It is important for you as an audience member to have a clear separation of the definition of fantasy (science fiction) from
reality (human life on planet Earth, circa 2016), otherwise a number of sources on the Internet are going to lie to you in
order to take as much credit as possible for the story and people you are about to enjoy.
The 13 Species of Beyond War (Aliens)
Why thirteen alien species? That is a lot of complexity for a first-release game!
Indeed. The original effort was to bring about a compendium of aliens and prior 2004 to relate those to the
zodiac signs before Battlestar Galacitca was granted a relaunch budget, renewing the idea of the 12 colonies
in the eyes of Western television viewers.
The Lord of the Rings (LoTR) and Battlestar Galactica had not been remade as of 1996, and the
market seemed pretty open. Doctor Who, Torchwood, or any good science fiction property had yet to break the 2003-2005
revival of high quality television programming. Digital post production was in its infancy, prior blu Ray and 720i.
1996 drafts of the game called for half a dozen major races, and the rest developed up to a round number over several
years of playtesting.
H.M. Stryx™ was a software developer working on Newtek Lightwave 3D, the prouduct later used to image BSG in 2003, and prior
used in Babylon 5 and Star Trek. Capital ships and carrier-sized battles required more than four basic enemies (4x games),
and space war based on a horror genre was a drag (nothing that wasn't ripped right out of Riddley Scott's book, flagrantly).
There was a little interest in dwarves in space (H.M. Stryx authored the "Squat Codex" for Warhammer 40,000 tabletop play, after
Games Workshop officially discontinued support for dwarves in their product), but the concept was overdone.
Classic ogres and small people (not halflings,
think Irish and with an L, only smaller and with wings like pixie fairies), along with tall thing graceful humans and your standard run-of-the-mill
portly middle aged human.
The idea that there are no aliens, only human-on-human violence as is popular with socialist dramas (Eve Online, CCP),
just did not cut the cord for Beyond War. Surivival, not small-dicked country politics and lobbying, were the goal of our story.
So we went there (aliens), with full blown vampires-in-space, and much much more (dragons in space).
The vampires (Sanguine) are in fact NOT VAMPIRES, nor are they undead (in the
literal sense). You can't call them human either, or any other species.
Fundamentally, the Sanguine™ are a soldier designed to fight an entire planet on their own, sending in only one soldier to attack
and destroy all life.
The Sanguine™ incorporate an engine that can create and manufacture and tailor DNA and organic components inside
their own bodies, create highly infectious viral pathogens, and deliver these pathogens and mutated DNA and doses to physically
alter other organic life - moulding it into whatever they desire.
These "micro-relative-dimensional (MRD) machines"™ include creating cellular level warp drive, hardenning the
skin and outer tissues for survival and operation in hard vaccuum exposed to lethal radiation, heat, cold, or worse. Even
creating micro pockets into other space to store and retrieve matter, mass, energy, and information like a living computer,
making it physically impossible to destroy the Sanguine without penetrating the very fabric of space-time.
In other words, to kill them, you need to blow a hole in the fabric of reality, and kill the part that lives on the other side.
Hardly typical vampires. No need to drink blood, other than to scare the crap out of you, and to "read" your DNA and record it
for modification and use (data storage, memory implantation, neural linkage to extra-dimensional storage and signals).
Typically, the sort of thing you would build a 'Solar Cannon' to sit over a planet and monitor for over 20,000 years - in the
hope of catching them outside during the daytime and incenerating them with pin-point accuracy. Prompting the myth that
Sanguine burn in sunlight to generations of ignorant less sophisticated indigenous species.