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The Virmirians are a race of fish humanoids inhabiting the Sagittarius Arm of the Milky Way galaxy, along with elements of the Perseus and Outer Arms. Their homeworld is the water-covered world Serepenti, located inside the Sagittarius Arm.
The Virmirians are believed to have originated from fish organisms on their homeworld, Serepenti. Due to the lack of land mass, the fishlife evolved and became the planet's rulers rather than the reptiles or mammals. After millions of years, the Virmirians' ancestors achieved early sentience and the ability to breathe and move on land. The Forerunners discovered the creatures and decided to protect them from the firing of the Halo Array. To do this, instead of bringing them to the Ark like the other races of the Milky Way, Serepenti's moon was turned into a Shield World and the Virmirians were taken there through a portal on Serepenti.
After the Halo Array had fired and the Flood had been halted, the Virmirians were returned to their homeworld through the same portal that took them to their Dyson Sphere. As they evolved, various kings took over the little land available on Serepenti, battling each other for ultimate control. After another civil war that introduced the rapidly increasing Church all kingdoms were disbanded and the race became unified under their religion.
Upon first contact with the Covenant (around 1789 in human time), the two fanatical factions battled each other fiercely until the Virmirians mysteriously left Covenant systems after a massive battle around High Charity. After the Human-Covenant War, they were rediscovered by a UNSC-Sangheili expedition. Although initially suspicious, the Virmirians agreed to declare a truce between their species and the former Covenant races.
War of the Kings
As Virmirian society became increasingly sophisticated and advanced, the little land available on Serepenti's surface were claimed by various kings. Soon, the kings would start to battle each other over territory, costing millions of Virmirian lives. In the end, the war stood between three High Kings that had absorbed the other kingdoms; High Kings Vlorak, Lirukol and Zarakh engaged each other in a final conflict. The three-way war took a heavy toll on the land, and the lower people started to attempt to resist, but without a unifying prescense, these rebellions were quelled.
Ultimately, High King Vlorak managed to defeat and execute the other two kings, claiming Serepenti as his empire. He was not well liked by most of his subjects, but rebellions never managed to dispose of him, and the resistance only claimed more lives. Then, some explorers found Forerunner complexes underneath the earth and seas of Serepenti.
The discovery of Forerunner artifacts scared the High King; he feared that if rebels got their hands on the artifacts, they would be able to throw him off his throne. Subsequently, he sealed off the areas and took full control of the artifacts.
However, the act only increased resentment against the monarch, and "Believers", people who believed the artifacts came from a greater power, started to appear. The Believers quickly gained more and more followers, and eventually, all resistance movements were under Believer control. The resistance renamed itself to The Clergy, and challenged the High King. The King, whose forces had been weakened after many soldiers had joined the Clergy, quickly lost the largest Forerunner complex, The Pillar. Using the Forerunner weaponry located inside, the Clergy continued to advance. After three years, the whole of Serepenti's surface was under the Clergy's control. High King Vlorak was in turn executed for acts of cruelness against his race, and the Cleric Council was founded.
Rise of an Empire
Together with the people, the new Cleric Council wrote a new constitution, focusing on maintaining power balance to avoid power-hungry rulers sucking out the land. At the same time, scientists started to study the Forerunner artifacts, and eventually scientific breakthroughs were made at a fast rate, giving the Virmirians the ability to create functioning Directed Energy Weapons and ships capable of space flight in around 60 years. Technology continued to advance and the Virmirians had soon settled their whole system plus the neighbouring system.
A hundred years later, the Virmirians controlled a large empire and were constantly scouring space for new worlds to settle. However, at one point, they met the Covenant.
The Covenant, while considering their religion as blasphemous and fearing their advanced technology that rivaled their own, attempted to have the Virmirians join the Covenant. The Cleric Council and the High Clerics feared that joining the Covenant would strip them of their freedom, and without consulting the people, turned down the Covenant's offer and attacked the Covenant negotiation party. As a result, the Hierarchs of the Covenant deemed the Virmirians blasphemous filth that needed to be terminated.
However, the Covenant made a terrible mistake in underestimating the Virmirian war machine's capability, and before they could fix their mistake, the Virmirians had already captured several Covenant worlds, where they started to preach their own religion to the races of the Covenant. At the climax of the war, a massive Virmirian fleet attacked High Charity. However, the battle opened in a stalemate, and ultimately tipped in the Covenant's favour, largely thanks to the acts of the current Arbiter, who managed to capture a Virmirian Battleship and crash it into the Virmirian fleet's flagship, costing him his own life.
After the loss at High Charity, Virmirian forces evacuated all Covenant systems and returned to their own territories. This was due to recent reforms in the Virmirian constitution and the new Cleric Council and High Clerics called back the fleet. When the Virmirians didn't return, the Covenant soon forgot about them, thinking that "the Gods" had punished them by destroying them.
In 2554, a UNSC-Sangheili expedition once again found the Virmirians. Although relations were tense at first, both parties agreed to a truce and promised to help each other for a better future. The Virmirians took pity in the Peng 'Hendap race, who had almost been exctinct after their resistance war against the Covenant a few years back. After a few negotiations, the Virmirians established good relations with the Peng 'Hendap and agreed to help them rebuild, as well as providing protection.
Virmirian culture is based on ensuring that the will of the majority is also what happens, which is a result of a past including many ruthless kings destroying most of the little landmass available in their greedy desires. After the last king was executed, the Virmirians wrote a constitution that would make sure that there is always a delicate balance of power between parties, as to avoid one party taking control of another one.
While the Virmirians agree that they should be kind to strangers, if there is any threat to their sovereingty or lives, they'll strike back ferociously against the threat.
A tradition embraced since the race achieving sentience is the chanting. Various war chants, such as Lezon Haan, are sung by military personell before, after or even during battles, often for morale boosts. In addition to the renowned war chants, Virmirian patrons or matrons pass on their ancestors' chants to their offspring, who in turn teaches it to their offspring. As a result, many Virmirian chants are several centuries old (although revisions have occasionally been necessary).
Virmirians are given a single name when born, which is often as original as possible. However, as an Virmirian is given higher and higher positions, a new name can be added with every 'step up the social ladder' one takes. When becoming a seasoned soldier or priest/politician (Virmirian politicians are almost always priests as well), a second name is added, a name often shared by everyone within the same group. While this is the final stage of naming for most, those who reach the higher ranks, such as Seraph, Praetor or Cleric, adds a third name. Like with the second name, the third name is often shared among those of the same group achieving that rank. Finally, High Clerics, the Virmirian Heads of State, can add a fourth name. Unlike the previous two, this name is mostly taken from distant ancestors, as a sort of reverence to 'those who came before', their Guardians, the Forerunners.
The Virmirian religion, Honor the Guardians, is not based on 'gods' in any actual sense, rather, they worship their 'Guardians', who, like in the Covenant's Great Journey Religion, are the Forerunners. However, unlike the Covenant, the Virmirians don't worship the Forerunners or their artifacts, rather worship and honor their actions, IE protecting the galaxy from the Flood at the cost of their own race's exctinction, as well as leaving their artifacts behind to let the Virmirians expand into the galaxy and prosper. In this sense, the Forerunners are considered more of heroes or saints than gods, and the Virmirians aspire to become like the Forerunners, which will put their souls at ease.
The religion controls many aspects of their life, and although the rules are quite loose compared to other religions, failure to follow or mocking the religion is a shameful act, and even though there's rarely real punishment (unless it is a serious offense), those who breaks the tenets of the religion are often despised by others in their enviroment, leading to an 'unofficial' punishment.
After the Great Journey was proven false, Honor the Guardians became a popular religion amongst the Sangheili and many of the other former Covenant races. In 2573, it had become so popular that it became the Sangheili Brotherhood's official religion, with some minor modifications.
The Virmirian constitution was written in a way to avoid powerful entities battling one another. A balance of power was made, with power being divided into three categories: Executive, judiciary and legislature. The Judiciary and Legislature Ministries are voted forth by the people and each handle their respective zone of power. The Executive power is in turn divided amongst two entities; the Cleric Council and the two High Clerics. The Cleric Council and one of the High Clerics are also voted forth by the people, while the Cleric Council vote forth the second High Cleric.
To all effects and purposes, the Virmirian Clergy, as the government is called, is a Theodemocratic Duumvirate, where the power has religious elements, but the power lies with the people, while there are two Heads of State sharing the executive power with the Cleric Council.
The main focus of the Virmirian military is raw power combined with strategy, similar to the Sangheili or Jiralhanae. This focus includes superior firepower and superior defensive capability. Thus, Virmirian troops use powerful weapons and grenades, as well as powerful energy shields and armor. To complement these heavy forces, a small amount of light units can be deployed to flank or ambush enemies in the middle of a battle. Virmirians also prefer to move in large numbers, which adds to the power. Most Virmirian vehicles also possess thick armor and heavy weapons to add the needed punch and, if needed, provide cover for the infantry. Virmirian starships are few compared to the Sangheili or humans, but are in return enormous behemoths packing massive firepower and powerful shields, along with a thick hull. Fleets are also large, each one numbering nearly 400 vessels.
- High Cleric Tosuhez Ihelel Artrat Ehiel
- High Cleric Marael Ezumot Lehan Opmaez
- Seraph Erumael Nastisno Tahpael
- Venator Rediel Nlahur
- Citizen Utiel
- The Image was taken from a concept art from the Unnamed Halo MMO.
- "Virmirians" is a reference to Virmire, a planet in Mass Effect.
- Several names for ranks were taken from The Codex Machinima Series, along with a few roman terms.
- "Serepenti" is a corruption of the word "Serpent".
- Character names were generated by the Seventh Sanctum Search Generator.
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