- "At one time I thought cruelty and malice were only human traits. Alas, it seems that the thinking machines have learned to imitate us."
- ―Vorian Atreides
Vorian Atreides [b. 223 BG] was a prominent military commander during the Butlerian Jihad who turned from the service of Omnius to fight against the Thinking Machines. He was also the founder of House Atreides and the ancestor of Paul Atreides.
Vorian had grey eyes and dark hair which he retained for decades due to his great longevity.
History[edit | edit source]
Vorian was born on Earth to a human slave, impregnated with the sperm of the Titan leader Agamemnon. He was raised as his son. Though he was aware his lineage stretched back to the Greeks of Old Earth, Vorian never knew his mother, and spent little time with his warring father. He did however learn he was the thirteenth son of Agamemnon, the others having been killed by the Titan due to perceived inadequacies.
Due to his lineage, intelligence and charisma, Vorian earned a position as a human Trustee in Omnius' empire. Vorian's main role was to accompany the robot Seurat on one of Omnius' update ships, which the young human jokingly named the Dream Voyager. The vessel travelled between the Synchronized Worlds and delivering update gelspheres to different incarnations of the Evermind.
Vorian was initially loyal to his father, who he admired greatly. And per his father's wishes he desired to become a cymek and realize Agamemnon's dream of becoming the heir of the Titan leadership. As part of this inheritance and as a reward of surviving an encounter with the League Armada above Giedi Prime, he undertook a life extension treatment that dramatically slowed down his body's aging process.
Change of Loyalties[edit | edit source]
Vorian met- and fell in love with- Serena Butler while she was imprisoned on Earth in the household of the robot Erasmus. It was Serena's defiant attitude and questioning nature that began Vorian's questioning of his father's subjective historical accounts.
After researching the details of Agamemnon's memoirs via the more pragmatic records of Omnius, Vorian became disillusioned with his biological father. He eventually fled to Salusa Secundus with Serena and Iblis Ginjo during the uprising on Earth, and pledged to serve the free humans in their fight against the Titans and Thinking Machines.
Vorian was questionable during that time. He had been thoroughly interrogated, even examined by doctors for implanted espionage devices; he was proclaimed clean and was even blessed by Zufa Cenva, who, as a Sorceress of Rossak, could detect lies. However, Xavier Harkonnen wondered if the machines had somehow anticipated all precautions and concealed something in his brain, such as machine components that could be triggered.
Serena Butler insisted that all men should be freed from Machine control, and this should start with this man. Vorian could still be a valuable ally with inside information. Vorian had already provided exhaustive information on thinking-machine warships, their armor and their integral weapons took a position in the following Battle of Earth under strict controls in certain areas, and watched at all times.
During the Battle of Earth, Segundo Harkonnen had given him strict orders to accompany the warhead-carrying ships until they dropped their nuclear payloads. However, he detected a lone update ship exiting Earth's atmosphere. He was faced with a dilemma and felt obligated to abandon his post; should the update sphere pass through, all vital information, along with the orders to annihilate the humans, would be loaded to all the Evermind copies. The bombers he guarded were left undefended and became a short a work for the robotic vessels, while he was accused as a coward and a traitor, but he knew he did the right thing.
Soon after he boarded the vessel, which by chance, was guided by Seurat. Vorian stunned his old friend with an Electronic scrambler and apprehended the gelsphere. When he returned to Xavier Harkonnen's ballista, he was about to put on trial for treason, when he presented the silvery sphere, explaining the benefits of his move.
Serving the League of Nobles[edit | edit source]
Vorian emerged as a major military figure in the Butlerian Jihad, with his trademark being bold and highly inventive tactics. He served with the Army of the Jihad and Army of Humanity for about 135 standard years, and rose to become the Supreme Bashar.
During his long years of service he became close friends with Xavier Harkonnen, whose military talent was equally formidable yet stylistically very different. Grown in a life of absolute order and loss of individuality, Vorian tried to be more human, therefore being very free-minded and avoided formalities and chains of command, unlike Xavier. Vor's knowledge of machine thinking, programming knowledge and innovative skills helped the Jihad.
After Xavier sacrificed himself to kill the Grand Patriarch Iblis Ginjo, and concurrently had his aide Paolo deliver the message of Iblis's corruption to Atreides on Caladan, Vorian was the only person who tried to clear his name. The following years he remained the most longeval member of the Army of the Jihad until he reached the supreme rank of Supreme Commander of the Jihad.
He befriended Xavier's grandson, Abulurd Butler, the less loved son of Quentin Butler and became his patron through his advancement in the military ranks. Abulurd was the first to know the truth about his grandfather, and Vorian approved when Abulurd decided to change his surname to his inherited one: Harkonnen.
End of the Jihad[edit | edit source]
When news about Omnius's massive fleet against Salusa Secundus arrived. He ordered the planet evacuated and was the mastermind behind the plan of the Great Purge. Vorian was on board the LS Serena Victory during the battle, which was secretly equipped with navigation computers by Norma Cenva which ensured his survival through the Spacefolding jumps. Eventually Omnius was not vanquished but trapped on Corrin, thanks to Vorian's satellites armed with pulse-scrambler transmitters, set around the planet.
After the Jihad, Vorian inherited the Old Empire rank of Supreme Bashar, equivalent of Supreme Commander. He watched the League of Nobles falling in slumbering laziness and bureaucracy, deciding that the Thinking Machines did not pose a threat any more, and they neglected the danger of the cymek empire, who rebelled from Omnius' Synchronized Worlds years ago. Vorian was viewed as a relic of another past age of unrest and violence, and his callings to vigilance and a final coup against Omnius were annoying at best.
After Omnius made another attack on the League worlds with the invention of Piranha mites, and their subsequent neutralization by Abulurd, it was learned that his old friend, Quentin Butler was now among the cymeks as a captive. Vorian left all documents and proofs concerning Xavier's death to Abulurd and resigned from the Army of Humanity and moved to Hessra.
Vorian presented himself to his father Agamemnon, as defecting from the League and that he wished to join the cymeks. He played a major role in the destruction of the last remnants of the Titans, when he infiltrated his father's fledgling empire and plotted the death of the remaining Titans with the help of the captured Quentin Butler. On his return to Salusa Secundus, he was welcomed back to the Army of Humanity and was awarded with a title made for him, Champion of Serena, for his defeat of the cymeks.
Abulurd noticed that this experience made Vor different. While the Supreme Commander was famed as a cunning tactician using innovative ideas and deceit against the machines, now he seemed more direct and determined. Abulurd compared him to a hawk, and Vor decided that the Hawk would be the symbol of his family. Vorian was now more determined to press the League for the final strike against Corrin, using his newly gained prestige and seeing support from the Cultists.
His admiration for the Harkonnen name ended when the Atreides-Harkonnen feud began at the Bridge of Hrethgir during the Battle of Corrin when Abulurd committed sabotage in order to save the slaves from being collateral loss. When the Battle was over, Abulurd was sentenced to death but Vorian proposed that Abulurd be named a coward and banished from the League to which his brother Faykan Butler agreed. He also sentenced that Abulurd would obligatorily retain the shameful name of Harkonnen; Vorian sworn that for ever his descendants would spit upon the name Harkonnen. After that, it was impossible for Abulurd to recover his grandfather's memory.
Abulurd was exiled to the backwater planet of Lankiveil where his family carried on the bitter legacy of his downfall, thus beginning the feud with House Atreides. Vorian left for an anonymous, solitary journey across the Known Universe in order to escape from his former military life in a ship resembling the Dream Voyager, his old update ship.
Life on Kepler and new family[edit | edit source]
Vorian retreated on the backwater planet Kepler where he lived in a settled valley with his second wife, Mariella Atreides, and several generations of family members. While Vorian is away, the residents of the valley capable of manual labor are seized by slavers from Poritrin. Vor killed several slavers, and tracks the slave ships to the city of New Starda, where he buys and frees them before seeking revenge against their surviving captors.
Vor traveled to meet with Emperor Salvador Corrino I, grandson of his former comrade, Viceroy Faykan Butler. Warmly welcomed by the Salusan populace, he is asked to take the throne from the Corrinos. Although he declines to do so, Salvador and his brother Roderick Corrino become nervous, fearing that Vor might incite a revolution against House Corrino. They demand that he retreats into a deeper exile, and, in exchange, will station Corrino military forces around Kepler. Vor agrees to this, and travels to Arrakis. Unbeknownst to him, he is followed by Griffin Harkonnen, the ambitious grandson of Abulurd. Griffin confronts Vor in a Zensunni Fremen sietch deep in the Arrakeen desert, but the two reconcile.
However, Vor is also being followed by the twins Hyla and Andros, two offsprings of Agamemnon who have survived for years in an isolated robotic outpost. They eventually catch Vor in the desert, and kill Griffin. Pursuing Vor, attempting to convert him to their beliefs in a new Time of Titans, they are swallowed with the sand around them when a sandworm arrives. Vor sends a message of condolence to Griffin's sister, Valya Harkonnen, who spurns the offer and plans revenge.
Family[edit | edit source]
During his military career, Vorian had many relationships with different women on numerous planets such as Karida Julan and a lot of others. This ended when he landed on Caladan and fell in love with a barmaid named Leronica Tergiet. He fathered twins with Leronica, Estes and Kagin Atreides. Because of his role in the war, the kids grew with a surrogate father, Kalem Vazz but after his death, Vorian married Leronica and the kids learned their true heritage. However there was always a distance between father and sons and they broke off connections after Leronica's death.