Serenai is a Science Fiction setting intended for written fiction, tabletop gaming, comics and other forms of expression. This is the website where you will find all the info pertaining to the project as well as its smaller parts.
[ The Starlight Union ]
The central element in Serenai is a universe-spanning society by the name of The Starlight Union. The Union was founded over 4000 millennia ago, and is made up of close to 800 different sentient species who have all reached a high point of enlightenment. This society has one base goal: to unlock all the secrets that the universe holds via means of science.
[ The Research Installations ]
To reach their goal, the Starlight Union has undertaken the monumental task of creating planets which adher to specific parameters to serve their purposes. These planets are specifically tailored for different types of experiments, and every aspect of the planet and it's inhabitants is administered and catalogued. Even the very rules of physics and nature are altered to form the perfect experimental ground.
Life on the Research Installations
Life on these worlds are classified in two cathegories: non-sentient and sentient. Whereas non-sentient life is often planted and evolved in tune with the rest of the world to form a perfectly natural ecosystem, sentient beings follow certain templates. Sentient beings are still taken from beings which are allowed to evolve with the rest of the world, their evolution is in many aspects steered, as genetic mutations are introduced manually. Traits which are detrimental to the Unions purposes are either phased out by slowly killing every indivdual which carries the trait, or outright removed from the genetic code when necessary.
Construction of the Installations
The construction of these planets is a very long and complex process. In some cases the Union uses existing worlds which orbit a star at a suitable distance, in other cases they use massive stations to manually create a stellar object by amassing lesser stellar objects, crushing the resulting mass into a solid form and then heating it's core to suitable temperatures.
After this, terraforming begins. In some cases, the geographical design is of lesser importance, while in some cases it is of decisive importance. Cases where the latter is true may take thousands of years to fully complete. After the terraforming stage is complete, the groundwork is laid down to introduce biological life. Exactly how this is done differs from case to case, and seldom one solution works for multiple cases. When the groundwork is laid down, the evolution of every single species and subspecies is closely monitored. In most cases, there are some preliminary plans made up regarding what types of life forms will serve the current experiment(s) best. In these cases evolution is steered by manually introducting genetic mutations which are prioritized and promoted.
Each and every step uses different personnel, as those who are in charge of terraforming do not have the necessary education for introduction of biological life, or development of the same, and so on. Construction of a standard planet (development of biological life included) can take several hundred millennia.
Shields & stations
All planets are surrounded by monumental shields (of which there are four different technological classes), larger than the planet itself. They rotate around the planet in tune with the closest star/sun, so that they never obscure the light on the world below. Attached to these shields are varying constructions and technological attachments. The functions of these titanic structures are manyfold:
- The function of the shields themselves are to disguise any stations that are put into orbit around the, as well as other stellar objects that might be more advantageous to hide. The shields also hide themselves, and instead display a "clean" image of the starry sky beyond them.
- Attached to the shields is also at least one space station, to which the personnel on the installation can travel from the surface of the planet, and further on to interstellar space stations via a teleportation network.
- The shields also have attachment to function as a communication array, which is in constant contact with the galactic network which supplies the planetside system with current and relevant data, coordinates and other information which keeps everything running smoothly.
Other than the shields all experimental planets have a number of minor stations in orbit, which serve as archives for samples of life forms, plants and other substances from the planetside system.
On some worlds it is necessary to install gravitational locks and nullifiers. These are massive installations which can lock a stellar object in relation to the planet, as well as negate the gravitational forces between the two objects. The use of these gravity-locked objects is very situational - sometimes they are used for larger stations planet-side, which is useful when experimental worlds are being terraformed, other times they are used as a sort of . In extreme cases they are used as protection against astronomical threats such as massive komets, meteorite showers, solar flares and similar.
How reality works
So how is all this possible? How can the very rules of reality be altered?
The simplest way to describe it is by viewing reality somewhat like a coin - a thing with two distinct sides both part of the same whole, but distinctly different and separate. One side is how we see reality - all the shapes, colors, smells and other sensations that make up the world. This side is the be-all end-all for most creatures that live.
The other side, however, is where all things are born. This side is not a physical place or plane that exists, per se, but an abstract space, which describes the reality which we inhabit. Not just color, weight, sound and temperature, but the very laws of physics and nature. A good comparison would be how a programming language makes a computer system work (this analogy will be used again later). When you know how to manipulate this side of the coin, you can alter reality itself. It is exactly this that the Starlight Union discovered how to do. By developing technology which allows them to enter a space in-between the sides, The Union can manipulate the fabric of reality in whatever way it suits them. And it is by doing so they construct the System that encompasses each world.
All these factors concerning these experimental planets combine to form a system - a routine which governs the world and how it works. This system encompasses each and every thing on the planet, be it alive or dead, material or immaterial. To properly describe how all this comes together, the model of a computer system will again serve as a metafor. But in using this metafor it becomes necessary to stress that in no way does this mean that our reality is some type of simulation or illusion - every single aspect is still part of the real world, it is merely goverened and changed by manipulating forces outside the physical reality.
The Keepers, the personnel on these installations could be compared to system administrators - they can manipulate the material world as they see fit, though each and every one of them have a certain area of responsibility, which is related to what the can manipulate.
The sentient inhabitants can be compared to system users - ordinary people who are a part of the system itself. On some worlds, the inhabitants can posess certain abilities, here called sorcery. These abilities can be compared to user permissions in a computer system - some users are permitted to change things that others do not. Each individual in the system is a combination of raw life force linked to a physical body, and this physical body can be compared to a user account where all memories and changes to the physical body are stored.
The other inhabitants - that is, animals, "supernatural creatures", "monsters", and all other similar things - are spread across a certain spectrum. Whereas some are similar to sentient species in that they are raw life force combined with a physical body, others are merely raw life force which have become a natural part of the system, and others still have their origin outside the system (this doesn't mean that they aren't affected by the system itself though).
At this point it becomes necessary to mention another life form - the sentient beings designed to have a certain effect on the system, often corruptive or destuctive. The most proper comparison here would be to a computer virus. "Why would you purposfully design something which is by it's nature destructive?" you might ask. The answer is quite simple - by allowing these beings to exist within the system, vital information can be gained not only from how they affect the system and it's inhabitants, but how best to combat flaws in the system. These types of creatures are always "built" using the same mold - the cathegory of animals we would refer to as reptiles.
Because the system can indeed fail, and that is when things can become quite disturbing. As the Starlight Union does indeed rewrite reality, imperfections can arise. These imperfections in the system can be quite benign; such as small shifts in temperature or a subtle chirping of birds in peculiar places; to the remarkably odd, such as all colors in an area becoming inverted or ; or the quite horrific, such as or sudden loss of memory simply by being in the wrong place or sudden and drastic warping of genetic makeup. These events can be compared to bugs in computer systems - and not only places can become flawed, but individuals as well...
The Cardinal Law
There are many rules concerning how these planets are administered, but one in particular stands out among the rest - the cardinal law which must never be broken.
Under no circumstance is a member of the Starlight Union allowed to adopt the image of a deity or object of worship in relation to inhabitants of Research Installations.
To break this directive is to knowingly sign your own discharge from the Starlight Union. While it is not a crime as such, it is viewed as a highly destabilizing act, one which easily could get very far-reaching ramifications...
[ Go to top ]
[ Other Factions ]
The Starlight Union is indeed a large organization - the largest in the universe in fact. This does not mean that every sentient species in existence is a part of it - far from it. There are those that directly oppose the Union, as well as those who simply choose to remain outside it, either because they choose to, or don't meet the Union's criteria.
The Corosian Coalition is the largest of the Union's opponents. TCC is a gathering of different species which find the Union's doing to be simply immoral. Via political means they try to prevent the Union from being able to build new worlds, but since there is no centralized government for the universe (such a task being more or less impossible as planetary governments barely last a century before collapsing) this method varies quite a lot in effectiveness.
This leads us to The Great Diplomatic Assembly, which is the closest thing to a universal governing body that exists. It's mission, however, is not to govern, but to act as a mediator between systems and species whenever needed. They are in essence a neutral faction, though its primary tenent is to preserve the sanctity of life wherever it exists.
The Alliance of Free Species is a bit of an oddity, as it is an organization exclusively for species which have come to exist because of the Union's experiments, but in the process have broken free. They too oppose the Union's work, but instead of working via political means, they choose a more direct approach. They monitor the Union's installations in secret, and when they notice atrocities taking place, they can assault the installation and capture the personnel. This can, however can do more harm than good, as the installations are far from simple things, and even small changes can have disasterous consequences.
But though the universe is filled to the brim with civilizations and organizations, there are still large areas of space still unexplored and hitherto unknown by everyone. Everyone but the Heavenly Swimmers.
[ Go to top ]
[ The Heavenly Swimmers ]
The Heavenly Swimmers are the oldest known beings in the universe, and are revered (though not worshipped) by most of the universe's inhabitants. They are made up of eight beings, all unique in shape and (rather gargantuan) size. They are highly intelligent and wise, and rather than being made up of flesh and blood, they are etheral beings which swim trough the universe, passing through the stars and planet that they come across. But despite their otherworldly nature, they approach all living things with kindness and give aid in any way they can. Though when asked why they exist and swim they only reply that some things are better left unanswered...
In their honor, the Union often mold ocean creatures inhabiting the worlds they create in the Swimmers' images.
Pa is the oldest and largest - the size of a galaxy. Pa's image has inspired the image of whales in our world.
Un - Who's image has inspired the image of eels in our world.
La - Who's image has inspired the tortoises in our world.
Ci - Who's image has inspired the orca in our world.
Yl - Who's image has inspired the rays in our world.
Om - Who's image has inspired the jellyfish in our world.
Do - Who's image has inspired a lot of different type of fish in our world in our world.
Ro is the youngest (though still unfathomably old) and smallest - the size of a solar system. Ro's image has inspired the octopi of our world.
And among their songs they whisper that they await the ninth, who is soon to be born...
[ Go to top ]
[ The Galactic Rupture ]
With all these pieces of information in place, it's time to get to the heart of the matter. There existed a world in the galaxy we ourselves call the Milky Way, which went by the name of Ondori'ath. It was a world going trough the final steps of alteration before biological life was introduced to the planet. But somewhere, something went horribly wrong.
As the personnel activated the last alterations, a great rumbling was heard, followed by the sound of all things being ripped to shreds and a blinding light. The following second, Ondori'ath had seized to exist.
A great wave of light blasted out across the galaxy, washing it in a surreal rainbow of colors. All across the galaxy, personnel on different Laboratory Worlds noticed malfunctions in their equipment and felt that something had shook reality to its very foundation. Little did they know that the blast had displaced almost the entire galaxy in both space and time.
What they did realize, however, was that none of their communication- or transportation technology longer worked. Their connection to the galactic system had been severed, and no signals from outside could be picked up. They were effectively stranded on each of their worlds, further away from home than they could ever realize.
This is where our story truly begins, the moment these poor beings understand that they are adrift in a sea of stars with no way home. This story is about them, and all the little inhabitants of the worlds that serve a purpose far beyond their comprehension.
This is the story of Serenai.
[ Go to top ]
[ Menidi'ath, Seldori'ath and Telloni'ath ]
These three worlds are all part of the galaxy which went missing in space and time when the Galactic Rupture took place. Much time has been spent going into Serenai as a setting, though it is these three worlds which are the true focus. But the universal setting is an important part to know to truly understand the nature of these three worlds.
A Sci-fi/fantasy setting.
Menidi'ath was a fully active and manned installation when the Galactic Rupture took place. Forty-five Keepers were on active duty, together with sixty assistant Keepers. When they noticed that they had been cut off from the galactic network, they resolved to keep the world functioning as it was designed to as long as necessary. But when they realized that help was not coming, they took a difficult decision. In the end, they broke the prime directive, so that they could start working on constructing their own way home.
Perhaps they could have succeeded too, if not for the tragedy of misunderstanding. Now they are hunted, and have no possibility to do their job, while the inhabitants of the world are taking the world into their own hands...
[ Click here to go to the webpage for Project Menidi'ath ]
An Antique fantasy setting.
Seldori'ath was not a fully developed world, but one still being worked on. When the galactic rupture happened, only three Keepers were present on the world, which was in the advanced stages of development of biological life. They realized that they had no hope of being able to maintain the world according to the original design, and so decided to abandon their posts, and let the world run it's own course while they waited for help. Help they did not know if it would ever arrive.
But before they left their posts, they gave the sentient beings on the planet the power to control life, so that they might shape the world themselves, and fill it with wonder. Now, uncountable years later, society is blooming, and philosophy is awakening. When you wield power to create and mold life as you wish - what is right and wrong?
[ Click here to go to the webpage for Seldori'ath ]
An alternate earth, in the present as well as near- and far future.
Telloni'ath was a world which was fully active and manned. But when the galactic rupture happened, the personnel was heading home, switching shifts. When everything failed and shut down, one lonely Keeper found himself stranded all by himself, with no hope of getting home. He found himself with the impossible task of keeping the world running, without the means to do it properly. In time, he goes to extreme measures, but fails to control the technological advancement on the world.
It is the story of Telloni'ath - Tellus - in three different ages; Present, where the Russian government has access to secret space traveling technology; Near-future, where war and pestilence has reduced much of the world to ruins; Far-future, where massive city-states are the remaining bastions of humanity on earth, and underground movements fight a totalitarian government with cybernetic enchancements and technological warfare.
[ Click here to go to the webpage for Telloni'ath ]
[ Go to top ]
|All content © Chimeric Studios & Zacharias Holmberg unless stated otherwise.||