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Vulcans, from the planet Vulcan, are among the galaxy's most common races. Although they do not breed as prolifically as the dominant Federation race, the Humans, Vulcans reached space considerably quicker and are, according to most contemporary theories, the 'seed race' for the also-populous Romulans. This makes the Vulcanoid races the most prolific in the entire Alpha Quadrant. Vulcans are highly respected throughout the Federation, and though they tend to look down on Humans a bit, Vulcans are the only species other than Humans to hold the position of Starfleet Commander-in-Chief.
Partially because of the harsh conditions of their home planet, Vulcans display physical characteristics far in excess of the average. They are noticeably stronger than Humans or Andorians, and considerably more nimble (although, of course, there are always variances from the norm). Their constitution is relatively weak, which can surprise those who have mostly seen Vulcans lifting loads that make their Human companions blanche. However, their most noticeable feature is their considerable intellect, which allowed them to be among the first races in the quadrant to achieve warp travel and which has allowed them to spread to wide corners of the Alpha Quadrant. Vulcans are also extremely long-lived, with a lifespan of 250 Earth years not being unusual. A Vulcan that is a century old is typically in the prime of his life.
Vulcans are somewhat taller and have a slightly greener pigment than the average Human, although their skin tone runs the spectrum from dark to light much like the Human skin. Their most prominent physical feature is their trademark pointed ears, and they tend to wear their hair in a very even, symmetrical style. Vulcans are most well-known for their passionate embrace of logic, to the point of excluding all emotion in favour of pure knowledge and calculation. Despite all of the self-aggrandizing moaning by the Alpha Quadrant's more emotional races that they're missing out on the bliss of emotion, logic seems to have served the Vulcans very well so far and will no doubt continue to do so.
Vulcan History Course
In the beginning, when life first appeared on the planet, it was very similar to Earth in that the world housed oceans, forests, and meadows full of life indigenous to a newborn planet. Prehistoric Vulcan had only the opportunity to explore their home for a short time. Perhaps several generations passed, language was being learned and tribes were starting to form. It was then, when suddenly, the planet was devastated by a storm of violent sun flares. One of the two suns that make up the binary star system wherein Vulcan resides, expanded, shedding lethal solar radiation lightyears into space.
Life was not extinguished from the planet, however. Survivors did exit, those few who had had the time to retreat far underground during the onset of the storms. These people were not able to live underground and forced by starvation, returned to the surface. The star had relieved itself of most of its mass by this point and there was no further threat of solar activity.
Arriving out from their cover, prehistoric life had to begin anew but not at all as before. Food could not be located easily, nor was water at all common. Many people died during this time, however, the Vulcan spirit could not be smothered. Life continued, the people adapted. Evalution was a constant factor now as tribes began to form where food and water could be found. The population became stable again and prehistoric existance was flourishing. It was then, that life for all the people would begin to change.
Men were first to realize difference. What we now call Pon-Farr, was then known as nothing more then a fever which killed. Biological behavior, or simple instincts, solved this situation when it was realized that women could bond in both body and mind with men. This bondage created a link between the pair which soothed the fever and rid it until it would return in its never-ending seven year cycle
As the people began to evolve and gain in knowledge of farming and creating more food and stable living conditions, the population grew and the next step of Vulcan development started. Children began to be born with unusual features. Some would not speak verbally but only telepathically. Some could look at the two suns without blinking nor damaging their eyes. Some were simply strong, while others were extremely agile. At first these unusual differences were seen as defects though...as more and more women gave birth it soon became clear they were not.
The way of life changed at this point. Females became dominant and the tribes split up into 'families' based on women and what children they produced. Each family was made up of people with the same abilities. The people became divided and fighting would result. The families quickly learned that having only one ability wasn't enough to survive. The family of the eye, for instance, could attack during mid-day when the suns were both at their apex and the light and heat were too intense for any other Vulcan to withstand. This gave the one family a strong edge, something the other families wanted. War broke out, women were being kidnapped and rapped to offer up children of neighboring abilities.
Generations and generations, this war raged on until it became moot. The gene pool was eventually so intermixed that all children bore the same abilities. This was inevitible, however not enough to stop the fighting. The families of Vulcan wanted dominance, each of them, and they were willing to fight for it. That they did, for centuries...up to modern time...when a man named Surek was born.
Time of Surak Course
Violance was a ruling factor is Surak's life. He'd grown up watching it on telemonitors, explosions and death appearing daily on news frequencies. The province he lived and worked in had long ago overpowered its neighbors and installed peace to its regions, however, fighting was everywhere else.
There came a day that a new realization struck Surak. He had been at work, troubled over a financial account, when he took a moment to turn on the video monitor and tune in a news frequency. The picture resolved into a clear image of massive destruction. Apparently, two rival provinces had ended their war with one another. This was done via the development of an anti-matter bomb, which not only destroyed every living being within the provice and for hundreds of miles outside its boarders, but it also cracked the planetary crust causing massive seizmic and vulcanic activity. Space travel had been possible for several decades, but never has anyone used its technology for this purpose.
The totality of this act reached far into Surak's mind and he knew then that society must change...or be destroyed by itself. Devastated and disgusted with his people, Surak took his aircar and left known civilization to dwell alone in solitude among the sands of the great desert.
During his self exile, Surak had plenty of time to consider the planets history of violance and eventually concluded a new way of life was indeed neccessary to save his race. With no obvious idea of how to go about changing the way society acts, he began to meander aimlessly in contemplation.
Stopping to watch T'Khut rise in its enourmous beauty, one night, Surak noticed the ground abrutly moving upwards like a huge mountain reaching up towards the moon. When the sand fell away, there stood a Lematya beast the size of a tall building. Surak could only stand there staring at what he thought was death incarnate come to fetch him. Both sat immobile, whether it was from fear of eachother, neither could know.
Surak's mind opened up then and it filled with images and thoughts and pictures from the Lematya, all depicting its life and its own existance. Suddenly something struck him...Surak's life was so determinably different then the creature before him that for both to indulge in eachothers thoughts brought about a sence of welcome change...and then acceptance. Understanding came to Surak and in the blink of an eye, the Lematya too understood and disappeared into its sandy realm. Realization settled over Surak, for finally he knew how to help his people.
Returning to civlization, Surak began his new life as a teacher and philosopher, instructing the public in diversity and its infinate combinations. That the differences between people should be explored and known so that with knowledge of eachother there would be less reason to hate. Surak, quickly became a well known acolyte of peace, publishing his writings over the mass communication network for the entire population to read. The word and the way was spreading throughout the planet.
Many decades passed, the Vulcan people were begining to unite in logic and the study of IDIC. When contact with an alien race happened. This was of course an eventuality of evolution. The aliens were invited in with open arms and Surak was called upon to meet with and help facilitate the introduction of the new race. However, due to a malfunction in his aircar, Surak was unable to arrive at the designated time and so sent his protege S'task ahead in his place.
The Duthulian Pirates were excited at having met this new race. There was no concern that these Vulcans would know the reputation of the pirates and so pillage and plunder was expected. Upon landing on the planet, the pirates met with the Vulcan dignitaries and calmly explained their intention to invade and loot the planet. Using his teachers lessons of self control, S'task casually nodded acceptance of the pirates proclamation and replied, informing them that their logic is flawed. The Duthulians pulled weapons and abducted what people they could, then returned to space into orbit of the planet.
The resulting war far exceeded any conflict from the past and so came to be known as 'Ahk', the war of wars. Having abandoned their destructive technologies, the Vulcan people took to space with what craft they had and fought with their mental abilities more then not. Capable of turning pirates against eachother and beguiling them long enough to be destroyed, the Vulcan's were soon a feared enemy. The fierce determination of the Duthulians, however, threatened to tip the scales of this war in their favor. Massing their fleets around a convoy of battleships, the Duthulians prepred for one final assult in which they would indeed win.
Stripping himself of all his teachings, S'task was able to unlease true violance and rage against his captors via the power of his mind. Overwhelming enough people to gain control of one battleship in the convoy, S'task was able to engage and destroy many other cruisers before ejecting in an escape pod while ramming yet another vessel. This disrupted the duthulian pirates entire fleet and attack plans, bringing an end to the war.
Upon his return to Vulcan, S'task met with Surak, both immence figures of popularity, one for his extreme courage in war, the other for his logic and wisdom in maintaining peace. This split in belief extended into the population for many Vulcan reverted to their war like state during the fighting. It was decided that S'task would rally those who would live his way and be allowed to leave the planet and colonize in another star system.
This was known as the time of seperation...S'task led his followers away, leaving only those who truely excepted the logical way of life. Surak had succeeded in bringing a change to the people, but, in a manner he had never anticipated.
Surak lived the rest of his life teaching and was content with how society now existed...as were the people. However, a violant action did eventually happen and of course Surak was sent to settle things. Upon his arrival though, he was taken into custody and his life was threatened. Offering no resistance, Surak was murdered. The population grieved...though they had long ago accepted and learned to supress feelings which made the process very short. It was not long after, that another representative of peace was sent to settle the situation that resulted in Surak's death. This representative too was killed. Though, that did not stop representatives from going. Many were killed before it was realized how fruitless the agression was. Soon...a representative of peace was welcomed. Since that time...no agression has ever been inspired again.
Ideally, do no harm. - Harm speeds up the heat-death of the Universe, and indirectly, your own.
More practically, do as little harm as possible. - We are creatures of a Universe in which entropy exists, and therefore see no way to escape, but we do not need to help it.
Harm no one's internal, invisible integrities. - Leave others the privacies of their minds and lives. Intimacy remains precious only insofar as it is inviolate: invading it turns it to torment. Reach out to others courteously: accept their reaching in the same way, with careful hands.
Do no murder. - The spear in the other's heart is the spear in your own; you are he. All action has reaction: what force you inflict, inevitably returns. The murder of the other is the murder of your own joy, forever.
As far as possible, do not kill. - Can you give life again to what you kill? Then be slow to take life. Take only life that will not notice you taking it. To notice one's own death increases entropy. To die and not notice it increases it less, but still does so.
Cast out fear. Cast out hate and rage. Cast out greed and envy. - Cast out all emotion that speeds entropy, whether it be love or hate. Cast out these emotions by using reason to accept them, and then move pass them. Use in moderation emotions that do not speed entropy, taking all care that they do not cause others pain, for that speeds entropy as well. Master your passions, so that they become a power for the slowing of the neat-death.
Do no harm to those that harm you. - Offer them peace, and offer them peace again, and do it until you die. In this manner you will have peace, one way or the other, even if they kill you. And you cannot give others what you have not experienced yourself.
Learn reason above all. - Learn clear thought: learn to know what is from what seems to be, and what you wish to be. This is the key to everything: the truth of reality, the reality of truth. What is will set you free.
Vulcan RolePlay Info Course
Role playing a Vulcan character is not an easy task. It is very important to remember that they are not Human and share very few commonalities other then looks and a common goal in existance. As if to punctuate the differences, one must remember that Vulcans has existed Three-Hundred Thousand years longer then Humans and thus has developed far longer.
First contact between Humans and Vulcans was the year 2065, old Earth dating, when the vessel UNSS Amity found a disabled Vulcan spacecraft adrift in the Sol system (see Strangers From The Sky by Margaret Wander Bonanno). Diplomatic relations were opened immediatly, as were agreements made for information exchange and trade.
Soon after that, the United Federation of Planets was formed. Humans flourished at this point, stretching to all of Earth's neighboring planets and star systems. The Vulcan people and the technology shared between them and the Humans helped to bring about a new age.
A common misconception about Vulcans is that they are incapable of feeling or showing emotion. The truth of the matter is, they have learned to supress emotion and mastered themselves so they never show any expression. This means a Vulcan does not smile, does not grin, does not laugh, nor does he chuckle, get angry, yell, or fall in love. That is not to say a Vulcan cannot feel affection, they do and they feel the love and warmth associated with a relationship. One might even grin in satisfaction from holding his wife...but this would never happen outside of the relationship. In other words, a human would never see a vulcan walking through the streets or station corridors, holding hands with his mate or beaming with pride or see them smiling at each other.
Note - There is only one known Vulcan that has showed excessive emotion. This person is named Sybok. He died in Star Trek V. This type of character is considered unique and so is not to be repeated nor emulated online at TOS. Although, there can be and are exceptions. A thorough biography depicting why a Vulcan would pay homage to emotions would be neccessary for this to be accomplished.
Another misconception about Vulcans is their philosophy and way of life. IDIC is known as Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations. This is not the entirety of what Surak taught and not the definitive answer of the Vulcan way of life. C'thia, is the Vulcan word for Logic. The practice of C'thia is the proper way of Vulcan existance. IDIC, is used to direct the Vulcan people into the future and lends itself to influence the Vulcan way of life, though, does not define it.
This does not mean there are no Vulcans who do not follow IDIC or C'thia, they do exist but it is extremely rare. So it is possible to meet a Vulcan who is slightly emotional or even biased. IDIC teaches this is wrong, though logic clearly dictates, as shown in the overview, that Vulcankind is far superior to Humankind. While this superiority complex is common, it rarely interferes with those who practice C'thia or are enlightened by the IDIC philosophy. Those few that allow this or any biased nature to alter their perception never leave the homeworld, so it is unique to meet a vulcan such as this offworld.
Perhaps due to this complex, or, perhaps due to their extremely analytical behavior, most Vulcan are not socialy adept. Some consider the neccessity for socialization to be a side effect of Human society and think of it as a menial requirement, most especially vocalized communication. Thus you will never see a Vulcan as the 'life of a party' instead they, often times, can be seen sitting alone and away from the crowd, rarely engaged in idle converation.
An important fact that eludes people, is that Vulcan individuals are pacifists. While we do not wish to cause harm to anyone, we also know what our duties are. So, a Vulcan in Starfleet, as a Security officer, would carry a firearm and use it without impedimenta if required. Vulcans who's duties do not include security or protection etcetera, will never cause harm. To destroy life is to hasten 'entropy'.
Childhood for a Vulcan is far different then that of Humans. From the time a Vulcan child is born, he or she is given great amounts of attention. Frequent mind melds are administered for both indentity and to begin neurological organization in the child. Basic calculation and visual mathmatics is taught.
At four years, mathematics is expanded to algebra, geometry, and physics. Also, physical coordination and knowledge of other races and species indentification is begun. At eight years, preliminary telepathic communication and etiquette starts. Mathematics continues with calculus and quantum physics. Family history and vulcan anthropology lessons begin. At ten years, supression of cortical stimulae in the dominant hemisphere of the brain is taught. Further study of Vulcan cultural history and rites of passage continues. At eleven years, physical deportment happens. First training of pressure points to mind melding, memory accuracy, internal time counting, introduction to logic and definition, principles of analysis, and concreteness of thought is administered. Then the child is transported deep into the vast desert and abandoned.
This is considered the 'rite of passage'. It is after completion of this rite that the child is considered a man or woman of full stature. Continued training from this point is no longer mandatory and considered the 'formal' portion of Vulcan education. At this point of development, the Vulcan 11 year old is equivilant to a young adult human soon after graduation from collage.
Continued (Formal) training is broken down to specific diciplines which are taught. Such as: TAL T'LEE - Meditation which is assisted by an Adept, to learn control over sub-dominant cortices of the brain. DWEMISH NI-AN - Identity isolation. Brian control with number systems and equations. Multiplication left to right. ENOK-KAL FILAR - The processes of definition. Concept of givens. AN-PRELE - The pain control meditation, at first with the guidance of an Adept. Further study includes reading "The Runes of T'Vish", logic paradigns, behavioral modification, multiplication right to left, diagonal and cross multiplication, as well as isolation of the Katra.
SELE-AN-T'LEE - Lessons in subdominant brain organization. Includes advanced philosophy and logic, muscle coordination, and control of will. Five steps are taught: Belief discipline, reality awareness, sensory acuteness, visual calculation, and fact analysys. Reading includes "Logic and Definition" by Lyras, "The Interior" by Tal Luxur of Romulus, "Equations by Scorus" "Systems of Logic" and "Purpose as Prime Moticator" by Surak. Also taught are differing mind meld techniques. NORN-LA-HAL - Superior control meditation and neurological organization. Importance of dignity and tradition of Vulcan identity. Comteplations of infinity.
VENLINAHR - Meditation by individual discretion. (This is the common level of Vulcan education.) Further study of the Vulcan Dharma includes reading of the mystagoges of Surak, Scorus, T'enne, T'Vish, Prisu, and Seltar. KOLINAHR - Final divorce of the brain, body, and katra from all emotional responses. This is the final and utmost highest consideration of a Vulcan. After this point a Vulcan is truely an enigma.