Spinward Marches Mora Subsector
Zhodani: Human major race (H. sapiens), inhabiting the Zhodani Consulate, a region spinward of the Imperium. The Zhodani are a branch of humaniti similar in most respects to other human races. In general, they tend to be taller than Solomani or Vilani and lithe of build. Their most important difference is the acceptance and use of psionics.
Zhodani society is divided into three classes: nobles, intendants and proles. Nobles are the enfranchised ruling class and receive psionic training from childhood. Intendants are managers and administrators of society, and also receive early training. Proles constitute the masses, are forbidden the use of psionics and do not receive training. Within this rigid class system, there are two opportunities for promotion to a higher class. All prole children are tested for psionic potential and those showing high scores are taken from their families and adopted into the intendant class. Intendants are rewarded for great diligence, service to the state, or victory in the psionic games through the granting of noble titles.
The presence of psionics in the hands of those in power means that many aspects of society work at high efficiency. Psychology, behavioural science, communications science and education are more refi ned and exact than in other societies. Educational methods are finely tuned and capable of teaching concepts rapidly and accurately. Mental deviance or criminal tendencies can be detected early and corrected with facility. Zhodani society is generally a happy one. Individuals are members of a functioning whole, with each making a contribution to its success. The relative lack of upward mobility for the proles is offset by the possibility for their children to move upwards if they have the proper potential. The burden of responsibility imposed on the intendants is lightened by the ever-present possibility of reward through elevation to the noble classes. The nobles themselves temper their burden of authority with comfort derived from their station in life.
The Zhodani have a general distaste for other human races that do not practice psionics. Effective indoctrination and ever-present possibility that one’s mind is being read have removed dishonesty and deviance as common features of society. Disagreements still occur, competition thrives and passions fl are. But all takes place in an atmosphere of honesty and truth. Individuals can express their feelings without fear and problems are openly dealt with. In non-psionic societies, much is kept secret within the mind. A Zhodani visiting the Imperium would be appalled by the deviousness and dishonesty that pervades society.
Imperial distaste for the Zhodani is based on two facts. First, the Zhodani practice psionics and an Imperial cannot be sure that a Zhodani is not invading his mental privacy at any time. Imperials feel exposed and uncomfortable in the presence of Zhodani. Second, because of their psionic abilities, the Zhodani have the most effective authoritarian rule in history. Imperial citizens, used to a great degree of local autonomy, fear Zhodani conquest because of the loss of freedom it would entail.
The Zhodani consulate is a participatory democracy in which only nobles are allowed to vote. Executive and judicial functions are the responsibility of a series of councils of varying sizes.
Each council elects one of its number as executive officer and a number of its members as delegates to the next higher council.
The Zhodani date their empire from the traditional date of the first organized use of psionics on Zhodane, – 6731 Imperial, the year of the first olympiad. They achieved jump drive about 1,300 years later, in – 5415 Imperial. The expansion of the Zhodani was gradual and uneventful. Although some states on the fringe resisted absorption into the Consulate, most were annexed peacefully. The Zhodani fi rst came into confl ict with the expanding Third Imperium in the 500’s, starting the First Frontier War in a dispute over present and future limits to settlement in the Spinward Marches area. Continuing frontier wars over the next 500 years have failed to resolve the basic differences between the two empires.