Thursday, December 22, 2011
Skatha: Gapuri agriculture, society and history
The Gapuri are an omnivorous species with a diet that consists mainly of fruits, insect like creatures and sea life. Their diets staple food is the KhamaKhama fruits and Shyum, amongst others. Many of the fruit trees that the Gapuri utilize are slow to mature and bear fruit so many towns and cities are built in and around the fruit farms with enough space to accomodate the trees. Harvest time is a community effort and almost every member of a town is involved. Despite being an advanced group of creatures, the Gapuri have stayed closely tied with the trees that support them, as their livelihoods and health depend on them.
Another plant that is farmed is a group of large "gourd funguses" called Shyums. Their texture is much like that of a mushroom but with a flavor that ranges from melon like to like that of a squash. The meat of Shyums can be dried, cooked, or eaten raw and their seeds can be ground into a powder that is used to make a bread like food stuff. Shyums can grow to be four to ten feet tall, depending on the type, and are roughly egg shaped. Colors vary.
There are of course other plants that are eaten regularly, but the fruits and gourd funguses are a staple in Gapuri diets around the globe.
Sea food is an important part of the Gapuri diet as well as economy. Many cities and villages are based solely on a fishing community. It is a readily accessible food source as well, Skatha's surface is 73% water with hundreds of small islands and a handful of smaller continents (roughly Australia sized is the largest). The large number of isolated communities created a very distinct set of languages, cultures and philosophy between regions.
The large insect like animals of Skatha are also incorporated into the Gapuri diet, however they are not eaten as often. Many eatable species of insects are difficult to raise in captivity so the successfully farmed ones are expensive at best. However the insects reproduce so quickly and in such great numbers that taking individuals from the wild is common. They are rather difficult to capture as well and take a small team of hunters to bring down a healthy adult. The insects provide a good source of protein to the Gapuri that is not found in many of the fruits and other plants in their diet.
There is a wide range of different societies of Gapuri on Skatha due to the geography of the planet, but for now I will focus on the inhabitants of Suuth.
On the coast of the freshwater inland sea of Suuth, a rather rare environment for its size, the inhabitants are agriculture and fishing based. Merchants are everywhere offering goods and services. The merchants operate in a gang like system and occupy territories or even entire towns depending on how well priced or wide their selection of goods is. The merchants are almost the main form of power in the cities of Suuth, as there is no real leader or ruler. The only thing more powerful than the merchants are the Gapuri citizens themselves, as they are the ones who keep the merchants thriving. If a group of Gapuri don't like the way a band of merchants are treating members of their society, city property or environment, they will rebel and refuse to buy from them. The threat of losing business and having another group of merchants move in and claim their territory is usually enough to keep them in check. The Gapuri are stubborn, and do not easily give up if threatened, this can lead to wars and riots.
Old history of Skatha:
The time period we are observing on Skatha now, called the Kuuktar (which means "the rebuilding time") by the Gapuri and the Xenocene by Humans, is the end of a rebuilding period after a huge world war. Roughly 400-500 years prior to the present day the Gapuri were a thriving and rather highly technologically advanced race. About 200 years ahead of the current Earth year. However, a massive world war broke out. Two of the larger nations of Skatha (which had a history of butting heads) had been struggling to come to agreement over the launch of a suspicious satellite. The satellite was claimed to be a mapping device but leaked information of schematics proved it to be a weapon in disguise, this caused a war between the two nations. Bombs devastated huge areas of land and oceans, wiping out entire cities. During the uproar riots had been appearing in all the major cities, protesting the war and destruction of Gapuri's homes and lives. In this time, called the Kruhth (end), an extremist group released a genetically engineered form of a common virus to the population. The outbreak stopped the war in its tracks, but wiped out over 85% of the population. Only Gapuri with the strongest immune systems survived the epidemic.
Since then the planet has healed almost all scars of war and dismantled any remnants of the ancient cities, leaving only vine covered ruins. The Kruhth is a taboo amongst the Gapuri, and rarely spoken of. Superstition surrounds ancient history and the Gapuri have developed a fear that if they speak of the Kruhth then it will