Telepathy & Empathy

Throughout the galaxies there are races with varying degrees of one or both telepathic/empathic senses.

In a clearly developed and obvious form, these senses are generally quite uncommon, though it is suspected that most (if not all) creatures do possess them to a very limited degree; this theory is furthered by the variety of species types that show the capability and that it is not unique to sentient beings.

Telepathy is the ability to read the thoughts of others.  The range and how strong (often stated as “loudness”) the thoughts are play an important role in whether or not they can be “read”.  No telepathic race has ever shown any capacity to broadcast their thoughts into the minds of others who were not themselves telepathic, and none are able to tap into the minds of others to gain insight into memories and other information not actively being processed by the conscious mind.  The phenomenon is fairly well understood to be a trait of certain nerve receivers which then carry the information to one or more specialised brain lobes which then interpret the information.  These sensory nerves are sensitive to the detectable emanations of certain parts of the cerebral cortex (or its various analogues across the diversity of species).

A common myth about telepathy beyond the ability to place thoughts or to mind-probe is that it means that all thoughts can be understood.  This is quite untrue.  Any conscious reminiscence that occurs can be “seen” in the same way that the person remembering is “seeing” the recollected images.  The language that the person is thinking in is the one “heard” by the telepath.  No special understanding is gained.  Also the more alien the mind the less likely that the telepath will receive anything or that she will be capable of understanding it even if the thoughts are in a comprehended language.

Empathy, on the surface, seems to be a linked trait to telepathy, though they do function on rather different principles on the biological level.  The ability to pick up and interpret emotions is derived from specialised tissues which read a number of things from brain impulses to pheromones and this information is carried to the brain for analysis in a structure that is usually located much closer to the mid or hindbrain than to the cerebrum (again, or analagous structures).

Ability to sense emotional states does not, of course, carry with it any understanding of the causes.  Contrary to popular holo-serial characters’ depictions, for example, one can tell that a person is feeling love, hate, jealousy, etc. but must rely on observation or questions to determine for whom the emotion is felt.  Similarly a telepath cannot interpret emotional states, if the person’s thoughts provide no clues then she is no more able to tell how a person feels than could someone who can hear or see the individual.

Some technologies do exist which are designed around the understanding of telepathic senses, and even some empathic variations of them.  Magvinnians, for example, have designed most of the interactions with their computer systems to work on a computerised version of the their own telepathic senses as well as ways to record and play back thought and emotional patterns in a fashion not at all unlike recording and playback of sound, which allowed them to retain their heavily neural based language in long range communication as well as the development of entire entertainment media such as thought and feeling symphonies.


The shahàyreu is an ancient Xentoran plucked string musical instrument bearing remarkable similarities to the pipa of Earth’s Chinese culture.

The most notable difference between the two instruments is in the strings.  While the pipa is generally four single strings, the shahàyreu has five paired strings.

In both cases the origin of the instrument is lost to time.  This has led to speculation that the instrument was brought to one or the other planet by mercantile explorers or anthropological surveyors.  This is enhanced by the fact that the Chinese have pipas with more strings, and the Xentorns have at times made shahàyreau without paired strings.

Another subtle difference comes, simply, from a difference in Xentoran music: It is tuned so that the first string pairs are one third of a note between B and C.  This is typical of Xentoran music which uses a musical notation that relies on dectets of notes with several partial notes between, and thus contains many notes not commonly found in Terran music.

The body’s construction is generally of  klaireo wood, a dark, rich red wood visually like mahogany or cherry, but like ironwood in texture and hardness.  There are a few other woods that may be selected, for example some current popular Xentoran musicians swear by a maker who has taken to using haeré wood from Xentor’s southernmost tundra, but the purists and the temple music masters believe they produce weaker, duller notes.  An acceptable, if uncommon, alternative material is muealri, a kind of soft blue marble.

The strings seem to always be made of an alloy primarily of silver, irydra, and caesium.  The strings are soft enough to be plucked with human fingernails; give a rich, vibrant tone; and are quite resistant to temperature changes and stress, reducing breaks and limiting the need to adjust tuning.  Due to the rarity of irydra it is worth noting that the total mass of that precious and semi-sacred metal in the strings is slightly less than 1/100th of a percent.


A simple definition that is fundamentally accurate, but does a gross injustice to the concept, would probably be a professional companion, friend, and confidant.

Ignoring nuances, a leytgelez is not a unique concept throughout the tri-galaxies. On Earth there were the geisha, the oiran, and courtesan.  On Alluria there are the Yunahra or Namredhe.  And a billion other titles throughout the myriad star systems.  Some still exist and others do not, but they all are educated individuals versed in the arts, especially conversation, erotic, and healing.

A leytgelez is a student, ideally, of all art.  In practice few species have the life span for such and so most specialise.  All are well versed, as are/were their various analogues, in conversation and listening.  Many visit a leytgelez, or a salon of leytgeleshi just for someone to talk to who can provide witty, intelligent, well read, thoughtful converse.

Most leytgeleshi are versed in erotic arts, though it would be a radical misconception to consider them prostitutes of any sort.  If you were to come to a leytgelez purely for the physical gratification of sex, it would direct you to the nearest brothel of significant quality and even recommend individuals if they happen to be familiar enough with the place.  There can be exceptions, but this is because there are roughly as many variations on what precisely a leytgelez is as there are leytgeleshi.

Still, cultured is another cornerstone of the leytgelez.  They are familiar with all art even if they are not a strict adherent to some of them.  They will generally be a student of philosophy, possibly of the sciences.

Few leytgeleshi work alone.  Most gather at a salon run by an older leytgelez in what is generally that individual’s home.  A leytgelez does not personally charge for her services, especially not in a salon, though some do if they work alone.  However the more common is for the leytgelez working alone to be independently wealthy or to have some alternative means of income; still others live well off of gifts of money and goods offered to them from those who seek their company.  Depending on various factors the salons may charge membership fees for unlimited access, while others are open to all.  It is a mark of great shame in most Galfarran speaking worlds that have leytgeleshi to be asked to leave a salon, and an even greater social blackmark to be banned from such.

There are five salons in the galaxies that are rated among the most famous, most prestigious, and most exemplary of the craft.  Four of them are in Galfarra: Lirukari’s Salon on Junil, Thalena Lhagr’k’s on Nahrill, Lord Niltada’s on Brodillu, Maxiri Ugragk’s on Flandreau.  The fifth is Lady Salarissa’s Salon on Sweytz in the Milky Way.

In all of these examples there are counted among each one’s leytgeleshi a number of doctors, psychiatrists, spiritual healers, poets, painters, dancers, exemplary cooks, singers, philosophers, those thoroughly versed in massage, acupuncturists, literary scholars, and the most caring and loving individuals from, between them, some two-hundred odd species, and approximately eight genders.

Each of these five Salons are run purely for the love of the leytgeleshi’s friends (a leytgelez does not have clients, or patrons, he has dear friends) and fund them through carefully managed trusts invested from their own personal fortunes.  Their leytgeleshi earn very generous salaries that permit a very comfortable lifestyle.

Leytgelez salons are a place for laughter, tears, joy and sorrow, and healing.  Friends are to remember that they are invited into the home of the one who provides the salon and should behave with deep respect for all present, though beyond that there are often few other rules to follow as the rule of respect is presumed to suffice.  Some will have rules for their own salons due to the conscience of the owner, for example Thalena Lhagr’k does not allow punning in its Salon because it deems such to be horribly offensive to the spirits, but at Lady Salarissa’s there have been known to be spontaneous punning contests among leytgeleshi and friends when certain individuals get together, though it is said Her Ladyship never engages in these personally.  Others say she does on occasion but tends to avoids them out of a sense of fairness – she is easily an hundred times the age of the eldest person who visits her salon and has a remarkable store of such things.  The author would like it known that, in his own visits he has never witnessed the Lady taking part, but that he is poor witness due to a habit of fleeing to the gardens when such contests ensue.


Lemyrkûns are a populous species on Radthel, the principal continent of Sweytz’ northern hemisphere. The creatures are one of that planets five known proto-sentient races exhibiting a remarkable, if rather childlike, intellect.

The creature is found throughout the northern hemisphere and on the largest southern continent, though in minuscule proportions with respect to those found on Radthel. While classed proto-sentient by most xenobiologists of the tri-galaxies it should be noted that none of them believe the species will ever become the principle native intelligence. The reason for this is simply the lemyrkûn’s utter lack of interest in making tools or doing more in life than playing and gathering nuts. Though it should be noted that they would be remarkably easy to elevate as they show great thoughtfulness, keen memory, as well as a remarkable aptitude and enthusiasm for any tools they are given.

Wild lemyrkûns are very fond of people and seem to take a great pleasure in showing off for admiring audiences, and so they are found frequently near homes, villages, and cities playing in trees and among rooftops.

The creature itself is a hermaphrodite, as are so many of Sweytz’ native animal life, and is marsupial. They feed entirely on seeds and nuts, and go dormant during cold seasons, though if one is kept as a pet in a warm home or warm climate they do not seem to require hibernation, but become comparatively more lethargic and sleep longer hours during the winter korvare. They are approximately a yard long from head to tail when fully mature, and have been described by many Terrans as a mad scientist blending a flying squirrel, a raccoon, and the speaker’s choice of various monkeys or a lemur. This is a reasonable description of the creature, though those who are familiar with the Kûndthêk of Glarosd would say it is a tiny one of them, hence the name which is an Oplitti construction for “Tiny Kûn”. It should be noted, however, that the lemyrkûn is in no discernible way related to the Kûndthêk race, and utterly lacks in their ferocity or strictly piscivore diet.

Due to their fun loving, gentle, and bright nature they were quickly adopted as pets among the early Sweytzian settlers and have remained one of the top ten favourite pets of the people of that system since its founding, and is always of the top five native species pets.

The lemyrkûn evolved from a primarily nocturnal species and is still mostly so in habits, though like the cats of Earth they are found active at all points of a day, and seem to sleep in naps of myriad length as needed. They do have large eyes, and seem to posses a very finely tuned echolocative capacity, studies show them able to locate grass seeds in perfect darkness with no apparent difficulties. They do not converse in the ultrasonic, however, instead reserving communications for trills, “merps” and “meeps” in a high pitched, but firmly human audible range – for reference to approximations of their vocalisations in pitch, tone, and essential sound observe young Terran kittens, or the adult stage of the Flendessu oplkite.

They are exceedingly clean animals who can usually be shown how to use various toilet facilities, or if one has a stubborn individual or an incompatible facility for their needs a litter-box will nearly always suffice, though most owners in this situation prefer to teach their pet how to use the door to go outside – the wiser installing a special door for the pet to use as it can be lightly difficult to convince then to remember to close the door afterwards and it makes it near impossible (even compared to normal) to get the curious little thing to stay out of (or in) a room.

As a proto-sentient they are banned for export from Sweytz, though some concession is made to allow citizens of the system not on the primary planet to keep the creatures, and family pets may be taken off-world by their owners. As a result the lemyrkûn has not spread much beyond the near region as a pet, nor are many outside the Sweytzian Alliance familiar with them.

Also their status as semi-intelligent does make the terms ‘pet’ and ‘owner’ slightly inaccurate. The creatures are adopted by families or an individual, but the lemyrkûn must also accept the family willingly. It should be noted that little direct enforcement of this ever occurs as it is seen as foolish in the extreme to try to take a lemyrkûn against its will. They are highly mischievous and playful at the best of times, they can become hellish dæmons of destruction and chaos until they escape or are set free if they’re unhappy. This also discourages ill treatment by those possessing one in their home who still wish to actually have a home. Treated well they are incredibly loyal, will assist (in their own way, which may or may not be actually helpful) with caring for small children, will defend their home from intruders by means of thrown objects – many a valuable heirloom vase has been save from theft by being hurled and shattered against the skull of a would-be burglar. Some even manage to teach their lemyrkûn household chores.

It is a rare home that has more than one, maybe two, lemyrkûns living in it. This is not because they fight. Rather it is for entirely the opposite reason: they’d PLAY. Those who raise lemyrkûns tend to have a home made of very sturdy materials that their hordes live in (horde being the best translation of the official Sweytzian word for a group of lemyrkûns, floghe, which is derived from flogkä – the word for a several of a kind of dæmonic spirit. Unofficially most Sweytzians just say group, bunch or some other generic plural) separate from the keeper’s own home.


A little used Galfarran title, with origins among the Flindrosa of the Glakinod star system. Taredĵo is one of absolute legal authority. In very few circumstances has it ever been used such that it did not lead to a dictatorship, in fact the only current examples of this title in use are to be found in the law enforcement of the Sweytzian Alliance worlds: Sweytz and those worlds within its system, Talgori, Velrod, and Selinasa.

In its traditional form, the full authority of law is given to a single individual, who may then appoint at their own discretion and authority any number of vataredi to assist as deputies. Taredĵo is always a proper noun, and treated appropriately, due to tradition that has been lost in antiquity, though some guess that it was due to the Taredĵo’s very singular role, though grammarians are quick to point out that this would be utter nonsense. The Taredĵo is responsible both for enforcing laws, sentencing, judging, etc. in easily half of the cases that a society appointed a Taredĵo that individual also became the sole law maker, and in all cases but the Sweytzian Alliance’s use of it was the case within a generation.

The Sweytzian Taredĵo is afforded the autonomy and authority that the title implies, but the founders of the worlds believed to have found a balance and so far have proven correct as the oldest society in the group to use the title is over three hundred of its years old, and easily an hundred generations have been protected by its Taredĵo without any signs of tyranny.

This difference is from the laws containing a prescribed punishment, the law making authority being firmly in the hands of the populous as a whole, the Taredĵo and her vataredi not being the only ones allowed to enforce local law, the Taredĵo’s authority extends only over a province with the Taredĵo of other provinces able to bring aid to a province whose Taredĵo goes rogue, as well as the populous having control of the military which can bring down a rogue Taredĵo.

Taredĵo are always appointed for life by the government in control, be it a king, or in the SA’s case by popular vote. They are tasked with keeping the peace and upholding law and order, and then given full authority to do this as they see fit. The Sweytzian Alliance worlds are not the first to think of giving law making powers to a separate group thinking that in so doing they would stop the power hungry, or in some cases well meaning, Taredĵo from usurping all power, but all of these tasked the individual with the world’s peace. The SA is the only example of limited geographical authority with an army independent of the vataredi.

In the case of the Sweytzian Alliance’s use of the title, there is a codified selection processes. When a former Taredĵo dies or steps down, or in the one dozen incidences throughout the multiple centuries as well as planets and provinces, is overthrown a number of eligible vataredi announce their willingness to take the position to their provincial council. The vataredi then select those they feel do not have the leadership ability for the position and those candidates applications are rejected. After this initial culling of those the vataredi are unwilling to answer to, the full provincial council considers the candidates remaining via full access to all records of their time as a vetaredi, as well as consideration of their general character – suffice to say the title nearly always goes to the one best known among the people by being most active and outspoken in council as well as being more public and visible in general – then the matter goes to vote. In the case of a tie, the candidates themselves are asked to make the tie breaking decision, which curiously does not often lead to a second tie, but when it does then the Taredĵo of all the other provinces of that world vote not from those who tied but all those initially considered by the voting council.

Restrictions on the Sweytzian Alliance Taredĵo are that they are not judges in cases where guilt is questionable, they instead become the prosecution in a council trial. They may not perform executions, a criminal’s only right by Sweytzian constitution and those based on it is the right to life; they are not given absolute autonomy in sentencing, laws include what punishments are deemed justified, though most give the Taredĵo choices with regards to details and thus it can still go very badly to annoy a Taredĵo during sentencing; and they are not given free access to the provincial coffers, and are granted a budget that they may request increases in and present their reasons to the council and must manage their equipment and vataredi force based on that budget.

Nento Exaoni Gach (NenEG)

The phrase comes from ancient Helbrennian and means, loosely, “Nothingness from everything” or “Nothing out of everything”. It is not a martial art at all, only a martial philosophy.

It is a philosophy devised by the Helbrennian Faeshir Lokirtha Pokjara. She had been watching several other Faeshir sparring, and later that korva been to a tournament and realised that she could just about predict the moves of each combatant. She meditated on the matter and realised that the reason was that styles were predictable. If she had seen one Ruvellian fencer, she surmised, she had in essence seen them all. If two of them faced off the winner was, inevitably, either the more experienced or the faster and nothing more. They would move into positions just mere moments before the opponent’s attack out of the sure knowledge that, having just done thus, then this would be the next move. Pokjara found this abhorrent, even though she had great respect for the power and fluidity of the Ruvellian sword forms.

She set out to find the key to true martial superiority. A pure art that could not be predicted that levelled the field by allowing speed or skill to be equally useful. Experience and knowledge to be tools and aids, not advantages – that an apprentice could defeat the master because they could know only themselves and fought purely within the moment of the battle. Skills, speed and experience would come together and the fighter with the most of all three would be the victor.

Pokjara meditated long on the matter and came up with Nento Exaoni Gach. She felt that to become a pure warrior, and unbeatable then one must be able to fight their own shadow and win. NenEG, she would explain to her students, first means to look at yourself and see your weaknesses. Then you must see that your weaknesses are strengths. She would teach that, for example, if you are slow then an opponent will try to use speed against you, if you are already aware that you are slow then you will be prepared to counter speed – and if your opponent is slow too then it is neither weakness nor strength, but that is no matter that which is neutral is that which can do no harm. In short a NenEG practitioner learns first to fight themselves and then use what they learn to defend themselves.

After learning to beat their shadows her students would learn to use their minds. Pokjara would say that an Ilzwokie could beat an Urslich if the Ilzwokie can out think the Urslich – size matters for nothing. The Ilzwokie’s weaknesses of size and lesser strength of arm can be turned against the Urslich if the Ilzwokie learns to See the opponent in the moment of the fight and instantly know the weaknesses of the other fighter and then attack them without mercy and without thought.

The latter, she would say, is the greatest importance. Instinct, and the random chaos of the moment. Do not plan. Use your mind to See, but then let your body and your senses fight the battle. The opponent may do something unpredictable by design or accident, if you are thinking of the future you cannot know the present.

Because of this NenEG practitioners are known to be avid students, both formally and informally, of all martial arts styles. It is not unheard of for one to hold an Aslith blade in a Ruvellian stance while engaging in a distinctly Junillian feint. The NenEG philosopher revels in fluidity and chaos.

Between origins among the Faeshir, popular entertainment depictions, and some truly remarkable practitioners throughout its two Standard Centuries of existence there are many legends and expectations about NenEG. That its philosophers learn to fly, or to stand back casually as their opponents beat themselves senseless and numerous other mystical powers gained from their martial introspection. While they do make for exciting tales there have been no confirmed reports of any such (except the flying, technically, but as the practitioner in question was a Vriltorin this clearly had nothing to do with NenEG and everything to do with her possession of a stout pair of wings along with the balance of her race).