Claver

The Clavers (shortened from Enclavers, after their mode of social organization) are a sapient species known for the technological heights reached by their long-ago-collapsed civilizations.

Biology

Clavers are radially symmetric, with six limbs spaced evenly around an egg-shaped main body. Each limb features "shoulder", "knee", and "wrist" joints and terminates in six long, thin fingers. Between each pair of limbs and raised slightly above them are rounded eyes with ridges to shield against dust and falling objects. Breathing is accomplished through six intakes at the crown of the body, and eating through a squid-like mouth on the underside. Their skin tends to be grey and leathery. An average Claver is about six feet across and four feet tall.
  They reproduce asexually by binary fission. When doing so, an individual will gorge itself on food before becoming lethargic and entering an aestivation state, whereupon the internal organs will duplicate themselves and split off to top and bottom as two bodies and pairs of limbs separate out from one. Juvenile Clavers are smaller than adults and take about ten years to mature, and retain large swaths of their parent's memories.

Psychology

For Clavers, reproduction is a mix of death and immortality since the original individual ceases to exist while its memories and ways of thinking live on in the two "children" which take its place. Most mundane skills and even portions of complex knowledge are maintained across generations and forgotten portions are easy to re-learn, hence long lineages of individuals tend to practice the same profession with only gradual change. In the past, many Claver nations prided themselves on descent from a famous person or mythological hero.
  Being radially symmetric sapients, they have no preferred direction of motion and will simply start walking whatever way they need without turning. To manipulate objects, they may rotate around to bring a dominant limb closer.

Civilization

History

The precise location of the Clavers' homeworld is unknown, while xenologists theorize it must be near the center of their civilization's volume and several candidate planets have been identified, evidence remains insufficient for a conclusive answer. It is estimated they first rose to technological civilization on the order of 100,000 years ago, likely going through the same growing pains of technological expansion and near-or-actual catastrophes experienced by most other sapient species before advancing into space colonization and interstellar travel. Similar to humans, they likely invented some form of effective-superluminal travel through wormholes.
  Xenohistorians and Claverologists sort distinguish three main phases of empire among Claver civilization, separated by periods of collapse, interregnum, and rebuilding:
  • First Empire: The first unified Claver interstellar society, it succeeded an earlier period of feuding nations much as happened with Starweb space and the Stellar Compact. At some point their scientists discovered the means of creating starbridges from the secrets of the even more ancient Space-Weavers. During this time, Claver-inhabited space reached its greatest extent, and many defining technologies such as matter furnaces and technorganic spacecraft-creatures were invented. Its end was heralded by the outbreak of a massive civil war.
  • Second Empire: Coming after a long night during which many worlds fell into technological regression and many space habitats ceased to exist, the second Claver civilization took a much more totalitarian bent in the name of stamping out all existential risk. Mind uploading emerged during this time, which ushered in collapse when populations of uploaded Clavers focused so much on economic competition they edited out everything viewed as unnecessary, even self-awareness.
  • Third Empire: The last and most recent phase, terminating approximately ten thousand years ago, this one was not as far-reaching or technologically sophisticated as before, largely adopting and replicating old designs without comprehending the underlying principles. It was gradually ground down by internecine warfare into its present state, infrequent insular groups possessing the occasional piece of wonder-tech, pathologically afraid of outsiders.
  Claver space in the present is an eerie place littered with the abandoned relics of a vanished civilization—empty habitats, derelict megastructures, and Ruin Worlds. Explorers and adventurers alike comb through it in search of paleotechnological wonders, but must always be wary of advanced security systems, unknown devices which could easily turn lethal if manipulated in the wrong way, and of course the cosmosynths roaming the starbridge network which holds Claver space together. Entire fortunes have been made from single lucky finds, and it is conceivable the contents of some ancient database could unleash a scientific and technological revolution to reshape Starweb space, keeping investigations going strong and ensuring Stellar Compact civilization will always remain keenly interested in the ruins on its doorstep.
  Xenologists see in the Clavers a cautionary tale: for all their technological prowess, they were not able to break their cycles of continuous collapse and rebuilding because they could never resolve the conflict (and destructive results) of their inherited evolutionary behaviors given access to high technology.
Homeworld
Unknown
Average Height
~6'
Average Length
~4' (leg span when standing)
Related Myths
Related Materials


Cover image: by Vertixico

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