The Tel culture arises from one of the original ten Fleets that evacuated the Homeworld. Although officially called “the Tel”, they are more often simply known in the Elysian Empire as “the Enemy”. Contact has been limited during the war, but a reasonable amount of information is known from captured soldiers, historical records and overheard radio broadcasts.
Much of the disorganisation in Tel society likely comes from their incessant referenda. Even reasonably minor policy decisions are taken by everyone eligible to vote, leaving hardly any time for the people making the decisions to inform themselves of the facts of the matter. In most cases these votes are delivered through cybernetic implants for convenience and security. The implantation of the Tel civilian voting device on the left forearm can be considered a rite of passage, but it is not mandatory and there is a reasonable minority of Tel who choose not to have them. These Tel vote via other, outdated, methods.
All Tel captured by the Elysian authorities will have these de-activated, as devices specifically for communicating with the government are considered very high risk. Multiple methods of deactivating the devices have been trialled, as an inconvenient Elysian court ruling on the nonconsensual removal of cybernetics prevents their excision. The favoured strategy is a mass-produced, one-size-fits-all shielding device which snaps over the implant like a sleeve – or a manacle. This is welded in place and disables all implant function.
Due to the frequent inconsistencies of their policies, and the rigid social mores pertaining to possession, the Tel have failed to expand very far beyond their homeworld, TelRast, even after the introduction of some level of terraforming technology. It is estimated that their territory has approximately a quarter of the volume of the Elysian Empire, but that space which they do claim is fiercely defended, leading to the current conflict.
Someone's wealth in Tel society is largely determined by the planet they live on. The government attempts to make sure everyone has what they need, but in less developed stellar systems this usually leads to considerable inefficiency and universal poverty.
Tel culture is practically synonymous with their religion, in which the stars are the main object of worship. This gives their religious authorities considerable political power. There is believed to be some degree of enmity between the religious and secular authorities, particularly the current high priest, Dret Krof Snis Sha, and the minister for war, Mu Zhes Ta Zhong. There is speculation that driving a wedge between these factions could be an effective means for the Elysians to weaken Tel society.
“The Tel are very proud of their language, known as “Telbau”, and often claim it to be objectively better organised and superior to our own. This likely reflects the well-documented cultural trait of 'Possessiveness'.”
~ Preface to the “Geological Expeditions in the system Exetoro: Lay Sociological Observations” chapter, 626PE
Fortunately, Tel citizens have apparently rigorous attitudes towards education, and thus a ubiquitous grasp of Elysian. This has always spared Elysians the torturous task of learning Telbau1).
The 'Possessiveness' so remarked-upon by other cultures, and which manifested to such tragic effect in the defence of New Prima, is little understood. Concepts of ownership are known to permeate throughout Tel society. From seemingly-arbitrary geographical delineations to material minutiae to temporal access rights, there are strict understandings of possession.
This information is not very widely known to the Elysians, and is provided mainly for players considering playing Tel characters. From a typical Elysian point of view, Tel names are long strings of monosyllabic gibberish.
Tel personal names consist of 5 to 10 separate names, with a particular order but otherwise no significance attached to particular places. The number of names used varies according to the formality of the situation, with the first name alone used between close friends, the first 2 names used in reasonably informal situations and a minimum of 3 used formally or with strangers. The number of names used continues to increase according to the level of formality. For the purposes of the game, deciding the first 4 names is likely to suffice.
Usually, at least one name is included somewhere from each parent's name, but the source and destination positions can vary, so there is no multi-generation heritable component.
A few examples from Tel phonology are:
With 'zh' pronounced as the 's' in pleasure. There are no 'th's in Telbau.
Titles are always optional and are used at the end of whatever part of the name is being used. Some common titles include “Lizh” for priests, “Zhun” for people with advanced academic qualifications, “Shre” for advanced professional qualifications and “Pav”, “Rel” and “Shib”, the lowest 3 military ranks (lowest to highest).
Please note that if you choose to generate a Tel character, you will have access to a private Tel brief which expands on the above.