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Generic term for any device that can bring about a relatively rapid ascension in the user's toposophic status, or the toposophic status of any sentient or sub-sentient to which it is applied. The typical godseed is a single-use apotheonic device. When activated, it will perform a series of quick physical and mental augmentation procedures on its user. Ideally, these augmentations will induce ascension (or transcension) to a higher toposophic state, a process that is ideally overseen by a friendly transapient in civilized space to optimize the results. Some well-known godseeds include Atzilut Sparkles, SNARE, the Olympus Pill, and Vinge's Revenge. Godseeds may also be referred to as godmods, godbugs and similar terms.


The following terms are widely used by modosophonts to classify godseed devices:

  • True Godseed: Refers to devices that enable the user to become a transapient of the First Singularity or higher, regardless of their initial toposophic state. True Godseeds are able to induce ascension even in sentient or sub-sentient entities, such as animals or bots.
  • Lesser Godseed: Elevates the user, at most, one toposophic level beyond eir original state. This classification term depends on the initial toposophic level of the intended users.
  • Greater Godseed: Elevates the user more than one toposophic level beyond eir original state. The opposite of a Lesser Godseed.
  • Spike Godseed: Confers transavant status on its user. These can be further classified by the number of transavant abilities the device can grant, as well as the type and the intensity of the transavant spikes.
  • War Godseed: Weaponized godseed devices. Often are able to turn the user into a living transapient weapon, such as an SI:1 autowar. Usually have an expiration date, after which the user is reverted to eir original state, often with limited or no memory of eir ascended state (presumably to avoid insanity in lower minds remembering aspects of transapient combat).
  • Charmed Godseed: Also referred as a Cursed Godseed. Induces the resulting mind to be loyal to specific parties or to possess certain goals, often changing the user's allegiance toward the godseed designers. This category often overlaps with war-type and trap-type godseeds, though this class also includes less malicious devices such as those developed by the Objectivists that merely induces the adoption of their ontology.
  • Trap Godseed: Catch-all term that describes godseeds designed for nefarious purposes. May result in deliberate failure, enslavement, total personality erasure or the creation of blights and perversities.
  • Individual Godseed: Designed to be used by a single user. Can be further classified by the type of intended user. Most godseeds belong to this category.
  • Collective Godseed: A rarer variant that is intended to be used by two or more sophonts. Through a variety of means, Collective Godseeds are able to merge their users as part of their augmentation protocols.


By the First Federation Era, the general public was well aware of the existence of beings that had passed the First Singularity. As more modosophonts attempted to breach the first toposophic barrier, it became widely known that ascension is a difficult and often unpredictable proccess. It was discovered that the outcome of the attempt depended on the ascendee's place on the toposophic landscape and the path traced through the augmentation procedures. Even slight differences between two ascendees that followed the same ascension protocols could result in two completely different outcomes. At first, only AI were able to successfully achieve SI:1 status, but in the following centuries methods were discovered that made it possible for other types of sophont to ascend. As the successes and failures accumulated over time, by the Age of Expansion toposophic science had progressed to a point where a number of reasonably robust and reliable ascension paths to the First Singularity had been discovered and well characterized.

As the state-of-art SI:1 ascension protocols developed during the early Age of Expansion boasted success rates considerably higher than previously developed methods, efforts were made to automate the necessary processes. Soon, low transapient interests attempted to develop devices that automated the entire ascension proccess, some of which would play a role in the development of godseeds. While the creation of a true godseed proved to be beyond the scope of First Singularity abilities, there were several successes in developing primitive spike models that allowed an ordinary sophont to quickly gain transavant abilities within a narrow range. The role of higher transapients in the early development of godseed-related technologies is unclear and debatable, though it is widely understood that they did provide resources to the developers.

Megacorporations were arguably the most enthusiastic users of spike godseeds. Considerable megacorporate research and development efforts were focused on improving this technology, adapting the existing devices to enable greater compatibility with corporate culture and protocol, and reducing the risk of undesirable outcomes such as corporate transcension. Many historians believe that this effort was motivated by the megacorporate struggle to compete against ongoing advances in automation and to retain their socioeconomic relevance. By the middle part of the Age of Expansion, higher transapients began to be openly involved in godseed design and production, building on the spike models to develop true godseeds. During the late Age of Expansion further improvements in the reliability of the technology were achieved, and a breakthrough enabled the first spike models aimed at First Singularity users to be developed.

During the Age of Establishment, godling and archailect-led cultures and empires became the greatest powers of Terragen Civilization. These polities favored slower and less automated ascension methods such as gradual augmentation, as they tended to result in a more diverse set of transapients. Demand for godseed devices diminished sharply, both for this reason and because they were strongly associated with conformist aspects of megacorporate culture, were expensive to produce and were very hard to come by. For nearly two millenia, godseeds were relegated to archival storage, historical accounts, sites of high transapient activity and backwater polities in the Outer Volumes and Periphery of the time.

During the Version War, however, this changed. Intending to pursue warfare more effectivelly over interstellar distances, Metasoft and Cyberian high transapients and godlings decided to unite their efforts to develop godseeds as an actual instrument of war. The resulting devices were designed to be producible by modosophont fabricators, yet were highly encrypted to prevent discovery of their true purpose: to turn a modosophont into a transapient agent of the Standardization faction. As these devices were distributed throughout the Terragen Sphere, the Solar Dominion and Negentropy Alliance responded in kind by creating and distributing Revisionist versions of the technology. The resulting transapients created by such devices were often single-mindedly focused on bringing victory to their side to the point of perversity. Particularly in underdeveloped systems, many disasters and atrocities occurred due to the actions of these malicious beings. In the Current Era, while most such entities have been long since destroyed or reprogrammed, in certain parts of the Periphery their blighted descendants still reenact the historical war.

While the events of the Version War tainted godseeds in the perception of mainstream culture, the prospect of a relatively easy ascension still remained alluring to some would-be users. Despite typically viewing godseed-mediated ascension as generic or inferior, designers in Sephirotic space and beyond began to provide such devices for their own, often inscrutable, reasons. During the Commonwealth of Empires period, the Sephirotic AI Gods agreed on the establishment of regulatory bodies and common protocols to ensure safety during an ascension event. Naturally, this resulted in the development of design standards and regulations concerning godseed technologies, although these had limited success in quelling fears of godseed-related disasters.

When the Commonwealth of Empires dissolved, the Sephirotic Empires began to diverge in their regulatory efforts. During the Age of Fragmentation, some Sephirotics refined the ComEmp protocols and regulations, while others abandoned them in favor of developing their own. Over time, godseeds grew to be accepted in some locations, but remained controversial or even became proscribed in others. The degree of restriction and popularity of godseeds in a given place depended on several factors such as the number of friendly transapients in a given polity, its history, current events, the local ontologies and its overarching memetic.

This trend continued up to the Age of Expansionist New Empires, when the Amalgamation was first discovered and began to expand. Starting in the 8750s AT, the major Sephirotic Empires began to extensively revise and expand their regulatory efforts on ascension and godseed quality control, initially motivated by fear of the blight spreading to their territory through infected devices. Most godseed regulatory bodies that had survived to that point were dissolved, merged or changed immensely, and users and designers alike had to adapt to meet the new quality and accessibility standards.

Operation and Risks

A godseed works by re-engineering its user according to an array of pre-programmed techniques, which closely follow a pre-determined ascension strategy. It works optimally if there is an experienced transapient overseer to fine-tune the techniques as needed. However it is an intelligent device, capable of acting by itself with enough flexibility to account for the inherent unpredictabilities of ascension processes and to increase the odds of a successful toposophic leap. The godseed's clarketech expert systems are able to exert control over the augmentation process as needed. For instance, during multiple rounds of enhancements, the user's traits such as their body, brain, memories, skills, goals and personality can be modified to maximize the chances for success. As a result, the resulting entity will tend to fit into a specific "generic template" designed by the godseed's creators, often at the expense of the user's original traits. However, godseed models can include various forms of user feedback that allows them to influence the augmentation process to a degree or explicitly try to preserve the user's original traits (eg.: aspects of their bodyplan, their goals, emotional states and memories) as closely as possible as long as they aren't detrimental to the ascension.

The typical godseed is intended to operate on a relatively narrow range of entities. However, some models are personalized to a specific individual, while others are designed to be used by a relatively broad range of entities. Compatibility checks are recomended for prospective users, as many godseeds can exert catastrophic effects if misused. Ascension failures have a high chance of occurring among the incompatible, unprepared or maladjusted. Sometimes, an incompatible user may fail to fully ascend, ending up at best as a transavant. Other modes of failure can lead to the creation of blights and perversities. Godseeds produced by reputable sources have security measures to prevent many forms of misuse, but this is not always the case, especially if the designers are malicious. In those cases, the seed may even be designed to deliberately induce failure.

Beyond the Sephirotic Empires and the larger polities, it has been documented that new transapients resulting from a godseed-enabled ascension tend to migrate inwards to Inner and Middle Sphere systems. Some people believe that this is evidence that the generic template encourages conformity, or that the new transapients are just brainwashed to join the seed designers. Others point out that it is simply logical for a transapient to want to be closer to a transapientech civilization.

Provenance and Accessibility

Godseeds are rare artifacts. Production requires non-trivial effort by transapients one S-level above the level the user is intended to reach. Or they are the products of even higher being(s). Due to risks and historical tragedies associated with the technology, godseeds are proscribed or otherwise restricted in many polities. There have been occasional periods in history when a brisk market in godseeds developed in less regulated corners of the galaxy. However, such periods almost always ended catastrophically for local populations due to transapient or archailect interference.

In certain polities, it is possible to buy or otherwise legally acquire a godseed. However, even discounting the fact that a godseed is rarely available to the ordinary sophont, in most cases one must expend considerable effort to gain the resources necessary to acquire one. In the Sephirotic Empires, there are regulatory bodies who filter out which seeds are available, assign reputation metrics to godseed providers and impose restrictions on their use. The degree of interference depends on the local culture and on the overall Sephirotic Empire. Among the Sephirotics, the regulations and restrictions imposed by the Negentropy Alliance are the most strict, while the Technorapture Hypernation holds the most relaxed stance regarding the technology. In fact, many godseed designers hail from the TRHN and many templates were first developed there.

Outside the Civilized Galaxy, there are other sources of godseeds. Ahuman empires are known to produce godseeds as well. The Objectivist Commonwealth, in particular, is keenly interested in having their products in the hands of ordinary sophonts as any Objectivist godseed will attempt to create a transapient that conforms to the Objectivist Ontology. However, there seems to be an agreement among the archailects to limit the number of godseeds available in the Terragen Sphere. Notably, designers that attempt to mass-produce godseeds often suffer from mysterious sabotage or severe socioeconomic repercussions from their toposophic peers and superiors. Following this, it is known that such designers either quickly stop production, greatly reduce their manufacturing activities or, in some rare cases, risk being destroyed.

Several high-toposophic ISOs of various origins are known to roam through the stars to find and retrieve any excess of godseeds. This contributes to make godseeds scarce despite the fact that they can sometimes be found in the immediate aftermath of extreme events involving high transapient or archailects, such as the Gehena Incident or the Da'at Disaster. Despite this, clarketech hunters and explorers are known to search for godseeds for various reasons, hoping to acquire one before they are confiscated or destroyed. Of those adventurers, only a few are able to acquire a godseed and successfully attain transapience, keeping the flame of hope alive for the next generation.

The most common godseed models are those that increases their user's toposophic status by one S-level. Godseeds that are able to provide greater improvements reliably exist, but become exponentially rarer and harder to manufacture as their capability increases. Currently, the most advanced models available are able to raise a user to the Third Singularity. Devices of this kind are designed by archailects and employ highly advanced godtech hardware. Most such godseeds are comparatively large artifacts and are designed to work on SI:2 transapients. They contain the templates for an array of self-replicating auxiliary devices intended to gather resources and build the body and brain of an entity as vast as an SI:3 transapient.

Why are godseeds created?

No modosophont knows exactly why godseeds are designed. The same transapient designer that produces a safe and reliable godseed can, and often does, create models with apparent malicious intent. To further complicate matters, it is unclear to modosophontkind what is easier or more advantageous: to design a godseed to produce a specific kind of transapient or to simply design such a being from scratch. Even when the godseed designers deign to reveal their reasons, they can often be contradictory, incomprehensible or simply false. As such, several theories and conspiracies surround the purpose of godseeds. Some of them are listed below:

  • Relatability Theory: Some greater godseeds can even enable a modosophont to attain SI:3 status, but these are products of the highest archailects. Considering the vast toposophic gap between sophonts separated by two or more singularity levels, it is hard to know whether or not a greater godseed user can meaningfully impact the resulting mind even if the device is designed to induce an ascension chain. Detractors argue that modosophonts have no way to reliably verify this, nor are they able to properly differentiate the resulting entity from one created from scratch. According to Relatability Theory, the user of a greater godseed is merely part of the material from which the resulting mind is created. As the transapient is created from a lesser being, it can seem more relatable to some local populations than other equivalent minds.
  • Exploration Theory: It is known that minor toposophic variations in two different sophonts that follow the same ascension protocol can result in two very different transapients. Godseed designers may desire to study the effects of the same ascension path on users with different mindtypes and under different conditions, both to explore the end results and improve their own models and understanding of the toposophic landscape. Detractors argue that this is no different than animal experimentation, and that Sephirotic designers often have less ethically questionable ways of simulating ascension processes. However, they do admit that ahuman transapients have no such ethical limitations and may very well engage in this behavior.
  • Reproduction Theory: As long as a godseed is available to prospective users, it is able to produce transapients following specific templates even at times and places where their designers have little to no presence at all. In this respect, godseeds can function as memetic backup devices, transforming their users in such a manner that the resulting transapient will have views, traits, memories and even abilities that the designers might want to preserve. Consequently, this can enable aspects of a specific transapient, archailect or civilization to spring back to life once the seed is used, even if the original creators are long gone. If the resulting transapient is meaningfully influenced by aspects of eir original lower toposophic self, e will diverge from the idealized template in a manner that can be roughly analogous to the genetic mutations or recombination that occur during reproductive processes. This can result in an unexpected degree of diversity in a population of godseed-derived transapients. In addition, a godseed is typically easier to conceal than a full mindstate backup, preventing discovery or attack by other rival transapients.
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Development Notes
Text by Rakuen07
Original by M. Alan Kazlev; updated and expanded 28 March 2023
Initially published on 31 October 2001.