The Narn Race (Babylon Five):
Background information is excepted from Voltayre's Encyclopia Xenobiologica
"No dictator, no invader, can hold an imprisoned population by force of arms forever. There is no greater power in the universe than the need for freedom. Against that power governments and tyrants and armies cannot stand. The Centauri learned this lesson once. We will teach it to them again. Though it takes a thousand years, we will be free." -
PSYCHOLOGY: Narns admire those that win, and shun the losers. Those that know their place get to keep it in their society. Thus physical perfection (a "winning trait") is a point of pride for the Narn. Unfortunately, since no Narn wants to admit to physical imperfection, there is no market for physical aides. To avoid being shamed, the Narn have to use aides from other races, in privacy; for example, many Narn use glasses that have a prescription that is close enough for their use.
The Narn are naturally paranoid. Being enslaved did not help that attitude, which then turned into xenophobia, after the first Centauri occupation. The Narns perceived that any alliance between two or more alien races created the possibility that they would become a target for their combined aggression. Thus, in Babylon 5's first year of operation, it was G'Kar's duty to sow as much dissension among the races as possible. Another outcome of this paranoia is the insatiable need for protection through technology. Shady deals with tech-runners and a fair
sized military production rate fulfilled that need. However, this paranoid fear goes deeper than that. The most obvious manifestation of this is a lokvar, or the seizure of the mind with an overriding fear. In the grip of a lokvar a Narn will be utterly paranoid and usually violent. The Narn have a strong military mindset and a sense of pride and destiny. The Second Centauri Occupation has only strengthened their resolve.
HISTORY: The Narn had no contact with a spacefaring race until the Shadows arrived on their world one-thousand years ago. After securing the world by killing the majority of telepathic Narns with telepath bombs, the Shadows moved in. They briefly set up a lay-over and supply depot on one of Narn's southern continents. Since the initial massacre, the Shadows took little interest in the native population. G'Quon, a learned Narn, took an interest in the "visitors" to his world. He conjectured that they were a connected to a great war far from their own world. Despite their primitive technology, G'Quon and the remaining elder Narn telepaths drove the Shadows from their homeworld. His Book contains many of the Shadow's secrets and war tactics.
Narn was a peaceful, agrarian world before the Centauri invaded around 2110. Their planet rich with resources and of strategic value, the Centauri subjugated the Narn using their superior technology. One of the Centauri's first acts was to slaughter the members of the Inner Circle to remove any threat of accepted leaders rising against them. Children born into the Inner Circle were hidden, their papers forged to allow the ancient bloodlines to continue. The complex social order was shattered as the Centauri forced equality upon the Narns through slavery. The Narns received the most brutal treatment of all the Centauri "protectorates." For one-hundred Earth years the Centauri occupied Narn, stripping the planet of its resources, and cultivating slave labor. The Centauri found the sturdy physiology of the Narn to be perfect for manning the strip mines and clear cutting projects -- all for the good of the "superior race." Those not suited for heavy work were given domestic and menial labor that was beneath the Centauri. Many of their slaves were used to build colonies on other worlds. Troublesome slaves were stranded on planets and left to their own devices (most penal colonies perished, though there were successes).
An underground resistance, known as the Kha'Ri, steadily build a power base without the Centauri's knowledge. Like the ancient game of Gek'eth, the leaders of the Kha'Ri waited for the right opportunity to strike at their opponent. In 2198, the Kha'Ri began to act. Isolated strikes against low security installation grew into assaults against military outposts. Generally, strikes against the oppressors were crafty traps formed from the Centauri's own machines. Thousands on both sides died. The culmination of the Kha'Ri's fight to save their world came in 2228 when the Narn stormed the Centauri Central Occupation Government installation, killing all Centauri within. When word of this massacre reached Centauri Prime, the Centaurum unanimously voted that Narn be abandoned. The Centauri withdrawal from Narn was a hurried affair, implemented upon the hour the Emperor's declaration arrived.
The Centauri occupation almost irreversibly destroyed their ecosphere. A damage so extensive that even short-term forecasts showed a severe shortage of basic resources. As a matter of survival, the Narn shifted from a peaceful agrarian world to a military regime. Fortunately, the Centauri, in their haste, left most of their equipment and resources, and most valuable of all, an orbital shipyard. The initial ships produced by the new Regime were patched together versions of Centauri vessels, but were serviceable enough to conquer several local planets. Within 150 days of freeing Narn of the Centauri, the planets Ardun, Binar II, Maroth, Promith IV, T'llin, and Ree'kar IX were under Narn control. By acquiring unallied planets on the edge of the Narn system, they gained strategic and economic benefits in addition to providing needed resources for Narn. These worlds were too far away and too unimportant for the lazy Centauri to fight for them and not advanced enough to fight back effectively. Knowing that sheer raw resources and slave races were not enough to secure their borders, the Narn attempted to ally with more powerful races. Repeated attempts to enter an alliance with the Minbari and Vorlons were rebuffed. The use of diplomatic missions did not curb the Narn use of sheer force. Several more worlds were acquired by the Regime to maintain the safety of Narn and its citizens. These campaigns were partially funded by selling arms to the Earthers during the Earth-Minbari War.
The objectives of the Narn at this time were to sow division between the various races and acquire "forbidden" technology, all the while representing themselves as peace promoters. By keeping the other races busy, no one would notice the Narn military buildup and colonization until they were ready for conquest. The last thing the Narn needed was an alliance to attack them before they were ready.
In 2259, Centauri Emperor Turhan was going to publicly apologize to the Narn for his people's treatment of them. Unfortunately, that did not come to pass and the Shadows, at the behest of Londo Mollari, destroyed a Narn listening post in quadrant 14. Narn ships arrived on the scene to find Centauri battleships waiting. This pushed the Narn to declare open war on the Centauri. The following six months brought the Narn few victories. Forced to retreat time and again, all the while proclaiming they were holding their own against the onslaught of the Centauri and Shadow forces. In six months, Narn holdings were reduced to that of 30 years before. Narn military leaders, under the direction of Warmaster G'Sten decided to change tactics. Their plan was to channel the majority of their forces into an attack on the Centauri supply depot in the Gorash system. Unfortunately for the Narns, one of their coded transmissions from Strategic Command to one of their flagships was intercepted by the Centauri. Following the loss of their colonies Zhe, Dras and Zok, the Narns put their plan into effect. Leaving a pathetic defense force guarding the Narn homeworld, the Narn fleet arrived in the Gorash system to find four Shadow Cruisers waiting. The engagement annihilated the entire Narn fleet and left only one Shadow Cruiser slightly damaged. With the Narn forces destroyed, the Centauri moved on the Narn homeworld at their leisure. Wanting to avoid a bloody ground war, the Centauri fleet, led by the flagship Valerius, bombed the world with asteroids for four days. Their infrastructure demolished, the Narns had no choice but to unconditionally surrender. Narn is now an occupied world, and part of the Greater Centauri Republic.
Narn is even more desolate as before; or as Earth Senator Quantrell said, "bombed back to the Stone Age." The surviving streets are empty. The Centauri, as part of their rebuilding program, set up work farms and relocation camps. Narn constructions gangs are all operating at or above capacity. True to the terms of the surrender, the executions continue -- 500 Narns per one Centauri. The Centauri's aim is to destroy the Narn's pride, the one thing the Centauri have never been able to conquer. The Centauri carry out regular food drops, hoping to make the Narns dependant on them and have them beg the Centauri for supplies. Special teams of Centauri have been dispatched to Narn to "cull the herds." Saying that they are weeding out aggression, the troops have been known to burn entire villages without provocation. Despite all hardships, the Narn Resistance has been quite effective in disrupting Centauri actions on Homeworld. The Resistance on Babylon 5 was particularly a thorn in the Centauri's pride. Such a large number of free Narns had plentiful opportunities to assist the rebellion on Homeworld. Using "entrepreneurs" of other races, the free Narn are able to send light munitions and communications to Homeworld using their dwindling life savings.
Based on Babylon 5, the Narn Resistance is led by former ambassador G'Kar. Although their funds and holdings are small, they do have around ten warships that survived the recent war. In early 2260, Citizen G'Kar had a vision of G'Lan (Vorlon Ambassador Kosh Neranek), which radically altered his view of life, and inspired him to begin writing the Book of G'Kar. This book covers the Shadow War, the Fall of Narn, the mistakes of the Narn and what must be done to correct them. Being the only member of the Kha'Ri to escape trail and execution, G'Kar was frequently the target of Centauri attacks and manipulation.
CULTURE: The structure of Narn society is almost as old as the race itself, with the exception of the Centauri Occupations. Narn society is an intricate web of clans, families, circles, cartels, trading organizations, information spheres, financial districts, tribes, domains, and communities. These strict definitions of one's place in society help weed out undesirables early on -- lending credence to the Narn boast that they have few prisons. To anyone not raised in the culture, the interlocking relationships are incomprehensible. The most easily comprehensible divisions are the social classes, with the Inner Circle being the peak of Narn society.
The Inner Circle - The Royal families.
The Second Circle - Spiritual leaders and prophets.
The Third Circle - The highest level a commoner can attain. There are a set number of seats available and new members are admitted only when there are vacancies.
The Fourth Circle
The Fifth Circle
The Sixth Circle
The Seventh Circle
The Eighth Circle - To enter the eighth circle one must study as an acolyte and live a temporarily austere life of study and meditation. This period of education is the only training an upward-bound Narn receives. To achieve higher circles takes hard work, self-discipline, ambition and connections.
The Outer Circle - The Skilled Worker class.
Plebeians - The Worker class.
The Lost - Thieves, prostitutes, and outcasts -- including the mentally unstable, those addicted to drugs introduced by the Centauri, and simply the unlucky.
Although this system has been in place for thousands of years, there has been a recent increase in the number of malcontents; those that believe that the vagaries of birth alone should not determine one's social standing.
This caste system is most evident in the layout of Narn cities. One city is actually a collection of cities composed of the various classes. The main city is the province of the upper classes (from the Eighth to the Inner Circle) while adjoining cities are set aside for the plebeians and the Outer Circle. Between these cities are the border zones where only the outcasts live. Workers are allowed into the main city during the day, but they must be out by nightfall.
RELIGION: The Narns have various competing religions. The two largest religions are those of G'Quon and G'Lon, however, they are not the only religions on Homeworld.
The Old Pantheon Long before the Martyrs and Prophets, the Narns worship (and very few still do) a large pantheon of gods and goddesses. The darker deities dwelt in Q'Uarthonn, realm of chaos and disease. Most gods were concerned with agriculture and favorable weather. One of the more popular deities was D'Bok, the harvest goddess or more formally, Mistress of the Fields. Her idols were made from a special clay mixed with dakka blood. She appears as a fleshy Narn female with an unearthly facial expression. Shrines to the old gods still exist on Narn, however they are derelict and serve as transient housing. Most shrines have an entrance to the catacombs.
The successors to the Old Pantheon were the Prophets, G'Quon, G'Lan, and others. When G'Quon began his teaching, G'Lan and other higher beings appeared to support him. Although G'Lan was a follower and co-prophet with G'Quon, his religion is separate from G'Quon's. Followers of G'Quon must celebrate the Holy Days of G'Quon wherever they are. The consumption of alcohol is forbidden during this time. The Holy Days always occur during the same part of a Narn year. Many normal activities, such as shopping, is forbidden during this period. One of the rituals to be performed during this holy season requires the use of a G'Quon Eth plant, which is difficult to grow, expensive to transport, not to mention illegal save for religious purposes. Unlike the Centauri's use for the plant, the Q'Quon Eth plant is a symbol of the G'Quon faith and is burned as
LANGUAGE: Narnish script is written from right to left.
Some known name prefixes: Da, Du, G, H, Ha, Ho, Ka, Kar, Mi, Ka, Ko, Li, Na, Ni, Pa, Ra, Sha, T, Tu, Tza, Vin, Y, Yal
GOVERNMENT: The Inner Circle, along with the Kha'Ri were the governing bodies of the Narn Regime. Membership was probably limited to the first eight circles. The Centauri have hunted down all members of the Kha'Ri to try them for war crimes. Only one member of the Kha'Ri is known to have escaped this bloodbath, G'Kar of the Third Circle, the former Narn Ambassador on Babylon 5.
Advancement in governmental power was usually through sponsorship by another in a higher position. Of course, less honorable methods insured a faster rise to the top. The Narns view an ambassador as someone who represents his or her people on every level. Narn ambassadors are usually the highest ranking representative of the government. Ambassadors are appointed by the Kha'Ri and can only be removed by order of the Kha'Ri or through physical combat. The ambassador's word carries the power of the Kha'Ri in his or her domain. These decisions are only binding on the Narn in that area.
Most Narn law predates the first Centauri Invasion and is centuries old. Few new laws, applicable to a spacefaring society, have been written; lawmakers spend most of their time debating the meaning of old pre-spacefaring laws.
With the second subjugation of Narn, a resistance has formed from surviving Narn. Former Ambassador G'Kar on Babylon 5 is the only member of the Kha'Ri to sidestep the Centauri bloodbath and now leads the Narn Underground.
The police on the Narn homeworld are termed rangers (not to be confused with Sinclair's Rangers). Their uniforms are black. Those serving in the Rural Division patrol to insure that every Narn is where he or she should be (according to their caste) after dark. Those in the border zones, when actually interested in a murder, serve as police, judge, jury, and executioner.
MILITARY: Answerable to the Kha'Ri, the Narn military is divided into three branches: the Naval Arm, the Air/Space Defense Forces, and the Ground Army. Headed by the Golden Fleet (itself charged with the defense of the homeworld system and commanded by the Inner Circle), the Naval Arm is considered the most prestigious branch to serve under. The Naval Arm is used by the Kha'Ri to enforce its policies (within and without Regime borders) and to expand Narn territories. Colony and system defense is relegated to the Air/Space Defense Force. In addition to planetary patrol duties, the Air/Space Defense Force maintains the air forces on all Narn holdings. While vehicles for this branch are almost exclusively limited to fighters, shuttles, and aircraft, some oceanic vessels (mostly patrol boats and carriers) are in use. The Ground Army is generally thought of as the lowest of the branches. Should the Kha'Ri require a planet to be occupied, it falls to the Ground Army to take it. While some ground vehicles are used, sheer manpower is most often applied.
TECHNOLOGY Stellar; The Narn acquired most of their technology from the Centauri. As a whole, they never had a drive to develop space technology until the Centauri occupation.
Narn year = 304 Earth days.
PSI ABILITY: At some point in Narn history, Narn telepaths and their families were exterminated. The telepath purge left the telepathy genes in too weak a state to be strengthened through conventional breeding programs.
Attributes: IQ: 3D6 ME: 3D6 MA: 2D6 PS: 4D6 PP: 3D6 PE: 4D6 PB: 2D6 SPD: 3D6
Hit Points: PE +1D6 per each level of experience
SDC: 30 plus those gained from OCC or Physical Skills
Average PPE: 2D6
Occupational Character Classes (OCC & RCC): Any except psionic RCCs. The race (In a magic rich environment such as phase world) would have problems becoming magic using character classes. The initially learning to become a mage would be increased by 25%. This is due to the links between psychic energy and magical energy.
Horror Factor: Not Applicable
Physical Appearance & Biology: The basic form of the Race Narn is Bipedal Humanoid. Like Earth mammals, the Narn are warm blooded. The Narn skin looks like the outer skin of earth reptiles. Because the skin is a very efficient heat exchanger, the Narn can withstand heat and cold better that humans can. This also means that the Narn do not sweat and can withstand long periods of time without water. In addition, their body is very energy efficient, a Narn can hybernate for moderate periods of time without ill effect and can survive on half as much food as a human. Due to their star being a Red Giant, the Narn race is more sensitive to light in the Red and Orange spectrum. The Narn are not effected by alcohol to the level of humans as well.
The Narn reproduction is similar in some ways to Earth marsupials. After the female gives birth to a primitive embryo, the male carries the fetus is a pouch until developed to the point the infant can survive outside the pouch. Narns can perform physical intercourse with humans but no reproduction can occur.
Height: Variable, average is from 5 foot 11 inches to 7 foot 3 inches (1.8 meters to 2.2 meters)
Weight: Variable, average is from 210 lbs to 290 lbs (95 kg to 132 kg)
Average Life Span: 115 to 125 Earth years. A Narn aged 60 is considered roughly equal to a human in their early 40's.
Special/Natural Abilities: Because their strong and leathery skin is an efficient heat exchanger, they can withstand heat up to 125º F (51.7º C) and cold down to 25º F (-3.9º C) without additional protection. The Narn race does not sweat and can withstand up to 18 days without water. The Narn can also hibernate up to six days without any nourishment at all. Need to only eat half as much as a human. Eyes are more sensitive to read and orange spectrum and has a 40 foot nightvision. Can consume 4 times the normal alcohol as humans.
Magic: Only if in a magic rich universe. In magic rich universe, Narn can become magic using character classes.
Psionics: None, the Telepaths of the race were killed off during the previous coming of the shadows.
Enemies: Shadows and Centauri
Allies: Babylon 5 forces.
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Racial information from Voltayre's Encyclopia Xenobiologica.
Writeup by Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).
Rifts Conversion Copyright © 1998, Kitsune. All rights reserved.