The Holden were an ancient late early type threee species of bipedal humanoid mammalian organisms native to planet Tharvus Ruver of the Jingley System in the Ambrosia Galaxy that existed from 3,460,996,000 BCE to 604,000,000 BCE.
They are most famous for being one of the first intelligent species to join the Etymology.
The Holden are one of the most influential species in what many considered to be the most pivotal moment in Ambrosia's ever-changing galactic history known as the: "Etymology Era," the era in which the Etymology, a late type three civilization, ruled over nearly the whole of the Ambrosia Galaxy. The Holden themselves were one of the highest standing races in the neigh infinite empire, as they were one of the first species to join the aforementioned civilization, as well as joining of their own volition, a fairly uncommon practice during the time frame in which they joined.
At the peak of their power, the Holden held control of a staggering thirteen million star systems spread across the Unity's Domain . However unlike most intragalactic empires of Ambrosia, the Holden were far from aggressive in their expansion, in fact, they specifically targeted systems that were uninhabited by any intelligent life, often settling on barren desert and Selena worlds.
Unsurprisingly, this has led many to believe that the Holden are a very reclusive species, not wishing to interact with others that inhabit the galaxy they occupy. Which was mostly the case, causing them to have little to no conflicts with any other intelligent species. However in 3,455,241,004 BCE, the Holden would discover the planet of Diktite, and in turn, its native inhabitants, the Amaltheians. They were enraptured by the endless natural beauty they saw in the Amaltheians and they would enslave them, as they were one of the few sources of happiness to them, and they would remain so for billions of years, only being freed near the end of the Holden's existence.
Despite being a very peaceful race, a few internal Holden conflicts were raged throughout the eons, with the most important being the overthrow of King Blackhand in 2,660,060,006 BCE, as it was the bloodiest conflict that the Holden were apart of, killing several million.
One of the most famous facts about the Holden would be their frequent use of body-enhancing cybernetics, allowing a Holden to be able to do impressive; death defying physical abilities they'd be unable to do otherwise. As well, they also made common use of cloning technologies, causing their species population to be in the hundreds of trillions at their peak.
They would also be famed for their strange, esoteric belief and social structures. Every facet of their society was based around philosophy, poetry, and theological thinking. They felt that the mysteries of the universe could only be unveiled if one was able to understand the underlining truth of reality, and only with constant ponder, art, and emotion, can one be able to come to understand this so called: "truth" and have it reveal itself.
Once all Holden realized the truth of the universe, they believed that they would reach: "Uniphara." Uniphara was the term they used to describe the perfect society, free from violence, prejudice, death, poverty, famine, corruption, et cetera, and they believed that they alone could reach this Utopian state, however since the Holden so liberally enslaved the Amaltheians, this claim is extremely hollow and hypocritical.
Unfortunately, like all species who were apart of the Etymology, they too would suffer the faithful wrath of the C.Y.R.E.X during the Red Galaxy Event in 604,000,000 BCE, as all worlds under their domain were burned in brilliant crimson red, killing all Holden across the galaxy.
All save for one. A lone Holden survivor, then King Macer, as he would manage to escape the fate that befell his people and would seek refuge on the moon of Reges Mere. Once there, in his grief, he would use his vast knowledge in cloning, in order to make the Holden species live on. And thus, the Haggard were created in 601,456,020 BCE. So while they would not be as they once were, the Holden lived on, defying the monster that slew so many others.
The Holden are a humanoid primate species, and like most humanoid species, they were bipedal, with two legs and two arms with a torso in the middle. Their baseline physical appearance is very old and haggard looking, and is also extremely similar to that of humans, however a few physical differences are known. For example: a Holden will typically have a much larger nose then that of a human, as well as a wider and more ridged forehead, making them more closely resemble that of humanity's sister-species the: "Neanderthals"
Their skin is often very pale, almost sickly looking, as well it will typically take a sallow greenish color, though this can vary depending on the Holden in question. And across this skin is various wrinkles, as if they are reaching the later stages in their life, however a Holden will look the same as they do at birth for their entire natural lives.
Their overall natural physical structure is very weak, making the species appear very thin and only allowing a Holden to be able to lift meager amounts of weight. It also would prevent them from being able to run very fast or far and making them extremely vulnerable to the elements, as well as any would be attacker, making a Holden unable to defend themselves without weaponry.
However, once the discovery of cybernetics was made, the Holden's physical short comings would be a thing of the past. With cybernetics, a Holden can be given essentially superpowers, allowing them to run at near super sonic speeds, lift several tons, the ability of flight, and removing the need to breathe hydrogen. Nearly all Holden were reliant on these cybernetic enhancements, due to the frail nature of their baseline physical body, with some almost turning themselves into full fledged cyborgs in the pursuit of physical perfection. The extent a Holden uses cybernetics varies depending on the Holden in question, with some using as little as possible, while others replace entire limbs with the technology. In some cases, a Holden may replace their entire bodies with that of an android, placing their consciousness in the aforementioned android, however cases like these are few and far between. Regardless, cybernetics are as important to a Holden's physical structure as a beating heart or a functioning lung.
They require a constant supply of hydrogen, both in gaseous and liquid form as they use the aforementioned element as their ultimate solvent, as well as the very air that they breathe, requiring Holden on worlds that lack sufficient hydrogen in the atmosphere to use simple hydrogen tanks.
Like most predator species, the Holden have two front facing eyes, along with two ears on the sides of their head. Their unaided abilities of sight and sound are also typical for your standard predator species, allowing them to see fairly far, at around five kilometers, and hear in a twenty kilometer radius. The color in which their eyes appear as can vary, though the most common eye color is grey.
Their diet consists of the many aquatic fauna that is prevalent in their home world of Tharvus Ruver, however they are not tied to them, as a Holden can process almost any type of meat as consumable food, allowing a Holden to live on various worlds without the need of importing foodstuffs from their home planet.
While not having a hive mind, the collective behavior of the Holden were extremely similar to each other, save for a few unique examples. The most prominent shared behavior would be the Holden's extreme curiosity towards all aspects of the universe, from being as mundane as a world's formation history, to as grandiose of the debate of intelligent design. Thanks to this constant questioning, countless Holden belief structures have been created throughout the species' vast history.
In terms of behavioral traits when it comes to emotion, the Holden are very close off, only showing their true feelings towards things very rarely. Each common emotion intelligent species feel such as happiness, sadness, anger and so on, the Holden do not often show on the outside that they are feeling any of these emotions. Their doesn't seem to be any inherent reason why this is, it just seems that the Holden are just biologically predisposed to be closed off individuals. It takes extreme circumstances to make a Holden visible show any form of emotion beyond feelings of anedonia, and in most cases, will only show said emotions to loved ones such as their romantic partner, closest friend or siblings.
Holden almost as a whole had a crushing desire to understand the universe as much as they possibly could, a fairly common trait among most intelligent species. As well, their overall outlook on the universe was rather bleak, as they saw it as an endless expanse of infinite worlds marching ever onward to an unknown destination, leaving many Holden to feel an overcoming sense of anhedonia towards things.
Most Holden are also quite timid, with an individual Holden allowing great slights against them before they begin to act hostile. Thanks to this, throughout most of the species' history the Holden remained hidden from other intelligent species, for fear that they would encounter an opposing force more powerful then them, choosing instead to operate alone.
Their behavior towards the Amlathiean they held in captivity was more akin to that of a pet then a fellow intelligent species, with the level of this depending on the Holden in question. It was not an uncommon sight for a Holden to simply lead an Amalthiean by a simple rope, or to see them put on large elaborate shows for their respective Amaltheians to preform in.
As previously mentioned, the Holden's culture was almost solely based around philosophical thinking, but this is often the case for most intelligent species in the universe. However the Holden take it much further then most. All Holden are taught from birth to question the universe around them, and to create new avenues of thought in the fields of philosophy, ethics and theology.
Despite their closed off nature, another major aspect of Holden culture would be their appreciation of art in all of its forms, the Holden almost universally shared a great appreciation for the arts, be them visual, auditory or written, painting, music, dance, literary works, it didn't matter, art in all subjects was greatly appreciated. Dancing and poetry in specific were the two most well beloved forms of art, with interpretative sword dancers being extremely popular among Holden, Thanks to this, those who produced said pieces of art were held in great cultural standing, with the greatest of poets, singers, dancers and architect be put on level with those of kings or queens. In fact; several times throughout Holden history, practically famous artists were actually crowned as monarchs of Holden governments simply due to their popularity among the people, and most other great poets of Holden society being selected in high-ranking positions in the government.
The Amaltheians themselves were also an extremely prominent aspect of Holden culture, with many pieces of art and iconography revolving around them. In fact: they were so important, that almost every Holden owned at least one of them, and it was seen as a cultural taboo if one did not. Thanks to this, once the former King Macer freed the Amaltheian species, the Holden's respective culture would be changed overnight and would remain so until' the species' destruction.
After their joining within the Etymology, the individual culture of the Holden remained relatively unchanged, as the Etymology took a non-interventionist method towards their respective member species. However certain small aspects of Holden culture were changed, such as having to allow other member species free reign in their colony worlds, along with having to answer to a higher authority.
Thanks to the Holden's constant questioning of the world around them, the government of the species has changed countless times throughout their history, though despite this fluid governance, a few constants remained throughout all major Holden societies. The most prominent would be the uniformity of its leaders' respective titles, with the highest being that of the king or queen, along with smaller titles like duke, lord, and count. As well, this constant questioning of Holden culture also applied to that of the power structures of the current ruling body of their colonies, and often times led to swathing changes within the many governments that existed at various points in time.
The exact governing style of each major power to arise within Holden controlled space varied as well, with some having a more proletarian approach to monarchy, while others had a direct dictatorship under a supreme king or queen, the latter of which would lead to the darkest period in Holden history, as King Blackhand would claim absolute power within the government, becoming a tyrannically dictator over the populace.
The first civilization to unite the Holden species was the "Kingdom of Acorna," who shared its name with the first individual to unite the species; Queen Acorna. Said civilization managed to last throughout many centuries, until' it eventually fell to newer ideas of governance. However, it would be succeeded by the Kingdom of Uniphara, which would be the respective government that would lead the species for the remainder of their existence.
At the peak of the Holden's independent technological strength, they were able to construct massive ships capable of traversing the stars in almost an instant, as well as immense metropolises that could be constructed on nearly any world surface. This impressive technology would only increase once they approached the newly formed Etymology, allowing for the trading of many countless machines of wonder the Holden were nowhere near even beginning to understand, along with giving them access to innumerable resources and celestial real estate.
A rather unique trait among their technology however was that nearly everything from tools, sips and buildings still retained the same aesthetic visual style to that of their respective medieval analogue period. As a result, their star ships appear much alike those you would typical see traversing a world's oceans, as well as their homesteads and larger structures looking like those made of thatch, stone and iron. There doesn't seem to be any inherent purpose to this beyond just an aesthetic decision the species has made.
Their most widely used form of technology would be the many types of cybernetic enhancements the species'' greatest scientific minds managed to conjure. These enhancements were a technological marvel, and could vary from anything to simple height enhancements, to giving a Holden the abilities of flight, super strength and increased vulnerability. These could also be used to allow a Holden the ability to survive nearly any temperature and climate, with several Holden living within the cores of gas giant worlds that reach upwards of over a thousand degrees Celsius and incompressible powerful amounts atmospheric pressures.
Evolution and Early History
The primate species that would become known as the Holden fully evolved in 3,460,996,000 BCE, along the banks of the small reservoirs of liquid nitrogen within the many cold caves of Tharvus Ruver. During their most earliest history, the Holden were unable to leave the confines of the respective cave they were birthed in, as the crushing hear of the surface would instantly kill them, and within said cave, which the early Holden referred to as the "Cavern of Motherhood," small theocratic tribes would be formed, with all sharing in the same trait of venerating the sacred walls of the cave they spawned from.
As the species began to age within the cave, they would exhaustively explore and congregate themselves within each and every inch of the cavernous expanse, consuming the small rodent like mammals that also made their homes within the cavern, as well as the many pools of liquid hydrogen that were so abundant within. And thankfully for the early Holden, this aforementioned liquid hydrogen would be replenished thanks to natural reservoirs being sprung up from within the planets remarkably cold interior.
Over long periods of time, the respective early Holden would begin to evolve to be able to withstand the temperatures out side of the cavern for short periods of time, and eventually, this evolution would reach its apotheosis, as in 3,460,550,000 BCE, the Holden were able to leave the Cavern of Motherhood and venture into the wider world. With their departure of the cavern, the Holden would begin to show signs of the questioning nature that would so colorize their species in the billion of standard years to follow.
At first, the Holden would begin to construct small huts and homesteads out of the clay deposits located in sediment around and within the cavern, while others still made their homes within it. These settlements would slowly but surely grow, and by 3,460,000,000 BCE, the Holden were able to construct the first fairly large city; "Mantoia."
Ancient Medieval History
Throughout the millennia, the Holden would master various technologies, including the manipulation and production of metals such as copper, tin, bronze and iron. With these new technologies, the Holden were able to become masters of their environment, being able to keep large flocks of animals for food. However, due to the species requiring a constant and steady supply of liquid hydrogen, which could only be found at the time within the Cavern of Motherhood, they were unable to venture into the wider world very far without needing to return to the city of Mantoia.
Eventually however, they were able to create an impressive early irrigation system, using the natural coldness of the planets underground to transport drinkable liquid hydrogen without fears of the surface temperature evaporating it. With this, the Holden were able to expand many kilometers away from the cavern, creating many cities all across specific channel points within the now labyrinthine irrigation system that spanned great distances, with several different pipelines interceding and cutting through one another.
Along with the progression of technology, the Holden began to progress through the cultural and governmental stages as well, with their constant questioning of the world around becoming the most prevalent behavioral and character trait among them. As a result, several kingdoms independent of each other would begin to arise around various areas of the irrigation system.
This questioning would also extent to the land around them, as they would begin to attempt the planet's seas, mapping out vast areas of land and discovering that the planet is tidally locked to its parent star, leaving the nightside of the world a frozen waste that will instantly kill any who crosses the barrier, and this exploration of the world would reach new heights, as in 3,459,967,890 BCE, the Holden managed to create sailing ships to cross the planet's salt water seas, making use of cold canisters to keep the precious liquid hydrogen they rely on to exist in perpetuity.
After crossing the seas, select Holden kingdoms would be able to create new societies spanning multiple landmasses and islands. These large kingdoms would be the most powerful civilizations of the Holden species at the time, as the y would influence culture throughout hundreds of standard years. And once they would eventually fall into new kingdoms, the cultural identity they created would last throughout the centuries.