FANDOM



The Varanus are a extra-galactic bipedal reptilian species with genetic ties to dragons,once having an natural affinity for magic that now remains mostly forgotten.There exists two major subspecies of the Varanus each with their own distinctions and roles in society.

Biology Edit

The Varanus generally have lean bodies thanks to a high metabolism and sport a digitigrade posture making them appear taller then they actually are.On average a Varanus male can be as tall as 6-7 ft with females rarely being taller then 6 feet.They possess the equivalent of all organs generally found humanoid and reptilian species with a circulatory system similar to other reptilians having a three-chambered heart that pumps oxygen-rich blood through their body.Their blood is red in colour depending on the oxygen levels carried in the blood.They have two lungs and a special organ called the "Dynami" that allows them to breath easily in atmospheres where oxygen is too low to breath properly however this organ cannot support an oxygen deprived Varanus for more then an hour,after which he/she will begin to suffocate.

Being reptilian the Varanus are oviparous meaning they lay eggs to birth their young. Hatchlings are born sporting claws and teeth but as they mature their scales harden and they begin to sprout horns.

Comprised of two genders.Male and Female with the key distinctions in their dimorphism being that Males tend to be broader than females in terms of physical muscle,their horns extend vertically akin to a horned lizard,their tails also have small scaled spines growing out of it.

Female horns curve and they also sport thicker spineless tails.

Despite being omnivorous,the healthy Varanus diet consists of high amounts of meats and insects alongside fruits.Most Varanus have large appetites consuming almost twice it's body weight on a daily basis.All Varanidae have a set of sharp canine teeth that tears and chews meats easily with a smaller set of molars at the back of the jaw that chews up food to smaller sizes and provides a way to eat plants and harder substances. Protein is important in the Varanus diet as it the fuel of their regeneration ability without enough food,an injured Varanus may burn through energy to repair cell causing fatigue from a lack of energy being provided to the rest of the body. This may even lead to the death of an unprepared Varanus caught in the middle of battle as it would be too tired to fight back.

Varanidae sport two hands that have 3 fingers with a opposable thumb as well as two legs and a tail that helps with balance and defense as well as acting as a conduit to absorb kinetic shock and direct it outside the body.Their fingers are tipped with short sharp claws instead of nails that can be used for defense in conjunction with the tail and teeth should a Varanus be unarmed or to hunt prey.

Their eyes bear similarities to that of a Iguana with the sclera being either an shade of blue,dark green,gold or red in colour. While the Iris is black.Interestingly when agitated,focused or afraid their irises take an slitted form.And their able to see and resist the UV spectrum which would otherwise be harmful to other species.

Due to their high metabolism the average body temperature of the Varanus regardless of Gender or age is 40.55°C {105°F},being extremely sensitive to changes in temperature should this number drop their metabolism would gradually slow to a point where they enter a hibernation state that can conserve energy for hours and sometimes days,should the temperature remain low then their bodies would begin to shut down leading to the death of the Varanus in a deep eternal sleep.

Their bodies are coated in hard keratin scales that overlap to provide a resistant skin to protect the body,larger scales cover areas exposed to physical stress {Head,feet,tail,back and arms.} with smaller scales around the joints to provide flexibility.The scales at the neck,chest and down to the reproductive organs are softer,allowing them to comfortably sleep on their bellies rather then on their hardened backs. Their scales are able to absorb humidity from the air to provide water when it is otherwise unavailable and absorb solar radiation to produce vitamin D.The Varanus shed their skin in a period of 3 months and usually the molted skin is either consumed or burned into nutrient rich ash that is used to feed gardens.

Decelerated aging allows the natural lifespan of a Varanus to exceed over 500 years,the oldest recorded non-Vikah member having passed at the age of 1042. The temperament of the Varanus also differ as one becomes older. Young Varanidae tend to be hotblooded and ambitious around the age of 20-100 with experience and age beginning to give way to more calm and rational attitudes. However this is not always the case.

Culture & Society Edit

Varanus Culture is deeply rooted in tradition,warrior tribalism and the practice of their faith. The 'Vo'Kum' or worship of the 'Five'.Their society is built around an caste system based on meritocracy,bloodlines and civil service,unlike most caste systems practiced by other races it allowed the freedom to rise up in the ranks given great effort and sacrifice.

An major factor that plays into their cultural identity is their understanding of life and death.

It's considered sacred to paint the egg with symbols that describe the history of the father on the one side and the mother on the other,with a painted image of the two parents converging on the top shell of the egg where the hatchlings usually break through upon birth.Upon birth the parents would sing the hymn of Nasnas before feeding the hatchling and welcoming it to the world giving it a hatchname.

Most Varanidae have two names:Their hatchname known only to themselves,their family and mentors and their adult name which they are referred to in society. Hatchlings are considered mature once their horns have grown to a certain length upon which they undertake maturity ritual and gain their right to an adult name.Those without a hatchname are orphans or Varanidae born outside Varanus society under other parents.Sharing hatchnames with another is a sign of great trust and friendship.

At the age of 1 the hatchling would begin to develop basic language skills,it is in this development stage that it is home-schooled until the age of 3 where all hatchlings attend schools that would teach them a myriad of information and logic.During this school period the hatchling's personality,talents and preferences are used to determine the potential courses he/she would undertake and begin teaching them the basics beforehand.At the age of 6 they are given the choice to choose their career path and extra subjects upon which they study until graduation at the age of 11 where they begin to mature.Many males at this age undertake a maturity hunt to prove their worth as adults.

The quick learning nature and rapid developing brains of the Varanus allows their young to excel and learn quickly from their mistakes which is treated as victories rather then failures on their path towards maturity.The education system whilst planned tends to allow personal experimentation and freedom especially during the home-schooling period where the hatchling develops values taught and deprived from their parent family. Varanidae rarely shirk from these values due to the close-knit relationships between hatchling and parent.

Historically a warrior culture in nature,their society carries martial values in many aspects of daily life.Each Varanus lives to his/her best in either their occupation or towards their family,the warrior caste is praised and service to one's state and people is regarded as the greatest ambition in life. Varanidae treat their closest friends as family and would shed blood to protect family,old traditions are to be protected and elders venerated while life is treated with a sense of honour that gives pride to your family name.

The ancient tribes that once made up the Varanus race in it's youth left an wealth of cultural rituals practiced by the race as a whole this stems from dances to hymns,sports and even duels to celebrate the past and victories of the present.

Varanus music conveys raw power through the heavy use of drums,stomps and hollowed out horns,they also practice softer music on flute-like instrument.

Varanus art revolves around portraits of important figures and moments of history,the art itself is similar to surrealism and impressionism with strong symbolism towards dragonic figures,the twin suns of old Serpentum and the cool colours.

Upon death it is custom to cremate the fallen and scatter/bury the ashes either in the family garden or in the preserves of the planet during day in broad daylight {It is believed that the gods watch over your passing through the sun}. It is sacrilege to scatter the ashes at night and to do so is not only considered a hate crime but a heretical offense towards the gods themselves.

Caste System Edit

The Varanus social structure is built upon a ordered caste system broken into the following catagories

Domikah

The Domikah Caste {Royal Caste} is reserved for the reigning monarch and his/her family.The members of this caste enjoy the highest of privileges but are also expected to uphold the values and image of the Imperial family.The family of the monarch reside in the Royal Halls of the Eyrie under the watchful eye of the Royal Zikah. The only family thus far to have held this rank was the Sagess Line which founded the Imperium and became extinct in the early stages of the Helix War.

Kah

The Noble Caste and the Zikah Caste reserved for Vikah and Zikah. The Vikah of this caste form the Varanus nobility that holds the most political power in their society,the oldest and most powerful of these families having existed when the Imperium was founded and both the Noble and Zikah enjoy great luxuries and privileges however it is widely known that the power struggles between noble families are cutthroat with many of the lesser houses becoming pawns in the political schemes of the high houses of the Vikah.

The Zikah are famed guards who swear their lives into protecting the Vikah and most importantly the Monarch and his guests,the guard have their own section of halls in the Eyrie and enjoy luxuries that rival that of the Vikah however the Zikah serve another purpose in balancing the schemes of the Vikah houses to prevent their plots from disrupting the state and undermining the rule of the monarch who they owe their true loyalty to.

Shu'Kar

The Warrior Caste is one of honour and glory and the most respected of the Castes holding political clout that nearly rivals the Vikah. The Shu'Kar consists of the Varanus warriors and soldiers of their Legion who bring defeat to their enemies on the battlefields of the Imperim and the Navy who ensure that the stars the Varanus live under are safe and secure.

Many of the young Varanidae who only recently matured tend to join the Shu'Kar,taking their oaths to the Throne and seeking glory while defending the worlds and the empire.Those who excel and survive tend to quickly rise in the ranks as they gain prestige and power however many especially the officers learn the costs of this glory and tend to become reserved and stoic. Despite this the Shu'Kar remain celebrated in Varanus society,many gain welfare benefits and even the praise of the local populace can translate to free meals or drink.It should be noted that many in the Shu'Kar actually take personal payment from the state as Varanus culture isn't based around commerce,however they do send this money to their families directly to pay for needs or luxuries that require compensation in the Imperial market.

Vo'Dor

The Caste of minds is home to the brightest of scientists,scholars,explorers and clergy of the Varanus while not as popular as glory-filled lives soldiers or nobles,the Vo'Dor remain a respected Caste who is well known with furthering the race's understanding,many of the scientests dedicated themselves into groups that combine their talents towards research,explorers constantly charter new worlds seeking relics of bygone civilizations while scholars mark down the histories and cultures of forgotten peoples and the Clergy continue their meditations and prayers as they seek to undo the wound between the divines.

Nas'Ter

The Artists Caste is perhaps one of the most solitary of the castes {Under the Clergy} and while respected they are also often overlooked compared to their works.Many artists stem from Warriors too old to fight or scientists who have given up the pursuit of knowledge for personal enrichment and the progression of culture.

These artists compose the Varanus way of life,understanding and achievements in word,art and song.The most popular of these forms is sculpting usually out of a durable marble-like stone that hardens over time called "Varrack",many painters are commissioned to paint the portraits of the Nobility on alien leathers while the very best are hand-picked to paint the royal family.

Mju'Zi

The Citizen Caste that comprises of the roles that form the basis of general life.From the farmer to the governor every Mju'Zi strives to deliver the best,raise a family and enjoy their lifespans.

Civil policy directly affect the Mju'Zi and while they may have the right to vote on certain topics regarding the Civil government their actual political power {Unless they hold political/governing positions} is fairly limited compared to that of the Kah and Shu'Kar,however they may give support to local governors who in turn support factions in the Civil government which may lead to changes in the policy regarding the local planet,however this rarely beats the status quo which is supported by the decisions of the Court.

Orikkha

Servant/Slave Caste comprises individuals obligated {Willingly or otherwise} to serve another or has it's live owned by another for a period of time or until the Orikkha in question expends it's lifespan.

This caste lives to serve and aid the Mju'Zi and upper castes in their daily lives,usually as domestic servants that are well treated by their masters,in some cases generous lords would pay their servants a decent wage and allow their families to live in their homes.Servants and slaves are protected by an law that defends them from unfair treatment as a means to stem discontent,however this law does not extend to criminals placed into the Orikkha Caste as punishment for their crimes.In most cases these criminals end up as menial laborers that toil for the state or the nobility without payment.

Varanus society is built around public and civil service and many who commit crimes tend to willingly surrender themselves to this Caste as a means to work away their shameful actions.

'Rejected'

The Casteless comprise of individuals so vile that the Varanus people as a whole shun their existence,they are regarded as sub-sentient creatures that cannot be given the same rights as the citizenry,many of whom are exiled from their society.The rejected are marked with a tattoo branded into the soft scales of their chest,their horns are surgically removed and they are sterilized to 'prevent the breeding of impure casteless'

Should a rejected be apprehended by Imperial police forces it is within their protocol to execute the individual and take his/her body to be burned and scattered as per the customary death rite however many deny their scattering amongst family garden and preserves and sometimes simply bury their ashes without thought or care of placement in forgettable parks and forests.

Subspecies Edit

There are two subspecies that are born from a special ritual called the 'Trails of Armaros' that reactivates the dormant dragonic blood within the Varanus causing them to mutate a more dragonic appearance and growing wings if they pass and become Vikah. Those who fail but don't die however become Zikah,pale and wingless. The actual trails and events that determine success or failure differ from each tribute taking the trail making it near impossible to document.

The ritual involves an Archpriest of Armaros and a small lantern that contains part of the Eternal Flame and a ritualistic dagger engraved with symbols of the Vo'kum.

Vikah Edit

Vikah

Reference for the Winged Vikah

The Vikah or Chosen Ones are those who pass the trails,their mutation includes gaining wings,a more dragon-like appearance and find it easier to use magic and it is even rumored that they can breath fire.

One of the most notable aspects of the Vikah is that they are considered ageless,their cells no longer divide due to the Hayflick limit making them biologically immortal however they can still die through injury and disease.In fact most Vikah tend to die from a genetic deformity that most commonly occurs at the age of 5100 in which 1/4 of the afflicted suffer a form of dementia and their body begins to collapse upon itself.

The Vikah dominate the Noble Caste and most positions of political power and by Varanus Custom,only an Vikah may sit upon the Terrasque throne and claim the title of Imperos.

Zikah Edit

Zikah Guard Reference

Zikah Guardsman without helm. {Reference}

The Zikah or Pale Ones are those who fail but survive the trails,their mutation includes gaining a more dragonlike appearance,telepathy,enhanced senses and increased strength and speed as well as having their scales turn pale white in colour. But in return their natural regeneration ability is halted as they require special serums to kick-start their regeneration,their livespans are much shorter then that of the average Varanus rarely living above 100 years from the moment they become Zikah,their immune systems are severely weakened to the point that they must walk in biologically sealed armour as well as have their halls sealed from the rest of the Eyrie. It's unknown as to why they are mute but it's rumored that they communicate with the other Zikah guards through their telepathy.

Most Zikah come to bear with this burden and join the Zikah Guard as they dedicate the rest of their short existence into protecting the Vikah,heads of state and the royal family,in return for this service they enjoy the most lavish of luxuries rivaling that of the decadent nobles and figureheads in their society.Each Zikah is given a handcrafted set of power armour made by the Forgemasters out of pure Naszite,one of the purest and most lightweight metals the Varanus could forge with alongside a spear tipped with Vanaksite that is able to pierce some of the strongest metals and deliver electrical arcs to incapacitate enemies.Using their telepathy to sense danger and using their zealous sense of duty they would easily stop anything short of a army from harming their wards.

It's custom that if a Vikah dies under the watch of a guardsman that the guard in question would kneel before the Monarch,remove his/her helm,recite the oath with the name of their fallen ward and slit his/her throat.

History Edit

The history of the Varanus is one kept immortalized in ancient archives and works of cultural significance that remind the younger generations of their proud and somewhat tragic history.

Originating on the planet of Serpentum {Varn in Primal tongue} an multi-biome Pangaea situated in the Varn cluster of the Andromeda Galaxy,the raw and untamed nature of this world was home to many deadly predatory creatures that preyed on the local fauna.According to Vo'kum the first primal Varanus was created from the essence of the Six Dragonic beings that created the world and oversaw the development of its species.The early Varanus would undergo several evolutionary changes before becoming what is now considered Modern Varanus {albeit winged at the time}

Early Varanus tribes formed around the lush valleys of the tropical regions,each of the six tribes consisted of one specific colour in different hues and as the tribes began to develop early forms of language and writing they began to long the stars.This innate curiosity for the beyond began to grab the attention of their creators who chose to reveal themselves to their patron tribe,they give the tribes the knowledge of metal-working,agriculture and sailing and in return the tribes worshipped them,creating great temples and monuments as they began to grow into functioning city states in their Iron Age,marking the end of the hunter gatherer societies that existed for ages.

As the culture developed it came into contact with a alien lifeform carried in the sap of dyson trees brought from space,this sparked a series of skirmishes that led to the unification of the city states under a council of high priests,kings and generals and would later lay the seeds to the current Imperial Court system.

Their society faced major change after their gods grew silent,leaving the priests powerless against the rising influence of the kings and queens who took advantage of the confusion to consolidate power.It's unclear what occured to start the conflicts between the newly formed kingdoms but it lasted for a bloody 700 years before one warrior who claimed to be the firstborn initiated a crusade against the gods,slaying their physical forms and that of their followers before unifying the warring kingdoms in a brutal campaign that would scar the planet forever.The Warlord named Varn took the title of Imperos "Emperor" and continued to crush all who would oppose his rule.

Since then all Varanidae were born wingless and the Imperos Varn lived in sorrow for bringing upon his people,a curse that persists to this day,to immortalize his mistake the race took on the name Varanus rather then the ancient name of Vikah which would only reappear eons later.

With the death of Varn,his empire split into several kingdoms that later transformed into Republics which would only unite once more as FTL travel was developed.Taking to the stars the Varanus quickly colonized multiple systems,developing technology rapidly as they engaged contact with other races.Using the wealth they procured they created a powerful merchant civilization that formed a pillar for trade in the Andromeda galaxy.At it's height the United Republics of Varn controlled 140 habitable systems and built over 3 Dyson Spheres which provided enough power to consolidate the Republic as a interstellar power.However all this changed during the Sigma Wars,a intergalactic war that would shatter the civilizations of Andromeda and render it's galaxy near uninhabitable,it would lead to the collapse of the Republics and the rise of the Imperium under the ambitious Sagess Family who would save the race from extinction through the construction of the Worldship that ferried the survivors to the Milky Way.