Sidereal Confluence: Trading and Negotiation in the Elysian Quadrant
Eni Et Ascendancy
The Eni Et are stone age whale-squid sociologists. They evolved from a six-armed squid, each arm branching into three digits with webbing in between. Their fluke is a modified, oversized arm, leaving them with five arms on their underside. The large ridges on their top and wrapping around the front-end is a cartilaginous ramming prow — Eni Et are obligate carnivores. Adult Eni Et are about 11 meters long (the size of a Sperm Whale).
To understand the Eni Et, you first need to understand their homeworld, Enis. It's a super-earth, completely covered in ocean. The ocean is deep enough that exotic high-pressure ices form in the depths, which means that there's poor contact between the lithosphere and the hydrosphere. This results in a chain of consequences:
- With no runoff from continents, an insane amount of water, and limited contact with the lithosphere, Enis has a freshwater ocean. This means relatively little nutrients to support life. From an ecological perspective, Enis is more a desert than arid Stjiror.
- Dirt and rocks are rare. This limits Eni Et materials sciences to leather, woven plant fibers, and especially bones. Metal is unheard of. Fire impossible.
- That leaves the Eni Et trapped in the stone age, with no path to advanced technology. They achieved domestication of many species of large fauna some eighty thousand years ago (to give a sense of scale, humanity did the same only ten thousand years ago).
- Materials sciences aren't the only way for a society to advance. Eni Et are intrinsically a divisive people — tending towards varied fanaticism. With nearly a hundred thousand years of living together, they've perfected the sciences of sociology and psychology. The Eni Et aren't an intrinsically peaceful species, but with so few resources inter-tribal warfare has costs lasting for generations. As such, they find non-violent means to resolve their conflicts, out of a desperate need to protect what little they have.
When playing the Eni Et, players first notice the interest converters, and second that they start with extremely few resources. Moreover, their base economy is one of the worst to turn on without help, second only to the Zeth, who don't really have an economy. This represents their extreme lack of resources from their home world.
Eni Et ships are winged, rocket propelled boats, so they can land in alien oceans. They're large and bulbous, and barely fit one cramped Eni Et. These ships are manufactured by an orbital assembler gifted by the Faderan. Unfortunately, that assembler produces ships unpainted, leaving it to the Eni Et to fix this lack with organic patterns.
Eni Et writing is long and flowing, easy to carve into bone, looks similar to waves, and mimics their tonal vocalization. As with every species, you can find it all over their cards.
Being the Eni Et, this is the symbol with the most symbology. Being as socially divided as they are, it has two opposite and complementary meanings.
The swooping lines are the tentacle-arms of the Eni Et (that's why there's five of them). They weave together around the outside to represent their strength and potential when they cooperate and support each other.
Towards the center, the arms grow up from the glowing depths of their oceans, into the joint society surrounding them.
Towards the center, the arms reach from their society upwards, towards the glow of daylight and the surface, and from there to the stars.
The starting point of the Eni Et economy, Deep Hunting represents diving deep into the oceans and catching what you can. It produces biotech (from the creatures of the deep).
With the advent of genetic engineering, the Eni Et can upgrade to Pelagic Bounty, as they build an ecology for their homeworld. Both sides of the card depict the flora and fauna of the deep.
Every species has a starting card that produces resources with no input. It always produces one ship (necessary to ensure that the player always has at least one ship for bidding). For almost all species, it also produces 3 small worth of goods. The Eni Et only get half that, due to their extremely poor homeworld.
Insofar as the Eni Et have industry, this is it. They take the produce of Deep Hunting (represented with biotech) and convert it into culture (bone art), industry (bone tools), and food (everything other than the bones). The background art depicts various carved bones, with writing spiraling around them. With the advent of nanotechnology, the carvers transition to Nanocraft, where they use the new nanotechnology to handcraft things their ancestors could never have imagined. The back of the card depicts the result of this, with the “tusk” on the left being created whole cloth at a molecular level.
They are whales, after all. Eni Et “singing” can extend incredible distances, linking disparate societies together. Choral Song unsurprisingly runs on culture, although I'll admit that it mostly produces what the game needs for the Eni Et to be playable, as opposed to anything thematic. Background art is Eni Et singing, naturally. With the invention of Clinical Immortality, the Eni Et can begin their Eternal Music — creating a planet spanning song that never truly dies.
Universal Applied Metaethics
The Eni Et are exceptional sociologists. This card represents their interaction with aliens, as they learn their ethical and moral frameworks and build new, universal frameworks to reconcile them all. Rules-wise, it converts ultratech (largely supplied by aliens) into victory points (social influence), and culture that must be spread among the aliens.
The background art here is more complex. As these are aliens, so iconography can't have things like smiley faces (Eni Et have no “face”), or thumbs-up signs (similarly, no thumbs). On the left is an up-arrow, down-arrow, intended to split the rest of the art into “good” (up) and “bad” (down). The remaining icons come from various species' copies of Cross Species Ethical Equality, depicting the sorts of things they think of as good or bad.
Bottom left is an “explosion” mark, i.e. threat or danger, most feared by the Caylion. Top left is a circle surrounded by walls, indicating protection, again a Caylion concept.
Next on the bottom is a Zeth tentacle holding a dagger, indicating violence or duplicitousness. At the top is a Zeth tentacle holding a gift (circle), showing kindness. This isn't quite right, since the Zeth don't have a concept of good or evil, and indeed treat these concepts as largely equivalent.
Next on the bottom is a bunch of scratches. You'd need to track down the Faderan copy of Cross Species Ethical Equality to get a context for that. It might be translated as “sins of the past”. The column at the top right is the matching Faderan “good” concept - civilization standing.
The wrench at the bottom and the note at the top are Im'dril concepts. The wrench represents their technical society (specifically the Im'dril Engineers), and thus their lower-class. The note represents culture and art, which they hold in high esteem.
The two Eni Et around a circle represent working together.
Taken as a whole, the Interest Converters represent the extreme skill the Eni Et have picked up in getting the most out of the least goods. In-setting, they aren't so much creating interest, as representing Eni Et managing huge sections of a society to get the most out of them, and above all minimize waste. Think of the extra resources not as “more stuff” but as “better used stuff”.
This shows the front ramming prow of an Eni Et between an Im'dril and a Caylion. This is the Eni Et helping aliens understand one another.
Thematically, Universal Translator and Quantum Computers can both be used to upgrade this.
Volunteer Medical Movement
Depicts bacteria and viruses.
Thematically upgraded via Interspecies Medical Exchange or Organic Construction.
Depicts various forms of art from different species. Upper left is a dancing Im'dril, upper right a singing Word (of the Yengii), lower left a set of drums from the Faderan, middle-right a Zeth flute, and lower-right a musical saw from the Kt'Zr'Kt'Rtl.
Thematically upgraded with Cross Species Ethical Equality. Antimatter Power is a second way to upgrade it for balance reasons (Every era I and II technology must upgrade something of the Eni Et).
On the left is a linked network of five worlds. Going clockwise from the top: Conclave (Faderan), Unity, Stjiror (Kjasjavikalimm), Caylius (Caylion), and Enis (Eni Et). To the right is a wall of scrolls, representing an archive as the Eni Et would think of it.
Upgraded with Ubiquitous Cultural Repository (which is much the same concept) or Universal Translator (which would obviously help with such an archive).
Shows a council of Eni Et elders along the top, and lots and lots of “wisdom” (text) across the rest of the card.
Upgrades into Immortal's Wisdom with Clinical Immortality, or Quantum Computers (in which case the Immortals in question are digital).
The top depicts various Eni Et bringing strange artifacts together. The two on the right are Caylion (computer and drone, respectively), while two on the left are Faderan (stylus from the Faderan picture, and an automated support network robot).
Hyperspace Mining and Singularity Control both sounds “ultratech” enough to upgrade this.
An atomic nucleus with a single additional nucleon being moved into position.
Eni Et “DNA” with protected telomeres on the left, and cell division on the right. Here, the nucleus dissolves, separating out the DNA which is pulled apart as the cell divides. This is similar to terrestrial cell division, except that the nucleus begins reforming around each DNA set before cell division is complete.
Eni Et at the bottom, their triple-helix DNA-equivalent on the left, and their chromosomes on the top.
A nanomachine at the top of the card, and two nanomachines working together to build something at the bottom. The marked big thing at the back of the nanomachines is the battery.
An image of such a computer, with the bottom is a row of bits (zeroes and ones) where some of the bits are in a superposition of zero and one.
Ubiquitous Cultural Repository
Like every version of this card, depicts the species' homeworld (in this case, Enis). Since there's no continents to show, white blobby areas indicate deep trenches, and faint lines indicate raised topology. The depicted “internet” is extremely sparse -- the Eni Et don't have the infrastructure to support anything more.
Is the same art for all versions of the card, mixing the written languages of all nine species.
The top is a picture of two computers linked by an achronal device (or the same computer linked to itself). The bottom depicts a string of ones and zeroes where a later block was transposed over an early one, moving the information back in time.
The upper-right side of the card has a picture of a methane atom where two of the hydrogens have been replaced with positronium.
Cross Species Ethical Equality
The bottom-left shows a collection of things. Next in sequence is two Eni Et each taking something, so there is less. Finally, there are two Eni Et caretaking the things, so now there is more of them. (Think of this as a graphical representation of what the interest converters do). The top is a group of Eni Et with very different ideas, merging and blending those ideas for the greater good. (This is how their reconcile their varied fanaticism).
An industrial space folding device which is pulling resources out of hyperspace.
Interspecies Medical Exchange
Top-left is Eni Et brain (near the center-rear of their body).
Top right is their gills (similar to mollusk gills).
Bottom-left is their digestive tract: relatively simple and short (they're obligate carnivores), and with both the mouth and anus pointing backwards (they have a beak like a squid).
Not depicted is their melon (sonar organ) which takes up most of the space in their top and front, and is why none of the organs shown reach into that area.
An organic Eni Et building, with the left side as cross-section of an organic wall.
Depicts a singularity in a containment system, being powered (and spun up) by a stream of matter.
Galactic Telecomm Control
Top is a diagram of that network linking stars, bottom is a picture of a transmission array.
Top right is a waveform generator, top left some sort of gizmo, and at the bottom a device beaming matter into existence.
An orbital structure.
Poly Species Corporations
A corporate structure diagram. Kjasjavikalimm and Paths are in the position of leadership due to their organizational skills; Eni Et and Words take on an advisory role due to their emotional and ethical understanding; Caylion, Zeth, and Unity are in middle management due to their ability to coordinate many things (and people) at once; Kt'Zr'Kt'Rtl and Words make up the research and development teams, while Im'dril, Faderan, and Mules make up the bulk of the rest of the work force.
Enis at the lower left, and a huge lake-ship capable of carrying many Eni Et at once on the lower-right.
Various temporal manipulation devices, designed to evoke snowflakes “freezing time”.
Xeno Cultural Exchange
Top left is one of the bones from Bone Carving. Bottom is a depiction of sonographics: “holographics” via faked sonar pulses. Thus, singing an image. The Eni Et at the left is “singing”, creating the dotted picture of someone which the Eni Et at the right hears and “sees”. Naturally, sonographics can be used to represent anything three dimensional (including any internal composition); a picture of an Eni Et is used because it is recognizable.