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Dantum
Dantum
Homeworld:
Lorta, Sector -04,+09,-01  
Ecology:
Hydrogen-Methane (J:4:4:7)  
Biology:
SNA I  
Languages:
Dantum, Grand Federation D  
Human Contact:
3236CE  
FTL Status:
Indigenous 1,546,904BC  
Current Status:
Grand Federation Primary Race from founding  
   
Environment
Ideal
Tolerance
 
Atmosphere:
420B;12B CH4 308-616B; 8-16B CH4  
Temperature:
320K 300-350K  
Gravity:
1.40G 0-1.90G  
Other:
no UV radiation no UV radiation  

Overview

The Dantum are the oldest of the Grand Federation Primary Races.  These jovian-dwelling beings have maintain a starfaring culture for over a million years, and are known as the most conservative Primary race.

Physical Description

The Dantum are tentacled quadrilaterally symmetrical cylindrical beings adapted to life in the atmosphere of their H3 Jovian homeworld circling a dim K6V star. An adult Dantum has a main body approximately two meters long and half a meter in diameter.  This rounded cylinder body has four propulsion jets running the length of the body and two "heads" - quarter meter diameter sensory clusters- at either end.  The bullet-shaped forward or "flying" head has four large red eyes sensitive to the infrared through yellow spectrum (1200-580 nanometers) and is topped by a lens-like infrared communications organ.  The cylindrical rear or "feeding" head has four smaller eyes, sensitive auditory and olfactory receptors and a sucker-like mouth. Four meter-long grasping tentacles protrude from the base of the feeding head, and four eighty centimeter long more delicate manipulative tentacles are offset and protrude near the mouth and feeding eyes.  The Dantum body is covered in a wrinkled leathery gray hide with unique identification patterns only visible in the infrared.  A Dantum's tentacles are tan or brown and covered with millions of minute "gecko-like" adhesive cilia.  Dantum do not wear clothing, though many sport cybernetic implants and cover their bodies in infrared tattoo-like geometric patterns.  The Dantum communicate through infrared visual signals produced by the forward lens and/or by the feeding eyes.  Theses signals are often visible over tens of kilometers in clear areas of their home environment and are extremely complex, with meaning derived from pattern, tempo and frequency.

Physiological and Social Development

The Dantum evolved from cloud-carnivores, hunting smaller prey through reduced visibility areas of their homeworld's atmosphere.  Their natural reproductive cycle involved two sexes impregnating a prey animal that later died giving birth to a single Dantum young.  Dantum civilization began as hunting prides began domesticating child-bearing prey to increase Dantum infant survivability and instill greater socialization on newborn young.  Modern Dantum society consists of "meta-prides" inhabiting large floating cities that are clusters of free-standing structures and hunting pens.

Dantum have evolved a technologically dependent self-cloning reproductive cycle where an individual chemically transfers memories into a new host body every six to eight hundred years.  A Dantum personality can persist through many bodies, often for tens of thousands of years until the core personality gradual fades, falling into catatonia or suffering progressive amnesia of earlier events, often unrecognizably changing the core personality.  Dantum society tends to be extremely conservative and slow to reach a consensus.  They have no belief in an afterlife or transcendence, considering their form to be the pinnacle of development and deeming it each individual's responsibility to fulfill its goals and ambitions in the course of a long personality lifetime.

History

The Dantum are the oldest known technological race still actively engaged in interstellar affairs.  Their historical record stretches back almost 1.6 million years to an early period of urbanization and warfare on their homeworld of Lorta.  After a long period of consolidation, technological progress and continued warfare, the Dantum developed a global federal government structure during their early atomic era and began exploration of the upper and lower regions of Lorta's atmosphere.  Probes to the world's moons followed, and the Dantum first developed crewed space vessels in 1,550,418BC.  After establishing a struggling colony at their system's other H3 gas giant, Hurna, the Dantum undertook a robotic sub-light exploration program and subsequently launched their first ramscoop sub-light voyage in 1,549,230BC.  By the time Dantum scientists discovered macrojump technology, the race had established six interstellar colonies and explored many systems within fifty light-years of their home star.

After two thousand years of gradual expansion, a Dantum expedition encountered a Hitzarchi settlement and its computers became infected with the Hitzarchi Plague.  Though the Plague did not cause the collapse of the Dantum civilization, it did cause massive disruptions, and the Datum Sphere, now comprising over one hundred twenty systems across two hundred light years, essentially stopped expanding as the race became fearful of further exploration.  The Dantum entered a period of near technological stasis, developing only minor technological improvements to their computing systems, macrojump drives and vacuum distillers.  During this long period, most modern Dantum practices and beliefs became ingrained across their entire society and modern reproductive practices completely supplanted natural methods.

The Dantum occasionally made contact with other races, and records of encounters with both the Than and the Dragons still exist deeply buried in old data stores.  The Dantum remained insular and discouraged all contact or settlement within their territory, which had expanded over the course of a million years to encompass four hundred worlds across three hundred light years.  The Founders first contacted the Dantum in 91,410BC and negotiated the placement of a habitat in orbit around the Dantum world of Turshma in 89,016BC, beginning a period of growing contact and cultural exchange that eventually lead to a renaissance in the stagnant Dantum culture and a renewed interest in interstellar exploration and settlement.  By the founding of the Grand Federation of Races in 59,489BC the Dantum had established colonies on over two thousand worlds across much of Grand Federation territory and joined the Federation as the most established Primary Race in the organization.

The Dantum have remained stalwart members of the Conservative branch of the Grand Federation of Races and have pushed for stability and discipline over the course of the organization's evolution, disagreements and conflicts.  While not overtly militaristic, they have maintained a firm line against the Radicals and have worked to keep the Grand Federation united.  Dantum fleets fought in all the Consolidation Wars, in the later stages of the War of Liberation and against the Empire of Humanity in the First and Fourth Federation Wars. 

Current Status

The Dantum remain one of the most influence Primary Races in the Grand Federation of Races. Over four trillion Dantum live on twenty-six hundred worlds across Grand Federation territory.

Notes

Both as individuals and as a society, the Dantum dislike change.  They will react against any disruption of the status quo, especially if sudden.  The Dantum do however recognize that change over time is inevitable and became patrons of the Zhretra and, later, the Federation Humans in order to guide these potentially volatile races toward a more incrementalist influence on the Grand Federation.  The Dantum revere the Founders, not as near gods like the Radicals, but as a wise race that developed a usually harmonious framework where Dantum society could persist amidst diverse and volatile races.

 

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