The Architects, are the enigmatic rulers of the city of Yronroost in the Vault Supernal. They are a race of begotten believed by some to have been the Shardscape's firstborn. They are an eccentric and highly-secretive race that prefer to remain within or in the immediate vicinity of the Vault Supernal. They are also the only race known to possess a natural resistance or immunity to the perpetual haze of death-aspected energy that permeates the Vault. Though they accept the term "Architect," and address themselves as such in correspondence that refers to them in such a fashion, the Architects have a different name for their race in their native tongue of Sutsumāk. In their mother tongue, an Architect individual is called a tuy (pl. tuey) while the race as a collective is known as Sātuey meaning "The People."
Architects are a tetrabrachial bipedal species with bilateral symmetry across the sagittal plane.
Genetics and Reproduction
Architect populations are generally maintained in one of two ways: spontaneous and controlled noogenesis. In the first case, Architects of any age can be spontaneously born out of the fabric of the Shardscape. Unlike other begotten, however, Architects are drawn to one another from across the Shardscsape. There is no known limit to the distance this attraction can be felt, and it is said to be stronger the more Architects are gathered in one place. Upon their arrival, these individuals are accepted and integrated into the communities to which they are drawn, leading to population growth. In the second case, the complexity of the Architect mind and the sheer strength of will it is able to mobilize can be sufficient to birth an individual in a process known as controlled noogenesis, to contrast it with the spontaneous materialization of Architects outside of this process. Such a feat requires willpower beyond the means of a singular Architect mind, however, often requiring the contributions of one or more other Architects.
Growth Rate & Stages
Though most Architects are born fully-formed at various ages due to the process of spontaneous noogenesis, a small number of Architects—no more than 10% of the population at the most generous estimate—are born through controlled noogenesis. These Architects begin their lives as a bundle of self-organizing thoughts known as a noonate—the conceptual equivalent of an embryo. Noonates are described as "thinly-incarnated", manifesting as faint spheres of light. Like embryos, not all noonates are viable. Most dissolve into their component thoughtforms shortly after conception. Unlike embryos, noonates are capable of surviving independently of their parents but still require sustenance to develop. Noonates gestate while immersed in the thoughts, dreams, and ambitions of their parents and whatever other minds are allowed to touch them during their development. As noonates grow, increasingly intricate figures and patterns emerge within them. Eventually, these reach a critical mass and the noonate emerges as an infant Architect. Architects reach maturity at the age of 8 but do not stop physically growing, on average, until the age of 15. Once they are full-fledged adults, Architects show none of the outward or physiological signs of aging common to most other species. Instead, past a certain age threshold, an Architect's memories and life experiences begin to manifest in the form of a radially symmetric pattern contained within the bounds of their cranial loop. Though faint and as simple as a circle at first, the pattern gradually increases in brightness and complexity as an Architect ages. The most senior known members of the species have patterns that radiate outward from their cranial loop, forming further intricate circles and rays of light that resemble halos.
Dietary Needs and Habits
Architects are obligate granivores that selectively feed on the seed and grains of a number of unique species endemic to their settlements. No wild populations---pure or otherwise---of the Architects' crop species have been found to date, and examinations of the few samples provided to researchers indicates that the plant species are evolutionarily isolated. While the Architects remain uncooperative as regards the origins of their crop species, a number of potential explanations have been proposed, though none have received the broad support of the scientific community. First, a number of prominent botanists believe that the crops' existence and apparent evolutionary isolation is proof that the Architects have the means and the knowledge to engineer biological organisms. Second, a different camp believes that the evolutionary isolation of the Architects' food crops points to the existence of a hitherto-unknown tree of life that likely originates in the Architects' ancestral homeland. Finally, a third group believes that it is simply too early to draw any conclusions and that future advancements in the study of inheritance and genetics—or "essential information" as coined by Meretil a'Candeni—may reveal further information.
Architects sport narrow faces with prominent eyebrow ridges, high cheekbones, slender noses, and thin lips. Their eyes are somewhat sunken, with diamond-shaped pupils and vibrant irises that are typically blue, yellow, grey, purple, or green, in increasing order of rarity. Architects exhibit an elongated cranium that resembles the desired end-result of the practice of head binding or head flattening. No evidence suggests that Architects engage in such practices and attempts to obtain a definitive answer from the species are invariably stymied. Regardless, modern scholarly consensus holds that the Architects' peculiar head shape is a natural feature of the species' physiology. Despite the Architects' elongated skulls, the race's most definitive feature is a structure known in academic circles as a cranial loop. More commonly referred to as a Halo, the cranial loop is a rigid, approximately circular structure that wraps around an Architect's head. On average, the diameter of the loop is substantially larger than the width of the owner's head. Furthermore, the loop is typically oriented along a plane inclined at a similar angle to the slope of the owner's elongated cranium.
Geographic Origin and Distribution
Though a number of small Architect enclaves exist throughout the Shardscape, they primarily settle in and around the Vault Supernal.
Architects are highly intelligent on average, capable of grasping subject matters with remarkable ease. They demonstrate an aptitude for learning and are able to obtain high degrees of mastery in relatively short periods of time when provided adequate instruction or learning materials. It is also believed that Architects are capable of a high degree of multitasking in contrast with most mortal races. Recent examination has revealed that the Architect mind appears optimized for the processing and execution of parallel and simultaneous tasks. This grants the species distinct advantages in arithmetic, engineering, code-breaking, and more esoteric fields of theoretical mathematics among others.
It is not known whether there exists an upper limit on the lifespan of an Architect
70–130 lbs. (32–59kg)
Architect physiques range from thin at worst to lean at best. They demonstrate very little in the way of muscle mass or body fat, owing in part to an exclusively granivorous diet. Though lacking in innate strength, Architects compensate for their physical shortcomings with unique body-hardening enchantments or mechanical assistance.
Body Tint, Colouring and Marking
Architects are pale in complexion, often compared to alabaster or ivory but on occasion tinted with cooler hues like blues and purples. They possess uniform pigmentation all over their bodies and have no natural markings, though it is not uncommon for certain sub-groups of the species to carry intricate patters tattooed onto their bodies. Architects are also entirely hairless, with smooth unblemished skin from head to toe.
Wow! The reproductive system is particularly interesting.
A wonderfully small world we live in; to be able to read fiction that describes to a degree a person's occupation.