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on a galactic scale

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Scientific name

Helis helis

Conservation status


Civilization class

Type B

Evolutionary homeworld

Helic System

Total population
230 billion
Systems with significant populations
Helic System
Kelosian System


Basic Information[]

Common Attribution:

The Ancients

Categorical Attribution:


Evolutionary Star System:

Helis System

Star Systems of Prominence:

Population Data:

230 billion

Civilization class: Type B: Interstellar Society


The oldest known existing civilization, the Helics are responsible for bringing many civilizations into interstellar society, and their influence has spread throughout the known universe. It is argued that the Helics are the most highly evolved species in the Basilicus Prime Galaxy; certainly, they have earned considerable inter-social respect. The Helics are renowned for their intellectual prowess, advanced technology, and code of honor. They try to keep peace in the galaxy by monitoring trade, species introduction to the galaxy, and inter-social diplomacy.

The Helics are an independent-minded people, though their society is communal. Only administrators and "home bodies" remain on the home moon Ordone; the majority of Helics travel abroad, alone or in fleets, performing regular peace-keeping efforts whose key players may range from armies and ambassadors to healers and philosophers. While the species is quite versatile, the Helic people tend to a strict code of honor, and the culture's primary collective interests are the protection of peace and the evolution of galactic culture.

The usual Helic way of thinking has recently been challenged by an insurrection of "freethinking" Helics who call themselves the Inversities. This growing movement has openly attacked the old way of the Helics, and they demand freedom from the "peacekeeping" efforts of the wider Helic social system. The Inversities use the word "Puritans" to refer to Helics that they feel are oppressing the galaxy with old-fashioned, Helicentric, or narrow-minded ideas. The disputes between the two factions have turned to outright fighting in recent years, and the society is on the verge of civil war.

Many Helics, both Puritans and Inversities, have found their way to the Kelos System. The Helics are in a political and economic alliance with both the Congress of Crystaldeep and the Highlord's Order of the Spheres. Helics that travel to or live in the Kelos System are usually government officials or diplomats; the few that come to Kelos for trade or other reasons must face the difficulty of Kelosian racial intolerance.

Evolutionary Analysis[]

Helics first appeared in their primary evolutionary form about 6 million Cycles Pre-Dynastic Era HST. Their form was closer to ape than bird in the early stages, but their species was identifiable because of prehistoric flesh-like wings that could only have been used for gliding, not flying. Even at this stage, they remained hairless and, additionally, their wings were featherless. Their light-weight bones kept a connection with birds, yet their muscle structure and reproduction systems kept them akin to mammals.

Early Helics lived like most of their lineage throughout the Cycles did, in the canopies of Ordone's many rainforests. They began hunting and gathering in packs about -3 million Cycles Pre-Dynastic Era HST. Flocks of Helics began developing advanced habitats and as their species continued on they developed feathers and lighter bone structures gradually taking their gliding behavior to flying. By about 1 million Cycles Pre-Dynastic Era HST Helics were evolving into a treetop culture turning their habitats into settlements and towns.

Because of the nature of Ordone's position, it is nearly always daytime. Helics evolved the ability to see, sense, and fundamentally handle a massive spectrum of radiation. Helics can "see" X-rays and are not blinded by solar radiation. They are able to handle so many varieties of light that they have no need to close their eyes when they sleep.

As an evolutionary side effect to their visual capabilities, Helics did not evolve ear canals and instead "hear" by seeing radiation and also by feeling the effects of sound. Communication, then, socially evolved into a complex sign language. Also, their vocal chords evolved into something quite unexpected.

Since Helics could not traditionally hear they had no need for voice as a language. It was necessary to develop voice as a survival function. They have two larynxes: one for "defense" and one for "offense". These vocal chords emit a trumpet-like sound that dramatically disturbs the air. Defense is a low octave which Helics can feel for many miles. Offense is a high octave that frightens other hearing creatures and that other Helics can feel for a few hundred yards.

Evolution worked quickly from this point. Male Helics developed colorful plumage as a natural means to perpetuate the species. Their critical thinking abilities advanced exponentially. There is evidence of the beginnings of religion as early as 25,000 Cycles Pre-Dynastic Era HST.

The first Dynasty, Oruy Dynasty (Dynasty 1, c. Cycle 12 HST) brought the civilization to the next level, creating treetop temples, advanced political and economic systems as well as their sophisticated form of "sign language". The species of Dynasty 1 is basically the species that exists today, although they've managed to evolve their vocal chords a bit since their early days. By Dynasty 1,759 the Helics joined the stars as a Type D society and is the first known existing civilization to do so, in the Basilicus Prime Galaxy.

Biological Analysis[]

Helics are primarily bipedal creatures, but their keen climbing skills and primate-like arms allow them to operate quadrapedally, if needed. They have a very light and flexible skeletal system similar to avian species, but their muscular and nervous systems are closer to mammals.

They have two arms and two legs with anatomical symmetry throughout their body frame. Four digits on each limb are partially webbed and clawed, allowing for agility, climbing, and swimming. Although their facial structure is similar to a primate, they've developed a beak-like snout allowing them more versatility in foraging. Their wings extend from the spinal column and are partially extended with a flesh membrane. Feathers only grow on their wings and upper chest and extend past their waist when the wings are extended. A Helic's wingspan is usually twice the length of their upright body, sometimes reaching twenty feet. When folded, the wings reach their feet and, sometimes, extend farther than that.

Helics are known for their beautiful wings and distinctive reflective black skin. Because of their harsh environment they thrive well in a huge variety of climates ranging from arctic to arid. The heavy atmosphere of the moon gives them a high tolerance for extreme levels of oxygen and nitrogen and many settled worlds were not terraformed until later if at all.

Helics are herbivores, warm-blooded, endoskeletal and reproduce via sexual reproduction, although gestation occurs in eggs.

Ecological Analysis[]

Ordone's near-horizontal axis keeps one hemisphere in steady position over the planet Isitias and the other side in constant exposure of the three stars of Helis: Helis, Debenon, and War. The Helis System lies in the core of the Basilicus Prime Galaxy where 2 million stars occur in every 400 cubic holds. The sheer magnitude of cosmic radiation in this area yields a very interesting ecological effect. There is never truly a "night" time on Ordone. Certainly the atmospheric luminosity decreases considerably, but the moon is constantly subject to light.

Even with Ordone's relatively thick atmosphere a hostile amount of solar radiation still gets through and consequently results in a minor greenhouse effect trapping the solar heat. To compound this, the gas giant Isitias emits enough energy to be called a brown dwarf, providing even more heat.

The atmosphere of the moon Ordone is rich in various minerals and gases and home to healthy oceans. The rich minerals made a playground for hearty plants and tough animals. Only the strongest could withstand the atmosphere and by the time an ecosystem developed all of the botanical and biological elements of the moon were at their strongest.

Sociological Analysis[]

By the time Helics evolved into true sentience, they had effectively created a networked tree-top civilization. Being herbivores, it was ingrained early on that they would evolve into a peaceful society. The nearly limitless resources of their native forests curtailed many conflicts and, with no need to hunt, the Helics never developed a sense of superiority over the native animals.

Bringing their peace-embracing, higher sense of worth to the galaxy, they tend to nurture other civilizations and help them "see the light". Helics have fallen into conflict over the centuries from this behavior, but overall, provide a stable code of honor for interstellar societies and will do all they can to help those in need.

Game Rules[]