|Homeworld location||Virshash (Reaver's Deep 2724)|
|Primary Star||F9 V M4 V|
|Reference||"Contact: The Virushi." Journal of the Travellers' Aid Society 12 10-11.|
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)
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)
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.
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)
This species holds the following environmental preferences:
- Terestrial planet
- Temperate climate
- Plains and grasslands ecotopes
- High gravity
- Dense atmosphere
Anatomy & Physiology (Phenotype)
Sophontologists studying this species have discovered the following data.
- 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
- Upper torso with both sets of "arms"
- Forward torso with a set of "legs"
- Rear torso with a set of "legs" and the tail
This species has a conventional biochemistry.
- As a pseudo-ruminant, it has multiple stomachs maximized to extract nutrients from vegetable and plant matter.
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)
This species survives using the following methods of consumption:
- 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)
This species has the following reproductive characteristics:
- 2 gender/s (male & female)
- Mild sexual dimorphism
- (sexual reproduction)
- Conjugal intercourse
- Varied mating systems (primarily serial polyamory) (1m:3f average)
- Viviparous birth
- (Iteroparous): Uses K-selection and have few offspring that require considerable amounts of time to raise to maturity.
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)
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: 1116
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.
Language (Linguistic Sophontology)
The Virushi currently have a single language, which formed by the merger of several dialects when human 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.
- Language name: Virsashi
Civilization (Societal Sophontology)
The civilization and society of this species is known as Virushi Pacifistocracy.
Government & Politics (Leadership)
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.
- Please see polity entry at Virushi Pacifistocracy for more information.
Military & Intelligence (Force Projection)
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.
- Please see polity entry at Virushi Pacifistocracy for more information.
Business & Trade (Economy)
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:
World Listing: 1105