Example Names: Ana-Vestes, Cor-Decati, Eu-Tiara, Grin-Icata, Jan-Arcia, Nar-Citin, Plan-Oria, Reo-Lania, Thil-Utica, Ven-Terta.
- Ballistic Tongue: A vongi may take a -2 penalty on all attacks to gain an extra melee attack using her tongue. This attack does 1d4 +STR bonus damage. Alternatively, she can use this attack by itself with no penalty.
- Far-Sighted: They have poor vision up close. -2 penalty in melee combat or short range.
- Neurotoxin: Vongi produce a neurotoxin in their skin. All hand-to-hand attacks cause harm (1d4) to attackers w/o adequate protection.
- Past Lives: By calling upon lost memories, Vongi can gain an Aptitude for one round, once per day.
- Regeneration: Recover 1 HP/round until they are reduced to half their total hit points (rounded down). Can regrow limbs over the course of a week.
- Throat Sacs: They can hold their breathe for an hour, store food, or make very loud sounds for long periods.
- Weak: Vongi have limited muscle mass. -2 Str.
- Zealotry: Critical thinking skills are not encouraged in a theocratic society. -2 Int.
Vongi evolved on the planet Vong. There are archaeological indications that another civilization, possibly a subspecies of Vongi, shared the planet until about 1,800 years ago. The Vidan, as the Vongi call them, left behind ruins and tablets that would later form the basis for the Vongi’s monotheistic religion. What became of this species is still unknown. Theologians hold that the Vidan were either wiped out for their wickedness, or ascended to the Afterlife. Historians believe that they suffered a cataclysmic drought that resulted in their extinction. Regardless, their artifacts continue to influence the laws of the Vongi Chorus and are assembled into the Book of the Vidan, which acts as the Chorus’s Constitution. New tablets are verified for authenticity by historians and interpreted by theologians.
Much of the Vongi’s technological advancement is thanks in part to the scientific principles of the Vidan. Through religious ritual, they have recreated much of their technology and improved upon it. They constructed their first FTL-capable vessel only 60 years ago and have determined to spread their faith to the stars.
In recent memory, heretics and fringe pilgrims have taken to the stars to escape persecution by the Chorus. These groups are often brought back into the fold by force, even if they’re practices continue in secret. Proselytizers and merchants can be found in trade ports across the sector.
Externally, Vongi are a humanoid species of amphibian origin. Their heads are square-shaped with flat tops and no external ears, just holes. They have 3-5 fingers and toes excellent for grasping and clinging. They have a meter-long tongue useful for catching insects.
Vongi are omnivorous, but their diet is primarily composed of insects.
Vongi are far-sighted. Their hearing is poor, but they can hear equally well in or out of water. They can inflate the sacks around their throat to produce a deafening sound.
If their body temperature reaches too low, their bodies will enter a torpor. They hibernate in this state with high levels of glucose preventing damage from freezing solid.
Excellent burrowers and climbers. Decent swimmers.
Reproduction is fairly complex for the Vongi. Vongi reach maturity in 6 earth years. The male must massage the female until she is completely relaxed before they can mate. So long as the female remains relaxed, mating can occur for days with multiple fertilizations. Once fertilized, the female goes to a spawning pool to lay her eggs. Spawning pools are prepared to have a suitable nutrient mixture, while being protected from predators.
Vongi lifespan is theoretically unlimited due to their natural regeneration. However, every 24-36 years all Vongi suffer from neurological degradation and undergo a metamorphosis into a childlike mental state. During this period, called Metempsychosis, they lose nearly all memory and must be reeducated into society again until the next 24-36 year cycle strikes them again.
The basic unit in Vongi society is the Pool. Vongi born in the same spawning pool are given the same facial markings to indicate kinship. Mating outside this kin group is considered immoral and soils the Haga (soul). Eggs not born in their parent’s spawning pool or removed and hatched elsewhere are left unmarked. The “best” spawning pools are believed to produce the best people. Those born in other spawning pools are left unmarked. Untattooed Vongi are rare and must prove themselves to be very useful before a spawning pool family will let them take their markings. The largest and most powerful Pool is the Kipari, who are born in the inland sea of Kipar on Vong.
Creative, patriotic people. The most respected Vongi are historians. Their culture values conscientious and disciplined moral character. Duty, Loyalty, and Compassion being the highest of virtues.
Gambling is a common form of entertainment, especially for Vongi near Metempsychosis (see physiology). Poetry is a popular artform, displayed in written text and spoken aloud in public performances. Their language reflects their flair for poetry with its complex meanings and definitions.
Vongi do not form permanent partnerships. While they take on many different partners, it is considered immoral to mate outside one’s spawning pool. Family is determined by common spawning pool.
Military rank and political position is dependent upon family ties. Vongi from prestigious spawning pools most often find themselves promoted to positions of leadership and authority. This nepotism is very common, but most Vongi believe that they will themselves benefit from this system at some point and so it remains relatively unchallenged on the Vongi homeworld. The colonies are beginning to experiment with various types of meritocracies, that is, until the Chorus military imposes “order” again.
Religious faith for the Vongi is based around solemn daily prayer meant to commune with their collective unconscious which existed in an extradimensional afterlife awaiting reincarnation.
Metempsychosis (see physiology) is believed by many to be a mystical phenomenon, in which the soul, or Haga, passed onto the Afterlife, called Hent. There, many wait to be reincarnated during the next cycle.
Vongi warships are heavily armed, but have weak defenses. Overall, their military is fairly weak compared to its neighbors. Much of their military is focused on suppressing rebellions within their territory.
Medical science is focused on delaying Metempsychosis.