The Unathi (U-nah-thee) are tall, reptilian humanoids that possess both crocodile-like and serpent-like features. Their scales are hard and plate-like, except for the softer ones that line the inside of their legs, armpits, and groin. Hailing from the planet Moghes, their ways can seem savage and brutal to the outsider, but the Unathi see themselves as honoring their traditions and upholding their faith, and their society incredibly divided due to these two aspects and how they relate to the core ideas of Unathi society: Growth and Rebirth.
260lbs-400lbs (Male)180lbs-300lbs (Female)
|Lifespan:||250 Years (Average)|
The Unathi are cold-blooded species. They suffer from fatigue and even unconsciousness when exposed to extremely low temperatures. Their hearts have two valves that are spread across their chest, which makes it sound like they have two hearts instead of one. Their ribs are set like armour plates that interlock under their chest, protecting their vital organs expertly. They have a very long, forked tongue, similar to that of a serpent, allowing them to sample the air around them. It can stretch up to half a meter in length.
The average male Unathi stands around seven feet tall, while females are about a half of a foot shorter on average. The Yeosa and Salt Swamps clans tend to be a full foot shorter, while those of the Diamond Peaks tend to be very tall (albeit with often horrible posture.) Females also tend to possess rounder snouts than their male counterparts. Both stand on digitigrade legs with clawed feet that make wearing standard shoes painful.
Unathi possesses the ability to regenerate their limbs and restore some damage that happens to their body, a trait that developed from an incredibly powerful digestive system and other related internal organs. This does cause them to eat and digest a massive food intake as a result. Most Unathi, specifically on Moghes, do not use this innate ability often, resulting in it becoming weaker and weaker with the generations. With the right conditions, a Unathi could theoretically live for 700 years if not more, but Moghes is not habitable enough to allow this longevity.
The Unathi are a carnivorous species. Their diet mostly consists of meat, though they do have a tolerance to plants and fruits. They do not get any nutrition from plants, so they are mostly used as garnish or decoration. Because they lack a second palate, Unathi cannot breathe while they are eating. If a Unathi does not receive proper nutrients throughout the day, their internal organs begin to work themselves over and deconstruct.
The reproductive system of a Unathi is very similar to that of Earth reptiles. Females lay eggs, with the average clutch being somewhere between one and three. They have a six month gestation period, after which they are laid in a humid, warm area. After two to three weeks, the fetus is fully developed and hatches from the egg, ready to start the cycle anew.
Unathi Life Cycle
Hatchling: Unathi hatchlings are small creatures, quadrupedal in build, with sharp teeth and rudimentary talons. Despite how clever they are, one could argue they are not truly sapient. Their main instinct is survival and growth. To this, hatchlings are extraordinarily violent, normally tearing each other apart only minutes after hatching to fulfill their natural desire to eat anything edible in their path. Despite their ability to mostly fend for themselves in most nesting environments, they are heavily watched over. Normally, a mother will prevent them from killing each other, but things are different in clans such as the Diamond Peaks.
Infancy: At around the three-year mark, the Unathi’s brain has developed further. Their murderous instincts have grown quieter, and they are more tolerant of other beings. It is at this age that an infant will gather two to three other cohorts in a ‘nest pack’, and begin a life of hunting and stockpiling kills, armed with sharp teeth and claws, as well as the keen senses and instincts of a cat-like predator. They rarely sleep, as their metabolism is extremely high at this age. At five years, they have doubled in size, developing significant strength in their limbs and torso, shifting to a more bipedal (albeit hunched over) stance. They often launch themselves in leaps several times their own body length to make kills, using tactics similar to Terran raptors. The Unathi will understand rudimentary language, mostly to communicate with its ‘nest pack’ to grab prey. It is around now that they are given names. They are normally left alone around this stage of life, left to fend for themselves.
Teenage: At around thirteen, the Unathi’s rib plates have started to develop. It can be likened to teething, and it is reportedly incredibly uncomfortable to experience. The Unathi’s brain has developed complexity in an order of magnitude, having roughly the intelligence and curiosity of a young child of any race. He can walk upright, climb, and swim with great agility, especially if threatened. He will be attracted to tool use, and will often be seen tinkering with anything he can take. His sense of smell is quite keen, although his sense of touch is quite lacking due to his scales. His language skills have developed, allowing him to attract and communicate with mates. He will be much less close to his ‘nest pack’, no longer relying on them for survival (although they will likely remain lifelong pals). It is standard of this age to feel a great need to prove oneself. If left to his own devices, he will have likely attracted a few ‘play-mate’ females, giving them direction and guidance.
Adulthood: Around age twenty-five, the Unathi is physically mature and is seen as a ‘full’ member of his Clan. However, this can happen before this age, if one is particularly clever. His aggression will still take hold on occasion, although it is not as severe as when he was young.
Elders: Around age one hundred and fifty, his age and wisdom have more than separated himself from his peers. He is likely well versed in his field, and his natural aggression is all but gone, replaced with a more calculating nature. His scales will begin getting dull, and his eyes will become yellow. Likely he has gained quite a prestigious bulk and is still well agile.
Irritation or heightened emotion is expressed by thumping the tail against the ground. Verbal exclamations are also common. Such exclamations would be short barks, a rattling of the throat, or 'chuffing' (forceful exhalations of air from low in the throat). Unathi who are anxious or worried might sway (similar to snakes), hiss, or sample air more often than necessary. Like any cold-blooded species, Unathi are unable to self-regulate their own body temperature and are more prone to hyperthermia. Overheated Unathi becomes sluggish and drowsy.
It is a social faux-pas to use a Unathi's first name, to touch their tail, or to touch them at all before introductions are undertaken. When speaking to superiors, it is considered formal and respectful to refer to them by the extended name of their command. A clan leader would be referred to by the name of their clan, a squad leader by the name of their squad, and a captain of a ship by the name of the ship.
Intimate gestures between Unathi include twining necks, twining tails, and touching foreheads/muzzles. Hugging is usually considered something done by children, avoided by adults. In moments of privacy, when speaking to a very intimate other, a Unathi will refer to them by their first name.
Baring the throat is the most meaningful expression of trust in another Unathi. It’s often used as a showing of extreme trust, compassion or admittance of shame. Within honorable contexts, clawing or biting the exposed throat is perfectly allowed.
Sinta’unathi, as it known in Galactic Common, is the grouping of Unathi languages. Though there is a variety of them due to the deep fractures in Unathi society, they are all incredibly similar despite for pronunciations of some things, leading them to be grouped together into one language by other species. The main sounds of it are like that of an animal to the Human ear, with harsh syllables and extended phrases that seem to have either no breaks in syllable count or far too many. The written language of the Unathi is based around a circular structure, with words and phrases represented by curves, long, bent lines, sharp marks, and of course, circles. All of it seems like what someone with claws would write into the dirt.
The first name of an Unathi is their family name or a name of their own choosing, while the last name is their clan name. This means, for example, that Dreekus Gnarssis is a member of the Gnarssis Clan, but his family is the name Dreekus. No two family names are the same, but members in a family will often end up with the same names, especially fathers and sons. Daughters keep the name of their family. Once a Unathi reaches adulthood, they may take their own name or keep their family name. These names are heavy with harsh sounding consonants and long vowels on the front end and short ones on the back. An example would be Dreekus Gnarssis or Biink Koombajk.
Gios Insthys is a member of the Insthys Clan, but his father comes from a line of Gios. Once Gios became a full-grown, he took the name Garr Insthys.
Moghes was once inhabited by another species known as “The Precursors” who, according to Unathi history, wiped themselves out and nearly killed the planet an unknown number of years ago. Moghes was then a lush, garden world, much like Earth in many ways compared to its brutal state now.
Although the exact biology of the Precursors is unknown, it is proven that the Unathi are not the creation of natural processes; rather it is likely the large amounts of radiation present during the last extinction led to mutations in their ancestors. Their origin fascinates them, and some are almost obsessive in their desire to know all they can about the Precursors, and how they relate to the Unathi.
In 2480, the first contact between the Unathi and Humanity was made. Humanity initially had no interest in the Unathi or their world until expeditions there led by the Expeditionary Corps uncovered some of the Precursor ruins on the planet, and the incredible technology that these ruins held. The Skrell helped the Unathi even when they were barely accepted into the interstellar community through trade and supporting them in diplomatic conversations with Sol Gov, with that price that the Skrell get first access to some of the Precursor tech on their world. A small number of them found work as mercenaries and in labor-intensive jobs as the result.
In 2562, the discovery of a particular precursor ruin led the Unathi to an archaic gate-like structure that, once Unathi engineers figured out how it worked, opened a portal or gateway of some kind to a separate ruin on a new world. As it would turn out, this new world was in fact Ouere, another planet in the Unathi System. Intense friction began to rise through Unathi society, with followers of the different faiths questioning whether this is a new paradise for the Unathi or a path to destruction.
Newly created to promote Unathi interests in trade and diplomacy with other species, the Moghes Hegemony is a coalition crafted by the Kaahnepos of the ruling, city-state clans. Many are unsure how this new agreement between the strongest rulers on Moghes will play out, but optimists of the species believe this to be the first step forward in making Moghes a powerhouse in the intergalactic community.
Today, some of the more welcoming (and powerful) Unathi Clans have created an exchange program with SCG, allowing members of the clans to work as members of the Expeditionary Corps, and members of the Expeditionary Corps are able to work and live amongst the Unathi clans.
Unathi society is a highly fractured mess that divides Unathi primarily over three main things: their Region of origin, their Clan, and their Faith. Each of these three things is incredibly important to the Unathi, and ultimately why they are so divided as a whole. The different regions produce different kinds of Unathi due to the difference in evolution that occurred there. From there these different Unathi break off into clans who form either through Unathi banding together so as to not starve in the brutal wilderness, or from splitting off from a previous/former clan. Even further, the different faiths of the Unathi affect each clan differently still. While clans are fairly united in the faith of the clan internally, different clans all have different views- not just in the faiths that dominate the world but in how those faiths are followed. The guilds, though a major aspect of Unathi life throughout the city-states, have been pressed into neutrality on clan issues by the Hegemony so as to separate the organizations from the messy fractions that divide the rest of Unathi.
Relationships for Unathi are not one of equality, but responsibility. Males who request and admit attraction to a female will go to the male who is responsible for their well-being (Father, brother, or the head of their clan) and tell them this. Boasting or offering tributes to the female's caretaker may make this process go more smoothly. To ignore this ritual and directly try to claim said female would greatly upset her caretaker, and not only will their clan look poorly on them for attempting so, but they will likely be challenged to a bane, a form of duel combat. Because the Unathi is a species with such a focus on the clan, same-sex relationships are frowned upon. Two males or females who wish to be wed will find themselves scorned. That being said, it is not unorthodox for a Unathi to experiment in homosexuality or to be in a casual relationship. Even though adult female Unathi are considered more as a "thing" in traditional Unathi society, they are not traded on the open market, as one Unathi's "wife" is useless to another.
Another aspect of this is the way females are seen in society. While to an outsider the Unathi will seem extremely sexist, that view is twisted by how Humanity has developed. Unathi Females are considered property because they are seen as the lifeblood of the species. They are extremely important to each clan because they are what allows the Unathi to grow, and develop into further generations so as to continue to rebuild their dead world or become better than the world around them. Generally, Females work under the Matriarch of the clan- handling the basic upkeep of the clan’s land that isn’t done by a skilled worker, taking care of the young and watching over them until they reach their teenage years, and keeping the skeins up to date, which track the history of the clan.
The different region of Moghes are split between the tropical poles, the savannas, the deserts, the salt swamps near the oceans, and the diamond peaks. All of them have their own unique dialects, traditions, and cultures that vary between regions.
The Unathi of the poles is the most advanced and open to outsiders, as well as the most numerous. Due to their access to off-world trade and tech. The city-states in these regions are a strange mix of Unathi culture and off-world tech. They are largely against the more isolationist Unathi on Moghes, such as the diamond peak clans. The largest cities of Moghes sit in the poles and resemble something like industrial complexes. Massive, rusted shipyards and docks, motorcades filled with diesel vehicles, sprawling favelas filled with Unathi homes, and giant markets for off-world and Unathi wares. Not only that, but they're powder kegs for followers of Markesh and inter-clan warfare. There’s no police forces, just brutal clan justice.
Those who settle in the deserts and the savannas are a hardy folk. Originally settled by exiles who moved south to carve their own way of life, the few lakes and some of the land are highly irradiated in parts due to what destroyed the Precursors. Deep, jungle-like crags in the land are often filled with the decomposing bodies of travelers. Great, metal monuments from days of old, and dunes entirely made of glass fill the landscape. Funnily enough, these ruins often have underground bunkers. Clans and settlements will make homes of these shelters, digging for underground springs and using water purifiers. However, life in the region is not so easy. The majority of Unathi have a hard time. Most clans are large to the point of being their own tribe, very devoted to their worship of the ancestors as well as whichever faith they follow. Shelter and land rights are decided by vicious combat in designated grounds that are dangerously irradiated for the express purpose of testing the combatant's skills, experience and endurance. Those of the deep deserts near the equator trade with any caravan brave enough to stand the heat, sandstorms, and radiation, but the journey is often viewed as more trouble than it's worth, especially with local legends floating around about Unathi who had been warped by the radiation into hulking, cannibalistic boogeymen. Monsters who are fond of dragging travelers and children who stay out and alone too late into the darkness so that they may gorge them on the scraps of their kills until they're one of them.
Unathi of the savannas is a nomadic folk. Their great Ogashes, massive animals with eight legs and hard shells on their backs, carry housing for many in the clan. The rest carry along with it, herd animals with a great caravan through the grasses. Several Ogashes could be with the largest clans. Merchandise of all kinds come with, and great packs of seed and plant as well to plant and grow the world, or feed their animals. The homes on the backs of the Ogashes would be made of basic wood or tents, not much compared to the great manors in the polar city states. Many great tents are carried along as well so that when the clan stops, a whole village can be set up in only a few hours, and taken down even quicker. Bright vibrant colors fill the caravan, and the stench of dried meat and dung as well. Water is always at hand, always.
The salt-swamp Unathi is a less traditional group, and very small in number due to the toxic area, and extremely dangerous wildlife. They welcome caravans greatly, but many do not come due to the hostile region. Most of the region is traversable by boats, some using your basic oars and others powered by diesel engines or strange precursor tech that Unathi in the swamps hoards from the deep, mysterious ruins in the forgotten swamps. The salt swamps are noted for their ritual celebrations, often simply called "parties" by Human explorers, that tend to be extremely over the top for a standard ritual.
The diamond peak Unathi are very isolationist and nearly entirely anti-outsider. They have painted faces, with brands on their scales to show where they come from. With the rich diamond mountains, and the reserves of phoron and other rare resources beneath the ground come many offworlders looking to make a quick buck, but they are often killed brutally in pogroms or raids. The city-states themselves are massive citadels of stone akin to the castles of ancient Earth, but with piping and advanced defense systems, and a massive pit in the center of the fortress. Other Unathi do not often go to the mountains beside those looking to trade. There's a legend that a great basin of water lies deep in the mountains and that's how the diamond peak clans are so strong.
While regional differences certainly divide the Unathi, they split and diversify again into clans. The entire Unathi civilization is based around clans. Everyone in a clan has a specific role, or task, that they are to fulfill alongside the others in the clan. The Kaahnepo is the leader of the clan and delegates these roles to others, while the Matriarch handles the females of the clan and watches over the young. Clans will either live in settlements of their own or eventually grow together in larger settlements which eventually become city states. Clan law changes from clan to clan, leaving the city-states as vast, convoluted networks of clan laws, traditions common and obscure, and fighting across a number of clans who just do not get along.
Like humans, faith has been a cornerstone of Unathi society for much of their history, and their beliefs are almost as diverse. Where they differ is with humanity's focus on higher powers and the afterlife and Unathi belief that is centered around themselves and the world around them(Moghes). You can separate the faiths onto a compass like so:
The chart is separated into four sections based on the faith’s view of the World versus the Species, and the Individual versus the People. A strong Worldview means that the faith believes that looking at Moghes and how to make it stronger and better, a rebirth for the planet so to speak, is what will lead the Unathi to prominence, versus the idea of the Self where the Unathi learning and growing stronger and better in their harsh world will make them better equipped to handle the danger of Life. The Individual view means that the faith focuses on looking at the individual and what I can do, versus what the Community(People) can do.
The five faiths of Moghes are Hand of the Vine, Precursor Belief, Grand Stratagem, Fruitful Lights, and Markesheli. Each of these has their own distinct views on what the Unathi should do to grow, learn, and create a better self or world to exist in.
Unathi Guilds are their equivalent to the corporations and companies of Humanity and the Skrell. Though by no means as profitable or intergalactic as them, the guilds provide an important service for the city-states: better craftsmen and better industry. Every guild has its own idea of what it wants to create and supply for its city-state(s). Unathi craftsmen seeking to join up must simply know a member of the guild and have work to provide for review. If you join a guild, you practically leave your clan behind in all sense except name. Guilds are neutral organizations on Moghes, allowing for members of any clan, as long as they are skilled, to join.
Guilds create business through contracts which are awarded, or acquired, from the different clans in exchange for payments. Many trade guilds also create business through the merchandising of those crafted goods, creating service in the city-states. It is nearly impossible in any of the major city-states to create your own business without any connection to one of the guilds.
The hierarchy of the guilds is rather simple, based primarily off of a Unathi's merit, much like with their admittance to the guild. The greater a member you are, the higher your position becomes. Only one Joge (a Guild "Kaahnepo") is around a time, and usually the successors are nominated by votes of every member of the guild.
The Moghes Hegemony was created in 2562 by the ruling Kaahnepos of the different, major city-states. Its purpose: to promote Unathi interests in trade and diplomacy with other species and create a better economy and network among the Unathi living on Moghes.
The Hegemony is set up as primarily a council- the council seats are awarded to Kaahnepos of the city-states. It was agreed that, should new city-states rise, their Kaahnepos shall be awarded a seat and be treated as a full member. The Council of Honorable Light, as it is known, controls a number of things in the lives of the Hegemony's members such as:
- The prices of goods and services
- Conflict resolution between rival clans through the use of more Banes
- It was agreed that if open conflict is unavoidable, it should be done in honorable ways so as to not destroy the land or noncombatants of the rival clan without just cause
- Defense of smaller clans from non-member clans and savages
- Promotion of Unathi interests across Moghes against encroaching Human Imperialism
- The power and usage of the Guilds
All non-ruling clans receive these benefits alongside the Council, but are required to pay tribute to their ruling Kaahnepo, this Kaahnepo being the nearest one to them.
Guilds have also been barred by the Hegemony from working with clans during open conflict, so as to promote a neutral stance among the organizations and not allow them to be bent from their work in the industries of Moghes.
Though Moghes has only one super-continent, a dry one at that, there are a number of island chains and archipelagos in the World Sea. On those mysterious islands developed another form of Unathi separate from their continent, or Sinta'Unathi, counterparts known as the Yeosa'Unathi.
The newly discovered Precursor gateway device that connects Moghes to its sister planet of Ouere has seen many clans and small groups stepping through it into this new world. The Unathi are incredibly split on how to treat this new world- either as a new home for them to live in, one that’s alive and full of everything that the Unathi have been dreaming of for unknown centuries, or whether it should simply be used as a resource to make Moghes stronger. Followers of Markesheli have grown rapidly in number since the portal opened, with large numbers of them journeying to this “paradise.”
So far, only one settlement exists on Ouere, and it is still under rapid construction and growth as more Unathi come through from Moghes. Some of the greatest engineers and craftsmen of the Unathi have come to build this “utopia” for the Unathi, the greatest citadel of Unathi power that will ever be, "
Though they are not as advanced as the other known races, the technology they do have is by no means sub-par. Unathi are very intelligent in the fields of math and engineering. Reverse engineering is their main way of acquiring new tech, and it is a staple of their fields. Most of the city-states have reverse engineered numerous parts of Precursor tech, and while aspects of life may still be considered primitive by Humans and Skrell, they do possess some technology only known to them due to the secrecy of clans. Most Unathi consider advanced technology as a step to better techniques, skills, methods, and processes for producing goods and services. The field of science is focused mainly towards mechanical applications rather than discovering new medicines for example.
Moghes has a very large gap between the advancements of the city-states and the smaller communities that cover most of the world. Diesel machinery is still used heavily across most of the planet, even in the city-states which have begun to see phoron pouring into them as a ‘fuel of the future.’ Their ships mostly reach space through the use of mass drivers and possess STL engines. A very rare few, no more than half a dozen or so, are equipped with some of the best Precursor techs, allowing the ships to not only take off on their own without a mass driver but maneuver through space much like some of the best in Humanity’s fleets. These rare ships are heavily guarded (and weaponized) by the clans that control them, and the tech itself is often hunted by humans from the trans-stellar corporations. On the other hand, there is a great deal of Unathi communities that lack the basics of tech, such as things like plumbing and electricity. Of course, for them, this may not seem like an issue because this is how they have always lived, and they plan to continue to follow their traditions and their faith to the letter.
Many Unathi clans take engineering as a family craft, especially those near the poles of the planet, where fleets are launched from. Prior to the standardization of specially-tailored hard-suits known as “Breachers,” each of these clans had their own designs which required Precursor technology. As a result, these suits were very rare. Through either bartering or espionage, NanoTrasen came into possession of several of these unique schematics and joined them together to create a higher-quality suit. Now, they sell them not only to the capitals for their breacher crews but to exiles and pirates alike.
Archaeology or similar is also a highly sought-after career for many Unathi due to the vast Precursor ruins and the lack of understanding of their world. Many go into this field and often discover new technologies that are re-engineered for the Unathi. Diesel Yards are another cornerstone of the more industrious city-states. Diesel yards are the great auto-industry of Moghes hotbed, filled with all sorts of wheeled vehicles that Unathi use to cross the harsh terrain. These are mainly used in the deserts, savannas, and poles.
Over the course of known Unathi history, the base of Sinta economy and the primary source of wealth and growth has been agriculture. It has only been the most recent 100 years or so that industry across the city-states has begun to grow exponentially. Everything from simple farming to complex irrigation systems, and basic, iron tools to advanced hovercrafts and energy technology; the Unathi economy is a vast network of trade deals, bartering, and guild law.
Moghes is known to be an arid, inhospitable planet with poor soils and, overall, meager vegetation. Among the direct consequences of such climatic conditions one could name the initial scarcity of large-bodied herbivores, restricted to poles and larger oases, with more adaptable rodents and vermin dominating other areas. With the latter being abundant, a pyramid of fast saurian predators had evolved, with an apex predator at the very top, the Unathi themselves. Being sapient creatures of prodigious size, could only maintain themselves with a stable animal protein diet. Naturally, the earliest Sinta societies have been those of nomadic hunters, migrating along the water sources, following larger prey their entire families could subsist on, mainly gnars and duneworms. With their numbers steadily increasing, the depletion of local wildlife was due. Domestication of stok, and later sissalik revolutionized unathi ways. Instead of deserts, with few sources of precious fresh water, the pastures of the north and south were finally sought after.
An early exposure to the remnants of technologically-advanced Precursor race has left the many peoples of Moghes with a peculiar amalgamation of material cultures. Crude mattocks and spears, Sissalik-drawn carts, primitive screw pumps and leather wraps for clothing neighbour with towering reaping machines and harvesters, energy weaponry, hovercraft and highly resistant synthetic materials. Being practical in their dealings, the Unathi do not often draw a clear line between old and new, utilizing both in different situations. As much as environment and climate dictate the many differences between individual clans and tribes, so do the resources at their disposal. For example, the polar regions and the savannas could boast not only the many pastures and bodies of fresh water, but also quite a few intact Precursor installations that gave unathi industries a considerable boost. The Diamond Peaks, while more barren, proved to be an immeasurable source of mineral resources, fueling the workshops of Moghes up to this very day. Being inhospitable as they are, the Deserts still attract business-minded scavengers, unlike the lands up North or down South, picked almost clean by the previous generations or divided between the powerful locals. The Great Swamp is abundant with Precursor Artifacts, but also with wood, a rather valuable resource. Finally, there are the secretive Yeosa islanders, drawing their technological advancements from the abandoned structures below the murky waters of the world ocean.
Battles for Unathi vary greatly depending on who is fighting who. The armed forces of most settlements stick to the honor codes regarding melee combat. When in an engagement with other armies, the formation will consist of battle lines. Shieldmen will be in front, and breakers (those in heavy armor with offensive weaponry) behind and in between to try and overpower the defense of their enemy. Should these lines fall, the ones behind them will attempt to fill in the gaps. Located near the rear of the lines are officers and commanders, as well as the drummers who will convey and begin screaming orders.