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Vanduul Warrior Concept Art
Vanduul Concept Art

Vanduul (plural/singular, Van'DOOL,[væn'duː:l] or just 'duul; SRX: uantūl; Kyexiin: äntÙR) are a sentient, nomadic living[Annotation 1] species of bipedals. Male Vanduul 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 of Humanity to contact them peacefully 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 raided constantly UEE's "western"[3][4] border territories. Their conflict with the UEE in the Tiber System over the following 250 years has lead to millions of dead human soldiers and civilians.

Size Comparison

As a result of the recent Attack on Vega II, the UEE Senate declared formally an interspecies war against the Vanduul on 2945-11-11[5] and confronted them in the Oberon system in 2946 (Operation Mandrake).[6]


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

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

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 abducted one human.[11][12][2] The raiding group unusually looted a lot of worthless items and don't gathered worthy 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 successor's 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 fled and retreated into the Tiber and Caliban System and abandoned Orion. In the following year, the Vanduul clan, lead by a Kingship, bombarded Orion III, destroyed the surface of the planet with Anti-matter bombs and harvested the planets of the system until they left. [11][12]

The UEE abandoned the Virgil System after the Vanduul attacked Virgil I, bombarding and "harvesting" the planet, left it as an uninhabitable and contaminated world. 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 and invited them to taking part in the ARK Program (2806 ff).[15]

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

Aremis (in Vega), longtime living in fear however grew after a second economy boom, benefited by low real estate prices in the 2920-2930s.[4]

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


It is unknown, if the Vanduul have a homeworld. Some scientists posit that the planet may have been destroyed or abandoned, which scattered the Vanduul clans into a life on the drift.

Political System

The political system of the Vanduul is described as a Meritocracy, the rule of Meritocrats (powerful and recognised individuals).

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 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.


Vanduuls do not hold permanent settlements and therefore they don't claim land in their occupied systems. They are eliminating every threat, raiding and pillaging the surface of an occupied planet with specialised Harvester's and then moving after a while to another place. It seems that they are not interested in preserving their potential "pasture grounds", which could be a reason for their nomadic and expansionistic 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.

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.


Due to the cultural emphasis on 'self,' the idea of higher powers aiding or affecting your life has never really caught on with the society. Therefore, the individual 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.

Their 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 (intentionally) leave survivors. Over the decades, they've adapted their tactics as they've learned the purpose of Human structures, so most clans will hit the CommStations first, then target landing yards to minimize the potential resistance in the air before sweeping through on foot.

Is it possible for a singular human to establish trade with the Vanduul? Yes. We haven't figured out the exact details yet, but it will be very difficult.


Forlink.svg  For further information about alien languages, see Alien Languages.
Vanduul Pictographs.PNG

Vanduul have a "unified system of quasi-pictographic writing". A translation team of the University of Moscow investigated the Language, although it is "estimated to take several years with the available data" to decipher the Vanduul language.[1] The language is created by Britton Watkins.[19]

Some words a 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 attested the language a "very guttural" pronounciation.[20]


The Vanduul are intended to be a resemblance of the Vandals [21] and Visigoths [22] - or "barbarian" tribes of the 4th and 5th Century [3] with his negative stereotypes (brutal, purely nomadic, warriorlike, 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]


  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.