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The Atlins are an amorphous intelligent species native to the planet Lowa within Ventemir. The species, as well as most on its planet, is based primarily on plasma and ionized gas rather than traditional liquid-based cellular biology. Located mostly within the realm of Martial Space, Atlins rarely make an appearance within wider Via Aylathiya. Even though they are rare in wider Aylathiya, their impact has no doubt been massive, with numerous civilizations involving them exerting their influence on this saffron galaxy.

Atlins possess no defined shape, taking up anywhere from 0.5 to 3 cubic meters of space. Within this space is a series of intricate chemical reactions involving quadrillions of charged volatile enzyme complexes, magnetically charged particles, and soot-like carbon molecules floating within a medium of hot gas and plasma analogous to fire. In other words, the Atlins are a mass of plasma containing large numbers of complex particles who, due to the high-energy environment of an Atlin, bump into and interact with each other constantly.

Biology

The Atlins exist within a medium of hot gas and plasma which takes the role of the "solvent." The gas is mostly carbon monoxide, a gas which is mostly inert within the Atlin and is produced by its metabolic processes. Other gases include sulfuric acid, nitrogen, and trace amounts of Xenon.

Enzyme Complexes

Most of the dry mass of the Atlins exists in what are known as "Enzyme Complexes." Essentially, enzyme complexes are vast volatile molecules composed of thousands to tens of thousands of atoms. This enzymes are the vector by which life is maintained. Carrying out everything that enzymes do in protein-based forms of life, these complexes are responsible for regulating metabolism, homeostasis, the "nervous system," immune responses, and the production of more enzyme complexes. While not quite cells, these complexes are the basic building block of the Atlin as the cell is to more conventional life.

It is more accurate to think of an Atlin as a single-celled organism with the various complexes existing like the proteins of a typical microbe. Visualizing them in this way instead of using a multicellular framework allows for a more accurate explanation of their internal processes.

Structure

Atlins, were they made up of pure fire, would have no form. A crowd of them would instantly become one contiguous entity. The way they maintain their structure, and more broadly their identity, is through the use of controlled magnetic fields. Without a certain space around an Atlin will exist an "exclusion field," or a magnetic field which serves to keep charged substances at bay. This field can expand or contract based on dynamo of much hotter plasma within the core of the Atlin. As charges flow through, this central magnet maintains this field which uses charged metal ions to create a sort of ever-changing "skin" around themselves.

Magnetite Manipulators

Smaller Dynamos exist throughout the Atlin, allowing for movement, changing its shape, tearing apart food, and manipulating objects. When it came to moving inorganic objects, however, just the dynamos would be useless. This is what the Magnetite within them is for. A cloud of Magnetite particles can envelop small objects and move them with little effort. Metal in particle is easy to charge and move.

Interacting with Non-charged Substances

Since Dynamos can only interact with charged objects and most of the life on Lowa is made up of charged plasma, this presented no problems in the natural world. When it came to advancing technology, however, it became more difficult to interact with the rest of the world. While the cloud of small magnets worked in many cases, advanced technology was out of their reach without more precise manipulation. This is why the Atlins would eventually develop more conventional fire, which is seen more like a simple organism to them, to create larger magnets. These magnets are able to be easily manipulated by the Atlins and allows for them to interact with non-charged substances. With time, the art of moving these magnets would allow for hand-like appendages to be almost required for the Atlins to continue existing. As they became more sophisticated, they would eventually change their own genetic code to produce these appendages upon the consumption of iron oxides.

Communication

Atlins are capable of producing both sound and flashes of light as a means of communication. Sound is produced by charge differentials built up within the Atlin arching across small distances, creating monotone sounds. Capable of producing over a dozen distinct sounds, a sort of language analogous to morse code formed. Words are spelled out using the 12 different tones they can naturally produce. Just the words, however, only convey about half of the meaning contained within Atlin language. The other half is supplied by colors created by concentrating certain chemicals within their centers. They can produce six different colors, red, yellow, green, blue, and indigo to add to the words they are speaking as six additional "syllables" that could be produced.

Written language, consequently, requires both color and symbols to convey, although many scripts only have one or the other and depend on symbols to convey color or color to convey tones.

Nervous System

The Nervous System is by far the most complex part of the Atlin. Their "brain" exists distributed throughout their entire body with every enzyme complex also serving as a part of the brain. Signals are transferred not through electrical signals but through weak shock waves emanating across the organism. These shock waves are consequently modified, re-emited, and "interpreted" by the various enzymes. Usually, they signal for changing enzyme shape but can also signal for the enzymes to act on the dynamos or other charged particles within the Atlin.

The nervous system is not merely the means by which the brain communicates with the rest of the body. The nervous system is the body and how it maintains itself. Everything within the Atlin is a part of this system.

Sensory Organs

Sensing sound is simply a matter of absorbing vibration from outside. Sight, on the other hand, is much more complicated. Certain compounds are embedded within the containment field which reaction to different energies of light. Capable of detecting well over one hundred distinct colors, the range of "sight" overlaps significantly with detecting heat, cold, ultraviolet light, and other forms of radiation. Modern Atlins have modified themselves to see radio waves, allowing for easy communication with ship systems, machines, and other devices.

Smell, equal to sight in importance, works essentially the same way. Enzymes capture volatile particles in the air and use them to signal the rest of the Atlin. Really, all Atlin senses exist as one "super sense" manifesting as sight. Everything is perceived as one of thousands of colors, with most objects having more than one color, creating millions of shades each described as combinations of their component colors.

Cognition

Cognition is carried about mostly within the central dynamo by a very dense array of enzyme complexes whose sole purpose is acting as a brain rather than other tasks. These enzymes are some of the largest within the Atlin, with many forming rings, chains, and even macroscopic spheres who internal vibrations are capable of minute data processing.

History

Ancient History

The Atlins evolved sometime around 750,000 BCE. They developed into a Kardashev II civilization just in time to be conquered by the Svartálfar. Living under the thumb of this more ancient and powerful species, they began spreading out across the Ventemir nebula. As the Svartálfar slowly drove themselves to extinction due to internal conflict, the Atlins would move into their old habitats and worlds. Soon these habitats and worlds were terraformed to be far more like the volcanic home world of the Atlins.

As they spread, they came in contact with the Orcubor, a species capable of cohabitation with the Atlins. They would soon enter an alliance; however, in 99,871 BCE, the Triumvirate Civilization would form. Once again the Atlins would lose their self-governance and be ruled by outside forces. Fighting back was futile as the three leaders of the Triumvirate, despite having a technological disadvantage, had forces outnumbering the Atlins hundreds to one. With this the Atlins were reorganized into the province of Lowuks. Once again the Atlins would continue spreading. Vast numbers of them began to inhabit the ancient megastructures of Gira Gira and Odo.

Common Era History

With great reform in the Triumvirate came the creation of the Lowuks Entente. The Entente sprawled across Ventemir and surrounded the federal territory of Aztaya. The Entente had fairly broad self-governing powers so long as they did not get in the way of their three leaders. At first, it could have been thought of as a "favorite" amongst the newly created states. With its more developed economy, larger population, and higher production capability, it seemed that the Entente would be the de facto leader amongst its sister states. That was until each of The Three began betting on different states, essentially getting them to compete with each other to build them up. With time the Entente would fall behind its sister states, becoming number three in production capability by the time of the War of the Final Transition.

With this war would come full independence for the Entente, however, this independence lasted but one thousand years before it collapsed into thousands of smaller states. They would not be united until 21,771 CE. United under the nation of Tenshi, the Atlins would remain ruled by external powers until the Jezebel's War. Collaborating with some of the Human nobility within Tenshi, the Atlins declared independence and abolished the system of state capitalism that came with Tenshi.

Currently, the Atlins live in a quite peculiar egalitarian economy juxtaposed against an aristocratic ruling class. Their nation called the Entente of Ventemir willingly joined the Boreal Federacy whose similarly democratic economy offered great opportunity for the Atlins. Today, they rank among some of the most influential species within the Federacy as well as Via Aylathiya as a whole.

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