DEEP DESERT NOMADS
The te-Vikram , the largest federation of tribes in Vulcan’s history, were the nomads of the Cheleb-Khor region. Their name in Ancient Vulcan (temok vik-rahm = “wall of the thunder-well”) identified them as guardians of the only source of water in the Womb of Fire, the harshest and most desolate place in the Cheleb-Khor Desert. The vik-rahm, or “thunder-well,” was so named because it was located in an area prone to ground tremors that often rolled like thunder.1 The men of the tribe formed a brotherhood of warriors that were fiercely protective of their territory and way of life. For them, the Forge was an anvil on which they were beaten and tempered into Vulcan’s strongest and bravest. It was from their rites of passage that the kahs-wan ritual developed, and it is thought that the militaristic nature of Romulan society was inherited from the ancient te-Vikram customs and mindset.
The earliest territory of the te-Vikram extended west to the Fire Plains of Raal and northward to the volcanic peaks of T’Raan, T’Riall, and T’Regar. These active volcanoes, along with the fiery hues of the crystalline formations of the plains, had a profound impact on the religious and spiritual beliefs of the tribes. The majority of te-Vikram names, including those that survive to the present day, express a reverence for fire and flame. Such names include Ayhan (vai yon = “holy fire”), N’Ereon (nei fer-yon = “seed of the fire generation”), N’Rayek (nei Reah-yai-ek = “seed of Reah’s flame”)2, and N’Veyan (nei veh-yon = “seed of the flaming one”)3, Sikan (s’ikun = “from the cone/volcano”), and T’Saan (t’sai sa’yon = “lady from out of the fire,” thought to be a reference to the Old Mother of Fire, a name often given to the matriarch of the te-Vikram.)4
The prefix N’, a contraction of nei (“seed”), was a common name element for males, although in more recent times, it can be found in female names. Many daughters, on the other hand, were named Tasav (tah-savas = “unobtainable fruit”), suggesting a healthy fertility that was beyond the reach of the average man. According to ancient custom, women’s names were never spoken in the presence of strangers.5
Other name elements that were popular among the te’Vikram conjure up images of the desert. Such names include N’Keth (nei k’pseth = “desert seed”), T’Arvot (t’sai arev-odva =“lady of the desert-wind faith”), Alieth (al’rig pseth = branch of the desert”), Hanesh (feihan eshikh = “boss of the desert”), and Sepek (sef-pelq = “dune captain”).
Anyone wishing to learn more about the te-Vikram will want to read the Vulcan’s Soul series by Josepha Sherman and Susan Shwartz.
Next time we’ll see how birth conditions affected Vulcan naming traditions.
1The ornate ruins of this well can still be seen on the eastern edge of the Womb of Fire, although its water source has long been diverted by seismic activity.
2Reah was an ancient goddess of death, loss, and grief.
3The ancient god of war, Khosaar, was often called “The Flaming One.”
4 Sherman, J. & Shwartz, S. (2004). Vulcan’s soul, book one: Exodus. New York: Pocket Books, p. 107.
5 Sherman, J. & Shwartz, S. (2006). Vulcan’s soul, book two: Exiles. New York: Pocket Books, p. 18.