The vakoranin (Vespian: vâkorânīn, vâkorânīn; "those bred for war") are the caste of warriors, officers, and law enforcers of Vespia. Sometimes informally referred to as dakin, or "mighty ones", vakoranin constitute an elite portion of the Vespian population, standing apart from their fellow commoners in that they alone are permitted to fight on behalf of their empire, and enforce the laws of the land at home by force of arms. The term vakoran is derived from the two nouns vâk, meaning "war" or "combat", and orân, meaning "cradle". The combination of the two words effectively means "in the cradle of war" or "one born/nursed for combat", denoting the singular role of a member of the caste to wage war against Vespia's enemies abroad, while likewise enforcing the law at home. The products of a brutal upbringing and training regime known as the dukorin, all vakoranin are born and bred for conflict regardless of its location, background, or intensity. All members of the vakoranin are considered legal wards of the state in union with the sacrifice their personal ambitions and life-goals for the needs of their people. Consequently, the state takes it upon itself to look after them and see to their well-being as a sacred and solemn responsibility given to it by Zhautan, the paramount deity of the Vespians.
Historically, the vakoranin are considered the oldest military force to remain in service for any period of time in an organized manner, having their roots way back in the age of Lead Vespia. As a social class, vakoranin occupy the upper-middle echelons of Vespian society based solely on their nature as the empire's primary defense, and role in the outworking of Zhautan's divine commission to his Vespian children to cleanse the material half of the universe of corruption at the hands of his malevolent and perverse enemy, Zhanivoyan. Interestingly, vakoranin are barred from owning land or slaves, in line with the directive given them not to weight themselves down with certain material possessions that would divine their attention and energies toward unnecessary maintenance of goods which do not aid or contribute to their role as guardians of Vespia and Vespian civilization. While all Vespians have some form of combat training as a part of their education, only the vakoranin alone have the privilege of taking part in the waging of war. As of 5995 Ʋ, the vakoranin constitute approximately 9.6% of the Vespian population−nearly 174 million Vespians−and are synonymous with the knights of non-Vespian civilizations, a highly-esteemed and honorable class of warriors who have forsaken their lives for that of their people.
History[edit | edit source]
Origins[edit | edit source]
Period of expansion[edit | edit source]
Professionalization[edit | edit source]
Lead and Iron periods[edit | edit source]
Copper period[edit | edit source]
Silver period[edit | edit source]
Modernization[edit | edit source]
Contemporary era[edit | edit source]
Recruitment[edit | edit source]
Selection[edit | edit source]
Training[edit | edit source]
Admission[edit | edit source]
Structure[edit | edit source]
Leadership[edit | edit source]
Divisions[edit | edit source]
Ranks and titles[edit | edit source]
Advancement[edit | edit source]
Punishments[edit | edit source]
Regulations[edit | edit source]
As with all of the castes of Vespia, the vakoranin are held to a strict set of laws collectively known as the Tayohun, which regulates all of the behavior and interactions of the caste. All regulatory practices within the vakoranin are enforced by fellow warriors under the supervision of the Ta'Zhadak, and every vakoran strictly adheres to these regulations as a matter of habit. Because of the militant nature of the vakoranin, there exist several unique codes established solely for the needs of the warriors, so as to ensure proper behavior, rigid discipline, and combat effectiveness. Because of their adherence to these laws, the vakoranin have managed to remain a well-trained fighting force for the last fifteen thousand years of Vespian history, with only a few breaks in tradition and code adherence during the length of their existence.
Discipline[edit | edit source]
All Vespians are required, as a critical part of their upbringing, to adhere to the concept of rekuva, or "self-mastery", which encompasses their ability to regulate the most animalistic behavior that comes instinctively to them. This is more so required through strict enforcement by the vakoranin, who are held to a higher standard than their non-warrior peers. Because of their role as the law enforcement and national defense of Vespia, the vakoranin have little to no room for infractions for poor behavior and unacceptable breaches of discipline. They hold a powerful position in Vespian society, and failing to measure up to the high standards placed upon them as both defenders of Vespian law and civilization, as well as examples of noble Vespian behavior, is a level of dishonor few of their number are permitted to repent for. According to the Tayohun, any vakoranin found in violation of rekuva are either beaten by their peers, tortured as an example to their fellow warriors the punishment for such transgressions, or terminated in any number of grizzly ways before the public.
The standard of discipline enforced within the caste is done for the sake of all Vespians, as those who enforce the law by force of arms must be the first in line to obey those laws. Failing to do so would highlight a degree of corruption within the ranks of the vakoranin that any good Vespians would and should only find within the hosts of the "Great Heathenry". It would damage the morale of their brothers and sisters, and indicate the creeping influence of Zhanivoyan among the ranks of those swore to fight it. Consequently, the warriors are harder upon themselves as instructed by the Tayohun, and Vespian society is typically welcoming of these harsh measures to prevent the decay of the vakoranin from within. Rekuva likewise touches upon one's fear of death, with the encouragement provided being that Zhautan did not create the Vespians nor their warriors to fear that which will ultimately come naturally. As the Vespian saying has gone for millennia: "Hoku šo-satâk vâkomâra, yâdan šo-satâk nedīra" – literally meaning "good to die in battle, bad to die in bed" – highlighting the view the vakoranin hold for their station.
Property rights[edit | edit source]
The Tayohun has been expanded throughout the centuries to shape the vakoranin to the changing needs of the Vespian civilization, and the new developments in culture and society requiring adaptation as warriors. Many of the adaptations generally revolve around the art of war, and the manner in which a warrior would conduct themselves in both public and private life. The most important regulation imposed upon those joining the warrior caste is that of disowning oneself for the sake of the Vespian people, much akin to the concept of chivalry. The most important thing a member of the vakoranin will do or can do, would be to die in battle for the advancement of the Vespian nation's overall goal of purifying the universal of the taint that was passed on to it by Zhanivoyan. This is the singular purpose of all Vespians, and even more so for a vakoran, whose life after joining the caste is now consumed by the ideal of self-sacrifice for a greater good. Vakoranin who fail to measure up to the caste law are effectively found lacking in their one task as a warrior, and depending on the severity of their infraction, may be punished by expulsion from the caste and enslavement, or outright execution by their peers for failing to adhere to their new life as a vakoran.
Another regulation is that which touches upon slavery and land ownership. By imperial law, vakoranin are prohibited from owning either land or slaves, due to an ancient decree that was originally instituted by Tazen Izhomaro III in 1458 Ʋ. Fearing that their ties to their land and human possessions would harm their effectiveness as warriors, Izhomaro imposed the prohibition on the ownership of land by the vakoranin as a means of directing their toward the furtherance of their skills and discipline as the martial caste of Vespia. While this law does not prevent a vakoran from owning personal items from their own enjoyment and standard of living, it is made abundantly clear that upon joining the warrior caste, one takes up a simplistic lifestyle where life as a professional soldier is the first and most important occupation one should concern themselves with. As a direct consequence, most vakoranin do not own their own homes or clothing, and are entirely dependent upon either the imperial government or the zharuk to whom they are sworn to fight for. Because of their dependency upon the state for their means of living, the vakoranin are loyal to the state itself and not to the men and women who lead them, as no member of the caste has direct ownership over anything that would substitute that which only the state can provide.
Vakoranin may request the services of a slave in any capacity they are employed for, though they may not force them to take another role their owners have prohibited, or attempt to take possession of them by force. All vakoranin found in violation of this regulation will be fined for any damage caused to the slave. Due to the lack of much personal wealth as a consequence of their chosen social status, many vakoranin may typically lack the means to compensate the owner of the slave, and will find themselves in a position where they will either become a slave themselves or be forced to work off the debt they now owe. Vakoranin are free to establish families of their own volition with any other caste member, and are in fact very much encouraged to do so by the state, as it helps to bolster the number of live births in the empire. Many of the offspring of the warriors typically follow in the footsteps of their parents, most simply due to the nomadic life and upbringing they find themselves accustom to as a result of their parents' station as a warrior. This helps to increase the number of volunteers seeking to join the caste and keep the Vespian military well-supplied with young minds and bodies.
Any children sired with newly captured slaves or products of war rape are, as the Tayohun strictly outlines, considered slaves and thus property of the state as the warriors may not own slaves themselves. Any contact between these half-blooded slave children and their full-blooded Vespian warrior parents, is officially discouraged by the state. However, due to the historic need for support personnel for the vakoranin, these slave children sired by the warriors are often incorporated into the non-warrior cadres of the vakoranin as dakimarin. Dakimarin are under the direction of the state, and their lives are micromanaged in such a way that they are not "owned" by their warrior parents, but are "seconded" to them as support personnel attached to their units on a permanent basis. These slaves may also be "seconded" to the warrior's extended family on a long-term basis if the caste has no need for extra support personnel. While the vakoranin generally have difficulty establishing bonds with these individuals due to psychological considerations inherent to vespoids, they recognize them as blood relatives, and generally seek to make use of them in such a manner that their safety is not compromised, all the while not being in direct violation of the Tayohun prohibition on warriors owning slaves.
Daily life[edit | edit source]
Housing[edit | edit source]
Healthcare[edit | edit source]
- To be rewritten
As a caste, vakoranin are physically taller, stronger, and faster than all of their Vespian peers, taking full advantage of the natural physical abilities innate to the vespoid species. Furthermore, given that all vakoranin have sworn their lives away for the state and the furtherance of their respective hakuva's military goals, they are required to remain in peak physical condition for as long as they are needed by their people. However, the sheer amount of brutality their bodies endure throughout a lifetime of war and physical training, leaves mean body of many vakoranin badly abused and broken in some cases, leaving the ability to remain combat-ready a tall order for wounded and older warriors. As such, every hakuva in Vespia is required to provide healthcare services to all vakoranin within their membership rolls. Due to the fact that so many vakoranin live throughout the empire, providing healthcare to all of them is an expensive demand that the imperial government has since helped to find a resolution too. As all other services for an individual warrior are provided by the state and family in the same manner as regular military personnel, the allowances for the vakoranin are limited to help pay for only trivial expenses, personnel entertainment, and transportation during their free time. All other salary expenses that would have gone into the pockets of the warriors instead go into maintaining the healthcare system that the warriors need to maintain their physical fitness requirements.