Wednesday, October 2, 2013
Dwarves and/or gnomes.
The pygmaeus species consists of two races; the dwarves and the gnomes. Centuries after ogres were created, the Atlantians engineered workers who could tolerate high gravity and toxic airs (pygmaeus can tolerate higher concentrations of carbon dioxide, and carbon monoxide will not kill them nearly as fast as a sapien) that often are associated with worlds very rich in mineral wealth. Pygmaeus typically stand about chest-high to their sapien counterparts, at about 1.3-1.5 meters in height, and have masses similar to sapiens. The pygmaeus is short, and stout, and most of that stoutness in muscle, and were engineered to last; their natural lifespans stretch to two hundred fifty years. Unlike sapiens (off Earth) pygmaeus have facial hair, and the men almost always grow beards.
Pygmaeus live to work, literally. So perfect was the genetic engineering, that pygmaeus only feel comfortable while working. Because they were made to extract minerals (be miners) pygmaeus make their homes underground, in cliff faces and inside mountains. The pygmaeus life cycle goes something like this:
0-20) Youth; this is the time when the pygmaeus grows to adulthood, and is spent learning academics. Pygmaeus graduate from basic schooling by the age of twenty. Even when young, pygmaeus appear overly serious and uptight to other species of humanity. They treat games the same way as work; if you are not going to do it right, then do not even bother.
20-50) Parenthood; because they are human, albeit a different species, there is a limited period in their life that the females are capable of bearing children. Pygmaeus pass their genes on as soon as they leave schooling. Dwarves will bear between one and four children, whatever is required to maintain a steady, and viable population. Like everything else in life, pygmaeus take raring children seriously, more so than anything else. However, once the child (or children) reaches 20 years of age, their parents move on to the next stage of pygmaeus lives.
50 onward) Professional; after the children are out on their own, producing their own children, pygmaeus commence a lifetime working. While raising their children, pygmaeus have jobs, and continue studying, not perfecting their field of choice until around fifty. Once children are off on their own, pygmaeus focus all their energy on what they were designed to do; work.
Pygmaeus have no concept of retirement, as their instincts (programed by their designers) will not allow them to not contribute to society. Which is doubly good in the case of city-ships; there is no retirement in space. There is little a pygmaeus likes less than being idle, and have little tolerance for freeloaders. The necessary evil of any society is government and administration. The way pygmaeus choice their leaders is by election. These are quite different from sapien elections. When pygmaeus vote, they tend to nominate one of the group, usually the one paying the least attention, ask for a second, and then vote. Heads of companies and guilds are elected, but not in the same way as politicians. In business, pygmaeus must work their way to the top, and their corporate society is a meritocracy. In either political or business worlds, the pygmaeus elected does not want the job, but by their nature, they will do their best at it.
The pygmaeus mindset is very logical, very analytical. Both gnomes and dwarves are also extremely stubborn, only changing when they want (of decide it must be) and will not adapt to another way of doing things easily. Because of this, pygmaeus take far longer to assimilate into a culture than either sapien or ogre. Because they live for over two hundred years, an extended pygmaeus family can contain several generations. Pygmaeus families do stay in contact, but their working nature keeps them spread out. Pygmaeus tend to live alone after the age of fifty. However, if two parents are of the same profession, and sufficiently tolerate each other, it has been known for these pairs to stay together for life.
The main difference between dwarves and gnomes come down to two sayings. Dwarves believe that if it is not broken, then one should not fix it. Dwarves tend to stay with tried and true paths, and though they innovate, they only invent when needed. They tend to refine their proven method over a great deal of time. Gnomes believe that there is always a better way. They tend to constantly improve their ways of doing things. On average, gnomes tend to stick with development and research, while dwarves stick with industries. However, dwarves can be scientist and gnomes can be miners. Once a pygmaeus picks a profession, they stick with it for life. Pygmaeus are passionate about their pursuits and will dive into them with single-minded drive. A dwarven work ethic is a compliment, or a way of saying one works too much; pygmaeus take great pride in their occupations and creations. The biggest insult to any pygmaeus is to call them a cheat. Contracts with pygmaeus are simple enough affairs with the dwarf or gnome wanting little more than a hand shake and a good word. Pygmaeus react extremely violently when this trust is broken.