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Submitted on
May 31, 2012
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Primary Faction: None
Coalition Member Status: Tentative
Home World: Aru
Planet Status: Coalition Protectorate

- Overview -

The Goshin are a mammalian, somewhat Humanoid specie that were encountered by the Coalition a while after they encountered the Unification species. While a generally friendly, sociable people, they lag heavily behind other species known to the Coalition in technology, knowledge of space, and what lies within it.

- Anatomy -

Goshin are for the most part bipedal creatures standing roughly ten feet in height, although it is not uncommon for them to use all four of their limbs to attain high speeds while running. A Human looking at one might find it similar to an anthropomorphic wolf, although the head is more akin to a bear in shape. Their ears are large and triangular shaped, sitting near the top of their head, and their tails are fairly long and bushy. They are covered in fur of a solid color, generally shades of brown, tan, gray, or white, generally depending on the region of the individual Goshin's ancestry.

The fur of a Goshin is most commonly in the range of six to ten inches in length, though it is commonly trimmed down to below one inch for Goshin living in much warmer climates. They have double jointed legs, with padded, four toed feet, and padded, four fingered hands with an opposable thumb. Each finger and toe is clawed, though often these are kept short in modern Goshin societies.

They have a very acute sense of smell and hearing, and their eye colors are almost always brown or blue. Males are generally larger and more muscular than the females, and the females smaller and more lean. Female Goshin have mammary glands in the chest area, resulting in two pronounced breasts, one on either side.  In males, a sheath covers their penis when it is not in use.

- Origins -

Goshin are believed to have developed naturally on the planet they know as Aru. It is no coincidence that such a name sounds similar to a howl (i.e., Arooo!), because it is. In Goshin spirituality, a howl came to be seen as an acknowledgment of the majesty of the world, and at the same time a thirst to live fully within it, which no single word could accurately describe.

Aru is a planet roughly similar to Earth, but generally much colder. There are fewer tropical regions, and areas of cold temperate regions and frigid tundra cover more of the planet's comparative land area than on Earth. Historically, white furred Goshin resided in snowy climates, while lighter furred ones resided in more seasonal ones.

There are a variety of different types of life forms on the planet, both land based and water based.

- Psychology -

Generally speaking, Goshin are a simple, straightforward people, who often follow their emotions, and wish to take care of those close to them. Despite coming from a lineage of predators, they are surprisingly gentle, and while they are somewhat slow to anger, they are fearsome if roused, particularly if there is danger to themselves, their kin, or friends. They are more often than not playful, relaxed, and have a sense of wonder for life.

As a very family, tribe or clan centered people, it is much less likely to see a Goshin act quickly on their own, rather than take their time to make sure others are considered. They have a great loyalty to their closest friends and family. While they are sometimes wary of newcomers to their perceived clan units, once the newcomers have demonstrated themselves to be trustworthy, the will quickly find themselves friends, rather than mere acquaintances.

The Goshin are also a notably protective people, particularly of those smaller, and are rather good with children. This applies both to themselves as well as other alien species. Their predatory capacity can be unsettling to some smaller species, such as the Juntians and especially small species such as the Viana, however, aggression directed toward perceived prey is not directed at other people.

One of the most endearing aspects that other species have found about the Goshin is the sense of wonder they seem to have for the world around them, be it in life forms, nature as a whole, and a sort of reverence for all the mysteries behind it. It seems very easy for a Goshin to amuse themselves, or be happy, finding something to like even about the simplest of things, even lying in a patch of grass and enjoying a nice day.  They are also commonly very playful, in numerous ways.  There is a place in there society for fast paced living, especially on hunts, but besides those, Goshin would prefer to relax and enjoy themselves.

It should also be noted that the sense of reverence they have for the mysteries of life, and new things, also extends to those alien species that come in contact with them. They have a deep respect for those they can learn from, those with more experience or knowledge than themselves, and it has been noted that often alien species, be they larger or smaller, are sometimes treated in the same manner as their elders, spiritualists, and learned scholars.

- Reproduction -

Goshin have a reproductive capacity similar in nature to most known mammals encountered. Full sexual maturity is often around the age of sixteen to eighteen years. The gestation period of females is around a year, and usually one to two young are born, though very rarely more than three.

- Sexuality and Love -

While Goshin are capable of experiencing sexuality at any time, their sexuality does not have the fairly steady level of other species. Rather, it has a definite peak during the annual mating season which takes place from early to mid-spring. Even if a Goshin does not wish to conceive a child, this time is marked for most Goshin by a heightened state of sexual activity, with one or more partners. Once the season has passed, Goshin generally engage in sexual activity much less often, usually dependent on the age of the Goshin in question.

Part of Goshin culture has grown up around this season of both mating and birth, and this has combined further with the appreciation the Goshin already have of the spring season after the winter, a time of new life. In part because of the part it plays in all Goshin cultures, albeit sometimes in different ways, the vast majority of Goshin children are born around this time. Goshin can still be conceived and born at any time of the year, however, it is generally believed that if children are to develop in the best way, then it is best to plan around a Goshin's peak fertility.

Of course, sexuality is not the only means of expressing love among the Goshin. Feelings and conveying them are very important in Goshin culture, and those of love and affection especially important, and not just because of the development of greater levels of compassion yielding greater survivability in the wild of their tribes. Also, physical contact is of particular importance, and any Goshin who shies away or outright avoids such physical contact will almost always elicit concern among other Goshin for their well being, as such avoidance usually stems from some sort of suffering. As other species have started to become part of the Goshin life, such an attitude has also extended to them.

Actions such as hugging, cuddling, nuzzling, and licking are all very common among Goshin, with no necessary prerequisite of intimacy. Although the affection is appreciated, those species who are not used to such things done to them can find such actions off putting, until they become used to them or such concern is brought to the Goshin's attention. Usually though, the former happens, as it is often perceived by Goshin that if someone of a different specie feels averse to an affectionate display, they just need more of it to feel better.

Over time, the Goshin have developed what amounts to a marriage institution, generally for those who wish to mate for life. However, whereas some species might see this as starting a new family, for the Goshin, it is truly about extending the family, and one's relatives will often take a very active role in the couple's life.

In modern times, it is generally preferred that two Goshin make commitments to each other and their families before procreating. Reproductive irresponsibility is generally scorned, although because even extended family is kept close, children brought about without commitment are not as difficult to care for. There is a place in Goshin society for more casual intimate relationships between two Goshin, or even more than two, but bringing new life into the world is taken very seriously.

- Life Cycle -

The average life of a Goshin is similar to most mammalian species. A Goshin infant is born live, with very little to no traces of fur on them, and often with eyes that generally don't open for up to a few days. This is when a Goshin is most dependent and helpless, and family take great care to ensure the newborns are nurtured. Milk from their mothers will generally be the infant's only source of food until it becomes more able to function on it's own, which can generally be anywhere from four to five months.

When the young become more mobile, with greater fur cover to protect them from the elements, and more inclination to eat other foods, it will start to be weened onto more solid food. The childhood of a Goshiin can last up to around ten, when puberty will often begin, until maturity is reached at around eighteen years of age.

Goshin will often begin family building at about this time, though in more recent history, this can also be delayed sometimes until thirty years of age, though it is generally believed that earlier family beginnings yield deeper family bonds since more time can be spent with children the earlier they come.

In the range of forty to fifty a Goshin is considered past it's prime, or middle aged, and those aged sixty or higher are generally considered to be elders. At the time of their discovery by the Coalition, their expected lifespan of around eighty years, with some making ninety and over.

- Diet -

Goshin are capable of consuming a variety of foods, but while omnivorous, they predominantly prefer animal meat as a main source of food. Not just that, but being very much a predatory specie, they very much prefer meat as it is, uncooked, and the fresher the better. Other plant foods have a place in their diets, but where they are able, Goshin will almost always be drawn to animal meat.

This by itself is not a problem, but as other species are either less keen on meat, or not keen at all, the experience of being near a Goshin, or several, while they eat can be unsettling at times. It is perhaps one of the main things that can make another specie, particularly very small species, wary while in their presence, as it is the most direct reminder of where the Goshin descend.

- Language -

The Goshin are certainly capable of a range of words and language, even those not native to themselves, which, in no small part due to their jaw structure, gives them a rather noticeable Goshin "accent," particularly sounds which require more mailable lips. However, Goshin communication is much more about expression of feelings than just words. As such, growls, whimpers, purring, and what might be called roars or barks, as well as physical contact, are just as important to speech as words. Actually, they are sometimes sufficient if feelings can be expressed by them more easily than words.

The emphasis placed on feelings and non-verbal communication makes communication with Goshin generally fairly easy, even if one does not know the others language. For example, an Alaerin giving a "bark" or two at a group of Goshin and pointing in a direction is often sufficient to get the group to move where she pointed. Likewise, a Goshin giving a whimper is often sufficient to arouse the attention and sympathy of any Human nearby, who is usually able to readily figure out its needs.

This is not to say that Goshin communication does not entail the transmission of more complex ideas, and their written and spoken languages are well developed. Yet, like it's people, most languages used by the Goshin are very simple in nature. There is often very little to no grammar, with context generally derived from the manner of presentation by the speaker.

It is also common in Goshin languages that the more big, numerous, or complex something is, the more of the word there is. For example, in their most common language, their home world is "Aru." Space, or the heavens, is "Aruru." A hill is "gari," whereas a mountain is often "gariri." A snack is "che," a meal is "cheche," and a feast is "checheche." The world for alien is "arurushin," or, more literally, "space person". "Arurushinin," in turn, means big space person, and is commonly used to refer to Alaerin.

It should also be noted that because the emphasis of Goshin communication is the expression of feelings and experiences, meaning is more important than the actual words used. For example, the word "kaogo" means blue. "Kaogogo" means a lot of blue, often in reference to something like a sky or an ocean. However, this word is also sometimes used for an Alaerin, where it means "big blue." Likewise, "kaogogogo" often means many Alaerin. Also, the word "maishu" refers to one or both female breasts. "Maishushu" means big breasts. "Maishushushu" is a word that is often used for an Alaerin, and "maishushushushu" can mean many Alaerin, though usually at that point the Goshin saying it is just being silly. It should also be noted that while some Alaerin find this label flattering, others do not, however, they still won't say anything because it is well known that Alaerin are weak against cute, furry creatures.

Concepts and individual things almost always have the same word, and context is what differentiates them. For example, "go" means earth, and "shin" means person. And individual Goshin is called as such. Many individual Goshin could, and are, accurately called "Goshinin," however, shin can also mean people, and therefore "Goshin" is the most appropriate term when referring to their species. Alien species generally use the term Goshin to refer to one, many, or the specie for convenience.

- Society -

Although as tempting as it may be to affectionately refer to a Goshin as a pack animal, this should only be done by one who does not assume all group centered creatures to be the same. Historically, Goshin were generally nomadic and tribe centered. Families were extended, and those within tribes took care of one another. Goshin historians widely believe that it is when Goshin tribes began to accept outcasts, rather than outcast members, merge into larger tribes, and begin to form more permanent settlements around major animal migration routes in arable land that greater Goshin civilization began. The necessity of mutual care to survivability has shaped them through time.

Goshin are very family centric, and for Goshin, family truly means extended family. This close connection between family can easily extend to unrelated friends. They are generally disinclined to travel or move anywhere for extended periods of time where their friends and family are not, and much of Goshin societies are built around keeping family together and available to people.

It is not uncommon to find large, extended families just in a spread of a geographical region, but also grouped together closely within a very small area, such as a town. A Goshin home is often in very close proximity to others of relatives. Depending on how old family is and how long it has resided in an area, it is actually possible to find small sections of cities, or large sections of towns, completely inhabited by a single Goshin extended family. This does not just pertain to single homes, which themselves are almost always built to hold more than just a Goshin nuclear family, and residential neighborhoods, but to other aspects of larger Goshin settlements. Apartment complexes are designed with fewer separate units, as the buildings themselves often hold only a single Goshin extended family, but it is not as though ones being homes to two or more is uncommon. Businesses nearby are often all owned and operated by members of Goshin extended families.

What can pass for "government" in Goshin societies is generally a mix between elders of society, elders of families, family representatives, scholars, spiritualists, and sometimes others with experience in a field. Family structures of Goshin are so extensive and well knit that family governance is more important than societal governance, and as such institutions pertaining to larger populations of Goshin are of a more limited capacity. Matters of general affairs are dealt with by such institutions, either on a local or larger level, but it is still generally held that families should be able to take care of themselves and their members.

Elders within Goshin families thus carry the general role of being the governors of family affairs, and in typical Goshin families, there could be a large number of elders, sometimes hundreds, or more. There is no rigid structure to Goshin family governance, but generally elders are expected to be aware of what is going on within a family, and make sure that those adults younger than them are conducting themselves well, and the younger adults in turn making sure the children are conducting themselves well. Even within these extensive family networks, though, elder guidance is also often shared with scholars, spiritualists, and other with experience in different fields.

Such extensive family relations can often be overwhelming for other species. If a Goshin invites an alien to come and meet their family, they are often not expecting the affair to take days to weeks, often with large group meals, and trips to different councils of elders, all of which would be very normal for an individual Goshin who wishes to become familiar with the family of another. The best advice given to aliens is that, in affairs involving Goshin family, either be specific, or be prepared for a great deal of attention.

- Spirituality -

Matters of the spirit maintain a pivotal place in Goshin lives, and while there are differences in beliefs, there are central themes which run through all matters of Goshin faith and related experiences. Most notably is the concept of a Great Spirit, that which lies behind all seen and unseen. It is from this central source which all spirit comes, from spirits of the land, the sea, the air, animal life, Goshin, to space and space objects. It is generally believed that the universe is about experience, the experience of the Great Spirit, and for all it's manifestations to experience as well.

There is no single experience that any single spirit is confined to, and indeed, the range of experiences are what make a life enjoyable. While there are certainly concepts of benevolent, malevolent, and benign spirits, the Great Spirit is above such divisions, and manifests in those ways to propagate experience. A history of theology among Gohsin have sought to try to understand if there might be a reason why this might be the case, that the Great Spirit would manifest the universe in the way it is, if there are many reasons, or any reason at all.

However, it is more widely believed that the mysteries of the universe cannot be fully explained by anyone to anyone, but must be experienced for one's self to better grasp, if such a thing can even be done. To that, it is believed that the best way to fully appreciate what is, one must live one's life as fully as one can, full of many experiences.

This is not to say that all experiences are the same, for it is also believed that to truly be in line with the nature of the universe, and the spirits within, one must be in line with themselves. When a Goshin kills another Goshin, an act of negativity, for example, it creates many effects within themselves and others that yield further negativity. Conversely, when a Goshin saves another Goshin from danger, it creates a range of positivity. Any simple self or societal analysis they believe will show that because it creates great suffering within a Goshin to propagate negativity, rather than the happiness they feel propagating positivity, the Goshin must be a manifestation for experiences of a more positive kind. Thus, when it is said that a Goshin should have a range of experiences, it is generally implied that the experiences in question are those which are fundamentally in line with the nature of the Goshin, not against it.

It has been argued by some in the past that, the nature of Goshin hunting and killing of animals is certainly an act of negativity toward those animals, yet, it was counter argued that the nature of hunting and how they eat is extremely satisfying to a Goshin, an incredible experience in itself. Although not solely because of this, it has generally been concluded that although it seems Goshin are manifested for predominantly positive experiences, it does not mean that only positive experiences can satisfy a Goshin. Nothing in the universe must be purely good or evil, but is what it is to experience different things. A planet is manifested in it's form to experience things it can, such as the beauty of the growth of life, but also the horror of destruction. An ocean is what it is to experience such things as being a great sustainer of life, while also having the capacity to be cruel, and unforgiving.

Such a dichotomy among things that manifest, it is said, are because things need such a diversity of experience. As to how it pertains to Goshin, they too, must have the capacity for such a dichotomy. What the balance is between positive and negative experience is in the Goshin is not something that can truly be known at a mental level. This is why it is important for each Goshin to search their feelings, know what they are, be in tune with them, and follow them. It is in part because of such a spiritual emphasis on the nature of feelings to tell one something about one's self that feelings and emotions are so valued among them.

This is not to say that there have not been problems, and indeed, there have been wars between Goshin, both in their past, and in more recent history. Some have argued that such conflict which is so negative may have resulted from those following their feelings, and that reason could have prevented it. However, it has been countered that no measure of experience, be it from feelings, or emotions, or reason, is beyond corruption, or that perceiving one thing can only yield one view. It is the nature of manifestation that any single thing is of a both positive and negative nature. Also, it could well be that those who propagated such needless violence did not search themselves enough. Beyond that, others have noted that, much like anything, such violence has a dual nature. While it is easy to see the negativity of it, those with perceptions more open can see the positivity. Such conflicts serve as learning experiences for others, to demonstrate a way of living which is not good for them. So long as all things are viewed in the correct way, and the lessons from experiences learned, then no Goshin will have died meaninglessly.

Of importance in Goshin society are the spiritualists, in a general sense. This term does not specifically refer to what could be described as a priest, monk, or shaman exclusively, and each of those kinds, and others, has a place. Those who devote themselves to understanding matters of spirituality serve as useful guides to other Goshin, and see a prominent role in matters of family and societal institutions.

There are ways in which beliefs are somewhat institutionalized, are there are elements of what can be described as religion in Goshin society. The concept of worship exists, but it is more often perceived in the context of respect and reverence for the Great Spirit and all other lesser spirits that connect to it. Meditation is prominent within Goshin society, but prayer not as much, as it is believed that the best way to connect with the Great Spirit lies in the connection one has to themselves. There are buildings for meditation and prayer within society, but more often there will be natural settings, such as temple gardens and in the wilderness, as it is believed that the most productive meditation can be done in natural settings.

The sense of a single afterlife does not really exist within Goshin belief, but that spirits are constantly manifest in different ways, either in a physical experience, or in realities beyond the physical. How many different layers of existence there are is something that it is believed cannot be known, and like the nature of the Great Spirit, is one of the many great mysteries of the universe.

- Art and Culture -

A great diversity exists between Goshin cultures, especially those that exist in much colder climate compared to those from much warmer ones. What visitors seemed to notice prominently was that there was a notably relaxed, unhurried feel to Goshin society. This is not to say there there cannot be fast paced lifestyles, and active business markets, and so on, but as a whole, compared to many other species, Goshin society at large is much more laid back.

Part of this relates to their general view on life, that it should be experienced as fully as it can be, with no particular need to hurry to one's destination. Whereas a Human might be familiar with the idea that on the journey of life, one should stop and smell the roses, a more Goshin idea might be, if one is not going to stop and appreciate the roses, then what's the real joy of the journey? Overall, much more emphasis is placed on enjoying the moment than stressing too strongly about the future, and that one's personal experiences and what is learned through life is more important than one's physical accomplishments.

This is not to say that Goshin are not industrious, as they can apply themselves just as strongly as any people who desire to. However, the desire for technological innovations is not as strong with them as a whole as it is with other species.

The Goshin have always been a people close to the land and nature, and such a connection has always been deeply respected, and permeates throughout their society. Goshin dwellings are often simple, and rustic in design, even more modern buildings, and nature is never far away. Within any Goshin settlement one will find an abundance of parks and natural areas.

Clothing within Goshin society is for the most part absent, a Goshin quite comfortable to roam anywhere naked. Normally this might put off some other species, but because Goshin are covered in fur, such a choice is generally not spoken against, and in truth feels to many species not much different than a pet or other domestic animal. Granted, the Goshin who trim their hair short in warmer climates are much more eye catching than those in colder ones that let it grow long, since their features are more defined, but even then, such a manner of dress is generally not spoken against. What clothing Goshin generally do wear either pertains to specific kinds of protective work clothes, or accents they might wear, but other than that, Goshin are fine with the natural fur they have.

Perhaps because Goshin can more acutely identify someone based on smell or sound, not to mention being able to notice the differences among each other, visual individuality has not been as prominent among them as it has been with other species. One aspect of such individuality, aside from clothing, is the growing out of some of their fur while trimming the rest, most commonly in warmer climates. The fur is sometimes stylized, or even dyed. The growing out of head fur while trimming the rest has become much more common since encountering alien species for whom head hair is of notable importance.

As with the rest of their culture, much of Goshin artistry relates to being in line with nature. They have a wide variety of different artistic mediums, like any specie, but to a large degree, more simple, earth related artwork is more common than more elaborate, or even technologically inclined ones. There is certainly a place in their society for more advanced, complex types of art, but it is not as common. The art of storytelling is, perhaps, the most enjoyed kind among them, be it novel, oral telling, mythology, play, movie, or song. Experience is paramount, and the sharing of one's experience, or the presentation of different experiences, the most important art form.

At the time of their discovery, the Goshin had a very wide range of different societies. Some were more modern and advanced, where others were just as nomadic as they had been eons before, and were perfectly happy with living that way.  It also should be noted that the Goshin could well experience many changes to their culture as time goes on, now that they know they are not alone in the universe, and that an industrial base which moves to slow could leave them vulnerable to malevolent species in the universe. Time will tell how the Goshin adapt.

- Technology -

The element of simplicity that is common among Goshin is also seen in their technology. Simplicity of design and function in terms of machines, appliances, and other devices, is often favored more than complexity. Utility and durability are favored much more than extra features, which may or may not have any direct relationship to the technology in question. This holds true even if the more complex piece of technology is overall superior.

A notable example of this is in their choice of air travel. The Goshin do have equivalents to propeller aircraft as well as more advanced jet aircraft. However, the most common kind of air travel is the airship. More advanced types of planes are certainly faster, and more expedient ways of getting between two places, and these certainly have a place in modern Goshin society. However, the ease with which an airship can be both built, operated, and maintained, has made it rather commonplace among the Goshin, to the point that there are both large, luxury airships, as well as more small group or even personal craft.

While it is true that for very long flights Goshin will almost always opt for one of the faster types of air travel, for shorter distances, the airship is preferred. Slower though it may be, for the Goshin, the journey is even more important than the destination, and a more gradual pace is not necessarily a bad thing, especially if the view is nice.

When the Goshin were encountered, a Human might liken the state of Goshin technology and society at large to be reminiscent of elements of the 19th and 20th centuries on Earth. There is radio and television, but more advanced computers are still a developing technology. There are automobiles, as well as trains and some trolleys, but also animal mounts. There are some more large scale farming technologies, but often more rudimentary farming tools are seen, with smaller scale farms more common than large ones.

The Goshin did have a functional space program at the time they were encountered, and had already reached both of their moons, with several missions, and have many satellites in their planet's orbit. It was more recent, and thus was not very extensive.  Programs to create unmanned probes were underway, though only one was sent out to the next planet in their system further out from Aru at the time of the Coalition discovery of them.

What the future holds for them, they are not sure, but they are eager to learn from those species that would aid them.

- Military -

When they were encountered, the Goshin had no single, unified military. Rather, different armed forces pertain to different levels of social structure. Goshin society is very decentralized, and the same is true for military elements within it.

For the most part, major military forces have come in two forms. One is that of many different families pooling those among them who are inclined toward extensive defense, and those families who generally are notable for their military orientation. There are many smaller, what could be considered militias all throughout different Goshin nations, but any standing army is usually small. Large armies can be raised in times of need, but since Goshin society at large is broken into many smaller units, protective services are generally offered and supplied by various smaller units, be they smaller militias or private security.

The Goshin do still have notable weapons of war. There are air vessels, sea vessels, and land vessels that are designed for combat, as well as various bases around different nations. Large scale wars are fairly well absent as large scale nations are often absent. Most conflict that has emerged on Aru has been at smaller scales, and often between large families, rather than larger entities, such as nations. One of the most notable checks on Aru that mitigates large scale war or conquest are the presence of so many different nations who could ally with each other. There are actually many more individual nations on Aru than there ever were on Earth, for example, but none of them have ever been very large.

The firearm of choice for the goshin military is the spike gun. These weapons fire what is essentially a large, rifled spike at high velocities. The round itself is caseless, with the propellent and the detonator both located in a depression bored into the rear of every spike. When triggered, the entire spike is launched from the weapon. Spike guns, traditionally, have low rates of fire compared to other species' automatic weapons, but exceptional piercing power. The concept itself is descended from the earliest goshin firearms, which had originally been used to bring down some of the larger, tougher game found in the wilderness of Aru.

- Faster Than Light Technology -

At the time the Goshin were first encountered by the Coalition, the Goshin had no developed faster than light travel themselves.  Those Goshin that have spread to other worlds have done so through either Coalition or Unification ships.
Visual image found here: [link] courtesy of :iconblazbaros:

This is something that :iconrcs619: and I have worked on for a while. This is tentatively a new species for the :iconlegacyverse: setting. At the moment, new species are not really an emphasis within the setting, as there are much more fundamental things that need work on. Specifically, new species beyond the Alaerin, Viana, Urrid, Vornai, Vornin, and Vornin'Mar really aren't really introduced until after the Machine War. This is not to say that there isn't ample room within the setting for the addition of new species, but that for the moment, new species are not a focus.

While this species has potential, everything here should be taken as fairly loose. For the most part, they are the way I like them, at least in terms of their culture, society, technology, and so forth. However, they are not a canon specie yet, and a lot of things are opened to change.

This is especially true of their appearance. I am not the most visually inclined person, and so as for how they look...well, take the anatomy section as a way to get a rough idea, rather than a solid one. I did not want to create a "furry" specie, in that sense, and I did not want to create a specie that was, say, a bunch of anthropomorphic dogs. Rather, the goal was to create a specie that would "remind" a human of a dog or wolf, without actually being a dog or wolf person. For those interested, this image [link] was our starting point for visualization, but this is not what the Goshin look like. It can give a very rough idea though.

The goal of this species, and perhaps others in the future, is to give a different dynamic to the setting. Currently, all the major species in the setting are very well suited for space travel. Either they are very humanoid, in the sense that they have the physiology to be able to be tool makers, along with a strong drive for technological progress, or, they have some other qualities of their specie that make them suitable candidates for traveling the stars. The Risen, for example, while not seeming like an ideal space fairing specie, do have strong psychic capacities as well as the ability to manipulate their environment, and can thus make for competent star travelers. The Gulchabrahva [link] maybe the least suited of those in the setting, but they also have a capacity for very high bio-technology, and fill other niches.

In addition, there are no species that are "behind the curve" in a technological sense. If we take the human species within the setting as a base, all of the other species, at least those that have a detailed bio, are either on par with them, or beyond them. This is fine, especially from the perspective that part of the exploration process of space. In much of sci-fi, part of the thematic elements of finding those equal to one's self in space create a sense of having those like one's self out there. Further, having those species which are much more advanced than one's self draw more attention to the aspect of remaining humble and respectable to others, and thus become better, both as an individual, and as a people.

However, another dynamic of humility can be realized by having those who see one as someone to look up to, having those one can guide and care for. I think that one very valid way to make someone a better person is to give them some responsibilities, particularly things that are important to them. The Goshin as a whole are a specie that would be looking up to other species around them, from Humans, to Alaerin, to Xasheen, to the Risen, to even the Viana, as much as a ten foot tall creature can "look up" to a four inch one.

The Goshin as a whole are also less likely to emphasize space fairing capacity, and not because they were discovered before they even attained faster than light travel. Their physiology allows them to be tool makers, but it is generally much easier to manipulate things with, say, Human fingers than Goshin ones. As such, more advanced technologies that require careful and precise movements are just by their nature more difficult for them. Further, by their very mentality, they prefer simpler things, such as family, relationships, and being close to nature, rather than striving for ever higher levels of technological progress. This is not to say the Goshin are stupid or incompetent creatures, or that they cannot be industrious and hard working, but that compared to other species, they have biological drawbacks, even if as people they are just as respectable as any other.

Most life we know of on Earth is not well suited to technological progress. If we extrapolate a bit, it seems likely that most life that could be found throughout the universe might also not well be suited to technological progress. It also seems likely that this could apply to those species that are classified as "sentient," at least in a conventional sense. Like I mentioned earlier, there are other species I would like to develop that also utilize this concept much more strongly than the Goshin.

I'm not sure if I explained everything well in this description, but hopefully I gave at least an idea of the reasoning behind this specie. I'll likely alter things here as needed.
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Gorger Featured By Owner Jun 4, 2012
Wow, I come for someone else's work and the bulk of the comments is about mine o 3 o Zen had a perfectly good point, Tartarus, you didn't need to go play defender

Aaaaanyways, I told Cliff already, but this is a pretty good idea. You guys managed to take something that could've very easily been played as a "furry" and made something original and very logical to it. The whole contrast of them being super-friendly despite their very threatening looks is amazing, and the little things such as their simple but repetitive dialect are very endearing.

Personally I would have made them look slightly more alien, so that the human comparison to dogs is a vague approximation at best, like with therapsids, but eh. This is very well planned out, and I'd love to see what future they would have if they do become canon. You did awesome here :)

(And for the record, the Gulcha male picks things with his mouth like a subsitute second hand, but they're still not very dextrous :P All of the other things you guys pointed out are very reasonable, I hadn't stopped to think about it before)
zen4life Featured By Owner Jun 4, 2012
Thank you for the favorite on this. The original idea for the Goshin look came up in an RP he and I were doing, where, although the Goshin were an alien specie, they were pretty much set up to be dog-like people. When Cliff had the idea of aligning them more with the Legacy setting, he too had ideas of making them more "alien."

However, while I can appreciate where such thoughts are coming from, I often don't see the point. In the first place, because everyone has a different conception of what makes a specie more "alien" looking, but also because of the much more practical element that, generally speaking, living things have what they need, an not things they don't. I could give the Goshin, say, antennae, but I don't know what go that would do. I could give then horns, but they don't bash their heads together, so that would be unnecessary. Things like more limbs or tentacles are possible too, but...I also don't see the point in it either.

To me, a ten foot creature that looks like humanoid dog/bear mixture is already rather alien to my normal everyday experience, and just making something more visually different does not make it fundamentally more interesting. This is especially true considering the primary aspect of Legacy, at least as far as I can tell, is going to be written pieces. A picture is certainly worth a thousand words or more, but writing out a thousand words to describe what a creature looks like in a story sense only slows down the pacing, at least, when done all at once. For the most part, if I can get across in a literary sense that they bear a resemblance to dogs, it will give readers something to get a visual of.

At another level, I personally wonder just how "alien" things can look. Even on Earth, it's been substantially observed that biological lifeforms follow mathematical ratios, most notably Phi, which is (sqrt[5]-1)/2, or around .618, also called the "Golden Ratio," and not just seen in biological lifeforms. Even some of the most obscure looking creatures, like those found near the ocean bottom, appear to follow this ratio. Considering this ratio has also been observed as the first consistent pattern among quantum chaos, I think it is a fairly reasonable theory that what lifeforms are found in the universe, which I would just call physical manifestations of consciousness, would also follow this ratio, among others.

Personally, I tend to shy away from rigid descriptions, especially in literature, because I like to leave things opened for a reader's personal interpretation, so that they can create their own personal connections to it. If the Goshin do become canon, then I will likely talk with various people and try to come up with a suitable, rough canon look for them, as it would help me out too.
Gorger Featured By Owner Jun 4, 2012
Well i wasn't talking about things like just slapping antennae, but more in a sense of making them have a vague resemblance to canids without being a dog or a recognizable mammal at all, like how Wayne Barlowe made a tyrannosaur-paralel with the Arrowtongue in Expedition. But what you're saying makes just as much sense, alien doesn't merely imply "from another world" after all

And besides it's not often that i've seen anthro dog-things being treated realistically, it makes it much more interesting. And given the origins of the humanoid races, it also raises some questions...
zen4life Featured By Owner Jun 4, 2012
Well, actually, Cliff also mentioned that I should have more appropriately used the word "canines" rather than "dogs" in both the document and the author's comments, that's true. I used humanoid loosely though. It's true that in the setting, specifically human and human like species are of an alien origin, and there are reasons for that, but the Goshin are intended to be a non-humanoid specie, actually more akin to the Risen and Spaari than Juntians or Xasheen in terms of their origins.

I am hesitant to call then antrhos as well, as their look has not yet been solidified. I didn't say so in the document, but one idea that came to mind was to give their limbs and bodies structure enough that let them move upright, but if they wished, could run using all four limbs to attain higher speeds. This would mean their "hands" would be inherently less hand like, and thus less suited to tool making, but could certainly still function to that end.

I had toyed with the idea of making them much more like quadrupeds than bipeds, but at the same time, like I mentioned, there are other species I'm considering working on which are similar in the thematic aspect of being less suited for technology. One of them was a full quadruped, with telepathic means of communication, which, while "sentient," as far as that term goes, would have no capacity at all for technology due to their biological limitations. There could, of course, be a lot of different species like that. Goshin I did want to give some level of technological capacity, so that is not going to be the case with them, that is, quadruped to the degree of being technologically incapable.
Gorger Featured By Owner Jun 4, 2012
The whole switching to a four-legged stance could work, in fact it wouldn't surprise me if they feel more comfortable in that position.

And i really like that concept of a sentient species unable to make technology on their own, it has so many possibilities :O Will look forward to it if you end up using it
zen4life Featured By Owner Jun 4, 2012
Well, depends more on Don, and how much he wants to include in the setting. A greater of diversity of species offers a lot of options, but at the same time, it's more important to get the main plot grounded and developed.
Tarturus Featured By Owner May 31, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I thought there was to be no more new species to be made for this setting, as there had already been more than enough of the whole "keep adding more sapients for the hell of it" thing.

Also, I don't see how the Gulchabrahva are "the least suited" to space travel. It is already established that they do have interstellar travel and there is nothing about them that would make them less suited to traveling around in space ships than any other species.
zen4life Featured By Owner May 31, 2012
The issue was not that new species couldn't be added, though I can see why that idea might have been been perceived. It was that in the present timeline, new species beyond those in the Coalition and the Fellowship would not be playing much of a role in the setting until after the Machine War, which in the present timeline is around two hundred years after focal starting point in 2330.

As such, new species were being added faster than those working on the core elements of the plot from 2330 to that point, and as such, Don didn't want to worry about adding too many more things before those core elements were more solidified. Having more species is fine, but all species aside from those in the Coalition are going to have a more minor role in the setting, just by the nature of the general plot, and working on those things which are more major was what he wanted to spend more time on.

The Goshin here are not part of the setting yet, and won't be for a long time, even if Don gives the okay. Not just because they play a minor role, but because I'd likely be the main person developing them, and I already have a lot that I'm working on in the setting.

As far as the Gulchabrahva goes, yes, compared to the other species in the setting so far, they are the least suited travel, because they are the least suited to technological progress. When I speak of space fairing, it's not just that process of getting around space, it's also the buildup for getting there in the first place.

Part of this comes from their obvious biology. They have one hand. One. Considering how complicated it can be to make even simple tools with one hand, making ever more complex ones becomes more difficult. In terms of their capacity to build, because of their natural biology, at least, at present, they are half as capable as a human, or juntian, or risen, or any other species, which gives them a natural disadvantage.

On top of that, assuming I understand their specie bio correctly, a single Gulchabrahva is rather incapable by itself. Unless a male is bonded with a female, neither can survive, or hope to accomplish much on their own. It could possibly even be asserted that a single Gulchabrahva is an incomplete life form, though that would be an oversimplification.

But, the major point is that, compared to any other major specie in the setting, they have a natural disadvantage, based on their biology, when engaging in matters of technology. As such, they are comparatively less suited for it, and as space travel is a matter of technology, they are less suited for it. This does not mean that they cannot do it, but that it will naturally be more challenging for them because of the limitations that they then have to compensate for.
Tarturus Featured By Owner Jun 1, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
OK, so there can be more sapient races but they won't have major roles in the main setting events.
Mind you though, anyone who's created a sapient species for the setting should have it play some role, rather than just being in the setting for the hell of it.

As for the Gulchabrahva, I understand how the fact they only have one hand could make it seem they are less suited for building things. However, that's based on the somewhat erroneous assumption that manipulators must be hands. For instance, prehensile feet could also act as manipulators. As could other appendages such as perhaps the male's penis, assuming he has one, (though the possibility of using such an appendage as a manipulator might be precluded, or at least never described in detail, due to modesty issues and whatnot) or some other appendage that we ourselves would be unfamiliar with.
However, I'm only speculating here. As I'm not the creator of the Gulchabrahva, I don't know for sure how they compensate for having only one hand. Only Gorger could possibly give a conclusive answer.

Also, the whole thing with the male and female fusing together is something we actually see here on Earth, in deep sea angler fish. It's possible this was one of Gorger's inspirations, though I don't know for certain.

In any case, I've long felt that the Legacy race least suited to space travel (and to advanced technology in general) were the risen. After all, they are aquatic, and for certain obvious reasons living underwater would prohibit such things as smelting, electronics and such for some rather obvious reasons. How the risen managed to develop advanced technology underwater despite the limitations this habitat poses seems to be conveniently handwaved.
zen4life Featured By Owner Jun 1, 2012
It's not a particularly erroneous assumption. I'm just looking at the visuals of them. That's really all I can go by. It's certainly possible to manipulate things with other appendages, but if it doesn't have combination of flexibility, strength, dexterity, and sensitivity, then it won't be useful for advanced tool making. Presently, nothing on the Gulchabrahva does this besides their single hand. Maybe that gets changed overtime.

The Risen are also less suited than land based creatures. Aside from the Gulchabrahva, they could well be considered the least likely. However, they do have the advantage of very dextrous hands, as well as a capacity for mental manipulation, in addition, each single Risen can function without long term complications unlike a single Gulchabrahva. With the risen specifically, you would have to ask Cliff. They are a new specie to the setting, and while there are likely ways to develop things underwater, there is no specified time limit for how long it took them to get to where they are either. As with any specie, the more important things to consider is how they function as people, and how they can be utilized to add different dynamics to a setting. Different aspects of technology are generally less important, but not unimportant.

Species that are allowed in the setting are one that do have a role to play though, or give some additional element to the setting, or some new dynamic. There is presently the primary plot to the setting, but the allowance of side plots, which while important, serve presently as a supporting role. How much any given additional species plays in the primary, long term plot is undetermined at this time.
Tarturus Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Well nothing we see on the Gulchabrahva seems to perform the purpose of extra manipulator(s) besides the hand (unless the feet happen to be more prehensile than they appear). However, we can't rule out the possibility of appendages not visible in the pics, due to being retracted into the body when not in use.
But again, these are just guesses, and you'd have to ask Gorger to actually know how they compensate for having one hand.

On the risen, the issue has nothing to do with how dexterity. As I explained from the very start, the issue has to do with the fact that they live underwater, which would limit what they can achieve. To get the type of technologies they are seen with requires metal working and electronics. No matter how dextrous a species' manipulatory appendages are, no matter how resourceful and imaginative the species is, it is still left with the tasks of creating underwater furnaces for smelting metals, and keeping electric circuits dry underwater (saying they are insulated still doesn't remove the problem that they would have been exposed to the water while being made).
I suppose you could just invoke the setting's "ley magic" concept (which can apparently make fires underwater and anything else the setting demands). I personally would find that somewhat of a cheap cop-out, but then that's just me.
zen4life Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2012
I was considering the underwater element as a major limiting factor, with appendages such that the Risen have as a helpful factor to help overcome some things. While much of their history is not detailed, it is also not necessary for them to do everything underwater. They do have land based cities, though they are basically domed, but it is practical to assume that overtime they became aware of different ways to do things, both at sea, and on land, and their technologies entail both.

Anyone would think bringing a ley magic element would be a cheap cop-out, that's why it isn't happening. But, if you're thinking ley magic is just in the setting to make things work, then you're misunderstanding ley magic.
Tarturus Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Well, the main problem is that in past discussions with Cliff he implied they had first build hi-tech suits that allowed them to go onto land, where they went on to build things on land. However, the suits in question would require metal working and electronics, which as I've already stated can't be done underwater.

If, however, we assume that the risen have the natural ability to crawl onto land, then they could make the technological advances that are impossible underwater on the land instead. That would work.
As for the likelihood of sea creatures being able to naturally survive on land, keep in mind that here on Earth we have a number of fish who have the ability to crawl onto land and remain there for long periods ([link]). So it's not completely unthinkable that the risen might have this ability as well.
zen4life Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2012
He might do that, though whether or not he has to is maybe up in the air. Certainly, more conventional metal working and electronics are more than a just little tricky underwater, but I don't think that has to be a restriction against other potential methods.
rcs619 Featured By Owner Jun 1, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
I'd agree with that. Saying a species is less suited for higher technology is not the same as saying they are inferior to other species. I imagine that's why bio-tech works out so well for the gulcha. When you engineer a plant or an animal for a certain function, it can kind of handle itself without a huge about of input from its creator.

Size and physical strength is a factor too. I believe the average gulcha (I tend to count the male and female as a single unit of the species for simplicity) is only like, 4 or 5 feet tall. By human standards they are a smaller, somewhat physically weaker (although I wouldn't want to be on the wrong end of those talons) species and that would be even moreso with the unification species.

(Fun-fact: You actually hit the nail on the head. Gulcha themselves consider individual males and females to be incomplete, and only possessing half a soul. Only by bonding with each other do gulcha believe they become a complete lifeform. They actually find other species a bit unnerving at times, creatures able to live, move around and live their whole lives while being "incomplete" from a gulcha's viewpoint.)

I'd imagine that for any kind of large-scale construction, specialized construction suits, heavy equipment, or even animals designed to be construction aids are a must. It might even take two or three gulcha working as a team to accomplish some tasks one or two humans could handle. It's not to say they are inferior, as they are quite brilliant in some ways, especially the bio-technological stuff... but it is a fact that some activities are going to be much more difficult for them.

I would also agree that the risen are, in a way, not as suited for higher technology and space-travel. They do have arms, and opposable thumbs, but these appendages are thin and comparatively weaker to say, a juntian's or a xasheen's. There's the obvious handicap of being an aquatic species, and all the things they need to do to compensate for that, like incredibly complex power-suits, extremely powerful yet compact energy sources, the ability to pump, move and clean massive amounts of water in star-ships and domed cities, and more. Another obvious strike against them is the fact that they are physically unable to vocalize. Without their telepathy they'd still be using bio-luminescent signals, hand-gestures and body language. Honestly, I think they only reason they never let any of that stop them was the whole "Forever rising upwards" thing that has become implanted in their culture as their species progressed. If they didn't have that drive, I doubt they would have gotten as far as they have.

To the goshins' credit, I do think that some technological leaps are inevitable after meeting the Coalition. Even if the humans, or alaerin, or viana don't try to influence them, they still will in a more passive way. Goshin thinkers, and scientists are going to get inspired by what they see, and probably try to mimic them... or at least find ways to apply new ideas to what they already have. They may not move as fast as humans would in the same situation, but I'd imagine post-contact Aru would be an exciting place, especially among the biological and scientific communities.
Filanwizard Featured By Owner May 31, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Everything seems well rounded, the one thing we need to decide in the setting in general at least for the coalition is that do they have anything like Star Trek's prime directive and avoid getting involved with species not capable of interstellar travel.
zen4life Featured By Owner May 31, 2012
No, it's already been decided that in the setting, a prime directive does not exist. It could be that if a specie is encountered too early, it might generally be decided that contact will be held off, but observation continued. However, even if a species does not have and FTL system, if the species in considered able to be communicated with and interacted with in an understandable way, it will more likely than not be done.

I cannot fully speak for the Unification, but I think for the Coalition, part of that might come from the realization that there are forces out in space that can seek to wipe out or manipulate species at lower technology levels, such as what happened to the Alaerin and the Vornai, and thus looking out for an helping other species would be more a priority.
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