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.