The Muurviun are a race of deep ocean squid immense in size native to the planet Malisk II. Their name is a historical Eteno title translating to water ghost. Muurviun are sentient creatures and have existed for hundreds of thousands of years in their collective nation, almost completely unknown to any other sentient race until the Eteno successfully made contact with them from an underwater research base in 102 ATGW. They have historically not referred to themselves by any name, and when official contact was made with the Eteno, they adopted the Eteno name for them as the name of their species and collective for the convenience of other intelligent species.
Muurviun are titanic in size, with most members easily stretching over 30 meters in length. There is one confirmed case of a Muurviun over 40 meters in length, though that individual asserts that there have been other Muurviun of similar or greater length. A Muurviun's mantle makes up roughly a quarter of its total length, while its twelve tentacles and eighteen small arms comprise the other three quarters.
The Muurviun's tentacles are covered with highly adhesive suckers that enable manipulation of objects and catching prey, which ranges from fish and crustaceans to the enormous whales of the Maliskian deep that are only brought down by teams of Muurviuns working together.
An individual Muurviun can live up to 5,200 years. A Muurviun's life is is divided into four phases, though the vast majority only live to the third phase.
The first phase, known as the Youthful Stage, is when a Muurviun grows from only two or three meters long to its full length in 150 years. During this time, its brain fully develops. This is the shortest stage of a Muurviun's life, but it is also marked by the most dramatic change.
The second phase is the Contributing Stage, where at any given time the majority of living Muurviun are at. These Muurviun are at their physical peak, and are responsible for defending against any threats as well as creating a new generation. During this stage, males will compete for the attention of females through 'duels' of phiolospohical discussion. Eventually, all individuals in the Contributing Stage will be paired with another of the opposite gender. Each pair will produce three new Muurviun in 150 year intervals through the process of coitus. A female carries a developing Muurviun for two years, and can decide its gender from conception. Reproduction is not driven by instinct and is carefully planned to ensure a sustainable population growth and an equal ratio of males to females. This phase lasts 3,500 years, and is the longest of the four phases.
After the Contributing Stage, Muurviun go into the Leading Stage. These Muurviun are revered for their wisdom and experience and aid the leading Patriarch in guiding the collective in the right direction. Muurviun in the Contributing Stage will assist those in the Leading Stage to hunt for food, in exchange for sharing their wisdom in great phiolospohical discussions held every fifty years. These discussions can last up to three years each. An estimated 98% of Muurviun will die at the end of this 500 year phase.
If a Muurviun survives past the Leading Stage, it is rare for them to not live another 1,000+ years. These few Muurviun have lived to the Wisened Stage. Those in the Wisened Stage convene to elect a Patriarch, a final and supreme ruler for the Muurviun collective. A Patriarch must always be male, and is chosen for his intellect and the profoundness of his philosophy. Since the Eteno made contact with the Muurviun, the Patriarch is also the collective's representative to the rest of the galaxy. When a Patriarch dies, another one is elected.
Society and CultureEdit
Muurviun culture is an institution that has remained unchanged since its inception hundreds of thousands of years before the formation of the unified Eteno nation. Muurviun society is rigidly patriarchal and heirarchical and is based on intelligence and wisdom. Muurviun across all of Malisk II's oceanas are organized under a single hierarchy led by a Patriarch, who makes decisions for all Muurviun with the aid of other ancient members of the species. A Patriarch rules for hundreds of years until their death, at which point a new Patriarch is elected by a council of ancient Muurviun.
Societal focus for the Muurviun is placed firmly on philosophy and intellectual profoundness. When not busied with a task befitting their age and status, Muurviun engage in long periods of thoughtful deliberation on the questions of life and the fundamental nature of existence. When with other Muurviun, members of the species engage in drawn out deliberations that rarely result in more answers than questions.
With regards to other life, the Muurviun have historically taken a preserving attitude towards non-sentients and ambivalent attitudes towards sentients, most notable of which being the Eteno. During the early stages of Eteno civilization, the leading Patriarch declared that no Muurviun should ever interact with an Eteno. A splinter group soon detached itself from the mainstay of Muurviun society and dedicated itself to guiding the Eteno by acting as saviors of Eteno lost at sea, and leaving pieces of philosophical wisdom for those they rescued. Eventually, the rift between the pro and anti-intervention Muurviun was mended and no more rescues occured.
Interaction with the Eteno and Milky Way GalaxyEdit
After the formation of the unified Eteno state and an initial period of interplanetary and extrasolar colonization, deep-sea research conducted by the new government indicated the presence of many large creatures existing near the sea floor. Unmanned survey subs collected some basic information, but Muurviun who were found by the surveying craft almost always fled from them in fear of re-igniting the historical schism that had also been centered on the Eteno.
Convinced that these newly discovered creatures were the rescuers of seafarers of ancient times, the Eteno government established a research station on the seafloor near an inhabited archipelago and conducted extensive searches for Muurviun. The leading Patriarch eventually concluded that ambivalence and avoidance was no longer an option, and personally approached the research station and established contact with the scientists. After years of negotiation and acquiring of Muurviun historical record, the deep-sea race was formally thanked by the government and granted near autonomy. After the leading Patriarch of the time died in 624 ATGW, the new and notably more progressive Patriarch enlisted the aid of the Muurviun to raise funds for a custom deep-space exploration vessel based on Imperial Navy exploration vessels.
This vessel would boast state of the art sensor suites, engines, multiple reactors, automated defense systems, and a saltwater tank half a mile long, half a mile wide, and half a mile deep. In 627 ATGW a design was conceived by Imperial Shipmakers of the Core Worlds, and the ship was formally ordered later that year. After its completion, it was fully paid for and the leading Patriarch was transferred from Malisk II's oceans to its saltwater tank. Since then, the Patriarch has explored the galaxy aboard the ship maintained by donations from the entirety of the Muurviun race and crewed by paid volunteers from eight species. The Patriarch's intent is to collect firsthand information for his people, and in the process has visited countless locations across the galaxy. He has also vowed to improve the philosophical wisdom of any sentient that comes to him aboard his ship seeking knowledge. Template:Races in the EIT