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Base Information
Classification Herbivore/grazer
Status Minor Race
Locomotion Walker
Terrain Plains
Body Form
Confluence Non-humanoid
Bio-Identenoid Centauroid
Size 3.0 meters
Weight 1,000 kg
Languages VirsashiAnglic
Social Structure Technocracy
Technological Epoch TL:7-9
Psionic potential Standard
Origin World
Homeworld location Virshash (Reaver's Deep 2724)
StarportD Poor: No Construction, Minor Repair, Unrefined fuel
SizeA Large (16,000 km, 1.14g - 1.48g)
Atmosphere8 Dense
Hydrographics6 Wet World 60%
Population9 High (4 billion)
Government5 Feudal Technocracy
Law4 Moderate Law (no light assault weapons)
Tech Level6 Pre-Stellar (nuclear)
Primary Star F9 V M4 V
Atmosphere Dense
Off-world presence Yes
Zoetic individuals Yes
Reference "Contact: The Virushi." Journal of the Travellers' Aid Society 12 10-11.
Canon Yes
Also see

The Virushi of Virshash (Reaver's Deep Urlaqqash) are a technologically competent Minor Non-Human Race with a Non-humanoid appearance.

Description (Specifications)[edit]

The Virushi are among the largest intelligent races encountered by Humaniti. With quasi-centauroid bodies nearly 3.0 meters long, standing around 1.8 meters at the shoulder, and weighing around a ton, they are a formidable sight; however this effect is balanced by their well-justified reputation for pacifism.

Biology (Physical Sophontology)[edit]

To Terran eyes, a Virushi looks like a cross between a centaur and a rhinoceros. They are squat, massively built creatures covered with thick, leathery armor on their backs and side. The body is a solid barrel, with a rather long and very muscular tail. The have two pair of tree-thick legs and two pairs of arms. The lower pair are heavily muscled and powerful; the upper pair seem almost withered by comparison but are actually about the same size as Human arms. The hands have three fingers and an opposable thumb; those on the lower arms are thick and stumpy, while the ones on the upper arms are long and delicate, rather like human fingers, including small fingernails.

They have a broad mouth with two short, rounded tusks protruding downward. Their teeth are designed for a herbivorous diet; a large number of short, peg like molars with a few incisors in the front. Atop the head is a huge horn which, like the tusks and foot-claws, evolved for digging roots rather than for fighting.

Senses: Their eyes, nearly buried beneath massive brow ridges, work well enough in very bright sunlight but much less well in poor light, let alone near darkness; they are nearsighted but their close up vision is excellent. They have no external ears; they find most "normal" sounds in standard atmospheres almost too high to hear.

Evolution & Environment (Epigenetics)[edit]

This species originated on Virshash/Urlaqqash (Reaver's Deep 2724) and developed intelligence.

Native Environment[edit]

Virshash (Reaver's Deep 2724), the Virushi homeworld, lies just within the Imperial border, in the Reaver's Deep sector. It has a notably dense core and a diameter of somewhat over 10,000 miles, giving it a gravity of 1.75G, and is part of a relatively close double-star system; the second star of the pair produces high levels of radiation, which Virshash's dense atmosphere only partly blocks.

The high gravity, dense atmosphere, and high but variable radiation levels produce a significantly unstable environment and a prolific ecology with some physically formidable large life-forms, including the Virushi. Virushi originated as grazer-gatherers, adopting a highly varied (though purely herbivorous) diet, searching through scrub lands, river valleys, and the edges of the world's great forests for a range of foodstuffs.

Sophonce (Evolution)[edit]

This species developed intelligence in response to interspecies competition. They found considerable advantages in cooperation and the formation of social groups. Language developed from the need to exchange information about food sources. They learned to build shelters, and eventually mastered tool-making. The cooperative organization was never coercive or hierarchical; the race lacked aggressive instincts, and individual Virushi had to be able to wander off alone on foraging expeditions.

Climate & Ecotope (Environment)[edit]

This species holds the following environmental preferences:

  • Terestrial planet
  • Temperate climate
  • Plains and grasslands ecotopes
  • High gravity
  • Dense atmosphere

Anatomy & Physiology (Phenotype)[edit]

Sophontologists studying this species have discovered the following data.

Body Plan (Morphology)[edit]


  • Non-humanoid
  • bilateral symmetry (2-ial)
  • Octopod (8-ped)
    • 4 limbs used for manipulation "arms"
    • 4 limbs used for locomotion "legs"
    • 1 tail
  • Body consists of four segments
    • Head
    • Upper torso with both sets of "arms"
    • Forward torso with a set of "legs"
    • Rear torso with a set of "legs" and the tail

Biochemistry (Function)[edit]

This species has a conventional biochemistry.

  • As a pseudo-ruminant, it has multiple stomachs maximized to extract nutrients from vegetable and plant matter.

Respiration (Reaction)[edit]

This species used a conventional respiration cycle consisting of:

  • Oxygen-nitrogen inhalant
  • Carbon dioxide exhalant
    • As a dense atmosphere native, this species is able to dwell in high-pressure environments and may require technological assistance in thinner atmospheres.

Diet & Trophics (Consumption)[edit]

This species survives using the following methods of consumption:

  • Herbivore/grazer
  • This species favors plant and vegetable foodstuffs.
  • This species has difficulty processing animal proteins and related foodstuffs.
    • Some animal products may even be toxic for this species.

Trophics: Virushi, predictably, eat more than humans; ideally they like to eat a lot more, but much of it high-bulk, low-protein content vegetable matter, and they can survive for some time on smaller quantities of higher-value food thanks to their adaptable digestions. The sheer quantity and variety of food that a proto-Virushi needed forced the species into a solitary, wide-ranging pattern of foraging.

Gender & Sexuality (Reproduction)[edit]

This species has the following reproductive characteristics:

  • 2 gender/s (male & female)
    • Mild sexual dimorphism
  • Viviparous birth
    • (Iteroparous): Uses K-selection and have few offspring that require considerable amounts of time to raise to maturity.


The Virushi have a single language, which merged (from several evolving forms) around the time when humans first contacted the world. Its structure reflects their attitude toward life.

Humans may learn Virushi, just as Virushi may learn human languages. The only problem is that Virushi have very deep voices, to the point that their speech sometimes slips into a subsonic range, inaudible to Human hearers. Likewise human conversations are often too shrill for Virushi.

Sound Inventory[edit]

 Initial consonants: DN F GH GN H L Q R S SH TH TL V W Y
 Final consonants: D GH H N L Q R SH
 Vowels: A (28%), E (4%), I (26%), U (42%)

Basic Sentence Form[edit]

Basic Virushi sentences place the object before the verb, and the subject after the verb. Here are examples:

  OBJECT.     VERB.          SUBJECT.  
  Reghina     shirqul        yar-thaq.
  Regina      travels-to-it  this-ship.       = This ship travels-to Regina.
  VERB.            SUBJECT.  
  Wuruleh          ighlalathighi.
  Eat (advisory)   You.                       = You should eat.


Respect is natural for Virushi, and their pronoun use makes this painfully clear. It's the part of the language where human language learners complain most often.

Note that there is only one "speech register" for the second and third persons, and that is of high honor and respect. First person singular is the only pronoun with a bare form, and is frequently simply dropped in a sentence. First person plural is treated with a complicated mix of high respect and disdain.

  Ighlalathighi       Your honorable respectfulness (singular)
  Dnishlathighi       Your honorable respectfulnesses (plural)
  Ulshudaqqash        Her honorable respectfulness (singular)
  Ashgnaqqash         His honorable respectfulness (singular)
  Utlitlilgni         Their honorable respectfulnesses (plural)
  Qar                 I
  Qushhughquyingi     We
  Er                  It (inanimate singular)
  Ad                  They (inanimate plural)


Intransitive verb roots are typically of the form CV-CV. For example:

  Vasa       To hide.
  Wuru       Eat.

Transitive verb roots are typically of the form CVC-CVC. For example:

  Shirqul    Travel-to.

Verbs which also represent multiple events take the suffix -hu. A reflexive or reciprocal quality uses the suffix -vu. For example:

  Vasahu.     To hide often.
  Vasavu.     To hide with one another.
  Shirqulhu.  To travel-to <somewhere> often.
  Wuruhu.     To eat often.
  Wuruvu.     To eat with one another.
  Yashhu.     To rain often.
  Yashvu.     "Rain upon rain" -- e.g. to rain as a chain reaction.

Verb Mode[edit]

Advice. The Virushi have no regular command form of their verbs. The closest they get is the suffix -(l)eh which gives an "advisory mode" to the verb.

A basic sentence like:

  OBJECT.     VERB.          SUBJECT.  
  Reghina     shirqul        yar-thaq.
  Regina      travels-to-it  this-ship.       = This ship travels-to Regina.

Can be given an "advisory tone" by adding -(l)eh like so:

  OBJECT.     VERB.          SUBJECT.  
  Reghina     shirquleh      yar-thaq.
  Regina      travel-to-it-advisory  this-ship.       = This ship ought to travel-to Regina.

Uncertainty. The verbal suffix -(i)re adds uncertainty to the statement.

  Reghina     shirqulire      yar-thaq.      = This ship probably travels-to Regina.

Verb Person[edit]

Verb stems can be conjugated for person.

  It or they (inanimate)   0- (bare verb stem) (also used with a pronoun to specify person)
  I                        -'qar
  We                       Qu'-
  You (singular)           Ig'-
  You (plural)             Dni'-
  He or they               Ul'-
  She                      Ash'-


  Ig'vasaleh.   You should hide.
  Ul'vasaleh.   He (or they) should hide.
  Vasaleh'qar.  I should hide.
  Vasa.         It hides (or they hide).

Note that the "I" pronoun is the only one that goes on the end of the verb.

History & Background (Dossier)[edit]

Virshash lay some distance beyond the borders of the First Imperium, and so the Virushi were never contacted until Solomani explorers ventured into the Reavers' Deep sector during a lull in the Interstellar Wars. They remained in at least intermittent contact with various Human states throughout this period and into the Long Night. The Virushi were eventually absorbed into Third Imperium.

Culture & Society (Ethnology)[edit]

Humans typically think of Virushi as "gentle giants', whose sheer size and strength means that they have little need for aggression, and this is indeed a workable simplification. Virushi are not only huge and powerful compared to other sentient races, but also by comparison to other species on their homeworld, the Virushi seem unrelentingly cooperative and mild, and bizarrely immune to all concepts of authority.

Whereas other species compare alien races to themselves and classify them accordingly, a Virushi, adapted by evolution to be the biggest and gentlest thing in an environment full of smaller and more excitable creatures, takes those other species as it find them.

It can intellectually grasp the idea that those other beings may be aggressive, hostile, and domineering - Virushi are very long way from being stupid - but that is simply how those being are; it does not drive Virushi to anger or violent defensiveness, because the Virushi lacks the capacity for those responses.

Social Organization[edit]

The other well known feature of Virushi psychology is that they do not take orders. They can take suggestions, but see no reason why they should not discuss them and ask for explanation and clarification. A Virushi's instinct is to question, to ask for reasons. Of course, a trusted figure may emphasize that a situation needs immediate action, and explanation will have to wait, or a Virushi may obey an order to humor another being for one reason or another, but this can not continue forever.

Of course, this made it virtually impossible for the Virushi to develop a large, complex society with specialized roles, at least until the Imperium gave them advanced computer systems and the idea of advanced market economics.

Civilization (Societal Sophontology)[edit]

The civilization and society of this species is known as Virushi Pacifistocracy.

Government & Politics (Leadership)[edit]

Virushi seem unrelentingly cooperative and mild, and bizarrely immune to all concepts of authority. Of course, this made it virtually impossible for the Virushi to develop a large, complex society with specialized roles, at least until the Imperium gave them advanced computer systems and the idea of advanced market economics.

Virushi demand government transparency and practically all Virushi political activity is posted publicly with comprehensive session tracking. The Virushi language is plain and never developed the specialized legal and judicial terminology and complications common to many other sophonts. This is the only way to allow the Virushi government to efficiently function rather than become bogged down in endless sessions of explanation and clarification. As it is, the Virushi political process tends to be a very slow one.

The Virushi nature makes for relatively simple governance. The Virushi government is a popular democracy dominated by cooperative councils.

Military & Intelligence (Force Projection)[edit]

The Virushi have a well-justified reputation for pacifism. Other than maintaining local constabularies to maintain law and order, the Virushi are not known for military proclivities. Imperial garrisons protect most Virushi worlds from armed aggression. While pacifistic, Virushi are well and capable of self-defense.

Business & Trade (Economy)[edit]

Virushi technology range from TL–6 to TL–10 with TL–6 technologies most common and being readily repairable, maintainable, and available to Virushi society. The Virushi often hire out foreign technicians to maintain higher technology items. Virushi engage in trade across the Third Imperium and beyond.


This race is primarily located in the following areas:


The homeworld of this race is:

System Details[edit]

 Primary: Thintle (F9 V)
 Orbit 1:  Y730000-0  Yirila (RadWorld)
 Orbit 2:  Y230000-0  Urulu (StormWorld)
 Orbit 3:  F6C5479-7  Qush (Inner World)
 Orbit 4:  Y899000-0  Shashqar (RadWorld)
 Orbit 5:  FA89555-5  Qurwish (Hospitable, high albedo)
 Orbit 6:             Virshash (Mainworld)
 Orbit 7:  YDCA000-0  Dnalir (BigWorld)
 Orbit 8:  YQGG000-0  Vurdn (LGG)
 Orbit 9:  YRGG000-0  Rashvi (LGG)
 Orbit 10: YMGG000-0  Shinqal (IGG)

World Listing: 1105[edit]

Significant communities of this race are known to dwell within the following systems and worlds:

1 of 1 World articles in Virushi
Virshash  •  
startbacknext(1 listed)

References & Contributors (Sources)[edit]

This list of sources was used by the Traveller Wiki Editorial Team and individual contributors to compose this article. Copyrighted material is used under license from Far Future Enterprises or by permission of the author. The page history lists all of the contributions.