The Pelkons (pronounced "PELL-kahns") on Earth are a species traveling with the Xorn who have been freed or had escaped during the Xorn Invasion of 1984. The Pelkons
held a unique position in that they were something less than the Xorn, but something
more than the other slaves. It is a current fad for wealthy and powerful Xorn to retain Pelkons as
teachers of a sort. In addition to their keen understanding of ecology,
the Pelkons also spend much of their time in philosophical argument.
Experienced Xorn can debate Xorn Philosophy as well as they can spar
with Xorn Warfist. Younger Xorn, however battle-scarred they are,
may be tasked to spend time with a Pelkon Sophist. This is not
punishment, but intended to both test and train those who show promise
for command positions. For failure to truly understand Xorn Philosophy
is a sin.
For their part, the Pelkons agree to spend time with Xorn so that they
can collect data to test their theories about cosmological, geophysical,
biological, ecological, and social evolution. They collect historical
archives from civilizations that the Xorn are besieging or have
conquered. From analysis of the archives, they derive natural
histories of planetary evolution and compare them to the theories
proposed. To them the Xorn and their actions are not really important -
it is the philosophical debates and development of theories that is the
most important things in their lives.
Relanda, the homeworld of the Pelkons, though typically described as a
"garden paradise" is actually not unlike Earth in most respects. Its
size and atmosphere are nearly identical to Earth's, and its
distribution of land and water, climatology, biochemistry, and variety of flora and fauna are
all very close though the specifics vary somewhat. Arguably, what makes
Relanda a "garden paradise" is the Pelkons' careful attention to
preservation of the native vegetation, particularly in the popular
resort areas. Even the planet's most crowded cities have trees, flowers,
bushes, and other plants lining the streets. Xorn conquest did not ruin any of this
because the Pelkons, realizing they were overmatched, surrendered
completely after receiving assurances that if they did so, their
homeworld would be spared depredation. No Xorn commander has risked his
honor to break this treaty.
First contact with the Pelkons was not made by the Xorn; rather, it was
the K'kriki'i, who arrived at Relanda roughly around 1200 BC, by earth
dating. At the time, Relanda was suffering a worldwide plague that swept
over the population in the course of three centuries. The K'kriki'i, as
is their nature, assisted the surviving Pelkon by genetically altering a
small population of Pelkon (its believed no more than ten thousand
individuals) to be immune to the disease while allowing the remainder of
the Pelkon population to die out. Every Pelkon alive today is a
descendent of those who were bioengineered, and they are all thus immune
to natural diseases.
Of all the Xorn slave races, Pelkons are the most humanlike.
Biologically, they are almost identical to Humans. They are mammals, are
the same general size (though with a slightly taller average height -
6'1 on average for male Pelkons, 5'10" for female Pelkons, as opposed to
5'9" and 5'6" for human men and women), have the exact same distribution
of coloration, the same number of eyes, ears, and limbs, and in most other ways
function like them. Pelkons and humans can eat all the same foods, and
breath the same air. Humans and Pelkons are even physically compatible
as far as sexual contact is concerned, though such liaisons are not
In fact, the biggest difference is that Pelkons seem to
age slower, having in general twice the life span of humans. They are
also physically distinguishable by the presence of four to nine vertical
ridges on the bridge of the nose and the lower part of the forehead;
stark white eyes with black or dark grey sclera; and a series of
irregular dark spots averaging about two square inches in size. These
spots run from the temples down the neck, branching at the shoulders;
one branch runs down the arms and to the backs of the hands, while the
other runs down the back and along the outside of the legs to the tops
of the feet.
Pelkons can easily fit in with humans and need very little in the way of
cosmetic surgery to appear completely human. Many Pelkons on Earth are
sought as environmental advisors to governments or environmental groups.
Thus, in addition to the Pelkon language, most also know at least one