{ main | about | contribute }   { canon | political | races | tech | universe }


Canon Index





Physical Description
The Irruki are barrel-shaped, reptilian humanoids from a warrior culture. They stand around 5'8 - 6'5 tall. They are hairless and have colourful, leathery skin that is folded in small, tight wrinkles. They are often predominantly blue or green with swaths and marks of red, yellow, and white. They have two short legs ending in paws with three large, semi-dextrous toes and an opposing semi-dextrous "thumb". Their arms are long. Their 3 fingers and thumb are long, flat and very dextrous. They stand upright, with a short tail dangling to around their knees. There is a small bony knot on the tip of their tail which, through their evolution provided defence from attacks from the rear.

They have long, thick necks. They are often referred to as "devil-heads" among other races. Their heads are defined by a flat, bony top-plate which is separate from the main brain-case and held in place by layers of thick muscle, fat, and tendon. The back-swept plate and the sides of their head are lined with small, back-swept horns and knots of bone. Their heads can deliver devastating butts, which is historically part of their ritual in claiming a mate.

They have large, dark, almond-shaped eyes that see well in the dark but are capable of only limited colour definition. They have two nostrils between their eyes. Their sense of smell is quite keen, being particularly tuned to detect pheromones and carrion. They have layered smell and can detect individual smells when a variety are present: if presented with a chunk of meat, they can distinguish tainted parts from the edible ones. They enjoy smells and feel uncomfortable in sterile environments.

They have short, strong, beak-like jaws lined in front with razor-like teeth. They are capable of biting pieces off of frozen carcasses. Their lips have many small, strong muscles and very highly articulated. They have short whiskers on their neck, at the base of their skull, that pick up vibrations in the air, detecting motion and augmenting their hearing. Their primary hearing is good and functions through membranes on the sides of their heads, under their skull plates and surrounded by small protective bony lumps and ridges. 

Personality and Motivation
To members of the rest of the galaxy, the Irukki seem unpredictable, erratic, and illogical. Their brains are just plain wired differently. They are absolutely brilliant at short term tactics and incredibly apt at making successful snap decisions. They have almost no concept of long term planning or consequence. They are perfectly adapted to survive the moment and take the future as it comes. They are the perfect scavenger and survivor. If they are given instructions, they will invariably execute them in such a way that the outcome will be literally correct and perfect in terms of the short term but completely disastrous in terms of the long term outcome. Irukki are fabulous independent workers when given simple instructions but are very difficult to work with in coordinated teams.

The Irukki are slow to conceive of new concepts or technologies but are brilliant reverse engineers. They will absorb and utilize any technology or tactic given to them but it will invariably be in an unexpected way. Their adaptations of instructions and tactics are often to their own advantage and not those of the teacher.

The Irukki see themselves in relation to other beings. They are independent and often strike out into the galaxy to make their own way. They form strong bonds with others when they like them and are exceptionally loyal until they form a stronger bond with someone else. They are not highly motivated by anything beyond their immediate needs and bonds to others, tending to live in the moment. They do not seek power over others but if they are placed in a leadership position, they will excel at it. If they are placed in the position where it is necessary to follow someone else, they will gladly fill the role so long as they can respect the ability and strength of their assigned leader. They don't have a strong draw to owning or possessing and money means little to them beyond its ability to satisfy their immediate needs. They tend to live a quiet, accepting existence.

The Irukki are exceptional warriors, particularly in terms of ship tactics, heavy weapons, and hand to hand fighting. Racially, they tend to enjoy poisons and explosions. They are excellent mercenaries, bounty hunters, pilots, raiders, and special forces troops. They are somewhat wild and unpredictable in their tactics and other races tend not to like to work with them in any large, organized force. They are often quietly persuasive and likeable, making excellent negotiators. Some think the large number of pheromones they produce make them more persuasive to others.

Breeding is a heavy influence on the Irukki culture and personality. Attraction of a mate and a strong, lasting pair bond between a compatible couple were critical during the evolutionary years of the race, when they were scattered through forests and spread across mountains. They evolved to hold onto compatible companions, the pair-bond is seen as a rare blessing. Once bonded to another, an Irukki will remain fiercely loyal to that person until the bond is unproven... the companion is driven off by a stronger rival or the companion proves to weak, unfit, or disloyal.

Bright skin colour and small, dense skin wrinkles are attractive. This has lead to the Irukki dressing in bright colours and flamboyant garb compared to many of the other residents of the galaxy at large. Horn shape and the symmetry and pattern of the lumps on their heads are desirable. 

An Irukki female will produce a clutch of 8 to 12 eggs every 6 months. Her small, thick-shelled eggs appear in a stomach-pouch where they are unostentatiously fertilized by the male. They develop for several months in the egg-sack and eventually will begin to quiver as the young become prepared to hatch. During the quivering time, it is very important for the mother and father pair-bond to keep a ready supply of carrion around. When the first egg begins to crack, the mother and father place the eggs in the carrion they have gathered for the young and flee. Young Irukki are voracious and insatiable predators driven solely by instinct. The eggs take several days to all hatch, during which time they live on the carrion they were abandoned in. They often eat their sibling eggs or young during the first few days of life before they are driven by instinct to spread out on their own in search of prey and carrion. If the parents are still around when the young emerge, they are generally eaten. In the worst case scenario, if the pair-bond has not found any carrion suitable to abandon the eggs in, the mother is driven by instinct to leave the eggs in her egg-sack and be consumed as they hatch.

The hatchlings remain voracious predators for a month or two, tiny huge-headed, small-bodied parodies of their parents consuming and growing. After a couple of months, their body chemistry switches and they become social, mature Irukki. They become driven to then find and bond with other Irruki. In early Irukki, the young were abandoned wherever the pair-bond were at the time of birth. On modern Tenoxi, large areas of wilderness called "Young Preserves" are kept and pair-bonds make a special trip to abandon their young. The pair-bond lives in the wild, surviving and gathering carrion for the hatching.

The hatching process leaves the Irukki with a strong sense of motherly sacrifice and duty. Their religion centers around a single, all-powerful figure, the sacrificial mother. God is a giver and she is willing to be consumed by her children, the Irukki, for their good. If the mother does not give, the Irukki are expected to take from her.

Origin and Evolution
The Irruki evolved on the planet Tenoxi, in the Farrago region. Tenoxi is a young, hot, volcanic world with an abundance of greenhouse gasses. Many describe it as "thick and dusty". The planet's 5 major continents make up about 40% of the surface of the world. Much of the planet consists of jungles and forest, carved up by volcanic mountain ranges and plains. The Irukki evolved in the cold north where evergreen forests stretch over harsh mountain ranges. They evolved from their reptilian ancestors, the Hattu, who were true survivors, predominantly scavengers that would hunt and forage when necessary.  The Hattu, semi-intelligent animals who still survive in the wild, are covered in proto-feather and hairy down, which the Irukki shed during their evolution. their head-plates are larger than those of the Irukki and their horns are large and curl forward. Their legs are shorter and thier arms longer, with scoop-like fingers capable of clawing flesh from bone. They walk mostly on all fours but can stand on their hind legs to extend their reach. The Hattu take the Irukki's powerful lips one step further, growing short nail-like ridges along their length. Both powerful and dextrous, the Hattu's lips can almost surgically remove good bits of flesh from between tainted bits. Like the Irukki, Hattu have long, thick necks. They can tear chunks of prey or scavenged meat by holding it in their mouths and delivering a powerful shake of their head. The Hattu have longer tails with more prominent clubs at the end. They will stake claim to carrion and defend it with their tail clubs while they use their scoop-like fingers and cutting-lips to tear good meat away from what is spoiled. If threatened, they will grab meat with their scoop-like hands and head-butt their way to safety. The Hattu are aggressive, solitary scavengers and much of their behaviour has shaped the way the Irukki and their culture have evolved.

Early Irukki developed a warrior culture based on forming small tribes of bonded mates. Tribal squabbles would gradually expand as tribes bonded together into counties, who were invariably at war with one another. Wars between the countries were invariably short and based on raiding rather than destruction. None of it was taken especially seriously or grudges held. Alliances changed and power shifted quickly and often. Tribes shifted and spread over the face of Tenoxi.

The Irruki have never and will never be known as great engineers. They society grew slowly, fragmented into warrior nations, with the occasional technological innovation driving things forward, When one nation developed anything, others were quick to raid, capture, and assimilate the technology into their own individual culture. Vehicles, power plants, and medical knowledge would grow and spread across the face of Tenoxi.

The first manned space flight was instrumental in the development of a central government. There was a realization that the stars were a whole new frontier that required a unified effort to reach. The nations of the world met and developed what would become the Tenoxi Council and Presidential system. Two of Tenoxi's three moons were quickly colonized and crude, slow flights were sent to the outer planets of the system powered by little more than ion drives and determination. Unfortunately for the Irukki, this is when the Makkuth showed up.       

Star-faring Years
It's somewhat debatable as to whether it's good or bad that the Makkuth showed up when they did in the later years of the Archaic period. There was no war to speak of. The Makkuth, with vastly most powerful ships and technology, assimilated the Irukki without resistance. The Irukki culture almost insisted that they comply with the wishes of the Makkuth, given how powerful the Makkuth were compared to them. The Irukki, though, however compliant, were just not good slaves. Fundamentally just wired differently, brilliant short-term thinkers with no sense of long term consequences and no ability to see their masters' point of view or intention, they inadvertently fouled up every command and request their new masters made. Without intentionally rebelling, the Irukki had a resistant and independent nature and, besides, were considered smelly and repulsive. The Makkuth became frustrated and avoided the use of Irukki for any use except the most simple, leaving Tenoxi to generally run its own affairs. The Irukki were quick to judge the avoidance as weakness.

A small force comprised of members from some of Tenoxi's most powerful nations was quietly formed. They invaded, overwhelmed, and captured several Makkuth trade ships. These ships were then used to quickly and quietly slip into the Pandarus system and capture several security ships stationed there. The Makkuth were somewhat confused by the minor nature of the conflict against such a primitive foe. They were busy with major conflicts with the Skalds and Y'Hotha. They were more irritated than outraged and sent a precursory force to annihilate the Irukki. The Irukki, however, were natural scavengers and much of their history as a people revolved around the acquisition and assimilation of the technology of others. Their five little ships were bristling with weapons and each ship had been upgraded to the best of the Irukki's ability. The Irukki ended up losing one ship while the Makkuth lost none but the result was never the less devastating to the Makkuth. The Irukki used wild, reckless, unpredictable tactics that adapted quickly to the manoeuvres of the complacent Makkuth. The Makkuth were forced to run with their warships in flames.

Heavy losses in their conflict with Skalds and Y'Hotha stalled the Makkuth briefly. The Skalds, unified against an alliance between the Y'Hotha and Makkuth, heard of the defeat at the hands of the primitive Irukki and were very interested. A diplomatic fleet comprised predominantly of representative of the Yanti Rikiru and Kingdom of Lissing met with the President and Tenoki Council. Pacts of non-aggression were quickly formed and a "cultural exchange" was set up, which predominantly involved stationing Skald forces in the Tenoki system and training the Irukki in modern technology and tactics. The Skalds saw great potential in the Irukki as a work force and a military ally.

By the time the Makkuth showed up with a second force intent on punishing the Irukki through destruction, the Skalds and Irukki had built a solid defence network in the system. The Irukki would quickly break every bit of training the Skalds had provided, breaking into wildly aggressive and spontaneous action throughout the conflict. The Makkuth force was crushed and the Skalds were frustrated by the Irukki's inability to work as a team and somewhat intimidated by their unstructured tactics. The Irukki had taken far less damage and the Skalds and Makkuth had taken far more damage than anyone would have suspected. Both the Skalds and Makkuth were exhausted. Their resources were dwindling from their long-standing conflict with each other and they quietly ceased hostilities. The Irukki were written off by both empires as useless, primitive barbarians. It was assumed that they would destroy themselves with what technology was left behind or, at worst, throw their little fleet at a well-defended colony world where it could easy be smashed on home turf.

The reality was that the Irukki would do neither. They would carefully deconstruct and master each technology left to them and settle quietly back into their own existence as a small, independent world. Individual members of the Irukki would begin to travel and spread throughout the known galaxy. Other empires would continue to approach the Irukki with the intent of allying or conquering to civilize them but none would ever really succeed.

In mid-Antiquity, an exploratory force from the Kharkosanth Empire would stumble on Tenoxi while looking for colonisable worlds. For a short, tense time the Kharko force parked in the Tenoxi system and ran scans. They returned home to report. A short time later, a "diplomatic" force would appear with the intent of coercing the Irukki to become a part of the Empire. The Irukki would join the Empire willingly, it only making sense that they should go along with the wishes of such a strong and able Empire. The Kharkos would build the massive Gholosa orbital military installation in the Tenoxi system from which they would manufacture technology, provide training, and launch exploration missions further into the Farrago. It was from this installation that the Kharkosanth would initially run into the Makkuth and slide into war. When the Irukki suddenly admitted to their previous relationship with the Makkuth, the Kharkosanths got their first glimpse at how frustrating dealing with the Irukki could be. Their second glimpse came in their initial encounters against the Makkuth with the Irukki at their side when the Irukki either abandoned or brutally modified every tactic they had ever been taught. The Kharkosanth would quickly begin shift the roles the Irukki played in their forces, giving them their own independently functioning fleets and using Irukki troops in more indvidual, special forces roles. By the end of the conflict with the Makkuth, the Kharkos had pretty much abandoned any plans of Tenoxi being a full and equal member of the Empire. Gholosa would remain in the Tenoxi system and the Kharkosanth would remain friendly with the Irukki, trading, drawing special troops, and exchanging military support where necessary. Even with a massive presence like Golosa in the system, the Kharkosanth would give the Irukki their independence without interference.

Tenoxi remains a small, independent world mostly left to its own devices, under the watchful eye of many. They trade lightly with the Skalds and moderately with the Kharkosanth Empire, of whom they are a non-participating member. As a race, they do not harbour grudges against other races over past actions and are willing to be friend or foe to all comers. For a primitive race, they have a staggering array of technology derived from their association with the Makkuth, Skalds, and Kharkosanth Empire.

The Irruki have an essentially confederation system based on a Council representing individual states and a President elected by Council members that leads the race as a whole. The Council is made up representatives, called Privvies, from each country on Tenoxi. There are three levels of power within the Council. 30 Participants are relatively minor or average countries who each have one Privvy on the Tenoxi Council. There are seven Major Powers who each have 3 representatives on the Tenoxi Council. There are 3 Super Powers who each have 5 representatives on the Tenoxi Council. Standing as a Participant, Major, or Super are based on population, power, and wealth of the country. In addition, a Council vote is required to ratify a new standing. Changes in status are practically unheard of but are constitutionally provided for. Each country has the right to choose its Privvy by whatever means it chooses.

The Privvies on the Tenoxi Council elect the President from amongst their membership under the idea that President should guide and lead the Council. Functionally, the President is a bit of a figurehead and organizer more than a true leader or ruler. To actually pass a resolution, the Council must pass a motion with a 51% majority vote. Votes, however, are often unenforceable without something close to a 70% confidence vote from the nations of Tenoxi or a clear majority of the more powerful Majors and Supers.

It is the President's job and duty to enforce and bring to fruition the will of the Council. In order to accomplish this, he runs the Presidential Discharge, which is a militarily organized organization responsible for all governmental functions on Tenoxi, from law enforcement, to infrastructure, to social welfare. The actual organization runs with military precision but its direction comes officially from the President and practically through the Privvy representing the powerful Majors and Supers on the Council. The direction of the Discharge and the government in general are often confused, conflicting, and disorganized. Most real decisions and actions occur at the country level on Tenoxi. 

Irukki dialects are extremely difficult and practically impossible for anyone except Irukki to pronounce. Their highly articulated lips allow them an incredibly subtle range of sounds that are often not reproducible by other races. The word Irruki is the noun, plural, and adjectival form of the race. It is pronounced identically by the other races but has three subtle inflections that only the Irruki themselves can pronounce or detect.