their racial consciousness cannot be underestimated.
And that, the Mindsea, is what truly connects them as a race. Called Aayhan in the common language, it is a subconscious psionic web that encircles their world and spawns between Shen'ihr minds. Within Aayhan reside the collected, potent memories of all Shen'ihr ancestors from the time of the Warlords onward. It has a balancing effect on the Shen'ihr as a whole race: empathic connections can transmit powerful emotions from one person to another, and in turn cause feedback; it is difficult for one Shen'ihr to inflict malicious, genuine pain (emotional, mental, or physical) to another, because the emotions triggered in the victim feed back through the Mindsea to the aggressor. It essentially becomes like stabbing one's own self in the heart. Since the Unification Wars ended, cases of violence committed between Shen'ihr have been few and far between.
Build-wise, Shen'ihr player-characters tend to be very tech-heavy and diverse, often employing esoteric concepts and highly personalized items in internecine technique trees. Use their racial discounts on Enlightenment; the increase in tech bias is extremely valuable even if you have to take it two or three times. Average Shen'ihr adults typically rate between two and three hundred rads, and this plays right into the race's theme as a whole: that of an evolved, highly intelligent species that values cunning and creativity over brute strength.