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Old 04-01-2016, 10:09 AM   #212
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Darkest Salop
Default Re: [Game] Generate a Space Trader Setting

More on the Mar Kan sorry that it is all a bit random.


Mar Kan typically go naked and barefoot. The 'Alpha in the street' will normally content himself with a belt or arm purse for small personal effects and one or two decorative items. Torcs worn as either about the neck or as an armband or decorated combs are popular favourites. Scapulae are not uncommon but amongst Alphas are confined to priests and dedicated religious devotees. Some clothing may be added in poor weather or extreme temperatures although this is typically limited to boots, gloves and a short cape. Mar Kan don't really have any concept of either formal clothing or uniforms. Formality just translates as more decorations, while the nearest they come to uniform is wearing the same emblem and possibly some form of rank markings.

In some frontier societies it is normal to carry some sort of side arm either as a practical consideration or a display of status. This is usually either a knife in an arm or thigh sheath or a pistol in a similarly constructed holster.

Juveniles and members of the 'lesser sexes' tend to be turned out similarly to adult Alphas. Sexual distinctions vary substantially from place to place but are typically confined to the style of decorative objects worn. One major exception amongst groups that let the 'lesser sexes' out unescorted is the use of a heavy necklace or a scapular (similar to those used by priests) known as a 'wandering collar' containing details of the Beta or Female's Alpha guardian and or home address in the same sort of fashion as a dog tag, in fact in many places this is a legal requirement for them to be allowed out unescorted. Many wandering collars contain electronic devices often including locators, simplified comm units or basic AR systems designed to help locate strayed family members and or facilitate the performance of simple errands.

Given there discomfort with the subject of clothing it should not come as a surprise that the Mar Kan have a somewhat minimalist attitude to protective gear full armour is almost unknown although partial suits built around a protective vest resembling a stiffened weather cape and a reinforced mask are all but standard amongst police and soldiers. Where heavier gear is needed robots are strongly preferred, either teleopperated or run by AI under supervision from a nearby vehicle. Environmental protection follows the same scheme, the Mar Kan simply do not produce pressure suits, EVA is the domain of either robots or work pods and emergency protection is provided by rescue bubbles.

Given the dependence upon rescue bubbles, workstations on warships and flight critical workstations on many merchantmen take the form of 'protected stations' featuring detachable couches with fairly extensive integrated controls (where are not tied into a personal network anyway) and a rescue bubble with an armoured outer covering. As a result of these systems Mar Kan bridge, engine room and gunnery systems tend to cost slightly more than those built for other species.


There is a common misconception that the Mar Kan are strictly carnivores. While this is incorrect, it is fairly understandable Mar Kan require a far higher proportion of animal protein in their diets than is typical for omnivores and are unable to function on a strictly vegetarian diet for any meaningful length of time. The misconception is further reinforced by the ubiquity of Gao in the Mar Kan diet.

Gao is a generic term for a variety of pseudo-arthropods consumed in various forms including ground and fried, salted, smoked or served as a broth in many respects Gao serves a role similar to pasta, rice or potatoes in human diets being served as an accompaniment to other foods as well as being consumed as a dish in its own right.

Gao doesn't go over well with other species, like most Mar Kan Ti lifeforms it contains a relatively high volume of near indigestible proteins associated with anaphylaxis in susceptible members of a wide variety of species (in humans this runs to about fifty percent of the population). If it doesn't cause a potentially fatal reaction the open minded gourmet will then find themselves confronted with the taste and smell which at least one brave experimenter has described as appalling.

Other than Gao, the Mar Kan diet incorporates a variety of meats and fruit deriving from not only Mar Kan Ti but a number of other worlds. Upper class Mar Kan can be very adventurous particularly when a potential food item ether moved at some point or is full of sugars. The one thing their diets rarely feature is alcohol, although Mar Kan are able to metabolise ethanol in small quantities, drunkenness is a particularly distressing experience and is generally avoided. Many of the social functions occupied by alcoholic beverages in many Human or CyKoi cultures tend to be filled by fruit or herbal teas or the inevitable Gao broth this is particularly true in political or commercial negotiations where the ritual consumption of a small amount of a beverage supplied by each of the parties involved is used at the start of discussion as a sign of trust and willingness to cooperate.

Social Organisation

Mar Kan social organisation is largely unremarkable, despite their unusual biology. Mar Kan normally live in family groups typically containing an Alpha one or more Betas and one or more Females plus various Juveniles and occasionaly adult descendents, 'polygamy' (in this case one alpha with multiple betas and females) was historically practiced and although it was suppressed during the Brotherhood of the Origin's rule has made something of a resurgence over the past few centuries as display of status amongst some cultures.

Given the disparities in intelegence and social functionality only Alphas normaly live alone commonly leaving to form their own households upon reaching adulthood. Those Alphas that remain in the parental home inevitably leave once they aquire partners. Partners are usualy acquired either by purchase or as a gift, the Mar Kan consider the idea of marrage by mutual consent or based upon mutual love to be fundamentaly impractical given the capabilities of females and beta's a situation they often liken this the treatment of pets by other species. Divorce is uncommon but generally permissible, the form varies from place to place but retains the commercial character of most partnerships often with the divorced female or beta being sold on the open market.

The major exception to the apparent normality of Mar Kan social institutions are the Ri (brotherhoods). Often mistakenly refered to as monastic orders Ri are group marrages composed of a group of Alphas engaged in a common task or trade keeping property and a harem in common. Few Ri are in fact religious most are commercial or military in character in fact a large number of Mar Kan corporations have a Ri as their primary stock holder. Amongst the most famous are Ri Soi Kir (the brotherhood of beautiful song) the primary shareholders of Yellow Song Trading (the root Kir literaly yellow also serves as a synonym for beauty) and Ri Yen Ti (brotherhood who revere the origin) the former oligarchic government of Arielieus.


Unity of language was one of the primary goals of the Brotherhood of the Origin and ultimately one of its more successful endeavours. Even centuries after the brotherhood was overthrown most Mar Kan still speak a recognisable variant of the brotherhoods lingua franca.

This language is Oligosynthetic i.e. much of its vocabulary is built up as compound phrases using a relatively small set of root words. Many roots have several meanings determined by context for example Mar which can mean Person or (alpha) Male or Sentient and Ti meaning Origin, First or (to come) Before. Anybody looking for a full translation of the species name will hit a slight snag in that Kan is an obsolete root with no clear meaning, most sources suggest that its nearest equivalent should be either Kas meaning All or 13* meaning Greater or Higher.

*Parts of Mar Kan speech are rendered in infrasound, conventional transcriptions as derived by Mar Kan scholars during the contact period assign these numbers based upon vocal characteristics.

Last edited by Frost; 04-11-2016 at 05:36 AM.
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