|This article is about the race. For the reputation, see Lopp (reputation).|
The Lopp are a race obsessed with treasures, trinkets, and rare artifacts. Known throughout the galaxy as talented treasure hunters and shrewd traders, the Lopp have come to Nexus to scour the planet for its lost treasures - and have established a far-trader merchant network that connects the dozens of Lopp settlements across the planet. A cultural fearlessness has inspired the Lopp to explore and settle some of the most dangerous places on Nexus - but the diminutive creatures often find themselves biting off more than they can chew.
"Many things this Lopp finds out in big, wide world. Many shinies. Too many for Diki to carry. Big-folk want to buy some? Oh, yes, you do. So shiny.
- Far-Trader Diki
The Lopp resemble bipedal jabbits with extremely large eyes, long tails, very long ears, and soft short fur all over their bodies. They rarely grow past a meter in height (including ears). Males often grow human-like facial hair, females do not.
"Ya wanna know how to tell the lady Lopp from the gentlemen Lopp? Look at the hats. Good a clue as any."
- Dorian Walker
The Lopp worship a complex pantheon of animal gods from their homeworld. Lopp shamans employ a number of herbal concoctions and stimulants to contact their spirit world, where they commune with animal spirits and speak with the spirits of their ancestors.
Lopp also hold the treasures they find and trade as semi-sacred objects they call shinies (singular: shiny). A shiny is any rare object which sines in the light (hence the name). They are usually made of precious metals or crystalline minerals of the kind that were very rare on Lagos.
Lopp villages are led by a chief, who also serves as a neutral judge of the value of any unique object; the village shaman, who uses magic and herbalism to contact the spirit world on the behalf of the tribe; the hunt-master, who leads the daily hunts for food; and the kurg-tender, who tends to the loyal pack animals used by far-traders in their travels. Far-traders and treasure hunters travel between villages, bringing news of discoveries and valuable wonders to trade.
Lopp weddings often take place in group ceremonies known as unity festivals, with dozens of couples joining together in a ceremony that often spills over into a week-long party. The ceremony is simple and involves the chief of the village and the shaman speaking a few sacred words before the assembled couples trade shiny treasures that represent their bond (similar to the way humans exchange wedding rings). These shinies may be actual rings or some other piece of jewelry, or even a hat, so long as it's worn.
"Make sure your Lopp groom no run off for happy drink times with the wedding party. Make happy drink times PART of wedding party!"
- Excerpted from "Shiny Wedding Advice" from Modern Lopp Bride #31
Lopp often travel alone along the far-trader network, following paths well-trammeled by the Lopp who came before them. On occasions where they must transport especially valuable shinies, however, or when bandits and other dangers threaten the roads, Lopp will join together into a trade caravan. All Lopp in the caravan are responsible for defending it from attack, and tradition dictates that they must fight to protect the shinies of their brothers and sisters as fiercely as they would defend their own. A Lopp who selfishly abandons a trade caravan will become a pariah in Lopp society.
A "shiny" is simply any unique treasure that appeals to the Lopp. This could include a large pearl, a glittering diamond, or the power core of an Protostar Motors Spacehopper-7. Lopp prize shinies, and will go to great lengths to acquire and protect them. They often ascribe magical powers to shinies - powers which, thanks to Eldan super-science, sometimes prove to be reality on the planet Nexus. A large pearl, for example, might be more than just a pearl. It could be a field generator to an Eldan teleporter or a summoning focus for a primal energy entity. Ultimately, however, a shiny is whatever a Lopp declares to be a shiny.
Young Lopp are expected to prove themselves as treasure hunters before they are declared adults, a tradition with roots in the distant past - when young Lopp had to slay a prey animal before reaching adulthood. Now young Lopp instead hunt for shinies and must bring back a unique on to prove themselves. The shiny may be something simple and relatively worthless, so long as it is one of a kind and shines in the light. Many young Lopp satisfy the demands of the Shinequest with pieces of melted glass, unusually colored stones, or pieces of abandoned metal - but once in a while, a Lopp on his Shinequest finds something truly extraordinary that becomes sacred to the entire village.
Most far-traders work with a few trusted treasure hunters, Lopp who secure supplies for a far-trader's long trips between villages and the rare and wonderful treasures they trade with others. They sometimes ride along with far-traders on long journeys, especially if a new discovery meriting exploration and exploitation is at the end of the trip. Of all Lopp on Nexus, treasure hunters are the most likely to possess advanced tech, usually small, compact, and geared entirely toward finding precious objects.
Lopp shamans, also as likely to be male as female, are expert apothecaries who know how to manipulate elements of the natural world. They use these energies to benefit their home villages - protecting homes, locating distant treasure, and even sometimes predicting the future.
The leader of the Lopp village is the chief, a position that is often hereditary but can also be awarded through popular acclaim to other Lopp villagers. Chiefs are just as likely to be male as they are female - Lopp society is neither patriarchal or matriarchal, but respects experience and wisdom. They chief officiates at unity festivals, funerals, and is the one who declares that a young Lopp has reached adulthood (after consulting with the hunt-master, of course).
Lopp funerals are officially called "The Stripping of the Shinies." The Lopp shaman digs through the deceased's wallet and bags, looking for any shinies still on their person, to be distributed to the living Lopp at their discretion.
Lopp love the feel of fur, whether it's their own, a neighbor's, or the fur of a cuddly animal that's been trapped and harvested for its delicate and expensive coat, which is then used to make sturdy and expensive coats for the Lopp themselves as part of what some call the "circle of fuzzy."
"Some say there is crazy Lopp trapper out there, Lopp trapper who trap other Lopp. Make Lopp coat from Lopp he traps! Bet that pretty fuzzy happy times, though. But totally crazy! Look, just don't give big-fold ideas about trapping Lopp." -Story-Teller Yioli
The Lopp's beloved pack beasts, Kurg are gigantic four-legged animals as massive as their masters are tiny. They are frequently used to transport their cargo, racing across Nexus with gigantic loads on their backs at alarming speed. They are also part of their combat tactics, useful for stampeding over enemies that are about the same size as the Kurg or smaller, with the bonus of tenderizing the meat.
"Kurg Tender" is a highly respected position in Lopp Villages, responsible for the care of Kurg and the proper burial of the beast upon its death.