Cynos Union Databank





Overview: The tall, humanoid vossarulls are one of the six species who were present for the Treaty of Prima, and thus, are one of the founder members of the Cynos Union. They are also known all around the Cynos by the colloquial name “warblers”, a fact that these good-natured people find rather amusing.

Native to the planet Tessitura, the vossarulls possess a military might matched only by the sookas, or the koetaani during their heyday before the war with the kochanqa, and as such 43% of the CSF (Cynos Security Fleet) is made up of vossarull ships. In addition, a full 78% of ground forces within the Cynos military are made up of vossarull soldiers, with a quarter of those being choristers, the elite special forces of the Vossarull Ensemble.

Led by their supreme commander-in-chief, the Diva, the vossarulls are one of the Cynos Union’s key members, their influence felt mainly in two somewhat paradoxical areas; military strength, and the arts.

Evolution & Biology: One of the enduring little mysteries within the Cynos Union is the uncanny similarity between vossarulls and humans. On a purely surface level, the vossarulls look identical to tall, lanky humans (they are often famously described as humans who have been stretched out a bit), with the same limb configuration, the same facial layout and even the same positioning of body hair. This similarity extends down to an internal level, even to a genetic level; studies have shown that vossarulls share as much as 98% of the same DNA as humans.

The implications of this are far-reaching indeed, although there are competing theories as to why this is the case, with the current working hypothesis being one that many find unbelievable: as convergent evolution simply cannot adequately explain the similarities between the two species, humans and vossarulls must have shared a common genetic ancestor.

As yet, no-one is sure how this could have possibly come about, but the prevailing view is that it was likely the work of the long-vanished and inscrutable Skaperen, a mysterious species known to have existed long before any of the current galactic civilisations (the earliest Skaperen artefact found has been dated to around eighty-three million years ago).

However, while humans and vossarulls may have evolved from a common ancestor, meaning that they are somewhat biologically compatible, their divergent evolutionary paths mean that a mating between human and vossarull cannot produce viable offspring. Despite this, fiction abounds on the lat, with half-human, half-vossarull characters.

These stories are pure fantasy, however, as such a creature is biologically and genetically impossible, and human/vossarull pregnancies always end in stillbirth.

History & Culture: The whole of vossarull society is based around the twin concepts of sound and music, and their society has been described on many occasions as ‘operatic’.

Positions within the Vossarull Ensemble are filled by judging the applicants on two criteria. Firstly, they must of course be able to show an aptitude for the job in question, but at least as important as that is the quality of the applicant’s voice. The relative importance of these two criteria will vary, depending on the job, but in the case of the supreme ruler, the Diva, voters judge her entirely on the sweetness of her voice.

One curious quirk of the vossarull mindset is their deep affinity and love for the sword; every single vossarull carries a sword, whether that is a ceremonial blade in the case of civilians, or an advanced ‘shieldstick’ (best described as a sword with a blade made of force fields, whose blade shape and geometry can be modified on the fly, switching between a monomolecular blade, mobile cover, a virtual riot shield, and other configurations) in the case of police and military personnel. This affinity for swords comes, again, from their deep connection to music, and in this case, dance. Their long-standing love of bladed weapons comes from ancestral sword-dances, and even today, their techniques with the blade are more akin to a dance than mere fighting.

Watching the vossarulls fight in hand-to-hand combat is, in short, like watching particularly aggressive ballet with, as humans are fond of saying, “more airborne cutlery”.

The song of the universe: While the interaction between a koetaani’s Metastatic packet and his genetic make-up produces a naturally telepathic being, this interaction produces a different effect in the case of the vossarulls, conferring a very different Metastatic ability upon them. To them, the whole universe is sound, and their Metastatic ability is simply being able to more closely hear what the vossarulls call ‘the song of the universe’.

This concept is somewhat alien to any species that’s not the vossarulls, but in essence, it can be thought of as the fabric of reality, as translated into an auditory form, a way of hearing the patterns of existence. The applications of this are manifold, from giving the vossarulls an edge in combat (by reading the ‘notes’ in the universal song, allowing them to predict what an enemy combatant will do next), to letting them experience a closer bond with their partner, in dances or, as is often the case after those dances, romantic affiliations.

This, in essence, is why vossarulls are chosen for the timbre of their voice, for diplomatic, political and leadership roles; the stronger or sweeter the voice, the closer the affinity with the song of the universe, and thus, the more likely that the vossarull in question will be able to make good choices. The record for the closest connection to the song of the universe is still held by the Diva who led the Vossarull Ensemble during the Abyssal War, and who is to this day recognised as the greatest leader their species has ever had, Diva Mellifluous III.

Weaponised sound: If a deep affinity for swords and bladed weapons is one of the quirks of the vossarulls, then the other must surely be their collective loathing of projectile weapons. To the vossarulls, the gravity-accelerator projectile weapons used by the majority of the Cynos are an inelegant way to fight, and instead, this operatic species uses sonic weapons, a fact they feel more befits their essential nature.

Thus, while the assault rifle used by a human or a sookas would fire metapellet ammunition, a vossarull assault rifle is made up of a long series of sequential, piezoelectric sound amplifiers, designed to project a laser-thin beam of concentrated ultrasound at the target. This causes extreme cavitation within the target, and at maximum power, will even melt the target from the inside, while leaving a glowing plasma trail in the air, such is the excitation of the air molecules hit by the beam. Conversely, at low power, these sonic weapons are the only ones in the Cynos to have a built-in stun setting.

Naturally, the sonic nature of vossarull weaponry means that their ranged weapons cannot be used in the vacuum of space. Hence, vossarull starships are an extension of the shieldsticks carried by military personnel, with variable geometry shield emitters and hardened hulls, designed to let them survive high velocity impacts with other ships. Vossarull ships are thus the galaxy’s only known example of melee dogfighters.