"As to his head he was a god, as to his wings he was Imdugud1." - King Gudea describing Ningirsu, city-god of Lagash, 2150 B.C.E.

PHYSIOLOGY:  The Vorlons are one of the very few known silicon-based lifeforms in the galaxy. They are powerfully telepathic and have incredible physical strength. Next to nothing is known about a Vorlon's physical makeup with surety. They are bioluminescent and can move quickly. Their anatomy allows them to fly; probably through the use of psychokinesis along with crystalline wings. Vorlons are very long lived; possibly immortal as the Soul Hunters are rumored to be. They supposedly are heavy methane, sulfur, and CO2 breathers, however, being outside of the encounter suit in an nitrogen/oxygen environment does them little or no harm. Nutrient circulation is carried out by "blue cells." Vorlons are susceptible to the poison Florazyne (a rare poison only found in the Damocles Sector). While some Vorlons appear to humans as male, some do adopt a more "female" presentation.


Legend of the Vorlon

Very few humans have had contact with a Vorlon outside of its encounter suit. Even less have seen what they truly look like. Because of this mystery, Humans have have created a legend regarding the appearance of the Vorlon. According to said legend, the last human to see a true Vorlon was a pilot who crashed, off course, on a Vorlon colony world. The human became the first to set eyes upon a Vorlon sans encounter suit, and was turned to stone.

 Not every legend is true.


PSI ABILITY:  The Vorlons have very strong telepathic abilities. Distance and dimensional location (in realspace or hyperspace) are not a hindrance to them. At its most basic level, the Vorlon can communicate by sending images directly to a recipient's brain in a form of pictorial communication utilizing forms and experiences from the subject's mind. A more advanced form of direct communication usually occurs when the Vorlon chooses from the mind of the recipient a person that is important (and an authority figure) to that person. Using the memories of that figure, the Vorlon can communicate with the recipient in that form; utilizing direct manipulation and the emotional weight of the figure. Psychic communication between a Vorlon and another usually occurs when the person's mind is in a different state: asleep, exhausted, in a heightened state of awareness. This has led to the association of Vorlons with dream imagery. At its most powerful level, the Vorlons can alter a being's conscious perception of themsels to a limited number of observers (in effect, a psychic cloak). The use of this power requires a certain amount of previous manipulation on the subjects -- in effect, programming a preset perception almost at a genetic level, that the Vorlons know how to activate. When appearing before a single subject, the effect is an automatic autonomic reflex and does not strain the Vorlon. The most difficult and physically demanding use is when the observers are of different races since each race will perceive something different (or even a race like the humans who have a multitude of religions). The overall effect is that all present sees their own version of a Being of Light masked over the true form of the Vorlon -- even those with beliefs that are post-Vorlon influence since the programming is very deep.

 In addition to telepathic powers, Vorlons are highly adept in the use of Telekinesis and some forms of psychometry. Recorded telekinetic effects include, but are not limited to, physical violence ranging from the "Darth Vader" choke-hold to full body restrainment and manipulation. While some speculate that Vorlons have the physical ability to fly, it may be that they simply levitate themselves. The psychometric powers of a Vorlon seems to be useful in seeing the shadows generated by the release of a large amount of energy that are "painted" on nearby surfaces.

PSYCHOLOGY:  Time does not mean to the Vorlons what it means to most of the galaxy's species. They perceive reality, time, and space differently than most. It is said they take no interest in the affairs of others, however they appear to have taken a marked interest in the Minbari and the Humans, and even the Narn. Vorlons speak of themselves in the plural. They also view each individual Vorlon as part of a whole; with each Vorlon being or having an element of every other Vorlon.

 Being one of the few remaining First Ones, they are powerful and self-righteous. Peculiarly, they are also insecure about that power. The death of one of their number is taken hard by the whole race.

 Toward their servants, the Vorlons expect nothing but perfection. Failure is rarely tolerated with gentility.

RELIGION:  The Vorlons worship no one but themselves.

LANGUAGE:  Vorlon "names" (i.e. Kosh Naranek, Vorlon Ambassador on Babylon 5) are actually a description; with the words being the closest we can come to the original Vorlonese. They speak through a series of musical/tonal/atonal  chords, almost a chorus of voices.

HISTORY:  The Vorlons are members of an ancient group of races called the First Ones, of which they are the youngest. The Vorlons are held in contempt by some of the First Ones (most notably the Walkers). After the defeat of the Shadows in the last Great War circa 7,740 B.C.E., most of the First Ones left. The Vorlons were among the few to stay behind.

 According to Dr. Straczynski, "There has never been a survivor of a Vorlon War," but then goes on to say "the Vorlons have never fought a war with any other race. (At least none has ever been recorded.)"

 The Vorlons actively manipulated the genetics of a multitude of races (the Minbari, pak'ma'ra, Drazi, Narn, Human, Markab, among others) to respond to their psychic cloak that disguises their true form. This allows the Vorlons to control the perceptions of these races, allowing them to manipulate them with ease since they always impersonate the messengers of that race's main deity. They are users and puppeteers who use their powers so the younger races will react properly. To the Drazi, a Vorlon would appear as Droshalla, a Narn would see G'Lan, the Minbari, Valeria, and the Humans would see (generally) an Angel. Each race who sees them, sees something out of their own past, their own legends, religions, faiths: a being of light. With the exception of the Centauri, who see nothing. While the Vorlons may have originated supernatural belief among some races where none was present, most belief systems were manipulated to conform to the Vorlon template on some level.

 It is known that the Vorlons were on Earth in the 1880's, and that they gained a new Inquisitor at that time -- effectively stopping Jack the Ripper's rampage.

 The Earth Alliance had been courting the Vorlons to make first contact since 2247. In 2257 the Vorlons responded by sending an ambassador, Kosh Naranek, to Babylon 5. Immediately upon arrival, Kosh was poisoned. After exiting his transport, Kosh revealed a portion of himself to a Commander Sinclair look-alike. The assassin slapped a skin tab to Kosh's "hand." The assassin was a member of a radical military caste clan which was against Minbari involvement in the Babylon Project, and hoped to sabotage the whole thing from within. Against the Vorlon directive of letting Kosh die rather than having Humans see him outside of his encounter suit, he was operated on by the station's doctor (now transferred to Earth) and scanned by Lyta Alexander. The poison was identified and the murderer was thought to be the commander of the station. During the trial of Commander Jeffrey Sinclair, the Vorlons wished for him (if guilty) to be tried on their Homeworld. They sent a small battlefleet to collect him. Upon discovering that the attempted murderer was a Minbari renegade and that Kosh was fine, they left. The entire affair is still puzzling. It involved a tech smuggler, named Del Varner, who sold a Changeling Net to the renegade Minbari. The Minbari was aided by the Narn. In addition, the Earth Alliance officer Laurel Takashima (now transferred to the Rim) had an active hand in framing Sinclair.

 In 2258, a Vorlon ship destroyed the Dilgar Jha'Dur's craft as it was heading to Earth. She had invented an anti-agapic serum. The ship fired two shots, one of them destroying her craft. There have been rumors that the other shot did not miss its mark. When asked why this was done, Ambassador Kosh replied, "You are not ready for immortality." The third time the Vorlons let their intentions be known occurred when the Centauri assaulted the Narn Homeworld with mass drivers, by voicing a protest along with the Human, Minbari, and League governments.

 Near the end of 2259, Kosh let himself be seen to an assembled host of diplomats on Babylon 5 in order to save Captain Sheridan's life. Each race saw their holy being (with the exception of the Centauri, who saw nothing) and now revere the station as a Holy Place. After maintaining so many illusions, Kosh returned to his ship and rested there for approximately two weeks.

 By mid-2260, the Shadow War was going badly for the Army of Light. Devastating random attacks were destabilizing the minor and major galactic powers. Knowing that their cause would be lost if a victory were not gained against the Shadows, Captain John Sheridan confronted Ambassador Kosh. The lowly human shamed the Vorlon into facing his fear of death; Kosh knew that once the Vorlons actively engaged the Shadows, he would be the target of a reprisal. A Vorlon fleet engaged the Shadows and crushed them. Kosh Naranek died soon after.

 A show of weakness at this point in the game was unacceptable. Should word that a race such as the Vorlons could be killed, their footsoldiers would be shaken. To cover their loss they sent their Ambassador-to-Minbar, Ulkesh, who was to assume Kosh's identity, to the station.

GOVERNMENT:  Vorlon territory is known as the Vorlon Empire. Nothing is known if there is a Vorlon Emperor, but there is a High Command. The Vorlon Empire maintains a strict immigration and tourism policy:

  • Earth Alliance has sent three expeditions into Vorlon space. None have returned. The Vorlons said they had met with accidents and suggested they send no more expeditions into their territory. The Centauri have also sent expeditions into Vorlon space. The Centauri have many strange stories about the Vorlon. Even the Minbari loose their expeditionary forces into the Vorlons’ territory.

MILITARY:  Their starships are living creatures. The fighters are the most primitive ships with rudimentary evolution abilities. Their war cruisers carry a full crew of Vorlons.


COLONIES:  Vorlon territories are rarely trespassed without severe consequence. While no one has mapped the Vorlon Empire, its borders are well known.

  • A Few of the known Vorlon Holdings:
    • DM+ 45 2505
      • This system is accessible through the Centauri jumpgate at Batain, but travel here is not recommended.



  • The Vorlon Encounter Suit, a sophisticated bio-organic construct, supposedly covers every square inch of a Vorlon's body. Openings allow the Vorlon inside to leave the suit or only allow certain appendages to interact with the environment outside them. The Encounter Suit also has mechanical graspers.


  •  "The Hour of Scampering is usually around teatime, according to the Vorlon/Human Translation Dictionary." -JMS

1 Imdugud was a prehistoric Babylonian numina (a supernatural being that controlled a force of nature) that was associated with thunderstorms and birds. The translation of Imdugud is: "the supernatural thundercloud in the form of a bird."


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Voltayre's Folly - Planet of Mystery