Like the zaian, the Vasîv are an old and secretive people. "Vasîv" comes from the Imperial Standard word "Fâsif" (pronounced exactly the same), meaning obscure or mysterious. It is a name assigned to them by the Tarsins. No one knows where they actually live, but it is in an area of space known as the Vasilitaj. The Vasîv are more willing to come out and play with the young races than their zaian counterparts, and are more frequently seen out and about.
Chroniclers of the Archive have a working theory on why the vasîv are the way they are. Vasîv have boasted of their eighteen different photoreceptors in their eyes, which allows for vision into the ultraviolet spectrum and detection of polarized light, among other things. They also have very prominent and feathery antennae, which are bioluminescent. Vasîv have been known flash colors at each other when in the company of other species, which is believed to be a way of communicating; sometimes, there is no apparent color visible from the antennae. This secret communication would be advantageous among predators, especially in a light-sensitive environment. Vasîv eyes are also double-lidded, having an inner eyelid that is transparent, and an outer eyelid that is opaque.
This has lead chroniclers to conclude that the vasîv homeworld is relatively arid for human tastes, and that it may be subject to wind patterns which stir up particles in the air that irritate the eyes. However, it is possible that they are naturally nocturnal. Communicating with light that is both visible and invisible to less-developed eyes could indicate that vasîv lived in a dark environment where too much visible light might attract unwanted attention.
The flat and long body structure of the vasîv is thought to be caused by a burrowing nature. There are two glands in the mouth structure that have been observed to shoot a fluid slime, at ranges equal to a vasîv body length. This slime becomes sticky and viscous within seconds of exposure to air. After immobilizing their prey, the vasîv has been seen to use two retractable fangs to inject a paralyzing and dissolving toxin into the unfortunate victim. As the toxin does its work, the vasîv deploys a hollow need-like tube and uses it to suck out the organic mush.
The slow and smooth movements of vasîv, their ideal body structure for tunneling, and this slime have lead the chroniclers to determine that they were descended from ambush predators on their homeworld, not unlike trapdoor spiders on Tarsis or Earth. How exactly ambush predators became a social and spacefaring species is unknown. A few less-grounded theories have been put out, from reasonable explanations such as threat of greater predators and changing environmental conditions, to the more whimsical, such as ancient Tarsins uplifting the vasîv to serve as robotic manufacturers for the Old Coalition. These theories are a source of amusement for actual vasîv.
At some point, the vasîv formed a complex society. When or how is unknown. Whatever their pre-spaceflight history was, they are not willing to share it with outsiders. Several individuals are on record for stating vasîv society at home is something like an Earthman's vision of a socialist utopia, where the concept of currency is obsolete and everyone is free to focus on whatever path in life they choose to follow. Others have painted a less than ideal picture; a completely homogenous society ruled by an all-seeing government that mercilessly represses individualism and has absolute power over every single aspect of a vasîv's life. As it often is, the truth is probably somewhere in between.
The vasîv make good use of mechanical drones to do work for them, which often are made in the image of their makers. One vasîv can control up to sixteen separate drones at once, which is incidentally the number of limbs with separate nerve clusters each vasîv has. Controlling these drones can take immense concentration, and the majority of the vasîv population has selected for mental over physical prowess. Less normal vasîv deride their kin as lazy and weak, having lost touch with the ancestral roots of their race; and they say this despite not being able to focus on more than one or two tasks at once, unlike the sixteen a trained and practiced vasîv can.
There are two known camps of vasîv; those that follow the apparent "mainstream" culture of their kind, and those that have gone out on their own. "Mainstream" vasîv are less common out in the World; they are reliant on technology to a higher degree than any other race in the Coalition by far. The more common kind of vasîv that aliens face are usually outcasts, malcontents, adventurers, and criminals. Some of these are just as physically feeble as "mainstream" vasîv, but others have retained their predatory physique and are very dangerous in a fight, if not the quickest in their footwork.
Vasîv and the New Faith
Outsiders report that the vasîv will enter a trance-like state when directly controlling their drones. This one fact is most telling piece of information on just why the Vasilitaj made the New Faith its state religion after the Salvation. A heavy presence of trance and meditation seems to have already existed among the vasîv culture; trance and meditation play a part in the mysticism favored by the model of the New Faith that was triumphant and adopted by the Tarsin Empire. Vasîv have not normally been known to be devout (though there are always exceptions, especially among the vasîv who leave home), at least one major aspect of the New Faith was compatible with their civilization as it was. By adopting the New Faith without prompting, the vasîv wisely put themselves in a safe position with Tarsis. Though it did not participate in the Salvation like other Realms, the Vasilitaj is seen as a dependable presence, despite widespread distrust aimed at it.
The vasîv are indisputably more advanced than any other partner race in the Coalition, with the exceptions of the ancient Tarsins and the zaian. It is unclear just when they became spacefaring, but it was likely before the Beacon Cataclysm, as they have the same disdain for autonomous machinery as the Tarsins and zaian. However badly the Cataclysm hit them, it wasn't enough to cripple their civilization like it was for the Tarsins, and the vasîv seemed to have had much fewer problems of the demonic kind. Unfortunately for the Coalition, vasîv technology is completely incompatible with other races, having been designed to interface with a more decentralized nervous system than exists in humans or others. The vasîv are also unwilling to commit to offensive wars, only acting when their homes are in immediate danger. Whatever advantage they could bring to the battlefield, it is usually only seen through individuals acting in an unofficial capacity.
The vasîv keep a vast swath of frontier quiet and regulated for the Coalition, while posing no trouble towards the Empire at all. They have many curious habits, most disturbing of which is their tendency to collect specimens of other races, alive, and bring them back to their hidden worlds for who knows what purpose. They have never revealed their reasons. Indeed, it is a great source of amusement for individuals to keep the outsiders guessing.
When Othaen began the Earth war in AD 2239, the arkanin asked the vasîv for some assistance in gathering intelligence on the new enemy. It was the vasîv who first figured out what the Earthmen really were, and they wasted time deliberating over what to make of this discovery. There was talk of keeping this secret to themselves, but in the end, the Vasilitaj decided to inform Othaen of what they discovered. While the drones of some adventurous individuals act as an elite security force for ground assets in the war, Earth space continues to be visited by the sleek, ill-intending ships of the vasîv; only time will tell if they realize these vessels have been the eyes and ears of their enemy's war effort so far.