- 1 Varan Republic (Polity) Synopsis
- 2 Goals
- 3 History & Background (Dossier)
- 4 Government & Politics (Leadership)
- 5 Technology & Trade (Economy)
- 6 Military & Intelligence (Force Projection)
- 7 Worlds & Sectors (Astrography)
- 8 References & Contributors (Sources)
Varan Republic (Polity) Synopsis
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History & Background (Dossier)
If you are reading this, you've been granted Ultim-4A security access by your planetary ruling body. All standard security provisions apply - please handle this E-document accordingly. If you've seen this file in error, please contact your local security office or Ultim-8 liaison.
My name is Dalthor Et Magera, which loosely translates to Dalthor from Magera in your tongue. As a native Varan, I am uniquely qualified to provide the information you are about to view.
I have endeavored to render this missive in the third person point of view. Should you find first person views, please be tolerant. I still find it hard to think, and therefore dictate, in your language.
Contact with Known Space
(The Varan Sector, Circa 1105): The Varan Sector is just outside known space, as defined by the Imperium. From the Core sector, it is 5 sectors rimward and 3 sectors trailing.
The Varans have their own unique calendar system; for ease of use, everything herein is converted to Imperial reckoning. This may help simplify your task and aid you in integrating this information into your own library data.
To date, there is no official contact of any sort with the Imperium. The Varans are aware of the existence of several star-faring civilizations, including the K'Kree, Aslan, and Humaniti, but have made no overt attempts to contact them.
Little is known about this area, beside the fact that a terrible calamity struck. There is not one single intact planet in any of the systems. The gas giants are all small at best, and everything else is an asteroid belt or shattered world.
The only system with anything recognizable is Returne (H-2914) and that system is off-limits. The remnants of MASSIVE battle monitors destroy any ship that jumps into the system. To date, only probes have been able to send back any usable data, and even the best armored probes were severely damaged. The smallest monitor imaged was over 5,000,000 tons, and appeared to be only about 50% functional. It still destroyed a significant portion of the first fleet sent into the sector.
The minimum estimated technological level of the system equals that of the best Varan devices and ships, and based on empirical evidence, would rival that of your Ancients, as you call them.
Our best scientists analyzed all available data, images, and samples where obtainable. Their best guess is a war of some sort, fought by a race or species unknown, with the end result being the utter annihilation of everything except the automated battle monitors.
In the 1,900 years since Varans first tried to explore the region, not a single manned ship has survived a foray into Returne. Attempts are still made, in the hope of both gaining intelligence, and in the hope of finding a defense against the battle monitors. The attempts may have been futile, but the learning experience has lead to many new Varan innovations and technological wonders.
A major factor in the current lack of expansion is the plague we call The Winnowing.
Just over 150 years ago, an extremely old (Ancient?) site was discovered on the planet Pandissol (O-2433). During the exploration of the site, a small canister was opened, releasing a virulent plague of incalculable destruction.
The plague spread silently, with no ill effect, for nearly a month before the first symptoms showed. By that time, all of Pandissol, and most other planets in the subsector had been exposed, thanks to interstellar travel. By the time it was recognized as a virus, virtually every living being in the Varan sector had been exposed.
The virus essentially modified our DNA; most of the deaths occurred when the host body was unable to cope with the changes. The virus seems to have targeted specific genes, removing "defective" gene combinations. It seems as though it was originally meant as a curative virus, but did not work properly.
Eventually a cure was discovered, although by that time it had run the majority of its deadly course. The plague itself no longer appears to exist, except in the minds and hearts of the people.
There are several hundred survivors of the original Winnowing. Of that number, 22 of them show no signs of aging. All appear to have stopped aging at around 35 years apparent age. Research into the subject has led to some interesting drugs and anti-aging treatments, but with nothing near the efficacy of the original virus.
For the survivors and later generations, the overall result of the virus was beneficent. Hearing, vision, and smell were enhanced. Birth defects and many diseases were eradicated. The loss of more than 70% of the population mitigated this result, even if the genetic benefits are still present and continue into new generations.
The Winnowing also altered our physical structure to some extent. All Varans exposed to the virus, as well as subsequent generations, have two opposing thumbs and three fingers per hand. Prior generations had one thumb and four fingers per hand. This has caused some engineering issues, which are now resolved for the most part.
Varans are still recovering from the effects of the plague. Even after 150 years, most planets still feel the effects from the loss of life. A lot of planets consolidated their populations, and began the process of rebuilding.
The biggest thing to note is that this virus was tailored for Humaniti - if you were exposed, you would go through the same metamorphosis, assuming you survived your exposure to the virus.
This also lends credence to the current Imperial assumption that the Varan people are also Terran stock, taken from the Solomani Rim, and placed on Varan. The empirical evidence is substantial, but as yet unproven.
As the rebuild nears completion, Varans are starting to plan the next round of expansion. They have the time, and the inclination, to do it slowly, steadily, and thoroughly.
They have also learned patience - a virtue that will stand them in good stead, considering that in that 50-year timeframe the odds are great that the first official alien encounter will take place.
By then most if not all League planets will be back to at least tech level 16, with some nearing level 17 thanks to Varan computer technology and automation.
Of course, by now you are asking yourself how, if there is no contact, you came to be reading this document. Remember one thing - no official contact has been made with Varan.
Some of you may recognize my name - I'm somewhat well known in the Spinward Marches and Deneb sectors. By now, you may also have realized that my past has been...modified...to some extent by the Imperium. In due time, more shall be publicly revealed, and Varans will likely join the known races of the Imperium.
In the meantime, this information is being disseminated to select groups within known space, to give them time to prepare for first contact with the Varan people.
Government & Politics (Leadership)
The Varan Republic is characterized as having a high degree of centralization, which sets uniform policies that direct the entire multi-system state and disregards local/planetary differences. The Varan Republic is usually classified as a Republic, a form of a Unitary State.
Varan League of Planets
While the Varan homeworld is governed by the Varan Republic, all systems settled by Varans outside the core worlds are members of the Varan League of Planets, commonly called the League. These worlds are self-governed, and are also subject to the sector government. They are autonomous, but for the good of the people they have a common set of rules for communications, travel, and trade.
How does the government work?
Varan is the sector Capital. The home world is governed by a representative chosen by the people of the League. The actual title is Prime, and the role is similar to that of the Imperial Emperor. Prime resides on Varan, along with his or her family, retinue, and top-level government staff.
The remaining core worlds form the majority of the government, and determine the policies, laws, and regulations of the settlements within the sector. Each is ruled by an elected representative, similar in responsibility to your Archdukes, who are known as Delegates. Each Delegate represents a group of planets
Please note the distinction between chosen and elected. An elected representative serves for a maximum total of 12 years, and is then replaced with a newly-elected representative. The person chosen to serve as Prime does so at the will of the people, and serves until death or until the people decide to replace that person. The Prime is usually, but not always, the most popular of the recent Delegates.
At least once per Varan year, the six Delegates travel to Varan to spend time with Prime and finalize details of any new laws, regulations, and trade agreements that need to be ratified.
To summarize, each planet in the League of Planets determines its own government. Each planet selects an Ambassador to represent them in the Core. Those Core representatives then elect a Delegate to be their deputy to the Prime. The Delegates determine policy for the League as a whole. The Prime is the final arbiter and overall governor for the entire Varan people.
Politics, at least in the sense you think of it, does not follow your self-serving form of ruling body. Varans elect their representatives by how well they will serve the people.
The political system in the sector runs more like a business. Representatives are selected based on their qualifications, and the people decide who is best for the job. If that Varan is not working out, the people will replace them as soon as possible. The overall good of the people takes precedence over the good of the few.
Crime & Punishment
In general, there is not an exceptional amount of crime in the Varan sector. As with any major race, there are some unscrupulous types, and those who live below the radar in your quaint Imperial terms. There is very little violent crime in the Varan culture.
In normal cases, the local or planetary government will be responsible for dispensing justice. In a case where the Core gets involved, or if it is an extreme case, the odds are that the culprit will be sent to Ryfe (I-0829) as punishment - this is the Varan equivalent of a prison world. See the entry later in this document.
The reason for this lack of criminality will become more apparent as you get into Varan history later in this e-Document.
Technology & Trade (Economy)
Varans have been a space-faring civilization for nearly 2200 years, and has had jump capability for just over 2000 years. Commercial and private ships are generally limited to jump-2, military to jump-4, and in rare cases jump-6. This is a feature of Varan culture, rather than any form of legal or military restriction.
Military & Intelligence (Force Projection)
The Varans do not have a true military establishment, at least as you define one. It is more an arm of the government, tasked with maintaining order, fostering trade, and providing sector-wide communications to the League.
I've liberally translated the actual names of the branches. It also makes later references to these government branches a bit easier to scribe.
The military arm of the government is called the Cosat, a conjugation of Communications, Survey, and Trade. The separate branches within the Cosat are described below.
The Varan Office of Communication is responsible for communications within the sector. VOCOMM maintains a fleet of fast couriers, akin to your x-boat network. The system is set up in loops, with bi-directional messages traversing each loop. The loops are interconnected, which allows for fast, efficient passing of messages.
Scouting & Surveying Branch
The Varan Office of Scouting and Surveying, or VOSS, is similar to your IISS. In addition to the exploration and survey of systems and worlds, it is responsible for colonization efforts in the sector.
VOSS is also responsible for early warning and defensive systems throughout the sector. The ships are fast and well-armed.
Trade and Economic Branch
VECTOR, The Varan Economic and Trade Organization, is responsible for the economic health of the sector. It defines trade routes, sets pricing, schedules trade runs, and organizes the labor force in the sector.
VECTOR manages trade in general, but the member planets of the League actually supply the ships that run the routes. The planets also run the starports that maintain the ships.
The only restricted planet in the League is Ryfe (I-0829) due to its status as a prison world, although we call it a reintegration habitat.
Bases within the sector
Varan bases within the sector are similar to the Imperial equivalents. Some distinctions are made due to the "lack" of a military force.
Varan Naval bases are responsible for the support and maintenance of all vessels, regardless of type. In times of war, they will be fleet assembly points. The primary threat is the Shattered Worlds, described elsewhere in this briefing.
Varan Scout bases and way stations are functionally similar to their Imperial cousins.
Military garrisons of any sort are actually local security forces. Generally, they are also training areas for local police forces.
Exploration and expansion
For the near future, there are no plans to expand the current borders of the League. VOSS has explored every system in the sector, and has ranged out into adjacent areas. No contact has been made with any other race as yet - the VOSS missions have all been covert if they went into any other inhabited system.
It is a well known fact in Varan space that there are early warning systems stationed in every single system in the sector, as well as those in the eight adjacent sectors. While there is no intent to invade other regions of known space, there is also no current movement to be known to the Imperium or any other space-faring race.
Worlds & Sectors (Astrography)
Varan Core Worlds
The Varan core worlds consist of seven (7) worlds at the heart of the Varan sector. The original home world, Varan, is considered the primary world. The other six worlds - Eddoh, Niall, Trevorra, Kellan, Falan, and Korrell - are named after the crew of the first successful jump ship built. They are also the only worlds reachable from Varan by a Jump-1 ship.