Babylon 5: Cultures: Narn

The Narn are a much-persecuted race. They were relatively peaceful and well ordered with an abundance of natural resources.

Picture of 'Cool Geezer', G'Kar
Councilor G’Kar
Leader of the resistance, visionary, poet and ‘headbanger’.

Then in 2110 the Centauri invaded and enslaved them. The Centauri considered themselves the ‘master race‘ and treated the Narn little better than donkey droppings. However, the Narn, despite being poorer technologically, drove the Centauri out, it took them a hundred years though.

Following the first Centauri occupation, the Narn learned how to do a little conquering themselves. They tooled up, shipped out, and conquered most of the neighboring worlds behaving just as badly as the Centauri. Then, in 2259, the Centauri wound-up the Narn when Londo asked his friends, the Shadows, if they fancied a quick trip down the spaceway to smash up a Narn listening post in quadrant 14. After that, the Narn felt obliged to declare war on the Centauri.

This was a bit stupid; the Narn are funny like that. Things can be going so well for them one minute and the next they try to pull a fast one and it all goes belly-up. The Centauri were always more technologically advanced than the Narn and pretty soon they had not only begun liberating Narn occupied worlds, but to rub salt in the wound, they had asked their buddies, the Shadows, to pop over and annihilate their fleet of battleships. Pretty soon the Centauri were again teaching the Narn how to be cruel subjugators.

Picture of sa Narn Starcruiser
The Narn Starcruiser
One of the nicest looking spaceships.

During the occupation, Londo became pissed off with his crazy Emperor, Catagia. The Narn G’Kar had been captured and was being toyed with by Catagia (during which he lost an eye). Londo saw an opportunity to get rid of Catagia and made a deal with G’Kar to distract the Emperor long enough for an assassination. This was done, Catagia died, and G’Kar saw his part of the bargain, the Centauri evacuation of Narn, fulfilled.

Councilor G’Xan would however, explain things from a slightly different standpoint…..

The Narn Society is divided into different “Circles” with the First/Inner Circle and the Kha’Ri at it’s summet.

The First/Inner Circle are the 8 Royal Families of Narn The Second Circle are the Holy Prophets and Priests. The Third Circle are the highest a commoner can get and are usually chosen to be the Ambassadors. Ambassadors are the voice of the Kha’Ri and almost like the local government for all the Narn in their area. Therefore they must be high up in the Narn hierarchy.

G'Kars Followers
G’Kar instructs his followers

The executive council of Narn is called the Kha’Ri, sometimes referred to as the Council. It is composed primarily of the first three Circles, but all Narn from the Eighth Circle up can be a member. The first 3 Circles of the Kha’Ri are permanently in session at the Palace of the Kha’Ri. The rest of the Kha’Ri gathers at the capital city G’Kammazad for full assembly times and emergency situations.

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Now you go from the Fourth through the Eighth Circle; the Warleaders (Narn generals), landholders and other rich and powerful Narn folk and other members of the Kha’Ri. (Warleaders are usually part of the Fourth Circle.)

Next you get the Pleabians, Narn and working to become part of the upper hierarchy.

After the Pleabians you get to the Outer Circle. The Outer Circle is basically like the working class Narn. The majority of Narn are here as well as the alien population.

At the last you have the Outcasts. They are the super poor and homless. The criminals and traitors.

A Narn Fighter
A Narn Fighter

The Narn police forces are called the rangers, not to be confused with the Alliance An’la’shok.

The Narn have no single leader. The Council is the executive, legislative, and judicial all in one. While the Inner Circle has more voice and a little more authority in the Kha’Ri (they are royalty of course *wink*), they do not solely control the Regime.

The Narn armed forces is just called the Narn Military. No finess…straight to the point. Well, sometimes Narn like to call it the “Great” Narn Military, but you get the idea. It has the Planetary Arm and the Space Arm.

The Planetary Arm are the ground forces and planetary defense stations; the Army, Navy, and Air Forces.

The Space Arm consists of the Picket Fleet; the Colonial Fleet; the three primary Battlefleets; the Main Fleet; and the Golden Order.

The Picket Fleet is the deep range attack, exploration, and support fleet of the Space Arm.

The Colonial Fleet (sometimes called the outer sector fighter unit) is responsible for the defense of the Colonies, the outer sectors, and the boarders of the Regime.

A Narn on the Counsil
The Narn make up part of the Counsil of the Alliance

The First, Second, and Third Battlefleets are the main armadas of the Narn Regime. They can be broken down further into smaller fleets, depending on the situation.

The Main Fleet is the offical title for the combined forces of all Battlefleets and the Golden Order. A very powerful force. Over 1,500 capital ships.

The Golden Order is the personal fleet of the First Circle and the last defense of Homeworld. It consists of top of the line capital ships and fighters and never leaves the Home System unless for an emergency.

The Seal of the Narn Regime is the elongated “C” that is seen on every Narn ship. The Warleaders also wear the “C” on their chests. (G’Kar also wore the “C” on his shoulder near the end of the Pilot Movie: The Gathering).

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Now for the timeline.

Over a 1000 years ago the Army of Light fought the Shadows. Some say that Narn wasn’t just some bronze tech world when the Shadows conquered it. Some say that Narn was an early space faring society that joined the Army of Light against the Shadows. If so, they obviously lost big time. They were reduced to the Stone Age again and their telepath population was slaughtered. (The Narn have this thing with genocide). It would be ironic if the Centauri first got their tech from the Narn, only to give it back to them centuries later. Makes ya wonder. Ok, the Shadows were driven back. The Centauri come along and invade Narn. Centuries of slavery. Narn rebel, form the Kha’Ri and destory the occuping Centauri army. The Centauri leave behind most of their tech and an orbital factory to boot.  The Narn rebuild their society, reinsituting the hierarchy of Circles.

Birth of the Narn Regime.

Enter an era of Narn expansion and colonization. Over the next century the Narn seize old Centauri occupied worlds and expand the Regime 20 fold. Centauri controled Narn colonies rebel and swear allegence to the newborn Regime.

Finally the Centauri Royal Fleet and the Narn Main Fleet, suppored by fleets of the soon to be League worlds, clash at the Battle of Na’Shok. The Centauri Royal Fleet is defeated and the Narn steal the Eye of the Empire for a time. The beginning of the end for the Centauri. Over half of the Republic rebels. The worlds previously controlled by the Centauri form the League of Non-Aligned Worlds. The Narn continue to pick away at the Republic. Over a fourth of the Centauri Republic is lost to the Narn Empire.

A century or so passes.

Narn contacts Earth.  The Dilgar Invasion. Both the Centauri and the Narn use the Dilgar as mercenaries against the League Worlds and each other.

The Earth-Minbari War.

Babylon 5 founded.

Narn conquer Centauri colony Ragesh III. Narn-Centauri Euphrates Treaty. Narn conquer Quadrent 37 along Centauri boarder.

Shadows destroy Narn colony at Quadrent 37. Emperor Turhan arrives at Bab5. He dies. Shadows destroy Narn’s Primary Colony (G’Kammazad Colony) at Quadrent 14. Beginning of the Narn-Centauri War. Centauri/Shadow forces destroy colony after colony of the Narn Regime.

The Narn Empire wins limited victories against the onslaught of the Shadow/Centauri forces. Narn Heavy Cruiser destroys Centauri ship blockading Babylon 5.

Shadows destory Narn Second Battlefleet. Centauri/Shadow forces take Narn outer colonies as well as G’Kammazad, Na’Shok, Zhe, Freedom, Dros, Hekbah, and Zok colonies.

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Warleader G’Sten convinces the Kha’Ri to amass the Main Fleet to strike the Centauri primary depot station at Gorash VII to halt the Centauri/Shadows.  Main Fleet defolds in Gorash System and is destoyed by a small Shadow fleet.

Centauri jump into the Narn Home System and begin a devastation four day bombardment of Narn itself. Narn population goes from 50 billion to 3 billion.  The Kha’Ri surrender. All but a handful of the Kha’Ri are put to the sword. NRS G’Tok escapes from Babylon 5. Narn Strategic Command reastablised at a top secret base in the Na’Shok Nebula. Narn Restistance begun. The NRS G’Tok as well as nine other capital class ships find their way to New Strategic Command.

Shadow War begins.

The Narn Resistance signs an alliance with the Army of Light. Per the aggreement, the G’Tok commited to the Combined Fleet at Babylon 5.
Destruction of the Shadow’s Dark City.
Vorlon Maddness. Army of Light gathers the Combined Fleet to fight the Vorlons and the Shadows at Coriana VI.
Centauri Emperor Cartagia dies.
Narn is freed.
Kha’Ri called to order.

   –    Councillor G’Xan

Most recently, the Narn have teamed up with the Drazi Freehold to attack Centauri Prime.  The Alliance believe that the Centauri are responcible for the attacks on Alliance trading routes. It seems, however, that the Centauiri have been set-up by alien races that once served the Shadows.

in fact very much like Londo. Considering these two were sworn enemies, they are amazingly similar in nature.

If we were in a fight I think I would want the Narn on my side. They have tough skin, which is good since they’re very ugly. They are also witty and can certainly take a drink. The only effect that a gallon of beer would have on a Narn would be to make him visit the toilet ….. a lot.

Race Rating – Narns
Personality 1 (rancid butter) – 5 (cool dude) 4
Attractiveness 1 (requires paper bag) – 5 (Drop-dead-gorgeous) 2
Humour 1 (stomach-turning) – 5 (sidesplitting) 4
Dress Sense 1 (laughable) – 5 (hip) 4
Aggression 1 (big/little softy) – 5 (hard as nails) 3
Social Standing 1 (scumbag) – 5 (god) 3

Sad Geezer Race Rating   (out of 30)  =  20                        

This Culture review is © 1999 – 2019 Tony Fawl and Councilor G’Xan.
Not for reproduction without the authors express permission

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The BABYLON 5 names, characters and everything else associated with the series are the property of J. Michael Straczynski, TNT and Warner Brothers, a division of Time Warner Entertainment Company. All rights reserved.

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