by Max Barry

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17

The Inception of Bloodshade

Escaping calamity

|| Narrated by Ambrosia von Carstein ||


Galactic Federation of Bloodshade

Motto:
"Ours is the Fury"


National Anthem:
"Place we can call home"

General Information

Capital and largest city: Valyria

Official language: Bloodshadean

Demonym: Bloodshadean

Government: Federal Semi-Presidential Constitutional Republic
• President: Ambrosia von Carstein
• Prime Minister: Rúna Skau

Legislature:
• Upper House: Federal Council
• Lower House: Federal Diet

Founded: 27th Kaldezeit, 249 IC

Total population: ~253 billion

HDI (2044): 0.931

Currency: Florin (₴)

GDP (Nominal):
• Total: ₴33.5 quadrillion
• Per capita: ₴73,290

Three millennia ago, the ancestors of my people engaged in a planet-wide armed conflict known as the 'War of Woes'. The name itself already makes my bones shiver. Stormfels, our long-gone homeworld, just cracked under the pressure. In one part of the world, you have folks dropping WMDs on one another. In the other, god-like constructs going around laying waste to all life in their path. Pure, unadulterated destruction that I hope will never be recreated in future generations. Millions of people suffering and dying, all for nought. Fortunately, in one rare moment of clarity, a portion of Stormlings focused on constructing a gigantic migratory fleet that would send our people into the stars, in search of a planetary system that we could call our own, away from the dead corpse of a homeworld we once called Stormfels.

Sȳndror, that was the name of the chief generation ship. The one that would carry our ancestors and send them hurtling into the galaxy. The name was supposed to mean 'Darkness' in my mother tongue, Lyrian. I don't know what they mean by that. Was that their nihilism speaking? I wouldn't blame them if I was in their position. Perhaps it was representative of the voidness of space? Indeed, there was no morning or night in space. Just soothing black. Maybe it was a representation of the darkness of their souls, tainted by the blood of billions. I sound harsh, don't I? Ask yourself one thing. What kind of war would warrant the destruction of one's own homeworld? To kill your own kin and neighbours? No one truly remembers why the 'War of Woes' started but I could not care less. I only applaud our forebearers for the only intelligent decision that they've done: Give our people the chance to rebuild, prosper and connect with our alien brethren amidst the stars, whether they were friend or foe.

My people were humbled and brought down to their knees by the vastness of space and the grander civilisations that we encountered. We were naive and desperate. Fate's a cruel mistress who allowed us to be exploited by many in our journeys. Space pirates raided our migration fleet, murdered our people and ran off with much-needed supplies. Various galactic slaver guilds helped themselves to the inhabitants of Sȳndror, kidnapping and using them as chattel, servants, battle thralls or even livestock. How would I even know this? I've still seen billions of my kin scattered across the stars and their dignity stolen from them in galactic black markets, foreign slave armies, underground clubs or alien townhouses. Rest assured, the malicious factions responsible for these crimes are given three choices if they continue to exploit them and refuse any attempt at negotiating their release: Death, destruction or decimation. You may be wondering, why is your friendly neighbourhood vampire, Ambrosia herself, sounding so belligerent? I only say this, why shouldn't I? I despise war as much as any sane individual but I love freedom more than I despise violence. If someone wants to snatch that freedom away from the people that I serve, they better be ready to die with their chains and cattle prods in their cold, bloody hands. No more.

Feelings aside, how did the journey of Bloodshade play out? What happened? Well, let's start from the beginning. Right on Stormfels, there were hundreds of nation-states all across its surface, with a wide variety of cultures and the founder race, the Lahmians. One would generally separate them into multiple blocs. One side of Stormfel's land, you'd have the monarchical bloc generally minding their own business, oppressing to their hearts content and just generally being autocratic a-holes who use every ounce of their political power to keep themselves as entrenched as possible. Mind you, those folk were not all cooperative. Royalty breeds arrogance and Stormfels wasn't big enough for all these prancing ponies. Covert operations, surgical strikes and false flag operations were the go-to methods of undermining one another in high society. Nothing is sacred. Spouse pitted against spouse. Sibling versus sibling Distant cousin against distant cousin. Gods above, there's a reason I despise royalty and anything to do with it. It's a blight to believe that one has some divine right to rule when in reality, they're some of the most decadent people in the universe but enough bias from me I guess. The Zephryan Dynasty, the House of Melana, the House of Awrali...royal names lost to the wind and mean nothing now. Good riddance

Of course, we've got the democracies of Stormfels. All with their own quirks but they were uncharacteristically insusceptible to foreign interest groups and for the most part, their economies were somewhat independent. See! That's what happens when you answer to a broad, mostly informed selectorate! You actually end up serving the people you're serving but unfortunately for them, when chaos ensued, they were the first to get flanked by the opportunistic, predatory factions and boy, there were many nutcases back on Stormfels.

There were nearly suicidal trans-humanists who believed that threatening Lahmiankind's existence would bring about the highest rate of technological advance. Gods above, those folk might sound like idiots but they revelled in conflict and ensured that the nations of Stormfels were always on their toes, with weapons technology in particular booming whenever such factions were on the warpath. On the other hand, there extreme isolationists who would do anything to keep their citizens from contacting anyone from the outside world. To them, their nations were a canvas and no one wants someone painting on their canvas nor lend their paint to someone else. Surprisingly enough, those odd nations were democracies. In hindsight, it makes sense that everyone would agree to keep their nation from ever interacting with the outside world and those people usually enjoyed having some of the most advanced stealth and jamming capabilities due to their focus on staying as quiet as possible. The last but certainly not least faction were those who embraced racial purity to its fullest. Lahmians who believed that they followed the correct evolutionary path that would allow them to use their psionic powers to its fullest. According to them, they had the key to ascending everyone to their level and they'd prove it by performing miracles that would make them appear as some sort of messiah. You'd imagine just how lucrative such an ideology would be but at some point, the propagators of this ideology eventually reached the end of the line when they pushed too hard but instead of accepting their defeat with grace, they plunged the entire war into an apocalyptic war with no good end. Good for nothing bastards.

Yvresse, a chance at renewal

|| Narrated by Ambrosia von Carstein ||


Now then, this must've ended on a great note after all. All's well that ends well! Indeed, these stubborn folk of mine didn't perish in the cold void of the universe. No sir! We finally found a home to call our own. Yvresse, we called it! It wasn't exactly a joyful planet, due to the harsh climate and hostile primitive tribes that wished to exterminate every last one of us, according to ancient extracts from the colonists of the time, but that did not intimidate us one bit We put our foot down and called it home, fighting for our right to live. It was a desperate dilemma. We did not want to steal Yvresse or Itza as the natives called it but we were simply too tired of space travel. Soon enough, we lived in what one would call a 'cold peace' with the relatively primitive tribes of Yvresse, the most notable ones being the Lizardmen, and began to sprawl across the planet's surface, dotting it with multiple colonies and strongholds, ensuring that our presence would not be easily tapered off by rivals, whether they be terrestrial or alien.

How would I describe Yvresse? Home. It's the home I grew up on and that's it. I couldn't care less about its geography or topography. However, I'm being rather sentimental. Let's get back on track. Yvresse is an enormous planet, with a diameter of 16,347 kilometres, and it's dotted with beautiful snow-capped mountains and lush rainforests. These are its most notable features but considering that its size, it is home to a wide variety of climates and biomes. Even if we hadn't collected the hundreds of flora and fauna based on Stormfels, Yvresse would be home to many of its own native species. The planet was dotted with multiple bodies of water, with three major oceans and seven seas. The planet has two satellites, one natural and one artificial. Let me tell you, the latter changed our lives for the better. I've already mentioned encountering primitive civilizations on Yvresse but this artificial satellite? It's a ringworld known as Valyria. Does that name sound oddly similar to our capital city by any chance? It's because it is. I live on it.

Valyria, a ring of dreams, delight and destiny

|| Narrated by Ambrosia von Carstein ||


During the first few decades of our time on Yvresse, we had thought that our newly formed state, Bloodshade, would be the most advanced state for light years to come but no one ever thought that on the other side of the planet, we'd find something that left us flabbergasted beyond belief. A ringworld of unimaginable proportion for an artificial structure. 9,000 kilometres in diameter. How lucky were we to even stumble upon such a creation? I'm putting forth this question because no one has found the correct answer even till now. It's just an assortment of speculation and theories. The most popular answer is that the 'Makers' and their servants guided the migration fleet to greener pastures because our suffering was special. A bunch of bullshit if you ask me. Suffering is universal. If our bright flame sputtered and was snuffed out, the universe wouldn't shed a tear.

So who are these Makers and their servants? They're still here, sharing this ringworld with me and my people while ensuring that we remain the dominant people of Yvresse. These ancient people initially called the planet by the name, Tejon. A beautiful one that we were more than ready to replace 'Yvresse' with upon knowing but they were and still are considerate of the plight of Bloodshade and its ancestors. Why are they like this? Throughout Bloodshade's existence, we had been rather sceptical of the intentions of the 'Makers' and their servants who we took the liberty of calling them 'Valerians' since they have had and continue to have a soothing effect on us, ensuring our dreams were free from the dreaded forces that reaped our souls and made our ancestor's lives a living hell back on Stormfels. Now that I think about it, the Makers and Valerians might share a common foe with us. No one's ever suggested that our daemonic foes who resided on Stormfels were a galactic menace. Heavens above, no one would ever accept such a theory but now that I think about it, why else would the Makers and Valerians groom us into becoming a powerful force in this universe? Hopefully, I'm wrong. Hopefully, the Makers and Valerians are a xenophilic force of good that simply have hearts of gold. We've had enough misery in our existence but it's not like I can control the tide of fate. I'm just another footnote in history, ensuring that I keep everything in check. A bureaucrat of destiny. Making sure that the citizens who depend on my skill and judgement are not disappointed. A thankless job but someone has to do it, right?

The mystifying beasts that roam and wander

|| Narrated by Ambrosia von Carstein ||




Revareen Lion

These fearsome beasts are deadly hunting cats, powerful creatures with a muscular frame and a sharp, cunning mind. Standing at an intimidating average of 2.35 meters, a Revareen Lion is far stronger, able to break bones with each sweep of its claws and shatter even helmeted heads with a single chomp of its fanged maw.



Ishalia Deer

These deer are powerfully built and auspicious creatures, especially known for their inherent arcane qualities considering their connection the divine goddess of nature, Veralia. These mounts are legendary but highly prized mounts by the Hűd elves due to their speed and endurance, being capable of running at a constant speed of 60 miles per hour for ten hours straight in perfect condition. The Ishalia Deer can instinctively perform arcane feats when it or its rider is mortally threatened. One particular example of natural arcanism involves allowing the shockwave from its stomping being capable of knocking back all surrounding foes to around 10 to 15 meters away.




Forest Dragon

Making its home in the titanic, dense forests of Yvresse, these equally colossal creatures are ferocious foes that can turn the tide of any battle. Twenty kilometres long, these creature's skin can shrug off multiple variations of kinetic weaponry. Towering over a battlefield, the beast would descend and tear asunder any forces that would cause it harm, shells and missiles harmlessly splattering onto its scaly hide. Such dragons can unleash their poisonous soporific breath or corrosive acid spit, harming both man and metal. Despite such terrible and dangerous indications of their power, Forest Dragons are actually highly intelligent, and maintain a keen interest in events that occur far beyond the boundaries of their homes, willing to speak any that may expand its knowledge, entertain it or offer their services. Fortunately, these creatures (amounting to around fifteen or so on Yvresse alone) answer to our dear radiant Everqueen, Alarielle.



Hydra

These ravenous monsters claim the snowy capped mountains of Yvresse as its den and many that cross its path never return. They are extremely difficult to slay, for not only are their scaly bodies incredibly well armored, they also regenerate damage at a frightening rate. A foe's only chance is to sever all the monsters heads in quick succession - if even a single one remains, the remainder will swiftly grow back and devour the impudent attacker for his troubles. These terror-inducing beasts of the east can spout a plume of fire or frost from each head. Any failed attempt at defeating this creature would result in crisped bodies or frozen statues strewn across its lair.




Stygian Worm

Intimidating yet docile creatures that linger deep beneath Yvresse's surface, these titanic 'worm cows', as some citizens have taken to call them, can be found exploring the depths of Yvresse, feeding off of whatever rocks or minerals that its antennae lays its eyes upon. These creatures are known to reach frightening lengths of twenty kilometers at most, increasing in length by an average of ten meters with every decade that it survives.




Qutyar

A common pet in Bloodshadian households. Qutyars are a domesticated species that have lived for centuries among the Hűd elves and now finally accompany our citizens in whichever land they may occupy. They are loyal, kind creatures at heart with great patience but some may lash out if exploited and can cause terrible injuries if pushed to a point of no return. Native to Yvresse, this species is an odd amalgamation of feline and bird species, giving us cause for concern. Did the Makers have their hand in this creature's existence?




Promethean

The Promethean is an immense crab, 30 feet across. Its eyes wave around on stalks, searching for prey to grab with its claws and shove into its gaping maw. Its carapace, overgrown with seaweed, is strong as steel. It lingers on the ocean floors but occasionally surfaces to catch unsuspecting prey to feed on. Its tremendous claws can rip apart whatever unprepared ship that decides to venture in its water.




Unicorn

Unicorns are mystical steeds, renowned for their elegance and grace. It is an innately magical creature that would protect its rider from any harm, using its most powerful spell unconsciously when danger approaches. Unicorns are drawn to female mages as moths to a flame, and find the taste of magic intoxicating.




Merwyrm

Merwyrms possess long, almost serpentine and sinuous bodies, covered in scales and corded with muscle, with four stubby limbs each tipped with sharp claws. They lash out with their bodies at tremendous speeds in water and even on land, being capable of reaching 110 km/hr in the twilight zone of an ocean's layers. Merwyrms are also hardy and adaptable creatures, with the ability to heal wounds at a tremendous rate at the expense of an ever growing appetite for food. These creatures are called upon by powerful mages, particularly our dear Alarielle, to protect their lands from ravaging marauders or terrible tribes, making mince meat out of them. These terrifying sea monsters can reach a kilometre in length but if a Merywrm continues to survive, it is practically immortal due its ability to reverse its aging process through deep hibernation.




Manticore

Manticores are huge, leonine beasts that soar on leathery wings. They are amongst the most powerful of all the predators that live in the mountain ranges of Yvresse. They're voracious predators who constantly hunt not only for sustenance, but also for the pleasure of the kill. Some have barbed tails like a scorpion’s that bear bitter poison. Others are armoured in scales and covered in thorny projections that bleed ceaselessly. Manticores are cunning fighters. They are swift to retreat to the relative safety of the air when a battle goes against them.




Demigryph

With head of eagle and body of lion, Demigryphs are powerful creatures with a noble bearing. A wingless variant of the more well-known Griffon, they roam the forests and grasslands of Yvresse, usually far from human habitation, hunting as individuals. These massive creatures are ferocious and powerfully built, standing larger than any equine and are far more bloodthirsty in their murderous assault than any other creature of such noble heritage


Maestro and Major Domo

|| Narrated by Ambrosia von Carstein ||


Makers. They're the architects of Valyria and the caretakers of Yvresse and its people. They're what one would consider to be an arachnoid and as one would expect from them, they can exploit Van Der Waal forces to climb on any surface and as a result, most of their structures are nowhere near as accessible as your typical human structure. Some variant of 'Makers' have fae-like wings that allow them to carry their bodies over a distance of a thousand miles without rest. They are aptly named 'Fae Makers'. The Makers generally posses the upper body of a human and the lower body of a large arachnid. Frightening creatures? That's what we thought so initially but they're some of the most peaceful creatures one could come across. They're pacifistic in nature but they most certainly maintain their martial edge just in case anyone wishes to butt heads with them, allowing their existence to be largely peaceful. While they're not trained combatants, their powerful legs can swiftly pierce through 2 inch steel. While their upper bodies are as resilient as your typical human being, their lower bodies are made of a chitinous substance that can resist, allowing them to defend themselves by using their two front legs as shields. On average, the Makers weigh around 182 kilograms and are 2.34 meters tall. If you know how to count, you'll realize that the Makers have eight legs, making them octopedal beings. Now how old do these beings last? They can reach a thousand years of age and have three climacteric stages of life! In the first stage known as the 'Fledgling' phase which begins at puberty around the 50 year mark , Makers tend to be rather curious, adventure seeking beings who actively place themselves in danger on the field for whatever ridiculous reason. Onto the 'Oracle' stage which begins at around 200 years of age, a Maker starts to compose themselves and realize isn't worth throwing to the wind. This is when they begin to form social groups of like-minded individuals, seeking to pool their knowledge in a specific field of study to advance their civilization and soon share their goodwill with the rest of the universe. Onto the final stage at around the 600 year mark, the 'Overseer' stage involves having a Maker take the reins of their society, subtly guiding their own and offering sage advice to Oracles whenever they may need it. Maker society is an extremely egalitarian one where all Makers carry the same political weight but most will defer to to Overseers due to their venerability. Some Makers can earn the privilege of being chosen as an Archon, it is a difficult position to earn that can be easily taken away by a majority vote if an Archon proves to be insufferable or inadequate. Archons simply act as the representative of the Makers and are seen as a cut above other Overseers when it comes to the wisdom and knowledge that they can dispense.

Makers are omnivores and are capable of consuming a wide variety of food and do not restrain themselves from eating whatever creature or flora they may find. In their minds, it is simply a waste of energy and it's not like their bodies aren't up to their task. All organic substances are fair game to them as their bodies contain naturally occurring organic peptides and chelating agents that allows them to break down any venomous substances that enters their system as well as turn unwanted metal pa, allowing them to feed on whatever their minds fancy. As a result, it is rather difficult for one to eliminate a Maker that way. They're rather hardy folk if you haven't noticed and if not for the fact that they are sentient, xenophilic creatures that aren't too interested in murdering the galaxy, it's safe to say that they'd be rather terrifying to go up against.

From what we've gathered, they abhor coming anywhere near a planetary environment. Chances are that they're rather accustomed to the sterile atmosphere of their 'cozy' artificial megastructures which they must certainly have a knack for building as well as being able to navigate its labyrinthine nature. At their core, they're venerable creators who only wish to build and uplift, according to our own observations. They actively avoid socialization and are a rather solitary species, preferring to live alone or with one who they've judged to be an ideal soulmate. They speak to one another through telepathy or an online medium of sorts. They're a rather individualistic race of introverts that avoid social interaction whenever possible unless it is with an engrossing and notable individual that captures their attention, if duty calls or if a project requires co-operation. Socializing just became more of a chore as technology improved over time although that doesn't mean the Makers don't want to have a good time.

From what I've observed, they're as elegant as you may have already noticed already the only depictions of a Maker, that person being Archon Lasraei, the chief Maker and one I am honoured to call a friend. They are as elegant as they are intelligent. I've only spoken to the Viceroy a handful of times in my lifetime and I am honour-bound to prevent myself from disclosing the contents of our discussion. However, if the Makers chose someone like Lasraei to represent their interests, I will tell you that the Makers are naturally curious folk, ravenous for different perspectives on multiple topics and will most certainly act inquisitive if given the chance. They're also soft-spoken and kind at heart, only interested in delving into the nature of creation and perhaps become benevolent masters of fate in the process. They aid us why? From what I can tell, they're an easily swayed folk, vulnerable to emotion but are not necessarily volatile people. They just seem to pity us. Gods above, we don't want their pity. We just want to be in control of our own fate for once in our history and I do believe the Makers understand our frustration. Despite the fact that they shun socializing, they're an oddly emotionally intelligent race and perhaps one could say that they've 'adopted' us.

According to madame Lasraei, the concept of gender does not apply to a race such as the Makers. By human standards, she claims that they'd be considered as a race consisted solely of female beings. However, it's not that simple. The Makers do share a human-like structure but classify themselves as a mono-gendered race who reproduce due to the existence of a neural symbiote in the Maker's brain, inseminating the Maker at her behest. The Makers are also capable of receiving genetic material from another humanoid species and consciously pick and choose whichever traits and characteristics that they find desirable and fitting for themselves, which varies from individual to individual. However, all Makers ensure that they do not warp their original likeness, ensuring that they stay true to their natural selves. As of right now, the Makers share similarities with an arachnoid, as they share a similarly designed human skeletal structure while also being capable of forming their own version of spider silk, which they use extensively in their society, mainly during wedding traditions (In the picture above, Lasraei wears her mate's silk across her neck and shoulders while fashioning a mask of sorts over her eyes) and fashion but some exploit this protein fibre's tensile strength for the sake of military applications, even though the Makers tend to find it distasteful to use an elegant product of their body to murder others in most case and especially when they have the energy and ability to concoct artificial materials surpass its properties

There are mixed feelings about our relationship with the Makers. Some of us want to shun their wisdom, reject their gifts and eventually craft our own density. Others want to rest in their comforting embrace and have our worries be erased completely. What do I want? I just wish to repay them in the future somehow and become their equals. That's all I desire.


The Valerians. What's not to like about them? Compared to their 'masters', they're nowhere as enigmatic as they are, the Makers. They're honorary citizens by association with the Makers and could probably be considered as some of the most fun-loving, charismatic and docile individuals in Bloodshade. I wish I was making this up but these people integrated into our society over the course of a few weeks and felt like they were our long-lost kin that should've been a part of our ranks ages ago. They're a rather communal folk and see no issue with sharing a space with multiple beings and unlike their masters once more, they're definitely very sociable and sanguine. They live in the moment and honestly, simply having a Valerian acquaintance would guarantee less stress in your life. Some find them irritable it only ever is a matter of time until a Valerian cracks your mental barrier and makes you simply adore them. Of course, I do want to avoid stereotyping their race but they are indeed generally cheerful people. Of course, knowing my luck, I've encountered a number of Valerians who rather egotistical and self-centred. Some of them might or might not have been partners of mine. Yes, you guessed it, Ambrosia von Carstein used to be a hopeless romantic to the point where she can bring out the worst in an otherwise joyful species. An important detail to mention, Valerians are submissive people. The reason being that they were uplifted by the Makers and as a result, they did not develop the potential to truly lead their own kin or have aspirations of their own, something that the Makers are attempting to remedy so the Valerians will finally have the willpower to protect themselves from exploitation or abuse. While I personally would never harm an innocent being, regardless of their naivety, I will admit that the dignity of the Valerians are upheld mainly due to the fact that the Makers made it clear that they value the Valerians above us, probably because they're their only guaranteed source of satisfaction in their otherwise lonesome lives. The Valerians make up the entirety of the working class of Maker society, oiling their grandiose projects by being their clerks, assistants, technicians and so on. The Makers are the architects and managers. The Valerians are the builders and estimators. Simply put, don't expect Valerians to pull off miracles but instead, expect them to put their A-game in a task.

You might be wondering, why in the world do the Valerians have these odd marking all around their body? Once more, the Makers have their lovely little hands involved in their design. Now I know how maddening this might be but bear with me, those are luminous markings that represent their emotion, arcane potential and vitality, its colour and intensity changing depending on their status. To the majority, that sounds like an amazing quirk, doesn't it? In my own humble opinion, it gives them absolutely no privacy whatsoever when it comes to their emotions and perhaps could invite trouble when a socially inept individual becomes enraged the moment a Valerian showcases their discontent through their bodily reactions. Imagine your emotions being bared publicly without your consent? Unless you're some sort of possessive wackjob, I find that feature to be rather frustrating but perhaps the Valerians see no issue with it whatsoever. If that's the case, more power to them I suppose. Another thing about the Valerians that you might be wondering about is their gender because of course, who doesn't worry about such a meaningless detail nowadays, right? Valerians are an intersex species but not simultaneously male and female. They're not hermaphrodites. They possess the natural ability to warp their genitalia over a day, being able to impregnate or be impregnated at a whim, unlike me. I could be changing from a vagina to a cock right now due to my ability in the arcane arts but if you're not some omniscient being (And if you are, enjoy the view, buddy), you won't know. Anyways, generally speaking, the Valerians are rather androgynous in nature, although some would rather lean on the term 'female' when describing their appearance.

The Lifeblood of Eternity

|| Narrated by Ambrosia von Carstein ||


So let's start with the founder race of Bloodshade. Not to say we're any more important than the others but it's always simple to start with small beginnings. It's the Lahmian race! How exactly do they look like? Well, I'm one prime example. Victoria's also one prominent Lahmian. You could even mistake us for humans and you'd be right! We are awfully similar-looking to Homo Sapien species from the Sol System! Perhaps we do share a common ancestor? Regardless, we were never truly the same. One particular difference is our ability to ingest blood and its nutrients, mostly iron. However, blood was less of a requirement and more of an indulgent drink that allowed people to reach new feats of strength and endurance. Think of it as a pick me up!

Using humanity as a baseline for our own strength and agility, lets say that, by design, Lahmians are simply much more capable than humans due to the fact our own oxygen-carrier protein is much more efficient, allowing us to do what a top human athlete can only dream about. I don't mean that as a flex to our human bretheren among the stars. We're all good at something. Some are better than others. Some are worse than others. Anyways, I'm not just done! The thicker myelination around our nervous system makes us significantly faster, both when it comes to our reaction time and general speed. Now that doesn't make us as fast as the myths and legends tell you about vampires but lets just say that I can probably outrun your cute little automobile if I put some effort into it. Well, I think I can because come on, I've been exercising recently. Okay but seriously, trained Lahmians will most certainly have an easy time putting a car in the dust. We might come short when compared to a Modaji but a Lahmian can easily catch up to one by sheer endurance alone.

Now while we're not a blur to the human eye, we do have an evolutionary ability that allowed us to scare off predators or stun prey: A ultrasonic scream. It gets triggered during our fight or flight response, allowing us to get the jump on our foes or simply give us enough time to hotfoot it out of here. Combine that trick with our relatively significant speed and that's when you'll start believing that all Lahmians can break the sound barrier. We'd be fooling your brains into thinking that we zipped to or away from you in an instant but all we've done is daze your pretty little head. Neat trick, huh? In fact, we've adapted such a technique to elicit a wide variety of emotions in others. However, it's rather difficult for a Lahmian to 'daze' another Lahmian. When I mean adapt, I say that you could use it as a social cue to another Lahmian. See someone eyeing you up? How about you emit a sultry ultrasonic scream their way and send the message to their mind, prompting them to get up close and personal? Listen, you're not a Lahmian. You won't get it. It's sexy to us. Hell, we do it to other races without them knowing what they've just heard. They just get this feeling that a Lahmian's inviting them to jump straight in their pants. Of course, you can also get the totally opposite feeling where if you don't leave, that Lahmian's going to tear you to shreds if you're not careful.

Another major ability of Lahmians is our ability to echolocate. Due to the short days and long nights on Stormfels, Lahmians evolved into becoming echolocating beings, capable of emitting high-intensity ultrasonic chirps that bounce off of objects and ends up creating a three-dimensional reconstruction of the Lahmian's surroundings so they can navigate their way in the dark. A useful tool when you're out hunting in the darkness with nothing but your wits and spear to keep you company. The Stone Age was a frightening time if I'm being honest.


Daena

No one exactly knows where they came from and why they even decided to settle in Bloodshade. They seem to have just appeared out of nowhere and decided Bloodshade would be the place they'd lounge around. They do apparently seem to be a chirpy, harmlessly malicious bunch of creatures that we've taken the liberty to call Daena, since they tend to giggle at us anytime we ask a member of their race who they exactly are and just run circles around our minds.

They are, by every definition, supernatural beings. Despite their limited numbers, they have the power and ability to run amok in Bloodshade and our options against them are limited so what did we do? We asked them to make themselves at home and be a part of our home and surprisingly enough, they enthusiastically accepted, even if they're cheeky little imps that don't want to explain who and what they are! Regardless, they don't seem to be keen on breaking any laws and none of them have, according to our records.

Petite and feminine as they might be, Daena seem to be rather powerful creatures and that is most probably due to their attunement with Daorun. They're practically living demigods if one wants to call them that. Observing their bodies, these beings have a very unique physiology. Hell, they might as well be considered as sentient peacocks. They've got prehensile tails and apparently, it can vary in size, sharpness, density and malleability! Come to think of it, I think their entire bodies can be manipulated in such a way. Some of them claim they can cut through metal and skin like butter but they much prefer to use it for more comfortable activities. I've only ever seen them use their tails as sex organs, not weapons.

According to them, they seem to be capable of surviving an abnormal amount of damage to their physical forms. Interviewing one of the Daena, Vanya, she claims that she can survive almost anything by latching her cells onto any portion of foreign biomass, re-appropriating the biomass in order to regenerate their bodies. If you can blow em up, they'll just slink away, appropriate whatever they can to sustain themselves and guess what? They're back in shape! I haven't seen that happen but that's what they say they can do and I'm not going to test this claim. It'd be awfully rude, suicidal and mad of me to push them to the brink of death just to test out this theory. Jeez, I'm no psychopath!

Now as for their red skin? It generally has no biological importance to them. It might as well just be a fashion statement for them! To be honest, it might have a mental effect on folks because let me tell you, every time I see them, I feel like steering clear of their path. I know they're harmless but knowing just how tough and mischievous they are, I'd rather not succumb to any of their tricks. While the majority of Daena are red-skinned, it seems that Another notable aspect of their appearance are their horns. You've guessed it! Prehensile! No wonder the Daena are horny, both literally and figuratively. While I'm not entirely sure about this fact, Daena can apparently metamorphose into insanely enormous versions of themselves. They'll still be the succubus-like beings that they always are but they're just going to be quite frightening to go up against. It's only ever happened once since some wise guy thought about enslaving a Daena to their will but that instantly backfired and by the time the Daena was done and dusted with them, an entire city block was in complete chaos. Look, self-defence is all well and good but by the heavens, these Daena can prove to be nothing but trouble. I mean, Ilaria, the Daena in question, apologised for the damage she caused and was more than happy to fix the damages that were caused but we just waved her off and treated her like any other offender. She got off with a simple fine and although she accepted such judgement, she seemed to have been awfully disheartened and close to tears. One has to wonder about the culture and customs of these Daena. It seems to me that they're symbiotic creatures that wish to cause as little trouble as possible to the society they stick themselves in. Who knows? Maybe they punish their own on the off chance that they cause issues to their hosts.

At the end of the day, these demon girls just seem to relish in the night life of Bloodshade while napping like kittens during the night. It's safe to say they're nocturnal creatures, although I have some a few bask in the sun on the beach a few times. Their purpose in life seems to amount to seeking pleasure and causing no trouble. They don't care for politics, unless it comes in the way of their fun an in which case, they're rather diplomatic creatures, if one could call them that. They're going to pester you to no end until they get their way. One could label them as 'Hedonistic Isolationists'. They're rather proud creatures and have enjoyed the attention they've been receiving over the ages. Hell, some have resorted to worshipping the Daena and that's mostly because they're smoking hot. I'm not even turned on by them. It's the simple reasoning for as to why people enjoy having them around. There's no other way to put it. They're the manifestation of beauty and joy. If you're under their wing, they're going to make sure you'll have the time of your life but honestly, won't it get boring after a while? Not to them apparently so don't ask me why they love tumbling like there's no tomorrow.

These Daena don't seem to have any unique opinions on any race in Bloodshade. Funnily enough, they're probably the most open-minded folk in Bloodshade. They don't ask who or what you are. Their first question tends to be about whether you want to have fun or not. Way before I became the head of state, I'll tell you that they are hella fun bunch of demon girls but eventually, you tend to realise that they're rather possessive, dominant creatures. It was fairly easy to cut myself off from them. Again, the Daena are not malicious but they'll try to give you every reason not hotfoot it right from their grasp and believe it or not, many sexually frustrated folk end up enjoying being under their service. Why anyone would submit to a Daena for life? I don't know but live and let live I guess. I'm not going to judge people if they want to spend the rest of their lives servicing a Daena. It's an empty life but I couldn't care less what people do with their time on Yvresse.

Oh! I almost forget to mention! How do Daena even subsist? I mean, they seem to be capable of downing as much food or drink without gaining a gram of weight and gods, am I jealous! Honestly, they can consume the same food that everyone consumes. Actually, I think there's nothing that they don't consume. They seem to subsist off of otherworldly energy to keep themselves floating about in our homeworld.


Lapine

Ah, the Lepus. I think I'm going to sound rather biased saying this, considering Vishy's like a sister to me, but I tend to be rather inclined to befriending these people. They're an ambitious and free-spirited bunch. The Lepus are most certainly not the type to stay in one place for too long and you'll always find them be the first to run off to a far-away colony, become mercenaries or explorers or simply find them venturing around the wilderness with no specific goal in mind other than to enjoy the outdoors. Who are you to judge their loitering? They're rather crafty beings and while they're not necessarily dishonest folk, they'll swindle you out of your pocket money if you prove to be a nuisance or if you're begging to be fooled. However, it'd be a sin for me to paint them as dishonest folk. They're simply rather outgoing folk that seek a challenge from every person they encounter but not to a suicidal extent, they know when they're outmatched.

The Lepus are strict herbivores and are simply incapable of eating meat and will most probably cause death if they eat it for some reason. Their adorably long, fluffy ears are integral to their survival. Their ears are capable of swiveling independently and their range of hearing starts around 360 hertz and ends at 42,000 hertz. I'd say an average Lepus would be around 1.98 meters tall and probably weigh around 90 kilograms, at least for an adult. Speaking of adulthood, these bunnies unfortunately have a shorter lifespan than your average human which is why some may understand their excited nature. They wish to live life to its fullest before biting the dust. They only live to about 50 years without any sort of arcane, medical or technological aids. They can hear sounds from 8 kilometers away but we're not done with their superior senses. They can spot a being from from 5 kilometers away in detail. Now onto their most prized possession, their legs. The Lepus has powerful legs that can propel it to an average speed of 80 kilometers an hour. However, the fastest Lepus to date can reach speeds of 140 kilometers per hour. However, that's excluding folk like Vishala who've honed their speed in an arcane fashion. Don't get me started on how that she-wolf. She's a legend to her own people for a reason.

How do most people feel about the Lepus? They're charming. Very charming folk and we'd probably miss having them around if they decide to hot foot it out of Bloodshade for whatever reason. A Lepus can't stay rooted in one place and while they'd still consider Bloodshade to be their home base, they'd be bored out of their minds if forced to stay rooted in their homeland. The Lepus want people to match their extraordinary energy that they sport day in and day out. For heavens sake, these creatures have full blown conversations early in the morning. Who does that? I won't lie but extroverted nature can be too much to bear and they're not self aware in that regard so you need to be painfully blunt with them if you think they're being obnoxious.


Modaji

Moving onto these speedsters, the Modaji are Bloodshade's most athletic individuals and most tribal too. These mammals occupy the Savannah biomes of Yvresse. These creatures are sexually dimorphic in the sense that females tend to weigh more and are taller than their male counterparts. Their coats are typically range from tawny to creamy white, with black spots or stripes adorning their beautiful fur, with black tear streaks originating from the corner of their eyes which aren't just for show. Despite the fact that hunting is deemed useless and energy-inefficient nowadays, that's not stopping the Modaji from pursuing their prey and so those tear marks we just mentioned helps minimize the glare of the sun by reflecting it.

When on the hunt or perhaps when fleeing, these beings have a light, streamlined body that allows them to reach tremendous maximum speeds at around an average of 148 km/hr, accelerating at an average of 4.3 meters per square second. Despite all of their natural strength and ability, the stress accumulated from their lifestyle makes them awfully stressed by their surroundings and truly, that's when they become most sociable. These adorable little felines just want to nuzzle!


Lumittu

I almost forgot about these lovely beings! They're some of the most tender and sociable beings I've had the pleasure of coming across in my time on Yvresse and they're native to the planet to. Upon arriving, the Lumittus had already advanced into what we would consider to be the equivalent of an industrial age of technology and prosperity. They were probably the most populous of Yvresse's ethnicities. These beings thrived in rainy and cold weather, often living in habitable land near the ice caps. While they were capable of tending to the land and growing crops, they're talented fishermen and farmers, although they allow themselves to submit to hunter-gatherer tendencies for the sake of tradition but also mainly thanks to their keen sense of smell that allows them to pick up pungent smells of their most prized fish, berries and seals that they are most commonly known to feast on. One such feat to illustrate their powerful sense of smell would be how they are capable of sniffing out subnivean seal lairs that could be deep beneath three meters of snow. These goofballs will then proceed to pounce and punch through the snow, digging until it reaches its prey's lair. Don't forget, these creatures can differentiate people on smell alone and can detect your scent before you even see it! This being's snout houses millions of odor-sensitive nerves and their olfactory bulb is much more powerful than a human counterpart. Don't get me started on their hearing, the Lumittu can hear a watch ticking from forty meters away when they focus but boy does this 'power' stress them out. The poor things are always on the lookout for danger on this harsh world.
Lumittu couple


The Lumittu are one hardy bunch and dumping them in an ice bath doesn't seem to phase them all that much! In fact, the Lumittu can keep portions of their body, especially their feet, above the tissue freezing point while not sacrificing mobility or receiving any pain! When do they start to shiver you may ask? At 70°C my dear so don't expect them to ever complain about how cold the weather is! Their fluffy fur is their greatest asset and their ability to store fat efficiently in their body gives them that competitive edge. It also most certainly gives them some very admirable curves if I'm being totally honest here. My apologies, back to the Lumittu!

Speaking of their more admirable assets, the Lumittu's fur color may switch between four lovely morphs! Midnight blue, cherry red, snow white and finally, jet black! Yes! It's that vivid! Of course, there is the occasional hybrid color which would end up making them look like a charming rainbow!

Now how do people feel about these Lumittu people? Honestly speaking? They fit rather well into Bloodshadian society. They were more than ready to abandon their national identities when they knew of our arrival as they seemed to wholeheartedly believe in the existence of 'aliens', often relishing the moment when one would visit their home-world. At first, they thought we were some sort of 'Chosen Ones' from the so called 'Great Beyond'. It didn't take long for us to keep their imaginations grounded and soon enough, we treated them like brothers and sisters, bonding over our love of diversity and differences for once! They might've been one of the main reasons why those who came from Stormfels forgot all about their prejudice against other 'alien' species. The Lumittus continue to live as they used to do, with a level of autonomy granted to them so they may go about their day while continuing to be a part of Bloodshade. What am I saying? They've always been a part of Bloodshade!


Chyluliwan

These Chyluliwan folk. There's nothing inherently wrong with the Chyluliwans but unfortunately, people have decided to generalize these people, considering the word 'Chyluliwan' to be synonymous with a criminal or pirate when it's far from the truth. Bloodshade's had a difficult history with the Res'vian guilds and clans but not with the Chyluliwans themselves. Regardless, it is a shame to see that people have allowed their fears to get the better of them but regardless, the Chyluliwans aren't averse to civilization as some might believe them to be. The fact of the matter is that while the Chyluliwans are descendants of interstellar nomadic raider tribes, they know how to integrate and assimilate rather well!

These reptilian creatures have a number of abilities granted to them all thanks to the lottery of life known as evolution. Thanks to the adhesive pads on their hands and feet, the Chyluliwans can climb onto to many surfaces and is particularly effective in humid environments. This ability is determined by electrostatic interaction. These reptilians are also known to practice autotomy, capable of shedding any skin that's caught, with no scarring gained whatsoever when regrowing their skin or cartilage. Guess that's one reason for their bad reputation. They can slip away from an officer during a chase!

The Chyluliwans are insectivores beings with their tongues being a third of their body length, with the tongue coiled around inside of their mouth, free at the back and attached to the mandible at the front. It can be shot out and retracted at great speed. Their webbed feet generate a propulsive force and due to the interdigital membrane which increases surface area and subsequently increases the propulsive drag the animal generates with each stroke. Beautiful, aren't they?

Now what exactly do they believe in? What are their people like as a whole? Generally speaking, the Chyluliwans are a folk who value a society that allows competition to flourish, no matter how underhanded the tactics or industries they might be involved in. They're a very free-loving folk who seem to shun the traditional institution of marriage. One Chyluliwan might have multiple relationships simultaneously and while monogamous relationships aren't exactly frowned upon, they apparently find such a concept to be rather possessive in nature. I mean, the younger version of me would've definitely agreed with them but now I'm much more than content being with Amy and I wouldn't trade that relationship for the multiverse. Enough of my gushing though, getting back to the Chyluliwans, they also seem to have no real moral limit on what they can or can't sell. Yes, that means they'd be more than happy selling 'hard' psychoactive drugs, slaves and endangered species. To many others, one would find these customs to be abhorrent but to them, it's just another facet of life. If there is a demand, no force in the universe can prevent the force of the market, morals aside. To them, it's better being the merchant than the merchandise. While they're not necessarily war-like folk ever since the Res'vian Silver Wars, they still are a rather aggressive species in their dealings but not necessarily confrontational. The Chyluliwans value bluntness. Put your foot down, give them a piece of your mind and you'll be friends before you know it.


Cerva

And now on the other side of the spectrum, the Cerva folk. They're known to live comfortably in a variety of biomes depending on their ethnicity and can be found living in deciduous forests, mountainous regions, savannahs or wetlands. These creatures were made up of an a spiritual pacifist polity. Just simple deer tending to their crops and spaceships, exploring the 'Great Beyond' along with their Lumittu brothers and sisters. These deer-folk are diurnal beings who are mostly active during the day except for when it's extremely hot. The Cerva have no semblance of leadership and live in rather loose societies where the wisest or most knowledgeable are usually given the benefit of the doubt, guiding their communities to some vague concept of greatness. In reality, they just simply live their lives in an interconnected system of communities.

These beings aren't exactly defenceless. They're semi-bipedal ungulates and if they feel threatened, they'll bend down but don't expect anything sexy. The Cerva's just preparing to unleash 2000 psi from its hooves and probably turn you into a paraplegic, if you aren't dead by that point. Another self-defence mechanism are their horns. and it can grow to an average of around 80 centimetres for males and 70 centimetres. They're powerful enough to withstand ten times the force that would break a femur bone so you can imagine how painful it would be to be at the receiving end of that. The Cerva are also known to unleash whatever stress they may have by challenging each other to horn duels. Sometimes, they may challenge each other to settle debts or win over mates. Despite all that however, the Cerva are not violent beings whatsoever and will often avoid confrontation by stotting, signalling to whoever wants to pursue them that they aren't worth the energy. If you can't pick up that signal, they'll be galloping away at speeds of 110 kilometers per hour.

Now how do they fit into Bloodshade? Honestly speaking, when you leave them to their devices, they're productive members of society, often resorting to the service industry due to their gregarious nature. For some reason, they don't open themselves up to anyone other than a purebred human for some reason. Apparently to them, a human's genetic template is the most original in the galaxy and represents the optimal physical body in the galaxy. I know you must be wondering why they believe that. Don't ask me. Please don't. I've tried to gather some of their thoughts and they just seem to be fascinated with humanity, treating them like their figurative children of sorts. Sounds creepy? Because it is but hey, I'm not one to judge even though I just did.

Enduring bastions of Bloodshade

|| Narrated by Ambrosia von Carstein ||



Bloodshade's not entirely consistent of these boisterous colonies. Fifty-seven percent of the population live in ten 'global giant' cities across Yvresse. However, the rest of my people live in a secluded, self-sufficient yet interlinked collection of what we like to call 'Bastions'. The name itself does indicate that it is somewhat militaristic in nature, yeah? Correct, bastions are built in a way that makes them resistant to prolonged, land-based sieges due to the existence of large-scale hydroponic farming installations, with berries, tomatoes, potatoes, cucumbers, lettuce, spinach and beans being some of the main produce. On top of that, a number of aquaculture installations would be present in and around a bastion, providing its inhabitants with a number of foodstuffs such as sea cows, shrimp, oysters, prawn, kelp and so on. If you put the pieces together, you'll realize that the a significant portion of Bloodshade's population are pescatarians, meaning folks who eat a diet consisting of plant-based foods, fish and fish products. Does that mean meat's off the menu? Of course not, it's simply because fish is the food industry's main priority. There are a number of ungulates that make their way to our table. Beef and chicken is also seen as a supplement to one's diet but its consumption varies from one culture or race to another inside of a bastion.

So how exactly are bastions powered? Surely, such a sizable colony would require a steady, reliable and abundant source of electricity. To be honest, there are multiple sources used to generate electricity for the bastions. A rather ubiquitous, tried and tested source being fusion energy but bastions also entertain solar, hydroelectric and biofuel energy to meet its inhabitants's energy demands. As a result, it's not an easy task to impair a bastion's ability to defend itself from aggressors.


Typical Bastion perimeter turrets

Speaking of defense, you thought bastions were beautiful artificial paradises surrounded by picturesque scenery? That is far from the truth, dear reader. The fauna and flora of Yvresse are a dangerous tag team. In some areas of Yvresse, there are many levels of canopies that would be capable of blocking out the sun. A sizeable proportion of a jungle's fauna contains carnivorous plant life that will snatch you away the moment you think you're safe. Believe it or not, some creatures are so titanic that they can alter weather patterns whenever they prepare to attack a foe. Fortunately enough, they're herbivorous 'jungle cows', as some Bloodshadians might like to call them, and they're extremely rare beings. In any case, our dear Alarielle has got a powerful grip on their minds and if they decide to threaten a bastion, she brings her powers to bear on the creature's mind, forcing it turn aside. I'm lucky to have her. However, don't you dare expect her protection if you decide to venture out into the wilderness and muck around. While it is most certainly my responsibility to ensure that all civilians within my borders are safe and sound, it isn't Alarielle's responsibility and even she has her limits when it comes to the state of Bloodshade's encroachment on the environment so we tend to be considerate of her opinion as well.

If you're not informed and armed, you are eventually going to die by ingesting the wrong plant or get mauled by a beast of abominable design. That's assuming the native tribes don't kidnap you the moment you leave a bastion and venture into their territory, leaving yourselves vulnerable to their whims. Bastions, true to their name, have the means of defending themselves. Automatic gun turrets occupy the perimeter of a bastion, linked with radar and motion sensors, that triggers the defense system and allows it to attack any unauthorized individuals or forces trespassing on Bloodshadian territory and threatening the peace. In case the situation gets out of hand, the bastion's administration raises a temporary militia from the citizenry to take up arms against any local enemy forces. In case a bastion is under any form of ranged attack, deflector shields are set in place to give the populace enough time to flee from the bastion or hunker down in emergency shelters.

Rivers of sustenance and sacrifice

|| Narrated by Victoria Hoffmeister ||




Bloodshade's economy is an amalgamation of a command and a free-market economy, inheriting characteristics from both capitalism and socialism. In most cases, Bloodshade permits the existence of a private sector that would generally be characterized by its service-based nature, with its customers generally being civilians. Industries and sectors such as education, healthcare, defense, public transportation and power generation are managed and run by government agencies due its vitality and importance to the welfare of the people. I'm not going to sell the rights to defend my homeland to the highest bidder, am I? Do I look like an anarcho-capitalist to you?

Moving on, Yvresse is a planet blessed with an abundance of natural resources, particularly transition metals and diverse flora, that act as the lifeblood of Bloodshade's industrial scene, especially its medical, agricultural, asteroid-mining, weapons, aerospace and information technology industry. One highly promising and budding industry would be the nanotechnology industry. It's the future, at least for Bloodshade. The degree of micro-management and control granted to our industries by nano-particles and materials is astounding.

Concepts such as nano-fertilizers, nano-herbicides and nano-pesticides have now been materialized and as a result, have drastically the output of our crops while also ensuring that they're sustainable to the environment as they're injected into crops via capsules and triggers the plant's receptors. Low-grade waste in agriculture is a thing of the past as any fiber or cellulose is simply 'electrospinned' into fertilizers, pesticide absorbents or feedstock, saving a significant amount of resources in the process.


An Auroch, Bloodshade's chief ungulate livestock

Agriculture is most certainly an important part of our industry and within Bloodshade's borders, 5,826 million hectares are classified as 'agricultural area' by the 'Agriculture and Agronomic Institution'. Such land is classified into three types of land: Arable, Diuterra and Maerai. You've probably got no idea what that means and that's fine. Let me explain. Simply put, 'Arable' would refer to any land capable of having crops grown on its soil and such crops are generally considered to be temporary crops that are reaped. Come to think of it, you should probably know what 'arable' is. It's not Lyrian, last time I recall. We've shamelessly borrowed the term! As for 'Diuterra', it's more indicative of permanent crops that last for many seasons to come and do not need to be replanted after each harvest. Finally, 'Maerai' would refer to land designated for livestock. Simple as that.

Now allow me to shine a light on some of Bloodshade's produce. A few notable food crops grown in our realm would include rice, wheat, white potatoes, green tea, sugarcane, grapes and so on. Fiber crops are not exactly our forte but regardless, cotton is a relatively widespread crop, mainly used to craft clothing of course. If you'd like a rough estimate on the agricultural output of Bloodshade, I'd roughly place it at 6,700 million metric tons, only if I take into account cereal production! As for livestock, the nation's most notable example would be the Aurochs, grand domesticated beasts weighing in at an average of 7.8 tons and standing at 3.9 meters. Bloodshade's Aurochs livestock inventory is at 6.873 billion heads.

Now then, no interstellar civilization could possibly call itself such without a steady supply of minerals and metals to supply its ever-growing boundaries. How do we do it? Two words! Asteroid mining. Within the gravitationally bound system of the Skadi star and the objects that orbit it, there are exactly 3,935,281 asteroids lingering in clusters and belts peppered across the Skadi system. Now onto their composition, 50% of these asteroids would be C-types, 30% would be S-types and 20% would be M-types. While our needs would be met by simply combing the local asteroids, adventurous miners and prospectors venture into whatever territory they may find into the expanse of space. The percentage which were the truly successful pack usually had the funds to establish their own colonies in distant systems, under the government's direct supervision of course. What? You think we'd allow them to be independent from the get-go? No chance in hell. Some claim that a space colony needs to go through a 'wild child' stage of dangerous autonomy that could allow them to develop their own distinct identity before being absorbed into its mother state but I say otherwise, we have the infrastructure, technology and bureaucracy to control and maintain these colonies, ensuring that no dissidence or foreign identities are allowed to sprout. We have enough enemies. There is no time to deal with internal strife. Simply put, we treat colonies like districts because we can. Despite that, most colonies are self-sufficient territories that are granted a great level of autonomy when it comes to internal affairs.



Typical 'Riposo' artificial islands
They can live their lives and enjoy such decentralization. Currently, there are around 572 colonies spread across our ever-growing interstellar rim of systems. These colonies vary in characteristics. A large portion are dedicated trading posts, built for the sake of exporting shipments of precious metals or local oddities which would benefit the federation. Another part are mainly martial-scientific stations, populated mainly by a mixture of scientists and soldiers who help exploit and protect our interests respectively. In fact, I am responsible for running a number of such colonies as it is imperative that I am at the forefront of our fledgling republican empire in order to ensure its safety and security. Finally, we come to habitation colonies which are situated on habitable planets, hence the name 'habitation', and are specifically designed to imitate the megalopolis clusters of Yvresse and eventually develop itself into an enviable center of prosperity, culture and stability.

Now although we might be the local industrial and agricultural powerhouse of the galaxy, people seem to find the time to enjoy what our planets seem to offer when it comes to natural phenomena. Creative tourism is probably the most profitable section of our tourism industry as we've encouraged and established customs with the Lapine Celestial Empire and Res'vian Irenic Commune, prompting their people, particularly young middle to upper class adults that come of age, into visiting the federation of Bloodshade, particularly Yvresse due to its cultural sites and many opportunities presented to tourists in order to interact with the populace and educate themselves, pushing visitors into actively participating in our society and immersing themselves in our culture. So far, there has been 46.08 billion recorded international tourist arrivals from all over the galaxy. The highest percentage are sourced from the Celestial Lapine Empire with other contributors such as the Res'vian Tribal Confederation, Belenil Commonwealth of Nations and finally, the Elyra Galactic Polity. Mostly good folk. They tend to respect the law of the land and enjoy what we have to offer them as a result.

Humble garbs that adorn the flesh

|| Narrated by Victoria Hoffmeister ||


Kali Fiore

Tyra Agne

Cajsa & Raven Siggi

Hera Solomon

Yelena Volkov (1)

Yelena Volkov (2)

Yelena Volkov (3)

Nyala Vaughan (1)


Nyala Vaughan (2)

Nyala Vaughan (3)

Nyala Vaughan (4)

Nyala Vaughan (5)

Yelena Volkov (4)

Yelena Volkov (5)

Yelena Volkov (6)

Yelena Volkov (7)


Joyce Hill

Elva & Tomasa Ros

Kaisa & Eloise Caron

Olivia Màrr

Kaja & Lina Aslin

Sif Olsen

Kamaria Astor

Lara von Noctilinni

Alayna Ilvalia

Alayna Ilvalya

Kalina Astor

Vana Lagrange

Fashion is a rather common tool for one to express themselves in our society and as tough and serious as I might come off as, I do enjoy taking the time to plan out my clothing choices throughout the day, like any other normal person of course. In regards to the symbolism of my own clothing and to put it rather bluntly, I do like standing out as a professional yet feminine and modest figure. I guess you could say I come off as the one who 'wears the pants'. However, during the time I spend at work, I do look rather ghastly. Tank tops, khakis and trench boots? Gods above, it might be more comfortable and convenient to wear but it most certainly doesn't complement my body. Even worse, it brings much attention to my body and as proud as I am of my physique, I don't want people staring and ogling my biceps.

Despite my own personal opinions, the men and women of this nation see no issue whatsoever with showing off their skin and the minority that do, such as myself, have no problem with those that do. If most people are confident enough to flaunt their assets proudly like a peacock, who am I to stop them? In fact, I think using the term 'confident' is wrong in this context. I'm, funnily enough, the odd one out. We're simply a much more liberal society when it comes to clothing. However, that doesn't mean our tastes in fashion are uniform. It's rather diverse and that's expected in a diverse and multi-ethnic society like ours but if there's one thing we can all agree on, it's that you should never be ashamed of any aspect of your body, regardless of how much you cover up or not. That's one piece of symbolism we proudly display in our fashion choices. While some are more modest than others, you most certainly won't find a single soul who is ashamed to the point where they'd cover themselves up from head to toe, unless they're having an otherworldly bad hair day. One could say that we collectively have a phobia of overdressing.

Colour is a rather important part of clothing obviously. More importantly, blending color suitably with one another is an important part of picking one's attire for the day. There is one simple aspect to dressing oneself up in Bloodshade: Keep it chic, casual and vibrant. Hell, many individuals prefer to have sets of identical clothing that they could constantly keep wearing, something they dub to be 'Everyday' outfits. Whether you're at home, the office, your friends or family. You'll fit in. That's the main thought process at least.

Some people enjoy wearing grandiose attires that set themselves apart from the masses while others enjoy function over form, often taking into account wear and tear, comfort and protection. Don't be surprised if you spot someone role-playing as a mercenary in the street. Who knows? Chances are that they are a mercenary. Good for nothing, self-centred scoundrels...The mercenaries I mean! Not the role-players! Anyways, back to the subject at hand, black seems to be a common colour of choice too but it's less to do with looking like an emo or goth and more to do with standing out by complementing it with your skin colour, accessories or other articles of clothing. What can I say? Some people just want to paint it black.

Anyways, another aspect of fashion that I'd like to mention is hair. People value their hair just as much as they value their children. In fact, I think that is a universal trait of all sentient, organic life but please try to prove me wrong. Hip to thigh length hair is the norm for women while male hair is usually shoulder to waist length, although you'll find many exceptions with both genders. While long hair is prevalent in Bloodshade, there are a number of ways that one can express themselves and that's updos. It's mainly seen as a reflection of one's personal style but can also be used due to convenience or career requirements. In the military, if your hair can't properly fit in your helmet or is long enough to be a combat hazard, say goodbye. Your gender doesn't matter. Although if I'm being honest, cutting your hair in the military is more for symbolic reasons rather than practical ones. Simply put, high command wants you to know that you are now theirs to control.

The Do's and Don'ts of the Sandbox

|| Narrated by Kali Fiore ||


Now while we've garnered a reputation for being a free haven of this galaxy, I'll be the first to tell you that we do still have our long list of cultural taboos. I would know because being in the film industry, you get to see a ton of artists bite the dust when they're outed for being degenerates or outright asses. To put it simply, we've got our own unique set of customs and taboos in Bloodshade, just like any other polity come to think of it.

The first and foremost cultural taboo is bigotry of any sorts and mainly because rampant xenophobia and fear of the 'Other' was the reason we're even on Yvresse to begin with. We're awfully suspicious of people that tend to scoff at another for no particular reason and it tends to make people give you a dirty look. Try not to open a conversation with a "I'm not racist but..." because almost everyone's going to tell you to shut it or even preemptively shut you up if you're not careful. Look, solving arguments with violence isn't fun but if you're pushing it, don't expect anyone to lend you any sort of compassion or sympathy.

Gender specific norms are almost non-existent in Bloodshade. Why? I don't even know when we stopped caring. People just didn't bother worrying about the traditional roles of a man and woman is. With the right amount of effort, it doesn't matter what you identify as. Just meet the standards of your work environment and you'll hardly be discriminated against. We don't have the luxury of turning down folk with the reasoning being something as frivolous as gender, especially considering that we want to consolidate our place in the universe without being blown back to Timbuktu. Of course, that doesn't assign the 'ideal' traits of a man and a woman but to put it simply, Bloodshade's a nation of exceptions. Many exceptions.

Another controversial topic are drugs. While the consumption of drugs has been decriminalised and most, save for the typical opioid, are legalised for consumption, no one's really going to clap when they hear that you're a drug addict. The point of legalisation is to stem the rise of illicit, violent organisations rather than sate the people's need for an escape from reality. Addicts are treated like patients, not vessels of evil. We all know that mental conditions and drug addiction go hand in hand so it's really all about caring and comforting those who delve into the rabbit hole known as substance abuse. Look, we're not going to cry our eyeballs out if you decide to down a bottle of whiskey and have fun with your friends. We're more worried about the quiet people who just drown their sorrows in a dark corner of a room, hoping to go by unnoticed.

One important thing to mention is that people don't like talking about death. We've already seen enough of it throughout our history. Try to avoid the topic if you can help it because all you'll do is get a bunch of people moping about. It's just not a topic anyone really likes to brush on and for obvious reasons. Ask yourself, do you want to talk about death? No! It comes when it comes. No need to waste your energy or time talking about a fate that will plague us all. It's just not worth it.

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