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Varni (Venelacerta varni) are a race of sapient, bipedal lepidosaurians originally from a planet of the same name located in the Trk'Pahn Sector. They are perhaps best known for their poisonous fangs. A formerly starfaring species, the Varni were once masters of a Republic that consisted of ten inhabited worlds. A surprise invasion in the 2590s by the Kilrathi (led by the future Emperor Joor'rad nar Kiranka) led to their utter defeat and enslavement. Most Varni were taken as slaves in that action, though a significant number were able to flee into the Terran spheres of influence (particularly Confederation territory) and into Wild Space. The captured Varni managed to impress the Kilrathi and earn their respect, a fact that probably saved them from annihilation. The bulk of the Varni race today remains in the service of their Kilrathi masters.


  • Personality: Proto-Varni were predators, slowly evolving and developing their civilization over a period of a few million years. By the time they are subjugated, they were a very advanced and civilized race (with some outsiders holding to the opinion that they were too civilized, which ultimately led to their enslavement). Varni are generally non-aggressive unless necessary. While they aren't particularly fast learners, they aren't incompetent and often come up with brilliant plans and strategies (including the plan to install most of the detonation fuses on early Kilrathi Shield-Burster torpedoes backwards, assuring that they wouldn't work). Varni aren't particularly social creatures, though they do not mind the company of others and often make strong, lasting friendships with those they trust.
  • Physical Description: Varni are a lizard-like race of carnivorous consumers, averaging about 2.75 meters in height and about 112 kilograms in mass. Like most lepidosaurians, their bodies are covered with a series of overlapping scales, which are generally either grey or brown in color and arranged in bands or large "spots". A few Varni exhibit scales that are a light red to light orange in color, usually in place of any brown markings; such individuals are fairly rare but celebrated in what remains of Varni society. Varni have powerfully built heads that include a standard set of auditory and olfactory organs. They have very acute color vision. Their mouths contain a set of fanged jaws which are capable of injecting prey with a moderate strength nerve toxin; it is thought that proto-Varni hunted prey similarly to Earth's Komodo dragon (biting prey and then waiting it to die from the venom before beginning consumption). Varni are tetrapods, with a pair of arms for fine motor control and two legs that support full bipedal locomotion. Varni are ectothermic and have a correspondingly low metabolic rate; they are not known to move particularly fast. They are powerfully built creatures that rival the Kilrathi in terms of raw strength. Their mental capacity is somewhat limited though they have been known to make brilliant leaps in logic and science (a fact that at one time lead them to the stars); they tend not to learn new skills particularly quickly (a fact that may have been partially responsible for their relatively slow evolutionary process). Varni are xerophiles; a typical Varni need only feed about once every two or three months and usually take in sufficient water to sustain them in the process of feeding. When they do feed, they will try to take in at least a third of their total body mass. Varni don't sleep as a rule, though members of the species will hibernate for extended periods if ambient conditions are too cold (and if they are allowed to do so). Varni reproduce sexually, often forming life-pairs after a complicated mating ritual conducted in late adolescence. Varni are oviparous, with females laying a clutch of two to twelve eggs (five on average) after two months. Eggs hatch after approximately nine months of incubation.
    • Motor Appendages: 2
    • Visual Organs: 2
      • Field of Vision: Optimal 118 degrees forward, Peripheral 196 degrees forward.
    • Auditory Organs: 2
    • Olfactory Organs: 1
    • Gustatory Organs: 1
    • Propulsive Appendages: 2
    • Reproductive Organs: 1
  • Relations with Other Races: The Varni are technically members of the Kilrathi Empire and as such have the same set of allies/enemies as their Kilrathi masters. The Kilrathi recognize the Varni as bak, fellow predators that might be threats. For their part, the Varni are resentful of their enslavement but believe the Kilrathi are quite capable of carrying out a gruesome retribution should they get out-of-line. Those Varni who are free generally hate the Cats with a passion and often find themselves allied with Terrans. They're generally neutral towards other races, though they sometimes have problems with the bird-like Firekkans, notably when any of their youth are around (given that small birds are often part of the Varni diet). The Varni remaining in the Kilrathi Empire at the time of Kilrah's destruction suffered greatly along with their masters when the Nephilim later invaded the former Kilrathi sphere. After 2700, not many Varni still existed outside of the Terran spheres of influence.
  • Territory: The Varni are subjugate to the Kilrathi; officially, they are subjects of the Kilrathi Empire and as such they have no territory of their own. Their home system is in the Tr'l H'mass Quadrant of the Trk'Pahn Sector, with direct jumps to the Zarnobian, Omega and Trk'Pahn systems. Their homeworld was subjected to intense orbital bombardment at the end of their war with the Kilrathi; as this happened in the late 26th century, it should come to no surprise that the ambient radiation levels have not yet gone down far enough for them to repopulate their world nor is it likely that the Kilrathi will allow them to return anytime soon.
  • Onomastikon: It is rare to hear a Varni's full name spoken out-loud; their Kilrathi masters often refer to them as "slave" (when they deign to speak to them), while Terrans and other species are content to use just the individual's given name; most species are unaware of the usage of patronymic surnames amongst the Varni. A Varni's given name is chosen by their brood mother after their first year of life, when a youngling has a greater chance of surviving into adulthood. Varni names, like most names pronounced by a reptilian tongue, are heavy in "T", "S" and "N" sounds; they also favor "V" and "R" sounds to a lesser degree. Vowel sounds in Varni names include short A, long A (represented by e), long E (represented by i), long o, and "oo" (represented by u). Given names consist of two parts separated by a glottal stop (represented by a hyphen); consonant sounds found prior to the glottal stop are never found after it. Varni surnames all start with the prefix "var" and end either in "nao" for males or "nat" for females, with a vastly shortened form of the brood father's given name placed in between.
    • Given Name Prefixes: Ana-, Ane-, Ano-, Anu-, Asu-, Ata-, Ate-, Atu-, Ava-, Avi-, Ena-, Eni-, Eri-, Ero-, Ete-, Etu-, Evo-, Ina-, Iri-, Iro-, Ise-, Isu-, Ita-, Ite-, Ito-, Itu-, Iva-, Ivo-, One-, Oni-, Ore-, Oro-, Ose-, Osi-, Osu-, Oti-, Oto-, Otu-, Ova-, Ovi-, Uno-, Ura-, Uri-, Usa-, Uso-, Usu-, Ute-, Uti-, Uto-, Uva-.
    • Given Name Suffixes: nat, nav, nes, nos, nov, nun, nur, nus, ran, rat, rav, res, rin, rir, ris, rit, rot, rov, san, sar, sen, ses, set, sin, sor, sos, sus, tan, tav, ten, tet, tev, tir, tis, ton, tov, tuv, vat, ven, ver, ves, vet, vev, vin, vit, vor, vot, vov, vut, vuv.
    • Male Surnames: Vartanao, Vartenao, Vartinao, Vartonao, Vartunao, Varranao, Varrenao, Varrinao, Varronao, Varrunao, Varnanao, Varnenao, Varninao, Varnonao, Varnunao, Varsanao, Varsenao, Varsinao, Varsonao, Varsunao.
    • Female Surnames: Vartanat, Vartenat, Vartinat, Vartonat, Vartunat, Varranat, Varrenat, Varrinat, Varronat, Varrunat, Varnanat, Varnenat, Varninat, Varnonat, Varnunat, Varsanat, Varsenat, Varsinat, Varsonat, Varsunat.
  • Motivation: While many Varni yearn for freedom from the yoke of Kilrathi slavery, most do nothing for fear of reprisals against their families. Those Varni who attempt escape are either those that have no family left or are so fed up with being tormented that they no longer fear death. Many who attempt to escape don't make it very far; those that succeed, however, often find friends in the Terran spheres of influence, where they begin actively doing what they can to win back their people's freedom. That usually either means signing on with mercenary crews or joining the Confederation military; either poses a significant risk, as Kilrathi are known to summarily execute any Varni captured while serving with Terrans.


  • Basic Characteristics:
    • Size Class: C6
    • Base HP: 70
    • Base HD: 54/51/54
    • Physical Attribute Building Point Pool: 175
    • Mental Attribute Building Point Pool: 100
    • Discipline Building Point Pool: 200
    • Genders: 2
    • Life Stages: Adolescent at 10 years. Adult at 12 years. Middle age at 29 years. Old Age at 48 years. Venerable Age at 60 years.
    • Lifespan: 60 + 7d5 years.
    • Height: 2.05 + (2d5 x 0.14) meters.
    • Mass: 84 + (2d5 from height x 5.6) kilograms.
    • Speed: Runner (Biped) - 7 kph (11 m/rd); 2 (short-range combat), ½ (long-range combat)
    • Trade Value: ¤975
    • Racial Abilities and Restrictions:
      • Venomous Fangs. The bite of a Varni inflicts 8 points of Lethal Damage and injects the target with a mild Nerve Agent (15 minutes per Stage).
      • Grows Back. Varni are capable of naturally re-growing lost limbs; they have the Regeneration special ability.
      • Hinged Jaw. Varni are capable of chewing but prefer to take in their food whole; they have the Swallow Whole special ability.
      • Pacifist Demeanor. Varni tend to be very calm in stressful situations, using force only as a last resort; all Varni have Nerves at +10.
      • Enslaved. The Varni are a Kilrathi slave race and even free Varni are sometimes treated as pariahs in the alien societies in which they are forced to live; all Varni have Social Status at -5.
      • Slow Movers. Varni are often sluggish due to their physiology; all Varni have Reflexes at -5.
      • Escaped Slaves. Varni that have escaped the Kilrathi yoke are sought after and brought to heel; all free Varni have the Hunted Complication at -15.

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