From The Coppermind
Jump to navigation Jump to search

The Coppermind has spoilers for all of Brandon's published works, now including Yumi and the Nightmare Painter, The Sunlit Man, and Defiant. Information about books that have not yet been released, like Stormlight 5, is allowed only on meta-pages for the books themselves. For more details, see our spoiler policy. To view an earlier version of the wiki without spoilers for a book, go to the Time Machine!

Sapient Yes
Universe Cytoverse
Featured In Defending Elysium, Skyward (series)
This page or section needs to be updated with new information for Starsight and Cytonic!
Be aware that in its current state, it may not include all additional content yet.

The varvax are a race of aliens in the Milky Way. They discovered cytonics before developing computers and began to explore the galaxy by traveling through the nowhere and making contact with other species. The Interspecies Monitoring Coalition considers them to be of primary intelligence because they are a peaceful society, though this is only because—like all other species of primary intelligence—they imprison any dissenters and suppress their cytonic abilities.[1]

A group of varvax were ordered to capture and secure the surrender of the Defiant Fleet after the Third Human War, however, the humans escaped to Detritus. The varvax now maintain a space station close to the planet and act as guards to prevent the humans escaping. They often send drones to attack the Defiants in order to prevent them gaining too much technology. [2] Before Spensa and M-Bot hacked their computer systems, the Defiants referred to them as the Krell.


Varvax are actually small creatures that float in a nutrient bath. They are surrounded by a large, inorganic exoskeleton that contains quartz and granite. When speaking, they create clicks and snaps with their claws and use many hand gestures. They are described as wearing bright colors, having red eyes, and looking like crabs. They seem to have a living apparatus with open plates of the "head" portion for them to see out of as a kind of armor.[2]


Outwardly, the varvax are incredibly peaceful, going so far as to shrug off one of the apparent murder of one of their ambassadors. Not all varvax agree, however, and any dissenters are imprisoned and their cytonic abilities suppressed so as to enforce the peace of the galaxy.[1]


Before the Human Wars[edit]

The varvax discovered cytonics long before humans did and before developing any technology more advanced than the computer. Soon after gaining access to cytonics, they—like all other species of primary intelligence—began imprisoning dissenters and suppressing their cytonic abilities.

After humans discovered cytonics, some varvax dissidents escaped their prison and were able to use their cytonic abilities to swap their minds into a human's body and plotted to steal advanced human technology to use against the species of primary intelligence. At least two varvax managed to do this, taking over the bodies of Denise Carlson and Edmund, though Edmund was confident there were more. When Jason Write discovers the truth of primary intelligence and cytonic suppression, he is appalled and finally decides to make knowledge of cytonic faster-than-light travel available to the rest of humanity.[1]

After the Third Human War[edit]

At the end of the Third Human War, a group of varvax was sent to secure the surrender of the Defiant Fleet, but the fleet escaped to the planet Detritus. Since the Superiority has laws against the extermination of a species, the Department of Protective Services maintains a group of varvax on a space station outside the debris field that surrounds the planet and that is charged with ensuring that humans remain alive but do not escape. They do not see themselves as murderous, but as prison guards, trying to keep the humans from advancing too much. The lifebusters were designed for this, and they attack frequently to keep human minds on defending instead of advancing their technology.[3] The Battle of Alta Second, however, was intended to destroy the humans on Detritus; a political group within the Superiority successfully argued that the Defiants were too dangerous,[3] and there were other planets where the Superiority maintains a group of humans.[4]

During their time guarding the humans on Detritus, the varvax have two types of ships at their space station.[2] The first type is a ship of unclear purpose, but they might be couriers or tow ships. They look boxy, with large open windows in the front. On these ships is stenciled Ketos redgor Earthen listro listrins (creating the acronym KRELL), translating roughly to "Penitentiary maintenance and containment of Earthlings."[2] The second type of ship is the varvax drones that are usually remotely piloted. They are small, bulbous, with an unfinished look--with wires trailing behind like tails.[5] They have small, opaque black cockpits, and will usually explode completely when damaged or when they crash. Inside the interceptors is varvax armor, dark forms in armor with red eyes, but the ships themselves are unmanned fighter drones.[5][2] They go after the best pilots so as to eliminate anyone who has cytonic abilities and use their own cytonic abilities on anyone who escapes the debris field around the planet so that she or he will see her or his own allies as varvax and shoot them down.[2] In the days leading up to the Battle of Alta Second, they also begin sending ace pilots who directly pilot their ship against the humans.[6]

Notable Varvax[edit]

  • Sonn, the varvax foreign minister during the time of Jason Write
  • Ohz Burtim Winzik, minister of the Department of Protective Services during the time of the Battle of Alta Second
  • Nuluba, a member of the Broadsider pirate faction in the belt of the nowhere.


This article is still missing information. Please help The Coppermind by expanding it.