(H. sapiens) which developed on Vland
from human stock placed there by the Ancients.
History: The world of Vland, while possessed of a
environment, boasted an alien ecology based on its own independently
biology, a biology that produced proteins, sugars, and amino acids that
difficult for humans to digest and metabolize. The humans just
not use local plant and animal life for food.
One of the oldest occupations in Vilani society is that of shugilii
translates roughly as miller). The shugilii was a person who
transform raw food into edible food through special aging and chemical
The shugilii task was more akin to shaman or witch doctor than of
cook. Since virtually no food on Vland was edible without
treatment, shugiliis were powerful members of society.
The alienness of Vland was reciprocal: humans were unsuitable
for predators, parasites died because humans provided no nutrition,
could not infect the human system, and even viruses were unable to
and take over human cells. Consequently, the primitive human
found no need for medically oriented shaman. Vilani medical
understanding was very slow to develop because of this.
Vilani legends are full of accounts of the wars
of the gods, terrible destruction, and occasional intervention in human
by the gods. Legends exist of early explorers who found lands
living stone-metal gods possessed of immense magical powers.
Modern archeologists now believe these "gods" were actually great robot
warriors and juggernauts used by the Ancients in the Final War.
the last of these machines finally ran down around -20,000.
Society: Early Vilani society was dominated by three groups: the
the aristocrats, and the merchants. Aristocrats were the natural
of society, the shugiliis were the all important food processors, and
merchants controlled trade.
With the flowering of Vilani society (circa -11,000) and its attendant
revolution, each of these three forces gained power rather than lost
each participated in the creation of the industrialized wealth of Vland.
In -9235 the Vilani made their ultimate breakthrough - one that would
their ascendance for the next 6000 years. A research team working
the fringes of the Vland system
the first working prototype jump drive
demonstrated its effects.
The Vilani found intelligent lifeforms on other worlds within 60
of Vland. None of the races had progressed enough to have
interstellar travel. The Vilani found it easy to dominate these
technically advanced races. The Vilani were able to impose Vilani
and law on these other races among the stars. However, the Vilani
were not militaristic in nature, but rather were economic subjection.
As their sphere of influence was expanding, the Vilani found it
to maintain control across such great distances with jump-1 as their
rate of travel and communication. At the same time, each of the
power classes of Vilani society found itself threatened by the forces
Three bureaux were established, each independent of the other two, and
assigned a territory among the stars for which it was
Each of the three bureaux was effectively identical, but they initially
different philosophies, which were based on their origins. The
maintained their own governments within their territorities.
Sharurshid, originating with
merchant class, emphasized interstellar trade. Makhidkarun, originating with
aristocracy, emphasized interstellar government. Naasirka, originating with the
floundered after it found that it could not control food supplies on
of the worlds it dealt with, but it ultimately became a broad-line
which emphasized energy, transport, and luxury goods.
In -6430, the Vilani finally discovered jump-2. No other race had
and the Vilani maintained a sole monopoly on jump-2 by jealously
its secrets from all subject races. Beginning in -5400, a series
wars to subjugate the resisting fringe cultures was waged. This
of consolidation wars lasted until -4045.
Grand Empire of Stars: In 4046, the ruling Vilani council, the
declared the Grand Empire of the Stars,
in the Vilani tongue, the Ziru Sirka. The Vilani calendar starts
At first, the Empire had no emperor. Within 10 years, the
of the Igsiirdi (elected for life by the council) was the Ishimkarun -
Shadow Emperor - ruled through published proclamations, but never
in public. In -3610, the Shadow Emperor became the Emperor of the
who was the absolute monarch of the Empire. Successors were
from the Igsiirdi upon the death of the old emperor.
For nearly 1,200 years the Grand Empire of the Stars kept the peace
its star-spanning population. However, the empire insisted on
rigidity. Exploration was stopped by -4000. Scientific
research was controlled and then stopped altogether by -3800.
The old Vilani culture which developed during the first Imperium was a rigid caste
based on the idea that each citizen had a specific and set place in the
and it was each citizen's duty to remain in that place. Society
not afford to let individuals do as they pleased. Not all of the
races of the Vilani Imperium were able to be completely absorbed into
culture (the Vegans, for example) and those
did not do well under the Vilani Imperium.
The beginning of the end of Vilani domination was signalled by the
with the Terrans in -2422.
-2408 the Terran Confederation
and the Vilani were at war; by -2219 the Terrans had surpassed the
technologically and were marching through the cities of Vland
and the Grand Empire of the Stars was at an end.
Currently, Vilani is a cultural rather than a racial or national
and it is applied to those within the Imperium
who retain some of the old ways. Dialects of the old High Vilani
language survive in certain places, along with a few fragments of
Vilani culture, such
as musical forms and other fine arts. Certain of the old Vilani
noble families have maintained more of the old culture, particularly
the families who control the Vilani megacorporations.
See also Vilani Calendar.