The Acceptians

       The Acceptians are a six-limbed avainoid species. They stand on average seven feet tall with considerable variation within that range and weigh, on average 70 pounds each. They are fight capable. Coloration is a varicolored mottled brown with black beaks and a dark red cree. Skin that is bare of feathers is leathery and the same color as the cree. Feathered skin is softer ande less brightly colored. They are carnivores and have the beak and talon structure typical of carnivorous birds. Their four fingered hands, Three fingers and directly apposed thumb, have fixed talon-like fingernails. The lower legs and lower arms are free of feathers. Eyes are various shades of of yellow and red with a round iris.
       Females are a third larger than males, averaging 7.6 feet and being broader built. They are not a agile in flight as the smaller males.
       Acceptians do not wear clothing other than belts or harness to aid in carrying objects. The practice of dying their feathers is known, and has fallen in and out of fashion over the many years. Jewelry worn on the lower legs and arms is common. Necklaces are items or ranks, and not worn as common adornment While it is possible to do insets into the beak without harm, it is seldom done for the beak grows rapidly, and such insets would be quickly lost. Painting of the beak and talons is common and again the fashion varies. Currently family crests are all the rage.

Acceptian Life:

       Acceptians are egg layers, with a female laying a single hard-shelled egg, five days to a week after fertilization. The incubation period is 3 months. At one time eggs required constant attention. In these modern times incubators mean than the egg is kept at the ideal temperature and rotated regularly without parental supervision. Enlightened parents will see that the egg is talked to on a regular basis. In the final month the embryo is developed enough to hear sounds inside the egg, and it has been proven that these parental sounds do stimulate intellectual development.
       The resulting chick is totally helpless and weights slightly over a pound. Chicks are able to eat meat right from hatching and require constat care and attention. They are hatched naked, and cannot regulate their body temperature. They must also be stimulated to defecate. They do not require stimulation to eat, and will do so until tight bellied and somnolent. This continues for the first six months of life. The chick is little more than fuzz covered appetite that eats and sleeps. They are fragile. Ddropping one from the height of the parent's arms can be enough to seriously injure or even casue death.
       By the end of the six month period the chick weighs five pounds, and is bright-eyed and ready to go. By this point its brain is sufficiently developed to allow learning to take place. The young will be trying their legs and flapping their wings. Flight is still years away, but that doesn't keep them from exercising the wing muscles. At this point the chick is slightly more advanced than a human infant is at birth, and considerably larger. Their appetite will drop off from the early and endlessly ravenous state and settle down to something more normal for their body size.
       By the age of one year the young will weight in at six to seven pounds and be steady on their feet. They should gain about 10 pounds per year for the next seven years until they achieve full growth.
       At the age of three formal education begins. For Acceptians that means the state run public schools or a private tutor of choice. As many Acceptians are in the second estate, private tutors are common, although most families see fit to send older, adult sized children to boarding school for the last three years of their education. The period of primary education lasts for 14 years, and an Acceptian that has not finished such schooling in an acceptable manner cannot participate in society. They will not be able to gain a mate or any position of responsibility.
       Long before the Acceptian is of an Education, as it is said, they will have reached their adult height and gained adult plumage. They will also be sexually mature. The female will lay from two to five eggs a year whether fertilized or not. Infertile eggs are destroyed. The female that lays the egg declares if it is fertile or not, and her call is never questioned. She has total control over whether a given egg gets to the incubator. No unmated female will declare an egg fertile. Males can mate at any time, and females can be receptive to non reproductive mating. It is a pleasurable process for both parties.
       Once an Acceptian has finished schooling they can seek employment and a mate, usually in that order. While most Acceptian families are rich, their clan owning entire planets, employment within the family holdings is required for respectability. An idler is consider beneath contempt. Both males and females will be so employed. Females in sedentary positions, males in positions of action. Some males will leave the family business to serve in the military services. This is usually expected of the second son.
       Once established the Acceptian can seek a mate. The male looks for a female that will be of equivalent social rank, or higher. One that once the mating ceremony is past will not crush his eggs in spite. Women have total control of how many and which eggs are incubated. If she feels that she was married unfairly, or poorly, she will see the male never sees any progeny.
       The female looks for an ambitious male that will advance their joint social position. Most females will mate with a male below their social station, and thus she wants one that will not rest on acquired laurels but will seek to raise both their status through hard work. Once the mating is accomplished neither party has much recourse. Divorce, while possible stigmatizes both parties as people that make bad decisions. As a result a couple will endure a difficult marriage rather than risk the social ruin that public admittance of failure in that most intimate of business would bring.
       Courtships are usually long drawn out affairs that heavily involve the members of both clans. Marrying without the approval of the clan heads is almost as bad as divorce. You might as well join the military, both of you, or give oath to some god of love and join the priesthood. While arrangements are all but required, the pairings are nearly always the idea of the couple, and simply, or rather complexly, approved by the two clans.
       Once the innumerable negotiations are complete the couple can wed. The ceremony is usually civil in nature, with much pomp and circumstance, the more important the couple and their families, the more pomp. The ceremony is capped by the couple copulating in public. It is a moment of great performance anxiety on the part of both of them. In the past it was often faked to the best of each's ability. In modern times stimulants assure the male's ability and the female's receptiveness. It also assures that neither will be able to comfortably sit though the long party afterward, a source of bawdy amusement at the reception. The act is brief, and no pleasure is expected.
       Once the discomfort of getting married is said and done the couple can expect to settle into a long and productive life together. With due ambition and work both may progress socially and achieve high status. It is rare to actually gain the position of the Clan leaders, but even that is possible. For the leading couple it means Clan Matriarch for the female, and Planetary Governor for the male. For others, each will do as well as personal ability and influence can gain. It is the time to raise one's own children, and to enjoy the fruits of hard labors. Being the rulers is not an easy task, even if you are born to it.
       Life can be expected to last up to 150 years on the outside. Medical technology can make this comfortable, even if it cannot prevent the gradual loss of ability. Few Acceptians over the age of 90 can fly. Bones become brittle, and muscle mass decreases. Body, or pin, feathers become sparser and all feathers become more prone to damage. A truly ancient Acceptian has a difficult time maintaining an unragged appearance.
       Death is seldom unwelcome by the end of life. While a pain free existence is assured, living with a body that increasingly refuses to do as one wills can itself be a tiring and frustrating thing.


       Acceptians have a Matriarchal empire. Females will be found in the top spot of most ministries and government positions. However both males and females will be found in every level of government. An Acceptian is considered part of the government simply by being Acceptian. It's your empire pal, rule it. They are taught that they are superior to all other races, and it is their natural place to rule. To this end Acceptians have carved out a tightly knit empire and have hundreds of client races.
       There are four "Estates" of social rank. They are:
  • The Royal Clan, or the First Estate. This has been the same clan for 500 years now. The Royal Clan is as large as any other clan, and everyone within will know his or her exact position within it. The Royal Estate is consider to be Stellas itself, the Acceptian Homeworld.
  • The Noble Clans, or the Second Estate. It is very unusual for any race but Acceptians to be in this social class. To be considered of the Second Estate an Acceptian Clan must have a holding. This means a planet. The number of noble families is limited by the number of class M planets in the Empire.
  • The Common People, or the Third Estate. This is the majority of the Empire, and all client races. Acceptian clans of the third estate are always in the market for a planet. Until now it has been necessary to displace another clan to get one. Third tier families are looking at the opening of the forntier as the golden oppertunity that it is.
  • Slaves, or the Fourth Estate. All slaves are criminals, all criminals are slaves. Acceptians have no prisons, those convicted of less than capital crimes are enslaved. The period of slavery can be from life to 90 days. Once tainted by the fourth estate one's reputation can never be recovered. Noble families will usually pay vast sums to keep a family member from serving such a term. Many Acceptians would rather die, and commit suicide rather than be reduced to slaves. However, it is fine for anyone else.

       The Matriarch and her court are the heart of the Empire. While the Matriarch no longer has the power of absolute rule she once had, it is her power to appoint the ministers of state and governors of each Province of the Empire. She must be advised of the decisions of the Council of Pinions, and can block an action she considers ill advised by calling an election to replace the First Speaker of the Council.
       Under the Matriarch is the Council of Pinions. This body is the equivalent of the British House of Lords, only it is where the real power lies. Every landowner, that is planet owner, has the right and responsibility to sit on the council. They can also send a proxy, and with the business that many have, many do. Proxies cannot serve as First Speaker.
       The Council is organized into ministries, and headed by the First Speaker who is elected from among the peers. All laws of Imperial scope are created here, they command the Star Services through the Star Lord who commands all Her Luminance's Imperial Forces. It is likewise organized into the dozens of ministries large and small that form the bureaucracy of a large and old government. In may cases the ministries have become so top heavy that the Ministers have absolutely nothing to do with what the ministry is actuality doing. Periodically some scandal will cause a given ministry to get cleaned out and streamlined. However, this has never been generally done with the entire government structure.
       Governors appointed by the Matriarch rule each of the many Provinces of the Empire. It is here that direct power is to be had. Governors while directed by the Council of Pinions, are in practice far removed from the seats of the central Government, and to wait for instruction would be folly so Governors never do, even when that instruction could be had within hours. Each Governor will have a smaller versions of the pinions at his own disposal, and regional government resembles central government both in form, and many times in function, or the lack of it. Governors also have discretionary power to request the aid of the Star Forces. Most are reluctant to do so as to involve the Star Forces brings oversight from the Council of Pinions.
       Lastly you have the planetary governments. These are owned by a given Acceptian Clan, and ruled by the head of that clan. Government is the Family business. What ever the race that might live there, they are the subjects of the Clan. Such power can, and does get abused. If word of the abuse gets back to the central government, measures are taken. That said, Acceptians are by and large responsible rulers. Their code of ethics states they are natural rulers, and requires they be good, fair, and just rulers. Acceptians are taught from an early age that honor is of great importance. An Acceptian will overcome all reluctance to try the new if their honor is at stake.


       Acceptians enjoy a technology equivalent to the Federation inmost aspects. They excel in the building of large ships, but lag in sophistication in both weapons and computer technology. What they have is extremely hardy and works very well. They might still be using the equivalent of duotronic computers, but they are compact, fast and reliable to a fault duotronic computers.
       Acceptian technology advances slowly. They are by nature a conservative bunch, and by the time a new technology is in use, it is as near mature as it can be brought to inside the lab. Innovation is treated like a disease until it is proven not to bite. As a result it has taken the Acceptian Empire 2000 years to get from the starships of Earth's late 21st century to the Technology of the Earth of 2370. However, they have several centuries of practice with the technology that the Federation has had for a few decades. They will know everything that can go wrong, and will have fixed it. Robust is the word, all Acceptian technology is robust.
       Their weakness is that they don't innovate quickly. Even when innovation would be the best thing to do, it is considered carefully and slowly.
       They have no technology in the department of planet busters. Right, burn down the house you are trying to foreclose on. While some theoretical research has been done, there is no hardware. Not there is no admitted hardware, there is no hardware. This is not an area they wish to explore.

Recent History:

       The Acceptians have not been at general war in over 1000 years. They have fought a dozen little brush wars of conquest a century, and put down as many rebellions, but no power within their history has seriously threatened them. They are running a slow motion war with the Thasite War Cities. As a war city crosses the Acceptian border it gets involved and eventually destroyed.
       Due to the slow and though method of Acceptian conquest, they hold an area the fraction of the size of the UFP's patrol zone. It is more in line with the conquests of either the Klingons or the Romulans. Their current empire is a sphere 400 light years across, a complete sphere. Acceptians tolerate no hostile, or even neutral independents within the Empire's sphere of control. It has been a dozen generations since a race fought them to the point of that race's destruction.
       One of the pet Acceptian military theories is of the existence of a power they are not large enough to overcome by economic force, and not strong enough to conquer. The idea is bandied about with little real seriousness among the fashionable set, and with deadly seriousness in the halls of the War College. Neither circumstance has occurred in their 2000 years of starflight. With the first tendrils of contact with the Federation, the military thinkers are slowly looking up from the books, and wondering; "Could this be the one?"
       The truth about the pre-starflight period is that no good records remain. There is a question as to whether this loss was one of accident or deliberate action.*


       An Acceptian sees himself as the master of all they survey. While they recognize that an individual can and will fail, they contend than the race can handle everything, they are born to rule. Acceptian good guys will be of the manifest destiny type. Willing even eager to see that all they rule benefits from that rule, but with Acceptians surely ruling. The Acceptian bad guy will see themselves as the embodiment of the manifest destiny of rulership, and as personally incapable of failure, or a bad decision.
       They are openly curious, yet cautious of anything too new. New stuff gets tested to death. Confidence rises as their numbers increase. While one Acceptian might wonder what is over the mountain, but not go and see, a flock of them will be off as soon as possible. It is possible to get individuals to so move, but only if they feel the opinion of the community is behind them. The approach is rather like penguins on an ice floe, they shove and push, all wanting to get into the water, but none wishing to go first. Once one does jump, or is pushed, they all pile in behind them.
       This curiosity hampered by a heavy caution has ruled throughout Acceptian history. People wondering, and not taking action until a community consensus existed or sufficient curious people existed to launch an investigation or exploration. It has meant that Acceptians are slow to make war, and have never had much history of war against each other*, or so the report goes. They certainly never came close to destroying themselves. All their serious aggression has happened individual to individual or against foes of other races.
       Another factor ruled by this all or nothing approach is the general reaction to a fight between Acceptians. It is possible within the culture for two Acceptians to challenge each other for dominance in some fashion. This can boil down to a fight. Such fights are never lightly undertaken because one of the combatants will be dead at the end of it. Even if the loser is only lightly wounded, the observing Acceptians will close in on the fallen loser and rip them apart. True each will only get in his or her one swipe. However, when the crowd parts the only thing left will be a mass of bloody feathers. Acceptians have made deep studies of why they do this. It is generally believed that an Acceptian fighting an Acceptian produces a pheromone that increases the aggressive reaction of this around them. It certainly doesn't happen when Acceptians fight non-Acceptians, or other races fight before Acceptians. The matter is not discussed in polite company. It is not a behavior they are proud of, and if they could find a way to stop it they would.

Art and Culture:

       As with any widely spread race the Acceptians have a multitude of schools of art. Arts, in the fields of both sight and sound are widely patronized and enjoyed. Most Acceptian art is not produced by Acceptians, but by a member of one of the client races within the empire. Acceptians will say that is because government is their art. Once in a great while some Acceptian will buck the system and rebel to the life of an artist. Usually they are very good, and gain acclaim throughout the province, if not the empire. The are guaranteed to grow old rich, and lonely. While the fame can be had, and wealth will flow, no proper Acceptian would consider such a person as a mate.
       Museums and other centers of art will be found with the frequency you will find them on humans worlds. Acceptians also see art as a method of "doing for the subjects" Like the old Soviet Union, tickets for the "ballet" will be cheap, in what ever form "ballet" might take.
       Another common form of art support is direct patronage. Every Acceptian house will have it's "pet" composer, artist, etc.. These are kept to spread the fame of the family, make the official portaits and so forth. Again, these artists will be from the planet's client race. They are allowed entry into the society of their betters by virtue of their talents. Each a credit to their race.


       Officially Acceptians are an agnostic people. There might be casual mention of "the first shell" or "the first egg", usually in oaths of some kind or another, but that will be the extent of any public "religion". Unofficially Acceptians follow dozens of major and minor cults. None is recognized by the Matriarchy as "official". No cult has any real political power.
       This is a result of the Burning of the Priests An event in the dark years before spaceflight. Legend has it that the Priests had usurped power in the name of gods, and someone, no name is even given, found there was no god behind the priests. The priests were dragged from their temples and set afire. The people were set to burn every temple and priest around, but saner heads prevailed. The explained that while these priests were guilty of misusing their office, that was not the case for all. Each must be taken on their own merits. However, laws where put in place that no priest could hold political power, or public office. This law is still followed in spirit to the present day. Those entering religious life renounce all familial or political ties to do so, no matter the religion. This is not required to merely be the adherent of a religion. All Acceptians are reluctant to discuss their religious beliefs. The greater the social or political position, the more reluctant they become.

The Current Situation:

       The Empire has enjoyed relative peace for the last century. The war cities are more nuisance than real threat, even dozens of them can be absorbed without real cost. Those Thasites that have been settled have done well under Acceptian rule.

       The Empire is gradually expanding it's prospects once again. Word has been passed to the star forces to examine the possibilities in the coreward sectors. Results were almost immediate. On Sarvin 5, on the 2243rd year of the Empire, Her Imperial Majesty's Ship Vigilant and her striker five made contact with the United System's Ship Kongo, of the United Federation of Planets. A new era has begun.


Acceptian "Kitty Sheet" Write Up

Created by: Garry Stahl
Number of Members: Billions and billions.
Nature of Members: Two kinds. Acceptians and clients. Acceptians get all the advantages, client carry the load.
Organization: Family working into a broader expression of that structure.
Game Role: Treat to Federation peace and wellbeing, a foil for the PCs.
World Role: The Natural Rulers of the Galaxy
Relative Influence: Major The Acceptian Empire controls the output of hundreds of systems.
Public or Secret?: Public, very public.
Publicly Stated Goal: To rule the Galaxy
Relative Wealth: Immense. Hundreds of Systems.
Group advantages: Large, old and well established. The Acceptian Empire didn't happen yesterday. They are firmly entrenched, and even on the client worlds you will find few that would change things even if they could.
Special Abilities:  None really.  They have the same  "abilities" enjoyed by any large political structure.
Group disadvantages:  Large old and well established.  The Empire has a lot of inertia.
Special disadvantages:  Inertia.  Acceptians do not adopt change readily.
Those who favor them:   Client races that find comfort in the Empire
Those opposed to them:  Anyone on the list to become a client race.
Area of Operation:  Area rimward of the UFP
Headquarters Location:  Stellas (Our Sky)  Located in the center of the Empire.
Public Face:  Feathered Man's Burden
Notable Members:  Vic'teer  Matriarch of the Empire.  Vic'teer is the gracefully aging Matriarch of the Empire.  She is notable for hatching damn near every fertile egg she laid after her marriage to Prince A'breet.  He died in a tragic accident playing aerial games.  The Prince apparently miscalculated his sweep and put one wing into the ground.  In spite of every medical effort to save him he died two weeks later from the massive trauma of slamming into the ground at high speed.  Many believe to this day that he didn't want to live when he was informed that he had lost both wings due to shattered bones.  Vic'teer has never remarried, although she could easily do so.  She has mourned A'breet since that day.
       Now in late middle age she continues to wield a stern hand over her large and somewhat cantankerous brood.  She can boast among her children many with drive and ambition, she equally goads those that are willing to rest on the advantages of their station.

Prince A'breet II.  First Lord of the Star Service.  The eldest son of the Matriarch, A'breet possess all the drive and poise of his late father.  He gravitated to the Star Service at a young age, and with his Mother's backing has risen from within the ranks on merit.  He is the first Star Lord in several generations to actually have served in the Star Service.  Due to him morale in the Star Service is at a 100 year high.
       A'breet II has recently married.  An event of universal consequence it was transmitted to the entire Empire by subspace.  His marriage to Teeana of the Clan Ga'har and the subsequent hatching of their First Egg has the entire Empire giddy with joy.  With Matriarch Vic'teer enjoying a robust health and no sign of slowing down, the young girl is considered the presumptive heir.

Prince E'wee.  Prince E'wee is the other end of the spectrum.  E'wee is perfectly happy to live the life of the dilitant.  He expends no more effort than he must, and has never sought a wife.  This does not mean he is unaccompanied.  His various dalliances have rumored to include a few Buto women.  Nothing has ever been proven, and the scandal that would result if proof was public would rock the Imperial clan.  Unknown to anyone in the public or his family Prince E'wee is a leading member in the "Talons of Fear", a secret organization with less that savory goals and practices.

Princess Mag'reet  Mag'reet is a public minded young woman that causes her mother a good deal of grief because she can't keep her beak closed.  She is a leading light in several humanoid rights organizations, and constantly advocates rights reforms in the public forum.  She is not popular in the Hall of Pinions.  A fact that doesn't bother her in the least.
       Mag'reet is of an age to marry, and as of yet has not settled on any of a large number of adoring suitors.  She seems to enjoy playing the mating game.

Deeisreel of Clan Stllas First Speaker of the Pinions Deeisreel is the current First Speaker of the Pinions.  Deeireel is an older Acceptian that hobbles about on a cybernetic talon., a souvenir of his days in the Star Service.  He is proper and conservative.  Traits that make him popular in the Hall of Pinions, and keep him on good terms with the Matriarch.

History of the Organization:  2000 years ago the Acceptians boiled out of Stellas in primitive warp drive ships.  They conquered every world they encountered by economics or by force of arms.  This pattern has continued to the present day.  Currently they hold an old and highly established empire that is now in contact with the UFP.

*       The Truth of the matter is that Buteos, a related avainoid species, landed on the Acceptian home world first. Acceptians might have destroyed each other if not for that intervention. This information is no longer available, and was a deliberate act of altering history. The loss of those ancient lessons might bite them in the tail feathers one day. The nature of the alteration of the records of first contact and the early Acceptian history is unknown in the current generation. They believe the history as written to be true, unless you're a Buteo.

All written material Copyright © Garry Stahl, 2000, 2005
Do not reprint without permission.

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