“The survival of a species is about managing risk. The more you know about the universe, and the more you know about yourself and your own capabilities, the better you can calculate the risk yourself.”
The Rihanaen are a humanoid species native to the Cyrannus Galaxy, known for their technological ingenuity and rich cultural advancements. Native to the strategically located tropical world of Rihan, the Rihanaen ave come to be regarded as some of the most influential species in the so-called 'Unknown Regions' of the Cyrannus Galaxy, once controlling a stellar empire second only to the Cognatus in their region of space. Characterised by their unpredictable nature, a Rihanaen can be affectionate and loving at one moment and utterly ruthless and machiavellian at the next.
Politically, the Rihanaen once controlled an insular, though expansive, empire which was subsumed into the Regellis Star Empire in 02 BNE. The technologically advanced Rihanaen became valued members in the Star Empire, resulting in an accelerated level of development and advancement, resulting in the emergence of the Star Empire as one of the superpowers of the Cyrandia Cluster. Indeed, such was the political influence of the Rihanaen that their homeworld was chosen to host the Rihanae Pact, an anti-New Republic military alliance between the Star Empire and the Jenassian Regency.
However, the increased Jenassian influence in Rihanaen affairs quickly soured their relations with their Vulrulen overlords, sparking an era of internal strife between traditionalists seeking to restore an independent Rihanaen Star Empire, reformists seeking to join the galactic community as members of the New Republic and those who seek to uphold their allegiance to Empress Minerala.
Natives of the tropical world of Rihanae, the Rihanaen evolved from mammalian apes indigenous to the dense rainforests near the equatorial regions of the planet. Developing a culture and society distinguished by a great appreciation for the raw beauty of their homeworld, the Rihanaen rarely engaged in internecine conflict during their pre-spacefaring era, in most cases settling their differences through compromise and discussion. Upon first contact however, a noticeable strain of hostile xenophobia emerged in their culture. Such a development was not the result of ignorance, but the logical result of a brutal Jenassian occupation of Rihanae soon after the species became spacefaring in 960 BNE.
Ravaging the natural beauty of Rihanae, the Jenassians strip-mined almost thirty percent of the planet's habitable surface, displacing millions of Rihanaen. During the forty-year occupation, Jenassian death squads rounded up and murdered millions more, before a violent Rihanaen uprising successfully forced the Jenassians to abandon their foothold in the Rihanae system. In subsequent centuries, the Rihanaen used their natural intelligence and technological ingenuity to develop some of the most advanced technologies in the eastern reaches of the Cyrannus Galaxy, keeping the Jenassians at bay and even claiming three Jenassian sectors in the Four Years War in 543 BNE. With the exception of said conflict, the Rihanaen Star Empire was a largely insular power, content to create the "perfect society" within their own borders rather than involve themselves with alien machinations.
“You may have named this Pact after my race, but it is not truly Rihanae. We were once a proud, independent people but now we are under the yoke of the Quadrantian Vulrulan and the detested Regency. No more, I say. I will free my people if it's the last thing I do!”
While the Rihanaen gained a lasting reputation as a powerful and fiercely independent race, in a controversial move by the Rihanaen government, their state joined with the Quadrantia Regellis Star Empire—in theory due to their cultural and technological similarities, though in reality, it was likely due to their inferiority when faced with Regellian military might. Upon joining the Regellians, the Rihanaen emerged as a crucial force in advancing their civilisation to new heights of Cyrandia power. When the New Cyrandia Wars erupted throughout the galaxy, their influence was such that Empress Minerala decreed that Rihanae would play host to a military alliance known as the Rihanae Pact, which was forged in opposition to the spread of the New Cyrannian Republic.
While some Rihanaen, most notably Tai'Rex, agreed with the decision, most were fiercely opposed—more so due to the inherent cultural hatred toward Jenassians than any affection for the New Republic. Others considered the cause hopeless when faced with the increasing military power of the Republic, fears which were validated with the Siege of Rihanae in 05 NE when rebel Rihanaen led by Tvrae Saeihr and supported by Republic Fleet Admiral Willelmus Cretacea launched a massive, and ultimately successful, invasion of the Rihanaen homeworld. Many Rihanaen, led by Saeihr, hoped to join the Republic as members of the galactic community, while others sought to reform the independent Rihanaen Star Empire, independent of the Republic and the 'false Star Empire of the Quadrants'.
A humanoid race with physiology comparable to Ortella andTerrans, Rihanaen can be distinguished by their light green-yellow skin tone, which varies dependant on environmental factors from planet to planet. Compared with a Terran, the Rihanaen generally have sharper facial features and exceed the Terran height average. Nevertheless, Terrans tend to be stockier than the Rihanaen, a combination of natural physiology and cultural trends favouring mental discipline over extraneous physical activity. Rihanaen vision is comparable to that of the saurian races of Cyrannus, exceeding most humanoid species. Their advanced vision evolved due to the nocturnal origins of their ancestors, predatory apes that developed in the blistering heat of Rihanae's tropical zones. As such, Rihanaen vision is less acute in daylight when compared to darkness—a fact reflected in the relative darkness within Rihanaen structures and starships.
To an outsider, the Rihanaen are often regarded as an intensely xenophobic race that hide behind their borders, where they conduct horrifying experiments on alien races deemed inferior to their cultural and technological might. Indeed, they are often compared to Basileus in this regard, as well as the Saurornithanta, when one compares their mutual appreciation for subterfuge and intrigue. In reality, the Rihanaen have an ingrained suspicion of aliens, with the Jenassian occupation of centuries past burning such an attitude into their cultural consciousness. Nevertheless, such an analysis belies the qualities of loyality, honour and appreciation of nature that are ingrained in Rihanaen society. While a Rihanaen may appear dismissive toward an alien, in general, their attitude is one of caution rather than disdain, with the average Rihanaen scrutinising a potential ally or enemy closely before making an informed decision.
While it is generally unknown outside their borders, the Rihanaen are an intensely creative and imaginative race, responsible for many of the Cyrannus Galaxy's hidden wonders, be they artistic, architectural or technological in nature. With the relative openness of Rihanaen society after the fall of the Rihanae Pact, works of art and music such as Tr'annhwi's Sa'kotan Suite No. 1 increasing in prominence even among the adherents of Coru High Culture thousands of light years away from Rihanaen space.
While Rihanaen foreign policy has often been distinguished by isolationism, distrust and subterfuge, the Rihanaen often tread a fine line between a love for intrigue and a code of honour which prizes honesty and truthfulness. As such, Rihanaen are generally not particularly adept at hiding their feelings. If they are impressed, they will express such admiration and if they are not, they will make no effort to hide it. Nevertheless, like any species, the Rihanaen are not homogeneous. There is no single overarching Rihanaen philosophy, despite the species-wide generalities which can be established.
“A crafty and intelligent species. They would do well under the Empire.”
- Based on the Romulans in Star Trek.
- The creature images on this page are currently outdated.