Vakar Society

This is a ‘work-in-progress’, as there’s a lot of stuff in this category….

Most vakar live in groups referred as sects. These sects can range in size from just five individuals to more than twenty, though most sects tend not to go over twenty individuals as a general rule. How big a sect can be is determined by the size of their controlled territory and available food source in said territory (basically, how bad the crime is there).

Tier Structure

Like turians, vakar have a tier system, though there are only six tiers compared to turians 27 (officially, more on this later). Ranking up in vakar tiers depends heavily on reaching certain milestones as a vakar and/or over all ‘vakar age’ Below is a full list of possible tiers a vakar can reach, along with the average vakar ‘age’ remain in it.

Tier 0: 0- 2 years
Newly turned vakar. These vakar are usually ravenous to some degree and require constant supervision for the sake of others and themselves. For this reason, sects usually only allow one Tier 0 at a time in the sect. Only once they learn to control their hunger will they be considered full vakar.

Tier 1: 2 – 100 years
Vakar that have learned to control their hunger, often referred to as runovus, but have not either discovered their powers or learned to control them. Once they have discovered and learned to control their powers with confidence (but not necessarily master), are they promoted to Tier 2.

Tier 2: 100 – 300+ years
These are usually the most numerous of a sect, depending on sect size. These vakar have full control of their abilities. As the ‘adults’ of the sect, they are responsible for the wellbeing of the Tier 0’s and 1’s, assisting them in learning the vakar ways. There is a ‘seniority’ system within this tier, based on overall age and experience. Further promotion from this point on is dependent on position availability. Technically, vakar in this tier referred to as aretemus, but most prefer just to be called ‘vakar’, thus the term is falling out of use.

Tier 3 (Master): 300 – 500+ years
First of the three ‘senior’ tiers of a vakar sect, these vakar are the first tier that are allowed the privilege of attempting to create new vakar. They also oversee the lower tiers and are expected to lead them when the vakar above them are absent. The number of masters in a sect is greatly dependent on the size of the sect (there’s always at least one), but there are usually no more than three at any time. Like Tier 2, there is a seniority system within this tier based on age and experience. Vakar in this tier can jump straight to Tier 5 if circumstances call for it (such as a small sect that lost their Elder). The most senior Master also acts as the second-in-command if there is no Lord in the sect.

Tier 4 (Lord): 500+
This tier is only present if the sect is of medium or larger size (15-20+ individuals). They act as the second-in-command, answering only to the Elder and oversee all lower tiers. He or she acts as elder when the Elder is absent and automatically becomes Elder if the Elder is lost. There is only ever one Lord at any time and small sects don’t have a Lord at all.

Tier 5 (Elder): 800+
The eldest and most experienced vakar of the sect. He or she governs the whole sect and enforces the rules and traditions their sect follows. They also decide on territory and sanctuary location and are responsible for the safety and security of the whole sect. Elders can easily reach over a thousand years of age and in most cases there is only ever one Elder per sect. However, in rare situations there can be two.

Promotion and Succession

Getting promoted to the next tier often varies between sects and can depend on the tier being aimed for. Promotion from Tier 0 to 1, for instance, is usually automatic regardless of the sect, though there are occasional exceptions. Achieving Tier 2, usually involves the vakar needing to prove they have sufficient control over their powers: some sects even go as far as requiring a battle against another vakar using said powers. Tier 3 and 4 always requires Elder approval: in fact, it is usually the Elder that makes the choice, especially in the case of the Lord (Tier 4). In these cases, age and experience are major factors, but not the sole deciding ones: an Elder has every right to choose a vakar with less experience and age if they feel they are more suited to the role.

In the case of Elder, it is usually the Lord that succeeds them if they die or step down. If there is no Lord, the most senior Master takes the position. Usually these transitions go smoothly due to the family bond between members of the sect, however, sometimes disagreements can break out. If the lower ranking vakar do not have full confidence in their leadership, they have every right to protest and suggest someone else take the role. Even long standing Elders are not safe from such protests and can be replaced by someone else if the chosen candidate has enough support.

Challenges to the Elder position often turn into political and sometimes bloody affairs. It usually starts with a senior member starting to question the Elder’s decisions. If the Elder doesn’t answer said questions satisfactorily, especially after repeated attempts, the challenging party will start to attempt to gain support from the other sect members. When they feel they have enough support, they will openly challenge the Elder for their position.

What follows is a debate session, where both sides state their case. The rest of the sect are free to voice their own opinions and concerns and those that have decided whom they will support will stand on their side of the debate area. Whomever has the most supporter’s wins. However, if the support for either side ends up being equal, a duel will usually follow.

Vakar duel in such a situation is always held during daytime, as not all vakar have offensive or defensive powers. The combatants are also required to have fed well the night prior to the fight and only hand-to-hand combat is allowed. These measures are to ensure the fight is as fair as possible. The aim of the duel is to get the opponent to submit and combatants usually agree on what would be considered ‘illegal’ blows: deliberate hits to the fangs is always an automatic disqualifier. Fights to the death are extremely rare, but has happened in extreme cases.

Regardless of how the winner is chosen, ff the current Elder had won, the challenger has the choice of either submitting or leaving with their supporters to try to start their own sect. However if the challenger wins, the Elder usually steps down willingly, if not, they are often forced out of the sect by the combined power of the sect. The Elders that step down willingly often linger for a time in the sect, but eventually leave on their own. Nothing is known about Elders that are displaced like this: many simply disappear.

Unofficial Tiers and Demotion

There are two other, unofficiall, ‘tiers’, both of which are considered below tier 0: lone and rogue. These two ranks are similar in that they both involve vakar that are without a sect, but while lone vakar are usually actively searching for a new sect, rogue vakar usually avoid other vakar entirely.

Lone vakar are vakar that lost their sect in some way, usually due to an attack by non-vakar forces. This status is usually only temporary, as the vakar would be actively seeking a new sect to join. The longer it takes, however, the more at risk the vakar may start to lose his or her sense of self and purpose and thus fall into insanity. The speed of decline is different for each vakar and a responsible vakar will take whatever steps needed to delay it if finding a new sect becomes a prolonged process. It is possible to delay the decline indefinitely by drinking only animal blood, but most vakar can only tolerate relying on such a source for a short time, mainly due to their innate thirst for knowledge and sense of duty. Insane vakar are considered rogues, the lowest possible tier a vakar can get and one a vakar will likely never raise from.

Rogue vakar are either vakar that have gone insane, or have turned against the vakar ideals for one reason or another. In the case of the latter, this is usually a result of an unauthorized or ill advised turn: namely a turian that normally wouldn’t be even considered a candidate ends up getting turned. Sometimes this is by accident (a turian somehow consumes vakar blood during an encounter with one, though this is extremely rare), or on purpose (e.g. a rogue vakar wanting to spread the ‘gift’ around). An unauthorized turnee that wanted to be turned usually end up being very dangerous society and proper vakar typically try to kill them on sight: the ones that were unwilling turnees usually take their own lives, though a rare few do try to make the most of it.

Demotion usually only happens when a vakar loses their sect and joins a new one, as their previous rank is not recognized by their new sect, at least not initially until they are assessed by the sects elder. If the vakar had a senior rank, they may or may not get it back depending on how many of that position are already present in their new sect. Demotion can also occur if the Elder decides the vakar in question was irresponsible with their new responsibilities: as in turian society, demotion is usually a source of shame for the one that promoted the individual in the first place, thus Elder’s take such decisions very seriously.

Expulsion from a sect is extremely rare, but usually occurs when a vakar just can’t settle into a sect properly. Being kicked out of a sect is usually treated more as a ‘you may fit in better in a different sect’, than a complete rejection of the individual: elders may even go as far as contacting neighboring sects with the request to give the vakar a chance in theirs. That said, this event usually only happens with lone vakar searching for a new sect.

Vakar Naming Convention

One turian becomes a vakar, they give up their old lives and this also includes their names. This is done to help them be ‘forgotten’ by those that knew them in their old lives, as well as strengthen their new identity as a vakar.

Given (First) Names

Until they achieve Tier 2, vakar only have their given name, as their old family names are dropped completely. Their given names are usually altered versions of their birth names, though occasionally it may be replaced completely. The new given name is usually one that helps remind the vakar why they chose this path, but not always.

Code Names

A vakar earns their new ‘family’ name, or more properly referred as a code name once they achieve Tier 2. Codenames are always based on what their individual powers are and are usually constructed using an ancient turian dialect. This dialect is one all vakar can understand, though how is not known. When translated into turian common, the codename is basically a simple, two word sentence made of descriptive words, usually nouns and verbs. Confusingly, two different words in ancient turian can mean the same thing in common, depending on whether it is at the front or end of the name. Below is a table of known parts used in codenames:

Warning, some of these ‘words’ may change as I had to figure out some on the spot and they have never been ‘used’ for an actual character

Word in common Dialect front Dialect Back
Air Fuz- -ris
Bend Maga- -arcus
Dead Nai- -uus
Earth Yoc- -mus
Fire Kasa- -nis
Frost Tou- -lus
Ghost Suto- -atis
Ground Rik- -erras
Heat Neki- -enus
Invisible Mei- -rus
Mirror Mir- -ulum
Monitor Mini- -steren
Mountain Tak- -tis
Mover Ayu- -itos
Moves Ugo- -veo
Plant Pur- -atos
Shadow Kag- -bras
Shaker She- -assos
Shifter Kou- -veon
Shock Shin- -sus
Sight Moku- -oris
Silent Mus- -lenus
Static Sei- -onken
Stolen Set- -nor
Storm Ara- -cellas
Tide Cho- -tus
Water Miza- -quas
Wave Nam- -ispo
Wind Uin- -ven

(Note: I base the parts on Japanese and Latin words that mean the same thing. Japanese for the front, Latin for the back)

It should be noted that not all vakar chose to use the same dialect for their codenames. This is likely due to the ‘lineage’ of the vakar line itself.

Below is another table for other words that may be used in codenames:

Word in common Dialect front Dialect Back
He Ano- -fit
Who Doch- -nam

Finances

Vakar, as a general rule, live very fugally, preferring to make needed items themselves if they can. They also will scavenge the needed items if possible, not being above searching through abandoned buildings or even trash heaps to see if anything there could be of use. Donations from grateful or allied turians is a possibility as well.

When it comes to money itself, any a vakar acquires goes into a communal pool all sect members have access to. If the pool grows too big and they do not have a need to make a big purchase themselves, vakar may seek out a turian in need and give them some, or donate it to a reputable charity. Such donations are always done anonymously.

Most money is taken from criminals they actually kill, but only if it’s not traceable and only what was directly on the person at the time of death. With most of the Citadel races using digital credits, vakar are especially careful on what they take as their own. Rarely, a vakar will take a part time job if the need for money is great for the sect. In this situation, however, they only work it until they have enough for what they need to pay for.

Social Etiquette

Vakar have a somewhat strict social etiquette they follow, both within the sect itself and toward non-vakar, making them appear to be rather formal in speech. The basic overall rule is this: always address your superiors with respect.

Within the Sanctuary, if a vakar is a senior member, they are always referred by their codename preceded by said title (e.g. Master Kagnis), however referring to them by just their title is also acceptable. Tier 2’s can be called by either their given or codename, though lower tier vakar are required to always refer to them by their codename. Tier 0 and 1s, only have their given name to go by.

Outside the Sanctuary, things are slightly different depending on who is being addressed by whom. When conversing with another vakar, codenames are always used if available, with titles as appropriate. The exception to this is when non-vakar are within earshot: in that situation they will use their given names. When speaking to non-vakar directly, they will only use their given names when introducing themselves.

When it comes to interaction between vakar of different sects, the greeting depends on the situation. For an intruder, the challenging vakar is not obligated to give their name unless they deem it necessary. The intruding party, however, are required to not only give their full name (and title if they have one), but state their reason for intruding. For welcome guests, an initial greeting with their full name and title is given, and given names are used from that point on until the guests arrive at the Sanctuary or Safehouse (the exception being if non-vakar are present from the onset. In that situation, given names are only used from the start). Once there, standard Sanctuary greeting policies take affect.

Territorial Disputes

Considering how rare their preferred food source can be, vakar can be rather aggressive toward vakar from other sects intruding on their turf, unless said intruder has a valid reason for being there. Valid reasons are usually limited to: lone vakar looking for a new sect or the vakar in question was invited by the Elder. If the intruder’s reasoning does not match either of those, they are promptly chased off with a warning not to come back. However, if the defending vakar suspects the intruder is a rogue, all bets are off and they will try to kill them.

Aside from dealing with individual intrusions, vakar sects are always on the lookout for potential full invasions. Invasions happen when a sect needs to either expand their current territory, or are being forced to relocate. The need to relocate occurs either when their territory because unable to continue to support them (either due to a severe drop in crime, or the local populous pushed them out), or the sect ended up splitting.

A group of vakar that split off from a sect rarely causes other sects grief, as usually the goal of a split is to establish a brand new sect and they usually attempt to do so in areas that are not claimed by other sects. Full sects that are being forced to relocate, however, almost always lead to conflict. While neighboring sects may sometimes offer the displaced one to merge with them, more often than not, it turns to bloodshed, with the invading sect attempting to kick out the defending one. These conflicts are usually brief contests of strength and will: death from these contests are rare.

Relationships

While they are immortal, vakar are very social beings that require interaction with others. However, due to their immortality, they prefer the company of their own for long-term relationships. But that does not mean relationships with non-vakar is not possible.

Between Vakar

Vakar often have very tightly knit relations with vakar from their own sect, acting very much like a family. In fact, the relationships between them are very much like those between siblings, or between a parent and child. The bonds between a vakar and the one that turned them can be particularly strong, though it will fade somewhat as the younger vakar grows more experienced. Any deaths in the sect are often reacted to as strongly as it would be in a real turian family.

Due to the close family-like bonds, sexual relationships are extremely rare within the sect, as to them, it would be akin to having sex with their own parent or sibling. Any such relationship that do develop are typically between two vakar that are not ‘related’: in other words, one of the pair had to be from a different sect originally. Unfortunately, such relationships often become problematic, as those involved tend to start showing loyalty more to each other than the sect itself. This is even more evident if both parties are in their own sects, as one of the pair would need to intrude on the other’s territory to see their lover, which can cause a territorial dispute between the two sects.

Though problematic, such relationships are not expressively forbidden, likely due to how rare an occurrence they are. When they do happen and the relationship is true, Elders generally accept it and the inevitable outcome: the pair leaves the sect to strike out on their own. Such pairs become roamers, taking care to not intrude on established sect territories, though many eventually settle down and start a sect of their own. Considering the pair consider themselves equals, they usually both act as Elders. Should one of the pair be killed, and they hadn’t started a sect of their own, the survivor usually take their own lives. If there is a sect under them, the survivor will usually focus on caring for those under them to help cope with their loss, but they are usually only a shadow of their former selves.

With non-vakar

When it comes to relations with individual turians, vakar usually try to keep the interactions on a professional level only. The reason for this is obvious: due to their extremely long lives, vakar will outlive any turian and thus any relationship that goes deeper than ‘associate’ level would just lead to pain in the end. No vakar relishes the through of watching the one they care about grow old and die.

Despite this, such relationships can and do happen. Relationships on a friendship level are not advised, but tolerated for the most part. Intimate relationships, however, are often considered taboo, even forbidden. Much like with a vakar pair, an intimate relationship with a non-vakar would eventually result in the vakar showing more loyalty to their lover than to their sect. Another issue is the increased difficulty in keep the vakar’s nature a secret: if discovered, it can lead to awkward questioning and even stigmatizing of the non-vakar member.

If the non-vakar is a turian, the vakar’s sect may offer them a chance to join their ranks. This, however, is problematic, as if the individual is turned, they would be technically ‘related’ on a vakar level to their lover, which would result in another taboo situation. If it’s an Asari or Krogan, the sect may leave the pair be, as both species are century’s long livespans (though, admittedly, a Krogan/vakar relationship is not very likely due to the bad blood between Krogan and turians). Any other species is deeply frowned upon and the vakar is strongly encouraged to give it up. In rare cases, a member of the sect may resort to threatening, or even killing the non-vakar. However, purposely killing an innocent, no matter how well intentioned, is considered an even worse crime than the relationship itself, thus the murderer would be punished severely.

wiki/vakar_society.txt · Last modified: 2017/04/02 01:13 by rachel