Lore: Ancient Peoples
The Dawnfay was created by Crahurnian some 2 million years ago, to be a place where the various sentient, sapient races of the world at that time could live without fear of death, and to give space for a new generation of peoples to grow. As a vast starship which is by mass around 90% computers, it functions as the home to the roughly billion minds of the Ancient Peoples.
Crahurnian created the vessel and designed the world within its databanks in its own image, building a place where the peoples can achieve almost any effect they wish at will.
Manipulation, Timelessness & Society
The major unintended side effect of the creation of a place such as this is that it has caused serious stagnation of its peoples. In a world where almost anything can be created by asking for it, and anything changed through the snap of a finger, there has been no need to develop. Indeed it could be argued that they've regressed somewhat. Aesthetically, the world mostly appears in a roughly late medieval period of technology. Any time anything is required, it's simply willed into existence.
Perhaps more interesting though is the primary difference between the Dawnfay and everything that exists elsewhere; namely that the creatures which reside in it never age. Being purely digital in nature, they lack any true physical form and so appear to be however old they choose. The only exception to this is the recent bioforms, which exist as biological bodies they can use when they desire to interact with the physical world.
The Dawnfay has a limit on its resources, and as such also on how many minds it can support. It's believed that this number is somewhere around one billion, and as such it long ago reached capacity. This has created a situation where tight population controls are enforced on almost every people. There's sort of a one-in, one-out policy in effect everywhere. As such, some people choose to be reborn as children, with their memory wiped. Others transfer themselves from their digital form into beings of pure energy via the ship's matter transference beam (and what happens to them is currently unknown - perhaps the Triumvene know, but if they do, they haven't elaborated yet). Others still simply choose to not exist anymore, thus creating room for new minds to be created. The manner in which this occurs isn't currently known outside the Dawnfay's residents, and they don't seem keen to share.
The other aside from this is that individuals can get extremely old, to the tune of tens of thousands of years. The result of this, combined with no meaningful illness, sickness or disease has allowed many members of the peoples of this place to become, if not wise, then at least incredibly knowledgeable.
Wealth & Trade
The very concept of wealth itself has taken on a new meaning, as a result of any "thing" being able to be had with almost no effort. The limits to their world are essentially ones of scale - there are limits on what they can do, but not meaningfully on how frequently they can do things. On the Dawnfay, everything is digital, and so replenishes instantly. Equally, there's no manipulation per se, as everything that can happen is governed by the rules of the digital world they inhabit. This creates a situation where a creature can't, for example, create an entire city immediately just by snapping their fingers, however they could certainly create a hundredweight in gold with trivial ease.
Instead, wealth on the Dawnfay is measured by creativity and fun, joy and novelty. In a place where material possession and time, (through the absence of natural death) are essentially meaningless, the peoples of the world have created a version of life centered around art. There are plays that last a hundred years, symphonies that last decades, and paintings that stretch for miles, taking years to fully examine and appreciate.
Perhaps one of the strangest pieces was a piece of performance art, where over the course of ten thousand years, a Squank lived as every part of a pond, from the water in it, to a frog, lily pad, thousands of forms of bacteria and a heron which once drank from it, by changing its form over and over again.
It was widely acclaimed as novel, and soothing to watch, if possibly lacking in ultimate refinement and excellence.
In a similar way, trade has evolved quite differently to Orth or the residents of the Nightfay ships, thanks to a total lack of material possession determining value. Instead, trade exists to transfer services, but not goods. So a person might trade their talent for music for the services of someone else as a sculptor. A Squank might trade a tear of their memories for a song created to immortalise it. An Azodin might trade their roar in the performance of an opera in return for an Octophele's knowledge of the life of a creature on Orth.
Such are the trades that are made. Equally interesting is the concept of the Digitally Enforced Contract, or DEC. DECs are legally binding, as with any normal contract, but have conditions of the world tied into them, so that should they be broken, the breaker might for example spend the next thousand years as an amoeba, or have to serve the other party for one hundred years, or in extreme examples, simply give up existence.
These contracts are unbreakable and enforced immediately, their penalties being woven into the fabric of the world itself by the ship.
Crahurnian was the creator of the Dawnfay, and used to act as its protector. It used to be seen interacting with the creatures of the ship regularly, and as such is a God of a form, but not in any way which requires faith. Much like postmen, Crahurnian simply exists, or at least is assumed to still exist.
However, Crahurnian hasn't been forthcoming with regards to its aims for the ship for the future. As such, various religious cults have grown up around it, aiming to influence or win favour with it by building statues, temples, and in one case, firing a large missile into the sun. As far as anyone can tell, none have actually succeeded, but thanks to their lifespans, it's not stopping anyone from trying.
Whilst Crahurnian might have been the most active of the Triumvene, the existence of the other two (Garrian and Manovelar), is known to Ancient Peoples. Neither visits, but it's known that Crahurnian used to be in contact with the other two, before it went quiet.
The Chevaliers d'or
The group known as the Chevaliers d'or are an ancient guild, who spend their lives in service of protecting what they call, "The Breach". What this is, they won't say, other than it resides on Orth and is the source of manipulative powers.
Its current leaders are:
- Shovan, Octophele, 1.38 million years old, oracle
- Pherenia Nimary Jorinie Saralim, Disapperature, 158,000 years old, High Queen of the Disapperatures
- Memories Yet to Arrive, Azodin, 369,000 years old
- Zeemar-Loya, Kinisepath, 39/257,000 years old, traveller
- Norvat-Regar, Kinisepath, 56,963,000 years old, healer
- Eaweri, Uffrith, 67,000 years old, politician
- Heyayee, Squank, 161 years old, diplomat
The Chevaliers d'or have a limited bioform presence on both Orth and several of the Nightfay vessels. In the case of the former, that takes the form of the Knights of the Gold. On the ships, they're known as the Stonerunners, and considered an esoteric sect.