|Genus: Scalis Astutus Tepidus|
Central Authority: Opsillian Republic
Paycheck Modifier: 0.85x
Allowed Command Roles: Head of Personnel, Head of Security, Research Director, Chief Engineer, Chief Medical Officer
Guides: No external guides
Vuulen (singular vuulek) are a species of bipedal, scaled humanoids that visually resemble various reptilian species present on Earth. Being the first intelligent species humanity has encountered (beyond plasmamen), vuulen are one of the most common non-human species present in Sol Interplanetary Coalition space. Having experienced a massive technological and cultural jump with the colonization of their primary homeworld, Sangris, the vuulen now attempt to navigate their identities and lives as integration efforts see more and more individuals cast aside old values in favor of assimilation into human society.
Vuulen is an optional species that can be chosen for play in the character creation menu. Customization options include your scale color, eye color, horns, frills, snout, spine, bodily markings, and whether you have digitigrade legs (abnormal; must wear footwraps) or plantigrade legs (normal human legs).
Despite often being integrated into human culture, vuulen still see legal and social discrimination in the present day. Nanotrasen abuses this to pay them nearly half of what a human would receive. They are also not protected under a standard Asimov silicon lawset, meaning you will not receive the benefits that silicon crew can provide. In fact, a malign human may be capable of exploiting your inferior position to inconvenience or threaten you. It is advised to be cautious in your interactions with humans if the AI is under an Asimov lawset as a result, especially if you are a member of security.
- Less damaged by being too hot or too cold
- Is stunned for less time while hot
- Faster while hot
- Has a unique blood type, L, meaning any vuulen can perform blood transfusion for another vuulen
- Very slightly slower at doing tasks
- Coldblooded; they are affected much more adversely by the temperature of their environment
- Is stunned for more time while cold
- Slower while cold
- If digitigrade, will be unable to enjoy the benefits of standardized footwear
- Has a unique blood type, L, meaning no other species is able to perform blood transfusions for them. The converse also holds true
- Likes meat, seafood, mice, fruit and anything grilled
- Dislikes sugar and vegetables
- Able to eat gross foods such as raw organs without becoming disgusted
- Capable of wagging their tail using the emote *wag
- Their unarmed is a slash with their claws, though this deals no additional damage
- Possesses a unique mutation in genetics which allows them to breathe fire
- Their tail will regrow after 30 minutes, if they happen to lose it
The past of the vuulen begins on the world of Sangris, where they first obtained sentience, having evolved from bipedal, raptor-like creatures known as dretheli. The warmer than usual planet has a moderately longer day cycle than Earth, which permitted the vuulen to expand and work long hours under the sun. During the night, they would retire to caves or canopies. The world itself is fairly diverse in geography, being primarly mixture of primarily deserts, jungles, savannahs, and tropical regions. The various vuulen, once they became capable of organized society and speech, quickly spread out along the landmasses in their search of prey or harvest. It is still exactly unknown for how long this period of primitiveness continued, but the vuulen developed technologically in a fashion similar to mankind. That being said, there were some key differences. First and foremost, vuulen are taller, bulkier, and more agile than humans. This permitted them a level of combat prowess that allowed them to effectively take out medium-sized animals using pack tactics. While shoddy spears and other equipment were eventually made out of stone and similar materials, some also began to make clubs with bits of plasma attached to their sides, as the precious mineral was (and still is) bountiful on the planet. Because of the specific environmental conditions required for vuulen eggs, settlements quickly developed. Agriculture proved more difficult to foster, due to the warmth of the planet, though unique crops such as niiwo (a blue fruit with a disk-like core, the surrounding flesh and skin bitter and tart) and y’lik (hardened wheat that is unideal for dough, though capable of direct consumption) became two of the most prominent crops out of several across the regions that began to civilize.
Various powers rose and fell as the vuulen began to better adopt plasma, stone, copper, and iron. As writing developed and societies became more stable, some even began to experiment with some of the bluespace crystals that could be found lodged into mountainsides. Because of its instabilities, several incidents would cause destruction or the disappearance of laboratories. By around 2401, the most prominent civilized power was the Opsillian Empire, a plutocratic power that heavily exploited its many plasma mines in the Moghes Desert. By this point, the vuulen were capable of harnessing the element in their forges and smelteries, also supplementing it in certain weaponry. For example, they used slings that would hail bottles of heated plasma at their foes, or they utilized spears and arrows forged from plasmaglass. While plasteel was capable of being produced, it was rare, and the immeasurably tough metal was unideal for crafting weaponry. Instead. it was hammered into awkward, rough plates of armor or shielding. Most of the population worked as farmers or as miners in this age, with various militaries, guilds, and marks of civilization being made. Conflicts regarding security or prosperity continued through this medieval age.
As the first wave of human explorers entered the Val System, scans on the planet of Sangris revealed the life that had begun to spread across its surface, and telescopes confirmed the existence of the strange, bipedal humanoids. Seeing the relatively primitive state of their being, the Sol Representative Board passed an ordinance to quickly make safe contact. While several corporations, most of all Nanotrasen, salivated at the rich veins of plasma on the planet, more notable was a reliable source of bluespace crystals present in Sangris' mountainsides. At this point, the few crystals corporations had were quickly being tested and approved for usage in some of the first FTL drives.
The events of first contact turned violent. Equipped with biosuits and armor-piercing rounds, the diplomatic team failed to make peaceful discourse with the vuulen garrison in a small town on the outskirts of the Opsillian Empire. When interaction with alien biology was confirmed to be safe, marine forces were deployed to occupy the town. Thus began a rapid campaign to conquer the planet. Primarily a ground invasion with little naval bombardment from above. specific orders were given to retain as much of the population as possible, and the vuulen stood little chance against the invading force. When news of the invasion reached the public ear, opinion was vastly split. While a naval blockade prevented others from landing on the planet, information leaks were inevitable. The soldiers that sent data back to home networks were quietly discharged or executed for treason, though military command could not afford to impose a communication blackout on the planet, due to the vast area of their campaign.
After about one year of conflict, the planet was effectively subjugated. By this time, communication between the two species was possible, and, after some deliberation, the Board subjugated new, democratic forms of government across the regions. The primary, and greatest authority became known as the Opsillian Republic. The vuulen were given few rights and privileges under SIC law, and massive human development of the planet began, as they brought technology, medicine, materials, crops, disease, culture, animals, and more to the planet. More vuulen were directed to work in the mines, as the humans quickly understood their potential as workers. They also saw implementation into high-labor jobs where they could be watched. Slavery was common and scarcely regulated, despite the protests of several sympathizing or xenophile groups.
Within a generation, as the vuulen proved to be more and more human-like in their mindsets and communal values, government policy began to turn toward more benign, lenient measures. Several sets of elections saw more xeno-approving members in the Board, despite the various, conflicting ideas behind such approval among the old nations of Earth. It was not until 2463 that vuulen were controversially extended further rights, including the official removal of slavery. By 2489, habituation stations were made to specifically target vuulek populations to integrate them into human culture. The Opsillian Republic was made more of a semi-legit body, though corporate interests continued to prey on its citizens, as the SIC often failed to hold such companies accountable.
Now, the vuulen exist in an uneasy balance, with their cities having massively developed and integrated with certain human populations, yet still feasibly under the boot of the SIC. While able to exist within its borders and apply for citizenship, the enforcement of their rights, as well as the acceptance of their species, is varied. While vuulen are common workers on board most conventional ships, their salaries are often lowered as an exploitation of the uneasy and varied opinions, as well as suffering under a general indifference from most SIC labor groups (which tend to quietly pocket certain donations). In addition, acceptance of the vuulen is now more common than not among humans, though those who are newer to space can treat them more strangely, if not with hostility.
Vuulen have a variety of naming methodologies, often taking varying aliases for separate cultures. While most non-integrated vuulen tend to have a draconic name (a first name tied to a clan name, such as Rixitul-Usii, of clan Usii), they may also adopt a human name of their liking or a simple nickname. The nickname can be a single word or, as is more common than not, a combination of three words in a format of "Verb-X-Noun", with X often being an adjective or a preposition (two examples being "Drinks-The-Rum" or "Realizes-Many-Errors"). These three-word names often become legal aliases and most often are adopted due to humans' difficulty with saying draconic names. As a result of the simplistic, often child-like sounding names, humans (and sometimes vuulen) tend to mock such aliases.
Those raised by humans or those who wish to shun their draconic ancestry may simply take on a human name, which the SIC permits.
Division of vuulek communities is often done by clans, which are generally formed through a mixture of geographical proximity as well as familial closeness. This closeness does not require blood connection, nor does a biological relationship guarantee entrance into a clan. While children of a clan are presumed and typically entered into the group, certain extreme circumstances can result in effective disowning or the adoption of specific hatchlings from another clan. Parents tend to be defensive and protective of their children, and cultural significance often continues this bond when basic biological pheromones have run their course. In addition, parents regularly pair for life, with divorce only introduced as a consequence of human occupation. Gender itself is scarcely emphasized as a general rule of thumb.
Remnants of tribal celebrations and holidays still tend to exist within most clans, which can vary from bountiful festivals to hunting rituals to quasi-tournaments of strength and aptitude. Dances favor fast footwork with the tail used as an additional appendage to swirl and slap the ground near or around oneself or their partner(s), foreheads lowered to indicate vulnerability for courting. Claws might whip or swing imaginary weaponry for dances meant to imitate the flow and life of swordsplay or other dueling weapons. Festivals typically utilize beat-like music, as vuulen are unable to perform using traditional wind instruments, though they are capable of whistling. Tournaments can spurn competitions on a variety of themes, though most often they regard feats of strength, agility, artistry, or performance.
Typically a prideful species, vuulen are quick and eager to prove themselves among their communities and workplaces, now that they are widespread through human space. Ideas of honor and stalwartness are paramount among combat-favored. While vuulek violence tends to be brutal, quick, and lethal, those more conservative believe in fighting their foes face-to-face, utilizing their own bodies or melee weaponry. Ranged weaponry is typically considered acceptable in formal conflicts such as war. Even among those who use them, the idea of letting one's enemy face their foe still holds true. Stealth and subterfuge, while most vuulen are ill-fitted for such tactics, are generally considered to be cowards, renegades, or desperate survivors. Despite these values, ruling powers would still utilize assassins and saboteurs for their own ends, before the planet's colonization in 2402. Regardless of this glorification of violence, the vuulen still generally cherish culture and the arts, giving high praise or consideration to projects or masterworks which embody the spirit and power of one or several.
Traditional values and morals which spewed from the variety of pantheons tend to emphasize communal well-being and glory above all else. However, such beliefs themselves were never given enough traction, as their societies favored pragmaticism. As a result, religion as an establishment does not truly exist within genuine vuulek communities. Instead, they are commonly spiritual in nature, with beliefs highly relevant to one's goals for themselves, their communities, and the universe.
Lifespan and Health
On average, vuulen live to about 150 years, as their matured periods tend to be more drawn out than humans, experiencing periods of young, middle, and late adulthood longer than humans. As a result of their larger bodies, some can suffer if they fail to maintain exercise and proper muscle-to-fat ratios. The significantly hazardous conditions in several industrial or mining zones on Sangris mean some develop a condition simply referred to as "plaslung", where continued, unprotected exposure to inhaled plasma particles causes the lungs to suffer and burn uncomfortably and chronically, often resulting in a severely reduced lifespan. Extraordinary cases have seen certain individuals spontaneously and internally combust after smoking or breathing fire, as the latter is an ability very, very few vuulen are capable of.
The relative height and strength of vuulen means their diet tends to consist of meat or other high-protein foods. While most dislike sweets or overly processed foods, some who grow up in human communities take a liking to certain stuffings, despite its disagreement with their biology. The high-intake of calories also usually provokes long, blissful sleep in the species.
Much like their simple cousins, they enjoy sunbathing and relishing in heat. As they are cold-blooded, very few end up existing in arctic climates, though those that do often carry a source of external heat with them to be pocketed beneath their insulated clothing.
Vuulen traditionally possess digitigrade legs, though plantigrade legs are a rare phenotype. Scientists are unsure what precisely caused the difference, though it does permit better mobility and agility if for some reason a vuulek were to lose their tail, despite being unideal for the long sprints that the species is known for.
The average height of a male vuulek sits at about 6'8", whereas women stand at an average height of 6'4", with a significant variation of ~1 foot, depending on the specific climate the vuulek hails from. Despite the difference in sizes, men and women tend to be of about the same strength. Vague trends indicate men as being slightly stronger while women have slightly more endurance, though the wide variety of heights and builds among the vuulek makes these observations generally null.
- Relatively similar to humans in speech and mannerisms, including body language
- Tend to place greater importance on the body and maintaining good health
- Some are too keenly aware of the horrors their species has suffered, others are oblivious, ignorant, or otherwise uneducated
- Develops at about the same rate as humans, though when mature, they live significantly longer, to about 150 years
- More likely to be communal, as well as more capable of forming bonds of trust with colleagues or friends, which makes them ideal for teams that benefit from camaraderie
- Various reactions to discrimination- it can be violence, ignorance, or friendliness, among some examples
- Higher metabolisms and deeper sleeping cycles than humans; they possess less endurance, but greater strength and speed