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Old February 5th, 2018, 06:09 AM
Pyromancer Pyromancer is offline
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Default Isto

A minor human race, far away from the big empires.


Like so many other minor human races, the predecessors of the Istoans were abducted from Earth during the Pleistocene and settled on Isto. The climate on Isto is a little bit warmer, gravity is a little bit higher, but all in all, Isto is very much an earthlike planet. One major difference from Terra is that Isto lacks large predators that could threaten humans. Instead, the Istoans face another problem from the local wildlife: Lots of smallish parasites, bloodsuckers that clinch to humans and suck them dry. Removing such a parasite is usually easy, but most of them excrete a paralyzing poison, so afflicted persons can't help themselves. They need another person, any person, to help them, or die.

This led to a society that doesn't value individual courage and prowess, but cooperation and group cohesion (even more so than on Terra). There were some conflicts between the different tribal societies, but as soon as agriculture and animal husbandry developed, those societies started to form huge confederacies and worked together. Warfare, when it happened, was highly ritualized and with few casualties.

Due to the lack of evolutionary pressure, the technical development on Isto was much slower than on Earth. Despite the lack of any major catastrophes and setbacks and a steady progress over tens of thousands of years, the Istoans had only reached the early stages of industrialization (TL 4) when a misjumped Terran starship crashed onto their planet and made them aware of the existence of alien life. The Terran crew survived and taught the Istoans many things, and although their ship's computer was destroyed, a few personal devices with literature, music and movies survived, and those devices also provided initial computational power for the quick development that set in.

Now, 200 years later, the Istoans have a few research outposts in nearby star systems and an offworld colony with almost a million colonists in a system two parsec away. They ran into another minor human race (TL 1) living in the ruins of a alien superstructure on a planet four parsec away (they have an undercover team of scientists there), and a hostile, isolationist alien race, the Koh, who inhabit three systems three to four parsecs the other way.
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