BARD I
con BARD
Icon BARD PAPER: CARI8005

| Home | Traveller | BARD | CARI |


Irhadre

by James Maliszewski

Homeworld: Chanadre (Lishun x) is a desert world with little free-standing water.

Physiology

No amount of genetic drift or environmental adaptation can change the fact that the Irhadre are humans. Difference with the Solomani is slight, and points to the overall homogeneity of the human race within the grand scheme of things.

Height and weight: Most Irhadre males stand approximately 1.7 meters tall, and females are only slightly shorter. The average Irhadre weighs around 70 kg (whether male or female).

To conserve water, the Irhadre possess a greater amount of body fat than do many human races. This mechanism is quite different from most water- retention measures seen in nature. This leads many to believe it is an adaptation introduced by the Ancients.

Appearance: Their appearance is distinctive. Most look portly, but the extra body fat is not overly great. Their skin is somewhat parched and taut, normal for a desert race. Their additional body fat does not hang loose over their frames, but is evenly distributed and makes them appear larger, but not obese.

Dark hair and dark eyes are both the norms. A chance mutation has led to one in about 1000 Irhadre having blond hair.

Diet: Chanadre's native biochemistry differed little from Terra's, so there was no need for food preparation as on Vland.

Omnivorous, like most humans. Even so, their diet contains a great amount of vegetable matter. Many of their homeworld's desert plants have a high water content. In ancient times, these plants meant survival rather than anything having to do with taste. As the Irhadre came to control more of their world's environment, taste did come to be a factor. Many of these desert plants are well-liked among the Irhadre population.

Reproduction: This facet of Irhadre physiology differs from Solomani- Vilani norms in no way. Like most other human females, Irhadre females give birth to live infants after a nine-month gestation period. Multiple births are as likely as on many other worlds.

Senses: For the most part, Irhadre senses are no better or worse than those of other humans. Since blinding sand storms often make the eyes useless, the Irhadre have developed much keener senses of touch and smell. These senses are perhaps only marginally more sensitive than those of most humans, but they are more sensitive nonetheless. In some individuals, the degree of sensitivity is indeed much greater and noticeably so.

Anatomy: Differs little from other humans, except for the already- mentioned additional body fat. Ears are slightly pulled back to better protect against sand being blown into them. Eyes are much more slit-like for similar reasons. These adaptations are believed to be natural, whereas the body fat is believed to have been geneered.

Lifespan: Short, by comparison to other humans throughout charted space. Most individuals can expect to live about 65 years. The upper limit is about 10-15 years longer. Anagathics have their normal effects.

Blood Types: These include Q, R, V, and Z, with the dominant types being Q and Z.


Psychology

Three basic drives and ideals make up the Irhadre psychology: superiority, survival, and conservatism. One must understand these within the context of Irhadre society to begin to understand the Irhadre psyche.

Superiority is fairly straight-forward. Like many races, major and minor, Irhadre see themselves as inherently superior to all other sophonts. They base their claim on numerous factors, chief of which is their ability to survive and thrive in their homeworld's hostile environment.

The distinction between major and minor race based on the development of jump drive is meaningless, say the Irhadre. What use is jump drive if a so- called major race is not inherently superior? It is the strength of a race, its endurance in the face of the odds, that truly set it apart.

The superiority complex does not restrict itself to the purely physical nature of survival. That is, merely being physically able to withstand adversity is not enough. Like the jump drive, physical strength is useless if not used properly. The Irhadre also laud metal stamina: great concentration and strength of mind are also part of the Irhadre psyche. Most Irhadre are able to ignore the effects of pains and wounds , at least as far as their fellows are concerned.

There is no evidence that the Irhadre can actually endure greater levels of physical pain than any other humans, but they can put up a good front of not being in pain, since doing otherwise would be seen as a weakness. Asking for help and giving in to suffering is seen as something for lesser beings. This is what separates Irhadre from other beings.

This whole mindset developed from the physical nature of their adopted homeworld, Chanadre. A desert word where death is always nearby, the Irhadre developed physical and mental means of coping. The Irhadre have become rather dispassionate and stoic about pain and suffering. The concepts have almost no meaning to them - or at least they act that way. Showing concern over a fellow man or giving in to feelings of sadness over the loss of another would distract one from the business of keeping alive. That could be dangerous.

Some theorize that this stoicness and feeling of superiority is a form of psychological suppression. The Irhadre fully realize the dire straits they were in, and built up this whole belief structure as a psychological crutch.

Survival instinct. The Irhadre are a somewhat bellicose race. Verbal confrontations and insult matches are common. While not unknown, however, physical violence is rarely used among their own people. Killing one's own people would not be productive when everyone in their society had to pull his weight. Verbal violence vents anger without causing permanent harm. Some consider Irhadre the masters of verbal insult throughout known space.

Irhadre do not care for their sick and wounded to any great degree. First, to do so would be a sign of weakness. Second, wounded person would slow down a group and bring more problems in Chanadre's environment. While they do not seek to cause harm where is noe (without reason), neither do they seek to remedy harm. They consider it already too late by that point.

Healthy Irhadre pull together when the chips are down. They can be quite effective in combat, since they will protect one another as long as they are not wounded. Also, since they do not heal the sick with any regularity, they also are not slowed down as some armies might be by such actions.

Conservatism. Finally, like the Vilani and other human races which developed on hostile worlds, the Irhadre are rather conservative. Since death was always nearby, whatever saved one from death was seen as good. There is no need to change what is good so long as it is indeed good. Thus, the Irhadre are very slow to change things or to deviate from traditional methods. Many old and outdated customs continue.


Society and Culture

The one aspect of Irhadre culture which most people know about is the ritual slavery in which half of the adult population is kept. While slavery is an appropriate word to describe this aspect of Irhadre society, there are several points that must be made clear before passing judgement.

First, the slavery certainly restricts the rights and privileges of those so bound. This slavery, however, is not hereditary and is not restricted to those already bound or their descendants. The children of present slaves may be free upon reaching adulthood, while the sons of freemen may become slaves.

The means by which this is achieved is the ritual aspect of slavery. In ancient times, the very harshness of Chanadre dictated that certain people be charged with certain tasks essential to their society. For instance, they needed people to gather the plants from which they much of their water. Also, automatic obedience to orders was needed. Ritual slavery was introduced to solve this situation.

Upon reaching adulthood (sixteen years of age), various tests and tasks are administered and certain quasi-religious rituals. Based on the interpretation of the results, one may be assigned to life as a slave or as a freeman. Slaves are assigned to the homes of freemen and to the Irhadre government. Much of today's planetary bureaucracy is run by slaves.

Slaves are not eligible to vote or hold public office, although civil service jobs are held exclusively by slaves. They may not own property or ever use weapons. Their movements are restricted, and need authorization to leave certain areas.

Slaves are well-treated. Provided that the do their jobs well, they will be rewarded. One reward is the right to marry (another slave) as well as to educate one's children. Both freemen's and slave's children attend the same schools, to ensure the fairness of the adulthood ritual. However, poorly- working slaves may not win the right to educate their children, and so condemn them to slavery.

Since ancient times, Irhadre leaders have had sweeping powers to ensure the well-being of the whole society. These leaders, with popular approval, decided on the institution of slavery to ensure survival.

Irhadre society is relatively well-ordered. All members know their place, and civil strife is rare. Government is representative. A fair degree of civil control is common.

The Irhadre have always had some difficulty with the Imperial practice of leaving planets to themselves. A greater degree of control within the Imperium has always been an Irhadre hope. For that reason, their sympathies in the Rebellion are with Dulinor.


Traveller is a registered trademark of Far Future Enterprises. Portions of this material are © 1977-1996 Far Future Enterprises