Champions of the Empire
Campaign Info\Glossary

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[o]Vargr Campaigns (5689 to 5817) - The series of wars, encounters, conflicts, and disputes between the Imperium and the various Vargr states in Vland, Corridor, and Deneb sectors along the coreward edge of the Imperium.

As the Imperium expanded, it initially recruited worlds which were former members of the Second and First Imperium. As its borders reached still farther, the Imperial expansion met already established Vargr states of varying sizes. The Imperium struggled for over a century to secure its territory against the Vargr; the inevitable series of conflicts which resulted are collectively called the Vargr campaigns.
[o]Vargr - Intelligent major race derived from Ancient genetic manipulations of Terran carnivore/chaser stock, which apparently dates from approximately the same time that humaniti was scattered to the stars.

Inhabiting a region rimward of the Imperium, the Vargr were a puzzle to xenologists. The biochemistry and genetic makeup are almost identical with a number of terrestrial animals, but they differ radically from most of the flora and fauna indigenous to Lair, which is the purported Vargr home world.

Researches during the early years of the Third Imperium concluded them to be the result of genetic manipulation of transplanted Terran animals of the family Canidae, which is almost certainly of genus Canis. The obvious conclusion, supported by archeological evidence, is that the Ancients were responsible.

The typical *vargr *is about 1.6 meters in height and weighs approximately 60 kilograms. They are upright, bipedal carnivores, with rear limbs digitigrade and hands very similar in size and appearance to those of a human, although there are significant internal differences. They have approximately the same physical parameters as humans and are able to use the same equipment without modification or additional instruction.

On the average their reactions are slightly faster than those of the typical human, but individuals vary widely. The vargr senses of smell and sight are superior to those of humans.

Government: There is no central *vargr *government; indeed, there is no governmental type that can be said to be "typically vargr." Every conceivable form of governmental organization can be found somewhere in the Vargr Extents. The only cohesive force in the Extents is a fierce racial pride which causes a slight tendency towards racial cooperation.

The higher the level of the *vargr *government, the more unstable it becomes because of the difficulty of obtaining consent of all vargr involved.

Vargr in the Imperium: While only a few planets populated completely by vargr exist within the Imperium, there are millions of vargr citizens of loyal subject planets. Additionally, vargr adventurers, criminals, mercenaries and traders can be found throughout the coreward reaches of the Imperium.

Society: The key elements shaping vargr societies are a very strong centrifugal force resulting from an emphasis on consensus and informal lines of authority, and an equally strong centripetal force resulting from a deeply ingrained family-clantribe-nation loyalty.

Centralized authority is extremely limited at the upper levels of Vargr society, and action is based on broad coalitional concerns, with a constant splitting and rejoining of dissident factions. Traditionally, this has made it very difficult for more centralized and organized societies such as the Imperium to deal on a meaningful basis with what passes for Vargr states.

Vargr have little respect for formal authority, and what respect they might have decreases as that authority becomes more remote. Vargr tend to respect informal authority figures more, and they obey superiors who are better known to them.

Vargr have an intensive racial pride, and they are easily insulted. They are prone to enter into fights without regard to possible consequences. Vargr social organization is difficult to characterize in Terran terms, but it can be most closely compared to the Dakota Sioux of North America in the 1800s AD, if the analogy is not pressed too far.

Even among the most stable vargr governments, a highly charismatic leader can attract followers for almost anything. The neighbors of the vargr are constantly the subject of impromptu raids and scattered piracy by bands of vargr (totally without government sanction, of course) who have been talked into a raid, a battle, or a war by a charismatic leader.
[o]Vegan Autonomous District - After the pyrrhic victory over the Solomani at Terra in 6691, the Imperium found that it could not completely conquer and absorb the rest of the Solomani Sphere. The Imperial high command decided to create the Vegan Autonomous District to act as a counterweight to the remnants of the Solomani Confederation. The Vegans have complete internal control over their district, but free passage is guaranteed for Imperial citizens and goods.

Although many factors have contributed to the present peace and stability along the Solomani Rim, it cannot be denied that the creation of the Vegan Autonomous District has achieved its original purpose.

The worlds of the Vegan Autonomous District are under a single, centralized government. State power is contained in a civil service and is chosen and promoted by competitive examinations.
[o]Vilani - Human major race (H. sapiens) which developed on Vland from human stock placed there by the Ancients.

History: The world of Vland, while possessed of a hospitable environment, boasted an alien ecology based on its own independently evolved biology, a biology that produced proteins, sugars, and amino acids that were difficult for humans to digest and metabolize. The humans just could not use local plant and animal life for food.

One of the oldest occupations in Vilani society is that of shugilii (which translates roughly as "miller"). The shugilii was a person who could transform raw food into edible food through special aging and chemical treatment. The shugilii task was more akin to shaman or witch doctor than of that cook. Since virtually no food on Vland was edible without some treatment, shugiliis were powerful members of society.

The alienness of Vland was reciprocal: humans were unsuitable as food for predators, parasites died because humans provided no nutrition, bacteria could not infect the human system, and even viruses were unable to invade and take over human cells. Consequently, the primitive human society found no need for medically oriented shaman. Vilani medical understanding was very slow to develop because of this.

Vilani legends are full of accounts of the wars of the gods, terrible destruction, and occasional intervention in human affairs by the gods. Legends exist of early explorers who found lands with great living stone-metal gods possessed of immense magical powers. Modern archeologists now believe these "gods" were actually great robot warriors and juggernauts used by the Ancients in the final war. Apparently, the last of these machines finally ran down around -14,500.

Society: Early Vilani society was dominated by three groups: the shugiliis, the aristocrats, and the merchants. Aristocrats were the natural leaders of society, the shugiliis were the all important food processors, and the merchants controlled trade.

With the flowering of Vilani society (circa -5500) and its attendant industrial revolution, each of these three forces gained power rather than lost it; each participated in the creation of the industrialized wealth of Vland.

In -3766 the Vilani made their ultimate breakthrough - one that would assure their ascendancy for the next 6000 years. A research team working on the fringes of the Vland system created the first working prototype jump drive and demonstrated its effects.

The Vilani found intelligent lifeforms on other worlds within 60 parsecs of Vland. None of the races had progressed enough to have begun interstellar travel. The Vilani found it easy to dominate these less technically advanced races. The Vilani were able to impose Vilani culture and law on these other races among the stars. However, the Vilani *conquests *were not militaristic in nature, but rather were economic subjection.

As their sphere of influence was expanding, the Vilani found it difficult to maintain control across such great distances with jump-1 as their maximum rate of travel and communication. At the same time, each of the three power classes of Vilani society found itself threatened by the forces around it.

Three bureaux were established, each independent of the other two, and each assigned a territory among the stars for which it was responsible. Each of the three bureaux was effectively identical, but they initially espoused different philosophies, which were based on their origins. The bureaux maintained their own governments within their territories.

Sharurshid, originating with the merchant class, emphasized interstellar trade. Makhidkarun, originating with the aristocracy, emphasized interstellar government. Naasirka, originating with the shugiliis, floundered after it found that it could not control food supplies on most of the worlds it dealt with, but it ultimately became a broad-line organization which emphasized energy, transport, and luxury goods.

In -961, the Vilani finally discovered jump-2. No other race had jump-2, and the Vilani maintained a sole monopoly on jump-2 by jealously guarding its secrets from all subject races. Beginning in the year 69, a series of wars to subjugate the resisting fringe cultures was waged. This period of consolidation wars lasted until 1424.

Grand Empire of Stars: In 1425, the ruling Vilani council, the Igsiirdi, declared the Grand Empire of the Stars, or in the Vilani tongue, the Ziru Sirka.

At first, the Empire had no emperor. Within 10 years, the chairman of the Igsiirdi (elected for life by the council) was the Ishimkarun - the Shadow Emperor - ruled through published proclamations, but never appeared in public. In -1859, the Shadow Emperor became the Emperor of the Stars, who was the absolute monarch of the Empire. Successors were elected from the Igsiirdi upon the death of the old emperor.

For nearly 1,200 years the Grand Empire of the Stars kept the peace among its star-spanning population. However, the empire insisted on cultural rigidity. Exploration was stopped by 1500. Scientific research was controlled and then stopped altogether by 1700.

The beginning of the end of Vilani domination, however, was signalled by the contact with the Terrans in 3047. By 3061 the Terrans and the Vilani were at war; by 3250 the Terrans had surpassed the Vilani technologically and were marching through the cities of Vland as conquerors, and the Grand Empire of the Stars was at an end.

Currently, Vilani is a cultural rather than a racial or national labeling, and it is applied to those within the Imperium who retain some of the old ways. Dialects of the old High Vilani language survive in certain places, along with a few fragments of Vilani culture, such as musical forms and other fine arts. Certain of the old Vilani noble families have maintained more of the old culture, particularly the families who control the Vilani megacorporations.

See also First Imperium.
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