Can Vaylen recognize each other?

I.e., how do two Vyalen in human (or Kerrn, or Mukhadish) host bodies recognize that each other are Vaylen? Since hulling ruins Psychological abilities, I assume they don’t have some sort of telepathy or whatever. Or do they?

If they can’t, would a human (or Kerrn, or Mukhadish) be able to infiltrate a Vaylen organization?

Well, a Kerrn couldn’t easily infiltrate. Given the history and the very low chance of a Naiven hanging on to a Kerrn host, a Kerrn who claimed to be Vaylen would be checked over very thoroughly.

In the general case, I think the answer lies mainly in common background. In WWII the US Army would ask where you were from and then ask for details about your hometown baseball team. Same thing here. Probably, though, Vaylen who need to work together are introduced by common contacts.

If they really needed to prove it to a stranger, they could always pop out, wiggle tails, and jump back in.

Excellent comment, Buzz. Something I’d never considered in any detail, which is why it’s so cool seeing the Iron Empires coming alive out there in rpg-land. So here’s my off-the-cuff thinking.

In the end of Sheva’s War, you’ll notice the Vaylen fleet commander is nude and tatooed (or body-painted) with tribal markings. That’s an idea I was toying with, but obviously couldn’t go very far with in the scope of that story. Vaylen cultural norms are going to be radically different from human ones. So among non-infiltrating groups of Vaylen (ie: those who aren’t trying to hide among the humans), trying to blend in as a non-valyen would be as tricky as a westerner trying to sneak into a mountain village in Tibet… you’ll need to know the local culture pretty damn well or you’ll stand out.

As for infiltrators (“fingers”), they’re going to have to have some secret handshake or equivilent, probably only known within their clan or special-forces organization. There’s going to be plenty of room for friendly-fire accidents in the invasion phase, I’d imagine. Be careful out there!

Chris

Cool stuff, Chris!

I can imagine that Calvaria Integrity Scanners would be just as useful to Vaylen, then; “Make sure eveyrone entering the meeting is hulled.” And maybe the Vaylen have access to even more accurate scaning technology…

Oh DAMN. That’s excellent. Consider this stolen.

I was thinking about it this weekend… the whole “can’t tell who is Vaylen” is how the Kerrn got away in the first place. I am sure that the Vaylen are as jumpy as soem of the human worlds!

Think of the ruckus that the Kerrn caused when they left, they knew Everything! every code, every location, all the bosses. It was a reverse Infection.

It would have been a scary time to be a body snatching Worm.

I was thinking about it this weekend… the whole “can’t tell who is Vaylen” is how the Kerrn got away in the first place. I am sure that the Vaylen are as jumpy as some of the human worlds!

Think of the ruckus that the Kerrn caused when they left, they knew Everything! every code, every location, all the bosses. It was a reverse Infection.

It would have been a scary time to be a body snatching Worm.

I like this idea, a story of the Vaylens first attempt at infection since the Kerrn uprising. It is stated several times I believe that the Vaylen stop invasions periodically to consolidate their holdings and there would be a lot of consolidating after that particular uprising.

There would be a great deal of caution on the part of the Vaylen, and a lot of secrecy. Fingers may not ever know about other infiltrators until it was absolutely necessary, very Mission Impossible type story plots. The humans might even pick up on it, after getting Intel from the Kerrn and try to take a world back from the Vaylen, now there is a reverse Infection for you :shock:

Just ideas this post sparked in my head… Enjoy :twisted:

I would also note that I don’t think the Vaylen hull all humans on the worlds they control. Possibly not even the majority.

Vaylen need and want humans with sophisticated sentience. I imagine worlds designed to shape humans in certain ways. Experience farms, all kinds of wonders. Also breeding programs. The best and brightest and most beautiful are selected as hosts.

It’s entirely possible that worlds are held in thrall to the worm without even knowing it.

Should I start the Drizzt countdown now?

Wait a minute…

Don’t Tarrak and some of the other CHOT guard in Faith Conquers have white tattoos/tribal markings akin to the ones on the Vaylen hammer crew at the end of Sheva’s War Chris mentioned? I (as a reader) assumed it was a CHOT thing, or even just plain fashion.

Maybe that’s how Vaylen recognize each other (as Chris was alluding to), especially on a world relatively ignorant of the Vaylen threat. They simply hide in plain sight.

Human: “Hey, nice tat, dude.”
Vaylen: “Thank you.” Makes a mental note to hull this one next.

Wait a minute…

Don’t Tarrak and some of the other CHOT guard in Faith Conquers have white tattoos/tribal markings akin to the ones on the Vaylen hammer crew at the end of Sheva’s War Chris mentioned? I (as a reader) assumed it was a CHOT thing, or even just plain fashion.

I think you are on to something buzz, but I am still jazzed (not quite buzzed yet, :shock: ) about a game of reversed invasion where the humans are trying to get a Vaylen planet back.

It’s entirely possible that worlds are held in thrall to the worm without even knowing it.

Very intriguing, Thor, very intriguing :twisted:

Huh… that seems to run counter to the whole “you’ve got a million offspring in the tanks and you want a better future for all of them” thing.

If the Vaylen could afford to be all picky and choosy, wouldn’t they just stay home? :slight_smile:

And also: I’ve just been inspired by vision of life on a Vaylen controlled planet, ala the old “Tripods” novels: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Tripods

On its thirteenth birthday, the child is led to the special hut in the center of the village to be hulled in a special ceremony, as its family looks on and weeps tears of happiness. Afterwards, there is a feast, and dancing.

They’re constantly on the hunt for new and better hosts. A better gene pool. Better experiences.

If you put a worm in a simple-minded, uneducated human, you get a simple-minded, uneducated vaylen. If you put a worm in a super-intelligent, richly experienced human, you get a super-intelligent, richly experienced vaylen.

If it were only about bodies, vaylen could clone them by the billions and just slip their offspring into animals. In fact, they do just that. That’s what the other castes are.

The Human Caste is reserved for the aristocracy of the vaylen. They are the best and brightest.

Rich experiences, deep emotions and intelligence are the currency of valyen. They are rare and they are valuable. They are the commodities the vaylen clans desire above all others.

I loved those novels as a kid!

I loved those novels as a kid!

Oh man! Me too!

And also: I’ve just been inspired by vision of life on a Vaylen controlled planet, ala the old “Tripods” novels: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Tripods

On its thirteenth birthday, the child is led to the special hut in the center of the village to be hulled in a special ceremony, as its family looks on and weeps tears of happiness. Afterwards, there is a feast, and dancing.

I haven’t thought about those books in years, very cool rafial :smiley:

But, dull-witted or not, isn’t that human experiencing the world in a way no other Vaylen host can replicate?

And doesn’t the Vaylen intellect take over anyway? A dim-witted human is just a host for a sharp-witted Naiven, right?

Or is their sentience and sapience so shaped by the host that it limits them to the host’s mental capabilities?

Yes. Naiven are not sentient. They use the sentience of their hosts. Stupid host, stupid vaylen. A vaylen can develop certain abilities by living in a host and encoding those experiences. But by and large, they want superior hosts.

The vaylen can genetically engineer all sorts of bodies that are perfectly suited to tasks humans are not. The only problem is they tend to be flat emotionally and the quality of their intelligence is different. Only the Makara are the equivalent of humans on the intelligence front, though they are limited due to the requirement of an aquatic habitat.

Basically, I need to homebrew a game where the Vaylen come to 21st century earth and infiltrate MENSA. :slight_smile: