L'Ordinateur - Bibliothèque électronique

Un univers de space opera inspiré de l'âge de d'or de la science-fiction.

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Re: L'Ordinateur - Bibliothèque électronique

Messagepar César » 06 Juil 2017, 19:05

Calibration Point: Deep space refueling points used to cross areas of space where there are no star systems to provide gas giant, ocean, or asteroid refuelling points. Calibration points are located in deep interstellar space, light years from the nearest significant astronomical body. At the simplest level, they consist of a natural source of hydrogen, typically a comet nucleus or other ice body but rogue planets are rarely found and used for these purposes. These natural calibration points are discovered and exploited, not constructed.
The most sophisticated calibration points are manned space stations, with huge tanks of refined liquid hydrogen fuel ready for transfer into starship fuel tanks, repair facilities, hospitals and rest and recreation facilities. These can be built entirely from scratch, from modular components or sometimes from empty fuel tanks but it is best if they can be constructed on an existing body such as the natural calibration points above. The key feature of all calibration points is that they are carefully plotted for those who use them, as interstellar space is a very large haystack in which to find a needle like a calibration point. Ships which jump into interstellar space without precise information on the location of such calibration points are doomed to eventually run out of fuel and drift forever in the cold and dark.
Calibration points are usually secret, as their use confers operational and strategic advantages that must be denied to rivals. Most calibration points carry locator beacons that remain silent until activated by pre-arranged coded challenge signals, to prevent them from being used by unauthorised vessels.

Imperial Research Station: The scattered worlds of the Imperium manifest a wide range of technological levels: this diversity is maintained by the distances between worlds, the high cost of transportation, and the relative independence allowed to worlds within the Imperium.
Nevertheless, the Imperium itself is constantly involved with research projects at the forefront of technology. While some new technology can be purchased from advanced cultures beyond the Imperial boundaries, such high technology is expensive and still requires a solid technological foundation to allow its usage. Consider: however useful solid-state chip circuits are, they still require a firm grounding in electronics and cannot be used on a large scale without electronics, individual solid-state chip components, photo processing and even crystal culture.
It is vital that the Imperium pass through many stages of technological development on the way to achievement in higher tech level areas. Imperial technological research is performed in two ways: under contract by corporations, or in established Imperial Research Stations. The difference is that the corporate (or privately financed) research is directed at specific practical uses, while Imperial projects are breaking new ground on the forefronts of knowledge.
-Private Research: On a scale as vast as the Imperium, it is often cheaper to duplicate research rather than search out and contract for technology somewhere in the Imperium. Trade between different worlds’ often disseminates knowledge and certain technologically advanced items throughout the community of worlds. If a certain item proves useful, local companies will try to achieve the same technology and soon enter into local manufacture. Local manufacturing takes into account local preferences, as well as providing local employment. It also avoids potential problems with licensing agreements and arrangements.
-Imperial Research: The Imperium finances research into a variety of areas in the forefront of knowledge. Often this is an attempt to duplicate technology observed or reported in neighbouring cultures and not yet within the ability of Imperial science. Such research stations are sited in areas that need the boost to the local economy, or in remote areas far from the potential disturbance of Imperial politics. Many different stations may be working in the same region, and many different areas of knowledge may be under investigation at one time. In general, one station will be constructed for one purpose and continue in that area of knowledge for its entire span of usefulness. Its size, personnel roster, power plant capacity, and even visibility profile, are dependent on its area of investigation. Imperial research may delve into many areas. Some examples include black hole research, both large-scale and mini-black hole investigation, instantaneous transmitter development (so far proving impossible), advanced gravity manipulation, genetic manipulation, anti-matter containment, weaponry research, disintegrator beams, black globe development, deep planetary core soundings, nova prevention (and prediction), psychohistory, mass population behaviour prediction, psionics, stable superheavy elements, deep radar analysis, long-range detection systems, robotics, artificial intelligence, stasis and time travel, so-called magic, cryptography, bionics, personal shields, x-ray lasers and high temperature superconductors.

Naval Base: Port facility for the support, maintenance, repair and refit of naval vessels. Planetary surface facilities are generally provided for vessels of 1,000 tons or less; orbital facilities handle larger ships. A naval base has several distinct parts to it; each part helps in the accomplishment of the overall mission of the base. The typical naval base is composed of an orbital berthing area, a surface berthing area, a maintenance section and an administrative headquarters.
Berthing areas provide locations for ships to lay over, whether for a day or for months. All berthing areas include provisions for refuelling from storage tanks or fuel lighters. Maintenance sections at naval bases vary from base to base. Where such a section would be redundant to the local starport shipyard, it is small and repairs or alterations are carried out under contract to the local facility. Where adequate local facilities do not exist, the naval base itself may have a large maintenance section capable of extensive repairs and refits. Maintenance is performed on the ships on the world surface or in orbit as necessary. The administrative headquarters handles the day-to-day operations of the base, as well as its paperwork (including the allocation of funds, distribution of personnel and disbursement of maintenance and repair contracts).
The naval base is not a tactical unit. It has no battle forces of its own and does not exert control even over local system defence boats (which are under a separate command). The naval base is responsible for supporting the fleet and keeping it in optimum condition for its combat missions.

Naval Depot: Depots serve as focuses for naval efforts, supplying a fleet’s every need, providing construction and repair facilities, and producing and testing experimental ship prototypes. A depot generally occupies an entire system. Facilities, materiel and personnel are extensive enough to repair and resupply a large fraction of the fleet at any time. A depot may be isolated from outside contact for years at a time without serious setbacks. As depots cover large parts of a system, there is no distinction between orbital and surface berthing.
In peacetime, the main function of a depot is the design and testing of ships. A large staff of naval architects (the cream of the area) and construction personnel is maintained at every depot. In wartime, depots serve as repair and resupply centres for the fleet. In emergencies, the depot’s construction yards are sometimes pressed into service for production of military ships. Since a depot is obviously a very sensitive installation, security is tight. An extensive array of both entry and exit codes are employed to insure no unauthorised vessels enter or leave the system. Contingents of marines and system defence boats are stationed throughout the system and are constantly ready for action. There is usually no more than one naval depot per sector, placed in systems where they will be close enough to the expected action to be useful but far enough back to insure that they will not be captured.

Scout Base: Port facility for the support, maintenance and repair of scout vessels. The scout service maintains a variety of scout bases scattered throughout the Imperium, with installations tending to be on less well-developed worlds with star-ports type D or C. Scout bases tend to be surface installations equipped with basic facilities for fuelling and for minor maintenance activities oriented toward ships of 1,000 tons or less. Scout bases are positioned in systems more out of the way than are naval bases and for a reason. The scout bases serve as a source of ships carrying dispatches from the well-travelled xboat lanes to more remote worlds.
Scout bases also have other responsibilities and most have an administrative responsibility in addition to the maintenance and refuelling of scout ships. Within a subsector, one base will hold responsibility for cartography within the subsector, another will be responsible for technical developments and still another for contact or liaison activities. The scout base is more extensive than an xboat station but less comprehensive than a way station.
See Way Station, Xboat Station.

Starport: Establishment for the landing, servicing, refuelling, and control of starships. Starports range in quality from A (the best and most extensive) to E (the worst, little more than a spot of cleared ground).
Starports generally have two components: a surface facility and an orbital facility. The surface facility includes cargo handling installations, a landing field, control towers and other necessary areas. Surface starport components are frequently called Down, as in Regina Down Starport, though the term Downport is often used. Orbital facilities are present (usually in stationary orbit above the surface component) to enable handling of unstreamlined ships and to allow construction of heavy craft in orbit. The orbital component is often called Orbital, as in Regina Orbital Starport, though the term Highport is in common usage as well. Type D and E starports have no extensive orbital facilities but usually have navigational satellites or similar equipment. Non-streamlined ships at these starports must be serviced by shuttles.
Starports, being the primary point at which starships interact with a system, are usually the location for additional bases, such as scout bases, naval bases or other military installations and for shipyards.

Way Station: The Way Station is a link in the express boat network. The way station is a large (for the scout service) base devoted to overhaul and refi t of express boats at points in their journeys. During a normal tour of duty, an express boat will jump from system-to-system, occasionally changing pilots but steadily working its way farther and farther down the line. At each stop (xboat station), the xboat is routinely checked, refuelled, reprovisioned and sometimes recrewed. Ultimately, however, the xboat must undergo maintenance and possible repair after the rigours of its mission. The way station performs this function. Way stations have stocks of scout-oriented repair and maintenance equipment, as well as trained staffs of service personnel. They are the equivalent of naval bases, although they are capable of servicing only smaller tonnage ships (10,000 tons and less) due to the size and orientation of their facilities.

Xboat Station: Facility for handling xboats at a star system. At each system served by the xboat network, an express boat station is maintained to handle the message traffic and to manage incoming and outgoing xboats. Usually located near the edge of a star system, the station picks up messages beamed to it by incoming xboats and relays the data to the local world for delivery. Messages destined for worlds farther down the line are transmitted to a waiting xboat which then jumps for the next world in the network. The xboat station contains receiving and retransmission equipment; refuelling and support facilities for the local staff and waiting crew are also provided. The xboat station maintains a local offi ce on the system’s major world for the acceptance of xboat messages, as well as to handle delivery of the messages to addresses on the world.
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Re: L'Ordinateur - Bibliothèque électronique

Messagepar César » 06 Juil 2017, 19:13

Ancients: ‘Ancients’ is the name given to a race of intelligent, non-human beings who inhabited various locations in this portion of the galaxy approximately -300,000. Archaeological evidence recovered from excavations of the few known Ancient cities indicates that the race destroyed itself during a 2,000-year period of intense warfare, which left only ruined cities and shattered planets.
The Ancients were responsible for several major features within the region now occupied by the Imperium. Their warfare resulted in the large proportion of asteroid belts throughout this spiral arm. Scattered empty cities (most severely damaged by battle) stand as evidence of their wars; most, however, are restricted areas under investigation by the Imperium and not open to the public. The Ancients are generally accepted as responsible for the dissemination of Humaniti within its current domain when they transplanted genetic stock from Terra to at least 40 worlds across a span of some 360 parsecs.
See also Humaniti, Solomani Hypothesis.
The Ancients were also responsible for the creation of the Vargr through genetic manipulation of carnivore/chaser stock. Apparently, they used Terran canine stock acquired at the same time as humaniti.
See also Varg.

Aslan: Aslan are a Major Race, the last to achieve jump flight. They stand roughly human-sized, averaging 2.0 metres in height and weighing about 100 kilograms. They are descended from four-limbed, upright, bipedal carnivore/pouncer stock, originally adapted to a solitary arboreal existence. The earliest Terran explorers saw in them a vague resemblance to the Terran lion and they have been described (by Terrans) as lion-like ever since, although there is very little true similarity. The derivation of the word Aslan is unknown. There are two sexes, male and female. The most notable external difference is the increased size and mane of the former. Females outnumber males by 3:l.
Aslan have a single highly specialised claw under each thumb which folds back jack-knife fashion into a horny covering in the base of the thumb and palm.
The Aslan Hierate, a vast region of Aslan-dominated space lies to rimward of the Imperium, bordering on Solomani space and the Great Rift. However, Aslan themselves have ranged far beyond its borders, with many settling within the Imperium and attaining full status as citizens. As citizens, they subordinate themselves to Imperial authority, although they have remained culturally apart from human society. Aslan serve in the Imperial armed forces; they achieve noble positions; they pay taxes; they run businesses.
The Aslan are a warrior race, proud and noble, devoted to those in authority above them. An individual Aslan is usually a member of a family of from 2 to 12 individuals under a patriarchal leader. Several families will combine into a pride with one family dominant. A number of prides form a clan, with one pride being dominant. Aside from military organisations and the ruling council (within the Hierate), the clan is the highest socialpolitical organisation among the Aslan. A deep-seated territorial instinct causes the Aslan to have an inordinate (from a human standpoint) concern with land. For male Aslan, owning land is a major goal in life. An Aslan’s status is determined by the amount of land he (or her husband) controls. Status is also gained by being a vassal to a lord with a large territory.
The lowest classes of Aslan are landless and provide the farmers, labourers, craftsmen and factory workers. A holder of a large territory will often grant authority over it to vassals (usually sons, brothers, or male relatives by marriage) who administer the land in his name.
The two sexes have very different roles in Aslan society. Males (in all but the lowest classes) are concerned mostly with military operations, acquisition of territory, and political affairs. Females are concerned with trade, industry and the accumulation of knowledge. Upper class males have little conception of money and are literally incapable of functioning in a technological society without aid, thus are seldom encountered without the supervision of a wife, mother, or other female relative or employer. For instance, a typical Aslan mercenary unit will be organized by a wealthy married female, who will then assign its operation, for a share of the proceeds, to an unmarried female relative. The battle commander and most of the troops will be unmarried males (many of them also relatives), hired with the promise of land grants (and the opportunity to gain honour and reputation in combat); however, staff, operations, supply and intelligence officers will generally be female. The extremely deadly nature of any combat between Aslan has led to a rigid, ritualised pattern of behaviour designed to reduce conflict. Aslan are very polite and most have learned to be patient with non-Aslan, accidental fights still occur. Disputes between individuals are handled by the patriarchs, disputes between families by the pride leader, between prides by the clan leader.
See also Aslan Border Wars, Aslan Hierate, Kuzu.

Droyne: Intelligent major race inhabiting scattered worlds within an area slightly larger than the range of the current Third Imperium. The Droyne are a small race, derived from winged herbivorous gatherers. They vary in size depending on caste but generally stand one metre tall (large workers and warriors can be larger than humans). The history of their evolution remains a puzzle because their home world is not known with certainty, though Andory in the Spinward Marches is currently the prime candidate.
Droyne society is divided into rigid castes determined when an individual reaches adolescence. The six castes of the Droyne all serve different functions within Droyne society. Although they are identical at the time of caste selection, caste members develop pronounced physical and mental differences by maturity, as different genetic programs are awakened by differences in diet and environment from caste to caste. Young leaders, for instance, experience a nearly 30% increase in brain size in the fi rst year after casting; drones develop sexual organs; and so on.
The following are descriptions and defi nitions of the castes.
- The Worker: Manual labour and mundane ordinary activity are the province of the worker. Workers are not too smart and are temperamentally suited to contentment with ordinary labour and subservient tasks.
- The Warrior: Trained for combat and possessing comparatively well developed muscles and reflexes, the warrior is the security troop, the soldier, the marine and the policeman of the Droyne culture. They are common in frontier Droyne bases and less numerous in civilised areas.
- The Drone: Drones have a variety of purposes in Droyne society. They perform a reproductive role which makes them both fathers and mothers to Droyne young and they have a role in the ceremonies, which determine caste for maturing young. In addition, drones comprise a sort of middle management caste, responsible for many of the routine functions in business, trade and administration.
- The Technician: This caste is the science-oriented portion of Droyne society and is concerned with both research and practical implementation of technology.
- The Sport: Although the caste system of the Droyne is rather rigid, the sport is the deliberately accepted exception to caste structure. Sports are special individuals who cross caste lines to become individual scouts, messengers, representatives, hunters, prospectors and other occupations that require individual initiative or separation from Droyne society for long periods of time. A sport is the most probably encountered Droyne away from a Droyne world.
- The Leader: Leaders are required to manage and direct society. They are ultimately responsible for everything that the Droyne as a whole do.
There is little individual freedom in Droyne society and as a result, society and government join into one concept. Workers work. Leaders lead. All of society dedicated to continuing the existence that provides all members with food, shelter and the other amenities that make life enjoyable. In addition, there is little discord in Droyne society when things are running smoothly, as each member of society has its own function to perform. Only when disaster happens is the group forced to strain.
A typical Droyne group consists of a variety of Droyne from the different castes. There will be many workers, few drones and leaders and technicians and warriors based on current needs. Each group will also have several sports, although they may not be present, instead occupied with their own solitary tasks. This is not to say that Droyne are mindless. Leaders are quite capable and responsible; warriors have strategic and tactical senses; technicians are inventive and clever. But all accept the central group as a part of their lives and work for its benefit above their own.

Hiver: Intelligent major race with a large federation trailing the Imperium. Hivers average 1.5 metres from ground to top of upraised head and weigh about 150 kilograms. Descended from omnivore gatherer/scavenger stock, they are the most alien of the major races. Hivers exhibit a modified six-fold radial symmetry; the body has a calcareous internal skeleton consisting of a series of rings supporting the limbs and a fused carapace protecting the brain and internal organs.
The head is a modification of one of the limbs and contains six eyestalks and six manipulative tentacles, plus paired infrared sensor organs. The other five limbs are identical (except for slight modifications of the hand opposite the head) and are used as arms and legs indiscriminately. Each limb ends in a six-fingered radial hand. Fingers are very flexible and have muscular suction cups on the lower surface about halfway to the tips. Hiver arms and hands are generally weaker than human but are very tough and difficult to injure.
The mouth (digestive opening) is on the lower surface of the body. There is no sound-producing organ but hivers do have three ears placed around the neck near the head.
Hivers have only one sex. Reproductive cells are exchanged each time that hivers meet, using the modified rear hand (the process has been termed by humans ‘shaking hands’). The cells are kept in a reproductive pouch on the lower body surface where they conjugate, exchanging genetic material. Once every 40 days or so, a cell will develop into a larva, which then drops from the parent’s body. Hive planets are mostly wilderness and the larva will enter the wilds, where most are killed. After about a year, survivors return to civilisation, where they are welcomed into any nest and begin their education as citizens.
Parental instinct in hivers is very strong and the young are adopted by the entire nest. (Note that this instinct applies only to the yearold returnees; Hivers have no concern for the younger larvae and in fact consider them minor pests.)
Hiver language is a combination of arm/tentacle waving and physical contact. The written language is ideographic and is used as a standard language among the races of the Hive Federation. Hivers talking among themselves use all three aspects of language (gesture, touch, and writing) at once, a process capable of great subtlety and sophistication but unintelligible to the outsider.
Hivers are unique among major races in that they had a complex culture before becoming sapient. Originally, they lived in the tunnels and built-up mounds of a large (1,000 kilogram) burrowing animal. In exchange for shelter, they gave food. They farmed fungus, foraging outside for decaying vegetation and dead animals as a source of food for the fungus. The burrowers were allowed to graze in the farm tunnels. Hivers ate the fungus and whatever fresh food they could find outside. Intelligence arose as the outside environment changed, forcing the foraging parties to travel farther and discover new sources of food and fertilizer. The foraging advanced from simple scavenging and gathering to complex cooperative efforts to hunt and trap live prey. Today, fungus remains the staple of the Hiver diet; fungus growing is a highly developed art. Most buildings retain the beehive shape and large underground tunnel complexes of the original burrowers but are constructed by machines; the burrowers are now reduced to the secondary function of keeping the tunnels clean. Hiver attachment to them is essentially non-rational, they just feel more comfortable with the burrowers around.
Hive society is highly individualistic. The term Hive results from an early human misconception, stemming from the appearance of the Hivers’ building and tunnel complexes. Nests contain from five to 500 individuals, usually cantered around some common endeavour. While 100 is the average size for a nest (and was the size in pre-civilized times), larger groups may come together for some civilized purpose such as large manufacturing companies or universities. Small nests are usually spaceship crews or isolated research parties. A young hiver will spend his first 15 years in his home nest; thereafter, nest changes may take place as often as a modern human might change jobs.
Because of the nature of their reproduction, hivers never experienced the population pressures so important to human history. The population of the homeworld is now only a few hundred million, only ten times greater than it was in prehistoric times. Predators control the young; when the adult survival rate rises, thus increasing the numbers of young produced, the predator population increases proportionately and the balance is maintained.
Space colonisation arose not from pressure but from curiosity, with which Hivers are amply endowed. They have colonized only those planets with climates most pleasant to Hivers; if the planet has no predators that like to eat Hiver larvae, they are imported. Because of the high birth rate, a colony will rapidly fill up to its maximum population level of a few hundred million, and will then stabilise. Hivers like planets of size 6 or less, with thin or standard atmospheres and unvarying climates. Hiver enclaves, for commercial or scientific purposes, are found on worlds of more extreme characteristics.
Hive industry and business excel at communications technology. Major exports include artificial and computer languages, translators and sophisticated electronic hardware of all types. Hiver mathematical systems are much in demand for their power and elegance.

Humaniti (former spelling Humanity): Collective name for all of the human races, including Solomani, Vilani and Zhodani and others. See Humans.

Humans: Intelligent major race dominating the Imperium and several additional interstellar communities. Humans stand approximately 1.8 metres in height and weigh about 100 kilograms. Descended from omnivore gatherers, humans developed intelligence in response to shifting climatological factors. The most unusual aspect of humaniti is the fact that humans are present on many different worlds and stand at various levels of development on those worlds. The Solomani Hypothesis states that Humans evolved on Terra (Sol subsector) and were scattered to many different worlds by the Ancients for reasons currently unknown. The result is that many different, parallel human races exist and coexist throughout known space. The three most widespread human races are the Solomani (humans from Terra), the Vilani (humans from Vland), and the Zhodani (humans from Zhodane).
See also Ancients, Humaniti, Solomani Hypothesis, Solomani, Vilani, Zhodani, Minor R

K’kree: The K’kree are the most massive of the major races, and are the only example of a major race descended from herbivores. An adult K’kree stands about 1.5 metres at the shoulder and between 2.0 and 2.4 metres tall when standing erect. Weight averages 550 kilograms. They are bilaterally symmetrical, hexapodal, and homoeothermic. They bear some resemblance to the centaurs of ancient terran myth, a trait noted by the earliest explorers.
The arrangement of the manipulative organ (or hand) on the front limb is one of their most interesting features. A complex system of cartilaginous tubes permit the fingers of the Centaur hand to telescope up out of the way when the hand is used as a weapon. Fully extended, the fingers are mutually opposable to each other and to the ‘thumb’ which is in reality an extension of the ulna. The K’kree hand is very flexible but somewhat weaker in grasping power than the human hand.
The K’kree are covered with a short gray or black fur, with a dense black mane covering the head and neck and upper back of both sexes. Unlike Terran mammals, the young are fed partially digested regurgitated food instead of milk. Males average 15% to 20% larger than females.
K’kree are extremely conservative in all aspects of their culture. Ceremonial military units (such as bodyguards) are armed with equipment that K’kree military technology outdated centuries ago and aside from modifications made necessary by the discovery of spaceflight, K’kree government has not changed significantly in many centuries.
Because of their origins as plains-dwelling herd animals, the Centaurs are intensely claustrophobic; they cannot stand to be enclosed. Centaur cities are clumps of low, broad, transparent domes, the buildings inside never more than one story in height and open to the sky. Internal building divisions are achieved with curtains or tapestries.
K’kree are extremely gregarious and are never found alone. A one centaur will quickly sicken and die if removed from others of their species for any length of time. Receiving a trade or diplomatic delegation from the centaurs means entertaining the entire family (one or more wives, servants, scribes, assistants and so on) of the merchant or the ambassador. The K’kree word for ‘my’ refers to a possession of an individual’s Noble herd, not to that of an individual. Privacy and individuality are exotic and little-understood concepts for the K’kree, and strike them as being unnatural and possibly even immoral.
K’kree society is divided into castes. The system is a remnant of ancient times, which no longer fi t their culture perfectly but the K’kree stick with it because it is traditional. There are hundreds of castes, but the distinctions are too faint for non-K’kree to understand. For simplicity, castes can be divided into three general groupings: noble, merchant and servant. It is possible for a family to rise in caste, but this is a rare occurrence.
The lowest caste, the servants, has come to include farmers, factory workers, and unskilled labourers as well as servants for all classes. The next higher caste, the merchants, includes most skilled workers, scientists, engineers and technicians, scribes, and government administrators as well as merchants and businessmen.
Nobles are the governmental offi cials (the Krurruna and others) the high military officers, diplomats and heads of trade and manufacturing concerns. Nobles are usually garbed in much more ornate fashion than the lower castes.
Every male K’kree must serve a term in the military upon coming of age. Warriors are drawn from all castes, rank in the military being determined by the caste of origin (nobles enter the service as general officer trainees, merchants as lower officers and non-commissioned officers and so on). Upon completing the required term of service, a warrior returns to his original caste and position. Warriors are the only Centaurs permitted to bear weapons and are further distinguished by their peculiar flared and horned helmets. They serve as soldiers, police, fire-fighters, and body guards for diplomatic and mercantile expeditions.
Female K’kree are casteless, taking on the caste of their father or husband. Females have no position in government or society other than the rearing of young.

Major Race: An arbitrary distinction based on the achievement of a specific intelligent race. A race that achieves interstellar travel (jump drive) through its own efforts is classed major; one that does not is classed minor. To date, the generally accepted major races include Humaniti (Zhodani, Solomani and Vilani, but not other examples), Aslan, Hivers, Centaurs, Vargr, Ancients and Droyne.
The Suerrat (a human race) have been held to be minor because their achievement of interstellar travel utilised generation ships. Similarly, the Geonee were originally thought to be a major race but their development of jump drive was based on recovered Ancient artifacts rather than true racial efforts. The Geonee dispute this prevailing opinion and hold the (generally unshared) view that they are of major standing. The Droyne have been demonstrated to be major, with evidence showing them having developed jump drive as far back as -7000.

Minor Race: A Minor Race is an intelligent race that has not achieved jump drive through its own efforts. For most races, this classification is appropriate. Many are contacted before they have reached a technological level capable of even considering jump drive, thus permanently prejudicing their potential. Indeed, the shock of such classification and the realisation that this classification pervades interstellar society, is sufficient to relegate a race to a permanent role as shopkeepers and accountants. Some slump, while others violently resist the classification. The fact that the typing is informal and arbitrary, and tends to elevate those already in power, has made resistance difficult, if not impossible.
- Minor Race, Human: Any one of a number of human offshoots. While most are the result of Ancient transplantation and genetic engineering, a few are more recent. They are the result of more modern attempts to engineer humans to survive in hostile environments. Including these later additions, there are nearly 40 minor human races in charted space.
- Minor Race, Non-human: There are over 200 non-human minor races within the confines of charted space. There is no real commonality between these species, save their possession of intelligence and the fact that they arrived late to the interstellar party.

Six Races: Traditional term for the intelligent races which dominate this region of the galaxy. It appears independently in Aslan, Vargr, and Centaur literature. There is some disagreement as to the meaning of the term and the identity of the races involved. Most commentators agree that all of the six races must be major races; the candidates are Aslan, Centaurs, Droyne, Hive, Solomani, Vargr, Vilani and Zhodani. Various racially-based hypotheses have emerged but none has gained ascendency.

Solomani: Strictly, a member of that human race which developed on Terra from the original human stock (H. sapiens). The term Solomani is often used to refer to members of the Solomani race (or, more palatably to some, to members of the human race of Solomani descent) or to members of the Solomani political movement. Its original meaning is obscure but the word seems to have originally meant either men of Sol or sole men. After the Solomani developed jump drives in -2431, Solomani humans were scattered to the stars in several waves. Early colonisation efforts first settled the worlds closest to Terra; the later conquest of the First Imperium and the establishment of the Rule of Man sent more Solomani humans out, primarily to occupy the former Imperial regions.

Sophont: A generalised term for an intelligent life form.

Uplift: The process of genetically-engineering an animal species into intelligence. It often involves changing limb shape to provide hands, vocal cords to provide speech and other such changes. Of the Major Races, the Solomani have the most experience with uplift.
Over the centuries, a wide variety of terrestrial animals have been uplifted, including dolphins, orcas, pacific octopus, humboldt squid, chimpanzees, gorillas, orang-utans, leopards and black bears, with varying levels of success. Technically, the Vargr are an uplifted race but it is not considered a wise idea to tell one that to their face.

Vargr: Intelligent major race derived from Ancient genetic manipulations of Terran carnivore/chaser stock, apparently dating from approximately the same time that humaniti was scattered to the stars. Inhabiting a region rimward of the Imperium, the Vargr were for years a puzzle to Imperial xenologists. The Vargr biochemistry and genetic makeup are almost identical with a number of terrestrial animals but differ radically from most of the flora and fauna indigenous to Lair, the purported Vargr home world. Researches during the early years of the Third Imperium concluded them to be the result of genetic manipulation of transplanted Terran animals of the family Canidae, almost certainly of genus Canis. The obvious conclusion, supported by archaeological evidence, is that the race known as the Ancients was responsible.
Physically, the Vargr are not very impressive. The typical Vargr is about 1.6 metres in height and weighs approximately 60 kilograms. They are upright bipedal carnivores, with digitigrades rear limbs and hands very similar in size and appearance to those of a human, although there are significant internal differences. They have approximately the same physical parameters as humans and are able to use the same equipment without modification or additional instruction. On the average their reactions are slightly faster than those of the typical human but individuals vary widely. The Vargr senses of smell and sight are superior to those of humans.
There is no central Vargr government; indeed, there is no governmental type that can be said to be ‘typically Vargr’. Every conceivable form of governmental organisation can be found somewhere in the Vargr Extents. The only cohesive force in the Extents is a fierce racial pride that causes a slight tendency towards racial cooperation. The higher the level of the Vargr government, the more unstable it becomes because of the difficulty of obtaining consent of all Vargr involved.
- Vargr in the Imperium: While only a few planets populated completely by Vargr exist within the Imperium, there are millions of Vargr citizens of loyal subject planets. Additionally, Vargr adventurers, criminals, mercenaries and traders can be found throughout the coreward reaches of the Imperium. The only non-human Archduke in the Imperium is a Vargr, Brzk of Antares.
The key elements shaping Vargr societies are a very strong centrifugal force resulting from an emphasis on consensus and informal lines of authority and an equally strong centripetal force resulting from a deeply ingrained family-clan-tribe-nation loyalty. Centralised authority is extremely limited at the upper levels of Vargr society and action is based on broad coalitional concerns, with a constant splitting and rejoining of dissident factions. Traditionally, this has made it very difficult for more centralised and organised societies such as the Imperium to deal on a meaningful basis with what passes for Vargr states. The Vargr have little respect for formal authority, decreasing as that authority becomes more remote. Vargr generally have more respect for more informal authority fi gures and are more likely to obey superiors who are better known to them.
The Vargr have an intensive racial pride and are easily insulted. They are prone to enter into fights without regard to possible consequences.
Even among the most stable Vargr governments, a highly charismatic leader can attract followers for almost anything. The neighbours of the Vargr are constantly the subject of impromptu raids and scattered piracy by bands of Vargr (totally without government sanction, of course) who have been talked into a raid, a battle, or a war by a charismatic leader.

Vilani: Human major race (H. sapiens) that developed on Vland from human stock placed there by the Ancients. The Vilani were the first of humaniti to develop the jump drive (in - 9235) and were the first humans to establish an interstellar empire. The old Vilani culture that developed during the first Imperium was a rigid caste system based on the idea that each citizen had a specific and set place in the universe and it was each citizen’s duty to remain in that place. Society could not afford to let individuals do as they pleased. Not all of the subject races of the Vilani Imperium were able to be completely absorbed into this culture (the Vegans, for example) and those societies did not do well under the Vilani Imperium. The stability which Vilani culture achieved was not obtained without cost. Cultural rigidity brought with it stagnation and the Vilani Imperium collapsed soon after contact with the young, vigorous Terran Confederati on. Currently, Vilani is a cultural rather than a racial or national labelling and is applied to those within the Imperium who retain some of the old ways. The Vilani language survives in certain places, along with a few fragments of Vilani culture, such as musical forms and other fi ne arts. Certain of the old Vilani noble families have maintained more of the old culture, particularly the families who control the Vilani megacorporations.

Zhodani: Human major race (H. sapiens), inhabiting the Zhodani Consulate, a region spinward of the Imperium. The Zhodani are a branch of humaniti similar in most respects to other human races. In general, they tend to be taller than Solomani or Vilani and lithe of build. Their most important difference is the acceptance and use of psionics.
Zhodani society is divided into three classes: nobles, intendants and proles. Nobles are the enfranchised ruling class and receive psionic training from childhood. Intendants are managers and administrators of society, and also receive early training. Proles constitute the masses, are forbidden the use of psionics and do not receive training. Within this rigid class system, there are two opportunities for promotion to a higher class. All prole children are tested for psionic potential and those showing high scores are taken from their families and adopted into the intendant class. Intendants are rewarded for great diligence, service to the state, or victory in the psionic games through the granting of noble titles.
The presence of psionics in the hands of those in power means that many aspects of society work at high efficiency. Psychology, behavioural science, communications science and education are more refined and exact than in other societies. Educational methods are finely tuned and capable of teaching concepts rapidly and accurately. Mental deviance or criminal tendencies can be detected early and corrected with facility. Zhodani society is generally a happy one.
Individuals are members of a functioning whole, with each making a contribution to its success. The relative lack of upward mobility for the proles is offset by the possibility for their children to move upwards if they have the proper potential. The burden of responsibility imposed on the intendants is lightened by the ever-present possibility of reward through elevation to the noble classes. The nobles themselves temper their burden of authority with comfort derived from their station in life.
The Zhodani have a general distaste for other human races that do not practice psionics. Effective indoctrination and ever-present possibility that one’s mind is being read have removed dishonesty and deviance as common features of society. Disagreements still occur, competition thrives and passions flare. But all takes place in an atmosphere of honesty and truth. Individuals can express their feelings without fear and problems are openly dealt with. In non-psionic societies, much is kept secret within the mind. A Zhodani visiting the Imperium would be appalled by the deviousness and dishonesty that pervades society.
Imperial distaste for the Zhodani is based on two facts. First, the Zhodani practice psionics and an Imperial cannot be sure that a Zhodani is not invading his mental privacy at any time. Imperials feel exposed and uncomfortable in the presence of Zhodani. Second, because of their psionic abilities, the Zhodani have the most effective authoritarian rule in history. Imperial citizens, used to a great degree of local autonomy, fear Zhodani conquest because of the loss of freedom it would entail.
The Zhodani consulate is a participatory democracy in which only nobles are allowed to vote. Executive and judicial functions are the responsibility of a series of councils of varying sizes. Each council elects one of its number as executive officer and a number of its members as delegates to the next higher council. The Zhodani date their empire from the traditional date of the first organized use of psionics on Zhodane, - 6731 Imperial, the year of the first olympiad. They achieved jump drive about 1,300 years later, in - 5415 Imperial. The expansion of the Zhodani was gradual and uneventful. Although some states on the fringe resisted absorption into the Consulate, most were annexed peacefully.
The Zhodani first came into conflict with the expanding Third Imperium in the 500’s, starting the First Frontier War in a dispute over present and future limits to settlement in the Spinward Marches area. Continuing frontier wars over the next 500 years have failed to resolve the basic differences between the two empires.
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Aslan Hierate: Interstellar, multi-sector government of the many Aslan clans. Aslan society centres on the clan. Within the Hierate, the family structure of the Aslan and the governmental structure are the same. The highest governmental functions are performed by a council of 29 clan leaders chosen from amongst the most powerful clans. “The 29” (as they are called) have quasi-religious status and represent the essential unity of the Aslan race. To be chosen one of “The 29” is the highest honour to which any Aslan can aspire. The 29 meets continuously on Kuzu to adjudicate inter-clan disputes and decide matters of group policy. No member of the 29 speaks for the Hierate as a whole, nor does the whole 29.
There are no Hierate military forces; each clan has its own and they rarely act in concert with those of other clans. The Hierate itself can call upon military forces only insofar as the clans themselves agree to provide such forces. Even the minor forces conveying the 29’s decisions are actually under the control of individual clan leaders.
See also Aslan, Aslan Border Wars, Kuzu.

Hive Federation: Human term for the loose interstellar community dominated by the Hivers; Hive Confederation is also sometimes used. The Hivers have only one culture and one language; the Hiver genotype (with individual variations similar in degree to differences between individual humans of the same race) is also constant. The Federation government (if such a term is applicable) is mostly concerned with maintaining the uniformity of the Hiver culture and species. This is accomplished by frequent reproductive embassies from one planet to another. Members of many different nests will shake hands with everyone nearby in a sort of farewell party and will then board a large embassy ship bound for a far-off world. Once there, they will meet with as many people as possible, shaking hands and exchanging news, art, gossip, scientific information, political views and so on for about a year. They will then return home for another yearlong round of parties, discussions and handshaking.
Most disputes among communities are handled in these embassies; others, considered too urgent or transient to wait for an embassy, are settled by judges. There is a considerable body of Hiver common law and custom, and a judge is a person who has spent years in study of the law; judges’ decisions are not necessarily binding and are open to compromise; but carry a great weight of custom. The discovery of alien races and their integration into society required a slightly more formal organisation, which grew out of the coordinating body that schedules embassies.
Two additional bodies were established: the Federation Navy and a development agency. The Hiver parental instinct was aroused by the discovery of numerous intelligent species less fortunate than themselves, and work began immediately to lift the ‘children’ to civilisation. An early experience with an aggressive race led to the establishment of a system of quarantine worlds, denied entry to (or knowledge of) interstellar society. Covert operations are in progress on quarantine worlds to modify overly-aggressive cultures into acceptable members of the Federation and several quarantined planets have been opened since the beginning of the program. So far, no quarantined race is close to achieving interstellar travel on its own; public debate continues on what to do in such a case.
The navy is the main instrument of military force. Hivers came late to the concept of war and are more comfortable with high technology, long-range violence, disliking the personal approach of ground combat. When ground forces are absolutely needed, other races of the Federation generally supply the troops. Federation armed forces are essentially a deterrent force and are seldom used as an instrument of policy.
Other races of the Federation are equal partners in society, although the structure of society is Hiver-generated and those races able to best adapt to a Hiver way of life and customs have been most successful. All races participate in the embassies, although in a modified form. Some associate species retain strong internal governments or police forces to regulate the aggressive tendencies of their members, but whatever the solution reached, all Federation-member societies are non-aggressive. Most worlds of the Federation have communities of several species; races inhabit the worlds they find most pleasant.

Two Thousand Worlds: Most common name in the Imperium for the region of space ruled by the K’kree. Two thousand worlds is a literal translation of the K’kree T’t’tkahk Xeng Kirr. The same words can also be rendered idiomatically as ‘universe’. In times past, the words meant ‘night sky’, as roughly two thousand stars can be seen from one hemisphere of Kirur, the K’kree homeworld. The name should not be taken to mean that there are exactly 2,000 worlds in the K’kree empire.
The K’kree government is highly conservative. The current dynasty ruling the Two Thousand Worlds has been in power since prehistoric times and the form of the government has remained unchanged except for a few minor modifications made necessary by the problems inherent in governing an interstellar empire.
K’kree expansion into space progressed very slowly after the discovery of the jump drive in -4142. The conservative nature of society and the technical limitations placed upon spaceflight by that society (K’kree spaceships must be very large, for example) combined to inhibit early exploration and colonisation. The discovery of other sophonts caused a xenophobic reaction in K’kree society. The realisation that intelligent carnivores might exist somewhere in space sparked the K’kree obsession to convert the universe to herbivorism. This obsession stimulated the growth of the Two Thousand Worlds to its present size and still dominates K’kree culture.
Local cultures are tolerated and other aspects of K’kree society are not heavily enforced but all races within the Two Thousand Worlds are herbivorous. K’kree contact with the Hive Federation was soon followed by the Hiver-K’kree war of -2029 to - 2013. The military technology of the K’kree proved superior in the first stages of the war. The war ended due to non-military considerations, however, when the Hive Federation demonstrated a plan to radically alter the K’kree social order through the use of psychohistorical techniques and threatened to implement it. The K’kree withdrew to the antebellum borders and the border between the two states has remained stable to this day. The K’kree empire eventually stopped in its expansion.
Increasing problems of administration over interstellar distances and contact with other starfaring races (such as hivers and humaniti) have stabilized the Two Thousand Worlds at its present size.

Vargr Extents: The territory dominated by Vargr governments. The term Vargr Extents refers to those sectors with major Vargr populations. Extents are situated roughly coreward of the Imperium, and especially coreward of the Spinward Marches, Deneb, Corridor and Vland sectors.
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