Doris Picture

This planet is called Doris, named after the sea nymph from Greek mythology who is associated with the bounty of the sea. It rests in the habitable zone of its parent star, a yellow main sequence star (much like our sun). It has many moons orbiting it, and the gravitational pull of all these bodies causes the planet to become volcanically active due to tidal forces much like those affecting the moons of Jupiter (except in this case the moons have more of an effect on the planet than they do on each other). This volcanic activity releases volatile gases into the atmosphere, creating a greenhouse effect. It is blessed (or cursed) with an over-abundance of water, to the point that there is almost no land to be seen on the surface. In fact, without the volcanism there would be no land at all. Magma rising to the surface has created over one million islands. Water and atmosphere gave birth to life, and soon the oceans were full of marine life and the islands covered in tropical flora. A sapient species evolved, and quickly spread across the world.

They communicate in an odd way. One of their evolutionary ancestors used an organ capable of detecting the electromagnetic field generated by an animal's nervous system (similar systems are found in sharks). They also once used electricity to hunt their prey, and retained a vestigial organ that produced electric charge through a chemical reaction. By rapidly fluctuating the intensity of this electric organ's output they can create an oscillating magnetic field which they can detect with their magnetoperceptive organ. This "magnetopathy" isn't at all like direct brain-to-brain communication, but it is similar to very complex Morse code. Another striking feature of their anatomy is patterns of chromatophores they use to express emotion by changing color, similar to chameleons except generally limited to their heads rather than their entire bodies. The Dorisians are amphibious, and spend much of their juvenile stage of life in water, and respirate through capillary rich areas of skin like many frogs are capable of doing. This is a perfectly fine way of gaining oxygen on the homeworld because of the sheer amount of water on the surface and in the atmosphere, but it also means they can suffocate if they do not remain moist which can be problematic during off-world travel.

They have thousands of cultures and all manor of tribal clans. Their universal culture values exploration and discovery, and they soon traveled throughout their world through the use of strange submarine-boat hybrids (they needed to be near a source of water, so they just built big floating nets with sails to travel in). They also have an ancient history of piracy, and much of their literature and folk-culture revolves around pirate heroes and their exploits. The lack of land resulted in the Dorisians having few accessible resources and limited their population growth, so their civilization developed technology at a very slow pace. Around four centuries ago their world was pillaged by an unknown, nomadic species and became the site of a major battle between these nomads and a neighboring race. The nomads were defeated and the neighboring race decided to uplift the Dorisians, helping them rapidly advance technologically over several generations until they were capable of reverse-engineering the technological remnants of the battle. Their ultimate goal in doing this was to make the Dorisians a client race in their empire. Their reasoning was that because Doris was such a resource-poor world the Dorisians would have to rely on them for what they needed to sustain their now advanced civilization, and in return they would have access to a cheap labor force and exotic goods (as well as a nice, tropical vacation planet with friendly natives they could go to without passports). Unfortunately for them, the Dorisians were much more adept at developing technology then they had though, and quickly began to create technology of their own: namely technology that could be used to exploit resources on the ocean floor. Not only that, but the Dorisians also began a fierce campaign of terrorism and piracy against them. The Dorisians didn't see them as liberators, rather they saw them as just another alien species that wanted to pillage their world, just more slowly and less obviously. The aliens tried to invade Doris and forcibly pacify their aggression, but by giving them technology and teaching them how to use and improve it they had destroyed any hope they had of winning a military conflict with them. There are two pieces of advice all military commanders are familiar with: never fight a land war in Asia, and all the advanced technology in the galaxy won't help you locate a submarine under radio silence on a water world. Eventually they conceded to Dorisian demands, guaranteeing their sovereignty and ceding them territory to act as a buffer zone between the two species. Today the Dorisians still stick mainly to their homeworld, having gained very little territory since their conflict centuries ago. The oceanic currents and atmospheric conditions give Doris a fairly uniform tropical climate across the planet, making it as close to a "jungle planet" as can naturally occur outside works of science fiction. The tropical island vibe is conducive with most species' ideas of paradise, and as such it has become a center for commerce and recreation. The Dorisians have negotiated a vast array of trade networks, so much so that outside of Earth the phrase "all roads lead to Rome" has been replaced with "all [shipping] lanes lead to Doris" on human worlds. They are also infamous for their pirate cartels, which their government claims to be mere criminals but which many believe are often in league with Dorisian nobles and businessmen who use them as privateers against their opponents/competitors/enemies.

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