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Tuchanq

PHYSIOLOGY:  Quadruped/biped humanoids with short torsos and elongated skull and limbs. Their skeletal and muscular systems alter according to difference in weight distribution between the two positions. When on all fours, knees slide toward the belly and elbows point toward the knees. With arms and legs the same length, a Tuchanq is level with the ground on two or four limbs. Their long muscular limb give them the ability to leap as high as

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two meters. Their height ranges from two meters to three and a half meters when bipedal. The Tuchanq metabolic rate is very high, giving them an emaciated appearance. Sexual organs are not pronounced. Skin coloration ranges from bright canary yellow to dark brown. Tuchanq have abdominal pouches.

 The Tuchanq do not have eyes, instead they are crowned with a ruff of spines that detect scent, color, and movement. These spines allow the Tuchanq to sense 360 degrees with a range of a quarter of a mile in interior spaces around themselves. Their tongue is tube-like in shape.

PSI ABILITY: A bizarre form of "Song" reading (a mixture of psychometry and telepathy).

PSYCHOLOGY:  Tuchanq do not sleep. In fact, if one is rendered unconscious the Tuchanq becomes violently, and psychotically, insane. The absence of memory (or Song of Being) for any period of time renders the Tuchanq mentally unstable, and hence looses her sense of societal responsibility. Only by undergoing a ritual bloodletting ceremony will the Tuchanq regain her sanity. Tuchanq that do not undergo the ceremony become obsessed with claiming another's Song of Being for her own. This involves finding a suitable target who must be a member of the Land she is currently on (so the victim would be a Tuchanq on the Tuchanq Homeworld, or any random alien race, one who who had connections to many other races, on Babylon 5) and murdering him. One must take another's Song. That person must have a Song tied as closely to the Land as possible. So if the Land were inhabited by several different races, the victim must carry a Song that is intertwined with as many races as possible, and preferably all of them... a representative of the many Peoples of the Land.

CULTURE: Tuchanq costumes are intricate constructions of fur, feathers, skin, scales, and bone.

Ritual of Arrival: When Tuchanq arrive at a new location, they don intricate costumes made of fur, feathers, skin, scales, and bone. They dance according to a complex ritual pattern, all the while yelling and singing. The Ritual ends with the participants drawing curved knives and piercing their necks. Letting the blood drip into a pool, the leader then uses the blood as a medium, drawing lines and circles. The Patterns she makes trace the Journey the Tuchanq have made. They sing the Song of Journey -- a verbal record of the moment of the Tuchanq's birth on their homeworld, from nomadic warriors to civilization, the history of their people up to the present time.

Ritual of Rebirth: When a Tuchanq's Song of Being is broken, only through the Ritual of Rebirth will he be returned to sanity. First, the insane Tuchanq's Songs of Being and Journey are broken. The celebrants surround the insane subject weaving their knives in a complex pattern. They then lower their knives and inscribe the Journey Pattern on the subject's chest. Upon finishing the pattern, it is canceled by one slash through the pattern. The subject's screams are overpowered by the celebrant's who meld the noise into a new Song. Their Family Mother will declare them dead and the celebrants will weave new Songs of Being and Journey for the subject. The Ceremony ends when the subject is rendered unconscious from blood loss. (Strangely, this unconsciousness does not return the subject to his previously insane state.) After the Ritual the subject's entire life experiences are erased and he is like a newborn.

LANGUAGE:  Tuchanq communicate with growls, barks, howls, and song. Their vocal apparatus allows them to speak System English flawlessly.

HISTORY:  September 12, 2242, was the day the Land died. In the dead of night, plasma generators fell from the sky reducing their Capital City, Lothaliar, into a ten mile wide field of glass. Two days later the Narn arrived with their construction machines. The Tuchanq were enslaved and forced to work in the factories that supplied munitions to the Narn and ruined Tuchanq's ecosystem.

 Following the Centauri conquest of the Narn homeworld, the Tuchanq rebelled against a shaken Narn occupational government. Leading the rebellion was the charismatic nuViel Roon. The short-lived rebellion ended in a cease-fire and the incarceration of the Narn administration. A few days later, on October 9, 2259, the forty Narn administrators were murdered in the night. Chosen by lot and under the direction of nuViel Roon (rigidly defined and Sung by the Roon Family), the executioner was kept anonymous so no guilt would be given or punishment applied. The premeditated deaths had a adverse effect on noMir Ru, who changed her Song to include the lives she took and her name to what the frightened Narn called her, D'Arc.

 A delegation (or Chorus) of twenty, including Elder Stateswoman (or commonly as Family Mother) nuViel Roon and the executioner D'Arc, arrived on Babylon 5 on December 12, 2259. Following the required Ritual of Arrival, several Narns, incensed the presence of Narn skulls on their costumes, attacked the delegation. The entire mob was stunshocked, but not before one Tuchanq and one Narn was dead. Following the Ceremonies of Rebirth for the unconscious Tuchanq, a manhunt for D'Arc was begun (she had escaped from the medics). She murdered the sexually-eccentric businessman Brian Grond to take his Song of Being. The attack left her with brain damage. Regardless of her infantile state of mind, the heated trail was already prejudged by the Earth Alliance Senate. Her execution procession sparked a violent protest. The ensuing riot left 257 wounded (over 100 critically) and 53 deaths. After a moment of silence, D'Arc was spaced. Or so everyone thought. The command staff of the station switched her body for that of Grond's during a "moment of silence" for the newly executed. Unfortunately, the cruel actions of Human political expediency, caused the Tuchanq accept the Centauri aid. nuViel and her Chorus departed Babylon 5 in a Centauri Cruiser headed for Tuchanq. D'Arc, however, was transferred to another Centauri vessel at the request of Morden, a human Shadow-Thrall.

 On December 22, the Greening of Tuchanq began. Centauri terraformers landed and began healing the Land -- to Centauri specifications. For them Tuchanq was a prize -- a highly developed manufacturing infrastructure and a labor base of 18 billion. Although nuViel had secured the healing of the Land, the price of that choice was far worse than the death of the Land. The Song of Freedom had become a Song of Shadows.

GOVERNMENT:  Previously monarchal; Heading the government is Elder Stateswoman nuViel Roon, composer of the new "Song of Freedom." Following the deaths of the Narn occupation government, nuViel conducted the first public performance of her work (Her introduction follows).

Before the Narn came, no one was Landless since everyone inherited a stretch of their ancestor's Song and the stretch of country over which the Song passed. A citizen's verses were his title deeds to territory. With the coming of the Narn, the Songs were swamped by the sound of war and machinery. Land and Song became meaningless. Now the war is over, the machines are silent. There can be no more Land if the Song is dead. Therefore the Song must be sung again!

HOMEWORLD:  Tuchanq (capital city Lothaliar/Ellaenn); Their planet is cloaked in smog and  acid rain.

TECHNOLOGY: Information/Stellar; The Tuchanq owned one starship following the expulsion of the Narn, a commodities freighter. They have since relinquished this vessel to the Centauri as a "sign of gratitude" for their ecological assistance.

IRL: Notes on the Entries

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