Spathi

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Spathi
Spathi comm.png
Fwiffo, a Spathi Eluder Captain
Homeworld: Epsilon Gruis I (Spathiwa)
Coordinates: 241.6 : 368.7
Member of: Ur-Quan Hierarchy (battle thrall),
New Alliance of Free Stars (optional)
Ship: Eluder

General[edit]

The Spathi are a cowardly race of "meta-mollusks", self-described as possessing the "best qualities of both the clam and the Dravatz". They have a colorful exoskeleton (possibly adopted by the Spathi due to their desire for safety1), a single jiggling eye, jointed pinching claws, and a single abalone-like foot, specialised for high-speed locomotion.2 As a race, the Spathi are absolute cowards and paranoid. According to Fwiffo, the Spathi live in constant fear of an undetectable phantom called the Ultimate Evil, which they are convinced lives just beyond the reaches of their most powerful long-range sensors.

If the remarks of the Spathi captain Fwiffo (supported by the Safe Ones' claim that the "prognosticators" who predicted The Captain's arrival as taking place 30 years later and were proven wrong by his premature visit will lose their tenure, causing the thousands of encrustlings of every one of them to go hungry) are true and representative of the species, Spathi families are very large. Fwiffo claims to have been "the youngest child of a family of 18,487" and mentions that being called by name by "the female parent" was a special occasion for him. Fwiffo's independence was not a voluntary choice; his parents merely "pried [him] from the doorjamb, and rolled [him] into the street". The Spathi youngsters are called "encrustlings".

The Spathi evolved on the lone planet Epsilon Gruis I (their name for the star is Yuffo and the planet, Spathiwa). About 400 years before the events of Star Control II, when their civilization was still at a Bronze Age level, their home planet has been beleaguered by a race of ravenous creatures called the Evil Ones who enjoyed eating Spathi, accelerating the advancement of their culture greatly - in less than a century, they had reached the Space Age, finally taking refuge from the Evil Ones on Spathiwa's moon.

Their ruling class is known most often as the Safe Ones, also called the Spathi Ruling Council, the High Spathi Ruling Council, the High Ruling Council of Spathiwa, and the Spathi High Council.

Hierarchy Status[edit]

When the Spathi first encountered the Ur-Quan Kzer-Za, they wanted to warn them about the peril of the Evil Ones. However, the Ur-Quan broadcasted their usual message, throwing the Spathi Captain into an intense state of panic. In this state of panic, he uttered what happened to be The Words, causing the entire Ur-Quan fleet to stop in space and explain their reasons — though the Spathi didn't understand a word, being hidden under their shells the whole time. After six hours of combat, they surrendered to the Ur-Quan Kzer-Za, who proceeded toward the Spathi temporary homeworld, Epsilon Gruis I-A. They blasted parts of the moon into radioactive dust, and then invited the Safe Ones aboard the command chamber of Lord 1's Dreadnought, where they were offered the same choice given to each race, as dictated by the Path of Now and Forever: be a Fallow Slave (and thus send back a white rod) or Battle Thrall (sending back a black rod). The Spathi actually chose to be fallow slaves, being rather fond of the idea of being forever protected by an impenetrable Slave Shield. However, the Ur-Quan's Umgah servant who was to notify the Ur-Quan of the Spathi's choice mischievously switched the color of the rod. The Spathi attempted to rectify this, but the Ur-Quan would hear none of it - they would be Battle Thralls forever.

According to them, the Spathi attempted to avoid combat as much as possible, only to receive three violent reprimands from the Ur-Quan, "each more strident than the last." When the Spathi learned that they were on the verge of being exterminated outright for their repeated disobedience, they set about their duties as battle thralls "with renewed vigor."

Religion[edit]

The Spathi have a traditional daily prayer which reflects their general attitude towards life (which they name the "mortal helix"): "..Oh God... please don't let me die today! Tomorrow would be so much better!"

The Spathi also seem to have a pre-death ceremony, the ritual of Wezzy-Wezzah. The completion of this short ritual ensures a place in their secure afterlife. A noted attribute of the Spathi's afterworld is the absence of immortal, devouring monsters. However, the ritual of Wezzy-Wezzah is invalid unless performed on the moon of Spathiwa, or so Fwiffo claims — it is a possibility that the whole ritual is made up in order to convince The Captain to take him home.

Leisure activities[edit]

A known leisure activity that the Spathi captains practice is playing a certain video game they recently bought, probably from the Melnorme, a game strikingly similar to Star Control II.

They mention having been bored until they bought the game.

Ship[edit]

The Spathi pilot the very nimble Eluder-class ships.

Known individuals[edit]

Gameplay notes[edit]

Sources of information[edit]

Fwiffo and the Melnorme are the only sources for learning the Spathi homeworld location and the Secret Spathi Cypher necessary to converse with The Safe Ones.

Relevance to the plot[edit]

Any relations with the Spathi are optional. You can ally with them to gain access to their ships. When the Spathi slave-shield themselves on Spathiwa, they leave behind the Umgah Caster on their moon, along with a note explaining what it is. The Spathi also share somewhat useful and vague information on various topics, such as the new Syreen homeworld and the natural QuasiSpace portal.

Notes and references[edit]

1From the 1998 IRC chat with Toys for Bob (Fwiffo is both Fred Ford and Paul Reiche III here):
<Xxyl> Here's an argument I've been having....Spathi have shells or no?
<Fwiffo> I think Spathi's didn't naturally have shells, but based on their desire for safety, they might adopt them as a fashion.
2From the 1998 IRC chat with Toys for Bob (Fwiffo is both Fred Ford and Paul Reiche III here):
<Mephisto_> Fwiffo: Do Spathi have feet, and what do VUX look like from the waist down?
<Fwiffo> Spathi have a foot (like an abalone), but it is specialized for high-speed locomotion, usually away from anything vaguely threatening.

See Also[edit]