Foes of the UNSEO: The Hanrul

I’ve been working on a post using the Mercury6 symplectic integrator to analyze the stability of the Yaccatrice System. It’s been a long learning experience, and I think I screwed up entering the initial Orbital State Vectors. Sky Moon fell into Cintilla in less than nine days and Yaccatrice continued in a wildly eccentric orbit for several years thereafter. I expected that Yaccatrice might not have been stable, but I find it really unlikely that tidal forces could have pulled the gas giant out of a circular orbit in just a little over one time step(of 8 days). Even less likely that a moon of that planet would have survived as long as Yaccatrice did. I need to go back and recalculate those position and velocity vectors. This may take awhile…

In the meantime, I’ll post an alien species description from my notebook.


The Hanrul began as kind of a cross between Kzinti, Ferengi and Vulcans, with many of the worst aspects of the stereotypical steampunk mad scientist.

Coldly unemotional and ruthlessly exploitative at best. Often cold-blooded sophontocidal cannibalistic psychopaths.

The currently dominant culture of the Hanrul is one of the most technologically advanced societies yet contacted by humanity. In some areas, particularly biotech, the Hanrul are more advanced than humans. Their technology is frequently odd to the point of inefficiency as a result of their Mad Scientist culture. It’s important, in spite of the term Mad Scientist, that while technologically advanced, the Hanrul have little concept of science as such.

Hanrul also show little evidence of any concept of other people as independent thinking entities with feelings that matter. Both among themselves and with individuals of other species, the Hanrul are utterly callous and without empathy. Such ethics as the Hanrul have, mostly resemble Ayn Rand’s Objectivism.

Hanrul are very prickly about their byzantine hierarchy of social status. They are quick to offense and equally quick to offend. Hanrul typically require long drawn-out introductions in order to fully acquaint others  to their status in a large number of overlapping and interlocking social spheres. It’s also nearly a universal in Hanrul society that listening closely to an introduction is a tacit admission that the other is a superior. Hanrul social norms seem almost designed to make ignorance of status quickly evident. These things, along with oddities of Hanrul reproduction, tend to make life on Sylan short, dangerous and violent. Rising through the ranks by assassination and duels is the norm for Hanrul.

Although horribly xenophobic, with an inhuman(in all the worst senses) psychology, the Hanrul are biologically very similar to humans. This has made humans useful subjects for Hanrul genetic experimentation and vivisection. They do the same to low-status members of their own species.

Economic domination and selfishness is central to Hanrul culture. Their society is cemented together by Exploitation Societies great and minor.

Although humans find Hanrul culture disturbing (with good reason), and believe that individual Hanrul could grow up to be decent and productive members of galactic society if separated from their toxic culture, the experiment has never been tried. The act of removing people from their own society and forcing them to grow up in an alien environment against their will is considered against human ethics. Even given a lapse in ethics, the Hanrul are advanced and strong enough to fiercely resist any such effort.

The United Nations of Sol and polities of many neighboring sapient species resist Hanrul exploitation of other sapient species when possible, but otherwise long-term plans for dealing with the Hanrul are still very much a matter of debate.

The Hanrul didn’t have FTL technology until they gained it after first contact with the Solar Union.

Physical Appearance

Hanrul look something like an octopodal cross between a glossy patent leather wasp, and a centaur, with vicious crab claws.

The four legs on the Hanrul’s abdomen are used for walking. The two upper arms on the thorax end in hands with three opposed thumbs, and are used for manipulation. The two lower arms are greatly increased in size and end in claws which are used in combat and to help climb.


Large numbers of eggs are laid and cared for in communal hatching grottoes. Modern Hanrul cities often use sewage and other refuse to create a nutrient-rich mulch upon which the young larvae feed. Criminals and low-status Hanrul are frequently dropped into the spawning pits to feed adolescent Hanrul. The young also often fight and each other, helping to whittle numbers down from ridiculously excessive to merely excessive when they finally emerge as young males from the pits.

Conflict continues for these males. In the dominant Sylan language, the world for male can also be translated as, “cannon fodder.” Even with the further whittling of the male population by continuous warfare with other Hanrul and neighboring species, population pressures remain fierce.

Those males who manage to survive and fight to earn the right to mate, will impregnate the female with hundreds of eggs. Laying eggs renders the female terribly hungry, and she will try to eat everything she can catch. Mating chambers are always well-stocked with food, because the female can easily die from the stress of laying so many eggs. She will still try very hard to eat her mate.

Provided the male manages to avoid being devoured by his mate, he will begin to go through a metamorphosis into another female. Hanrul females can live for centuries, and are capable of producing a clutch about twice an Earth year. In practice, they only lay eggs a couple times a decade, because of the immense stress involved.

Sylan Empire

Sylan, the homeworld of the Hanrul, is still divided bitterly into small sovereign entities, often overlapping and with disparate systems of social organization. The global organization, which humans refer to as the Sylan Empire, is at best a loose confederacy consisting of a handful of “international” alliances.

An innovation of the new global culture is a harsh meritocracy that makes it costly and possibly deadly to rise above one’s level of competence.

Since expanding into interstellar space, the Sylan Empire has colonized several worlds and enslaved at least one primitive sapient species.

Although often only tenuously disciplined, the Sylan military is strong, technologically fairly advanced and highly aggressive. The Sylan Empire is widely considered a threat to its neighbors.

Hopefully, more to come soon. Sylan obviously needs some specs and maps…

The Astrographer

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