Monday, July 27, 2009

The Rilovians, Chapter 1: Colors of life

The planet is known as Rilovi. Its soil is incredibly rich with iron, magnesium, and sulfur, painting the ground a vibrant, burning reddish color. A warm world, its landscapes range from rocky deserts sprinkled with hearty plants to lush tropical rainforests. Snow and ice are only encountered at the northernmost tip of the planet, and for no more than one-third of the year.

In my earliest studies of Rilovi I found the planet's Bionicle civilizations to be exceptionally diverse in both appearance and societal roles. A very religious population, the Rilovians aligned themselves into five regional groups, each revering a different aspect of existance as they knew it, and each adopting distinctive regional markings:
  • Rallo, followers of the Sun (yellow)

  • Nofi, worshippers of the vast inland Syanic Sea (green)

  • Foran, who revered the soil (red)

  • Tiallo, worshippers of the air (blue)

  • Mikau, believers in the forests (brown)

Across all of these groups ran one other axis of distinction between individuals, a class system that could most easily be recognized by differences in size.

  • Like any typical Bionicle society, the majority of the population consists of upright-walking average citizens (of modest size). On Rilovi, these commoners had no particular title as a class, and the overwhelming majority of them worked in agriculture or construction.

  • Warriors (slightly larger) were selected at a young age for their physical potential and trained to live a full, long careers of military valor. I will speak more of this class... later.

  • Elders (smallest in stature) among the Rilovians were known for their wisdom, but not their knowledge. To use a term you may be more familiar with, these were no Turaga. With advancing age, their intellectual capacity receded, eventually rendering them... simple-minded, as some may say. This, though, was exactly what brought the elders the highest level of respect from all other classes. Their minds were pure, their thoughts uncomplicated, their decisions fair and unbiased. This made them natural leaders among the very moral populous, and elders served as judges, mayors, counsellers, and priests.
  • Lastly, there were the largest members of Rilovian society. It was once estimated that for every 1,000 Rilovians in existance, a mere 3 were Giants. Though the smallest giant could rest his chin on the head of the tallest warrior, these were no brutes -- they were giants of intellect! These were the architects, the medical scientists, the inventors.

With rich, fertile soil, a fantastic climate, and a myriad of motivated workers, the Bionicle planet of Rilovi provided ample food and a hospitable environment for every citizen that could set a foot upon the land. The problem was, there existed... too many feet... but not enough land for those feet to to set upon. No giant thoughts nor elder wisdom could prevent the inevitable border disputes, and as these disputes grew and itensified, they escalated to perpetual civil war.

Hence, the warrior class...

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