Phytosian

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PHYTOSIAN
Podman.png
Phytosian
Genus: Lazarupela Vitalis Sangue
Homeworld: Mulvoda
Central Authority: Gukdem Confederacy
Paycheck Modifier: 0.7x
Allowed Command Roles: Research Director, Chief Medical Officer
Guides: No external guides

Phytosians, sometimes called plantpeople or podpeople, are the standard species produced by the plant known as lazarupela vitalis (commonly referred to as podseeds). Created via the exposure of blood to the unique plant’s seeds, phytosians are an intensely isolationist species. While their central government, the Gukdem Confederacy, has quietly slipped Nanotrasen the means to produce replica seeds, a mutation of lazarupela vitalis, contact with the xenophobic, distrusting people has been kept to a minimum ever since their recent discovery. While exceptions to their population see strange, eccentric individuals join the galactic community, these rare cases are often regarded as odd by those that encounter them.

Gameplay

Benefits

The most significant benefit of phytosians is their innate regeneration in light. The regeneration heals toxin, oxygen, brute, and burn damage. It does not work while the phytosian is unconscious, so it will not save you from hard crit, and is balanced by significantly increased damage from many sources and reduced movement speed. In darkness, a phytosian will slowly take oxygen damage until they die or find a sufficient light source. Containers like lockers, morgues, and disposal chutes are too dark for phytosians to survive in for long periods without the area being lit externally.

  • When thralled by a shadowling, phytosians lose their innate healing in light and damage from darkness, and instead regenerate slowly when within three tiles of a shadowling.
  • Light also provides nutrition for the phytosian. During most rounds, a phytosian will never have to eat, and if you manage to survive long periods in darkness, you will become extremely hungry and slower as a result.
  • When inside of a mech, the overall damage regeneration of a phytosian is reduced, and toxin damage regeneration is cut in half.

Phytosians are part of the "plants" and "vines" factions, making killer tomatoes, pine trees, and venus human traps passive toward them.

Drawbacks

Phytosians take twice as much burn damage from most sources, double damage from acids, and 50% more damage from heat and cold. At very low and very high temperatures, including those found in cryo, phytosians will not heal from light, making cryo potentially deadly if there is no cryoxadone present.

When attacked by a goat, a phytosian will instantly have their struck body part dismembered, or in the case of the torso, organs spilled.

Phytosians move slightly slower than an average human, making them potentially unable to escape a persistent attacker.

If mood is enabled, a phytosian will often receive the "I'm so fat" negative moodlet, making them slower than usual.

Chemical Effects

Phytosians have many unique reactions to fertilizers and other related reagents in their system.

  • Plant-B-Gone deals toxin damage.
  • Saltpetre heals burn and toxin damage
  • Ammonia heals brute and burn damage
  • Robust Harvest heals toxin damage, but causes toxins to last twice as long as normal in phytosian's systems.
  • Left-4-Zed heals burn damage, but causes toxin damage and harmful mutations in phytosians, similar to unstable mutagen.
  • EZ-Nutriment heals toxin and oxygen damage and stabilizes phytosians in critical condition. It is also addictive at 15u, with withdrawal causing oxyloss.
  • Diethylamine heals brute, burn, toxin, and oxygen damage but overdoses at 20u, causing heavy toxin damage.
  • Sugar doubles natural healing in light, but also triples damage in darkness. Phytosians enter hyperglycaemic shock much earlier than humans, overdosing at 40u.
  • Alcoholic drinks cause brain damage, toxin damage, and confusion, in addition to their normal effects. Strong drinks, such as Beepsky smash, cause much heavier toxin damage and extreme sleepiness if they stay in a phytosian's system at high levels for an extended period.

Lore

History

The past of phytosians finds its roots in the unique plant known as lazarupela vitalis. Native to the planet of Mulvoda within the Creo System (adjacent to Sol and Val), the crop rapidly spread across the major continent of Avra, spontaneously spewing the phytosian species out from the corpses left in the wake of other, massive predators. While still retaining some memories of their past selves, the newly-awakened humanoids began to form new memories and drives. Historians within the Confederacy believe most of their kind engaged primarily in violence, memories of death and discovery of newfound energy permitting the crude application of stone and wood to turn the tables on certain predators, as well as their own kind. With their blood spilling once more onto more podseeds, they would rebirth the next day, not wholly aware of their death, but learning more and more each time they died. Very quickly, most of the population on Avra would become a phytosian in some way. While the natural reproduction continued among differing species, each death that spilled but a droplet would give birth to yet another plantperson.

Over time, the collective consciousness of individual phytosians morphed into a group of experiences more based in their newfound purgatory, rather than as whichever species they were originally. Rather than violence, cooperation began to flock and form. Communities that banded for defense and infrastructure were paramount, as the nightly cycle would require that flames were fanned to permit the continued survival of each community. Fire, as a result, became a divine object; it was capable of ensuring life through the darkness, but its application to a phytosian would spell quick, brutal, permanent death; scalding and incendiary wounds would not shed blood, and the podseeds beneath their corpse could flick ablaze as well. For those unstable after countless generations of consciousness, fire became an escape— a way to avoid eternal rebirth. It also became a way to ensure one’s enemies would not breathe again. The duality worked its way into many pantheons, cinders and ash becoming universal objects of reverence and of terror.

About the year 318, almost all of lazarupela vitalis was burnt off Avra, when massive wildfires caused by phytosians threatened to wipe both the crop and the people extinct. After this, the few survivors recognized the need for protecting the plant, beginning to construct protective dens that layered tall stone walls around bountiful patches, permitting sunlight to flock in. Within libraries, courtyards, and other marks of civilization, podseeds were casually planted in pots, jars, and gardens alike. While metalworking was massively difficult to implement, hammers and other bludgeoning weapons quickly became the tools of new conflicts. Fire would continue to see use, though far more scarce as flames became more of a divine reward for those who had served properly– the alternative as profane punishment, dealt to or by the foulest, unholiest individuals. While pantheons themselves split, some heretical ones even shunning the cinders as a force of doomsday proportion, the religions that flocked among the continent were fundamentally based on fire. When phytosians eventually spread to the other two massive continents through significant effort after conflict which seemed to never end, pyromania was still culturally widespread as several varied civilizations entered the 19th century.

By this point, metalworking had only reached an intermediate stage. While the world of Mulvoda is bountiful in traditional minerals such as tin, copper, and iron, it lacks natural deposits of plasma and bluespace. This, combined with phytosians’ heightened sensibility to heat, meant that utilizing proper forges was difficult, despite the general fervor surrounding their application and usage. That being said, the other continents of Guli and Wele are dynamically different in geography. Guli, located much further north and east of Avra in 1892, majorly consists of barren tundra, though steam vents and geothermal fissures are prominent. As it would take another half century before geothermal energy would be harnessed by the phytosians, the continent remained scarcely civilized, primarily in the southern highlands, where farming and domestication were aided by plentiful freshwater from mountain ranges that spanned the continent. Wele, primarily south and just slightly east of Guli, is similar in that its lands are not lush, but its rocky terrain and stoney biomes yield massive bounties of craftsman minerals, while deserts primarily on the northern side of the planet were fraught with massive deposits of natural gases and oil. The discovery of Guli marked a massive step for the Minkt-Cartei Alliance in 1944, two mercantile, shipbuilding city-states located on a strait at the very bottom of Avra that had banded to protect from nearby republics.

The discovery of the third continent marked a massive shift in the dynamics of phytosian life. While coastal and seabound nations moved to quickly shift to the new world to harvest metals to fan innovation, the Tunx Church (of the dominant religion Tunxai) had already begun to attempt to unify central powers to spurn on the creation of a divine monument that would sprawl with lazarupela vitalis, simply dubbed the Mother Tree. Sixty-one years later, the Razing became the world’s first intercontinental war, sparking after the Minkt leader Grei of Banylid went mad upon resurrecting after a recreational duel that he lost. With his mind finally shattered by the countless deaths he had suffered, he called upon the Razebringer, one of three primary gods in the Tunxai religion, and bid his troops move on to destroy and incinerate the rest of the world so that they would be demigods among the ashes. Armed with gunpowder and kerosene flamethrowers and believing a glorious armageddon would link the divine Kilnplains with the mortal world, Minkt soldiers began to ravage and cleanse nearby nations. The two-year conflict ended apocalyptically, echoing the wildfires of 318 as Azra became a grey plume of smoke, soot, and death. Records of this time are difficult to obtain, but historians estimate 99.2% of individuals saw a final death to fire during this time.

It was only a miracle that saved phytosians and lazarupela vitalis from extinction. While the Mother Tree became a chief target among Minkt forces, forces loyal to the Tunx Church knew it was the one thing that could ensure their continued survival, even if they were to all die. While the topic is still hotly debated and controversial among phytosians, official, early records of the Gukdem Confederacy indicate that for at least a few days, after a final battle between what little was left of both sides, phytosians were extinct. While there were some stranded survivors at sea or otherwise isolated in the wildernesses of either Guli or Wele, scholars, even those not associated with the Confederacy, generally agree that Avra was free of living, breathing phytosians for some time. It was only after several jars filled with blood crashed into the Mother Tree from orbit that some of the dead returned and began to rebuild. In light of the horror caused by such a small group with such devastating technology, the Gukdem Confederacy was formed from the ashes, to be a conglomerate of the various surviving powers. It quickly grew into an authoritarian, strict entity, which began to systematically herd and butcher existing animals to spurn on the phytosian population. Newborn phytosians would immediately undergo re-education for integration into a modernized, unified world.

It took 173 years for the Confederacy to fully restore the phytosian population, and another 309 for them to advance to the point of what would be considered an information era in 2495, due to difficulty in creating complicated machinery for computing and automation. Sixteen years of oppressed peace and prosperity later, Sano-Waltfield Industries drones landed on Mulvoda. When the machines were immediately shot down and scrapped, Sol Interplanetary Coalition investigators moved to identify the hostile, illegal colonists. Finding and scanning the planet to be filled with modernized, well-armed plant people, extreme xenophobes campaigned to glass the planet from orbit. Cautious contact prevailed, and it was not until 2513 that proper, understood communication via wideband radio was established. The Confederacy displayed a similar caution at first, but when they realized the mentalities and intelligence of the varied star-beings were comparable to their own, they immediately put forward limited trade agreements of their unique crop and promised to engage in further discussions for integration into a galactic community.

Today, few embassies exist on their planet, and what Coalition civilians or officials are permitted to see is often covered with censorship. The talks of working diplomats into what could become the Innergalactic Union are lethargic, made slower by humanity’s own divisiveness on the creation of such a body. Scarcely are phytosians seen in SIC space. Those that tend to be political outcasts or Confederate loyalists seeking to better understand the vastness of the universe before them, before eventually, at some undefined point in the future, returning back to report their findings.

Naming Conventions

Traditional phytosian names translated into a Latin alphabet tend to be a simple four letter name that often has one or two vowels, either creating an open middle or open end to its pronunciation, often both. In the language of phytosians, the species from which a podperson derived from is often lumped and attached to the front of their name. However, in translation, this becomes "of [species]" (such as Kleu of Dirtmole). In most cases, however, phytosians simply take some simplistic plant name for their new identity, be it a fruit, vegetable, grain, or vine. Fresh phytosians created from other humanoid species might retain the name they had in their previous life, or adopt a new one entirely, or combine a plant name with a surname they held before. Tendencies highly vary among individuals as the physical and emotional trauma of metamorphosis tends to linger in their psyches.

Culture

Familial and parental structures are completely alien to phytosians. Individuals are expected to be independent and relatively grow on their own, though Confederacy officials will often quickly scurry a fresh phytosian into re-education centers, to teach them of their own sapience and humanoid nature if they were not before, or to explain their new condition and genetic bond to the rest of phytosians. To be rebirthed through lazarupela vitalis is a sacred moment, where one casts off the old chains of death and mortality to be ever-living, eternally. It is a condition that loyalists seek to perpetrate, though they're cautious in their enthusiasm, as murder is typically frowned upon by the galactic community. As being podcloned means a convenient loss of one's memories before their rebirth, some actively malign phytosians take advantage of this when able.

Celebrations do not generally occur on Mulvoda. Society is organized into disciplined, systematic sections of production and work, where each phytosian can labor for generation after generation to ensure the continuation of their species. Both the Great Wildfires and the Razing are cited constantly by the Confederacy as need for discipline, strength, and absolute moralism in the face of a threat to the continued survival of their kind. Fire is still highly sacred and utilized for those most loyal to the collective regime. Even the fiercest criminals are kept alive in goat pens to be torn asunder again, and again, and again.

As their own lives are generally worthless in their eyes, only a glance of the fragility of other species comes into phytosian's minds when making decisions at an individual or national level. In their minds, for the very few other organics that exist within their empire, their demise could easily be solved by podcloning and re-education, often turning them into more productive workers as a result of their newfound immortality. In the few years that the Gukdem Confederacy has interacted with the galactic community, however, this part has become known, and very few travel to live in their lands because of the danger. It is mostly scientists and xenobiologists that go, and considering the radical utilitarianism that the Confederacy practices, the sciences are much more highly valued than the arts. As a result, these "intellectual outsiders" are given far more respect than the average cattle.

Despite massive warnings of fire and fearmongering used to incite discouragement of executive structures where one individual holds the power, the Tunx Church is still surprisingly permitted to exist. Fire is a central image of that which can inspire and sear the flames of ambition, though it's capable of destroying the wielder if they are overzealous or unworthy. As a result, it becomes a cautious, divine relationship for most phytosians, who may pray to the cinders for strength in their duties ahead, tinged with a request that they can continue their endless work, that they only move onto the Kilnplains once they have earned their proper rest, which will only come about when the Work is finished.

This goal of the "Work" is the mass conversion of all living things to phytosians, so that all may be united under eternal life and prosperous safety, to lift the material world into a kind of heaven where all creatures can exist and frolick as they see fit, undisturbed by individual need or desire, to fulfill their wants and wishes over as much time as they need, choosing to leave the world when they have finally earned their time to lie down and rest.

For obvious reasons, this plan is a tightly-kept secret by the Confederacy, only to be shared with the most loyal of their subjects.

Lifespan and Health

The average lifespan of a phytosian body is very short, about thirty years, though they are fully grown once their form emerges from a pod of lazarupela vitalis. Their leaves are fragile, and they're overall highly susceptible to any source of flame or heat. As their leafy exteriors provide little insulation, it's not uncommon for heat to simply cause massive internal organ failure, as their blood can boil from exposure to heat that would only burn the flesh on other species. Fire, as a result, is widely addressed with fear, but also a kind of fascination, as fire is unique in its ability to consume the body whole and evaporate the blood therein, providing phytosians with a lasting, permanent death. While this dual-nature tends to balance out in most phytosians, they are far more likely to display symptoms of pyromania or pyrophobia.

They are typically not a fan of any consumed foods, as they already gain nutrition from any source of light. As they starve without light, obesity tends to be common, which can lead to heart failure cutting their mortal cycle short before they wither away from old age.

As a result of their almost-perfect recollection of their past life, phytosians often display massive confusion and rejection of their bodies within their first cycle of life. As an individual phytosian resurrects more and more, and as more of their shared life experiences become phytosian, they may grow to accept their new form. Before this, depending on their origin species, they can suffer from a variety of mental afflictions. More primal animals such as reptiles or fish will display aggression, terror, or enter into a comatose state. Humanoids tend to display depression, disassociation, anger, mania, grief, or any other symptoms of intense mourning over the long term. In the first 24 hours of rebirth however, humanoids tend to display standard stability, generally theorized to be disbelief or a hope that their original form will be restored.

While they do not remember the exact details of their demise, a podperson is able to glean that they have died upon waking up in most cases, due to massive physical differences such as colorization which tends to shift and flow over a specific individual's life. In addition, the mind becomes only so capable of storing so many memories, which can lead to madness.

Phytosians stand roughly around the same height as human men, at 5'7", but this is not differentiated between sexes.

Roleplay Traits

  • Generally keeps to themselves, though can also be oddly eccentric in mannerisms, emotions, and presentation. Some wholly reject the authoritarian rule of the newfound Confederacy, while others might simply be unhinged from countless years of memories, or they might maintain an unwavering belief in the Confederacy
  • While their names on Nanotrasen stations tend to curiously be simple plants, these new identities are often taken to avoid potential persecution from Confederate secret police or recognition of their old lives, if they’re loyalists
  • Can theoretically live forever, though their memories and identities become blurred over several generations of rebirth
  • Either grossly fascinated or horrified of fire, due to its controversial relation to their existence
  • Beyond nyctophobic; most commonly have contingencies of backups to produce light on their person in case something were to happen to the standard illumination present aboard ships or station
  • Unafraid of traditional death, being quick to throw themselves into lethal situations if they feel their body might be recovered if their blood isn’t already safely stored elsewhere
  • Often massively inconsiderate of traditional mortal dread. Several are familiar with gallows humor of some kind, though some purposefully tap into it to unnerve other organics around them
  • Unfeeling of sorrow or guilt in most cases; those smart enough accept that their friends will die and their life will move on. Some might encourage beloved companions to take on lazarupela vitalis, to continue their life anew
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