“No hodgepodge of principles even compares to the hypocrisy of the Aa'griaa, and yet it is their existence as literal paradoxes that drives their nation, and our country, forward.”
- - Hajanan Jequill
The Aa'griaa are an aquatic species of sentient native to the reefs and islands of Zhabaada. They are usually very independent and are often very calm, yet they are sometimes very violent. Aa'griaa are also known to be prone to extreme mood swings, which other Aa'griaa often believe represents the posession of that being by a deity. Aa'griaa are also an essential piece of the machine that keeps the Stellar Union running, as they hold many lesser nations within their political sphere.
Anatomy and Physiology
Aa'griaa are a highly specialized variety of fishes. They are short, and because of their aquatic origins, are known to occasionally be sluggish on land. Aa'griaa have both gills and lungs, and as such can breathe in the air and in the water. They have three-toed "hooves" and three-fingered hands. They all have countless small teeth in the backs of their mouths, and are adorned with a crest that sticks out from the back of their head. Beneath this crest, Aa'griaa have about a dozen tentacles that give the Aa'griaa a sense of smell.
Aa'griaa are usually blue, but some are seafoam green and others can be indigo. Aa'griaa also have spots on their crests, and the color of these spots varies from individual to individual. There are also stripes that run along the arms and legs of the Aa'griaa, and these stripes vary in color from pale gray to dark black. It is believed that the purpose of the stripes was to help the Aa'griaa hide in the coral reefs so that they could sneak up on their prey.
The Aa'griaan species evolved sometime around 200,000 years ago in the warm waters of Zhabaada. As time progressed, the Aa'griaa would eventually colonize the land and developed tools and create fire. This would, about 40,000 years ago, lead to the rise of many civilizations all over Zhabaada's islands and archipelagos.
Many Aa'griaa believe that around this time they were visited by their gods. Many thousands of years later, as empires began to colonize other islands, knowledge that the world was united by a common religion would help create the Order of Sakyaa'gri, and help bring lasting peace to the planet. Without wars to inhibit the scientific community, the various Aa'griaan factions would help each other develop new scientific ideas which would result in the creation of the spaceship about 5,500 years ago.
After the invention of the spaceship, the thrilled Aa'griaa felt that it would be best for the species to unite under a single flag, called the Sakyaa Uraayi (Star Empire). Under this name, the Aa'griaa would build up a reputation as a calm, yet unforgiving, nation. Then, about 2,500 years ago, the Aa'griaa applied to become a member state within the Stellar Union. By an overwhelming majority in the Stellar Union's Embassy, the Aa'griaa were accepted into the Stellar Union. Currently, the Aa'griaa make up a significant fraction of the Stellar Union's population, with more Aa'griaa being elected to the position of Supreme Marshall than any other species.
Aa'griaan culture is very diverse, with both modern and traditional aspects. Because of this, many individuals have different ways that they express their beliefs.
Aa'griaan religion is based around the three deities of Ipfyr (Chaos), Loaa (Order), and Sakyaa'gri (Star Father). The Aa'griaa believe that the wills of these deities are expressed through a High Priestess and various minor priestesses. These priestesses channel their holy visions in large chapels, with some of the biggest chapels on the deities holy worlds. The Aa'griaa believe that Ipfyr's holy world is Irfypya, Loaa's holy world is Lyoanaa, and Sakyaa'gri's holy world is Lep'uran (which means "Holy Haven" in Zhakaa). In the Aa'griaa religion, there are teachings that statues and sculptures meant to commemorate an individual are able to act as point from which the individual can go between the real and spirit world, and the destruction or defacing of a statue is considered to be like the murder of the person who is portrayed in the statue.
Architecture and City Layout
Aa'griaan architecture is primitive, excluding the bustling cities of Neyllasura and Zhabaada. The large skyscrapers that the Aa'griaa rarely build are usually glass, and tend to feel like flowing, organic structures. Aa'griaan cities also retain this organic feel, as the roads and tunnels curve with the hills and trenches of the environment.
Fashion and Cuisine
Aa'griaan fashion is quite varied, involving styles from all kinds of species. However, some of the more traditional Aa'griaan fashions include woven sea grass skirts and hats, as well as fish scale pants. Aa'griaans are also fond of jewelry, especially tooth necklaces and jeweled bracelets.
Aa'griaa, being carnivorous, eat a wide variety of meats. Some of the more popular meals include uniquely cooked and seasoned fishes and aquatic invertebrates. Wai'akaar, a large cephalopod found in Zhabaada's reefs, is one the most common meals at Aa'griaan feasts, along with Iaa'azhu, a whale sized lungfish.
The Aa'griaa language is based upon complex vowel and consonant combinations, along with forced pauses and clicks. Many English letters are pronounced differently in Zhakaa, with apostrophes representing pauses and "c"s representing tongue clicks (it is because of this that they are rare). Zhakaa also has different letters for different vowel stresses, with "a" and "aa", "e" and "ee", and "o" and "oo" each being written as different symbols. The consonant sound "zh" is very prominent in Zhakaa, as Aa'griaa anatomy prevents the saying of the "z" sound clearly.
The Aa'griaa have many ceremonies that are celebrated throughout the year. While small, family ceremonies like weddings and funerals can be quite elaborate, but the biggest ceremony is Sakyaa Auinaa (Star Day), which commemorates that arrival of Sakyaa'gri on Zhabaada. The festival is celebrated with big feasts and parties, and every Aa'griaa takes part in the morning and evening prayers.