From Star Trek: Theurgy Wiki
|Planet of Origin:||Vulcan|
|Affiliation:||United Federation of Planets|
|Warp Capable:||1440 AD|
|Borg Designation:||Species 3259|
|Environmental Requirements:||warm Class M conditions|
|Typical Lifespan:||200 years|
|Telepathic Abilities:||touch telepath|
|Blood Coloration:||green (copper-based)|
pointed ears and eyebrows
varied skin and eye coloration
|Vulcan characters in Star Trek: Theurgy:|
The Needs of the Many Outweigh the Needs of the Few, or the One.
The Vulcans were a stoic, rational people. Widely claimed to be emotionless, in truth the Vulcans felt deeply and intensely, to their own detriment. Their stoicism came from a culture of logic and self-discipline, where emotions were analyzed and dissected to rob them of their potency so that they could not overwhelm or control the individual. Vulcans embraced science and reason, but their lives were not purely devoted to logic: they also had a deeply philosophical side, with art and music as vital to their culture as logic. They were also intensely private people, with many aspects of their culture — such as the rites of Pon Farr — which were not discussed amongst outsiders.
Vulcans exalted logic over emotion and usually repressed or sublimated emotions in their daily behavior. Vulcans who dealt with non-Vulcans on a regular basis often maintained an almost glacial calm, possibly as self-defense against so much unguarded feeling. Among themselves, however, Vulcans usually seemed more relaxed; Vulcan ambassadors often cultivated a kind of distant good humor and politesse. Even Vulcan ambassadors, however, had trouble predicting or depending upon the behavior of more emotional species.
Surak's teachings were the most important philosophical essays in Vulcan history, detailing the use of logic and reason in order to control warring emotions and destructive tendencies. In the beginning, Vulcans used their emotions as a tool, preferring to apply logic to justify their actions. AS the race evolved and the teachings of Surak spread, however the use of various techniques to banish and suppress emotions became more prevalent and Vulcan psychology blossomed. The understanding of one's mind and mental processes as well as one's emotional reactions became a necessity, and psychology was applied not only to one' own actions but also to understanding the actions of others.
The foremost psychologists on Vulcan belonged to the religious orders that guide Vulcan society. Surak's school the largest and most popular sect of Vulcan beliefs, advocated the study and understanding of emotional desires, so that the student can suppress and control them. Constant study of this process, as well as assisting others in achieving mastery of psionics through control of emotion, caused the devotees of this doctrine to become experts on the workings and common psychological traumas of Vulcan minds.
The school of Surak had many techniques which can open the mind of a student, perceiving where the student's difficulties and strongest emotions lie and adjusting the mind's processes so that the student can more completely face the emotion and learn to control it. Thus, they are experienced in abnormal psychology as well as the common workings of Vulcan minds. When a Vulcan is unable to control his emotions, his family or colleagues often summon a devotee of Surak to deal with him. When a Vulcan willingly gives in to his emotions, it is one goal of those who follow the doctrines of Surak to help him resolve his problems and rejoin society.
One of the most contemplated teachings of Surak was his admonition that one should study reason above all else. ("The chief subject of reason is reason") Surak taught that a Vulcan should learn to discern reality both as it seems to be and as it truly was. This dissection of truth from illusion spurred Vulcans into intense study of science and mathematics, helping them dissect many of the most complex workings of the universe into logical steps. Patience, temperance, and logical observation (truthfulness to the world) were three of the greatest virtues of Vulcan culture and all had great application to scientific reasoning. Vulcans believed that their adherence to this doctrine made them the foremost scientists in the Federation.
The application of these virtues, combined with intense meditation, gave Vulcans great control over their native psionic abilities. They remained unable to control that most famous biological trigger of Vulcan mental abilities, the pon farr.
Vulcans closely resembled Humans, with the same average height and weight. Their pointed ears were slightly larger than the Human norm, and their slanted eyebrows sometimes gave them a questioning look. The inner, or nictitating, eyelid was not visible. Vulcan skin complexions ranged from olive to dark mahogany, with a green cast provided by their copper-based blood. The Vulcan heart rested in the lower center of the torso, surrounded and protected by highly efficient lungs.
Externally Vulcans seemed to have much in common with Terrans, Vulcan internal physiology is quite different.
Body Size and Shape
Males and females were of similar height and stature, averaging 2 meters in height and 70 kilos in weight. Although their structure and frame were of similar height to those of Terrans, their strength was derived from longer muscle mass and a dense skeletal frame, the consequences of evolution in Vulcan's higher gravity and thinner atmosphere. One other significant difference from Terran physiology was the distinct lack of Vulcan sweat glands. Vulcans used blood, skin, and body structure to cool themselves rather than perspiration, which would have been inefficient given the high temperatures on the planet Vulcan.
Vulcan epidermis was unlike any other in the galaxy. Forming a two-way moisture-proof shield, it protected Vulcans from external liquids and pressure, as well as maintaining the inner temperature and liquid environment of their organs. Because Vulcan blood was copper-based rather than iron-based, it was green in color and was extremely effective in separating and utilizing the smaller amounts of oxygen available in Vulcan's low-pressure mildly irradiated environment. Due to this specialization of their blood and blood cells, Vulcans could survive for several minutes under water or in any oxygen-poor environment, as long as there was a small amount of oxygen available.
Not much was known about the Vulcan brain, although it was clear from even the simplest autopsy that the Vulcan midbrain is larger and more complex, and contains more nerve endings and blood capillaries than similar areas of Terran brains. The only other major species known to have possessed such a large percentage of midbrain was the Betazoid race, whose midbrain comprises nearly 65% of their entire brain mass. Vulcan midbrains were significantly smaller, averaging only 45% of the organ, yet this is still much more than comparative races. It was assumed that the majority of Vulcan psionic powers came from this enlarged region, although testing has been inconclusive.
A clear inner eyelid formed of a nictitating membrane that filtered radiation, dust, and other harmful elements protected Vulcan eyes. Vulcan range of vision was more acute, as was their ability to recognize color frequencies and perceived more clearly at a distance. This seemed to have certain negative drawbacks as many Vulcans describe painful symptoms, similar to headaches and eyestrain, from being exposed to vibrant high colorations for long periods of time. The Vulcan optic nerve, much more delicate and sensitive than a typical Terran nerve, was more prone to disease and degeneration.
One of the most commonly noted differences between Terran and Vulcan physiology was the shape and structure of the earlobe and the functioning of the Vulcan inner ear. Although the Vulcan ear shape helped to funnel sound and intensify the reception of harmonics, the internal structure of the eardrum is very different, formed of no fewer than three separate functioning eardrums. These eardrums seemed to respond to differing volume and pitch, relaying the sound through separate channels to the nerve centers of the brain. Each worked independently, and in Vulcans of advanced age it was most often the low-pitched eardrum that deteriorates.
Vulcans had only 28 teeth, lacking rear molars and possessed a longer mandibular movement than most bipedal species. Although the bone structure of the Vulcan skull is thinner, the actual skull casing was formed of extremely dense matter, allowing a thinner depth of bone actually to be harder and stronger than a human skull.
Vulcan internal organs tended to operate at a much faster rate than those of comparable species, with an average heart rate as 265 beats per minute. The Vulcan heart lied in the center of the torso, surrounded by a large lung structure, capable of holding approximately 20% more capacity than Terran lungs. The Vulcan torso, ribcage, and musculature were also significantly longer, in order to encompass the organs within.
Vulcan hormonal activity was under muscular control and could be regulated by conscious processes of trained Vulcans. Thus, it was possible that a Vulcan could control his adrenaline, thyroid, and other metabolic systems, causing a change in heart rate, oxygen consumption, and other bodily resources. This accounts for the amazing Vulcan capacity to "regenerate" wounds, using a special trance state in order to repair any internal or structural damage more efficiently. The one primary exception to this rule was the reproductive hormone complex released during the Pon farr, in which a hormone known as yamareen was released into the bloodstream of the mature male Vulcan. Although the female Vulcan be impregnated after her menstrual cycle began (typically as early as age 16 and as late as 25), the male Vulcan was incapable of creating progeny until after the onset of his first pon farr. Thereafter, the Vulcan male is capable of reproducting, but must obey the physical urge to mate every seven years, during the pon farr. Vulcans, humans, and Klingons were all interfertile, giving credence to theories that all three races sprang from common ancestors seeded by the Preservers.
The biological and anthropological origins of pon farr remained unclear, and Vulcan modesty defeated Vulcan curiosity, leaving the subject mostly unstudied. The secretion of a hormone complex known yamareen caused the pon farr, or mating cycle. Difficult to produce scientifically, all attempts to create yamareen in laboratory experiments were unsuccessful. In the prehistoric phase of Vulcan, men fought to the death regularly for the right to mate with females. This kept the population down (useful on a desert planet) and ensured that only the strongest survived to reproduce. It also hindered the growth of Vulcan society, as men would not cooperate with others who could soon be their deadly enemies.
Pon farr occurred every seven years, regardless of physical condition or the Vulcan's social capacity to mate. Those who felt the "blood stirring" did not always have the luxury of being ceremonially joined to another Vulcan. In this case, they were free to choose their mate as they saw fit, hoping that they would be accepted. If a Vulcan was rejected or if his pon farr is allowed to continue without mating, he was said to suffer from plak tow, the "blood fever."
Plak tow was extremely dangerous and could result in death if not carefully controlled. Those around a plak tow sufferer would not speak his name out of courtesy. Ideally, this was the Vulcan way of "ignoring" the incident's occurrence at all, allowing the sufferer to endure with a minimum of stigma from other Vulcans. This habit caused many deaths because a series of intense meditations and rigorous physical disciplines was required to survive an unrequited plak tow, and even those methods were not always successful.
Vulcans reverted to ancient mating ceremonies during their pon far, attempting to cover their emotional abandon with logic and ancient ritual. The parents of both parties, as well as representatives from the School of Surak or other religious orders, oversaw the mating contract. This ritual began well before puberty, to minimize irrational behavior and channel it toward social cohesion rather than the rutting madness that split Vulcan apart during its prehistory.
At age seven, Vulcans ceremonially bonded telepathically with their betrothed. This tradition dated back to the early, violent days of Vulcan history, when great families arranged marriages for convenience and alliance. Some families, notably those who were old, wealthy, or influential, held to this tradition, called koon-ul, "the joining." At the proper time, both individuals felt the strange rise of emotions, the nearly uncontrollable urges and overwhelming passions, signaling the star of pon farr. Other less traditional, Vulcans simply relied on shon-ha'lock, "the engulfment," to direct them to a mate at the proper time. This experience, although similar to human "love at first sight," was seen by most Vulcans as a dangerous but necessary experience, much like kahs-wan.
During pon farr, the two betrothed parties met at a ceremonial ground (usually the one belonging to the more influential family) and engaged in the rite of Koon-ut-kal-if-fee, "marriage or challenge." Here, the bride had the right to demand that the groom win her in mortal combat with a champion. (Some versions of the ritual allowed the bride herself to serve as her own champion in combat.)
Koon-ut-kal-if-fee was a survivor of ancient Vulcan customs from times when the great houses used marriages as tests of military and political strength. In modern times, a formalized question replaced this rite and the ceremony goes forth as planned. Koon-ut so'-lik, the formal marriage proposal, could occur during the koon-ul, at the beginnning of the mutual pon farr, or even at the conclusion of the ceremony. Althought much of the pon farr was public, the deep emotional nature of the situation caused Vulcans to shield it from the prying eyes of other races.
This was but one aspect of the Vulcan traditional reserve, stemming from a cultural fear of emotional vulnerability and exposure called k'oh-nar.
The planet Vulcan (or Ti-Valka'ain, in the Vulcan language) was the second plant of six orbiting the orange star 40 Eridani A (part of a trinary system; the other two stars were too far away to be immediately visible in Vulcan's sky). Vulcan was a harsh, desert world (barely a quarter of the surface area was water) with a thin atmosphere and high (1.4 G) gravity. Vulcan's geology produced starkly upthrust mountains: craggy, inhospitable, and inspiring to the planet's ascetic logicians and mystics alike. The capital city of Vulcan, ShirKahr, was a low, stark city laid out in logical grids and quarters around an ancient oasis.
The landscape of Vulcan was mostly harsh and forbidding, filled with arid deserts and stark plains of black obsidian and gray flint and cinder populated by active volcanoes, fumaroles, and geysers. Water was scarce in most areas, and the flora and fauna occupying these regions adapted to survive in these difficult conditions. The people of Vulcan were tempered by the fires of Vulcan's forge. They developed a hardiness and inner strength that enabled them to master their environment and create a thriving and vital economy.
Fossil evidence discovered on the planet indicated that at one time nearly eighty percent of the Vulcan was covered with water. The first lifeforms emerged from the oceans and came onto land that instead of barren desert was lush tropical forest. With food and water being plentiful, many different types of creatures were able to thrive on the planet. Federation scientists believed that a series of solar flares exploded from 40 Eridani A caused a sudden and dramatic change in Vulcan's environment. These flares would have ripped off the upper layers of the atmosphere, and volatized much of the ocean. Without the protection of the ionosphere, and with water newly scarce, many of the plants and creatures of Vulcan would begin to die off. Within a geological eyeblink the forests would disappear, the oceans would become barren rock, and the atmosphere heated as it thinned.
Vulcan astronomers agreed with certain points Federation scientists, but disputed that solar flares alone were responsible for the changes that happened. They reasoned that 40 Eridani A, although a relatively energetic orange dwarf, historically never shown the level of activity that the Federation scientists believed happened. Many Vulcan astronomers theorized that a small but fast moving rogue planet struck 40 Eridani A as it passed through the system. Because Vulcan was close to the star when this happened, the planet not only got hit with the large flares, but also with actual stellar material ripped from the star by the rogue planet's impact. In the perturbations, the orbits of the planets were drawn closer to the star, and gravitational stresses may even have broken up one planet into the Vulcan system's inner asteroid belt. Using this model, the Vulcans no only accounted for the flares, but also the change in temperature and the tectonic shifting that had made much of Vulcan geologically unstable.
Vulcan geologists, however, maintained that internal tectonic activity on Vulcan was energetic enough to explain the changes in Vulcan's atmosphere and the climate by itself. They posited that an extremely violent period of volcanism and subduction (possibly following a cometary or meteoritic impact) altered the atmospheric chemistry of Vulcan enough to allow 40 Eridani A to disintegrate the atmosphere. These geologist pointed to similar periods in the evolution of Earth, when its atmosphere changed from methane to nitrogen-oxygen, or when the ozone layer almost broke down in the early 21st century, as evidence that atmospheric changes created by ground conditions could alter planetary climate dramatically.
Some theorists argued that solar activity could easily have disrupted Vulcan's weak and inconstant magnetic field, and perhaps caused a radical shifting of Vulcan's axial tilt. Such a shift, if timed with a period of solar flares and tectonic instability, could hae ripped away much of Vulcan's atmosphere, leaving the planet to bake itself dry over the centuries. Still more radical scholars believed that a cataclysmic war among proto-Vulcan species not only flung Vulcan into barbarism but actually devastated the planetary ecology and geology, turning a lush paradise into a desert with horrific doomsday weapons that focused the planet's tectonic energy or that psionically collimated beams of Vulcan's sunlight into mighty death rays. Although fragmentary Vulcan legends could be matched up to these theories, most scientists rejected them as unlikely in the extreme.
There were isolated areas that retained the visage of Vulcan's primordial past, when the planet was teemed with life. These areas, primarily concentrated in the fertile crescents bordering the planet's great seas, the Voroth and the Thanor, contained vestiges of old growth forest carefully shepherded from harvesting and set aside by the Vulcan Council as wilderness preserves. Conservators carefully nurtured the many species of flowering plants, grasses, animals, and fish, and kept them from extinction. Most Vulcan's of means maintained personal gardens at their private residences. Cities like ShirKahr and Vulcana Regar set aside parcels of land for public gardens.
Temperature and Climate
Vulcan was a hot planet. Daytime temperatures routinely ranged from 316 K to 325 K, and in the peak of summer could reach or exceed 339 K. The rays of 40 Eridani A, usually shone down through the red sky unbroken by clouds from dawn to dusk, as rainfall throughout the planet typically averaged less than 63.5 centimeters per year and was heavily concentrated in the six-week period immediately following summer's end. Additionally, winds tended to be mild except among the coasts. Nightfall brought a break to the incessant heat, dropping the thermometer to 280 K or below. During Vulcan's winter months, the midlatitude deserts often experienced freezing temperatures at night.
Vulcan had a gravitational pull of 1.4G and thin atmosphere. The planet's surface received increased amounts of ultraviolet radiation causing Vulcan physiology to adapt to this environment. Vulcan's adapted with a secondary eyelid to reduce glare and keep out foreign particles and reducing the body's daily need for liquids and other nourishment.
As a result of this adaptation to survive such an environment, Vulcans in Earth-normal environments possessed a physical strength and sensory acuity (particularly hearing) well beyond the human norm. Conversely, humans visiting Vulcan for the first time were apt to wilt quickly upon exposure to the planet's hostile conditions.
Vulcan had no axial tilt, so there was no natural progression of the season from north to south. Seasonal changes occurred planetwide as the result of Vulcan's elliptical orbit around its sun. At its perigee, Vulcan passed less than o.56 AU from 40 Eridani A; during this time, solar flares caused tectonic activity in the shifting plates beneath unstable geological zones like the island continent of Xir'tan or the Fire Plains of Raal. During these months, the seismologists at the Vulcan Science Academy remained constantly vigilant, diverting travelers and mining expeditions away from possible earthquake zones, monitored the status of over 200 active and many more dormant volcanoes, and coordinated evacuations and rescue activities in the event of a disaster.
Flora and Fauna of Vulcan
While traveling or living on Vulcan, visitors encountered any of three distinct climate zones - desert, volcanic plains, and temperate coastlands. Each zone supported many ecosystems, with a biodiversity surprising for such an inhospitable planet.
From the equatorial dunes and ergs of Xial and Go'an to the gravel flats north of Nal'shin, desert was the most plentiful terrain on Vulcan. The shifting sands held many secrets to those skilled in their lore. The greatest of these was the art of finding sources of drinkable water. In ancient days, warlords fought to control important oases and underground springs. Permanent settlements, small and large, would grow around these watercourses. Through the application of advanced technologies like hydroponics, Vulcan towns extended these limited resources to supply other basic needs. The Vulcan capital city of ShirKahr sprang up around just such an oasis and supported an infrastructure the equal of any in the Federation.
Desert Flora and Fauna
These squat cactus-like plants were the predominant form of desert plant life. Virtually all types of cir-cen had a tough outer protective skin that could be penetrated only by a laser or sharp knife. This skin shielded the plant from the worst ravages of the searing heat and was often covered by thorns or spines to protect it from animal predators. The interior layers of the plant stored water, and when sucked upon could provide a brief respite to those whose supplies had run low. Certain varieties of the plant, referred to in some parts of Vulcan as nor-cen, were characterized by an outer coating of sharp crimson spines; the pulplike interior of this subspecies not only held water but offered a tasty and nourishing repast as well.
A bush which grew on the shady sides of desert and semidesert hills. The berries of the g'teth were small, brownish-green buds which could be crushed and used to make a reviving beverage, the justly-famous Vulcan mocha. G'teth plantations covered much of Vulcan's low hilly regions, where the bushes served as windbreaks for other plants and helped prevent erosion as well as provided a useful crop.
Of the dozens of species of poisonous snakes which inhabited the Vulcan desert, sunning themselves by day and hunting by night, this serpent with its mottled blue-gray skin was one of the most distinctive. When the k'karee coils to strike, two sacs located below its throat expand outward, creating the appearance of a small pair of silvery fins and giving it the ability to project its venom in a concentrated spray with an effective range of up to 5 meters. The k'karee's poison was not in itself fatal to humans or Vulcans, but it could temporarily paralyze a limb (for 24-48 hours) or cause blindness if it hit its target in the eyes. Either could leave a victim an inviting target to further attacks by the snake or by other predators in the area, unless proper antitoxins could be promptly applied.
A fierce orange-skinned hunting cat that inhabited various regions on Vulcan, the le-matya was known for its lightning-fast reflexes and poison-tipped fangs. The cats were known to attack anything they see or smell. The deadly nerve toxins in their fangs could kill a small animal within minutes, or paralyze a human. Because they attack anything they encountered whether they were hungry or not, no le-matya were allowed on any of Vulcan's nature preserves; if one ranged onto a preserve it was removed as quickly as possible. Le-mataya were known to live in the deserts near ShirKahr, and travelers beyond the city's wall should take care.
This graceful hunting bird with gold and brown feathers had a massive 2.5-meter-wide wingspan and a powerful musculature that allows it to propel itself along the mild wind currents of Vulcan's atmosphere. Although the bird possessed two pairs of sharp golden talons and is carnivorous, its prey consisted of small rodents and reptiles, and it was no treat to the humanoid inhabitants of Vulcan. Indeed, desert dwellers held that it was good luck to encounter a shavokh when traveling through unfamiliar lands, for where it descends to the ground, one will find ground water or a soak not too deeply buried nearby.
There were many who said that the sir-soss'im were the stuff of legend. Yet, in nearly every village, one could encounter tales of poor souls who were devoured by these will-o'-the-wisps that preyed on the unsuspecting and then just as suddenly were gone. The sir-soss'im were described as child-sized balls of loose grasses and brush, not unlike tumbleweeds from the western prairies of North America, which travel in packs and possess a group intelligence. The stories said that fire was the only defense against their assault.
There were two vastly different types of volcanic plains which visitors could encounter on Vulcan - the blasted wastes formed by centuries of past volcanic activity in areas made dormant, like the Cheleb-kor desert and the Womb of Fire; and the shifting plateaus that surrounded still-active volcanoes like Mt. Tarhana or the triple peaks of T'raan, T'riall, and T'regar in Raal, and teemed with strange forms of life that somehow bloomed in the midst of searing heat and intense pressure. The terrain of the former was harsh and foreboding, twisted ridges of gray flint, red rock, and black lava flows interspersed with yellow sulfurous deposits and patches of brilliant green lichen. Few possessed of their sanity inhabited such realms, and even short-term visitors came equipped with appropriate survival gear, and were well advised to stay clear of most of the indigenous plants and animals which have evolved the means to survive there.
The living and constantly changing plains surrounded major active volcanoes, on the other hand, attracted many visitors, ranging from scientists and tourists seeking to observe the marvelous multicolored crystalline formations that grew from the rocks on the Fire Plains of Raal, to expedition and excavation teams seeking to harvest the rich mineral deposits contained within the lava flows between eruptions. Some of the major temples of Vulcan were also located along the more stable outskirts of these plains, as a constant reminder of the powerful primal energies that sects like the followers of Kolinahr sought to master.
Flora and Fauna of the Volcanic Plains
Gal-en-du'un ("Dream Moss")
This yellowish-green lichen, when consumed (either by ingestion or by burning it and breathing in its fumes), caused strong hallucinations which last several minutes in duration. Dream moss was used in ancient time\s by ecstatic priests to induce revelatory visions. Its effect on Vulcans was much stronger than its effect on humans. Its use was eventually restricted to medicine, as a number of Vulcan analgesic and neurochemical treatments used gal-en-du'un essence.
While already well known for its aggressive nature and poisoned fangs, le-matya that lived in the volcanic plains tended to be larger and even more aggressive toward Vulcans and offworlders they encountered, killing solely so they could drink the blood of their victims. Specimens as large as 90 kilograms had been reported in the vicinity of the Cheleb-khor desert.
These low-lying bright green shrubs produced small olive-green berries which were edible by Vulcans and humans. These berries were protected by thick toxic spines which could tear through normal clothing or robes and inject a painful neural poison which caused cramping and vomiting. The poison then induced a strength-sapping fever which fogged the mind and slowed the reflexes. These spines, if carefully removed intact, were sturdy enough to be used as darts in a blowgun or flechette weapon.
Poisonous lizards that lived under rocks or in small caves and burrows, shatarr were known for striking out at prey or intruders who passed near the entrance to their homes. Specimens could grow as large as two meters, and the larger ones had been known to attack human-sized prey. Shatarr poison was a neurotoxin that quickly attacked the victim's nervous system, causing massive muscle spasms. For the small animals that were its usual prey, death occurs within minutes. If a larger animal or Vulcan was bitten the poison required more time to take effect, but this gave the victim an hour at most to seek treatment.
this small succulent tree, similar in general shape to the Earth ajouga, grew in the cracks between slabs of igneous rock, sending rootlets throughout the subsoil to flower and spread wherever the right conditions of rich volcanic ash and briefly open artesian water tables meet. Some tir-nuk patches extend invisibly under lava flows for tens of kilometers, with only a few patches emerging from narrow ravines far apart. The tir-nuk grew and died rapidly, and its sap contained spores that reseed its root system wherever they touched soil. The wood of the tir-nuk burned with a bright, colorful, irregular flame as sections of spore-sap flared up, exploded, and dropped down. The fumes, like those of dream moss, had a psychotropic impact on Vulcan physiologies.
This small rust-colored burrowing rodent had powerful claws capable of digging through the hardest soils or even volcanic rock. It lived in large family units in vast underground complexes and emerged onto the surface world only at night. The creatures were highly intelligent, and xenobiologists at the Academy began experimenting with domesticating the creatures. The name of the valit was also used to describe a computer program that was used to "burrow" past security interfaces and provided unauthorized access into a system's data core.
The temperate zones of Vulcan tended to be concentrated along the coastlines of Vulcan's two great seas, the Voroth and the Thanor, but could also be found in the northern latitudes of Tat'sahr province, the Na'ree River region, and isolated mountain valleys on both major continents. In all, these zones comprised less than ten percent of Vulcan's land mass, but housed almost forty percent of its population. Much of the economic life of Vulcan centered here - the trade ports which once housed great sailing vessels and eventually conducted the operations of Vulcan's mercantile starship fleet, the virtually fully automated microchip and pharmaceutical manufacturing complexes, and the sparse but immaculately tended farmlands where tropical food crops were organically grown.
Water was more plentiful in these areas - typically systems of underground streams, but occasionally rivers or shallow lakebeds filled during the brief rainy season, and dried out over the course of the following year. The water supplies supported more varied vegetation, including palm and nut trees, slender grasses, and even colorful flowers like the y'ranth and the favinit plant. But the temperatures here routinely topped one hundred degrees, and the fragile balance of the ecosystem was now maintained only through the most strictly managed system of irrigation, crop rotation, and recycling.
Temperate Flora and Fauna
A weasel-like animal that ate fruit, carrion, and the occasional small animal, the chkariya has two large forepaws, which it used to climb and dig. Unlike the weasels of Earth, the chkariya was active during the day, often foraging for food. They were one of the favorite animals at nature preserves, as they would take pieces of fruit from a person's hands. One had to be careful in doing so, as any fast movements or loud noises would cause the chkariya to raise its front paws, and each paw had six razor-sharp claws.
This native fruit tasted like a cross between a pineapple and the Rigellian kir - tangy and piquant. The gespar was eaten by splitting its reddish-pink outer coating in two and removing the center seed pod, which was customarily saved for replanting. Since ancient times, the rind of the gespar had been used in the manufacture of soaps and perfume.
The sehlat held an omnivorous ecological niche in Vulcan's mountains and woods . Its six-inch fangs were used almost as much to penetrate thick rinds or uproot stubborn grasses as to bring down small herd animals or other prey. Sehlat were roughly bobcat-shaped, although the largest could stand 1.5 meters tall at the shoulder. Sehlat were pack animals, although they hunted individually. Domesticated very early in Vulcan's history, they had been used as hunting beasts, guard animals, and pets. Wild sehlat could only be found in the farthest northern reaches of Tat'sahr and Kel or in the T'ralor Preserve. Their furry coat, which ranged from gold and reddish-orange to gray or even black, actually insulated them from Vulcan's heat.
The Provinces of Na'nam
The province of Gol was located in the southwest corner of Na'nam, below Raal and Xial.
Vulcan art was intensely formal and traditional. It was not intended to evoke an emotional response, unlike the art of other cultures or even of Vulcan's past. Rather, Vulcan art often projected a calmness conductive to meditative thought. This was especially common in arts such as interior design, landscaping, and gardening and in plastic arts such as painting, keethara block art, and sculpture. Other Vulcan arts actively stimulated thought; into this category fell arts such as poetry, song (instrumental music such as a Vulcan lute sonata often conveys mathematical or geometrical conapts), dance and games.
Vulcans saw the play of a game of strategy as both an intellectual exercise and a performance illustrating an intellectual exercise and a performance illustrating modes of thought. Earth games like chess, go, and ohwaree all had their devotees on Vulcan, but the ancient Vulcan game of kal-toh (a puzzle of balance and concentration) drew spectators from all over the planet for its Master tournaments.
The most radical arts, influenced by Centauran schools, seek to build alternate intellectual constructs, sought to build alternate intellectual constructs. These arts, centering on holography (or much less commonly ska-plak forgery), had gained little acceptance with deeply conservative average Vulcans.
Vulcan architecture was as precise and logical as the Vulcan philosophy of life. Vulcans preferred clean, mathematical designs. Their buildings tended to be geometric, both in design and in layout. They built using a variety of stone, such as granite and marble, both found in great quantity on Vulcan. A third stone, unlike any on Earth, was known as bureki stone. It was volcanic in origin and was suitable for building in Vulcan's high temperatures, because it did not conduct heat well. Further, bureki was a more flexible stone than marble or granite and withstood the numerous tectonic shocks which occasionally rippled Vulcan's surface. Thus, many of Vulcan's older buildings have bureki stone foundations.
Because of the hotter climate, Vulcan buildings were generally open and spacious on the inside. Columnar verandas and courtyards surrounded large rooms with light paper or wood screen walls. On Vulcan, wood was considerably rarer than on Earth, so wooden constructions were as light as possible. When stone was used in interiors, it was primarily for support rather than as a primary building material. Wide, open walkways and lush gardens with running fountains and pools of clear water formed the heart of many Vulcan residences and large, netted windows caught cool breezes. Vulcans also tended to build "contemplative" spaces, places conducive to meditation and serenity.
Vulcan rooms were rarely covered with paintings or wall hangings. Instead, Vulcans preferred frescoes and murals painted directly onto the plain surface of the wall, whether or paper or stone. Vulcans enjoyed statuary and carving, from bas-reliefs to icons in niches. Simple tables and high-backed chairs, as well as shifting surfaces, furnished a typical Vulcan room. The floors were often stepped into daises and plateaus in order to separate a larger space into smaller parts.
Vulcan architecture, like Vulcan art, was designed to elicit thought, rather than an emotional response. Vulcan rooms were designed to use mathematical lines and forms to divide what appears to be empty space. Despite what non-Vulcans thought, Vulcans appreciated beauty. They admired art from other cultures, primarily because of the thoughts and insights that it provoked.
"In a strict scientific sense, Doctor, we all feed on death-even vegetarians."
- -Spock ("Wolf in the Fold", Star Trek)
Those who did not comprehend its nature often called Vulcan food bland. Because their taste buds were more sensitive than those of humans or other races, Vulcans took great care in the preparation of food. Eating was a ritual that required time and precision, as did many Vulcan tasks. The exact nature and amount of spice and the perfect consistency of the food was very important.
Vulcans were strictly vegetarian and refused to eat meat even when traveling to other planets and visiting other cultures. Because they were used to the less spicy flavors of Vulcan food, they often have difficulty digesting the foods of many other cultures. Klingon food, for example, was totally repulsive to a Vulcan.
Because of their high sense of taste, Vulcan food tended to be delicately flavored. The emphasis was on enjoying the subtle flavors of the food and the beauty of its preparation, rather than on spices and harsh tastes. Some Vulcan dishes were adopted by other Federation races and were considered delicacies. Vulcan mocha was a beverage similar to coffee, but with a lighter taste. It was greenish brown in color (which some races found disconcerting) and was made from the berries of the g'teth plant. Vulcan mollusks were another delicacy, best sautéed in Rhombolian butter, although only a very few Vulcans eat mollusks. Plomeek soup, on the other hand, was a Vulcan staple (much like Russian borscht) which came in many regional varieties but rarely appealed to offworlders.
Vulcan port was similar to human brandy in color and consistency, but smelled more like flowers than alcohol. It was created from tree bark and had to be aged for nearly 50 years before it was considered palatable by Vulcans. Over 100 years ago, a bottle of Vulcan port bottled in the time of Surak was discovered in the ruins of an ancient Vulcan city. It rested in the T'sar Museum as one of the planetary treasures.
Another unusual cuisine type which Vulcans perfected were the ob'taree, or fasting meals. These high-vitamin, low-intake foods were designed to supplement a Vulcan's diet of water while he experienced a lengthy ritual fast, for purification or any other reason. Without these supplements, the Vulcan body would quickly wither and die during the most intense fasts. These foods were used by the Federation as required fare for scouting missions, as an individual was capable of surviving for many days on the barest amount of ob'taree, in danger or other extreme circumstances.
A common misconception was that all Vulcans were alike. To the Vulcan race, logic was almost a religion and it was filled with sects and schools of thought, each with widely differing opinions on nearly every subject. Vulcan religion was born in the fires of Vulcan's legendary and violent past, and it transformed over the centuries.
The Twilight of the Gods
The ancient religion of the Vulcans contained a wide pantheon of gods, each with a dual character. Sculptures and portraits of the gods revealed two natures: one wrathful, the other joyful. This duality pervaded ancient Vulcan belief for thousands of years.
At the Time of the Awakening, the focus of Vulcan thought turned away from deities and toward reason. It was a difficult turn, for unlike psionically deaf humanity, Vulcans had already done much research into the katra, the Vulcan soul, had already been developed, and power from it exploited.
Vulcan philosophers and holy men were forced to seek a compromise between reason and faith. They found it in the heart of their own religion. Vulcans stopped looking to the skies and mountains for their gods and started looking within. Traditionalist cults held to the worship of the Vulcan gods, but such Vulcans interact little with the technological utopia of the Federation.
The Inner Chorus
With the help of their elders, Vulcans began to understand their own emotions as manifestations of their gods. They began to call these powers within themselves Ka-ta-pak, or "the Inner Chorus." Each emotion was a manifestation of the gods of old.
Vulcan religion taught that the gods were not simple analogies but living beings, a part of the Vulcan psyche. Each god was also a demon, a trickster spirit seeking to fool the Vulcans into irrational, dangerous emotion. Meditation became a kind of prayer, an exercise in taming the inner demons with the help of their rational counterparts. As time moved on, different schools of thought developed, each with its own meditations and techniques for dealing with the demons of the Inner Chorus.
While the different schools of Vulcan thought depicted the passions the same way, they did not treat them all the same. Each school taught its students different techniques for dealing with the gods that lived within their hearts and minds. Disagreeing schools did not discount out of hand the theories and practices of their rivals, but their discussions were some of the most heated debates in the history of any Federation culture.
Gods of The Inner Chorus
- Tel-alep, the Watcher - He was the personification of curiosity, the desire for knowledge. He was the kindliest of the Chorus. He was often represented as an ancient Vulcan chained to a great book. Within the book was all the knowledge in the world.
- Alep-tel, the Bitter - He was jaded and embittered by all he had seen and was very eager to give advice. The advice he gave was poisoned by centuries of cynicism and futility.
- Kir-alep, the God of Peace and Acceptance.
- Alep-kir, the Sullen. This god drew Vulcan's into apathy and pessimistic cynicism. He was often represented as the enervating heat of the high desert draining energy from the body.
- Valdena, the Goddess of Love, Joy, and Beauty. Her slender and athletic body danced among a veil of clouds, rejoicing in the beauty of the world. In her eyes was the magical glory of discovery.
- Dena-vel - She was the covetous aspect of joy. Like a spider, she trapped the things she loved and hid them away from the rest of the world, so that only she may enjoy their beauty.
- Kal-ap-ton, the personification of grief. Depicted as a tall, gaunt, and pale young man in mourning clothes, he was never shown in public, only in places of mourning. Temples of Kal-ap-ton (where the dead are laid to rest) were the only appropriate places for Vulcan's to cry.
- Tyr-al-tep, the Unforgiver, the Whisperer - He whispered into a brother's ear, "You should have saved him." He whispers into the mother's ear, " You never told him you loved him." He was the one who makes a Vulcan forget about what was and brood only on what might have been.
- Ket-cheleb, the Destroyer and Blood-Drinker. He was the personification of Anger. He killed his joyful aspect long ago and hung him on a great tree in the center of the world. He was the most powerful of the dark voices and the most dangerous. The Vulcan mind was too easily seduced by the cries of Ket-cheleb, and it required a great deal of will power to hold him at bay.
T'plana-Hath and the Birth of Vulcan Logic
"Logic is the cement of our civilization, with which we ascend from chaos, using reason as our guide."
T'Plana-Hath was an ancient Vulcan known as "Matron of Vulcan Philosophy". She was the head of a school of Vulcan historians in ShirKahr during the wars against Sudoc. She was famous for the wide-ranging nature of her school, which examined issues from philosophy to mathematics to agriculture, all refracted through the prism of history. The finest minds and noblest-born youth of Vulcan competed to join her collegium and her reputation spread throughout the world.
She saw the work of history as the separation of rational fact from legend, propaganda, and wishful thinking, of which Vulcan had a great surplus in her era. She once said, "The history of Vulcan logically predates my birth, but I could not attest to it with the evidence at hand."
Eventually, she came to see the development of logic (including mathematics, science, and rhetoric) itself as the supreme triumph of Vulcan civilization. Her History of Logic remained a standard text in Vulcan universities. Her dictum, "Logic is the cement of our civilization, with which we ascend from chaos using reason as our guide," informed all of her students, especially her two prize pupils, Surak and Jarok. Surak referred to T'plana-Hath as the "Prime Mover."
The School of Surak
"The outcome of our actions is entirely out of our control. Only intent remains entirely within our control."
-The Scrolls of Surak
The first major school of Vulcan thought was also the largest. Most Vulcans were part of the Surak sect, which was why so many people believe that Vulcans were devoid of emotion. The School of Surak taught uncompromising repression of emotion. Even the slightest surrender to the voices of the Inner Chorus was considered a great failure.
To tame the voices, Tu-Surak (The Way of Surak) taught its students to divorce themselves completely from their egos or, as the school's namesake referred to them, the pach-te. The pach-te was the strongest of all desires and the root of emotion. To explain pach-te as "selfishness" was simplifying Surak's philosophy. Once the student had freed himself from pach-te, he will cease to be concerned with himself, focusing all his concern on the welfare of others. Surak's teachings had a profound effect on Vulcan philosophy and culture. His famous debates with his rival Jarok were some of the most important works of Vulcan literature.
Surak maintained that discipline could not be enforced upon others, it had to come from within. Peace, for Surak, was the foundation of everything worth achieving, both on a political level and a rational level. He also told his students to cast away the traditional moral training of the native Vulcan religion, which included a set of commandments. Instead of teaching his students what not to do, he decided to teach them what to do. Surak's virtues gave students a path to follow rather than several paths not to follow.
The six virtues of Tu-Surak were:
- Courage (protect others)
- Temperance (exercise the will)
- Charity (give when you have too much)
- Truthfulness (logical observation of what is and not isn't)
- Justice (fair treatment of others)
- Shame (failure is weakness and shameful)
QUOTES FROM THE TEACHINGS OF SURAK
"The spear in the enemy's side is the spear in your own."
"The calm mind is the one that truly knows."
"The only noble desire is the desire to serve others."
"Once you have thrown away your pach-te, you have found the true center, the golden river, the lifeblood of the world."
"Animals have no virtue, and if we are not careful, we shall degenerate into animals once again."
The Way of Jarok
Jarok, Surak's chief rival, was a Vulcan who disagreed with Surak on nearly every philosophical point. The two students of T'plana-Hath agreed on one and only one tenet: that emotions must be mastered at all costs. While Surak chose his own path to mastery, Jarok chose another. Tu'Jarok, Jarok's path, sought mastery over the Inner Chorus by embracing emotion, understanding it, and finally coming to terms with it.
The followers of Jarok are not madmen who run through the streets laughing, crying, and shouting. They retreat to the wastelands of Vulcan and face thdir emotions there, and they face them alone. Jarok's path is an individual one; since no Vulcan could truly hear the Chorus of another, no one else could aid in its understanding or interpretation.
A Vulcan following Tu'Jarok was usually brought into the desert by other, more experienced, followers. All sat together around a great fire in silence as they prepare for the arduous ritual. The fire was usually built from a specific wood called tir-nuk. The smoke from this fire had a profound effect on the senses of the Vulcan, throwing them into a heightened state of consciousness.
After days of meditation and fasting, the student finally encountered a voice from the Chorus. They spent long days talking with the voice, debating for hours at a time until the experience was over. When it ended, the student had either gained insight or he had failed. Unlike the School of Surak, failure was not looked upon as shameful, only a waste of an opportunity that could be attempted again later.
Like Surak, Jarok also compiled a list of virtues. However, his only contained the three which he considered most important, Compassion, Temperance, and Justice.
Jarok defined compassion as "the ability to see suffering selflessly." Jarok's definition of "selfless" should not be confused with Surak's denial of pach-te. Jarok taught that selflessness came from an understanding that suffering was universal, not unique to any individual. When the student realized this - that his own suffering was no different, better, or worse than anyone else's - it was easier to recognize when others were in pain, and that pain became easier to comfort. Compassion was Jarok's answer to his chief reservation with Surak's teachings. He felt they left no room in the Vulcan heart for understanding. Through compassion, the Vulcan heart could help others in pain.
The second virtue, Temperance, was one Jarok and Surak agreed on. Jarok's definition of temperance differed slightly from Surak's in that Jarok sought it through understanding, while Surak sought it through refusal. Both Surak and Jarok saw patience as an important component of temperance.
The last virtue, Justice, was also a virtue the two rivals held in common. Justice, as Jarok saw it, was the ability for a Vulcan to understand that he belonged to a greater organism than just his own body. He was Vulcan, one of millions, and it was his duty to help protect and serve that great body. The expression of Jarok's virtues reflected a deeper meaning in his philosophy. He Sought to bring Vulcans something greater and to serve that greater purpose selflessly and fealessly. At his funeral Surak, his greatest rival, said, "He was a great Vulcan with great ideals. And it is still not too late to tell him."
The School of Nirak
Nirak was one of Surak's first students. He was also a great admirer of Jarok's teachings, and tried to bring compromise to the two seemingly disparate schools. While Nirak did not agree with Jarok's "reveling," he also did not agree with his own master's unforgiving attitude toward failure and intolerance. Nirak taught that the more violent emotions (most notably anger) were to be repressed, but virtue could be found in the less destructive passions, particularly curiosity and joy. He still maintained that a high degree of temperance was necessary to keep eve the most encouraging of emotions in check.
According to Nirak, it was proper for Vulcans to feel joyful, but not ecstatic. Grief must be let go at Kal-ap-ton's gates. It was important that a Vulcan did not drop his guard against fear, rage, and jealousy for even a moment. Nirak's school was not as widespread as his mentor's, but it did have a small following devoted to his philosophies.
The One Mind School
One of the more esoteric schools, the One Mind School was founded by T'mor, another student of Surak. While her mentor sought a way to subdue all emotion, T'mor struggled with a way to remove emotion entirely. She found it in an ancient Vulcan belief, on centered around predestination.
The concept of predestination was not unique to Vulcans. Predestination was the belief that all actions and events were already predetermined and could not be changed. T'mor taught that emotion -specifically curiosity- clouded a Vulcan's sight, making it difficult to see the ways of the universe.
If the student could throw away emotion, he would be able to see the grand pattern of the universe and watch it unfold. "All problems have already been solved," T'mor's once said. "We only lack the vision to see." Despite T'mor's dedication and many thousands of years of development, the One Mind School was considered one of the "fringe schools" of Vulcan thought.
The Kolinahr Path
While other paths sought to repress emotion, Kolinahr attempted to rid the mind and soul of every passion, be it joyful or wrathful. One by one, using the process known as t'san s'at, every emotion is mentally deconstructed and purged from the psyche, leaving only the Vulcan's intellect. The founder of Kolinahr, was a strange hermit who called himself "Sanshiin." His path is called Kolinahr after the mountain he sat on during the 277 years he taught.
Sanshiin never sought students. All the tales of his lessons came from those who sought him. It was said that he was originally a warlord, a mighty adept and leader of the feared Kolinahru mindlords, who bathed himself in the blood every night in a personal quest for immortality. But one day, while sitting in a field of fallen enemies, he looked up at the rock he was leaning against and realized that while millions of men were born, lived and died, the planet remained. "I shall become as the stone," he said, and began seeking the wisdom he would need to attain his immortality.
The stories of his journeys filled nearly fifty books, but the lessons he taught at the top of the Kolinahr mountain are those that are studied by philosophers. Sanshiin taught that all emotion was a trick to keep us from seeing the universe as it truly was. Once emotion was cast away, a Vulcan would be one with all creation.
The Hakihr Way
Decended from a martial order of mindlords, the disciples of Hakihr (centered on the Tinsha Monastery in northern Khomi) took to heart Surak's famous saying: "The mind controls the body' control the mind and the body will follow." They practiced mind-body unification in the hope of preventing hormonal surges or other limbic reactions that might involuntarily trigger emotional responses. Like the T'Shen, Hakihr adepts also taught the use of biofeedback to strengthen the mediofrontal cortex, the area of the brain associated with self-control. The Hakihr were famous for their psionic body control disciplines.
Katra: The Vulcan Soul
While Vulcans had all but completely recast their religious beliefs, a few still remained. Many Vulcans believed all Vulcans have souls, called the katra, while others refuted its existence. Among conservative Vulcans, it was customary to craft a ritual vessel, called the vre-katra, to remind the family of the departed relative. Most often made of volcanic glass, jasif crystal, or polished tir-nuk wood, the vre-katra is then kept at a family shrine. There might be hundreds of these vessels in a Vulcan's home, dating back to antiquity. Some older families had entire houses full of spirit vessels, usually far off in a desert portion of their lands. Vulcans, treated these ancestor spirits with veneration and respect.
Vulcans meditated upon these ritual vessels, seeking guidance in the accomplishments of the deceased. Some Vulcans believed it is possible to transfer the katra to the vre-katra in a ritual similar to the mythological fal-tor-pan. Just prior to death, these traditionalists went so far as to mind-meld with a friend, who becomes responsible for transporting the katra to the individual's home. The katra is then transferred to the vre-katra. More rational Vulcans found no proof for the existence of the katra and considered all this to be illogical superstition, yet in the spirit of IDIC kept their objections to themselves.
An ancient ritual called fal-tor-pan, the "refusion," provided strong proof of the existence of the soul. This ritual was thousands of years old and had only been performed once during the last five centuries, in 2285 by T'Lar on the regrown body of Spock, son of Sarek. Just before death, if a Vulcan was able, he passed his katra on to another while sinking into a biofeedback trance deeper than any coma to heal both the wounds and death itself. Then, when the flesh was repaired (which took a level of mastery that no Vulcan had reached in centuries, and then only in legend), a Master replaced the katra in the newly whole body.
Some Vulcan scientists were skeptical of fal-tor-pan, claiming it was merely a powerful mind-meld allowing the psyche of the dying Vulcan to be preserved, or even that it involved projection of memories and not the restoration of true selfhood at all. Whichever explanation the skeptics use, they maintained that the ritual had nothing to do with the soul. Many Vulcans considered Spock's fal-tor-pan merely a myth associated with a larger-than-life figure, and deemed it no proof at all of the existence of the katra.
|-600,000?||"Seeding" of Vulcan by Preservers and/or Sargon's people?|
|-4700||Founding of Fort Aba'kur|
|-2500?||Sulen and T'Vhet|
|-855||Destruction of Devlarm|
|-642||R'kaal infestation defeated by Sajik|
|212||Sudoc takes power in Jaleyl|
|258||Beginning of the Last War, between Jalel and ShirKahr|
|279||Birth of Surak|
|319-596||Sanshiin founds the Way of Kolinahr, blending the doctrines of Surak and of the Kolinahru mindlords; teaches on Mount Kolinahr.|
|322||Martydom of S'vec|
|331||End of the Last War with the death of Sudoc|
|369||Romulan exodus from Vulcan|
|387||Selok promulgates the Theorems of Governance; Vulcan unified|
|399||Vulcan Science Academy founded|
|404||Death of Jadok|
|481||Death of Surak|
|1440||T'Vran develops warp drive; Vulcans begin observing other planets|
|2063||Sevak initiates Vulcan-Human first contact|
|2092||Vulcan School of Diplomacy founded|
|2145||Vulcan-Andorian first contact|
|2160||Terran Conventions; Vulcan ratifies the Articles of Federation|
|2161||Federation officially comes into being with Vulcan as a founding member|
|2165||Birth of Sarek|
|2224||T'Pau becomes High Priestess of Seleya|
|2229||Marriage of Sarek to Amanda Grayson of Earth|
|2230||Birth of Spock|
|2241||T'Pau turns down a seat on the Federation Council|
|2252||Spock becomes the first Vulcan in Starfleet|
|2253||Vulcan threatens to secede from the Federation over the Axanar crisis|
|2262||U.S.S. Intrepid commissioned as an all-Vulcan starship|
|2265||Earthquake sinks the city of K'lan|
|2267||T'Pau officiates at the Koon-ut-kal-if-fee that replaces Spock's marriage to T'Pring; Captain Kirk becomes one of the first humans to witness a Vulcan wedding.|
|2268||Destruction of the U.S.S. Intrepid by a space amoeba near Gamma 7A|
|2279||Death of T'Pau; T'Lar becomes the High Priestess of Seleya|
|2281||Sarek becomes Vulcan Ambassador to the Federation|
|2368||Attempted Romulan invasion of Vulcan foiled by Ambassador Spock; Death of Sarek|
|2369||Vulcan Isolationist Movement attempts to reassemble the Stone of Gol|
|2370||Stone of Gol recovered by the Vulcan government; existance of the VIM as a terrorist movement revealed|
The Age of Antiquity
The Vulcan race, like many of the other humanoid races throughout the galaxy, were genetically seeded on their homeworld by an ancient race referred to by Professor Richard Galen, the noted archaeologist, as "the Preservers." This civilization was believed to have sown the DNA and RNA chains that have led to the development of similar humanoid species spread the length and breadth of the universe.
Whether the Preservers were the same as the Sky Spirits or Sargon's race, two other seeders of the galaxy, even Vulcan geneticists and archaeologists could not determine. Such theorist disagreed even on whether Vulcans evolved on Vulcan or adapted to it. Some ancient texts, compiled even more ancient legends, tell of the Vhorani, or Ancient Ones. The Ancient Ones came from Vorta Vor, the Wellspring of Creation, and upon touching the soil of Vulcan the gods transformed them into the Vulcan people to keep them alive in the harsh desert.
Regardless of the origin of the species, archaeology demonstrated that early Vulcans organized along tribal lines in extended clans that banded together for protection from the harsh environment of the desert. Early in the development of Vulcan civilization, these tribes existed in a nomadic environment moving from water source to water source. Eventually, some of the Vulcan tribes established permanent settlements at sites that provided food, water, and shelter. These settlements, along the shorelines of small Vulcan seas or in great rock outcroppings guarding desert oases, gradually became full-fledged towns, and, in time, developed into the early Vulcan city-states.
Here anthropology and archaeology fell silent; the endless wars of the Vulcan past have destroyed many ruins and ancient records; Vulcan history was a morass of contradictory myths and legends of angry gods, wars in the skies, and heroic feats of psionic might. Drawing from these vague elements, anthropologists believed that early Vulcans occasionally displayed moderate amounts of psionic talent - significantly moreso than appeared among a similar cross-section of many other humanoid races. These Vulcans were probably revered among their people, viewed as being favored by the gods with great gifts. Those Vulcans who displayed such mental talents were considered to be great assets to their tribes and were often the focal point of alliances, as well as conflicts. Every tribe wished to add the genetic traits of these psionics to their own gene pool and gradually, over the centuries, this led to the spreading of psionic talent throughout the Vulcan population.
Competition for natural resources was fierce during these early days, with bitter, violent wars fought over solitary desert wells, patches of fertile cropland, or fish-rich harbors. Some theorists even believed that Vulcan's harsh ecosystem represents the few survivors of a planetary war of unimaginable proportions; the endless wars certainly made the already precarious situation worse. The warlords of the city-states also attempted to secure these resources through alliances and arranged marriages, which led to political intrigues which rivaled the excesses of Earth's Renaissance or the entire history of the Klingon Empire. Unfortunately, any specifics of these stories rested on largely unreliable works of epic poetry, boastful songs, and carvings, and extremely tenuous theorizing.
The Time of Awakening
Surak, the Father of Logic. Surak, the Greatest of Vulcans. The man who would enter the first ranks of galactic history was born in ShirKahr to a wealthy, well-placed family. Surak's father, Solek, was a general in the army of the city-state. For his entire career, ShirKahr had been at war with Sudoc's empire, fighting constantly with neither side holding any advantage for very long. Solek had ordered thousands of men into the meat grinder that was the front lines and this constant bloodshed had stained his very soul, turning him colder and colder. Historians believed that father and son were never very close as a result of Solek's cold-hearted distance.
Surak was a child of privilege. The sons and daughters of the wealthy were given the choices that the masses were not. They were spared from the draft that filled the ranks of the army, instead being given the option of volunteer service. Surak spent his days in leisure and study, amassing a group of close friends who experienced life as he did. While the sons and daughters of the people fought and died to protect the city-state from the barbarity of Sudoc's soldiers, Surak and his friends debated the finer points of philosophy, engaged in sports, and generally ate, drank, and made merry.
General Solek was extremely disappointed in the lack of patriotism displayed by Surak and his friends, and his displeasure was the source of many family arguments. Father and son eventually stopped speaking altogether, and Surak spent more and more of his time away from his family.
The turning point in Surak's life came when assassins hired by Sudoc infiltrated the city and, in a single night, murdered several highly ranked generals along with their entire households. Among the victims that night were General Solek and his wife and children - all except Surak, who had been away, taking part in revels that lasted well into the night. The deaths of his family greatly affected Surak, who found himself overcome by rage at the loss. This rage might have consumed him and left him forgotten in the annals of history, if not for one further event: the death of his closest friend, Senet.
Senet had been one of Surak's circle of friends, a son of another of ShirKahr's generals. Upon learning of his family's murder at the hands of Sudoc's assassins, Senet enlisted immediately in the army, as a skirmisher - one of the front-line commandos whose purpose it was to harass enemy operations. Skirmishers often operated behind enemy lines, performing sabotage, assassination, and other special operations. Driven by a burning hatred of Sudoc's forces and blinded by his rage and loss, Senet fiercely attacked the enemy. He was killed soon thereafter in an enemy ambush.
The death of Senet was like an awakening call to Surak's mind. He began to realize the futility of his rage, and by extension the futility of this unending war. He began to write. As he wrote, his theories expanded - Surak began to realize that the sorrows endured by the Vulcan people were all due to excesses of emotion: rage, anguish, hatred.
Surak began to see that when viewed through logic, all things in life grew much clearer. He began to speak of this among his circle of friends. "Logic," he would say, "is a lens. Emotion fogs that lens as surely as breath fogs a glass." One of his circle, Nirak, argued, "Surely emotion is as necessary to life as that fogging breath." He did agree that an excess of emotion was detrimental. Nirak's theories of emotion in moderation eventually led to the development of the Nirak school.
Some of Surak's friends viewed his transformation as merely the unfortunate result of the deaths that surrounded him. They did not wish to hear his admonitions against emotional excesses and couldn't care less about his new logical approach to life. AS he continued his discourses on logic he alienated more and more of his former friends, but a core group of followers began to surround him. Their days were spent in discussions of logic and of abstinence from emotion.
Among this early group were such future philosophical luminaries as Nirak, Jarok, T'Mor, and Vethek. Jarok's famous debates with Surak began at this point, and continued until Jarok finally left Surak to meditate in the desert.
Stories of Surak's circle began to circulate through the markets and streets of ShirKahr. The majority of ShirKahri viewed this group as yet another example of the excesses of the upper class. Surely, only the children of the rich would engage in such bizarre philosophy while others of their age fought and died for their freedom. It was a disgrace, many said. This sentiment only grew when Surak and his followers began to take their message to the street.
The philosphoers began to deliver speeches, attempting to explain the benefits of emotional abstinence and logical pursuits. The followers of Surak found that most audiences were hostile - they were, after all, speaking in a city where literally every citizen had known someone killed in the war, either friends or family members. From the beginning, Surak and his friends had to put their nonviolent philosophy to the test. Hecklers would throw objects at them. - fruit at first, but when the philosophers refused to yield, stones and bottles soon followed. Through it all, Surak urged his followers to not give in to anger and to endure all insults and injuries with dignity and temperance. He hoped that their example would act as a beacon for other like-minded Vulcans.
During this time of persecution and hardship, those who were not as devoted to Surak's cause dropped by the wayside, finding the strictures of such stoicism too hard to emulate. The most serious devotees of logic and emotional restraint were unswerving in their purpose, and eventually they began to find converts among the Vulcans of ShirKahr. After a while, the sight of these stoic speakers began to be a common sight on the streets of ShirKahr. Their message was not yet embraced, but they began to be regarded as a common fact of life in the city.
After a few years of spreading the message of logic and emotional restraint, Surak began to fill his speeches with a message against the never-ending war with Sudoc's forces - a message against all forms of violence. It was during this period that one of Surak's most famous sayings was first heard. During a speech in the main market square of ShirKahr, Surak told the assembled crowd, "The spear in the enemy's side is the spear in your own." The crowd was outraged by the equating of the honored army of ShirKahr with what they regarded as the monstrous barbarians who served Sudoc. They rioted despite Surak's urging of restraint, and in the ensuing violence the mob killed several of Surak's followers, and Surak himself suffered injuries.
This incident made Surak realize that the average Vulcan citizen was not ready to listen to mere words spoken by those whom they saw as members of a privileged class. Still nursing his wounds from the riot, Surak decided that the people would only respond to action. He and his followers would have to lead by example, not just by word alone. Surak and his followers began to slip out of the cities at night, cross enemy lines, and preach peace and logic to the armies of Sudoc.
Some warriors did stop and listen - according to legend the mindlord of the Kolinahru adepts converted upon hearing Surak personally, and pulled his forces out of the war that night - but others ignored them. IN many cases, Sudoc's men killed the disiples of Surak out of hand. Time after time, a mysterious figure would appear in Sudoc's camp and propose peace. Time after time, Sudoc ordered the speaker's execution. Other followers of Surak spread out across the planet, preaching the new way. Vulcan legends spoke of the Four Hundred and Four who died for peace, and many Masters memorized the death speech of each one.
During this period, Surak continued to visit the front and appear throughout the city, delivering his speeches. His message was spread across Vulcan by travelers and soldiers who deserted the war effort. The practice of suppressing emotion seemed to have a positive effect upon the use of mental disciplines, as did the moving of thought patterns into logical lines. (The stories claimed that Nirak was able to restore his body to life with fal-tor-pan after being executed by Sudoc personally.) This obvious beneficial result of Surak's practices furthered the spread of Tu-Surak throughout Vulcan, opening many who would not have listened before to the philosophy behind those practices.
The continuous willingness of Surak's followers to die for peace had a great moral effect not only on the common people of both sides, but on the warriors of both sides, who recognized true bravery when they saw it. Propaganda that condemned Surak's message as the work of effete cowards had little effect on anyone who saw the nobility with which his followers met their fate. Slowly, Tu-Surak spread throughout the armies, leading to desertions on an ever-larger scale.
After years of desertion, the war effort began to suffer. The spread of Surak's message had led to unrest in many of the city-states controlled by Sudoc, which had forced him to divert some of his army to control the population. Warlords rebelled against Sudoc, peeling away the fringes of his empire from far-flung provinces like Tat'shar and Go'an. The armies of ShirKahr were in no position to capitalize upon the new weakness of Sudoc's front-line forces, for their ranks had been thinned by desertion as well. More and more Vulcans were subscribing to the peaceful, logical existence advocated by Surak.
By the time, Sudoc had grown very old and found himself taxed to the limit with the pressures of trying to fight a never-ending war, while struggling to maintain his collapsing empire. In one of history's most welcome synchronicities, Sudoc died of a massive embolism during one of his melding sessions with his inner circle. The psychic shock killed or drove mad many of Sudoc's generals and spies, throwing his armies into chaos. The military leader who had brought almost all of Vulcan under his control was no more. His empire collapsed and the war came to an end.
In the vacuum left by the dissolution of Sudoc's empire, many more Vulcans began to convert to Surak's way of thinking. The movement had taken on a life of its own, with Vulcans spreading the message who had never even met Surak himself. AS tales of doomsday weapons and horrific atrocities trickled out of Sudoc's collapsing empire, Vulcans began to realize how close to the precipice they had collectively come and with the realization of the fate that they had avoided came the presence of mind to follow the dictates of logic.
The movement swept the globe and Surak traveled as an honored teacher, speaking of logic and of abstinence from violence and emotion. A populace grown weary after generations of warfare were an eager audience. Surak found that even in those cities once dominated by Sudoc, the citizens were receptive to his words, although in their case many were motivated by a desire to fill the void left by the omnipresent rule of the warlord.
Rift with the Proto-Romulans
During this spread of logic and pacifism, not all Vulcans felt inclined to put away their past natures so quickly. Led by a core group of Sudoc's cadre, a group of Vulcans still loyal to the martial principles set forth by the dead warlord segregated themselves from others and continued to practice their way of life, in defiance of the new order.
As more and more Vulcans began to embrace this new way of life, the followers of Sudoc found their situation on Vulcan untenable. They argued among themselves for year, until one among them, known as Tellus, proposed his solution. The Children of Ket-cheleb (as they were now calling themselves) would leave the planet of their birth. Using large generation-model ships, they would hurl themselves into the void, where they would search for a new home.
This idea was seen by the newly logical Vulcans as an extremely dangerous, illogical risk, born of desperation and emotional confusion. The risk only encouraged the martial-minded Children of Ket-cheleb, who viewed the disapproval of the Vulcans as proof that this venture encompassed the true spirit of the Vulcan past. This was a challenge worthy of their warrior spirit - so the Children of Ket-cheleb, hundreds of thousands of them, piled into huge starships and left Vulcan forever.
Surak was saddened by the insistence of the Children of Ket-cheleb that they leave their brethren and home. He tried, in vain, to convince Tellus to find some way to peacefully coexist on Vulcan, but in the end he failed. It was that failure which haunted Surak until the end of his life - despite all he had achieved for the people of Vulcan, his inability to keep the disparate halves together was something that he never reconciled. Jarok often criticized Surak for this failure, and many followers of Jarok have prominent parts in the Romulan Reunification Movement.
As for the Children of Ket-cheleb, it was genetically proven that they went on to become the first Romulans. Scientist were unsure of exactly how the future Romulans managed to cross light years to their new homeworlds in slow, impulse-driven starships. Some suggest that perhaps the ships entered a wormhole that has since closed. Others claimed it might have been the work of a powerful entity such as the Q. Still others believed that Sudoc's scientists had secretly developed the warp drive and that Tellus stole a secret prototype, which the Romulans later lost knowledge of in a civil war.
The exodus of the proto-Romulans left Vulcan essentially unified in thought and belief, and Surak's disciple Selok formalized this unity with his Theorems of Governance, which reconciled the traditionalist past of Vulcan custom with the logical imperatives of peace and world government. The Great Houses, flush with the newfound wisdom of Tu-Surak, assented at once to Selok's carefully reasoned proposals. With the Vulcan people unified behind a driven philosophy of pacifism, logic, and emotional suppression, they moved, free of internal conflict, into a period of scientific discovery and enlightenment.
The Golden Age
The Romulan War
To the Stars
First Contact with Humanity
The Vulcan Council
The Vulcan government was known simply as the Vulcan Council. It was the smallest planetary government in the Federation, consisting of only seven members: The Minsters of State, Defense, Security, Trade, Thought, Science, and Health.
The Vulcan Council met in the Vulcan Council Chambers. It was located in ShirKahr, the capital of Vulcan. The Chambers, as it was commonly known, housed the Hall of Debates (where the Council met) and the offices of each of the Ministers and their staffs. Although not nearly as large or prepossessing as the governmental buildings on most planets, it was a beautiful example of Vulcan architecture and as symbol to the Vulcan people of the stability of their government and culture.
Elections and Impeachment
The Vulcan Council met whenever necessary - typically on at least a weekly basis, and frequently on a daily basis. Between sessions, each member oversaw the departments and responsibilities assigned to them in as efficient and logical a manner as possible. By and large the Ministries and their component agencies functioned in a semiautonomous fashion; generally, each Minister trusted the others to carry out their duties on their own. The bureaucracies tended to be small, and workers were accustomed to calling on their brethren in other agencies and departments, or from civilian life, if need be. There was little squabbling over jurisdiction or authority.
Political infighting was rare in the Vulcan Council. Each member of the Council acknowledged that the other members were sitting on the Council by right, having been duly elected by the people. It was therefore not an individual Councilor's position to question another Councilor's qualifications., except in cases of gross misconduct or failure to perform the responsibilities of the office. This was not to say that the Council did not debate issues. It often did so vigorously.
Council business was conducted on the basis of majority vote. All Councilors had to vote on any proposal before them; by law, Council members were not allowed to abstain from voting. Each member's vote was equal. There was no "leader" of the Council or member who was designated to speak for all the others.
The Council's primary responsibility was passing laws. However, after 2,000 years most of the laws that Vulcan needed had already been passed. Therefore, The Vulcan government actually spent most of its time collecting, analyzing, and disseminating information. Everything from economic and demographic statistics, to scientific data, to military information was gathered and studied. Based on this information, governmental decisions were made. It was generally acknowledge that the Vulcan Council was more informed about the people it governed than any other government in the Federation.
The Ministry of State
Although the Vulcan Council had no overall leader, it was usually acknowledged that the Minister of State was "first among equals." The Minister of State had the responsibility for overseeing the Vulcan governmental apparatus as a whole, and for representing Vulcan in the galactic community. All Vulcan diplomats, ambassadors, and other such officials answered to the Minister of State; even the Ambassador to the Federation was theoretically responsible too. Additionally, the Minister of State operated the Vulcan School of Diplomacy.
The Ministry of Defense
The Ministry of Security
The Ministry of Health
The Ministry of Thought
The Ministry of Science
The Ministry of Trade
The Vulcan Isolationist Movement
Language and Names
Vulcan and Federation Standard was the dominant language spoken by Vulcans.
Vulcans used only given names, though in ritual greetings they added their parent's name (and sometimes more), as in Spock, son of Sarek, son of Solkar. Even Vulcans of extremely ancient and powerful families used no honorifics; aristocracy was illogical, and logically, anyone worth impressing should already know who you were without being reminded of your family's status.
For a comprehensive look at the Vulcan Language visit: http://surak.nu/vulcanlanguage.pdf
Aravik, Delvok, Kovar, Lojal, Muroc, Rekan, Salok, Sakar, Sakkath, Sanshiin, Sarek, Satelk, Satok, Savar, Savel, Sevek, Skon, Solkar, Solok, Sonak, Sopek, Soral, Soval, Spock, Stonn, Surak, Sutok, Sybok, Syrran, Tavin, Tekav, Tolaris, Tolek, Tuvok, Vanik, Velik, Vorik
Falor, Metana, Perren, Saavik, Sakonna, Selar, Seleya, Senva, Simora, Sitak, T'Karra, T'Lann, T'Lar, T'Lara, T'Les, T'Mal, T'Paal, T'Pan, T'Para, T'Pau, T'Pel, T'Penna, T'Pera, T'Plana-hath, T'Pol, T'Pring, T'Rel, T'Shanik, T'Vran, Tallera, V'Lar, Valeris
Reference works used in creation of this page
The majority of this information & images has been taken from:
11. “The Way of Kolinahr” by Last Unicorn Games
12. “Sarek” by A.C Crispin
13. “The IDIC Epidemic” by Jean Lorrah
14. “Spock’s World” by Diane Duane
- ↑ Star Trek Adventures-Core Rulebook