Culture Packet - Homunculi

May 17, 2018

In the Aurum universe, Homunculi are a Goblin-made alchemical creation made from Goblins, Humans, Nisse, and Dur. This post gives more detail about them as sentient creatures.

Plot Lore

Note: Please remember that all of the information provided herein is an overarching synopsis of the species- a stereotype, if you will. That means that in most cases, you are free to tweak your character away from the generalities listed here.  If your character concept does not quite match up with a bullet point below, that's fine!  If you're still concerned it might not be acceptable, please contact a staff member. Thank you!

Introduction

                        Homunculi are a subset of Goblinites that are alchemically created by Goblins.  They are characterized by their marbled flesh, a mix of goblin green and the flesh tones of their other sentient species, and some characteristics (such as ears, marking/tattoos, etc) of other species that were used in the creation of that particular Homunculos. The instructions, schematics, and recipes involved in this procedure are heavily guarded and believed to be unknown by any but the most proficient Goblin alchemists.  Approximately 90% of Homunculi are kept and sold or traded within Goblin territory as slaves for menial work.  The remaining 10% of Homunculi are considered defects in the creation process, possessing the unfortunate side effect of...Sentience.  These Homunculi are sold to the other intelligent inhabitants of Calydon and Lerna. Depending on their personalities and abilities, prices for Homunculi can range from 1,000 Kroner and above.  This packet is specifically written from the context of Sentient Homunculi only.  The views, opinions, and thoughts of non-sentient Homunculi would need to be explored in-game.

1.     History

Homunculi do not have much of a history, as they were first invented 50 years ago.  They are bought and sold throughout Sha’uru, and currently none have shown any signs of aging.

 

2.     Organization and Economy

●        What type of society does this species belong to (Democracy, Monarchy/Matriarchy, Tribal/Clan, Nuclear Families, Solitary)? Homunculi do not have a society of their own.  There are so few sentient Homunculi, spread all across Calydon and Lerna, that they integrate into the societies of the other intelligent species of which they are owned.

●        What kind of basic economy does this species have (hunter/gatherer, barter system, coined system, no economic system) and do they engage in trade (free trade within the species with restricted trade with outsiders, free trade with outsiders, no trade)? Most Homunculi are not allowed to utilize or interact in a barter or trade sense.  However, those that are paid by their owners or trusted enough to act on their behalf typically utilize the Kroner system.

●        What does this species value materialistically? It is common amongst Homunculi who purchase for themselves to value function over form.  Sturdy clothing and storage (pouches, bags), solidly built footwear, lasting equipment.

●        What type of territories does this species inhabit, are they stationary or migratory? Homunculi inhabit all territories, though sentient Homunculi have a higher concentration in Human and Durren lands. Homunculi themselves are at the whims of their owner, so they may be migratory or stationary.

●        How does this species generally view the organizations and economies of those outside of their own? Homunculi are fascinated and intrigued by many of these things; many long to become a part of these organizations though some long to have organizations dedicated to their kind. Homunculi tend to involve themselves in the religious organizations of their owners, but it is not often that they are chided or dissuaded from pursuing other belief systems if that melds better.

3.     Culture and Traditions

●        What is the basic hierarchy of this given species both politically and socially (single leader, ruled by a council, eldest rules, etc and at the top of the social ladder are the rich, women, strongest, smartest/most powerful mage, etc.)? Most families can only afford one or two Homunculi, but in wealthier households where a large number may live together, there is often very little in the way of hierarchy.  Some owners may have a Homunculi or two that they prefer over others; whether for their skills, agreeability or personality, but this very rarely translates into the Homunculi priding themselves over the rest of their kin. Despite there being no way to tell if two Homunculi are actually biologically related, they often refer to each other as kin or siblings.

●        What are the types of roles that can be found for individuals belonging to the species?  Who does the hard labor, the hunting etc?  Who raises the children?  Who passes on the history and lore of these species? Homunculi cannot sexually procreate, they do not have a way of doing so (and will never be able to). They also do not have assigned genders, though if one determines they feel a certain way they may dress or act as such. Due to the general progressiveness of Sha'uru in that area, this is not something that is mocked or called into question, even by the most heinous of owners.

●        What are some of the traditions and rituals of the species?  (coming of age tests, dowries, holidays, etc.)

    Homunculi do not celebrate/are not included in the celebration of most holidays, however those residing with a large number of Homunculi do celebrate their Creation Day.  This is the day the Goblin alchemical creation process completed and their existence and sentience became fully formed.  Most owners and creators do not remember or recognize this day, but for the Homunculi it is a day of kind words, congratulations, and (where permitted) hugs.  In some cases, even small gifts or treats are given.

●        What does the species value morally and spiritually? Homunculi values tend to align with those of the family they belong to, though the more rebellious Homunculi value even the smallest degree of freedom.

●        What are some of the taboos of this species?

   Outright disobeying directions from an owner is usually frowned upon amongst Homunculi (except in cases where the order given is illegal), but finding loopholes or adhering to the letter and not the spirit is certainly not.

 

4.     Folklore

    There is very little in the way of Homunculi folklore because they have only existed for about 50 years.  However, there is a story of a particularly rambunctious Homunculi who was taken on one of the first ships to Antioch for exploration.  This Homunculi was noted for being very vocal at asserting her own personhood.  It is rumored the Homunculus was brought into the Jungles of Antioch by her cruel owner and has never been seen or heard from again.  This tale has inspired awe and wariness among Homunculi.  Those that assert that their place is with their masters use it as a cautionary tale.  Those more willful and rebellious Homunculi note that the story never says she’s dead, and take it as an inspiration.

5.     Miscellaneous

●        What is the relationship between Homunculi and the other intelligent species?

    Dur - Homunculi are very commonly employed in Aurum and other ore mines owned by the Vrachos and Vuono Dur.  Ore mines are typically very dangerous and unhealthy atmospheres for the other sentient species.  Homunculi so far seem unaffected by the atmosphere, though there have been casualties from accidents, etc.  Employment in Aurum mines is typically the most grueling position a Homunculi is placed in; they are given high mining quotas and are often shaken down excessively after each day to make sure they are not stealing any Aurum and that none of the Aurum dust has gotten into the folds of their clothing and shoes. Opposing this, Ouranos Dur, very rarely purchase Homunculi except on private aetherships and are the most known for paying their Homunculi (though much less than others), as they are 'still part of the crew.'

    Nisse - A large, though not nearly the largest, purchaser of Homunculi are the Nisse. The ships of Vand Nisse and its military often need Homunculi as powder monkeys, chefs, and physicians.  The Afsla Nisse government purchases many Homunculi to clean and cook for the Colegia Hemertica and Curiositas Arcanum Circle. Slagte Nisse are the only Nisse not particularly interested in the ownership of Homunculi, as they are believed to taint the Hunt experience, and they have no need for slaves in their towns and communities.

    Other Goblinites - Homunculi are fascinated by the Halflings larger than life demeanor and their accepting nature.  The two work well together and Halflings are very likely to treat Homunculi as friends. Kobolds sneer at the existence of Homunculi, often barely deigning to acknowledge them. Gnomes know the feeling of being outcaste all too well and, despite their typically genial demeanor; find it outrageous that Homunculi are still enslaved after so long.  Gnomes are among the kindest to Homunculi.

    Goblins - Goblins are always the first beings Homunculi come into contact with and most sentient Homunculi come away from their experience with a powerful dislike, but an inability to really elaborate on why...

    Humans - The largest acquirer of Homunculi are the Imperial Humans. Treatment runs the spectrum of kindliness, and so Homunculi's feelings toward Imperials can vary from one to the other. Wayfaring Seekers typically don't seek to own a Homunculi, only obtaining them as a gift, inheritance of some kind, or in trade.  Seekers often treat Homunculi more like family than like property, and this information has spread quickly amongst Homunculi, earning them a lot of kindness and respect. The Tribes of Barlethan do not purchase Homunculi ever, but treat Homunculi as they would any other sentient being.  They are creatures of Sha'uru, after all.

 

●        What is known to a Homunculi in particular to start out In Game, but is not known by other species?

    Not all sentient Homunculi are hell-bent on obtaining freedom for themselves or all. Some, especially those with particularly kindly owners or agreeable positions, may be happy to follow their owners instructions to the letter and feel this is the appropriate station for Homunculi

    There are rumors of an underground resistance building for the freedom of Homunculi. While it is mostly Goblinites of all kinds (especially Gnomes), there are whispers of other species, some even very powerful and influential, quietly putting their weight behind the cause.

    Homunculi have no recollection of the creation process or much after they first initially wake up.  They do not have memories from past lives or muscle memory from the individuals they were crafted from.

 

LATEST POSTS

VIEW MORE...
© Aurum 2018       Design and development by Kamil Kantyka