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The Rishan

Lexx is a Rishan, a genetically enhanced race of humans who originated from a small population that were taken from Earth and then altered to make them useful as a created slave race. Galactic laws stated that any naturally occurring being with a planet of origin could not be forced into servitude and bought and sold as a product, but if anyone managed to CREATE a race without using previously existing genetic code, then they would fall under the category of 'artificial life'. They would be as soulless as any machine, but simply made up of different materials. It is a generally accepted theory that one cannot create life from nothing and has thus far, ... no-one has had any success attempting it.

The Rishan were to be the first of these and were originally raised as such. They were treated as servants and responded as servants from the moment they were born. Rishan were separated at birth from parents and adults had no knowledge how to care for their own, nor were they taught any sort of basic cultural structure other than their place was to do what they were told. Research was done, but because of so many differences between the Rishan and carefully crafted research records,... a few bribed officials here and there to overlook small things,... they were passed off as a truly created lifeform.

This was only contested when several generations down the road, Rishans were being freely bred by private breeders and suddenly, imperfect genetic code would show through in the combination of two lower class Rishan genotypes. A child would be born with unusual skin tone, eye color, hair and features. Research on these abnormalities led to the discovery that they were human throwbacks. Sloppy engineering had worked its way through. (The original test subjects were the purest, although would often have variations in eye color for appearance. These were the ones that were used to show the best qualities of their created products. They were work intensive to engineer and after they were accepted, lesser qualities, more docile and less tweaked versions were created to raise future generations.)

Rishan genes are dominant. The first set of Rishans were not discarded, but simply not continually made. They were improved too much - they thought they'd dilute the strain by breeding them with subsequent lesser strains, but it's held pretty well... especially when combined at several points once they were free with others who were descendents of that first set.

Children born with human like appearances were often returned to Earth if the parents desired it, but some have remained with their families or are on their own.

The Rishan were eventually released and many of them have attempted to reclaim their heritage and learn how to 'live'. Many remained with their previous masters as hired help. Many of their masters, mainly among the Littans were horrified to learn what had occurred and attempted to the best of their abilities to make up for their treatment. They have shared their homes, cultures and sent their own people to Earth to help bring the heritages of Earth to the Rishan. (This has had repercussions of its own for the Littans who, while well meaning,.. fell to temptation.)

Currently, the Rishan as a population are still working on trying to survive on stations and planets that are occasionally hostile. There are a few places where they are becoming increasingly more and more adept at becoming cohesive communities. Mostly on Litta and their own stations.

Records were kept of all Rishan children born, even if they were taken from their parents. These records were sealed from the adoptive parents and only the child, once they reached the age of maturity, could access their family records. (AD Day 6, strip 50)

Risha roughly translated was a derogatory term for "Children of the Stars" Meaning as well, one without a beginning or previous life, because they don't have a home-world anymore. They aren't looked upon very highly and they usually aren't welcome on any of the other worlds because they don't want to be overrun with them, and are not treated well on stations that are not run by them. Their children are taken away and they're heavily discouraged, even now from even considering having children or marrying. They're considered the trash of the galaxy and shunned by many, although most of the races that are somewhat like them in appearance are a little helpful: The Littans, the Sairah, and the Kourwine; there are only four in all, five counting the Risha that look human, the rest are very... inhuman and in the majority.

The average Rishan who is from a station or Litta will be more 'sympathetic' to their own kind, have an understanding of family, relationships and the ability to work with others in a way that would be considered normal. They still have problems they're working to correct in raising their own children when several generations back, they had no idea what to do with them. Many Rishan babies died after they were freed, unless someone was there to help the parents understand how to care for them and often, it would only be a mother who was there. The fathers did not in general, have an understanding of any responsibility. This caused a general dislike of the Rishan because their children were unsupported and when they did survive, were a pull on resources and often led their mothers to be very influential in crime to support their children. There was a push for forced birth control upon the Rishan and on some planets this was carried out without the choice of the mother. (Note that female Rishan are EXTREMELY respected and feared in some corners because of how high they've risen in the criminal underworld.)

'Elf' is an insult in their language... the definition is a mischievous troublemaker with no parental heritage.

Normally, a Rishan can live up to 140 years.


Family really meant little among the Rishans who had never had one. There were intact families who had strong bonds among them, but the scattered ones who had the desire for their own families, were usually more interested in making a family than finding them.

Before their race was freed from slavery, raising your own children was a foreign concept. Babies were taken from their parents at birth, and there was no choice in whom one had those babies with. After the rebellion, they were left on their own with no idea what to do with babies. Women would have a child, and the male would usually be long gone, resulting in many of them ending up in orphanages. The Littans would step in at that point, taking in many orphans and raising them their way. They would also go back to their mother world to bring back books and information from cultures long unknown to them. There are still those living in the old ways however... (Legacy strip 12)


Rishan stand slightly taller than normal human heights. The females average 5' 9" in height. The males are usually around 6'7" and don't stop growing until they are in their mid twenties. Most are of a moderate to slender build. They have pointed ears which extend to just beyond the back of the skull. Their eyes range prominently from gold to brown, with certain genetic strains possessing green and blue eyes. (Green eyes are very unusual and rare.[1]) Hair color is solid white or grey to any variation of blue, violet and a very dark red, to black. Skin tones range from a very pale light blue to darker shades of blue and violet. Light blue will burn rather than tan in the sun, the darker shades will darken to blue-black and violet, often showing off markings that were not visible before. Markings come in a variety of shapes, sizes and locations, depending on what their jobs were and who owned them. These are genetically embedded.

The markings can be used to trace their lineage. They are typically not as prevalent on females as males, and are rarely passed on through the female line. Riane is an exception because she's from a similar line to Lexx, though not as old.

Most Rishan do not have hair anywhere on their bodies except for their heads, but some that are of a lower quality will have slight facial hair and hair elsewhere.

They're smart, quick and in general picked on by the other races to a point in which they are VERY defiant and rebellious. They are also VERY sensitive to differences in that they ignore them due to their treatment. They are very anti-racist.

Rishan Naming

Rishan are normally named with a variation of the mother's name and the father's family name. The format is Family Name first - Individual Name second, Mother's variation- (Optional name that parents like) - Mothers family name.

Primary Job Training

Rishan are primarily pilots, engineers and gardeners. The later generations are most likely starting to deviate from this to other fields, which might include the arts, but very few will because of the pressures and competition there. Most go for what they can start making money at fastest. There is nothing keeping them from following careers in the entertainment fields, just that the opportunity isn?t really there for them because most other people still see them as slaves/servants and tend to keep them in those roles.

Pure Strains

There was said to be several classes of Rishan originally developed. The first pure strain was overly modified to a point that they were too adept at adaptation. They were too smart, too strong and way too human to be handled if there were a number of them. Instead of disposing of the strain, they thought they would mingle them into their secondary strain to weaken it. They thought it had worked, but the original slaving corporation only had first generation progeny. It was kept a secret, even when the descendents of the first strain began showing that they were physically and mentally more capable at the jobs they were given. Naturally, the most promising Rishan's were paired up, creating a few family lines that were exceptional in everything. By this time, all documentation on them had been destroyed by the original slaving corporation and they could care less. They'd made their fortunes. (AD Day 10, strip 44)

Rishan History as Described by Damian

"Couple hundred years ago, a group of slave traders thought they'd bypass Galactic Laws in a creative way. Ownership of another sentient being is illegal. These traders set out to engineer a race of slaves,... because if you create something from things you own, then technically, you can own it. The law was perfect, because no-one has been able to create sentient life from scratch, at least at that time. You'll note that the Dice are moderately sentient and we do own them, but while they are self aware they are incapable of caring for themselves any more than a pet. They're dependent.

Anyway, back to the Rishan, just thought I'd explain why it is that slavery's illegal, yet we have apparently sentient Dice. These slavers abducted a large number of women from this planet, harvested their eggs and altered the eggs at the genetic level. I'm sure you know enough about genetics that just a mere altering at a somatic level would not do anything more than change the appearance of the one that was modified. It would not be passed on to future generations. By using eggs, they could make a race that could save them money in the manufacturing of more slaves in the future, they could be bred.

The final appearance is what Lexx looks like. The blue skin is standard, really an easy manipulation of pigment, hair ranges from white to black with shades of blue, eyes are brown to orange, although that trait seems to be changing in current generations. There are now blue and green eyed Rishan. Really doesn't make a difference in how they see. Pointy ears, no idea why they gave them pointy ears and then there's the other really weird thing the slavers did to the males, not really sure why. It's suspected because they wanted to make them possible sex to-"

"DAMIAN!" Lexx interjected. "Do NOT go into that. That is unnecessary!" Lexx's livid tone worked, Damian didn't miss a beat in continuing with the story.

"Because the Rishan in their final appearance did not resemble any existing race and did not come from a planet, they were classified as a created slave race. After a generation had passed and the slavers were certain that the traits passed on perfectly, they began selling them for all manner of services. Mostly as servants to do things nobody else wanted to do. They were a status symbol in the beginning because they were rare, then, they were created by the thousands in ways that were very cruel. For the first several generations, no child was born naturally. All eggs were harvested for mass production. In the labs, they had complete control over the final appearance and fertile females were not available, only male Rishan were sold.

When the mass production was no longer necessary and the original slavers thought they had a pure line of revenue, private breeders acquired females and started their own breeding, then public breeding was allowed.

Beings like us, two eyes, arms, legs, bipedal with our features and attributes are very rare in comparison to the majority of alien species, so when another hundred years had passed, babies started to be born with pink, tan, red, yellow and black skin... throwbacks to their human genetics. It turns out that it was easier to suppress and substitute these attributes in the genetic code and it was done that way. The information is still there, it's just... recessed.

The anomalies were tested by the Galactic Consol and compared to existing races and it was then, the truth was revealed. Rishan are human. Records were confiscated and it was proven without a doubt.

The slaves were by order freed from servitude and those that looked passably human were brought back to Earth. The others, like Lexx's parents and grandparents took to living on space stations as their world. They can't come to Earth and live and they are generally unwelcome on other worlds fearing an influx of uneducated 'slave' refugees.

It's been a long time since they were slaves, but most races consider the Risha to be an unnecessary plague that they are more than happy to see go extinct." Damian lowered his tone. As much as he liked to talk and as excited as he got while telling someone something, he really did see the treatment the Risha received as unjust. "You see, Chel... they don't live well in the old space station. Nobody wants to assist them and their numbers are dwindling every generation. They need a planet with natural gravity for where they lived, or at least.. upgraded space stations and help."