The Votan are a collective group of five alien species who inhabited the Votus system before it was destroyed.
Castithans are an aristocratic and ethereal race that hail from the planet Daribo, and are known for their pale skin and beautiful features. They are proud and haughty, and tend to dominate others in social situations. These qualities, coupled with a cunning intelligence and unbridled ambition, have helped them adapt to life on Earth. However, they are also vain and prideful, and bristle at the mere implication that another race may exceed them in intellect or beauty. Castithans have a rigid social structure, and adhere to a strict caste system. Lower castes serve higher castes, and females are seen as subservient to the males in their family. Other races believed Castithan society would evolve on this new planet, but if anything it's driven the survivors to cling to their heritage all the more. For Castithans, your place in the world is determined at birth, and appearance is everything.
Castithan is spoken very, very quickly. It's a sign of their impatience and also a challenge for anyone to keep up with them. Even the Castithan writing system (fajizwalino, literally "revered characters") is complex and irregular—and quite difficult to master. It's crucial to know whether one is speaking to a superior, an inferior or an equal in order to speak Castithan correctly (i.e. without causing offense or seeming crude).
Although they are conservative with regard to tradition and language, Castithans tend to be very liberal with their sexuality. Sex is as much a tool of political agenda as it is an expression of love. Castithans have zero reservations about using sex as a means to an end. That’s not to say that Castithans don’t also enjoy sex to the extreme. Many of their most cherished ceremonies involve expressions of passion and desire.
The Indogenes are a technically-minded race who augment their bodies with a variety of cybernetic implants. They tend to be slender, bald, with geometrically-patterned skin of a solid color (most often pure white). Indogene implants are specifically designed for their chosen profession. They value science and knowledge above all else, and have invented most of the technology used by the other alien races.
Indogenes are incredibly hard workers, sometimes to the point of obsession. Their feeling is that if you’re awake, you should be doing something productive. An Indogene’s role is assigned to them after their childhood education and a series of extensive tests and capability reviews. Indogene civilization is built around the idea that every person has one primary role to perform that serves their race. To serve is to live.
Indojisnen is the language of the Indogenes. It's a polysynthetic language, which means that what may be expressed with five or six words in English can be expressed with a single word in Indojisnen. Indojisnen is normally only spoken amongst Indogenes. A variety of implants allow Indogenes to learn foreign languages more quickly than their Votan peers, meaning they can slip into just about any language with ease—and without a trace of accent.
Irathients are the most common Votan race living on Earth, hailing from the planet Irath. They're a proud, tribal people who are sometimes perceived as feral by others, owing to their deep love of the natural world. Irathients are handsome and naturally athletic, with bronze skin covered in biologically occurring patterns. Fierce and fearless fighters, Irathients pride themselves on their combat skills. They've adopted much of the technology and weaponry developed by the other races, but most disputes are still settled by hand-to-hand combat. Despite these aggressive behaviors, Irathients are also a deeply spiritual people.
Despite their strong sense of cultural pride, most Irathients understand this is a new world and have made efforts to assimilate. Their athleticism, strength, and intelligence allows them to succeed in a variety of occupations, but many Irathients prefer mining and farm jobs that enable them to work the land as their forefathers did. Their buildings are made mostly of wood and stone, designed to blend in with their surroundings. This harmony with nature not only pleases their gods, but provides a natural defense against their enemies.
The Irathient language is spoken at a slow and deliberate pace. It is rich in consonant clusters, and may sound halting at times as a result. Some of the other Votan races consider Irathient coarse and harsh. But for anyone who's studied their speech, it's clear that Irathients take great care in finding unique ways to describe the world around them.
The Liberata are shorter than humans, broad shouldered and thick-necked, with blockier facial features and long scruffy green-yellow hair. They are described as a servant-class race. Their language includes a high frequency of slang terms. The Liberata were once economically very powerful in the Votan star system, but their own avarice led to the ecological and social collapse of their society. Present-day Liberata humbly consider their present-day status as menial laborers and servants as deserved atonement resulting from the mistakes of their ancestors. They are well known for their gruff tempers and are sometimes considered petty. However, their frequently sarcastic demeanors have a deeper and more tragic origin, stemming from cultural disillusionment after their society self-imploded due to their own ancestors' short-sightedness.
The Liberata have a polytheistic religion focusing on the basic needs of life. However, their social collapse while in the Votanis system, combined with their relatively low numbers in the evacuation fleet, resulted in very few of their religious traditions surviving on Earth. Instead, the Liberata ended up borrowing many religious traditions from their planet-mates, the Sensoth and Irathients.
The Liberata are the servants of choice for the hierarchical Castithans, who find that the Liberata's labor-class work ethic and resignation to being servants in society fits well with the Castithan's own attitude that they are a superior ruling class. Because they were not politically powerful when the evacuation fleet was being organized, many of the Liberata who were let onto the Arks did so in exchange for contracts of indentured servitude with the Castithans. The Liberata get along well with the Irathients and Sensoth, because they evolved on the same planet where they peacefully co-existed. The independent-minded Irathients are often frustrated with the Liberata, however, because they feel the Liberata should stand up for themselves more and not be content to let others, such as the Castithans, order them around.
Sensoths are a large, fur-covered Votan race that prefers to live life in the slow lane. They share many characteristics of the old Earth sloth, tending to speak and act slowly. Possessing extreme long life (twice the average of other Votans), they are never in a rush to see anything done. Due to their strength, they are often used as heavy laborers by the other races, though their sinister appearance can often veil a kind soul. Sensoths range from well-muscled to gangly, but are always imposing.
Sensoths hail from of region of planet Irath known as the Great Tarnalin Forest. Slowly but surely, they established trade relations with the outside world. Eventually, Castithan raiding parties invaded their forest, taking many Sensoths back to their own homeworld to act as servants and soldiers in the Castithan army. To this day, many Sensoths can be found in the employ of wealthy Castithan families… a long, dark history from which the Sensoths have not been able to escape. Still, in later centuries, Sensoths began to view their employers (Castithan or not)as family, and protected them with equal passion. Some would call them gullible, while others appreciate their fierce loyalty.