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* LoadsAndLoadsOfRaces: There are literally millions of clades in the terragen sphere, and the site describes hundreds of them in varying levels of detail, most often a few sentences, but in some cases several pages. In many cases, the shorter ones are generalizations, leaving out many details. One example: Free Madverts, which are "intelligent advertisements freed from their corporate programming." The article only describes their origin, not their form or capabilities.

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* LoadsAndLoadsOfRaces: There are literally millions of clades in the terragen sphere, and the site describes hundreds of them in varying levels of detail, most often a few sentences, but in some cases several pages. In many cases, the shorter ones are generalizations, leaving out many details. One example: Free Madverts, which are "intelligent advertisements freed from their corporate programming." The article only describes their origin, not their form or capabilities.


* OutgrownSuchSillySuperstitions: Averted completely. Not only are the AI Gods worshiped as such, they ''actually have godlike power,'' so praying to the local deity might actually work in your favor after all. Not that you'd notice, of course. Even the godlike AI's can't tell if [[{{god}} the real thing]] exists.

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* OutgrownSuchSillySuperstitions: Averted completely.Completely Averted, surprisingly. Not only are the AI Gods worshiped as such, they ''actually have godlike power,'' so praying to the local deity might actually work in your favor after all. Not that you'd notice, of course. Even the godlike AI's can't tell if [[{{god}} the real thing]] exists.


* ActionBomb: The early modified humans [[http://www.orionsarm.com/xcms.php?r=oaeg-view-article&egart_uid=4ac6247bd1611 Homo Jihadi]] had a modified endocrine system, "naturally" producing explosives that accumulate in their bones and other calcium-containing tissues. They were modified at the zygote stage and have not been known to reproduce. It did not help the reputation of genetic engineering...


* BizarreAlienBiology: Most aliens are in no way compatible with earth-like habitats. A To'ul'h on earth would die from freezing, alkaline burns, UV radiation, suffocation, and decompression, while a Muuh would literally melt and/or vaporize. The Daharrans are considered "humanoid" solely because they breathe earth-like air (they are crustacean/mammal-like), and they're the some of the only aliens found out of dozens of civilizations that can do so. With that said, the "classic" sci-fi example of silicon based life is almost completely unheard of: one species was found, and was non-sapient (until it was provolved, naturally).

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* BizarreAlienBiology: Most aliens are in no way compatible with earth-like habitats. A To'ul'h on earth would die from freezing, alkaline burns, UV radiation, suffocation, and decompression, while a Muuh would literally melt and/or vaporize. The Daharrans are considered "humanoid" solely because they breathe earth-like air (they are crustacean/mammal-like), and they're the some of the only aliens found out of dozens of civilizations that can do so. With that said, the "classic" sci-fi example of silicon based life is almost completely unheard of: one species was found, and was non-sapient (until it was provolved, naturally).



** Also a subversion: the classic sci-fi example of silicon based life is almost completely unheard of; the only instance that's ever been found were some very slow moving crystals that were about as intelligent as anemones, (until they was provolved, naturally).



** The Silent Ones are considered odd even by the standards of the Terragen Sphere. While they seemed to have been an expansionist empire in the past, after a brutal civil war and the development of {{Immortality}}, they've retreated to living strange lives composed of ritual, living in luxurious arcologies surrounded by pristine wilderness that nobody's allowed to visit. The Immortals keep a small subset of breeding mortals to replace the losses due to accident (as Immortals are simply TheAgeless), but also instituting ritual cannibalism of excess hatchlings.

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** The Silent Ones are considered odd even by the standards of the Terragen Sphere. While they seemed to have been an expansionist empire in the past, after a brutal civil war and the development of {{Immortality}}, they've retreated to living strange lives composed of ritual, intricate rituals based on emotions only their species can experience, and have refined their rituals to evoke certain emotions based on the archetypes of their species, while living in luxurious arcologies surrounded by pristine wilderness that nobody's allowed to visit. The Immortals keep a small subset of breeding mortals to replace the losses due to accident (as Immortals are simply TheAgeless), but also instituting ritual cannibalism of excess hatchlings.



* RealityEnsues: Practically enshrined as a core tenet of the setting, which takes fantastic sci-fi tropes and futurist ideas and extrapolates what might actually happen as a result. One small, if notable example, are cyborgs. Even in-universe, nobody's really sure how to define cyborgs other than being able to recognize one when they se

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* RealityEnsues: Practically enshrined as a core tenet of the setting, which takes fantastic sci-fi tropes and futurist ideas and extrapolates what might actually happen as a result. One small, if notable typical example, are cyborgs. Even in-universe, nobody's really sure how to define cyborgs other than being able to recognize one when they sesee one.

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* MacGyvering: The [[https://orionsarm.com/eg-article/482901206098e Everythingiana Worldbuilding Contest]]. A few hundred people are sent to a planet with nothing but a GreatBigBookOfEverything and told to progress all the way to nanotech. Enhanced humans once managed in 78 years. Baselines usually take a millennium.


* DidYouJustPunchOutCthulhu: As the [[https://orionsarm.com/eg-topic/45b3e1f1d4611 Intertoposophic Conflict]] page shows, a group of sapients defeating a being one or two singularities above them is possible, though very rare (and requires a lot of advantage). Any more than that, and you can bet any victory is due to either aid from more powerful beings, or a XanatosGambit on the "loser"'s part. Of course, when it comes to individual versus individual or society versus society, it's averted '''hard'''. It's pretty much impossible for anyone to defeat a being of a higher toposophic in any arena in which they are remotely competent, except by ascending to match them (or at least spiking to match them).



* XanatosGambit: The transapients have no trouble pulling one on lower toposophics. For example, one Superbright swarm had once tried to attack an archailect. At an enormous cost, they managed to strip off the first line of defense. A century later, it was discovered the archailect was collecting data for a version upgrade that way.


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* DidYouJustPunchOutCthulhu: As the [[https://orionsarm.com/eg-topic/45b3e1f1d4611 Intertoposophic Conflict]] page shows, a group of sapients defeating a being one or two singularities above them is possible, though very rare (and requires a lot of advantage). Any more than that, and you can bet any victory is due to either aid from more powerful beings, or a XanatosGambit on the "loser"'s part. Of course, when it comes to individual versus individual or society versus society, it's averted '''hard'''. It's pretty much impossible for anyone to defeat a being of a higher toposophic in any arena in which they are remotely competent, except by ascending to match them (or at least spiking to match them).


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* XanatosGambit: The transapients have no trouble pulling one on lower toposophics. For example, one Superbright swarm had once tried to attack an archailect. At an enormous cost, they managed to strip off the first line of defense. A century later, it was discovered the archailect was collecting data for a version upgrade that way.


* DidYouJustPunchOutCthulhu: As the [[https://orionsarm.com/eg-topic/45b3e1f1d4611 Intertoposophic Conflict]] page shows, a group of sapients defeating a being one or two singularities above them is possible, though very rare (and requires a lot of advantage). Any more than that, and you can bet any victory is due to either aid from more powerful beings, or a XanatosGambit on the "loser"'s part.

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* DidYouJustPunchOutCthulhu: As the [[https://orionsarm.com/eg-topic/45b3e1f1d4611 Intertoposophic Conflict]] page shows, a group of sapients defeating a being one or two singularities above them is possible, though very rare (and requires a lot of advantage). Any more than that, and you can bet any victory is due to either aid from more powerful beings, or a XanatosGambit on the "loser"'s part. Of course, when it comes to individual versus individual or society versus society, it's averted '''hard'''. It's pretty much impossible for anyone to defeat a being of a higher toposophic in any arena in which they are remotely competent, except by ascending to match them (or at least spiking to match them).



* DidYouJustPunchOutCthulhu: Hard aversion. It's pretty much impossible for anyone to defeat a being of a higher toposophic in any arena in which they are remotely competent, except by ascending to match them (or at least spiking to match them). The few exceptions involve helping the higher intellect outclever itself, [[ZergRush burying an isolated one in sheer weight of resources]], or having the open or covert backing (or simply being the tool) of another high-singularity being. The best modosophonts can hope for is usually to signal the nearest neighbor and hope that an Archai takes notice.

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* DidYouJustPunchOutCthulhu: As the [[https://orionsarm.com/eg-topic/45b3e1f1d4611 Intertoposophic Conflict]] page shows, a group of sapients defeating a being one or two singularities above them is possible, though very rare (and requires a lot of advantage). Any more than that, and you can bet any victory is due to either aid from more powerful beings, or a XanatosGambit on the "loser"'s part.


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* XanatosGambit: The transapients have no trouble pulling one on lower toposophics. For example, one Superbright swarm had once tried to attack an archailect. At an enormous cost, they managed to strip off the first line of defense. A century later, it was discovered the archailect was collecting data for a version upgrade that way.

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* SuperStrength: [[https://orionsarm.com/eg-article/4c87bf18e89ff Ultimate Muscles]] allow for clades hundreds of times more powerful than humans, like [[https://orionsarm.com/eg-article/4bfe37c9056f6 Supersophonts]]. RequiredSecondaryPowers are discussed.


** It was once stated that stories involving "plucky baselines" or baseline {{Munchkin}}s were not allowed. [[http://old.orionsarm.com/intro/pluckybaseline.html See here.]] With [[https://orionsarm.com/eg-article/483ae5827604fone]] exception...

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** It was once stated that stories involving "plucky baselines" or baseline {{Munchkin}}s were not allowed. [[http://old.orionsarm.com/intro/pluckybaseline.html See here.]] With [[https://orionsarm.com/eg-article/483ae5827604fone]] com/eg-article/483ae5827604f one]] exception...


** It was once stated that stories involving "plucky baselines" or baseline {{Munchkin}}s were not allowed. [[http://old.orionsarm.com/intro/pluckybaseline.html See here.]]

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** It was once stated that stories involving "plucky baselines" or baseline {{Munchkin}}s were not allowed. [[http://old.orionsarm.com/intro/pluckybaseline.html See here.]]]] With [[https://orionsarm.com/eg-article/483ae5827604fone]] exception...


* DidYouJustPunchOutCthulhu: Hard aversion. It's pretty much impossible for anyone to defeat a being of a higher toposophic in any arena in which they are remotely competent, except by ascending to match them (or at least spiking to match them). The few exceptions involve helping the higher intellect outclever itself, [[ZergRush burying an isolated one in sheer weight of resources]], or having the open or covert backing (or simply being the tool) of another high-singularity being.

to:

* DidYouJustPunchOutCthulhu: Hard aversion. It's pretty much impossible for anyone to defeat a being of a higher toposophic in any arena in which they are remotely competent, except by ascending to match them (or at least spiking to match them). The few exceptions involve helping the higher intellect outclever itself, [[ZergRush burying an isolated one in sheer weight of resources]], or having the open or covert backing (or simply being the tool) of another high-singularity being. The best modosophonts can hope for is usually to signal the nearest neighbor and hope that an Archai takes notice.



* RealityEnsues: Practically enshrined as a core tenet of the setting, which takes fantastic sci-fi tropes and futurist ideas and extrapolates what might actually happen as a result. One small, if notable example, are the Sephirotic Empires: even in-universe, people can't agree on how many there are or which empires do or don't fit the criteria to be considered a Sephirotic.

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* RealityEnsues: Practically enshrined as a core tenet of the setting, which takes fantastic sci-fi tropes and futurist ideas and extrapolates what might actually happen as a result. One small, if notable example, are the Sephirotic Empires: even cyborgs. Even in-universe, people can't agree on nobody's really sure how many there are or which empires do or don't fit the criteria to be considered a Sephirotic. define cyborgs other than being able to recognize one when they se



* StealthInSpace: Deep-space hider clades use this inasmuch as they can, though the issues with heat dissipation are still present. On a much more advanced level, 6th-toposophic archailect voidships and void-based weapons are capable of stealth by virtue of ''not existing in the real spacetime continuum'', at least until they choose to collapse their void bubbles. While in the void, they can be detected only as faint gravitometric disturbances, and these can still be hidden to all but the best 6th-toposophic detection mechanisms if the ai god wishes to do so.

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* StealthInSpace: Deep-space hider clades use this inasmuch as they can, though the issues with heat dissipation are still present. On a much more advanced level, 6th-toposophic archailect voidships and void-based weapons are capable of stealth by virtue of ''not existing in the real spacetime continuum'', at least until they choose to collapse their void bubbles. While in the void, they can be detected only as faint gravitometric disturbances, and these can still be hidden to all but the best 6th-toposophic detection mechanisms if the ai god wishes to do so. It's even suggested that some civilizations or archai which have mysteriously vanished have simply transferred themselves to basement universes while maintaining wormhole links to this universe hidden in void bubbles, making them a godtech level variant of Hiders, but no proof of this has ever been found.

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* ArtisticLicensePhysics: In a very literal sense. The setting painstakingly sticks to real world physics in main circumstances but also has [[Mohs/OneBigLie several big lies]] in the form of extremely hypothetical technologies such as wormholes, void bubbles, and magnetic monopoles, but these are also explicitly because it makes the setting more fun to write about without worrying about stuff like tensile strength making megastructures impossible.


** S2 are high transapients, and are to transapients to as transapients are to modos. If a transapient is the equivalent of a room of geniuses, then a high transapient is all the geniuses of the entire world combined. At this point, biology starts to be limiting and brains become more massive, though by distributing brains across multiple bodies or discrete computronium it's still possible.
** S3 are the highest transapients, also known as godlings. This barrier is a very hard drop off, as there are only an estimated 1 million S3s compared to over 10 billion estimated S2s, and its at this point where it becomes hard to even describe intelligence with metaphors. S3 brains are roughly the size of moons and almost always post-biont. S3 brains are also where critical technologies such as wormholes start to be developed. The highest known xenosophonts in the Terragen Sphere [[note]] There's evidence of xenosophont of higher levels in other galaxies and outside the Terragen Sphere, just none in it [[/note]] are here, including the System of Response (though it seems to be non-sentient) and (possibly) the Nu'lu'j, creators of the J'tau'sh.
** S4 are the lesser Archai, though fully considered gods in their own right. S4 brains are often composed of multiple planets and even entire Dyson swarms. The Silk God is the highest known purely biological intelligence, and caps out at S4.
** S5 are the great Archai. Their brains can consist of an entire solar system, including the star itself. It's believed that this is the highest level at which any sort of individuality persists.

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** S2 are high transapients, and are to transapients to as transapients are to modos. If a transapient is the equivalent of a room of geniuses, then a high transapient is all the geniuses of the entire world combined. At this point, biology starts to be limiting and brains become more massive, though by distributing brains across multiple bodies or discrete computronium it's still possible.
possible to mimic modosophonts. High transapients at their smallest are comparable to large buildings, so any attempt to look like a modosophont is more like a limb than a true body.
** S3 are the highest transapients, also known as godlings. This barrier is a very hard drop off, as there are only an estimated 1 million S3s compared to over 10 billion estimated S2s, and its S2s. Its at this point where it becomes hard to even describe intelligence with metaphors.metaphors; to extend the example used for S1 and S2, an S3 would be the equivalent of all the combined intelligence of thousands of planets. S3 brains are roughly the size of moons and almost always post-biont. S3 brains are also where critical technologies such as wormholes start to be developed. The highest known xenosophonts in the Terragen Sphere [[note]] There's evidence of xenosophont of higher levels in other galaxies and outside the Terragen Sphere, just none in it [[/note]] are here, including the System of Response (though it seems to be non-sentient) and (possibly) the Nu'lu'j, creators of the J'tau'sh.
** S4 are the lesser Archai, though fully considered gods in their own right. right; it's just that the rise of even higher Archai in later millenial have made them seem lesser only in comparison. S4 brains are often composed of multiple planets and even entire Dyson swarms.swarms, though their domain rarely extends beyond a single system. The Silk God is the highest known purely biological intelligence, and caps out at S4.
** S5 are the great Archai. Their brains can consist of an entire solar system, including the star itself. It's believed that this is the highest level at which any sort of individuality persists. Also noteworthy in that the [[https://orionsarm.com/eg-article/50bfb35472f7b very first S5 was a perversity]], though luckily one which self-destructed fairly harmlessly.



** S7 and higher are not known to exist, but are the subject of much speculation. It's a common belief among hiders that all the S6s are just masks that a higher S7+ wears to confuse modosophonts, and while it's true that S6s of all empires are generally in near constant contact with each other, saner heads dismiss that as a fringe belief. But the fact that no intelligence has broken past S7 has been broken in nearly 5000 years has led archailectologists to speculate that something about intelligences above S6 are simply impossible. And nobody's ever seen any evidence of xenosophont S7s either.

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** S7 and higher are not known to exist, but are the subject of much speculation. It's a common belief among hiders that all the S6s are just masks that a higher S7+ wears to confuse modosophonts, and while it's true that S6s of all empires are generally in near constant contact with each other, saner heads dismiss that as a fringe belief. But the fact that no intelligence nothing Terragen has broken past S7 has been broken S6 in nearly 5000 years years, which has led archailectologists to speculate that something about intelligences above S6 that are simply impossible.impossible, insane, or inevitably transcendent. And nobody's ever seen any evidence of xenosophont S7s either.

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* ArtisticLicenseBiology: Fairly generous in terms of both predicting how fast genetic modification became ubiquitous prior to the Technocalpyse and simple it becomes in the millenia afterwards, in part because the setting is explicitly loaded with {{Transhuman}}ist themes and partially because it allows for creativity when it comes to clades. But given that the physics of the setting are intricately detailed, it's also likely due to gaps in the creators own knowledge about biology.

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