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Underwater colonies tend to be built into sturdy cliff sides, with massive trade districts behind huge thirty meter tall triple-paned walls of glass which give a view of the exterior seas and their submarine docking facilities, showing the bounty of the ocean as well as the beauty of the undersea forests in the sub glacial Sea of Asgard.

 

Aquilon was born alongside the first generation of humanity to never see earth. It began life as a research station situated on the Perpetua Glacier. At that time it was simply known as Glacier Run. The facility dug into the ice below for storage space, and eventually was forced to use that same space for living quarters as colonists moved north.

 

Aquilon's defining moment came when an outbreak of animus caused the residents of Glacier Run to seek shelter in their buried storage facilities. Trapped beneath the ice for more than a year, the colonists were forced to make due with whatever they had available. Necessity saw the invention of space and resource rationing techniques that would turn a casual scientific outpost into a culture of extreme efficiency. When the animus threat was cleared from the surface, many of those underneath the ice decided not to return. These one time storage facilities were expanded into the city of Deep Aquilon. Those who chose to return to the surface began to explore the furthest reaches of their frozen homeland while the inhabitants of Deep Aquilon set their sights on the bottom of the ocean.

 

The Aquilonians were earning a reputation as explorers and visionaries, with many other colonists admiring them. They lost much of their appeal when they drafted a national military spearheaded by their recently formed knightly order, the Templar Aquilonia. Turning their scientific might to the development of high energy weapons, the Aquilonians earned a reputation as warmongers among some factions as these developments were widely unpopular outside of the Kingdom of Ice. These fears proved mostly unfounded, as Aquilon focused more on internal protection than external violence.

 

In more recent times, Aquilon has worried the global community with its ever increasing rivalry with Xanadu. As two of the most powerful factions on the moon, an impending war between the two could be disastrous for more than simply the factions involved. The Nations of Aquilon and Xanadu have an uneasy relationship. Both are members of the Avalon Council, but they are often at opposite ends of discussion. Making things worse is the fact that both factions compete in the production of state of the art technology, and each has some of the best academic institutions in the world. The factions see each other as rivals both economically and culturally.

 

For now, Aquilon seems content to be seen as the slightly eccentric visionary of the world. They still push the bounds of science. Though they do not always go as far as the Quisivati, their wares are often much more useful in daily life.

 

What few outside of the frozen north are aware of is that Aquilon cannot claim credit for all of their advancements. As the Deep Aquilonians dug ever more into the glacier beneath them, they began to discover a network of tunnels already present. These tunnels appeared to be crafted as living arrangements for some civilization of the past, one that has left behind many artifacts buried in the ice. Some of Aquilon's biggest scientific advancements were simply the result of researching the many strange finds that they dig up in their ever expanding empire.

The new genetic aristocracy

Medeans

 

Proper Name: Medean human.

Slang Names: Trow, spliced, fae.

Derogatory: Flea bags, fuzz buckets, pixies, elves, fairies, mutants.

Height Range: 1.46 to 2.19 meter (females), 1.52 to 2.29 meter (males).

Weight Range: Substantial variation (normally between 45 and 150 kg).

 

Medeans are a young race that came into existence after the colonization of New Chania. Using a special substance called medea, they are able to transform themselves with the DNA of the local fauna. The transformation is almost always done willingly by someone trying to better themselves or reach some goal. However, those seeking to replace lost limbs or senses may also strongly consider the option.

 

During the transformation into a medean, a chemical and biological chain-process occurs on a cellular level, changing everything from the human’s DNA, genes and chromosomes to protein interactions and biological pathways. The process is extremely complicated and the absolute outcome cannot be predicted since over a hundred thousand proteins exist which are merged, split or transformed in billions upon billions of different possible ways.

 

Because of this, no two medeans are truly alike. However, certain traits have proven to be very stable and are carried over to the olympian when he or she goes through the medean Splicing process. These more stable traits have been developed into certain helices which offer specific traits for the new medean. Examples of such traits are flight, tissue regeneration and night vision. The medean transformation process takes a huge toll on the individual.

After each treatment, a week of recovery time is required before the subject can function normally.

 

A full month of acclimation is required before more helices can be added. As such, individuals prefer to make as many changes as possible at one time, to lessen the period of recovery from multiple procedures. The medean transformation process can be reversed, but it’s usually prohibitively expensive.

 

In a vast majority of the cases, a medean transformation is overseen by a member of the medean hierarchy. In fact, aside from black market splicings, an individual is only granted access to medean splicing once they have proven themselves. This process ensures that those who enter proper medean society are individuals who will complement and work within the society for its betterment. This also ensures that those who are chosen have a home with like minded people. This does have the noticeable effect of severely limiting the ‘proper’ medean population world wide, and also limiting its influence on the world as a whole.

 

It is not uncommon for small settlements in the Walk of Man, and similarly isolated areas, to never see a medean. Medeans are most commonly found in New Chania, as the Tulgey Woods holds the key to their transformation, as well as the seat of their civilization. Those medeans seen outside of this civilization are often individuals who received black market splicings from some second rate doctor. Some go this route out of desperation and lack of funds, while others look for such splicings after being rejected by the medean hierarchy.

 

Black market splicings only require the cash to buy them, and someone with the skill to implement them. These splicings are nearly always sub-par in quality, having many negative traits along with the advertised positive one.

 

That is the catch to the whole process; it’s expensive, both in geodites and in points.

 

It does not help that many cheaper versions of medean Traits have almost as many disadvantages if not more, than the advantages. Characters may start the game as a medean, or become one later on by paying for the procedure. When starting as a medean, it is important to determine where the modifications came from. If they acquired black market helices, there are likely going to be flaws and downsides. Medeans who were chosen by the hierarchy are less likely to have any such flaws in their makeup. Alternately, a character can become a medean through gameplay. They still have to acquire the helices either through black market means, or by proving themselves worthy of being indoctrinated into medean civilization. Just as with prometheans, medeans lose all of their olympian traits when they make this transition.

 

Lastly, while all medeans are vastly different in appearance, abilities and mindset, a good number of medeans take the regeneration helix. This is in part due to the fact that medeans cannot use cybernetic implants, and thus need to regrow limbs. Of course, being able to heal quickly is usually a good thing.

 

Origin

 

Of all the mysteries of New Horizon, its ancient ruins and its bizarre life forms, there is one feature entirely alien to this world, more so by far than even its human visitors, the Tulgey Woods. Creatures and organisms that dwell within diverged from life on both Earth and New Horizon at a virtually primordial level. This lush, verdant fungal paradise is believed to have been introduced to the planet sometime roughly five hundred years past. Arriving by means of a celestial impact, the life forms have slowly expanded outward ever since. The transplanted life has converted a large portion of the enormous island of New Chania into a lush but toxic alien paradise teeming with exotic plants and animals beyond anything seen either on Earth or New Horizon.

 

Due to the highly caustic nature of the wood’s spores exploration has proven very difficult. However in 2442, a team of olympians and aesirs, using a new prototype exploration suit, was able to delve several miles into the interior of the massive fungal dome and make the discovery of the century. They found a species of deadly gravity-defying predatory jellyfish.

 

While unremarkable for what they were in and of themselves, these creatures were significant for what they could bring about. These deadly jellies seemed to come in an almost infinite number of variations, including adaptations which were simply not normal for any jellyfish-like species. These included large stingers, claws for their tendrils, armor plating, camouflage, the ability to spit poison and any number of other bizarre traits.

The most commonly assimilated trait seemed to be some sort of powerful paralytic poison, earning them the name “Gorgons”. A careful study of the creatures showed that they were all born roughly identical, but then changed at some point in their maturation, when they stalked other predators and took a large sample of their flesh. They would then cocoon themselves for a period of a month. Once they emerged from the cocoon they appeared to have incorporated useful traits from their victim, allowing them to hunt in many new and different ways, and ensuring the survival of the species through an impressive diversity. However, the offspring of such specimens were found to be missing the modified DNA of their parents.

 

Several weeks of research led to the discovery of the substance which allowed these creatures to perform their amazing feat. This is Medea, a very powerful substance which acts like a prion, attacking foreign DNA and incorporating it into the genetics of the Gorgons. It was postulated that Medea could be adapted for human use to create modified humans who would nevertheless breed completely true to baseline. Unfortunately the financial leaders of the research expedition were appalled by the idea, and pulled the plug immediately.

 

However, when the time came to pull out, many pieces of research equipment and sixteen members of the forty-two man team disappeared into the night. Where they had gone was never discovered, and all attempts to track them failed. The team was forced to pull out without them, and nothing more was heard for almost ten months. Believing them dead, a special team was sent to search out their fate, and an enormous press conference was held at a safe distance from the edge of the wood. This event was crashed by the remaining scientists.

 

Striding from the woods, the six modified humans simply walked into the press conference and unceremoniously made it their own, announcing themselves to the world. They revealed that they had made a quick breakthrough due to the ingenious thinking of their deceased colleague, Dr. Hans Phae, that the breakthrough had taken only two months, and that they’d been living and testing their bodies free of setbacks all this time.

The final development was the unveiling of two of the scientists’ newly born, entirely normal baby girl, Anastasia. The repercussions of this unveiling are still felt today, emphasizing that, regardless of how different they were, their genetic alterations were mere window dressings and their humanity remained untouched underneath it all. Since then, despite a few groups which demonstrate very virulent hatred of these ‘mutants’, especially pronounced in Xanadu, they have established their own city, Ilium, deep beneath Tulgey Woods.