I don’t want Concordia to be a cornucopia of exotic (all rather humanlike) aliens, like you see in so much sci-fi. I wanted it to be primarily about humans doing human things and dealing with humanity.
That said, humanity’s response to other life in the universe is also a fascinating question to examine, and extraterrestrials can make a nice device for explaining some things — technology or abilities or understanding that we wouldn’t have otherwise.
At some point in thinking about characters and plot for Concordia, I decided that I wanted to try to reuse some plot elements from an old D&D campaign I was running in the world of Eberron, and started thinking through what that might mean. (With Eberron’s economic powers in the form of dynastic families, and many layers of secrets and pseudo-technology, it’s actually not so different from some kind of fantasy Mass Effect/Neuromancer hybrid, so it actually fits the pattern well.)
And one of the things that I thought would be cool to pull in ended up being that an important character was secretly a dragon in disguise (cool for a lot of reasons, mostly the plot implications). Obviously I don’t actually want to just do dragons in space, because that’s bordering on ridiculous.
But I conceived of a wyrm-like creature that is very highly evolved — to the point of being able to survive and move through space without the need for ships. A giant space-snake if you will. Something that could have come into contact with humanity but remain…aloof, enigmatic, not quite understandable by humans, and yet simultaneously take an interest in them.
As I continue thinking about plot, this actually solves a couple problems for me, but it also comes with some really interesting implications. Like the inevitable movement started by certain humans to worship these creatures as gods. And the thought that they can create for themselves a kind of avatar, a human shell into which they project (a part of) their consciousness, to interact with humans.
And I think interestingly, the idea that while they are highly evolved and so-called enlightened, and seem detached and enigmatic, and are worshipped by some as gods — they’re actually much like humans in a lot of ways, each with individual desires and plans and emotions and flaws. Maybe one gets attached, sympathetic. Or see humanity as ants to be experimented with. Or go insane from staying too long in a human avatar that can’t contain their full mind.
The pictures I’ve posted are just some pictures I found with a google search, and represent something like what I’d want the wyrms (as I’ve been calling them) to look like. But I’m still not settled on much.