|Status||Minor Race, Minor Human Race|
|Homeworld location||Kukhun (Gushemege 3105)|
|Reference||Imperial Encyclopedia 31.|
|Also see||Lancian Confederation|
The Lancians are a technologically sophisticated sophont species.
- 1 Description (Specifications)
- 2 History & Background (Dossier)
- 3 Worlds & Sectors (Astrography)
- 4 References & Contributors (Sources)
As a minor human race, Lancian share physical characteristics with the rest of Humaniti. Pure blooded racial Lancians, average 1.9m in height and mass about 70 kg. They are thinner and taller than most Solomani - usually with fair skins and light brown or straw hair. Due to dietary incompatibilities with Kukhunen fauna, the original Kukhunen were vegetarian, and this is still a characteristic of most Lancian societies. To all intents and purposes the average Lancian is nowadays indistinguishable from the mass of starfaring humaniti.
Major historical events timeline
By the time that the Vilani Naasirka bureau made first contact around -9100 they had reached TL–4. The Kukhunen were a creative culture, but with a taste for violence and a mind of their own that did not take too kindly to the rigidity of Vilani rule. In concert with the neighbouring S'mrii they were continually chomping at the bit of Vilani rule.
When Vilani rule was overthrown in -2219 the Kukhunen, who had now spread to several neighbouring systems, found themselves presented with the no more benign rule of the Solomani. As the Second Imperium slipped into the chaos of the Long Night the Kukhunen entered into a bloody civil war. This was initially between the colonies, but was eventually fought out between factions on Kukhun itself. At the same time Kukhun slipped into an ice age as Mihev, the planet's K0 V star, entered a cooling phase that has lasted to this day.
The Kukhunen initially seemed oblivious to these three threats to their survival. Their salvation came from the efforts of the Lancian Movement. This movement, named for the goddess Lancia of Kukhunen mythology, believed fervently in the importance of creativity, both as a way of life and as a way of thought. By -1324 when the Civil War was at its height the Movement had gained significant numbers of followers in all the factions, including amongst the faction leaderships. It was through the efforts of the Lancian leaders that peace was brought about, and the planet began to address itself to the problems of the Long Night and the advancing ice age.
The Lancian Movement formed the core of the new world government. Over the next century, as Kukhun successfully dealt with the ice age threat and managed to maintain a TL–6 society, Lancian philosophy permeated every facet of Kukhunen society, and every Kukhunen's mindset. By -1200 Lancian culture dominated Kukhun.
Kukhun was unusual in having an active and creative existence during the Long Night. It emerged, after re-contact by Sylean traders in -143, as a vibrant and energetic world anxious to make its mark in the stars. Jump drive was rapidly re-acquired and for the next 150 years contact was re-established with "lost" Kukhunen colonies (who were rapidly converted to Lancia), and new worlds were settled.
Problems began in -24 when the Lancian Confederation was approached by the Sylean Federation to join their federation of the stars. Efforts to bring the Confederation into line were increased from 36 onwards as the Third Imperium began to flex its muscles. The Lancians, with bad memories of the First and Second Imperiums, and now with a culture that was fundamentally different from that espoused by Emperor Cleon I, were none to keen to surrender their independence. A cold war soon gave way to a widespread campaign of terrorism and de-stabilisation. By 57 open war had broken out on several worlds as Artemsus sent Imperial aid to guerillas fighting Lancian governments. By 73 most other worlds in Gushemege had joined the Imperium; even several non-Lancian dominated worlds from the Confederation had signed up. In 74 non-Lancians on the strategic world of Shiramuunir (Gushemege 2507) revolted in defiance of the Lancian government, calling for Imperium help to free them from Lancian "tyranny".
Artemsus finally lost patience and sent in the Fleet, as much to stop the expansion of Lancian philosophy, which had been gaining ground, as to bring Lancia into the Imperium. Artemsus' great mistake was to put the Duke of Vland in charge of the Campaign. The Vilani Pacification Campaign was as long and bloody as it was since the Lancians and S'mrii saw it as a replay of the Consolidation Wars of 5000 years previously. In the end the Imperium, in the form of Vland's Makhidkarun Bureau, prevailed and in 120 the Lancian worlds joined the Third Imperium, but under sufferance.
After the Campaigns Makhidkarun occupied significant parts of the Lancian Confederation. Many worlds such as Beheld (Gushemege 2905) and Lishun (Gushemege 1511) were re-settled by Makhidkarun. Others, such as Oroth (Gushemege 2309) were radioactive wastelands. Makhidkarun, with its interests in media and entertainment soon began exploiting Lancian artistry and creativity. The Lancians did not take long to realize that perhaps eventual freedom lay through subterfuge, by working with Makhidkarun. If you are writing and producing the prime-time inter-stellar soap simstim then think what psychological warfare could be conducted.
Over the following centuries Lancia worked quietly towards building its fame and influence. In Gushemege it made particular in roads into the nobility and "real" power. During the Civil War Lancia constantly sought to restore normality, for who wants entertainment in war, and the destruction stood directly opposed to Lancian ideals of creativity. The culture was an early supporter of Arbellatra, and used its considerable capacity for propaganda to support her. Lancian architects were also heavily involved in the building of the Grand Palace on Capital. In recognition of Lancia's support Arbellatra created the Lancian Cultural Region in 639; a move that was in-line with the prevailing policy of moving power away from the Domains.
The creation of the Lancian Cultural Region led to a resurgence in Lancian culture and especially economics. The old ideas of need driven economies were resurrected and the legal status of the Region enabled the necessary protectionist trade and currency measures to be enacted. These enabled the Lancian economy to exist within the profit driven economy of the Imperium. Lancian art also flourished, with still a tinge of psychological subterfuge. As technology improved so did Lancia's output. The creative drive of Lancian society continually surprises with the uses it finds for technological developments. Working with the S'mrii has proved particularly rewarding. S'mrii neurotechnology mixed with Lancian creativity led to the development of a vast range of cybertechnologies. Technological cast-offs found their way into the core of Gushemege where their uses were not quite so regulated or creative.
Everybody links Lancia, and Lancians, with art. The image is of a whole society spending its entire life in a studio making objets d'art, electing their best artists to government, and being incapable of filling out a customs form without doing a sketch and singing an aria first. This is of course far from the truth. On one level, art occupies the same place in Lancian society that sport occupies in many others. Most Lancians, but by no means all, have an art or craft that they indulge in during their spare time. Most residential districts have clubs and societies for the main artistic streams, and artistic competitions attract the same kind of attention that sport matches may elsewhere. They give a community something to identify with, and to compare themselves with other communities by, without getting involved in the negative aggression that sport tends to bring. On a higher level art, or rather creativity and contribution, does permeate almost every aspect of Lancian culture. From a simple view this is manifest in the graceful architecture and superb industrial design that is evident everywhere in Lancian society. More complexly it is evident in Lancian law, with its dislike of "pointless" incarceration, and in interstellar relations, where the approach is one of reconciliation rather than confrontation.
In common with many other cultures Lancia has a system of guilds, called Tariils, to support the arts and crafts. Given the importance of arts and crafts in Lancian societies these guilds have greater influence than elsewhere. Almost every Lancian is a member of at least one such guild. In crafts the Tariil are responsible for the setting and maintaining standards, and the award of professional qualifications. In the arts, the Tariil are responsible for the accreditation of professional artists, and the organising of competitions and shows. It should be noted that unlike some technofuedal societies Lancian guilds have not extended to "modern" trades, such as engineering and jumpspace navigation. The Tariil have however expanded to include the modern arts, such as simstim, multimedia, and social sculpture.
Whilst the Tariil are responsible for the development and maintenance of the "technical" aspects of the arts, the aesthetics are developed through various movements, some enshrined in clubs or associations, others just as unofficial groupings or critical labels. There are many hundred such movements. The breadth of Lancian art, which often acts as a vanguard for Imperium art in general, can be gauged by a brief description of some of the main movements at present.
Traditionalists believe that only the original arts are worthy of the name art. They are visual painters, physical sculptures, acoustic musicians, and linear writers and take great pride in reinventing lost forms of Lancian, and indeed human, art.
The Ultras believe in experiential and subjective art. Working mainly through simstim, but also through physical senses, they make the audience the target of their work, creating sensations and feelings as directly as possible in the audience. As an example whereas a traditionalist might paint an impressionistic painting of a head howling to represent the suffering, angst and loneliness of a victim of a meson gun strike, the Ultra would put the audience through a surreal simstim of a meson gun attack, highlighting and emphasising the desired senses and emotional reactions. Needless to say much Ultra work verges on the sadistic, masochistic, and psychoerotic. Several Lancian worlds have taken steps to limit the activities of this movement.
One of the more recent movements, the anachronists seek to deliberately mix up techniques, so as to heighten the audiences awareness of the medium. Not surprisingly they grew out of a deconstructivist movement. An example of anachronist art is the Satuy Robotic Chamber Orchestra. Every instrument and note of music is as close to pre-contact Kukhun as is possible, but every player is a distinctly TL–9 humanoid robot. Another example is the light sculpture of Hati Naihku. Her earlier works consisted of laser beams criss-crossing the skies of cities, usually with laser drawings on the sides of a tall building. Her anachronist works of the same ilk have seen the lasers replaced by long tubes of oil lamps, and the laser drawing replaced by a steam engine driving a mirror that reflects the beam of a powerful arc light according to a punch card program.
Lancians have a distinctly pragmatic approach to the family. In the harsh conditions of Kukhun it was survival that was important, and this could be best achieved by not bonding a man and woman for life just to have a child. Conversely it was acknowledged that for the stability of the society, and especially to support to the young, there comes a time when a man and woman do wish to be bonded for the rest of their life. To this end the two tier system of Lancian marriage was evolved. At the first level marriage is seen as an arrangement for procreation, and can be expected to be dissolved once any children are weaned and either partner is ready to move on. A Lancian may experience several such "low" marriages, although only one or two are the norm now. The second tier is a bond for life, and its breaking is a major trauma in Lancian society. Often such "high" marriages may grow out of the partners' final "low" marriage, but it is usual for the high marriage to be with a completely new partner. This should not be surprising as the partner sought by a young twenty year old for procreation is often very different from that sought by a thirty year old with a desire to settle down. Whilst such a two tier arrangement may be beneficial to the adults many critics have considered it to be an unhealthy environment for children. Lancians would not support this. For a start children are spared the heartbreak and agony of marital break up. In Lancia people expect the partners to go their own way. To assist the law of child custody is deeply ingrained into society; first born to same sex parent, then alternate parent. From a more positive aspect Lancian children find themselves exposed to a greater number of carers than their contemporaries elsewhere. This has a beneficial effect on their learning, and by exposing them to different ideas and interests acts as a boost to their creativity.
Kehuu, the Lancian language, has its origins in that spoken by pre-contact Kukhunen. The language has evolved much, picking up many words and structures from Vilani and various forms of Anglic. As may be expected Kehuu is rich in words associated with arts and crafts, and Kehuu is one of the most beautiful and expressive languages there is, whether written or spoken. It does however suffer from the fact that it is not a particularly precise language when it comes to science or politics. A treaty written in Kehuu would sound impressive, but would be open to wide interpretation. This led in the early days of Vilani contact to the import of many Vilani words for times when precision was required.
Similarly in keeping up with technology the Lancian approach has been to adopt the Anglic word rather than invent a compound one from Kehuu. The use of Vilani and Anglic words does ease the task of the foreigner trying to learn Kehuu, or trying to get a spare part for her jump drive in a remote class E starport. Kehuu is usually spoken as a first or second language by those in the Lancian Cultural Region who see themselves as Lancian. Anglic is the primary language of the region for all business and commercial uses, in which Kehuu would be inferior.
Government and politics
Because Lancian philosophy so deeply underpins Lancian society there is not the same need for the politics of government as in the rest of the Imperium. There are differences world to world in how government is carried out but all Lancian society really requires is a civil service to keep things running. Kukhun, the prototype of Lancian worlds, is typical in this respect. The structure set up by the Lancian Movement after the Kukhunen Civil War is still in place. The legislature and executive are committee based, with members being career "governors". There is, though, a very strong electronic lobby system which ensures that the peoples' wishes are heard, and for major issues referenda are held. Turnouts of 99% are not uncommon. In general Lancians are happy for government to just "happen".
In contrast to the other arms of government the judiciary is more firmly rooted in society. The courts, called Ammeinha, are made up of 13 person "benches", a combined judiciary and jury, similar to Solomani Courts Martial. Each district's Ammeinha is drawn from the members of the local Sunceinha, and like them its constitution reflects the district demographics. The emphasis is very much on trial by one's peers. Crime is generally less of a problem in Lancian society due to the contribution ethic. But it does exist and all Lancian worlds have competent police forces which also serve as social and economic watchdogs.
Military and intelligence
The fact that Lancians have a military seems incredible to some. "I mean aren't they meant to be a peaceful and pastoral society?" You have only to sense the records of the Pacification Campaign to see that Lancians make formidable opponents. The waste-worlds of Oroth and Kyla, and the Makhidkarun domination of Mestitela and Lishan bear witness to this to the present day. The Lancian military divides into two parts, the Pulehov and the Silkku.
Most Lancians do not like the idea of permanent military forces, and even less the idea of serving in them. As a result most standing Lancian forces, The Pulehov, are small and often composed of non-Lancians. It is often forgotten that Lancia is a philosophy not a race, and so most Lancian world will have a proportion, usually around 10%, of non-Lancians. Since Lancians believe that the more creative (and attractive) jobs are best done by their own kind then the military is one of the few significant areas where non-Lancians, known colloquially as Nunjki, can make an impact. That said the Pulehov officer corps does have a relatively high proportion of Lancians. These tend to be people who appreciate the creative arts of war, and see it as a valuable way to contribute to society. Without their self-discipline these same people would be found roving the strada as part of some Ultra gang of Lancian delinquents such as the BarBarDak.
In times of war the whole of the Lancian population sees it as its duty to contribute to defence. This does not mean that they become laser wielding berserkers overnight. If bloodshed can be avoided the Lancians will do so. As a result much effort goes into techniques of sabotage and subterfuge, psyops and viruses, both biological and cybernetic. They like to find clever, and original, ways of waging war. The result is that the opposition finds its forces falling apart, sometimes metaphorically, sometimes literally. This peoples' army,The Silkku, is the ultimate defence of Lancian worlds.
Business and trade
Lancian economy is at root an extreme socialist economy, to use a Solomani term. Although the true Lancian economy is now only found on a few fundamentalist worlds its foundations lie at the heart of the most powerful and influential Lancian worlds. In traditional Lancian economy everything is free, and everybody gets paid nothing. If you need it you take it. If you can contribute you do so. Such an economy must by its very nature be closed, and as such is only viable nowadays in small communities and isolated worlds. The contribution ethic restrains Lancians from taking what they haven't earned or "contributed" to. The main result of this economy is that everybody has a similar standard of possessions and a similar standard of living. Lancia is freed from the crippling uniformity of the old Solomani Peoples' Democracies by the creative and artistic impetus. This results in a variety of products that would shame even the most productive market economy.
Those Lancian worlds that are more fully integrated with inter-stellar society have evolved hybrid economies that allow greater integration and allow offworlders to survive more easily.
Worlds & Sectors (Astrography)
- Corridor Sector
- Gushemege Sector
- Dagudashaag Sector
The homeworld of this race (sophontic species) is:
World Listing: 1105
References & Contributors (Sources)
- Marc Miller. Imperial Encyclopedia (Game Designers Workshop, 1987), 31.
- HIWG HD3413
- David Burden. "Contact: Lancians." Alien Realms Volume 2 Issue 2. (HIWG 1992): 8-13
- Leighton Piper. "Contact: Lancians." Signal-GK 04 (1992): 4-7.
- Jae Campbell. Encyclopaedia Dagudashaag (Signal-GK, 2017), 212-213.
- Traveller Wiki Editorial Team
- Author & Contributor: Lord (Marquis) and Master of Sophontology Maksim-Smelchak of the Ministry of Science