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Cafadi

by James Maliszewski

Homeworld: Cafad (Corridor 3135 - E666554-6), an unbearably cold world. Life on the surface is well-nigh impossible without technological aid. The ancestors of the modern Cafadi lived in vast underground cave networks. Short lifespans and conditions keep the population below 400,000.

Physiology

The Cafadi are rather isolated and backwater people. As such, with less interbreeding, describing their general physiological characteristics ia much more easily done than for other human races.

Height and weight: Shorter than most humans, with males averaging a height of only 1.6 meters tall. At 65 kg for either sex, weight is somewhat greater than expected from their size. The extra weight comes from fatty layers used as insulation against Cafad's terrible cold.

Appearance: Short stature and stocky build gives Cafadi a squat appearance. They have very light, almost albino skin tones. Hair color is likewise very light, with blond and platinum hair predominating.

Eye pupils are vertical slits rather than the normal circular shape. Eye color tends toward green or hazel.

The Cafadi head is shaped somewhat differently than other humans'. The brow is much more sloped, although cranium size has not decreased. The result is that the back of a Cafadi head juts out more. All in all, the Cafadi appear very different from their fellow humans.

Diet: Omnivorous. All life on Cafad is digestible by humans without special preparation.

There is little animal life underground, however. What little animal life exists on Cafad is small, and the natives usually do not try to catch it. They can, however, and have done so in the past.

Diet staples are plants that grow in the warmer cave networks that exist beneath the surface of Cafad. It is not known whether the life in Cafad's cave networks is naturally evolved or specially placed there by the Ancients.

Rest: Cafad's day is slightly more than 14 standard hours, but it has little practical effect on life underground. The Cafadi developed time-keeping systems independent of the local day. The Cafadi rest for ten hours, work for ten hours, and finally rest for another ten hours, until they begin the cycle anew. For Cafadi, the number three and its multiples (like 30) are very important, as will be explained later.

Reproduction: Females bear live children after a ten-month gestation period. This longer pregnancy seems related to the generally small size of the Cafadi: the child remains in the womb longer to develop enough to survive on the outside. Multiple births are rare, but are not unheard of. The Cafadi are not interfertile with any human race other than their own.

Senses: Except for eyesight, Cafadi senses are equal to other humans'. Their eyesight, however, is particularly keen in dim light. Night vision allows them to see clearly in the dark for almost 10km. Bright light, however, may temporarily blind them. Even when used to the higher light intensity, they will squint and have difficulty with many ordinary tasks.

Anatomy: Cafadi bones are thicker and broader to support the additional weight they carry, while not gaining in height. Blood types are E, K, L, and S with the dominant types being K and L. Lifespan: Short. Typical Cafadi live to between the ages of 55 and 60.


Psychology

The inability of any life to survive for long on Cafad's surface influences Cafadi psychology more than any other factor. The corollary, that only the subterranean caverns with their geothermal heat sources maintained life, also profoundly influences Cafadi world-view.

First, Cafadi are not very inventive people. Early Cafadi attempted to leave the heated caverns where they had been placed, to see what was outside. Inhospitable snow and ice made further investigation and exploration seem futile. Cafadi believe that investigating things beyond what is already known can gain little or nothing. So why bother?

Second, the directions of "up" and "above" (toward the surface) are equated with evil and destruction. Cafadi religions describe hell as an ice- cold region located above, while God resides in an eternally warm cave system far under the ground. This has led to trouble understanding certain Solomani- derived expressions concerning the nature of heaven and hell.

Also, despite contact by other worlds, the Cafadi have no desire to explore space. Space, an ice-cold realm where even oxygen must be supplied by an outside device, comes as close to the Cafadi image of hell as anything.

Those few Cafadi who have left their homeworld, even about a nice warm starship, became terrified by being surrounded by the cold vastness of space. For some reason, they refused "cold sleep" of low berthing.

Many Cafadi are agoraphobic, afraid of empty spaces. Even the cities built on Cafad's surface -- with outside help -- exhibit a cramped, almost cavernous structure. Open spaces and freedom of movement are not aspects of Cafadi architecture.

Second, the ideas of freedom and liberty so central to many Solomani philosophies mean little to the Cafadi. They believe each individual has a role to play in society, and desire and inclination have no bearing on the duty of filling that role.

Doing an action because one should do it, not because one wishes to do it, is the basis of Cafadi moral teaching. Freedom of action is held in low esteem.


Society and Culture

Society is extremely harmonious: it has to be. The nature of the underground cave systems necessitate that there be no dissent and that scarce resources not be wasted on such things as investigation and exploration.

A monarchial government arose naturally. The Cafadi king is a powerful figure; his word means life or death to the 400,000 or so Cafadi who inhabit his realm. The Cafadi moral system makes sure that a king (or queen - the Cafadi are reasonably non-sexist in attitude) will do what must be done. A static situation provides little scope for abuse of power.

Culture emphasizes the well-known and proven theories of the past. Many outsiders consider Cafadi culture to be antiquated, holding on to outdated relics of the past. Interestingly, what technological advances the Cafadi did make before the Long Night were due to Vilani, not Solomani, influence. The Cafadi appear out-of-date even when compared to the conservative Vilani.

Since the advent of the Third Imperium, the Cafadi have begun the slow climb of technological advancement. They are now at pre-Stellar levels now, because of Imperial aid and changing attitudes. Still, given their mindset and their fear of space, it seems unlikely that they shall advance to higher levels on technology anytime in the future.

The Cafadi are an artistic people. Their ancestors painted on the cave walls, and that tradition continues unbroken. Generally speaking, these paintings are sponsored by the government and depict events from the past of Cafad. Their works serve a civic purpose: they do not really understand art for art's sake.

Cafadi are distrustful of strangers for many reasons. First, strangers are always something new. In the past, one could count on every living soul being beneath the surface: there were no outsiders. Second, outsiders tend to deride and ridicule Cafadi ways. More than a few called the Cafadi "neanderthal" or "troglodytes," referring to their underground ways and cave- based culture. The Cafadi are sensitive to these attacks. Third, to the Cafadi, outsiders come from what to them seems like hell. What can be expected of gahati ("devils" or "demons")? Fourth, inability to interbreed with any other race adds to a tendency for Cafadi to regard outsiders as somehow less than fully "human."


History

-300,000 Ancients leave humans in specially-prepared underground caves with three geothermal wells. Separate tribes develop at these vents.
-15,000 Tribes begin limited contact and trade with each other. A common culture begins to take shape already.
-10,000 Tribes coalesce into loose alliance. Common language develops with culture.
-8,000 Kingship established, uniting the three tribes.
-7,800 Organized expeditions to the surface. All fail or do not return.
-6,100 Vilani discover Cafadi.
-5,950 Vilani begin process of bringing the Cafadi into the sphere. Tech level begins increasing to TL 3.
-5,400 Consolidation Wars begin. Vilani control increases as tech level rises to TL 5.
-4,000 Tech level 6 reached. Further development halted by Vilani stagnation and Cafadi conservatism.
-1,500 Cafad begins downward technology spiral.
-1,200 Cafad down to tech level 3.
-1,000 Cafad down to tech level 1.
50 Third Imperium scouts recontact Cafad.
75 Trade with Imperium. Tech level rises to 2.
150 Tech level 3.
300 Tech level 4.
500 Tech level 5.
700 Tech level 6. Further development thought useless.
725 First surface cities built, at Imperial instigation and with Imperial aid.
740 Minimal starport facilities built.


Languages

A numerically small population, the Cafadi spoke a common language early on. It has many grammatical similarities with Galangic, and relies primarily upon placement of words to determine their meaning. Speakers of both languages find the structure similar enough that learning the other language is primarily a matter of learning vocabulary and pronunciations. It is these which are most difficult, however.


Proverbs

By learning something of the folk wisdom of the Cafadi, in the form of their proverbs, one can learn much more than from any scholarly treatise on Cafadi psychology and culture.

To the Cafadi, cold represents death and destruction.

Cafadi believe strongly in duty. It is the basis of their moral system. One must obey because one is dutiful, not because one wishes to do so.

A conservative people, Cafadi believe that respect for the ways of the past, not useless innovation, is the way to go forward into the future as a stable society and culture.


Character Generation (MegaTraveller Rules)

For the most part, Cafadi humans are generated like other human characters. Any differences are described here.

Homeworld: the only possible homeworld for Cafadi characters is the world Cafad in Corridor sector. The Cafad possess no extraplanetary colonies and travel little beyond their homeworld.

Initial Character Generation: The same basic characteristics used to describe other humans are used for Cafadi. Generate characteristics normally with 2D, but add one to the Strength and Endurance characteristics and subtract one from Dexterity.

Cafadi have both a given name and a surname. The given name comes first. Some typical names are: Danahof, Capad, Gonadof and Tabad (for males) and Agap, Abbofap, Ogcaf, and Ohotaf (for females).

Cafadi society, like Imperial society, is feudal. Any Cafadi with a Social Standing of B+ is a noble in Cafadi society. Very few, if any, Cafadi would ever hold an Imperial patent of nobility, given the insular nature of Cafadi society.

Career types: Technically, a Cafadi could choose any of the usual career types. Their introverted and conservative nature, however, makes many choices unlikely, if not impossible. By normal Imperial standards, Cafadi are rather limited in career choices.

No Cafadi will serve in the Imperial military: any Cafadi who wishes a military career is limited to either the small Cafadi army or planetary law enforcement forces. Merchants restrict their activities to the surface of their homeworld.

Cafadi cannot become scientists, as any scientific advancement is slow on Cafad. Scout, Belter, and Pirate are also impossible since they are space careers.


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