Wayfarers

An advanced race, so far known only in association with Meistersinger Fleets.

Meistersinger ramship
Image from Chris Shaeffer">Wayfarer swimming
Image from Chris Shaeffer
A Wayfarer individual swimming in a recreation of its native habitat, inside a Meistersinger ramship

(The actual name of the Wayfarers is composed of clicks and whistles, making it unpronounceable by baseline humans)

Terragen Contact

First contact with the Wayfarers was made in 10350 AT during a contact team visit to the Meistersinger fleet around Dhexte-iv. When asked about their relationship, the Meistersingers simply explained, "They are friends, old friends." Hints regarding the Wayfarers coming and going have led to the belief that they possess their own ships, although to date none have been observed.

Physiology

The Wayfarers are an amphibious species averaging two meters in height with the main body over twice that wide from tip to tip. It is common for a Wayfarer to spend nearly 40% or more of its time in the water. They seem to prefer shallow water around one to two meters in depth. This fact has generated theories as to their having evolved in a coastal environment.

The main portion of the body is shaped something like a three-pronged starfish with a large hump in the middle. They have no internal bone structure although portions of their bodies (i.e. braincase, neck, head and eyestalks) are reinforced with thick, flexible cartilage. The entire base of the main body is covered in protective plates.

Wayfarer2
Image from Chris Shaeffer

The head, located on a long retractable neck, is little more than a facility to extend the Wayfarer's sensory abilities, as the brain is located in the hump on the main body. Located on either side of the head is an eyestalk. The eyes can move independently of one another, providing nearly 360-degree vision, but are also able to focus together for depth perception when needed. It is not unusual for one eye to fixate on items of interest while the other continues to examine the environment. Growing from the top of the head is a patch of thick hair-like strands. These growths act as the equivalent of ears able to sense both sound and motion.

Located at the front of the body are two long tentacles with four smaller finger-like tentacles at the ends. These limbs are both very agile and surprisingly quick. It is theorized they evolved to snatch prey from the waters of their homeworld.

A mouth can be found, located between the two tentacles.

The Wayfarers have also been observed to demonstrate the ability to change color and / or texture much like an octopus. These colors range from the basic reddish pink to shades of purple when happy or exited to yellow and orange when upset.

Wayfarer
Image from Chris Shaeffer

Language and Communication

The Wayfarer language consists of 32 distinct clicks, whistles and chirps. Each sound corresponds to a character in their written language. Words are spelled phonetically with no word ever having more than one definition. Their language is concise and not open to interpretation.

One Wayfarer commented that Terragen language makes little or no sense. If the point of communication is to communicate, why has it been made so complicated?

While the spoken sounds may dictate the words used, emotional content is expressed through changes in the speaker's color and texture. Interestingly, to facilitate communication between Wayfarers who cannot see one another, color words are added to a statement. For example the two statements below would sound very similar but have very different meanings:

"Purple, hurry" -- This would represent a happy or exited statement.

"Yellow, hurry" -- This would represent an angry statement.

One witness observed an individual demonstrating an almost feline purring reaction after finishing a meal, although the sound itself was more like the soft cooing of a pigeon.

Society

Little is known about their society as a whole. Initial contact has shown them to be innately curious, friendly and very intelligent. As a group they do not seem to share the same rules of personal space many Terragens are accustomed to. Early Terragens who encountered Wayfarers were a little surprised when during discussions the Wayfarer would simply reach over and touch their hair or other features. It is assumed these were acts of sheer curiosity.

One distinct cultural feature is their dedication to honesty and trustworthiness. They have been described as brutally honest by those Terragens who have met them. This fact is somewhat tempered by the apparent societal practice of "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all." Do not ask a Wayfarer for their opinion if you are not prepared to hear what they might have to say.

The Meistersingers have shared that the Wayfarers take pacts, contracts and promises very seriously and those dealing with them should as well. While such negotiations are lengthy and carefully thought out, if a Wayfarer makes a promise it will deliver or die trying. It was also explained that breaking a promise or agreed upon arrangement with them is 'not advisable'.

Wayfarers have shown a strong distaste for all-encompassing ufog/angelnet/ plasm environments. No exact reason for this has been given.

Technology

Since the only encounters to date with Wayfarers have been aboard Meistersinger ships, and because no Wayfarer ships have ever been seen, an accurate assessment of their technological abilities is difficult.

Despite this a few items of interest have been observed:

1. Moisture Gel: A nanotech product that comes in the form of small (3cm) spheres and when activated self applies, forming a thin film over the Wayfarers entire body. Moisture Gel extends the period a Wayfarer may comfortably remain away from water. Whether it holds moisture in, extracts it from the environment or both is unknown.

2. Adhesive Body Equipment (aka Sticky Panels): The Wayfarers make full use of their large horizontal surface area. Using the upper side of their bodies like a tabletop they have created a wide assortment of useful devices that utilize a form of geckotech and adhere to their skin. Observers have commented that many of these devices are manually controlled while others seem to utilize a form of DNI.

3. Translator: Shaped like a great-star dodecahedron with rounded edges measuring 30cm from point to point, and composed of a shimmering metallic substance, these devices hover within a meter or so of the user. Wayfarer translators have demonstrated an ability to imitate sound or other emissions in both visible and non-visible wavelengths. Based on their demonstrated ability to clarify and translate even transapient concepts, it is theorized they posses a slaved hyperturing intelligence.

 
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Development Notes
Text by Chris Shaeffer

Initially published on 12 June 2006.