Sunday, June 9, 2013

Wanderers


The Wanderers are named for their habit of roaming the Zuran Expanse. While this might not be a remarkable activity for more common sophont types, the Wanderers are figures of mystery and wonder because they are posthuman minds the size of asteroids or small moons.

No one knows much about them. It's speculated that their former homeworld is some devastated planet or habitat within the Expanse. The popular belief is that, as they watched their civilization dying in the Great Collapse, they uploaded their minds and rejected humanity.

Whatever their origins, the Wanderers are currently hypersophonts whose minds reside in vast honeycombs of computronium, covered by a protective crust of rock or diamondoid. They vary in size from 15 to 20 km in diameter. Its unclear how many exist, but there are thought to be no more than a hundred. They are occasionally encountered in a group of as many in five, but such meetings are rarely observed as they tend to take place in the outer edges of solar systems.

The Wanderers don't seem to leave the Expanse; whether this is due to their leisurely sub-light speeds or some attachment to the area is uncertain. They rarely engage in communication with other sophonts, but sometimes they send a remote (varied forms, but mostly humanoids) to trade with other beings. The things they seek are sometimes necessary supplies but other times artifacts of no apparent value.

Occasionally, thieves get the idea that Wanderers have valuables in their interior--or at the very least, they can be relieved of their computronium. If this has ever actually been tried, it doesn't seem that it has ever been successful. The Wanderers zealously guard their privacy.


[Check out the Strange Stars Index page link in the sidebar for more on the setting.]

5 comments:

Bard said...

The things they seek are sometimes necessary supplies but other times artifacts of no apparent value

I love this kind of little open-ended detail that paves the way for all sorts of mysterious adventure possibilities.

Trey said...

That's certainly the intent. :)

Francis Lee said...

Monstrous and mysterious.

JimShelley said...

Computronium is an awesome word.

Is that Strange Stars Index new? That's very handy!

Trey said...

It is new. Yeah computronium is an awesome word. It was coined by a couple of MIT guys in 1991.