The Pirakkei were omnivorous winged bipeds from Ummale, a small habitable moon of a gas giant in the Girdo Galaxy.
In the early years of the Second Galactic Federation in the 4th millennium BC, Ummale was home to a Cyberion research base, dedicated to studying the native biosphere as well as the then-Tribal Stage Pirakkei, who lived a simple life hunting on the plains of their homeworld. Ummale was later invaded twice by Conqrix during the Second Girdo Grox War. In the first battle, also the first time that the Conqrix were fielded during the war, the Cyberion Army was alerted to the invasion by their scientists and repelled the attack; the second battle saw the arrival of a much larger Grox air support force resulting in a Cyberion defeat and the destruction of their research base.
In the aftermath, several Pirakkei tribes took advantage of damaged but still-functional Grox and Federation technology, using spaceship wrecks to build fortified structures so that they could remain hidden from the eyes of the invaders. After the Grox retreated from the galactic arms at the end of the war, most of Ummale was left as semi-xenoformed desert, and over the next thousand years, it became increasingly less habitable. The tribes of Pirakkei who, forced by the circumstances into a scientific revolution, could figure out how to make their starship homes spaceworthy again, left the moon and took advantage of the then-tumultous state of galactic civilisation by adopting a life of piracy.
Another thousand years later, by 1300 BC, Ummale's ecosystems had completely collapsed and the final Pirakkei on the moon had died, while several of the most powerful pirate clans had formed a sparse trader confederation across their sector of space. Although their influence grew ever greater over time, quickly outcompeting the far older Tsajaginykar clans, with trade routes eventually spanning the entire Southern Arm, their expansion was too slow: border conflicts with the Grox in the galactic centre and a lack of wormhole technology prevented them from reaching into the Northern Arm, and many clans were destroyed during the Radeon crusades of the 25th century. The Girdo Empire finally conquered the Pirakkei in AD 2675, and had fully dismantled their criminal networks by 2750.
Biology and Appearance Edit
Pirakkei were non-humanoid bipeds, with a short body held parallel to the ground. Lacking a tail, counterbalance for the head was provided by a very careful distribution of mass within the posterior end of the torso; Pirakkei soldiers further balanced the weight of their weapons in their arms at the front by wearing heavy body armour at the back. Both the arms and legs were semi-prehensile, with three major joints per limb being used to provide the main points of articulation and several minor ones between them providing increased flexibility.
Anatomically, Pirakkei made for poor predators, but they had great speed and stealth along with very sensitive ears used for echolocation; furthermore, Pirakkei had a pair of wings on their dorsal surface, which are sufficient to grant them flight in the low gravity of their homeworld. These abilities may once have evolved to help escape predators, but the tribal Pirakkei of Ummale used them to help hunt prey, with polearms and javelins being crafted to make up for a lack of natural weaponry.
Society and Culture Edit
Small clans of 200-400 individuals dominated Pirakkei society, with membership in each clan being chosen based on kinship, shared ideology, and ensuring that each clan had access to a wide skills base. The exchange of individuals between clans occured often but irregularly, whenever two clans happened to encounter each other under non-violent circumstances. Despite the ubiquitous mixing of populations, clan cultures were highly varied, and individuals joining a clan were expected to reject their old culture and rapidly adapt to that of their new home. Some factors were found univerally in all Pirakkei clans, particularly an attitude of using all resources as efficiently and inventively as possible for maximum gain. As expected from their life of piracy, respect for other sapient species was nonexistent, as the Pirakkei considered aliens to be, much like themselves, mere animals in the struggle for survival who had happened to come across advanced technological tools in the process.
Beyond this, the ethics, aesthetics and even metaphysics of neighbouring clans could be hugely different, particularly during their spacefaring age; a few followed the religion of Spode that they had discovered from cultural records about the Zuckhs, and this led to them siding with the forces of Jaharan ae-Zamarros against own their kin during the Radeon crusades. The most visible differences were in the clans' artwork, ranging from those who opted for a minimalist approach with no decoration and had basic sports and performance arts as their only forms of entertainment, through to those who decorated every practical object with pseudo-Gothic detailing and brightly-coloured painting and had long traditions of sculpture, literature and calligraphy, keeping the Belatra script in use millennia after it had been extinct elsewhere in the galaxy.
Notable Individuals Edit
Shirider, the leader of a Pirakkei clan who surrendered to the Empire early on in the campaign, was rewarded by being granted the title of Commodore in the Imperial Space Force and the starship Galaxy.
Commander Miakelain, previously a member of the same clan, was a Pirakkei who led one of the four fleets under the command of Commodre Bracheps during the First One Campaign.