Vaurca

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Vaurca (Vaur'uyit'zir)
V. esseli / V. sapiens
Vaurcaduo.png
Home System: Sedantis (Sc'theth'stak, "Blinding Light.")
Homeworld: Sedantis I (Vaur'avek'uyit, "Home Afar.")
Language(s): Vaurcese, Hivenet.
Political Entitie(s): Zo'ra Hive, K'lax Hive, C'thur Hive.

Vaurcae, (Vaurca in singular term and Vaurcae in multiple) are an arthropodous species that naturally organize themselves into eusocial groups. The Vaurca are one of the oldest surviving civilizations in the known galaxy, with a history that can be traced back 730 000 years ago. Now they arrive in the Orion Spur as colonists, reluctantly taken in by other civilizations.

Their eusocial organizations are referred to as Hives, led by a High Queen, typically named after the Hive itself. Below the High Queen, Lesser Queens govern specific Hive functions. Both Lesser and High Queens, as well as Surrogate Breeders, are the exclusive types of Vaurcae capable of laying eggs for the generation of new individuals. Birth under a particular Queen or Surrogate Breeder assigns a Vaurca to her brood, resulting in distinct traits and a variant carapace color compared to others. Further details on these structures and broods can be explored on the Vaurca Hives page.

Vaurca civilization is separated into several castes, with members of each caste having their biology, psychology, and education determined before they are even born. Each individual Vaurca is made often for a specific function pertaining to their caste. Vaurcae are separated further between two groups, known as psyches: Akaix (Unbound) and Viax (Bound). Akaix are no less of a person than any human, whereas Viax are incredibly simple-minded, running on no more than a desire to do what they are told, designed for their function rather than versatility. More about the castes can be read on the Vaurca Biology page.

Vaurcae have mechanical extras such as extensive xenowear loadout and their homeworld's flag. K'ois as a product is available in-game and they have a rather grand set of unobtainable event-spawn objects and mobs. Massive Vaurcae Breeders are playable as consular officers, and their lore can further be explored through artifacts and merchant items.

Vaurcae can come from the Zo'ra, K'lax, C'thur, or Lii'dra Hives. The Lii'dra are exclusive to antagonists and events, though antagonist Vaurcae are not limited to Lii'dra.

To apply to be one of the insect-like Vaurcae, apply here.

Important notes: Vaurcae cannot be any Heads of Staff, bridge crew, or be elevated to an interim command position. Vaurcae used to require an Avowal of Responsibility to work any position higher than an intern level, but as of 4/24/2463, Avowals were abolished in Stellar Corporate Conglomerate facilities.

Contents


Mechanics

  • Can only healthily consume food made of k'ois, a yellow fungus originating from the Vaurcesian home planet. K'ois is deadly to other lifeforms.
  • A long-distance language in the form of Global Hivenet. It is accessible with ,9 and can only be heard by other Vaurcae and station-bound synthetics.
  • Immune to phoron gas, and require it to breathe.
  • Have a third arm to hold small objects.
  • Can survive in space without a voidsuit.
  • Do not take damage from electric shocks.
  • Immune to slipping.
  • Do not self-heal.
  • Can toggle night-vision to see in the dark.
  • Take x2 damage from toxins.
  • Bleed out faster.
  • Can be permanently rendered blind by flashing them several times in a row.
  • Vaurca Warriors can bite and are more resistant to burns.
  • Vaurca Workers cannot bite but are more resistant to radiation.
  • Vaurca Bulwarks are slow but immune to radiation and can fireman carry two people at once.

Non-mechanic traits:

  • Dislike light.
  • Be raised in virtual reality.
  • Generally very specialized. Born to serve a specific role.
  • Face severe discrimination in human space.
  • Be incredibly sensitive to smells.

Relationships with Megacorporations

The following is an updated table listing which megacorporations employ Vaurcae. All playable characters must adhere to these specifications; failure to do so may result in administrative action.

Vaurca Hives' Relationships
Corporations Zo'ra K'lax C'thur
NT Preferential Yes Yes
Heph No Exclusive No
Zavod Yes No Yes
ZH Yes Yes Preferential
Idris No No No
PMCG VP/NT VP/NT/DPF VP/Eridani
Orion Yes Yes Yes
Einstein No No Exclusive

Biology

See also: Vaurca Biology

The Vaurca appear as humanoid insects with a unique biology that sets them apart from the rest of the Orion Spur. The species is also known for its wide variety of Bioforms—unique subtypes of Vaurca with distinct anatomy. The most basic Vaurca bioforms possess four arms, with two of them being vestigial and smaller. Their hands showcase four digits, evenly distributed between thumbs and fingers. Their legs culminate in feet perfectly adapted for scaling the tunnels and caverns of their homeworld.

Their heightened sensory perception is channeled through antennae, particularly tuned to an exceptional olfactory sense. Pheromones play a pivotal role in Vaurca communication, acting as a nuanced language, much like words intertwined with delicate scents. This acute olfactory ability enables them to decipher subtle nuances within the intricate tapestry of pheromonal expressions.

All Vaurcae are highly dependent on their specialized augmentations, which may be considered vital organs for their survival. These organs are installed shortly after birth. The most important augmentation for Vaurcae is the neural socket, which allows each member of the species to connect to Virtual Reality and communicate via Hivenet. These two technologies are considered the backbone of Vaurca society.

As Vaurca become more specialized, differences between bioforms are greater. For example, some subtypes of Vaurca may possess more limbs or have been engineered to withstand harsher conditions. Advanced bioforms may also have more unique augmentations, not readily available for the common members of the Hive.

Ka, The Workers (Type A)

Vaurcaworker.png

Type A are the most common Vaurca. Their most prevalent feature is their hardened exoskeleton, varying in colors in accordance with their Hive. This exoskeleton provides protection against harsh radiation, solar and otherwise, and acts as a robust pressure suit to seal their soft inner core from the outside world. This allows most Type A Vaurcae to have extended, several day-long EVA expeditions, assuming they have phoron. Their hands consist of two middle fingers with small talons at the end, and two opposable thumbs, a left and a right, on either side of their hand. Type A range from 5ft to 7ft tall on average, though outliers of both spectra are not unheard of for the more specialized tasks.

It is important to note that Workers explicitly avoid violent situations wherever possible. This is not their function, and they are always more used to the Hive in peak conditions. Nearly all Workers are designed to find violence almost abhorrent—the sight and smell of blood instilling fear and worry for most.

Za, The Warriors (Type B)

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Type B are the second most prominent of Vaurca society and some of the most varied. They can range in size from 5ft tall to 8ft tall. Other types of Warriors, known as Warforms, rise to as much as 20ft tall. They can be bipedal, quadrupeds, or hexapods, which are called types BA, BB, and BC respectively. They usually have weapons physically attached to their bodies, making them unwieldy or impractical for any situation other than combat.

Warriors, unlike other types of Vaurcae, are not typically passive. This means that they tend to be more suitable for combat-orientated positions, while Worker and Gyne types tend to be poorly suited for the disposition these types of occupations demand. Unlike Workers, their exoskeleton is not as well equipped for such extended EVA expeditions, however, it can withstand a few hours-long excursions.

The majority of Warrior-caste Vaurcae employed by the Stellar Corporate Conglomerate are type BA, also known as Myrmidon. Myrmidons are deprived of the most advanced augments and mostly differ from other types simply in that they are more mentally suited for combat or are involved in the function of something that could be considered a weapon. Unlike Workers, type BA possesses longer, more powerful mandibles. These can be customizable on the character creation screen.

Ta, The Breeders (Type C)

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Type C are rare among Vaurcae and make up around 2-3% of their entire species. They are massive and larger than any of the other castes. Female Breeders, also known as Gynes, are the ruling caste of the Vaurcae and are the only available type of Breeder on the ship. Type CB, Unbound Gynes, occupy all leadership positions amongst the species and share in the same biological immortality enjoyed by them, many being born in generations long gone.

Queens, lesser and high, are the only types of Vaurcae capable of producing eggs. It falls to specialized Gynes, known as Surrogates, to fertilize, genetically shape, and nurture these eggs to maturation. Being born under a specific Queen places a Vaurca in her brood, with each brood pushing the Vaurca towards distinctive traits reflective of her will and a variant carapace color. Not all Ta are Queens, but all Queens are Ta.

Male Ta are raised as Bound while the females are raised as Unbound. Ta differ substantially from other castes in that they do not have recognized subcastes and instead are separated by ranks. Additionally, unlike the remainder of the Vaurca species, Ta are possessed of great social intelligence, making them ideal candidates for negotiating with aliens on economic and political matters. They easily grasp the nuances of social context, contracts, and systems that other castes have difficulty navigating.

Ta can only be played as Consular Officers.

Playing a Hive Representative

As a Ta aboard the Horizon you are one of the venerable leaders of the Vaurca species and more valuable than any individual Worker or Warrior, a fact you are deeply cognizant of. Vaurca of your Hive are biologically compelled to follow your orders except where they directly contradict a Ta of their own Brood and many Vaurca of other Hive's will do so in ordinary circumstances out of respect, though they are not strictly required to. Your position places you as a representative of the Court of Queens or the state you represent. As such, your diplomatic duties consist primarily of representing your brood in a positive light, advancing the political goals of your Hive, and providing emotional support and advice.

Below are the rules for playing a Ta. Any bends of these rules must be clarified with the species maintainer prior to playing the character. Failure to adhere to the guidelines may result in punishment.

  • No height taller than 11 feet tall.
  • As a Gyne, you are allowed to have a three-syllable name instead of the usual monosyllabic.
  • Auto-hiss basic (s becomes z or more frequently not at all). You have been assigned to work on a station full of aliens, so you would have a vocal implant aiding this significantly due to your status.
  • Avoid combat and avoid doing any labor or specialized work except where absolutely necessary. Ta may and almost always do have hobbies, often developing talents in line with the skills of their brood, and they are expected to be extremely good at them owing to their incredible age. Despite this, they are leaders and politicians, not Warriors or Workers, and they should have no intention of changing this. On matters of strenuous labor, Gynes ultimately prefer delegation and inspiring others to do something.
  • Avoid social ignorance. Gynes possess a high social intelligence thanks to generations of evolution, being literally made for it, so they would be knowledgeable on whether trying to clean a Unathi's horn would upset them or not.
  • Ta are biologically immortal, many having lived through what would to other species be recognized as entire eras of history. Each brood has different customs regarding the age at which a Gyne is ready for diplomatic duties. Few broods trust Ta under 100 years old with any serious positions. The absolute upper limit on playable Ta age is thirty-five-thousand years, born not long before the Great Hive War. Gynes older than this are very rare and typically Queens, Surrogates, or hive-cell Aliates, not finding work aboard the Horizon. Despite this extraordinary range, the average Hive Representative will fall between 500 and 3000 years.
  • Gynes, as important members of the Hives, are entrusted with an administrative neural socket, a tool that gives them greatly increased power over the Hivenet and Virtual Reality. Mechanically, this is reflected in a series of Hivenet verbs, giving them the ability to mute, shock, ban, and even void lesser Vaurca. Despite having access to such with a thought, Ta employ them rarely, and to do so against another Hive's Vaurca without good reason is equivalent to a hostile attack, a major diplomatic incident. Voiding, the act of destroying a Vaurca's neural socket, is an absolute last resort and should never be employed except as a last resort.

Ra, The Bulwarks (Type E)

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The newest caste of the Vaurca, Type E are heavyset industrialists who specialize in jobs involving hard labor, engineering, and maintenance. Average specimens stand at 8-10 feet tall and require special clothing due to their unique shape. Type E Vaurca are the least prominent population-wise in the species, due to the fact they were only recently conceived. Bulwarks were unveiled at the first session of the reformed Court of Queens in 2463 before specimens belonging to the other Hives began appearing.

Bulwarks tend to be strictly defensive in their temperament, meaning they will fight to defend themselves and those in their immediate surroundings, before escaping when presented the chance. They will not chase down threats or run into situations they are not already involved in.

Bulwarks are only employed in select locations as of now, due to their relatively recent appearance. Notable locations include the NTCC Odin, the NSS Upsilon, the NSS Aurora, and the SCCV Horizon. Outside of these locations they are heavily monitored in where they go and are typically kept in more secure locations. There are no Queenless Bulwarks.

The Unbound

The Unbound, or Akaix, are the sapient and self-aware parts of Vaurca society. Their eggs and larvae are given specialized care by Surrogates and Bound Workers. The Unbound are born with fully developed brains and are perfectly capable of making rational decisions. They are naturally intuitive, curious, and capable of understanding abstraction, much like a human. However, Unbound are not raised in a traditional manner. Instead, Unbound Vaurcae are trained in Virtual Reality, where they learn to fulfill their tasks for the real world. Depending on the specialization of the Vaurca, this training can widely differ.

Although Unbound are still thinking, sapient beings, they still typically maintain unwavering subservience to the respective hierarchy of their Hive. This is due to a combination of pheromone excretion and indoctrination methods imposed during the growing process of an Unbound. However, when they are not under the direct instruction of a lesser or High Queen, they will typically pursue their own or their own hive-cell's interests.

The Unbound typically take up jobs that require more critical thinking skills, the ability to learn or adapt, and greater abstract thought than simple Bound. In this respect, Unbound Vaurcae can simply be considered on the same level as any human. Integration in the Orion Spur and other alien communities has some of them living alone or in small groups in their own apartments like any other citizen or family, working to support themselves. However, all Vaurcae are required to provide a tithe to their hive-cell, which takes most of their paycheck.

Playing Unbound

Unbound are the human-like part of the Vaurcae species and are capable of playing any non-command role in terms of ability. The uniqueness of their upbringing, combined with the millennial history of the species, provides interesting types of personality not seen in any other species. Unbound can spent thousands of years inside Virtual Reality, either kept in cryogenic storage or resleeved to return to the real world. They can also be freshly birthed, barely knowing anything besides the basics of their trade. Any other variations, as long as they are possible within the lore, are also acceptable. Likely because of their biology, many Vaurcae are generally passive and hold more value in a group's opinion rather than their own, disliking isolation.

Depending on the Hive, the personality of the Unbound can change. This is mostly true among younger Vaurcae. For example, a young K'lax Warrior might understand the military structure of the Izweski Nation and have a good grasp on Unathi traditions. For this reason, Vaurca players are encouraged to read the lore of overlapping cultures.

The Bound

While all Bound are specialized for a specific job or instruction, all are still capable of simple labor.

Bound Vaurcae, Drones, or Viax, are members of a lobotomized slave caste trained to obey orders without question, chosen even before their egg is laid. Eggs designated to be Bound are provided with certain hormonal mixes designed to neutralize brain function critical for higher thought and are then put in a warm, moisture-rich environment while Surrogates and Workers oversee their care. The larvae that hatch from the eggs are then taken to another specialized, moist environment to be raised and augmented. Bound are highly capable in their positions but are incredibly simple-minded; most Vaurcae consider them less sapient than they would an IPC. The result is a very effective worker but one that struggles to adapt to unusual circumstances and has minimal ability to learn or think in abstractions.

Playing Bound

Bound have a lot in common with stationbounds in personality and playstyle. They have no concept of the self and can only act independently in matters of personal survival, maintenance, or self-defense. Vaurca Drones typically speak slowly and have trouble speaking Basic.

Bound typically focus on performing their duty. If asked to do something outside of the scope of their duty a Bound will always use their duty as a reference to the task at hand. Because they are working under the decree of the Hive's Queen, only with good reason would an Unbound Vaurca ask a Bound from its respective Hive to deviate from their duty. Otherwise, Bound are taught and expected to follow station protocols to the best of their ability as it is their duty to do so. Only their Hives' Unbound, and heads of staff can order a Bound to deviate from its duties.

Bound can be easily dismissed—or culled—if their performance is unsatisfactory.

IMPORTANT: Drones are not meant to be stupid. While your Bound Vaurca is expected to be oblivious to most of their surroundings, this does not mean that Viax should be incompetent in their job. A Viax should never show ignorance towards their area of expertise or disregard for basic social conventions.

They can only take the jobs listed here. If a job title is not on this list, you cannot play them as a Bound.

Jobs playable by Bound
Department Jobs Available
Security None
Medical Surgeon, Physician, Pharmacist
Engineering Engineer, Atmospheric Technician
Science Lab Assistant
Operations Hangar Technician, Machinist, Shaft Miner
Service Chef, Bartender, Gardener, Librarian, Janitor
Civilian Assistant

History

See also: Vaurca History

Vaurcae have a rich and complex history spanning over 730 000 years. Because Vaurcae play on the fallen civilization trope, history is very important to them. As such, most Vaurca characters will have a grasp of relevant historical events. Below is a summary of Vaurca history, but you are encouraged to read the complete wiki page.


History Summary

The Vaurca evolved within the harsh environment of Sedantis I, the innermost satellite of the gas giant Sc'theth'stak. Survival beneath the surface demanded constant adaptation. Competition for limited resources fueled millennia of brutal warfare among the emerging Vaurca Hives. However, a pivotal event was the domestication of the k'ois fungus. This agricultural breakthrough spurred population growth, codified the current Hive hierarchy, and laid the foundation for the rise of powerful empires.

Though the exact chronology remains debated, a vast period of Vaurca history stretches back over 500 000 years. This era, often referred to as the Age of Death, was marked by territorial conflicts and aggressive expansionism. It is also the era prior to the Vaurca Virtual Reality technology. Three major powers consolidated their influence: the K'lax Hive, based in the Mya'kt Fault and known for their technological innovation; the Zo'ra Hive, settled in the Veii'kt Plate and famed for their military prowess; and the C'thur Hive, located within the Lei'kt Caves and with noted diplomatic influence.

The Zo'ra Hive, through relentless conquest, established a vast empire. Their rule extended over much of Sedantis, subjugating numerous Hives—including the technologically advanced K'lax. Zo'ra's dominance would shape Vaurca society for millennia to come. Eventually, Zo'rane rule turned from ruthless to enlightened, establishing a revered organization known as the Court of Queens.

On January 5, 27 547 BCE, the small Lii'dra Hive attacked the Xtykt'lotec Rift, home of the Court of Queens. What followed was the Great Hive War, a gruesome conflict that decimated the population of Sedantis. Although only lasting 80 years, the consequences of the Great Hive War deeply impacted Vaurca culture until today.

The aftermath of the Great Hive War brought to Vaurcae the Virtual Reality technology. Virtual Reality reshaped many aspects of Vaurca identity, particularly because it introduced a novel concept—the consciousness of the deceased could now be uploaded to Cephalons, meaning Vaurcae would never face death again. Sedantis, however, was wrecked, and although Virtual Reality was meant to be a gift for all hives, many smaller factions fell into despair, battling for the remnants of a now shrunken Zo'ra Empire. For millennia, the main Vaurca Hives were on the decline. Innovation was feared and diplomacy was kept to a minimum, out of fear of a new war and tensions.

In 412 BCE, the main Vaurca Hives entered a period known as the Hives Renaissance. This epoch saw a great increase in technological advancements and revitalized many aspects of Vaurca society, including religion. The Hives Renaissance reinvigorated the Vaurca desire for knowledge and innovation. The most notable, however, was the Pon'kana Engine. Pon'kana was a novel method of seizing the energy inside Sedantis's core, similar to a localized Dyson sphere. Although the Pon'kana Engine was initially successful, it destabilized the orbit of Sedantis, ultimately leading to its possible demise when a crash was predicted.

With this new knowledge, the Zo'ra Hive decided to evacuate the satellite. Although the K'lax Hive was not originally considered for the Exodus, their Hiveship design was favored. Ultimately, the K'lax were invited to join the Zo'ra. The C'thur reverse-engineered the Hiveship design, joining the Zo'ra and the K'lax among the stars.

Vaurcae wandered for over 2 000 years in space. At first, they established some temporary settlements, most notably Celis. However, the Hives continued to search for a new home until their arrival in the Orion Spur.

The C'thur Hive made first contact with Skrell around 2448-2450. The Zo'ra Hive made first contact with humanity in November 2456. The K'lax Hive made first contact with Unathi in March 2459.

Modern Day

Since arriving in the Orion Spur, the Vaurca have strategically adapted to their new environment. To become indispensable, they have integrated themselves into the Republic of Biesel, Izweski Hegemony, and Nralakk Federation, even providing military manpower. However, their limited resources after the Sedantis Exodus have hampered their military readiness. Not all factions feel the same about the presence of Vaurcae in the Orion Spur. For example, the Elyrans, scarred by the Lii'dra incursion, might be warry of all Vaurca Hives.

Though diminished from their former glory, the Zo'ra Hive remains a formidable power in the Orion Spur. Their military might is unmatched among the Vaurca Hives, boasting a vast force of warriors and specialized warforms. The military and political finesse of the Zo'ra is mostly evident in the Tau Ceti Armed Forces, where they assisted the young republic by filling their ranks. This move granted them influence within the military structure and a path into the intricate political web of the Spur. The Zo'ra's focus on hybridizing weapons technology has also allowed them to strike deals with megacorporations, such as the NanoTrasen Corporation and Zavodskoi Interstellar. While they have successfully revived the Court of Queens in their capital, New Sedantis, a significant portion of the Zo'ra population on Biesel live in great squalor. For more information, visit Zo'ra in the Republic of Biesel.

While the Zo'ra focus on military and political influence, the K'lax Hive has proven most adept at harnessing advanced technologies for the Orion Spur's realities. This comes as little surprise to the K'lax, the brilliant inventors whose contributions were often overshadowed by the Zo'ra. Their collaboration with the Unathi on Moghes saw the ingenious adaptation of ancient terraforming machines to the Spur's materials. This expertise fueled their transformation of the desolate colony of Tret into a sprawling factory planet—the new industrial heart of the Izweski Hegemony. Tret's vast production capabilities have significantly boosted the Hegemony's economy, fueling military expansion and technological development. While the K'lax also provide Warriors to the Hegemony, their numbers pale in comparison to the Zo'ra's contributions to the Tau Ceti Armed Forces. Despite this, unfavorable external deals with Hephaestus Industries limit the full financial rewards the K'lax reap from their industrial prowess. For more information, visit K'lax in the Izweski Nation.

Economically, it is only the C'thur Hive who have truly profited. While the other Hives are reliant on collective money pools brought in by employed Bound and Unbound or the leftovers of their own factory exports, being harbored by the generous Nralakk Federation has opened up a large amount of opportunities, to say nothing of the C'thur Hive's historical inclinations. The C'thur have bought a significant portion of Einstein Engines, opening a connection to the Eridani Corporate Federation, and many job opportunities. These factors have resulted in the C'thur being in a financial and corporate advantage. Money that is received by Hives is typically distributed between the Queens, each given the discretion to use their share however they wish within certain limits. For more information, visit C'thur in the Nralakk Federation.

Individuals

For many Unbound, adapting to their new lives has been a tough ordeal, but one that is short suffered. Once settled, most hive-cells are capable of sharing a single-bedroom apartment due to their preference for confined spaces and their tendency for practicality over personality. Personal possessions are not uncommon, Unbound are welcome to spend what little money they typically receive on hobbies.

Workers mostly shifted from serving the Hive to employment well, with only a few incredibly specialized Unbound finding difficulty. While confusion was apparent at the complicated process of the simple act of going to work, once clarified, many Vaurcae brought their specialized knowledge and pragmatism into like-minded fields, typically able to share their intricate knowledge with great practical success. On a social level, however, many Unbound are prone to varying levels of discrimination. Such acts can be extremely discreet, such as being made to do a less desirable task. On the other hand, some overtly voice their dislike, often showing their ignorance of how Vaurcae operate and live. More obvious examples of dislike include incidents such as Tajara gangs having feuds with Vaurcae in Mendell City.

Warriors, however, did not have such an easy transition. While there were some who could transition as well as most Workers, many of the Unbound purely bred for combat struggled to find applicable work. Some of these soldiers slowly managed to trickle into work as private security, bodyguards, and alike, while others found trivial work doing menial or laborious tasks. K'lax Warriors mostly serve in the Hegemony. Meanwhile, many others, especially from the Zo'ra Hive, have found a place doing what they do best in the Tau Ceti Armed Forces. Much of this situation was recently alleviated by the founding of the Pan-Vaurcesian military the Private_Military_Contracting_Group#Ve'katak_Phalanx which draws in a large percentage of what would be the otherwise unemployed Vaurca Warriors, giving them a place in service to the Court of Queens.

Bulwarks are somewhere in-between. As the newest mainstream caste, they have been specifically bred for specialized purposes. However, there are still many limitations. As many Bulwarks were a novelty when they were first unveiled, their uses were diverse. Currently, most Bulwarks are still employed in heavy industries such as mining or engineering. Some outliers remain, working in other fields as unique and valuable assets.

Culture

See also: Vaurca Culture and Society and Vaurca Religion

As the oldest sapient species in the Orion Spur, Vaurca history and culture are incredibly rich and diverse. However, the dominant understanding of Vaurca culture stems from the traditions of the Zo'ra Hive and their historical empire. While the K'lax and C'thur Hives possess their own cultural variations, the influence of the Zo'ra permeated their vast domain for centuries.

Prior to the invention of Virtual Reality, Vaurca artistic expression prioritized physical mediums. One of the main art forms was grandiose architecture, often carved directly into the caverns of Sedantis. These sculptural and architectonic feats demonstrated both skill and devotion. Intricate sculptures and elaborate rhythmic music were other cornerstones of their culture. These enduring art forms have seen a revival among Vaurca in the Orion Spur seeking to differentiate themselves and showcase their unique heritage to other species.

Today, much of Vaurca culture exists within the digital landscape. Each Queen maintains vast virtual temples dedicated to knowledge, arts, and crafts. This shift towards digitalization has shaped the core of modern Vaurca cultural expression. Within Virtual Reality, Vaurcae find an unlimited canvas for artistic pursuits, collaborative learning, and the preservation of history.

Religion plays a significant role in the lives of many Vaurcae. While individuals or hive-cells often choose their faith, it remains one of the few aspects of an Unbound Vaurca's life not wholly dictated by the Queens. Virtually all Vaurca faiths revere the Queens, particularly their own. This reverence, reinforced by pheromones and immersive Virtual Reality experiences, contributes to the stability of the Hives and strengthens the Queens' rule.

Language

Before the invention of the Hivenet in the Era of Augments, Vaurcae would communicate by distributing pheromones from mouth to mouth for complex messages, and vibrations with their antennae for simpler messages, sent via larger distances. Since Vaurcae do not possess a vocal tract, spoken language was unknown to them until their arrival to the Spur. The invention of the Hivenet allowed for a better and more long-range method to communicate with each other, making cooperation more efficient. While to a stranger Hivenet might just sound like rhythmic vibrations, for a Vaurca the received message—which is encoded pheromones coded and transmitted as signals—"sounds" in their head, which is how the Vaurcese vocabulary has been incorporated in Human, Skrell, and Unathi space.

These encoded pheromones can also transmit emotions and other kinds of warnings. Because of the lack of facial expressions available for Vaurcae, it is common for individuals to express themselves by sending a message such as this on the net. Other simple encoded messages such as small onomatopoeic sounds, reactions like eye-rolls, and basic "images" may also be sent. "Videos" are too heavy to be encapsulated by pheromones in the way other species would understand it, instead coming across as a collection of feelings and basic information.

Since the species' arrival in the Spur, they have been forced to develop augmentations known as voice synthesizers which allow for speech and the translation of language. The majority of these voice modulators are cheap, which is responsible for much of the species possessing a peculiar buzzing accent. Without this augmentation, no Vaurca is able to audibly receive or reproduce a xenolanguage. Additionally despite the species not having used a written language commonly since the invention of Virtual Reality, Vaurcae are able to learn to read and write in Basic, and for an employee on board the SCCV Horizon, part of their education would have consisted in such.

Speaking like a Vaurca

Vaurcae working in alien space have augments that allow them to have an easier time speaking the languages of the Orion Spur. However, due to the desperate times the species is in, speech augments tend to be of variable quality. Vaurcae typically expresses an unfamiliarity with most alien languages, preferring to use basic words and sentence structures over more complex ones, and often may be unaware of the exact meaning of words, or the names of objects, instead describing them. This tends to happen most to those who are not used to alien cultures.

Many Vaurcae and their vocal augments have difficulty producing sounds related to the letter "s", and instead substitute with a harsh buzzing in the throat. For example, "May I please have some k'ois?" becomes "May I pleaze have zome k'oiz?" The sonorization of the "s" is less prevalent in K'lax Vaurcae, as they usually have a more refined voice modulator that allows them to mimic the voiceless fricative so present in Unathi languages. Because of this, K'lax players are encouraged to set the auto-hiss to "basic" in the game settings. This is a recommendation and K'lax players are by no means required to do this.

Most voice modulators have difficulty producing soft consonant sounds such as those produced by "f" or "ph", and instead substitute them with a voiced "vh". For example, "Phoron gas is fine!" becomes "Vhoron gas is vhine!" Some unfortunate specimen may even be plagued with both impediments at once. For example, "The phoron in these k'ois lets me breathe." becomes "The vhoron in theze k'oiz letz me breathe." These speech impediments are commonly found in Vaurcae of the Zo'ra and C'thur Hives. As a result, players are encouraged to set the auto-hiss to "full" in the game settings.

The speech impediments of your Vaurca can be pushed even further, and you are encouraged to experiment with what works best for you. If committed to it, the voice modulator of a Vaurca can make their Basic almost unintelligible. However, keep in mind that some jobs have regulations for speech impediments. As such, you are encouraged to try to maintain your Vaurca characters relatively easy to communicate with.

Depending on the specialization of each hive-cell, the voice modulator might be of better quality. Some Vaurcae employed in more "prestigious" roles usually have little to no difficulty producing sounds in Basic. Vaurca Breeders almost always have high-end voice modulators that do not distort the sound. In some cases, such as representatives of the Izweski Hegemony or the Nralakk Federation, the Gyne might imitate the usual speech patterns of their host species.

Naming System

Vaurcae have first names made of three parts. The first part is their caste: Ka for Workers, Za for Warriors, Ra for Bulwarks, or Ta for Breeders. The second syllable indicates whether they are Bound or Unbound; Akaix for Unbound, Viax for Bound.

The last syllable of the name is unique and decided by the player. In Vaurcese, this segment would translate to a unique identifier, representing a natural number. This serial identifier can repeat between Hives, but you are discouraged from copying the name of another character. All identifiers should be short, at most two syllables. Gynes in the ship usually have longer names, consisting of multiple segments. Unlike the names of other castes, the names of Gynes are usually meaningful. They can be divided into multiple apostrophes.

A Worker Unbound Vaurca, for example, may be named Ka'Akaix'Siith Zo'ra; "Siith" is their personal identifier. The surname is the Hive that the Vaurca is a part of, in this case, "Zo'ra". A Zo'rane Gyne could be named Ta'Akaix'Nil'scyet'maak Zo'ra; "Nil'scyet'maak" is their personal name.

In summary, the name is your Vaurca's caste, whether they are Bound or Unbound, and their personal, unique name. Their surname is their Hive.

Vaurca Augmentation

While many Vaurcae look identical in an augmented state, aside from various shifts in color, virtually all Vaurcae are augmented in some manner, the degree to which depends very much on their caste and purpose.

The most augmentation is typically seen in Bound Vaurcae. Much of their organic mass will at some point be replaced with machinery, so they can fulfill one specific task to the best of their ability. Worker Bound will at the completion of their development look more like construction machines than Vaurca, with variable amounts of limbs and a plethora of tools at their disposal. Warrior Bound will assume a variety of forms, varying from simple infantry with weapons and targeting augments to assault vehicles. The more complex the caste name of a Bound, the less recognizable it is as a standard Vaurca.

Unbound, however, will rarely undergo such severe augmentation. The great limitation of such heavy modification is that it eliminates versatility, which is a significant part of the purpose of the Unbound caste. For many their augments are performance-enhancing instead of completely form-altering. The majority of Unbound are today equipped with at least basic communication augments, which make them versatile assets to speak with extra-hive entities.

Ultimately, all Vaurcae currently employed by the Stellar Corporate Conglomerate aboard the SCCV Horizon are of the least augmented tier—either Type AA, Type BA, or Type E. Their carapace is almost totally unmodified. Bound and Unbound alike will have a neural socket and an oxygen filtration system, and they may utilize full-limb prosthetics. Bound may have several augments designed to increase work efficiency or general survival, while Unbound will typically have only a few augments to ensure that they can fulfill any task assigned to them by the Stellar Corporate Conglomerate.

See also

  • Vaurca Hives, where you can find information on each brood. There is a portal available to navigate between broods pages easily.
  • Vaurca Biology, to learn more about the specifics of each caste and the many bioforms.
  • The Vaurca channels on the lore Discord, where you can learn and ask more about the species.