Ne Kraeda ren Kelva
|Ne Kraeda ren Kelva|
Homo sapiens kraedakelvana
|Status||Minor Human Race|
|Homeworld location||Tildeh (Far Frontiers 2218)|
|Primary Star||M1 V M2 V|
|Reference||"Contact:Ne Kraeda ren Kelva". JTAS Online published May 10, 2005 (2005)|
- 1 Description (Specifications)
- 2 History & Background (Dossier)
- 3 Astrography
- 4 References & Contributors (Sources)
The Ne Kraeda ren Kelva (people of the Kraeda) are a human minor race, their territories being a small empire located in the Far Frontiers sector. The full name is used to refer to both the culture and to the empire itself; the Minor Human race which makes up the majority of the population is called the Kelvara.
Physiology & Environment
The Kelvara are a human minor race which has undergone genetic modification, first to adapt them to their homeworld (presumably by the Ancients who left them there) and then later by their own scientists.
The Kelvara diet is usually up to 70% meat, with a limited tolerance for a few native plants contributing to a generally carnivorous design of teeth and digestive system. Prehistoric Kelvara groups appear to have spent a significant amount of time in the trees to avoid other predators, coming down to ground level only to kill prey and take it back up into the trees to eat. A very good natural sense of balance appears to date from this arboreal stage of existence, though most modern Kelvara now typically live in modern communal homes built on the ground. Night vision is good, to compensate for the low light of the forest floor and the dimmer sun, whilst hearing is also typically superior to that of imperial humans. Colour vision is not as good however, with many Kelvara seeing very little colour at all. Historically most Kelvara also had little or no sense of smell or taste due to a genetic flaw, but this has been all but eliminated in the modern population. The homeworld's gravity of .9g lends the physically vigorous Kelvara a taller frame than Terran humans, while their mobile tufted ears and disturbingly alert gaze leads some to consider them sinister. Other physical differences include sharp canines and long, thick fingers and toes which provide a better grip for climbing. These are accompanied by thick curving nails which are used to better grip tree bark while climbing. A fit Kelvara can swarm up the trunk of a tree at his normal movement rate, and while they don't normally brachiate (swing from branch to branch) they can typically travel through the forest canopy by springing from trunk to trunk, aided by their remarkable sense of balance.
Behavioural adaptation includes a tendency towards aggression and this, coupled with low birth numbers, has led to the development of a rigid social code emphasizing self control. This code is called the Kraeda - hence the name of the race for themselves could be translated as "people who follow the rules of the Kraeda". Aggressive warriors are respected (and all Kelvara consider themselves warriors and carry weapons at all times) but individuals who often allow themselves to lose control are considered irresponsible. The warrior’s code often leads to such individuals receiving challenges to duels until they learn to control themselves, or perish.
History & Background (Dossier)
As did many groups of humans stranded after the Ancient war, the Kelvara fell to Stone Age levels before beginning the long climb back. The Kelvara had reached early TL–4 on their own before they were contacted by Vlazhdumecta traders in -3442. As was standard for the Vlazhdumecta, the trading group/clan kept the location of their new find a secret in order to maximise profit. Some cultural exchange took place but the Kelvara became increasingly frustrated by their discoverers refusal to consider technology transfer and their efforts to prevent native Kelvara technical development. In -3237 warriors of the Kelvara duel-Monarchy found an excuse to breach their own rules of hospitality and attacked the Vlazhdumecta trading site, capturing a TL–9 trading ship and its crew intact.
The captive crew were induced to train Kelvara scientists in the theory and operation of Jump Drive ships and within a few decades the Kelvara had bootstrapped themselves to a theoretical TL–9 in fields relating to space and jump drive engineering. Their first non-jump capable ships were launched soon after and within a century the Kelvara were able to build their own small starships. They began a period of expansion in order to secure themselves against further exploitation, unaware that the Vlazhdumecta trading empire had already collapsed at its core due to the Zhodani Consulate absorbing the Vlazhdumecta homeworlds. There was now no major rival for dozens of parsecs in any direction. Since then the Ne Kraeda ren Kelva (which is also used as the name for the small Kelvara Empire) has maintained a slow but steady expansion punctuated by irregular incidents of aggression against neighbours. Kelvara are often considered "erratically violent" as sometimes the cause of an incident isn't entirely clear to the recipient of the attack, and they rarely offer to explain afterwards. As a result, the whole of the Ne Kraeda ren Kelva is considered the equivalent of an Amber zone by nearby states.
One mitigating factor that has helped reduce tension with neighbours is the Kelvara attitude towards children; no Kelvara will ever knowingly allow a child of any race to come to harm, and will actively intervene or risk their life to rescue or protect one. This attitude has become widely known, and has led to considerably more mellow relations between Kelvara and their neighbours than may otherwise have been the case.
Psychology & Philosophy
Kelvara have a strong sense of personal responsibility, both for their own actions and for the future of their race. With the historically low birth rate, it was common for individual family lines to die out and only clans who provided strong support for their members survived to modern days. Communal parenting and a fierce attitude to protecting children have strongly shaped the worldview of the Kelvara, with key tracts of their philosophy being related to the individual’s responsibility to act for the long-term benefit of their clan and race. Aggressive attacks against potential threats are seen as admirable, but aggression for its own sake is not. The Kelvara take the long view; they may decide to deal with a potential future danger with pre-emptive action, long before the threat itself realises it is considered a risk.
Culture & Society
It is theorised that the genetic manipulation carried out by the Ancients to adapt Kelvara to their world was only partly complete by the time of the Ancients war. Evidence for this includes the relatively limited diet available to Kelvara, a number of genetic quirks and weaknesses and their difficulty in carrying offspring to term. Learning of the Vlazhdumecta metabolic imbalance (also thought to be the result of partly completed Ancient genetic engineering) stimulated Kelvara scientific interest in discovering solutions for their own biological limitations. This was supported by the realisation that their homeworld needed a larger population to support technological growth, something difficult to achieve when Kelvara women rarely manage to bring more than two or three children to term in their lifetime.
Since developing the technology to manipulate genetic material, Kelvara have on three occasions attempted large-scale modification of their race. The first attempt led to the development of an RNA treatment which has almost eliminated the flaw which crippled the sense of smell. Unexpected benefits of this project included cultural developments such as an interest in cuisine and associated trading opportunities with nearby cultures. This early triumph led to a second, very ambitious attempt to improve the race's fecundity which was much less successful - it led to serious complications in the health of the women involved in the programme and was quickly halted.
The failed attempt did lead to the development of artificial wombs however, which were generally welcomed by a population which prized the reduction in the number of miscarriages and the ability of women to return to their duties sooner. Government encouragement to produce a larger population made the practice of creating small batches of offspring at a time acceptable, and cloning of each child and their development in communal crèches became the norm. While some Kelvara women do still carry their offspring to term naturally, in the current culture it is usual for most Kelvara to be born from an exo-womb as part of a group of 3-6 genetically identical offspring who are then raised together in a crèche.
A third and ongoing attempt to modify the race has been in some ways the most ambitious, though it has also been more cautious. With a philosophy of accepting that their race is "unfinished" and with an effective solution to their population problem, a policy of slowly improving the race has been in place since soon after the general adoption of the artificial wombs. Genetic screening and recombination, including the mandatory use of approved genetic material to replace faulty gene groups has led to a steady removal of genetic flaws in the population and an overall improvement in basic health. It has also led to the perception by outsiders that Kelvara all look very similar to each other, though this may be partly down to the small gene pool of the original colonists and the practice of producing batches of clones. While Kelvara often present a unified look to put outsiders off balance, amongst themselves Kelvara often decorate themselves with intricate tattoos or body paint and style or dye their hair in bright colours (subtle shades are often imperceptible to colour-blind Kelvara) to emphasize their individuality.
Communal parenting has been a feature of Kelvara clan life for thousands of years, dating from the time when children were so rare and precious that even bitter enemies would cooperate to protect them. Even today, no Kelvara child lacks for devoted adult attention or support. Kelvara are typically very comfortable in social situations as a result; those few children born naturally are sometimes considered to be lonely due to the lack of a group of identical brothers or sisters, but it has also been noted that many of them do end up in leadership positions when they mature. Kelvara crèches are well supported, and a community puts great effort into the education and protection of the children it contains. Most adults spend at least some of their day there helping out, turning the crèche into a centre of social life for most communities.
Cross breeding is technically possible with other races of Humaniti, but has been very uncommon and is discouraged due to the general interest in controlling the ongoing development of the race. Taking lovers of other races is quite acceptable however, and in some clans, rather common.
Government & Law
With their aggressive nature it was perhaps inevitable that the Kelvara would form an empire. The Ne Kraeda ren Kelva currently consists of a dozen systems in the Far Frontiers sector, well patrolled and defended by a competent Navy (mostly TL11-12, some early TL13 prototypes). Non-Kelvara subjects of the empire are not mistreated, but there are often fewer career opportunities for them due to the lack of clan ties. There are officers of flag rank in the Navy who are of non-Kelvara stock, all adopted formally into a Kelvara clan as a full equal - in cases where an individual of another race clearly has talent, Kelvara are very pragmatic.
Language & Symbology
Though there are several distinct dialects in general use, the Kelvara long ago adopted a common language based on their most widely spoken language with a number of Vlazhdumecta loan words. Many of the latter words have been modified over time and may only be obvious to a knowledgeable scholar of the Vlazhdumecta language. Since the Kelvara have not been well studied outside their own immediate area, the historical connection to the Vlazhdumecta is not commonly known. While the Kelvara themselves aren't precious about it and it is not officially a secret, many individuals would simply prefer not to talk to outsiders about exactly how they gained knowledge of the Jump Drive and its associated technologies.
Kelvara have a high regard for craftsmen, and like to add "little touches" to things they own or make. As such, most equipment that is mass produced is designed in such a way that the purchaser can modify it to their own liking, and is often supplied with a number of optional parts and a manual that makes it easier for the purchaser to tinker with the device. Many Kelvara develop talent in a form of decorative craft and use it on their personal equipment. Complimenting an individuals craftwork is commonly part of greetings.
Emblishments to items usually take the form of engraving, inlays or carving in all its forms. The racial lack of colour vision limits the appeal of painting to most, so most Kelvara prefer their art to be "tactile". Most designs are heavily symbolic, though often only relevant to the individual who produced it. A weapon gifted to a warrior by her mentor will inevitably be highly personalised and unique, and will tell the story of the honours the mentor feels the student is owed; if a Kelvara decides to explain the significance of the fancywork on an item to an outsider, it is a sign that the outsider is both trusted and respected.
Calendar & Timekeeping
The Kelvara mark time in days, seasons and years - there are no distinct "months" in the Kelvara calendar. There have been a number of "calendar adjustments" throughout history to mark particularly important events, such as the launch of the very first Kelvara built space ship. Kelvara communities enjoy social events and celebrations, and in addition to a number of common celebrations which are held across the Ne Kraeda ren Kelva, each community will have a number of festivals and holidays unique to itself. Many of these emphasize Kelvara history and involve hunting expeditions which can take days. This can make it challenging for outsiders to deal with Kelvara clans, as somewhere along the line they will likely find that the person they need to talk to is uncontactable. Outsiders who are willing to join such an expedition and take part in the traditional Kelvara manner (using melee weapons to bring down prey hand to hand rather than guns) will gain the respect of the clan sponsoring the hunt and will probably be offered more favourable trading terms.
Technology & Trade
Both electronics and geneering are specialities of the Kelvara, with sensor technology reaching TL–11 or 12 and their genetic engineering higher still. Though it is somewhat hidden by the typically "personalised" nature of Kelvara equipment, star ships are fundamentally based on Vlazhdumecta designs, which were themselves derived from Zhodani technology. Smaller equipment may be of a slightly unusual design to accommodate the shape of Kelvara hands, but otherwise should be usable by most baseline humans with minimal problems.
Military & Intelligence
As noted above, the Kelvara navy is small but efficient, with particularly good sensors. Against a superior force the Kelvara have no problem with avoiding a hopeless engagement until they can gain a strategic advantage. They are willing to sacrifice ships if it is what is needed to win, and when they commit to an attack they don't hold back at all, with massive concentrations of firepower against single targets a common tactic. Kelvara Marines are particularly ferocious; boarding actions against superior odds are considered a worthwhile challenge for a these highly-trained troops. Because no sane Kelvara would consider taking the risk of injuring a child, orbital bombardment or similar tactics are not ever part of Kelvara naval strategy.
Kelvara ground forces are extremely effective in smaller engagements, though less experienced in very large-scale warfare. Kelvara are good at taking personal initiative in battle, but are also good at cooperating, with fire teams reacting almost as though they share each others thoughts. This is partly down to effective training, but is certainly helped by the fact that many fire teams are composed of clones who have spent their entire lives working together.
Almost all citizens of the Ne Kraeda ren Kelva are excellent hand to hand fighters with their chosen melee weapons, and most are also good shots with small arms. In an attack against a Ne Kraeda ren Kelva world, the entire adult population will fight, while the children will be evacuated or protected as an absolute priority. Almost every adult Kelvara will die rather than allow an attacker to harm them.
This race is primarily located in the following areas:
The homeworld of this race is: