This was originally in the sourcebook for Mission, and is as I conceived The Mandorn years ago. We’ve played with The Mandorn very little over the years, and I’ve not included them in any writing yet. I thought it might be an interesting insight. Mild Space will be explored soon.
Available interstellar travel methods: Mild Space
The Mandorn are, or rather is, a Gestalt being consisting of some 80 Million individual components, all of who look very much like blue human beings. This appearance has given rise to some exotic theories about the nature and origin of life and intelligence, as it is now considered that that the likelihood of two distinct species looking so much alike is remote. The Mandorn is little bothered by this, but cannot remember where it came from or how it came about. It also does not know how all its disparate parts are in immediate contact with each other, at least in the same solar system. For further contact, beyond a billion and a half kilometres or so, transmission time becomes greater and greater.
The Mandorns ‘avatars’ all seem to experience the universe in a slightly different way from each other, one may never see blue, one may not be able digest eggs, (otherwise they have same dietary requirements as humans). In other words, they have the human characteristic of being highly individual as well as the Mandorn gestalt. They never need to speak to each other of course, but will refrain from simply being the gestalt being in front of others if it makes them uncomfortable, as long as they are not asked any questions, when they will inevitably reply in the crowd form of whatever language they are speaking.
Their linguistic skills are legendary. Because of the superior processing capability, the Mandorn is able to absorb languages much faster than any ordinary entity, and Mandorn avatars are in demand for translation services galaxy wide. The Mandorn is currently engaged in a major expansion project for this, and other reasons. Each avatar is able to disengage the gestalt status for a short time if the mission is sensitive, but ill effects inevitably follow.
The Mandorn is a well-balanced individual playing large on the galactic stage. The Long Trek (Mild Space) is the only form of space travel that the Mandorn can engage in because of the peculiar nature of its existence. Other forms break the gestalt, in extreme cases this can be permanent and the avatar can die shortly thereafter. It isn’t pleasant, so it’s avoided if at all possible. Other interacting with the Mandorn can take these deaths badly too even if they really understand the gestalt, because the Mandorn expresses each avatar as an individual.
The Mandorn is also highly telepathic, if and only if more than 95% of its processing power, i.e. more than 95% of its avatars engage in the process; that
95% will then know everything that is happening to the others irrespective of distance, and the Mandorn is then able to communicate with other beings during this process. It cannot read shielded minds. This happens extremely rarely of course, as the Mandorn is spread, now, in very different time frames, and it would not be possible without advance notice for the Mandorn to get 95% of itself awake and ready for this process.
Technology has allowed the Mandorn, therefore, to travel and spread itself around in space without becoming hopelessly out of synch. By taking the Long Trek, (see Mild Space), the Mandorn is able to communicate at greater distances than would otherwise be possible, but each avatar must be in the Long Trek space at the same time, and they must be within a 1300ly of each other. Messages are often passed around in this way, and the upkeep of the gestalt is maintained by regular visits to this space. A returning avatar can be quite distracted by this upkeep as it absorbs new information.
The ratio of female to male avatars is about equal, and the Mandorn is known to be able to breed with Humans because of their similar physiology. This is generally avoided, because it does not produce viable off spring in terms of the gestalt, but blue humans who are always trying to hear something just beyond their reach, and cannot travel by any means other than the Long Trek.