The Gaians are descended from another fringe of Earth society – the Greens and environmentalists. They are committed environmentalists. They believe that human beings, in order to survive and prosper, must find ways to work within a world's natural ecosystems. They constantly seek ways to pursue agricultural and industrial development without harming native life.
Many civilization members are accomplished scientists and engineers, committed to a life of rational inquiry. Even so, the Gaians have developed a richly spiritual culture. Reverence for life does not (quite) rise to the level of a formal religion, but many Gaians do engage in meditation and spiritual exercises designed to bolster their devotion. Lady Deirdre tries to avoid any appearance of acting as a "high priestess," but even she has written a number of philosophical treatises and books of poetry, which are used by her people in this role.
While Gaians usually do not pursue opulent luxuries, they do have a strong sense of aesthetics. Gaian cities and towns are among the most beautiful on on any world, full of sunlight, lush gardens, and tasteful works of art. Personal quarters tend to be small but comfortable, while public spaces are large and designed for constant use. Most Gaian art is public in nature: murals, carefully-designed gardens, wonderful parks, public sculpture, or performances of music, drama and comedy.
The Gaians are a pacifistic civilization, willing to deal with most others so long as they are left alone to pursue their own ideals. They make poor soldiers, lacking a strong sense of military discipline and neglecting weapons technologies. Their mistrust of coercion extends to their own society as well. The Gaians have a strong preference for open democracy, and so are unable to use harsh methods to deal with social unrest. Thus, the stereotypical Gaian is a pacifist always seeking consensus before doing anything. The reality is a bit different – some are more authoritarian, quick to judge and quick to react than others, and not all of them are helpless.
Gaian communities are arranged along democratic lines, with most decisions in the hands of an elected Council. Although the Skye family holds an unelected position of supreme leadership, they are more constitutional monarchs than dictators. The current head of the Skye family is Deirdre Skye. Her own instincts prompt her to provide moral leadership, but to listen to the faction Council and leave most day-to-day administration in its hands. The lower levels of Gaian society are informal, with each work team electing its own leader as needed. The military alone has a strict hierarchy of command, but then the Gaian military is a relatively small institution, focused on search and rescue, disaster relief, defense and acting as a supplemental force to local police and security forces.
The Gaians have exceptional skill in the biological sciences. This allows them to run their colonies and settlements with superb efficiency, and it also gives them an advantage when dealing with a world's native ecology. Social pressure encourages most Gaians to learn how to survive in the wilderness as well.
Families are mix of nuclear and clan among the Gaians. A nuclear family makes up the core of the family organization, with support from related clans to help raise the children and support the parents. Children are created in the traditional manner, but can be born traditionally, or with uterine replicators. They also use cloning tanks or the same techniques the Mechanicans use when the parents are not biologically capable of reproduction (same sex, differing sub-species, etc.).
Among the galaxy at large, the Gaians get along well with everyone save the Mechanicans, the Stored, the Replicants and the Logicians. They tend to be somewhat cool to the Independents and Spacers, but other wise deal well with them.
All societies from the core rules can be found among the Gaians. Pantropists Beta, Social Engineeers, Cognitechnicians and the Mushashi Flex can be found on their worlds.
Common Name: Gaians
Benefit: Gaians receive Outdoorsman at level 4, and they do not suffer Low Tech penalties with it. They also gain one extra Twist per game to be spent on Comprehension.
Inspector Status: Equivalent to an FBI agent or customs inspector.
Core Values: Reverence for Life and Spirituality
Reverence for Life means that life is fairly rare, always complex and surprising. It should be studied and understood, not destroyed needlessly or thoughtlessly.
Spirituality is a devotion to metaphysical and spiritual matters, as opposed to worldly things. It also means activities which renew, lift up, comfort, heal and inspire both Gaians and those with they interact with.