By Izaiah Comments
The Xantroan Empire~ Return to Index ~
- Adiroch: God, the creator of the universe, as according to the Adirochan religions. He is the creator/father of the Yshari.
- Adirochanism: A religion, or collection of religions, defined by belief and practice consistent with the Adirochan texts and traditions, such as the belief in Adiroch and the Yshari.
- House of Adorwen: A Noble House. Its most notable members include the Heliopolitans Lady Isis (current Queen of Heliopolis) and Lady Nebetet.
- The Aether: A background force spanning every part of the universe where life exists, it might be referred to as the collective power of the biospheres. Hekai (powers wielded by Illuminateds) typically draw their power from, or through, the Aether.
While the Aether and powers derived from it may sometimes be similar to magic, the two concepts are not truly the same. One might say that the two are of the same spectrum, but different frequencies. Some specific Hekai may grant an Illuminated magical abilities however.
- Aetheric Arts: See Hekai.
- Aetheric Staff: Items used by Illuminateds to channel or focus their Hekai/ Aetheric Arts. May also function as bladed weapons, although using those typically requires legal permission.
- Alarna: The capital of the Xantroan Empire, on Xantro I. Named after the Azurian wisdom-spirit, Alarnos.
- Alvarys: A planet with a native humanoid race of warriors. It is governed by the Empire.
- Animal Spirit: A semi-corporeal manifestation of a Illuminated's soul (Ba), in the shape of an animal. If they engage in Astral Projection, they might take on the appearance of their preferred Animal Spirit form. An Animal Spirit typically has a name separate from its host, but this is not to be confused with the name of the Ba itself.
- Apophis: A Warlock born prior to the Great Cataclysm, and leader of the Arzac Society, the cult that later established its own Empire from the planet Trybos.
- Apparition: A disembodied Illuminated, unlawfully released from Duat. Apparitions might take possession of other Nitari or humans, and some of the Hekai (powers) possessed by the Apparition may rub off onto the host (there is also a chance that if the host is human or otherwise lack the ability to Regenerate, they may gain such abilities after the possession).
- House of Arizeph: A Noble House. Notable members include Lord Osiris (current King of Heliopolis), Lord Setekh, Lord Horus, Lord Anubis and Lord Zehuti.
- Arzac: A break-away movement of Xantroan Empire, headed by Apophis. The Arzacian Empire was originally established on the planet Trybos.
- House of Atarxia: A Noble House. Notable members include The Traveller (Azataron Atarxia/Jason Drake) and Izaiah (Hadrian Atarxia/Jason Drake).
- Autan: One of Xantro I's moons. The other is Hemas.
- Azuria: The legendary realm of the Azurian Spirits (the Xantroan counterpart to Mt. Olympus, if you will).
- Azurian Artifacts: 13 ancient artifacts corresponding to the 13 Prime Azurian Spirits.
- Azurianism: A religion, or collection of religions, defined by belief and practice consistent with the Azurianistic texts and traditions, such as the belief in the Spirits of Azuria.
- Ba: A soul. Related to the Ka (life force). Every Ba has a secret 'true name', that can be used to magically enslave them (thus along with their host, and their Animal Spirit and Hekai) if known by someone else. See also Animal Spirit, above.
- Blazing Warhawk: A kind of bird of prey originating on Xantro I. They have the ability to generate fire under their own power. The Fortress uses them as a symbol.
- House of Chaihon: A Noble House. Its most notable member might be Lady Nuit of Heliopolis.
- Crystal of Light: An ancient crystalline meteor, that landed on what is now known as the Forbidden Mountain. Fragments created from it are used in the Rites of Illumination.
- Dakral: A world with sentient native life forms capable of shapeshifting. It is governed by the Empire.
- Darkdwellers: The secret black ops team in charge of protecting the Empire.
- Duat: An interdimensional zone where particularly dangerous Illuminated criminals are sent, if their Hekai cannot be revoked. Only their Ba (soul; see above) can be sent there, their bodies are typically destroyed (with the intention to clone them once the sentence has been served and their Ba is retrieved to the physical plane). If an Illuminated is retrieved from Duat without having prepared a cloned body (or rarely, their original body) for them to occupy, they become Apparitions, and might take possession of some other person's body as a host, and some of their powers (including Hekai) may rub off on the host.
- Evesor: A world with a native humanoid race that practices various forms of magic. It is governed by the Xantroan Empire.
- The Forbidden Mountain: The mountain where the meteor containing the original Crystal of Light landed. As suggested by the name, access to the mountain is restricted.
- The Fortress: One of the Guilds of Xantro. Their duties include law enforcement and military action.
- The Great Cataclysm: The culmination of the war that wiped all life from the planet Xantro I except for Alarna.
- Guilds: Social classes in the Xantroan Empire, with their own dresscodes and mannerisms.
- Hekai: The powers a person gains when passing the Rite of Illumination. Hekai are not dependant on one's body, an Illuminated could be disembodied, possess a person and still retain their Hekai (parts of the Hekai might even rub off onto the host). Hekai can also be deactivated/supressed through the use of technology, in a bit of a reverse of the Rite of Illumination.
Hekai typically draw their power from, or through, a force referred to as The Aether. Hence, Hekai may also be referred to as Aetheric Arts. Many Illuminateds have Aetheric Staffs custom-made for them, items that let them channel or focus their Hekai with greater ease.
Usage notes: Hekai is plural, Heka is singular. One Aetheric Art is one Heka, multiple Aetheric Arts are multiple Hekai.
- Heliopolis: A floating city on Earth, and the base for Xantroan settlers for 12 000 years.
- Heliopolitans: Xantroan settlers on Earth. Heliopolitans were, in ancient times, regarded as gods/divinites by Khemites (ancient Egyptians).
- Hemas: One of the moons of Xantro I. The other is Autan.
- Illuminated: A term for those who have gone through the Rite of Illumination (and thus possess Hekai, a Wadjet, an Animal Spirit, etc). The term does not cover those were Illuminated once, but had their status revoked.
- Illumination: See Rite of Illumination.
- Imperator / Imperatrix: The head of state for the Xantroan Empire. Current Imperator and Imperatrix are Lord Ahramoz and Lady Itharis of the House of Ra.
- Indigo Butterfly: One of many animals on Xantro I. The Observatory uses them as a symbol.
- Iscara: A world with its own aboriginal humanoid race, with the two main factions, the Ymirians (resembling Terran Vikings) and the Citadel (resembling Terran Crusaders). It is governed by the Xantroan Empire.
- Ka: A person's spirit, or life force. Related to the Ba (soul; see above). The loss of one's Ka results in death (ending one's current Lifecycle), and will deprive the Ba of Hekai (powers, see above).
- Khemet: Ancient Egypt.
- Khemites: Ancient Egyptians.
- Kronos: A world (presumably) predominantly inhabited by Kronians. The Empire tried to conquer it in the past, but didn't succeed. A predominantly Xantroan city exists on Kronos though, Zartaia.
- Legacies: An obsolete word for Hekai.
- Lifecycle: What begins with a person's conception, and ends with their physical death. If their Ba (soul; see above) lingers on the mortal plane, they might go through a Reincarnation.
A Nitari may go through multiple Personas during the same Lifecycle.
- Lightbringers: The public adventurer team in charge with protecting the Empire.
- New Alarna: The Xantro-occupied world in the Alpha Centauri system.
- Nitari: The predominant humanoid race in the Xantroan Empire.
Usage notes: Nitari is plural or gender-neutral singular (alternately used as an adjective, 'that person is of Nitari descent'), Nitaro is masculine singular, and Nitara is feminine singular.
- Niwtneteru: See Heliopolis, above.
- Noble Houses: Respected Xantroan families. Persons of Noble descent are less likely than others to have their applications for the Rite of Illumination rejected.
Notable Noble Houses include Thera, Atarxia, Arizeph, Adorwen, Ra, Chaihon and Rekhae.
- The Observatory: One of the Guilds of Xantro. Their fields include culture, arts and entertainment.
- Persona: A Nitari's Regeneration cycle. A Nitari may have developed different Personas with slightly different looks, personalities, preferred Animal Spirit forms and Hekai (powers; where applicable), but (nearly) always retains their memories. Differs from a Lifecycle in that one may go through multiple Personas during one's Lifecycle, and the change is mostly superficial.
- House of Ra: A Noble House. Notable members include Lord Athymar (Atum Ra, first King of Heliopolis), Lady Saosis (first Queen of Heliopolis), Lord Sawor (Shu), Lady Teneuth (Tephnut), Lady Itharis (current Imperatrix of Xantro) and Lord Ahramoz (current Imperator of Xantro), Lady Bastet, Lady Mayet, Lord Chons and Lady Anuket.
- Ra: Ra (a word literally meaning 'sun', but also has connotations with 'creation') is a title referring to those with the most powerful Hekai (powers; see above) in their community. Legend claims that the first Ra was from the House of Ra, possibly explaining the title's origin.
- Regeneration: A biological mechanism in Nitari, triggered when they're badly injured. Their injures are healed, and they usually develop a new Persona. Differs from Reincarnation in that the healing and shifting of Personas is mostly just a modification on their present body, as opposed to leaving a corpse behind and being completely reborn into an entirely new Lifecycle.
This ability is mostly exclusive to Nitari.
Xantroan citizens are required by law to report any Regeneration they go through, including a sample of their new Persona's DNA (one's genetic code tends to be slightly altered by the Regeneration process).
- Reincarnation: The process of a Ba (soul; see above) being reborn into a new life form, a new Lifecycle. Through a specific type of meditation, a Nitari might regain their memories from a previous Lifecycle, and if they're significantly powerful (among the top 1% of the population), Hekai and Personas as well.
This process is not exclusive to Nitari, but occurs among humans as well.
- House of Rekhae: A Noble House. Keshakh Rekhae is the current Lifecycle of the legendary Lady Serqet of Heliopolis.
- Rite of Illumination: A process some (around 15% of the population, mostly those descended from Noble Houses, but anyone can apply for it) Xantroans go through, if they wish to, and are considered worthy. Those who pass are considered to be Illuminated, and typically gain a Wadjet, Animal Spirit and one or more Hekai. Some ideological/religious groups find the practice objectionable. 15 is typically the minimum age required for a person to take part of the Rite, and the Rite must always be presided over by a certified adult.
- Sapphire Whale: One of many animals on Xantro I. The University uses them as a symbol.
- Sicar: A world governed by the Empire. Its dominant biome is the desert.
- Sigil Ring: A high technological item carried by every citizen of the Xantroan Empire, filling functions not unlike personal seals, birth certificates, passports, identification, etc.
- Snow Leopard: One of many animals on Xantro I. The Temple uses them as a symbol.
- The Temple: One of the Guilds of Xantro. Their fields include preservation of culture, healthcare and other things. Contrary to what the name might imply, The Temple is not affiliated to any specific religion, nor is any religious affiliation or theological stance required or prohibited for members.
- House of Thera: A Noble House. Lord Ahramoz, current Imperator of Xantro, was born into this family.
- Tonal: See Animal Spirit, above.
- Trybos: One of many planets terraformed and settled by the Xantroan Empire. It was then seized by Apophis and the Arzac Society, as the capital of its own Empire.
- The University: One of the Guilds of Xantro. Their fields include science and technology.
- Vardes: The orange star that Xantro I orbits.
- Wadjet: A facial mark resembling a tribal tattoo, found on most Xantroans who've gone through the Rite of Illumination. They tend to glow when a Xantroan is using their Hekai (powers; see above), but may or may not be visible otherwise.
- Warlocks: Nitari on ancient Xantro I who gained Hekai through the Crystal of Light. This term has since been superseded by Illuminated.
- Xantro: The name of the civilization.
- Xantro I: The Xantroan source world, and the seat of its government in Alarna. It revolves around Vardes, and has two moons, Autan and Hemas.
- Xantro II: The first colony terraformed and settled by the Empire outside its source world.
- Xantroans/Xantronians: Citizens of the Xantroan Empire. Nitari descent is not a requirement for the designation.
- Yshari: A class of divinities as according to the Adirochan religions. In function, they resemble lesser gods, where in religious practice, they are more remniscient of Angels or Saints (as they are not meant to be directly addressed in prayer, but may be invoked or mentioned, and are assigned patronage of various locations, occupations, and other).
- Zarrok: A world governed by the Empire. Its dominant native life form is a sentient, techno-organic humanoid race.
- Zartaia: A predominantly Xantroan city on the planet Kronos. Named after the Azurian sky-spirit, Zartaion.
The Dawn of Sentience
Orbiting the red star Vardes and surrounded by the two moons Autan and Hemas, an approximately Earth-sized planet began to develop organic life, relatively early compared to most known alien life-supporting planets. During the course of millions of years (by Earth's standard) life manifested as vegetation in countless forms, invertebrates as insectoid and arachnoid-like creatures, and finally...vertebrate life, splitting into countless species, some resembling terrestrial legends of dragons and other myths, while other assumed forms not very unlike those of Terran birds, reptilians and mammals.
At some point, the humanoid Nitari race appeared. According to some legends, they were not native to Xantro I, but emigrated from one of the many other worlds connected to the World Tree. One of the first Nitari named by Xantroan history was Jarad, who came into contact with a crystalline meteor, and as a consequence became possibly one of the first super-powered beings in universal history. He would ultimately pave the way for more of his kind, not only on Xantro I but on every planet that could support the lives of sentients.
Author's Note: The planet image was found at deviantART, made by hoevelkamp. The two pages in the intro are from Superman: Birthright #1.
The Great Cataclysm
For the first 7000 years of Nitari civilication on Xantro I, the people prospered and evolved among themselves, but were divided by culture, science, and in some places, ethnicity. Most nations of ancient Xantro I would then turn to their Warlocks for defense. The Warlocks were people who had found the crystal meteor (the 'Crystal of Light') that in a way laid the base for their society, and also learned how to transfer its power onto themselves.
Over time, it was only natural, however unfortunate, that some would be naive enough to invent weapons more powerful than that of the Warlocks, without ever having been shown any signs that the people could handle that kind of power. The result of such weapons' existence combined with culture and interest clashes would naturally lead to a global cataclysm: an event that annihilated all life on the planetary surface, some 20 000 Terran years ago. Save for the city of Alarna, shielded by a new kind of force field technology, created from a fragment of the Crystal of Light.
Author's Note: The image is from Thor: Tales of Asgard and was drawn by Olivier Coipel.
The New Beginning
Shocked into putting their differences aside, the Alarnians wrote a new constitution for their society, embracing peace and unity as their most sacred ideals. New kinds of technology coupled with new laws would lead to the existence of crime, diseases, poverty and starvation reduced to near non-existence. Terraforming the once war-torn world outside the city borders would be one of several steps into creating a near-Utopia.
Author's Note: Picture is from here.
Approximately 8 000 Earth years since the Great Cataclysm, the world of Xantro had developed into a stable society. However, not all were pleased with their supposedly 'perfect' environment.
Aware of the risk of overpopulation, the Nitari decided to go past the border of their homeworld, settling both lifeless and life-supporting planets in dozens of solar systems. Wherever they went, they imposed their own order on potential civilizations, often with minimal bloodshed whenever possible (as was their way), however, some would not accept the Empire's rule. The rogue worlds were more often than not abandoned, left to their own fate. And, a few of the settled worlds severed all ties from the Empire completely. On every settled world though, the Nitari had to adjust to the planetary conditions through genetic engineering; which gave birth to several new races.
One of the most tragic breaches in the Xantroans' pacificist policy happened when the invading forces reached the Yegeto System, and the following war against Kronos. This occurred when Xantro attempted to conquer their world, some 6500 years ago. When the negotiations went downhill, a rogue Xantroan whose name was forever banished from history, would launch attacks on the Kronian home world. This lead to Kronos to attack the Xantro I system, causing massive devastation and tragic losses on both sides. Eventually, a peace was settled between both empires, although their conflict would leave massive scars on both civilizations. The leading circle of Xantro at this time attempted to silence all references to the war, however, and thus very few are aware of this event. At any rate however, a city predominantly populated by Xantroan Nitari has grown on Kronos: Zartaia.
In modern times, the Xantroan Empire has two teams made for protecting them, the Lightbringers, who act in public and represent many of the settled worlds, and the Darkdwellers, who are the black ops of the Empire.
Author's Note: Kronos is Kimiko Cronos's creation (this aspect of their history was written with permission from both authors). Scans/pictures were found in Superman Annual #14, and at deviantART.
Worlds of the EmpireThe Empire of Xantro has settled 26 planets in total, but some were never under its rule (like Kronos) and others have been abandoned, and yet others have severed their ties from the Empire.
Named worlds include, but are not limited to:
- Xantro I (the source world of the Empire).
- Xantro II.
- New Alarna (in the Alpha Centauri system; Azataron Atarxia's home world).
- Earth (not officially conquered, although a local base exists in the form of the 12 000 year old floating city of Heliopolis).
- Iscara, world of the Ymirians (Vikings) and the Citadel (Crusaders).
- Alvarys, world of brutes.
- Evesor, world of mystics.
- Dakral, world of shapeshifters.
- Zarrok, home of a humanoid techno-organic race.
- Sicar, desert world.
- Trybos (seized by the Arzac Society).
Named XantroansNamed persons of relevance, with Nitari/Xantroan descent.
- Jason Drake of New Alarna (Azataron Atarxia; left the Empire for Earth to escape the authorities).
- Izaiah of Earth (Hadrian Atarxia/The Wanderer/Izaac Drake; born on Earth, son of Azataron).
- Sylus Raahon.
Xantroan settlers on Earth (in Heliopolis):
- Atum (Ra): First King of Heliopolis, murdered by Apophis.
- Saosis (Iusaaset): First Queen of Heliopolis, murdered by Apophis.
- Shu: Son of Atum and Saosis, lord of the air.
- Tephnut: Daughter of Atum and Saosis, lady of the rain.
- Kebros (Geb/Nun): Lord of the earth and the sea. Adoptive father of Ahramoz, Osiris and Setekh.
- Erneuth (Nut/Neith): Lady of the sky and the wilderness. Adoptive mother of Ahramoz, Osiris and Setekh.
- Ahramoz (Amun Ra/Khnum/Sobek/Horus the Elder): Second King of Heliopolis, lord of the sun. Current Emperor of Xantro.
- Itharis (Mut/Hathor/Sekhmet/Satis/Nekhbet): Second Queen of Heliopolis, lady of the sky. Current Empress of Xantro.
- Osiris (Socharis/Ptah): Lord of life. Father of Horus and possibly Anubis.
- Isis: Lady of magic. Mother of Horus.
- Setekh (Seth): Lord of the desert. Father of Zehuti, Ophois, Ash and possibly Anubis. Conquered Heliopolis in ancient times, but was defeated by his nephew, Horus.
- Nebetet (Nephthys): Lady of the darkness. Mother of Anubis and Ophois, former wife of Setekh.
- Horus (Horus the Younger): Lord of light. Defeated his uncle, Setekh.
- Bastet: Lady of fire. Daughter of Ahramoz and Itharis.
- Zehuti (Thoth): Lord of time. Son of Setekh.
- Anubis: Lord of burials. Son of Nebetet.
- Ophois (Wepwawet): Lord of death. Son of Setekh and Nebetet.
- Ash: Lord of oases. Son of Setekh and Nebetet.
- Khonshu: Lord of the moon. Adopted son of Ahramoz and Itharis.
- Mayet (Ma'at): Lady of order. Daughter of Ahramoz and Itharis.
- Serqet: Lady of scorpions. Daughter of Ahramoz and Itharis. Gave up her life when purging the Earth from a plague.
- Aton: Lord of conquest. Traitorous son of Ahramoz and Itharis. Conquered Egypt in ancient time when possessing Pharaoh Ikhnaton, was killed by Izaiah.
Lightbringers, protectors of the Empire:
- Magnos of New Alarna: Wielder of magnetism.
- Empireth of Iscara: Psionic.
- Tinia of Xantro II: Wielder of electricity.
- Triune of New Alarna: Triplet hive-mind with the ability to merge.
- Starhawk of Xantro I: Armored energy wielder.
- Eidolon of New Alarna: Intangible form.
- Mordecai of Zarrok: Technopath, unparalleled intellect.
- Amethyst Archer of New Alarna: Size shifter, weapons master.
- Giant of Xantro I: Size shifter.
- Neith of Earth: Magical powerhouse.
- Pathfinder of New Alarna: Winged tracker.
- Shamash of Xantro I: Fire wielder.
- Lightyear of Earth: Speedster.
- Vydar Khanda of Xantro I: Green Lantern.
- Morgaine X of Evesor: Illusionist.
- Abdiel of Xantro I: Martial arts and weapons master.
- Imitator of Dakral: Shapeshifter.
- Chrysos of Earth: Golden/ferrous form, limited shapeshifter.
- Nephthys of Sicar: Shadow wielder.
- Invision of Xantro I: Invisible form.
- Ixion of Xantro II: Energy absorber.
- Equinox of Earth: Gravity manipulator.
- Visionary of Evesor: Precognitive, time sensor.
- Yoseph of Iscara: Flying powerhouse.
- Conall of Xantro II: Lycanthrope.
- Keyb of Alvarys: Berserker strength.
- Yarikh of Evesor: Alchemist/transmuter.
There are few areas of science that haven't been explored and conquered by the Xantroans. Their technology has been compacted to the level when visible devices are often only for appearance, while design and art can be a higher priority than practicality. Currently, typical technological constructs will be crystal-based, with an absurd capacity for memory storage and programming. Most constructs will also have several back-up systems, should the main power source fail.
Examples of Xantroan areas of science/technology:
- Teleportation, manifesting as aquatic, rectangular portals. Failsafe mechanisms will only allow portals to open to moderately safe locations. The ideal destination should normally have been explored before teleporting there, but considering teleportation are the only remotely plausible means of traveling beyond their own solar systems, they can pinpoint locations by mapping gravitational traces from said destination. Non-physical time travel has been developed, but require certain permissions to use. Physical time travel is strictly prohibited (and needless to say, disabled; it was also not until recent time that this kind of time travel was known by the public to exist). However, regardless of the Xantroans' ability to teleport, their buildings still have doors (or gates). While some prefer teleportation to get around, some use air-crafts or bridges. It's a general rule for Xantroan architecture, that any structure is to be within reach by whatever means of travel the subject desires.
- Gravity manipulation. Just as easy as air-crafts within Xantro I's atmosphere can be adjusted to minimal gravity, artificial gravity can be generated inside constructs such as spacecrafts. On the downside however, the inside of an aircraft (during use, anyway) is inaccessible by gravity-based teleportation (due to gravitational maps giving faulty images when anti-gravity is in use).
- Hologram-based computing, as opposed to hardware-based. The data is collected in crystals.
- Transmutation of elements and molecular structures, a fail-safe keeps this from being misused. Doubt any further explanation is needed.
Author's Note: Scans used in this section were found in Superman: Last Son of Earth #1 and Superman: New Krypton Special #1.
Some common facts/stats about the Nitari.
- Body type: Humanoid (to the naked eye, virtually indistinguishable from Earth's humans).
- Skin tone: Varies, mostly the same skin tones as Earth's humans.
- Hair color: Varies, and while natural hair colors are limited to black, dark blond, brown and red, exotic colors are common.
- Eye color: Normally varies between black, green, brown, blue, and red.
- Other features: A common occurrence is that a cryptic marking around the eye tend to appear on 'Illuminated' Nitari some time after their Rite of Illumination. Normally this marking remains subtle, but may shine brightly during use of their 'Hekai' (powers) or in the presence of powerful energy sources. This marking or phenomena is called 'Wadjet' in Xantronese. Likewise, a Nitari's eyes tend to glow during use of powers.
One might note that due to advances in Xantroan science, Nitari can have one's genetic/biological make-up altered (although it requires legal permission to do so) to change one's natural skin tone, hair or eye color, or to similarly acquire tattoos. Xantroans with the power to alter biological matter might even do this for a living.
Powers & Adaptations
- Night Vision: Ability to see infrared and ultraviolet rays (mainly to compensate for the relative darkness in an orange solar system). This is mostly limited to inhabitants of Xantro I.
- Regeneration/Personas: Faced with a formerly unknown/dangerous situation, Nitari can adapt by having their genetics and biological make-up shift to make way for changes. An example of such an adaptation would be if a Nitari moved to a yellow solar system, where the light is brighter. Their eyes would adjust to appropriate levels, completing the adaptation in approximately six months (Earth time) provided they aren't injured during this time.
More drastically, if a Nitari is brutally injured, they can 'regenerate' into a new 'persona' by absorbing energies nearby and going into a death-like coma, where their Ka (life force) doesn't leave their body but yet cannot be detected by conventional outside sources. Within days or hours (depending on the situation), the energies gathered up will have reached its culmination by forcing a very sudden change in genetics and biological make-up, without damaging the brain, though some memories may be distorted or repressed. Thus, they will be entirely healed, and be somewhat more immune to both whatever injured him/her, and their current environment. A common side effect is a slight change in appearance although they are usually still recognizable both in appearance and manners. 'Illuminated' Nitari may also have their Hekai (powers) and preferred Animal Spirit form altered.
Particularly powerful Nitari can develop the ability to shift at will between various personas they've previously gone through. This is typically exhausting however.
- Telepathy: This is a standard form of communication between Nitari, its range reaching approximately 200 meters. By default a transmitted message will be heard (but possibly ignored) by anyone within earshot, although it is possible to narrow its width down to one person.
An effect of this, or possibly another psychic sense, renders Illuminateds able to instinctively sense the presence of other Illuminateds.
The following 'powers' apply only to 'Illuminateds', that is, persons (Nitari or otherwise) who have passed the Rite of Illumination.
- Animal Spirit: Illuminateds typically manifest their subconscious minds (in Xantroan culture, commonly referred to as 'Ba' or 'Tonal', and may often represent their concepts of personality or soul) into a visible, semi-corporeal shape outside the body, in the form of an animal. One's animal spirit is usually perpetually visible until one's next regeneration (see above, under 'Inherent Powers') or approximately four Terran years. Even after that, a Xantroan may manifest their animal spirit at will.
The preferred animal spirit form is usually decided by a combination of the host's characteristics/attributes (or their characteristics/attributes as perceived by others) and what the present culture tends to associate with those characteristics. Thus, one's animal spirit form will often assume the shape of the animal your culture associates with your personality. If a certain Illuminated is cold and calculating, and their culture associates those traits with snakes, that Illuminated's animal spirit may assume the form of a snake. If their culture instead associates those traits with wolves, the animal spirit may instead assume a wolf's form.
An animal spirit is typically easy to distinguish from a physical animal, by virtue of animal spirits often having a glowing aura, and not being bound by gravity.
- Hekai: Another effect of the Rite of Illumination is that the Xantroan will gain one or a number of powers, called 'Hekai'. These powers and abilities may vary, but the general rule is: if there is any non-cosmic being in the universe who can accomplish a certain effect, there is a chance that a Xantroan may end up with this ability. Common Hekai center around the psionic manipulation of elements like light, water, earth, fire, magnetism, etc.
Few Hekai directly alter the appearance of a person; Illuminateds, when not actively manifesting their Hekai or Animal Spirits, tend to be indistinguishable from those who do not share their power.
- The Regeneration mentioned above is different from the concept of Reincarnation, the latter being the process of dying permanently and being reborn into a new lifecycle altogether (with different biological relatives and all; and having to grow up from birth again). Regeneration, on the other hand, is simply a spontaneous healing of one's injuries, with the side effect of developing a new persona. An individual's different personas are still part of the same lifecycle, whereas reincarnations are not.
- Despite some differences between the Nitari and Earth's humans, they're very much genetically compatible, capable to have fertile children.
The Empire is ruled, predictably enough, by an Imperial Monarch at the top. (Occasionally, the monarch may choose one or several co-regents, each with equal power then.) Below the Monarch, there are several subsets of councils. The sum of the first council below the monarch is more powerful than the monarch, the sum of the second council more powerful than the sum of the first, etc etc.
The councils below the Imperial Monarch consist of several representatives of all guilds, and each council has an elected president (the closest approximation to its Xantroan equivalent) or spokesman.
The society of the empire is split into several different classes ("guilds"), each officially considered equal to one another, although some individuals tend to look down on people from the other guilds (even though this is a form of classism and typically frowned upon). Marriage or procreation between guilds is possible, although it is discouraged by some. While the guilds serve more as guide lines and suggestions regarding an individual's area of work than as a strict rule, it is at times viewn as an unbreachable system, even though that was not originally the intent of it.
Children can choose whatever guild they want, at age 15, and it is quite common for them to choose the same guilds as their parents (or in the case of inter-guild marriage/procreation, the parent of the same gender). Passage into adulthood happens later, around their relative age of 22, although this is considered to be of lesser importance than a successful Rite of Illumination.
Every citizen in the Empire is given a 'Sigil Ring' some time prior to 15 years of age, which fills multiple functions, such as personal seals/symbols, birth certificates, passports, identification. Every Sigil Ring also contains a fragment of the Crystal of Light, which can only be unlocked by a very specific frequency of tachyonic signals, and is typically only unlocked during the Rite of Illumination.
The Rite of Illumination is an exceptionally important event for some Xantroans. The original version of this rite was once limited to those with the privilege of being Warlocks, however, after the Great Cataclysm, anyone had the ability to apply for it. Successfully passing the Rite will often warrant a celebration, although that is completely voluntary. In the first stage of the Rite, the subject will be judged on their actions and/or in-actions in their life so far, and will be tested in a few different ways. It is possible to fail this, and that will lead to not being allowed to pass onto next level (the test can be taken at later times, though). If passed, blood will be drawn from the subject's palm of their hand, and exposed to a fragment of the Crystal of Light (traditionally the same fragment kept in their Sigil Ring). Such contact is, for most, incredibly painful, and will with no exceptions trigger a light regeneration (for those who aren't of Nitari descent, the process involves artificial means to achieve the same effects, otherwise they might die). During the process of said regeneration, the subject will for a moment be connected to the collective life in the local solar system, and be confronted by a separate manifestation of their own subconscious mind (Ba). When returned to reality, the subject will have been given great powers ('Hekai'), and their Ba will have been given a semi-solid form as an ever-changing animal spirit.
If an Illuminated violates certain laws, they can be found unworthy of the powers they've been given. In such occasions, the subject can have their Hekai supressed, although said process requires the cooperation of the subject (if no cooperation is given, they risk the Duat penalty). In either case, if they cooperate, they're given the chance to have their powers given back if judged worthy once again.
Names are given in largely the same manner as in Earth's western societies, where the last name represents a family line, and the first name is the one given to you by your parents. A difference is that marriage rarely leads to a changing of names on either side, and daughters will normally inherit their mothers' name while sons will inherit their fathers'. High-class politicians, generals, and people with other highly respected titles are rarely referred to by their surname, most often their title, given name (or a pseudonym), and a number ("General Rokzard III", or "President Lerandia X" for example). It is also common for people to adopt names on their own once they're mature enough, for any reason they wish.
There are multiple religions within the Empire. On worlds with a predominant Nitari population, there are two major polytheistic religious categories, and one major monotheistic one. One pantheon (the Azurian Spirits) resembles Earth's Olympian Gods, the other is virtually identical to (and may be the same as) Earth's Aztec/Mesoamerican Gods. Adirochanism is traditionally monetheistic, its God being Adiroch. Adirochanism also recognizes the Yshari, lesser divine beings.
Where crime in the Empire is concerned, only a minuscule bit of them are ever left unsolved. There are different kinds of punishments/counter-measures, but the most common ones are: house arrest, revocation of Hekai, recruitment into The Fortress (see "The Guilds", below), or banishment into Duat - a dark realm devoid of natural life (this is only used on the absolute worst criminals, those who can't be otherwise controlled or monitored). In rare cases of uncommon occurrences, death penalty can be invoked.
All non-Nitari individuals within the Empire's borders (i.e. the inhabitants on conquered worlds) are free to embrace Xantroan culture, including joining a guild, applying for the Rite of Illumination, use their technology, etc. Although many on the conquered worlds choose to follow the traditions of their own races, as far it is possible under the Xantroan rule. Unfortunately, while discrimination between Nitari and "other-worlders" is officially outlawed, it is a severe problem on worlds conquered by the Empire.
The GuildsThe Guilds of Xantro are split up in a few main branches, however their names cannot be translated into proper English. The closest translations would be The Temple (historians, monks, etc), The Fortress (the military, law enforcement), The Observatory (artists, philosophers, actors, etc), and The University (scientists, archaeologists, astronauts, etc). There are sub-branches of each guild, but it would take an eternity listing all of them.
Each guild have their own symbols and conventional dress codes, as well as their own manners.
- The Temple: Their dress code normally includes black, form-fitting clothes covering most of their bodies, and a mono-colored robe over it, decorated by cryptic patterns. Additionally, the women normally wear some form of metallic headgear.
They are dedicated mostly to preservation in all forms in the Empire, which includes culture, religion, but also physical things like the eco-systems and animal life. They are also responsible for agriculture (although that is mostly handled by robots, they still need surveillance), and to make sure each citizen has sufficient resources in terms of food, technology and a place to live.
The most mysterious of these people are the bishops (who might even count as a sub-branch), who dress more in more colorful robes and hoods (often in red, blue and purple) and wear glowing masks over their faces. Some classes of bishops rarely ever 'speak' openly. The presence of a bishop (or anyone who has held that title previously without having been excommunicated or dishonorably discharged) is required in any Xantroan's Rite of Illumination.
The Temple are represented by the snow leopard, and their crest is composed of the two moons of Xantro, Autan and Hemas.
- The Fortress: The people of the Fortress are viewn as the 'black ops' of society, the ones to do what no one else wants to, as war or violence is heavily frowned upon. In either case, these people are the ones leading the Empire beyond their borders, constantly seeking out new worlds to conquer. They are also the agents of law enforcement on settled worlds, responsible for apprehending suspected criminals and acting as guardians of...things that need guarding.
Ironically enough, many 'regressors' (people with violent, 'regressive' behavior) and even criminals are recruited into the Fortress; either as punishment or rehabilitation.
The branch that works mainly with law enforcement and guarding, normally dress in gray, with crystal spears and platinum helmets. In extreme contrast, the ships of the invading forces are themed on the Xantroan Warhawks. The invaders' personal armors are often themed on their own animal spirits (often in golden colors), however, the Warhawk theme is extremely common due to the kind of personalities that sufficient invasions would require.
The Fortress are represented by the blazing warhawks, and its crest consists of a helmet crossed with a spear.
- The Observatory: In Xantroan culture, observatories are more associated with art and the wonders of nature than scientific research. This guild is composed by a wide range of specialties, in particular: musicians, actors, artists, architects, designers, programmers and lots more. Their responsibilities (if you can call it that) covers mostly everything between public entertainment and architectural design. Their dress code is the most varied in Xantroan society, although headbands and bright colors are common.
The crest of the Observatory is a six-pointed snow flake, and they are represented by the indigo butterfly.
- The University: These are the ones responsible for Xantroan technology and scientific knowledge. Their clothes, while somewhat varied, are often themed in white and blue, at times black. Like the Observatory, this guild has lots of specialties, including, but not limited to: archaeology, meteorology, genetics, and astronomy. Naturally, the University is also the ones responsible for finding worlds suitable for conquest or environments that are compatible with Xantroan customs. The people of the University are often sterotyped as emotionally cold or distant, although that is hardly true. At most, they merely exercise strict self control, letting logic dictate their choices and manners more than emotion.
The crest of the University is a simple model of a solar system, with a star in the middle and planets surrounding it. They are represented by the sapphire whales in the seas of Xantro.