Aliens of the Spinward Marches.   Posted by - Library Data.Group: 0
- Library Data
 NPC, 2 posts
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Wed 21 Sep 2005
at 20:59
Aliens of the Spinward Marches
A listing of the Major races, and all Minor races likely to be encountered in and around the Spinward Marches.

This message was last updated by the player at 09:12, Fri 23 Sept 2005.

- Library Data
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 Knowledge is power, and
 information fuels it.
Wed 21 Sep 2005
at 20:35
Aliens of the Spinward Marches - Major Races
The "Major" races are called such because they have all developed Jump Drive independently, and/or forged a multi-sector domain using it.  Of the Major races, three are human, one is geneered, and four are natural aliens:

Aslan (Fteirle)
Kusyu/Dark Nebula 1919 (Kil'rai)

Intelligent major race evolved from carnivore/pouncers on the world Kusyu, situated 135 parsecs from Capital.  Physically, the typical adult Aslan masses 100 kg, stands upright to a height of 2 m, and is similar in physical needs and preferences to humaniti.  They have good night vision and a heightened sense of smell.  The Aslan hand has three fingers opposing a centrally-placed thumb, and all digits have retractable claws.  Under the thumb is a single, highly-specialised dewclaw which folds back jacknife fasion into a horny covering in the base of the thumb and palm.

The earliest Terran explorers saw in them a vague resemblance to the Terran lion, and they have been described as lion-like ever since.  There are two sexes, male and female.  The most notable difference between the sexes is the male's increased size and larger mane of the male.  Females outnumber males by 3:1.

The Aslan are a warrior race, proud, noble, and devoted to those in authority above them.  The basic unit of Aslan society is the family (ekho), 2 to 12 Aslan under the leadership of a strong male (tao').  Other family members include the leader's wife or wives, children, and various blood relatives of the leader.  Several ekho combine under one dominant family to form a pride (ahriy), with the tao' of the dominant family also the leader (aewar) of the pride.  A number of ahriy form a clan (huiha), with one dominant pride.  Again, the prides owe their loyalty to the leader of the dominant pride (fouheh).  Clans, in turn, may owe allegiance to other, stronger clans.  Aside from military services and the Tlaukhu (ruling council within the Aslan Hierate), the clan is the highest socio-political organisation among the Aslan.

A deep-seated instinct causes the Aslan to have an inordinate (from a human standpoint) concern with land.  For male Aslan, owning land is a major goal in life.  An Aslan's stature is determined by the amount of land he (or her husband) controls, or by the amount of land owned by any higher lord the Aslan may be vassal to.  The lowest classes of Aslan are landless, and provide the farmers, labourers, craftsmen, and factory workers.  A holder of a large territory will often grant authority over it to vassals (usually sons, brothers, or male relatives by marriage) who administer the land in his name.

The sexes have very different roles in their society.  Males (in all but the lowest classes) are mostly concerned with military operations, acquisition of territory, and political affairs.  Females are concerned with trade, industry, and the accumulation of knowledge.  Upper class males have little concept of money and are literally incapable of functioning in a technological society without aid, so they are thus seldom encountered without the supervision of a wife, mother, or other female relative or employer.

For instance, a typical Aslan mercenary unit will be organised by a wealthy married female, who will then assign its operation (for a share of the proceeds) to an unmarried female relative.  The battle commander and most of the troops will be unmarried males (many of them also relatives) hired with the promise of land grants (and the opportunity to gain honour and reputation in combat).  Staff, operations, supply and intelligence officers will generally be female.

The extremely deadly nature of any combat between Aslan has led to a rigid, ritualised pattern of behaviour designed to reduce conflict.  Aslan are very polite, and while most have learned to be patient with non-Aslan, accidental fights still occur.  Disputes between individuals are handled by the patriarchs; disputes between families are handled by the pride leader; disputes between prides are handled by the clan leader.

Aslan have no racial prejudice, but they look upon non-Aslan as tahiwihteakhtau (barbarians) unless they embrace Aslan culture and behave as Aslan.  The earliest humans to contact the Aslan (c.  -1980 Imperial) felt they resembled Terran lions - and the Aslan felt the humans reminded them of the waufuahyu, a hairless primate-like rodent native to caves in the tropical regions of Kusyu.

Eskayloyt/Spinward Marches (Actual position unknown)

Intelligent major race derived from winged omnivore/gatherer stock on a homeworld whose location is unknown, but thought to be in the spinward region of the Imperium.  The prime candidate is Andory ( Five Sisters / Spinward Marches 0235).  They presently inhabit scattered worlds within an area slightly larger than the region of the current Third Imperium.  Physiological details of the Droyne suggest that their homeworld was a low gravity world with a dense atmosphere (both necessary to make their wings functional).

Droyne society is divided into rigid castes (esorde) determined when an individual reaches adolescence (approximately 12 standard years of age).  There are six castes: Worker, Warrior, Drone, Technician, Sport, and Leader.  These all serve different tasks within Droyne society, but are not just social groups; they are biologically distinct categories.  Once a caste has been selected, an individual's development changes, and they "grow into" their chosen caste during the next year.  For example, young leaders experience a nearly 30% increase in brain size in that year.  The ritual to determine castes is called the Iskyar (Year of Casting).

Workers perform manual labour and other mundane activity; they are the least intelligent and most placid caste.
Warriors are trained specifically for combat, and are the enforcers and protectors of Droyne society.
Drones raise the young, play a major role in the casting ceremony, and perform administrative functions.
Technicians maintain, build, and design equipment.
Leaders manage and direct society, and are the most intelligent Droyne, capable of initiative & intuitive thought.
Sports are a deliberate exception to the caste structure; they can cross caste lines to become independent and self-reliant, capable of separation from Droyne society for long periods.  A Sport is the most probably encountered Droyne away from a Droyne world.

All Droyne have a tail and six limbs, the middle pair being developed into wings and the rear pair digitigrade.  Arrangement of limbs is basically humanoid, but the bone structure is quite different and more like that of birds; bones are hollow and brittle, making even the largest Droyne much lighter and weaker than humans of comparable size.  Wings are black and batlike, spanning three or more metres.  Skin is tough and scaled, and is a grayish tone marked with black patterns.  Hands and feet have four digits apiece: fingers are long and flexible, fully opposed to all others on the hand; the feet have three toes and one bony spur or talon which is effective in combat.  Eyes are large and compound, giving a wide field of vision.

Most physical variations between Droyne are based on caste.  For example, the Droyne are a small race (generally standing 1m tall), but large Workers and Warriors can be larger than humans (up to 2m).  Weight generally ranges from 25 to 60 kg.  Their skin patterning varies according to caste.

Droyne have three sexes; Alpha Male, Beta Male, and Female.  Gender only develops after casting.  Drones are Female; Leaders, Sports and Warriors are Alpha Males; Workers & Technicians are Beta Males.  Reproduction is complex; pheromones generated by Beta Males are necessary before a Female can ovulate and be fertilised by the Alpha Male.  The Drones lay clutches of fertilised eggs & nurture them after they hatch, taking on both a father & mother role.

Droyne society, like most things, is governed by the caste system.  There is little individual freedom; tasks are caste-based, and thus the concept of society and government merges into one.  Workers work; Leaders lead.  All of society is dedicated to providing food, shelter, and the other amenities that make life enjoyable.  In addition, there is little discord in Droyne society when things are running smoothly, as each member of society has its own function to perform.  Only when disaster happens is the group forced to strain.  Droyne are not mindless, but all accept the central group as a part of their of lives and work for its benefit above their own.

The basic unit of society is the family (tyafelm).  This is a group of at least six Droyne, one from each caste.  Between three and eighteen tyafelm group together to form an extended family (dreskay).  Dreskayin may schism (esivoy) to form two or more dreskayin, dividing their assets between them and going their own ways.  These then build up once more.  A collection of related dreskayin are called a community (oytrip), usually geographical in nature.  The head of an oytrip is called the Leader-of-Leaders.  Finally, a special social group known as the fraternity (kroyloss) is often created to provide companionship for Droyne who set off into the world, but who are not yet part of a tyafelm of their own.  It has a minimum size of six, one Droyne of each caste, and can range in size up to 20 or more.  Unlike the tyafelm, the kroyloss is a voluntary group, and is not committed to reproduction.  In many ways, it is a practice at being a family, but is not as bound by society.  A kroyloss can build a partnership or enterprise, explore, prospect, or innovate, or even just wander.

Oynprith is the common tongue among Droyne.

Guaran/Ricenden (Guaran) 0827

Evolved from gatherer/scavenger stock with six-fold radial symmetry, standing  about 1.5 m high and weighing about 150 kg.  The head is a limb modified with  additional sensory organs (eye stalks, tentacles, and infrared sensors).  The  other limbs are used for locomotion or manipulation.

With no verbal speech, they communicate by ideographic sign language.

Hivers have never developed an aggressive nature.  They are extremely uncomfortable with violence, and will always attempt to find alternatives to conflict.  For example, early in their expansion into space, they encountered the militant K'kree.

The Hivers were able to avert K'kree aggression by demonstrating to the highly conservative Centaurs that their skill at manipulating others would result in changes to K'kree society, even if the K'kree exterminated them.  The K'kree immediately terminated all contact with the Hive Federation, and interdicted all worlds along the border.

Hivers are more curious than  humans.  They prefer subtle manipulation to physical confrontation or overt action.  They dominate a several-sector domain trailing of Solomani Space, and are known for their superior electronics & computers.

Rarely seen in the Spinward Marches.

K'kree (Centaurs)
Kirur/Ruupiin (Thirty) 1315

The K'kree developed from hexapodal herd animals, developing intelligence for defense.  They have a several sector realm trailing the Vargr Extents and the Third Imperium.  Their herd mentality makes them happier only when accompanied by their extended family/herd.  They are quite claustrophobic.

They are arrogant, conservative, and militantly anti-carnivore.  Early in their development, they exterminated all meat-eating species on their homeworld.  Persistent rumours indicate that they intend, one day, to launch a similar crusade against all meat eaters.

They have the most well-developed sense of smell of any known sentient species.  Care should be taken, when dealing with K'kree, to abstain from eating anything containing meat for several days beforehand.  Put simply, even with good hygiene, K'kree can smell meat on a person for days.

Rarely seen anywhere in Imperial Space.  Even more rarely in spinward regions.

Solomani (Humaniti major)
Terra/Solomani Rim (Terra) 1827

Intelligent major race of humaniti which developed on Terra from the original human stock (Homo sapiens).  The term Solomani is often used to refer to members of the Solomani race (or, more palatably to some, to members of the human race of Solomani descent) or to members of the Solomani political movement.  Its original meaning is obscure, but the word seems to have originally meant either "men of Sol" or "sole men".

Genetically pure Solomani - those with undiluted Terran bloodlines - exhibit a wide range of physical features.  Males average 1.8m in height and 75kg in mass; females are shorter and slighter, averaging 1.7m in height and 70kg in mass.  Skin colour varies from black and brown through red and yellow to white, embracing all shades between.  Eye colour is frequently brown, blue or green.  Hair colour can be black, blond, brown, red, or white, with the hair itself either straight or curly.  Of all humaniti, only the Solomani display such ethnic diversity (because each other human race grew from an undiverse initial population).

Genetic engineering has often altered the Solomani form, creating a number of Solomani subspecies.  The most major changes were wrought by the Ancients, who took humans from Terra and scattered them across charted space.  Ancient intervention and limited gene pools created quite different peoples: examples include such minor human races as the Cassilldans , Geonee, and Suerrats; plus the other two major human races, the Vilani and Zhodani .  Much more recently, the Confederation Ministry of Genetics ( GenAssist ) and other similar organisations have modified human genes, usually to assist in the colonisation of various worlds.  Typical adaptive modifications allow humans to withstand toxic atmospheres, extremes of gravity and temperature, and to perform specific utilitarian functions.  Examples include the Izirl (with enhanced hearing) and the Wuans (with distinct genotypes such as Worker and Executive).

True Solomani are rare outside the Confederation , although many humans find their attitudes familiar.  Their most distinctive trait is their love of independence, which affects them on many levels.  Fundamentally, the Solomani idealise self-reliance.  Their cultural heroes typically solve their problems without seeking outside help, encouraging resourcefulness and innovation.  Secondly, independence often manifests as non-conformity, the major reason why efforts to unify the Confederation 's disparate cultures has borne little fruit.  Thirdly, independence means risk-taking and the love of a challenge; many Solomani make a free-lance living, side-stepping the rigorous economic regulation imposed by the Solomani Party .  Finally, although their history contains political tyranny, popular uprisings calling for independence and an end to oppression often occur.  The typical Vilani accepts authority; in contrast, the Solomani believe they have the right to challenge it.

The basic unit of Solomani society is the nuclear family (father, mother, and children), and is officially encouraged by the Solomani Party .  Other family arrangements do exist within the Solomani Confederation , especially amoung the older member-states, such as polygamy, polyandry (more rarely), and other more "innovative" groupings (especially on colonies, high-tech worlds, and social preserves).  Above this level, political structures of individual worlds are as numerous and diverse as those of the Imperium.  The major difference occurs at an interstellar level; rather than being based on a feudal structure, worlds form various alliances for mutual defence and trade.  These alliances are then signatories to the "Charter for Confederation of the Free Solomani States", first signed in 871.  This Charter defines the Solomani Confederation .

The Solomani scattered to the stars in several waves.  The first occurred soon after contacting the Vilani Imperium at Barnard's Star ( Sol / Solomani Rim 1926).  The Solomani realised that they needed to consolidate their position, and so colonised systems close to Terra.  The second wave was a military one; when the Solomani defeated the Vilani Imperium, they sent military units in to occupy the former Imperial territories.  The third wave occurred during the Rule of Man, when many Solomani moved into the conquered territories, opening banks, mines, factories and other businesses.  However, their actions were not enough; the Rule of Man collapsed under financial strain, and gave rise to the Long Night .

During the Long Night , various states rose and fell around Terra.  These were re-contacted by the expanding Third Imperium.  Since then, relations between Solomani states and the Imperium have fluctuated from excellent to strained to open warfare.  This culminated in the Solomani Rim War (990 to 1002), which ended when Terra was captured by the Imperium.  Current relations with the Solomani are lukewarm.

The Solomani Confederation is an eight sector domain rimward of of Imperial space.

Lair/Provence (Grnouf) 2402

Intelligent major race descended from carnivore/chaser stock transplanted from Terra to Lair during the heyday of the Ancients approximately 300,000 years ago.  The typical Vargr is about 1.6 metres tall and weighs approximately 60 kilograms.  They are upright bipedal carnivores, with rear limbs digitigrade and hands very similar in size and appearance to those of a human, although with significant internal differences.  They have approximately the same physical parameters as humans and are able to use the same equipment without modification or additional instruction.  Vargr still bear a considerable resemblance to their ancestral canine stock externally, though internally there are many important differences.
The Vargr were a puzzle to Imperial xenologists for many years.  Their biochemistry and genetic make-up is almost identical with a number of terrestrial animals, but differs radically from most flora and fauna indiginous to Lair (their purported homeworld).  Researches during the early years of the Third Imperium concluded them to be the result of genetic manipulation of transplanted Terran animals of the family Canidae, and almost certainly of the genus Canis.  The development of intelligence and of manipulation was thus artificially induced, and not the result of natural mutations or other environmental factors.  Considerable adaptation took place, although exact knowledge of the nature of this manipulation is scant.

Certainly the Vargr were never fully fitted for the environment of Lair .  This has produced rigorous conditions which have caused the further natural selection and adaptation essential to the survival of the race.  This may even have resulted in developments not introduced by the Ancients in their original genetic experimentation on Vargr ancestral stock.

The Vargr have no centralised government.  Inded, there is no government which can be said to be "typically Vargr".  Every conceivable form of governmental organisation can be found somewhere in the Vargr Extents - often more than one exists on the same world.  The only cohesive force in the Extents is a fierce racial pride, which can cause a slight tendency towards racial cooperation.  Vargr have long suffered from an inability to organise themselves (to any degree or for any length of time) beyond the star system level, and their empires rise and fall with unsurprising regularity.

Although gregarious, the group behaviour of Vargr is characterised by a constant struggle for dominance within the group.  The ability to exert personal authority over others derives from an individual's prestige and force of personality.  The Vargr have various words to describe this important personal characteristic, but humans call it charisma.  Individuals with high charisma are likely to become leaders of groups, even if they do not have real leadership skills.  Charisma and the struggle for dominance play a crucial role in Vargr society.

Vilani (Humaniti major)
Vland/Vland (Vland) 1717

Intelligent major race, evolved from a branch of humaniti which was deposited on Vland by the Ancients in approximately -300,000.  Physically they are identical to Solomani, Zhodani, and many other branches of humaniti.  Vland itself has a hospitable environment, but an alien biology; humans cannot use local plant and animal life for food unless it is processed.
Vilani history begins with accounts of the wars of the gods, terrible destruction, and of the occasional intervention in human affairs by the gods.  Tales are also told of explorers who found great living stone-metal gods possessed of immense magical powers.  Modern archeologists now believe these "gods" were actually giant robot warriors and juggernauts used by the Ancients in their Final War.  Apparently, the last of these finally ran down in -20,000.

Early Vilani society was dominated by three groups.  The first were known as the millers (shugilii); people who could transform Vland's alien biology into edible food.  The second were the aristocrats; the natural leaders of society.  The third group were the merchants, who controlled trade.  Vilani society went through an industrial revolution in -11,000, and each group gained power rather than losing it.  The ultimate breakthrough came in -9235, when a research team working in the fringes of the Vland system created the first prototype jump drive.

The jump drive ensured Vilani ascendancy for the next 6000 years.  The Vilani found intelligent lifeforms on other worlds within 60 parsecs of Vland.  None of the other races had progressed enough to possess interstellar travel, and the Vilani found it easy to dominate them.  They imposed Vilani culture and law on these other races, but the conquering was not militaristic; rather, it was through economic subjugation.

As their sphere of influence expanded, the Vilani found it difficult to maintain control across such great distances with only jump-1.  At the same time, each of the three power classes of society found itself threatened by the forces aroung it.  Three bureaux were established, each independent of the other two, and each responsible for governing a particular territory.  The three were effectively identical, but followed different philosophies based on their origins.  Sharushid , originating with the merchant class, emphasised interstellar trade.  Makhidkarun, originating with the aristocracy, emphasised interstellar government.  Naasirka, originating with the shugiliis, floundered after it found that it could not control food supplies on most of the worlds it dealt with, but it ultimately became a broad-line organisation which emphasised energy, transport, and luxury goods.

In -5430, the Vilani finally discovered jump-2.  No other race had jump-2, and the Vilani maintained a sole monopoly on it by jealously guarding its secrets from all subject races.  Beginning in -5400, a series of wars to subjugate the resisting fringe cultures was waged.  This period of consolidation lasted until -4045, when the ruling Vilani council, the Igsiirdi, declared the Grand Empire of the Stars, or Ziru Sirka.

At first, the Empire had no emperor.  Within 10 years, the chairman of the Igsiirdi, who was elected for life by the council, was declared to be the Shadow Emperor (Ishimkarun).  In -3610, the Shadow Emperor became the Emperor of the Stars - the absolute monarch of the Empire.  Successors were elected by the Igsiirdi upon the death of the old emperor.

For nearly 1200 years the Empire kept the Pax Vilanica.  However, the empire fostered cultural rigidity.  Old Vilani culture had been based on the three groupings of society; these groupings were further developed into a rigid caste system, based on the idea that each citizen had a specific and set place in the universe, and it was each citizen's duty to remain in that place.  Society could not afford to let individuals do as they pleased.  However, not all of the subject races of the Empire were able to be completely absorbed into this culture (the Vegans, for instance) and those societies did not do well under the Vilani.

Vilani culture was maintained by the bureaux structure, and it hampered drive and innovation.  Exploration wound down and was stopped by -4000.  Scientific research was controlled, and then stopped altogether by -3800.  The real beginning of the end of Vilani domination, however, was signalled by the contact with the Terrans in -2422.  By -2408 the Terrans and the Vilani were at war; by -2219 the Terrans had surpassed the Vilani technologically and were marching through the cities of Vland as conquerors, and the Grand Empire of the Stars was at an end.

Vilani and Solomani stock were intermingled during the Rule of Man, and cannot be told apart without blood typing (85% accurate) or DNA genotyping (100% accurate).  This has meant that Vilani has come to indicate a cultural rather than a racial or national labelling.  It is applied those within the Imperium who retain some of the old ways of the Vilani.  Dialects of the old High Vilani language survive in certain places, along with a few fragments of Vilani culture, such as musical forms and other fine arts.  Certain of the old Vilani noble families have maintained more of the old culture, particularly the families who control the Vilani megacorporations.

Zhodani (Humaniti major)
Zhdant/Zhdant (Gaval) 2719

Intelligent major race, evolved from a branch of humaniti which was deposited on Zhdant by the Ancients in approximately -302,000.  Though human in all respects, the Zhodani differ slightly in appearance from humans of Vilani or Solomani stock.  They tend to be tall and lithe, averaging close to 2 metres in height, and massing roughly 90 kg.  Complexions are predominantly swarthy; hair colour is usually black or brown.  They are able to digest certain proteins which are native to Zhdant but undigestable to non-Zhodani.

Close to 80% of all known racial Zhodani live in their empire, the Zhodani Consulate.  This large (and growing) empire lies to core-spinward of the Imperium.  Clashes and conflicts (Frontier Wars) between it and the Imperium have recurred for the last 600 years, with each war becoming more intense.

The most important difference - and the major source of conflict between Imperials and Zhodani - is their acceptance of psionics.  They claim racial superiority based on a supposed natural talent in this area, but their training is the more likely contributor.  All Zhodani of noble birth (Social B+) receive psionic training from childhood.  Intendants (Social A) also receive early psionic training, while Proles (Social 9-) receive no training.  Psionics, something the Imperium is opposed to, is thus a part of everyday life in the Consulate.

This message was last edited by the player at 23:40, Fri 12 Jan 2007.

- Library Data
 NPC, 2 posts
 Knowledge is power, and
 information fuels it.
Wed 21 Sep 2005
at 20:55
Aliens of the Spinward Marches - Minor Alien Races
These are non-human intelligent races found within known space.  These count as "Minor" because they did not develop jump drive on their own.  Races created by genetic engineering techniques (geneering) are noted.

The following races can be found in and around the Spinward Marches, with varying degrees of frequency.

Addux?/Tienspevnekr G

Intelligent minor race of six-legged carnivores from a high gravity world 40 parsecs from Zhdant.

The Addaxur had established an empire of 37 worlds, with communications maintained by sublight ships, by the time the Zhodani discovered them in -5110.
The Zhodani observed the fringes of the empire for about ten years before making open contact in -5120. Carefully planned overtures established friendly relations and reserved 10 of the Addaxur's 37 worlds for the Addaxur without restricting Zhodani expansion.

Fulani L (Zachrisson)/Vanguard Reaches

Serpentine race living in Zachrisson subsector, but thought to originate in another Galaxy.  Technology is comparable to that of the Third Imperium, though the Bolth seem to have never developed Jump Drive.

Bwaps (Newts)
Maharaban/Empty Quarter 0426

Intelligent minor race native to Maharaban. Generally known as Bwaps or Wabs (from their name for themselves, Bawapakerwa-a-a-awapawab), they are also known as Newts due to their appearance.

Bwaps average 1.4 m in height and mass between 30 and 50 kg. They are upright, bipedal, homeothermic and bisexual, with an internal skeleton and a closed circulatory system. Their hemoglobin is copper-based, a deep blue in colour, making their skin a faint greenish-blue in areas without pigmentation.
Body markings vary tremendously from clan ("tree") to clan, each one having a distinctive pattern. The pattern is determined by genetic factors and the colour is determined by careful manipulation of the mother's diet during the formation of the egg. Greens, browns, yellows and blues are most common, usually in patterns of darker colours over a lighter basic colour.

Bwaps are uncomfortable in less than 98% humidity, as their skin must be kept moist. With special clothing, they can exist indefinitely in humidities as low as 25%, provided they have adequate water. This normally consists of a loosely fitting kaftan-like garment and a hood covering the head (giving rise to another nickname, "towel-heads"). The cloth of these garments is permeated with a network of fine tubes, through which water flows and keeps the cloth moist. In occupations where they must handle paper or other items which would suffer from moisture, Bwaps wear thin water-proof gloves. In humidities of less than 25%, they must use sealed environment suits. All clothing is coloured with a stylised representation of their body, since recognition of body pattern is an important part of their greeting ritual.

Bwaps are oviparous, each female incubating a single, non-amniotic egg in a special pouch on her lower abdomen. After hatching, the young remain in this pouch for several weeks, occasionally coming out to be fed, until they are strong enough to survive outside. The young reach maturity after 14 years.

Homeworld unknown, possibly in the Vanguard Reaches or The Beyond, but may be even further spinward.

Physically the Chi resemble loose bundles of rags, which move about on between six and twelve stick-like legs.  They stand somewhere between 1 and 2m tall, and weigh anywhere from 25 to 75kg.  They are methane breathers, and it is thought that their homeworld may be a failed gas giant.

They are technologically more advanced than the Third Imperium, and may have some sort of symbiotic relationship with the T'ca.  The two races often travel together, though not always.

Throughout Known Space.

Chirpers are uncasted Droyne.  They live on a number of planets scattered across the human-explored portion of the galaxy, usually existing as primitive pastoral cultures, isolated from all other Chirper societies.

Physically they appear to be perfectly normal, if immature, Droyne.

Craw/Spinward Marches 1939

A humanoid (but not human) race well adapted to the harsh conditions of their homeworld, with leathery skin and barrel-like chests, allowing them to survive on arid, thin atmosphere environment.

Ghatsokie (Thaar)/Deneb 0902 (Lamas)

Evolved from hexapodal carnivore/pouncer stock, Crendu are about 2.5 m long and mass up to 500 kg.  Massive, powerfully built, with armor-scale hides evolved to resist solar flares and a double row of sharp teeth in a flexible mouth.

They are fairly well civilized.  On their own they have TL0-1, but adapt well enough to tools provided by their Vargr neighbors.

Terra/Solomani Rim 1827

Intelligent minor race originating on Terra, raised to sentience by the Solomani corporation GenAssist during the Rule of Man.
A typical male Dolphin (Tursiops galactus) measures between 2.75 and 3.95m from the tip of its powerful flukes to its snout, and weighs about 100 to 150kg. Females tend to be smaller and lighter, on average. Their skin is smooth to the touch, and tends to be a purple-black along the dorsal surface, shading to white or light gray on the underside. Layers of fat make their hide equivalent to jack armour. Their eyes are located in the darker section of the face.

The brain of a Dolphin is 1.5 times the size of a human, although this should not be taken as a sign of greater (or lesser) intelligence. For the most part, this difference is due to the greater mass of the Dolphin body. The original dolphin lifespan was about 20 years, but the enhanced Dolphins typically live 50 to 60 years. Anagathics are available, with prices, benefits and risks similar to those used by humans.

The main Dolphin sense centres on their very accurate echo-location system. Geneering has improved this to give a 100m range. Dolphin hearing is able to detect sounds ranging in pitch from 150 to 150,000 Hertz (by contrast, Terran cats can hear sounds up to 50,000 Hz, bats to 75,000 Hz, and humans only up to 20,000 Hz). Underwater eyesight is fairly keen, as it has been adapted for that environment. The lenses of their eyes are very globular and hence convex in nature in order to reverse the negative effects of aquatic reflection. However, this makes the Dolphin very near-sighted when out of the water. To counter this, many Dolphins wear corrective lenses when not in a Travel Suit (which has a special visor built-in).

The diet of Dolphins, like their semi-sentient ancestors, is wholly carniverous. Modern Dolphins do take great joy in sampling new foods and tastes. A Dolphin requires 110 calories per kg per day to sustain itself. This is far greater than the human need of 50 calories per kg per day. This translates to roughly 10% of body mass, per day.

Typical members of Tursiops galactus can dive for up to 15 minutes without respirator assistance. In practice, many wear tanked air supplies to allow a greater endurance for underwater operations. When swimming near the surface, Dolphins breathe 2 to 6 times per minute, increasing up to 8 after a long dive or period of exertion. Unlike humans, who normally use only 12.5% of their lung capacity, Dolphins almost completely empty and fill their lungs with every breath. Also, they store much more oxygen in their blood and muscle tissues than humans, which allows them to make such prolonged dives.

A single glance at the Dolphin body is enough to reveal the perfection of their streamlining. Nowhere in explored space is there a creature so perfectly evolved in a hydro-dynamic sense. As a rule of thumb, Dolphins can maintain 40 kph when swimming and can attain burst speeds of up to 60 kph.

Although normal swimming depth is above 30m, Dolphins can dive up to 200m in extreme cases (humans can only manage 125m unprotected). Furthermore, the physiology of a Dolphin is such that they are wholly immune to caisson disease ("the bends") which is a constant hazard to human divers.

The natural evolution of cetaceans on Terra is still something of a mystery, even to sciences of the 57th century (Terran dating). However, their "uplifting" to sentient status is well documented. The Solomani corporation GenAssist , established to adapt Terran native lifeforms to alien climates, saw a need for creatures that could assist in colonising and developing worlds with high hydrographic percentages. To that end, GenAssist began research on dolphins during the Rule of Man . As other species were dropped from GenAssist 's overall project, the dolphins had the full attention of the company trained on them, and rapidly attained true intelligence. In -1988, just prior to the collapse of the Rule of Man , a handful of Dolphin colonies were seeded along the rimward frontiers of what is now the Solomani Sphere .

In the centuries since, the Dolphins have proved themselves to be fantastically adaptive and very loyal to the Solomani government. The reason for their loyalty has very little to do with political philosophies, as Dolphin psychology is radically different from their human patrons. Rather, each and every Dolphin is acutely aware that the Solomani gave them the gift of sentience, and they feel indebted to the Terrans for this. The Solomani have not discouraged this way of thinking; in fact, they have fostered it.

Dolphin culture is based on a belief in total equality. Everything is shared equally and each citizen is entitled to the full benefits of the society's capabilities. They are unable to understand many concepts which seem almost absolute to humans; for example, the ideas of property and land ownership. If one Dolphin has a tool that another needs, the latter simply takes the tool and returns it after use (is is customary to ask if the current holder has finished with the object first, but this is not unlike a human request to "borrow" an item). Further, the concept of land ownership is beyond them. They point out that "the sea is always in motion, so how can you claim a portion of it as yours?" In the same way, the land is in motion (although far more slowly), and similar reasoning results.

These concepts can result in problems when Dolphins interact with other lifeforms. On starships , for instance, Dolphin passengers have been known to take objects (such as jewelry) which appealed to them, without asking permission if the object did not seem to be currently in use. If confronted with the "theft", they gladly admit to it and cheerfully return the object as long as they have finished "using" it. Dolphins who have spent a great deal of time among other races eventually learn that this is considered improper behaviour by many others. At this point, they usually modify their behaviour and ask to use things which others seem attached to. In such cases, they see this as a game they must play in order to "fit in".

Dolphins do not usually gather in large communities, but live in extended family groups of between 15 and 20 individuals. Family groups interact frequently, and it is not uncommon for two or more of them to dwell very near to one another. They simply do not have a structural society such as envisioned by humans and others. In most cases, colony worlds composed primarily of Dolphin settlers are classified by the Scouts as government code 0 (anarchy).

The actual number of individual Dolphins varies widely from world to world. On Terra, the original dolphins are extinct (they still thrive on a few other worlds, though) and the latest census counted about 2.5 million Dolphins.

While Dolphins are well-adapted for aquatic environments, they are handicapped when removed from them. In order to overcome such difficulties, science has come up with a number of devices which make life much more pleasant for Dolphins who must function out of the water.

The first and by far the most important of these is the Travel Suit (or TeeSuit). This is the Dolphin equivalent to a vacc suit, and contains a super-humid environment. A grav "belt" and an in-built commo system allows a Dolphin to move around and communicate when out of the water.

The second device is the waldo. A serious handicap which Dolphins suffer is their lack of manipulatory appendages. This is unheard of in naturally occurring sophont species, but is not uncommon among the Solomani's "uplifted races". To overcome this problem, human scientists created mechanical manipulatory devices known as waldos. Waldos act as artificial "arms", which permit a dolphin to handle objects almost as well as humans. At TL 12, neural control plugs are available to be surgically implanted into the skull of a Dolphin. Waldos can then be plugged in, allowing them to be directed by nerve impulses.

Finally, Dolphin starships have certain modifications specifically tailored to their occupants. The most instantly obvious change is that such craft maintain a zero-gravity field aboard them at all times (even while grounded) so that the crew can move freely about without TeeSuits. The atmosphere is a standard oxygen-nitrogen composition, but is very humid. This maintains normal moisture levels for the crew without having to keep compartments flooded. The ship is controlled by waldos or direct cybernetic links, as described above.

Yebab/Spinward Marches 2202 (Aramis)

Intelligent minor race native to Yebab. They are eight-legged four armed beings with low-slung bodies. Ebokin average 0.8m tall and 1.5m long.

Ebokin society is a conservative matriarchy, bound by strict, unchanging laws. They seldom leave their homeworld.

Elliador/Vanguard Reaches 3110

Evolved from liquid-dwelling omnivorous hunters.  Currently living in environments similar to humaniti.  They control a roughly 2 subsector domain.

They are divided into three subspecies mostly differentiated by skin color:

Selyin - blue    nobility        (17%)
Magsin - green   farmer/workers  (44%)
Chutin - red     warriors        (39%)

Giranima (location uncertain, somewhere in the Beyond)

The Khethss built a small empire for themselves about 500 years ago using STL ships.  Three centuries later somebody sold them Jump technology, and they have been preying on their neighbours ever since.

The Khethss homeworld is a closely guarded secret, and much of what is "known" about their history is based on speculation.  That they are descended from arboreal nocturnal predators is one of the few things that can be said about them with any degree of certainty.

A typical Khethss stands approximately 2.2m tall, and weighs about 90kg.  Their eyes a large, and provide excellent night vision, but poor colour perception.  The mouth is a muscular trunk-like tube, some 20cm long, lined with fifteen rings of interlocking teeth set into sphincter-like bands of muscle.  Khethss skin is dark grey and leaathery.  A strip of short black fur runs from the top of the skull to the base of the spine.

The digits on all four limbs are tipped with retractable claws.

Khethss generally wear loose-fitting hooded robes, always in black, which make it hard to identify individuals, while making it easy for the Khethss to carry concealed weapons.  Khethss are often uncomfortable in bright light, and many wear dark goggles.

They have a somewhat deserved reputation for treachery, and seem proud of that fact.  Within their own culture, positions and belongings are kept only as long as an individual can hold onto them.  If somebody does not have the strength to keep a rank or possessions, then they should be taken from them, by any means available.

To the Khethss, theft, deception, kidnapping and murder are all normal business practices.

Homeworld unknown.  Location (speculative) somewhere spinward of Zhodani Consulate.

The Knnn are a methane breathing Race that, so far, only the T'ca can talk to.   Their technology is far beyond that of the Third Imperium, and their ships seem to be capable of maneuvers that other races consider impossible with current understanding of physical laws.

Knnn ships are easy to recognise.  They move very erratically, with no regard for traffic regulations, and emit a constant wailing sound, reminiscent of Terran whale song, on communication channels.

Until recently, the Knnn were notorious for entering a system, grabbing what they want (seemingly at random) and leaving.  About a century ago, the T'ca managed to teach them the concept of trade.  Now they enter a system, grab what they want (seemingly at random), drop something else, and leave.

In the last few years, the number of Knnn ships coming into Imperial space has been slowly increasing.

ADVISORY: Knnn ships should be avoided at all cost.  Imperial regulations require any vessel report encounters with Knnn ships to local traffic control centres.

Byret/Spinward Marches 2523 (Mora)

The Larianz are descended from four-limbed flyers native to Byret.  They stand approximately 1.2m tall, massing some 35kg on average.  The upper limbs are large wings, which when folded are also used for ground locomotion (the Larianz effectively stand, and walk, on their "elbows").  The lower pair of limbs are modified for manipulation.

Llellewyloly (Dandelions)
Junidy/Spinward Marches 3202 (Aramis)

Large plant-like sophonts native to Junidy.  Imperial citizens.  Population about 14 billion (living with equal number humans).  Since about 1100, there was growing tension between the Dandies and humans.

Arcturus/Vanguard Reaches 1203

Similar to humaniti, but stocky and hirsute (thick fur), evolved from omnivore/eaters.  Technologically advanced, but unclear as to whether developed by themselves or gotten from human traders.

567-908/Spinward Marches 1031

Intelligent hexapods about 1m at the shoulder.  They talk at the high end of human hearing, hence their name.  Achieved TL3 before a planetary tectonic disaster shook them back down to TL0.

I'Sred*Ni/The Beyond 2026

Race of mammalian arachnids, intelligent, but with a communal psionic link.  They run a subsector-sized domain in The Beyond.  They have a marked tendency to consider themselves vastly superior to other Races, and to act accordingly.

Homeworld unknown, possibly in the Vanguard Reaches or The Beyond, but may be even further spinward.

Physically the T'ca resemble giant legless worms, with a cluster of eyes and manipulatory tentacles at the head end.  They typically reach an overall length of somewhere between 8 and 12m, and weigh anywhere from 300 to 500kg.  They are methane breathers, and it is thought that their homeworld may be a failed gas giant.

They are technologically more advanced than the Third Imperium, and may have some sort of symbiotic relationship with the Chi.  The two races often travel together, though not always.

Origin unknown

The Tentrassi wander space in nomad Jump fleets, seeking their lost homeworld.  Nomad Fleet 8 visited Raweh (Spinward Marches 0137) around 1100.

Urzaeng (Vargr minor)
Throughout Vargr Extents

Taller and more powerfully built than humans, these massive Vargr can take on Aslan males in unarmed melee.  Originally bred for guard duty and menial labor, they tend to lack full mental faculties.

This message was last updated by the player at 21:07, Wed 21 Sept 2005.

- Library Data
 NPC, 3 posts
 Knowledge is power, and
 information fuels it.
Wed 21 Sep 2005
at 21:25
Aliens of the Spinward Marches - Minor Human Races
All minor human races derive from two sources: either they were removed from Terra about 300,000 years ago by the Ancients and left in various places (and managed to survive after the destructive fratricidal war that destroyed the Ancients), or they were developed some time during the last 2,000 years by Solomani genetic engineering techniques (geneering).

These races count as "Minor" because they did not develop jump drive on their own.

Darrian/Spinward Marches 0627 (Darrian)

Intelligent minor race of humaniti from Darrian.  The race is not native to the world, but was placed there by the Ancients about 300,000 years ago.  The Darrian physiology is a result of adapting to the alien environment.  Darrians are generally tall and thin, averaging just over 2m in height and 78kg in weight.  Their most significant adaption is the ability to digest a normally indigestable amino acid native to Darrian.  They are poorly insulated as they do not develop subcutaneous fat layers very readily.  Instead, their metabolism adjusts quickly to the available food supply, whether feast or famine.  This adjustable internal "furnace" allows Darrians to be comfortable in a much colder climate, as long as food is available.

Protomelanin skin pigmentation protects Darrians from ultraviolet radiation, without the need for acquiring a tan.  It absorbs UV light without darkening in response and controls Vitamin D production in any amount of sunlight.  Usual Darrian skin colour is golden or greyish tan, and their hair is white or light-toned.  Intermarriage with Solomani immigrants (largely of Semitic stock) introduced somewhat ruddier skin tones based on melanin pigments or darker hair, but only one or the other skin pigments occur, not a mixture.

The low gravity of Darrian means that, on average, Darrians are weaker than Imperials.  However, they have faster reaction times and acute sight and hearing.  Dexterity is highly valued along with mental agility, and most educational systems in the Darrian Confederation attempt to develop both.

Certain Darrian traits have been traced to retroviruses present in the environment.  A few were able to meld successfully with Terran genes and produce favourable adaptions.  For instance, Darrians can metabolise and thrive on a high concentration of ozone in the high altitudes of their atmosphere.

Nearly 40% of Darrians are left-handed or ambidexterous.  Equipment designs reflect this by being neutral as to handedness.  The larger than average bridge between the two halves of the Darrian brain may be a cause for this trait as well as a factor in inventiveness and mathematical ability.  Musical talent is also widespread.

Darrian society is characterised more by individual's avocatrions than their vocations.  Darrians have a keen fascination with all sorts of knowledge, encouraged by their educational system.  Many Darrians develop an avocation of research, selecting a broad topic of interest and spending a lifetime following that topic.

Darrians differentiate between original and secondary research.  Original research usually requires extensive equipment and supplies.  Even when published, results are often not understood.  Secondary research is an analysis of published information in a search for new correlations and conclusions.  Many Darrians have composed at least one analysis of existing research; some become experts in their field.  Every secondary researcher on Darrian dreams of making a world-shaking discovery by taking two or more published pieces of research and using them to produce wholly unexpected or previously unsuspected results.

Floria/Trojan Reaches 0213 (Yggdrasil)

An intelligent minor race of humaniti, the Floriani are notable for their dimorphism.  The ruling group, the Barnai, are short and weak.  The workforce is comprised of Feskals, large, muscular and unintelligent.  Other minor details of anatomy also set them apart from the rest of humaniti.

Although accusations of slavery or exploitation might be voiced in Imperial society, the relationship between Barnai and Faskals is perfectly acceptable to both parties.  High ethical standards combine with the stoic Floriani demeanor to foster co-operation and solidarity in defiance of physical differences.

The Floriani are also noteworthy for their unusual path of technological development.  Highly advanced in the realms of transportation and weaponry, the Floriani are abnormally backward in the life sciences.  Within the Florian League, the masses have odd notions toward technology, and all Floriani instinctively shy away from true research.  Even creativity in the arts is a rarity.

The Floriani expansion began in -170 when Barnai technicians managed to duplicate a jump drive found in a wrecked Aslan ship.  Contact with the Imperium followed in 185.  The Florian League itself was formed in 506.  The League is governed by a hierarchy of councils, where councillors are chosen from amoung the Barnai populace by lottery.

Halka/Trojan Reach 0510 (Menorial)

Halkans appear to be  slightly built albinos, but they are not.  Their eyes are pale grey (nearly white) Their hair color ranges from white to ash-pale blond.

Discovered by Floriani explorers in -50 ti, they were held as slaves until 1000s.

Jonkeer/Deneb 1324 (Vincennes)

Intelligent sub-species of humaniti, currently native to Jonkeer in the Deneb Sector.  The Jonkeereen are the products of extensive geneering by the Imperial Ministry of Colonisation .  The project's goal was the creation of a human subspecies perfectly suited to life in a hostile desert environment.  Begun five centuries ago, the project has proven successful.  Over 400 million enhanced humans inhabit Jonkeer , and millions more live on desert planets throughout the Domain of Deneb and beyond.

The average Jonkeereen is tall, thin, and dark-skinned, much like human desert-dwellers throughout space.  Thorough modifications have moved the Jonkeereen far from the human norm.  A combination of genetic engineering and adaptive surgery aided the first Jonkeereen; later generations bred true to the Ministry 's specifications.

The Jonkeereen's adaptations are many.  Protective membranes shield his eyes and ears from windblown sand.  Changes to his metabolism allow survival on the scant resources of arid plains.  A highly efficient perspiration system and a large body surface work to cool him in temperatures often exceeding 50 degrees C - far above human tolerance.  His dark complexion shields him from the radiation of Jonkeer 's lurid red sun.

While the Jonkeereen have changed in form, their culture also changed.  Their lifestyle is austere, and many visitors find the local customs harsh.  Both conservatism and cooperation are basic traits of the Jonkeereen mindset.  The Jonkeereen are no longer fully human, and this makes the typical Jonkeereen aloof, emotionally distant from their cousins.

The local Scout base is engaged in long-term observation of the Jonkeereen culture and its departure from human standards.

Nexine/Spinward Marches 3030 (Mora)

Nexine is an underpopulated water world being "reseeded" by the Ministry of Conservation (as of 1105) using biologically altered humans.
- Library Data
 NPC, 4 posts
 Knowledge is power, and
 information fuels it.
Wed 21 Sep 2005
at 21:28
Aliens of the Spinward Marches - Ancient Races
Eskayloyt/Spinward Marches (Actual position unknown)

A race of non-humanoid beings who inhabited the general region of the Spinward Marches approximately 300,000 PI (Pre-Imperium).  Archeological evidence recovered from the few excavations of known Ancient cities indicates that the race died out during a 2000-year period of intense warfare - the Final War - leaving only ruined cities and shattered planets.

The Ancients were responsible for several major features within the general Imperial region.  They created the multi-world rosette at Tireen (in the Vargr Extents), and their warfare resulted in an unusually high proportion of asteroid belts throughout this spiral arm.  The asteroid belt at Shionthy (Regina/Spinward Marches 2306) is believed to have been formed during one unusually intense battle between Ancient forces.  Reports indicate that other Ancient sites within the Regina subsector are currently being excavated, both by official expeditions and clandestinely by treasure hunters in search of artifacts.

The Ancients were responsible for the wide dissemination of humaniti within its current domain when (for reasons currently unclear) they transplanted genetic stock from Terra (Sol/Solomani Rim 1827) to at least 90 worlds across a span of 360 parsecs.  They were also responsible for the creation of the Vargr through genetic manipulation of Terran carnivore/chaser stock.

Keo Nesseb
Penkwar/Spinward Marches 2128

A race of insectoid aliens whose relics have been found on several worlds spread across the Marches and surrounding sectors.  Their technological level seems to have exceeded the current level of the Third Imperium.

They died out approximately twenty thousand years ago, leaving no clue as to their final demise.  Many of their sites do, however, show extensive signs of warfare.