On the First Day, man swaddled himself in flesh and detached from the stars to spread the word of the Law. Many of the half-men recognized the truth of the Law and submitted themselves before the wisdom of the star-brothers. But not the proud Thar-Phreen, who asked, "What use have we for these strange and inconvenient truths? Man claims that his wisdom falls from the sky, like the rays emanating from the stars. Yet our wisdom was built up from the earth, and represents the combined thought of our fathers, and their fathers, and so on, extending backwards before Time was born."
And so it was that the Thar-Phreen brought their doom upon themselves.
Man, in his infinite wisdom, saw the hubris of those insectile half-men whose arcology-mounds shadowed the earth in their vanity and choked the heavens with their striving. In retribution, the First Men tossed their thunderbolts, shattering the great mounds and scattering the Thar-Phreen to the four winds. Then the First Men turned their deadly rays on the Vas-Phreen, keepers of history and speakers of wisdom. Thus spoke the First Men: "False wisdom has covered the eyes of the Phreen, and the accumulated detritus of many too-clever minds have occluded the truth. History has become a lie; therefore, this shall become the year zero. No more shall the Vas-Phreen think for you; each individual must come to the Law on his own."
|(back row, left to right): Baby Joes, G.I. Joes, Mama Joes|
(front row): Working Joes, Papa Joes
Image by Jason Sholtis
Today, the Thar-Phreen are but a wan reflection of their lost glory, toiling as humanity's underclass. Now known colloquially as "Joes", the Thar-Phreen are referred to by their role specialization:
Papa Joes: Genius telepaths that once ruled the Phreen and now are hunted nearly to extinction.
Mama Joes: Nursemaids and potential queens, Mama Joes today work primarily as domestic servants and governesses for wealthy Lawsons.
Baby Joes: The diminutive Baby Joes are often employed as messengers, scouts, spies, and information brokers.
Working Joes: Capable of tireless labor, Working Joes are hired out as construction workers, porters, stevedores, and in any profession that requires a strong back and few prospects.
G.I. Joes: The warrior class of the Thar-Phreen, the G.I. Joes are organized into rough tribes which are oft deployed to the front lines in the frequent clashes between city-states.
Further details on the Joes will be revealed in a series of upcoming posts (each superbly illustrated by the peerless Jason Sholtis). Stay tuned!