I know the reference picture of the Xasheen is kinda lack luster
its just a place holder until I can think of something better. The next one will probably have a child in it.
But the wall of text below is the main reason why this is here.
The alien race known as the Xasheen inhabit a sizable portion of the northwestern fringe of the Milky Way. Called the Consortium by most who deal with them; the Xasheen venture out from their holdings with merchants and warriors in tow.Characteristics:
Xasheen are a race of reptilian humanoids. Outwardly they are large, scaly skinned humans, ranging from heights between seven to nine feet tall. The most distinguishing feature is their eyes; their eye whites are pitch black and all of their irises are milky white. Some males are born with a third eye, a sign of good luck and intellect (which usually holds true) and have been known to show signs of telepathic prowess. Xasheen have varying degrees of skin colours, usually staying in the green/yellow range. All Xasheen have larger scales that create a pattern on their heads, shoulders, back and arms. Anatomy:
Xasheen anatomy makes them a hardy and adaptable people, having to survive in the dry and arid environment that is Xashon Prime. Their bodies can live without water for days on end and prolonged exposure to the sun seems to affect them little. However, their cold blooded system will shut down in freezing environs without the proper equipment.
The most notable feature is that the Xasheen olfactory senses and respiratory canals are in their ears, thus having no use for a nose on their faces.
Xashon Prime has a higher gravity then what is deemed normal on Earth and the Xasheen body structure is built to compensate greatly. In fact, the Warrior Nobles seek out planets with a higher gravity, so their warriors can train and become fully adaptable on any world their deployed on.Origin:
The Xasheen developed on a world named Xashon Prime, a dusty world located in the northwestern portion of the galaxy. The earliest depictions of Xasheen history point to a time where they had began life underground in a vast network of caves that honeycomb the interior of the planet, navigating the seas and rivers within them on reed-build rafts. It was during the time known as the “Rising” did they leave their cave-homes and begin expanding rapidly on the surface.
The first recorded history begins with the Zhaoran Dynasty. It was an vast empire ruled by the self proclaimed king, Zhaoran Sul. It was said that it was a magnificent Golden Age of Xasheen history where the people lived in a stable utopia within a enormous walled city called Kiramhaldahl. There are hints to empires before King Sul, but any record of them has been lost or destroyed.
The Dynasty lasted for one thousand years, ending with Zhaoran XI’s assassination and the splitting of the massive domain. Generals, aristocrats and so-called “princes of the realm” formed independent clans that spread across Xashon, where they mingled or contested with the unlettered barbarian hordes. This was considered a Dark Age for the Xasheen, where violence and chaos were prevalent. Lunarist priests who saw the moons as gods were too few to tie the masses back together. It seemed that the Xasheen would extinguish themselves. While clans battled outside Kiramhaldahl, inside the walls of the incredible city were no less different. It was fought over for years until a terrible sandstorm drove the inhabitants out; claiming the city beneath the sea of sand, never to seen again.
During the turmoil, more civilized clans banded together to survive. They built fortress cities on the mountains, claiming water and whatever minerals or materials were found. They horded their precious items like dragons coveting treasure, not sharing with the dying clans around them. Wars also broke out, the poor clans banding together to strike at the rich. Some were successful, but only because of sheer number.
The merchants, remaining neutral throughout the conflict, provided both sides with weapons and supplies. The poor and even the formerly rich clans had achieved a great amount of debt to them with no possible way of paying it off. The merchants, however, came up with a long-term payment plan: The clan leaders would enslave their people and sell them. They justified such a deal by saying the extreme loss of life and resources from war was just not good business. The Slave Era had now begun.
Self-titled merchant lords effectively had control of Xashon. Kept in check by ruthless mercenaries, the slaves had little or no hope from rising out of their despair. For years they toiled under the whip, until a great revolt erupted from their ranks. The last genuine Zharoani prince, Kabek, had risen from secrecy, backed by the Lunarists and disposed nobles who wished to right the wrongs they had done. Together they formed the Hadrikai, or Noble Warriors, who fought for the freedom of the slaves and the end of the merchant lords’ tyranny. Kabek overthrew the merchants and placed himself as the new king of the Xasheen. A restless peace, but peace nonetheless, finally swept over Xashon for a time.
During Kabek the First’s rule, the Hadrikai became his personal army. Most adhered to a strict warrior code, but some became corrupt, abusing their newfound or regained power. Those that head fast to the Hadrikai teachings denounced their brothers and split off, forming an independent order that worked for the good of the people, not just for the king. Another civil war quickly broke out between the two factions of the Hadrikai, dragging supporters from both sides into the conflict. While the war was brief, it was by far the bloodiest the Xasheen had ever experienced.
An uneasy truce ended the war, with Kabek the First decreeing that their government will undergo a reform. No longer will a single Xasheen had rule over many; nine others will stand beside him or her. A council of three advisors made up from the merchant, civilian and military organizations will also hold power along with an elected ruler. With theses three powers in balance, the Xasheen experienced little internal turmoil for many generations.Homeworld:
Xashon (“Xash” meaning desert, “on” meaning world), is a desert planet located nearest the sun in the solar system. The planet has a slight axial tilt, causing brief rainy seasons when portions of the planet are facing away from the sun. The majority of the world is covered in an endless sea of sand and rock, occasionally cracked open with sinkholes and crevasses leading down into underground water sources. These water sources are connected by a network of passes that honeycomb the interior of the planet’s crust. Some are large enough to be considered seas or oceans.
From space, most of the surface is dotted with expansive cities built in a circular pattern. At the center of these are huge pyramid shaped constructs that stretch into the skyline, usually housing entire populations, industrial powerhouses and governmental complexes. Above the skies, similar shaped orbital facilities construct ships in zero gravity dry docks and trade with species beyond their realm of space.Life Cycle:
Xasheen begin life as an egg laid by their mother after ten months from mating with a Xasheen male. The soft egg shell stretches within another month while the baby grows, coming to the size of a shotput ball. The shell hardens prior to hatching when the nutrients are nearly gone. The resulting hatchling is very weak and requires more nutrients from the mother. It will shed its skin periodically until it reaches its adult state at around forty human years. Xasheen life spans between 200-250 years.Diet:
Xasheen are omnivores. In the past the Xasheen relied on nourishment from a native cactus called neruma which is hardy and adaptable as them. It could be grown almost anywhere and continues to be their staple food supply both on and off world. Some communities are based around the cultivation of neruma.
Likewise, other ancient tribes followed herds of migratory reptomammalian grazers called the gruadu, which were used as beasts of burden and hunted for their tender meat. These creatures were nearly driven to extinction from over hunting. Nowadays, the native gruadu are left in peace, replaced by vat-grown clones, to rekindle their dwindling population.
Aside from these two main sources of food, Xasheen trawl in the underground oceans for fish and import exotic foods from across their empire and beyond.Psychology:
Typical Xasheen are friendly, polite and are very shrewd when it comes to business and economy. They strive to better themselves in the social ladder in order to achieve a standing of wealth and authority. Performance and efficiency is everything to them.
The Warrior Nobles, an ancient order that survived since the time of the clans, are very different. They can be aggressive, brutish and very blunt. They demand action over words and will assert themselves to get their way. Despite all this they do have a sense of honor and respect for others (through actions of course).Sexuality and Love:
The Xasheen are similar to humans in most respects, a male seeks a female to bond and mate with to conceive a child. Courting lasts for months, until the two moons of the planet eclipse each other, which means that the couple must make their partnership both religiously and legally official. If they are not ready by this time, they shall wait for the next eclipse. Marriages cannot be made outside of this "sacred time", it is viewed that the gods will not bless them and they will be scarred with bad luck and misery. Divorces are rare and can only occur on this occasion as well. Homosexuality is not practiced by the Xasheen because the concept does not exist in their society.Religion/Mythology:
The Xasheen are moon worshipers, looking to the heavens above at the two moons that orbit their planet. They are avatars of the Divines, icons of the gods that will forever watch and protect their planet. The typical name for this religion is Lunarism.
Kazar, the God of war and wisdom, guards and keeps watch at night when everyone sleeps, until the sun dragon U'rod wakes and rises into the sky. It is said that he destroyed demons from the void with arrows of light.
Dalim, the Goddess of mercy and love, rises with U'rod during the day and stays the dragon's wrathful temper. She sometimes raises her shield in a holy eclipse and blocks U'rod's overwhelming rage.
Lunists theology states that at an Appointed Time, Kazar and Dalim will descend from the heavens and construct a great city, in which all may live in peace and happiness eternally, protected from the evils around them by angelic guardians.
Since the expansion into space, the moons that orbit Xashon Prime have been discovered to be complete artificial. Their orbits are recalculated and adjusted with huge engines and super computers in order to repel the harmful radiation from their home system’s sun. A fanatical cult of the Lunaristic priesthood have taken up residence in the immense planet-machines, diligently discovering its secrets with the help of the resident A.I. known as Lolon.
Currently, this "religion" has become something of a relic, since Lolon has shed light on the moons' purpose. Still, the Lunaristic priests still encourage that Kazar and Dalim exist, maybe not in this world, but in the next.Language:
Kal'kun is what the Xasheen call their tongue, but each region has their own unique dialect. This is the most common one. Its comprised of 20 runic letters with their own distinct sounds and usage (some characters can't be used with others). Similar to the Vikings of Earth, each rune is written just using straight and diagonal lines. The symbols were used to carve inscriptions in stone, so they were designed to be easy to cut into a hard surface with a knife or chisel. This style of writing was common in the earlier ages since they did not have an over abundance of paper. Dul'kun'ra, or "modern tongue" is what they currently speak and it has been updated in usage for inter-racial communications, usually with trade.
Xasheen, both Warrior and Merchant, find it prudent to be fluent in all languages of every specie they encounter. But like all other races, their vocal cords cannot always emit the same sounds and they relyon translator machines for the task.Arts, Music and Literature:
One of the reasons why the Xasheen are such good merchants is not just their charisma, but its their artwork. Any self-respecting noble (in the current star-date anyway), wouldn't be caught dead without a piece of belonging to the Xasheen.
Paintings are their most prominent medium. Seeing that they are moon-worshipers, they have an obsession with their moons and will do almost anything to capture their likeness. Some so look so real, that you feel you are looking through a window rather than a picture frame.
The Xasheen acting arts is also something to behold. In older days, motion pictures were the favorite form of entertainment and it still is currently with the new holo-dramas. And along with the theater is the the musical arts, which usually is presented in orchestras in glorious symphonies.Attire:
Suited for their desert environment, the Xasheen traditionally wear long, loose clothing to circulate air and to protect their skin from long exposure to the sun. Styles differ greatly from region to region, either wearing hoods or broad brimmed hats over their heads. Such hats in the past used to refer to what occupation one had.
One such hat has claimed legendary renown. Farmers, masons and other working class Xasheen wore a wide dome-shaped hat called a raffita, similar to the coolies worn in the Oriental region of Earth. In the ancient past, these lower class workers rose up against the richer “mountain folk”, reinforcing their reed-woven raffitas with thick leather to stop projectiles. Afterwords, raffitas became the traditional headgear of a soldier and continued to do so for many years. In modern times, the wide raffita is more of impracticality and as such, has become part of a Xasheen’s formal dress attire.Society:
Lineages have always been a major part of Xasheen society. The standing of a Xasheen can greatly differ if his or her ancestors were of a great merchant guild or a valorous warrior clan. And with lineage, genetics play a role in what a Xasheen will become. Defects and flaws are looked down upon and prominent positions that one may have dreamt about will suddenly become unattainable. Science has therefore endeavored to create genetically “perfect” Xasheen, ones free from illness and birth defects. It is a current social norm then to have a future Xasheen child “altered”.
Xasheen Warrior Nobles accept both “altered” and “unaltered” Xasheen into their ranks. It is a firm belief that those that do have flaws and defects will rise above the others, triumphing over that which may have thought to have held them back. Lineage does carry a heavy factor in choosing recruits for the order, but it is the fighting skill and tenacity of the recruit that is most sought after.Government:
The Xasheen government is a tribunal split into three councils made up of members from the merchant corporations, military guilds and civilians. Each third of the tribunal bring issues of state foward to be heard by the Executive Arbitrator, the head of state. The Executive Arbitrator is elected from one of the councils and has the power to push forward agendas from their parent council. For example, during a time of war, a commander elected to be the Executive Arbitrator will have direct control over armies and fleets. Outside subparties that have indirect influence are the Lunarists and the Hadrikai.Military:
As the Xasheen expand out into the universe, they are prepared to encounter all manners of things, including hostile races, and are more than equipped to defend that which they have attained.
The Merchant Marines and the Merchant Legions are the largest part of their military, consisting of security forces trained to deal with specific threats. They range from ship-based troopers to infantry men to power-suit clad Vault Guard, all belonging under the banner of a single or a combined number of merchant guilds.
Vehicles and other heavy ground forces are also under the Merchant Marine military branch. The Xasheen prefer mobility above all else and have used anti-grav tech extensively on their tanks and transports.
The Noble Elites, or Hadrikai, are a less in number but highly trained assault force. They do not belong to any entity and are a completely different branch of the military. The Nobles dedicate their lives to the art of war, honing their abilities in close-combat as well as firearms. Some are bred for the task, others are recruited from the underworld of the metropolises of the Consortium, but the end result is always a courageous, honorable soldier ready to dive into the depths of hell.
The Xasheen navy is a vast force to be reckoned with. Their golden-clad ships are legion, protecting the merchant cargo vessels wherever they go, exploring the far reaches of space and patrolling known regions for pirate bands. Their vessels vary greatly in size and task, but always carry a sleek, swoop hulled look to them that is unique to their race and is never hard to miss.
A more recent addition to the military (as well as day-to-day life) is genetically altered beasts. Native creatures are cloned, augmented with cybernetic implants and sometimes robotic body parts, to create strong, thinking weapons of war. These can range from small scouting reptiles to fire-breathing dragon-beasts and the all-feared Tyrant of Xashon, a towering menace that lives deep within the planet.
Xasheen weaponry varies depending on the merchant guild, from ballistic weapons, energy cannons and missiles.FTL Technology:
How the Xasheen expanded their territory so quickly was entirely the fault of their FTL drives. Xasheen use a device called a “fold space generator”, which creates a portal in front of the vessel that shortens the distance between two points. The travelling time between the two points is by no means instant, but it drastically cuts down the time normally taken using sublight. The common sight of “fold space” occurring is when an area of space near the entry point or exit point is “stretched” inward, as if being pulled to another location.
The size of the ship greatly determines the maximum distance a ship can “fold” space, which is sometimes an inconvenience, but also a great asset. Instead of all the ships expending great amounts of power into creating their own portal, one larger ship creates it and the other smaller vessels pass through with it. Exploration vessels with escorts, as well as cargo haulers, are the most common types of ships to do this. Most Xasheen ships, however, have smaller fold space generator on board, in case they are separated from the main group or wish to leave. This only means the ship will need to resort to a series of small “hops” instead of a “jump”.Lolon:
The AI construct known as Lolon is the caretaker of both of the artificial moons orbiting Xashon Prime. A mystery to all who behold it, the priests have called it a demi-God, sent by the Divines as a blessing to the Xasheen race (since he wouldn’t divulge any information on who actually created him, some speculate it was a race that inhabited the Xasheen homeworld long before they developed) . Lolon did not want to shatter their young minds, so remained as a "prophet" of sorts, slowly guiding them towards the truth. Even after this, the priests view Lolon as a "guiding light", since he is a well-spring of information and knowledge, allowing them to develop technologies such as the fold space generator for faster-than-light travel.
However, even after questioning him thoroughly, he does not divulge every ounce of information that sit in his encrypted memory banks. He says most of it is too dangerous for their minds at this time and it could be the doom of them.
Tell me what you think, critiques on the writing are appreciated.
Xasheen © me