The Vlazhdumecta (as at 1201)
by David Thornell (with Grant Sinclair)
Date: 15 August 1994 (Published in TTC)
The following comes from the History of Draj Orshtiel (First House) on
Anchli, (Yiklerzdanzh 2140), as collected by Archivist Shtivats
jir-Vretsdriezh. This special collection presents the mixed blood
Vlazhdumecta (the most commonly encountered type in Afachtiabr) and
the rarer pure or near-pure blood people (as in the Izrats Kriezhlas
Unity in Yiklerzdanzh, the last remaining Vlazhdumecta state, and in
backwater settlements in Afachtiabr).
Externally, we show only minor differences from the bulk of humaniti.
However, the story is quite different below the cellular level, where
extensive geneering by the Ancients has greatly modified the genetic
mechanism (while still remaining within human norms).
These genetic differences have led some scientists to argue that we
should be considered a separate race, rather than part of humaniti. As
we have obviously interbred with other human races, this is of course
Evidence suggests that this geneering was incomplete when the Final
War began and that the stabilisation of our biochemistry has been a
gradual process over the last 300,000 years. The interbreeding over
the last 6 millenia with the Sky Raiders, Zhodani and other human
races has been of great assistance.
Height and Weight: There is little difference in size between males
and females. Both sexes average 1.9 m tall. However, while males mass
approximately 90 kg, females mass slightly less at 85 kg.
Appearance: Our appearance remains mostly unchanged from that of our
ancestors millenia ago. Our skin is heavily pigmented and ranges in
colour from golden bronze to almost pure black. Most pure blooded
Vlazhdumecta are a dark bronze. While our skin is dry, we have a layer
of subcutaneous fat which gives us a sleek, "rounded" appearance. Our
hair is coarse, straight and usually pure white. Interbreeding has
seen the appearance in the last few thousand years of blonde, grey and
even brown hair. However, facial and body hair is almost non-existent.
Our faces are dolichocephalic (long-headed), triangular in shape with
high cheekbones. There is some prognathism (projection) of the lower
face. We have a wide forehead that slopes back from a light brow
ridge. The nose is small, convex and high bridged. Eyes are always
large and dark. There is an epicanthic fold and secondary lid
arrangement controlled by additional muscles beneath the brow line.
This gives us our so-called "sleepy" appearance to other humans, but
protects against glare and windborn particles. We have small, recessed
ears which lie flat against the skull. A protective membrane can seal
them from cold and dust. Because of this arrangement, we have poor
hearing in standard atmospheres or thinner.
A female of our race is featured in a large low resolution
illustration (33K) and also in a higher resolution head and torso
only view (24K).
Diet: Like most humans, we are omnivorous. However, due to the changes
in our metabolism, we require a regular intake of certain amino acids
and sugars. Luckily, these can be found in most foodstuffs. These
changes also allow us to find nutrition in a wide range of
biochemistries. We generally eat 5 to 6 small meals a day, the largest
of which is generally taken after the first sleep period of the day.
Rest: Our colonising origin has made our circadian rhythm highly
adaptable. However, left to itself, our natural rhythm seems to be
adapted to a 28 hour repeating cycle over 168 hours (6 hours sleep, 10
hours work, 4 hours sleep, 8 hours rest). The sleep periods in the
final 28 hour period are generally longer, with a shortened rest
period. When working in the 24 hour cycle of most other human
cultures, we usually keep a shortened 24 hour cycle over the same
period (4 hours sleep, 8 hours work, 9 hours sleep, 7 hours rest).
Reproduction: We are unusual in that the female has well marked
periods of oestrous. These were originally of fixed durations and
times, but they have become longer and more frequent over the
Males are always sexually capable, but suffer periods of infertility,
due to the last remnants of incomplete geneering.
If fertilisation occurs, live offspring are born after a gestation
period of about 270 days. Multiple births are rare. It appears that
this method of reproduction was developed to offset the lowered
fertility associated with the geneered changes made by the Ancients.
Sterile offspring are still relatively common (1/1000), although much
less so than at the time of original Zhodani contact (1/20).
Those of us with even a minor Zhodani genetic heritage tend to be more
fertile and are less likely to bear to sterile children. With as much
as half Zhodani or other genetic heritage, sterile offspring are
virtually unknown and fertility is further increased (though still
lower then human norms).
Senses: Our senses are about as acute as those of other humans. We
differ only in that our eyes can cope with greater brightness and
atmospheric irritants and that our hearing is less acute in standard
or thinner atmospheres.
Anatomy: Apart from the minor differences already mentioned, there is
little to distinguish us externally from other humans. However,
internally, our basic biochemical functions exhibit several major
differences from other human races. Of most interest is that our
bodies are in a constant state of metabolic acidosis. This is due to
the higher plasma levels of lipids and ketone bodies resulting from
metabolism of an extra four amino acids. As a result, some humans
(particularly Solomani) complain of an unpleasant odour associated
with us. We have a different range of blood types to other humans. The
three major types are designated V1, V2 and V3 for convenience.
Lifespan: Biological evidence has shown that the first Vlazhdumecta
were autopolyploidal. It is believed that the Ancients geneering
efforts on them were experimental and incomplete at the time of the
Final War. As a result, sterility of offspring after the war exceeded
50%. Population would have plummeted and extinction would have been
imminent for millenia after the war.
However, these changes have markedly reduced the rate and effects of
senescence compared to that in other Humans (even Vilani). A racially
pure Vlazhdumecta has a life expectancy of about 130 standard years.
For most of that period, they will appear unchanged from when they
were 30-40 years old. Interbreeding has reduced the lifespan, but even
those with less than one eighth Vlazhdumectan blood can expect a
lifespan of 110-120 years.
However, at some point the metabolic process starts breaking down.
Degenerative changes occur rapidly and death is usually 8 to 10 months
after the first physical symptoms. This period is called the Inzhan
Hel: ("divine wind"). Due to the horrendous breakdown that occurs once
senescence sets in, most of us finalise our affairs after the first
symptoms and opt for euthanasia.
The last vestiges of unstable biochemistry produces premature Inzhan
Hel in about 1 in 100,000 of us. This tragic event usually also
induces unstable psychological patterns.
Most of the changes in our race are the result of only a few
fundamental changes in our genetic structure. The non-histones, the
small proteins that bind other proteins to DNA, are markedly
different. Transcription of specific genes into mRNA is thereby
modified and enhanced with the use of several unusual biosymthetic
enzymes, thus aiding the synthesis of additional protein. Our
chromosomes are also much more heterochromatic than other humans,
meaning that unlike other races, most of our chromosome is involved in
genetic activity. However, some of this activity is additional
reiterations of genes. Another benefit is an increase in packing
density, resilience and regrowth potential of the neurons and their
surrounding myelin sheath.
Philosophy: To us, the universe is hierarchical in nature. It
comprises the mundane (yetsda), sublime (kethra), and causal (hokhsda)
worlds. The physical mind and body can only experience the mundane
world. The world as experienced through the external senses can never
relate to true reality. The sublime world is experienced through the
inner mind, manifested by intuition, imagination, and the visionary
experience. This is the true reality, and is experienced most directly
during the Inzhan Hel, prior to death. The causal world is a unified
consciousness that links the mundane and sublime experiences. This is
most easily accomplished through the use of psionic potential's.
To the extent that this philosophy embraces religion, we believe that
God is utterly unknowable, but is present in all creation. Creation is
God, whose energies can be experienced through the sublime being.
Lam Dre ("proper action"): The basic ideal to which all Vlazhdumecta
strive. The concept refers to principles including honour, gentility,
sensitivity to proper behaviour, faithfulness to duty, recognition of
ones proper place, and harmony.
Society And Culture
The Vlazhdumecta are a deeply spiritual, emotional people. Their
society and culture has been profoundly affected by their contact with
the Zhodani, both before and after the Vlazhdumecta collapse. Like the
Zhodani, psionics has sculpted our society and is an integral part of
our racial psyche.
Itos: A basic tenet of our culture. It denotes the understanding from
within accomplished by empathy, intuition, imagination, and/or divine
inspiration. It rejects knowledge from without accomplished from
observation and research.
Draj ("House/clan"): A descent grouping incorporating one or many
lineages. Companies are often based around these family or extended
family lines. Even within companies, business units tend to be smaller
than those of normal Zhodani or Imperial practice. The highest status
work is associated with value-added products, so Vlazhdumecta items
tend to be well crafted and long lasting, though more expensive. Some
travellers like to visit obscure villages, hoping to find some item of
Ishikin ("amalgamation of purpose"): A grouping of Houses brought
together for a common purpose. The group is considered one House for
legal purposes for the duration of the quest and holds special status.
If divinely inspired, any action thwarting the achievement of the goal
can result in pariah status.
Kishik ("place of contemplation"): Any place which is used for quiet
contemplation and experiencing of the sublime world. Most settlements
have a variety of such places, whether constructed (our equivalent of
your churches and monasteries) or natural (specially preserved areas
of natural wilderness, such as pools and streams). It is not unknown
for hikers or mountain climbers to come across such places far away
from population centres, perhaps established and nurtured by a single
About 6000 years ago, our ancestors were contacted by the Zhodani.
Already possessing a moderate tech level, they were able to use the
secret of the jump drive obtained from the Zhodani to colonise much of
At about the same time as the Zhodani were becoming concerned about
the Vlazhdumecta, a multi-House effort established a colony in
Yiklerzdanzh. A number of other nearby worlds had just been settled
when the Vlazhdumecta Colonisation Sphere began to collapse. When it
was realised that the end was near, the last Vlazhdumecta in
spin/rimward Afachtiabr with the capability to do so consolidated in
the Yiklerzdanzh colony. By -4900, the link to the Yiklerzdanzh
colonies had been long abandoned.
Originally, the Vlazhdumecta spoke numerous languages, each with a
stylised ideographic written form. After Zhodani contact, many learnt
the spoken and written forms of Zdetl (the Zhodani language) and so
Zdetl became the lingua franca of the Vlazhdumecta. Some believe that
the increased ability to communicate with each other was a factor in
the sudden boost of Vlazhdumecta fortunes that followed Zhodani
As the Vlazhdumecta spread out into space, each colony used an
official language (derived from the part of the homeworld from which
they came) and Zdetl (used to communicate with off worlders). The
languages began to merge and evolve in different directions,
particularly after the breakup of the Vlazhdumecta Colonial Sphere and
the influx of Sky Raiders Imperials and other peoples.
Pure Vlazhdumecta languages disappeared well before modern times,
though many backwater villages speak tongues which in part descend
from them. Linguists are very interested in reconstructing the
original languages, but no such attempt has gained wide acceptance.
Linguists are famous for fierce arguments, attacking the theories of
others and defending their own, to the point where all are stereotyped
as fiery, larger than life characters. Archaeologist-Linguists are
well known patrons of expeditions to obscure villages on obscure
Travellers will find that Zdetl is needed on most Zhodani
ex-Vlazhdumecta worlds. Galanglic is best outside the Consulate, but
travellers should beware the higher number of loan and slang words
Character Generation: Vlazhdumecta characters are generated using
normal rules, except that a -1 DM should be applied to
Endurance/Constitution (minimum of 2 for Endurance and 1 for
For all three game systems, aging rolls are made at the usual times.
For seven-eighths or better Vlazhdumecta blood, add 4 to all saving
throws against losses (so losses are less likely). For six-eighths,
the modifier is +3, for five-eighths +2, for one-eighth to
four-eighths +1. Those with less than one-eighth Vlazhdumecta blood
live normal human lifetimes.
Anagathics: Normal anagathics have little effect on pure or near-pure
Vlazhdumecta, due to biochemical differences. However, virtually all
Vlazhdumecta in Afachtiabr sector have enough genes from other human
races to use the standard anagathics.
The Zhodani Presence
The Zhodani presence in Yiklerzdanzh (as at 1201)
by David Schneider
Date: 23 October 1994
The Zhodani hold six coreward subsectors of Yiklerzdanzh
(specifically, A-E plus H). This document has library data (including
some world write-ups) for these subsectors, as at 1201.
Admiral Plaedr: was appointed to command of all military forces in
Yiklerzdanzh in 1142. His career prior to this date is largely
unknown, although it is believed that he was transferred to
Yiklerzdanzh from somewhere coreward. Rumours suggest that this was
following some scandal, and that he was sent to Yiklerzdanzh to avoid
embarrassment to the nobility.
The Admiral inherited a shabby command. The majority of the sector
fleets consisted of second and third line vessels which had been
reactivated when most of the front line warships were sent as
replacements for Fifth Frontier War losses. These front line ships had
never been replaced as the provincial government became more and more
preoccupied with other matters.
In the first month of taking command the Admiral set the tone for the
rest of his career as supreme commander in Yiklerzdanzh. He made no
attempt to upgrade his fleets or equipment, dispersed his most capable
officers to various minor postings and formed a general staff
comprised of "yes men".
In 1160, at the outbreak of the S'raak War, the Admiral launched an
unsuccessful invasion of Meichntid Ibl after assuming that S'raak
attacks were done at Meichntid Ibl instigation. The invasion was a
complete disaster and was repulsed with terrible losses. Admiral
Plaedr was removed from command and subsequently disappeared. An
illustration (14K) of the Admiral has been circulated by the Zhodani,
the Rellington News Service and the Meichntid Ibl, all promising
sizable rewards for information leading to his capture.
Ancients Sites: exist in a number of Zhodani systems in Yiklerzdanzh.
The Consulate Government confirms only two sites, located on
Fishieshnianj (0906) and Zhiefnach (1404).
Security is tight on both of the confirmed sites. Zhiefnach, a
forbidden system, is strictly off limits to non Consulate citizens.
Numerous requests from foreign scientists to examine either site have
It is rumoured that other Ancients sites exist upon Iabrinch (2605),
Yienchbrej (1902), Zhdi'apl (2812), Klichints (3008) and Reentschti
(1206). The Consulate government refuses to confirm or deny rumours of
these or any other sites.
Iadr Nsobl Province: is a Zhodani province covering sections of
Yiklerzdanzh, Afachtiabr, Iakr, Briakqra', Tloql, and all of
Ziafrplians sectors. The Yiklerzdanzh section of the province has its
senior council located at Kizdalfa (2007)/Shipaiebria. The Zhodani
systems in Yiklerzdanzh have been settled for millennia and have a
long history of civilisation.
During the S'raak War, in 1160, the sector fared badly when Fleet
Admiral Plaedr misinterpreted S'raak attacks as Meichntid Ibl
aggression. The Admiral launched a disastrously unsuccessful invasion
of Meichntid Ibl in which the neglected Zhodani fleets were decisively
This defeat was a serious loss of face for the entire province, both
inside the Consulate and with the states upon its borders. Following
the S'raak War, Fleet Admiral Plaedr disappeared. Admiral Staedrlie
replaced Admiral Plaedr and was given special powers by the provincial
government to put Consulate affairs in Yiklerzdanzh in order.
The following years have seen a variety of new reforms and
initiatives. The formerly neglected Yiklerzdanzh fleets have been
reorganised, re-equipped and brought up to strength. The amount of
military tonnage on the slips has increased dramatically, as has the
number of combined arms exercises.
Japradlie Incident: In 1193, the Consulate system of Japradlie (0214)
was attacked by a lone S'raak warship. The S'raak warship was
successful in destroying a merchant ship and two system defence boats
before it was itself destroyed.
The incident was thought to be a deliberate act of aggression on the
part of the S'raak Empire and Zhodani military forces were placed on
alert in preparation for an invasion by the S'raak.
Later, however, a part of the S'raak warship was recovered by Zhodani
investigators and the ships log was found. Upon decoding and
translation of the log, it was discovered that the vessel was one that
the S'raak had lost to an apparent misjump in the late stages of the
According to the ship's log, the S'raak warship had been part of a war
fleet on its way to engage Meichntid Ibl forces at Chtiejtlenz, but it
had misjumped due to poor quality zuchai crystals. The ships crew,
finding themselves some distance from their target and quite far away
from the nearest system, had set a course for the closest star and
climbed into cold sleep berths.
When the vessel reached the Zhodani system, after decades of sublight
travel, the crew climbed out of their cold berths and continued with
the war, apparently ignorant of the fact that the war had been for
quite some time.
It is believed, and partly confirmed by the S'raak themselves, that
quite a few S'raak warships were lost during the war due to misjumps,
primarily a result of the S'raak's inability to obtain high quality
jump drive components. There is widespread concern throughout the
region that, even as you read this entry, there could be S'raak
warships heading towards your system.
Psionic Shield Helmets: Use of Psi helmets is widespread throughout
the non Zhodani areas of Yiklerzdanzh. Psi shield helmets block all
mental attacks upon the wearer of a psionic nature, and also prevent
any sort of psionic mind reading.
It is not surprising, therefore, that Psi helmets are illegal within
the borders of the Zhodani Consulate - possession of which is a
re-education offence. The major manufacturer of Psi helmets in
Yiklerzdanzh is the Akigura Union, and it is believed that there is a
thriving smuggling operation of helmets from there into the Consulate.
Qriil Program: Following the appointment of Admiral Staedrlie, large
numbers of second and third line vessels in service with the Zhodani
Yiklerzdanzh sector fleets were decommissioned and replaced. This left
the Zhodani with a large number of surplus vessels, of obsolete
The Qriil Program, begun in 1171, saw these obsolete vessels sold to
potential allies and client states at drastically reduced prices. It
should also be noted that the Program applies not only to warships.
Large numbers of supply ships, courier vessels and other support craft
were also decommissioned and replaced.
As a consequence of the Qriil Program the amount of vessels of Zhodani
origin in service throughout the sector has increased dramatically.
Former Zhodani vessels can be found in use with planetary defence
forces, merchant corporations, and an increasingly large amount are
falling into the hands of independent traders.
Subsector Capitals: The Zhodani government structure in Yiklerzdanzh
is broken up into seven regional councils based on the subsector
level. The home systems of these councils are consequently the
subsector capitals of the subsectors they are in. The Subsector
Capitals are located at 0708 Chtench/Peedizh Chr, 1308 Viadl
Rirnch/Tapljifriens, 2007 Kizdalfa/Shipaiebria, 2801 Shiqrch/Drbli
Chtidr, 0316 Zhelzdatl/Izellensjdash, 1013 Rblinch/Meichntid Ibl, and
2714 Itlfeklkrekl/Chinzhedniedoch. Zhodani systems in Lenchiajzhdiezh
are administered directly from Kizdalfza.
The council based on Kizdalfa is the senior council in the subsector
and is regarded by outsiders as the sector capital. The least powerful
council is that based upon Rblinch, as it only controls a small number
of systems. There has been talk for the last ten years or so of
abolishing the Rblinch council and turning control of the area over to
Zhelzdatl or Chtench.
Trailing Relay Route: The Zhodani Consulate maintains a special Relay
Route down the Trailing side of the sector to the Izrats Kriezhlas
Unity, which is a Zhodani Ally.
The Route goes through the Akigura Union and Salinaikin Concordance.
It also goes through several independent systems. It is believed that
the Consulate spends a great deal annually to keep this route open.
However the route brings a great deal of trade to the systems it goes
through, which is probably the main reason why the Zhodani bases are
tolerated by several governments which are not pro-Consulate.
Another relay route used to exist on the Spinward section of the
sector, but this was closed following the S'raak War. Many systems on
the previous route suffered extreme economic hardship due to the
closure. Much of this hardship persists to this day and has resulted
in quite a bit of anti-Consulate feeling in many systems.
Zheelibli Deerzh: is the foreign news service of the Zhodani Consulate
in Yiklerzdanzh. The news service has signed a special exchange deal
with the largest private news network in Yiklerzdanzh, The Rellington
Several governments of states in Yiklerzdanzh have criticised the
Zheelibli Deerzh as being a propaganda tool of the Consulate
government. While this may or may not be true, the news service is the
best, and fastest, source of news about events happening to coreward
Zhodani Free Traders: Contrary to what some people may prefer to
believe, the Zhodani Consulate does not restrict free trade. There are
numerous private companies and corporations throughout Zhodani space
and among them is the humble free trader.
Like free traders everywhere, most are in operation only after a hefty
bank loan. So, again like free traders everywhere, Zhodani free
traders are very much motivated by a desire to make a profit and keep
ahead of the repayments.
Far traders tend to be owned and operated by members of the Intendant
class, although some few are operated by adventurous or disgraced
nobles. Also a surprisingly large number are owned and operated by
members of the Prole class, probably as this is a way of bypassing
some aspects of Zhodani social structure.
Many states in Yiklerzdanzh, and in some neighbouring states for that
matter, are distrustful of Zhodani Free Traders. Meichntid Ibl is the
worst of these and enforces strict travel regulations for Zhodani
trading vessels within its territory. It is believed by many people
that all Zhodani trading vessels are really spy ships gathering
intelligence for military purposes.
The widespread belief that all Zhodani are psionic is completely
false. Psionic training is generally limited to the nobility, so it is
unlikely that a Zhodani merchant will have any psionic abilities.
However most governments recommend the use of Psionic Shield Helmets
when dealing with Zhodani. This recommendation is seldom disregarded.
Zhodani Scientific Bases: exist in several systems throughout the
sector. These can be a sore point with rival states, such as Meichntid
Ibl and the Talpaku Communality, who suspect that the Zhodani have an
ulterior motive for the bases and the ships that supply them.
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