Star Trek Adventures: My Shackleton Expanse Civilizations
Just for fun, and because I was a little stressed out, I wrote up entries for the two new cultures that my player characters encountered in their exploration of the Shackleton Expanse, a previously unexplored region that sits between the Klingons, the Federation, and the Romulans.
The Archivists are a society with advanced power, transportation, and replication technology. Their societal goals are to archive examples of everything created by intelligent life. The archivists have personal transcribers, transporters that scan opponents and store them in a pattern buffer.
Archivists hate to damage their targets. Their ships use a version of their transcriber technology, but when used against ships or large objects, without being able to recalibrate for long term disassembly, these weapons work much like disruptors.
Because they often need to damage systems to shut down vehicles to collect, they often need two examples of any specimen of ship that they are collecting, in order to consolidate them into a single working model.
Archivists keep their collected items in long term storage buffers that they can reassemble whenever they need to physically study the object. Losing power on a ship, personal transcriber, or at one of their Libraries is seen as a great tragedy, as this often means the pattern buffers with their collected specimens have been lost.
Archivist society is organized into the following roles:
Clerks and Librarians staff the Libraries, with the Librarians expected to understand the pattern and structures they are studying. Clerks function as low level engineers and laborers. Scribes are taught to operate the Collector ships as well as the personal transcribers. They use the transcribers to pick up life forms, technology, and ships.
The Coordinators are the leaders of the Libraries. Each Library often has multiple Coordinators, at least one of which is specialized in Collector ship operation.
Archivists only live on their ships or their Library space stations. They wear huge, ungainly environmental suits, which also have minor replicators capable of generating basic nutrients for the core Archivist organism within the environmental suits.
Archivists are working towards the ultimate expression of The Catalogue, the sum total of all knowledge of all living beings and all things created by those living beings. There are three stages to knowledge in Archivist society:
Knowing is having a detailed description of a species or their technology. Having is containing a member of that species and their most important technologies. This allows them to study them in their component patterns. The final step is an ongoing process, which the Archivists see as moving towards perfection. The goal of Reproducing is to be able to replicate a pattern based on the example patterns they hold. This is not just materializing a captured pattern, but being able to create exact duplicates from their mastery of the patterns.
Archivist ships are not especially more hardy than most ships familiar to the Federation, but because of their advanced power technology, they can cycle their shields faster than most other ships their size. They can also push great amounts of power into their transcribers.
Transcribers on Archivist Collector ships can eventually transcribe and hold entire ships, but this is a process that takes hours, and it takes up a massive amount of the ship’s power to hold the ships in their ship’s buffer until they can return to one of the Libraries.
Libraries have more extensive Transcribers, which can dematerialize a ship in about 10 minutes without outside complications, but even these transcribers are more effective in combat when used as standard disruptors.
Archivists understand that other species often do not want to surrender examples of their technology or their citizens for the Archivists’ Libraries. They are not overly hostile to other species, but they do seek ships and settlements that are far removed from their parent species in order to archive examples with minimal effort.
They are not above bargaining with held items in order to smooth over hostilities, with their mindset being that the completion of the Catalogue is a long term goal, and one that may occasionally face setbacks.
Archivists usually keep their word, but they often make agreements that have very specific time limits. These time limits are often based either on the length of a generation for the species they are bargaining with, or the length of a standard lifespan. Because many of these agreements are non-interference pacts, it is important for the Archivists to know when they can start collecting samples for the society in question again in the future.
The Gla’lara are a trilaterally symmetrical species native to the Shackleton Expanse. They are relatively new members of the greater galactic community, only recently achieving warp capability. Gla’lara society has put considerable effort into engineering, and they are especially good at reverse engineering technology that they have encountered.
The Gla’lara’s world is rich with dilithium crystals, although mining procedures nearly destroyed their planet. The biggest opposition to Gla’lara advancement was the mining consortium, who had spent considerable effort creating inefficient technologies that required excessive amounts of dilithium crystals to power.
The Gla’lara are still developing their space fleet, so they only have a few warp capable ships at this point in time. They have reverse engineered some weapons, but their ships could not be categorized as anything other than lightly armed.
Previous to their contact with the Federation, the Gla’lara were organized into Service, Technology, and Business sectors, with the Gla’lara politicians being part of the Service branch of society. The Business sector has largely fallen apart since the dissolution of the mining consortium, but there are still members of this societal sector that control enough resources to make them difficult to ignore. Some in the Business sector have started to lobby for separating the Service sector into Governance and Societal Maintenance, but this has met with some resistance.
Currently, the Gla’lara’s space exploration is being handled by the Technology sector, with resources allocated by the Service sector. Their functioning space station has a representative of the Service sector coordinating the efforts of the Science sector engineers on the station.
Gla’lara society was broken down into Service, Technology, and Business sectors. Business sector Gla’lara were born into service to the Business sector, and members of the Service sector were nominated for service, with votes determining their placement and level of placement. Any Gla’lara can take the test to be part of the Science sector if they score high enough. While most Gla’lara would end up in one of those three branches naturally, some Gla’lara were part of the unofficial “unsettled” sector. While there was no stigma associated with the unsettled, there were some leaders among the Business sector that believed that unsettled should automatically serve at the lowest rankings of the Business sector as “provisionals,” who didn’t inherit membership in the Business sector.
After contact with the Federation and the dissolution of the Mining Consortium section of the Business sector, the Business sector is being phased out of society, with important functions for societal progress being absorbed by the Service sector. The Business sector technically still exists, and has some degree of power, but is viewed by most of the Gla’lara as a fading power group.
Gla’lara are very fond of food and sharing food as part of any celebration or ceremony. They are able to process most matter if given enough time, although they favor meals that consist of complex combinations of organic matter. They are very fond of learning about and sharing new foods.
The Gla’lara warp capability was reverse engineered from a crash Orion smuggling ship, which caused some discussion within the Federation about First Contact. However, the Gla’lara were already aware of other warp capable societies due to their advancements in other technologies.
The Gla’lara are more advanced than the rest of their technology level may lead one to believe when it comes to the fields of sensors and long range communication. Living in the Shackleton Expanse, they have learned to modulate for the native gravimetric shears and electromagnetic storms. They listened to alien communication for years, and the Science sector worked very hard to translate Romulan, Federation, Klingon, and Orion languages.
The Gla’lara Listening Post is a joint Gla’lara/Federation endeavor. The Gla’lara were able to build an impressive sensor and communications array, but were not able to properly calibrate it to operate long term. With the help of the USS Odyssey, they managed to install sturdier and more reliable conduits that allow for long term operation.
They are also working with the Federation to reform their mining capabilities, which currently consist of massive brute force machinery that can destroy large swaths of land and quickly churn that destroyed landscape for dilithium crystals.
The Gla’lara have not had a large scale conflict for over a century, and in general are very harmonious. They tend to be very open and welcoming to other species, perhaps because they spent decades trying to discern communication from outside species.
The Business sector of the Gla’lara do have a less open, more wary stance on outsider relationships. Many of these executives will act as warm and open as Gla’lara from other walks of life, but will be calculating what they can gain from association with a group of people.
Due to events that unfolded during their first contact with the Federation, many in the Service and Science sectors are wary of the Orion Syndicate, although there are members of the fading Business sector who are still trying to communicate with and do business with the organization.