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This race developed on Gemini One, a planet where dinosaurs were the predominant life form. The archaeological record shows that these dinosaurs were identical to Earth's dinosaurs from the Jurassic and Cretaceous eras! Parallel evolution, or Rift activity? Nobody knows. Scientists have discovered that, about fifty million years ago. the planet was irradiated by a powerful P.P.E. storm, possibly as the result of a mega-Rift opening somewhere on Gemini's twin planet which is famous for its Rift activity (described previously). This irradiation produced a powerful change on all life forms larger than a mouse. They all became supernatural, mega-damage creatures! The few species that were not affected in this way perished, unable to compete against comparatively invulnerable creatures. Periodically, the planet was also hit by freak hurricanes and ley line storms, often depositing supernatural predators and monsters. The struggle for survival was of incredible ferocity, as both animals and plants mutated rapidly in the P.P.E. energies, as well as other forms of radiation that came through the Rifts.
From this savage world emerged one dominant species, descended from the dominant predator of the planet: Tyrannosaurus Rex. As a result of sudden mutations and evolution, the T-Rex branched into several species. One became the dreaded Terror Lizard (see the Monsters and Animals Section). A different sub-species became smaller and smarter, a fast and deadly pack hunter with long, dexterous hands. This sub-species evolved into an intelligent species that would eventually become the seljuk race. The seljuk learned to make tools and simple weapons, just as their shamans learned magic; some of their race legends claim that dragons from the Rifts taught them these secrets.
The seljuk did something unique in the history of magic-using races. Not long after the development of their first cities, a circle of powerful magicians tried to protect their planet from the savage ley line storms that would ravage and destroy entire cities. These storms could lay to waste in minutes what had taken the seljuk generations to build. In a legendary ceremony, to this day honored in seljuk religious gatherings, the magicians turned the planet's rich P.P.E. energy against itself, sealing the planet from Rift and ley line activity. The price for the ceremony was severe, and was paid for by every member of the seljuk race. Only a permanent sacrifice of every person's P.P.E. capacity was able to power the mystical ceremony and the day the Rifts were banished from the planet also marked the last day any Seljuk could work magic. This race, potentially one of the most powerful sorcerers in the Megaverse, became unable to use spells totally or any other magic.
The tales of this ceremony claim that even this mighty ritual would have failed without the intervention of the Cosmic Forge. The sorcerers and shamans conducting it received a communication from this entity/artifact at a crucial part of the ritual and found their magical powers doubling for a very brief time, just long enough to complete the spell. All the mystics and magicians present caught a glimpse of the Forge itself in all its power and majesty, and to this day the fabled artifact is an important part of most seljuk religions.
The end of the Time of Chaos (as it became known) enabled the seljuk to continue developing in more mundane and conventional ways. The seljuk were able to channel their predatory instincts into the hunt for knowledge. The people went through many different stages, punctuated by wars, natural disasters, and political upheaval. The dominant culture was one of defending warriors. Fighters who considered it a duty and a privilege to protect the weak and helpless, and who saw war as a necessary evil. This culture was able to convert and influence the rest and eventually the whole planet was united under a Protectorate with a parliamentary government. By the time they were visited by an alien starship, they had developed a civilization on the verge of developing a star drive.
The visitors were fortunately benign, noro explorers who established peaceful relations with the seljuk. Although intimidated at first by the fearsome race, the noro soon discovered that they were honorable and reasonable beings eager to learn more about the universe around them. Trade was established between the Noro Federation and the Seljuk Protectorate. Soon afterward, the seljuk had purchased and mastered the secrets of the gravity drive and started colonizing planets of their own. The Seljuk Protectorate decided to join the Consortium of Civilized Worlds when the Kreeghor Empire started encroaching on its space. They realized that they could not defeat the Kreeghor Empire alone; many of their planets had already surrendered to the dreaded enemy rather than risk obliteration. Like the wolfen before them, they asked the CCW for help and joined that community of planets.
The seljuk culture could be described as chivalric. Honor and courage are respected above all else. Renegades who break the code are exiled, or even executed, depending on the severity of their crimes. Many have risen to prominent posts in the Consortium where they practice the same ideals of honorable conduct. For a chivalric seljuk to completely respect another person, that person must show bravery and conviction - not brute strength and foolish bravado. It is the courage and conviction of the mind and spirit that most impresses them. A person who stands up for what he believes is a hero in the eyes of the seljuk.
- Excerpted from Rifts® Dimension Book™ 2: Phase World®, copyright 2004 Palladium Books Inc. All rights reserved. Rifts®, Megaverse® and Palladium Books® are registered trademarks of Palladium Books Inc. and Kevin Siembieda. All other titles and names are trademarks of Palladium Books.
(Description of the organization (if applicable) of the Seljuk R.C.C.)
(List of notable members of the Seljuk R.C.C.)