Thursday, March 7, 2013

The Vokun Empire

In the far future, part of the Milky Galaxy is controlled by the decadent Vokun Empire. More to come on them later, but here’s an introduction to the vokun and their foederati. The information here comes from fragmentary reports of questionable accuracy. Any errors will corrected in future posts.

The vokun are once-fierce conquerors in decline. As vokun age, they become progressively more obese until they are immobile without use of their walker conveyances. The elder vokun direct the younger in administration of the empire, but increasingly they’re concerned only with political maneuvering and decadent games.


The vokun have a distrust of disembodied minds, so they employ “humanoid computers” in the form of ibglibishpan savants. Their neural structure and training makes them logical, dispassionate--and ideal accountants, administrators, and archivists. Some are trained in reading the emotions of other humanoids, while the ibglibdishpan themselves always have serene expressions. Their mental structure does make them prone to “halting states” and other sorts of madness.


The kuath are the fanatically conditioned shock troops of the empire. They are seldom seen outside of their 2.5 m tall bio-armor suits, but they are humanoids rarely older than their teens. The humanoids have a symbiotic relationship with ocean-dwelling god monsters they call the Dragon Mothers, who supply their biotechnology and battle drugs. The Dragon Mothers gave the service of the kuath to the vokun in exchange for sparing their world from bombardment with mass drivers.


The engineers of the empire are a humanoid species with crustacean like characteristics, including metallic carapace. All the engineers have cybernetic enhancements and host groups of nanites in their bodies.

8 comments:

Porky said...

That's a dense weave of ideas and the whole feels more properly alien, more than just a single concept or a familiar form, which is what we tend to get these days. I have the feeling you're circling big things with these posts...

Trey said...

Thanks, Porky. While the "pulp sci-fi with a hard sci-fi veneer" spirit of the other posts in this series is still there, this one is a bit denser in "big ideas," which hopefully I'll flesh out more in future posts.

seaofstarsrpg said...

I take it in the old days, the genetic aging obesity of the Vokun did not matter as they tended to die young.

So you see young Vokun officers with Ibglibishpan and Engineer support staff commanding units of Kuath troops on the frontier worlds?

Trey said...

Good questions! In more difficult times more vokun died young, so their were fewer elders, their biology is odder than that. In pre-technological times, not only were there fewer vokun elders, but they were useful to their tribes or villages in a couple of ways: There long lives and memories help preserve knowledge in pre-literate times, and their enhanced ability to efficiently store calories made them living food stores. Vokun have very fast and effective healing (think almost D&D trolls).

Yeah, the young vokun are field commanders in charge of the other species. Full colony worlds would at least have a few middle-aged vokun (obese but mobile) around, too.

Dan said...

The Ibglibishpan remind me of Dune's Mentats with a bit of Bene-gesserit added - which is a good thing, as I love Herbert's exploration of cultural and mental evolution alongside the biological.

Trey said...

@Dan - Yep, the mentats were definitely one of the inspirations there. That and reading some stuff on the species of David Brin's Uplift universe.

Robert Parker said...

The Dragon Mothers sound very interesting. Excellent post, Trey.

Trey said...

Thanks. I keep intending to do a post on the kuath and their dragon mothers but I haven't gotten around to it yet.