Rewriting History | Part 1

Hunter: We’re starting a new series about the history of the species and societies within Iris: Adventure Game. Whereas the DEVELOPING A SPECIES series focused on mechanics, this series will focus on lore and narrative.

So, I suppose, let’s start at the beginning.

Jared: I already covered this. “In the beginning was Achromic: formless, colorless and unchanging. Achromic was the Canvas, and the Canvas was everything. Through the will of Achromic was everything.”

Hunter: Your Auroran elders would be proud of your piety, but that’s actually too far back -- and not all species agree that’s actually how things began.

Jared: Yes, but the Regund legends are just silly. Who would ever believe them?

So you want to start with events species can agree on?

Hunter: Yeah, we’ll let the pre-contact myths continue to be debated, and let’s start with the First Contact.

Jared: Oh okay. In the beginning the Aurorans met the Seti. This doesn’t tell us how they got to this point, but at least they both agree it happened.

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Hunter: By this point, the Aurorans had actually been travelling interstellarly for quite some time. Being gaseous creatures who can both fly and breath in space allowed them to travel between planets and systems -- but it was incredibly slow.

During that slow travel, the Aurorans began establishing colonies across several star systems, and their Republic granted most of the governing authority to local governors.

Jared: Yes, the long transit times between systems and lack of technology for fast communication meant that the Aurorans couldn’t have a centralized government. They functioned much more like the wild west of American history. Local groups would decide what was best for them, and any newcomers would abide by the rules that had been established.

Hunter: So like the wild west, except that people actually followed the rules. But that was accurate: these pockets of Auroran colonies would expand out and have minimal communication with other Auroran colonies. They made their own laws and pursued survival.

Jared: The other species weren’t simply staying at home during this time, except the Achroite that is. So it was only a matter of time until one species bumped into another. That first contact was in a system that both the Aurorans and Seti wanted to colonize.

Hunter: Exactly, though the Aurorans got a headstart on interstellar travel, the other species (once they achieved interstellar travel) expanded much quicker, and when you’re an insectoid species driven by expansion, you grab any planets that have the bare minimum viability for habitation.

Jared: Driven by a constant desire to kill each other isn’t the same as a constant desire for expansion.

Hunter: To-may-to, to-mah-to.

But something weird happened during that first contact: the Auroran colony on the planet that the Seti began to colonize didn’t identify themselves to the Seti.

Jared: And so the biggest coverup in galactic history began. The local Aurorans, afraid of the technology and warlike nature of the Seti, voted to hide in plain sight. Of course, Aurorans were dispatched to the other colonies, and word spread of this first contact and of the new protocol.

Hunter: Respecting this colony’s precautions, the Recondite Policy, which fostered passive observation (not revealing the Aurorans’ sentience), was adopted widespread across the Republic. And for good reason: as the Aurorans began hijacking and stealing Seti equipment, they suddenly had access to technology far beyond their natural progression -- and it drove several of their colonies to war with each other.

Jared: The Bruendak Wars, fought between Aurorans with Seti technology, were not witnessed by any other species. The specifics of these battles aren’t so important, but ultimately what ended them was the discovery of just how little the Seti had actually expanded. What was once seen as a great threat to the existence of the Auroran species was only a few Seti colonies close to their homeworld.

Hunter: Yeah, as we’ll see with the other species, when two sentient species meet, their encounters tend to get emotional. So the Aurorans are playing coy, stealing tech from the Seti but then realize that the Seti are far more fractured than their Republic.

The Seti technology almost becomes this farce: instead of propelling expansion, it seems that the Seti’s ships and weapons are used mostly to kill each other.

Jared: So after some time, we start to find a strange relationship develop between these two species. The Aurorans use the Seti as a taxi service that can get them to new systems much faster. As payment for this service, the Aurorans subtly intervene in Seti lives, which then leads the Seti to view the Aurorans as good luck charms or deities.

Hunter: Right, the Seti develop this superstition that Aurorans are a divine boon for pioneers, and the Aurorans exploit this misconception so heavily that it actually becomes uncommon to find a Seti ship at this time that doesn’t have an Auroran aboard.

To this day, thousands of years later, many Seti tribes still retain this superstition -- or at least struggle to relinquish it.

Jared: Of course, other species have taken to the stars, and it won’t be long until a second contact occurs.

Hunter: But that’s a story for next time, where we’ll pick up with the “United Synchronization,” as well as meeting the galaxy’s proudest species who are leading a galactic conquest.

HM