Roots of the
Channeler's Note: It is interesting to note all the human tales of large, flying dragons, when we know that the Capthraw were flightless, having hands instead of the wings found on other bird-like critters. The following answers some of those questions, and helps shed some light on the "nasty" dragon phenomenon as well.
- P. Douglas-Oon
No doubt the most bizarre of the Capthraw that evolved off world was the Dravpheim Syndicate, (Their "Trademark" Chaodelic Crystal is displayed left). Both from a physical as well as social standpoint, they were monstrous. After hundreds of generations of life without gravity, they became like the mammalian whales of latter day Thrawn/Earth. But their intellect was just as sharp as their flat lander cousins.
However, intellect alone does not make a society. The Dravpheim Syndicate started on old Thrawn as the Dravph Corporation, a large multi-national commercial concern along the lines of the modern day human equivalents such as Bectel and Shell. The word "Draph" translates literally as "Space," as it is used in a Cosmological context. Their product was housing space. The construction in fact of complete self-contained arcologic communities. The first were Thrawn-bound, but as space colonization picked up, the outfit, which was renamed the "Dravph Syndicate." began to build arcologic communities in space. In the early days, they even constructed a number of interstellar colony ships that were sent out to other star systems. There were seven total, and they became known as "The Lost Seven," since all were never heard from again. Most assumed that they were lost for good.
As for those off-planet space colonies, they originally were built as huge spinning cylinders to create the effect of gravity. It was discovered early on that after just one generation raised in microgravity, the hope of a normal life upon the surface of a planet was out of the question. The subtile social effect of this was that it allowed the inhabitants the same gravitational environment of Thrawn. As a result, the were free to visit their home world without re-adapting to gravity, so that social isolation never really developed. But another group of Capthraw space emigrants had left Thrawn because of gravity. They thrived in the floating weightless world of interplanetary space. They were the Capthraw cripples.
Like all species, there are always many who do not fit the genetic model of their group. Either by heredity or accident, a significant number of any population are physically challenged due to lose of their limbs. These souls would normally be confined to wheelchairs or the like if they remained at the bottom of a gravity well. But in micro-gravity, who needs legs? So it was that the very first deep space Capthraw Explorers were these so-called handicapped individuals.
Ships that did not need gravity could be much smaller and go a lot further than those that required the spin. But extended exposure to micro-gravity required the use of wheelchairs once back, the period of recovery keyed to the length of exposure; the longer the time in weightlessness, the longer the time in the wheelchair. So if you have Capthraw that leave FROM wheelchairs, returning to them isn't that bad. So the reasoning went.
It turned out, that the vast majority opted to remain off world without gravity. This first generation of deep-space explorers became folk heroes on the home world. They decided to create their own worlds in microgravity, and invited all Thrawn-bound cripples to join them. Many did. This necessitated communities to live in, to which the Syndicate was all to happy to provide. The structures could be constructed much easier, since stresses from spinning were not a factor. These arcologies, known as the Dravpheim, became like huge bubbles in which the occupants swam through like an ocean of air.
This small group of outcasts quickly grew to become the leading force behind the Capthraw Solar System. After a couple of generations, their physical size, unbounded by gravity, became huge. Legs, useless in weightlessness, were ceremoniously amputated at birth, not unlike the human circumcision ritual. And unlike their Thrawn kin, their feathers grew blue instead of green. Whether this was from their micro-gravity life style, or some other environmental condition, no one could say.
From an economic stand point, they had a strangle hold on the rest of the planet-bound cultures since they became the major suppliers of raw materials. Refined metals and raw energy for Thrawn, and as the sole source of water for the colonies on Chreaus/Moon, Seerae/Mars and the other numerous planetary moons.
The Dravpheim communities eventually absorbed and took control of the Syndicate. They in fact became the Syndicate. The Syndicate soon began to look upon other Capthraw as inferior, and they alone worthy of existence. Perhaps this was an obvious off shoot of the self-isolation that was incurred. The type of characters that originally started this life style seemed to flavor the future formation of the Syndicate's social structure.
And with giant egos to match their huge size, they soon took over the entire system. Their former trading partners became their slaves, forced to work in the many mines, factories and other infrastructure support tasks that required exposure to gravity. Those who got out of line, tended to have large rocks fall out of the sky on them.
It was often speculated that this was the cause of the Great Shower, that forever transformed Thrawn from the lush paradise that it once was to the cool temperate world of Earth today. If the Syndicate really was behind such a cataclysmic event, they covered their trail quite well. But not completely. The Librarians of Seerae had all the records of that fateful day, and were said to have hidden them prior to a mysteriously fate that likewise befell them. Once the caves are found, this and more will come to light.
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