So, remember my intention was do some writing in the beginning of the week, and post it today? Guess what? It didn’t get done. 😦
And so, here are my reasons for not writing anything this week:
- Our apartment situation: I had to meet with the management of the place we want to move to, in order to correct a couple problems with our application. Hopefully everything is correct now, but we’re still waiting on a final confirmation; we should hear something within the next couple days.
- Taking care of my kids: Since my parents are out of town, they graciously allowed me to use their car while they were gone. Thus, I’ve had the opportunity to actually take my children places, which I have taken advantage of. For instance, today we went to the Minnesota Zoo. It was fun. 😉
- 100% and all trophies in Lego Avengers: And now I shall never have to touch the game again. Seriously, there are way too many characters, and no way to know which abilities each character can use without looking them up online. Oh, and hundreds of gold bricks, which in this game unlock nothing. Give me a break.
- Reading web novels: I even cut back, but more and more are creeping back into my daily reading list. My willpower is worthless. 😦 Oh, but if you have some spare time, you should check out Infinite Competitive Dungeon Society, a Korean novel which is currently being translated on Wuxiaworld. It’s my current favorite. 😉
- Logging in to Fate: Grand Order and Shadowverse every day: OK, I admit this doesn’t take up too much of my time, since I usually don’t spend too much time playing F:GO. And I don’t even play Shadowverse, really; I just like collecting the cards. Mind you, I could probably collect them a lot quicker if I condescended to play a bit more, but whatever. I’ll just stick with the rewards from daily login. 😉
Incidentally, whenever I open a pack in Shadowverse, I actually let my daughter (3) open it for me. She’s luckier than I am. 😀
Anyway. Since I don’t have the slightest bit of a chapter done, I figured I might as well give you some background stuff, right? See, all my stories, or almost all of them, are connected conceptually into a shared universe made up of numerous worlds, or dimensions, depending on who you ask. Now, across this network of worlds, there are various species and races who call them home; but there are fifteen races in particular that are continually trying to expand their influence and take over other worlds.
These are the “Fifteen Upstart Races” mentioned by the Sikarnikar, the red-furred Anubai from chapter 5 of The Anubai Hero. (Yeah, his title hasn’t been mentioned in the story yet, so pseudo-spoiler, I guess.) Incidentally, they are “Upstart Races” according to a race known as “The Symphony,” renowned for their tendency to categorize everything. The Symphony are one of the five “Settled Races,” also known as the “Transcended Races” or “Those Jerks That Keep Kicking Us Out of Anywhere Interesting” to the 15 races.
Well, let’s set them aside for now, and focus on the Upstarts. It’s not exhaustive, but I wanted to hit a few of their distinctive traits. Two of the races have shown up in my writing already, while a third has not… officially. 😉
The Humans: Yeah, I bet you’ve heard of these guys before. What you might not have known is that they are the most universally disliked among the 15 races. Don’t get me wrong, there are races that are archenemies, with an irreconcilable hatred between them; but there’s nothing like the Human race for generating a pervasive sense of disgust.
Humans are despised for two reasons, which also correspond to their greatest strengths. First: they are ubiquitous. Humans appear everywhere, on all sorts of different worlds, and it isn’t clear exactly how they got there. Not only that, even if you try to kill them all off, its hard to say whether you’ve gotten them all, and it’s fairly common for decimated Human populations to recover in mere centuries once the immediate threat has past.
In other words, Humans are the cockroaches of the Multiverse. Or possibly the goblins. Take your pick.
Secondly, and in many cases more infuriatingly, Humans are the single most adaptive species ever encountered. There is almost literally nothing that they cannot steal, adapt, or assimilate to their own ends. Magic? Technology and Science? Mystical cultivation techniques? Mutation and gene therapy? Yup, they’ll steal that too. They will survive in environments most other races can’t, they will survive literal extinction events, and they will survive wars that last for centuries.
And it’s really irritating to the nominally stronger, smarter, more advanced races, because on the surface each individual Human is so easy to kill. Not only that, they are fractious and treacherous even toward their own race — one might say, especially toward their own race. The other fourteen races hate to be considered on the same level as Humans, basically, and for good reason.
Not that they don’t have their uses, of course. There are only two races who have never allied with or made use of humans — the same two races that are completely incompatible with the rest of the races as well: the dark matter beings known as the Purge, and the race resembling actual stars known as the Burning Ones.
The Anubai: The titular demons of The Anubai Hero. Like most of the 15 races, the actual origins of the Anubai are lost to time, but their creation must have been quite interesting, as they have at least three phases of existence.
The first phase, and the one that is the most recognizable to a Human, takes the form of a flesh and blood, bipedal humanoid, with the head of a jackal. They are usually taller than Humans, but lean and well-muscled. Despite surface similarities, if someone with a grasp of Human anatomy were to dissect an Anubai, they would quickly realize that muscles, bones, and circulatory system were quite different from that of Humans, and the jackal-like head was actually very different in composition from a terrestrial jackal as well. Of note is that an Anubai will have anywhere from one to four hearts; and each heart indicates a logarithmic increase in that Anubai’s personal strength. An Anubai with four hearts could be compared to a physical god, even before factoring in the powerful Anubai Artes.
The second phase of the Anubai takes the form of a crystal, or crystalline structure. When a flesh Anubai takes too much damage, grows too old, or otherwise is drained of their unique energies, they will quickly transmute themselves into a beautiful crystal. While not quite traditional “life” as it is generally understood, the crystal Anubai will still have a type of consciousness. These crystal Anubai are almost impossible to destroy, although certain races have learned to use fragments of crystal Anubai to power various devices and artifacts. Naturally, this is extremely painful to the individual Anubai in question, and infuriating to the Anubai race as a whole.
The third phase of the Anubai is the Crux. It wouldn’t be wrong to call it the Anubai Oversoul, or perhaps the race’s collective unconscious. It also somewhat resembles the Human concept of Samsara, death and rebirth. Anubai that “die,” for whatever reason, return to the Crux as a semi-independent existence representing the collective will of the race. From there, they can be “reinvested” into crystal Anubai, and then accumulate energy until they can become flesh Anubai once more. It is possible for an individual’s personality to change somewhat during this process, but usually the resulting Anubai is “born” with a nature very similar to its previous incarnation.
Anubai, as a race, tend to despise Humans, mostly because they despise treachery. However, individual Humans and individual Anubai can on occasion build a relationship of mutual respect, and a very, very few human souls have actually assimilated into the Crux, becoming new Anubai. This is a very sensitive issue among the Anubai.
The Melcine: Probably the second most paranoid race among the 15, and for good reason. Individually, they are nearly as weak as Humans, but they lack the Human traits of growth and adaptation. They are much better at data processing and logical decisions than Humans, however, and share an instinctive camaraderie with each other; no Melcine will betray it’s race, under ordinary circumstances.
Physically, the Melcine are lizard-like, bipedal beings, slightly smaller than Humans on average. If you were to imagine a miniature T-Rex with a flattened head and significantly longer arms, you’d have a good idea of what a Melcine looked like. Of special note are their eyes, of which they have four. Not only do the eyes see in a greater spectrum than a Human eye, they are arranged to give the Melcine a field of vision greater than 270 degrees.
The Melcine are very intelligent, much more so than Humans, although they lack a Human’s flair for intuition. They have a very strong grasp of science and technology, and they specialize in the use of various natural and artificial crystals to power and control their devices. They are also past masters of cross-dimensional travel, and have many methods of defending their own worlds against invaders — although, naturally, the Humans still get in somehow.
They can be considered the natural enemies of the Anubai. Anubai crystals are useful in creating some of the Melcine’s most powerful devices, and they have spent millennia inventing ways to protect themselves from the devastating Anubai Artes. As for the Humans, the Melcine find them a distasteful but ultimately harmless neighbor — although Humans can become quite dangerous indeed if they are provoked. After all, there are basically no barriers to Human’s acquiring or using the knowledge and technology of the Melcine…
Incidentally, the biggest advantage the Melcine have over the Humans is a genetic racial memory: each individual Melcine has access to a great amount of knowledge and history basically from birth, while individual humans are forever limited by the conditions of their environment. (Plus, Humans tend to lie to themselves about their history, causing them to repeat the same mistakes over and over.)
So, a brief overview of the Humans, the Anubai, and the Melcine. There is obviously a lot more to say about each of these races, plus there are 12 more Upstarts, not to mention the 5 Transcended. But my son wants to play with me, so let’s leave it at this for today. Any questions? Comments? Complaints? I’ll be glad to answer anything, except direct story spoilers. 😉
Have a good weekend, everyone, and let’s meet again on Sunday! 😀