The Belatra were a species from the planet Telan in the Girdo Galaxy. The spacefaring Belatra Kingdom, officially known as the Kingdom of Telan, was one of the founders of the Second Galactic Federation and the Grand Galactic Fleet alongside the Eskesians, Madrosor and Cyberion, a venture that led to their extinction at the hands of the Girdo Grox Empire.
Belatra tribes arrived in the region of Elamuria prior to the 14th millennium BC, which at the time was a temperate coastal land of hills and rivers, covered in light forests of fruit trees and filled with prey animals. The tribes chose to settle in the region, evolving into a sedentary culture. Tribal leaders established a gift-giving system as a means of displaying wealth and loyalty and demanding reciprocation, and as these gifts become more elaborate and the local population expanded throughout Elamuria, the wild land's ability to provide resources was strained, leading to tribes carefully maintaining their own orchards and grazing pastures in its stead.
This agriculture, and a feudal system of organisation to go with it, soon spread out from Elamuria to the surrounding lands. By the late 7th millennium BC, the Kingdom of Elamuria dominated the former, while the most influential peoples in the latter were pastoralist steppe-dwelling nomads. The Kingdom's end came when it spread its religion of regal divinity to the steppe nomads shortly before executing their own king for abuse of power; in retaliation for the murder of a divine figure, the nomads attacked Elamuria and took control of its capital. The rest of the Kingdom's forces later reclaimed their capital and expelled the disunited nomads, but the seeds of enmity had already been planted, and in another sixty years time the nomads, now united under their own monarchy, defeated the Kingdom of Elamuria for good and subsequently continued expanding their empire across the continent.
The first nomadic empire lasted for a century before its first war of succession began a slow three hundred-year process of civil wars, fragmentation, and disastrous power-grabs by influential aristocratic families. New global empires rose out of its ruins, and by the end of the 5th millennium BC, one descendant of the steppe empire had evolved into the Kingdom of Telan that singularly governed the entire planet.
Second Galactic Federation
Around 4000 BC, the Kingdom of Telan developed faster-than-light travel. Depending on whether this was a native invention or acquired from Xyanx relics, the Kingdom may have been spacefaring with only sublight drives for up to two centuries before this. During the 40th century BC, Belatra exploration ships made contact with the other spacefaring species of Girdo's Southern Arm, and a few skirted around the edge of Grox Space to meet those of the Northern Arm. The Belatra quickly made a trade deal with the friendly trader Madrosor Imperium, allowing ships from each side of the galaxy to cross the space between arms using twosystem drives rather than risking Grox interceptions, and diplomatic relations between the empires of the two arms soon led to the formation of the Second Galactic Federation. The Belatra developed new ship designs for the Federation, and these were put into action as the Grand Galactic Fleet.
While the Federation and its Fleet kept its constituent nations at peace for half a century, shortly after 3900 BC Grox attacks began on worlds of the non-member Zuckhs, and shortly afterwards the neighbouring Tsajaginykar, leading to the governments of both species requesting Federation protection. This brought an end to the war that had been fought between them for two hundred years, and kept the Grox at bay for nearly another century.
Then, circa 3800 BC, Grox Probes appeared without warning over many of the closest Federation worlds to the Galactic Centre, deploying far larger fleets than had previously been encountered and destroying the colonies. The Federation retaliated, drawing them into a 500-year conflict - the Second Girdo Grox War - that eventually led to the extinction of many of its member species, the Belatra included. More than 6000 years later, the Belatra's pledge to end the terror of the Grox was fulfilled by the Girdo Empire, who were able to defeat the cyborgs as a result of reverse-engineered Federation technology.
Biology and Appearance
The body plan of a Belatra was a small round opisthosoma with two pairs of long limbs, the upper pair being arms and the latter splitting at the knee into three sets of legs. Chitinous armour covered the forelimbs and the posterior side of the opisthosoma, while sharp spines lined the forearms, surrounded the radially-symmetric mouth, and functioned as teeth within the mouth and as claws on the toes of the front two pairs of feet. The front pair of feet possessed five closely-packed toes, the middle pair had three widely-separated toes, and the back feet and hands had four and five webbed digits each respectively. Belatra had mild Essence abilities that gave them the powers of flight and levitation for short periods of time.
Belatra had a single retractable eye dome on the top of their opisthosoma between two decorative crests; being a point of weakness, this was often protected with artificial armour. Originally, Belatra eye armour was a ring of ceramic or metal allowing the eye to be protected without full retraction. Up to the early battles of the Grand Galactic Army in the mid-4th millennium BC, Belatra soldiers used jointed armour that gave full protection to most of the eye but only allowed vision out of the front, a downside that mattered little as rearwards vision was often obscured by large backpacks. During the rest of the Second Girdo Grox War, transparent flexible armour was used instead, with deflector shields making up for its relative weakness.
Society and Culture
Most of what is known about Belatra culture comes from fragments maintained by Pirakkei clans. Their cuisine was very simple, with meals consisting mainly of meat, fruit, and occasionally eggs, although the rest of their art appears to have been much more elaborate. The Belatra script was maintained by many Pirakkei clans into the 28th century AD for its value in calligraphy, millennia after it had become extinct elsewhere due to its lack of utility. However, little can be said for certain about their aesthetic tastes, as no pure Belatra artwork, nor Belatra-inspired Pirakkei creations, remain. Belatra architecture was blended with that of other Federation races in the design of ships of the Grand Fleet, and their other artistic traditions were melded with Pirakkei styles afterwards, with sufficient clan mixing having occured over the following thousands of years to render speculative any attempts of reconstructing original Belatra art.
Records of only one notable Belatra survived to the time of the Girdo Empire: Admiral Trayelo, first in command of the Grand Galactic Fleet and commander of the starship Atelania. It is not known whether his body was recovered by the Empire when the Atelania was unearthed in AD 2741.
- The Belatra was Ghelae's attempt at making a maximum-stats creature, based on the idea that this might be useful for Spore Galactic Adventures. Trayelo was his first captain.
- The name "Belatra" is derived from bellator.
- The original Belatra creature, as shown in the infobox png file, appears to have disappeared from the Sporepedia. Ghelae might have accidentally deleted it.
- The name "Elamuria" derives from a combination of "Mu" and "Lemuria", and possibly the non-fictional "Elam".
- The history of the Kingdom of Elamuria and the steppe empire is inspired by the "New Chronology" of Anatoly Fomenko and others, an extreme pseudohistorical pro-Russian reinterpretation of history which claims that nearly all superficially similar events and figures are copies of original, Russian, versions. In the process, they become genericised versions of themes from (primarily European) history.