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Endless Blue – Week 112 – OCEAN Personality: Traits of the Endless Blue’s Homeseas   Leave a comment

Psychology

OCEAN Personality: Traits of the Endless Blue’s Homeseas

Individuals have personality — traits that taken collectively define who they are, mold how they respond to the world and others.  Such personality is crucial in defining who a piscean is and what makes them different than everyone else.  But personality is not just limited to the individual: nations themselves have personality in their own right, and those traits in turn have a part to play in Elquan politics, even everyday life.

The OCEAN Model of Personality breaks down the concept of personality into five spectra: Openness, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Agreeableness, and Neuroticism.  The expression of each of these traits taken collectively is what defines the personality.  Everyone (and every culture) falls somewhere along each of these spectra, and neither end of any spectrum is inherently bad.  As with most things, it is the extremeness in which it is expressed that is the cause of problems.

Each of the homeseas of the Known World falls conveniently along one of the extremes of these traits.  The contrast between some of these nations is obvious, while others are surprisingly insightful.  Understanding how the cultures fall on the ranges gives each species it uniqueness and provides understanding for the motivations behind each society’s actions.

OCEAN Model of Personality

OCEAN Model of Personality

Openness (Questioning)

Openness refers to the subject’s acceptance of new experiences, their receptiveness to new ideas, and the insightfulness to be creative.  At one end of the spectrum lies imagination and adventurousness, while the other end expresses caution and consistency.  In general, the trait describes the individual’s willingness to be vulnerable and operate outside of their safety zone.

At the excessive end of the spectrum, the Mer personify receptiveness to the nth degree.  The Mer Currents are the quintessential expression of openness to new ideas.  The entire culture bristles with curiosity of the next new thing.  Mer receptiveness to change is legendary.  Their natural inclination to accept every fad that comes around exemplifies their openness to experience. This trait can be trailed back to the homesea’s early days of a loose, yet entwined collective of thirteen tribal currents.  Variation came not just in the color of a piscean’s skin, but in their activities, beliefs, and traditions.

In contrast, the Chelon remain steadfast in their ancient ways, revering the “good old days” of the Empire.  They are an ancient race stuck in the past, mired in intransigence.  The culture desperately clings to memories of empiricism’s glory days, despite the fact that few still live that were alive then.  Their traditions mire them in the past that no longer resembles their present, prohibiting them from accepting new directions that could demonstrably better their nation.  To modernize is seen as the abandonment of all that it means to be Chelon, and risk being marked as a traitor to your race.

Conscientiousness (Lawfulness)

Conscientiousness refers to the tendency one has toward organization.  It is the tendency to plan ahead, and take the repercussions of your actions into account in any choice.  The individual could be carefree or scrupulous, and there is a clear parallel between this trait and the alignment chaotic or lawful.

When the Cetacean race faced the sins of their past, they chose to embrace a new path.  No longer would they use their might to conquer, but instead to guide other races as atonement.  Taking on this long term goal as shepherd of the piscean races was ambitious and daunting, but the new Orcan culture is dedicated to the discipline necessary to guide the other races.  The memory of their past keeps them focused on the task, an eternal specter of their bloody history.

The Sahaguin express themselves as the moment dictates, free of filters or fear.  Their bravado is bolstered by a culture that aggrandizes might makes right.  They do what they want, and because they can, they suffer no lapse of conscience.  It is their cultural emphasis on self-reliance that endows the Sahaguin with a relentless belief in their own capabilities.

Extraversion (Extroversion)

Extraversion is not simply outgoing, but also include comfort around others and reactive response.  It is the expression of the individual’s ability to integrate into social castes or cultural expectations.  Unlike agreeableness, extraversion covers the interaction with others and the energy drawn from interaction.  It is the measure of how well the individual integrates with society.

The Yaun-Teel extraversion is bolstered by the Principles of Service.  By knowing that any one Yaun-Teel must serve others — and they in turn serve others. and so on — the anxiety of differences in station are resolved.  It fosters a contentment in one’s social standing, and is meant to curb the need to climb upward on the social ladder.  They seek out opportunities to interact with others, to discover new ways to serve.  This emphasis on interaction solidifies the individual continually works to integrate themselves with others of their race.

In contrast, the Kouton live a life of self-imposed seclusion, limiting interaction for fear of personal exposure.  Since most cannot control their emotionally triggered epidermal pigmentation, there is a constant worry of betraying themselves in social situations.  To avoid this, they are reserved and thoughtful, acting and responding only after consideration.  They are a species of few words, turning to introspection in reaction to lives of isolation.

Agreeableness (Amiability)

Agreeableness measures the ability of the individual to get along with others.  Unlike extraversion, which emphasizes physical interaction with others, agreeableness refers to social interactions with others.  It is how well the individual reacts with other personalities.

Locanth are highly empathic and genuinely interested in the state of others, be they animal or piscean.  Their culture rests on the cycle of life, the changing of seasons, and the migration of herds.  Reflecting this, the Locanth migrate throughout the year, thus must be able to interact with the new life forms.  Through their history, they have evolved traits of stable temperament and an understanding that it is in their best interest to co-exist alongside nature.

The Lumulus, however, are aloof and seemingly show little concern for other species.  They bear not ill will towards others, simply they find it inordinately difficult to interact with non-Lumulus.  Everything about Lumulus behavior is alien to the other piscean races, from their body language, through their mental abilities, to even their lifespan.  With such little common traits with the other pisceans, is it any wonder that the Lumulus find it hard to empathize?

Neuroticism (Uneasiness)

Neuroticism relates to how comfortable the individual is in their own skin.  While it appears to be a singularly negative trait, personalities too far along the other end of the neurotic spectrum may suffer from overconfidence or willful obliviousness of their own skill level (known as the Dunning-Kruger effect).

A faction of Cetaceans did not agree with the new direction, spurning the idea their actions needed to be curtailed.  They shirked the reformation and became the Narwahl.  The feel no shame in their Cetacean heritage, and thus are unencumbered by the same self-doubt that drove the Orcan’s to become “over protective nannies” for the Known World.  Instead, they marshal on with an over-evaluated sense of their abilities, unaware that they have grossly underestimated the challenges ahead.  They discount such threats as the Indigo or Elsewhere cults, improperly assured they will be shown as false worries.

The Ceph are mired in anxiety and anger.  Treated as vermin by the piscean races, their reaction is a mixture of righteous rage and self-loathing.  There is no doubt to the crimes their Kraken forebearers caused to the Known World, but the Ceph have suffered revenge for those action for too long.  Why should the Ceph suffer for the actions their forefather’s made millennia ago?  This feeling of impotence is only exacerbated by the inability of the Ceph to stand up for themselves in the face of pervasive racism.  Even their physical form keeps them separate from the “civilized” races of the Known World.  In truth, the Ceph may have even inherited the self-loathing mythically attributed to the now-extinct Icht.

ELQUA Model of Personality

ELQUA Model of Personality

The Dark of the ELQUA Method

In the Endless Blue setting, the Five Traits philosophy of personality uses the acronym ELQUAExtroversion, Lawfulness, Questioning, Unease, and Amiableness.  “Elqua” is the ancient aquelan word for “water” or “ocean”, which in turn is the name of the waterworld that contains the Endless Blue setting.  In the Known World, it was developed by the College of Doctors, the reputable front of the Resurrectionists.  While its reception has been decidedly negative among most of the populace, save the indolent rich of the Mer Currents, there lies a dark, desperate need for its creation.

The ELQUA method was designed as a way to analyze personality behaviors of those believed to been subjugated by the Aboleth and turned into Skum.  It was reasoned that those under the mental domination of the Puppetmasters would behave differently than as if the were free, and a method of detecting this would provide invaluable to the safety of the Cerulean Epoch.  The seriousness need of this “psychological technology” is likened to the marriage of Ultravision magic and Lumulus dearthsteel, which was considered to be the turning point in the overthrowing the Kraken Occupation.  By profiling those in the positions of power, the Resurrectionists intend to keep the Known World free from those that wish to dominate it forever.

“Every piscean is a current, their personality unique and distinctively their own,
yet blending together with all others into the seas we call home.

Together, the currents have the power to uplift, to drag down, to push away, to pull along.
To wear down the greatest mountain, or deliver onto new fields…”
–credited to Kenilicus Octavius,
from the folklore of The Anemoi.

 

Posted September 30, 2017 by William James Cuffe in Endless Blue Campaign Setting

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