Daharrans, The

Daharran Calligraphy

Daharran Calligraphy tinted
Image from Mikael Johansson
approximate translation: You (2nd person singular) will watch! as we three are reigning until we three will transcend using cooperation through alertness

A tragic victim of cross-species congress, the Daharrans are a xenosophont species with a biochemistry that resembles Terran biology; they breathe a human-breathable oxygen atmosphere and are land-living omnivores from a terrestrial world. They look like a combination of crustaceans and mammals, with a partial chitinous shell and long fur between the plates. They have four limbs for walking and four smaller limbs for manipulation on a raisable torso, giving them a somewhat centaur-like appearance. The brain runs along the body in segments, giving them excellent multitasking abilities. They have a corona of sensory tendrils at the end of their upper torso, which also secretes a tar-like scent signature.

Daharrans have three main genders: males, females and neuter nest-tenders who care for the young. Nest-tenders are larger and somewhat more intelligent than the males and females, and have by tradition held the position of family heads while the males and females have had somewhat subordinate roles. Over time this developed into various caste systems, different in different cultures.

First contact with the Daharrans was made in 6259 by a ComEmp Loyalist expedition to the Chronos Cluster. The Loyalists are a semi-religious association from the inner Hinteregions, trying to emulate the ComEmp in the outer volumes. The Loyalists quickly began contact with the somewhat backward Daharrans, who had been existing in a stable shamanic paleolithic-analogue state for some ten million years (although Daharrus sapiens only evolved some 600,000 years ago (about equivalent to early (pre-neanderthal) Homo heidelbergensis) earlier species like Daharrus antecessor and Paleodaharrus maturans were using chitinous and even stone tools as long ago as five to ten million years).

In 7702 the Daharran Unity was formed. The humans found ways they could mesh with the Daharran sex-caste systems, especially after some genetic tweaking. The result was at first a vigorous and ambitious culture, constructing megastructures, powerful ISOs and starships in order to become the major power of the cluster, with a prospect of diverse connections with the Terragen Sphere.

In 9200, the Daharran Unity abruptly changed course and isolated itself, for reasons still not entirely understood, after the Advance Party had won a landslide election. For the next century not much was heard from the Unity, until Daharran Prime suddenly vanished in 9343. Investigations revealed that the Advance Party had converted it and much of the system (planets, structures, inhabitants) into a black hole in order to achieve the sacred mass; now they were busy hunting more mass under the slogan "Strength — Unity — Mass". They conquered the Chronos Cluster, systematically eradicating everyone and everything in their path, until they ran afoul of the Quasar Dynamic Fleet in 9800; since then the Daharran Advance has been forced back at an accelerating rate, and some projections calculate that, apart from a few isolated outsystem clades and colonies, the Daharrans and their human allies will be extinct within a century.

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Development Notes
Text by Anders Sandberg
M. Alan Kazlev
Initially published on 08 July 2000.