Gos

The Gos are a short and stocky people, the children of Os, the earth. They generally make their home beneath the Earth. In recent times on Osnaveena, the Gos live almost exclusively in the Gos Empire.

Basic Information

Anatomy

Gos are short, sapient humanoids, generally between 4 foot 5 inches and 5 feet 8 inches. Those who spend a great deal of time underground or out of the sun have a grey-yellow skin tone. They gradually tan in the sun to a terracotta colour. Their hair tends to range from sandy blonde to white coloured. They tend to have flat noses and small, close set eyes, bushy eye brows and wide foreheads. Gos go bald earlier than most humanoid species, generally around 30, and baldness affects both men and women.

Genetics and Reproduction

Gos appearance is rather androgynous. The males do not grow beards or facial hair, and the women do not grow their hair long, wear make up or alter their appearance. Socially there is no difference between men and women. Gender is not considered as important as personality, intelligence, social qualities and other aptitudes when selecting a partner. Because of their androgynous nature, there are roughly equal numbers of FF, MF and MM couples.   The Gos Empire, where almost all Gos live, have unusual laws and courtship rituals surrounding birth and procreation.   By law, all Gos deemed healthy, and with desirable qualities, are expected to procreate at least once. Generally, most Gos have a child before 30; those who leave it until after 30 are sent a warning letter by the Office of Propergation. If no child has been produced by 35, that Gos is imprisoned and ‘fertilized’.   All Gos children are given to the state at birth. At this point, any connection between parent and child is severed. This is considered ‘payment’, along with the high taxes, for the state bringing up the parent Gos. The children are brought up, educated and live entirely with the state. There is no parental relationship beyond a sharing of DNA, and any maternal or paternal instincts are frowned upon as animalistic and base.   Wearing a broach bearing a special sign indicates that one is looking for a mate specifically for procreation. Gos rarely have sex with people they have just met (one night stand territory). Potential partners for procreation usually become friends first, although not always; some just meet, procreate, and part ways. Since during the pregnancy (which takes 8 months) the father of the baby often takes care of the mother somewhat - this is socially expected, and thus it is advisable that the parents of the child be friends. When a woman is pregnant, she may take time off work (paid for by the Gos Empire) for the last 6 months of the pregnancy, and for the first two weeks after the birth. For this reason, many women wish to get pregnant several times.   Outside of procreation, sexual relationships revolving around pleasure amongst the Gos usually stem from, and are an extended expression of, friendships. Gos usually have a large network of friends and acquaintances; they might be having sexual relations with several of those friends (of either gender) as an extension of that friendship. They do have a deep ability to love, but they also have a need for personal space which makes them unlikely to commit to a monogamous relationship or expect such a commitment from their partner. As a result, monogamous relationships are rather the exception than the norm, and all Gos live alone in their separate, state-appointed cells. There is no equivalent of marriage in the Gos culture, no legal formalising of a relationship, and thus no divorce.

Growth Rate & Stages

Baby Gos are born with pale green skin, and gradually fade to a pale white or pink colour during their first 2 months. Young Gos have large heads proportional to their body, and are completely hairless apart from their eyelashes. They are born fully formed, usually with the first of their three sets of teeth - their moss teeth - a short set of flat-topped grinding teeth. These babies usually subsist for the first few months on a rich, proteinous moss soup.   At around one year old, they loose their moss teeth, and their first set of adult teeth come through, their children's teeth, which include six sharp incisors top and bottom along the front. Their diet changes to include meat - largely insects and the skenmoles which are farmed by the Empire. One year olds also begin to grow hair on their heads and eyebrows.   By the age of three, young Gos can walk and can speak in mostly full sentences. At this time, they begin their studies, which they continue until the age of 18.   Gos grow at a fairly regularly rate until the age 14, when they have a growth spurt. Usually by 15 or 16 they are their adult height, and stop growing.   Physically, Male Gos then hit puberty at 15, whilst puberty amongst female Gos is more usually at the age of 16. At this point, Gos become sexually mature and are capable of having children, though they are not legally permitted to engage in sexual activities until they reach the age of consent at 20, the age considered "adult" in Gos culture.   Sexual characteristics develop during puberty – girls develop small breasts whilst men experience growth in their sexual organs. The extended size of the male Gos member compared to their general physique is a source of great humour amongst the other races, particularly the Sanwen and some Sàned cultures.   Baldness is common in both male and female genders around 30 years of age. Other signs of age, like wrinkles and greyness in the skin, may start to present at this age.   Male and female Gos hit menopause at around 45 years old, though this has little social impact. A Gos's expected life span is around 80 years. In the last ten or fifteen years of a Gos's life, diseases like Stone Joint, blindness, Clay Skin and deafness are commonplace.

Dietary Needs and Habits

After their first year (when they can only digest plant life) Gos are largely omnivorous. Living underground, they tend to view food as a necessity rather than a pleasure, though this is by no means ubiquitous. Their diet includes roots, moss, insects and meat, and a great deal of farming and carefully management goes into ensuring that all the citizens of the Gos Empire are fed.

Additional Information

Facial characteristics

Largely flat noses and small, close set eyes, bushy eye brows and wide foreheads. Baldness after 30 years is common in both genders.

Geographic Origin and Distribution

The Gos Empire

Perception and Sensory Capabilities

Because of their underground existence, Gos have better hearing and sense of smell than surface dwelling humanoids due to their extended relabce on these senses. They are also likely to have better vision in low light conditions, althoguh they cannot see in total darkness. If they are in bright light conditions for extended periods of time, this advantage of low light vision is quickly lost, and must be regained by spending thirty minutes in low light conditions again.

Civilization and Culture

Naming Traditions

All Gos names are gender neutral, and are thus no indicator of gender. All children are named by the Empire.   Each year has a designated Surname, which all children born in that year share. This makes it very easy to tell birth year and Gos often refer to certain Surnames as having certain personality traits or social characteristics.   Gos use more of the letter ‘u’ in their names, as well as more sounds like ‘th’, ‘ff’, ‘tch’, ch   Gutteral and labial consonants: b, p, m,   G, k, v, x,   There is no "a" vowel in the Gos language.   Gos fist names are usually one or two syllables.   Examples of Gos first names include:   Thutch, Vuxi, Kuvech, Puk and Kuffe   Surnames always end in "-un", and refer to an ideal quality desired by the empire. Examples include:   Sturkurun (strong), Diligenchun (hard working), Gurdurun (seriousness), Kurnerun (loyal)

Major Organizations

The Gos are organised into Casts.  

Cast system:

 
  • Priests
  •  
  • Warriors
  •   Soldiers, Weapons and armour specialists, combat trainers, medics/alchemists, tacticians, quarter masters. Police force.  
  • Merchants and traders
  •  
  • Academics and culture
  •   Incl. teachers, architects, bards, acadmics, physicians, high level engineers and Physicists, high level material scientists,  
  • Workmen
  •   Labour force includes: Farmers, miners, low level engineers, plumbers, millers, paper makers, factory workers, cart drivers,  
  • Craftsmen:
  • butchers, bakers, candlestick makers, tailors, weavers, type setters, blacksmiths, weapons and armour specialists  
  Culturally the most favoured and prestigious occupations include Mining, engineering, soldiering.

Major Language Groups and Dialects

Gos

Culture and Cultural Heritage

Music and epic tales are very important amongst the Gos. Songs about past heroes and the glory of the empire are particularly favoured. Complex drum music and isorhythmic, percussive motifs often underpin these motifs, and percussion groups usually comprise a minimum of three players.

 

Relationship with Animals

The Gos view animals first as a food, given to them to eat by the great earth god Os. They use working animals for ploughing crops. They keep Naosed slaves (whom they view as animals) to power big wheels underground. Generally these are wandering, adolescent males who were beaten from a dominance fight, weakened, and thus easily captured. Naosed are not used overground because they die quickly on the surface.  

Relationship with the Sea

The Gos, as a species are distrustful of the sea and ill at ease on boats, and none really take easily to it. Battle fleets were used during various invasions during the Golden Age of the Empire, but these were often powered by slaves, particularly Sàned or Sanwen oarsmen (Wenver being too physically weak for rowing) or Air and/ or water Mages. Generally, Gos do not live near the coast.  

Preferred fighting style

  Small and hardy and with excellent metal working and engineering skills, heavy weapons are prefered by the Gos army, which is largely comprised of infantry. During the Golden Age of the Empire, when their territories spread wide across Osnaveea, there were many sieges, and ingenious siege weapons were developed, such as flame throwers (for the Wenver), catapults, trebuchets and basic explosives.   In one-to-one combat – axes, broadswords, maces, crossbows, earth magic are all favoured by the Gos. Their stockyness and strength make them fierce opponents in battle.

Common Taboos

Taught to be law-abiding by the Empire from birth, the ultimate honour for all Gos is in serving the empire well. Any one doing anything to harm to Empire is viewed as the lowest kind of criminal, and all petty crimes against the Empire - such as vandalism or disturbing the peace - are viewed as treason. Berating or criticising the Empire in any way is akin to blasphemy.    
Anyone who has been imprisoned becomes an ‘untouchable’ within the meagre pay of Empire, and cannot be employed or apprenticed by anyone else – they are branded across the upper chest with the sign of the empire, to remind them who they wronged, and to whom they now ‘belong’. They are ‘untouchables’, relegated to the dirty jobs, such as garbage disposal, sewage treatments and corpse collection (not final rites, which are given by a priest).  
Mind-altering substances are also taboo amongst the Gos. Alcohol is forbidden, but there is a black market in the stuff, especially from the Sanwen nations. Tobacco is allowed but viewed as a vice by the very straight laced.

Interspecies Relations and Assumptions

Gos believe they are the only real children of Os. They think that they are powerful, hardworking, practical and wonderful. They are part of a thriving Empire which cares for them from birth to the grave. Their greatest honour is to serve the empire. Other races would be lucky to be their slaves, but it’s not polite to say so in public.
Gos think that the Sanwen are like children who haven’t grown up. They believe they are small and harmless, erratic and pleasure-driven. The Gos authorities view the Sanwen as corrupters, since there is a healthy blackmarket in alcohol, and the best alcohol comes from the Sanwen.
Gos think the Wenver are freakishly weird, arrogant, weak and dull. There is very little compatibility between them. However a healthy trade exists between the Gos Empire and various Wenver nations. They import a lot of metallic objects, both practical objects such as blades and pots and pans, as well as decorative silver jewellery and silver votive offerings. In exchange the Wenver provide cloth, books, alchemical supplies and dyes.
Origin/Ancestry
Children of Os
Lifespan
80
Average Height
4'5 - 5'8
Average Weight
40-80 kg
Average Physique
Short, stocky
Body Tint, Colouring and Marking
Green in infancy, fading to a pale white, pale green or pale yellow. Grey skin after the menopause is common.

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