I'd like to talk today about the Sentia of Aerstrum. I've wanted to talk about this for a while, but have always wanted to have visuals of the different species of Aerstrum to go along with it. So, instead of waiting for the visuals I think it's a good time to discuss this!
First and foremost, what does sentia? Sentia is the scientific name for all the different sentient species that exist on Aerstrum. While sentia is practically synonymous with species, or humanoid, I chose the word sentia because I wanted to create classifications similar to flora and fauna, which we are familiar with, but I also wanted to classify the sentient species as something other than fauna. I have also started to use the word Astrona for objects in space, but I'll share more on that in another post.
In order for a species to classify as sentia it must have:
Any species that does not meet these criteria would then be classified as fauna.
Within the world of Aerstrum, sentia often reflect that of animals in our world.
Sentia are generally divided into a family (generally their real-world scientific order or infraorder), and are assigned a name from there. Within Aerstrum, the suffix of a sentia will denote what family it belongs to.
For example, all animals that fall under the Rodan family will have their sentia name ending in dan. A hamster-like sentia becomes hamdan, a mouse-like sentia becomes midan, and so forth.
I've done it this way for multiple reasons. First, I love to be creative, but sometimes there's no point in reinventing the wheel. Our scientific classes work just fine, so I'd prefer to just leave it at that.
Second, I want to ensure that they mean something to the average person that reads or gets into Aerstrum. Calling a hamster-like sentia something like Rhinivalia, wouldn't convey the feeling that it's a hamster-like humanoid. Especially without a visual aid to back it up. By using the methodology I've outlined, having this similar naming to real-world animals, and an understanding of suffixes will allow readers to quickly identify some knowledge about that animal. This will help to build their personal vision of what the story and characters look like.
Finally, I look forward to seeing new sentia be introduced in writings by myself and others. Having a flexible but concrete way to set up these different sentia makes it easier for all those involved.
Another key factor in Sentia is their dominance. Most sentia are classified as being dominant, independent, or subservient.
Dominant sentia are those that have proven to be generally more powerful and advanced than other sentia. Most of these sentia have gone through, or are going through an empirical era, where they are able to control large amounts of land through war or have a large area of political, economic, or cultural influence.
Independent sentia are those that often live isolated with their own sentia, or even live in isolation from one other. These sentia can hold their own, as well as can choose to live with other sentia. They aren't considered dominant because they don't generally have other sentia rally behind them.
Subservient sentia are generally dependent on the technology and advancements of the dominant sentia. These sentia generally don't have their own form of governments and have generally blended into an existing dominant sentia through being conquered, or other influential motivations.
As I started working on defining all these different sentia, I started to think about how the sentia would compare to each other. Would the creatures be massive in scale to one another or would they all be around the same height? Could underwater sentia coexist with surface sentia? Do they all live around the same age? Do tails and fins exist? All of these questions are something that need thought before finalizing them in the canon that is to come.
Most of these traits will be general, there could be exceptions down the road, but they will be exceptions, not the normal. So here are a few of the traits I'll be discussing today:
Most sentia will range anywhere between 2 to 10 feet tall. Some sentia, such as the rodan family will average around 2 1/2 to 4 1/2 feet. The chrazan and pecoran families will be a little taller, ranging from 7-9 feet tall on average. Most sentia will range between the 5-7 foot range.
Much like height, the age of sentia will vary. Some sentia such as rodans and canivans will range between 40-60 year lifespan. Other sentia such as the repatans will live longer, the tortan, for example, will have lifespans beyond two hundred years old.
Features like tails, fins, gills, and blowholes will exist on sentia that normally have them. Each sentia should be able to live in it's normal environment. The ostegan family for example, which is based on the many fish of the ocean, will not be able to live on the surface without some sort of adjustments. Similar to how the homan family can't live underwater without adjustments.
One thing that will be common to all sentia, is a resemblance to the human hand, mainly, fingers and the opposable thumb. These fingers might be webbed, might have fur, might have claws, but they need also be able to function as hands.
The last thing I want to go over, is why animals? I could've gone with orcs, trolls, goblins, etc, but I wanted a different path. I wanted to have sentia that could be fun and relative to readers and, eventually, viewers.
Going back to the conversation above, I've been aiming for reading that allows readers to visualize new concepts quickly in their minds. There's enough to try to understand with aera, and having animal sentia eliminates the need to understand yet another new concept.
Additionally, there's a lot of books and movies that I personally won't watch or read because of how gritty or dark they are. By having animal sentia as opposed to traditional fantasy sentia, or even the many odd sentia that exist in the sci-fi genre, it helps to foster that light-hearted feeling to the galaxy.Final Thoughts
I hope this helps to shed some light on what sentia are, and where the direction of Aerstrum continues to go! I know there's not all the visuals I would've liked to have had, but I guess I'm leaving the visuals up to your imagination this time. Looking forward to the conversations with you all.Have an aera-ful day!