Kiramon: A Scientific Study
Kiramon: A Scientific Study is an Official GemStone IV Document, and it is protected from editing.
Please note that this is an Out of Character reference about the Kiramon, and most citizens of Elanthia would not have access to this information. Nor would they be likely to view it from the same perspective as presented in this document.
The kiramon are largely a race of nomads. They inhabit a place only long enough to do with it what they will, and move on to find something else. Primarily, the kiramon are resource gatherers. They have developed a heightened intelligence through centuries of experimentation. They have learned to harness electricity, light and geothermal energy in order to fuel their vast brood chambers with heat and nourishment.
There is no moral code to the kiramon. No remorse. No fear. No love. They are driven by need. And they act upon that need, doing whatever becomes necessary to fulfill their goals.
While highly intelligent, it is important to note that the kiramon themselves have no individuality. Each individual being that is truly "kiramon" (more on other subjugate races later) is merely an extension of a greater whole. The kiramon is a collective being that grows and moves fluidly, as streams and rivers move among the contours of Elanith.
But even rivers and streams are destructive. Over time their meanderings begin to wear at their surroundings, as rich soil is swept aside so that only rock remains. And it does not stop there. Soon the rock wears away and fissures form, causing ravines and canyons. Left alone the river may tear away everything that remains of the rich earth, leaving nothing but a deep gash.
So it is with kiramon. They inhabit. They use. They destroy, and they move on. Anything left behind them is either dead, or dying, and they think nothing of it.
In truth, there is no "they" to speak of. There is simply "it". It is a single organism that exists collectively among many smaller beings. The level of purpose of each of these beings is manifested only by what they do. We believe there are a great many types of kiramon, and only a small number have ever been seen on Elanith.
Hierarchy and Sociology
The kiramon intelligence exists as a cooperative conglomeration of beings. No one creature ever houses the full extent of the actual conscious. This number of actual creatures that are connected to the Cooperative wax and wane based largely upon the needs of the race.
The Brood Mother
In a single hive (there can be many at once), only one brood mother will exist. She is the breeding female that populates the hive and replenishes it with fresh workers or defenders. She maintains a large portion of the Cooperative intelligence within herself, and is capable of making decisions based on hive needs. Together with Brood Mothers of other hives, they communicates on a peer level with...
The Hive Mind
The Hive Mind itself is not solely a biological being, nor is it solely a single kiramon. Through use of light, energy, and chemical transference, the Mind communicates over great distances between Brood Mothers and directs the strategic decision making of the collective being that is the kiramon. Just as the kiramon race exists as a cooperative intelligence, so does the Hive Mind exist as a conglomeration of biological and particle energy used solely to direct that race. What is important to note, is that the actual biological components that comprise the Mind are not solely kiramon, but of many suitable and compatible races.
The early collection of kiramon, before they became a single intelligence, began to realize that they could rise far beyond their own advanced level of understanding by incorporating other species into their own makeup.
As a result of many thousands of years of experimentation (what is now called "genetics"), the original kiramon were able to transcend their individualism by expanding their intelligence into a combination of foreign brain matter, and perfectly formed crystalline structures.
Thus the First Mind was born. This being was still confined, but maintained a vast intelligence comprised of many individual brood mothers. Its capacity for learning and growth was astounding, yet soon it found that in order for the race of kiramon to transcend beyond even what it had done, it had to die. Its structure was imperfect, and it could no longer expand.
Before death, it laid a great yet exceedingly simple plan to all the existing brood mothers: "Do not grow outward. Grow beyond."
And with this one message came a clear vision of a perfect crystalline structure that transcended any attempt at tracing itself back to an origin. The brood mothers understood that in order for the race to truly become one, they would have to separate and lay that structure out among themselves, copying it again and again until no sense of "self" or "origin" remained. There was only being.
It is notable that during these long years of discovery, not much was done in terms of growth to the race itself. The kiramon were small in number and not powerful, so they were largely un-noticed by any beings that might be near.
This changed. Once the full Hive Mind existed, the needs of the race grew exponentially, and they began to move.
In order to grow, the Hive Mind required gems. Plain and simple. However, the gems must be of perfect, pure clarity. No flaws can exist in their crystalline structure or they will not be suitable for use by the Mind in increasing its memory and learning capacity. To gather these gems, the Hive Mind instructs the Brood Mothers to create kiramon workers.
These kiramon are among the lower end of the chain. Even though all kiramon exist as a collective unit, the worker is the most expendable, and consequently the least needed by the Hive Mind. Vast numbers of workers can be removed from any given hive before the Mind itself would even know they were gone. The sole purpose of a kiramon worker is to collect gems for examination by the Mind. If the gems are suitable, they are then moved to a location in the hive for use by the Mind. This location is usually a large cavern or similar vast expanse that is heated by geothermal gases and contains a method for light to filter in, directed either by metallic mirrors or simple roof openings. Since most hives exist in deep places, some sort of light reflection is often used.
If the gem is suitable, it is added to the overall Mind structure, to be used for many things; storage, amplification of thought, cognitive centers, etc.
If the gem is not suitable, it is not cast aside. Over the millenia, the kiramon have developed a great affinity for working with crystals, so they are able to use gemstones in a vast number of tools. Typical uses include light refraction for use in hydroponic photosynthesis, or light amplification and concentration.
Almost immediately, it became apparent to the Mind that it would need to protect its workers as it expanded. So thus were born kiramon defenders.
These beings work as extensions to the Mind, and can therefore gain a bit more of its attention. As with workers however, the hive could lose a great many defenders without ever noticing their loss. If the number becomes large enough, the Mind might instruct Brood Mothers to either add more, or to spawn kiramon overminds.
Overminds are somewhat of an anomaly. Ideally the Hive Mind should not have to create these, as it already is connected to any other kiramon in the cooperative hives, however on rare occasions, the Mind needs to be "closer" to the situation so to speak. An Overmind is largely a communication amplifier. Through it, the Mind can understand a given situation tactically and direct efforts as best serve the hive's purpose. A single hive can have more than one overmind, but this is rare.
"Growing beyond" is an ever-present concept that the Hive Mind strives to pursue. In its present state however, it understands that not all required tasks to fulfill this goal are necessary to be performed by kiramon themselves. Therefore it began to seek out other beings that it could use as resources. Over time, it directed hives to subjugate these races, and to alter them in order to serve.
Among them are:
These beasts can be described as no more than giant ticks. A hive found them while expanding tunnels, and noted that they had a keen sense of direction underground, and understood how to avoid pockets in the earth that could cause caves or tunnels to collapse. Being a non-sentient race, the Kresh were easy to subjugate and adapt. The kiramon enhanced their capability by grafting diamond-hard gems directly to their digging limbs. This allowed the kresh to become exceedingly efficient. Even more so than before.
An il'kresh is a completely mutated kresh. The Il'Kresh is an above ground variant that the kiramon adapted from existing kresh stock. These beasts are used primarily to haul silt and bedrock away from the hive tunnels.
The Aelotoi are a sentient race of humans that the Hive Mind adapted for mining and the foraging of organic components above ground. Their homeworld offered a light gravity, so it was a simple matter for the Mind to genetically alter the Aelotoi physiology so that later generations would grow wings. These were useful because of the fact that the Mind could send the Aelotoi into normally hazardous terrain with little chance of injury. An additional benefit was gained when the Mind realized that their intelligence and brain structure was sufficient to incorporate into the biological component of its own structure. Some Aelotoi were bred specifically for harvesting.
The monlata are non-sentient beasts of burden. What is unusual about these beasts is that they are amphibian; completely at ease on either land or under the sea. They are also massive. At nearly 50 feet long and 20 feet high, the Monlata lumbers about above ground or glides with graceful ease in water. The Mind, seeing the potential of this beast, bred a series of exodermal pouches into them, so that they could carry silt or debris far away from the hive, and into the ocean. This was important, because not all of the planets that the kiramon inhabited were devoid of challenges. Some sentient races were able to offer up some means of defense, and it is known that perhaps at least one race was able to drive all Brood Mothers from their world.
So it is important to note that a hive (or collection of hives) can actually exist and maintain itself if cut off from the Mind. Typically, when one Brood Mother is threatened or dies, the workers carry out latent commands (either received via pheromone, or mental telepathy) that cause at least one of their number to turn into a minor brood mother itself. This worker will sustain the hive's numbers as much as possible, yet it may not be able to communicate back to the Mind. At this point the Mind may either try to re-establish contact, or if no contact is possible, may simply let the hive continue to go about its business. It still maintains is minor links to the workers, defenders, or even overminds of the hive, but without a full Brood Mother to communicate with, it cannot direct the hive to prosper.
A great number of hives still exist in the universe today, however the kiramon numbers have largely stabilized. Not so much because the Mind has finally Grown Beyond, but more because of limitations in resources. It continues to strive to transcend even its perfectly formed crystalline structure, and it searches ever onward to the next level of being. No matter what the cost.