From Stargate LRP
The human population of the planet Colchis are classified collectively as Colchissian’s, though the SEF has had exclusive contact with the Nation known as ‘Odyssia’ on the planet. Prior to contact via Stargate with SEF forces the Colchissians were at a stage of development roughly equal to that of Europe during World War One.
A Hellenic culture seeded from the Sparta region of Greece the Colchissian capacity for mass warfare was well-demonstrated during early contact where Odyssian forces were engaged in long-term religious conflict with an alliance of several other Colchissian nations known as the Pact Areios. After nearly two decades of war, the planet is ravaged by battles known as the ‘Great Continental War’. Thanks to SEF military advisors and technological aid the Odyssians were able to gain a significant advantage in their conflict with their neighbours with the war coming to an abrupt cease-fire.
Unfortunately for both Colchissian and Odyssian humans, this peace came at a price as it was initiated by the Fomori invasive extra-terrestrial alien servants of Dagon (see Great Old Ones) during the latter’s attempted conquest of the Galaxy in 2014-2015 with the Dagon-entity itself being freed on Colchis. Since the SEF’s teleportation from Colchis in October 2014 limited contact has been had with the world, and its current state is unknown.
Little is known about the cultures of the Pact Areios nations, this briefing focuses on the Odyssians
Odyssia is one of the most industrial and populous nations of Colchis, with several major cities, the most prominent of these is the Capitol city of Phasis which contains may of the administrative centres of the nation including the National Assembly Building and the Central Strategum. Also found there is the Odyssian First Hospital a facility set up jointly with SEF medical aid that was until Fomori occupation a centre of medical excellence.
During the Fomori occupation of the planet a Fomori Mothership was situated above Phasis to defend it from attacks, and enforce a ceasefire between the Odyssians and their once-enemy nations.
The Colchissian Nation of Odyssia is what we would call an 'Athenian' democracy, rather than having a Parliament elected by the citizens, any Odyssian citizen who wishes to attend their 'National Assembly' may attend provided there are seats available. Of course, there are 'career politicians' who make the effort to live close to the National Assembly building in the Odyssian capitol but by and large what we would consider parliamentary decisions are made by the National Assembly.
Above the national assembly is the National Council, the members of which are elected by the National Assembly and are elected for life (unless they are removed by the Assembly), the National
Council makes all the important executive decisions and governs Odyssia. It is an Ogliarchy, primarily comprised of career politicians skilled enough to argue their election in the national assembly when seats on the Council open due to death, retirement or removal by the Assembly.
By tradition there are no powers above the Council, however following the subversion of Odyssia and Colchis by the forces of the Fomori a Fomori Ma’thama was inserted as the direct governor of the world superseding the Council.
Amongst the forces of the Odyssian Resistance a largely military structure was in place during the limited contact between the Resistance and SEF forces – this is in part largely because the greater part of the Odyssian military rebelled to form the resistance after the death of the Odyssian Taxiarch and SEF-ally Taxiarchos Iapeedus Melchett.
The Odyssians are stringently atheistic as a people as a result of their conflict with the religious factions on their world who are dedicated to a Goa’uld-focused religion worshipping the (deceased due to SEF action) Goa’uld Ares along with his children Phobos and Deimos (also deceased). This makes them highly sceptical towards other non-Colchisian religions and they have notably questioned displays of religious belief amongst SEF members who have visited their world. It is know that religious persecution of those who continue to hold beliefs in the old Colchisian religion is common with anyone displaying religious leanings excluded from positions of public responsibility and military service as they are distrusted in their loyalty towards Odyssia.
Following Fomori occupation the Odyssians were philosophically split between the Unitarians who dedicated themselves to the Fomori philosophy of Galactic Unity which subverted the Goa’uld religion in many non-Odyssian nations on Colchis, and the Resistance who saw the invasive philosophy as no better than the Goa’uld religion that had sought to subvert them to alien causes in years past.
Odyssia has no unique professions that differ from Earth in the 1930s. Because of the long-running Continental War, service in the military is highly praised with conscription being common, many businesses prioritise individuals who have done service in the military when interviewing for jobs and those who have avoided military service under a certain age suffer from low-level discrimination in the employment market where they are not in a vital service.
The Odyssians have no concept of a ‘nobility’ but do have social stratification based on individual wealth, Odyssian society is highly capitalistic with an emergent ruling class of Industrialists and Merchants. It is believed that his is in part due to the downfall of the Parthenon Areios (the Colchisian Goa’uld religion) in the Nation where a capitalist upper class has replaced a religious and warrior caste led society as are understood to control the other nations on Colchis.
Equal gender rights were a relatively new development following contact with the Odyssian peoples emerging out the pressure on Odyssia forcing it to adopt gender-neutral conscription, before the
Fomori enforced adoption of similar rights in other nations it is believed they did not have similar social progress.
The Odyssians are philosophers by nature, their collective decision to reject religion emerged from schools of thought that sought to question and eventually reject the religious traditions of Colchis by challenging the needless slaughter of the religiously encouraged wars of the Parthenon Areios. The great bulk of non-fictional writings are found in this area, with the native script of the Odyssians being an evolution of Ancient Greek in it’s nature.
Following SEF contact the introduction of literature from Earth translated into Colchisian script, produced a boom in speculative fiction about space exploration as well as an emergent fantasy and planetary romance authors began to emerge. Prior to this most fiction was military-focused on dashing Odyssian heroes, with the most famous character being Alexpiades of Odyssia a fictional Soldier whose ongoing exploits were serialed in Odyssian newspapers.
The Odyssians have preserved classical Hellenic Art and Architecture alongside more practical building design for residential blocks – painting is a newly emergent art form with the preference of many artists still being the use of sculpture. Lacking access to the marble used by their ancient ancestors most work is done in a granite-like rock that is polished smooth rather than anything else.
One of the most appreciated pieces of art recorded by SEF observers is the carved and sculpted three-dimensional strategic map of Colchis located in the Central Strategum which renders much of the topography of Odyssia replete with bodies of water represented by vast pools of water on which model fleets can be moved.
Because of the transplantation of the Odyssian culture from the Ancient Greeks, the Odyssians lack many of the Ottoman influences in their cooking that are present in 21st Century Greece and thus present a preserved example of Ancient Greek cuisine. The cuisine is founded on the "Mediterranean triad" of cereals, olives, and grapes, which have many uses and great commercial value, but other ingredients are as important, if not more so, to the average diet: most notably legumes.
There is a great diversity of ingredients available on Colchis however most Odyssian cooking encountered tends to be characterised by it’s frugality, the need for rationing and the pressure on Odyssian agriculture due to years of war mean that elaborate foods are looked on as ‘excesses’. This is not expected to have changed at least amongst members of the resistance during Fomori occupation.
The Odyssian military was a important part of their nation thanks to the long-term war that the Odyssians were engaged in, as one might expect though the Odyssians have been driven towards a
conscription model to maintain their strength with the degree of attrition they have been subject too. Conscripts are chosen by lots in a rather classical Hellenic method and form a large force of light infantry to reinforce the more elite professional soldiers who serve in frontline units.
In terms of ranks the Odyssians have developed and adapted their structure from the Ancient Greek rank structure in a fashion that mirrors the ranks of the modern Greek military here on Earth. For instance, Syntagmatarchis is roughly equivalent to a Colonel, whereas the rank Taxiarchos (or 'Taxiarch') is roughly analogous to Brigadier.
The Odyssians tend to be practical, open and sceptical in their nature, education in Odyssia is very high for a nation of its developmental stage because of the Odyssian emphasis on understanding the world. Your average Odyssian citizen is no great philosopher, but they tend to spend a lot more time thinking about the implications of actions and questioning what they don’t understand than most. This in part is why they had the collective willpower to question the emergence of the so-called ‘cuckoos’ when the Fomori began to infiltrate their society, and why an extensive resistance formed despite how clearly technologically outmatched they were.
Under occupation those Odyssians not willing to cooperate with the Fomori were in a majority, unlike in most similar states on Earth in such situations, and proved to be stubborn and hardy despite the clear technological superiority of the heavily advanced Fomori.
Most Odyssians range from light to olive skin tones with dark hair being common amongst them, lighter hair colours tend to be a sign of an individual possessing altered DNA because of Fomori occupation and as a result have been seen to be treated with distrust since. Dying of hair is rare, but common amongst naturally light-headed people as a result. Most Odyssians encountered above the age of sixteen have done military service and thus possess a military posture.
“We are Odyssia’s Lions, hear us roar.” – code-phrase used between Resistance members.
“Until all are one.” – borrowed phrase from Fomori used by collaborators with the occupiers.
- Pre-Spaceflight: Odyssia and by extension Colchis is roughly equal in technology to Early-20th Century (1900s-1910's) with notable lack of development of aircraft, limited development of electricity, telephones and the internal combustion engine but a more advanced understanding of chemistry than Earth in the same time period, both in chemical weaponry, and medicine.
- Exploration: Prior to Fomori occupation the Odyssians possessed control of the planets Stargate and operated a minor exploration operation via it. Due to the lack of a DHD thanks to its destruction in crossfire between Odyssian and hostile Pact forces, they were reliant on a steam-driven manual dialling system and power siphoned from a hydro-electric dam. It is known that control of the gate was lost to the Fomori during the occupation. It is unknown if the Odyssians attempted anything beyond a small recce.
- Construction Technology: Early 20th Century, early development of mechanised cranes for the construction of tall buildings, largest building on planet around six to seven stories tall with potential for the development of metal building frames to build larger constructions.
- Manufacturing Technology: Late Industrial Revolution (pre-WW1) levels of evolution with early development of automation but a considerable reliance on human labour within factories.
- Biological Technology: Initially slightly more advanced (1950s) levels of biological understanding, greatly accelerated to hyper-advanced biological technology due to the occupation by Fomori who are masters of such technologies.
- Transportation Technology: Largely Horse and Cart but with early automobile technology developing, thanks to SEF intervention the development of the Tank and other mechanised technologies advanced them to 1950s levels of mechanical transport. Unknown how Fomori occupation has impacted this.
- Communication Technology: Primitive radio with no development of encryption with continued military reliance on wired technologies. SEF technology used to enhance radios for better communications, with Fomori wireless technology supplanting in public spaces but unused by resistance.
- Energy Technology: Fossil fuel (primarily coal) dependent energy generation with some energy generation provided by hydro-electric power thanks to SEF technological aid. Fomori energy generators known to supplement this in some occupied areas but the planet was still largely reliant on energy generation from native resources when last contacted.
The Odyssians do not have any historical records for why or when the Goa'uld abandoned their planet – an active chemical weapons lab of Phobos and Deimos discovered by SEF Teams under an old Goa'uld temple in 2013 suggests that they never truly did - but it seems that they had not played an active role in life on Colchis for long enough that they have fallen into the region of myths and legends much like on our own world.
Unlike Earth, however, as time wore on, and the original slave population of the planet swelled, and the people of Colchis formed different nations as small divisions emerged in their cultures, the religion on the planet remained irrevocably tied to the Goa'uld.
The old human Priests of the Goa'uld organised and became the Parthenon Areios, a religious organisation on the scale of the Catholic Church on Earth united in keeping worship of the Goa'uld alive. Religious practice on the planet remains ingrained with the practice of worshipping the Goa'uld (which even today has supplanted the word 'God' in their language) laid down by their former Masters, in keeping with this tradition the people of Colchis worship Ares as a central deity, with his many children considered to be lesser gods beneath him, rather than the 'traditional' Greek Pantheon.
If the Parthenon Areios was dedicated to any other Goa'uld, then its influence would be reasonably benign, but its dedication to Ares has been the source of much strife for Colchis. Where Christian priests might make good an attempt to preach peace between two sides in a conflict, the Parthenon would encourage them to go to war, seeing survival of the strongest to be the best assurance of the 'purity' of their world.
Jaffa entered the language of the people of Colchis as meaning 'Warrior of the Gods/Goa'uld' but that is a simplification, it is held up by the Parthenon as a term for an idealized warrior perfectly honed for combat, to be anointed 'Jaffa' by the Parthenon is similar to being made a Knight of one of the Catholic Orders, for many years it was something every soldier aspired to be.
It would seem likely that this bizarre cultural predisposition for war was something seeded in the religion of Colchis by the Goa'uld as a method of 'breeding' ideal Jaffa candidates for conversion and integration into Ares' armies. Central to this was a ritual known as the Crypteia, a form of religious war unlike anything we have ever seen on Earth.
A bastardised form of the ritual practice in ancient Sparta of declaring war on their Helot slaves once yearly. On Colchis the Crypteia only occurred once every ten years and is a ritual battle where an army from every nation on Colchis is dispatched to the ancient Jaffa mustering grounds before the inactive Stargate, and a battle is fought. This was not a mock battle, and every year hundreds of soldiers died, simply to appease the 'Goa'uld' in a brutal blood sacrifice.
How brutal these wars were is obviously unknown to us, but the Odyssians refer to them in the same way we would refer to the darker periods of human history on Earth, they are the dark days that no Odyssian wants to talk about. Ultimately, up until they pulled out of these wars, the Odyssians must have participated, and many possibly still consider themselves to have blood on their hands from these 'ritual' wars still.
Eventually though the practice came to be questioned and, as Odyssia as a nation entered a period of industrial revolution and renaissance it apparently became more common for people to question the teachings of the Priests and resist being drafted for the Crypteia. Eventually this attitude began to infiltrate every level of Odyssian society.
Around twenty years prior to SEF contact (1980s on Earth), the Odyssian National Council declared that Odyssia would no longer participate in the Crypteia - naturally the Parthenon reacted with rhetoric and accusations of heresy, but it believed that the people of Odyssia would rise up against the Government. When no such thing happened, and abortive attempt by Priests and religious fanatics failed, the Parthenon began to take a more aggressive footing, pressing on the other nations to force Odyssia to participate in the ritual.
The hostile attitudes between the Odyssians and the more religiously dominated nations continued to simmer for several years until a number of smaller nations took cue from the Odyssians and also declared they too would withdraw from the Crypteia. According to the Odyssians, the Parthenon 'ordained' two of the most powerful nations, Deimia and Areioi, as the ‘Pact Areios’ and their soldiers as 'Jaffa' to encourage them to go to war with the small nations and make an example to the Odyssians - the Odyssians responded by moving their armies to protect their new allies, starting the conflict the Odyssians call the First Continental War.
First contact with the Odyssians and the SEF was made in April 2013 when SEF forces attempting to find a cure for the plague unleashed on earth by the Goa’uld twins Phobos and Deimos followed clues leading them to the Odyssian Stargate address, emerging into a war-torn battlefield out of a gate toppled down in a No Mans Land of the ongoing Continental War.
The SEF Team (cit.ref Rockingham) made initial contact with the Odyssians and a military leader Iapedus Melchett, offering military aid in return for access to Goa’uld ruins on the world that turned out to be a functioning laboratory of the Goa’uld twins. From here an early alliance was formed and following the successful curing of Earth SEF 1IC Bryant became the official military liason to Odyssia enhancing their technology to give them capabilities to deal with their Goa’uld-aligned foes.
The Odyssians established a fledgling Gate Programme but not in a secret from their public making a decision to openly acknowledge the existence of alien life , they celebrated SEF-Odyssian relations, hailing their saviours from another world, as well as considering the SEF the answer to the question of whether their gods really existed. From what is understood first contact with the SEF came at a point where the war was going badly for the Odyssians, SEF aid, as well as access to the Gate enabled them to turn the situation around in their favour again.
During its operation the Odyssian Gate Program fell under the command of the Odyssian 3rd Army under Taxiarch Melchett.
Prior to the invasion of Earth by the Aethernauts under the influence of the Great Old One ‘Dagon’ SEF teams liaising with the Odyssians noted a sudden shift in birth-rates and abnormalities as children were born pallid, with light hair and watery grey-blue eyes. However the invasion of Earth resulted in a lack of follow up until SEF teams aboard the GSC Grey Wolf arrived at Odyssia in October 2013 following the trail of components of the Giant’s Causeway Superweapon. They discovered Odyssians in active resistance to a new-formed ‘Government of Unity’ that had subverted most of the planet.
With SEF forces successfully taking the Odyssian Stargate facility after being downed by unexpected anti-air fire from as-yet-unidentified Fomori emplacement weapons the SEF came upon an artefact component of the Giant’s Causeway Superweapon. Unfortunately this artefact contained the psychic resonance of the Great Old One ‘Dagon’ which was able to possess the form of SEF Squadron Leader Tereshkova. In the subsequent crisis the Grey Wolf was destroyed in orbit by the arrival of a Crusade Aurora-class battleship that sought to destroy the planet and purge it before the Dagon-entity could escape. Unwilling to allow the slaughter of the planet both the Fomori and Dagon formed a temporary
alliance with the SEF to protect Colchis. SEF intervention with the recently recovered Spear of Destiny slew the Ascended in command of the battleship but allowed Dagon to seize control of the vessel and possess the Ascended, achieving near-ascension before transporting the SEF to the edges of the galaxy known as the Reef Zone.
Some contact was attempted with Odyssia following the conclusion of the Dagon crisis with SEF teams attempting to introduce a cure to the genetically altering virus introduced to the Odyssian population by the Fomori. However their attempts were frustrated by the Fomori’s return to Odyssia following the defeat of the Aethernaut invasion fleets and the death of the Great Old Ones following the activation of the Giant’s Causeway Superweapon on Earth. Outnumbered, SEF teams retreated from the surface of Odyssia, until such a time as they could muster greater forces.
Unfortunately, with the pressures of conflicts with the Sylvalis, remnants of the Servitors of the Great Old Ones and finally the Kuma-ai, no further contact has been made with the Odyssians or the rest of Colchis and so the state of the planet is an open and unanswered question.
With the destruction of the last great concentration of the Servitors of the Great Old Ones in 2018 the status of Fomori occupation on Colchis is unknown, as the race is believed to be borderline extinct due to both war and the psychic shock of the death of Dagon in 2014.
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