The Vorlons are an elder race that feature in Babylon 5.
Lorien's people were noted to had discovered the Vorlon's when they were an infant race where they were nourished and guided in their development. (Episode: Into the Fire) Thousands of years ago, they were noted to had travelled to thousands of worlds where they brought order and discipline to many species. The Vorlon's would appear as beings of light and in time were revered as god-like figures. In time, the Vorlon's came to believe the younger races in their belief that they were gods. As a result, they thought that they were superior to the universe that had given birth to them and that they belonged to a higher plane. Thus, they embarked on a collective effort to create a gateway to a higher dimensional plane that they believed was the place where the well of souls resided and thus served as the foundation of all life. As such, the Vorlon's sought to storm the gates to these heavens and become true gods. However, they never considered what resided on the other side and thus opened the doorway into Thirdspace where there resided an even older race of powerful telepathic beings that sought to eliminate all other forms of life as they saw them as inferior. These entities telepathic abilities allowed them to make even Vorlon's their thrall who were willing to die and serve their new masters. Ultimately, the Vorlon's managed to shut down the gateway but failed to destroy it as the mind controlled Vorlon's threw it into hyperspace and hit it. For centuries, the Vorlon's sought to find the gate and destroy it but failed to do so thus they feared its eventual reactivation. Among certain members of the younger races, they implanted a racial memory to serve as a warning on the dangers of the gate. (Movie: Thirdspace) After the departure of the First Ones, the Vorlon's and the Shadow's were left behind to serve as guide the development of the younger races. Initially, both sides respected one another and abided by the rules of engagement. However, their diametrically opposite philosophies lead to an eventual conflict with the younger races trapped in-between the struggles the Vorlon had with the Shadows. (Episode: The Summoning) Among the First Ones, the Vorlons were the last of their number to remain behind in known space where they watched and waited for the return of the Shadows. (Episode: In the Shadow of Z'ha'dum)
For millions of years, the Vorlons travelled to the worlds of the younger races where they guided them in their development. (Episode: The Fall of Night) It was claimed that the Vorlon's were responsible for interfering in the development of the younger races such as manipulating them even on a genetic level so that these species would look to them favorably. In addition, they began enlisting the aid of the younger species against the Shadow's and even developed telepath's as weapons for specific use against their ancient enemy. (Episode: Z'ha'dum) As such, the Vorlons were responsible for creating telepaths on a hundred worlds and interfered in their genetic developments. Such individuals were abducted from their homeworlds where they were adjusted over the course of centuries in order to serve as weapons against the Shadows. (Episode: Secrets of the Soul)The Vorlons had been to Earth in the past and on 11th November year 1888 they abducted a Human by the name of Sebastian who was Jack the Ripper to serve them. He was shown the terrible secrets of the universe where they called upon when they needed him and preserved him when they did not. In this time, he would serve the Vorlons for centuries in search for a leader in the war against the Shadows. (Episode: Comes the Inquisitor) Legends spoke of their people never revealing themselves openly or quickly but instead operated in the background. (Movie: In the Beginning
During the last hundred years, the Minbari had dispatched many ships into Vorlon space with none returning. (Movie: In the Beginning) Three expeditions were noted to had gone into Vorlon space with none having returned. The Vorlon Empire responded that such expeditions were likely destroyed in accidents and suggested that no further such missions be launched into their territory. As such, their species remained a mystery to the younger races. (Episode: And Now for a Word) By this time, no human had ever seen a Vorlon though the Earth Alliance diplomatic office had some information of the environmental conditions that their species required. According to legend, it was said that a single human had seen a Vorlon in the past but turned to stone upon witnessing their true form. After the construction of Babylon 5, the Vorlon Empire dispatched Ambassador Kosh to serve as their representative to the station. Whilst onboard, an assassination attempt was made on his life where he was poisoned with this act seemingly being attributed to Earthforce Captain Sinclair after Lyta Alexander was asked to scan Kosh. This provoked a hostile response from the Vorlons who dispatched a fleet to forcibly remove Sinclair or destroy the space station. In this time, human doctor Benjamin Kyle was responsible for saving Kosh's life whilst the true assassin was discovered which led to the Vorlon ships departing the area. (Movie: The Gathering)
During the Narn invasion of Ragesh III, Commander Sinclair attempted to get Ambassador Kosh to attend the emergency meeting in order sanction the Narn Regime for their unprovoked attack on the Centauri. (Episode: Midnight on the Firing Line) The Inquisitor Sebastian was summoned to Babylon 5 to interrogate Delenn in order to determine her worthiness to help in the coming war against the Shadows. (Episode: Comes the Inquisitor) In 2259, Lyta Alexander managed to hire a ship to take her to the border of the Vorlon Empire where they transmitted a signal asking for entry but received no response for days. Her pilot ultimately decided to return back to known space but Lyta managed to pay him her remaining credits to use his lifepod with enough supplies for five days. In that time, her supplies and air nearly ran out when a Vorlon vessel arrived and took her when she was unconscious to the Vorlon Homeworld. By 2260, Lyta Alexander had become an agent of the Vorlons and served as the official attaché to Ambassador Kosh on Babylon 5. (Episode: Passing through Gethsemane)
Afterwards, the Shadows began openly engaging against the younger races leading to further division among their ranks as none felt that they could challenge the advanced technology of their foe. In order to rally the younger races, Sheridan confronted Ambassador Kosh and demanded the Vorlon's aid which he initially refused but ultimately relented to provide help. As a result, a Vorlon fleet engaged and defeated a Shadow force which helped Sheridan in gaining the support of the other races but this came at the cost of Kosh's life when he was killed by the Shadows. After his death, the Vorlon's became aware of his death and asked the war council of Babylon 5 to keep his demise a secret. (Episode: Interludes and Examinations) At this point, it had been a long time since a Vorlon had died and thus responded hard from the event. As a result of this development, a new ambassador known as Kesh was dispatched to Babylon 5 where he took on Kosh's identity in order to not destroy the growing army being assembled to fight the Shadows. (Episode: Walkabout)
In the aftermath, Captain Sheridan was seemingly killed when he detonated thermonuclear bombs on Z'ha'dum. This act seemingly put a pause to the Shadow War as the Shadow's pulled back in order to regroup. Despite this act, the League of Non-Aligned World's threatened to fracture without Sheridan's leadership. Ambassador Delenn made numerous attempts to get Vorlon Ambassador Kesh to attend the council meetings in order to show the support of the Vorlon Empire but he never attended such sessions. Delenn would later confront Kesh who was silent but confirmed the destruction caused by Sheridan on Z'ha'dum but would not support the Army of Light further. Kesh refused to investigate Sheridan's fate as he stated that he had followed his purpose but instead commented that the Captain had unopened door and that the Vorlon's would do what must be done. (Episode: The Hour of the Wolf) In 2261, Delenn attempted to enlist the Vorlon's aid in striking against Z'ha'dum but Ambassador Kesh never responded with Lyta Alexander believing the Vorlon Empire were making secret plans of their own for the Shadow War. This saw them secretly assemble a fleet of thousands in hyperspace at Sector 70 where they struck at the Shadow base at Arcata VII with the entire planet being destroyed killing 4 million people as they sought to eliminate any trace of their ancient foe. (Episode: The Summoning)
During this stage of the war, two further deep range planetary colonies had been eliminated by Vorlon forces. One of these was Ventari III where a planet killer was used to annihilate the target planet. This was partly to ensure that the Shadow's did not hide their forces on other worlds. Captain Sheridan intended to move to stop the rampaging Vorlon Empire but could not do so openly because of Ambassador Kesh's presence on the station. Thus, he made preparations in order to remove Kesh from Babylon 5. (Episode: Falling Towards Apotheosis) In response to the Vorlon's attacks, the Shadow's deployed their own death clouds that eliminated a colony that supported the Vorlon Empire. (Episode: The Long Night) Two Vorlon fleets were dispatched with one being headed with a planet killer to Centauri Prime to destroy the planet whilst another headed to Coriana VI. A Whitestar fleet struck at one of their observation posts in order to partly blind their monitoring of the Army of Light's fleet. At Coriana VI, the Vorlon and Shadow fleets engaged one another with Captain Sheridan attempting to convince them to halt their onslaught on the planet but they refused to answer any hails. When their planet killer was destroyed by the other First Ones, the Vorlon's called in reinforcements that included those intended to strike at Centauri Prime that were sent to join their forces at Coriana VI. Ultimately, they made telepathic contact with Captain Sheridan to convince him to join them in destroying the Shadow's but this was a trick as Lorien broadcasted both the Vorlon and the Shadow's true intentions to the younger races. With their true motives revealed, Lorien convinced both the Vorlon and Shadows that it was time to leave the galaxy for the Rim thus ending the Shadow War. (Episode: Into the Fire)
In the aftermath, the Vorlon Homeworld became off-limits to the other races with automated defense systems destroying any intruders until the younger species proved themselves in a million years. (Episode: The Fall of Centauri Prime)
A Vorlon was able to place aspects of themselves within other sentient beings that was usually done with their agents dispatched to serve them. (Episode: Passing through Gethsemane) Vorlons were able to break off pieces of their consciousness and put them into other organisms. Such a technique allowed them to travel hidden through the galaxy using others as their eyes and ears. (Episode: Whatever Happened to Mr Garibaldi?) This process can be gentle or can be done quickly though this can lead to pain being experienced by the host. (Episode: The Summoning) They were able to inflict harm on others through seemingly telekinetic acts where they could wound or cause pain to their target. (Episode: Interludes and Examinations) Such an attack could send an energy blast sending their target falling to the floor whereupon they inflicted agony on the subject. (Episode: The Summoning) Similarly, they were able to strangle and choke an individual through a simple look at their target. (Episode: Walkabout) They could instantly sense a telepathic probe into their mind by a telepath of the younger races. (Episode: The Summoning) The full extent of their telepathic powers was not known but they could project their thoughts in others. (Episode: Falling Towards Apotheosis) When angered, internal sensors were able to register an energy surge but human systems could only see this as a non-localized phenomena. (Episode: Interludes and Examinations) An enraged Vorlon was a dangerous opponent to face and more powerful than anything experienced by the younger races. When showing their true form, a Vorlon resembled a glowing ethereal snake-like entity with numerous tentacles that could strike at enemies and the creature itself could project energy blasts at targets. (Episode: Falling Towards Apotheosis) Though seemingly energy beings, it was possible to introduce a foreign Flourozine poison compound through skin contact that left a Vorlon incapacitated within their suit. (Movie: The Gathering)
During the Third Age, the Vorlons remained hidden within their encounter suits not because they could not survive other environments but because their true nature would be recognized by the younger races. As such, they had to mask their true form within the suits in order to better operate. (Episode: In the Shadow of Z'ha'dum) To other races, they claimed that they required exact environmental conditions for their people that consisted of methane, sulphur and CO2. They stated that the encounter suits should not be removed as these were matters of internal security. (Movie: The Gathering) When outside their encounter suit, Vorlons projected a different image to the species legends culture though the simple act was a great strain on them. As such, afterwards they needed to rest for a time in order to recuperate their strength. (Episode: Matters of Honor) Encounter suits were highly resilient to weapon fire from the younger races with PPG shots incapable of dealing any damage to them. A Vorlon was able to project a lightning-like effect from the suit and emit a high pitched sound to hurt organics that was strong enough to break glass. It took an incredible amount of firepower and energy from technology of the younger races to crack the encounter suit though this simply freed the Vorlon inside of it. (Episode: Falling Towards Apotheosis) If a Vorlon died, the rest of their people became instantly aware of the death. (Episode: Interludes and Examinations) Those touched by the mind of that Vorlon were also sensitive to their presence. When killed, a portion of the Vorlon's essence was able to survive if shared with another being. (Episode: Walkabout) Hosts for a Vorlon's essence could experience some of the feelings of that individual. (Episode: The Summoning) Another Vorlon was able to kill a fellow member of their kind. (Episode: Falling Towards Apotheosis)
One of the bodies within their empire was the Vorlon High Command. (Movie: The Gathering) The Vorlon's believed that strength came through order and discipline. (Episode: The Summoning) Despite their strength, they were noted for being a delicate people who did not cope well with change and neither did they tolerate mistakes. (Episode: Walkabout) The attitude of the species views on the younger races ranged from a caring outlook to a more harsher view where they could see other species as simple tools to serve their purpose. (Episode: The Summoning) They felt that races that were a dying people should be allowed to pass away. (Episode: Midnight on the Firing Line) Vorlon's could be cruel in their outlook to others as they felt younger races had to complete their purpose and saw any respect to them as being irrelevant so long as their servant's duty was completed. (Episode: The Hour of the Wolf) It was claimed that the Vorlon's did everything within their power at preventing advanced technology from falling into the hands of younger races such as humans. (Movie: Thirdspace) One saying among the Vorlon's was that, "understanding is a three edged sword". (Episode: Interludes and Examinations) Certain structures created by them were known to be coated with hieroglyphs in the Vorlon language. (Movie: Thirdspace) During the last Shadow War, Vorlon views became more extreme with them seeking to utterly destroy the Shadow's and everything touched by them which meant entire planet's that allied with their enemy were eliminated. (Episode: The Summoning) Before their attacks, the Vorlon's blanketed all frequencies in order to prevent communication from escaping the targeted area. (Episode: Falling Towards Apotheosis)
The Vorlon Empire had access to organic technology that was yearned for by the younger races. (Episode: Infection) They were able to genetically modify living beings allowing them to enhance the telepathic abilities of a subject and even making them more suitable in carrying the essence of a Vorlon. (Episode: The Summoning) In addition, they could implant racial memories as part of a programmed warning in order to get sentient beings to replay such memories and impart vital information of dangerous threats. (Movie: Thirdspace) The height of their genetic engineering program allowed them to create extremely powerful telepaths that were effectively sentient doomsday weapons with intense psychic abilities. (Episode: The Wheel of Fire) Their vessels were made for their owners and were part of them. When a Vorlon died, all his belongings were placed within his vessel which committed suicide by piloting itself into a sun. This was part of their own way of grieving and performed their last duty to honor them. (Episode: Interludes and Examinations) The skin of the vessels were able to form themselves into passageways that allowed entry and exit from the craft. (Episode: Passing through Gethsemane) Similarly, the ships were able to alter their skin to display glyphs and writings from the Vorlon language. (Episode: Walkabout) Their empire also deployed observation posts on asteroids designed to monitor regions of space. (Episode: Into the Fire) Vorlon weaponry included the ability to create planet killers that allowed them to utterly destroy entire worlds. (Episode: The Summoning)
They had a better ability to manipulate hyperspace allowing them to create distortion field pockets that were hidden from other species allowing them to creating a hiding spot where they could assemble fleets without anyone noticing them. Vorlon scanning technology was among the only means of detecting such pockets as the energy traces of the distortion were so faint that younger race equipment were not able to register them. (Episode: The Summoning) The height of their capabilities was the capacity to create gateways into other dimensions such as Thirdspace. (Movie: Thirdspace)
- Kosh Naranek : ambassador assigned to Babylon 5 as the representative from the Vorlon Empire. (Movie: The Gathering)
- Kesh : arrived on Babylon 5 in 2260 to replace his deceased predecessor where he referred to himself as Kosh and sought to find the surviving piece of his essence. (Episode: Walkabout)
- Mongoose Publishing in their Babylon 5 RPG line produced the sourcebook "Darkness and Light" that had a section which covered the Vorlons.
- Babylon 5: "And Now for a Word"
- Babylon 5: "The Hour of the Wolf"
- Babylon 5: "The Summoning"