Lyraen Empire

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Lyraen Empire Fact Sheet
Updated SD 220116


  • INFORMATION CLASSIFICATION: SECRET
  • RELIABILITY CLASSIFICATION: A (allied power)


INTRODUCTION

The Lyraen race has settled some eight planetary systems, mainly to the galactic south of B-Lyrae. The major colony of note is the independent WYN (prnc. "win") nebula. Although this has never been under Imperial control it is of note due to its unusual composition.

The fiercely independent WYN cluster is composed of Kzinti and Lyraen refugees from the Wars of Attrition. To both governments embarrassment these refugees have built a vibrant and colourful society under the infuriated noses of the Empire and the Kzinti. The region of space occupies a region at the edge of Kzinti, Lyraen and Klingon space and is surrounded by a heavily radioactive cloud. Because of this the area was unsettled before the cluster was colonised during the Wars. The radiation shell is thin and can be breached with minimal damage at warp eight.

The interior of the nebulous cluster contains a pair of white dwarf suns and assorted sub-planetary chunks of rock. Life within is harsh, even with imported gravity generators and habitation domes, and WYN-residents adopt a hard no-nonsense approach to life for survival. The colony was originally supplied by Orion traders and pirates, and because of this the residents of the WYN cluster tend to be treated as either pirates or romantic heroes. In act, the fortunes of the cluster are based on the skills of its many independent traders and their fleet of second-hand patched-up small craft.

Homeworld

The Lyraen homeworld Czyrath orbits the twin-star system of Beta-Lyrae at a distance of 0.97 AU. It has two small dense moons invisible from the surface.

B-Lyrae I is a vast red giant, and orbiting this with great angular velocity is B-Lyrae II, a bright yellow type G sun similar to Sol. Due to the smaller sun's rapid revolution, Czyrath is never in shadow from the smaller sun for more than one complete day in every ten.

Czyrath has two large continents; the polar and temperate Southern continent and the tropical-temperate Northern land mass. The seat of government is placed on the Southern continent at the site of the earliest recorded civilised settlement. Gravity is similar to Terra at 1.08 of a standard Gee.

Two major orbital cities exist about Czyrath: qiJaor Habitation and Ranath Base, the former is primarily habitation as the name suggests, and the latter is mainly military and commercial. Federation space traffic is tolerated but not encouraged.

There exists the hulk of an unnamed Kzinti military outpost in the asteroid belt. This is being rebuilt by the Lyraens with some distaste.

CULTURAL/HISTORICAL PROFILE

The Lyraens evolved from cats hunting in the Southern snow wastes and tundra of Czyrath. Moving Northwards, these pre-Lyraens developed a bipedal stance to see above the tall stout grasses of the Southern plains and a stubby half-opposable thumb which aided in traversing the treacherous ravines of this area.

From a nomadic existence in the Southern lands, a climatic shift of the world prompted the development of animal husbandry and eventually small-scale agriculture around the South Continent deltas. Large ziggurats of a style oddly familiar to all visiting Terrans still remain from this time, 6000 years ago.

A small group of Lyraens made the dangerous crossing to the Northern continent sometime within the next 500 years, and settled as the ice retreated once more making return impossible. Over time this sundered Northern group diverged from the Southern Lyraens in culture and appearance.

Lyraen religion is animist and vibrant. The belief is simple, every object from a quark upwards has an associated spirit which makes its nature apparent with increasing complexity. These spirits are to be treated with reverence and respect, but they are not worshiped per se.

Lyraens do not easily tolerate imported religions, they usually dismiss them as "not reflecting the nature of the universe". Lyraens have no concept of heaven or hell, but the concept of the sundering and dissolution of spirit to simpler forms is well-known and used in many curses and imprecations.

The industrial revolution occurred on the Northern continent some 1000 years later, but to a far lesser extent than on Terra. As such, Czyrath still has most of its natural resources intact and some areas, for example the deep, vegetated and misty Tsilhe Gorges are still amongst the most breathtaking sights in the galaxy.

The Lyraen race was on the verge of interplanetary flight when an outrider from the expansionist Kzinti Patriarchy encountered the system. There followed 107 years of warfare at sublight speeds which the Lyraens eventually lost. The race was enslaved for over forty years, but as Patriarchal attention was turned elsewhere at the time (Terra, in fact) the Kzinti overseeing force was rapidly overthrown. With the development of warp technology several bloody wars of attrition followed with large losses on both sides, but few truly decisive battles were fought. The Lyraens harbour a lingering hatred of their foes from these times, and some may even attack a Kzin on sight even though an uneasy peace exists between the two governments.

Lyraen warp technology is primitive, but their force-field technology is superior to our own. Lyraen ships, like those of their former masters the Kzinti use grav planers for propulsion and are therefore highly maneuverable. Advanced biotechnological implants are occasionally seen in those from the Southern continent, but genetics is still in its infancy. The Lyraen genome is not yet mapped.


SOCIOLOGICAL PROFILE

The Lyraen Empire is headed by the Impirator and his court from the Imperial Palace on the Southern continent. The current Impirator is Czoltar Draebor, who has ruled peaceably for thirteen years.

The cultures of the Northern and Southern Lyraens differ markedly.

The Southern civilisations are advanced and peaceable, but their culture is corrupt and stagnant. The Northern types are similarly advanced, but choose to forgo many of the comforts of modern life. As a result of these self-imposed hardships their culture is stronger and less corrupt. Despite the differences between the cultures there is little antipathy.

Technology is considered important by both cultures, and the Lyraens were spacefarers at the time of their first battles with the Kzinti. Common articles such as eating utensils and furniture are usually made by local craftsmen from natural materials. Lighting is either by gas-lamp, or less commonly electrical.

Both cultures allow institutionalised dueling to settle disputes. The most common weapon is a 25cm steel knife whose form and construction has been fixed for over two centuries. Those who carry these knives are believed to be slightly dangerous, and most certainly know how to use it. It is extremely unwise to attempt to take a dueling knife from its owner. Duels are to first blood and a light cut is usually considered sufficient.

In general, the Northern culture is considered harsh, unforgiving and brutal by the Southern Lyraens. Northern Continental Lyraens take names describing their physical attributes or their ideals which they may change during their lifetimes. Southern types have a clannish society and are named after their clan leader in the manner of Terran surnames.

Honesty, to an almost brutal degree is regarded highly amongst Lyraens and is the most widely praised virtue. Sadly, amongst the otherwise advanced Southern race corruption and graft are rife, and because of this several independent out-world colonies have been created.

Art is abstract in the extreme with smooth curves and solid geometrical forms prevalent. More traditional forms include wall hangings from the Northern continent, and wooden sculpture from the South, all beautifully and abstractly patterned. Figurative works are made (but difficult to spot), but painting is almost unknown.

The Czyrath Institute of Art in the large city of Cunetz River Passage is one of the most widely respected museums of sculpture in the galaxy. The Vulcan sculptor Sorath dedicated 30 years of her work to it, even though Czyrath has never been a member of the Federation. An extra gallery was built specially to house Sorath's work, and the rare passes granting access to the planetary system are highly valued amongst art lovers.

Food is simple and filling, mainly bird or animal meat and well-cooked root vegetables. Carved wooden utensils are the most common, and this use of natural materials extends to most other household equipment. Technological innovations are concealed within abstract forms, almost pieces of sculpture themselves.

Following the collapse of the Lyraen Empire in the aftermath of the Kzinti Wars, the Lyrans built an alliance of imperial worlds under a republican government.


Psychology

Lyraens despise Kzinti, a hatred stemming from the times of the occupation. It is extremely unwise to confuse the two races - although the males appear similar to an untrained humanoid eye the two races are unrelated. Any rumors to the contrary will be met with violence, but this is not true of WYN-Lyraens (See WYN-cluster below).

Many Lyraens following the main religion are superstitious to some degree, but other than this Lyraens are generally free of psychological quirks.


PHYSIOLOGICAL/MEDICAL PROFILE

The Lyran race is actually the Northern Continent version of the Lyraen's. Lyraens are sexually dimorphic (having two distinct sexes) catlike aliens resembling Terran lynxes. The males of this species are the larger of the two sexes, some standing nearly 210cm (almost 7ft) tall when standing erect. Females are shorter, standing just under 170cm (about 5ft). Females are faster and the males stronger. Lyraen hands have four clawed fingers and a stubby thumb, also clawed.

Lyrans tend to be more lean than their Southern cousin the Lyraens. Probably because of their more rigourous lifestyle. Both cultures are very strong, however, and this deadly strength can be underestimated because of their appearance.

The soft, thick fur which covers the body (including tail, toes, and fingers) is usually red-gold, but black or spotted individuals are not uncommon. Albinos are rare.

The fact that the Lyran tail is covered in fur is a sure way to tell the difference between Lyran and Kzinti.

Lyraens have stubby tails (approx. 18in (45cm) long), black tufts at the end of pointed ears and 'sideburns' of hair, giving them the appearance of lynxes. Eyes are gold, green or very rarely, violet with circular pupils and wide irises.

Lyraens are partially omnivorous, capable of eating raw or cooked meat, fruits, fish and well-cooked root vegetables. They cannot digest cellulose. Dentition is consistent with this - Lyraens have four elongated canines, eight incisors, ten carnassial and four or six carnassial-molars. Lyraens have difficulty pronouncing sibilants ("s", "ss") and usually substitute something like the Russian "Cz".

Lyrans have small claws (1-2in (5-10cm)) on all of their limbs, though the ones on the hands are smaller and semi-retractable, they are razor sharp. This often causes problems on Starfleet ships, with their soft console coverings. Due to the claws on their feet they tend to find boots uncomfortable, and often cut off the toes to let their claws hang out.

The senses are highly acute as with most hunting feline races, particularly hearing. Lyraen colour vision is not well-developed, they have difficulty distinguishing subtle shades at the far ends of the visible spectrum. This does not impede their excellent night vision, however.

Lyraen females have four mammae and give birth to two kits after a seven month gestation. Both sexes care for the young. Sexual maturity is at thirteen years, legal seniority at sixteen. Lyraens generally live for around 60 years naturally and 150 years with rejuvenation treatment.


Notes

  • The Lyraen pages were edited by Jeffrey Jenkins for OSFI from information originally created for ASR by Andrew Chadwick, Sean Speake, Carlos Vicente, and David Hills.