The Vilithii are a tough but stiffly-moving species of sentient plants.
Originating from Gobannos, a planet in the Albiorix star system – far from the Consortium – the Vilithii all trace their origin back to biological samples collected by the Orion. They were put into stasis and transported back to the Consortium, where they were presented to Moritasgas Pharmaceuticals for study.
Removed from stasis on Arawn so they could be more easily observed growing, the three samples awoke from within their transformation pods. With no more awareness than other higher mammals, they fled the unfamiliar environment of the lab for the more inviting jungle outside, breaking the window in the process. Fleeing into the dense jungle together, the three creatures found themselves being significantly mutated by the unfamiliar radiation. They began to produce spores at a previously unattainable rate, and within a month, there were over a hundred of them. Still operating mainly on instinct, a small number were sent out to gather solar energy while the rest remained in hiding. They found they could store the energy in a form of sap and allow others to absorb it.
It is not known amongst surviving Vilithii whether what happened next was an accident or deliberate, but one of the original three absorbed not only all the energy but also the life force of the collector itself, reducing it to a husk. A few days after this incident, it found itself more intelligent than its fellows – it had absorbed neural tissue and its system had put it to use. It also grew slightly larger, having absorbed the bodymass. Thus, the Vilithii now say, their monarch was born – this creature took on the name Vilithii and would live for ever in their peoples’ history.
Most believe that Vilithii then absorbed the other two original escapees, becoming even more formidable. It quickly reshaped their society as one which worshipped him as the supreme being, the creator of all. It would place two of the bottom level of this new society together in an enclosed space until one absorbed another to create the next level (“Manipulators”), and the most ruthless of these it would allow to husk several more of their peers until they reached “Baron” status.
Vilithii forced the members of his society to reshape themselves to forms as it saw fit, administered by the Barons. As a species capable of shapeshifting by entering a pod, they could adapt themselves to their superiors’ whim, given 2 weeks’ notice.
Whenever a certain level of the new Vilithii society spawned (they would do so about one per year), they would produce around 100 of their own kind. Realising it would quickly be overcome by the number of Barons, Vilithii invented “The Circle of Fire”, a process by which it and the Barons, when it reached spawning time, would stand in the safe centre of a raging inferno to “prove their faith”… And destroy their spores before they could take root.
Creating this feudal pyramid, it ruled as their god for almost 100 years, kept ageless by his own continued husking, either as capital punishment or at his whim, watching his people build ever-increasing monuments to his greatness. It did find, however, that it did not continue to grow in intelligence – once his body reached a certain complexity, it would break down the neural tissue instead of absorbing it.
All of this changed when a Human squad on exercises stumbled across the Vilithii in the jungle. Vilithii tried to resist the influence of Human ideals like equality on his society, but to no avail – it and most of the Barons were overthrown and burned alive.