Species of The Saga of Seven Suns
The races and Species of The Saga of Seven Suns are the assortment of humans and aliens represented in The Saga of Seven Suns series of science fiction novels written by Kevin J. Anderson and its sequel trilogy The Saga of Shadows.
The human race is no longer confined to simply their home planet of Earth, and have spread out among the galaxy. Originally this was done using vast "Generation" spacecraft which took generations (as their name implies) to reach their destination. However, after the Generation ships were 'rescued' by the Ildirans, all spaceships quickly adapted to their far superior ekti-driven stardrives. There are three main factions among the humans.
Terran Hanseatic League (Hansa)
The Terran Hanseatic League, known as the Hansa, control most of humanity's planets. They are an extensive commerce-based federation in control of Earth and most Terran colonies. They have a puppet king, who is more for show than anything else. The real power lies with the Chairman of the Hansa, who controls the king. They have trade relations with the Ildirans, who gave them the original Ildiran stardrive. Their military is the Earth Defense Forces, also known as the EDF. Their main religion is Unison, the head of which is the Archfather. They use compies, short for competent computerized companion. Compies are intelligent servant robots available in Friendly, Teacher, Governess, Listener, Analytical and other models. This is an interstellar version of the Hanseatic League which existed in northern Europe from the 13th through the 17th centuries.
The Roamers originated from the Kanaka, the last of the eleven generation ships to leave Earth. Originally intended to arrive on a planet and become colonists, they instead became the Roamers. This was brought about soon after the Ildirans brought their ancestors to the fertile planet, Iawa; during their first major harvest, the colonists' crops were all but annihilated by a virus that attacked Terran-based plant life. With their food reserves rapidly dwindling, the people decided to take their chances in space (where they had thrived), and so they all boarded the still intact Kanaka and set out into the vast galaxy once again. Eventually they re-established contact with the people they had left at the Meyer rubble belt, and all banded together to find a new way of life amongst the stars.
Roamers are well known for their fierce independence, as well as their highly innovative (though somewhat dangerous) methods. They are normally referred to as 'Space Gypsies' or 'Roachers'. The Hansa do not think well of them, though they are required to trade with them for ekti, a vital stardrive fuel. This is one of their main sources of income. The Roamers use skymines, ekti-harvesting and processing facilities located in gas giant clouds, to acquire this fuel. They are the main source of ekti for both the Hansa and Ildiran Empire, though they do not have much trade with the Ildirans. They have next to no military force, relying mainly on secrecy to ensure their safety. The Roamer society is split up into multiple clans, their leader being a Speaker. Their 'capital' is at Rendezvous, a site which is kept very secret. They are extremely adaptable and can adjust their equipment and lifestyle to suit various harsh conditions. They rely on others for assistance, products, etc. as little as possible.
The Therons originated from the Caillié, fifth of the generation ships to depart Earth and first to be encountered by the Ildirans. The colonists of this ship were taken by the Ildirans to settle on Theroc. Their rulers are a Father and Mother, similar to a King and Queen. They live mainly on biological products, using next to no inorganic materials. The Therons have the capability of bonding with the worldforest (or verdani) to become green priests, who have telepathic relationships with the worldforest. They are, strictly speaking, independent of the Hansa. They have next to no military initially, although their alliance with the Verdani does give them protection to a certain degree. Following the centralization of the Confederation on their world however leads the Confederation Defense Force to protect the planet in addition to Verdani spacecraft.
Formed by King Peter and Queen Estarra of the Hansa. The Confederation consists of Roamers, Therons and some former Hansa Colonies. The capital of The Confederation is on Theroc.
The Confederation was formed as an alternative to the increasingly oppressive Hansa, and as a response to the increasingly delusional Chairman of the Hanseatic League. Its incorporation of independent states such as the Roamers and Therons hints at a Federal nature, with a King hinting at some form of Monarchy, constitutional or otherwise.
Its military is formed from a number of EDF (Earth Defence Force) ships that mutinied against the Hansa, and Roamer vessels outfitted with weaponry. Eventually the remaining 33 ships of the EDF and the 11 EDF ships of the Confederacy merged under the command of Fleet Admiral Sheila Willis. The Confederation is officially allied with the Ildiran Empire.
After the assassination of Chairman Wenceslas and the dissolution of the Hanseatic League, the Confederacy incorporated all of Humanity and its widespread colonies, including Earth.
The Confederation's structure of governance relies upon individual governments for each planet, appropriately maintaining each planet while a central overhead Government oversees interstellar relations upon which the King and Queen monitor while still maintaining authority. Theroc is heart of the Confederation and is protected by the native Verdani.
The Ildirans are a polymorphic species ruled by the quasi-mystical Mage-Imperator, via an empathic link called the thism. The thism links all Ildirans to their leader, who is in turn linked to the Lightsource, a warm, gentle communal light which brings peace and prosperity. The Lightsource may be considered an ancient alien race allied with the Ildirans, or their afterlife; descriptions vary throughout the series. Lens kithmen are able to focus the thism to touch each Ildiran. Traditionally the first born noble pure blood son of the previous Mage-Imperator, known as the Prime Designate, undergoes a ritual castration which will allow him to become the focal point for Thism. When a Mage-Imperator is killed, all members of the Ildiran race are cut off from the Lightsource. As Ildrians have a natural fear of the dark, it is urgent that they establish a new Mage-Imperator. All Ildrians can also feel when a Designate (son of the Mage-Imperator) or Designate-In-Waiting (son of new Mage-Imperator) dies, though they are less affected by it. An example of this is in Book Two, when Mage-Imperator Cyroc'h poisons himself, or in Book Three, when Designate-In-Waiting Pery'h is murdered on the orders of his corrupt uncle Rusa'h.
Socially, the Ildiran are separated into castes (kiths), according to their dominant genetic traits. They vary widely, some seeming to cross the species gap by being nearly reptilian or avian. Most, especially the noble kith, are similar to baseline humans, with a pale golden or gray skin. Each Ildiran ends its name with a different sound to indicate kith; cross-breeds combine the sounds:
- 'h rulers/nobles
- 'n soldiers/warriors/guards
- 'nh military leaders/generals
- 'k workers
- 'v bureaucrats
- 't singers
- 'l lens kithmen
- 'f scientists
- 'o technicians
- 'of engineers
- 'a teachers
- 'th artists
- 'sh rememberers
- 'x miners
- 'c scalies
- l swimmers
Ildirans are a stagnant race, mired in ritual and protocol, uninterested in expansion and content with the past glories described in their epic poem, the Saga of Seven Suns. The Saga of Seven Suns supposedly records every significant event in their history, and the task of retelling this epic is given to the rememberers. They are dependent on their thism-link with other Ildirans, so much so that isolation from other Ildirans can drive them into madness. The Ildirans invented the Ildiran stardrive, which uses ekti, an allotrope of hydrogen found mainly in gas giants, to quickly travel great distances. It is the only viable form of interstellar travel.
The Klikiss are an insectoid race that were thought to have become extinct 10,000 years before the beginning of the series. Their only remains are numerous ruins (some more or less intact, whilst others are wrecked beyond repair) scattered amongst worlds across the Spiral Arm. It is later discovered that some of the Klikiss' technology is still salvageable, as proven by the use of the Klikiss Torch and the inter-planetary portals found in a large number of their cities.
Aside from this, the only other legacy left behind by the Klikiss race is the large number of Klikiss robots (apparently designed in their likeness) that were reactivated half a millennia ago by the Ildirans. The robots themselves are very intricate in terms of design, with largely unknown inner workings. Though they all look identical, they each consider themselves unique in some respect, as they assign names to each member of their race. They have blunt speech mannerisms, and often do not reveal much about themselves or their motives.
The cause for the Klikiss' disappearance is a mystery to the rest of the galaxy, and the intelligent robots claim to have no knowledge of the events. Thus the dead race provides a very complex mystery, one which the human race has tried to unravel by studying the Klikiss ruins.
In reality, they were wiped out by the Hydrogues (in a deal with the Klikiss robots in exchange for Transportal technology), their robots (which turned on them) and the Ildirans, who did so to avoid being wiped out by the Hydrogues. A large number of them were killed instantaneously by passing through Transportals reprogrammed by their robots to send them to the cores of gas giants inhabited by the Hydrogues. The surviving robots are free to roam around the galaxy, but their purpose is dubious. The Ildirans do not have many dealings with them, although the Klikiss robots acted as negotiators between them and the Hydrogues, and some humans are wary of them. Although it appears that only a few of them survived, the 'awakened' ones are reviving their dormant comrades. They are allied with the Hydrogues, and are at war against Humanity in order to free their servant robots ("compies") - a reason why the Ildirans do not use similar technology.
A number of Klikiss evidently survived the genocide, as they reappear (in droves) on the planet Llaro at the end of Of Fire and Night, ready to take revenge on their traitorous robots and reclaim their old worlds, now colonized by the Hansa. In the 6th book - "Metal Swarm" - it is revealed that there are still thousands of Klikiss left which are divided into hives each ruled by a Breedex (like a queen bee in a bee hive). They live as a Eusocial society, all connected by a telepathic "hive mind" centred around the Breedex, similar to how the thism of Ildirans is centred round the Mage-Imperator, however it is more complex due to the fact no Klikiss on its own is sentient apart from the Breedex, and therefore Breedex has total control over the Klikiss minds. The Klikiss reproduce by absorbing organic matter and DNA from any living creature and incorporating it into newbreeds such as humans.
Little is known about the hydrogues. They are a highly aggressive, mercuric lifeform residing in the centres of gas giants and appear to lack emotions, being somewhat robotic in this sense. Hydrogues have the ability to alter their malleable forms, though they only tend to do this when communicating with other races (or "rock-dwellers"). They possess incredibly devastating weaponry (icewaves and powerful electrical blasts), and have no regard for the human race or Ildirans. They reappeared after the humans ignited the gas giant Oncier, which they inhabited, and began to destroy all human and Ildiran facilities, not appearing to distinguish between human factions, or even the two races. Their ships are spherical, heavily armoured (seemingly made out of diamond), and possess a great deal of firepower. They can completely destroy small celestial bodies within a day, and even extinguish stars. They represent the "air" aspect of the four elemental powers. During books 2-5 the Hydrogues were largely at war with the turncoat faeros, however the Klikiss Torch frequently deployed by the EDF forced their attention elsewhere. They are also at war with the Verdani (worldforest) and wentals. However the hydrogues beaten into submission by the combined attacks of the EDF, Ildrian Solar Navy, Verdani Battleships and the Roamers at the Battle for Earth in book 5.
Following the end of the war the Hydrogues allow the use of Gas Giants for human purpose and even warn human presences of planetary threats.
Faeros are fiery entities that dwell within suns, and are seemingly unaffected by the hazardous temperatures. They are considered to be treacherous by the Verdani. They once fought with the Verdani and Wentals against the Hydrogues, but then shifted alliances (for reasons relating to the Klikiss robots). In the ongoing war, they appear to have shifted alliances again, attacking the Hydrogues while sparing the other races. They represent the "fire" aspect of the four elemental powers.
It is suggested in Scattered Suns that the faeros may be the "Lightsource" from which the Ildiran thism is derived. This is expanded in Of Fire and Night, in which the pretender to the Imperial Throne, Rusa'h, appears to be linked with the faeros, possibly in a similar manner to Jess Tamblynn and the wentals, or Beneto and the verdani. Also during the fifth book, a hydrogue emissary unknowingly hints that the Ildirans and faeros were once allies; later in the book, it seems that this bond (should the records be believed) was formed to drive off the evil Shana-Rei. When the Ildrians discover a dark nebulae the Faeros are actively afraid.
Also referred to as the "Worldforest", this race manifests itself as a telepathic network of trees that some humans (the Green Priests) can communicate with. Once the Verdani were present on thousands of worlds across the galaxy, but the conflict with the Hydrogues forced them to near-extinction. Losing the war has seemingly caused the Verdani to lose much of their combat resolve, as the mere thought of engaging a Hydrogue terrifies them.
Currently the largest concentration of Verdani reside on the planet Theroc, although they have started to be spread around the galaxy again with the aid of humans. They demonstrate the ability to absorb information like a sponge and store it eternally for later use by either themselves or other beings. This makes their thirst for new knowledge, whatever it may be, practically insatiable. Green priests are able to use Verdani as instant communication devices, sending any message across vast distances almost immediately. Although the Verdani are made up of many trees, they manifest themselves as one being. They represent the "earth" aspect of the four elemental powers.
Green priests have the ability to become part of the world-forest's mind upon their death, if they have time and ability to pour their souls into a tree as they die. The verdani are then capable of building a golem from one of these "ghosts", as they did with Beneto.
With the addition of wental water, the verdani are capable of producing "treeships", vast trees capable of interstellar flight, and able to destroy hydrogue warglobes with apparent ease. Each treeship requires a green priest joined in a permanent symbiosis to act as a pilot / navigator; such ships had been produced for the last war, ten millennia ago, piloted by a now-forgotten race of bird-like humanoids. These ships were sent into deep space, and returned to Theroc at the end of Scattered Suns. An additional hundred were built during Of Fire and Night. These large treeships are used to defend Theroc from orbit after the war.
A water-based race who were considered extinct for 10,000 years after the war with the faeros/hydrogues, but in fact were broken up and dispersed throughout the interstellar void. Whilst wentals are unable to die, they can be "disassociated" into their more basic components, nullifying their sentience and thus putting them in a form of suspended animation. Like the verdani, they have some kind of telepathic link and speak as one.
However, Jess Tamblyn accidentally collects wental essence while gathering water during a solitary deep-space mission. Because of this, the wentals are effectively brought back to life. They establish a telepathic link with him, telling him about the intergalactic war that took place millennia ago. Jess takes the wentals to an uninhabited oceanic planet and introduces them into the raging sea, initializing the first phase of the race's rebirth. They have the ability to take control of any water-based body (e.g. planets, comets) and control it, regardless of the state of the water. They can then manipulate the climate and lifeforms of the planet, and this is how they reproduce. They represent the "water" aspect of the four elemental powers.
Though wentals are not hostile in nature, some aspects of their essence (under certain circumstances) can become 'tainted' due to strong selfish desires of their hosts. When trying to save Cesca from her excessive wounds, the wentals informed Jess of how tainted wentals had been formed in the past and caused great destruction. Fortunately, tainted wentals cannot propagate, but are eternally enraged by everything around them. They seek to replace order with chaos (what they feel is the 'Natural order') and thus attack all those around them. Tainted wentals can either be destroyed by killing the host body, or extracting the tainted essence and purifying it (a process which also kills the host). Karla Tamblyn became a Tainted Wental after Jess recovered her frozen body from within the ice of Plumas where she had died many years before. She was reanimated by tainted wental energy and almost completely destroyed the Clan Tamblyn homestead and water mines before Jess and the newly imbued Cesca returned and saved them.
The Shana Rei are an ancient, demonic and powerful race who personify darkness and chaos. Eons before the events of Hidden Empire (2002), they had battled the Ildirans and were eventually defeated with light-based weapons and an Ildiran alliance with the faeros. The Shana Rei are said to be the primary reason why Ildirans are afraid of the dark. In Scattered Suns (2005) it is discovered that parts of the Ildiran Saga of Seven Suns have been falsified, and the possibility arises that the Shana Rei might never have actually existed. More evidence emerges that they did in fact exist in Of Fire and Night (2006).
The Shana Rei reappear in the universe in The Dark Between the Stars (2014), awakened by another, unidentified universal power that is also arising after a long sleep. Hidden in the spaces behind our own universe, the Shana Rei resemble dark nebulae when they materialize in space. Disrupted by the deafening noise of life and creation, they hope to destroy all sentient life and return the universe to quiet emptiness and chaos. They trap the remaining Klikiss robots, and the robot leader Exxos convinces the Shana Rei to let his robots help in their plans. The Shana Rei and Klikiss robots begin attacking human and Ildiran warships, colonies and planets.
A forgotten race who, long before the events of Hidden Empire (2002), had been hunted and extinguished by the Klikiss. In The Dark Between the Stars (2014), the Roamer Clan Reeves discovers and settles on an abandoned city in space which turns out to be formerly inhabited by a surviving group of the Onthos. They had been decimated by a Klikiss plague, however, and though they died out centuries or even millennia before, the human settlers are soon infected and killed themselves. Not long after, 99 spaceships appear at Theroc, containing another small group of Onthos. As the aliens touch the worldtrees, the verdani mind is reminded that the Onthos were once their caretakers long before humans, when the worldforest had originated on a different planet.
A Condorfly is a fictional extraterrestrial insect which looks somewhat like a butterfly but is much larger, about the size of a dinner plate, roughly. Condorflies are unintelligent and very short-lived. Their bodies decompose fast after death leaving only their beautiful wings behind. They are only found on Theroc, and are often the pets of small children, kept on a long string to keep them from flying away.
Also, while appearing unintelligent one Condorfly, the pet of the Theron Mother and Father youngest child, Celli, was released into the wilderness to mate before it died, but it dutifully returned to her bed while she slept, seemingly to be with her one last time.
Shiny silver insects that live on Theroc.
Furry crickets are unintelligent and are about the size of a rabbit, covered in fur and have long legs and antenna like a cricket. They are only found on Corribus. Furry crickets are portrayed as being readily tamed and affectionate despite appearing to be the primary prey animal for the known local predators. They are edible by humans even though they apparently don't taste very good.
Lowriders are carnivorous, crustaceans from the klikiss world of Corribus. They are described as having five eyes, a flattened spherical centre body and clockwork jaws. They live on furry cricket and flying creatures. They are noted as able to easily tear through bone and flesh.
These Nautilus/Snail like creatures are native to the sea world Rhejak and are so named for their numerous snakelike tentacles. They have two pairs of eyes, one pair for seeing above water and the other for below. Fully grown, they have shells the size of large rooms, and Rhejak natives use these shells as such, hollowing them out and connecting them together to make houses. Sometimes adolescents will ride these Medusas and get them to fight one another as entertainment. They also have edible meat described by Admiral Sheila Willis as having a rubbery texture "like baked mushrooms" and a strong flavour "reminiscent of lobster".
A species of giant annelid with scarlet bodies and diamond chipped teeth, originating on Plumas. When Karla Tamblyn is reanimated by a tainted wental, she induces the nematodes to attack the water mine workers there.
Isix cats are feline predators from the planet Ildira. They are quite deadly and, if they can be tamed, make exceptional guards. Yazra'h uses trained cats in her body guard duties. There were three of them originally before one was killed.
A species of anemone native to Maratha. Ch'kanh have strong armoured crusts, which gives them their name ("ch'kanh" means "living fortresses" in Ildiran). Ch'kanh also have very sharp "teeth", which allow them to eat other creatures.
Shadow lions live on the planet Maratha. Their fur absorbs all light so they are extremely difficult to see at night. They can 'see' heat, due to their ability to perceive the infra-red spectrum and follow it to catch their prey. In the dark, Ildirans separated from other Ildirans often mistake these creatures for the Shana Rei. They are ruthless carnivores which demonstrate no fear.
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