This scroll was inspired by the Worlds and Planets codex. As I was writing up various colony worlds, I started writing up various "variations" on humanity that would live on these colonies. Most of variations would be Humans with small genetic tinkerings to make them more appropriate to their colonies. Some of these would be physical adaption to the world; others tailored to meet the social adaptions of the colony. I borrowed the Sci-Fi trope/ term "Earthstock" to describe then, showing that they came from "Genetic stock from Earth", with all of the range of variations.
So far this is not a comprehensive list of variations. We can add to the list as we create new colony worlds or come up with the variations. (And there might be a number of similar variations) Each Earthstock should be linked back to a Planet/ World/ Location submission or a scroll submission in Worlds and Planets.Table of Contents
Alphans - Perfect Human
Aposians - Cloned Neutered Humans
Aquamorph - Aquatic Humans
Barsoomians - Humans of Mars
Ceresians - Low G Monkey Humans
Divers - Aquaform Humans
Ferrins - Amazon Humans
Janosians - Hermaphroditic Humans
Norrens - High G Humans
Otter Folk - Famous Aquaform Humans
Pallans - Near Perfect Humans
Pantherans - Cat Folks, if Humans were not strange enough already
Quendi - Elven Humans
Yarlander - Gender Dymorphic Humans
Star Children - Low G Humans
Additional Ideas (13)
Norens are one of several variations on Earthstock adapted to heavy gravity (1.5 to 3g). They are 5 feet tall +/-3" (150cm +/-10), very broad in the shoulder, and of sturdy mass (170-220 lbs (72-100Kgs)). Their bone density is great than any other variation on Earthstock (so they seldom break bones). For strong looking and well muscled beings they are deceptively fast in lower gravities (between less resistance and their reflexes are develope to catch things dropping off tables and such at 3xs the speed of normal).
The secret of the Noren's success is that they use their muscles as secondary cardiac pumps. As they move, the motion helps push the blood along. In fact, they will some times have microtwitches to help push blood up out of their legs while standing still. This allows them to avoid the cardiac problems common with most heavy worlders.
Mentally they follow Earthstock norms, except for a noted tendency to be grumpy, especially if awoken. They are slow to start as it takes a while for their blood to get flowing. This steroetype is so comical, and made more so by a number of videos, because it is so very true.
Costmetically, Norens are fairly plain by Earth Standards. While they have the full variations of coloration, their features tend to be quite blockish and squat. Females are all "big boned" but recognizable as Human females.
Because of the Ursine Zenogenes that was used to grant Norens their circulation and strength, Norens tend to have a great deal of fast growing body hair. They do not have fur by any stretch of the imagination, just more body hair than common in Earthstock. They also have nominally elongated canines and very sharp senses of taste and smell.
They also have large hands and feet as well. The size of their hands and feet are not an ursoid gene trait. They are adaption to higher gravities, to disperse pressure more broadly when they stand and carry things.
Note: In lower G they are super strong, but they do not have their normal endurance. It has to do with the lower atmosphere pressure (thus lower Oxygen density) of the air they are in. Think mountain top for a normal human and you will get the idea.
They will also be quite clumsy in lower gravities until they learn how to adjust. With a little time and effort, they can take to microgravity like a duck to water. They like the artificial microgravities environments because they can adjust atmos suits to their O2 pressure; in a space habitat, they can adjust the gravity rings in their quarters to a full 3 Gs.
Their Homeworld: Norren
This Earthstock variation was not actually developed by the Genetic Council, it "evolved" over time and adaption.
Space crews started with recieving gene therapy to help them combat the decalcification of their bones and the softening of their cardiac systems. Spacer crews grew taller because of the lack of vertical gravity.
Various other "edges" were tried by various spacer groups, for enhanced senses, increased dexterity, super strength (so they could function in full gravities), and electromagnetic homing senses. Some tried the exotic, like sticky or suction tipped fingers/ palms, prehensile tails, and retrogas jets (do not ask, let us just say they stressed atmos scrubbers too much to be used).
Some of these gene treatments were passed on to their offspring, while others were requested to be genemodded with them.
So there is no "Lights" or Starchild race proper, just the most common variations that have been passed down through family and union lines.
So, on average...
A Light will be from 72 to 75 inches (180-190cm) and a thin 110 lbs. While tall, they are not overly tall as that would make things tougher in the cramped quarters of most space ships and habitats. Also a more "standard" size means fewer sizes of envirosuits are requires in a given ship's equipment locker.
Their eyes tend to be overly large to see better in low light situations and starlight in the black. Their ears, which are sometimes pointed, are also larger to enhanced directional hearing. They have an inertial sense of motion that has been copied from aquatic species. Their features tend to be angular and their hair fine. Their hair is actually kept either in a tight braid or kept very short for both genders, depending on the crew/ union. Their skin tones tend to be fair as they seldom, if ever, spend time in open space.
Their "bones" are "near catilage". This softer "bone" does not lose calcium over time. Under gravity, the increase of pressure of the body fluids will make them more rigid and stronger, able to put up with a full gravity or more of stress.
Their muscles are enhanced for incredible strength given their lower g environments. However this edge is eliminated as one g is considered high gravity for them. They also tend to also have secondary compressions in their muscles, thus as they move they help their heart move blood through the body. Increased exertion causes them to move more blood, so their circulatory system supports their actions in full gravity. This also allows them to function in lower O2 environments than most beings. (This combined with their large lungs allow them to hold their breath for nearly 4 standard minutes).
For all their advantages, they tend towards digestive issues. The Stomach and bowel has yet to be well adapted to micro G environments. While they like tastey foods, the also like simple protiens and sugars for easy digestion, and they do not do well with fiber. This makes Spacer native food very bland in terms of texture and consistancy.
Yalanders were genegineered to meet the "traditional mindset and society" of their colony. While they are cosmetically quite varied, they are all the same. Yalanders have a notable sexual dimorphism, the males are notably larger than the females.
The Male Yalanders are tall (6'to 6'6"/ 180-195cms), large in build, with well defined muscles, and with a confident air that borders on arrogance. They tend to be overprotective of those smaller than them (which can include many travellers).
Females tend to be smaller than EarthNorm, (5' to 5'4" 150-162cms). They are quite dexterous in terms of agility and manual dexterity. In fact many are double or triple jointed (a quirk in their genetics). The Yalander females tend to be socially quiet until they get to know all the people involved. They then become the social glue for their groups. Yarlanders female secondary characteristics are ... quite enhanced. Quite abundent is the way one wit put it early on. They have a strong proportional shape, very curvy. They have broad hips as well and are very fertile. They might not like children before, but once pregnant, genetic programming takes over and they love theirs and all children.
Yarlanders are genetically predisposed to their gender roles and relations. They seem to be set in -400 pre star era, (1800s), when men were men, women were women, and everyone knew their place. While all these traits are within EarthStock Social Norms, they are only comfortable with their short range. They will get nervous or seemingly unable to adapt when confronted with people and being that do not follow "the rules".
Janosians are long time colonials that are now considered their own subspecies of Earthstock. They are medium build and usually 5'7" +/-2 (170cm +/-5) Cosmetically, Janosians have a mix of old world ethnic traits. Their eyes are almond shaped. Their skin is moderate to tan. Hair which is normally worn to a medium length, is normally bronze/ red, but can be black to blonde.
Janosians are hermaphrodites. They were derived from Earthstock and have their traits. They have primary and secondary characteristics of both Earthstock genders, though the secondary traits are only emphasized by gender hormones during their aspects of the gender cycle.
They are reproductively only one gender at a time over a four year hormonal cycle. (one year male, one year neuter, one year female, one year neuter). A Janosian will take on "The Look" of the gender aspect they hormonally are. In neuter states, they will dress in the gender aspects they are most comfortable with. They do like to "mix and match" gender elements, just to keep it lively. Culturally they are very attached to clothing and other ways to express their indviduality and gender aspect.
Most species, and humans, assume they are just odd Earthstock and are done with it. Since they are not identifiable as Janosians without intimate examination, it can cause confusion.
Their homeworld is Janus. It is a world with two moon and an orbit on the inner side of Earth Norms. Janus is a hub on a secondary warp route, so it receives a great deal of traffic. The world is fairly lush and the population dispersed widely in small cities around the globe and under the five oceans, yet is moderately industrial.
Note: Janosians actually have colonized two other world (hence their reason for being considered their own subspecies) and are quite prevalent in High Culture (i.e. Spacers and Ship born).
Tirion was the first Myth generated Tailored Colony.
The Quendi as they decided to call themselves from their deepest mythic source became their own subspecies, genemodded to their children would carry the same changes.
They are uniformly tall, thin, and athletic. They have little diversity in build or body type. Their skin pale and pulled tight over their frames, showing their mucles (and ribs in most cases).
They have a very distinctive angular look to their faces. Their eyes are large, violet, and expressive. They actually have 150% the muscles around the eyes as normal Earthstock. Most are blonde or of snow colored hair, but there is some variation in that.
They were designed for longevity without medicine or special treatments. As long as they eat very little protien after they have reached full growth, their lifespan is nearly 800 years.
They are fairly immune to diseases because of the slowing down of their cellular replacement process. Very few disorders can deal with their chemistry.
They live a very distinctive lifestyle, modeled after their classic mythic source. They are one with the natural biomes about them. The Quendi are supposed to have greater sensory range, bordering into the ability to sense the morphic fields. However, it has yet to be proven that they actually have this ability. (The Quendi claim it will just take time for them to develop these meta sensory abilities).
Genemodding was not restricted to interstellar colonies. While Mars was being developed, one colonial group decided to take the biologic approach. While officially they are called Barsoomians, they call themselves Martians or Native Martians.
Barsoomians do not look like anything from Burroughs. They are proper adaptions to Mars.
Their skin is rich and olive colored. It is oily, so it prevents the loss of water. Their hair is white or bleach blonde (a quirk of genetics).
Their eyes have two eyelids. The first is a standard one, the second is a second covering that is transparent. This helps hold in moisture and keeps out the ever present grit of Mars. Their ears are sensitive, and were cosmetically pointed (as pointed ears do not recieve sound any better than round ears). They have both sealable ears and noses (both closures are in the inner parts)
Their metabolism is slower than Earthstock's. This allows them to keep a lower core temperature and need less food, water, and oxygen.
Their lungs, in addition to several valves to prevent dust from entering, have 180% the standard number of bronchi. This allows them to extract enough O2 to survive long periods of time outside of a habitat, on the Martian surface.
In a full pressure atmosphere, Martian's are incredibly efficient. They are so supercharged by the oxygen, that they can nearly make up for the lack of gravity strength. If they are in low gravity and full oxygen, they can work with little fatigue and full concentration.
If not for the Native Martians, the rest of the habitats and colonies would not of survived on Mars. Of course there is a growing tension between the Earthers and the Martians as the Earther numbers grow.
Once The Great Expansion was underway, tailored colonies (mostly Humans) of all sorts were created. They filled every possible social, economic, or cultural nitch. Ferrins became one of the more successful Earthstock variations because they were not too extreme.
Ferrens were genegineered for a "proper matriarchial" society on Ferran III. Gender Dymorphism would be reversed from Earthstock norms. However the Ferren female tends to be 5.5 to 6.5 local feet tall, (6'-7'/ 170-210cm) and are very muscular athletic build. They are 200lbs to 250lbs (90-110kg)in mass. The male is 4.5 to 5.5 local feet (5-6'/150-170cm) tall, and weigh 120 to 160lbs (50-70kg). The men are very thin, graceful, and delicate. Both gender become mature at 22 years, and live for about 120 years.
They have easy to tan skin, with colorations in line with the traditional mediterranean diversity. For gender orriented emphasis, they seem to be "balanced" with training moderating genetic dispositions.
Note: Given the size, mass, and genetic athleticism of the Ferrens, pregnancy is fairly easy and only physically limits them in the last month or so of pregnancy. Births are small, but robust in health.
Metabolically they are near Alphas (Maximum Human Genetic Expressions). This makes them statisically stronger, faster, healthier, and significanly smarter than baseline Earthstock. Their tailored culture makes them scholar warriors. While their culture prizes diplomacy and oratory abilities, they are also all trained athletes and hand to hand/melee combatants. They are strongly represented off world in the Diplomatic Corp and the Mobile Infantry Units.
Note: Males are also taught to be athletes, just in less competative ways. They also seem to all have an innate musical talent. This was not originally gengineered into the population, but seems to be a happy accidental outgrowth of the gene manipulation. They tend to be musicians off world and have a knack for computer programming once taught the skill.
Ferrans see themselves as Shepards or Stewards of their world, and by extension, of the Universe. They tend to think in terms of public service, rather than personal gain.
Homo aquaticus, is a true amphibeous human that still appear fairly close to baseline. Their skin is light blueish grey, water resistant via oils, and have a subdermal fat layer for insulation. Their expressive dark blue to violet eyes have transparent second eyelids for aquatic operation. They do have hair on the top and back of their head. It is usually braided into a long tail. Their hands are webbed between the 2nd and third knuckle, as are their feet (their toes being longer than their fingers).
The secret to their amphibeous adaption is the gills on their chest. Once opened and with water running along these by using their lung bellows for undulation.
Their voiceboxes have been adapted to produce a limited sonar. Their "native tongue" genetically programmed into them utilizes this sonar language.
After all their gene-modding, they are still developing. This is odd as most gene mods, and the aquamorphs included, have no "genetic space" to allow drift. Here is a case that is baffling genetic designers and xeo-biologist alike. Different populations are developing different markings and body shapes (most are long lean human swimmers, but other shapes are developing.) Some are developing tele-empathic abilities which was not coded in their genome (and would of been disallowed by the Bern Treat of 2870).
Alphans are some of the first standard gene-enhanced humanforms. To their creators, they were "perfect". And in many ways, they are.
There were many "issues" with the Alphans. Humanity saw them as dangers and replacements for baselines. There were gene mod conflicts (bushwars, and theatre level conflicts), crimes, legal events, the whole British Monarchy issue. There are five origin points for Alphans (two military, three civilian corporations) on Earth and Sol. The Pallan Colony could be considered the sixth. Officially, all but the Biogene and Kaiserpharm lines have been terminated. Unofficially, there are allegedly small enclaves of the Alphan lines. Their genetic impact can still be felt with the mixing of their utrogenes into the Earthstock genepool. The two surviving lines have been somewhat maintained by their population and supported by some gene lab work.
Asthetically and externally, they seem quite beautiful and handsome. They have "nice body types" with extreme symetry. They are taller than average, with an atheltic body type. There eyes tend to be "more liquid" and sparkling than baselines. Those of the biogene line always have high cheekbones and well defined features.
Alpha's athletic body type has a base 5% body fat (uberathletes). They have 140% of Earthstock nerve cells through the body and the brain. This makes them faster, stronger, healtheir, and smarter that baselines. Their metabolic systems are more efficient than standard. This includes their digestive and immune systems. They have no genetic quirks in their genetics, so while there will be no adverse genetic elements. An issue with Alphan lines is that there will be no room for genetic adaption either.
Pallan III is a rugged world with an "aggressive" biosphere. Not a world most would place a low impact/ lower tech colony. The Pallans were slightly genemodded to adapt to their world. They claim they are not Alphas, as Alphas still have a social stigma (and are against the law in certain sectors). Pallans are also overly represented in the Star Forces and Section 13 (the alleged espionage unit of the Star Forces).
These Earthstock genemods are for aquatic and deep wet environments. Diver variants have most of the adaptions shared by other aquatic mammals. The most visible would be the webbing between the fingers (second and third joint) and elongated toes, nicatating membranes, and sealing nostrils (which are internal, but make for a larger than average nose). They have a thicker subcutaneous fat and modified skin that tolerates prolonged salt water exposure. For diving, they have subcutaneous collapsing respiratory systems, specialized nitrogen absorbing fat tissues, and tailored enzymes that limit the production of dissolved nitrogen in the blood stream. Mature Divers can function underwater for up to an hour at extreme depths without any risk of nitrogen narcosis. They can drink salt water (and brackish water) with minimal to no effect.
Divers have successfully colonized (and dual colonized with other landform Humans) a number of high hydrographic percentage worlds. They can be at home in oceans, vast lakes, or swamps.
While there are several planets with Diver modded people, Mayran IV and its variants are the best known. They are also best known as Otter folk. They are not fur covered, though they are quite hairy. Males almost always have beards. They have compact builds with smaller and rounder heads than most Earthstocks. This gives them a cuteness that echos the river and ocean otters of Sol III.
It should be noted that most people do not know what an otter actually is. Nobody had seen an otter in quite a while. These extinct creatures were resurrected through genetic archeology. The species has since been the uplifted (as there was limited ecological space for them on earth) and have taken to low g as if it was their native environment. If it was not for the popular media, nobody would know that otters had anything to do with water or what they looked like.
The well known aquatic explorer of the last generation, Mallard Collord, had a back up crew of Mayran natives. They were called the Otter Guys by the witty Mallard. It made for great media and created a perception for most of Stellar Society that Divers are "Otter Folk".
This is an Earthstock line that has moved beyond transhuman and into posthuman. That is to say, while they come from Earthstock, they have little if anything in common with almost any other line of Earthstock.
In appearance, they are diadic. They appear both male and female, yet neither. They have no identifying secondary sex characteristics per say, yet they have an androgenous facial structure, with a lithe, thin body type. They are long of limbs and very graceful. Their skin is carmel color that echos those from the subcontinent of Asia on old earth. Their eyes are deep chocolate pools. Their hair is dark, shiny, and thick. It is often worn long and freeflowing, but being pulled back or cut short are common options.
This line of Earthstock have no primary sexual characteristics. They reproduce completley artificially, via truebirths to use their term (vs Human's Freebirth). Each new member is decanted as a fairly young being, given some initial programing in uteri. The Aposians allow for a tiny bit of variation with their norm. This prevents them from being perfectly identical, but close enough that most beings have a difficult time telling them apart by glance.
While a touch smaller on average than most Earthstock and of equal strength, they have an increased immune systems, extended longevity, increased axillary nerves (increased reflexes and hand eye coordination). They all seem to have a superiority complex to freeborns, especially baseline humans. That may be a genetic trait, or a culture one, it is hard to say.
While they can all speak Basic, The Aposians have a genetic tongue they can all speak. This highspeed babble is incomprehensible to all but advanced AIs and Aposians. They have no taboo against transhuman implantation or cybernetic or bionic enhancements. Often times it is their additional variations that allow other species to identify them.
The Aposians, like the Janosians, are considered their own subspecies. They have five planets that they are the primary species, each one an ecumenopolis, a city that covers the entire planet. (The planets were non habitable before colonization.) and a two dozen space cities dispersed in their sector.
Culturally, they are quite divorced from The Terran Meta Culture. There are still bits and pieces, mostly in material culture, that they still retain. Their clothing is a "skort" with a wrapped wide scarf as a top (or an augment to a pull over top). They are more mentally and emotionally orriented, than physically. While their is a total group mentality to the Aposians (as most synth species), they seen to have a streak of individual achievement. While this seems a dichotomy to most beings, the Aposians seem to think there is no conflict.
It should be noted that in a few places, Aposians are considered synthetics and thus can be owned. The Aposians tend to logically avoid such places.
Because every Earthstock does not look like a monkey.
Pantherans are Earthstock that were genemodded with a significant dose of feline DNA. And not any feline, but a Leonid the ancient king of the jungle whos DNA was saved in samples and resurrected through genetic archeology techniques.
Pantherans are a bit taller and leaner than most Earthstock, but powerfully strong and fast. They are covered with a short tawny coat of fur and possess a non-manipulative tail with a tuft on the end. There faces are flatter and broader than most Earthstock, as are their noses. Their eyes are various shades between green and green gold. Their pupils are vertical slits giving them excellent nightsite for their dinurual lifestyle. Both genders possess a thick shock of darker hair on the top and back of their heads. The males' "mane" continues under their chin and around their neck.
Their hands are still very nimble for having small claws on the end. These clawlike nails are usually groomed, painted, and sharpened by both sexes. Their thumb, which is more orriented towards the center of their wrist, has a large retractable claw that is usually razor sharp (and kept that way through careful grooming).
One can practically sense the predatory ancestory in these creatures. And if one is still not convinced, their upper and lower fangs clinch the ideal.
They are a fairly relaxed people, napping on and off through the day and night, spending about half their time awake. Life seems to be done in small hyper bursts of activity followed by relaxation and community building.
They tend to wear clothing reminicent of the Ancient Egyptians. This trait comes from their first colony and has been carried on ever since then. They will wear more conventional looking loose clothing in other places, as not to stand out even more.
One should note that Pantherans were notoriously bad spacers until artificial gravity became common. They are very "ground stock" and it shows when they are in micro gravities.
The First Spacers look like The First People.
In the early days of Earth space travel and asteroid mining, the scientists and businesses of the day were looking for "easy for the technology of the day" solutions for long term space travel and living in micro g environments. Changes made to Human themselves were one of the competing solutions.
Originally the changes to make what we today would call a Ceresian were supposed to be temporarily genecrafted into a person, and not effect their offspring. One of the great social and political issue of the circa was transgenic children.
The Ceresian design was adopted as being the easiest to impliment (by simply activating some older introns in the Human Genome), judged to be quite effective, and "the most human" in appearance.
Ceresians were regressed, genetically speaking, back towards the arboreal form of proto human, complete with tail. The result was what appeared to be a human chimpanzee hybrid with a nearly prehensile tail. Ceresians were net stronger and net faster than their baseline counterparts, which allowed them to be in normal ranges when they move back to regular gravity. The manipulatory hands and feet were seen as a boon in micro and zero gravity situations. An increase in their instictive Circadian Rhythms responses, the Ceresians had both an innate sense of time, but the ability to live without solar/ lunar clues to night and day that causes issues with baselines in similarly isolated situations. This sense with an activation of a hybernation/ hyposombulastic sequence, allowed them to "sleep through" large sections of a flight. And it was discovered that with their time sense they would be able to time their own awakening.
The genemod did alter the personality some making the person more playful. Most did not find that as a problem.
One hundred and twenty five people were initally given the treatment to alter their structure. The treatment was not supposed to alter their reproductive dna. A small transcription error, common in that day and age of genetic manipulation, crept in. Twelve percent of the population were able to breed true, though they did not find that out until a year later.
The Ceresian design was successful. The modified humans were as easily able to handle their changes, as they were a micro G environement. They took their ship the Rockhound and arrived on Ceres. There they began to carve out the asteroid (and mine it for its resources). It was in those first years that they discovered the breeding error.
After much uproar in political and religious circles, the birth of the first Ceresians were almost anti-climactic. The Ceresians managed to create the Ceres Rock Biome. From there, they were able to mine the asteroid belt for the resources the Earth needed to launch the First Fleet of exploration and defense ships that helped disperse Humanity to the solar system and the nearby stars. (They also were involved in building and crewing said ships).
Today, Ceresians are still around, though in limited numbers. With the advent of artificial gravity and faster travel processes, their abilities of low gravity tolernence and hybernation are of minimal use. They can still be found nining in just about every asteroid belt in the Confederation.
They are also highly represented in space dock crews.
There is also a colony of Ceresians in a near full gee environment. The discovered Great Trees on Parcos IV, similar to the Great Trees found on Keet Homeworld, is a perfect environment for their arboreal adaptions.