NAJ (or Najan):
Najans are half-humanoid, half-snake sentients. From the waist up, they have a head, torso and two arms; from the waist down, they are snake-like, which is their method of locomotion. Their skin color is a pale pearl-grey with the family markings a dark blue-grey along the back and tail. Complete length ranges up to 21 feet in the females from top of head to tip of tail, and slightly lesser in the males, with an upright height of 6-7 feet. A mature Najan may weigh up to 600 pounds. Najans are warm-blooded mammals despite their reptilian lower half, and give birth to live young.

Hair color is typically varying shades of grey, black, white or slate blue. The head has a slightly triangular appearance, and the nose has been reduced to breathing slits; they have no external ears. The eyes have a slitted, reptilian pupil and eye colors tend toward amber, blue or grey, and there are two inner membranes to protect the eyes from wind and dust.

One of the Najan's major defenses is their venom, which is similar to the nerve toxin of the cobra. The poison glands are housed above the palate of the mouth and fill only when the retractable fangs drop into attack position. The poison can be administered by a bite from the male, or by spitting it into the enemy's face by the female. The venom is fatal to most sentients as it destroys the central nervous system, though antitoxins have been developed to counteract it. Najans, too, can die of a bite, and have been known to commit suicide by repeatedly biting themselves. However, the unused venom is swallowed and broken down in the stomachs, where it causes no harm to the individual.

The pedal portion, or tail, of the Najan is their most distinctive feature. It is the heaviest portion of the body and makes up 5/6 of their overall size. It is also a major source of their strength, able to crush like a boa constrictor or lash out and strike, capable of breaking bones with one sweep. The tail ends in a series of buttons, or rattles, growing at the rate of one every 20 years. The rattles are typically used as a warning or for ritual battle and display purposes.

Skin: Najan skin is warm to the touch and not scaly. It is, however, considerably thicker and tougher on the belly side of the tail. The markings on the tails were manipulated genetically and show the five different 'houses': diamondback, constrictor, cobra, anaconda and python. Due to their being created for an arctic environment, the Naj love the cold. When off-world, they wear special thermal gloves on the tail region to keep them comfortable. Though they do generate buttons made of a nail-like material, they do not have fingernails.

Skeleton: The Naj skeleton is made up of approximately 300 bones, and like human bones, are composed primarily of calcium. The skull is larger than the typical human skull and houses a larger brain. The most unusual configuration is the mandibular area, which houses indentations for the poison sacs, and has been genetically altered for the fangs. The teeth are structured for a carnivorous species, though they do have molars for grinding some plant fiber, which is necessary in their diet. The torso consists primarily of rib cage, housing the larger lungs. The tail is a series of vertebrae and lesser ribs to partially protect the internal organs, but mostly to give the cylindrical shape to the tail. The pelvis is very modified, allowing the individual to assume an upright or sitting position, but there are obviously no sockets for the legs.

Muscles: The muscles of the Naj are primarily in the tail region. They are stronger than the standard humans in the torso and arm region, but not as strong as a Traiti. Their main strength is in the tail. The tail is composed primarily of muscle that both protect the internal organs and provide locomotion, but also are their primary defense. Once caught in a Najan's coils, it's impossible to break out. Even stabs to the tail have little effect because of the thick musculature. It has even been noted that killing a Naj doesn't completely affect the constriction, as the smaller secondary brain in the tail is still active for a period of time.

General: Najans have a great deal of love and respect for their Shapers, and those who did the actual engineering are referred to as 'gods', since they created the People. Any insulting reference to the Shapers might be taken offensively and could result in a fight, though they will forgive one transgression as simply being a misunderstanding of cultures. Do so a second time, and you'd better choose your weapons!

Their basic lifestyle is communal rather than family-based, and they do not have marriage per se. They refer to their homes as nests, and all adults in a nest help in raising all children. They trace descent through the mother, and don't always know (or particularly care) who the father is.

There is a very strong caste system similar to the Hindu, though they do not have the 'untouchables', something the Shapers did away with. The highest caste is made up of the priests/rulers (usually Cobra "family"), then the warriors (mostly Diamondbacks), then the scientists, teachers, nursery folks, and so on. Everyone has something to do for the race, regardless of age or gender, and there is equality among the genders. They don't believe in anti-agathics, as they already have a lengthy lifespan (approximately 400 years) and the drug is unnatural anyway.

The language Naj use among themselves is Hindi, but their communication is based as much on motion and expression as much as words, with scent only a little behind. Because of this, they are extremely perceptive, even better at things like "reading" people than an IntelDiv field agent. It takes special training and great self-control to conceal reactions from a Najan.

Naj are extremely curious and love to work on things, which is why they are so desirable as ship's engineers. They cannot interbreed with other races (probably the only 'control' mechanism given them). Naj have a very polite society. They are very quiet and observant and are not really "party animals". They have a sense of humor, but it does not run to practical jokes. They are slow to anger for the most part, though the younger Naj are a bit more hot-headed than the elders. (Debbie Delorme)

NANNSTEIN, Reinhard:
(2100-2142) A Da Vinci-type genius, Nannstein developed the science of gravitics in 2123, financed by a small inheritance he had invested and turned into a fortune. Still working independently, despite many offers from industry and government, he invented hyperdrive in 2125. Working with his friend Cheong Chang, he helped establish the Empire, then designed and supervised the building of the Imperial Palace in Antarctica. He disappeared in 2142 while testing an improvement of the hyperdrive.


Sector: 16, Virgo                  No. planets: 12
Subsector: A, Athena               Inhabited: 3
Ruled by: Nilssun family
General: Since the Kindred became widespread, in the early 2280s, this is one of the most peaceful systems in the Empire. Random violence, such as natural disasters and accidents, is inevitable -- but it is in extremely bad taste to put pictures of the victims on the nightly news. The same with victims of violent crime, much less the crime itself. Violent sports aren't illegal, but they are not organized, and they are considered lower-class. In drama, violence (especially bloody violence) is treated about the way sex was on mid- twentieth-century North American television. Intimacy, emotional and physical, is the primary theme of Narvonese entertainment.


Sector: 16, Virgo                            Year:
Subsector: A, Athena                         Day:
System: Narvon                               Gravity:
Settled/established: 2219                    Axial tilt:
By: Colonists from Narvon III                Oxygen:
Satellites: 2                                % Water:
Ident code prefix: NAN                       Continents:
Ruled by:
General: Required minor terraforming.


Sector: 16, Virgo                            Year:
Subsector: A, Athena                         Day:
System: Narvon                               Gravity:
Settled/established: 2133                    Axial tilt:
By: Mostly Scandinavians                     Oxygen:
Satellites: 2 (Thor, Loki)                   % Water:
Ident code prefix: NAR                       Continents:
Ruled by:
General: Undistinguished until 2275, when the nosferatu pseudo-virus appeared and created a human-variant minority called Kindred of the Dragon. These are now the system's local nobility.

Sub-planetary jurisdictions are called districts, with District Administrators in charge.

Dress clothing tends to be loose shirts, fancy (silk or brocade, for example) culottes with sash, and high boots.


Sector: 16, Virgo                            Year:
Subsector: A, Athena                         Day:
System: Narvon                               Gravity:
Settled/established: 2235                    Axial tilt:
By: Colonists from Narvon III                Oxygen:
Satellites: 1                                % Water:
Ident code prefix: NAV                       Continents:
Ruled by:
General: Required moderate terraforming.

NEED, Sandeman Warriors':
(From a paper by Heathin DruHavek, aka Barbara Tennison)

The physiological definition of the Sandeman warrior is contained in the need gland. It is the need gland that produces and controls the level of egerin, "need hormone", in the blood, and it is egerin that is responsible for the amplification, faster uptake and more efficient metabolization of adrenalin. Without the stepped-up adrenalin function, the Sandeman warrior would not be capable of the prodigious expenditures of energy in combat for which he is famous. Egerin is also responsible for the state of "warrior's need."

Glands in Sandeman, as in Terran-human, physiology are separated into two categories: ducted and ductless glands. Ducted glands are the producers of enzymes, lubricants and some necessary serae. These glands include the lacrymal glands, the salivary glands and the lymph glands. The glands which line the digestive system, and the sebaceous and sweat glands, also typify ducted glands. Ductless, or endocrine, glands produce hormones. They are the controllers of the body's homeostasis. The ductless glands include the pituitary, the adrenals, the thyroid, and the gonads. These all secrete hormones, as does the ductless need gland found only in male Sandemans who are warriors. The need gland is closely connected with both the testes and adrenals; as the pituitary is the "master gland" in growth and development, the need gland is the "master gland" for combat readiness. It also affects the reproductive and sexual functions.

The need gland is situated posteriorly to the testicles and is palpable. It is small, roughly 15 mm or less, the size varying with the individual, and it is richly vascularized. It is supported by the perineal musculature, with subdermal attachment points. It acts upon and is acted upon by adrenalin and its secretion levels are influenced by several different factors.

The need gland is inactive before puberty and plays no part in growth or development of the young Sandeman warrior. It is only when the gonadotropic hormones awaken the need gland that the warrior's physiology differs from the non-warrior's. The difference is characterized by several processes: the "need cycle" begins, and the warrior's endurance and healing speed rise above even the Sandeman (non-warrior) norm, with the change in the metabolic processes.

Testosterone deepens the boy's voice, contributes to the growth and prompts the secondary sex characteristics. Testosterone also interacts with egerin in a limited sense during sexual arousal. Adrenalin, the "fight or flight" hormone, increases vascular capacity, renders oxygen uptake in the blood more efficient and speeds clotting time. Egerin interacts with adrenalin to further enhance these effects and to dramatically affect the body's metabolisis of glucose and lactic acid.

The two states in which egerin is produced and consumed at the highest levels are "battleprep" and "induced need". The states are mutually exclusive, but both facilitate the Sandeman warrior's traditional role as protector and perpetuator of his clan. Either state may be undertaken voluntarily at any time during the need cycle; only an advanced stage of active need requires one of these releases to clear the warrior's body of its hormones. To quote an authority in the field:

    About two-thirds of the way through a warrior's cycle he begins to
    experience heightened sensitivity, both physical and mental.  This
    isn't active need yet, more a sort of pre-need stage.  Need itself
    begins as a further-increased sensitivity that could be described as
    irritability, at which point patience and self-control aren't among
    his strong points.  This stage, as a rule, lasts for about a day; it's
    not particularly dependent on the cycle length, and this is what's
    called active need.  If it's not satisfied, the warrior starts going
    into overload; all body systems become "hyperactive", and the effect
    is one of multiple stress diseases. . . . Untreated overload lasts
    about two days.
The warrior's bloodstream always carries some amount of egerin. Since the liver does not metabolize egerin alone, the hormone simply builds up until it becomes necessary to remove it from the body, once the levels reach physioactive amounts. Egerin tends to stimulate the adrenal glands and to act upon the nervous and vascular systems. "Need" is the steadily increasing effect of the rising level of egerin; subjectively noticeable levels of egerin result in "active need."

Combat or sex has the effect of increasing the adrenalin in the blood. At sufficiently high levels, egerin bonds chemically with the molecules of adrenalin and can be metabolized with it by the liver and thus discharged from the body.

If the release is in the form of combat the battleprepped warrior goes into what might be described as a berserker state. Adrenalin usage is enhanced and the body becomes capable of great exertion and endurance.

In induced need the gland is stimulated by sexual arousal and by manual pressure and stroking. Due to the increased vascular capacity during sexual arousal and the accretion of blood in the genitalia and surrounding areas, the egerin levels are much higher locally than elsewhere in the body, and result in the secondary erection and multiple orgasms. By design, "both semen volume and sperm count go way up, so if the woman's in her fertile period, conception's 90-95% probable." Warrior's need is thus a spur to racial, as well as individual, survival.

Need-related problems include unresolved cyclical need and overload, diseases of the endocrine system, and psychological problems.

Unresolved induced need abates on its own as the egerin diffuses through the body, though the additional egerin speeds the need cycle and the hormone fluctuations are unpleasant to the warrior. The resolution of induced need results in "aftersleep", a deep narcosis lasting several hours.

Unresolved cyclic need stress symptoms include insomnia, inability to digest food, migraine-like headache, cardiovascular and pulmonary symptoms. Hyperventilation and tachycardia are common; decreased resistance to illness is evident. The direct result of unresolved cyclical need is the hyperegerin syndrome known as "overload". Deep overload is untreatable and fatal.

Diseases of the endocrine system are too diversified to cover adequately in what is essentially a discursive paper, and are encountered so infrequently in Sandeman warriors that there is little clinical data as yet available.

Psychological problems are largely unknown among warriors, the result of proper training and culture and the institution of the warriors'-women ("w'women"). Badly handled induced need may cause anxiety or impotence, which is treated, usually successfully, by w'women with psychologically supportive counteractive measures. Physical impotence can make induced need difficult or impossible, as the blood supply to the genital and need gland area is not increased and therefore cannot act as a vehicle for egerin.

Anti-need drugs, to suspend the need cycle, include epinephrine and corticotropic agents, anti-hypertensive and hypnotic medications. Treatment with anti-need drugs is symptomatic and prophylactic, difficult to maintain, and not the treatment of choice if a choice exists. The side effects of such medication, in amounts sufficient to affect the Sandeman metabolism, keep the warrior in a low-level malaise.

Normally, need is stressful but not harmful to the Sandeman warrior. The monitoring necessary to prevent the warrior's cyclical need from overload is automatic, resulting from a lifetime of training. The warrior is as conscious of his own state, and yet unconscious of it, as he is of any other bodily requirement. In analogy, a human must eat to survive and cannot go long without food, but most humans do not worry constantly about starvation. Eating is an automatic and socially defined part of life, as is need manage- ment on the Sandeman worlds.

In conclusion: to understand the Sandeman warrior, one must understand the need cycle. It is at the base of the Sandeman warrior's lifestyle and actions. It is the definition of the warrior and the result of many genetic improvements. Scientific investigation of the need cycle is still in the early stages; this paper is only an introduction and is not intended to give more than a surface understanding.

                                 #     #     #
Additional notes: At home, or on any Sandeman-controlled world, a warrior is in no danger of overload unless very unusual circumstances arise. There are always warriors and w'women around. And except in hostile-alien territory where need is a weakness that must be concealed, keeping even an enemy warrior from dying in overload is as ingrained as their politeness. It is honorable to kill him, imprison him, even torture him for information -- but if he goes into active need, he gets treatment. If no w'woman is available or willing, there is a ritual offering of non-hostile life-combat by one or more of the imprisoning clan's warriors.

The need cycle can be disrupted by serious injury or illness; the disruption will last from the time of the injury or illness until the warrior regains near-normal health.

Shaper experiments show that the need cycle can be permanently ended by removal of the need gland; this turns the warrior into an Other man with combat skills but none of the other warrior advantages. Naturally, Sandemans find this idea both repulsive and obscene.

Sandeman energy handgun. Although it has less raw power than a blaster, the beam is much more finely adjusted, so it has equal or greater effective power. While the narrower beam requires more careful aim, Sandemans prefer its greater precision, most considering the blaster's wider beam unacceptably sloppy.


Sector: 13, Crater                           Year:
Subsector: B, Inanna                         Day:
System: Gilgamesh                            Gravity:
Settled/established:                         Axial tilt:
By:                                          Oxygen:
Satellites:                                  % Water:
Ident code prefix: NEM                       Continents:
Ruled by:
General: Site of the abortive rebellion led by Count Jonathan Kaplan's son Robert, in which Ranger Esteban Tarlac was injured and David Scanlon earned Life Dukedom.

NEPHTHYS, Subsector 15-B:

No. systems: 197                         Sector: Auriga 
  with 3 inhabited planets:  4           Ruled by:
  with 2 inhabited planets: 11
  with 1 inhabited planet:  22


Sector: 6, Scorpio                           Year:
Subsector: G, Tarlac                         Day:
System: Fasolt                               Gravity:
Settled/established:                         Axial tilt:
By: Germans                                  Oxygen:
Satellites:                                  % Water:
Ident code prefix: NBV                       Continents:
Ruled by:
General: Most famous product is Doppelbock beer, which is a strong dark brew that travels well, but is also quite expensive.


Sector: 20, Chameleon                        Year:
Subsector: B, Thoth                          Day:
System: Solomon                              Gravity:
.Settled/established:                         Axial tilt:
By: Neo-Christian fundamentalists            Oxygen:
Satellites:                                  % Water:
Ident code prefix: NZI                       Continents:
Ruled by:

NIKE, Subsector 13-A:

No. systems: 181                         Sector: Crater 
  with 3 inhabited planets:  3           Ruled by:
  with 2 inhabited planets: 13
  with 1 inhabited planet:  22


Sector: 7, Cygnus                            Year:
Subsector: A, Kinnison                       Day:
System: Amaterasu                            Gravity:
Settled/established: 2129                    Axial tilt:
By: Japanese                                 Oxygen:
Satellites:                                  % Water:
Ident code prefix: NIP                       Continents:
Ruled by:
General: The settlers wanted to return to the glorious old days of the samurai, without losing modern conveniences or an industrial base. On-planet, the Baron is called the Shogun.

Those treated as Imperal nobles, though not strictly speaking nobility themselves, out of courtesy to the noble parent or spouse. This is normally a Life Noble's spouse or a ruling noble's younger children.

Life and ruling nobles; see those entries for specifics. In common usage this term includes the Sovereign and Rangers, though technically speaking they are royalty. See chart below for numbers and the proper ways of referring to and addressing royalty and nobility.

RANK & NUMBER         STYLE & TITLE                 ADDRESSED AS

Sovereign (1)         His/Her Imperial Majesty      Your Majesty or Majesty *
Successor (1)         His/Her Royal Highness the    Your Highness, Highness,
                        Crown Prince/ss, or           or Ranger
Ranger (abt. 10)      Ranger (rarely, Prince/ss)     Ranger (rarely, Your
                                                       Highness or Highness
Life Duke             His/Her Grace the Life         Your Grace #
                        Duke Fullname
Spouse                Lord/Lady Firstname            My Lord/My Lady
Children              No title
Ruling Duke (22)      His/Her Grace Fullname, Duke   Your Grace
                        of Sector _____________
Spouse                Duke-Consort Firstname of      My Lord/My Lady
                        Sector ___________
Eldest child          Duke-Heir Fullname of Sector   My Lord/My Lady
Other children        Lord/Lady Fullname             Lord/Lady Firstname
Life Earl             The Most Honorable the Life    My Lord/My Lady or My
                        Earl Fullname                  My Lord Earl/My Lady
                                                       Earl #
Spouse                Lord/Lady Firstname            My Lord/My Lady
Children              No title
Ruling Earl (106)     The Most Honorable Fullname,    My Lord/My Lady or My
                        Earl of Subsector ________      Lord Earl/My Lady Earl
Spouse                Earl-Consort Firstname of       My Lord/My Lady
                        Subsector ___________
Eldest child          Earl-Heir Fullname of           My Lord/My Lady
                        Subsector  __________
Other children        Lord/Lady Fullname              Lord/Lady Firstname
Life Count            The Right Honorable the Life    My Lord/My Lady or My
                        Count Fullname                  Lord Count/My Lady
                                                        Count #
Spouse                Lord/Lady Firstname             My Lord/My Lady
Children              No title
Ruling Count (1431)   The Right Honorable Fullname,   My Lord/My Lady or My
                        Count of _________ System       Lord Count/My Lady
Spouse                Count-Consort Firstname of      My Lord/My Lady
                        __________ System
Eldest child          Count-Heir Fullname of          My Lord/My Lady
                        __________ System
Other children        Lord/Lady Fullname              Lord/Lady Firstname
Life Baron            The Honorable the Life Baron    My Lord/My Lady or My
                        Fullname                        Lord Baron/My Lady
                                                        Baron #
Spouse                Lord/Lady Firstname             My Lord/My Lady
Children              No title
Ruling Baron (5596)   The Honorable Fullname, Baron   My Lord/My Lady or My
                        of ___________                  Lord Baron/My Lady
Spouse                Baron-Consort Firstname of      My Lord/My Lady
Eldest child          Baron-Heir Fullname of ______   My Lord/My Lady
Other children        Lord/Lady Fullname              Lord/Lady Firstname
* May also be addressed directly as "Sire", or by Rangers as "Sir".
# Nobles serving in the military are addressed by their military titles
  when aboard ship or on duty; when off duty, either military or civil
  titles may be used.  Also, informal usage allows nobles to be addressed
  by title and last name, e.g., "Baron Klaes".

Those who have been ennobled for significant service to the Empire carried out at serious personal cost or risk. The degree of service and risk or cost determine the rank given.

Nobility other than Imperial Life or ruling nobles. These may be named by any ruling noble within à's fief and will have whatever status the Imperial noble determines. If a nobility or equivalent already exists on a world joining the Empire, those will retain that status as local nobles. While local nobles have no Imperial status, they are generally given the courtesy title of Excellency.

Those born to rule Imperial fiefs, except that the first ruling noble in a new fief will be named by the Sovereign. Technically, only the noble and à's wife and heir are Imperial nobles, but à's younger children are treated so as a courtesy.

Inheritance of rule is by strict primogeniture, except in the few fiefs where, by the Sovereign's dispensation, there is some other qualification or automatic disqualification (e.g., Narvonese nobles must be Dragon-Kindred, while Sandeman nobles cannot be warriors). It is also possible, though rare, for a noble to ask the Sovereign to disqualify à's firstborn for cause, and confirm someone else as Heir.

Should a ruling noble die without an heir, the Heir to the next higher fief takes over until the Sovereign can select a new ruler. If the fief left vacant is a Sector, a Ranger will take the position temporarily.

Traiti unit of weight, 0.56 kilograms.


Sector: 21, Traiti                           Year:
Subsector: A, Homesun                        Day:
System: Lantra                               Gravity:
Settled/established: 2193                    Axial tilt:
By: Traiti                                   Oxygen:
Satellites:                                  % Water:
Ident code prefix: NOR                       Continents:
Ruled by:
General: Clan Ch'kara's main clanhome is here.

An organism resembling a virus more closely than anything else its first investigators were aware of. It is capable of infecting approximately one percent of the inhabitants of Narvon System and an unknown but much smaller percentage of Terrans; all others are immune. While very few Terrans are susceptible, that small percentage is extremely so, and all so far known have become Bloodmates. Susceptibility is determined by high empathy, though it may be mostly latent until the Change. Narvonese research has shown that a person with a certain rare "marker" gene configuration is susceptible, but until nearly 2600, the reason is not known. A susceptible person subjected to severe weakening (due to illness or trauma) after exposure will undergo physical and mental changes, becoming a Kin or Bloodmate.

It is the degree of empathy which determines whether the Change is to Kin or Bloodmate, with the more empathic becoming the Bloodmates.

The virus is a collective mind, symbiotic with its hosts, but does not become self-aware or more than marginally conscious until it infects and changes Chee Campbell in 2750 ("Touch of the Dragon").

NOXI (Traiti):
Homeworld equivalent of rabbits, with ears like beagles. They are about twice the size of Terran rabbits.

Nullified, or nullification of, gravity. Used as a drive for spacecraft near planets, and in planetary craft such as airplanes and cars, as well as for exercise facilities, entertainment, medical uses, etc.

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