Where are the Homeworlds of the Four Races? by Fireangel
This article was written in response to a question on Facebook. It is republished here as an aid to anyone looking for similar information.
The Alpha Dawn Basic Rulebook states that the Vrusk, who at the time had “developed limited space travel decades earlier”, had made contact with the dralasites through a vrusk mining colony.
This implies that the dralasites were not a space-faring race before being contacted by the vrusk. This could mean that the dralasites are the only member of the four basic races that is actually native to the Frontier Sector. This is actually supported by the artwork on the AD basic rulebook (pp. 2) showing a bar with a sign stating: “No pets or dralasites allowed!”, reminiscent of signs in the US prohibiting Indians from entering businesses (the no dogs or Indians signs are from colonial India), placing dralasites conceptually in the same group as Native Americans and Indian National during the colonial/frontier expansion eras in both countries.
If we combine this information with the map on pp. 51, then Fromeltar is the most likely native system for dralasites, since it is the only primarily dralasite system; one world is primarily dralasite (Groth; with a native gravity of 1.2 g would neatly explain the increased natural strength of dralasites), and the other has a significant vrusk minority (Terledrom; with a heavy industrial base, likely fueled by native resources of the sort a mining venture might be interested in). At the very least, the names are very un-vrusk, implying heavy linguistic bias towards the dralasites.
If we take the vrusk “limited space travel” developed “decades earlier” at face value, we can conclude that the vrusk homeworld is either one of the “K-system” worlds, or is just beyond the right side of the map.
Humans made contact with the vrusk a few decades after the vrusk developed limited space travel, after humans started broadcasting nearby systems with subspace radio, then (presumably after at least a few years of radio-only communication, to allow for the construction of human spaceships using vrusk/dralasite technology) “the three races met in a large area of space known as the Frontier”, which pretty clearly implies that humans are not native to the Frontier Sector. Their first colonies were in Minotaur (Theseus) and Clarion (AKA Gollywog) (White Light), so the probabilities are good that the human homeworld is in that direction off the map.
Note that the later additions to the map in the Eleanor Moraes series of modules and in the Zebulon Guide seem to have been done by authors who assumed that the four races were native to the Frontier Sector and that everything beyond was uncharted.
It must also be observed that the timeline in the Zebulon Guide is full of errors that go against established facts in previously published canon (e.g. Zebulon having a four-races university before the system is discovered and explored, and having Clarion discovered 171 years before the “current year” of 111 f.y., when the module SFKH-0 Warriors of White Light, released with the Knight Hawks boxed set, states unequivocally that the current royal dynasty of Clarion has held the throne “for nearly 400 years”), so its timeline and maps are not useful to trace the origins of the four races.
The narrative continues: “There they (the three races) also discovered the Yazirians...”, which many have interpreted as meaning that the Yazirians arrived at the frontier after the three races met, but if we look at the map, the Yazirian worlds are on the opposite side of the Frontier from where we are assuming the other three races originated or entered.
Looking at the descriptions of these worlds on pp. 50, it becomes apparent that Hentz, in the Araks system, is a prime candidate for being the Yazirian homeworld; first, it has a gravity of 0.7, making it a good candidate for the evolution of a 50-60 kg glider. It is also the only heavily populated world with a gravity lower than 1.0.
Araks is also located behind a nebula (from the point of view of the human systems), a neutron star (from the point of view of the vrusk systems), and yet another nebula (from the Fromletar system), which would neatly explain why contact was not made sooner.
The Sathar probably come from beyond the Zebulon system (where the Zebulon Guide would later place the Rim), given that the Eorna encountered them long before (hundreds, if not thousands, of years prior).
Of course, if you do take Zeb at face value, you can ignore all my careful analysis and simply assume that the homeworlds are the so-called “blue plague worlds” of Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta, and Epsilon, neatly corresponding to the five races (humans, dralasites, vrusk, yazirians, and sathar). I do not subscribe to this theory and do not even believe in the idea of the blue plague as presented, since it A) came from a world yet to be discovered and B) the placement of the worlds in the map makes no sense if the plague was spread through space travel as described in Knight Hawks.
What should be evident is that the writers of the AD and KH books and introductory modules had a notional idea of where things came from and where they were going in the setting, but later writers, probably unaware of this vision, kept adding things haphazardly; some fit perfectly, some need some nudging to fit, and some (Zeb, I am looking at you) completely ignored it.
The plethora of official/semi-official and downright apocryphal articles certainly does not help.
Nothing wrong with that, mind you, but it does get in the way of figuring out some of the foundations of the setting.