The Efrip and Akhrini

The Efrip and their offshoot, the Akhrini, are a Major Human race native to the Greater Magellanic Cloud. It is theorised that they were transported to the Greater Magellanic Cloud by the Sidhe approximately 60,000 years ago. Though of the same racial stock (Homo efripzondans), the two groups have radically differing cultures. The Efrip evolved on Efripzond {Rictolsf 0912}; an ice covered medium sized world in the Cloud. They developed jump drives about 4,000 years ago and formed a large interstellar state which lasted around 800 years. The Akhrini culture developed on Akhrikora {Ewytctip 1709}; a desert world colonised during the Efrip period.

Physiology

The Efrip are unmistakable Human. However there are a number of noticeable difference from Humans of Terran stock. The average Efrip is shorter and stockier than the average Terran; and they posses a layer of fat which acts as effective insulation from extreme cold. They have a faster metabolism than Terrans, with an average heartbeat of about 83 per minute against the Terran average of 75. They have a higher occurrence of left handedness. Around one third of all Efrip are left handed, with a significant proportion (around 8%) being ambidextrous. The Efrip eye is superior to that of Terrans in bright light but inferior in subdued lighting conditions. The Efrip are able to metabolise certain proteins indigestible by other Humans. The average Efrip gestation period is 43 weeks as compared with the average Terran of 40 weeks. Most of these are undoubtedly adaptations due to the alien nature of their homeworld.

The Efrip Homeworld

Efripzond orbits Olsfewt, a 50,000 km diameter gas giant at a distance of 4,728,000 km. Olsfewt in turn orbits Ewndakh, an A4 V star at a distance of 800,000,000 km. Ewndakh is itself the distant companion of Efakhndo, a B3 V star. Ewndakh orbits Efakhndo at a distance of 1,350,000,000,000 km. Efripzond has an orbital period of 292 standard days and rotates on its axis once every 24 standard hours. Olsfewt has an orbital period around Ewndakh of 2,920 standard days and Ewndakh has an orbital period around Efakhndo of 59,906,720 standard days (164,128 standard years). Efripzond has an axial tilt of 21° and an orbital eccentricity of 0.05. Efripzond is orbited by a single satellite, Iraakhri.

Efripzond has an average surface temperature of 5.8°C. About 35% of its surface is land, in two large and one small continents and one island archipelago. About 45% of the worlds surface is covered by oceans and the remaining 20% is ocean icecap. The surface is heavily glaciated, giving the world its high albedo factor of 0.42.

Efripzond’s current population is 7 billion, of whom 90% are racial Efrip and is governed by a civil service bureaucracy. Efripzond is the capital of the Fourth Efrip Council, an interstellar state consisting of 8 worlds.

The Akhrini Homeworld

Akhrikora orbits Iraewp, a solitary F5 V star at a distance of about 315,000,000 km. Akhrikora has an orbital period of 973.34 standard days and rotates on its axis once every 36 standard hours. It has an axial tilt of 3° and an orbital eccentricity of 0.001. Akhrikora has no satellites.

Akhrikora has an albedo factor of 0.16 and an average surface temperature of 30.6°C. About 15% of its surface is water in the form of three small seas, 25% is arable land and the remaining 60% is desert.

Akhrikora has a population of 600 million (rather low for the capital of a large interstellar state), of whom 80% are Akhrini, 15% are Efrip and the remaining 5% other races and cultures. Akhrikora is governed by a Council of Elders (not to be confused with the Great Council of Elders which governs the Akhrini Commonality), a form of charismatic oligarchy. Akhrikora is the capital of the Akhrini Commonality.

History - Efrip

It would appear that around 3,000 to 10,000 individuals of the genus Homo sapiens were transported to Efripzond by the Sidhe around 60,000 years ago; these individuals evolved to become the Efrip. Along with the Efrip many other Terran lifeforms also appear to have been transported at the same time. Efripzond is home not only to Humans but also other primates, cetaceans, cattle, bears, many other species of animals, birds, fish, plants and other lifeforms of Terran origin. It would appear that the Sidhe transported a complete Terran ecosystem to Efripzond. This undoubtedly made survival for the prehistoric Efrip much easier.

The available evidence indicates that the initial Efrip were transplanted to the heavily glaciated smaller northern continent (Akhoslfewn) of Efripzond. The environment here is harsh and unforgiving; and without question the Efrip would have found survival difficult here. However by -45,000T the Efrip had evolved a stable nomadic hunter gather type culture and had spread to cover most of Akhoslfewn. Numerous ‘Shangri-la’ type valleys are dotted around Akhoslfewn and these played a prominent role in the development of the Efrip. Initially the Efrip only used these valleys as temporary stopping places, wintering in them and hunting the considerable herds of game which congregated there during the winter.

However by -30,000T several of these valleys had become semi-permanently settled (this appears to have corresponded with a period with a warmer than normal climate). The more hospitable environment of these valleys allowed the development of more advance Efrip cultures. For a long period the Efrip in the valleys remained simple hunter gathers, hunting the great herds of Ewsakhng (a descendent of transplanted Terran cattle) who roamed from valley to valley and gathering the plants which grew there. However, in around -23,000T the great breakthrough came; the Efrip domesticated the Ewsakhng. Other animals followed and by -19,000T the Efrip had also developed primitive agriculture. By about -15,000T numerous pastoral cultures had been established in different valleys.

It was in one of these valleys that the first Efrip civilisation arose in around -11,500T. The first civilisation was based on a priesthood worshiping Olsfewt. The priesthood developed mathematics to predict seasons. The complex orbital dynamics of the Efrip home system lead mathematics to be developed rapidly to a high degree and from this came the development of surpluses and civil engineering to enable cities to grow. The orbital dynamics of there system is also believed to have heavily influenced the basic Efrip belief in the cyclical nature of the universe and lead to their long term view of the world.

The benefits of civilisation spread to several neighbouring valleys and by -11,000T trade between the civilised valleys was flourishing. The Olsfewt Empire reached its height around -10,300T but with the growth in contact between the valleys came a growth in conflict over resources and around -10,000T the Olsfewt Empire collapsed due to warfare between the various valleys.

The Efrip languished in a dark age for around 1,000 years. Civilisations rose in various valleys, but none seemed able to achieve the necessary level of development to expand beyond the limits of their restricted worlds. However in around -9,000T the semi-mythical ruler Irisakhlsf had united one valley and formed the Irisakhlsf Empire. It would appear that the invention of the plough played a crucial role in allowing the Empire to solidify and remain after Irisakhlsf’s death. By -8,800T population pressure forced the Irisakhlsf Empire to start to expand beyond its valley; and by -8,500T the Irisakhlsf Empire ruled an area of perhaps 800,000 km2. The Empire appears to have undergone a civil war at this point and broken into various individual valley nation states. The next 2,500 years were marked by constant intercine warfare and the development of a feudal culture of many independent nations.

Around -6,000 the great Efrip philosopher Ictakhri developed her teachings. These teachings spread rapidly and gained wide acceptance. Indeed, present day Efrip culture is still based on the precepts she put forth over 8,000 years ago. Put simply, her ideas are that humans are a communal animal and that government should be based on enabling the greatest harmony and well being for the members of the community; and that such government can only be achieved with the freely given consent of those being governed. These ideas proved to be a challenge to the established feudal elites and attempts to suppress her teachings were widespread, the traditional date for her martyrdom is -5,932T. However these attempts failed and her teachings were gradually adopted by more and more Efrip. By -5,700T the first states based on her teachings came into being. Her teachings, combined with the traditional Efrip belief in the cyclic nature of the world and long term view lead to the rise of the civil service bureaucracy as the common form of government.

By -5,200T most of the old feudal states had been replaced by states based on Ictakhri’s teachings. With this came a more stable civilisation and the development of true science. In -5,000T sailing vessels were developed. The advanced nature of Efrip mathematics lent itself well to navigation; and ocean going voyages were common within 100 years. By -4,800T the Efrip were colonising the rest of their world. The more hospitable climate of the equatorial regions further spired their development. By -2,700T Ewfwind, a colonial state in the equatorial belt underwent an industrial revolution. Ewfwind came to be the dominant power by -2,500T. Ewfwind’s influence and control grew rapidly; and in response other states industrialised and developed. By -2,200T Efripzond had developed to tech level 5 and was dominated by just four major powers: Ewfwind, Iriefictiri, Akhoew and Eflsfakhn. Other minor states still remained, but only as clients to the great powers. They achieved tech level 7 in -2,150T, but in -2,121T tensions between these powers boiled over and a nuclear war ensued. During the next 10 years over 75% of the Efrip population died as a result of war, famine and pestilence. The Efrip plunged back to pre-industrial levels and did not recover for over 500 years.

In -1,607T the leader Akhwoend came to power in Eflsfakhn. He embarked on a campaign to unite Efripzond and prevent another nuclear holocaust. In -1,584T he succeeded in getting the remaining Efrip states to agree to the Charter of Ictakhri and form the Efrip Akhndefwo (Great Council of Efrip). This effectively united Efripzond under one government based on the teachings of Ictakhri.

In -1,400T the Efrip had recovered to tech level 7 and started to reach out into space with missions throughout their home system. In -1,242T the Efrip discovered jump drive and started to explore the stars around them. The first Efrip council was a centralised interstellar state, administered by a civil service bureaucracy  with its capital on Efripzond. This is considered to be the golden age of the Efrip. During this period they controlled 6 sectors and colonised worlds in at least another 6, achieving an ultimate tech level of 13. However by -400T the First Efrip Council had collapsed. The reasons for this collapse are still poorly understood. The most commonly accepted theory is that the centralised nature of the administration was simply unable to effectively control such a large interstellar state. The ultimate push which ended the First Efrip Council would appear to have been an internal civil war, caused by the revolt of the Akhrini. The Council splintered, warfare and piracy became widespread and interstellar communications simply ground to a halt.

After the fall of the First Efrip Council, most of the Efrip worlds gradually slipped back to pre-spaceflight levels and the First Dark Age descended on the Cloud. The Efrip never regained their former glory. In 501T the Terran Empire discovered the wormhole at Breakout and Terran colonisation of the Cloud commenced. Many former Efrip worlds were absorbed into the Terran Empire. In 624T the Second Akhrini Commonality was formed; and this aggressive state also absorbed many former Efrip worlds. Efripzond itself suffered badly during the First Dark Age. It lost the technology to construct starships and did not return to the stars for at least 800 years. Eventually they did return to space in 432T and in 529T the Second Efrip Council was formed. However this was only ever a minor state and was conquered by the Second Commonality in 857T. With the collapse of the Second Akhrini Commonality in 1198T the Efrip again briefly regained their independence under the Third Efrip Council in 1220T. But this lasted only until 1304T before the Second Dark Age claimed this state too.

The current Efrip state (the Fourth Efrip Council) came into being in 2340T. It is again a minor interstellar state, consisting of only the core 8 Efrip worlds. Threatened by the Third Akhrini Commonality, it is generally considered to be a client state of the Magellanic Empire. Despite this, many people of Efrip decent and culture continue to exist outside of the Efrip Council; and their culture is still widespread, especially with in the Akhrini Commonality.

History - Akhrini

The Akhrini are an offshoot of the Efrip. While Efripzond marched towards civilisation, some Efrip remained outside the mainstream of Efrip culture. These were the nomadic hunters who followed the great herds of Ewsakhng in the northern wastes. Even in modern times they still remain on Efripzond, living much as their forebears did. It is from these nomadic hunters that the Akhrini are descended.

These nomadic hunters maintained a fiercely independent culture, highly valuing individuality and freedom. They proved to be a constant source of problems for the Efrip, frequently revolting against the centralised authority of the Efrip Council. The First Council’s response to these revolts was to deport trouble making tribes to their colonies. Initially on Efripzond itself, later after the discovery of jump drive, to other worlds.

The Akhrini revolted in -1,143T and were deported to a distant harsh desert world then known as Igrewln. The world was already colonised by the Efrip, with their colonies clustered in the fertile lands around the small seas. The Akhrini were deported to the less hospitable deserts.

Over the next 600 years, the Akhrini came to dominate their harsh desert environment and gradually grew in numbers. However the basic nature of their culture lead to many independent tribes and frequent tribal wars. The basic Akhrini culture that developed was highly militaristic and individualistic. As the Efrip colonies on Igrewln grew to be a major industrial centre, they suffered frequent raids from the Akhrini, however the inherently disorganised nature of the Akhrini at this time prevented them from becoming a threat.

During this time the Akhrini developed the Rewlsf Akhrini (Akhrini Code) which is still the basis of their culture. The basic premise of this code is that warfare is a matter between tribes (or nations in later times) not individuals. The Rewlsf Akhrini sets out elaborate rules of conduct and hospitality. While two tribes may be at war, the individual members of that tribe are not viewed as the ‘enemy’. It is a requirement of the Rewlsf Akhrini to grant hospitality and succour to any person needing it. Captives and conquered peoples must be treated fairly and humanely. It was only natural that the Akhrini became disproportionately represented in the Efrip military; a factor that was to ultimately prove to be the undoing of the First Efrip Council.

In -523T the various Akhrini tribes were united under the leadership of the legendary figure of Pindeflsf. He united the tribes in a common goal and quickly conquered the Efrip colonies on the fertile lands around the small seas. This is taken as the founding of the First Akhrini Commonality (Iwolsfakhy Akhrini) and Igrewln was renamed Akhrikora. The Akhrini Commonality refused to recognise the Efrip Council and a war ensued. Fortunately for the Akhrini, Igrewln was a major industrial centre and the site of an Efrip naval depot; the Akhrini captured many warships and large numbers of Akhrini serving with the Efrip deserted to the Commonality. The Akhrini launched an immediate offensive and captured a number of major Efrip worlds. The Industrial base of these captured Efrip worlds proved vital in this war; and in -515T the Efrip Council was forced to acknowledge the independence of the Akhrini Commonality and its control of at least 32 other worlds.

The militant expansionist tendencies of the Commonality led to another war in -467T as the Akhrini spread to the stars. The Akhrini victory in -449T is generally held to be the most direct cause of the fall of the First Efrip Council. However the Akhrini were incapable of governing an interstellar state and the First Akhrini Commonality did not survive the death of Pindeflsf’s great-grandson in -369T. Lacking a charismatic leader the Commonality simply disintegrated into competing tribes. Many of these tribes raided throughout the former Efrip Council, contributing greatly to the onset of the First Dark Age.

The Akhrini languished in the First Dark Age along with all the Efrip worlds. Much knowledge was lost as the Akhrini had not formed a true technological society during their brief reign. However over the next 800 years the Akhrini absorbed the Efrip on the 200 or so worlds that had been a part of the Akhrini Commonality. By 450T they had regained the stars and fairly extensive traffic existed between their worlds. However no interstellar states existed, each world was controlled by an independent tribe (frequently more than one) much which vied with one another much as the Akhrini had always done. All this changed in 501T with the coming of the Terrans to the Cloud. Terran explorers contacted the Akhrini in 593T, but extensive contact did not come until at least 20 years later. It would appear that knowledge of the expanding Terran Empire was the impetus for the formation of the Second Akhrini Commonality in 624T. The Second Commonality proved to be far more durable than the first. It was not dependent on a single individual to hold the various tribes together, rather it depended on the Great Council of Elders made up of representatives of all the major tribes in the Commonality.

The Second Commonality was the Terran Empires major opponent in the Cloud; and fought six inconclusive wars with the Terrans. However it also expanded into the former Efrip Council, spreading Akhrini culture to many of these worlds. In 857T the Second Commonality absorbed the Second Efrip Council. Eventually the Second Commonality ruled over most of 4 sectors, but its culture spread far wider. With the fall of the Terran Empire the Second Commonality started to expand into the former Terran territories. However in 1168T the Second Commonality was rent by a massive upheaval which was to lead to its collapse. Several key tribes refused to acknowledge the sovereignty of the Commonality and civil war ensued. The Commonality effectively disintegrated into competing tribes in a remarkably short time, but the concept of the Commonality was by now very strong in the Akhrini. The various tribes were to wage war for over 200 years for dominance, but in 1402T the final government claiming to be the Second Commonality ceased to exist. By this stage, 200 years of constant warfare had taken its toll on the Akhrini worlds and they had lapsed into the Second Dark Age.

Many Sociologists point to the rise and fall of the First and Second Commonalities as proof of the widely accepted theory that the Akhrini can only remain united in the face of an overwhelming external threat. This theory is held to be strengthened by the formation of the Third Commonality.

The Third Commonality was initially formed in 2169T and consisted of 10 worlds near the Magellanic Empire. It did not include Akhrikora or the great bulk of the Second Commonality worlds. However the Third Commonality did not undergo expansion or even hold much authority over its member worlds until the end of the Second Mwoah War. It would appear that the Magellanic Empire’s triumph in this war identified the Empire as a clear threat to the Akhrini. After the war’s end in 2304T with a clear victory for the Empire, the Third Commonality underwent explosive growth. Most worlds joined voluntarily, Akhrikora joined in 2311T and the capital was relocated there in 2319T. By 2327T the Third Commonality covered most of the Ewytctip sector. Its rapid growth continued until the mid 2330’s by which time it appears to have reach a natural limit.

The Third Commonality differs from the First and Second in that it has a true central government bureaucracy. The Third Commonality maintains a number of governmental organisations which answer only to the Commonality. Included in these are an Army and Navy. However it still remains to be seen whether or not the Third Commonality can overcome the divisive tribal nature of the Akhrini culture.

Language

Whilst Maganglic is widely spoken as a second language within Efrip and Akhrini space, it and related languages are only spoken as a first tongue on a few Terran colonised worlds. The most commonly spoken Efrip language is Iryakhtip (the official language of the First to Fourth Efrip Councils), whilst most Akhrini speak the related tongue, Takhil (the official language of the Akhrini Commonality). Several other related languages (Risoct, Ewifakhil, Oliso, and Ireslfi) are also not uncommonly encountered within Efrip and Akhrini space. These together with a few rarer languages make up the Efrip family of languages, which are spoken as the first language by perhaps 90% of the inhabitants of Efrip and Akhrini space.

Iryakhtip originally used an ideographic script, the Otakhra. However, this was gradually superseded over a 500 year period by the current phonetic script, the Opiyakhra. The Opiyakhra is first recorded in -2,217T and started to achieve prominence around -1,700T (greatly assisted by the general decline in literacy occasioned by the nuclear holocaust). By about -1,450T the Otakhra had fallen out of general use. The last recorded use of the Otakhra were in the collected works of the poet Akhytoct, published in the Otakhra script shortly after her death in -1,203T. The Opiyakhra script is now used by all the languages of the Efrip family, with the exception of Reakhera (only spoken on a few worlds, all within the Magellanic Empire), which uses the Anglic script.

The most striking difference between Iryakhtip and Takhil is that; in Iryakhtip all words must begin with a vowel, whilst this is not true of Takhil (though the majority of its words do also begin with vowels). Another distinguishing feature of Iryakhtip is its lack of single syllable words. There being only eight in the entire language; all of which are words of considerable antiquity (for interest, these words are: Ef - Myself, akhwo - to commit suicide due to insanity, ri - a deity, Efyt - a plant native to Efripzond, olsf - Home, Eflsf - a large flying predator native to Efripzond, end - meat cooked inadequately, and ong - the sound of an avalanche). Takhil has rather more such single syllable words, but they are still a comparative rarity.

Calender

Both the Efrip and Akhrini use very similar temporal systems. Both are based on the complex temporal system which developed on Efripzond before space flight was developed. The basic division of time in both systems is the Iyata (day) of 24 Terran hours. The Iyata is divided into 3 Erilsf (watch; this division is omitted from the Akhrini system), each Erilsf is divided into 4 Onopakh (session), each Onopakh is divided into 10 Ixreni (period: this division is omitted from the Akhrini system), each Ixreni is divided into 10 Iwind (cycle) and each Iwind is divided into 100 Riniot (heartbeat) which corresponds to 0.72 Terran seconds. Many larger divisions also exist: 8 Iyata make up a Efkzo (week; this division is omitted from the Akhrini system), 9 Efkzo plus 1 Iyata (73 Iyata in all) make up a Ectgri (season), 4 Ectgri make up a Olsfgrew (year of 292 Terran days), 5 Olsfgrew make up a Itbiop (pentad). The Itbiop is the largest division of time in the Akhrini calender and corresponds to 4 Terran years. However the Efrip calender has four even larger divisions; 2 Itbiop make up a Ewrarix (decade), 4 Ewrarix make up a Risjril (era), 23 Risjril make up a Akhylfowo (epoch) and 223 Akhylfowo make up a Engbirif (eon of 164,128 Terran years). The Engbirif corresponds to the orbital period of Ewndakh around Efakhndo. It goes without saying that traditional Efrip timepieces are rather complex devices (more than one humorist has commented on the coming of the digital watch to the Efrip). It should be noted that in all Efrip languages all words for temporal divisions are both singular and plural as well as being proper names.

Both the Efrip and Akhrini calenders have different start dates. The Efrip calender dates from -5,932T (the traditional date for the martyrdom of Ictakhri), while the Akhrini calender starts its dating from -780T (the traditional date for the Rewlsf Akhrini); neither calenders have a zero year. Since the First Dark Age, the vast majority of Efrip worlds have modified their calenders to use the simplified Akhrini temporal system. The arrival of the Terrans in the Cloud has seen the development of a third temporal system, known as the Ereyt system. The Ereyt divides the Iyata into Terran seconds, minutes and hours (known as Endon, Initewt and Orae respectively) and retains only the Olsfgrew and Itbiop above it. This system is used by virtually all Efrip and Akhrini worlds within the Magellanic Empire and has gained wide acceptance outside it. There does exist an Ereyt calender, which has its start date at 692T (the date it and the Ereyt system were first proposed) and has a zero year (more precisely a zero Itbiop). This calender is used by many Efrip and Akhrini worlds within the Magellanic Empire, but is rarely encountered outside of it.

Psionics

The Efrip appear to have standard human capacities for psionics, however they appear not to have developed them to any major extent. Some quasi-religious movements exploiting these techniques did develop during the First and Second Dark Ages but they are not widespread. Generally speaking these movements are less uncommon amongst the Efrip, though still rare. The Akhrini tend to regard the use of psionics as indicative of a weakness of character. However, perhaps due to the fact the a widespread psionic movement has never developed in their cultures, neither the Efrip or Akhrini share the Terran distaste for psionics. The Efrip and Akhrini within the Magellanic Empire tend much more strongly towards Terran attitudes and suppress psionics.

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