Art by, Greco-Roman Apollo
Common Jobs: Builder, Entrepreneur, Officer, Manager
Likes: Profits, Being in charge, Winter clothes, Hot, Smoky weather
Dislikes: Turning in Losses, Slackers, Thieves, Nature, The cold
Attack Method: Volkronns prefer to threaten their enemies into giving up. In the event someone is dumb enough to challenge them, they will attempt to flatten them with heavycharging attacks.
Volkronn only honor gods when it benefits them and their needs.
Often mistaken for gigantic, skeletal dragons from a distance, it's no surprise that the volkronns are among the most feared species in the universe. The bodies of these creatures are covered by a heavy bone exoskeleton, with exposed skin at their joints and underbelly. The percentage of bone coverage varies from volkronn to volkronn, with some being almost entirely encased in bone, and others being more fleshy and lightweight. Although mutations allow for a wide range of coloration, carapaces are usually bleached white in color, to gray-black, with skin usually being darker. Their defensive exoskeleton grows increasingly spiky and angular over time, especially on the horns, tail, and spine. Routine trimming is required in order to prevent over-calcification, either by a volkronn "barber" or by rubbing one’s body against a hard stone.
While typically described as large bone-covered reptiles, that is where the description of the species becomes difficult. Volkronn genes are quite literally steeped in mutagen, and their appearance reflects this. Finding two who look alike is a difficult task. It cannot be said that this species has two arms, for there are many with four, six, or no arms at all, and it cannot be said that their tails are spike-covered and drag along the floor, as some possess tails in shapes rarely seen. Only a few common traits are shared by most, though not all of the population, such as their signature exoskeleton, v-shaped collarbone, long claws, mouth lined with rows of meat-grinding teeth, horns, and multitude of eyes. These eyes have black scleras and pupils, but the iris, much like their skin, can come in a wide variety of colors, with red being the most common.
This goes back to the standard volkronn hatching process, in which volkronn eggs are placed in vats of mutagens and kept warm over a small fire. There, this child will develop and hatch, every cell in its body affected by the process. Due to the highly volatile nature of their upbringing, children rarely resemble their biological parents. Everyone wants a perfect child, striving to have an heir that looks like them or possesses incredible mutations. Blood is not thicker than this desire. Later in life, health issues can be a nightmare for medical professionals, especially ones not well-versed in volkronn biology. The sheer abundance of mutations can make pinpointing what is "abnormal" incredibly difficult. Often, volkronns will "tough it out," believing that diagnosis will take too long, and that by the time their ailment is located they will have either died, or naturally fought it off.
Volkronns are anything but picky eaters. While a fresh kill is a treat, volkronns can be seen feasting on meat long past its expiration date, using highly corrosive acids to tenderize their food, and toxic chemicals to season them. Despite what volkronns do to planets, they on a personal level create very little trash, often eating wrappers, devices, and tools that have outlived their purpose. Their strong stomach acids are what allow them to do this, and it is believed this was originally evolved to supplement their mineral-rich diets with volcanic rocks.
Known for being brash and insensitive, this is a creature that speaks their mind and never cherrypicks their words unless they're the lowest ranking member in the room. Volkronns pride themselves on their business sense, which is ruthless and sometimes quite literally cutthroat in nature. Money equals power, and each wants nothing more than to have the most power. They are known to get into heated disputes with rivals, sometimes even escalating to full-on wars between companies. The role of government in volkronn society is handled by megacorporations, as opposed to a more traditional system. Rules for the office are laws. As such, fights between companies are akin to battles between countries. Two main corporations exist, and every volkronn pledges their allegiance to one or the other.
For the first year of a child's life, they are traded from family to family like trading cards, each volkronn attempting to barter upwards to a more desirable child. Most children will find themselves in their permanent home within this year, as older volkronns are less desirable due to having "less time to be taught the family business." Those who do not find homes and have outlived their welcome are tossed to the wastelands to fend for themselves in an uncivilized world that wants nothing more than to rip them apart.
To the volkronns, this dog eat dog lifestyle is to be envied, and it reflects in the attire of those at the top. While most volkronns only wear clothes on chilly days to keep their abnormally high temperatures up, those who hold more power wear suits and other garments that have been carefully inspected. After all, if no one knows that you're the most important person in the room, what's the point?
One's worth can only be determined by the amount of people under them. No volkronn wants to end up stocking shelves or any "lowest ranking job." They are aggressive risk-takers, willing to do anything to get ahead of the competition. This can be seen in their death rates. Many young adult volkronns die in the pursuit of the most impressive careers they can obtain. While a fair 25% on volkronn planets go on to become managers, the rest find themselves stuck doing others’ dirty work. Such jobs are required in volkronn society, but they will do whatever they can to avoid this fate.
While it may take some adjusting to their "failure," many will find peace with their work as long as someone is below their ranks. Any volkronn at the lowest possible rank will either wallow in shame or become hyper-aggressive, even compared to a normal volkronn. With their dignity stripped from them they play loose with their life, often getting fired and engaging in less than legal behavior to regain even the most minute feelings of power. Most volkronns will be content as long as there is least one person working beneath them, so the volkronns employ many other species to pad out their lowest ranks. While there are jobs aplenty, they are known to be harsh, and the emotional toll is high.
There is one type of species no volkronn would want in their office: hiveminds. The volkronns dislike hiveminded species as their way of existence, and lack of free will, goes against what the volkronn stands for. Deals with hiveminds are always rejected except in the most extreme of cases. Ironically, volkronn planets have become safe havens for hivemind species who have broken away from their group as the chance of being captured is minimal.
The average volkronn city can best be described as a dense, nightmarish metropolis, built in the dark insides of a hollow megastructure. Due to the limited space, buildings crowd eachother in a silent war for ground. Streets are close to nonexistent, with pitch-black allleyways dominating the narrow spaces between structures. Buildings bridge between eachother, making elevated highways for workers to get around. Those who risk exiting the skyscrapers will find jobless deadbeats, criminals in hiding, businessmen of questionable legality, and bones of the dead littering the ground floor.
It is, of course, in volkronn nature to fight for the top; to make the biggest impact you can make while still breathing. This, however, means little when one dies. What a volkronn has accomplished in life is rarely reflected in how their body is handled. They are bagged up and thrown out with the trash, and a lazier handler might simply push the corpse out of a window if there is a clear drop. Only affluent individuals can accommodate for the aftercare of their bodies. Extravagant funerals are held, the contents of their final orders often life-ruining to those who had wronged them.
The "humble" beginnings of the volkronn species betray their current status. While they might look imposing today, they were once a prey species compared to the great and terrible beasts that ruled over the surface of Valkan before them. Forced to adapt, the primitive valkanians took shelter in and around active volcanoes and fissures, where they would have to withstand the blistering heat and smoke to survive. They would fight for what little space they had, and naturally grew to be highly aggressive and competitive. The volkronns who dominated the gene pool were the ones who could browbeat the rest into submission.
Fossils and primitive art show that the species seemingly had an epiphany. While a big angry valkanian was impressive to be sure, a group of them was a force to be reckoned with, and he who ruled the group had all the power. Eventually, early "companies" banded together to replace these lone rulers, and the relationship between valkanian and business began. Now united against their natural enemies, and bolstered by technological advancements, the valkanians began to spread across the planet, exacting vengeance on the environment that previously held them back. They gutted ecosystems, poisoned wildlife, and altered the atmosphere to more closely reflect their toxic origins. The compulsion to reside in such environments follows them to this day, and their cities are uncomfortably hot and blanketed in smog.
The company that spurred this expansion grew into a powerful megacorporation, known as the VolKronn Corporation. They took over as the absolute governmental authority across the land, and rebranded all valkanians under them as the "volkronn" species. More companies were formed as subsidiaries of this megacorporation, but with interests of their own, and tensions began to grow between them. War and chaos broke out when an alliance of smaller corporations attempted a joint takeover of the government. Their attempt failed and they, rather than allow themselves to be reintegrated, chose to instead flee to the other side of the planet to form a government of their own. Had these companies, largely technology-related, not been so valuable to trade with, their leaders would have been executed on the spot.
The two sides split into the northern regions of Upper Valkan, led by the VolKronn Corporation, and the condescendingly named Lower Valkan that had newly formed in the south, led by Valkanian Elite Enterprises. The upper elite continued to infight amongst themselves, while the Enterprises were unified in their common desire to put their enemies in their place. Companies under Volkronn Corp focused on industry and mining, while their southern rivals relied on their technological prowess and trade expertise.
When it became clear that resources were dwindling on the planet itself, the volks began to see the value of an untapped realm that stood just above them; the moon of Valkan. Thus began a space race between the two corporations. They began to fling their own into space, a campaign fraught with one-way missions and failure, and in the end it would be VEE and their superior technology that took them to the moon. They laid claim to the moon by building a very large cannon on the surface, and exerted their will by pointing it directly at Volkronn Corp HQ. Valkanian Elite Enterprises had all maps on Valkan flipped quite literally upside down, in exchange for authorizing their competitors to rip the moon apart as they did with their own planet. North became south, Lower Valkan had become the new Upper Valkan, and to this day the two megacorporations remain begrudging business partners.
It was not long before they had sufficiently exploited the other worlds of their home system, and began to set their sights on the worlds beyond it. Today the volkronns are infamous for the way they tear into planet after planet, ripping out natural resources and leaving their husks behind. Groups have attempted to halt their progress, but the volkronns merely laugh their way to the bank, knowing that too many species depend on their services.
The people of the universe try not to ponder what world was ruined to create their newest device.
Mutation-prone: Being mutation-prone, the volkronns can have a wide-range of appearances. These are not subspecies, though they are often confused as such. The volkronns have integrated the hybrid DNA of other species in their attempts to create better mutations. Most of the population shares roughly 5% of their genes with other species. Due to being both mutated and hybridized, most volkronns cannot naturally have children and must use machines to do so.
Heavy Resistance: Volkronns are a tough species that is resistant to physical, fire, and emotional damage. Lesser known is their immunity to mind-altering psychics. Volkronns cannot be mentally or emotionally controlled, which disallows them from being forced to make unwanted deals. On the flip side, this also means volkronns cannot hear telepathic conversations or be able to enjoy certain psychic services such as dreamweavers or mental massages.
• As the volkronns and notails have a longstanding and stable partnership, the notails have sold usage of the metaparxi genes to the volkronns so they may create employees "inhouse." This has led to the creation of the "tuffparxi." These metaparxis are fluffier and stronger, perfect for colder regions that volkronns avoid. Tuffparxis are not recommended for species who can obtain metaparxis, as the mutations given to the tuffparxis make them unstable, prone to sudden death syndrome and aggressive outbursts. While the notails feel that the tuffparxi is a mockery, the volkronns are nonetheless quite proud of their work.
• The geckrechauns were the first ally of the volkronns in the universe. They are adored by the population and geckrechaun workers are treated gently compared to other species. No high ranking boss would be caught dead without a fancy geckrechaun acting as office mascot. While volkronns aren't known for being superstitious, the death of a business’ geckrechaun is seen as a sign that tough times are ahead.
• Finding a romantic partner is a highly formal affair in which the male must survive a harrowing interview conducted by the female. While dimorphism is difficult to spot in volkronns, the female of the species can live considerably longer than the male due to their more complex DNA structure. They are groomed for more commanding positions that require more experience, and the result is a dominating force that even volkronn males can agree is truly terrifying.
• MutaMax is the undisputed leader of the intergalactic mutagen market, bringing dangerous Valkanian mutagens to the wider universe. Most of their products have been outlawed, but some still are sold as a "cosmetics" in many places. It should be warned that these "cosmetics" are permanent and unlikely to work as intended. While drinking a liquid to grow a tail or glossy new feathers is attractive, the side effects are not. Don’t let the adorable mutageckrechaun mascot fool you, those traversing the lawless areas of the universe should be wary of purchasing from sellers of these products.
• Alence Hatz, former CEO of chemical manufacturer Hatz & HazMatz (H&HM), is remembered for writing a will as long as an autobiography, intending to force his enemies and family members to suffer through the funeral procession as long as possible. Comprehensive explanations and stories were included with each decision, and within were twists and turns that had listeners glued to the edge of their seats. Expectations were shattered and tears were shed, mainly by the people who were ruined. The will was considered a tour de force of literary genius, and was printed and sold to the masses, becoming a best-seller.