Wralk
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"I'm gonna punch it." —Wralk

Known only as the Wralk - a sound they frequently make - they are a mysterious species with unknown origins. Built something like a bizarre cross between a dinosaur, crab, and bear, they have a language rudimentary enough that it's been speculated that they are an "uplifted" species. Towering, bulky, and brutish, they have little patience (or capacity) for academics, but unlike the Daxx, have a fairly diverse (albeit simplistic) range of emotions. They are also incapable of wielding trigger-fired weaponry due to their thick, webbed hands, necessitating large hand-cannon styled guns for ranged combat. However, their skill with unconventional weaponry - especially blunt weapons such as mauls - more than makes up for any deficit they might have in other areas. Tall, fast and powerful, with a thick skin capable of deflecting many attacks, they're a terrifying force to be reckoned with in melee and have brought down many governments through their human-led mercenary armies.

Once teetering on the edge of extinction due to their odd mating habits and instinctive inclination toward exploration, they have been "brought back" over the past several centuries, first by the United Galactic Military, using them to assist in the galactic purge, and next by human fringe groups operating in the rim, using them as soldiers to reclaim reservation territory. This practice has drawn heavy criticism from aliens and humans alike. The wralk seem to protest this treatment as well - but only when paired in groups of their own kind, which inevitably leads to brawls and makes them fairly unhappy.

Description

Physical appearance

Wralk are frequently described as a cross between a dinosaur, crab, and bear. Their backs are particularly thick and wide with very thick natural armor (often wide and serrated at the top like that of a crab), while their actual torso is a bit narrower and ribbed (although still quite wide compared to a human's). Their natural stance is hunched over slightly, although they are capable of straightening their posture - this is not something that comes naturally to them, as their chitinous skin plating tends to make it difficult.

Their faces are somewhat unique: they are particularly wide, with strong, protruding jawbones, while the mouth itself is curved upwards on the sides. Their eyes are at the "corners", recessed slightly into the face and lidded with heavy boned brows. The combination of these brows and their jaws makes most wralk look, when viewed in profile, as though they wear a permanent wicked grin. When viewed head-on, it merely looks like they're permanently angry. Their head itself hangs forward ahead of the rest of their body, typically slightly lower than the peak of the neck, which only further contributes to their hunched appearance.

A Wralk's feet are wide and very thick with three large, clawed "toe stubs" rather than actual toes. Their hands are built with three large, thick "fingers" which are altogether too large to use the same conventional weaponry possessed by other species. They do, however, "lock" into position when balled into a fist, forming a solid line of bone all the way up the arm and distributing the weight and force throughout the armor; this makes their punches incredibly powerful.

The arms of a wralk are particularly muscular and powerful, but covered over with an extremely thick chitinous armor that breaks only at the elbows. This armor is in fact threaded with small blood vessels and is, in effect, just as alive as the rest of them, much like the quick in a cat's claw. Their armor continues to grow over the course of a wralk's life until it encroaches over the wrists in the manner of a particularly thick "sleeve". As a wralk grows older, he may need to tend this armor and "trim it" at the elbows and wrist to keep it from impeding his movement. In addition to all this, in many places on their arm (post-puberty) a wralk will develop short, fat "spikes" that they call holkolk. These very often grow from places where they have been injured, and appear to be partially based on genetics, but are usually confined to the upper arm. A common phrase in the wralk language relates to these: Wragan hagenon holkolk, which means, roughly, "He has not yet earned his spikes". In wralk culture, "earning your spikes" is roughly equivalent to the human phrase "becoming a man".

Sex differences

The differences between male and female wralk are easily noted at a passing glance. Whereas the males are monstrous titans, the females are slightly shorter. While still bulky, they lack much of the same armor and muscle mass, and never grow spikes at all, leaving them very smooth-skinned by comparison to a male wralk's jagged armor. Females make up roughly 18% of all wralk births, and are typically fiercely protected by their friends and relatives. They also rarely leave the homestead and are not often chosen for military work, making it a very patriarchal society. Interestingly, females also possess venomed claws, which male wralk don't possess at all.

Abilities

Wralk characters have the following characteristics:

  • +1 energy
  • +1 speed
  • +1 unconventional
  • Natural armor: Their unusually tough skin serves as excellent protection, forming natural light armor. This functions identically to normal light armor. The effects do not stack with other armor.
  • Tough/Bulky: Wralk do not suffer from knockback, and cannot be knocked over by other creatures. Gives a +2 bonus to strength that applies only when determining whether a weapon can be wielded.
  • Tall: Built as a warrior race, the wralk tower over most other species at an average of 2.75 meters in height. Their long legs, while not built for jumping, give them a fair degree of horizontal mobility as well. When having recently attacked an enemy in melee, this grants them a 1d6 chance of immediately dodging any attack this enemy makes. It also permits them to reach things that species of normal heights wouldn't be able to.
  • Powerful punch: A wralk's strong arms, the tendency to brawl among themselves, and a sturdy, armored fist give them a particularly powerful punch. When punching non-animate objects such as walls, they get a +2 to their roll. When punching enemies, they still receive a +1 bonus.
  • -1 intuition
  • -1 handiwork
  • -1 general knowledge
  • Clumsy fingers: Their thick fingers make them fully incapable of wielding normal conventional weapons. Tartarus Inc. can manufacture conventional weapons for them specifically, but each weapon manufactured in this manner will cost a nonredeemable 1000 creds. (new cred system)
  • Slow learner: Thanks to a somewhat primitive limbic system, wralk are fairly slow learners and have shifty memories. Due to this, they have disadvantage on all general knowledge rolls.
  • Cannot swim: Their limbs are completely useless when it comes to swimming, and their bulk makes it fairly unpractical to begin with. A wralk that falls into deep water will have three turns before they drown.
  • Ground-rooted: Wralk aren't built for jumping and are incapable of it. If there are obstacles in their path, they must walk around them.

Society

Personality

While popular culture depicts wralk as lovers of violence, deceit, and perpetually wrathful, wralk are, in actuality, normally a calm and levelheaded species - if you can get past their tendencies toward using brute force wherever possible. Using brute force to solve problems is a part of their culture - they never try to avoid or work around something if there's any chance they could strong-arm it into submission. This does not mean, however, that they are lovers of violence; rather, they are simply very good at violence and rather proud of it. They can be friendly enough, if rather slow at learning new things, and typically exhibit strong loyalties to their allies, and a strong understanding of honor.

Culture

Wralk religion is passed down from one generation to the next. They do not have any particular deities, as such; rather, they believe their ancestors form a conglomeration of souls - the Gegak - who watch over them from a dimensional plane called Rakenk - which very loosely translates to "the afterlife" or "heaven" without quite being either of those, as they believe the Gegak are capable of physically guiding them.

Homeworld

Wralk mythology labels the wralk homeworld as "Krawredon" and the myths state that it was consumed by "unholy fire". No trace of "Krawredon" has ever been found, and the wralk themselves have no idea where it could be located. No suitable debris has been found in any system, either. Although it's been speculated that the wralk were uplifted, their mythology does not contain any traces of "superior beings" granting them the ability to travel through space. In fact, their mythology does not actually contain any references to known historical events at all, and so any sort of timeline cannot be established. Moreover, there is the curiosity that wralk themselves are terrible engineers, and while they did manage to build successive waves of spacecrafts to fly at the plodii in their attack in 905 AD, it is questioned how they procured warp travel that permitted them to reach the plodii in 707 AD.

As to their biology, wralk seem to be equally suited to rainforest worlds and desert worlds, but not at all suited to anything cold. Beyond this, there are few descriptions of their homeworld still remaining.

Technology

Wralk have limited technology of their own and are not very mechanically inclined. Their most common weapons are for use in melee, typically being either the cestus, other blunt melee weapons, or hand cannons, in order of frequency. Their ships follow a similar methodology - large, bulky, brutish, with large blunderbuss-style cannons meant to spread damage over a wide area from point-blank range. Wralk favor large, bulky ships with powerful engines over smaller fighters. One of their favorite tactics is ramming, and their ships are always very heavily armored - often with large "blades" sticking out the sides to "catch" any targets they happen to miss. In these encounters they also favor large masses of heavy blunderbuss-style cannons, meant to propel large quantities of ejecta over a large area. These cannons work something like improvised coilgun-based blunderbuss, meaning they're able to pack debris from wrecked fighters (and even enemy ships) into them.

Wralk possess very little of their own technology, and typically rely on their dealings with other races in order to acquire anything more advanced than their starships. Some wralks are decent with machining, but most are not.

Government

Wralk do not possess any true form of government. Laws are not written and wralk are expected to develop an intuitive knowledge of the rules. Lawyers do not exist at all; rather, mob rule applies: if enough people think that someone is at fault, he is typically punished for his or her actions in a manner that the others see fit. On subjects where there is a wide enough divide that it would cause a great deal of trouble in the tribe, the decision is deferred to the Unkhon - the tribal chief, which translates literally to "the best". The word of the Unkhon is taken as sacred and not challenged in such matters, and the Unkhon will decide the fate of the defendant, or may decide he is innocent at his own discretion.

Unkhon succession

Unkhons typically rule for most of their natural lives. During their lives, each wralk is permitted to nominate a single candidate - a Jackokh Wro - to challenge the previous Unkhon. This is typically done after conversing with the potential candidate to be sure that they are actually willing to accept. Following this, the methodology is simple:

  1. During a tribal meeting, a tribes member announces that he would like to nominate a candidate to challenge the Unkhon; he is the first Wronur - a supporter of the challenger. Immediately thereafter, the other supporters must rise and also declare themselves to be Wronur. The first Wronur is a particularly perilous position, as, if the Jackokh Wro fails to defeat the Unkhon, the first Wronur will meet a similar fate - be it exile or death.
  2. The nominated tribesmember accepts the nomination or declines. If he declines, the Wronur are released from their responsibilities as supporters, but are not permitted to become Wronur again in their lifetimes. If he accepts, he becomes the Jackokh Wro - the challenger.
  3. The current Unkhon may acknowledge the Jackokh Wro. If he refuses to, then he will have to fight the Wronur in martial duels, one at a time, in succession. If he dies, then the Jackokh Wro becomes the next Unkhon. For this reason, most Unkhons acknowledge the Jackokh Wro rather than refusing - unless the Wronur are few, or weak. If he defeats the Wronur, they will meet the fate that the Unkhon decrees for them, and the would-be Jackokh Wro will be permanently exiled.
  4. The ceremony begins the next stage: the Rolador - or, translated literally, "The Baiting". The Unkhon and Jackokh Wro enter a verbal debate with each other in front of the tribe, each trying to gall the other into attacking, while also winning the support of as many members of their tribe as possible. This can end in one of four ways:
    • The tribe decides that the Jackokh Wro cannot keep up with the Unkhon's wit, and that the Unkhon is a better person. This is called "losing by virtue" and the Jackokh Wro is typically ejected from the tribe afterwards, although the Unkhon may intervene with his own ruling. If the challenger is indeed exiled, he may come back after a lengthy period of time for another attempt, and maintains his title of Jackokh Wro in the meantime during this "Grushov Uvalok" - a journey of learning and strengthening his body and skills.
    • The Unkhon successfully baits the Jackokh into attacking him. If this happens, any supporters of the Unkhon are permitted to join the fray to subdue the Jackokh. This is even more dishonorable than losing by virtue, and the Jackokh is often branded with hot stones on his forehead as a sign of his weakness. After this, the Unkhon may decide his fate.
    • The tribe decides that the Unkhon cannot keep up with the Jackokh Wro, and that the Jackokh Wro is better at debates. For this to happen the Jackokh Wro must have the support of the majority of the tribe. This is the most honorable way for the ceremony to proceed - at least for the challenger.
    • The Jackokh Wro successfully baits the Unkhon into attacking him. This is considered dishonorable for the Unkhon, and usually constitutes an immediate demotion from his status as the Unkhon to an exile. The tribe can then subdue him, or support him, as they choose. In most circumstances, it is considered dishonorable enough that most in the tribe will choose not to support him. It is also quite rare for the Unkhon to attack to begin with.
  5. If the ceremony has proceeded properly, with the Jackokh Wro verbally defeating the Unkhon's wit, then the Jackokh Wro and the Unkhon will enter a formal duel. This may be to the death, or it may not be, according to the victor. If the Jackokh Wro wins the battle, he becomes the new Unkhon. If not, he either dies, or may be exiled for a time on his own Grushov Uvalok.

Languages

Wralk possess a very rudimentary language, which further lends to the idea that they were an uplifted species. Their most common sound, "wralk", is a multi-use sound that carries a great deal of meaning depending on tone and context, but generally it is used as a sign of contentment, vaguely similar to a human humming. Usually "wralk" is not used singularly, but in a series of grunts, often tapering off toward the end. It is from this that the species got its name from the other sentient races in the galaxy - at the time, the plodii and bhezians.

Short list of phrases

  • Sau kanock jor. - "I feel like punching the object that is presently the focus of our attention would be a good idea."
  • Jor hagnun kra sau kogalk. - "If our foes do not choose to make way for us, I will have no choice but to end their lives prematurely."
  • Okok far mapul. - "I would be much obliged to you if you would retrieve something nutritious for me to consume."
  • Wraralk. Rokaul sau manor falar? - "I am presently feeling drowsy. Could you point out an appropriate location for me to sleep?"
  • Nogek furlor. Sax kogalk shalok. - "Do not worry about whether we shall survive the encounter; our firepower is more formidable than theirs."
  • Sax urogov tagan; ovodes falar! - "My companions and I are overwhelmed and in dire peril - we would like to put forth into consideration that a retreat would be a wise decision!"
  • Kagolk maven. Far gagnir. - "The current circumstances or events are ones I find particularly agreeable."

History

History


Species
AzquadBheziansDaxxFysarGorvansHiltorelKrolumPlodiiSybnialsTachikaWralk

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