Roche asteroids (Nickel One)
|Height of average adult||
Verpine are tall, bipedal insectoids, Verpine are an advanced species well known for their technological accomplishments. They have thin, stick-like bodies with awkwardly articulated joints. Flexible plate of chitinous material covers their bodies. They have two huge black eyes, short snouts, and small, toothless mouths. Two antennae jut from the sides of their heads.The species lives in the Roche Asteroid Field, an old and orderly collection of space debris with asteroids ranging in size from tiny meteorites to large planetoids.
The asteroids maintain an orbit pattern that is almost regular, and a large number of space slugs and mynocks also make their home among the swirling rocks. While it is almost certain that the Verpine did not evolve on the lifeless asteroids, they have gone to considerable trouble to establish homes within the drifting chunks of frozen rock. Some speculate that the Verpine were wandering nomads who decided to settle in among the asteroids for some unknown reason.
A second theory states that the Verpine inhabited a planet in the same orbit as the asteroid field, and as the planet slowly disintegrated into space debris they found ways to live on the asteroid which remained. The Verpine themselves have legends that speak of a catastrophic civil war, believing that the asteroid field is all that remains of their aggressive foolishness. Verpine have evolved from especially hardy insects.
Their large black eyes are adaptations of insectoid compound eyes, giving them the ability to see nearly microscopic detail with clarity and precision. Their antennae contain tympanic nerves which detect sound wave vibrations and relay them to the brain. They also pick up radio waves, and Verpine can generate their own radio emissions by controlling their biological frequency modulation. Their nervous system has an unusually powerful electromagnetic aura, and the Verpine can communicate through these emissions with other members of their species.This biological radio network spans the asteroid field, allowing each member of the colony to remain in nearly constant contact with the others. Some species see this as a form of telepathy, but it is simply a mode of organic telecommunication.The Verpine are innate experts in most fields of technology. They have a child-like sense of wonder as far as machinery is concerned. This expertise and wonder has been put to good use in the asteroid field, where they have hollowed out rocks to use as colonies.
The asteroids are sealed against vacuum and the cold of space, creating living and working space for twenty to one hundred inhabitants, depending on the size of the asteroid. Some of the larger planetoids near the center of the field contain cities of one thousand Verpine or more. Each colony is self-sufficient, producing all of the energy, food, air and water the inhabitants need to survive. Repulsor field shells envelop inhabited asteroids, creating bubbles which harmlessly reflect debris and other asteroids. Because their lives depend on it, the Verpine have a great respect and understanding of technology and machinery. Starship building has been one area the Verpine have excelled at, and they have earned their reputation over and over again with their unique and functional designs. The Slayn & Korpil Corporation, named for two neighboring Verpine colonies, has been a respected name in starship design since the days of the Old Republic, and many Verpine joined the efforts of the Rebellion during the galactic civil war.
Today they remain members of the New Republic, though Verpine can be found securely established in private and fringe society. All Verpine colonies are unified in a single hive. They have developed a limited form of communal consciousness due to their organic telecommunications abilities. Every member of the hive takes part in the decision making process, and a single Verpine in contact with the communal consciousness can speak with complete authority for the entire hive.
Biology & Appearance
Verpine were thin bipedal insectoids, standing 1.9 meters tall on average. Unlike many insectoids, including the Kibnon to which they were distantly related, the Verpine had only four limbs (two arms and two legs), though there were instances of Verpine growing vestigial wings. Their heads were dominated by large, black, compound eyes. They also had two antennae, one located behind each eye. Their hardened carapace, composed of a green chitinous substance called carahide, was as flexible as the skin of other creatures, yet tough enough to deflect a blade or even absorb a glancing blaster bolt. The Verpine circulatory system did not contain a heart — at least, not an organ which Human physiologists would identify as a heart.
Verpine eyes were keen enough to pick out microscopic details. Their antennae contained tympanic nerves which picked up sound. Their antennae were also sensitive to radio waves, giving Verpine the natural ability to sense and transmit radio waves to communicate with another Verpine in their language over distances on the order of one hundred kilometers. Some observers mistook this nearly instant, silent communication for true telepathy. Thanks to their natural radio communication network, their colonies were run as a consensus democracy, with all Verpine instantly consulted on questions affecting the hive.
Given their reliance on radio communication, Verpine frequently suffered negative consequences when their antenna were damaged. While researching the Verpine, Leia Organa noticed that virtually all Verpine criminals suffered from a set of damaged antenna.
Verpine came in two types—intelligent, hermaphroditic Verpine and unintelligent worker drones. At the time of their entrance into Galactic society, only five percent of Verpine were intelligent, but the demands of technological civilization required the Verpine to restructure their society. After the change, egg-laying Verpine used a special enzyme to ensure all eggs laid developed into intelligent Verpine. Any drones needed by a Verpine hive were produced via cloning.
When a Verpine hive needed more members, some of the fertile Verpine would be asked to lay eggs, while others would be assigned to fertilize them. The eggs were cared for in colony incubators, and hatchlings were cared for by the entire hive.
While hermaphrodite, there is evidence to indicate that individual Verpine had definite genders, either permanently or at some point of their existences. A "hive mother" communicated with Jedi Leia Organa Solo during the Swarm War, and mentioned "male warriors". General Cracken referred to Moegid as "he" in his reports.
The fungus Magenge, which grew inside the asteroid colonies of the Verpine, formed the basis of the Verpine diet.
Society & Culture
Verpine had variable naming customs. Some had single names such as Fxz'et, Zix, Ss's, or Moegid. Others had first and last names such as Kuli Ned'lx, Kyli Ned'Ix, or Osos Niskooen. Many, though not all, Verpine names contained sibilant consonants and glottal stops.
Verpines were also known to make highly sought after weapons such as the Verpine Shatter Gun, the Verpine Headband, and the Verpine Prototype Shield.
The Verpine people did not evolve in the asteroids of the Roche System. Each inhabited asteroid was only made livable through the creation of artificial, self-sustaining environments in the interior. Some observers thought that the Roche asteroids were the remains of a Verpine homeworld which had broken up either slowly through natural forces, or suddenly as a result of a catastrophic civil war. Others theorized that the Verpine were descended from extra-galactic nomads who settled in the Roche asteroid field. The Verpine simply told outsiders that they were unaware of the location of their original homeworld.
Whether it was due to the after-effects of this ancient civil war, or because of the political uniformity and egalitarianism of their civilization, the Verpine were a peaceful people, expert arbitrators who preferred compromise to conflict. The large insects had long been a spacefaring race and had colonized the Roche asteroid belts before the Old Republic was born.
By the time of the Jedi Civil War, the Verpine were part of the Galactic community. High-quality Verpine-manufactured items ranging from ion blasters to cardio-regulators were widely used. Some of these designs were adapted and improved from other species, such as the Bothans or the Arkanians. Contemporary rumors were suspicious of the Verpine, however. Extrapolating from the Verpine practice of testing ion blasters on active droids, some Verpine weapons and medical technology were thought to have been tested on live sentients.
In later years, Verpine engineering was exemplified by the starship manufacturer Slayn & Korpil, which built the famous V-19 Torrent starfighter for the Galactic Republic and the B-wing Starfighter for the Rebel Alliance. Their shipbuilding skills were attributed to the need to produce vessels which could safely navigate the Roche asteroids. The Roche Hive Mechanical Apparatus Design and Construction Activity for Those Who Need the Hive's Machines, more commonly known simply as "Roche", was a Verpine-owned droid manufacturer which met with limited success with models like the 8D Smelter Droid and the J9 Worker Drone.
During the Galactic Civil War, the Verpine were openly sympathetic towards the Rebel Alliance. However, they did not officially join the Rebellion as a whole, partly due to their natural pacifistic idealism, and partly due to the Imperial "advisors" posted in their system. After the Empire fell, however, the Verpine became supporters of the New Republic, with a close relationship with its military.
In 8 ABY, the Verpines broke a number of contracts with the Barabels to produce starships. They claimed that a "mad" hive mother had taken the ships, and given the nature of their society they were under no obligation to retrieve the ships. The Barabels did not see it in the same light, and began negotiating with Kubaz chefs for the sale of Verpine body parts to use in their cuisine. In response to this, the New Republic planned to send Leia Organa Solo to mediate the situation. The situation deteriorated rapidly when a Barabel ship was discovered with frozen Verpine parts. A fleet was sent to avert a war between the species, and Mon Mothma herself traveled to mediate.
During the Swarm War, some Verpine who were addicted to the Gorog Nest's black membrosia acted on the side of the Killiks, including procuring B-wings and Verpine shatterguns for the Killik forces. The Killiks attempted to invade the Verpine capital asteroid, Nickel One, and overthrow their government. The attempt was foiled by the actions of the Jedi Luke Skywalker, Mara Jade Skywalker and Jacen Solo.
During the Second Galactic Civil War, the Verpine accused the people of Murkhana of breaking trade agreements by producing technology similar to theirs. They signed a non-aggression pact with the Mandalorians because of their fear that the Mandalorians would expand their borders once again and invade Verpine territory. The treaty was simple: the Mandalorians would supply their best export, military strength, while the Verpines would supply defense technology and quality control.
This agreement was later put to the test when Imperial Remnant forces allied with Darth Caedus attacked the Verpine's home system in an attempt to gain control of their technology. The Mandalorians rushed to their aid and, with the help of Jedi Jaina Solo, the Mandalorians fought to defend the system.
Following their experiences with Imperial attacks, the Verpine developed the IX-6 Heavy Combat Droid to aid in their defense of the asteroid settlements. Sometime after the establishment of Darth Krayt's Galactic Empire in 130 ABY, Roche was ordered by Imperial officials to immediately cease the production of the IX-6 and destroy all existing models. Unwilling to succumb to the Empire, Verpine spread the factories throughout the Roche asteroid belt, hiding them deep in the asteroids which appeared abandoned from the surface. When the Empire learned of the defiance, a fleet of Star Destroyers blasted several heavily populated Verpine asteroids to dust. The massacre, however, did not break the will of the Verpine species and Roche continued to produce new IX-6 and smuggle them to anyone who could afford them.
Verpine in the Galaxy
Many of the Verpine who left their home system found work as starship technicians. Most of them met with success, though some of them would get in trouble for continually making unauthorized, sometimes dangerous, "improvements" to the equipment they maintained. Others used their experience with Verpine communal decision making to act as professional arbitrators and negotiators.
RPG D6 Stats
Home Planet: Roche Asteroid Field
Attribute Dice: 12D
Microscopic Sight: +1D to search for small objects.
Body Armor: The Verpine’s natural chitinous plate armor gives them a +1D bonus against physical attacks.
Organic Telecommunication: Because Verpine can send and receive radio waves through their antenna, they have the ability to communicate with other members of their species with specially-tuned comlinks. The range is very limited when they are activating individually (1 km) but greatly increases when in the hive (which covers the entire Roche asteroid field).
Technical Bonus: All Verpine receive a +2D bonus when using their Technical skills.
Size: 1.9 meters