Vanduul

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Vanduul.jpg
Vanduul
CapitalNone (Vanduuls are nomads)
FoundedUnknown
First Contact2681 CE; 267 years ago (2681)
LanguagesVanduul language
ReligionUnknown
GovernmentNo central government
  • Tribalism
RulerSeveral Clan leaders
  • Thul'Oqquray
  • CurrencyNone
    Territories15 known systems
  • Orion
  • Tiber
  • Vagabond
  • Vanguard
  • Vector
  • Vendetta
  • Veritas
  • Vermilion
  • Vesper
  • Viking
  • Virgil
  • Virgo
  • Volt
  • Voodoo
  • Vulture
  • Vanduul ( /væn'duː:l/; kyexiin: äntÙR(Proper); SRX: uantūl (Proper); Vanduul: vanduul; ) are a sentient, nomadic living[Annotation 1] species of bipedals. Males live on ships and form organized groups called "clans" or "hordes".[1] The Vanduul made first contact with Humanity in 2681.[2] Since these first encounters, they are usually aggressive towards other races, especially humans. All attempts that Humanity has made to contact them peacefully have failed. After a first big wave of attacks against the human-settled sectors between 2681 and 2712, (the Fall of Caliban, Orion and Virgil) they constantly raided UEE's "Western"[3][4] border territories. Their conflict with the UEE in the Tiber System over the following 250 years lead to millions of dead human soldiers and civilians.

    The Attack on Vega II on 2945-10-05 caused the UEE Senate to formally declare an interspecies war against the Vanduul on 2945-11-11 [5] and confront them in the Oberon system in 2946 (Operation Mandrake).[6]

    History

    Forlink.svg  For further information about the current war between UEE and Vanduul (2945- ), see Vanduul War.

    Because the Vanduul haven't contacted Humanity and are following a strict "suicide doctrine" (scuttling their ships if they are in danger of being captured), very little is known about the Vanduul as a species. Human offworld settlement in the 25th Century started during the Far Star "push" with the result of Vega, Tiber and Virgil being discovered and colonized (with the exception of Tiber),[7][8][9][10] followed by the settlement of Orion in 2660s.[11] No Vanduul were spotted during this period.

    The First Contact with Humanity was violent. On 9 August 2681 a group of Vanduul raiders attacked the Dell Township on Armitage in the Orion System, killing 638 people and abducting one human.[11][12][2] Unusually, The raiding group looted a lot of worthless items and avoided more important ones. Since these events, Vanduul raided the systems of Orion, Virgil and Tiber System between 2681-2712, which lead to a short and rapid growth of Vega,[13] until the system became later itself target of Vanduul attacks. Ilyana Messer and their successors never acknowledged the Vanduul as a real threat until the following events of Orion.[12]

    On 2 February 2712, a Vanduul clan attacked the Orion System and started the Battle of Orion.[14] The decimated UEE Fleet retreated into the Tiber and Caliban System and abandoned Orion as they fled. In the following year, the Vanduul clan, lead by a Kingship, bombarded Orion III, destroying the surface of the planet with Anti-matter bombs and then harvesting the planets of the system. [11][12]

    The UEE abandoned the Virgil System after the Vanduul attacked Virgil I, bombarding and "harvesting" the planet, leaving it inhospitable. In these events, millions of civilians on Virgil died as the UEE retreated from the system.

    After the end of the Messer Era, the new Imperator attempted to stop the violence and open diplomatic relations with the Vanduul, inviting them to take part in the ARK Program (2806 ff).[15] These negotiations failed.

    A second push of the Vanduul in 2871 lead to the evacuation and Fall of the Caliban System.[16]

    Aremis, despite living in fear of Vanduul attacks, encountered a major economic boom during the 2920s-2930s[4]

    After years of relative battle silence,[17] the Vanduul attacked New Corvo and Estilia (on Aremis) on October 5th and 6th, 2945, leading to the events of the Vanduul War.

    The concept of Vanduul armor shown in Around the Verse on 2018-06-28

    Homeworld

    It is unknown if the Vanduul currently have a home world. Some scientists posit that the planet may have been destroyed or abandoned, which scattered the Vanduul clans into a nomadic lifestyle in their ships.
    Vanduul Warrior Concept Art

    Political System

    The political system of the Vanduul has been described as a meritocracy (the political philosophy in which power and wealth is given to the most talented members of a society).

    The disparate structure of the Vanduul civilization makes it nearly impossible to negotiate with the species as a whole, but none of the individual clans has offered anything but hostility.[18]

    There is little to no communication between the different roaming clans. Each fleet operates as its own society with its own independent set of rules, laws and customs as decreed by that clan's Chieftain. As such, it is probably impossible to make peace or establish diplomatic relations with the Vanduul as a whole since there is no cohesive civilization.

    Society

    Vanduul do not hold permanent settlements and therefore do not claim land in their occupied systems. They eliminate every threat, raiding and pillaging the surface of an occupied planet with specialized Harvesters and then moving to a new location once the planet has been thoroughly drained of all resources. It seems that they are not interested in preserving their potential "pasture grounds", which could be a reason for their nomadic and expansionist lifestyle.

    Vanduul's family structure is also very distinct from Humanity. There is one tradition that exists throughout all of the Vanduul; once a child reaches adulthood (usually around the equivalent of Human 13–14 years), they are banished from their family. Before they go, the parents will fashion a knife for their child. This knife will be the child's only possession as he/she sets out into adulthood. Consequently, these knives are treasured possessions that they keep for the rest of their lives. They will receive no money, housing, or support of any kind from their former family. Everything that the newly recognized adult achieves starts with the knife and grows from there. Therefore, there is no hereditary transfer of money or influence.

    Diplomatic Status

    Humans: None.

    Banu: Some clans will trade with Banu planet-states.
    Size Comparison
    Xi’an: While distance plays a factor (there are a lot of unfriendly systems between the Vanduul and the Xi’an), their limited contact has not been particularly fruitful. Some clans have established tentative trading relations but the majority of Vanduul regard the Xi’An as manipulators and cowards, while the Xi’an view the Vanduul as short-sighted barbaric thugs.

    Religion

    Due to the cultural emphasis on solidarity, the idea of higher powers aiding or affecting an individual's life has never caught on with Vanduul society. Therefore, the 'self' is held in high regard, so the closest thing to a Vanduul religion is the admiration of a specific person and what he or she was able to achieve.

    Vanduul youth are educated in the lives of exemplary Vanduul of the past. Specifically the choices they made, and how they overcame their environment and distinguished themselves.

    Personality Traits

    From a purely anthropological perspective, the Vanduul behave like classic hunter-gatherers. They are a very insular species. They rarely interact with those outside of their clan, even other Vanduul. If you should find yourself engaged in a conversation (trade) with a Vanduul, they will be all business. They find engaging in pleasantries to be inefficient and insulting.

    In combat, the Vanduul are relentless and merciless. In a textbook raid, they will hit hard and fast and never leave survivors. Over the decades, they've adapted their tactics as they've learned the purpose of Human structures. Clans will attack high value buildings (Communications, medical facilities etc.) first to minimize the chance of resistance.

    It is possible for an individual human to engage in trade with a Vanduul although it would be incredibly difficult.

    Language

    File.svg Main article: Vanduul language 
    Ancient Vanduul scripts

    Vanduul have a "unified system of quasi-pictographic writing". A translation team from the University of Moscow investigated the Language, although it will take several years before the Vanduul language has been completely deciphered.[1] The language was created by Britton Watkins.[19]

    Some words are known, due a conversions from the performance capture of Squadron 42. According to Sipola (2016),[19] these are (written in the international Phonetic Alphabet)

    [ˈkurae ʃalˈjuve:], [ʒaˈlaθ ʔaqˈqaθ:on: ˈminːa::], [iwe:hah:ih:ohʃdavo:hpunahdoh], [ˈkai ˈfisad ˈjusa ˈkujamˌlaχ↗nu::] and [χeχo:lda:ˈvedna::]. He also pointed out that the Vanduul bodies are changed their color based on their mood.[19]

    Andy Serkis has stated that the language is very guttural and harsh sounding.[20]

    Background

    Lore

    The Vanduul are intended to be a resemblance of the Vandals and Visigoths [21] [22] - or "barbarian" tribes of the 4th and 5th Century [3] (brutal, purely nomadic, war-like, see Vandalism[23]). In Robert's words "(...) fighting against the barbarian hordes much like the legions did towards the end of the Roman empire." [3] He also said: "So we start the game before there’s a proper split [between Terra and Earth] , but there will be a split between the two sides, and then we’ll have an in-game event that’s like the sack of Earth further on, like the sack of Rome." [3] It is a reference to the Visigoths (sacked rome in 410) and Vandals (sacked rome in 455).[Annotation 2]

    Design

    " They are scavengers. They don't create their technology, they absorb other race’s technology and make do what they want with it. So, they are really really capable in understanding how stuff works and making stuff work for them by modifying it and like combining stuff together. (...) they don't care about [visual aspects] (…) they don't have art (...) they’re just out there to basically conquer and absorb and assimilate and just be stronger. That's why their weapons(...) don't necessarily have a consistent style per se as you can very often see some other races and some other technologies inside."

    Michal Kozlowski, Around the Verse: Vanduul Blade & Shops 'n Trade [24]

    Annotations

    1. As a Vanduul male reaches "adulthood", he lives the rest of his life with his clan "on the run". It is currently unknown where female and young Vanduul are living and under which circumstances male and female Vanduul are procreating.
    2. A note on parallels with the Vandals, who lived relatively steadily until they were forced by the Huns to cross the Rhine (with the Alans and Suebi) in 409. Afters years of wandering they erected a shortlived kingdom in Spain, then in Carthago. In 455, followed by another roman civil war, they were invited by a roman faction to eliminate the roman usurper Petronius Maximus who was proclaimed the new emperor. He wanted to marry his son to the dead Emperor's daughter, a turn which raised resistance in the roman aristocracy. As the vandalic army arrived at the city, the roman defenders opened the gate without resistance. Petronius was stoned by the citizens or murdered by his own guard.

    References