The Ránlans are a Nation of humans from the Continuation universe. They are most commonly known for their advanced science and discourse based on reasoned inquiry. They principally inhabit the galaxy of Ybenna. Their language is Ránlan.
Pre-Terraforming and Terraforming EraEdit
The ancestors of the Ránlans on Daughter were the Ra-Ledis. Some time after Daughter became uninhabitable and the peoples of Daughter fled into space, the ancestors of the Ránlans are generally credited with developing the first faster-than-light travel capability, rippling.
Along with the Kiris, the Ránlans were highly adept at terraforming and generated some of the most biodiverse worlds in the continuation. They initially inhabited Ybenna and one star system in Sylmor.
The Cession of SylmorEdit
Circa 1500-1300 BE, the Ránlans withdrew from their planets in Sylmor, ceding them to the new Aejdarian (later Ash'torian) Nation. Three of these four planets had been scientifics outposts of little cultural significance, but the final planet to be ceded, Zeinnéfa (later R'Aej), had an ancient and thriving Ránlan culture. The cession of Zeinnéfa caused internal strife among the Ránlans, but it was completed in 1300 BE for the purpose of consolidating Ránlan power in Ybenna, the sphere of influence known as Ránlax. Dáromur Báwmaw, perhaps the most internationally famous Ránlan singer, was a citizen of Zeinnéfa in this era.
Long Stability and Tech DevelopmentEdit
Ránlax remained a socially stable society for approximate 3500 years, from the Cession of Sylmor to the Jana Era. During this time, Ránlan culture evolved very slowly though scientific advancements continued. The most significant evolution in Ránlan society at this time was the development of brain-pattern-transfer technology, which was first used to store the patterns of dying individuals in computer systems for possible future access or reanimation. Later versions of this tech could superimpose one person's memories and consciousness over another to create a hybrid mind. This capability raised many ethical questions, discussed and refined across the centuries. During this time, the Ránlans also became the only Nation to develop androids with artificial intelligence. However, they fell out of use in the Jana Era.
Ránlans were early adopters on Jana Walking technology, despite being the only major Nation not to have it formally introduced by one of the First Walkers. Its chief developer in Ránlax was an android sent to Perdita as a scientific assistant. In the later Jana Era, as socioeconomic problems began to plague most of the Continuation, Ránlax remained relatively insulated, partly due to its superior Jana tech. In particular, it developed effective defensive shield technology against Walkers, allowing Ránlax planets to sequester their own resources and rebuff guerilla attacks. For a time the Ránlan capital, Dwóva, was called the "Last Safe Place" due to its high security. However, with this security came an authoritarian internal government, leading to unrest from within.
Ránlans typically have light brown to black skin and red to black hair, tightly coiled. Brown eyes are most common, though any color can occur. They have a wide range of sizes and builds. Their Earth-based ancestors appear to have been primarily African and secondarily Eurasian.
Family and Sexual RelationsEdit
Ránlans have a wide variety of family structures depending on time, place, and personal preference, but it is common for children to inherit a parent's career and receive training as an apprentice as well as formal schooling. Surnames are most commonly given as follows: a first-born child receives the same surname as their same-sex parent; a second child born to the same couple, regardless of sex, receives the surname of the other parent, a third child the name of the first parent, etc. However, legally parents may choose any surname.
Ránlans do not have marriage as a native custom. Some Ránlans marry, but they are typically of foreign origin or follow a non-native religion; marriage has no legal standing within Ránlax. The most equivalent Ránlan relationship is "life-sharer," which connotes a committed, long-term couple or group who live together at least part-time and may or may not have children. However, the title "life-sharer" is adopted by a couple or group at their own discretion and has no external requirments. It has no legal or economic standing.
Ránlans typically have little gender-based difference in social roles. Sexual preferences ranging from celibacy and monogamy to promiscuity are socially accepted. Homosexual and heterosexual relationships are equally accepted, as are a variety of family-rearing structures. Ránlans have many reproductive strategies. The most common means of reproduction remains natural conception and childbirth, but technological options exist and are widely used to combine gametes from same-sex parents or multiple parents, to use surrogate mothers or artificial wombs. Contraception is universal in the form of reversible sterilization.
Law and GovernmentEdit
Up to the social transformations of the later Jana Era, Ránlans governed themselves by a combination of consensus and caucus. Their ideal is consensus through reasoned argumentation; however, since this proves impractical for issues affecting large numbers of people, larger scale issues, such as National politics, are typically resolved by appointing representatives by caucus. The representatives, then, seek consensus among themselves. In the Jana Era, consensus became less common and the caucus structure evolved toward oligarchy.
Ránlans are meticulous record keepers in matters of technology, science history, philosophy, and the arts. However, for long periods of their history, they did not have a formal record-keeping protocol for individual citizens. Children were usually registered in various local lists, such as schools, but specific identity records were rare. Identification of individuals was based on personal knowledge. This changed in the Jana Era under heightened fear of foreign infiltration.
Due process of law is generally administered locally, except for certain science and technology crimes, which might affect the Nation more broadly. The maximum penalty for a crime is imprisonment, until the Jana Era, when a death penalty was introduced.
Ránlans are generally great believers in reasoned discourse. They are rigorous in teaching principles of logical inquiry to their children. The ideal goal of reasoned discourse is Consensus, a full agreement about a course of action based on sound evidence.
The Ránlans have little tradition of the divine, but follow a quasi-religious philosophy called Dwo (Ránlan: the Way), which combines regard for the laws of physics with regard for logic and reason with a primary goal being balance and stability.
The Ránlans are great technological ethicists. They devote much of their cultural capital to scientific and technological advancement but proceed cautiously and slowly. They are responsible for articulating the two main laws of technological development, which gained wide international adherence:
- The Law of Reversibility, which states that no technology should be implemented unless its effects can be reversed.
- The Irreversibility of Knowledge, which states that once an idea has been discovered, it cannot be reliably abandoned and must, instead, be managed.
In daily life, they follow a principle of technological Redundancy, the idea that different levels of technology should exist to fulfill the same approximate purpose so that if one technology or infrastructure fails, another will be in place. For example, a household might have means of lighting that include a fluorescent microorganism, electric lights, and candles.