Sylphen Setting

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Sylphen Setting

Postby ErinFlight » Sat Aug 25, 2018 6:56 pm

Sylphen slaves setting.
I'm calling the other race the Masters because I am uncreative.

The Sylphen:

The Sylphen are a communal species. They all share bonds with each other and they will die if they don't have other Sylphen around.
They live in small-ish tight communities.
Their children are very vulnerable and about 2/3 die. Most are born with a twin, but almost no adults actually have one.(edited)
The reason they are so desired is that they can form bonds with people who aren't members of their species.
And these bonds feel incredibly good. If you have one, you can never feel truly alone.
The sylphen as a species are a mix between very delicate and very sturdy.
Once they are adults, the only real way to kill them is isolation. They don't need much to survive. They are almost translucent in certain types of light.

The Masters:

The Masters are a symbiotic species. They co-exist with a type of almost-sentient living fungus thing.
They retreated underground a long time ago.
They generally co-exist very poorly with other species.
This planet has vast underground caverns full of an entirely different kind of life than is on the surface. All of it is symbiotic with the fungus(edited)
They can kill members of other species pretty much at will by sending out what are basically hostile fungus pores.
(The fungus resembles like, a glowing network of lines. So there is a faint glowing network under their skin but they otherwise look human)

How it happened:

So for a long time the Sylphen were isolated. But then the human population exploded. And as humans are prone to doing, they started a war with the Sylphen.
The Sylphen are not made for combat. The humans figured out pretty quickly how to kill them and they could escape, but they couldn't have any children and they were slowly being whittled down.

Extinction was coming.

But, by chance the sort of "leader" of the Sylphen had met a group of Masters a considerable time ago.
The Sylphen was unusual enough that the Masters didn't go straight to killing. And they interacted for long enough that the Masters began to feel the effects of the bond. The Masters ended up frightening the Slyphen away and couldn't find him again, but they remembered each other.

So, when the leader sees extinction coming, he approaches the Masters and asks for help.

They agree, on one condition, the Sylphen must also become symbiotes with the fungus. On one level, this is practical, the Sylphen can't survive underground without it.
But on another level, this gives the Masters almost complete control over the Sylphen.

More context/history:

It wasn't clear at first, to the Sylphen, what was going to happen. Most of them thought they'd be neighbors. None of them realized what they'd be. They didn't have the concept of slaves or pets and what they'd be treated as was something inbetween.

The leader suspected. But his people was dying. He could feel them dying. And so he decided to do it anyway. Not everyone went along with it. His sister, who he shared his fears with, fled along with several others. She would have fled even if the Masters had no darker intentions. To her, access to the sky was more important than dying.

The Masters introduced the symbiote to all of the adults immediately. However, it couldn't be introduced to the children safely (though new children would be born with it). So the Masters built an enclosure inside the Capitol City where the children could grow up safely.

After the symbiote had taken hold, the Masters told the Sylphen that they would each go to a host family. This wasn't alarming. It made sense.But the host families were all carefully chosen. They were those who were loyal to the king. Those he valued. Those he wanted to reward.

Part of the reason this went so smoothly was the leader of the Sylphen giving advice.
He didn't reveal that he knew their intentions. He wasn't sure he did and if he was right, admitting it might speed up the process.

But he did admit to knowing what would scare his people. And he steered the Masters away from it. He knew he was helping them gently lead his people into slavery. But he also knew that if his people got scared now they would never bond with any of the Masters. And then either they would go extinct or they'd be true prisoners forever, without the benefit of the fondness the bond brings.

Part of the reason he did this was the king.
When he'd first approached the Masters, they had brought him to the king. It had become obvious then, what would actually happen if the Sylphen took this deal.
But, he also got along surprisingly well with the king. The leader liked him. His dry humor, his obvious devotion to his people, his casual confidence, his cleverness.
And this was enough, over the month he was there, to form a bond.
A weak one, but enough to tell that the King's offer was at least partially genuine. The King didn't want to harm the Sylphen. Was genuinely distressed by the thought of them going extinct.
It wasn't much. But it was something. It was enough.
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