Daoine na Réalta Foraois
Since their earliest beginnings, the Stardwellers have built starships for their own reasons, as well as space stations. The one most others are interested in are their Dyson Trees and Yggdrasil bushes. And from those come a tale…
Thirty seven hundred years ago, the world of a Celtic inspired cargo cult was on the edge of destruction due to a massive volcanic eruption. The Hospitallers called for aid and received a large amount from a collection of Stardwellers. While the planet was a loss for at least five hundred years, they were able to offer a place for the people – several Dyson Trees in a nearby system.
Less than two hundred years later, this small grove was home to a new civilization – the Daoine na Réalta Foraois. The cargo cultists set aside their ritual and became proficient with the technology and knowledge of their hosts. Before long, they were effectively a Celtic recreationist society among the Stardwellers. Not long after that, they established their own tree in the grove and were in negotiations for the ownership of more trees. At this point, they had moved from society to civilization. And there was no way they were going back to their old world.
The Daoine na Réalta Foraois (or Daoine) draw technology and knowledge from their Stardweller benefactors, and culture, religion and language from their own histories. They are a nice group (but that is not a synonym for stupid or naïve), sophisticated space faring people. Visitors describe them as smart, open and passionate. They can, and do, feud through the infosphere, which is punctuated by the occasional punch-up, brawl and low-key riot.
Guests are always welcome, but until they are cleared of biotech and nanotech hazards, they are confined to the sacrificial tree (a quarantine tree). Once released from quarantine, guests are welcome almost anywhere in the groves, the exceptions being sensitive and delicate areas. Visitors are encouraged to visit the pubs and stores often.
Today, the Daoine are a small civilization with several orbital forests in what was their home system. They’ve developed some hard won knowledge and expertise with vacuum adapted life forms and biotech in general, as well as nanotechnology. Add in the fact that over the last thirty five hundred years that they became some of the best Dyson foresters around with their versions of the trees, and they do well for themselves. Another minor export for them is vacuum distilled spirits and advanced bio-tech drugs. While replicators can make these quickly and easily (and meshes simulate the effects of the drugs), the original templates still have to be licensed and there is a cachet to consuming original Daoine products among some of High Society.
Appearance wise, the Daoine use extensive 'Good As Gravity' biological modifications to allow them to be comfortable under a wide range of gravities. They've also engineered themselves to be more resistant to radiation. Despite what they can look like, the Daoine look like orthohumans, with a small minority showing extensive biological modification.
Daoine Religion, or Pan-Celtic Polytheism
Originally, their world was settled by recreationists with a predominantly Irish themed Celtic culture, drawing from Irish myth and religion. Once the Stardwellers rescued their ancestors, the Daoine were exposed to the length and breadth of human religious history. Some became atheists, others Transcendental worshippers, others adopted new faiths and beliefs. A bare majority adapted their original faith to their new circumstances. This lead to paring down the pantheon to Brigid and Cernunnos for worship and acknowledging the Morrigan.
Brigid is the Triple Goddess of fire, personifying the Maiden, Mother and Crone. The Maiden represents inception, expansion, the promise of new beginnings, birth, youth and youthful enthusiasm. Typically, she is revered by expectant parents, researchers, young adults and anyone making a start at something – a relationship, business venture or journey. The Mother represents creativity, ripeness, fertility, sexuality, fulfillment, stability, power and life. In her Mother aspect, foresters, farmers, parents, romantics, engineers venerate Brigid. The Crone represents wisdom, repose, death, and endings and receives special reverence in the face of the hostile environment they and their Dyson trees live in. As the Crone, Brigid is a favorite of druids (as judges), gardi, researchers, engineers, lawyers, financiers, the military and anyone bringing a project to a close. Because of her fiery aspect, they renamed their star Brigid and she is the favorite of string engineers.
Cerunnos the Horned God, or Master of the Hunt, is also worshiped. He is considered the personification of their Dyson trees, and more recently, feral vacuum forests and ecologies. He also personifies sexuality, virility and hunting (which until relatively recently was a elaborate game of hide and seek). This makes tends to make Cerunnos a favorite of young men, detectives, counterintelligence agents, intelligence agents and men who wish they were young.
The Morrigan is acknowledged as a triple goddess (Anann, Macha and Babd) of war, destroying fire, rage, fury, battle and death. She has no official worshipers, but the very desperate do call on her in dire straits, or for her older aspects of fertility, politics and sovereignty. Some heretical thinkers consider outer space and uninhabitable worlds to be her domain. Others try to propitiate her to avoid melt downs and solar flares.
The Daoine govern themselves democratically. A governor controls each tree and is elected by popular accord. From there each tree's governor can stand to run for high governor, the Supreme Executive of the Daoine, which is elected every 10 years (local) by direct election. Each governor is considered a deputy for the Supreme Executive. The legislature of the Daoine, an tOireachtas, is based around each tree and elected by the people.
The judiciary is the province of the educated classes, called the Druids. Experts in metatechnological matters – law, finance, sociology – they have managed to maintain their independence from the Supreme Executive and an tOireachtas for millennia (and look to keep doing it). Anyone can become a Druid after years of study, and they are accorded great respect for their years of study and service to the community.
Their military is relatively low key, concentrating its efforts on biological and nanological defense of the groves. While the small is their strong point, they do have a space defense force to guard against brute force efforts.
The Daoine are a popular civilization, with visitors welcome from every civilization. They get along especially well with the Stardwellers, their patrons from before. The Roamers are another civilization that is always welcome (so long as they confine themselves to spying and not sabotage). They are somewhat dubious of the Mechanicans due to their extensive cybernetics. The Union disturbs them, but they receive an open handed welcome, just as well as any others. The Replicants are welcome, especially since they pay a premium for Daoine replicator templates for their drugs. As to societies, all of the official ones are found among them. The Disciples of the Void maintain a few anchorages near Daoine space and trade with them, but find the Daoine too noisy and rambunctious, even though there are converts.
Common Name: Daoine
Emblem: A stylized knot work wreath with regular breaks in it around a star.
Benefit: Comfortable under free fall. Daoine receive an extra plot point at the beginning of each session, which they may only spend through Comprehension, Magnetism, or Empathy.
Inspector Status: Equivalent to FBI, Secret Service, Customs Service or RCMP.
Core Values: Zest for Life and Courage
Zest for Life represents the enthusiasm with which the Daoine engage life. Whether its love, an argument, an idea or friendship, the average Daoine will pursue it with enthusiasm.
Courage is the ability to confront fear, pain, risk/danger, uncertainty, or intimidation. This also covers moral courage, acting rightly in the face of popular opposition, shame, scandal, or discouragement.
Other common Core Values for the Daoine include Hedonism, Individuality, Knowledge, Patience, Freedom, Diversity, Worship (polytheism), Ritual (polytheism) and Sensation.