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[Accepted] Jessica_Stark's Unathi App

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BYOND Key:JessicaStark

Character Names:AMBER, ROOMBA, J4D3, Cassie Suthorn, Jessica Stark

Species you are applying to play: Unathi

What color do you plan on making your first alien character (Dionaea & IPCs exempt): Sandy Orange

Have you read our lore section's page on this species?:Yes

Please provide well articulated answers to the following questions in a paragraph format. One paragraph minimum per question

Why do you wish to play this specific race: I've been wanting to play a species with a different mindset than human, or human programmed synthetics, and I thought the Unathi would be a good first. I've liked reptiles in general for ages, and the vaguely warrior like, honor bound, reptilian Unathi reminded me of an old Robert Asprin Scifi book I'd read a few years back called The Bug Wars, which feature a similar race. I like the dieselpunk vibes I've been getting from their technology, and the forties/fifties tech base coupled with the arrival of high tech weapons from other species, results in the Izweski military being eerily similar to the Fallout universe. All in all, a series of qualities that I like.

Identify what makes role-playing this species different than role-playing a Human: As a reptilian species, Unathi have several overt differences from humans in terms of daily life. Being cold blooded means that they enjoy warmth, and can tolerate higher temps comfortably, but the cold gets to them rather quickly. Their claws and strong muscles allow them to slash, and knock down enemies, which they can devour if they are small enough. As carnivorous reptiles, their diet is primarily meat, with some fruits or veggies added for garnish and taste, albeit with no nutritional value. The reptilian mouth structure also results in their sibilants being elongated.

Socially, Unathi strongly believe in honor and tradition, these values slightly less in Izweski society due to their greater exposure to other cultures. However, these are still likely present to some degree. A polite Unathi doesn't initiate physical contact unless invited, and also refrains from using someone's first name unless they are close friends. They put great value in the command structure, and place importance on titles, not often abbreviating a superior's title.


Character Name:Zarra Tanasi

Please provide a short backstory for this character, approximately 2 paragraphs

Zarra Tanasi, born 1/11/2435, grew up the daughter of a NCO in the Izweski Military, on a small military base. Her father worked as a tech, maintaining the base's newly provided NT model 423 power reactor, while her mother stayed home and helped raise her. Given the base was fairly far from the front lines, things were idyllic for young Zarra, apart from the muffled arguments of her parents at night. When the war began, the base was selected as one of the sites for production of the new Mark 1 Breacher armor, and her father's skills in electronics were co-opted. Zarra loved to watch the unathi in the suits charging around the test courses, peering through the fences surrounding these areas, dropping into the tall grass whenever a patrol would pass by. She vowed to herself that one day, she would wear a suit like that. Her parents shushed her, telling her that was silly, but Zarra didn't give up on her dream.

In September of 2439, the tranquil night was shattered by a rumble like distant thunder and a flash that lit up the sky, followed by the grating howl of the alert sirens. The coalition had deployed nuclear weapons. Due to the base's remoteness, which had originally made it an excellent site for the secret testing of the new powered armor suits, it had expanded in scope and was now certain to be a target. An enterprising freighter pilot had been running the Coalition blockade for the past few weeks, delivering raw materials, and with destruction on the way, was frantically preparing for launch. Zarra's father decided that his duty to his wife and young daughter took priority over what was certain death, even in the deep storage bunkers of the base, and hustled the pair on board, the price of their passage off the planet his skills as a tech, along with a battered suit of prototype Breacher armor. The ship accelerated at three gravities, boosting frantically to escape incoming destruction, slamming Zarra into her bunk. Ten minutes later, everything she knew disappeared in a flash of blinding atomic fire.

As it turned out, the freighter captain Zarra and her family were now in debt to took a liking to the family, and they signed on as permanent crew members after her father managed to bypass overloading systems after a mistimed bluespace jump brought the ship out too close to a star. The ship's crew numbered less than a dozen, a mixture of Skrell and humans, and the curious young Unathi underfoot was sometimes shooed away, at other times humored and instructed. She was able to watch her father's scarred and repainted armor lumber into action several more times, repairing hull damage, and even repelling a Vox raiding party that latched onto the ship's cargo lock in their skipjack, demanding the ship's cargo. Zarra was in awe as the vox turned and fled, crossbow bolts and bullets ricocheting off the plates of the suit as it advanced like a juggernaut. Despite the best efforts of her parents, this only renewed her interest in a career where she could protect the innocent.

(Revisions inserted here after a long discussion with Loow)

Fifteen years after they fled Zarra's father felt that the life debt he owed the freighter captain for saving the lives of him and his family had been repaid, and it was time to return home to Moghes. However, the environment of a NT Freighter hadn't been the most conducive to raising a 'proper Unathi daughter'. He was torn. On one hand, he owed a debt of honor to the Izaweski people for fleeing the planet the day the skies fell. On the other hand, returning with his daughter in her current state would almost certainly not end well for her, or the family. He had even caught her trying to put on his battered and scarred breacher suit a few years ago. At age fifteen she'd been too small, and unable to reach the controls, but it was the principal of the thing. The five further years hadn't improved the situation any, Zarra only having become more stubborn and headstrong. It was both heartwarming, as he saw a lot of himself in her, but terrifying in the way conservative Unathi society would react to her. The discussions lasted long into the night between him and his wife, Zarra lying in her bunk and listening nervously, torn between her own love for her family, and wanting the best for them. Eventually, she took matters into her own hands. Knowing that her parents would tell her not to go and would continue tearing themselves apart emotionally, she struck out on her own at the next port. She called from a public comm terminal once she was a good way away, and explained her reasoning to her father. Telling him to say that she had perished in a micrometeor strike or other similar unavoidable fate, thereby preserving his own honor and allowing him to return home, she ended the call and cut off his protests. Teary eyed, she went to the nearest NT Recruitment office, recognizing the logo from the training materials that had littered the dinner table on evenings during her childhood. She introduced herself as Zarra Tanasi, saying she was looking for work, and was able to get a job as a cargo tech. After six months, she transferred to a Security cadetship, and two years later, was posted to the NSS Exodus...

What do you like about this character? She's a bit idealistic, like me, always wanting to find the best in people, and protect those who cannot protect themselves. Her Izaweski upbringing, coupled with her father's work and her adolescence on the freighter helped strongly shape her beliefs about technology and the galaxy. This can provide an interesting RP hook with any traditionalist Unathi she might meet during her career on the NSS Aurora, a possible source of debate and conflict. However, repelling a disorganized mob of raiders is different than the hazards found on a high tech research station such as the Aurora. These new challenges will push her skills to the limit, as well as give her a chance to hone other abilities.

How would you rate your role-playing ability? 6.5-7 out of 10 or so


Edited by Guest
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I haven't RPed with her character a lot, but first-hand experience was good. Reading first sentence about being grow up on military base makes me think that it is another snowflake, but as I read further and knowing Unathi lore it is perfectly normal history for average Unathi.


P.S. Just don't make same mistake as most of new unathi players do - they usually are hyper-honor they take any offense as challenge of their honor)

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I've definitely interacted with her cyborgs and they've been pretty radical. As well, interactions with their human characters have been nice, so I'd have to say this application has my support. The backstory is nice, and I agree with PoZe in that while it's a common backstory, it's also one that's refined. I think there's a point when snowflake doesn't really have any weight because people use it like "cuck" and in the end it loses a majority of its meaning.

Regardless, I trust Jessica can break that. They can make a backstory that's interesting but also have a character that meets standards and also creates a fun RP environment in their interactions. +1

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While my interactions with their characters were limited,i know they don't break character and RP them to statisfying levels.

the app is well written and the story is interesting even though it looks bland in the begining, they were also envolved in the conflict while being space hobbos, the story may be a bit lacking in ligger culture, but then again i didnt read the whole wiki page.


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After reading this application, I have a few things to comment on.

The bio is an interesting read and makes use a few interesting angles. I'm inclined to accept that an Izweski base had some NT tech shortly after first contact. Although certain individuals may rather have you believe the Unathi miraculously became proficient in every realm of late-space-age technology upon learning of its existence, I personally find it more believable that they excepted these "free gifts" from the nice folks in space and quickly began using them to develop their own tech. To sum this up, I like your mention of an NT reactor and I think Zarra's father would rightfully be seen as an asset considering his proficiency with space-age tech.

I do however take issue with your comparison to the fallout universe. Unathi cities were around the tech level of 21st century Earth during first contact. Don't get me wrong. There were a lot of areas with lesser tech, but the tech-rich areas were beyond 1950's red-scare levels.

Next, I'm a fan of the sort of wonder Zarra seemed to view things with as a child. It seems you've put quite a bit of thought into her development in that time period and it shows.

Now let's talk about honor.

Zarra's dad (while a nice guy, a family man, and a good tech) is essentially a deserter, is he not? When the Izweskis needed him, he was gone. He fled to be sure his family survived, but he could have gone back to help the people he was obligated to. While not necessarily the worst part of his day, the choice to abandon any sense of responsibility to his lords/hegemon/clan/home planet in favor of personal and familial safety likely would have weighed heavily on Mr. Tanasi.

Ah, but the technicalities! He felt bound to repay the captain for saving his family, didn't he?! That's a very real internal conflict that the technolizard could have experienced. When your world is upside down, do you honor obligations to those above you or repay a debt of gratitude to the man who saved your family? I suppose what I'm trying to say is that the father, while technically a disloyal cuss who left his home to burn for years while he served filthy xenos, is incredibly interesting.

I can definitely see how having Old Man Tanasi as a father could provide for some interesting RP, not just with Traditionalists, but with anyone.

Maybe not everyone she mentions it to is so understanding of why he abandoned Moghes.

Maybe she doesn't like to mention it.

Or worse.

Maybe she thinks it's perfectly fine.

Which brings me to my next topic! Zarra abandoned her family to venture off alone and work with aliens. While she was born into a time where aliens are a confirmed fact of life, this is still something that should be considered. Is this evidence that Mr. Tanasi has "failed" as a father?

First of all, Zarra is female. Women in Unathi society are considered to be more similar to property than in our society. I guess that's your 1950's influence there. Dad goes to work. Mom stays at home to take care of the house and the kids.

Ms. Tennessee has 1. No man to chaperone her.

2. The ability to cut ties with her family to pursue (objectively) selfish goals.

3. The "cowardice" to do so through a letter.

4. No credentials what so ever.

It's also worth mentioning that fun buzz phrases like "strong willed lizardwoman who don't need no man" have been thrown around in recent memory. With as many times as it's been said in the past, it would feel wrong not to say it now.

Now let's talk about how this case of "hot young scaly singles in your area" is semi-plausible if we accept a few factors. If Mr. T has in fact failed in raising her by Unathi standards, not curtailed her youth habit of talking to alien crew out of curiosity, and spent too long working on the freighter rather than getting his family back in Unathi society...

Then we have ingredients.

(Reminder, our current station is the NSS Exodus. ) Release the new base already, mapping team.

The end of your bio is where it really speeds up and leaves the reader (at least in my case) less satisfied. From an app perspective, it says what it wants to be said quickly and wraps it up. From a writing perspective, it's a bit jarring.

The section in question:

Despite the best efforts of her parents, this only renewed her interest in a career where she could protect the innocent. At age eighteen she left a tearful note to her parents on her bunk in their stateroom, and ducked off ship at the next port. Remembering the logo adorning the training materials her father brought home from his work, she sought out the nearest NT recruitment office, and signed on as a security cadet, beginning her independent career. Three years later, a few months after her twenty first birthday, she was assigned to the NSS Aurora as a security officer.

Most notably, there's a harsh transition from inspiration to ugly separation. One moment she's in awe of technology and how one individual can make a difference, the next she's running away from home.

Contrary to what movies and tweens who wear eyeliner seem to believe, it's not a normal life transition to just run away from home. In a society that values loyalty, even less so. Deviation from societal norms aside, it pains me that we're barely given any reason why she left. What's more, the reason we are given doesn't quite match up with the dramatic way she left.

Sssorry mom and dad, but I want to protect the inosssent!

xoxo, Zarra


You did a fine job of portraying themes beforehand, but it seems to fall apart in the area of the bio where you had to wrap the story up.

This criticism is a little less glaring. The age she left: 18.

In our society, this is basically considered to be the age when "I don't have to put up with your shit any more, Dad! Brad and I are moving to Santa Monica and all we need to survive is our love!"

Using this age feels like a cop out to me. Again, it's my own opinion. You can write whatever you want, but I just wouldn't use it. Running away at the age of eighteen makes Zarra seem like she has even less loyalty to her elders than she would look without it. Like she was just waiting for the day she got "old enough" and had been full of angst for years.


Running away from home makes her seem "edgy" and remembering that she did so while very young, with little reason given beyond idle wants, and in such a dramatic manner increases the severity of the edge provided.

Section on Zarra's youth: Pretty good.

Section on Zarra's inspiration: Interesting.

Section on Zarra: Teen drama with very little explained or fleshed out.

Now to comment on the comments.

Poze made an excellent point on hyper-honor. A lot of players stressed the honor far too hard as an excuse to be violent. It's much less prominent now than it once was, but we should all stand strong in our defense against the

Stark, you've gotten quite a bit of positive feedback. I hope you appreciate some criticism to balance it out. Yourself and another player pointed me at this thread and said "feedback wanted" so I figured you wouldn't mind some blunt opinions here and there. Mixed in a bit of humor and reference material for good measure. I tend to take an interest when I comment on a character design, and I hope my many, many words help you flesh out your character in your own mind. As a last word of advice in this post, I'd say elaborate on her later life. You don't necessarily have to, but it's a common trend I see in apps to have immense detail and wonderfully crafted specifics about early life and then sum up their adult life with a few words. It's all about writing what you want to write.

(Within reason. No space orcs pls.)

I might comment again if I'm feeling talkative. Have fun and keep being inspired.

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Guest Marlon Phoenix

Hello! I'm sorry for the delay, I've had precious little free time these last 4 days.

Loow was a good placeholder for myself while I was away; I remember reading your application and really liking it despite the concerns i had. Loow echoes a lot of what was also on my mind that I had planned to talk to you about but never got enough time. I'm making it a point to set aside specific times to make my self more available for things like this.

We have precious little Unathi women playing on the station and with this rewrite I would be glad to see Zarra Tanasi on the station. It's often a bit tricky to create a strong, independent unathi woman that don't need no man in a way that allows them to be their own character and stand on their own ground outside that, or without being a physically aggressive amazonian. She's not defined by this independence, she's a full person, and that makes her a stronger character.

Your grasp of the lore is solid and your ability to create a character with that foundation is solid; I'll be happy to accept the application!

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