The Vegan Empire
"Ashon'Ta, no vella
-Standard Vegan greeting to off-worlders
The Vegan Empire...the name itself sparks a sense of mystery and intellect to those who hear it. The Empire is rightfully feared by outer colonists, for their rapid expanse into RUSN territory has been for but one purpose throughout the Omega War: elimination. Few know why, but it is believed that part of it is due to the galactic-wide broadcast they sent throughout RUSN territory during the beginnings of the Omega War. As a result, they immediately caught our attention
"Ashon'Ta no vella, lesser races. You are barbarians. Barbarians are needed to be purged. It is the Will of the Gods. The universe will not weep at your passing."
The Vegan Empire's beginnings can barely be traced back, but what is known is that before life ever evolved on Vegari Prima, their home planet, their world was a gas giant. Somehow, by means not even known to the Vegans, their world was moved from its orbit closer to its star, and its outer layer of atmosphere suddenly became denser to the point where it created a solid, thick crust; trapping most of the volatile gasses within. The atmosphere became very diverse, and the planet's water supplies began to form within great aquifers throughout the crust. Geysers of gas began to form, occasionally causing earthquakes and allowing a world suitable for life to be forged. Vegari Prima was born.
The life forms on Vegari Prima were believed to be seeded, for without direct surface water the forging of living creatures would have been difficult. The early Vegans were cave dwellers; evolved from mollusk-like life forms, the Vegans arrived upon the surface and took advantage of the world's lack of competition and began to spread. As they evolved, a tribe-like people, the early Vegans, had evolved on the surface; using fungus-like growths on the world to act as shelters against the deadly winds and methane storms on the world. These same growths acted as their only source of food and water besides the more diverse life forms in the tremendous aquifers and surface caverns nearby.
All this changed when the Precursors arrived.
The Precursors were a roving race. They were ancient; technologically and biologically advanced creatures whose empire existed beyond the known stars. It is unknown whether or not they were native to the galaxy, but what is known especially to the RUSN is that the Precursors left behind artifacts on the worlds that they visited, suggesting that they seeded much of the life throughout the galaxy besides planets like Earth and Org'heren. These artifacts appear to be ruins, suggesting that they once held an empire in the galaxy but chose to leave their empire either in favor of a nomadic lifestyle or because of an economic, social, or even military collapse; resulting in the destruction of their former society.
When they arrived on Vegari Prima, they discovered the early Vegans. They had almost become extinct due to a lack of resources; without an organized society, the idea of agriculture was never introduced, and so the cultivation of the fungal growths that was their staple food was never integrated resulting in less and less food for populations. Migration was the only means of finding food, and whenever they did migrate they encountered other Vegans, leading to war via competition. The Vegan race was on the verge of extinction before their great empire had even begun, and thanks to the Precursors such extinction wasn't to occur.
The Precursors, who the Vegans referred to as the Wandering Gods, sought out the Vegans for their powerful psykic abilities. Evolved out of a need to survive in a world where fire could never exist, and where the world's gravity could crush anyone not adapted to survive under its great pressure, the Vegans used it as a means to help structure homes and prevent cave-ins, as well as a form of advanced sight which allowed them to see in the dark without needing an external source of light. The Precursors immediately saw potential in this race, and without the patience to wait until they evolved they began to teach the Vegans to develop new technology and a means to properly hone their powerful but raw psykic powers.
In time, the Precursors remained with the Vegan race and soon began to integrate their own society upon them. The fluid design of the Precursors' buildings and war ships astounded the Vegans, and when they learned how to build their own structures using psykic powers they took on a similar design; almost an organic feel. Through the use of Warp, a type of psykic ability that allowed the Psyker in question to take certain elements and restructure them into a form and element that they saw fit, the Vegans were able to build great towering spires and beautiful cities made of blue and gold material, which reflected the silver and aqua spires of the Precursor race.
Over time, however, as the Vegan society continued to evolve, the Precursors began to fade. Soon there came a day when the Wandering Gods disappeared entirely; leaving only their spiring cities which remained empty and untouched out of sacred devotion to their progenitors. Nevertheless, after the Precursors left, the Vegans advanced to the point where they became an absolutely majestic and peaceful society. The beginnings of the Vegan Empire were born.
For the next several thousands of years, the Vegans remained comfortably on Vegari Prima. Agricultural machines allowed for the distribution of the fungi spores that they called food throughout the world, and the use of livestock allowed many of the creatures found within the aquifers of their home to be used as food and for goods. Some Vegans even became hunters; the earliest Arbiters; and dove into the great depths and caves for weeks at a time in order to hunt the great Serpent Beasts of the underground, never once returning until a trophy of sorts was in their grasp.
Eventually, however, the Vegan race desired to follow their gods to whatever realm they had departed to, and so began to find a means to enter into space. However, save for developing the limited ability of teleportation through Psykic power, there was no means to be able to get off of the gas giant that was their home. No fire meant no explosives, which meant the energy that could be harnessed and used to propel their people off of their world could never be grasped. In time, it was almost considered hopeless to ever leave their world until an advanced form of teleportation was discovered and utilized by ever-vigilant priests and scientists led to the creation of powerful teleportation gates that could lead from one world to another. Satellites were launched into Vegan space through this method, and attempts to gain access to the other worlds of Vegari became underway.
Vegan contact with the first of the two other indigenous peoples of Vegari was quick, and proved just how barbaric the races outside of their realm could truly be. The Koraki were a race of badger-like mammals that stood upon their hind legs, had shaggy fur, and were brimming with muscle all across their short frames. Their kind had advanced up to the point of discovering rockets, and had nowhere near the technology equivalent of the Vegans. Finding them on their homeworld of Vegari XI was a shock at best, for little was known of how much life existed in their solar system save for the fact that Vegari Prima was inhabited despite its tremendous size. The Koraki reacted violently, using weaponry that proved devastating for the Vegans as violent rockets and flamethrowers were used against the Vegan people. As a response to this retaliation, the Vegans declared war upon the Koraki race, and the Koraki War began.
The war itself lasted for about 500 years. The reason for this was simple; while the Vegans were technologically superior to the Koraki, their technology was used in times of peace and they had little knowledge for the concept of war. The first of their troops were indeed their hunters, who had formed themselves into a sect of honor known as the Order of Arbitration. They became the first Arbiters, and they equipped themselves with their modified hunting tools and went to wage war against the Koraki on their world.
The use of Koraki flamethrowers and long-range missile fire proved to be almost too much for the Arbiters to handle. The Vegans responded by converting their drones to fire more lethal weaponry. The method in which these drones could build and repair buildings and vehicles for the Vegans was through modified electricity which was refined to the point where it fired very refined bolts in a single beam of power; the voltage remained the same as normal electricity, but the energy pulse was reversed to ensure that a spark would not form in Vegari Prime's atmosphere. When modified, the lightning bolt was powerful enough to fry a single target easily. The ranged weapon allowed for new troops, and soon the drones and walker robots joined the Vegans in battle.
The Koraki War ended thanks to these modified pieces of technology alongside the vigilance of the Arbiters. The Koraki surrendered unconditionally, and in return the Vegans allowed them to live as part of their empire so long as they agreed not to use any more of the "barbarian technologies" such as flamethrowers and rockets that the Vegans despised. In return, they were allowed to keep their homeworld's name; Koraki; in honor of those of their number who had fallen in the war. Through their experience with the Koraki, the Vegans then proceeded to focus upon their military, and soon enough they had their own flying machines and warrior drones inspired by the jet fighters and rockets of the Koraki.
When life was discovered on the volcanic world of Vegari II, the Vegans were ready for them. They arrived upon the world; a shield was used to protect their teleporter as the release of excess gas from Vegari Prima's atmosphere after the teleportation process was often lethal when exposed to fire; and soon their military forces branched out and prepared for hostile encounter. They found it in the form of the Helions; an insect-like race born of the fires of Vegari II. Like the Vegans, they were Psykics, though nowhere near as powerful and developed in a way far different than that of the Vegans. Through their powerful technology and their strange walker robots, discovered to contain the recovered bodies of Helions too injured to be properly healed, the Helions drove the Vegans and their Koraki allies back, forcing a new strategy upon the Vegans.
Psykics soon joined the battle, and soon it was a Psykic war unlike anything the Vegans ever encountered. The Vegans were discovered to be capable of melding their minds together into one body to create a super-Psyker known as an Avatar, which was capable of using the power of the elements to grant it aid. While these Avatars were a distinct advantage over the Vegan use of pyskic power, the Vegans eventually won the war through their sheer numbers and their strategy of honor and total victory over death.
The Helions surrendered indefinitely and agreed to use technology that would not rely upon the fires of their homeworld and therefore be considered barbaric. They were also to never again create Avatars unless there came a dire need. In return, they were granted the name Helion for their homeworld, and were allowed to permanently join the Vegan Empire.
For many thousands of years the Vegan Empire would enter a reign of peace and prosperity, though the conditions on the seven planets of Vegari were cramped and the desire for true space exploration was greater than ever. It wasn't until roughly 1000 A.D. on Earth, however, that they finally discovered a means to enter space. Tremendous teleportation gates were constructed to allow for ships built on the ground to enter the vast regions of space. Through the use of heavily modified and contained plasma generators the Vegans could maneuver their ships through space, and the creation of powerful energy shields around themselves and their war ships allowed them to survive in environments physically hostile to them. The Koraki and Helion governments were allowed access to this technology, and they in turn created their own ships of similar design. Through the use of the Teleportation Matrix; formed when a single Vegan Psykic, known as Primarchs, bonded themselves to their capital ships body and soul and used their psykic power to open great portals that spanned across large distances of the galaxy, the Vegans very swiftly began a galactic-wide expansion so swift that it seemed to happen in a blink of an eye to their society. In as little as a millennia, the Vegan Empire stretched across over a hundred worlds, and by the time the RUSN came into power they already had control over much of the southern piece of the galaxy.
When the Vegans first saw humanity, they watched them closely. The RUSN was the first race that they had seen that managed to create a tremendous empire as large as their own in the galaxy. They watched mankind's wars and soon learned that they were little more than barbarians, using barbarian technology to the point where their entire society thrived around it. This could not be allowed, and many of the Vegans agreed that something had to be done. By the time the Orghren Raiders, a race hell-bent upon destruction of the galaxy by fire, arrived and struck a blow against the RUSN, while the Tyraks began to expand their territory across the borders of RUSN Space and swarm over them all, the Vegans had already made up their minds. The Templars, their holy leaders, decreed that humanity and the rest of the barbarians of the galaxy were to be eliminated completely; their existence wiped clean, and their worlds turned into clean slates for new life.
Thus the Omega War had begun