Strives are the facial markings that all members of the Aelisha or affiliated with the protectorate have on their face, it is a final part of the AGEing process and represents a moral, virtue or set of principles the subject is supposed to embody during their life.  This page focuses more on the Solarian consequence of the Strive system, see the ‘Strive’ section in the Aelisha page for further details which focuses more on the Aelisha history and the Aelisha system of the Strives.

A sketch of VayneLine characters showing a variation of Strives

Click for larger image. A sketch of VayneLine characters showing a variation of Strives. Felix on the left has a scar on his right cheek, which is NOT part of the Strive system.  Roza in the middle, and Reno on the right show that the ‘path’or ‘way’ particle of the straight line is often ubiquitous in Strives, though it can mean widely different things.

Strives are one of the final parts of the AGE process that as a young child they are tattooed with Strive into their left cheek that stays with them their whole life.  They are embedded with levels of nanite technology and represent a ‘steady state’ of the body, meaning the tattoo grows with the person, and continues looking good in old age as it is not merely static ink under the skin.

There are some exceptions such as fringe Solarian colonies that are technically affiliated but for most purposes are left to their own, almost always this is a lack of AGE processes, meaning the populace is born naturally.  For the vast majority, lacking a Strive is a clear indication the person was born, and is from an unaffilated colony.  Many later get a Strive simply to not stand out.  A few view them as ‘slave signs’ but most are sympathetic to the Aelisha and this is a rare belief.


Geometry and Meaning:

An obvious point of the system is the strong geometry in the symbols.  They actually are a Aelisha pictogram system that was originally based on facial scars received from large creature that would attack ancient Aelisha’s faces, but to our Solarian eyes look simply like symbols like triangles and lines.  Most Solarians have a basic understanding of them and can read others crudely beyond knowing their own.

A line ( / | \ )for example means ‘path’ or ‘way’ and depending on its direction is modified.  The single line is used as a particle in many complete meanings, and it can mean widely different things wheter it is \ or | or  /  or – and where it might be found in relation to others.  Triangles often mean harmony or group dynamics, whereas parts of a triangle mean conflict/combat/power.


Example from picture:

Using the picture above, Felix’s Strive would loosely be translated as follows: his ( /\ ) upper facing partial triangle means combat, whereas the right facing triangle part ( > ) deals with support in conflict, the third part is the ( / ) which means ‘staying the path’.  Together, they would read that his role in life is to always stay committed to supporting those in combat.

Roza has a normal triangle, so ‘harmony’ or ‘group dynamics’.  The symbol to the right is similar to a left facing arrow ( <- ) and means ‘direction’ or ‘redirection’.  Lastly below is a flat line ( – ) for ‘completed path’.  Her’s would be read something similar to that a completed life is where one constantly redirects their actions towards the group or harmony.

Reno has the backslash line ( \ ) which means ‘seeking’ or ‘path’.  His second symbol is a modified partial triangle similar to Felix’s ( /\ ) and is wavy ( /~ ) variation of it, the meaning is pretty well known modification of the ‘combat’ glyph and its meaning is a clear ‘power’.  Thus his Strive is much more direct than most and is ‘the path of power’.

Star Priestess lack of Strive:

Star Priestesses, especially those who are Aelisha or Solarian are notable in that they lack Strives.  This is a reference to historical Aelisha Oracles who’s Psionics protected them from the scarring so common with the indigenous species.  All Star Priestesses get their Strives removed when they complete training, and their bangle arm is tattooed with a completion emblem that continues the bangle design.