The Xenostain

Akhaan soshor, dear Althazeans!

Here we are back from the holidays (mainly spent working) with a new article on X-light’s story, or rather on a very important part of the game’s lore: the Xenostain. If this is your first time here, I can imagine how strange this word may seem. The  work behind defining this very peculiar “mechanism” was pretty tough, but at the same time, a pretty natural process.

After having given life to the Althanoids, the race the game’s main characters Rise and Faith, belong to, I needed something that could really represent them and set them apart from any other known video game character. Sure, the very nature of the Althanoids and their ancestors, the Fractanoids, was a great starting point (the shades, g-modules and flux), but there was still something that kept nagging me in the back of my mind.

I wasn’t even half way through the story that was slowly growing before me. I had all the time in the world to think of something that would make a difference to the plot. Back then there was no Genomia or X-light, but only a universe populated with strange beings who were begging me to be set free to take their place on Althaze. Many things were already defined,  while many were still in the making, like for instance, the battle between the Fractanoids and the Ones: their sworn enemies. Obviously, I’m not going to tell you everything that happened between the two rival races and the reasons behind their conflict, but I can assure you that, it was thanks to them that I suddenly had an epiphany! 🙂

At the end of the Great War of Epithelium, the actual start of the evolutionary process that turned the Fractanoids into the more modern and powerful Althanoids, the layers, the (mainly biological) artificial skeletons that held the Fractanoids’ organisms and two shades, were no longer sufficient. To contain the Altanoids’ more advanced genetic structure, formed by four shades, something more was needed! In time they perfected their bio-mechanical layers until they were able to create bio-mechanical skeletons made entirely of a metal alloy, capable of perfectly withstanding the “weight” of the Althanoids’ evolutionary experience.

The new population was finally starting to prosper. The Ones, who had by then taken on the name of Voidkeepers, hadn’t been seen for ages. Every piece seemed to have found its place, but it did not stay that way for long. The Central Government of Althaze, the Saints, were always obsessed with the threat of a new war and decreed that every Althanoid must be equipped with a system that could allow them to regularly moderate their health. Honestly, the lower it was, the higher the chances of a new Voidkeeper attack.

I know, it seems really complicated, but believe me, when you read the book from the start everything will be explained.

At this point I thought, it would be really interesting to make  sure that that system the Saints so strongly wanted, was present both on the inside and,  on the outside of every single Althanoid. This would allow me to not only reach my initial goal but also kill two birds with one stone! I could characterize the characters both aesthetically and from a practical point of view: something I hadn’t even dreamed of. 🙂 I was very pleased. And even though there was a lot of work to do, I knew I was on the right path.

As I’d already decided with the layers, the new system had to be connected to the shades and the flux, because it was from them that an Althanoid’s health depended. I decided the right moment to give life to the Xenostain was during the Althanoid’s very first moments of life. In my many notes, I had already written a lot on how I thought the female Althanoids gave birth to their young and nothing was left to chance. It was a very complex system half-natural and half-artificial. And it was the latter half that really made the difference.

You’ll be able to read all about it in the book, but for now just think of an Althanoid’s body as nothing more than a shell of alluronium and bariocortex, which is then filled with organs (biological and not).

And it was these very shells that changed in time, by order of the Saints, to give life to the Xenostain, a sophisticated control system that was now mandatory in all of Althaze.

I hope I didn’t bore you too much, but I especially hope that you’ll choose to read the whole story. It will be a lot faster and easier to read. For now, as usual , I’ll leave you with an extract of the X-Light book, where you may understand just that little bit more about the Xenostain.

Chaaluca!

Another physical characteristic of Rise and his fellows was the Xenostain, recognizable by the protuberances present on their shoulders and spotter. The latter contained small special cavities covered by a layer of bariocortex that, during their flow, would amplify the luminescence of the genetic fluids of the Althanoids, the so-called g-flux (or simply “flux”). The fluids flowed throughout their entire organism, and having reached the halo would emit a luminescence visible even to the naked eye. This complex system was a sort of thermometer for an Althanoid’s well-being: pulsing, strong lights indicated excellent health, fertility and mental stability, whereas spent colours where an indication of a low levels of said fluids, and, consequently, compromised vitals, anxieties or genetic anomalies.

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