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So, yesterday, there was a thread on homebrewing a culture and biology for a race of featureless metal spheres. I wrote up a whole load of shit for that, but then I had to get on a plane and nap and have a long car trip and long story short I wasn't able to post it until now.

So, for anyone who cares, have a whole load of rambling about the Chorus, a race of grapefruit-sized magnetic metal spheres that eat heat and iron, have a languages that sounds like chiptune whalesong, and have weird sex.

>A group of Chorus is a Chord; friendships and social bonding are so tightly ingrained in their society that a single member is simply referred to as a "Chorus-member" or "Chord-member", although Note is sometimes used.
>The homeland of the Chorus is arctic, and extremely cold, with the notable features being an incredibly ferrous composition and large fragments of meteorite sticking out of the ground. (It is believed that the Chorus came down in said meteorite.)
>Other theories have it that the Chorus came from the legendary Dwarven Motherlode, a mythical segment of the Elemental Plane of Earth which consists solely of metals.
>Or they're weird ancient golems, or possibly Fae spirits of metal.
>They feed off of heat- specifically, the temperature difference between the frigid air of their homeland and volcanic vents. To gain energy, they bask near the vents, both for comfort and nourishment.
>Although the Chorus are adapted to cold, they enjoy basking in the heat, not only for reasons of food, but because the cold embrittles their metal; heat makes them less brittle, and this is fairly comfy.
>Some Chorus will feed closer to the vents, with young daredevils swooping right over it because they're young daredevils. The heat interferes with the functioning of the circuitry which makes up a Chorus-member's body; the experience is rather like being drunk. A popular vent is often the phsyical and social equivalent of a good restaurant and bar.
>Too much heat, however, will bring a Chorus's body above the Curie point and kill it. Even before that, the overheating of it's systems will cause damage. A member of the Chorus, despite not needing to breathe, will die a surely as a human will if trapped in a burning building- in fact, the human might have a better chance, because it's not under the cognitive equivalent of a drinking binge.
>Chorus also get themselves drunk or high by placing specially-shaped magnets on points that best translate to "chakras" - this is also a large portion of traditional Chorus mysticism and traditional medicine. Due to the nature of Chorus reproduction, some configurations of magnets around their sole orifice are basically equivalent of masturbation.
>The cold, on the other hand, enhances the thought processes of the Chorus, as well as strengthening the magnetic fields they use to manipulate objects and their fine control over them.
>Chorus-members form VERY tight social bonds, and tend to form large social groups of such tightly-connected close friends/platonic bros/lovers/sisters - the term does not translate well into English. You will almost never see a group of Chorus traveling as a Chord with less than three members.
>You will basically always see at least two Chorus-members orbiting each other at any one time; if you see a single Note traveling alone, then they're almost certainly either doing something very private, there's been been in a huge disagreement, they have a fatal disease, or they're going off to suicide.
>The Chorus finds mercury to be an utterly fatal poison. Mercury is very corrosive to most metals, and it infiltrates their delicate inner workings. Mercury is an insidious poison, and fatal even in the smallest doses; the death is usually painful and drawn-out, with severe mental deterioration along the way.
>In fact, Mercury is believed in the traditional religion of the Chorus to be the flesh of their God of Death. (The silvery goo, very similar in appearance to mercury but of completely different composition, which is involved in Chorus reproduction is viewed as the flesh of their diametrically-opposite God of Life.) The two gods formed from the Primal Chaos which resides within the First Carapace that formed from the Absolute Void and forms the shell of the universe. Because the Carapace crystallized from nothing, without growing on the pseudo-organism that produces Chorus carapaces, it lacks the orifice that serves the Chorus as mouth, anus, genital, and bellybutton, and the two Gods both developed within the same carapace. (Which is utterly impossible within Chorus biology, but so is Athena being born from Zeus' split skull.) When the Void at last rusts the Carapace and splits it open, the world will end.
>The speech/song of young Chorus sounds very much like somebody attempting to play Simon Says. That of older members is more reminiscent of chiptune whalesong. When a Chord speaks at once- their tight social bonds are linked to a special method of communication, whereby they use near-field magnetic communication to speak to each other very fast, privately and very intimately, and a Chord does almost everything through teamwork- they speak with multiple separate tones, hence the name. The more Chorus-members in a Chord, the more nuanced and many-layered the message that can be conveyed is, and the ability of multiple members of a Chord to talk to each other much faster than speech and share ideas and viewpoints makes the speech much more eloquent.
>By carefully modulating their tone and volume, a Chorus-member, with extreme effort and practice, although this is easier with a larger Chord coordinating, providing more tones and range- can approximate the speech of humans and other races, producing a sound analogous to that of an 80s-era speech synth or a shitty vocoder. This is very difficult, so most members of a Chorus will instead carry around a pouch full of iron filings, which they arrange via magnetic fields into letters, words, or pictograms.
>Their name originates not only from the sound of their speech, but from the most important element of their culture- the Chorus. The Chorus - the race - view the world as a work of art, and their culture revolves around art and the pursuit of beauty. (In fact, their moral system is largely defined in terms of aesthetics- although killing is typically seen as a very bad action anyway; sentient beings are the most complex and beautiful form of art, and to destroy that is evil- unless it serves some larger, poetic purpose. Chorus morals typically align with human morality in general terms, although they may often differ somewhat in details and specifics.) The Chorus is the prime example of this- it is a great song, constantly sung throughout the temples of their homeland. It is an ode to the universe, describing all things and exulting in them, a thousand-part constant chorus of joy. The Chorus also involves a great dance; a vast ballet of hovering metal grapefruit, orbiting each other and swooping through clouds of Chorus in flocks and pods and schools. The dogma surrounding the Chorus is complex, and it's not quite a religion, but essentially, to the Chorus, "cleric" and "bard" are the same class.
>That said, just like any other religion, there are varying degrees of devotion. Some are swept up by it, others think it's just a pretty song.
>Why do Chorus go adventuring? Most don't. Away from the cold of their homelands, the Chorus grow clumsier, their minds grow fuzzier, and their strength ebbs. Without the heavily ferrous ground beneath them, staying aloft at all becomes a non-negligible strain. The world beyond is strange and scary; the complex magnetic fields surrounding the groud, other Chorus, and the other metalic native life in the Chorus homeland all cease to exist; there is little but the constant north-pointing field and the occasional whorl of a nail or sword. It is like going blind, and the absence of other Chord's fields in a race so accustomed to company is terrifyingly lonely. Humans are big and creepy- we're, but are invisible to the magnetic-field-sense of the Chorus, and we're made out of soft meat! It's all very scary. And for a Chord-member, to leave behind all one's other friends besides two or three of your closest is sad and scary and leaves one terribly alone.

>So why do they go? Some wish to spread the song of the Chorus to the silent world beyond. Some view the ugliness- the tyrants, the evils, the injustice- as a blemish, a deep flaw in the craftsmanship of the Chorus-song which tells the tale of the universe, and set out to right it and restore justice and beauty. Some wish to explore and learn all about the strange, alien world beyond the ice and the silver trees, either from curiosity or from bardic tales that have been woven into the Chorus or because the Chorus is meant to tell the story of the world, and it will be imperfect and incomplete as long as there remain tales of the outside world which are not sung in the Chorus. Some are preparing to begin the process of mating, and are searching out rare or magical metals in the hopes of creating a better child, perhaps even one of the rare sorcerers whose feedstock contains magical metals like mithril. (Most Chorus cannot do magic; they're basically made of cold iron.)
>Some may be seeking out artifacts or artworks, lost masterpieces to add to the Chorus's collection. Some may be looking for inspiration. Some may have been exiled. Some may have been wronged by others, and are seeking revenge. Some might be seeking a new life in the Dwarven cities which contain Chorus presences (the Chorus know that their deposits of ores that feed their people will not last forever; they trade with the dwarves frequently, supplying mine labor and craftsmanship impossible for beings with hands to create, in exchange for food and craftsmanship that only beings with hands can. Some may be exiles.
The Chorus generally go "naked", although it is fairly common for them to wear chains, bands, nets, or other ornamentation of gold or silver or other conductive materials, sometimes adorned with hanging lodestones or meteoritic chunks, or segments of fur or crumpled paper. (The Chorus are effectively blind, seeing only through echolocation, touch, and magnetic senses. They lack eyes, so ornamentation is mostly invisible to them unless it's magnetic, conductive, alters the acoustic properties of the Chorus's body [and thus it's voice, which originates from vibrating the body to produce simple tones], or has significant protrusions.) The equivalent of tattoos is ornamental engraving on the hard outer carapace. Because only one's close friends will ever get close enough to feel one's engravings, these are very personal and private statements- although they're plainly and openly visible to any sighted human.
>The Chorus technically do need to "breathe." Although they don't actually need oxygen, they do need ventilation, to cool down. They effectively "breathe" in and out of their orifice, passing air over fins in their internal pocket. The coolant need not be gas- theyy can survive easily beneath the ocean- in fact, there are underwater colonies of Chorus, near hydrothermal vents- but they cannot survive very long in vacuum without a way to vent to stop overheating. A Chorus "spacesuit" would mostly just be a very large disk of metal film, acting as a radiator and a solar sail. To feed, they would turn towards the sun, letting one half be in sunlight and the other in shadow.
aand that's about all I've got in my notebook. I just found the sup/tg/ link to the old thread; I'll post it here, and copy over some of the posts from it so you have any idea about who these guys are.

The best translation of their name, in any human language, is the Chorus. They form very close social bonds, and very many of them- although the Chorus is not a hive-mind or group mind, they are often mistaken for one.

They communicate primarily via a language consisting solely of musical tones; meaning is transmitted through tonal countours, tone duration, and elements of tonal color- square waves, sawtooth waves, and sine waves, as well as other aspects, are often used. The Chorus lack any kind of vocal organ; their entire body is used as a soundboard, by vibrating at precise frequencies. Members of the Chorus can choose to "shout" by adhering themselves to a large solid surface and using the entire object as a speaker.

When very close to each other, almost touching, members of the Chorus can communicate at very high speeds by modulating their magnetic fields, similar to near-field communication in human electronics. This is almost akin to telepathy, and is used as an intimate method of communication between two members of the Chorus- in fact, it is an adaptation of the sharing of information used in Chorus mating practices. Often, two or more spheres that are part of a Chorus "family" or other tightly-knit social unit will choose to link together in this manner, and speak at once, turning their tonal language into a far more nuanced many-voiced choral language, viewpoints blending to produce a multi-valued speech which is most closely related to some of the more avant-garde types of poetry. These groups, when assembled, are the local leaders of Chorus society, the advocates, the abritrators, and the elders, as they have the advantage of the combined knowledge of several spheres and the layered consideration of multiple viewpoints at once is thought to provide a more balanced, reasonable judgement.
Chorus don't really have a concept of "gender" as we understand it- depending on which xenoanthropologist you ask, they've either got only one gender, or at least twelve, which correspond to various arcane and obscure differences in social role, precise gradients of magnetic fields, and other things that are very hard to explain to fleshy bipedal meat aliens. (Their language does, however, have a huge number of linguistic "genders" corresponding to a number of vague and arbitrary classes, but that's a different matter altogether.)

The Chorus are symbiotic with another metallic "creature", which appears to be entirely sedentary and have no but to produce the metal husks which are used in the production of Chorus. To reproduce, one of the tight social groups which make up Chorus society decide that they wish to have a child, which is a significant event- the adding of a new voice to the Song is a momentous one. They spend time gathering the raw materials in the caves and from a massive meteorite which impacted their homeland a long, long time ago-mostly, certain metallic ores. (The Chorus instinctually know how to recognize these; it is thought that they may have originated as the remnants of an alien mining system.) These are taken into their bodies through an orifice and processed into the basic "stuff" of a Chorus's body. Some of these are used to feed the creature to produce a new Chorus husk. When the husk is complete, the group gathers into a ring, magnetizing themselves such that they all actually touch each other. (Touching is fairly taboo in Chorus society, and is only done for this reason.) The magnetic communication- normally merely intimate- becomes absolute.
The "genetic" code of a Chorus sphere- both details of how the raw material of a sphere should turn itself into an adult, as well as mental aspects- is stored primarily in their own memory. Sharing like this, ancient instincts open up, and this normally-inaccessible area of memory opens up to conscious access. As each member of the ring, in turn, injects the raw material they have cultured in their bodies with parts of their own substance into the husk, their personalities, memories, and genetic aspects combine and re-arrange themselves into the genetic/memetic makeup of the new child. This is "imprinted" onto the raw mercury-like stuff that is growing within the child's body, and the whole mess is complete, leaving the participants to lie back, enjoy something like a cigarette, and maybe wipe silvery goo off of their orifices.

As the "child" develops, nestled in the nourishing warmth of a volcanic vent and fed raw materials, the goop within it will harden and self-assemble into the complete anatomy of an adult Chorus sphere.

The entire process, in human terms, can be best approximated having a lesbian orgy with ten or twelve people while on intense doses of various drugs.
They also need to have some way to repair themselves and obtain minerals. I'm thinking that the basic anatomy of the Chorus sphere includes at least one hidden orifice, probably hidden under a retractable segment of hard metal carapace that looks exactly the same as the rest. (It feels different magnetically, though. The Chorus can tell.) When open, the orifice unfolds like a metal flower, revealing the interior. This leads to an internal chamber which serves as stomach, storage pocket, and "womb". Metal ores, usually harvested from caves or the massive meteorite whose fragments litter their ancestral home, are stored here, and processed into new parts of their body or to replace old bits. Chorus are hard to damage, but they're designed like a machine, not meat, and they're much slower to heal. The orifice also serves as a very simple, clumsy grasper, to hold non-magnetic objects.
Because of the nature of the Chorus- opening up the hard carapace to reveal the delicate interior- it's akin to removing all your natural armor. As such, eating solids is a very private activity for them, although settling down at a heat source is a very social one. Originally this was due to fear of attack; now it's more of a cultural thing, especially due to the sexual connotations of the whole mess.
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i digs it. Good work man,I appreciate yo work
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A Chorus, fully opened, looks something like this. Also, when fighting, their battle cry/song sounds very like pumping techno music. Combined with their favored mode of attack- a cloud of blades or metal plates orbiting around them- fighting a Chorus is very much like fighting a Rez boss.
A Chorus settlement is always a bizarre sight even in a land of wonders. Purely metallic structures cut into the natural irregularities of the landscape with precise order. Where before in their homeland they were gleaming steel, so fine as to almost fool the observer into thinking they had stumbled into a city of polished silver; now their structures are not so grand. Speckled iron and common metals make up a mottled appearance on the smooth curves and spheres of their homes.
Settlements are nearly always centered around a permanent heat source. Either a volcanic vent, an ignited plume of natural gas, or even a slumbering fire elemental.
The buildings themselves are clearly designed with flying in mind. A single smooth arc of steel resembling a windbreaker tent thing. You know the ones. The wall covering three directions and ceiling, but open on the fourth. Shelves are placed from the floor to the ceiling on the sole 'wall' of the building where either tools are kept or the inhabitant's personal belongings. Personal security being pointless in a society where everyone is in near constant communication with each other, they're left in a designated "my shelf", but otherwise in the open. In the middle of these arc-dwellings and around the heat source are smooth bowls that accommodate a Chorus to rest or 'sleep'.
From an outsider's perspective, telling the difference between a family unit's dwelling and the 'town hall' is a difficult perception DC, however those settlements with regular trade will set up signposts in the area's common language to direct people to the trading arc.

Are they skilled healers?
So how often do they need to recharge? If they leave near vents and don't need to breath, I don't see how humans would ever meet them or vice versa?
They need to recharge about as often as humans do- about 10% of their time, and that's if they're having big long soaks and chats and they're not in a hurry.
if you go by fixed size i imagine it is several hours in the dark or most of a sunny or warm day.

If you go variable size tiny ones can only go out for a few minutes large ones for a day or to at a stretch.
ah ha ha

Good work, /tg/. I am most amused. Let's not forget how packs of them can work together to form megazords.
>10% of their time
I know that's a metaphor for something, but I can't fathom what.
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Sounds good for the most part, but let me make some suggestions.
Creatures that need such strange and specific energy requirements would probably never ever leave it's home environment. What the Chorus is really doing is creating a charge from the difference between hot volcanic gasses and arctic air. If a Chorus were to sit/float/stand in the sun but with part of their body in the shade, they could create a similar reaction.
I'm grossly simplifying the actual physics of it all, but you need excuses to make these cute little dudes less isolated.
Also, they don't need an orifice at all. They can do everything through pores. All I can imagine is a featureless metal orb with an anus.
It sounds like you're torn between making them like metal alien beetles and psionic metal beings. I think making them the least biological you can without making them machines.
Save the symbiotic beetle aspects for another race.
Posted this in the inferior Chorus thread, but I thought I'd repeat it here:

I'm wondering if they can even die apart from voluntary or violent deaths.
Though they at the same time may well believe themselves to die many times over that long lifespan.
After all, even in our comparatively short lives we still all have memories of ourselves behaving in a way we as a person now would never do.
Just a thought.
Also, if they are at least partially technological, if they upgrade themselves or repair via ingesting metal enough that no part of them remains the same as their 'origin' self, that might be another interpretation of 'death' for them.

I'm assuming here they're some kind of magitek here, and thus every part can in theory be swapped out and upgraded, excluding perhaps some central.. 'life' core.

I remember something about magic-suppressants working to a degree on Chorus, slowing them down and decreasing their magnetic reach/power. Not sure if that should still apply, thoughts?
I thought I said that they were getting energy from temperature differences. I thought it was obvious, sorry.

They could probably die. Rust, y'know. The "die many times" thing is cool enough to throw in, too.

"symbiotic beetle?" what?
How should Chorus react to electricity, both in a domestic setting and reacting to an electric-based attack?

While so far they seem to have a limited Fire and Cold Resistance before it starts to either make them brittle or melt them, electric bolts may well temporarily ├╝bercharge (kritzkreig?) them at the penalty of both standard damage to being hit as well as a massive 'hangover' after the rush.
Essentially electricity is like a battle drug for them, and maybe an socially unacceptable recreational drug.
Basically.. equating up to an bonus To Hit for a round or two after being hit by any electric damage, the duration extending every time they are hit by more electricity, with penalties after the effect wears off. Possibility of addiction.
Rust is something treatable however.. but I take your point that it's neither voluntary or violent.

You think these guys have healers? >>25560158's joke aside, It doesn't seem impossible that one or two Notes per settlement may be well versed in Chorus.. 'physiology' and use more subtle magnetic tugs to speed the healing process along. Like stitches and bandages for organics.
>Techno music

You better believe thats getting cut the way fuck out of my campaign sir.
Never played Rex have you? The noises are horryfying.

Or put them playing dubstep.
If Chorus ever developed psionics, I'd be more than a little worried about facing them. Near-hive minds in a group, and what have got to be pretty alien minds when it gets down into it.
I like most of this but the bug thing I can't stand. I would rather say it takes two or more chorus collectively manipulating a portion of metal to spin it up into a new chorus. The genetics could work through the coplay of different magnetic forces. Then they slowly grow into sentience like a normal child. No reason to require a desperate species to breed.
Separate damn phone
What are chorus motivations like?

How'd they react, as a society to news that a society that was a great patron of the arts has fallen? (As isolationist by physiology versus aesthetic ideologists would this manifest as a schism? A lasting civil debate? A change in the entire species' worldview?)

What about how they store knowledge? Is it a purely vocal history, with memorisation? Or do they create records of events, minutes of meetings? How do they indeed learn from from wanderers seeking inspiration or rare metals, or indeed exiles wishing to get in contact?

Do they write in something like a braille script /repousse or low/high relief metalwork postcards that can be read by magnetically? Do they record songs to send? Can they sing over long distances in a simplified kind of AM radio way?

Do they have role models or villains? Do lone wanderers get viewed with pity, suspicion or confused bewilderment?

Doe chorus-members have a hierarchical society, or specialisation of skills?
Bumping because I love these ill' guys.

Though it seems interest has died.
>Do they have role models or villains? Do lone wanderers get viewed with pity, suspicion or confused bewilderment?

I imagine it'd be a mixture of the 3, depending on the circumstance. A Chorus that constantly chose to be solitary would probably be looked upon as being insane, while with other species...eh, they'd just think they're all weird anyway.
I find them rather charming.

Might even adapt the idea.
If it wasn't past midnight and I wasn't browsing on my phone I would answer your questions.. as it stands, I just hope this thread is still here tomorrow.

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