Gerontocracy of Ormine

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Gerontocracy of Ormine: Small interstellar government primarily found in the Akhlare subsector of Dark Nebula. The Ormine are a very long-lived minor race with some characteristics resembling Terran reptiles. Their metabolism is slow, with a minimal homeothermic response to keep them from actually freezing.

Ormine are upright, short-legged bipeds with a short, flat tail for balance. The arms are also relatively short and the hands partly webbed. They are covered with jointed plates rather like the armor of a Terran armadillo. Their origin was obviously aquatic and they retain several adaptations that make them at home in the water, including gills which open and activate upon diving.

The lifespan of the Ormine is about 300 standard years, with maturity coming at 30 standard years. The elders of a community are its leaders, and serve for life once chosen. Understandably, Ormine culture is slow-moving and very conservative. On their own, they have never developed past tech level 8.

The Solomani arrival 3,000 years ago was a severe cultural shock. Solomani spacers were impatient with the deliberate movements of the councils that negotiated with them, while the Ormine for the most part thought the Solomani rude, impetuous, and thoughtless.

Human technological superiority, however, was undeniable. This attracted some few younger Ormine minds. With every human visit, some Ormine took passage to new worlds. Colonies grew up on several suitable planets and some unsuitable ones. The technology to conquer the inhospitable worlds was supplied by the Solomani in exchange for work contracts and pledges of loyalty. Thus most of the gerontocracy is deeply in debt to the Solomani and is part of their political sphere.

The Ormine retain their rule by elders, but those elders usually have a human "advisor". Any who express their disapproval of this too strongly may find themselves exiled to one of the less pleasant worlds. -dn TD 17