Ghru

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The Ghru are a machine-minded race of humanoids native to the planet Naharrai. They are at conflict with the less-developed Ellaticurids.

Appearance and Traits[edit | edit source]

The ghru look pretty much like pale humanoids, with the exception that their heads have been replaced with strange numenera devices, resembling flat screens with glass panel. Each of these screens projects the image of a human face that speaks and makes expression as any normal human would. Because of this, they're often referred to as the "machine-minded".

They can learn more, but it's usually difficult to do so. As the ghru tend to have fine memories, they aren't really capable of adapting well to certain situations. For instance, you can show one how to build a boat and they'll remember all the steps of the process. But unless they were given that particular skill during their implantation ceremony, they'll end up having a difficult time carrying out said task.[1]

Society and Culture[edit | edit source]

When a ghru child is born unto the world, their brain is removed in an elaborate ceremony and replaced with a biomechanical one, built by the ghru from within a processing plant that's revered as a temple. Rarely is the machine mind of a dead ghru recycled.

Since ghru minds are implanted, there's no need for any schooling or training in their lives. They're literally born with the necessary skills and knowledge that they need. Each and every ghru treats one another equally, even those whose biological bodies are still very young and undeveloped.

The ghru have an incomplete understanding of the numenera, the past, or even the nature of their own world. While a young ghru may possess certain skills and knowledge, only some of it will still remain applicable. If there is a ghru who no longer holds the skills to operate a particular machine, the latter might end up being discarded. When a ghru who comes along with that particular knowledge eventually comes onto the scene, the machine will already be long gone, and those particular skills seen as superfluous.

But even despite this characteristic, the ghru still retain a far greater understanding of machinery (referred to as "mystical gifts of the Great Old Ones") and other advanced knowledge such as medicine, biology, all sort of machine-related sciences than their rivals, the ellaticurids. Ghru warriors tend to wield weapons called storm staves, ghru priests and other significant members of their kind ride within insectoid vehicles that can fly through the air via furiously-beating giant wings. The ghru also employ poison against their enemies whenever possible. Some other common devices that are used by them include electric armor, servogloves, and even mental transmitters. The latter, however, work only for the ghru, as it allows their mechanical brains to be able to communicate with one another for up to a mile. The ghru also possess and utilize a variety of cyphers.

All ghru pledge fealty to particular female known as the queen, who is provided a special brain during her implantation ceremony. There is only ever one queen at a time, and a soon as her mind is set in place, her rule instantly begins. Despite this, though, the priests do wield greater power within their society. Even though the queen is theoretically considered to be an absolute monarch, it would be a grave mistake for her to challenge the priesthood.

The ghru lack currency, as all goods are technically owned by the queen. Individuals are given what they need for their predetermined roles, distribute either by the queen's agents or the priests. Ghru follow a mostly vegetarian diet and grow various crops as well as fruits within their sprawling orchards. It isn't unexpected of them to hold some kind of numenera to aid in their food production, but such devices aren't ubiquitous nor uniform, only held by certain farmers. Similarly, an engineer, physician, or record keeper may be given a miscellaneous device that can help with their exact tasks.

Those ghru that posses titles, like the queen, don't hold any additional personal names. Priests are given numbers, like priest-755 or priest-931. Meanwhile, all other ghru hold simple given names, Most prefer to live out their lives carrying out their assigned duties. Occasionally, a malcontent will attempt o break free from the system and challenge the accepted practices, but these "malfunctions" quickly eliminated in most cases.

As mentioned earlier, a temple-esque processing plant is responsible for the construction of all ghru brains. Priests study the brains and will select those they deem fit categories as determined per their doctrine. Based on appearance, many brains are destroyed, and a only a few will actually be used in the implantation ceremonies for young children. The priests usually have an idea as to what purpose is given brain is suited for based solely on its appearance.

Ghru reproduce exactly humans would, with their newborns looking exactly like those of humans. Usually they're well cared for, but no consideration is given towards a young child's intellectual or social development, as all of that will change anyway once their implantation ceremony is completed. Ghru will still eat and do whatever is necessary to keep their organic bodies well. This even includes functions such as sleep ( which is, in truth, more of a hibernation period, while the mind continues to function normally while the rest of the body is considered immobile).

The ghru believe in gods known as the Great Old Ones, who will someday return to restore Naharrai to its former glory, so long as the ghru serve them and pray fervently enough. They believe that the Great Old Ones began life across the planets surface, constructed the Cold Cities, and even developed the first ghru brains. Supposedly, these deities even created the processing plant within their holy city of Mehbivrobek which produces the new brains, maintained by priests, along with with their mobile temples, thus allowing all ghru anywhere to partake in their important ceremonies. Ghru religion tends to have many rules, restrictions, and taboos. It's what also compels them to execute whatever ellaticurids that they come across, although rarely do they seek out such conflicts. (A small heretical group of priests believe that the ellaticurids should be captured and given artificial minds so that they, too, can become ghru. But if this is true, it's definitely kept secret.)

How exactly the ghru reacts to other humanoid races varies. It happens so rarely enough that they still haven't developed any formal doctrine. However, if a human were to make it clear that they were from Earth, a ghru might end up remembering the old tales of enmity between their worlds and seek to destroy them. [2]

Miscellaneous[edit | edit source]

The ghru don't believe that humans came to their world in the far distant past. They instead believe that their ancestors developed the Cold Cities and despised the people of Earth - even warring with them using great weapons that could span great distances. If this is true, then this would mean that the people of Naharrai and those from Earth have no shared past, other than sheer rivalry. [3]

It seems that the priesthood's selection process for new brains has inadvertently led them to prefer those with a predilection toward religion and mysticism over pure science. Thus, the ghru religion might be an unintentional self-perpetuating loop, as the priests are literally throwing out brains that may have the useful skills now utterly lost to their society. [4]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Cook, Monte, et al. “Naharrai.” Into the Night, Monte Cook Games, LLP, 2018, pp. 41. Numenera. ISBN 978-1-939979-40-7
  2. Cook, Monte, et al. “Naharrai.” Into the Night, Monte Cook Games, LLP, 2018, pp. 41-43. Numenera. ISBN 978-1-939979-40-7
  3. Cook, Monte, et al. “Naharrai.” Into the Night, Monte Cook Games, LLP, 2018, pp. 38. Numenera. ISBN 978-1-939979-40-7
  4. Cook, Monte, et al. “Naharrai.” Into the Night, Monte Cook Games, LLP, 2018, pp. 42. Numenera. ISBN 978-1-939979-40-7