The Vrudok are a relatively young species that somewhat resemble birds,
though technically they have evolved into their own species, sharing
characteristics of both birds and mammals. They typically stand 3.5 – 5 feet tall,
with long necks angled slightly forward and small round heads. They have
short, curved beaks that have a sharp cutting edge and contain rows of
blunt grinding teeth. They are covered in a layer of tiny feathers that
subconsciously shift to regulate their body temperature and exposure to
UV radiation. The feathers become larger around their head and neck,
forming colourful crests that puff out when aroused. They have long arms capped with three
long finger-claws and an opposable thumb and have short, thin legs
covered in a thick leathery skin. Their feet are large and splay into three
The Vrudok have exceptional hearing and sight. They also
sense magnetic fields and have exceptional directional sense while on-planet.
They can sense
other beings moving through natural magnetic fields near them. Their first times
on starships are generally disastrous, as they suffer from enormous
electro-magnetic disorientation which is akin to severe sea sickness.
They have extremely high metabolisms and eat almost
constantly. Evolved from flying birds, they have a strong, rapidly
beating heart and strong circulatory system.
Their stout constitution makes them resistant to disease. The typical
lifespan of a Vrudok is 50 – 70 years. Vrudoks live almost exclusively
within the Vrudok
Empire, which is isolated at the edge of the
Their homeworld of Vrudok had a slightly erratic and elongated orbit and
rapid spin that lead to a fast day-night cycle, violent storms, and
rapidly changing temperatures. Originally flying predators, the planet's
harsh changing weather drove them steadily to ground, where they
developed wing-claws for climbing trees, grasping insects, nuts, thick-shelled
eggs, and hard-skinned fruit. They evolved gradually into a species that
survived as carrion-scavengers, ambushers, and all-around survivors.
They have a strong sense of play, experimentation, and competition. They
evolved down and feathers
as a method of temperature regulation and grew strong boney beaks to
crack the hard shells of Vrudok's large insect population. The severe
conditions and large temperature swings on
Vrudok resulted in a highly
adaptable species tailored to rapid response to stimulus.
Their racial personality is harsh, survivalist, and at odds with the universe. Life is competition
within a framework.
The universe is there to be exploited. The needs of the race are best
served by joining a strong group and maximizing one's own potential to
make that group stronger. There is no shame in failure, there is only shame in not
competing. There is shame in solitude and ostracization.
The Vrudok manipulate. They manipulate each other and the environments
they encounter. They band together, expand, exploit, split apart, and
betray each other regularly. Power, leadership, and alliances
change frequently and violently and individuals and groups scrabble to
get more. Socially, they have developed strong structure and serious
social rules to prevent their competition from tearing the race apart.
They prefer building outposts more than actually inhabiting worlds.
Worlds are for exploiting. Worlds, when used to their full potential,
tend to die but a well constructed artificial construct can be kept
functioning forever. The political and administrative capital of their
empire is the Clutch, a massive
artificial outpost whose construction began in early
outpost can be slowly moved with its
gravity drives, is well defended,
and is capable of survival in deep space. The construction is under the
direct supervision of the Central Administration and whatever Klekken runs the
Vrudok Empire at any given
time, so it has changed in design and construction methodology several times. It is now eclectic and haphazard with partially
completed sections and off-hangs and features a variety of internal and
external aesthetic changes throughout.
The Vrudok organize into Klekkens, social units that
combine the strongest features of family, clan, and corporation.
legal entities registered with the Vrudok's largely powerless Central
Administration. They work together and against each other, the most
powerful Klekken or group of Klekkens essentially setting the general laws and
trends for the
Empire. The Central Administration basically remains outside it all
but steps in militarily if their central set of laws governing fair
competition is broken.
Individuals live for their Klekken in order to live for
themselves. They have little compunction about changing sides when the
time is right and this is seen as acceptable and admirable as a way to
get ahead, provided it is done with class and dignity and without
disturbing the Central Administrative powers-that-be.
Breeding is a routine task done to perpetuate the species, provide new competition,
the empire. There is no concept of genealogical family or ancestral
belonging. Vrudokin females lay eggs in their Klekken's mass hatchery and abandon them.
The hatcheries maintain no sense of family or family structure. The
selects excellent specimens of egg or young to raise as their own, sell to other Clutches, or enter
into a societal recruitment system where Klekkens can earn a pick of eggs.
Young not integrated into specific Klekkens are left to band together in
the hatcheries and survive as they can.
The Vrudok have a strange and complicated language characterized by the
use of both tongue and beaks. Their tongues are used to generate flaps,
clicks, trills, and whistles while their beaks click and grind.