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|Images of ghibranis|
Source: The Thirteenth Gate, pg(s). 55
Ghibranis are the beetle-like, pre-spaceflight natives of the post-apocalyptic planet Elytrio. They are a dimorphic race, divided into two groups: the soft membranes residing in their last city of Arkeost, and the hardy husks who eke out a living in the wastelands.
The husk ghibranis, living in the wastelands of Elytrio, have lost the use of their wings and developed hardier exoskeletons. The membrane ghibranis, living in the last functional city of Arkeost, kept their wings but became thinner and more fragile.
Prior to the Gap, ghibranis achieved much in the field of robotics and fully automated many of their major cities. Their worship of Damoritosh shaped them into a strong coalition of military city-states where his priests filled key advisory positions. They never achieved spaceflight, and were only able to construct automated research facilities on the Companions, the two moons of Elytrio.
Just after the Gap, tensions between the city-states escalated into a civil war that ultimately devastated Elytrio and killed most of the ghibrani population. Arkeost, the former capital of the nation-state of Kolleo protected under a bubble of force, became the last refuge of the survivors.
A decade after, the leaders of Arkeost realised that the city can't sustain the whole ghibrani population. To save Arkeost from overpopulation, they invented a deity named Mother Touloo, who had declared them her chosen people and had a promised land for them in the wasteland. More than half of the ghibranis listened to this lie and moved to the wastelands. Over time, the lingering radiation caused the physical separation of the husks, who left the city, and the membranes, who remained, into two subraces.
Today, the husks continue to believe in the fictitious Mother Touloo, while the membranes have forgotten their deception.
Husk ghibranis eke out a living in the wastes of Elytrio, competing against vicious fauna, collecting water from the tough-skinned zikla plants, and enduring dust storms. They fight using analog slug throwers inherited from ancestors and scavenge ammunition from ruins. Husk ghibranis know the value of teamwork, a skill necessary for their survival. They view the membranes as keepers of the vast metal graveyard of Arkeost.
Since their exodus from Arkeost, husk ghibranis have split into numerous clans. These clans rarely clash and frequently intermarry and split, so culture is relatively homogenous. All of them follow Mother Touloo, the scam faith invented by the ancestors of the membranes, which espouses community and hard work, and shuns comfort. The most popular ritual of this faith is the Welcoming, performed at the return of a hunting party or a diplomatic meeting, which consists of a community-wide dance with arms held wide and is followed by a feast if supplies allow.
Meanwhile, the membranes lead a relatively privileged lifestyle, as some of the ancient technology has persisted. Arkeost is ruled by a council known as the Most Elevated, though this is mostly a symbolic position, as the day-to-day operations of the city are carried out by servitor robots controlled by a pre-war artificial intelligence. As these robots provide them with all their needs, membranes rarely leave the city and have plenty of leisure time, which they use to create art, study science, and keep themselves fit. In the past century, membranes have preferred to spend their time in art and entertainment to the expense of innovation. As a result, no living membrane ghibrani understands the technology behind their city. If the AI controlling the city malfunctioned, their lifestyle would be irreversibly lost.
- Mikko Kallio, Jason Keeley, Lyz Liddell, Ron Lundeen, Mark Moreland, and Stephen Radney-MacFarland. (2018). Alien Archives. The Thirteenth Gate, p. 55. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-64078-028-6
- Jason Keeley. (2017). Yesteryear's Truth, p. 3. Paizo Inc.
- Stephen Radney-MacFarland. (2018). The Thirteenth Gate. The Thirteenth Gate, p. 46-47. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-64078-028-6