Endless Blue – Kickstarter Day 06 – The Races of Elqua   Leave a comment

For those hesitant to read through the ENDLESS BLUE website and its in depth exploration of the water world known as Elqua, I have provided a short synopsis of the 9 playable races you can choose from in the game:

Elqua is a unique world in many ways.  Larger than our own, it possess only a fraction of the land surface, and thus life had little choice but to develop fully beneath the waves.  The result of this isolation produced not one, but nine sentient races to colonize the planet, each one vying with other eight for resources, opportunity, and even simple room to grow.

The ORCANS — Self-proclaimed “First Ones”, these poet-warriors were once savage barbarian pods vying against each other for domination.  It was the rise of the first Khan that brought the disparate pods together under a single leader, and led the Cetacean Barbarians on a bloody swath of conquest across the oceans of the Known World — a campaign that resulted in the genocide of at least one Mer Current.  But don’t think for a moment these thick-muscled giants have forgotten their past.  Instead of feeling shame for their past atrocities, they instead chose to tame their demons and control their violence.  Now, they have abandoned the practice of their barbarism in favor of the civilized diplomat.  They have appointed themselves “stewards of the younger races”, and much like a bemused parent act as a guide for the other species.

The CHELON — Aristocratic and snobbish, the Chelon seem a cross between Roman senator and Napoleonic general.  They are a race in the decline, their day of glory past.  They are ones  responsible for bringing magic to the world, for tapping into the ley lines of the planet and developing the art of xanthellae, the skill of coral-shaping.  And just as the accolades of their achievements are fading, so is their kind.  With each successive year, fewer children are brought to term.  The Chelon as a species has a limited time left in the waters of Elqua.  They cling to their past achievements, and relive their history while they still can.

The LUMULUS — Alien and practically xenophobic, the Lumulus are strange species that find it difficult to function amongst the chaos of the other races.  They are the forgers of the world, living between thermal vents where they employ their oresmiths in the production of dearthsteel and the production of coiltech weaponry.  The secrets of both are jealously guarded, and protect both with the zealousness of extremists.  There is a long waged racial war between the Lumulus and the Chelon, often derogatively referred to as the “Shellback Wars”.

The MER — The up and coming race, their nation is a conglomeration of at one time thirteen subspecies, now sadly reduced to eight.  They are the progressives, the ones most likely to embrace the new, the unknown.  Infamous groups like the Godless, the Resurrectionsist, and the Synesthete Synod flourish here, just as does the oppressive Church of Olyhydra.  They are the Merfolk, peoples of the Elqua, and most populous.  They are unknowingly the greatest threat to the aquatic status quo of the Endless Blue, but also the greatest promise.

The KOUTON —  Hoarders in all senses of the word, the Kouton have spent centuries accumulating dark secrets and covetously denying their existence.  Their culture seems built upon the possession of illicit lore, and even amidst their most intimate relationships there are always secrets kept hidden.  The reputation of the species has become quite tainted since the Kraken Occupation, with charges from the other races of collaboration with the invaders, of selling out the other piscean races to protect their own seas.

The LOCANTH — Nomadic in nature, the Locanth seem more in touch with nature and the waters around them, migrating with the fauna of their homeseas.  Avarice seems lacking from the race, as they only predate what they need, and make use of every part of what they kill.  This has led to the development of craftsmanship beyond comparison, and Locanthic work is highly prized for durability, functionality, and simple beauty.

The SAHAGUIN — Still clinging to their old ways, the Sahaguin are cruel predators in their homeseas.  They rule through might, they succeed through tenacity, and they overcome through sheer violence.  Mercy is a foreign concept to a Sahaguin, thus they never offer, nor seek it.  They almost rival the ancient Cetacean Barbarians in their feudal beliefs.  It is because of this that the break-off branch of the Orcans, known as the Narwahl, left the Cetacean Oceans ages ago to find a home among same-thinking people.  They had to travel clear down to the bottom hemisphere of the world to do so, but that pilgrimage only strengthened their choice.

The YAUN-TEEL —  What the Sahaguin are physically, the Yaun-Teel are mentally.  The society is built around servitude, which is enforced through cruelty.  In the Yaun-Teel Bights, slavery is legal, and any other race other than the Yaun-Teel is fair game for a prospective slaver looking to restock his pens.  An off-shoot of the Mer, the Yaun-Teel have separated themselves from the other races by a wall of economics.  They are the merchants of the seas, the controllers of commerce.  They have successfully leveraged themselves into the position of monetary power so grand that they can often get their way with others of the Fluid Nations by simple remuneration.

This leaves the ninth race, the CEPH.  They are unlike the other eight in that they do not share in the piscean form.  They lack the humanoid torso and fish tail that the other species share.  The Ceph are essentially intelligent octopi, smaller than a Lumulus yet larger than most of their encephalopodic kin.  They are the degenerated remnants of the once mighty Kraken race, the tyrants that once occupied most of the Known World.  As such, they Ceph are treated deplorably, little better than vermin.  In spite of this, the Ceph continue to survive in the alleyways and abandoned ruins of civilization, eking out the most basic of lives in the face of overwhelming bigotry.  They are everywhere, hidden in plain sight.  The Untouchables, the faceless legion of pariahs with no homesea to call their own, they will do whatever it takes to survive the hostile society they find themselves in, and use their natural camouflage to hide when public scorn rears its head at them.

These are the political forces forming the whirlpool that is the ENDLESS BLUE’s backdrop.  They depend on each other in ways they do not acknowledge, but as time goes on the need for more space, more resources has begun to nip at their fragile peace.  There has been no war since the Kraken Occupation, but its return might be inevitable as the people realize that Elqua may not be able to sustain them all for much longer…

William James Cuffe

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