From Star Trek: Theurgy Wiki
The Zaroodian (tch-a -rr-chcoo -zdn), meaning” keepers of the lifegiver”, were in the 24th century a species in the infancy of interstellar travel and exploration. They were a bipedal, humanoid species that averaged two meters in height. Their skin was a dark red, and they had six digits on each of their hands and feet. Zaroodians had four lungs (see details under Physiology). Their heart was located below their lungs. Zaroodians were a mostly peaceful people but had a strict adherence to their code of life.
The Zaroodians were a bipedal species. They stood about 2 meters tall (approximately 7 ft) and the average male weighed about 113 kg (250 lbs). Females were slightly smaller and weighed an average of 59 kg (130 Lbs). They were rather slim in build making them appear taller than their actual size.
They had several distinguishing features; their hands had an opposable thumb and five fingers, with the fifth digit almost opposite of their thumb, their eyes were commonly a deep gold/green in color, they had small bone ridges protruding around their eyes that historically in their early evolution provided protection from predators and the frequent dust storms on their planet. Their hair was several shades of violet, blue, and red mixed, giving it a vibrant deep purple appearance. The males of the species also had a series of small vestigial horns forming a crown-like feature on their heads.
Zaroodian’s had most of the normal internal organs commonly associated with mammalian creatures. Their heart, while similar to a human’s anatomically, was positioned much lower in their bodies - below their lungs. Instead of just two lungs, they had four, the first smaller set acting as a filter which allowed them to run for a longer period of time in harsh conditions such as smoke or dust, which were common occurrences on Zarood.
While the Zaroodians did possess the Progenitor template genitalia, their species procreated in a slightly unusual manner. While both male and female could use this set of genitalia for pleasure, procreation was time consuming and could be dangerous. The females would only be fertile every four years once they reached breeding maturity at around the age of 30 years old. When the female went into heat, the female’s skin would turn a vivid bright red to attract a mate. This would last for at least three weeks or until mating has occurred, whichever came first.
Once the mate was attracted, sexual stimulation of both male and female was required by use of the Progenitor genitalia to prepare them for the next step of procreation. During this first phase the initial changes would occur in the female. This, as a chemical would be released in her that would prepare for the creation of the birthing chambers along her spine. The next phase, which could take up to 3 days, would result in the creation of up to three eggs. These would form in the birthing chamber, a special subdural layer along the female’s spine known as the Nadvora. The "Navorda" would secrete a hormone into the epidural layers that surrounded it that would produce a beautiful intricate pattern along the female’s back that indicated the eggs were ready for fertilization. The eggs would have a thin, soft membrane covering until they were fertilized. After several hours, but no more than 15 hours, the male and female would once again make use of the progenitor genitalia to begin their last stage in the process. Once the male organ had been sufficiently stimulated, the male would extend their phallus into the female through a small opening in the female’s lower back called the Harovth (loosely translated as “the way of creation”). This tight opening further stimulated the male to ejaculate and fertilize the new eggs. The pheromones of the Havorth caused the male to sprout barbed prongs, which would prevent the male from disengaging before the eggs could be fertilized. They would remain joined in this way for two hours. In the early evolution of the Zardoodians, while joined in this manner, the male would protect the female from predators by use of the horns on his head, while the female would ‘carry’ the male. The fertilization of the eggs would then loosen the Harovth and retract the barbs so the male could disengage from the female. Once the eggs were fertilized the outer shell of the eggs would thicken but remain malleable to a certain extent, allowing for the growth of the embryos. The gestational period for the eggs was about 7 months.
At the end of the gestation period the female would lay on her stomach while the eggs sacks opened and the offspring would ‘cleanse’ the area by consuming the remnants of the sacks attacked to the mother. It would take about three weeks for all evidence of the hatching to heal on the female.
Once a mating bond had been created between a male and a female, it would last through the remainder of their lives. However, while uncommon for the most part in their later history, in the early part of the second century, a male would bond with two or three ‘wives’. The need to ensure fertilization became a biological necessity during the dangerous early history of the species. A female that had eggs on her back that had failed to become fertilized would often die due to infections caused by the degradation of the eggs along her back.
Since the young were able to consume solids at birth, nursing was not required so both male and female were devoid of mammary glands. This meant that the females of the species had less breast tissue overall compared to other species. The ‘hatchlings’ were able to move fairly quickly, walking on their own within two or three days. By a few weeks of age, the young had the ability to move rather quickly in order to avoid danger.
The Zaroodians were a relatively peaceful race, having found a more tranquil existence through their beliefs and customs despite a period of aggression in the past. Many Zaroodians were afraid to progress from the old ways, but eventually their desire to learn about the world around them gave them the will to fight the stagnant existence they had fallen into.
They still had to protect themselves from the dangerous wildlife that also dwelt on the planet. Their more primitive weapons had been used in some of the outer regions up until the destruction of their planet, the most common of these was a ‘spirit staff’ or toki that would discharge a energy bolt upon contact. Over the centuries they had created some more advanced weapons during their age of war that allowed them to put a greater distance between them and the target. Many of these still existed after the age of war that were now used to protect them from the predatory and deadly wildlife on the planet in the more urban areas. The most prevalent was the hotar or ‘long gun’. This was similar to a phased rifle and would have discharged an energy blast from several meters away.
Several ‘family - communities’ would often work together to provide either food or services to maintain the residents not only in their communities, but also in the ‘city-communities’. A family-community would have had as few as 50 members or as many as 500 Adults and sometimes twice as many younglings. Every member of the community that was old enough shared in both the work and the rewards.
The education of the young was through apprenticeships to a specific ‘great elder‘ who would have been considered an expert in a specific area. Children would begin this apprentice program as young as five years old. The first few years, up until age eight or nine, they would still have lived with their family units. The older apprentices would begin their early training preparing them to join the Elder’s community at least one year before they would join the elder’s community. If a youngling was not selected to apprentice, they would stay with the family community and eventually become a farmer or a protector.
Zaroodians were a gentle people overall although they were vicious when it came to protecting their herds or family communities.
Their original written language consisted of pictographs or hieroglyphics, and the speech was very guttural with many word forms with clicks of the tongue or an almost growling sound made at the back of their throats. Much of their oral communication was through a combination of speech and hand motions. Over the millennia their speech patterns changed, allowing for less use of the hands as well as a softer verbal patterns. The Zaroodian word for family, “dlotaz”, was the same used for community.
They had no words that defined romantic affection. The closest phrase in their language would be “notirgra” the term used to describe those who were mated.
A common term of formal greeting among the Zaroodians was “alortinatza ni dlotaz” which would roughly translate to ‘Much honor from the Community (or family)’ although it was often shortened to just “alortinatza” when greeting those they were more familiar with. If someone asked their name, the answer was a combination of the name, community, and place of origin. An example would be “Ei Golata, Ca Kavot neDroda” which translated as “I be Golata, out of Kavot in Droda.”
An oft used term of insult was to call someone “Tarittzotei” which meant they were about as smart as a Taritt’s ass. This term was also used to indicate when someone was extremely frustrated with a given situation.
Their home world was called Zarood which meant “lifegiver”. It was marginally a Class–M planet. Water covered 74% of the planet with two large and four smaller land masses. The smaller land masses were mostly forests with a few areas of meadows where herbivores kept the plant life in balance. The two large land masses had a variety of biomes including desert, mountainous, and not-quite temperate zones. The temperature never fell below 50 degrees F but often reached as high as 135 degrees F. Dust storms were frequent and would cover much of the larger land masses for as long as three months.
There was a myriad of wildlife, but the two most prominent species were the Taritt and the Hanad.
The Taritt (Great Beast) was a large carnivorous bi-pedal beast similar in appearance to a hairy smaller version of a T-Rex. It stood about 3 meters ( 10 Ft) and weighed around 150 kg (Around 330 Lbs). The Taritt formed ‘family’ units of one male to 3 or 4 females. This became their hunting pod as well, with the females doing most of the hunting.
The Hanad (Ground-quaker) was a quadrupedal creature about the size of a hippopotamus. It was covered in hair the color of the dirt, making it hard to spot from a distance. Its feet had split hooves that helped them run in the various terrains in which they roamed. Their face had a more of a round pale snout that was used to forage for tender roots beneath the surface. It was the main food source for both the Zaroodians and the Taritt, making raising them dangerous due the frequent attacks of the Taritt.
Culture & Customs
Zaroodians who lived in the more rural areas of the planet were farmers and hunters. Many of these communities lived in a more basic community without many of the trappings of the “learned” communities. They were less likely to have more than minimal power in their community, some preferring to live as their ancient ancestors did. In some communities that were a little more advanced, each housing unit usually was powered and the area was protected from the Taritt with a powered perimeter fence.
The ‘Learned’ Communities were much more built up to accommodate whichever area of expertise was housed there. Buildings were larger and lights were on all night to accommodate those who toiled in their tasks at all hours. Citizens were housed in small living quarters that consisted of a small sleeping and cleansing area. Those in the “Learned” communities had a small communal eating area in each quad, which housed up to 100 ‘living cells’. Those who had been mated were housed in a slightly larger facility that also housed a ‘nursery’ for the offspring. Apprentices were provided a small desk and access port from their quarters since they were considered to always be available no matter the time.
Many of the Zaroodians adhered to the ‘old ways’. The most ancient of these customs dealt with joining two or more communities together by the selection of wives. This tradition, called Hasig’ata (cHa-sik’ atz-eh) meaning “new paths”, was held at what was considered the ‘place of creation’ or Hinatra (cHin-a- tzra) where all the communities would gather every other year. New wives would have been chosen to join other families or communities. During this time the path of apprenticeship for the younglings was also be decided by the leadership counsel known as the “Zandarni”. It was not uncommon for these events to last several lunar cycles before the Elders would have announced the various selections. When the Hasig’ata was completed, the wives would join their mates and move to the new family-communities. Elders would meet with their new apprentices and provide the family-community with training materials the younglings would need to know before they joined the Elders in the ‘Learned-Community’.
Zaroodians started out as nomadic hunter gatherers. Over the centuries they developed a common language and community structure. As with many cultures, they went through several stages of growth. In their early history, families joined together for hunts of the Hanad. Over time they learned to raise these animals and community groups began to stay in one place and raise crops as well.
The Hondori period, as it was called, began when a powerful leader named Hondor tried to control the family-communities not only on the Droda Grass Plains, but in the Denvort Mountains as well. Hondor was greedy and demanded every community had to bring him ‘gifts’. Sometimes he even demanded they give their offspring to serve him. His rule was passed to his son and then several generations after, each of them trying to control a greater number of communities. This period lasted 1,782 years and was ended by the Naczodet era.
The Naczodet or ‘great battle’ era was one of the most dangerous eras of their evolution. During this period, many Zaroodians were lost in wars over freedom from the tyrannic rule of the Hondor community as well as fights to control the Hanad (see below) hunting land.
In the Garoveto or great battle of learning, a war between those who wanted to move past their limited existence and those who wanted to maintain the old, outdated customs caused the loss of at least one fourth of their population.
It took over 5000 years before they realized that they no longer wanted to fight and the new age of Community was created. While the Zaroodians kept some of the traditions, especially those regarding the mating rituals, specialized communities were formed that would help their race advance in many areas such as mathematics and science. These ‘learned communities’ were supported by ‘family communities’ around them.
Science and technology were the latest advances for the species as they moved into the exploration of space. The age of learning was in its relative infancy, having only existed for 1,500 years at the time of the planet’s demise.
Government & Military
The Zadarni Counsel consisted of 3 males and 3 females all from different family-communities. They held their position until their death when their apprentice would then become an ‘Elder’ and choose their own apprentice to follow. The council was the ruling body of Zarood and created the laws by which the people would abide.
Anyone not adhering to these laws would have been exiled to the wilds without any weapons to protect themselves. The wilds, or Datovet, was what they called an area far from the communities where the Taritt were plentiful and life expectancy was minimal, even for the most experienced hunters.
The Zaroodians had no real military to speak of in their later history. If an edict came down from the Counsel, the community would enforce it as a whole. Normally only those who were chosen to be protectors of a community would be allowed to have a weapon. They had destroyed many of the weapons created during the wars and chose to follow a more peaceful path.
The Zaroodian Species was nearly extinct after the destruction of their planet. While they had not traveled far outside their own system there was a chance that along with the 11 souls from the orbital station, another explorer vessel that had been preparing to depart carrying 12 others may have managed to launch before the event. As of May of 2381, the status of this vessel was unknown. Likewise, it was not known if any others survived.
The Zaroodians were not as advanced technologically as most of Federation worlds. While they had achieved interstellar flight capabilities, they were still far behind in many areas. Their space craft, while relatively small, were designed in such a way as most of the craft was dedicated to the propulsion system. They had only minimal scanning to detect larger obstacles in their path, and no long-range communications abilities.
They had developed a power system on the planet that provided light and heat through a combination of geothermal and solar energy. Most cooked food had been prepared in a large building where the meats were cooked over a large bed of coals. Only in the most recent history of the planet were alternative methods explored that utilized the power grid in a different manner.
Space flight capabilities were only possible once they learned to harness power through a form of nuclear fission. This made the ability of space flight both advantageous and dangerous for those tasked with maintaining the in-flight power systems. While the short orbital flights were not deemed dangerous, the longer interstellar flights had proven a need to find alternative methods to power their ships. Only a select few apprentices had even been trained on the newest methods of powering the ships.