By Rodney Thompson
The Pau'ans are a tall, gray-skinned species of humanoids with sunken eyes and wrinkled skin. Gaunt and with sharp teeth that clearly indicate carnivorous tendencies, Pau'ans move with a deliberate pace and have soft, gravelly voices that are calming to hear. Pau'ans are taller than most Humans (Though not as tall as Wookiees) and have long, slender fingers that end in nails that closely resemble talons.
Pau'an Temperament Edit
Though many beings (Particularly Humans) are frightened by the appearance of the Pau'ans, in truth they possess a temperament far kinder than that of many other Species, particularly in regard to outlanders. Living in a symbiotic relationship with the Utai, the Pau'ans have learned over the years how to interact with members of other Species, and as a result they are friendly and welcoming to outsiders. Having been thrust into a position of authority, they know that such authority is best wielded with a kind and sympathetic hand. For the most part, Pau'ans are amicable and open to outsiders, and they mesh well with almost any group.
Nearly every Pau'an has been in some kind of leadership position at least once in his or her life. From an early age, Pau'ans are expected to take on a leadership role. For example, many Pau'ans start out as managers of Utai laborers, even if they are just directing a small team of Utai in a menial task. This is done to teach young Pau'ans how to lead and earn respect and trust. This regimen has worked for thousands of years, and never once has there been any significant conflict between the Pau'ans and the Utai.
As one might expect, the Pau'ans are exceptionally good at taking on leadership roles anywhere in the galaxy. The few Pau'ans that leave Utapau fall naturally into managerial roles, whether at major corporations or in positions of government. In the Corporate Sector, Pau'ans are highly sought after for their natural inclination toward wise and even-handed leadership. Many corporations have discovered that divisions run by Pau'an administrators have higher than average productivity and employee retention rates, even in sectors where the quality of life is low. At one point, so many corporations were sending delegations to Utapau to recruit the natives that the governments of the world had to request that the Corporate Sector Authority intervene on their behalf. Since that time, the Corporate Sector Authority has sent a delegation to Utapau once a year to recruit administrators from the planet’s populace, though some corporations still send their own representatives in clandestine recruiting attempts.
Pau'an History and Culture Edit
Almost no records exist of the time before the Pau'ans moved underground and into sinkholes. Only verbal histories tell of an age when clusters of Pau'an civilization dotted the planet’s surface. Before that, however, the Pau'ans were actually members of another Species entirely. Tales of the settling of Utapau are vague and can be only tangentially corroborated by records from other civilizations of the time period. Still, it is clear that the Pau'ans' progenitors came to Utapau to make it a permanent settlement, possibly following the destruction of their original homeworld. At least some of these settlers sought shelter in the planet’s natural sinkholes, and xenoanthropologists believe that this is when the genetic split occurred. The settlers who went underground became the Utai, and those who remained on the surface became the Pau'ans. Additionally, shortly after the world was settled, the first rumors began to spread that Utapau was the original home planet of The Jedi.
For millennia the Pau'ans lived in small villages and cities on the surface of Utapau, believing themselves to be the dominant Species. When climate changes created powerful and destructive wind storms that blew unabated across the surface, the Pau'ans were forced to find safer environments. They descended into the planet’s natural sinkholes and reestablished their civilization underground. During this period of transition, the Pau'ans encountered the Utai once again, who were more than willing to assist the Pau'ans in their relocation efforts. Very quickly, the Utai and the Pau'ans formed a symbiotic relationship, and the Pau'ans drifted naturally into a position of authority. The Utai seemed to accept this change easily, and the Pau'ans became the civilization’s administrators and leaders.
The relocation of Pau'an civilization underground led to the creation of several large city-states that were, on the whole, self sustaining and self governing. However, the relationship between the city-states was a bit rockier than that between the Pau'ans and the Utai. For the most part, the city-states tended to avoid contact with one another because philosophical differences were likely to lead them into conflict. Such conflicts were usually the result of cultural differences more than malice or wrongdoing, and few of the clashes came to violence- and even those that did were little more than small fights or skirmishes. Still, the differences among the city-states were enough to keep them in relative isolation except for their representatives to the planetary committee (See “Pau'an Politics,” below). The only time the city-states worked together was to fend off outside threats, and when they united in this manner, they showed remarkable solidarity for a civilization with so much internal isolationism. However, once the external threat was dealt with, each city-state went back to its old habits of ignoring the others.
Much of that changed as a result of the Clone Wars and the eventual rise of the Empire. When the battles of the Clone Wars came to Utapau, the planet’s citizens found themselves unable to resist the might of the Confederacy, and for a time the world was under Separatist control. When the Republic liberated the planet, the Pau'ans rose up in celebration for their freedom. Sadly, these celebrations were short lived. Soon the Empire replaced the Republic, and Utapau remained under Imperial control. The planet’s resources were harvested without any thought of the repercussions to the Pau'ans and the Utai, and the forceful hand of the Empire supplanted the peaceful leadership of the Pau'ans. During this time, the city-states began to work together more closely, and the Pau'ans and the Utai formed underground resistance groups. Just as the planet was never more unified than in the face of external danger, so was the planet never more united than under the threat of the Empire.
Pau-an Politics Edit
The Pau'ans act as administrators and bureaucrats of the individual city-states, and as a result they are heavily involved in the politics of government. Each city-state has its own government and administration, and each is overseen by a single leader (Known as the Master of Port Administration) who has an advisory council to assist in making important decisions. Different city-states have different specific laws, though by and large they stick to a set of general guidelines that keeps the laws from being too diverse from place to place.
Governing the world as a whole is the Utapauan Committee, which is little more than a group of representatives from the city-states that meet to discuss matters of planetary importance. Since each city-state is capable of governing itself and providing for the health and welfare of its own citizens, there is no real need for a world government except in cases of planetary defense. Thus, an Utapauan Security Force (USF) keeps the planet safe from pirates and raiders, but with a few exceptions, the world has no standing government. Only the USF remains active at all times; the Utapauan Committee meets once every few weeks, or in times of dire need.
As a result of this decentralized governmental system, visitors are more likely to deal with representatives from one of the citystates than with members of the Utapauan Committee. When a ship approaches the planet, a METOSP (Message to Spacers) alerts travelers to contact spaceport control at their destination and provides them with the appropriate Comlink frequencies. From that point onward, visitors deal exclusively with the city-state’s government, and the USF gets involved only when the visitors pose a threat to the entire planet. In fact, a visitor might go his or her entire stay without dealing with a member of the planetary government, which helps enforce the notion that Utapau is a sparsely populated world that holds little of interest.
Pau'an Technology Level Edit
The combination of the Pau'ans' ingenuity and the Utai’s penchant for labor has produced technology on par with that found in the rest of the galaxy. When the Pau'ans moved underground, they brought the secrets of generating power by harnessing the wind, and even in modern times over 99% of the planet’s energy generation comes from wind power. Massive fields of unobtrusive windmills harness the mighty storms and convert them to clean energy that meets the modest power needs of the world. Each of the city-states has a functional spaceport, but larger ships must send down shuttles- in fact, anything larger than a Space Transport will find it difficult to maneuver into the sinkholes.
Despite their status as a spacefaring Species, the Pau'ans retain an affinity for more traditional forms of transportation, particularly that of mounted Beasts. Many Pau'ans still ride Varactyls and Dactillions in lieu of using Speeders or other Vehicles, and much of the architecture in their cities is quite classical. However, the prosperity that resulted from their relationship with the Utai has allowed them to progress technologically as well, and most city-states have all of the same amenities as cities on any other Outer Rim world.
Pau'an Trade and Technology Edit
Although the Pau'ans are welcoming to outsiders, they rarely venture out into the galaxy to let others know it. In fact, very few people have even heard of Utapau, and those who have consider the planet to be little more than a legend. As such, the arrival of traders is usually a cause for celebration on the world, and the Pau'ans are even more welcoming to merchants than they are to normal visitors. Though the Pau'ans have little need for basic supplies such as foodstuffs or raw materials, they pay well for luxury items and pieces of high technology not available on their planet. Moreover, many Pau'ans pay well for authentic pieces of art from throughout the galaxy, particularly for sculptures (Which they often study so they can integrate the style into their own architecture).
Before the Clone Wars, Utapau fell under a restrictive trade embargo put in place by the Trade Federation. During this period, the Pau'ans could not obtain much weaponry or defensive hardware and had to rely on ships of their own design or weapons of inferior quality. The Pau'ans have never been aggressive in spreading out into the galaxy for fear that they might draw too much attention to their lightly defended world. In the days leading up to the Clone Wars, several Rendili StarDrive Dreadnaughts served as a planetary defense fleet for Utapau, but those ships were destroyed when the Separatists captured the planet. Later, the Galactic Empire seized all Pau'an military assets and shut down their Starfighter production facilities, not even bothering to convert their meager resources into TIE Fighter factories.
About thirty years before the Rise of the Empire, Utapau gained a bit of notoriety following the discovery of supposed healing powers in the waters of the planet. Though the Pau'ans were reluctant to draw much attention to the world, their natural friendliness led them to allow an offworld water mining company to harvest and sell water drawn from lakes deep underground. The miners marketed the water as coming from “Utapau, lost home of The Jedi!” and claimed that it had miraculous healing powers, attracting attention from around the galaxy. The lucrative sales dried up when people realized that the water had no special abilities whatsoever. However, some Pau'ans later speculated that this series of events drew the planet to the attention of General Grievous and the Separatists, setting the stage for their invasion during the Clone Wars.
Pau'ans in the Galaxy Edit
Though few Pau'ans venture off-world, it is far from uncommon. Pau'ans can be found in almost any part of the galaxy (Especially in the Corporate Sector) in a variety of roles, but unsurprisingly they gravitate toward leadership positions. Some governments hire Pau'ans in advisory roles, and more than one Republic Senator has sought the assistance of a Pau'an aide when making major decisions. Among the nobility in the Core Worlds, having a Pau'an advisor is usually seen as a status symbol, though Caamasi advisors often bring just as much respect and notoriety.
In the days of the Republic, many nobles kept Pau'an advisors on hand as trusted allies, but once the Empire came to power, this relationship became twisted by evil. Imperial nobles treat Pau'an advisors as slaves or sometimes even as pets, requesting their counsel only to laugh it off as the foolish insights of an Outer Rim dweller.
Adventuring Pau'ans drift toward the Noble Heroic Class in particular and the Officer Prestige Class by extension. Their ability to improve Talents such as Inspire Confidence and to gain Skill Focus (Persuasion) allow Pau'ans to take advantage of a variety of Noble abilities without needing to invest quite as many resources. Pau'ans also make excellent Jedi, particularly those that follow the path of the Jedi Consular. If the rumors of Utapau as the ancestral home of The Jedi are true, perhaps the bloodlines of The Jedi still run strong in the Pau'ans. Their bonuses to Wisdom and Charisma help them to Use the Force and gain Force Powers, and Pau'an Jedi who are Trained in the Persuasion Skill (And gain the bonus Skill Focus feat) have a significant advantage when using some Jedi Consular Talents.