The Venhokwe are an ancient race of beings that evolved in the Andromeda Galaxy. They were involved in an immense war with the The Sequence. After such a war, they vanished from the universe. In reality, they were transported to another universe, where they became Ultraterrestrials. They now exist as inter-universal nomads.
The Venhokwe were, by their own reckoning, the oldest civilisation in the universe. This has been disproved several times over, but they were at least the oldest known civilisation in the Andromeda galaxy. Before achieving meaningful space travel, the Venhokwe were united on their world by a single culture that viewed itself as the centre of the universe as ordered by Heaven, which they carried into space with them. When they found space to be devoid of any other intelligent life, they began to view themselves as bringing the light of their civilisation to derelict darkness.
They did not consider The Artifacts evidence of other civilisation. Instead they viewed them as objects from Heaven.
The Venhokwe expanded to a third of the Andromeda before other civilisations began appearing. The Venhokwe took these civilisations as tributaries, and in return uplifted them with advanced technology and assimilated them into Venhokwe philosophy. They were a rather arrogant and self-important power, but in their own view they were merely spreading the will of Heaven.
The centre-of-everything worldview of the Venhokwe remained unchallenged as their empire filled in the last empty corners of the Andromeda and flooded into its satellite galaxies. As they began to their way into a second great spiral galaxy (not the Milky Way nor Triangulum), they encountered the evidence of another civilisation; great automated production facilities. The Venhokwe attempted to discover the owner of these facilities so that they may join the Hegemony, but were soon attacked by a ship freshly built by the facilities.
It was eventually determined that the facilites belonged to a power composed entirely out of automation and robotics, known as The Sequence. The Sequence began a massive invasion of the Andromeda galaxy, exterminating the Venhokwe and usurping their infrastructure. Venhokwe ships were not built for combat and therefore could fight the Sequence, but they did have a warrior class that could fight the Sequence ground forces. Ultimately the Venhokwe were able to craft sufficient ship-mounted weapons and fight back, but by this time most of Venhokwe society had been wiped out. The Sequence galaxy was subject to numerous gridfire weapons and completely obliterated without a trace.
The victory was a pyrrhic one, as the Venhokwe did not have enough population nor infrastructure left to rebuild their empire quick enough to maintain dominance. They believed that they had lost the favour of heaven, and the great bulk of their civilisation left the universe in an attempted mass-suicide.
Instead of oblivion, the Venhokwe found themselves in another universe; a universe of asteroids floating in a nebular void with no other life. In this world, the Venhokwe dedicated themselves to the progression of their technology and spirituality, until they were able to transcend their mortal forces to become a higher form of life. They chose at this point to travel from universe to universe as nomads.
Not all Venhokwe joined in the failed suicide into a new dimension. Many stayed in Andromeda and continued in a smaller, less hegemonic, state. These Venhokwe too dedicated themselves to transcendence, but chose to study ancient occult and arcane theories, and ultimately joined the Eola'Nar. With that, the Venhokwe had completed their evolution to ultraterrestrial life.
The Venhokwe culture heavily revolved around the pursuit of knowledge and education. At the height of the Oligarchy, all physical labour had been automated, and so every individual Venhokwe dedicated themselves to learning or teaching. Universities and academies are the most important institutions in the state, and every Venhokwe spends at least half their lifetime in one.
There was also heavy emphasis on respecting the existing power structures. Children were to respect their parents, students were to respect their teachers, citizens were to respect the Chancellor, et cetera.
Chapters in Venhokwe society were a blend of social caste, corporation, political party, and school house. Children were sorted into different chapters at the end of their basic education. Residential areas were segregated along chapter lines, although most public areas were shared. Each house had alchemic properties assigned to it, which were little more than symbolic, and each had a distinct art form associated with it, and a distinct study of arcane and occult elements, which they all kept to themselves.
A Venhokwe was allowed to change their chapter depending on certain circumstances. Joining the military, for instance, automatically switches a Venhokwe to the Fire Chapter.
- Founder: Ravas-Po
- Colours:Brown, Black
- Direction: South
- Art: Drama
The Venhokwe hold a simple religion of the veneration of ancestors and forces of nature, and the belief in a universal order of which they were a part. This religion was nearly universal in the Oligarchy, and played a major role in day to day life and politics. They did not believe in any deities beyond their abstract perceptions of natural forces. They believed in a Heaven as a higher authority than themselves, but did not view it as run by deities, but rather their deceased ancestors. The Venhokwe culture and worldview was supposedly given to them by Heaven in ancient times.
The Venhokwe were the sole species of the Venhokwe Oligarchy; no other sapient species existed at its conception and subsequent civilisations were kept insular and stable by Venhokwe influence.
The Venhokwe were a carbon-based bipedal vertebrate species with a light silicon-based exoskeleton. They originated on the planet Versyon, which orbited a brown dwarf star which in turn orbited a blue giant star. They were an omnivorous species with a tri-radial mouth. Their eyes can see light from the far-infrared to the near-ultraviolet.
The Venhokwe originally reproduced in a caste-like manner, with a caste of fertile individuals and a caste of infertile workers born from egg clusters. When Venhokwe technology managed to automate all manual labour, it was chosen to genetically modify the entire species to cease producing workers.
The Venhokwe originated on the planet Versyon, which was located in the outer core region of the Andromeda galaxy, in the area modern civilisations refer to as Segmentum Crepusculum. This planet has since been obliterated by its parent star's supernova.
At its height, the Venhokwe Oligarchy (including tributaries) spanned the entirety of the Andromeda Galaxy and had begun settling the galaxies satellites. The capital of this empire was the homeworld of Versyon, and transit was maintained through freight shipping and wormholes.
After the Sequence War and the evacuation, the remnant Oligarchy resided in what view planets were left untouched. Versyon was one, and continued to function as capital of a much smaller territory that controlled most of what is now considered Segmentum Mechanicum.
The government of the Venhokwe Oligarchy had a distinct separation of powers along the lines of executive and legislature. Unlike most civilisations with similar separation of power, the judiciary was not distinct from the legislature.
The legislative power of the Oligarchy was led by a unicameral council of twenty-one Venhokwe oligarchs referred to as The Light of Versyon. The Light had the power to enact, amend, and appeal public policy through a simple majority. Each Chapter had three members in the Light, each appointed in their own way. The Oligarchy was republican, but not democratic. The judiciary system was invested individually among the chapters and their leadership, although the Light held the position of highest judicial authority.
The executive power of the Oligarchy was invested in the Chancellor, who was also a member of the Light of Versyon. The Chancellor wass responsible for the daily administration of the state and the execution of the instruction of the Light. The position was appointed by rotor, cycling through the chapters.
Venhokwe foreign policy was characterised by its demeaning and hegemonic nature. The Venhokwe viewed themselves as having an authority over the universe invested in them by Heaven, and therefore viewed anything beyond them as unenlightened, lesser beings that needed to be brought under Heavenly sway.
The Venhokwe began to expand their empire long before any other civilisation in the Andromeda did, and thus by the other races began to explore the world the Venhokwe had reached a sort of critical mass of might as to not be resisted. The Venhokwe would turn these fledging powers into tributary states. The Venhokwe would give their tributaries their vast scientific knowledge and protection in exchange for the tributaries surrendering their collective knowledge and adopting a Venhokwe way of life.
The only challenge to the Venhokwe hegemony came from the automated empire known as The Sequence. The Sequence viewed the Venhokwe as a threat and obstacle to its expansion and thus attempted to exterminate them. The resulting war resulted in the downfall of both empires.
Despite being one of the most powerful civilisations known to history, much of the Venhokwe's power was soft power. Thus, the Venhokwe military was more or less a glorified security service prior to the Sequence War.
The military was run jointly by the Chapters of Fire and Cosmos, providing soldiers and strategists respectively. Venhokwe soldiers were trained in the martial use of Mystic Energy. They did not concern themselves with technological weapons, as they did not require them. They had the skills to defeat hundreds of opponents, but the peaceful nature of Venhokwe existence gave them very little combat experience. They were ultimately overwhelmed by the innumerable robotic legions of the Sequence.
The Venhokwe Navy was developed only in the latter stages of the Sequence War, when its existence was determined necessary. Warships were constructed with modified freighter designs, given more reflective armour, enhanced energy shields, and antiproton based weaponry. Personnel were conscripted from all Chapters. The Navy succeeded in fighting the Sequence out of the galaxy, but was not developed in time to save the Oligarchy.
The Venhokwe in their endgame made use of an enormously powerful gridfire weapon. The technology was developed for stellar manipulation and experimentation purposes, but was pressed into military use when the strategist realised what they could do with it.
- The Venhokwe draw inspiration from the Forerunners from Halo, the Time Lords from Doctor Who, and pre-republic China.