Vendorians are reptilian looking aliens. They are covered in bright multihued scales and stand 1 to 1.5 meters tall. They are not very territorial and have no trouble working together even in very large groups. They are extremely inventive and highly industrious.
Vendor reached its height about eight hundred years ago, and its fortune was made by trading -- first with the Scalantrans and later with the Velorians and other independent worlds. It was the Scalantrans who discovered the Vendorians -- who, despite having the capability of interstellar travel had contented themselves with exploiting the riches of their own system. Besides the home planet that included thousands of small planets and planetoids rich in xintanite, titanium and other elements essential to the alloy that would become known as Vendorian steel. This was used to construct immense arcologies on the home planet as well as space colonies -- some nearly as large as worlds. In time, they might have enclosed their system in what we would call a Dyson sphere.
When they made contact, the Scalantrans quickly realized that Vendorian steel could revolutionize interstellar travel through construction of ships with lighter yet stronger hulls -- mounting more powerful engines that would drastically reduce the "dead time" spent within planetary systems travelling between planets themselves and the wormholes billions of miles out.
Following the First Strike, when Aria began to move against the Scalantrans, the Scalantrans had the advantage of better ships -- although not at first equipped for war. They could often escape, even if they couldn’t fight, but when they did learn to fight they were more than a match for the Arions. Still, war was unpleasant for the traders -- not to mention unprofitable -- and thus a Modus Vivendi came into being, later to be called the First Consensus: when the Arions moved into a system that traded with the Scalantrans, the Scalantrans simply withdrew, and the Arions did not pursue, nor did they attack the Scalantrans' own worlds.
Until now, the Vendorians had had little to do with either Supremis state, but they had begun to trade with the Velorians, and their technology had also been stolen by Andros, one of the human worlds seeded earlier by the Surrogates. That led them to make overtures to other human worlds, while still relying on the Scalantrans as their core market. It was all a matter of ships and ship components; despite their later reputation, they didn't have particularly good weapons -- they didn't think they needed them. What they didn't realize was that providing Vendorian steel ships to the Scalantrans and the Velorians had aroused the enmity of Aria. They went happily on as master ship builder/sailors and used these skills to enforce their economic power base.
A War comes: Edit
Unfortunately this only made them seem all the more tempting to the budding Arion Empire.
There was only one force in the Galaxy that could stand up to the Arions on the ground, and, unfortunately, they weren’t particularly inclined to help because they felt it was against their religion to fight another Supremis -- the ancient civil war was a fading memory. It was only because of the self-chosen role of the Companions on some of the worlds attacked by the Empire that Velor was drawn into a conflict that had heretofore involved only the Scalantrans and independent human worlds with which they traded. Aria's attention turned towards Velor, especially after 1500 when the Protectors replaced the Companions and what became the Enlightenment was increasingly involved in proxy wars with the Arions on distant worlds. Memories or legends of the Gene Bomb, combined with recent conflicts, fueled the hatred of the Imperials -- and that hatred extended not only to the Scalantrans but the Vendorians, who were seen as their allies, and allies of the Velorians as well.
The first battle with the Vendorians was a small affair, an Arion convoy claimed to have gotten lost in the vicinity of a Vendorian convoy of new military craft destined for the Scalantrans, declared an emergency and opened fire when the Vendorians got close enough. After that there was every excuse to declare war; the Arions said the Vendorians had made an unprovoked attack on a helpless trade convoy (their first ever that just happened to be armed to the gills) and the Vendorians told the truth.
It didn’t matter, the deed was done and the two races were at war. Unfortunately for the Vendorians, it was a very one-sided war. They were not warriors and the Empire had been preparing for decades. This was not a repeat of the Arion/Scalantran conflict, this time the Arions had ships that based on reverse-engineered Vendorian technology that were nearly a match for their Vendorian counterparts -- and far more numerous. Their first attack on the Vendorian home system destroyed dozens of space colonies before it was beaten off.
The Frau'lisets, androids made to emulate Velorian Protectors were fantastically effective, far more than a match for even their Prime counterparts. But, like the Lysande’dod, they were underused, although this time the reasons were ideological rather than military -- the Frau'liset were so effective, and so advanced that the Vendorians were worried that that they might follow the cliché and turn on their creators.
By this point most of the Vendorians, in spite of Velorian intervention, had been slaughtered. Most of their space colonies had been destroyed, the survivors retreating to their homeworld as the military prepared for its last stand. As the last outlying space colonies and mining asteroids fell, it became increasingly clear that the Arions would be happy with nothing less than their complete extinction -- even Velorian demands wouldn’t stay their course.
In a last desperate attempt to save their species, they threw away all their reservations and put the Frau'lisets into mass production. On the final day the Imperial fleet swept aside the last of their ships and orbital defences in less than twelve hours, much as, hundreds of years earlier, a Scalantran warship had swept them aside before the First Strike. But instead of bombarding the surface like that ancient vessel, the Arions released their army on the surface. After centuries of warfare every Prime and Betan wanted to be in on the final act, so much so that they actually bid for the honor of being in the first ships to touch the surface. It was the largest invasion force in galactic memory; millions of soldiers touched down on the surface. The dominant idea was a ‘bloodless’ coup… at least with regard to the architecture. The Arion leadership wanted Vendor as undamaged as possible so it could sit as the jewel of their crown; a reminder of their strength.
The Arions had wanted a slaughter and they got one; but it was a far different one than they had planned. The Vendorians had had months to prepare for this day, months they’d spent by turning out as many Frau'lisets as possible. By the time the Arion troops reached the surface, estimates say that there were two or even three Frau’ for every Betan and Prime. One tenth of that number would have been more than enough. This didn't save the Vendorians though.
The Imperial response was decisive, and final. Many of the Empire’s finest had fallen during the battle and every family from greatest to lowest was calling for blood. They already controlled Vendor’s skies but merely wiping out the population through orbital bombardment wasn’t enough. To satisfy the lost honor only the complete obliteration of the entire planet would suffice. It was as much a tactical decision as it was political. The ground fighting had proved that the Arions couldn’t win a ground battle (which was in itself another humiliation) yet as unbelievably effective as they’d been the Frau'liset had one weakness. For all their attempts to ape the Protectors they couldn’t replicate their most defining characteristic; they couldn’t fly. Thus the fleet was safe in orbit, but for how long? They knew the Vendorians would eventually solve the last problems involved in Frau'liset flight and they weren't waiting around to see what else they Vendorians might come up with. They wanted them extinct. Their attack was deliberate overkill.
Vendor’s last few hours were spectacular for anyone who wasn’t on the surface. The skies turned red, the oceans vaporised, the surface boiled. Continents cracked and shattered, yet even this was not enough. Even with Vendor’s surface floating in orbit and the core burning freely in space the Arion fleet continued firing, not stopping until the entire planet was a slowing expanding asteroid field. The only thing that stopped them from destroying the whole system was that they didn't know how.
Escape for just a few Edit
Despite this two separate groups of Vendorians escaped their wrath. The two groups did not know of each other then. If they do now they are keeping it extremely quiet.
The First group was a group of refugee ships that had left long enough before the arrival of the Arion fleet to be undetectable in the vastness of space but not soon enough to actually leave the system. They saw and recorded their homeworld's destruction from far away and vowed that it would never happen again. They were found by a group of Protectors and guided to a system with no planerts just a wide asteroid field. It was hoped by all that the Arions would not look there. The Vendorians used the raw materials of the asteroid belt to build new ships and defenses. They became the Galaxy's master weapon makers and even should the Empire find them now it would avail them naught. They do not stick to one system anymore. They live on their widely separated groups ships that stop only to mine asteroids for raw materials or to make agreements and discuss policy the Enlightenment. These concentrations are known as Vaulds.
The second group was rescued from the planet's surface itself by the Diaboli. They had heard of the problem and decided to help but at the time were even less able to stop an Arion Fleet than the Vendorians. Still they helped as they could and made friends as well as allies. When the planet was due to be destroyed they stayed and made a daring plan. If they could survive long enough the could use the very energies the Fleet was using to destroy the planet to create a Quantum Gate large enough to take a thousand Vendorians to their clan's home planet in one quick jump. It would be tricky though. Wait too long and they would die alongside their friends but if they went too soon they might not have the energy to move that many people far enough and they'd appear short of their destination and die in deep space.The gamble paid off though and they managed to succeed. They rescued a very small percentage of the planetary population but enough to keep the species alive and viable. This second group devoted their skills to stealth and misdirection. They created screens that not only blocked mechanical sensors but fooled the sensors into reporting false data. Their weapon emplacements look like rock formations. They worked with their allies closely and the Diaboli of that world shared all of their secrets with the Vendorians who reciprocated. The extent of their creativity is unknown but from the bits that have been stumbled upon you may judge the rest.
The Empire is aware there are Vendorians still alive but not where nor is it aware of the nomadic existence lived by the Vaulds