"All is for the preservation of our people."
The Veruni are a race of human-like extraterrestrials that hail from a planet of unknown origins. Having arrived on Filgaia a little over a century prior to present day, their swift and brutal invasion of the planet ended with the subjugation of the majority of the continent of Elru and many other lands besides and has become the subject of horror stories and myths. To most who do not live inside the boundaries of the Veruni Control Zones, the Veruni are akin to boogeymen -- the things you tell your children to get them to behave. The reality of the Veruni is often very different from the myth -- sometimes less frightening for it... and sometimes much, much more.
This file discusses knowledge that only Veruni know. Drifters typically, unless told directly by admin, will not know this information at the start of the game, and the average Drifter living in Ignas tends to view the Veruni as a myth. This file is intended to provide a guide for playing Veruni on the game; as one of the major antagonist groups at the start of the MUSH, they require a central source of information.
Most of their history, Veruni have only known the embrace of space. This was not always the case, however: the Veruni were once humans living on Filgaia. As far as the current day Veruni care to know it, civilization during this era was divided into two halves: the "radicals,” the Veruni kingdom ruled over by a mythical figure known as the Ice Queen; and the "moderates,” the chief rivals of the Veruni's powerbase.
Veruni thrived on Filgaia under the Ice Queen's efficient yet notoriously tyrannical reign until a great calamity shook Filgaia to its very core. Veruni are taught this calamity was caused by the moderates -- and the radicals, believing Filgaia would soon be rendered inhospitable, fled to find a new home. They eventually became the Veruni known in present day -- a species separate from, but of similar origins to, humans.
The majority of the Veruni's history has been living in space in their colony ship, the Locus Solus. In almost 4500 years of self-imposed exile, 2500 of them have been spent adrift in space; while the Veruni eventually found a new planet that could support life, extremely limited resources and unknown factors led to the planet inevitably becoming inhospitable in a comparatively short time of nearly 2000 years. It was only then that they returned to Filgaia, and, finding it still a hospitable environment, decided to settle once more on their mother planet.
It has been one hundred years since the Veruni invasion was stymied only by the joint efforts of Shevat and Solaris -- and Veruni infighting. Veruni have not often ventured outside their Control Zones since then. But times are changing, and so too is the modus operandi of an increasingly more desperate Veruni nation...
Nature of the Veruni
In almost every superficial way, the average Veruni looks identical to a normal human being. Some have differences: stranger proportions, pointier ears, longer, sharper teeth, strange eye colors, and so on -- but in general, the common Filgaian would find it near impossible to differentiate between a Veruni and a human. This reality has just made the Veruni all the more the myth amongst those not on Elru.
These similarities are skin deep at best, however. The strange nature of the ancient Veruni empire combined with spending thousands upon thousands of years out in space have caused Veruni to go down a path of development completely divergent from humanity. They may look human, but they are not; their dietary restrictions, lifespans, and even their physiologies are all drastically different from human beings.
In general, the Veruni are physiologically superior to humanity. The average Veruni is stronger, faster, smarter, and hardier than the average human by leagues. Their physical lifespans are indeterminate, but extremely long: many Veruni who served in their invasion of Filgaia over a century ago are still alive today, and still in their physical prime. These differences are often relative -- an experienced Drifter is more than a match for a Veruni noncombatant -- but a skilled Veruni is well beyond a veteran human fighters, The strongest are veritable one-man armies capable of demolishing entire hordes of golems and taking on Gears while on foot without so much as batting an eye. There is a reason those who live near Veruni fear them so: an encounter with even a common Veruni footsoldier can be a severe trial for an inexperienced Drifter unfortunate enough to catch their ire.
Despite whatever benefits their nature may give them, it is also a significant drawback that has spelled the inevitable doom of their people: because they are so alien now, they have become physiologically incompatible with Filgaia. A strange illness has swiftly become an epidemic among the Veruni, a degenerative disease brought about by something called the "VR Factor” in Filgaia's atmosphere that erodes away at the subject physically and mentally until they eventually, invariably, die from it. There is no known treatment for this disease, only ways to delay symptoms. It has led to a number of preventative measures and has caused many Veruni to exile themselves into cold sleep in their mothership, the Locus Solus... only to perish within. The strongest of the Veruni seem to be the least likely to contract this disease -- but even they are not completely immune.
This degeneration is seen by many as a rejection by Filgaia, and has made the Veruni increasingly more desperate to survive in a world that seems to shun their very nature.
Veruni Society and Culture
Due to the potential hostility of Filgaia's atmosphere for Veruni, they have a tendency towards protecting themselves in any way possible from its harmful effects. Veruni cities on Filgaia tend to be domed affairs with internal, self-regulating environments and atmospheric conditions, including the largest: Laila Belle, the City of Skyscrapers. When Veruni do wander outside of their domed cities, they tend to wear full-body coverings of various sorts that filter Filgaia's atmospheric conditions, from military to casual wear, such that truly seeing a Veruni is a rare thing indeed for a human.
These preventative measures are not foolproof, however, and many more Veruni choose to live aboard their massive colony ship, the Locus Solus. A self-sustaining, self-perpetuating ecosystem created before the Veruni's exodus from Filgaia, the Solus has its own sunlight, its own atmosphere, its own source of water, livestock, and is a pinnacle of technological achievement. The existence of the Solus is unknown to most anyone save the Veruni, heavily cloaked and hidden from all conventional methods of discovery.
But others desire to finally live in their natural homeworld and choose to live out in the open, even without their protective coverings. The strongest among them can go without, their physical hardiness being the only protection they need... but none of this is a guarantee. To be Veruni is to live with the knowledge that your people are, slowly but surely, dying out. And it is a reality that has made these people from the stars ever-more extreme in their desire to save their people.
Veruni society is defined in large part by superiority: technological, physical, and most importantly, societal. Though they are considerably fewer than Filgaia's human population, they dominate any area they control with iron fists. The overwhelming tendency of Veruni are to view humans as lesser due both to their inferior technology and (relative) frailty. Even the best among the Veruni have difficulty removing themselves entirely from this stereotypical view: they simply view humans as a species that need protection rather than the exploitation that others of their kind engage in.
Technologically, there are very few in Filgaia or beyond that rival the Veruni: their mighty ships, Locus Solus itself, and the ARMs given to their most elite all match Zeboim-era ARMs. They possess an array of Golems and their own varieties of Gears based on Golem technology.
Societally, Veruni share a disturbing amount in common with the enigmatic Solaris. Veruni society has developed into something heavily caste-based on Filgaia, with Veruni at the top of the broad castes and humans and other species occupying the bottom. Veruni can be seen as nobility, in this sense, and other races the serfs. Even within their own species hierarchies exist, and those Noble Houses whose bloodlines can be (ostensibly) traced back to even before their initial exodus from Filgaia often wield the most influence. The leader of Veruni society is known as Johnny Appleseed, a position currently unfilled -- believed by many, especially in the Radicals, to eventually be claimed once more by their ancient and mythical ruler, the Ice Queen.
Veruni traditions and culture are largely shaped by their long tenure in space, to the point that many of their customs are considerably different from humans. They have no known religion and are largely not spiritual by nature; they often err more towards pragmatism and science. They have a number of traditions distinctly defined by their time in space: they, for example, do not bury their dead, but instead cremate them and cast the bones of their dead out to sea, a tradition that came about due to the need to efficiently dispose of the deceased when searching for a new home, leading them to cast their dead's remains out into the gulf of space. Such traditions are many and varied, and define the simple fact that many Veruni place a huge amount of stock in their history.
Not all Veruni are the same, of course, and some have wildly different views about the Veruni and their place in society that have come to form schisms in their species and the bulk of the infighting that has curtailed their expansion into Filgaia's other lands. There are three major "factions” of Veruni:
Radicals: Currently the largest faction of Veruni by far, the Radicals subscribe wholeheartedly to the notion of Veruni superiority over humans and other Filgaian species, believing themselves to be the natural rulers of their homeworld. While some Radicals take more of a view of noblesse oblige, seeing the "lesser” species as individuals in need of their protection and support, others believe it is wholly within their right to exploit and use other races as they see fit. Radicals value the sanctity and continued prosperity of the Veruni people above all other considerations, and have led the charge in both the Veruni's expansion of their territories and the push to solve the VR Factor epidemic by using the ancient Veruni "TF System” to completely reformat Filgaia to be more suitable to their needs -- a process that would no doubt spell the extinction of the human race. The Radicals are currently led by Volsung and his Four Sentinels, and under their leadership they have come to dominate the Veruni as a whole... leading swiftly towards a reignition of the Veruni's aggressive, expansionist policies.
Moderates: The antithesis of the Radicals, the Moderates have the stigma of being labeled with the same title of the society that Veruni believe brought an end to their once-great civilization on Filgaia. The Moderates are considerably smaller than the Radicals as an organization, having dwindled all the more thanks to the Veruni's increasing desperation. The Moderates have become too weak to stand up to the Radicals directly, but nonetheless continue to strive for their goals. They believe less in the Veruni's superiority and more in the notion that this arrogance is what led to their precarious situation to begin with. They desire to see Veruni drastically change their ways to work in harmony with humankind rather than subjugating it, and that the solution to their seemingly inevitable extinction is to work with Filgaia rather than try to bend it to their will. Led by the Veruni known simply as Captain Bartholomew, the Moderates' presence is considerably less noticeable in the common world than the Radicals, largely confined towards trying to manage the Radical's ever-growing influence within Locus Solus.
Infiltrators: The neutral party of the three Veruni factions, the Infiltrators are only interested in research and hold no allegiance nor take sides in the conflict between the Radicals and the Moderates. The Infiltrators have spread across Filgaia to study it and humans' relationship to it in an attempt to learn of ways to moderate, control, and hopefully eliminate the effect of the VR Factor on their people. As their name implies, they have done this by infiltrating human society, especially the Baskar Tribe. The knowledge they have gained has earned the respect of both the Radicals and Moderates.
Notes for OCs
- OC Veruni should be part of the Radical faction at the start of the game. We might accept a few applications for Infiltrators at the outset, but for now, the Radicals are the only faction that interacts significantly with Filgaia as a whole.
- OC Veruni come from a society stratified by species, and their attitudes should reflect this. Some Veruni might see it as license to exploit other species, while others feel noblesse oblige towards them. OCs are encouraged to grow, develop, and question their initial ideals, especially as the game progresses.
- OC Veruni have rank and military training, but also have a certain degree of leeway. Even among the Radicals, there aren't too many Veruni eager to explore a hostile alien world, and Volsung recognizes the value of independent field operatives -- especially spies and researchers.
- Nevertheless, orders are orders. Disobeying them means charges of treason at minimum, and a run-in with Kartikeya if you've been really bad. If you're intentionally making this a part of your character arc, awesome -- just make sure everyone involved knows about it, and that it's timed appropriately.