Barathu
Barathu
species_barathu.jpg
Biological information
Type Aberration
Size Medium to Large
Intelligence Sentient, psionic
Life span -
Sociological information
Planet of origin Bretheda
Achieved warp -
First contact -

Barathus are a race of floating, gelatinous creatures native to Bretheda. They are capable of rewriting their own DNA, making them extremely flexible and adaptable.

As they can adapt their own DNA, they can survive on the surface of Sabah without much trouble.

Barathus once used oma as living starships, telepathically directing the creatures from within their surprisingly habitable stomachs. Modern bioengineering has made this form of travel rare, though occasionally delegations of barathus arrive at a port in an oma to make a grand impression. In a more gruesome fashion, certain advances in the synthesis of organic materials have created a more morbid way for smaller creatures to also harness the great power of an oma. At the end of its natural life, a typical oma travels to a gas giant that meets specific (but unknown) criteria, where it locks itself into orbit and refuses to feed as it sings a final telepathic dirge. Enterprising shipbuilding outfits—sometimes employing mindwalkers who have attuned themselves to this particular song—race to reach a dying oma before its orbit inevitably decays and the titanic corpse is lost.

Table of Contents

Biology


Their ability to reconfigure their fundamental biological structures allows barathu to produce custom materials from their own bodies. Such creations can range from simple tools to complex viral and chemical creations.

Barathu are also capable of joining consciousnesses, which they use to form super-intelligent collective entities comprised of millions of individuals.

Culture


Some barathu collectives operate corporations that facilitate interplanetary trade in biotechnology, a field well suited for their unique traits of biological synthesis.

Barathu thought process is structured and literal. They concern themselves foremost with material world matters and are largely unconcerned with religion or philosophy. They also have a weak grasp on emotions of other species and often seem cold socially or even tyrannical in their methods. Though telepathic, they possess much less empathy.

They sometimes have trouble with the concept of individualism.

They are natural administrators, biotechnicians and medics.

As they are telepathic and communicate to their own through shared consciousness, they have no language or writing system as we understand it. They have no names.


The iconic inhabitants of Bretheda are barathus: soaring,
translucent beings akin to a hybrid between a blimp and
a jellyfish, able to merge with one another into collective
entities with strength and intelligence surpassing the sum of
the component individuals. Barathus are often simply called
Brethedans (when not being disparaged as “floaters”), and
they are both the most populous of the planet’s races as well
as the most politically powerful, as a massive collective of the
creatures forms the governing entity known as Confluence.

Barathus have also collaborated with offworlders to build
several artificial settlements within the world’s stormy skies,
thus allowing members of other races to inhabit their world.
While the citizens of these cities are by no means homogeneous,
barathus’ societal structure attracts a surprising number of
kasathas interested in the natives’ collective culture, as well
as lashuntas drawn to the cutting-edge biotech research and
development taking place here.

For much of the world’s history, barathus have refrained
from formal social organization beyond whatever merging is
required to overcome an immediate challenge at hand. Left
to their own devices, most barathus are content to soar the
stormy skies of their home, trilling songs and dancing in the
wild air currents.

Despite the natives’ lack of formal governance, the presence
of other races on Bretheda has led to the barathus’ realization
that most people need at least some overarching structure,
lest they succumb to anarchistic disaster. Thus, those
barathus who felt the call to public service merged together
to form Confluence, a massive, hyperintelligent collective that
provides a stable governing infrastructure for the planet as
a whole.

Despite existing almost exclusively to benefit offworlders,
Confluence holds a tremendous amount of political power. In
addition to its considerable intellectual prowess, the entity has
the ability to split off subcreatures known as Confluence Agents,
each of which has a yet-unparalleled ability to communicate in
real time with Confluence itself. This combination would be
staggering enough in the service of one world, but Brethedan
delegates on the Pact Council also represent its numerous
moons, and given Bretheda’s exclusive administration of the
nearby protectorate of Liavara, those delegates represent that
planet and most of its moons as well. Fortunately, the barathu
government appears disinterested in abusing this tremendous
power, though the mere existence of such influence leaves
many suspicious.

Yet this
is a field still dominated by barathus merged into massive
sentient corporation-entities, such as the wildly successful
Sopeth Corporation.

A peculiarity caused by the prevalence of superior
biotechnology on Bretheda is something of a prejudice
against traditional cybernetic augmentations. While the latter
is certainly legal and common enough among offworlders,
Brethedans as a whole instead strongly favor biotech and
organic implants, tending to view cybernetics and those with
such augmentations with a mixture of pity and scorn.

Even the colossal
collectives of Confluence and the Sopeth Corporation could be
torn apart were they to drift into the planet’s larger cyclones;
the fury of these storms led to the planet’s ancient admonition:
“Always an eye on the winds.”

Barathu society is generally cooperative and avoids
direct confrontation;

Long ago, barathu explorers departed the stormy skies
of Bretheda within telepathically controlled oma, traversing
the void to reach nearby Liavara. But their original purpose
in making that journey—if there was one—is long lost, and the
barathus who settled on Liavara underwent a psychological and
physiological departure from their Brethedan kin. The Dreamers
of Liavara still physically resemble the barathus of Bretheda,
and their intelligence is still evident in their complex social
interactions and their echoic songs, but even the Dreamers’
onetime kin find their logic confounding and their actions
without apparent purpose. Some describe the creatures as
regressed or devolved; most, however, know better than to
dismiss the Dreamers as feral. Barathus widely regard them as
enlightened, and their preternatural songs have shown truly
prophetic qualities on more than one occasion, though their
greatest prediction references some truly remarkable event yet
to come.

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