Star*Drive: Visions of the Verge
In February 2246, the Orlamu Theocracy made contact with a second sentient race. The ferocious weren living on Kurg were just emerging from their own Middle Ages. The discovery of the printing press was changing their feudal states, and weren explorers discovered a second continent. The invention of black powder weapons threatened to end the ancient and honorable codes of warfare.
The best statement of Orlamu success during first contact is that Jamal Abuweren (‘Father of the Weren’) is a saint among both Orlamists and weren. Despite more than three centuries of human contact, weren culture and spirit are unpolluted. The weren remain a proud people, determined to preserve their way of life. On Kurg, the clans still rule through a well-established system of feudalism and scutage. By mutual agreement, Orlamu law forbids the import of advanced technology, especially weapons. Two isolated starports in Kurg’s barren regions are the only sign that humans ever visit.
At the same time, a galaxy of opportunity has opened for individual weren. Depending on a clan’s opinion of humanity and space, they send either their best or worst representatives to one of Kurg’s starports. Disaffected weren also make the trip, fleeing an unhappy life or hopeful of a better one in the stars above. Whatever a weren’s reason for coming, a delegation of Orlamus greets him or her at the starport. A week of interviews confirms that the ιmigrι is committed to leaving Kurg. In fact, the Orlamus discourage weren from emigrating; they want the candidate to weigh the decision carefully. Once a weren has left, the Orlamus discourage him from returning and contaminating Kurg with foreign ways.
A weren who leaves Kurg immediately gains temporary citizenship in the Theocracy, and an overwhelming majority of weren attend an Orlamu college. Crusade, a respected military academy orbiting the Orlamu capital, is a popular choice. But the Orlamu diplomats provide other options as well, many of them outside the borders of the Theocracy. If a weren expresses an interest in exploring these options, representatives from each stellar nation, including the Concord, have offices in Kurg orbit. The fierce warriors of Kurg are in high demand by stellar nations. The weren are prized assets within any nation’s military force.
The many weren who take up lives within the Theocracy can choose careers in business, academia, or the military. In the Theocracy, the final option is to enter the priesthood, and a surprisingly large number of weren find themselves inspired to take up orders as Orlamists. Once they join the church, weren are fierce supporters of the Orlamist faith and the Theocracy. They’re among the most successful missionaries, traveling throughout the Stellar Ring and beyond.
Whether they stay at home, join the Theocracy, or travel abroad, weren are among the most respected sentients in explored space. Part of this respect can be attributed to the weren physique and their well-deserved reputation as powerful warriors. Part of it comes from the value that weren culture attaches to loyalty. Proverbially, when a weren elects to place his loyalty- whether to clan, nation, religion, or friend-it’s impossible to shake.