Senti are a species of iron-based, carbon-metabolizing hominids native to the Kagami Galaxy in the SARPiverse. Typically, they are a rather peaceable nomadic society living in deep space aboard continent sized Flotillas. Having lost their homeworld many thousands of years ago to an unknown calamity, most of their society is aboard these. Under normal circumstandes, Senti can be difficult or impossible to find and keep track of, as their courses seem random and disorganized. They normally prefer large family groups and travelling aboard spacecraft over terrestrial life.
Their territory is unusually widespread because of this nomadic nature, and they don't generally have any regard for borders, as they rarely move into populated systems for more than a few days, for trade and mining operations on unclaimed asteroids, comets, and moons. Most interaction with them will be played in the Kikyo Sector, and anywhere else RP can be found.
The average Senti stands at a hair over 1.75 meters in height and weighs close to 190 kilograms despite a powerful and slender figure. This is due to their body chemistry, being carbon metabolizing iron based organisms. The species, for the most part, exhibits a sexual dimorphism common among hominid species, in a primary bell curve of male to female.
Their bones are high purity steel, preventing breaks but ending with bent bones that can be just as painful. Their hair colour ranges from white straight through to almost black, as do their eyes. Other known variations are shocking shades of red, often attributed to rust. Several are known to exhibit a silver to burgundy fade through either genetics or specialized treatment techniques.
Senti blood uses copper as an oxidizing agent, turning it bright blue when oxygenated, and a darker, more green blue as it exhausts this. Their bodies are a scant 40% water, as the rest of their fluid needs are taken up by various oils that are produced within the body (Including blood plasma, making saline-based IVs extremely dangerous). The skin often has a metallic lustre to it, earning them the nickname “Silverskin.“ Other common slurs include “metalhead,” “toaster” 1), and “rust eater.”
The fact that Senti have such a high heavy metal content grants them a certain level of armouring and heat resistance, at the cost of being extremely susceptible to cold and needing to take in toxic (for most hominids) levels of various metals to survive. Senti cannot survive at temperatures below 4.5°C, despite being able to not simply work, but live active, productive lives in temperatures exceeding 90°C. The upper limit to their work temperature is theorized to be close to 150°C. Life spans are up to three hundred standard years, and they never truly stop growing, occasionally reaching a height of three and a half meters, with a mass of up to approximately 1200 kg. Due to the sheer mass that Senti muscles have to move, they don’t produce much in the way of body fat, and an obese specimen is a health concern, not to be expected to live more than about a year. Moreover, their growth rate may cause their mass and caloric needs to override their ability to consume required calories, leading them to die of starvation and Hypometallicism, as opposed to old age.
Normally, this mass starvation can happen between 270 and 330 years of age, depending on a variety of factors.
Senti enjoy up to three centuries of fertility, and as they grow, can produce more children per pregnancy, depending on what their bodies can handle. The largest on record is a tricentennial birthing fifteen. Such occurrences are extremely rare, however. More common is centennials regularly producing triplets and quadruplets. This is normally managed by low fertility and long gestation, with Senti being, on average, less than half as fertile as humans.
They normally start off with an 18 month gestation period resulting in an otherwise fairly normal baby that will go through childhood at the same pace as other children. At age sixteen, they are offered an option to “test out” into adulthood, being tested in writing and in practice on basic life skills, such as astronavigation, cleaning, ship maintenence, laundry, cooking, and local government paperwork such as taxes. A failure of this optional test will result in the teenager being placed on another ship to learn the skills from another family for a year before being allowed to retake.
If a child has not learned the skills of adulthood in their original home in sixteen years, they are not going to learn them in another year at home. This process will repeat every year until the test is passed.
Normal legal adulthood is between sixteen and twenty one years of age, depending on when the test was passed.
There are four main stages to life for Senti.
This species shares many traits with common species of hominids, suffering the same array of diseases and ailments as are common to the sector, with one notable exception, which is detailed in the next paragraph. From a dietary standpoint, they can, and do eat many of the normal omnivorous food items enjoyed by the rest of the sector. Several species of plants notably native to the flotillas provide many of their dietary needs. It should be noted, however, that salts and sulfides of many heavy metals are required for their health.
Hypometallicism is a condition unique to Senti and stems from an inability to consume or process sufficient copper, iron, magnesium, or other heavy metal salts needed for bodily processes. In this case, blood will often switch to an iron-based hemoglobin, first, leaching iron from the skeleton to more efficiently deliver nutrients and oxygen to vital portions of the body. This will turn normally blue, blood-rich tissues red. This includes the lips, tongue, inside of the mouth, conjunctiva, retina, and other tissues. Other needed metals will be leached from surrounding muscles, tendons, and skin, and can be very painful, putting the victim at risk of injury. This will also often reduce the metallic lustre of the skin, and hair may start falling out. The lymphatic system will normally be clogged with cell waste as the Senti starts losing weight quickly. Neurological damage and organ failure will often shortly follow.
There are other diseases caused by environmental factors, including oxidation of the lipids in cellular membranes, often caused by acid burns, long term acidic vapor exposure, an overly rich (Above 25% O2) atmosphere, or some viral infections. Examples of such illness are shown below.
Senti are not susceptible to Mishhu parasites. Normal outcomes are shown, here.
These photos were captured approximately four hours before their expiration, and provided my the Turassiel Flotilla. Mishhuvrthyar parasites normally cause death by total cellular degradation, likely due to the carbon based synthetic nature of the Mishhu species, and attempts by the parasite to make the Senti body more hospitable. More often than not, the tissue is too badly degraded to make burial steel.
These interactions were opportunistic, as Senti and Mishhu cultures are dangerously incompatible.
Normally, cause of death is total metabolic collapse due to sheer mass and caloric need discrepancy, followed shortly by malnutrition, diabetes, and hypometallicism. As they get older, they may need more than three meals a day.
See Senti Drugs and Toxicology for more information.
The Senti are technologically and culturally on par galactic standard, in many ways. Their culture is a lot more pacifistic and accepting than many worlds, as their more resilient bodies allow themselves to defend each other and themselves far better than most equivalently sized mammalians. Aggression simply isn’t needed as much, and they are not inclined to combat, war, or destruction, preferring to trade and build lasting relations. They believe that the longer route that leads to less bloodshed will invariably be superior to the loss of life for a noble cause. They do make provisions for necessary evils.
When looking at Senti technology, it is important to note that it is built to last, often hundreds or thousands of years, is easy to maintain, and inexpensive in construction.
They do rely on intellect more than brute strength to solve problems, often coming up with unusual and elegant solutions that indicate much greater intelligence than they display through IQ testing. This different way of thinking is partially responsible for their ability to come up with new tools and technologies as fast as applications for them arise. Much of this is caused by the disproportionate size and strength differences between Senti, and their long nomadic history, making brute strength solutions dangerous, ineffective, or unnecessarily costly.
Like most nomads, Senti have many customs or rituals that may seem unusual to those unprepared. In death, the corpses are put to use, being forged down into a high quality steel that can preserve as much as half their mass. This steel is used in the repair of ships, specifically that of the deceased's family, in the manufacture of armor, and in the growth of the flotilla.
In the case of the victims of a violent death at the hands of another Senti, their steel will be used in the manufacture of a specialized knife for law enforcement use. This weapon is designed to kill only one species, quickly and efficiently. These weapons will be issued to the closest relative joining the force upon their graduation, and will be reforged and adapted with larger blades and handles as their users grow, using the steel of other victims mixed into the original. This knife has many uses, as an efficient tool for various cutting and small prying jobs, and as a vicious weapon, capable of cleanly killing a specimen up to a century older than the wielder. This knife will always be folded into the burial steel of its weilder on their death, giving the victims used to make it a proper burial and a chance at redemption through the life and use of the blade.
Being gifted a blade can be a very powerful symbol of love, a request for permanent companionship, a request for protection by the recieving, and an acknowledgement of their own inability to harm their loved one in the case of requirement. However, this is a rare thing. Often Service Knives are issued with jewelry or suit components made from the same batch of Burial Steel.
Burial steel jewelry can often be gifted to family members if enough is left over from ship repairs and upgrades, and is often gifted depending on the relationship to the giver. There is often symbology behind the gift that may not be obvious at first.
Raw burial steel ingots are common gifts among potential life partners. If a relationship does develop, this ingot will often be formed into something more meaningful to the pair. This is often added to the collective of ancestral and personal steel pieces passed down through the generations or folded into the burial steel of the person who owned it at the time.
If'ni, Infinity is a conglamorate goddess of the ancestors. Believed to be a protector and the literal spirit within burial steel, invoked in the production of Burial Steel. She welcomes souls to the afterlife, allowing them to join her in her work and piecing together new ones from pieces of herself. 2)
Skydas is a mythical warship, a cautionary tale of wrath, and the god of necessary evils. Not evil in of himself, but capable of it when not in careful balance. Responsible for the judgement of souls who had to be killed before they are allowed to pass on to If'ni. Also keeper of souls in the Service Knife.
Listia, or The Librarian is the deity of raw information, a sentient trickster of half truths and misleading words, or a patient teacher of hard data, life lessons, and honesty. This deity swore an oath of honesty, as lies bring only destruction.
Naming conventions are fairly simple, with a new name being generated from mother and father, but completely new. More often than not, that means taking sounds from both names and forming a coherent word. Their family name is the name of the ship they are from. Often, Senti families can be quite large, and polyamorous in structure, having many groups that may not be related by blood, but all sharing in social and familial bonds. The ships are usually named after the first name of the last person of the previous family that owned the ship. For example, the Freighter Soren was named for its last captain, about seventy centuries before first contact, where it was captained by Aliset Soren, her father being one of the guards for first contact.
Examples of names are:
Due to the sheer distance between systems, it's unlikely to find a Senti flotilla even if you're looking for it, despite their often being the size of a continent. These Flotillas are constructed of welded hulls and burial steel patches between derelict ships found in the Senti's travels. They are often modified to sport full service shipyards, factories, and biospheres to manufacture foodstuffs, equipment, and fuel.
However, when they do come into a system, the Flotillas are easily detectable as far as three light-months away, and are too large and unmaneuverable to safely enter a system. They will often send large mining and salvage ships in order to make contact. The nature of Senti flotillas and their uniquely decentralized power systems makes them fairly easy to detect and identify at range. They normally stay out of this range from any system, and it would be necessary to enter a three light-month range of a Flotilla to detect it by sensors. Often times, they will have arrived before detection can be confirmed as a fleet or as a single vessel.
For the longest time, before official contact was made, they were simply believed to be a cargo runner legend. A Drive breaks down in interstellar space, nothing around for a hundred light-years, and then a ship, larger than anything they'd ever seen before takes them in, repairs their drive, and sends them on their way. At First Contact on the Yamataian border world Planet Akina in YE 38, these myths were confirmed.
They have since been spotted in Nepleslian, Iroma, and Duskerian space, indicating a complete lack of regard for borders. It is possible that they don't actually have such a word. What is known is that they mostly avoid Kuvexian territory, except primarily in the case of pirates, where Kuvexian slavers are typical targets and often are found as spaced corpses with no trace of their ships. Slaves will often reappear in friendly space in cobbled, though extremely reliable refugee ships.
Exept in cases of Kuvexian slaver or mercenary contact, Senti pirates are often described as friendly theives, preying on ships from major corporations, leaving crews generally unharmed, and taking only cargo, leaving supplies untouched. Often times, Senti pirates will also make an effort to repair any damages the victim ship took in order to allow them to get home. There has never been a reported attack on refugee ships or ships going to developing or disaster stricken worlds from Senti pirates.
Senti government is a nebulous collection of committees and volunteers, each offering their expertise for certain decisions. This system is only possible due to their strong cultural focus on a “greater good,” and a mutual, team based survival instinct. Other Flotillas had greed. Most that survive to this day have seen the failings and mass deaths caused by greed driven politics, and generally avoid them.
Senti criminal activity is usually limited to elaborate cons and nonviolent coups, often taking months or years to plan. Violent crime does happen, but it’s rare. (Perhaps one in 250 million crimes have violent intent, though 1 in 100 million will turn out violent) That said, their system of law bases punishment on necessity, not on the crime. Rapes and crimes with no clear motive and no need will get a Senti executed. However, if a Senti citizen were to kill another Sapient to protect their family, or as a response to a capital crime, law enforcement will investigate the claims and release the offender.
The point of the Senti legal system is to make sure everyone is helped and doesn’t need to commit those crimes. It’s encouraged to go to the police or other law enforcement first, and breaking the law should be a last resort, but if it is needed, the crime will not be punished.
The Senti law enforcement system is built that all social servants are fully trained and certified officers of the law, ensuring that underfunded police stations are never short-handed by means of that police station also being City Hall, City Water, Social Services, and the regional Fire Department. Due to how quickly that setup could turn tyrannical, they have many legal protections in place, and different branches of law enforcement can’t communicate without a court system order that says a crime’s been committed and who needs what information on who. Civil Service is normally a familial tradition, as are many other careers, carried down through generations.
They do not have an official military, except in their own myths3), having more than enough cultural skill to defend themselves individually. There is simply no need for a group of people trained to fight a war the Council has no intent to get into.
The vast majority of Senti share a distinct set of characteristics:
Senti are a hominid species, being very humanlike in appearance.
Due to their blue blood and high metal content, their skin is often a blue-grey metallic texture. In extremely rare cases, an irridescance of the skin, hair, or eyes is acceptable.
In some cases, their hair can exhibit a grey to burgundy fade as it rusts. In most, however, common shades of dark greys, silvers, burgundy, and shocking reds attributed to common colors of metal and rust are displayed.
In Senti mythology, a Senti's eyes will redden and rust at the breaking of their heart. For the most part, this is true. Significant emotional trauma can cause oxide deposits in the iris, turning them brown or red.
To make a Senti character, remember where they grew up, on a ship built from their ancestors. Remember that their space suits and their jewelry may be made out of the same material.
Generally speaking, one would want to play a Senti character between the ages of 21 and 50 standard years in order to not have a challenge in game. Writers who want more of a challenge can write a Centennial or even Bicentennial Senti, knowing that Bicentennials can reach fourteen foot and six inches, and weigh well over a ton.
A good rule of thumb is to consider how much a human character of the same size would weigh, and double it for a Senti.
Otherwise, take into account the culture, and play calm, think your actions through very carefully, and remember to ask first if your action is necessary, then if it's ethical. Simply do your best to do long term good.
This page was made by Madi Harper on 2020/03/07.