The Collegiate Assembly of the Tribe of Zebulon

Zebulon Professor of Applied Field Dynamics and College Proctor

“I was very clear on the plagiarism, footnotes, and referencing policy of the Trondez Collegiate Battlefleet. I wrote it within two weeks of arriving in theatre and ensured that it was enforced vigorously and with total combat discipline by command faculty at all levels.”

Desoloriv Zon - Formerly Professor of Three Dimensional Gunnery University of Trondez (Fleet)

The Tribe of Zebulon are a race of powerfully built reptillian hominids ruled by their greatest Academics. These are chosen from their colleges and represent the will of the people as whole, awarding the highest level degrees and managing inter-species diplomacy. Until their first contact with humanity nearly 400 years ago, they called themselves simply 'the People', but since the Divine Rescue - a bloodless raid on Earth in which they consider themselves to have taken God from the Empire - they have taken the name of one of the tribes of Israel.

Although the Zebulon are physically strong, militarily powerful, and naturally inclined to aggression, there is an overridingly powerful taboo in their society against instigating physical conflict. If one resorts to violence, it signifies that whatever their point was, they were unable to defend it intellectually; thus it was invalid, and so their opponent was correct and gains standing at the expense of the Instigator. Every aspect of Zebulon life is dominated by the drive for academic success, in Zebulon society there is no other route to power, wealth or prestige.

Zebulon society is made up of houses or colleges, within which families live. There is vast competition between these structures, and they rise and fall based on the research and intelligence contained within. It is entirely possible for members of these structures to pass from one to another, either due to extreme academic intelligence and sponsorship from a different college’s academic, or by lack of research. The upper class of Zebulon society is made up of those with degree, below them is the Unqualified underclass, those who possess no degrees. It is a mark of extreme shame to be a member of the upper class and have one of your children remain as an Unqualified. As well as the tensions between differing levels of education, there also simmering racial tensions within Zebulon. The ‘silkies’; those from the lowlands, with less pronounced scales and smaller snouts, are disproportionately Unqualified. The ‘silkies’ claim this is due to racial profiling and unfair treatment, the uplanders claim it is due to a lack of natural intelligence.

All of the members of Zebulon society self-identify as male to outsiders. No other race has managed to get close enough to find out whether this is due to a specific mating process, or whether the Zebulon masses just think it’s no one else’s business but their own. THe choice of the masculine was almost certainly motivated by a desire to aggravate the naturally matriarchal Many. All business is handled by the colleges, certain academics specialise in economics and they deal with any and all trade decisions. Priority as to who runs trade within a college comes down to class of degree, subject, specialities and content of thesis. There is a constant drive for improvement within society, no one is able to rest on their laurels.

The Zebulon citizens all follow the same religion, the Church of the Divine Rescue. The faculty of Theology, which formed in the absence of any previous religion among the People purely to study the religion of the Many, discovered in the process an ancient prophecy from their homeworld. This scripture tells of a prophet who once walked amongst their people at the dawn of the age of the Wise, but was martyred in battle with the last Aggressor King. As he died he promised that the People would find their God, many years in the future, in an alien land. After their first contact with humanity and reading all their religious texts, the Theologians came to realise that their God was directly embodied in the Kaaba, within the holy city of Mecca. So they attacked Earth and stole the Kaaba in a bloodless raid. This has led to many years of hostility between the two species, as even those who do not follow the Muslim religion were outraged by this blatant breach of the Empire’s territory. As of yet however, negotiations to retrieve the Kaaba have been unsuccessful.

Within the Church there exists a secretive order, which contains the Neuro-Externals of Zebulon. It is never, ever talked about, but can be talked around when needed. It is uncertain what this order do.

‘What is fashion but a way of marking one’s rank? One only has to look at the clothing structures of the Many as they tumble through their hapless cycle of government to see how they prove their position within their society. Of course here, it’s all about the hood.’

- Achalcea Za- Professor of Alien Fashion Design, University of Shanno

Zebulon fashions are driven by the yearly graduation fashion shows from both Shanno and Erzetla, the two leading colleges for studying both Zebulon and Alien fashion design. Both the elegantly polished work of the Postgraduate shows, as well as the slightly clunkier outfits of the Undergraduate shows, have far reaching impacts on what all of Zebulon will be wearing in a few seasons time. Once these outfit collections have been seen, the most popular will trickle down through the other colleges and textile degree holders, until they reach a level of wearability and become ubiquitous. The work of the high level Professors are only seen in small, salon type shows. These fashions tend to be carefully sent out to the higher echelons of Zebulon society, allowing them a different style of clothing to the lower classes.

Generally Zebulon clothing tends towards very formal academic wear, sometimes branching onto more exotic levels by apeing human academic fashions, both recent and historical. Zebulon academic wear is long, layered robes in college or house colours, with rank denoted by levels of pleating and number of layers. Degree type is indicated by hood colour and trim, although the colour classification system varies from house to house, leading to many embarrassing mishaps at cross-college functions. Currently ruffs are in favour, as are Earth style organist sleeves.

Zebulon clothing also incorporates articulated plates, designed to make the wearer look burlier and more armoured, regardless of whether the material is actually armoured or not. It serves to increase the apparent physicality of the wearer and encourage others to not resort to violence, an important part of maintaining social decorum.

‘According to the disciplinary procedure as set out by Professor Oren-Yara, we will now be having tea without biscuits, but instead with a logic test. I promise you, it’s not nearly as pleasant as it sounds.’

- Jarana-Per, Zarghest Fifth Company, Zarghest University of Applied Social Studies and Warfare.

The Zebulon military is made up in the same manner as all aspects of Zebulon society. The masses, at the bottom, are the College Proctors, acting as foot soldiers. Above them are varying levels of academics who are studying applied warfare, tactics, military discipline, or any of a myriad of degrees. The real leading is left to the professors and postgraduates of course, but their orders are relayed by the undergraduates as, effectively, non-commissioned officers. This structure has served them very well in the years in which they have maintained a nasty grudge with the Many, undimmed even when other spacefaring races appeared.

What they are: Studious, Pompous, Passive Aggressive, Devious

What they are not: 'Cold blooded', feral or emotionless lizards

Inspiration: Porterhouse Blue, Harry Potter, Babylon 5 (Narn, Draazi, Minbari)

collegiate_assembly_of_the_tribe_of_zebulon.txt · Last modified: 2015/02/24 22:21 by mejoff
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