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Tau Ceti Flowering: Horrors visited upon neighboring systems must never be repeated. Therefore: if it means the end of our evolution as a species, so be it.
~ Caretaker Lular H'minee on Sacrifice : Life

Manifold Caretakers is a Alien Crossfire faction.

Description[ | ]

Along with the Manifold Usurpers, the Caretaker faction belongs to a race of aliens known as The Progenitors, widely believed to be the creators of the Artifacts, Monoliths, and other structures found by early human explorers. The discovery of the Manifold Nexus hints that the Progenitors may have even created Planet, which itself appears to be part of a larger system spanning the stars. Since then, however, the Progenitors seem to have entered a period of violent civil war, costing much of the technological knowledge and engineering skills of their ancestors. The Caretakers now vie for control of the core systems with the Usurpers, dedicated to noninterference with Planet’s life forms and destiny; they believe the Manifold experiment must be allowed to run its natural course.

The Progenitors have evolved complex biological systems that can sense fields imperceptible to humans, including at least electrical and magnetic fields. The collective term for this sensitivity is resonance, and permeates all Progenitor communication, art, and culture. The sensitivity also confers valuable combat bonuses to Progenitor forces. For the Caretakers, resonance sensitivity translates into a 25% bonus in defensive combat, reflecting their heightened situational awareness and the difficulty of surprising their forces. In addition, all prototyped combat units have a 2-square sighting radius, and they can direct their research efforts since they are resdiscovering technology they once possessed.

The Caretakers fight against the Usurper plan of forcing Transcendence; Planet aids the Caretakers in their quest, which is reflected by a +1 Planet rating. They also gain free Recycling Tanks in each base, and possess a physical scan of Planet's surface. They land on Planet with knowledge of Progenitor Psych, Field Modulation, Biogenetics, Centauri Ecology, and Information Networks.

History[ | ]

Even after learning how to communicate with the Progenitors, the human colonists had difficulty gleaning information about the aliens' culture and history. They never attained more than a superficial understanding of the two alien factions which appeared in their midst a few years after Planetfall.

The Manifold Caretakers were eventually discovered to be an offshoot of one faction in the great civil war among the Progenitors. They represented the conservative strain in Progenitor society, dedicated to the preservation of the various Manifolds once built throughout this region of the galaxy. After arriving on Planet, they took up a defensive stance. As long as neither the human intruders nor the Usurper enemy could disrupt Planet's delicate equilibrium, the Caretakers could count themselves victorious.

Beliefs[ | ]

The Caretakers represent the majority faction within Progenitor civilization. They oppose any innovation or change in the aeons-old patterns of Progenitor culture. In particular, they forbid any exploitation of the scattered Manifold experiments set up by their ancestors. The Caretakers on Planet appear particularly concerned with preventing something called a "Planetary Flowering." They will stop at nothing to prevent the Flowering from taking place, believing that it would have disastrous consequences for life throughout the galaxy.

Relations With Other Factions[ | ]

The Caretakers are not particularly friendly toward any human faction. Even when they agree to a Pact of Brotherhood, it should be understood that they will break the agreement the moment it becomes necessary. The Caretakers are most likely to befriend human factions which are respectful of Planet, especially the Gaians and the Planet Cult.

The Caretakers are implacable enemies of any faction which "exploits" Planet, most notably the Free Drones, the Morganites, and the University. They will also become hostile to any human faction that makes even a superficial agreement with the Usurpers.

Strengths[ | ]

The Manifold Caretakers are in natural harmony with Planet's ecosystems. They are less likely to provoke mind-worm attacks (indeed, they were surprised to discover, after arriving on Planet, that the mind worms would attack them at all). They can make mind-worm captures at once upon arriving on Planet. The Caretakers do not participate in the "energy economy" of the human factions, and in fact do not engage in trade at all. Instead, they tap extra energy from the manifolds hemselves. As Caretaker bases grow, each facility includes further mechanisms for tapping into this additional energy supply.

The Progenitor "resonance sense" is well-developed as a defensive mil- itary art among the Caretakers. The faction's warriors are adept at anticipating any attack and bringing resources to bear against it. Caretaker military units can usually sense the approach of potential enemies at great distances, up to hundreds of miles.

The Caretakers have access to a great deal of information not available to the human colonists. For example, they have a good understanding of Planetary geography as soon as they arrive, having performed an extensive survey from orbit before landing. They are also able to direct their scientific research toward specific goals, since they are rediscovering lost technologies rather than moving blindly toward completely new theories.

Weaknesses[ | ]

The Caretakers are strictly limited in their diplomatic options. They never negotiate with their Usurper enemies, existing in a perpetual state of warfare with them. Once they discover the secrets of human psychology and linguistics, they will speak and negotiate with humans. However, they do not take part in many aspects of human diplomacy, notably the Planetary Council.

The Caretakers do not fall under the U.N. Charter, and human factions will often commit atrocities against them that they would not commit against other humans. Conversely, the Caretakers suffer few diplomatic penalties for committing atrocities against their own enemies, whether human or Usurper. Wars involving the Caretakers often become struggles for bare survival on both sides.

Lifestyle[ | ]

Human observers have trouble understanding the nuances of Progenitor society. The Caretakers appear to live in a kind of theocratic state, although the focus of their reverence is not a deity or concept of the afterlife. Instead, the Caretakers revere their ancestors and the accomplishments of ancient Progenitor civilization. In the place of priests, they have counselors who are expert in history, genealogy, philosophy, and ritual practice. Counselors have the task of helping their fellow citizens act in accordance with the wishes of their ancestors. The Caretaker leader, Lular H'minee, is apparently the most senior of these counselors, holding a position something like a cross between high priestess and prime minister.

The Caretakers have an elaborate code of ritual purity. As far as humans can discern, this code is intended to serve a constant reminder to individual Caretakers of their duties toward society and their ancestors. Every action is preceded by a small ritual observance, rather like a devout human praying briefly before a meal or bedtime. These rituals may be millions of years old, and are thoroughly imprinted on the Progenitor psyche. Indeed, the Caretakers have trouble recognizing beings who do not use them as sentient. This was a serious obstacle to communication in the first meetings between humans and Caretakers.

Strategies[ | ]

Colony names[ | ]

Land[ | ]

  • Decision : Manifold
  • Tau Ceti Memory
  • Manifold : Sixth
  • Resonance : Power
  • Resonant Node
  • Hymn : Modulation
  • Adapt to Live
  • M'dar Holding
  • Tower Preserve
  • Phantom Forces
  • Balance of Nature
  • Star Harmony
  • Energy Nexus
  • Vinculum
  • Melody of Souls
  • Greater Harmonic
  • Worlds : Within Worlds
  • Home : Hearth
  • Vision : Sound
  • Great Intertwining
  • Caretaker Reverence
  • Thought : Seed
  • Consonance
  • Overtone Song
  • Conservator's Mantle
  • Harmonic Acolyte

Sea[ | ]

  • Carapace Point
  • Wavesound
  • Bird : Cry
  • Ripplesound
  • Sea : Wind
  • Echo Bay
  • Nest : Water
  • Island Shallows