The Mwoah

The Mwoah are a young major race native to the Greater Magellanic Cloud.They are unusual in that they are a sentient herbivorous race, and thissimple fact has a profound influence on their culture. The Mwoah have adeep instinctive mistrust, bordering on hatred, of all carnivorous andomnivorous species. Whilst they acknowledge the ecological need for suchpredators, they are driven to control and limit them to the absolute minimumnecessary. Given that virtually all intelligent lifeforms have evolvedfrom either carnivores or omnivores, this has put the Mwoah at odds withvirtually every other sentient race in the Cloud.

Physiology

The Mwoah are descended from forest dwelling bipedal herbivore/intermittentstock. They are individually physically unimpressive, massing approximately75kg and standing around 1.6 metres tall. This impression is however misleading,their forest heritage has given them excellent reflexes and an acute senseof hearing. Their upper manipulatory limbs end in a five fingered handwith an opposable thumb remarkably similar to a Human hand (to the extentthat Mwoah and Humans can use may tools designed for the other race withno difficulty). Their lower locomotory limbs end in a foot with five digitsvery similar to their hand. This foot is also capable of fine manipulationrivalling their hand. They have a six chambered heart and a closed respiratorysystem; unlike humans they use a copper based haemoglobin, which givesthem their distinctive blue skin tone. They have a covering of short finehairs except on their short tail, which is thickly covered forming a distinctive“brush”. It is this brush that is believed to have lead the common Terranslang term (Squirrels) for them.

The Mwoah have two sexes, and reach full sexual maturity after about15 standard years. Females have a gestation period of 31 standard weeksand bear their young either singly or in pairs (approximately 10% of allbirths are twins). The average Mwoah lifespan is 80 years, with an upperlimit of around 100 years. Whilst Mwoah eyesight is adequate at short distances,it rapidly deteriorates past 50 metres; the Mwoah’s primary sense is hearing.The Mwoah rely on a form of natural sonar, which enables them to “see”with great accuracy.

The Mwoah Homeworld

Mwo orbits Luat, a solitary F5V star at a distance of 239,300,000km. Mwohas an orbital period of 474.833 days and rotates on it’s axis once every44 hours (giving a local year of 259 local days). Mwo has an axial tiltof 16° and an orbital eccentricity of 0.005. Mwo has three small naturalsatellites: Essa, with a diameter of 100km, Rogal, with a diameter of 150km,and Traln, with a diameter of 220km. Mwo has an albedo of 0.34, a greenhouseeffect of 10%, giving an average surface temperature of 20.6° Celsius.8% of Mwo’s surface is covered by ice caps, 71% by water; the vast majorityof it’s land surface is covered in dense forests.

Mwo has a population of 20 billion, of whom 97% are Mwoah, the other3% are various subject races. Mwo is capital of the Mwoah Unity and isgoverned directly by the Unity’s ruling Council of Nine.

History

The Mwoah evolved from tree dwelling herbivorous intermittents in thetropical forests in Mwo’s mid latitudes. The pre-sentient Mwoah roamedthese forests in social groupings termed “Troops” of between eight andeighteen individuals. It is theorised that the Mwoah developed intelligenceas a defence against the many predators found in these prehistoric forestsapproximately two and a half million years ago. With the development ofsentience came the slow development of language and basic technology suchas crude tools and weapons. The Mwoah’s social evolution was rather slow,with evidence indicating that the Mwoah did not develop social groupingslarger than the troop until approximately 50,000 years ago. However withthe evolution of “Hearths” of between two and eight troops, the Mwoah’sdevelopment accelerated. The invention of firemaking techniques appearsto have been crucial to this development. Approximately 25,000 years agothe Mwoah developed primitive agriculture, allowing for the first permanentMwoah settlements. The first Mwoah cities developed around 10,000 yearsago, by which time the Mwoah had reached a solid TL 1. By this time theMwoah’s rate of social development had started to pick up. As far as canbe established, the first Mwoah nations came into being in approximately-7,500T, when several Mwoah cities formed a trade alliance.

With the coming of the nation, the Mwoah appear to have developed organisedwarfare. It would appear that despite being herbivores, the strong territorialinstinct of the pre-historic Mwoah had lead to frequent conflicts betweenthe various groups of Mwoah. These conflicts evolved into fully fledgedwarfare during the early development of the Mwoah nationstate. Indeed,these wars were extremely vicious and brutal, far more than those of mostother species; some sophontologists theorise that the herbivorous natureof the Mwoah had prevented them from developing many of the social restraintsthat characterise carnivorous and omnivorous races in this regard.

The Mwoah refer to this period of their history as the Mwoalysatr (timeof Kinslaying). By around -3,800T the Mwoah had achieved TL 2 and perfectedthe art of war to an extent that it had come to seriously threaten theircivilisation. It was now not uncommon for entire nations to be exterminatedwhen defeated in war. It was apparent to a number of Mwoah intellectualsthat the Mwoalysatr would have to be moderated if the Mwoah were not toface disaster. In -3,647T a group of these intellectuals (the Rewalwseror Great Old Ones) proposed the Code of the Nine that is now the predominantMwoah world view. This code put forward that the Mwoah were created bya single entity (Mwoferaa or Creator) to be supreme as they alone had intellectand that to kill another Mwoah makes the killer no longer a Mwoah (actuallyit makes the killer less than a carnivore). Over the next six to sevenhundred years the Mwoah gradually adopted the Code of Nine and the Mwoalysatrcame to an end. In it’s place came an extremely ritualised form of warfarebased on a form of non-lethal combat between specially chosen champions.Without the pressure of the brutal wars the Mwoah’s development slowed,but they avoided their civilisation collapsing.

With the stabilisation of their culture, the Mwoah underwent somethingof a philosophical flowering. The basic Code of Nine was debated and greatlymodified. Gradually the Mwoah came peaceably to be ruled by a world overcouncil,which was later to evolve into the Council of Nine that now rules the MwoahUnity.

With the ritualisation of warfare, technological development slowed.The Mwoah only entered their industrial revolution in 982T. Many Terranscientists have postulated that the Mwoah were discovered by the Terransbefore they had reached into space. Indeed it is quite possible that thismay have happened, but no evidence has ever been unearthed to support thistheory. Even if the Terrans did discover the Mwoah before they had reachedspace, it remains a fact that the Mwoah did develop jump drives independently.

In 1245T the Mwoah had achieved TL 7 and commenced the exploration ofspace. Initially the Mwoah showed little interest in space and the exploitationof their home system was a slow process. However in 1678T the Mwoah discoveredthe principles of jump drive. The first Mwoah missions to the stars discoveredother intelligent races. This appears to have sparked a crisis of faithfor the Mwoah. The Code of Nine stated that they alone had intelligence,but now they had proof that this was not true. This lead to a modificationof the Code, no longer were the Mwoah supreme because they had intelligence,they were supreme because of all the races they encountered, only the Mwoahdid not need to kill to survive. Naturally the existence of intelligentcarnivores posed a great perceived threat to the Mwoah. Their responsewas to revive the art of war. Every intelligent race of carnivores or omnivoreshad to be subjugated or exterminated. As before, Mwoah warfare is extremelybrutal and vicious. The Mwoah think nothing of genocide of “lesser races”.Indeed their basic philosophy rejects the concept of intelligent carnivores.To the Mwoah, that a race must kill to survive negates the possibilityof true intelligence.

In 2171T the Mwoah came into contact with the expanding Magellanic Empire.Prior to this the Mwoah had contacted and either sterilised or subjugateda number of other races, but they had never encountered an organised starfaringstate before. The Empire was almost instantly classified as the major threatto the Unity and the Mwoah response was hostile. Initially these hostilitieswere limited to minor skirmishing and covert operations, but in 2197T theFirst Mwoah War erupted over attempts by the Empire to assist non-Mwoahworlds on their frontier. The war was a protracted affair for the Mwoah,technologically inferior to the Empire and at a theoretical numerical disadvantage,they nonetheless forced the Empire back across the Diska Rift. Howeverthis was only achieved at considerable cost. The Mwoah had committed virtuallytheir entire resources to the War and had suffered heavy casualties. Afterthe war, the Unity had to devote considerable resources to rebuilding theireconomy and could not absorb the large number of worlds that had now falleninto their sphere of influence. Instead the Mwoah choose to absorb a numberof strategic worlds to secure their frontier.

Their continuing efforts to build a strong secure frontier buffer ultimatelylead to the Second Mwoah War. In 2293T, the Mwoah attempted to secure theJneril world of Hrali. The Magellanic Empire responded with force and warensued. The war initially went well for the Mwoah. They pushed into thefrontier districts of the Empire and appeared certain to defeat the Empireyet again. However in 2297T their Grand Fleet was smashed at the Battleof Hastur and the initiative was lost to the Empire. Unable to rebuildtheir fleet the Unity was forced back out of the Empire and ultimatelylost control of the jump 2 route across the Diska Rift.

During the war, the Mwoah had been considerably hampered by uprisingsand unrest on the many unabsorbed Human worlds within their sphere of influence.This unrest had diverted considerable strength away from the vital frontlineforces. To deal with this the Mwoah instituted their infamous “reservations”policy. Under this policy many Human and other non-Mwoah populations weredeported from their homeworlds and confined to a limited number of “reservation”worlds under the direct rule of the Council of Nine. Naturally some worldsresisted this; these worlds were brutally sterilised as examples. Howeverthe policy appears to have been successful in achieving it’s goals. Potentiallyrebellious populations have been relocated and restricted in small controllableareas and the stability of the Unity has been greatly enhanced.

With the end of the war, the focus of Mwoah expansion shifted. No longerable to expand towards the Magellanic Empire, the Unity’s main focus forexpansion is now to homeward. However the formation of the Civtra Confederation(a Human Diadochi state friendly to the Magellanic Empire) this may change.With a powerful Human state on the homeward side of the Diska Rift, theUnity now faces a major threat on it’s voidward border. Many analysts agreethat it is likely that the Unity will act to neutralise this threat inthe near future. It is considered that this is likely to draw the MagellanicEmpire into yet another war with the Unity.

Language

As might be expected for a race whose major sense is sound, Mwoah languageis a rich and complex method of communication. Most outside observers regardthe Mwoah as having a single language. There are actually three major Mwoahlanguages: Resimwo, Resilala, and Resiartin; all of these are very closelyrelated and a speaker of any one of them can effectively communicate witha speaker of either of the other two with little difficulty. The differencesbetween these languages are extremely subtle, to the point of being almostindistinguishable to non-Mwoah. Most non-Mwoah learn a simplified languagecalled Somaresi that combines elements of all three and all non-Mwoah withinthe Mwoah Unity are required to learn it. The Unity goes to great lengthsto discourage it’s non-Mwoah subjects from using their native languagesand many of these native languages have been totally prohibited. Maganglicand virtually all other human languages are included in this group of prohibitedlanguages as part of the Unity’s program of destroying the Terran culturewithin their domain. Despite this, Maganglic and other Terran languagesare still widely spoken amongst Humans in the Mwoah Unity.

Calender

The Mwoah calendar is based on Mwo’s local year of 259 days each of44 standard hours. A Mwoah year is called a vitr; unlike most other races,the Mwoah have only one temporal division between the year and day. Eachvitr is divided into 7 straaks of 37 fworas (days), a straak is equal to67.833 standard days. Each fwora is divided into 25 ulitns (hours), eachulitn is divided into 100 wrials (minutes), and each wrial is divided into100 tronac (seconds). A tronac is equivalent to 0.6336 standard seconds.Mwoah dates are written in the following format: straak-fwora/vitr<ulitn:wrial:tronac>.This calendar is used throughout Mwoah space. The use of other calendersis prohibited, but many Humans continue to use the standard Terran systemdespite the heavy penalties that this can incur.

Psionics

The Mwoah have not developed psionics to any great level. Very littleresearch has been done regarding the psionic potential of the Mwoah, butfrom what little is available it would appear that whilst the Mwoah dohave an innate potential for psionics, it is lower than that of Humans.The Mwoah themselves regard psionics as a curiosity, but pay only scantattention to such abilities. The differing brain structure and thoughtprocesses of Humans and Mwoah means that neither race can utilise telepathyon the other.

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