Baen Origin

There is much mystery surrounding the origins and history of the bae species. They appear, from all existing evidence, to be almost completely unrelated to any other sentient Aeniith species. Even their relationship to other, non-sentient Aeniith species is suspect at best.

What makes baen history even more puzzling is the evidence of baen fossil remains. Since no Aeniith civilization has developed technology sufficient to accurately date fossil remains, it is very unclear as to the exact age of bae fossils. However, it is quite clear that the age of some excavated remains date back into the millions of years, which seems to defy all explanation.

For centuries, anthropologists, archeologists, and historians from all over the globe have attempted to piece together the mystery of baen origin. To this day, no one theory has been proven, but there are a few that have become the most popularly accepted. These theories vary by region and race, each nation or culture adopting their own theory or mythology to explain the bae's existence.

Evolutionary Stagnation Theory

The Tosi have the simplest explanation: the bae are simply incredibly slow to evolve. There is some merit to this theory, since the baen generational cycle is magnitudes slower than other Aeniith species (around 250 years), it makes sense that the genetic mutations required for evolution would be greatly slowed down. However, this alone does not explain the almost ceasing of evolution for hundreds of millions of years. Tosi researchers suggest that the nature of bae physiology has made them practically immune to mutation, that some time around 200,000,000 years ago, bae evolution practically stopped. This still does not explain the fact that the bae have not evolved technologically in this time either. Most Tosi write this off as a flaw of baen intellect, but this has very little scientific bearing.

Hibernation Theory

In recent years, Gotevian and Lomi researchers have compiled together what they call, "Hibernation Theory". It is also accepted among some Tosi and Selupa, though not quite as abundantly. This theory tries to explain why bae remains can be found dating back millions of years, while their oral history and technological advancement seems to only date back some 50,000 years (approximately 200 generations). Researchers theorize that the bae are an extremely ancient species with a history dating back into the hundreds of millions of years. Their ancient ancestors, for disputed reasons, were able to put themselves into a form of long-term hibernation, and kept themselves asleep for millions of years. During this time, the other sentient Aeniith species, quite possibly evolved from ancient baen, came into existence.

Other speculations are that the bae were put into hibernation as embryos, which would explain the lack of any oral history of the civilization from before hibernation. Another possible explanation is that the hibernation process imposed a sort of amnesia on the individuals, which caused them to lose all memory of their ancient lives.

In 577 E.K, Lomi archeologists happened upon one anomalous baa fossil which appears to be only some few hundred-thousand years old—within the great gap of baen fossil record. The fossil was found in the silt of what used to be an ancient estuary, suggesting that it was washed ashore from the ocean. Some Lomi researchers made the leap of suggesting that this was evidence of deep-ocean bae hibernation. Many Gotevian and Lomi researchers have scoffed at this idea as an unfounded conclusion; however it has started gaining popularity in Lomilin, and is currently the most popular explanation.

Some of the most eccentric ideas stem from the notion that the bae once had a highly technologically advanced civilization that was threatened by some sort of global catastrophe. The bae put themselves into some sort of long-term hibernation in order to save their species from genocide, through the aid of their advanced technology. While there is no evidence to contradict this theory, there is little to support it either, and one would expect to find some sort of evidence of this civilization, even after millions of years.

Extra Planetary Theory

This is a theory most prevalent in Selupa, whose contact with the bae is one of the more recent, and where the bae still seem incredibly mysterious. The Selupa have come to believe that the bae are not of Aeniith at all, but originate from another world entirely. They point to the lack of evidence between baen physiology and other Aeniith species (including non-sentient). For instance, only two existing Aeniith species, living in limited numbers, possess anything resembling the iconic baen "blood-ropes". One of these animals is a small mammalian feline-like creature (often referred to as the "Baen Cat"). The other is a large lizard found in southern Elta, and only in limited numbers. The Selupa suggest that these animals were imported, possibly as pets, from the world from which the bae originally came.

This theory, alone, however, does not explain the existence of bae fossil records dating back into the millions of years. The Selupa, faced with this new conundrum, have turned to other theories to explain this problem, (while still maintaining that the bae are aliens). The most prevalent idea is that the bae do not evolve at all, that the same genetic mutations that cause Aeniith species to evolve do not occur in bae, that maybe their mutations were silenced millions of years ago, in a world far away from Aeniith, possibly by advanced technology, or possibly by some kind of evolutionary stagnation.

In recent years, however, more and more Selupan scientists have come to believe in the Quariosian view that the bae are not evolutionarily stagnant, and that there was some sort of great hibernation. Some have even begun abandoning their insistence that the bae are of another world, though the vast majority still believes this to be the case.

Karkin Religion

The bae are an essential part of Karkin Religion, and thus the Karkin have very different views as to their origins. Karkin religious texts tell that the bae were created by the Gods in order to pass down their inevitable teachings. However, the teachings given to bae will only be passed along at a specific time, when the world is on the brink of global disaster. Until that time comes to pass, however, the bae are non-divine beings. Most Karkin treat the bae with respect similar to that of other cultures. Some of the more radical Karkin, however, believe that bae to be empty vessels, to be used simply for Karkin interests; some even advocate slavery. Others see the bae as divine beings and worship them as demi-Gods.

Since Karkin religion vastly predates their knowledge of baen fossil remains, the Karkin have not had a pleasant time coming to terms with these new findings. Most of the Karkin do not even care about the fossils, seeing them as simple error or even heretical diversions. However, others have begun to believe the fossil records, and have pushed back the date of the world's origins to support these new findings. Some believe that the Bae were put to sleep by the Gods, in order to preserve themselves for the time when the rest of Aeniith civilization would need them.

The Bae Perception of Themselves

Ironically, the bae do not seem to concern themselves with their own origins as much as their neighbors do. Few talk about it at all, believing the questions to be irrelevant to their current nature and civilization. Obviously, some bae do contemplate their origins, but there seems to be little consensus, as very few bae are willing to commit to one theory or another. Many times, the bae in a certain region will take on the theory that is most prevalent in that particular culture.

Conclusion

The reality is, Aeniith science is still in its infancy and there is much to learn before any concrete hypothesis can be made as to the origins of the bae people. The current trend is in acceptance of multiple theories: that the truth is a combination of a number of different ideas. This may, however, simply be a reflection of the times, where Aeniith cultures tend to be more concerned with making alliances than starting conflict. The truth may turn out to be something quite different, or something even mundane. Only continued research into the fields of biology, chemistry, and archeology will be able to answer these questions.