The Haven Trading Empire

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The Haven Trading Empire (HTE) is centered in the Delta Ara star system. Delta Ara is a blue-white star and the Haven home world is the fourth planet of that sun. The climate on Haven is warm and comfortably damp. Haven has one large moon. The Haven word for their world, their language, and themselves is Havani (hah-VAHN-ee).

Havens are a non-indigenous, tall, dark-haired, dark-eyed, golden-skinned humanoid race who are believed to have some connection with the Antaris. There is, in fact, speculation, that the Antaris are Havens who used their innate powerful telepathic and empathic abilities and over the millennia were 'bleached' and changed by that usage (i.e. dark hair became blonde, black eyes became purple and larger in order to absorb more energy - things of that nature). This is born out somewhat by two main facts: first, both races acknowledge that they are, in fact, not native to the systems they now call home. Second, of all the races known to the Federation, only the Antaris and the Havens have truly monotheistic deities. For Antaris this Deity is female, Zehara, and for Havens, male, Devri (DEHV-ree). There is also some similarity in their languages; for example the Haven word zev means' heart,' or 'the source of life', and the Antari Goddess, the source of life, is Zehara. Evan, Antari for 'son of,' is very close to being a part of Devri's name. Ani is 'daughter of' in Antari, and is also the Haven word for mother. However, it wouldn't be wise to make such a comparison too loudly, or in the hearing of a Haven or an Antari.

There are three other recognized Haven religious figures. These are considered to be Devri's children and are viewed as Terrans view avatars - not gods, but the carriers of Devri's essence into the physical universe: Kenesh (keh-NEHSH), Kenesha (keh-neh-SHAH), and Saford (SA-ford). Kenesh and Kenesha are twins and, in Haven theology, have had many differing incarnations, but there are certain things which are constants: Kenesh is empathic, intuitive, very good at reading motivation and presenting a deal in the light best accepted by all parties. Kenesha is very sexual, what Terrans would call excessive and deviant (Havens don't think this is a bad thing). Saford, Devri's other son, is the force of opposition, the resistance to change which is necessary to cause change. Havens consider Saford to be unethical, as is alluded to in the common Haven epithet, "Saford's Hell!"

The retaal (reh-TALL) are the closest approximation to priests of Devri (some would call them Haven keheils - and get smacked by any nearby Antaris for so saying). They do not have the level of empathic or telepathic abilities common to the Antaris, but, as the Havens would say, they do all right. The Resha (reh-SHAH), another specific group of what could be considered Haven priesthood, are "shepherds" who guide and guard the people of the universe, deciding, based on their own observations, which have the best potential for any needed applications, and 'herding' that individual into lessons that will maximize that potential.

Havens are generally heterosexual, although the more contact they have with other races, the more eclectic their sexual tastes become. No one outside of the Havens themselves know what their average life-span is, and they aren't telling (sounds Antari, doesn't it?). Marriage is considered a union in the best interests of all parties involved (just because they're not generally into same-gender liaisons doesn't mean they don't have group marriages), and love, if it enters into it at all, is simply a happy coincidence. There is one exception to this generalization; the famed Haven "thunderbolt," called in their language sha zevran (shah zeh-VRAHN). The literal translation is "my heart is open." This is a union which is an integral part of Haven mythology, and denotes an immediate and permanent melding of souls, celebrated in story and song as one which will bring forth children of great stature and renown, destined for some divine and vital purpose within Haven culture.

The HTE is commerce-based. All society is centered around profit and trading and stocks, bottom lines and win-columns and loss-leaders. For Havens, however, these terms have much more significance than the usual Terran financial implications. Havens are good at business, commerce, merchandizing, marketing, etc. because, to them, EVERYTHING is business, commerce, merchandizing, marketing, etc. Psychology is marketing. Sex is merchandizing. Home life is business. Religion is commerce. Profit, the basis of all Haven endeavor, is a word that is more accurately translated as 'dreams' or goals' or 'purpose.' Therefore, what gives a Haven profit is much more all-encompassing than would be assumed by a Terran reading of the word.

Havens are supremely ethical people - within the confines of their understandings of things. One has to be very literal with a Haven, because they are. They're good at finding loopholes - not because they're looking for a way out of an agreement, but because they take things literally. They are very careful to spell out all the terms in any dealings before agreeing to it - and if you're not so careful, they figure that's your problem. Which brings us to the infamous Haven "Deal - Done" exchange. Being very literal, Havens don't assume an agreement or a contract has been arranged until ALL parties say so (and to a Haven, a verbal contract is exactly the same as a written one - they have eidetic memories when it comes to contracts). Hence, when all the terms have been spelled out and discussed and agreed to, a Haven will say "Deal?" If the other party agrees, s/he replies "Deal," and, to seal it, the Haven says "Done," meaning that the contract is set and sealed and all consequences of breach are in effect. Without that "Done" confirmation, either party can back out - though usually only Havens know that's the case. Most people think that the exchange "Deal - Deal" is enough. If the other party is in the know, they can seal it with a "Done" of their own and the Haven is bound to it ("Deal - Done" rather than "Deal - Deal - Done.") If the other party is the instigator of the contract, and is the first to say "Deal," they'd best seal it after the Haven says "Deal" if they want it to be honored. This may seem like it's a way out, but, as has been said, Havens are very literal. To them, the exchange "Deal-Deal" means only that the terms are acceptable. Only "Done" means that the contract is valid and its terms are in place.

On the surface, Havens are a very laid-back people. They don't tend to worry about things, because they trust the dealings of the universe (by which a Haven would mean they trust Devri's dealings) to be fair and equitable even if they don't always agree with the terms. They figure they agreed to the terms (or they wouldn't be here) and it's a little counter-productive to complain about the nature of the deal once it's been done. Havens also are the galaxy's biggest gamblers. They wager a lot, on nearly anything, which adds to their casual reputation. They always pay up fairly, and they are always very unpleasant to anyone who tries to welsh on a bet with them: so much so that there's a saying regarding something that's a sure thing in a negative sense: "Are you crazy? That would be like welshing on a Haven!"

Any profession which makes credit is an honorable one on Haven, but they have a strong code of honorable behavior surrounding even the least-savory (to Terran morality) endeavor. For example, a Dealer is an honorable purveyor of chemicals, but no Haven would countenance being a 'pusher'. A Bondsman is ethical, dealing in peddling sentient and semi-sentient beings. A 'slaver' is an insult. A Procurer is one who maintains a stable of sexual professionals for hire. A 'pimp' is low-life scum who treats his/her employees badly. The only profession on Haven that isn't profit driven is Security. Guards and such are pledged to the Empire, paid by the Crown and so are able to be completely and totally neutral and outside any politics or profit motives. It's a standing joke among Havens that security people "ought to get a decent job and work for a living."

The HTE is ostensibly an empire, but the emperor is a figurehead. The real rulers are the Monolem Family, the CEOs for all Haven. On Haven, one is either allied with and working for the Monolems, or running from the Monolems. Think Mafia. It is said among Havens that there's no need to be concerned about this. The Monolems are very careful in their handling of Haven affairs, because they fully intend to own it outright one day.

The other noteworthy area of Haven expertise is in pharmaceuticals. They are, to put it bluntly, the galaxy's best chemists. They create many dozens of profitable combinations, which they then market. Most Haven chemicals are technically non-addictive, which is why most are technically legal. Some of then, of course, ARE addictive and ARE illegal. It is a well known fact that Havens aren't as affected by their chemical concoctions as are most other races. Their physiology is internally different. The drugs simply don't have as strong an effect on them. Therefore, it's all more or less recreational to them. Humans are particularly susceptible to most of the effects of most of the chemicals. It is thought that this is due to centuries of 'chemical hygiene' among Humans. It's akin to getting to a new planet and accidentally starting a terrible plague because the natives' systems aren't immune to the normal bacteria one carries within them. Humans are therefore more susceptible to Haven drugs because of the centuries spent purging all artificial chemicals from their physiologies. They've lost any natural immunity or resistance to the chemical effects.

Haven drugs are all gel-form, usually in a capsule, though sometimes sold in a vial. They tend to be named for their colors - Havens like to keep things simple. (see "Recreational Substances Addendum")

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