260lbs-400lbs (Male)200lbs-320lbs (Female)
|Lifespan:||250 Years (Average)|
The Unathi (U-nah-thee) are tall reptilian humanoids from the planet Moghes. Their scales are hard and plate-like, except for the softer ones that line the inside of their legs, armpits and groin. Unathi society is based on blood relations, and is split across regional, religious and, since recently, political lines. While the outsiders think of them as primitive brutes, the Unathi themselves take pride in honouring millennia-old traditions and upholding their faith, with the core ideas being Organic Growth and Continuity.
- 1 Biology
- 2 Society
- 3 History and Politics
- 4 Economy
- 5 Military
The Unathi are a mesothermic species, with body temperature marginally higher than the the ambient. They suffer from fatigue and may enter torpor 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. It can stretch up to half a meter in length.
The average male Unathi stands around seven and a half feet tall. Savanna Sinta are said to be the tallest among all Unathi. The Yeosa and Salt Swamps clans tend to be somewhat shorter, while those of the Diamond Peaks tend to be of average height (albeit heavily built). Females of all backgrounds are usually about half of a foot shorter, and tend to have rounder features compared to their male counterparts. Both stand on digitigrade legs with clawed feet that make wearing standard shoes painful.
The Unathi are a carnivorous species. Their diet consists mostly of meat, athough they are able to consume plants and fruits. They barely get any nutrition from plants, which are mostly used as garnish or decoration. It is important to notice that some types of carbohydrates, especially monosaccharides may have an adverse effect on Unathi health and brain functions. Table sugar and fructose sometimes cause confusion and hallucinations in Unathi adults. Because they lack a second palate, Unathi cannot breathe while they are eating.
Unathi require a regular food intake, owing to their well-developed brain and proactive lifestyle. Normally their needs are fairly modest, and they can go on for a while without food or drink - however, in a cooled environment of spacefaring vessels and stations the nutrients are consumed at an increased rate, especially if the unathi in question is cryogenically frozen. If a Unathi spaceman does not receive proper nourishment throughout the day, their internal organs begin to work themselves over and deconstruct.
Moreover, Unathi possess 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, focused on breaking down animal protein. This, however, drains their body of resources quickly, resulting in starvation. 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.
While a healthy specimen would normally be able to regrow lost limbs and damaged internal organs, given time, those Unathi living in industrialized or contaminated areas, especially around larger city-states on either Poles, may suffer a considerable decrease in their ability to regenerate appendages. To alleviate that, some polar denizens have resorted to using handicraft or imported prosthetics in place of lost limbs. However, while those can be constructed or maintained with relative ease, polar Unathi lack the ability to produce more complex synthetic organs; moreover, stronger internal regeneration makes it difficult and counterproductive to install those inside the body, considering violent rejection reactions that may arise. It is important to remember that a robotic limb is seen by most rural (and Polar) Unathi as a sign of sickness, and few would boast having one.
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
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. Being mesothermic, Unathi are unable to regulate own body temperature very well and are more prone to hyperthermia. Overheated Unathi becomes sluggish and drowsy.
Intimate gestures between Unathi include twining necks, twining tails, and touching foreheads/muzzles. Hugging is usually considered something done by children, avoided by adults. It is unacceptable to touch Unathi tail, or to touch them at all before introductions are undertaken.
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 is the main grouping of Unathi languages. Though there is a variety of them due to existing geographical divisions, they are all incredibly similar (save for pronunciation 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 a continental Unathi is their personal or family name, while their last name is invariably the title of their clan. This means, for example, that Dhrekss Gnarssis is a member of the Gnarssis Clan. Males often have unique first names chosen by parents or themselves, although it's not uncommon to have pater familias and his senior son bearing the same first name, which is considered the official title of the family. Daughters too usually keep the name of their family, adjusted to feminine form. Upon marriage, the newlyweds adopt the last name of the clan they are staying with - in majority of cases, that of the fiancé, although the opposite may happen in certain cases.
Unathi names are heavy with harsh sounding consonants and short susurrated vowels. An example would be Dhreks Gnarssis or Bhink Khambasshk.
Gios Insthys is a member of the Insthys Clan, and a son of Gios Insthys. Once Gios became a full-grown, he adopted the name Gharr Insthys.
It is a social faux-pas for non-family members to use a Unathi's first name. First name may be used in moments of privacy, when speaking to a very intimate other, or by parents to refer to their children. However, utilizing the full name is acceptable to distinguish between members of the same clan in formal situations.
Unathi society is based on blood relations, and is split across religious, ethnic and even climatic lines. The three basic elements of Unathi identity are, in order of importance, their Clan, their Faith and the Region they hail from, although the last two may vary. While Unathi are well-aware of belonging to a certain species, those three things ultimately fuel the division between them as a whole.
Clan is, essentially, a close-knit group of Unathi families of common ancestry. Apart from kindred blood and shared history, they are often bonded together by common property - even though each family may hold its own posessions, those ultimately contribute to the well-being of the entire clan. The clan system plays a major role in the survival of individual Unathi even in the most hazardous corners of Moghes.
Clans are led by a Kaahnepo and a Matriarch. The Kaahnepo is a senior male that leads the clan for life, and new ones are usually chosen by the council of clan elders (although in smaller clans all free landowners may be given voice, or even all adult males). Once confirmed by the Matriarch and then led through a series of trials, they lead the clan unopposed, deciding what men of his clan should be doing and where resources should be going. Kaahnepos also handle diplomacy and trade relations with other clans. While they may (and will) take others' opinions into account, Kaahnepos rule as they deem fit - after all, their word is the law and final decisions are always theirs.
Matriarchs are selected from amongst the women of the clan, by the women, in almost the same manner as Kaahnepos - also, unlike the former, Matriarchs are bound to be the oldest and most experienced of clan females. While the Kaahnepo orders males around, the Matriarch (often his wife) keeps the women in line. Their duties are simple: preserving the well-being of the clan. The Matriarch is in charge of clan property, making sure that the clan’s village, homestead, or district in a city-state are well-maintained. Matriarchs also possess the knowledge of the clan, raising and teaching the young until they’re old enough. The females under Matriarch's command also add to the clan’s skein, which tracks the history of the clan.
Members of the Clan all have duties that must attend to, and the higher standing in the clan often depends on how useful their labour is to the clan. Any self-respecting Unathi will find it honourable to uphold the traditions of his or her clan, and to do and learn as much as possible to make it stronger. However, clan values, laws and traditions may vary considerably in different regions.
As with other spheres of Unathi conduct, some aspects of interpersonal relations are also affected by the clan system. While romance has its place in unathi society, marriage and family life are considered serious business and an integral part of well-being of each clan. Since young men are often hard-pushed to formalize the relations with their partner, the bride's family will often go to great lengths to get as much benefit as possible from the arrangement - and so will the groom's. Boasting or offering tributes to their relatives, or even the head of their clan and the matriarch may make the process go more smoothly, especially if there is interest in strengthening relations between two clans. Those less lucky will have to repay their in-laws with long years of work - and this is often the only option for exiles or last survivors. Ignoring this ritual is not only likely to spoil relations between families, but may also cast shadow on the troublemaker's clan reputation.
While some clans claim to be millennia-old, it is not a rare occurrence when a new clan is formed. Most often this happens when the old clan grows in numbers, and it's domain becomes overpopulated - some families may split off, migrating in search of new lands to settle, mixing with locals in the process.
One of the important aspects of clan system is inter-clan relations. Legally, those may be based on local customs, religious dogmas or existing convents - however, most often those are driven by an intricate system of personal ties, marriages, oaths and vassal obligations, guaranteed by the blessing of spirits and by brute force. Since there is no uniform legal code, any clan (and, by extension, the Kaahnepo of said clan) holds ultimate authority over their domains. A criminal which escapes the offended party and their vassals and friends may run free - if they are caught however, they are at their captor's mercy. Apart from Kaahnepo's rulings, legal or other disputes may be settled though the elders consulting each other, or through a bane - a form of traditional duel combat.
Clans will either live in settlements of their own or alongside other clans. Such settlements may grow to become city-states. While clans may coexist, they often retain their own laws and traditions. In case of large sprawling cities like Mumbak this results in a complicated network of agreements dividing the settlement into spheres of influence, controlled by the ruling families.
All political life on Moghes is based on goodwill and cooperation between clans, since no state actor exists to subdue and bend the clans to their will. The closest thing Moghes has to states are tactical alliances between larger clans, pursuing some common goal. Still, even major organizations like the Hegemony or Ssen-Uuma Convent lack proper authority, and are unable to effectively enforce their will on the rest of the planet's population.
In recent times, city-states have given rise to Krukzuz, a type of clan that other clans have pledged their allegiance to, owing to the former's influence and power . While the vassals enjoy certain benefits as junior partners in the alliance, they have much less say compared to the Krukzuz. Oftentimes the benefits are mutual, with the smaller clan offering experience in crafts or other skills in return for protection under the wing of Krukzuz. Sometimes it's not the case however, with a Krukzuz taking in underling clans that cannot provide much. Those clans may be invested into by the Krukzuz, supported by resources to encourage the clansmen while they attain required skills. Such clans often develop almost fanatical loyalty to the patron Krukzuz as a result of their charity.
To some Unathi, the relations between Krukzuz and underling clans are an embodiment of goodwill between clans; some Krukzuzi have been able to gain much power not in the least because of the positive general opinion among their neighbours. Other Unathi are wary however, seeing the rising power of Krukzuz clans as a breeding ground for future abuse.
Moghes is usually divided into six principal geographical zones; going from the poles to the equator, those are the Tropical Poles, Savanna Belts, the Great Desert, Salt Swamps edging the oceans, and the Diamond Peaks. All of them produce different kinds of Unathi, with their own unique dialects, traditions, and cultures.
Although Moghes has only one super-continent, a dry one at that, there are a number of island chains and archipelagos in the World Sea. Those are inhabited by a mysterious, little studied race called Yeosa'Unathi, which differs from continental Sinta'Unathi in language, culture and even appearance.
Throughout the history of the species, faith has been a cornerstone of Unathi society, and a powerful force in any individual’s life. Like on Earth, religious beliefs on Moghes are quite diverse, and are often syncretic or even secular in practice. Surprisingly though, most if not all Unathi share common mythology - a meta-religion - in which the existing beliefs are grounded.
According to Unathi worldview, the world is divided into two plains of reality, which roughly equate to human concepts of “Life” and “Afterlife”. The latter is home to potent entities - the spirits of those who once inhabited the realm of the living. Each spirit holds immense power over the world’s affairs; In order to ensure the normal functioning of natural and societal life, Unathi seek patronage with them, especially with those of their own kin, whom they call the Ancestors - the ranks of whom every Unathi is bound to join at some point.
The worship of Ancestors is easily the most widespread, and even secular-minded polar dwellers revere their forefathers and other great figures of the past, ancient and recent. However, the mark left by the staggeringly developed Precursor civilization has given this traditional Unathi religion a peculiar twist.
An important aspect of traditional Unathi religion is the existence of cults, which provide distinct views on what the Unathi should do to fulfil the will of the ancestors better. The main four are Hand of the Vine, The Grand Stratagem, Fruitful Lights and Markesheli. While some are more or less associated with particular regions, others are more universal, appealing to a larger portion of the planet's population.
Unathi guilds are a rough equivalent to the corporations and companies of Humanity and the Skrell. Though by no means as profitable or intergalactic as Megacorporations of Sol, the guilds play an important role in the politics of Moghes by providing various goods and services to clans and city-states. Large and small, guilds are proactive in all sectors of industry, although few crafts are truly monopolized.
Apart from having essential skills, a Unathi seeking to join up must know a member of the guild and have work to provide for review. Although the newcomers may be compelled to move closer to the guild's location (with more centralized guilds providing quarters for their members), the connection with one's clan stands - guilds are not neutral organizations, and are often biased towards clans involved.
The hierarchy of the guilds is rather simple, based primarily on age and individual merit. Apprentices answer to the Mentors, which are handpicked among full members by Guild Masters; Those, in turn, report to the Overseers, which are in charge of the workshops. No matter how large the Guild is, a Jhoge (guild equivalent of clan Kaahnepo) is always at the head, nominated by votes of the senior members of the guild.
Regarding guild names, those tend to be rather lengthy and fanciful, acknowledging guild history, achievements and patrons; titles like «Ancient and Distinguished Order of Boatmakers» and «Most Worshipful Company of Distillers and Oleochemists» are considered laconic.
Due to specifics of Unathi anatomy and Moghes climate, clothing does not matter as much to the locals as it does to humans - in fact, it has been the norm for many settled clans to ditch the garments alltogether while at home, only covering themselves during travels. As such, unathi dress tends to be sturdy and simplistic, made of primitive materials, designed not to come apart when exposed to elements - such as sandstorms, fields of spiny plants and the difficult topography of swamps and rocky wastelands.
Typical materials include coarse cloth (made of bho'esshie, a species of local jute-like plants) and ssisalik leather, produced in large quantities by farmers and nomads alike. Those materials are often fashioned into single-piece garments, allowing to preserve as much material strength as possible, minimizing the amount of seams and joints. Traditional Unathi-made long robe resembles a Roman toga - or an oversized gunny sack, depending on who you ask. Leather garments include cloaks, loincloths, aprons, body wraps and helmets, often worn by the hunters. Among exotic materials, sea silk stands out, frequently used by Yeosa'Unathi to construct deep sea diving suits.
As with bodywear, shoes are typically worn during long travels and marches. Caligae-like thick-soled sandals remain popular with troopers and voyagers, allowing them to traverse great distances on foot.
Sometimes clothes are worn for social reasons. In that case, garments are often decorated, dyed with paints made of crushed oxides, clay and plant matter. Diamond Peaks are known as a major centre for mineral dyes producton. Ruddy yellow ochre-based colours, collectively known as Blood Paint, have long been associated with highlanders, who covered their metal armor with painted cloth to prevent light reflection and overheating. Over the years, the popularity of such hues migrated all the way to the poles: peculiarly, Moghes Hegemony favours Blood Paint for its banners and formal dress, despite the earlier associations. In reverse, when steel cuirass went out of fashion, Ssenuuma Convent adopted bleached grey-brown uniforms, suitable for desert operations.
Other than colour, unathi may demonstrate their higher standing with jewelry and adornment, although the latter is most popular with women - or The Fruitful Lights fanatics, who tend to decorate their clothes with strung beads (made of various materials) and bonecrafts to enhance their abilities.
In modern times, as the city states turned into major industrial centres producing goods for Moghedi and offworld markets, Solarian clothing became more prevalent, not only in practical sence, but as a cultural phenomenon as well. Human-inspired overalls, branded sportswear, printed shirts have been ubiqutous on Moghes for the last 30 years - more traditional outfits are now considered formal, worn by elders or the rich as a status symbol. Younger urban Unathi typically wear whatever is most comfortable to them, or whatever they can afford, although certain clans (such as the Kharza) employ a more standard uniform.
Unathi in general tend not to record global history like humans or Skrell have done. Each clan records their own history with the art of “skein-weaving”, practiced by matriarchs and elder females. Carefully preserved patterns of knots woven from thread form an intricate web of Sinta glyphs detailing the events of each Moghedi year, roughly equalling 400 solar days.
Most Unathi keep a basic calendar system to track days and years. Their seasons are Moto and Jua, which are the equivalent of summer and winter. Temperature changes are mostly felt nearer to the poles, but in the desert the length of days are be affected, minorly so depending on the season. The two seasons last roughly two hundred days, so when the two hundredth day of Jua passes, it would be considered a new year.
For example, to predict or recall a certain date, an Unathi would phrase it in a way such as "The twelfth day of Jua, five years ago".
Unsurprisingly, the Unathi keep time tracked loosely by sundials. These primitive yet effective clocks are split up into four quarters. Rather than use numeral digits like humans, they instead pay attention to the slant of the shadow. When it is facing a bearing of zero degrees, then it is considered dawn, a new day. At ninety, breakfast should be over with and Unathi should be starting to prepare for their work day. One hundred and eighty degrees is midday, most commonly seen as a trading rush-hour or a time for large, friendly lunches. When the slant is at two hundred and seven degrees, the work day begins to wind down and the Unathi return home to their clans for their evening meals.
It is generally agreed that social, economic and private life of each individual Unathi revolves around their clan or the host clan (should they marry into one or be adopted). Sometimes, however, a Unathi may find themselves living outside of the clan system.
Reasons may vary. Some may be driven to such a decision by altruistic considerations: mortally ill or disgraced unathi can leave their clan to ease their burden and escape the stigma. Others take penance for their unrightful actions against their own kin and those they had obligations towards. The rest are exiled or chased away. In any case, all their possessions are sold off or redistributed, so that the exile may set off for a new life in the wilderness.
Such outcasts are grouped under the collective name of 'Guwandi', or Ghu'wadhi. As per tradition, Guwandi wander the planet, shunning company and seeking combat with the most dangerous representatives of Moghes wildlife. Should they meet another Guwandi, they are obliged to tell each other their stories, before drawing weapons and fighting to death: the winner is, however, responsible for taking care of the remains of their adversary.
Because of their dramatic exploits and honourable conduct, Guwandi are often seen as romantic heroes of unathi society: misunderstood, punished, seeking penance in difficult trials. Sometimes they may return to their relatives after being pardoned; a few are granted a second outlook under the patronage of a different clan. In many cases, however, the reality of such life is much different from glossy legends that surround it. Plenty of exiles perish quickly on their own; those who survive are often pressured to steal and rob to make a living. In border regions with Guwandi presence the outcasts are often mistrusted or even attacked, forced to dwell in the darkness of the night.
Opinion on the practice had always been extremely divided, even within individual cultures; Yeosa, desert and savanna sinta seem to favour it the most, although it is hardly universal. Clans of Diamond Peaks, with their well-developed legal codes and a system of corporal punishments in place, have always been ambivalent on the issue - while the path of Guwandi was deemed acceptable for some locals, the highlanders tend to ignore ancient rights of the exiles entering their realm, pushing Guwandi into service or making them settle down as farmers under the wing of a vassal clan. Allegedly, during the siege of Nolesk, some captured outcasts were unceremoniously forced to carry mortar rounds for Convent troops.
The rise of urban development and the emergence of Polar city-states led to a gradual decline in Guwandi population, since city growth has swallowed much of the surplus workforce. The practice itself is increasingly seen as dated or even barbaric. Nevertheless, Guwandi have become a staple character in the emerging mass literature of Moghes, often depicted in fictionalized or romanticised manner. Even so, real Guwandi can yet be encountered in the more remote locations of the planet.
Little is known about the Precursors - the race that settled Moghes approximately 100 thousand years ago. Unathi scholars have struggled for a long time to piece together a complete picture of them.
Some theorize that they were in fact ancient Unathi, given that some fairly advanced artifacts more or less fit the anatomy of modern-day Sinta and Yeosa. However, much of the complex equipment recovered since hints at the opposite, suggesting different physiology and biochemistry. An average Unathi, or even a humanoid cannot comfortably handle most artifacts of Precursor origin without awkward workarounds. Nevertheless, the idea persists among some clans.
A more common hypothesis holds that Precursors were a race of immense power, probably bipeds like Unathi, but with a more unique physiology. According to the supportes of this theory, the Unathi were not a part of this ancient race, but rather a product of it. Obtaining information from archeological digs of ancient bunkers found in the deserts and savannas, with the additional experience gleaned from human experiments in Vat Cloning, some researchers have come to the conclusion that Unathi were designed as a sort of biological weapon. Ostensibly, the Unathi were originally the protectors of the great race, created specifically to defend them against various dangers. While this school of thought is more consistent than the former, so far it is yet to produce solid evidence for Precursors' role in unathi creation. Moreover, no existing pattern of Precuror armament is known to have accomodated unathi anatomy in it's original form, suggesting that, if the bio-weapon theory was true, the unathi were to intended be pushed into battle with no weapons to hold.
In recent years a different doctrine gained traction, elicited from some oral sources and the oldest recorded skeins. It claims that the Unathi of old have no relation to the Precursors, - in fact, the former have destroyed the latter. The assumption is based on the duality of uncovered artifacts, clearly divided between two different cultures posessing different anatomy and using different materials. Some researchers also point to similar notions in Moghes biosphere - while proper studies of Unathi genome have only just begun, biologists found it difficult to put together a comprehensive evolutionary tree of the planet's natural life, suggesting an influx of alien species at some point in Moghedi history. According to Gyska Ba’ask, a noteable Unathi historian, the lands currently occupied by Unathi are actually the remnants of an ancient war that ravaged the planet and left it the way it is today. This theory has gained certain popularity in recent years, due in part to the increased knowledge of the history of the human race, and the interest in academic history in general. This concept is held true by all sort of Unathi - all the way from polar progressives, rural conservatives to Diamond Peak nationalists. Nevertheless, this theory is far from being predominant, partially due to controversy surrounding it, especially among those that follow the Precursor faith.
There are dozens of other conjectures put forward by Unathi scholars, and more appear as the elements of the lost empire of Precursors are gradually unearthed. The ideas vary wildly, but not one has managed to get the grounding to gain universal acceptance. On its part, Humanity has undertaken research to figure out the exact origins of the Unathi as well, although conclusive results are yet to be produced.
History and Politics
Moghes was once inhabited by another species known as “The Precursors” who, according to the oral tradition, clashed with Unathi ancestor race an unknown number of years ago. Moghes was then a lush, garden world, - however, the conflict took a toll on the planet's biosphere, reducing it to the contemporary meager state. Although the exact biology of the Precursors is unknown, it is assumed they weren't humanoid; a claim backed by some properties of the artifacts they left behind.
It is quite likely that the large amounts of radiation present during the extinction event led to mutations in Unathi ancestors, changing them in the process. Unathi are fascinated by the origins of their race, and some are almost obsessive in their desire to know all they can about Precursors and their relation to the Unathi race.
Although some accounts describe a poorly-documented encounter with humanoid aliens around 2201, relations with Humanity were formally “established” in 2236 by the leading clans of Mumbak. There was limited interest in the Unathi or their world right after the discovery, since it was largely overshadowed by the first contact with Skrell three years earlier.
In 2239, the Moghes Hegemony was created - a coalition crafted by the Kaahnepos of the dominant polar clans as a solid base for dealing with the outsiders. Despite being relatively close to Sol, Moghes was way off the estabilished routes - in those very first years, private initiative far outstripped that of the government, even after a deal with the Hegemony was secured in 2245; Since then, a considerable number of Unathi found work offworld, as mercenaries and in labor-intensive jobs.
In 2260, however, the Expeditionary Corps is allowed into a Precursor ruins on the planet, and the incredible technology that these ruins held. These ruins were often the ones that the clans had already studied and gone through themselves, with new sites that are discovered either being overseen by the Hegemony, or Rah'Zakeh League. As time has gone on however, these restrictions have been slowly relaxed with the Expeditionary Corps now working with Unathi archaeologists to study new precursor ruins in recent times.
In 2275, the discovery of a particular Precursor ruin in the swamps 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 Ouere, another planet in the Unathi System. Yet another artifact rush began, fueled by prospects of unexplored Precursor ruins. Intense friction began to rise through Unathi society, with the clans vying for control over new lands.
In 2282, the first Unathi migrants arrive on Tersten. Attracted by the offers of the Tersten people, they settle in the area of South Central Tersten. The move sparks debate among many Unathi, especially those that inhabit the spaceports of the poles. To some, this is a extraordinary opportunity to carve a new life. To others, this is a betrayal of everything Unathi stand for. To this day, the debate is still hot, though both sides have simmered down from their initial reactions.
In 2287, the Tersten Hegemony is formed. It's purpose is to facilitate better relations with the Tersten peoples. The newly formed Hegemony met with representatives of the Tersten Government on May 15th, 2287, to discuss and sign treaties. It was during this first meeting that the suggestion of a joint holiday is made. The holiday commemorates the first migrant Unathi that arrived on Tersten, and is celebratory to not only Unathi culture, but Tersten culture as well. The idea is taken before Tersten's senate and is signed into effect by President Ronald Mayweather on November 8th, 2287. It was decided that the holiday would take place on June 18th, as that was the day of the arrival of the first Unathi migrants.
In 2305, some of the more welcoming (and powerful) Unathi Clans created an exchange program with SCG, allowing chosen clansmen to work as members of the Expeditionary Corps. In the meantime, members of the Expeditionary Corps are able to work and live amongst the Unathi. Positions in the program are allocated to the clans involved (often associated with the Hegemony), which sell, award or donate those to their allies, vassals or even enemies in return for benefits. Since the opportunities like that are somewhat rare, exchange program seats often serve as a bargaining chips in inter-clan relations.
The Moghes Hegemony was created in 2239 by the ruling Kaahnepos of the major South Pole city-states, headed by Mumbak. Its formal purpose is to promote Unathi interests in trade and diplomacy with other species and create a better economy and network among Unathi living on Moghes. In practice, however, it is used to reinforce the role of the city-states in emerging off-world commerce and diplomacy, and to control the influx of foreign goods by the means of tariffs.
The Hegemony is headed by the so-called Council of Honourable Light; the seats are reserved for the Kaahnepos of major clans participating in city-state politics. New members are coopted; should a new city-state rise, Hegemony councilmen will try their best to have the Kaahnepos in charge submit to Hegemony regulations - using bribes, flattery and threats of violence. After that, the Kaahnepo in question may be awarded a seat or another position within Hegemony ranks. At this moment, the chief interests of the Council are:
- Pursuing a uniform tariff policy in trading with Human Empires/Skrell;
- Preventing the smuggling of Precursor and Ancestor-related artifacts off Moghes;
- Collecting data on alien industry/warfare/culture/commercial practices;
- Resolving possible conflicts between member clans;
- Investing in Guilds;
- Establishment of sovereign space and the creation of mercantile fleet.
While Hegemony itself only includes a small share of clans, it has plenty of associates attached to it through the means of economic and cultural ties. Large savanna clans are a prime example; even though they might not be involved with the Hegemony directly, their wealth and influence in Polar affairs may affect Council decisions nevertheless.
While the Hegemony is often hailed as the first step towards making Moghes a powerhouse in the intergalactic community, those outside of Poles held less favourable views of the alliance. In 2257, Ssen-Uuma (Ssenuuma) Convent was established by a group of major highland Kaahnepos in a Diamond Peaks fortress of Ssen-Uuma, to act as a counterbalance to the growing Hegemony. Unlike their Polar counterparts, the Diamond Peak warbosses were more vary of developed alien races, considering those a possible threat to the estabilished order, well-being and independence of Moghes. The rumours of Precursor artifacts being exchanged for energy weapons sparked an outrage among native population; in 2259, major riots occurred on the Southern Pole. In 2261, violence escalated further - Mercenary uprising in Nolesk, North Pole led to the capture of the city by Convent troops, which took over its first and only major spaceport.
While the Convent found support with plenty of highlander and desert clans, the city-states managed to secure the support of the majority of Savanna population, which drew its wealth from supplying the Poles with food. After a lengthy siege and several bloody skirmishes, the conflict began to subside - interestingly, it was the one of the only two major conflicts recorded in Unathi history, the other one being the Cult War, which happened some 7,000 years before that.
Soon after the war ended, two organizations found themselves cooperating; Polar industry was in dire need of raw minerals provided by Diamond Peaks mines. In return, Ssen-Uuma member clans and their allies began to receive much-needed food, consumer goods and essential high-tech equipment. While both sides tend to hog the blanket with occasional embargo threats and saber rattling, both view status quo as an optimal outcome.
Like the Hegemony, Ssen-Uuma Convent is not a monolithic organization, but an alliance between most prominent clans of the area; the main difference between the two is that the latter has a military twist to it. The Convent is administered by the General Staff, which is less inclusive yet more uniform than Hegemony Council; a strict ranking system is maintained, with the highest title of Srr-Kaahnepo awarded to the senior war-chiefs - a carry-over from the times where clan unions and vassalage system played the dominant role. Apart from preserving existing Unathi establishments (including traditional faith and the Grand Stratagem), the main concerns of the general staff are:
- Maintaining a regular military force in the Diamond Peaks for the benefit of the Convent;
- Supporting mercenaries operating off-Moghes;
- Gathering military and political intelligence regarding alien empires;
- Preparing for the possible invasion of the planet by an outside force.
Ultimately, the goals listed are interconnected, since they all serve the fourth, most important goal; by collecting data on outsider weapon systems, purchasing modern equipment and sending their youth to gain experience in alien warfare, Ssen-Uuma Convent hopes to gain the upper hand should the unthinkable happen - until then, keeping everything under wraps is a prudent thing to do.
The recently-discovered system of Precursor gateway devices connecting Moghes to its smaller sister planet of Ouere has seen many clans and small groups stepping through it into this new world. There is no clear consensus on how to treat this new world - either as a logical extension of Moghes, a completely new entity, or simply as a resource base for improving the home planet. Many colonists, artifact hunters and ostracised groups have flocked to the planet, with Followers of Markesh community growing quite rapidly in numbers compared to other parts of Moghes.
This migration sparked the debate over Ouere-born Unathi. A large assembly, hosted in a desert dominion of Pakh with the support of Polar City-states ruled in favor of counting those born on Ouere as “native Unathi”, promoting the viewpoint that the land was naturally “blessed by Precursors”. While few reacted negatively to the ruling, it is hardly binding; the Diamond Peak clans have been claimed to avoid dealing directly with Ouere-based clans, either out or contempt, or unwilling to support the large Markesheli community there.
So far, only few permanent settlements exists on Ouere, with some under rapid construction, with renowned engineers and craftsmen coming to build up the new “utopia” for the Unathi. After a period of quick growth, in 2302 access to the world was limited by a Savanna clan of Guhr'sshki, which claimed many new territories early and took upon themselves to guard the new lands from undesirables - a move which provoked outrage, much to the satisfaction of the Hegemony and Convent. While the clan only controls a sole city-state of Khamuss and the surroundings, everything outside its protected boundaries is wild territory, largely unexplored and with few inhabitants.
Following the collapse of the PRL, the newly founded government of Tersten welcomed Unathi with open arms as a workforce. Unathi rapidly filled in the holes in Tersten’s workforce, providing services in engineering, science, medical, and even education whilst providing a strong unskilled labor pool.
With Tersten welcoming most clans under the condition that they settle in South Central Tersten, many of the incoming clans were small groups of exiles who came together. They were given simple prefabricated buildings that were cheap to build. Many clans opted to either modify these prefabs or to disregard them entirely and opt to build their own shelters. Nowadays, it is not uncommon to find Unathi all over Tersten, living amongst the Tersten peoples in a variety of jobs. Some Unathi have even become full members of Tersten's Police and Ranger Corps, serving the planet diligently to keep law and order.
Tersten based Unathi differ from their Moghes and Ouere counterparts by their clan size. Many clans number in the dozen or even less. The ideals of Unathi society carried over, with a much higher emphasis on the individual. Tersten Unathi tend to enjoy a much more peaceful life, with many now focusing on the more peaceful elements of Unathi faith. The clan is important to Tersten Unathi, even more so when compared to larger Moghes clans. Interpersonal relationships are much more important to Tersten Unathi due to the small size of these clans.
Unathi from Tersten also enjoy a great deal of solidarity with the Tersten people. The arrival of the first Unathi migrants is celebrated as a holiday among both the Tersten and Unathi people, with a celebration held in Tersten City and Nevada. The festival, taking place over a week, is a celebration of Unathi and Tersten culture, cuisine, and music. It not only celebrates their differences, but also their similarities, taking pride in their shared appreciation of Tersten.
Shortly after the population boom, the Tersten Hegemony was established. It’s primary purpose being to maintain the relations between Unathi and the Tersten populace whilst also focusing on resolving disputes that may arise. Unlike the Moghes hegemony, every Tersten clan is automatically a member of the hegemony as part of the terms drafted and accepted by both the Tersten government and clans. The Tersten Hegemony is headed by a council of fifteen elders who are often rotated between the various districts.
Though Unathi enjoy a warm reception on Tersten, they suffered their relations with Moghes. To many Unathi, they abandoned their world and as such those that are born on Tersten are not true Unathi. They see Tersten settled clans as betrayals to the Moghes Hegemony and their ideals. Of course, this is not a universal view, and some see it as a good thing, with Unathi becoming more spread out in the galaxy to spread their ideals.
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.
Though the inhabitants of Moghes are not as advanced as 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 and alien tech, and while some aspects of their everyday life may still be considered primitive by Humans and Skrell standards, they do possess know-how available only to them.
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 simple chemical engines. Very few (no more than half a dozen or so) are equipped with some of the best Precursor-made engines, 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: things such as 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. An example of local craftsmenship are specially-tailored hard-suits known as “Breachers,” each of these clans had their own designs incorporating 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 similar suits, although of lower quality, simply because of the absence of crucial Precursor-created components. Nevertheless, they sell these cheaper suits not only to the Unathi, but to other races as well.
Since the Precursor artifacts and technology are held in high regard, archaeology is a highly sought-after career for many Unathi due to the vast ruins available for exploration. Many go into this field and often discover new technologies that are re-engineered for the Unathi use. Diesel yards are another cornerstone of the more industrious city-states - the hotbed of Moghes auto-industry those are filled with all sorts of wheeled vehicles that Unathi use to cross the harsh terrain.
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.
Unathi society is often loosely described as that of honour-bound warriors, with their history shaped mostly by dogmatic religious and moral views, unending tribal conflicts and the harsh environment of their war-torn homeworld. The recent influx of mercenaries from Moghes (and an occasional unathi's eagerness to learn more about human war machines) has given some appearance of credibility to those opinions.
In practice, the majority of pastoral communities on Moghes do not fit the description. Large-scale conventional wars are almost unheard of on the planet; for most clans, resourses have always been too scarce to engage in conquest. Similarly, unathi concept of "honour" is much more nuanced.
The contact with expansionist alien empires has prompted many new developments in unathi society, and military sphere is by no means an exeption. Old clan militias, designed for ritual duels, occasional scraps and raids, were no longer sufficient - new formations were required, built on different principles. At the same time, space was an entirely new dimension crucial to the defence of Moghes, yet to be explored.