|Homeworld||Marhaban (Empty Quarter 0426)|
|Reference||"Contact! Newts." Journal of the Travellers' Aid Society 11 12-16.|
The Bwaps or Bawapakerwa-a-a-awapawab are an intelligent Minor Non-Human Race native to Marhaban (Empty Quarter 0426). Known as Bwaps or Wabs (from their name for themselves, Bawapakerwa-a-a-awapawab), they are also known as Newts due to their appearance.
- 1 Physical sophontology
- 2 Archaeological sophontology
- 3 Cultural sophontology
- 4 Linguistic sophontology
- 5 Societal sophontology
- 6 Astrography
- 7 References and contributors
Bwaps average 1.4 meter in height and mass between 30 and 50 kilograms. They are an upright, bipedal, homoeothermic and bisexual, with an internal skeleton and a closed circulatory system. This species has a conventional carbon-water based biochemistry. This species used a conventional respiration cycle consisting of Oxygen-nitrogen inhalant and Carbon dioxide exhalant.
Appearance: Body markings vary tremendously from clan (“tree”) to clan, each one having a distinctive pattern. The pattern is determined by genetic factors and the color is determined by careful manipulation of the mother’s diet during the formation of the egg. Greens, browns, yellows and blues are most common, usually in patterns of darker colors over a lighter basic color.
Internal Fluids: Bwap bodies are filled with plasma and blood. Bwap blood hemoglobin is copper-based, a deep blue in color, making their skin a faint greenish-blue in areas without pigmentation.
- Bilateral symmetry (2-ial)
- Tetrapod (4-ped)
- 2 limbs used for manipulation "arms"
- 2 limbs used for locomotion "legs"
- 1 tail
- Body consists of three segments
Climate and environment preferences
This species holds the following environmental preferences:
- Terrestrial planet
- Temperate climate
- Swamp and littoral ecotopes
- Standard gravity
- Standard atmosphere (humid)
Bwaps are uncomfortable in less than 98% humidity, as their skin must be kept moist. With special clothing, they can exist indefinitely in humidity as low as 25%, provided they have adequate water. This normally consists of a loosely fitting kaftan-like garment and a hood covering the head (giving rise to another nickname, “towel-heads”). The cloth of these garments is permeated with a network of fine tubes, through which water flows and keeps the cloth moist. In occupations where they must handle paper or other items which would suffer from moisture, Bwaps wear thin water-proof gloves. In humidity of less than 25%, they must use sealed environment suits. All clothing is colored with a stylized representation of their body, since recognition of body pattern is an important part of their greeting ritual.
Diet and trophics
This species survives using the following methods of consumption:
- This species favors protein-heavy foodstuffs.
Life Cycle and reproduction
This species has the following reproductive characteristics:
- Two genders (male & female)
- Mild sexual dimorphism
- (sexual reproduction)
- Conjugal intercourse
- Varied mating systems (primarily serial polygamy) (1m:2f average)
- Oviparous birth
- (Iteroparous): Uses K-selection and have few offspring that require considerable amounts of time to raise to maturity.
Bwaps are oviparous (egg-laying), each female incubating a single, non-amniotic egg in a special pouch on her lower abdomen. After hatching, the young remain in this pouch for several weeks, occasionally coming out to be fed, until they are strong enough to survive outside. The young reach maturity after fourteen years.
Bwaps use the following IISS code:
- Social Standing
Bwaps can be found throughout the Imperium, more commonly in the region trailing and coreward of Capital (Core 2118). Fewer than twelve Imperial worlds are fully controlled by Bwaps; most of these are classed as religious dictatorships. Bwap merchants and administrators can be found throughout known space, but are less common outside the Imperium.
This species has had a long history and is widely known for its keen organizational skills and natural aptitude for bureaucracy.
This species developed intelligence in response to climactic change and interspecies competition.
Prior to obtaining civilization, proto-Bwaps lived in densely wooded, mangrove-like swamps. They burrowed under and among the root systems of large trees, forming dens for the communal protection of their young. Their culture and ritual interactions began at this time. A shift in weather patterns caused the marshy areas to shrink, forcing them into increased competition with other animals in the region. The discovery of tools and then agriculture permitted the Bwaps to gain a tremendous advantage over their competition, and put them on the road to civilization.
Major historical events timeline
First Imperium Contact: Imperial Date: -5000: The Vilani contact the Bwap on Pekawapawab-a Marhaban (Empty Quarter 0426). The native Bwaps have a world-spanning society at TL–5, but this rapidly progresses to TL–9 within a single century.
After being discovered by the Vilani, the Bwaps quickly reached TL–7 and stabilized. The introduction of advanced technologies such as jump drive had no major effect on their culture, and the Bwaps have prospered greatly in the intervening centuries.
From the human point of view, Bwaps are obsessed with minutiae, patterns, and the order of things. Driven by this internal desire to see everything in its proper place, they make excellent bureaucrats, officials, mathematicians, bookkeepers, scientists, and historians.
However, their obsession with ritual and proper conduct can make them difficult to deal with. Those who violate the rituals will be lectured to, at length, on propriety. Dealing with Bwaps takes time, but trying to speed things up only takes more time.
Morality and ethics
Criminal behavior is extremely rare, and is considered the worst form of mental disorder among Bwaps, since it disrupts the proper order of things.
Their world-view means that their definition of crime is often at variance with Imperial norms, but, fortunately, most Bwaps courts consider exile to be sufficient punishment, especially in the case of aliens such as humans.
Society is dominated by the Bwap world-view, which holds that each individual has a place in the Wapawab (lit. "tree") - a view stemming from their habitat, but including phratry, bloodlines, country, and place of duty.
The literal tree is intricately tied into the planetary ecology, providing shelter and oxygen, converting water and minerals into food, etc. The figurative tree is much harder to define, but is roughly equivalent to a clan or tribal group. Both sorts of trees are part of a planet, which is part of a solar system, which is part of a cluster, which is part of a galaxy, which is part of the cosmos.
Everything the Bwaps do reflects this complex, wheels-within-wheels outlook. Each individual takes great pride in being one small, functional and unique cog in a vast, ever-changing universe of interlinked patterns. Their ritual of greeting, for instance, seems like meaningless formality and windy chitchat to non-Bwaps, but communicates: “I am in this place, and doing my part. Where are you and what are you doing?”
Very little is known about the Bwap language ,which some ha known as Wawa-pakekeke-wawa. Bwap merchant are known for their facility with the languages of other sophonts. Many Bwap merchants are renowned for their ability to speak a wide variety of languages flawlessly, without accent.
Bwaps encountered away from their homeworlds are often in service to the Imperium or other interstellar entities as merchants and administrators. Such Bwaps serve as ideal Merchant and Professional characters.
- See Atapas-atta-wapawab, or the Grand Council of Crèches, for more information.
- Talaa: Extended family line, aspect of Bwap kinship system.
Government and politics
The Atapas-atta-wapawab is characterized as having a high degree of centralization, which sets uniform policies that direct the entire multi-system state and disregards local (planetary) differences. The Atapas-atta-wapawab government is usually classified as a Federal Republic, a form of a Unitary State, with theocratic tendencies.
The Bwap government is an enormous bureaucracy, but it seems to work for the Bwap despite a massive body of law and regulation. Bwap seem to have a natural talent for navigating their Byzantine maze of laws and regulations, which confound foreign sophont species.
- Please see polity entry at Grand Council of Crèches for more information.
Military and intelligence
All Bwap worlds maintain a local constabulary and many are garrisoned with Imperial military units.
Martial Tradition: The Bwap need for high humidity make Bwap soldiery less flexible than those of other species although that doesn't stop the martial spirit of many Bwaps.
Many Bwaps serve in the Imperial military, although mostly in support roles rather than as combatants, and even Bwap mercenary units are known. However, as previously mentioned, Bwaps most excel when put in charge of materials or organization; they most excel as administrators, logisticians, quartermasters, and in supply roles.
Business and trade
The Bwaps did not discover fire until late, due to their environment, which hindered development of metalworking and similar pursuits. When discovered by the Vilani, the Bwaps had reached TL–7 and stabilized. The introduction of advanced technologies such as jump drive had no major effect on their culture, and the Bwaps have prospered greatly in the intervening centuries. Most Bwap worlds are TL–7 to TL–11 averaging TL–9 to TL–10. Bwap merchants and administrators can be found throughout known space, but are less common outside the Imperium. Average Bwap technology ranges from TL–10 to TL–14 and Bwap merchants are known to always be searching for new technology acquisitions.
This race (sophont species) is primarily located in the following areas:
- Antares Sector
- Dagudashaag Sector
- Empty Quarter Sector
- Zarushagar Sector
World Listing: 1105
Significant communities of this race (sophont species) are known to reside within the following systems and worlds:
References and contributors
- Loren Wiseman. "Contact! Newts." Journal of the Travellers' Aid Society 11 (1982): 12-16.
- Timothy B. Brown. Aliens Archive (Imperium Games, 1996), 69-78.
- Steve Jackson, Loren Wiseman. Alien Races 4 (Steve Jackson Games, 2001), 22-37.
- Citation Missing - Stellar Reaches 1
- Jae Campbell. Encyclopaedia Dagudashaag (Signal-GK, 2017), 57.
- External Link: Downport CARI
- Author & Contributor: Lord (Marquis) and Master of Sophontology Maksim-Smelchak of the Ministry of Science