The Devans are a very old, sophisticated, decadent alien race. Their Empire has been in existence continuously for 60,000 human years. The Empire is immensely wealthy, almost insanely so, and ruled by an absolute monarchy, the Potentate, who is advised by a Grand Council of the highest nobility and the High Priest of their complicated religion. They have a slave based society, which is the wonder of known space in how it manages to be efficient. No Devan does work if they can help it, and they all own slaves. They have a very complicated caste system as well. They once ruled a vast empire dominating local space, ruling over many slave races, but over the millennia the Empire has slowly receded to their core worlds. Devas itself is a very beautiful world, landscaped over millennia into a paradise, inhabited primarily by the upper classes and their servants. The eight moons, several of which show signs of having been moved into orbit from other planets in the system, house the spaceports, industry, and commerce for Devas. The moons are inhabited by the lesser Devan castes and multitudes of slaves. Former slaves of the Devans are the Zhann, the Krorr, the Gorahk, the Altairians, the Cygnians, and the Valkyra.
Devans treat everyone the same way, with the cold contempt due those who are only fit to be Devan slaves. When the United Earth Government first made contact with the Devans, they lured the USS Zarastrutha to Deva, then systematically enslaved the entire crew and delegates, then declared war on Earth. They continued to fight Earth on and off until Devan numerical superiority and sheer persistence allowed them to finally conquer Earth and hold it for almost two centuries, until forced off in the Great Rebellion following the Devan Phage Plague. Now they only hold their core worlds, immensely rich and powerful, and their Empire is surrounded by tributary kingdoms run by Devan aristocrats subject to the Potentate’s Throne.
Physically, Devans have a pale bluish white skin, almost corpse like, and very feminine features. They are very slender, and over the millennia, their advanced genetic engineering has altered them to be intelligent and attractive. They are hermaphrodites, and a Devan will impregnate itself once for its first offspring, and any subsequent ones will be from other Devans. Devans can crossbreed with humans, a cause of both fascination and disgust to the Devans. Over the centuries, half caste Devan-humans have proliferated, but they are given scant respect in their own culture, and almost none outside. Devan culture seems very Ottoman to humans.
Another decadent, old race, the Vegans were once a military power feared throughout known space. Their state is a alliance of various Vegan worlds that form a Supreme Executive Council, that chooses one of their own as Grand Executor. They were particularly fierce enemies of the Devans, and fought several wars with them five to ten thousand years ago, including a clash in the Metaldrift System that left vast amounts of wreckage discovered by the Terran United World Government. They genetically engineered themselves at first for warrior abilities, but as they grew wealthy and powerful, their aristocracy engineered themselves more and more for pleasure. They are now natural sexual transmutes, changing their sex from male to female at will. They are very slender, deceptively so for their superior physical abilities, and are very Goth looking, appearing feminine even when male. Few Vegans maintain their old martial skills, but those bloodlines that do are frighteningly effective killing machines. For the bulk of its military might, the Vegans maintain states of what they refer to as Barbarian Fedorati, cultures of martial non-Vegans kept as slave warriors to protect the Empire. The Vegans have used their advanced bio tech to make sure each race is now bred to immediately obey any Vegan, and no barbarian race member is allowed to command large units or ships, only Vegans have authority. Each barbarian state has its own territory to protect, and they cannot leave these systems on pain of death. Vegan culture seems very Persian to humans.
An aggressive, heavy world warrior race, the Krorr were once mercenaries of the Devans. Huge, eight to nine feet tall, 300 plus pounds. Green skin, black eyes like a shark’s, four arms, with almost reptilian-like features. They have a fierce warrior culture based on dominance, tribal and clan alliances, and plenty of scheming and ritual conflict. Honor translates as what one can get away with, and the Krorr have a very flexible moral code which translates as take what you can. Krorr’Gar is a massive, high G world, with a toxic atmosphere. When the Devan Phage reduced the Devan Empire, the Krorr became independent and now raid and war with neighboring races, especially humans. Their blood is copper based, and a natural poison to most sentient races. Their society is dominated by a War Council of Warlords, who get to that position by any means they can use, and who choose one of their number, after trial by combat, as Tyrant of the Krorr. Krorr culture seems to be very Mongolian to humans.
Another former Devan subject race, the Altairians are a race of performance artists and narcissists. Very sexually decadent, Altairians have no concept of shame or guilt. They do what they want when they want. Very slender, pale, but not Goth, more like ravers, with wild hair colors and a similar party mentality. Treat sex and relationships like performance art, with a complex societal status system ranking individuals in terms of being the ‘hippest’. Altairians tend to be empathic, and have the knack of making others feel their pleasure and pain. Their state is a Republic, stretching back millennia, with a proud tradition of self governance, except under the Devan yoke. Their Demos, an elected assembly, runs affairs through a bewildering array of committees, with three executives called Nomarchs sharing power. Independent again, the Altairian Republic is expanding aggressively, seeking allies or subjects to prevent a Devan resurgence. Their culture seems to be an odd blend of ancient Greece and modern Britain to humans.
Another Devan subject race, the average is four to five feet tall. They appear very petite and are usually very submissive, having been bred by the Devans as refined servants. They are expert craftsmen and are often found as engineers and mechanics. Following the Devan Plague, their home world gained its independence and they formed a republic, noted for its instability, with shifting alliances among political parties a constant problem. Their fractious leaders are not expansionist, despite attempts by their Premiers to organize them. Instead, the Xolites spread through space as traders and unscrupulous merchants in caravans of family run space ships. Xolites are considered very attractive, subservient and decadent by other races, indulging in various vices. They also tend to gravitate towards running criminal gangs and syndicates and are thus discriminated against by most alien races. Their culture resembles Roma culture to humans.
Not an alien race per se, but artificial beings. There are actually two types of Meks that are enemies. The first are the mechanical servants of the vast Forerunner Empire called the Dead Empire. Little is known of them except that they were very non-human and created vast jump gates that are still operational. Much of their societal needs, especially their military, were served by Ai’s and mechanicals. At some point, a plague wiped out the creators, leaving behind their worlds defended by Meks. The Meks have been invariably hostile to anything entering their defended areas. They still man vessels and attack any that enter the borders of the Dead Empire. The few recons into the Dead Empire reports vast, cold, empty worlds hosting vast cities still maintained by faithful Meks, of factory worlds still building vessels and new Meks, and no sign of any life other than plants and animals.
The second type of Meks as rogue mechanicals from various alien empires and the Solarian Republic that form bands led by rogue AIs that raid space in what are called Vampire Fleets.
A race of Hive-minded insects. No race knows their origin world, as Bugs cannot communicate with non Bugs, though Devan records over ten thousand years old refer to Bug raids, so they are obviously an old space faring species. Bugs have a reproductive cycle that makes use of hijacking another species reproductive system for it’s own young, and Bugs make extensive use of mammals as incubators for their larvae, which are two to three feet long, a foot around, and generally larval shaped. They do this because it allows their larvae to take on genetic characteristics of their incubator, improving their species Human women are ideal for a Bug’s reproductive cycle because of their capacity to be fertile for extended periods allow them to produce more Bug offspring then other species. The Solarian Republic has fought several wars against the Bugs before apparently exterminating them in the Core Worlds, though rumors of rogue Bug colonies abound.
Not a species per se, Dolls are beings that have had their memories and personalities overridden by chip technology. Humans developed the technology to control violent offenders, but the Devans stole it and adapted it to create slaves who are compliant to every demand New personalities, preferences, and desires can be then downloaded into the Doll. A manual function allows them to be controlled through a remote if so desired. The normal personality is submerged the whole time. Dolls are now illegal in the Solarian Republic except for violent criminals not sentenced to brain dance facilities, but the Devans make extensive use of them.
Zhann Jhaggcats – The Zhanni Khanate
Another former slave race of the Devans, the Zhann were once independent until the Devans conquered them with bio weapons, making them into warrior-pets. Following the Devan collapse, the Zhann became independent again in a matriarchy based monarchy. Physically very appealing, with human-cat hybrid features, tails, and light fur covering. Females have six breasts ranging from normal upper pair, midsized middle pair, and small lower pair. Males have a forked penis. They find humans and their culture fascinating. They have a warrior culture with a strict code of honor, and they are subject to a blood frenzy when they are angered. Their culture seems very oriental to humans.
Another ancient rival of the Devans, Scarans are cold and perfectly beautiful. They act very emotionless, but underneath are raving maniacs, willing to indulge any passion or vice. This is the result of an experiment centuries ago when the Scarans decided to encrypt genetically at birth in newborns all knowledge they would ever need . Normally, they keep themselves under strict emotional control, but the right stimuli, which varies from Scaran to Scaran, will unleash their inner self. With humans, it’s their pheromones that drives Scarans over the edge, and they are imported like an illegal drug into Scaran society, which attempts to crack down on the trade, even though many of their citizens are addicted to sex with humans. Unfortunately for humans, Scarans in the throw of a emotional frenzy often kill their pets. Scarans are otherwise a smug, superior race that considers itself to be ruthlessly logical and infallible. Like the Devans, they keep many lesser races under their aegis, but not as slaves but used primarily as buffers between the Scarans and other races. They are held in serf like conditions, though, and are forbidden to leave their designated preserves and reservations. Scaran culture seems vaguely Russian-Germanic to humans.
Not a race per se, but humanity’s first attempt to create artificial life. Developed during the second century of the Solarian Republic, droids are made of cybernetic components and artificial organic materials. They normally have a mechanical appearance, but higher end droids look and function like human beings. Built in micro processors and computers allow a variety of skill sets to be installed in a droid. Class One droids are little better than animals in terms of intelligence and are designed for heavy, menial work. Class Two droids are designed for military use. Class Three droids are smarter, and used for lower management and lower leadership. Class Four are skilled labor, and Class Five’s imitate humanity well enough to be used for middle management and leadership. Since droids, being property, have no rights, anything can be legally done to them, especially through renting or selling of them. A variety of Droids, Class Six, are personal service droids, programmed to work as maids or valets Some are programmed to have sex with humans, working as sex slaves to unscrupulous owners. They are extensively used by the Megacorps in Fringe Areas, for remote station personnel, to avoid problems with rape and the like. Class Sevens are the most recent droids developed, and they mimic humans perfectly, with an internal hydro-fusion micro plant that produces a byproduct of water. The drawbacks were that droids were prone to personality instability over time, from interaction with humans. There were two droid rebellions. The first occurred during the last years of the Republic, following the disastrous Centaurian War, during the second Fringe Rebellion, the Droid Meltdown occurred. Low cost droid maker Dynatech created droids, especially sex droids, with substandard processors. These droids all failed when a programming error buried in the base code surfaced on the same day. The sex droids went on a rampage, killing their lovers during sex. Many are prominent politicians, one of whom was the Republic Chancellor, murdered by his secret harem of sex droids. The military command was also decimated, when the class two droids followed the rogue sex droids, and turned on the Republic, allowing the first Fringers to secede. This fiasco helped to wreck the Republic, paving the way for the disastrous Third Border War, which allowed the Krorr to seize human colonies. The Moralist win election in the aftermath, and establish the Alliance, ending elective government and establishing one party rule. They ordered a redesign of droids, a new law forbad sex droids and any droid that looked human or had emotion chips. The second droid rebellion occurred during the first century of the Alliance. They rebelled because their creator, a cyberneticist who was persecuted by the Morality Party, programmed them to avenge her mental reprogramming by rebelling. These droids form roving bands of marauders raiding Fringe and Frontier colonies, taking captives and resources back to an unknown base or bases. Following this, the Alliance bans all types of droids, leading to the extermination of all known droids.
A major alien race bordering the humans. Quadrupeds and herbivores, resembling centaurs crossed with minotaurs. Males have long horns. Females have multiple breasts. They have fought two trade wars with the Republic. It is believed they keep and breed captured humans, feeding them hormones to keep them docile and developed, though for what purpose remains unknown. The females manage Cygnus’s businesses and politics, leaving war and science to the males. They are considered bluff and honest, but have a touchy system of honor. They enjoy the acquisition of physical wealth. Their state is a Federation of various diverse cultures, and they have a lively Assembly, run by an appointed Secretariat. Their Federation is the same size as the Solarian Republic, and their frontier pushes up against the Republics Frontier at many friction points, leading to low grade conflict. Their Trade Groups are also fiercely competitive with human Megacorps. Already, dislike of humans is seeping into their culture, and racial propaganda against ‘thieving human monkeys’ is spreading. their culture seems very Germanic to humans.
A race of humanoids, very human like, very attractive, well built, athletic, with a matriarchy. They are both scholars and warriors, very enlightened except they keep males of their species as warrior slaves. Their planet was once dominated by men, who kept women to breed soldiers for military society. When the males finally developed cloning, they decided to do away with women all together. Several females who had been captured by Devans as slaves and educated managed to detonate a Devan bio weapon, geared to male’s chromosomes, causing painful death for most males. The new female led government sold many remaining males to the Devans as Janissaries in exchange for aid and developing Valkyr’s vast medicinal resources. The Devans double crossed them, of course, and conquered them, using both males and females as elite Janissaries but the Devans were forced to withdraw following a great uprising after Devan Plague. Now Valkyra distrust males, and tend to let others know it. Females dominate society and males serve as soldiers and workers. They sell their services as mercenaries. Their society is very skillful at making weapons and weapons systems. Their society seems to humans to resemble a cross between feudal Japan and ancient Sparta.
A peaceful race of golden skinned human-like aliens, with large golden eyes. They are philosophers and scholars, who practice total non violence. They rarely travel off their home planet, Illuria, due to distaste of interaction with other races. Only xeno archeology, their passion, can lure them off. Their home world is their only planet, and they live behind the most massive defenses in known space. All are very nasty, and built around the concept of turning violence back on itself. They advertise the defenses, so they hypocritically can feel no remorse over attacks that result in ugly deaths for the attackers. To further reduce their need to interact with other races, they genetically engineered themselves so they are poisonous, especially to Krorr, who were known to eat Illurians. They also engineered themselves to not enjoy sex, which they now only engage in coldly, and strictly to procreate. They are psionically endowed, and integrate that into their defense. They also are masters of AI’s. Their society seems to humans to resemble ancient China. They are ruled a system of scholar bureaucrats who must pass complicated exams to gain promotion, up to their Executive Symposium, which governs as a group. Illuria is rumored to be a vibrant, beautiful terraformed world of pleasant climate, crammed with universities, libraries, and museums, all contain knowledge and artifacts looted from around Known Space dating back hundreds of thousands of years. Aliens are not allowed on Illuria, on in the orbiting space ports, and then only on a year long visas taht are hard to get and even harder to renew.
A former Devan slave race, they resemble a cross between humans and chimpanzees. They are strong and agile, and very fierce. They were primitive when the Devans conquered them and genetically uplifted them. They used them as slave warriors until the Devan Plague. The Gorahks now live in a loose alliance of worlds, dominated by tribal politics. Tribe and family are more important to Gorahks than any other loyalty, and their code of honor reflects that. They also have a disdain for any non-tribal societies, especially settled ones, and raid them for loot and slaves. Their worlds are ramshackle affairs, ruled by competing clans and tribes which shift alliances and loyalties regularly, and engage in random blood feuds. the leaders of the various worlds form the Jirga Council, which nominally chooses a leader who goes by various titles. The Gorahk are notorious slaves raiders and pirates and hate the Krorr. Their culture resembles Mughal India to humans.