"This one?" The Tryker lifted his goggles from his eyes and put it on his forehead. His eyes were surrounded by bright rings, the rest of his face was covered with dark grey grime. "Oh it's a FRED. A submerged window cleaner automaton." The customer, an older, slightly pudgy Tryker merchant with bushy eyebrows, looked irritatedly at the big cage in front of him. "Hmm, how does it work?"
The inventor stepped next to his apparatus and put a hand on it as if he was presenting a fat bodoc he wanted to sell to a butcher. "You put it into the water next to the Tryker apartments whose windows you want to clean from the outside. You know, to get rid of all the algae and shells. You put some fishes - available separately - into the cage and then you use this winch to let it slowly down until it docks on the dirty window with these suction cups." The older Tryker raised an eyebrow. "Then you use this crank here..." The engineer went over to a huge second device, connected by thick wires to the cage, looking like a giant barrel with a very big crank on it, "to apply little electric shocks to the algae and fishes. It not only loosens the adhesion of the algae to the window but stimulates the fishes to start eating them. They literally gnaw them off the window. The result: a perfect cleaned window without any Tryker divers!"
The customer nodded slowly. "Are the fishes reusable?"
"Ummm... well, we are still testing it. At the moment the cleaning results aren't the best but the fishes taste delicious when they are fried under water by the shocks. So they are reusable... kind of." The customer didn't seem convinced. "Fried fish wasn't exactly what I was looking for. But why is it called FRED?"
The engineer scratched his head. "Dunno. I couldn't find a cool acronym for it, so I called it FRED."
— A FISHES engineer at a recent invention fair in Crystabell.
Trykers investigate everything, no other race is as curious and fascinated about secrets and oddities like the inhabitants of Aeden Aqueous. And they always try to increase the quality of life in their country with sometimes simple, sometimes extraordinary measures. This has to be coordinated and the research resources have to be administrated. (Note: this has not proved to be strictly true, nor under much control.)
This is done by the FISHES, the Foundation for the Investigation of Scientific, Heuristic and Engineering Solutions. This society is infamous for their bold ways of research, taking great risks upon themselves to push forward technology and exploration. Many projects are kept secret until the test phase begins and this test phase often results in more or less small catastrophes like explosions, some confused animals or thick fog in the Tryker cities but luckily the Children of the Wind are very tolerant to these happenings because in the end, the society contributes much to the scientific reputation of the Trykers.
- FISHES - "Foundation for the Investigation of Scientific, Heuristic and Engineering Solutions"
- FISCH - "Forschungsgesellschaft für Ingenieurswesen, Seltsames, Curiositäten und Heimliches"
- CREVETTE - "Centre de Recherche et d'Études Tryker en Technologie et Étrangeté"
- BIRRA - "Borrachos e Ingenieros Resolviendo Retos Absurdos"
- ИВАСИ - "Исследующий Всевозможные Аномалии Союз Инженеров"
- Symbol: light blue and white; a fish and a gear
- Motto: "No solution is too extreme to be tried." (Inofficial: "All the big inventions started with a big boom.")
- Foundation: 2518
- Famous Members: Ba-Ben Len (tribe chief of the Beachcombers, spokesperson in local and national assemblies), Be'Arroy Arty (engineer, inventor of the mechanical Kincher), Winny Mac'Wytter (meterologist expert for Flyner flight experiments), Tepsen Be'Laroy (engineer and inventor)
- Influence: considerable (Federation), moderate (Atys)
- Financial power: large
- Citation: "There is no problem that does not have a solution."; "Don't you think it sounds a bit strange?" - "Yes! RUUUUUUUUUN!!!"
- Specialties: engineering, expeditions, creating mechanical and magical devices, analysis of objects and apparatuses.
- Size: about 30 scientists, engineers and assistants, plus about 50 sponsors and patrons who support the society financially; some are secret members only.
- Current Location: No specific location, the members can be found all over Aeden Aqueous, most laboratories can be found in Windermeer. But it supports an official bureau and meeting hall at Crystabell.
Still Wyler, as a great visionary of peace and unity between the 4 peoples, wasn't too sure that the Trykers would have access to the knowledge of the institutions of other countries. Nevertheless the Tryker have special abilities, a good example is the art of engineering to use the power of wind. This knowledge had to be preserved and developed for New Trykoth.
The year 2518 was a year of progress for the Trykers: The Homins Right act was signed by the leaders of all four nations and two years prior the Free Trade Agreement was signed. Only three years after the peace treaty ended the war between the Federation and the Matis Kingdom under the reign of Jinovitch, the Tryker cities were bustling from life and the calamities of war retreated from pure joy of life, a thriving economy and a fresh wind in the Federation.
During a crafting fair in Crystabell in 2518, Still Wyler met some wealthy merchants, crafters and traders in the bar to celebrate the successful fair with a beer or two. While all were happy about the products presented during the last days, Still Wyler mentioned his worries about how the knowledge of the Tryker people about engineering and crafting could be preserved. Soon everyone was euphoric about the idea of creating a society for scientists and engineers, funded by wealthy Trykers and the Federation itself to allow free research. And since meer (sharing) is one of the central values of the Trykers, this society should not be a centralised, strict organisation, but every city should make profit from it. So the FISHES was born and with it its loose, diversified structure. In the years that followed, the society contributed minor and major advances in technology. It worked on the improvement of wind wheels, water cleaning and room climate. But it also supported the government in the deciphering of old texts and analysis of strange objects.
One of the most important international projects was the installation of devices that accelerated the reconstruction of the Kitin observation towers all over Atys in 2576.
THE SOCIETY TODAY
The group doesn't talk much about their projects if not necessary. This happens not just because of secret-keeping but also due to the fact that it undertakes projects which are not interesting for other people. The research of the practical use of underwater pubs is a topic only interesting to Trykers, just as is the search for water paint to tincture the water around Fairhaven in iridescent colors for festivals.
The FISHES does not have a leader but there is a committee consisting of 13 members elected by and from all members of the society. The Governor of the Federation or a representative of him or her always gets the thirteenth seat in it and has a right to veto. The committee usually consists of sponsors and their names are known within the society but kept secret from outside. One from them is elected as the spokesperson of the society in official affairs. The committee can create and elect commissioners or groups of commissioners who sort out or forward requests for funding to the committee. Freedom of research is a high value within the society and it is only very rare that the committee declines a fund request that has something to do with technology, mechanical or magical devices, exploration or analyses of objects from the past, while they are more conservative if it touches other fields of research like botany, kitins or warfare. Exceptions are of course any researches connected to Goo which are strictly prohibited and lead to accusation before a federal court immediately.
The FISHES is a non-profit organisation but of course the sponsors would like to see some results from their invested dappers. Each amount of financial support given to a researcher is recorded and if an invention yields profit in any way the profits are first used to pay back the loans of the researcher towards the society. Then the remaining profits are shared between the sponsors who contributed to that project and the inventor or engineer himself. Of course this doesn't happen very often and luckily most sponsors have a good portion of idealism and patriotism that makes them invest in the society.
Often local governments, tribes or the national assembly of Fairhaven ask for research tasks from FISHES. In those cases, the government itself invests dappers as a sponsor into a project. In the last years, archiving has become more and more important and it is fixed in the society's contract that this knowledge has to be open for all members of the society, the government, and all homins that have an invitation by the committee itself or the government. Of course, selling Tryker engineering knowledge to other nations is considered as treachery to the Tor Lochi and results in expulsion from the society.
Appearance and Symbols
Since the society doesn't appear as such in the public very often, the FISHES doesn't pay much attention to symbols and a unified appearance. Over the years the colors blue and white have become preferred colors, so many engineers and scientists wear these colors when representing the society in public. There isn't a unified symbol but lately two symbols have appeared more and more often: the gear wheel for the strong engineering wing of the society and of course the fish representing the acronym. So a merged symbol, a fish with a gear as an eye or a fish around a gear wheel could be considered as the most accurate symbol of the society.
Enemies and Allies
The FISHES society has no known enemies but since they strictly oppose any Goo research they are in opposition to any organisation or tribe performing Goo research. On the other hand the FISHES has many allies. Apart from manifold and intense connections to the federal government, merchants and tribes in the Lakelands, it is tightly connected to the other Tryker research groups like the Avendale Academy, taking care of cultural aspects of the Children of the Wind, or the New Trykoth Council of Scientists that is more focused on collecting information about the current state of Atys than inventing and engineering. In general, the society willingly shares knowledge within the Tryker people but when it comes to foreign relationships it doesn't share everything for free. The committee and sometimes even the national assembly or the governor decides about any flow of technology outside the Federation if it's not with known Tryker-dominated tribes like the Root Tappers, Cockroaches or the Ecowarriors. But over all, the FISHES society has its place within the Atysian scientific community and is generally liked for its open-mindedness, ability to collaborate and its financial power too.
In general, every member can chose if he or she wants to reveal himself or herself as one. Some (especially the sponsors) try to stay in the background while the engineers sometimes have to work in public because their machines are simply too large or too dangerous for the underwater laboratories.
Ba-Ben Len is an elder Zoraï woman who leads the tribe of the Beachcombers since many years now. This tribe is known for its profound magical knowledge that allows it to estimate and further analyse the arcane powers and purposes of an unknown artifact or magical mystery. Very early, Ba-Ben as the tribe's leader was known amongst the Trykers as a brilliant savant as far as magic is concerned and so she was invited very early by Still Wyler to join the discussions about the need of a scientific society in Aeden Aqueous. So, Ba-Ben is one of the founding members of the FISHES. However, since the reformation of the federal constitution that introduced the Taliari as representatives of the Tor Lochi and since Ba-Ben was appointed as one of them, the tribe itself opened more and more towards the Federation of New Trykoth. Quickly, Ba-Ben became one of the most respected committee members of the society. Finally, in 2555, Ba-Ben was elected as the official representative of the FISHES and introduced herself as such to the Taliari. Since then, the tall Zoraï is present at many local and national assemblies and forwards any requests to the researchers and engineers.
Ba-Ben's quiet and thoughtful character is a counterpart to the lively, agitated Tryker members and she often listens to the meetings without saying a word, just to finally astonish everyone with an exact, concise analysis of the situation. During her trips to Fairhaven she also keeps her eyes open for possible new tribe members who have to be promising magicians paired with a calm and thoughtful character.
Be'Arroy Arty, a middle-aged Tryker engineer with long, dark-green hair and the inevitable goggles on his forehead, always was one of the most talented engineers of the society but got much recognition with the construction of the apparatus that allowed to accelerate the rebuilding of the Kitin observeration camps by coating the construction materials with a layer of sap, comparable with the way dappers were created. Of course the prototype was blown up sky-high and it took the help of some brave homins not only to save the engineer from the cliff he was catapulted on to, but to collect the sap crystals necessary for the device and that were dispersed all over and around Fairhaven.
Be'Arroy Arty is the typical FISHES engineer: fearless, daring, smart and passionate but also crazy and with the firm belief that security measures slows down progress. Privately, he's an easy-going Tryker, enjoying company as much as beer and Tryker Polka. For the latter he has developed an automated tuba but until now it only can play two tones so its use is strongly limited. His workshop is located in Fairhaven.
The old Tryker scientist belongs to the small FISHES group that is interested in life sciences although especially O'Banon isn't limited to that. To be honest, the Tryker isn't very competent in this field but he has collected a vast amount of plant seeds from all over Atys and he willingly accepts new specimen. He treats those seeds with various chemicals and fluids and observes the results. Because of this, Emmen is not so much considered a botanist but an alchemist who has many alchemical substances at his disposal. Apart from that O'Banon Emmen has published a variety of time travel theories and irritates people with questions about the current year or Atys Cycle.
Emmen has short hair because he often has to fight fires in his laboratory in Windermeer and a large yellow sun-like stain in his face resulting from a failed experiment and which he turned into a tattoo. He mostly leaves a confused impression, always babbling stuff or developing theories, forgetting things and sometimes he even falls from the gangways of Windermeer, totally forgetting about his steps.
Nili O'Toolyn has a special role within the society since she is one of the very few Trykers (next to O'Banon Emmen) interested in botany. Most Trykers are - in a sense of patriotism - proud of the richness of the lakeland flora but for many, working with plants is simply boring since they don't move and even more seldom explode. In contrast to her collegue Emmen, Nili O'Toolyn has a profound and deep knowledge about plants, not only of those growing in Aeden but also of the adjacent region like the Prime Roots and Heretic's Hovel. Although Nili and Emmen don't like each other, they are often forced to cooperate since Nili has the deep knowledge and Emmen has the laboratory and plant samples for experiments at his disposal.
Nili is the former student of Rosen Ba'Darins(fr), a very respected herbalist and considers herself as an heir of Rosen, who always refused to become member of the society. Nili herself was very sceptical towards the society too but finally agreed to join out of financial reasons. That doesn't mean she's a good friend of everyone in the society or has to completely cooperate with it...
Since he was a little boy, Winny Mac'Wytter was fascinated about the element of air. Be it the technology behind the ever-turning wind wheels in Aeden, the tempests far above the canopy or the quick change of weather all over Atys, there is no research field connected to the wind that Winny didn't study. The study of wind has a long tradition in tryker culture (no surprise for a people that calls themself "Children of the Wind") but Winny is one of the few who takes a more general look at weather phenomena and isn't limited to the exploitation of wind for engineering purposes. And within this new field of meteorology, Winny is unparalleled.
Since he assisted in the NASA(fr) project of using Flyner(fr)s to fly, he's dreaming about building an artificial flyner to move through the air but yet, the society hasn't agreed to finance such a project.