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|unlivable / now: spread across the universe|
Gavakens are a race in the game.
Once upon a time the Gavakens had their own planet. However, a cosmic cataclysm left it unlivable and its bird-like inhabitants were forced to say goodbye to their home nest forever. Once they had one planet; now they have hundreds—for they consider every planet where at least one of them lives to be their own.
Long years of evolution left Gavakens nearly bereft of their ability to fly, though in exchange they became stronger and more resilient to their surrounding environs. They took to flight with ease having once learned how to make interstellar flights, and can chart any course. Really, they are magicians when it comes to navigation in extreme circumstances. There is no corner of space they could not fly to while keeping costs to a minimum.
Their fragile skeletal system makes them ill-suited for ground combat, for which they need an exoskeleton. On the other hand, they are naturals when it comes to anything requiring quick reactions and a good sense of direction. If you need to get somewhere fast, hire Gavakens. If you want to stay unnoticed, they’re who you’re looking for. If you don’t know how to settle a remote planet, ask them.
Gavakens are egg-layers. Initially they were also monogamous, mating for life. However, after the catastrophe they were forced to repeatedly pair off at random in order to ensure gene variation and give their kind a fighting chance at survival. Having spread to all the corners of the galaxy, Gavakens changed: male and female behavior began to diverge. Females lean toward fidelity, while males, hired pilots flying all over the galaxy, tend to leave a bit of their genetic material wherever they go. Embryos take five months to develop in favorable conditions, though that period can be extended to over a year if their situation is poor. Eggs are generally laid one at a time, with the chick hatching in a couple weeks. Of course, they mature faster when they are warmer, and the fact that the gender depends on how well-lit the egg is makes it pre-selectable. Gavakens have run a number of genetic experiments in an effort to strengthen their eggshells, boost the number of young per mother, or get rid of eggs altogether, though none of them have been successful.
Gavakens’ weakness is the organ that pumps blood. Their bodies are built for long-distance flights and have adapted to life on planet surfaces and in spaceships; their heart was left behind in that process. Because of that, they have to be physically active to keep their blood moving. If Gavakens stay motionless for too long, they can die from congested blood vessels.
Once forced to adapt to a new life, Gavakens became excellent mercenaries. It was the easiest way for them to earn money, and there hasn’t been a single military conflict in the past few millennia in which they have not played a role. The echoes of their lost home remain with them to this day, and even young Gavakens who never saw their old planet can instinctively tell how to get there. They’re also fantastic at figuring out how to get to any other world. Other civilizations frequently take advantage of that skill, even when their interests clash with the Gavaken mercenaries’ own. And that doesn’t bother the Gavakens in the least: after all, they can always find a reason when they need to. And if they decide against an enterprise or feel the wind change, they can always just take off and leave.
Gavakens are footloose and fancy-free, so be careful about ruffling their feathers or letting them think that their interests are being compromised or you’ll be nothing more for it but to watch them take off in their ships without a second thought. They are equally quick to run off after a battle if they feel they’ve had enough. Don’t let them fool you though: they love combat and are particularly violent and impulsive. Those character traits once even cost them an entire colony.
Three hundred years ago the Gavakens joined a humanitarian mission to Osiris, a remote Magellan colony. As it so happens, some Vagalars were also on their way in search of the Fountain of Youth, which was rumored to be located there, and after some short negotiations the Gavakens got it into their heads that the Vagalars were muscling in on territory belonging to some Gavaken females getting ready to lay their eggs. The Vagalars resisted an invasion by the young Gavakens and moved a fleet toward the colony, in response to which the Gavakens appealed to the Urgans—the polar opposites of the Vagalars—for help. The Vagalars threatened sanctions if peace was not kept, demanding that every last Urgan leave the system and that nobody else interrupt their search. The Magellans decided it was in their best interest to leave the Osiris, though it began to collapse as soon as they took off. Happily, everyone, including the Gavaken females and their young, managed to evacuate, though the Vagalars were charged with violating an interplanetary agreement requiring the signatories to refrain from interfering with the movement of cosmic bodies. Later it was discovered that thermal processes going on at the core of the star were accelerated by a mini black hole passing through the system, leading to the star’s early destruction. However, rumors still run wild that Vagalars are capable of taking out entire stars, while many, including the Gavakens, tried to no avail to steal the technology the Vagalars were supposed to have used.
This race is distinguished by their musicality and love of dancing. Their musical instruments are on par with their voices, and Gavaken singing is considered one of the Seven Wonders of the Galaxy. All holidays as well as the beginning and end of anything important are accompanied by music. On important dates, like the anniversary of the day they left their home planet and the anniversary of the day they settled Mar, currently their main planet, collective singing is coupled with a grand dance festival. Gavakens fly in from all their colonies to show off their art, both old and new. Other races have also enjoyed visiting the festival for more than a hundred years in order to learn some foreign dances and demonstrate their own, and Mar is now considered the dance capital of the universe.
Young Gavakens are fascinated by history, which is why they are fanatical collectors of artefacts left over after the catastrophe. Gavaken antiquity collections are renowned around the galaxy, especially seeing as how they include foreign pieces in those collections. Hey, what else were they going to do? Throw them away?
Gavakens could generally do without the visual arts—they dislike everything frozen in space. Some dour opinions claim that is due to a problem with their vision: they have a hard time perceiving flat images. Still, some Gavakens are excellent sculptors whose work is exceptional for its delicacy and weightlessness.
Politically, the Gavakens are organized into something like a confederacy that includes every planet inhabited by at least one of them. Colonies with a Gavaken majority feature a strict hierarchical system, at the head of which is generally some sort of warlord. Average Gavakens take orders from their chieftain until that gets old, after which the majority votes to stay out of military action for a while. Overall, their social society and political system are fairly complex.
- game log
|Humans • Sharatar • Erians • Drills • Gavakens|