Homo sapiens vlazhdumectalas
|Status||Minor Human Race|
|Homeworld location||Unknown world|
|Reference||"Vlazhdumecta." Traveller Chronicle 08 25-28.|
The Vlazhdumecta are a technologically sophisticated sophont species.
- 1 Description (Specifications)
- 1.1 Physiology & Environment (Ecology)
- 1.2 Height & Weight
- 1.3 Appearance
- 1.4 Diet
- 1.5 Rest
- 1.6 Reproduction
- 1.7 Senses
- 1.8 Anatomy
- 1.9 Lifespan
- 1.10 Cellular Geneering
- 1.11 Psychology & Philosophy (Mindset)
- 1.12 Culture & Society
- 1.13 Social Organization
- 1.14 Language & Letters (Communication)
- 2 History & Background (Dossier)
- 3 Worlds & Sectors (Astrography)
- 4 References & Contributors (Sources)
Vlazhdumecta is the general name given to the original colonists who settled much of the Far Frontiers region. The origins of the people are obscure, but they are believed to be members of a Minor Human Race flourishing in the Far Frontiers sector some 6,000 years ago during the early period of Zhodani interstellar expansion.
Physiology & Environment (Ecology)
Externally, they show only minor differences from the bulk of humaniti. However, the story is quite different below the cellular level, where extensive geneering by the Ancients has greatly modified the genetic mechanism (while still remaining within human norms).
These genetic differences have led some scientists to argue they should be considered a separate race, rather than part of humaniti. As Vlazhdumecta have interbred with other human races, this is of course nonsense.
Evidence suggests that this geneering was incomplete when the Final War began and that the stabilisation of their biochemistry has been a gradual process over the last 300,000 years. The interbreeding over the last 6 millenia with the Sky Raiders, Zhodani and other human races has been of great assistance.
Height & Weight
There is little difference in size between males and females. Both sexes average 1.9 m tall. However, while males mass approximately 90 kg, females mass slightly less at 85 kg.
Their appearance remains mostly unchanged, the skin is heavily pigmented and ranges in colour from golden bronze to almost pure black. Most pure blooded Vlazhdumecta are a dark bronze. While the skin is dry, there is a layer of subcutaneous fat which gives a sleek, "rounded" appearance. Hair is coarse, straight and usually pure white. Interbreeding has seen the appearance in the last few thousand years of blonde, grey and even brown hair. However, facial and body hair is almost non-existent.
Their faces are dolichocephalic (long-headed), triangular in shape with high cheekbones. There is some prognathism (projection) of the lower face. They have a wide forehead that slopes back from a light brow ridge. The nose is small, convex and high bridged. Eyes are always large and dark. There is an epicanthic fold and secondary lid arrangement controlled by additional muscles beneath the brow line. This gives a so-called "sleepy" appearance to other humans, but protects against glare and windborn particles. They have small, recessed ears which lie flat against the skull. A protective membrane can seal them from cold and dust. Because of this arrangement, they have poor hearing in when atmospheric pressure is equal to or less than standard.
Like most humans, they are omnivorous. However, due to the changes in their metabolism, they require a regular intake of certain amino acids and sugars. Luckily, these can be found in most foodstuffs. These changes also allow finding nutrition in a wide range of biochemistries. Generally, they consume 5 to 6 small meals a day, the largest of which is generally taken after the first sleep period of the day.
Their colonising origin has made our circadian rhythm highly adaptable. However, left to itself, the natural rhythm seems to be adapted to a 28 hour repeating cycle over 168 hours (6 hours sleep, 10 hours work, 4 hours sleep, 8 hours rest). The sleep periods in the final 28 hour period are generally longer, with a shortened rest period. When working in the 24 hour cycle of most other human cultures, they usually keep a shortened 24 hour cycle over the same period (4 hours sleep, 8 hours work, 9 hours sleep, 7 hours rest).
Vlazhdumecta are unusual in that the female has well marked periods of oestrous. These were originally of fixed durations and times, but they have become longer and more frequent over the millenia.
Males are always sexually capable, but suffer periods of infertility, due to the last remnants of incomplete geneering.
If fertilisation occurs, live offspring are born after a gestation period of about 270 days. Multiple births are rare. It appears that this method of reproduction was developed to offset the lowered fertility associated with the geneered changes made by the Ancients. Sterile offspring are still relatively common (1/1000), although much less so than at the time of original Zhodani contact (1/20).
Vlazhdumecta with even a minor Zhodani genetic heritage tend to be more fertile and are less likely to bear to sterile children. With as much as half Zhodani or other genetic heritage, sterile offspring are virtually unknown and fertility is further increased (though still lower then human norms).
Senses are about as acute as those of other humans, differing only in that the eyes can cope with greater brightness and atmospheric irritants and hearing is less acute in standard or thinner atmospheres.
Apart from the minor differences already mentioned, there is little to distinguish from other humans. However, internally, basic biochemical functions exhibit several major differences from other human races. Of most interest is they are in a constant state of metabolic acidosis. This is due to the higher plasma levels of lipids and ketone bodies resulting from metabolism of an extra four amino acids. As a result, some humans (particularly Solomani) complain of an unpleasant odour. They have a different range of blood types to other humans. The three major types are designated V1, V2 and V3 for convenience.
Biological evidence has shown that the first Vlazhdumecta were autopolyploidal. It is believed that the Ancients geneering efforts on them were experimental and incomplete at the time of the Final War. As a result, sterility of offspring after the war exceeded 50%. Population would have plummeted and extinction would have been imminent for millenia after the war.
However, these changes have markedly reduced the rate and effects of senescence compared to that in other Humans (even Vilani). A racially pure Vlazhdumecta has a life expectancy of about 130 standard years. For most of that period, they will appear unchanged from when they were 30-40 years old. Interbreeding has reduced the lifespan, but even those with less than one eighth Vlazhdumectan blood can expect a lifespan of 110-120 years.
However, at some point the metabolic process starts breaking down. Degenerative changes occur rapidly and death is usually 8 to 10 months after the first physical symptoms. This period is called the Inzhan Hel: ("divine wind"). Due to the horrendous breakdown that occurs once senescence sets in, most finalise affairs after the first symptoms and opt for euthanasia.
The last vestiges of unstable biochemistry produces premature Inzhan Hel in about 1 in 100,000. This tragic event usually also induces unstable psychological patterns.
Most of the changes are the result of only a few fundamental changes in our genetic structure. The non-histones, the small proteins that bind other proteins to DNA, are markedly different. Transcription of specific genes into mRNA is thereby modified and enhanced with the use of several unusual biosymthetic enzymes, thus aiding the synthesis of additional protein. Chromosomes are also much more heterochromatic than other humans, meaning that unlike other races, most of our chromosome is involved in genetic activity. However, some of this activity is additional reiterations of genes. Another benefit is an increase in packing density, resilience and regrowth potential of the neurons and their surrounding myelin sheath.
Psychology & Philosophy (Mindset)
To us, the universe is hierarchical in nature. It comprises the mundane (yetsda), sublime (kethra), and causal (hokhsda) worlds. The physical mind and body can only experience the mundane world. The world as experienced through the external senses can never relate to true reality. The sublime world is experienced through the inner mind, manifested by intuition, imagination, and the visionary experience. This is the true reality, and is experienced most directly during the Inzhan Hel, prior to death. The causal world is a unified consciousness that links the mundane and sublime experiences. This is most easily accomplished through the use of psionic potential's.
To the extent that this philosophy embraces religion, we believe that God is utterly unknowable, but is present in all creation. Creation is God, whose energies can be experienced through the sublime being.
Lam Dre ("proper action")
The basic ideal to which all Vlazhdumecta strive. The concept refers to principles including honour, gentility, sensitivity to proper behaviour, faithfulness to duty, recognition of ones proper place, and harmony.
Culture & Society
The Vlazhdumecta are a deeply spiritual, emotional people. Their society and culture has been profoundly affected by their contact with the Zhodani, both before and after the Vlazhdumecta collapse. Like the Zhodani, psionics has sculpted our society and is an integral part of our racial psyche.
A basic tenet of our culture. It denotes the understanding from within accomplished by empathy, intuition, imagination, and/or divine inspiration. It rejects knowledge from without accomplished from observation and research.
Kishik ("Place of Contemplation")
Any place which is used for quiet contemplation and experiencing of the sublime world. Most settlements have a variety of such places, whether constructed (our equivalent of your churches and monasteries) or natural (specially preserved areas of natural wilderness, such as pools and streams). It is not unknown for hikers or mountain climbers to come across such places far away from population centres, perhaps established and nurtured by a single individual.
Vlazhdumecta orgaize themselves employing the "Draj" and "Ishikin" social constructs.
A descent grouping incorporating one or many lineages. Companies are often based around these family or extended family lines. Even within companies, business units tend to be smaller than those of normal Zhodani or Imperial practice. The highest status work is associated with value-added products, so Vlazhdumecta items tend to be well crafted and long lasting, though more expensive. Some travellers like to visit obscure villages, hoping to find some item of great workmanship.
Ishikin ("amalgamation of purpose")
A grouping of Houses brought together for a common purpose. The group is considered one House for legal purposes for the duration of the quest and holds special status. If divinely inspired, any action thwarting the achievement of the goal can result in pariah status.
Language & Letters (Communication)
Originally, the Vlazhdumecta spoke numerous languages, each with a stylised ideographic written form. After Zhodani contact, many learnt the spoken and written forms of Zdetl (the Zhodani language) and so Zdetl became the lingua franca of the Vlazhdumecta. Some believe that the increased ability to communicate with each other was a factor in the sudden boost of Vlazhdumecta fortunes that followed Zhodani contact.
As the Vlazhdumecta spread out into space, each colony used an official language (derived from the part of the homeworld from which they came) and Zdetl (used to communicate with off worlders). The languages began to merge and evolve in different directions, particularly after the breakup of the Vlazhdumecta Colonial Sphere and the influx of Sky Raiders Imperials and other peoples.
Pure Vlazhdumecta languages disappeared well before modern times, though many backwater villages speak tongues which in part descend from them. Linguists are very interested in reconstructing the original languages, but no such attempt has gained wide acceptance. Linguists are famous for fierce arguments, attacking the theories of others and defending their own, to the point where all are stereotyped as fiery, larger than life characters. Archaeologist-Linguists are well known patrons of expeditions to obscure villages on obscure planets.
Travellers will find that Zdetl is needed on most Zhodani ex-Vlazhdumecta worlds. Galanglic is best outside the Consulate, but travellers should beware the higher number of loan and slang words than usual.
About 6000 years ago, Vlazhdumecta ancestors were contacted by the Zhodani. Already possessing a moderate tech level, they were able to use the secret of the jump drive obtained from the Zhodani to colonise much of Afachtiabr Sector.
At about the same time as the Zhodani were becoming concerned about the Vlazhdumecta, a multi-House effort established a colony in Yiklerzdanzh. A number of other nearby worlds had just been settled when the Vlazhdumecta Colonisation Sphere began to collapse. When it was realised that the end was near, the last Vlazhdumecta in spin/rimward Afachtiabr with the capability to do so consolidated in the Yiklerzdanzh colony. By -4900, the link to the Yiklerzdanzh colonies had been long abandoned.
The absorbsion of the Vlazhdumecta homeworlds by the Consulate triggered the ultimate breakdown of their interstellar civilization. Most of their colonies were far from self-sufficient. After the collapse, these colonies lapsed into barbarism and most never recovered.
Until the coming of settlers from the Third Imperium 800-900 years ago, the basic population of most settled Far Frontiers worlds were of Vlazhdumecta stock. It is important to note that the Vlazhdumecta were heavily influenced in culture, language, and society by Zhodani elements. As a matter of fact, with the exception of certain anomalies (the Sky Raiders are the most prominent of these), no trace of Vilani/Solomani orientation or influence appeared in the Far Frontiers until well after the emergence of the Third Imperium.
Government & Politics
The Izrats Kriezhlas Unity 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 Izrats Kriezhlas Unity government is usually classified as a Democratic Republic, a form of a Unitary State.
- Please see Izrats Kriezhlas Unity for more information.
Technology & Trade (Economy)
The race absorbed a great deal of culture and technology from the Zhodani and founded a widespread mercantile and commercial empire that eventually included the whole sector.
Military & Intelligence
A possible starship design in use by them is the Xebec class Explorer.
Worlds & Sectors (Astrography)
This race is primarily located in the following areas:
- Far Frontiers Sector
- Yiklerzdanzh Sector
- Fulani Sector
The homeworld of this race is:
- Unknown world
World Listing: 1105
- J. Andrew Keith. The Trail of the Sky Raiders (FASA, 1982), 53.
- Dale Kemper. "The Far Frontiers". Ares Special Edition 2 (1984): 29-30
- Kevin Knight. "Vlazhdumecta." Traveller Chronicle 08 (1995): 25-28.
- Kevin Knight. "The Izrats Kriezhlas Unity." Traveller Chronicle 09 (1996): 18-19.
- Traveller Wiki Editorial Team
- Author & Contributors: David Thornell & Grant Sinclair of the HIWG
- Author & Contributor: Lord (Marquis) and Master of Sophontology Maksim-Smelchak of the Ministry of Science