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Short Story Introduction

^Wait a second, I’ll send you a picture^ came the distant voice in his mind. The Tuleonetian stopped in his tracks and closed his eyes to wait for the transfer.

^There, did you get it?^


^--Disappointment--^ the emotion shuddered through him. Though he knew it originated from his daughter, he couldn’t help but empathise.

^Remember sending out of orbit is very tough^ he returned, concentrating hard on the memory of her face.

^I know you’ve been practicing. Keep the image in your mind, close your eyes and concentrate on my face, I find that helps...^

Xerin (Dusty's Dillema, image by Lloyd Smith)

There was a long pause, and Xerin could just imagine the agony on his daughter’s face as she attempted the transfer. He knew full well how tough it was to send a burst over such long distances.

He let out a breath he had been unaware that he was holding as he felt the familar mental coolness touch his mind. Moments later, light sprang up on his closed eyelids and coalesced into shape. It felt like his eyes were open once more, but he knew that the image projected was that seen by another and that his own were still closed tight.

“Be everything in order?” said a gruff voice close by. Xerin opened his eyes reluctantly to find the massive snout of his Ursian companion pointing down at him, eyes wrinkled in concern.

“Yes Fiachinn, thanks” the Tuleonetian said with a smile, his vocalised voice sounding like thunder to his ears compared to the gentle flow of telepathic communication “it’s just my daughter showing me her new planet.”

Fiachinn frowned, and Xerin immediately felt a pang of sorrow towards his Voiceless friend. He often forgot that the Tuleonetians were unique in their ability to psionically project information between themselves. Just how others managed without this talent was beyond him. Closing his eyes, he brought the image back into his mind, and began to describe the scene softly for the benefit of the Ursian.

“I can see it clearly. It is a lush, green world. I can see trees and hills in the distance. The ground all around her is covered in long grass which bends gently in the breeze.”

“That be sounding a little boring” returned the baritone voice of his companion. Xerin opened his eyes in surprise, and blinking, glared up at him.

“It be sounding like a paradise Xerin, you be far too serious!” Laughter rumbled up from the Ursians chest, and a giant paw slapped the Tuleonetian on the back, almost sending him sprawling.

^Fiachann approves of your new home, and so do I,^ Xerin sent back to his daughter with a smile, but his face dropped to a frown.



He probed out with his mind, but was met with... nothing.

“Something’s wrong” Xerin said aloud with a deepening frown. The planet seemed to be getting brighter, and both companions looked up at the sky to see that the upper atmosphere appeared to be burning. The glare grew so bright that they were forced to cover their eyes with their arms.



^Anyone?^ Xerin projected on a wide band, trying frantically to contact any of the numerous Tuleonetians with whom he shared the planet.

He was met only by silence.

“Fiachinn, something is terribly wrong," he said, blinking his eyes in confusion as the light faded back to normal.

"The Meld... I cannot access it.”

Thought was getting harder, more sluggish. Something warm and wet was running down his face. He wiped it away with a paw, then holding it up before his eyes he saw that it glistened the dark red of blood.


Racial Overview

Tuleonetian male by James Goudie

The Tuleonetians are a race of small statured feline creatures. Physically they are not great specimens, and certainly not natural predators like some of the other members of the Concordium. Instead, it is their unique psionic abilities which brought them to the attention of others, and it is these powers which can be considered both a blessing and a curse.

The most potent of these talents allows them to almost instantaneously transfer data telepathically between their minds, creating what is in essence an organic network known as "the Meld". Whereas, the other races are only able to create such communication links through advanced computing and with a significant outlay for infrastructure, the Tuleonetians can instead do this entirely naturally. This, of course, not only allows them to talk with each other over vast distances, but also to share memories and transfer information to each other, giving them the illusion of vast intelligence.

Socially, the Tuleonetians exist in a duality; the proud and mysterious nomads of Daggett 4, together with the technocratic and wealthy techies of Daggett 5. Although they are of the same species found on twin planets, the history of each caused a distinct cultural schism which only seems to grow with each passing year. Both groups were discovered by Gervian scouts at roughly the same time, but this proved only to be a catalyst for the continuing divergence. Seizing on their psionic potential, the Gervians enslaved the Tuleonetians and began to use them as an organic telecommunications network harnessed and controlled by Charian science.

The later discovery of abundant deposits of Pandorite, the raw material used in the manufacture of Pandeus, only made the seizure of the twin planets even more lucrative. It was the dreadful exploitation of the Tuleonetian peoples which earned the ire of the Ursian nation. Their subsequent intervention led, in time, to the abolition of slavery throughout Concordium space, and the return of the two planets to their native owners.

To this day the Tuleonetian and Ursian peoples remain fast friends. We could not ask for more steadfast allies!

– Conleth, Historian to the Concordium.

The Techies of Daggett 5

Although now widely recognised as the "Techies", the natives of Daggett 5 underwent the worst treatment during the Gervian occupation of their planet. Most of their population was forcibly expelled and sold as slaves to administer the growth of the Gervian civilisation. Their circumstances took a turn for the worse when the Charians realised how rich the deposits of Pandorite on the planet were. The Tuleonetians who were not sent abroad were instead led down into the mines where they toiled to extract the precious material. Physically they made poor miners, but their small stature allowed the Tuleonetians to dig narrow shafts which could delve deep into the earth. When they perished there were plentiful numbers still on the planet which could be captured and sent to work.

Ultimately their dissemination among the stars came to work in their favour after the abolition of slavery by the Ursians. Old familial ties were not forgotten. This made for easy growth of Tuleonetian commercial interests, particularly concerning the sale of the valuable Pandorite. Those who remained on the planet seized control of the Pandorite mines. They used Ursian and Concordium shipping to send it to their agents abroad. Those agents were often long-lost members of their dynasty. This has led to the rise of a number of powerful commercial families on Daggett 5.

Made wealthy by the export of Pandorite, the Techies willingly embraced the flamboyant lifestyle of their former captors. With slavery gone, labour became expensive and new technology had to be brought in to modernise the massive mines. This interest in modernity fuelled the rapid expansion of industry on the planet and soon colony ships were being sent out to acquire more resources which in turn could be processed.

The Nomads of Daggett 4

The desert nature of Daggett 4 may have saved the Nomads from the worst excesses thrust upon their kin. Nevertheless, they were forced to live in an oppressed state, constantly struggling for survival against both the continual raids by slavers and the hostile nature of their environment.

Where once the desert nomads were known for their generous hospitality, their national character has instead become untrusting and mysterious, if not downright xenophobic. For a long time the nomads were forced to fight a guerrilla war against their spaceborne oppressors. Lacking the technology to enter space themselves, they were forced into underground caverns and had to quickly perfect the art of camouflage.

In time, they learned that fear was as effective a weapon as the blade, and their tactics became ever more brutal. Stories spread of entire bands of aliens being flayed alive, or the organs of their captives cut open, filled with sand and scorpions and then sown shut once more. The poison of the reptiles attacked the victim from within, causing a violent and painful death.

Although slavery has been outlawed for centuries, this deeply ingrained mistrust of outsiders remains. While many groups on Dagget 4 have become welcoming once more, there are numerous other clans which will still kill strangers on sight. Even among friendly nomads, secrecy remains a practiced way of life and trust is hard won.

There is speculation that the sands of Daggett 4 hide the largest deposits of Pandorite in Concordium space. Despite strict Ursian naval control and Tuleonetian efforts on the ground, smuggling and illegal mining is rampant as it is well known that a haul of Pandorite can enrich a daring crew with just one successful trip.

There are also numerous holy sites on Daggett 4 which are closed to all but the Nomads, even the Techies are no longer welcome in the most sacred of them.

- Eloise Quepero D'Pigens

Darshanna would give much to see some of these temples. We have heard that some of the hidden temples would rival even those of the Urix.

- Darshana

Racial Characteristics


Tuleonetian Racial Statistics

Racial Special Abilities

- Advanced Telepathy (Psionics)

- Rudimentary Clairvoyance (Psionics)

- Thick Skin (Defensive)

- Small Claws (Offensive)

- Limited Stealth (Stealth)

- Rudimentary Empathy (Psionics)


General Features

Tuleonetian female by James Goudie
  • Fur/Hair
    • Fur is generally light if present and is based on ancestral environments.
      • Heavier fur for colder environments to no fur for warmer areas.
      • Techies have darker fur usually brown though very rarely black.
      • Nomads have lighter colours including light shades of brown to sandy.
      • Always earthy tones.
  • Physiology
    • Feline appearance.
    • Thin and wiry, if not scrawny.
    • Lack of muscle tone, and often very boney.
    • Small stature, usually averaging around 4.5ft (generally 4 - 5ft tall)
    • Heads are almost triangular (wide brows, narrow chins, large ears).
    • Fully bi-pedal.
    • Tails are natural (although some individuals or groups do crop them).
    • Small, underdeveloped claws not really suitable for combat.
  • Body Art
    • Much more common among males.

Male Features

  • Physique
    • Males tend to be slightly taller, some reaching as tall as 5ft
  • Fur / Hair
    • Facial hair can be grown and styled.
  • Body Art
    • Nomads tend to be heavily tattooed.
    • Techies frequently have body augmentations.
    • Piercings common among Techies and Nomads.

Female Features

  • Physique
    • Females tend to be smaller, most being just under the racial average in height.
  • Fur
    • Hair is on head can be noticeably longer and is more often styled.
  • Body Art
    • Uncommon, though some do have piercings in the ears.


  • Clothes
    • Nomads often wear robes or loose fitting trousers and tunics.
    • Techies prefer more stylish clothing, often copied from Gervian or Inarian fashion. Some even wear suits.
  • Weapons
    • Light polearms (or other long-shafted piercing weapons like spears)
    • Ancient inspired weapons such as bows with energy inbued arrows.
    • Light energy weapons, particularly pistols.
  • Miscellaneous
    • Mental enhancers (psychic crowns, or focusing gems)

Do not be fooled by their weak bodies! Everyone know their psionic power. Darshana know there is more though! Darshana has seen things... heard things... They make Darshana uncomfortable. Darshana must trust in the teaching of K'dvan to protect her.

- Darshana


Religion takes on many forms in Tuleonetian society, with the ultra-advanced Rationalism of the Techies at odds with the very conservative Divine Presence in the cults of Oubas and Kemwe. While the two cults guard their followers jealously, even the Rationalists hold the old traditions in high regard.

Primary : Divine Presence : Nomad 55% : Techie 15% : Cults of Oubas and Kemwe. The Mother and Father. Life-giver and Protector. Both cults are worshipped on their respective planets (and very rarely on the other), however Kemwe is far more popular and Oubas is in steep decline to the forces of Rationalism.

Traditionally Oubas is the god of Techie Daggett 5, where the more temperate climate and more bountiful land are believed to result from her benevolence. Most recently, the god has become far less important on Daggett 5 where rationalism and commercialism have become king. Her power is still feared however, and a small statue of her is left in most houses and mines. Her symbol is a blue-coloured Tuleonetian female with a large orb weighing down each of her ears.

Kemwe is the god of Nomadic Daggett 4. His fearsome nature is believed to toughen his children. His weapon is the desert which has buried the bones of those who would seek to harm the Tuleonetians in it's blue tinted sands. Kemwe's temples are ancient fortified monasteries built in the most inhospitable places, with the mightiest being open only to his priesthood. The priests are feared warriors, and it is due in no small part to their efforts, that the slavers were so ineffectual and that smugglers do not meet with more success. His symbol is a paw with an eye in the palm.

Oubas and Kemwe are known to fight as couples do, and the early years especially are rife with conflict between the twin worlds. However over time the pair have reconciled and, for the most part, peace reigned.

Secondary : Mysticism : Nomad 40% : Techie 25% : The most tolerant and pragmatic group are those who believe in some kind of mysterious divine power, but are unsure precisely what it is. Usually, they give praise to the minor spirits or gods they believe inhabits every part of their world. Even those who are generally rationalist in outlook may throw some salt over their shoulder when entering a home to appease the spirits who watch over it.

Secondary : Rationalism : Nomad 5% : Techie 60% : The woes that afflicted the Tuleonetian people proves that the future lies in rational thought and liberal commercial enterprise, and not in half remembered gods who never intercede for their children. Money is the new faith, and science its god.

There is an Ursian who dedicated his life to trying to understand the intricicies of Tuleonetian faith, and tried to make note of each and every spirit followed by the more isolated tribes. He died before it could be completed.

– Conleth, Historian to the Concordium.

Starting Ships-- Scout and Light Carrier

(Designs by James Goudie)
Tuleonetian Scout Tuleonetian Light Carrier

Racial History

To be added.

The Meld

No other species has been quite so closely studied as the incredible Tuleonetian. Truly, if there was a race so close in image to how we imagine a god, it would be they. Some of my fellow Charian academics hold to the belief that they have stolen the very divinity which used to flow through our own veins. For myself however, I would rather believe that they, as all living creatures are divine in their own right, but that their spark of divinity simply glows more brightly than in others.

While many of their abilities are, of course, wondrous, they alone would simply leave them equally talented as our friends the Gervians or Inarians, but instead the Tuleonetians, or Tuli as they prefer to refer to themselves, have one aspect, one crazy twist of fate which elevates them beyond equal, beyond compare, beyond even, I am sad to admit, my own understanding.

This ability, no, this gift has been come to be known as “the Meld”.

One hopes that the exceptional nature of this talent has been properly emphasised by the rather over poetic introduction above, so that we can instead now begin to investigate just what the Meld is, how it works, how it has been put to use in the past, and how it can continue to be harnessed in the future.

Put simply, the Meld is an organic network connecting the individuals of the Tuleonetian species, in a similar manner that we might connect with one another electronically though advanced computers and networking infrastructure. The Tuleonetians have developed their own entirely natural psionic connection which is capable of transmitting not only thought, but also memories, ideas and with the proper cybernetic enhancements, raw data.

The transfer is exceptionally quick, rivalling even the most efficient military hardware installed on Concordium systems and with a range which easily covers the surface of most planets. Further increasing its effectiveness, these psionic signals are quite easily strengthened and transmitted through space. Considering that each individual Tuleonetian can function as a relay, the ultimate range of the Meld is therefore without limit.

We do not yet have the ability to properly track the passage of these psionic streams, so we must instead theorise as to how they are transferred between individuals. Evidence seems to point toward the existence of some kind of matter which is susceptible to waves created by the gifted brain (“Art of the Meld”, Clowin, 1997YD, p282-495). This is difficult to prove without dissecting a living subject, but the speed of data transfer can be measured. The speed decreases perceptibly with distance and it is definitely disrupted by gravity. Emitting a signal from a planetary surface to a receptor in orbit takes far longer than the return signal. Likewise, there is empirical evidence that the presence of a black hole prevents the signal from passing at all, and in such instances interplanetary telepathic projection becomes impossible (“Art of the Meld”, Clowin, 1997YD, p567-672).

The powers shared by the Tuleonetian peoples tend to be quite similar in nature regardless of the distinct cultural and socio-political differences between them. It is clear to me that the natives of both Daggett IV and V come from a common ancestor, though how this species achieved interplanetary migration so early in their evolutionary cycle remains a topic of speculation. Both the Nomads and Techies have access to the Meld, and both races seem to have evolved some kind of low-level intuition which assists in their avoidance of danger. The origins and evolution of this ability to foresee threats is itself a topic of great interest but lies outside the scope of this work. If further reading is desired, I highly recommend “How They Survived : The Little Sages” (Clowin, 2011YD).

During the enslavement period, limited scientific testing was conducted on both Techies and Nomads, and in general the talent of the Nomads was found to be of a higher degree than their cousins. When projecting to receptors in orbit, the material sent by Nomads would arrive, on average, several milliseconds earlier, though researchers are of the opinion that this time difference would be considerably increased over longer distances, as collated by Dr. Clowin in her seminal work “Power of the Desert” (Clowin, 1985YD, p836-1934).

The Apestels

The enslavement period was not only a time of heightened medical and scientific discovery on this incredible species, but was also host to a number of advances which impacted the strength and efficiency of the Tuleonetian psionic power. Most notable is the organisation and operational system (OOS) implanted by wealthy individuals into the most powerful of the Tuleonetian psyker slaves. This is a combination of bio-electrical exchange together with intensive chemically enhanced training.

Completed successfully, this system imbues the Tuleonetian subject with a computational mind, which provides highly advanced memory retention and access systems, plus the ability to interface directly through neurological link to common computer systems utilised by the other races of the Concordium. In essence, this allowed the Tuleonetian to become a walking data bank that not only had access to the Meld, but also an eidetic memory that could recall images, communications and data even when access to the Meld was limited or severed.

Further research into the OOS led to the infamous Apestels. These individuals had cybernetic implants that housed neurological inhibitors which made the subject exceptionally suggestive, thereby facilitating the Apestel networks which enabled the early Concordium expansion. Masters could talk to an Apestel and have their voice projected directly through the mouth of the receiving Apestel.

Following the abolition of slavery, the neurological inhibitors became illegal, but the use of Apestals had become so ingrained in Concordium life that an alternative needed to be found, otherwise the complete collapse of the galactic economy was a very real danger (“How They Survived : The Little Sages” Clowin, 2011YD, p37-158). The mimic and voice manipulation techniques are achieved through training instead, and each Apestel practices extensively for intra and interplanetary communication. Some even more specialised Apestel “Primes” combine this training with OOS systems that allow data transfer between similarly equipped individuals.

Apestels are now far reduced in number compared to the slavery days, and their services are highly sought after. Apestel Primes are even more valuable, and their services are often retained specifically by business and military institutions. Of course, the advantages imparted by Tuleonetian OOS-equipped Apestel agents in modern combat or covert situations cannot be underestimated.

Now that subjects are able to exercise free will, the integrity of transmissions has, at times been held in dispute, when either false or misunderstood streams have been sent, or otherwise wrongly interpreted by the recipient. Less likely, but no less dangerous, is the possible refusal of Apestels to transmit or interpret communications which could be of detriment to themselves or other intended recipients.

Racial Analytics of the Tuleonetian Race : The Organic Network By, Dr. Orbre, Director, Faculty of Xenology, University of Srata.

Addendum: Following the episode known now as “The Silence”, for unknown reasons the Tuleonetian race is no longer able to facilitate interplanetary communication. We offer our deepest condolences to Tuleonetian colleagues for this loss of contact with friends and loved ones.

Conleth, please tell me you've not read the complete works of Dr. Orbre and Dr. Clowin! I cannot imagine anything more dry.

- Eloise Quepero D'Pigens

Of course! They are among the foremost scholars of Tuleonetian culture and psionic prowess.

– Conleth, Historian to the Concordium.

Jeeze Conleth, I'd much rather watch a slow worm for a week.

- Eloise Quepero D'Pigens

I do that too.

– Conleth, Historian to the Concordium.


- Eloise Quepero D'Pigens


– Conleth, Historian to the Concordium.

K'dvan say that much patience can be learned from the passage of the slow worm.

- Darshana

Don't encourge him!

- Eloise Quepero D'Pigens

The United Peoples of Daggett

Although each planet is technically autonomous, their joint relations with the Concordium are governed by The Grand Council. This assembly is comprised of precisely 56 Sachems (chiefs), a number which has not changed throughout its history. 28 come from the Nomadic Daggett 4, 28 come from the Techie Daggett 5.

Each Sachem is elected on their home planet, and can come from any profession. Sachems are elected for a nine-year term, with one third of the council being elected every three years. There is no limit on the number of terms an individual may serve.

Techie Sachems tend to come from the great mercantile families, though their precise trade can range from career politicians to businessmen to generals. Elections are highly competitive, as having a voice on the Grand Council can be extremely lucrative to the family; therefore it is unlikely that any individual will serve for more than a single term, with a small minority serving twice.

Nomadic Sachems on the other hand, are always clan chiefs or priests. With this far more limited pool of candidates, both because of the smaller population and the restrictions they have imposed on themselves, their positions tend to be far more stable, with most serving for life once elected.

The United Peoples of Daggett are a highly centralised organisation, with the headquarters alternating between the two planets on an annual basis. As the name implies, only the two planets are represented in the Concordium, meaning that the Tuleonetian colonies go entirely unrepresented, a state of affairs which has led to a minor cooling of relations with their Ursian allies, but the Grand Council has made no effort to remedy this, and is unlikely to do so.

Grand Council relations with the Concordium tend to be commercially focused, with the Tuleonetian delegations being extremely active in trade deals. The Nomads are less interested in free trade than the Techies, and instead work to impose mercantilist trade restrictions which favour the Daggetts. In this way, the Council is finely balanced between free trade and mercantilist interests. Politically the Tuleonetian Grand Council is traditionally extremely autonomy-focussed, and will fight hard to ensure the continuing sovereignty of their planets and colonies.

Traveller's Log Entries

Dusty's Dilemma

(by Gareth Kay)

“You are a Springbreeze?” The incorporeal voice asked, the pitch hiding a hint of surprise. “Do you know an Azzar Springbreeze?”

“Yes” she replied, looking around. She stood alone in a square room. In front of her was a clear desk and an empty chair. The room was clearly meant to be small office, startling only due to the eerie blackness which permeated through the open window. It was barely midday, so light should have been streaming inside.

“She is... was, my mother.”

“I see,” a pause, and the voice dipped an octave, “and what makes you think you are suitable for this expedition?”

She then felt a comfortable coolness touch her mind, and suddenly the room faded into darkness.

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