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Laran is the term used to collectively call psychic powers present in certain Darkovan humans and Chieri. The first human settlers on Darkover already had some disposition for it, though these talents was greatly increased by human-chieri children and later a genetic breeding program, which led to creation of Comyn during Ages of Chaos.

When generally speaking of laran it is in reference to telepathy, the ability to read the thoughts of others, and telekinesis, the ability to move objects with the power of thought.

History of Laran[]

One of the reasons psychic powers exist on Darkover are because of the Chieri. Some of the original colonist interbred with this species which possess potent psychic abilities and these were inherited by their human descendants. Many Darkovans are of chieri descent, which can sometimes be indicated by the presence of a sixth finger on each hand and/or unusual colored eyes, gold or pale almost silver eyes.

On Darkover there is a native plant called kireseth, the pollen of this plant enhances the mental abilities of latent telepaths. In the winter when there is a sharp rise in temperature this plants release their pollen, anyone caught in this so called ghost-wind will be overwhelmed with telepathic perceptions. These pollen storms cause madness in both humans, animals and chieri.

During the Ages of Chaos Darkovans freely engaged in a genetic manipulation program and carefully selected marriages in order to develop and improve thier psychic gifts. This breeding program is what stablized and created the Donas's of the current Comyn Families, it also created many recessive and dangerous genes.

Another contributing factor are the starstones or matrixes, blue crystals which amplify psychic energy converting brain waves directly into energy. The first matrix crystal was given by a chieri to his human companion (Darkover Landfall). The appearance of a matrix after the initial ghost-wind and the first interbreeding with chieri theoretically added to the development of psychic abilities among the colonist and enhancing the budding laran.