Bhezians
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"Where's the nearest computer?" —Bhezians

Bhezians are slender, fragile creatures, quite similar to the "grays" popularized in urban legend throughout the 20th century. The theory that they visited earth prior to us reaching the stars is still around, however, and this theory attributes them with building the pyramids, starting the first religions, and forcing early civilization to pay homage to them, among other things.

Originating on some unknown planet in the Bhez star cluster, they quickly proliferated and filled the nearby star systems, utilizing their long lifespan to make long voyages across the stars prior to developing any form of FTL travel. Tremendously intelligent, and startlingly efficient, their primary strength lies in their logical minds and innate ability to manipulate computer systems. However, they are also clumsy, weak, and have disturbingly low pain tolerances. "As hard to find as a strong bhezian" was a common phrase in the early third millennia, prior to the hiltorel taking over Earth and subjugating humanity.

The Bhez are a very common species, especially around wealthier planets. Their delicate bodies makes them rarely attempt any sort of manual labor if they can help it. Even despite this, they've made quite the name for themselves in the outer worlds, and it's a rare station that doesn't have a Bhez manning the computers.

Description

Physical appearance

Bhezians are not actually gray, despite popular public belief. They are more a pale pinkish-white, with thin, mottled skin through which you can see blue and red veins, and some level of their internal organs. They are rarely seen without some form of clothing, and their average height is only slightly shorter than the average human's.

Internally, bhezians have one large, central brain in their heads, and many other smaller "brains" in other areas of their bodies, primarily in the torso - while largely bundles of nerves, they serve to help the Bhezian control their bodily functions to levels that are mostly unheard of in other species. It's thought that this might be partly due to genetic engineering, but bhezians typically hold little interest in medical knowledge. Their naturally long lives and hyperintelligent immune systems keep them from needing much in the way of medicine - which is a flaw as much as it is a blessing. A bhezian's thin skin is easily ruptured, and as such they typically wear loose-fitting clothing to avoid tears. Fortunately, if they do begin bleeding, they are usually capable of meditating and sealing the wounds themselves.

As might be expected, bhezians are not remotely athletic, and typically have very thin, bony arms, and somewhat bulbous lower bodies. They are not an attractive species by any means, but they are at least able to make themselves presentable.

Abilities

Bhezian characters have the following characteristics:
-1 endurance, -1 agility, -1 willpower; +1 hacking, +1 computer, +1 intuition; delicate flesh, terrible endurance, cannot fight unarmed, weak arms; fast learner, meditative healing, resistant to high altitudes, long lifespan

  • +1 hacking
  • +1 computer
  • +1 intuition
  • Fast learner: Bhezians have advantage on all general knowledge rolls.
  • Meditative healing: A bhezian's superior command of their bodily functions permits them to meditate for half a turn to heal minor wounds. They are allowed to do up to five actions, and may not use half or more of their attacks.
  • Low oxygen requirements: Due to a number of factors, including their high level of bodily control, bhezians are able to survive for short periods with much less oxygen than a human would require.
  • Long lifespan While they don't live as long as some species, Bhezians have much less memory decay than humans, and can live for nearly 400 years.
  • -1 endurance
  • -1 agility
  • -1 willpower
  • Delicate flesh: Years of safe, sterile environments has led to bhezians being unable to endure simple medical treatments such as bandages. They are in fact incapable of using any sort of human medicine and bleed easily.
  • Terrible endurance: An extremely low pain tolerance means any bhezian does a 1d6+2 roll prior to any normal endurance roll. Less than a 5 means an instant fail.
  • No unarmed combat: They are physically incapable of doing any sort of unarmed combat, and need a weapon of some kind in order to deal any damage.
  • Weak arms: Bhezians must do an extra -2 penalty to all rolls that involve moving heavy objects.

Society

Culture

Bhezian personalities vary widely, but overall, they are a species that very highly values science and scientific advancement. Perhaps more than this, they value bureaucracy, intrigue, and subtle manipulation of their enemies. They typically see themselves as "better" than most other species, especially while away from their computers. If in a lab or at a computer, they calm down considerably, even becoming amiable. It's a common practice in Bhezian space to have computer labs in their non-alcoholic equivalent of human taverns, as it helps them to relax and open up.

Bhezians have a strong sense of individualism, and typically apply this to their studies as well: they have a strong tendency to specialize in different fields, rather than expanding their knowledge in many different areas. They do have some sense of emotion, although this is mildly stunted - particularly love and romantic affairs. The idea of "sleeping around" or "sex for pleasure" is essentially wholly alien to them. They have little reproductive drive beyond the continuation of their species; this has possibly been self-bred out of them over the millennia.

One thing you could never fault a bhezian for is excessive creativity. Their fictional media exists primarily in "What if" form, where the user is inserted into a particular situation, which then evolves from there. These most often take the form of video games.

Bhezians had for multiple millennia utilized a grouping of technologies that enabled them to have "VR chambers" where the walls deform to provide tactile surfaces. This was used in conjunction with a VR visor and a multitude of in-chamber audio speakers - as well as deformable item "props" - to provide a very immersive VR experience. Unfortunately, most of the original chambers were lost or destroyed during the galactic cleansing - partly due to human efforts, and partly because the bhezians were loath for their technology to fall into human hands. While they greatly like the idea of human VR as it's advanced over the past century, their bodies are typically too fragile (and brains too complex) to survive successful bhezian-oriented VR implant surgery.

An odd cultural quirk bhezians have is their fascination - or adoration - of paperback human books. While these may have existed at some point in their past, they forgot them long ago, and have been using electronic methods to store their data for millennia. After humans re-introduced them to paperback books, they became enamored with them and began making books of their own. This was, of course, prior to the human-hiltorel war and subsequent Galactic Cleansing. Since then, reading books is somewhat controversial. Bhezians are quite good at holding grudges, but the universe-creation of humans (particularly in fantasy universes) still fascinates them… although they are very picky about the books they read, and incredibly good at spotting plot holes.

Homeworld

Homeworld

Technology

Bhezian technology - at least on their own worlds - is (or was) highly advanced, far beyond anything humanity is currently capable of. They had some degree of working matter replication and their power was supplied almost entirely by some strange atomic reactor system - apparently safe enough that it could be assembled and disassembled by hand if necessary. They were quite close to developing working wormhole prototypes (some say they had already developed it, but it was kept secret as an Umbral Conclave project) when humans began their galactic rampage.

Bhezians made very extensive use of AI and robotics earlier in their history, but discontinued and banned AI and robotics entirely after a massive robotic uprising. While they were able to successfully subdue the robots (who were, by that point, their intellectual superiors), they did not want such a catastrophe happening on that scale again. They did, however, manage to advance their computer tech to the point that early human analysts were convinced that the systems must exist at least partially in hyperspace. A number of bhezian computers still exist, but humans have made little to no progress in reverse-engineering them.

Government

The bhezians are particularly known for their cutthroat politics, and, especially, their fabled Umbral Conclave.

Bhezians utilize a layered democracy system, where potential council members are elected from electronically-submitted votes, in tiers based on locality and proximity to the bhezian homeworlds, until only twenty-four remain. In turn, these council members are able to vote in or out members of their own secretive "shadow council", known to humans as the "Umbral Conclave". Umbral Conclave members shroud themselves and everything they do in secrecy, and at most, only a few leaks occur over the course of a millennium. These individuals are often (but not necessarily) part of the High Council, and have access to all top-secret information, as well as great administrative power. They also have a vast network of spies at their disposal known as Azhakel - literally "the twilight". These scouts have the ability to legally accomplish whatever they deem necessary to retrieve information to feed back to the Umbral Conclave, and are often sent on missions either alone or with subordinates.

Meanwhile, the High Council itself is responsible for overall politics, while smaller councils based in separate star clusters may edit or change these laws as best suits their own locale.

Languages

Bhezian language is rather complex, with very nuanced speech, mostly toneless in nature. Instead of relying on tone as in most human languages, they rely on complicated phrasing and delicate altering of words. It oftentimes takes members of other species years in order to converse at a rudimentary level with bhezians; as such, they typically just learn our languages instead. In terms of sounds, they are particularly fond of z's, k's, v's, and x's. Something very often said when listening to their speech the first time is "it sounds like they're talking backwards", partially because their words tend to end abruptly while having a gradual start (contrary to many other languages), and partially because that's often exactly what it sounds like in the first place.

Short list of phrases

  • Xi arp riziboes dnenne devixe aintinin xehhalaxe sozomzzih air daselzzen loizetxa sezas xoirdaell. - I'm looking for a computer. Implies intent to use said computer for the purpose of research. May imply personal use depending on surrounding sentences.
  • Japxexerp sor'tich mer'kexo soinfoxur suroezzec zesedoqez dalzzigelov dacacradet srehhewzzis odritid lozzoesh sexatxo rexetalb sadexe. - Don't use dictionaries to learn languages. Implies some degree of frustration; technically qualifies as ranting by some schools of thought.
  • Zizeuvap dazerutut noidab soinfoxur zeizaxo hoivobma air ecniredom adrir'kap. - Human books are great. Implies a personal opinion, and that others ought to share it. Also carries with it a sense of "I enjoy them" without actually stating it.
  • Zelzzaqa oxezgep ak deceslra sesris mopxog di rozerem snezib vro aiz zzecirp futnos sarem didetpelit sullach sezas epawzzirg dezzevo. - Learning is important. Also implies that any species that focuses on learning things is better than any species that doesn't, as well as a number of ideas that don't translate well, but basically mean "I'm smarter than you".
  • Air boneruqe odrerp sezas nezaravo selicrestib, fai onralivo axitnivai oxecicaxe axevleg sezas di nedixabme aiz salzzobma genrolor; saretxo besediv nazize rotniqeb alp ailp sexatxo xeloc. - I'm smarter than you, so let me make the decisions. Implies a great deal of pompousness. Also potentially could be a joke. Depends on the relationship between the two individuals as well as the surrounding sentences. May also depend on rank. If not a joke, is a grave insult.
  • Pazilut sednivibash sawzzepe sezas ezitpas alp rodalik alp fai zzozarerp saragusip. - Quiet down and listen. Implies that the listener is an idiot, especially compared to the speaker. Is subtle enough that someone who isn't used to speaking the language probably wouldn't catch it.
  • Ak sdraredasim di oriricih laziliv sralib xi dezib epawzzirg kelzzides selzzateb radobmeno. - I could learn something from this. Also implies that whatever the speaker is learning is far enough beneath him to be like studying a prehistoric tribe. A definite insult.

History

history


Species
AzquadBheziansDaxxFysarGorvansHiltorelKrolumPlodiiQyraxSybnialsTachikaWralk

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