The Babylon Project

The Yolu are a long-lived humanoid race from the planet Pa'ri, previously members of the League of Non-Aligned Worlds and later members of the Interstellar Alliance. They are noted as being the race that originated the Mutai competition.[1] By 2262, at least two Yolu had begun training as Anla'shok.[2]


The Yolu are bipedal humanoids in appearance and feature high foreheads, short triangular noses with elongated nostrils, ears and a distinctive "gap" that runs from the center of the forehead to the bridge of the nose. Like humans, Yolu are four-limbed bipeds and have five digits on their hands, though their feet have no toes. Yolu skin is similar to that of humans in texture and its color varies from light yellow to black. The Yolu can perceive a much wider visible spectrum than humans and can see very well in the dark.

Yolu reproduce like many other species through sexual coupling of males and females. Fertilisation of a female Yolu is achieved through the intertwining of the tendril like genitals located in the groin of both the male and female and facilitate the transfer of the male seed to the female egg sac. The only outward distinction is that the male tendrils are somewhat thinner. The tendrils function strictly as sex organs; bodily waste disposal occurs though the anus. The act of copulation itself is considered a major facet of life to the Yolu and there is a very large body of literature and drama devoted to it.

Once impregnated, the female with carry the developing embryo for the equivalent of 7 Earth months. Twins are common among Yolu, though multiple births beyond two are a rare occurrence. Once fully matured, Yolu can reach an average height of 120 to 175 cm and an average weight of 40 to 90 kg.

The Yolu population consists of an unusually large proportion of telepaths and possesses a number of "mystic" abilities such "reading auras" that continue to be incomprehensible to other races.


During the First Shadow War, the Yolu were approached by the Tak'cha about joining the fight against the Shadows but rejected to take a side. The Tak'cha, having misinterpreted Valen's teachings, took the rejection as an insult to Valen and attacked them as punishment. As a result, Valen banished the Tak'cha from his army.[3]

The Yolu initially opposed the independence of colonies in sector 800, but accepted a compromise from the Interstellar Alliance whereby the Alliance would intercede in all border disputes for the next 20 years. [4]

Society & Culture[]

Yolu civilization came into existence about 5,000 years before the Third Age of mankind. It combines a group-oriented structure with individual growth to provide balance in all things. Yolu society has virtually eradicated crime and poverty.

Diversity is considered a hallmark of Yolu society; they revel in their differences as proof of their basic spiritual sameness. Males and females are equals and there is no discrimination based on cultural, social, economic or physical differences. This respect for diversity also extends to all other races.

Yolu culture also includes an appreciation for all forms of art including painting, sculpture, music, literature, drama, poetry etc. They do possess an equivalent of film and television which is somewhat comparable to human forms in terms of content. Their art forms tend towards minimalism yet with oddly complex concepts that many off-worlders find pleasing.

Like many races Yolu communities consist of towns, cities and rural settlements and feature widely varied and impressive architecture. Each community possesses a leader, usually a priest or priestess of the local religion aided by whatever orders predominate in the given area.

The Yolu prize spiritual harmony, physical prowess, art, and intellectual achievement. They believe strongly in the significance of omens and that the concept of Coo-tah has a place in everything they do. The Yolu are also fond of jewelry and male and female alike adorn themselves with it.

Yolu marriages are traditionally monogamous, an institution that is greatly cherished making it extremely rare for any Yolu to ever take more than a single mate. While not arranged in the manner of Centauri and some Human traditions, Yolu marriages nonetheless require a great deal of discussion between the families of the two prospective spouses to assess their mutual compatibility. Particular attention is paid to their spiritual compatibility and the families will meditate on their Coo-tah and how it will intertwine. Any perceived inequality or a disharmonious factor in either party will result in the marriage being postponed until it can be corrected through spiritual training.

Though homosexuality is approved of in Yolu culture, marriage is reserved for male and female couplings only. Same sex partners are instead allowed a different form of marriage.

For recreation, the Yolu particularly enjoy group meditation, craft festivals, acrobatic troupes and the culinary arts.

The Yolu were the creators of the Mutai, or "Trial of Blood", a blood sport and martial art they have used for centuries to settle differences without resorting to war. As they ventured out into space, they brought the Mutai with them and it became a cherished tradition among many of the former League worlds, as well as others. Many of the Yolu fight in the Mutai alongside members of dozens of other races and in 2258, Walker Smith became the first Human allowed to fight in the Trial of Blood.[1]

The Yolu also practice a native martial art called Tuk-za in which all Yolu are trained. Various Tuk-za competitions take place throughout the Yolu year and assess both form and pure fighting ability. Yolu also enjoy forms of skiing, bobsledding and mounted riding on beasts akin to Earth horses.


The concept of Coo-tah is at the core of all Yolu religions; they differ only in their expression of this universal force. The most prevalent religion is "Coo-Tah Zhay", or "The Coo-tah Eternal", which posits that the Coo-Tah is an unchanging force that cannot be diminished. Other Yolu religions respectfully challenge this assertion and so do not lead to religious rivalry. The Yolu firmly accept the necessity to constantly test and question all beliefs and are a model of religious tolerance.

Glossary of Yolu Terminology[]

  • Coo-tah: Metaphysical concept. Roughly translates as "universal force."
  • Ingyo: Chief governing body.
  • Ka-Tow: A coach or "second" to a Mutari. A Mutari may have more than one Ka-Tow and they are sometimes former Mutari themselves.
  • Mutai: Literally "Trial of Blood", the Mutai is a highly regarded single combat martial arts tournament.
  • Mutari: The collective name for those that fight in the Mutai, who "walk in the Sands of Blood."
  • Mutai-Do: Leader of a local Mutai championship and match referee.
  • Ogo: A hardwood chip used as currency.
  • Sho-rin: Champion of a local Mutai. Referred to as the master of the Mutai, bravest of the brave.
  • Teymat: Pa'ri solar cycle, equivalent to 14 Earth months.
  • Tuk-za: A native martial art in which all Yolu are trained.


Other Sources