Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Emphrina

A beautiful water world, Emphrina is occupied by the Agredeem empire, albeit willingly. The Agredeem are a normally peaceful race of amphibious star fish people who suffer from a chronic case of god emperors, who rule through powerful subconscious mind control. They control many auxiliary races, though that requires consistent visits from the god emperor and his psychic advisors. Emphrina is unique in this aspect, as it is never visited by psionic Agredeem, yet the natives remain loyal to the empire. This makes the planet into a sort of embassy town, where other galactic powers can deal with the Agredeem without worrying about brain washing. For their part, the rank and file of the empire see Emphrina as the premier resort spot of the empire.

Green Landing.
The first thing a visitor to green landing notices is the astounding beauty. Lush trees and shrubs line grassy streets. Large buildings covered in green support a leafy canopy. Ethereal flying creatures slowly strobe bright colors. During the day, dappled green light falls on elaborate water features; at the night the whole landscape is lit  up by bio-luminesces. The eco-engineers of The Emphrina have pulled out all the stops to make green landing a wonder to behold.
The second thing some visitors, particularly human visitors notice is how wretched Green Landing is. Built on the planet's equatorial belt, the temperature rarely dips below 35 Degrees Celsius, and thanks to all those lovely water features, the humidity is quite high. All those ethereal flying creatures are rather unpleasant when they're flying in your face , trying to drink your sweat. The whole island reeks of decay, in a million different ways, from knife-sharp ammonia to a subtle fungal mustiness.
The island was designed to be appealing to the Agredeem, and they don't mind the heat and the bugs, and they find the humidity and the smells delightful. Some analysts suspect that the Emphrina designed green Landing's ecosystem this way to get some physiological advantage over alien visitors. Others think the Emphrina are just sort of dumb.
The ecosystem is flawed in other ways as well. The constant influx of off-worlders makes it difficult to keep it in balance. They're always touching things they shouldn't, and leaving garbage all around. To compensate, the Emphrina use periods of readjustment, where they use biological carefully controlled biological upheaval to rebalance the ecosystem. It is hazardous to be outside during these periods, as the normally docile fauna can react unpredictably. Sapients out in the open during a readjustment might be stung by a horde of air jellies, or savaged by a rabid squirrel-beetle. Usually the Emphrina ecosystem engineers give advanced warnings, but sometimes adjusts are need so urgently there's no time to plan. That’s the story, anyways.
Below The island is a system of caves where the really dangerous organisms live; the predators necessary to keep ecological balance. Ecological reviewers describe these creatures as "unnecessarily cruel" and "extravagantly nightmarish". Monsters like the giggling ripper and the snaggle-tooth man-fisher fuel a side business in the dangerous hunting expeditions popular among Agredeem elites. They enter the caves through special security sphincters that protect the upper areas from the under denizens. Casualties are high, and the Agredeem wouldn't have it any other way.  Sometimes, a high ranking Agredeem officer will drag along a party of outsiders, as a sort of trust building exercise. It rarely goes well.

The native Emphrina resemble cuttlefish, and are entirely aquatic. They get about on land in biped and triped "bubble walkers", named from their spherical water tanks. Their "names" are simply job titles. Most Emphrina an outsider would encounter are name things like "bartender" and "waiter" particular interesting Emphrina might have adjectives, like "friendly shopkeeper". Outsiders who have ventured deeper into Emphrina have reported strange titles like "daring spy" and "plucky orphan".

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