Greater Magellanic Cloud sophont
|Primary Star||F5 V|
|Reference||Andrea Vallance, Downport|
|Also see||Greater Magellanic Cloud|
The Mwoah are a young minor race native to the Greater Magellanic Cloud.
They are unusual in that they are a sentient herbivorous race, and this simple fact has a profound influence on their culture. The Mwoah have a deep instinctive mistrust, bordering on hatred, of all carnivorous and omnivorous species. Whilst they acknowledge the ecological need for such predators, they are driven to control and limit them to the absolute minimum necessary. Given that virtually all intelligent lifeforms have evolved from either carnivores or omnivores, this has put the Mwoah at odds with virtually every other sentient race in the Cloud.
Physiology & Environment
The Mwoah are descended from forest-dwelling bipedal herbivore/intermittent stock. They are individually physically unimpressive, massing approximately 75kg and standing around 1.6 meters tall. This impression is however misleading, their forest heritage has given them excellent reflexes and an acute sense of hearing. Their upper manipulatory limbs end in a five fingered hand with an opposable thumb remarkably similar to a Human hand (to the extent that Mwoah and Humans can use may tools designed for the other race with no difficulty). Their lower locomotory limbs end in a foot with five digits very similar to their hand. This foot is also capable of fine manipulation rivaling their hand. They have a six chambered heart and a closed respiratory system; unlike humans they use a copper based hemoglobin, which gives them their distinctive blue skin tone. They have a covering of short fine hairs except on their short tail, which is thickly covered forming a distinctive “brush”. It is this brush that is believed to have lead the common Terranslang term (Squirrels) for them.
The Mwoah have two sexes, and reach full sexual maturity after about15 standard years. Females have a gestation period of 31 standard weeks and bear their young either singly or in pairs (approximately 10% of all births are twins). The average Mwoah lifespan is 80 years, with an upper limit of around 100 years. Whilst Mwoah eyesight is adequate at short distances, it rapidly deteriorates past 50 meters; the Mwoah’s primary sense is hearing. The Mwoah rely on a form of natural sonar, which enables them to “see” with great accuracy.
Mwo (Mwo A968AC5-B) orbits Luat, a solitary F5V star at a distance of 239,300,000km. Mwohas an orbital period of 474.833 days and rotates on it’s axis once every 44 hours (giving a local year of 259 local days). Mwo has an axial til tof 16° and an orbital eccentricity of 0.005. Mwo has three small natural satellites: Essa, with a diameter of 100km, Rogal, with a diameter of 150km,and Traln, with a diameter of 220km. Mwo has an albedo of 0.34, a greenhouse effect of 10%, giving an average surface temperature of 20.6° Celsius.8% of Mwo’s surface is covered by ice caps, 71% by water; the vast majority of it’s land surface is covered in dense forests.
The Mwoah have not developed psionics to any great level. Very little research has been done regarding the psionic potential of the Mwoah, but from what little is available it would appear that whilst the Mwoah do have an innate potential for psionics, it is lower than that of Humans. The Mwoah themselves regard psionics as a curiosity, but pay only scant attention to such abilities. The differing brain structure and thought processes of Humans and Mwoah means that neither race can utilise telepathy on the other.
History & Background (Dossier)
The Mwoah evolved from tree dwelling herbivorous intermittents in the tropical forests in Mwo’s mid latitudes. The pre-sentient Mwoah roamed these forests in social groupings termed “Troops” of between eight and eighteen individuals. It is theorized that the Mwoah developed intelligence as a defence against the many predators found in these prehistoric forests approximately two and a half million years ago. With the development of sentience came the slow development of language and basic technology such as crude tools and weapons. The Mwoah’s social evolution was rather slow, with evidence indicating that the Mwoah did not develop social groupings larger than the troop until approximately 50,000 years ago. However with the evolution of “Hearths” of between two and eight troops, the Mwoah’s development accelerated. The invention of firemaking techniques appears to have been crucial to this development. Approximately 25,000 years ago the Mwoah developed primitive agriculture, allowing for the first permanent Mwoah settlements. The first Mwoah cities developed around 10,000 years ago, by which time the Mwoah had reached a solid TL 1. By this time the Mwoah’s rate of social development had started to pick up. As far as can be established, the first Mwoah nations came into being in approximately-7,500T, when several Mwoah cities formed a trade alliance.
With the coming of the nation, the Mwoah appear to have developed organized warfare. It would appear that despite being herbivores, the strong territorial instinct of the pre-historic Mwoah had lead to frequent conflicts between the various groups of Mwoah. These conflicts evolved into fully fledged warfare during the early development of the Mwoah nationstate. Indeed, these wars were extremely vicious and brutal, far more than those of most other species; some sophontologists theorize that the herbivorous nature of the Mwoah had prevented them from developing many of the social restraints that characterize carnivorous and omnivorous races in this regard.
The Mwoah refer to this period of their history as the Mwoalysatr (time of Kinslaying). By around -3,800T the Mwoah had achieved TL 2 and perfected the art of war to an extent that it had come to seriously threaten their civilization. It was now not uncommon for entire nations to be exterminated when defeated in war. It was apparent to a number of Mwoah intellectuals that the Mwoalysatr would have to be moderated if the Mwoah were not to face disaster. In -3,647T a group of these intellectuals (the Rewalwseror Great Old Ones) proposed the Code of the Nine that is now the predominant Mwoah world view. This code put forward that the Mwoah were created by a single entity (Mwoferaa or Creator) to be supreme as they alone had intellect and that to kill another Mwoah makes the killer no longer a Mwoah (actually it makes the killer less than a carnivore). Over the next six to seven hundred years the Mwoah gradually adopted the Code of Nine and the Mwoalysatr came to an end. In it’s place came an extremely ritualized form of warfare-based on a form of non-lethal combat between specially chosen champions. Without the pressure of the brutal wars the Mwoah’s development slowed, but they avoided their civilization collapsing.
With the stabilization of their culture, the Mwoah underwent something of a philosophical flowering. The basic Code of Nine was debated and greatly modified. Gradually the Mwoah came peaceably to be ruled by a world overcouncil, which was later to evolve into the Council of Nine that now rules the Mwoah Unity.
With the ritualisation of warfare, technological development slowed. The Mwoah only entered their industrial revolution in 982T. Many Terran scientists have postulated that the Mwoah were discovered by the Terrans before they had reached into space. Indeed it is quite possible that this may have happened, but no evidence has ever been unearthed to support this theory. Even if the Terrans did discover the Mwoah before they had reached space, it remains a fact that the Mwoah did develop jump drives independently.
In 1245T the Mwoah had achieved TL 7 and commenced the exploration of space. Initially the Mwoah showed little interest in space and the exploitation of their home system was a slow process. However in 1678T the Mwoah discovered the principles of jump drive. The first Mwoah missions to the stars discovered other intelligent races. This appears to have sparked a crisis of faith for the Mwoah. The Code of Nine stated that they alone had intelligence, but now they had proof that this was not true. This lead to a modification of the Code, no longer were the Mwoah supreme because they had intelligence, they were supreme because of all the races they encountered, only the Mwoah did not need to kill to survive. Naturally the existence of intelligent carnivores posed a great perceived threat to the Mwoah. Their response was to revive the art of war. Every intelligent race of carnivores or omnivores had to be subjugated or exterminated. As before, Mwoah warfare is extremely brutal and vicious. The Mwoah think nothing of genocide of “lesser races”. Indeed their basic philosophy rejects the concept of intelligent carnivores. To the Mwoah, that a race must kill to survive negates the possibility of true intelligence.
In 2171T the Mwoah came into contact with the expanding Magellanic Empire. Prior to this the Mwoah had contacted and either sterilised or subjugated a number of other races, but they had never encountered an organised starfaringstate before. The Empire was almost instantly classified as the major threat to the Unity and the Mwoah response was hostile. Initially these hostilities were limited to minor skirmishing and covert operations, but in 2197T the First Mwoah War erupted over attempts by the Empire to assist non-Mwoah worlds on their frontier. The war was a protracted affair for the Mwoah, technologically inferior to the Empire and at a theoretical numerical disadvantage ,they nonetheless forced the Empire back across the Diska Rift. However this was only achieved at considerable cost. The Mwoah had committed virtually their entire resources to the War and had suffered heavy casualties. After the war, the Unity had to devote considerable resources to rebuilding their economy and could not absorb the large number of worlds that had now fallen into their sphere of influence. Instead the Mwoah choose to absorb a numberof strategic worlds to secure their frontier.
Their continuing efforts to build a strong secure frontier buffer ultimately lead to the Second Mwoah War. In 2293T, the Mwoah attempted to secure the Jneril world of Hrali. The Magellanic Empire responded with force and war ensued. The war initially went well for the Mwoah. They pushed into the frontier districts of the Empire and appeared certain to defeat the Empire yet again. However in 2297T their Grand Fleet was smashed at the Battleof Hastur and the initiative was lost to the Empire. Unable to rebuild their fleet the Unity was forced back out of the Empire and ultimately lost control of the jump 2 route across the Diska Rift.
During the war, the Mwoah had been considerably hampered by uprisings and unrest on the many unabsorbed Human worlds within their sphere of influence. This unrest had diverted considerable strength away from the vital frontline forces. To deal with this the Mwoah instituted their infamous “reservations”policy. Under this policy many Human and other non-Mwoah populations were deported from their homeworlds and confined to a limited number of “reservation” worlds under the direct rule of the Council of Nine. Naturally some worlds resisted this; these worlds were brutally sterilised as examples. However the policy appears to have been successful in achieving it’s goals. Potentially rebellious populations have been relocated and restricted in small controllable areas and the stability of the Unity has been greatly enhanced.
With the end of the war, the focus of Mwoah expansion shifted. No longer able to expand towards the Magellanic Empire, the Unity’s main focus for expansion is now to homeward. However the formation of the Civtra Confederation(a Human Diadochi state friendly to the Magellanic Empire) this may change. With a powerful Human state on the homeward side of the Diska Rift, the Unity now faces a major threat on it’s voidward border. Many analysts agree that it is likely that the Unity will act to neutralise this threat in the near future. It is considered that this is likely to draw the Magellanic Empire into yet another war with the Unity.
Language & Letters
As might be expected for a race whose major sense is sound, Mwoah language is a rich and complex method of communication. Most outside observers regard the Mwoah as having a single language. There are actually three major Mwoah languages:
- Resilala, and...
All of these are very closely related and a speaker of any one of them can effectively communicate with a speaker of either of the other two with little difficulty. The differences between these languages are extremely subtle, to the point of being almost indistinguishable to non-Mwoah. Most non-Mwoah learn a simplified language called Somaresi that combines elements of all three and all non-Mwoah within the Mwoah Unity are required to learn it. The Unity goes to great lengths to discourage it’s non-Mwoah subjects from using their native languages and many of these native languages have been totally prohibited. Maganglic and virtually all other human languages are included in this group of prohibited languages as part of the Unity’s program of destroying the Terran culture within their domain. Despite this, Maganglic and other Terran languages are still widely spoken amongst Humans in the Mwoah Unity.
Calendar & Timekeeping
The Mwoah calendar is based on Mwo’s local year of 259 days each of44 standard hours. A Mwoah year is called a vitr; unlike most other races, the Mwoah have only one temporal division between the year and day. Eachvitr is divided into 7 straaks of 37 fworas (days), a straak is equal to67.833 standard days. Each fwora is divided into 25 ulitns (hours), eachulitn is divided into 100 wrials (minutes), and each wrial is divided into100 tronac (seconds). A tronac is equivalent to 0.6336 standard seconds. Mwoah dates are written in the following format: straak-fwora/vitr<ulitn:wrial:tronac>. This calendar is used throughout Mwoah space. The use of other calenders is prohibited, but many Humans continue to use the standard Terran system despite the heavy penalties that this can incur.
This race is primarily located in the following areas:
The homeworld of this race is: