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Khzraut
Alien
Homeworld:
Khzraut, Sector 38  
Ecology:
Nitrogen-Chlorine-Water (K:1:6:7)  
Biology:
Silicon I  
Languages:
Khzraut dialects, Grand Federation D  
Human Contact:
2261CE  
FTL Status:
1800BC - Grand Federation assisted  
Current Status:
Grand Federation Tertiary Race 1800BC, Imperial Major Race 3073CE  
   
Environment
Ideal
Tolerance
 
Atmosphere:
.08B Cl2; 1.6B total .05-.12B Cl2; CH4 < .02B; 1.1-2.5B total  
Temperature:
310K 295-325K  
Gravity:
0.70G .15-1.05G  
Other:
Humidity 30% Humidity 05-80%  

Overview

The chlorine-breathing Khzraut race is a widespread interstellar species and one of the founding members of the League of Independent races.  Once slaves of the M'kkiae, many Khzraut remain grateful to Humanity for their freedom.  The Khzraut are often seen as unscrupulous traders who maintain an imperialistic attitude towards other chlorine-breathing races.

Physical Description

The Khzraut are tall, thin hard-carapaced winged bipeds.  Adults average 2.0 meters in height and 60 kilograms in mass.  A Khzraut's wedge-shaped head is dominated by four large crystalline eyes and a complex "mouth" acting as a sonic receiver and transmitter as well as a digestive intake.  The Khzraut olfactory sense is distributed across its body in numerous chemical receptors.  A multi-segmented neck separates the head from a thin body that is perforated with chlorine respiration ports. The torso connects to two long jointed arms that each end in four mutually opposable digits.  Four beetle-like wings in rigid cases protrude from the Khzraut's back, allowing flight on their native world.  The Khzraut's two legs end in three forward and one retrograde fused digits.  Khzraut do not wear clothing and carry equipment by thin straps that do not interfere with their respiration, olfaction or flight.

Physiological and Social Development

The Khzraut are hermaphroditic, combining the genetic material of two or more adults to produce, or bake, a sandy "egg" that matures into a Khzraut grub in the presence of warm water and trace elements.  Khzraut young are raised by their parents and pass through three stages of metamorphosis, dubbed "grub", "crawler" and "nymph" by Humans, before emerging as an adult eleven to fifteen years after birth.  Once at adulthood, a Khzraut engages in a rite of passage, known as the Choosing, where it is exposed to a variety of Khzraut philosophies and teachings.  After up to eight years of study, the Khzraut chooses a faction to act as its extended family, governing social, economic and reproductive activities.  Five of six Khzraut choose to remain within the faction of its birth parents.  In past times, the factions within Khzraut society engaged in warfare to establish supremacy, but competitions have since become ritualized and non-aggressive.

Khzraut factions live in separate city settlements or orbital habitats across the forty Khzraut settled worlds.  Natural Khzraut lifespan exceeded three hundred years, but with technological repair mechanisms and a Mechanist-like personality transfer common among several factions, a Khzraut individual may persist for thousands of years.

History

Much of early Khzraut development is subject to fragmentary or contradictory histories, but the race certainly evolved from migratory hunters, establishing season colonies along the shores of their homeworld's chlorinated oceans.  Permanent settlements, the first factions and organized warfare began some time before 5000BC and the Khzraut had established early industrial city-states across much of their world by 2300BC.  A series of wars consolidated the thousands of original factions into less than eighty, grouped into nation states, and these nations continued to compete, often violently, into the atomic era.  After a single atomic war ~2000BC, the surviving factions entered a period of ritualized warfare designed to limit economic and ecological damage.  This competition led to a space race, and by the time of Heshar contact in 1800BC, nine major Khzraut nations had established early fusion era outposts on inner worlds, moons and planetoids in the Khzraut system. 

The Heshar incorporated the Khzraut as a Tertiary race under Fontan, Salvaatiki, Kith'turi and Cargoman patronage.  The Khzraut proved able linguists and cultural liaisons, earning respect among the Grand Federation's Rimward races.  Between 800BC and 800CE, the Khzraut established three colonies on suitable nearby worlds.  When the War of Liberation began, Khzraut society was split, with some factions supporting the Heshar, some the rebellion, and others insisting on various forms of neutrality.  The M'kkiae bombed the Khzraut colony on Saltfire into extinction in 802CE and the Khzraut abandoned the colonies on Fortuna and Jade shortly thereafter.  At the conclusion of the War of Liberation, the victors assigned to the M'kkia patronage over the Khzraut and Rooma races and centuries of M'kkiae subjugation began.

The M'kkiae kept the Khzraut at fusion era technology, using them as industrial workers and computer technicians and occasionally hunting them in demonstrations of M'kkiae superiority.  The M'kkiae also suppressed all factionalism, marking the first and only period of true unity in Khzraut history.  In 2261CE, the Human Terran Confederation Sixth Fleet under Admiral Janet Ombutu liberated Khzraut.  Within two decades, the Khzraut were free, had joined the Terran Confederation and had reestablished an interstellar presence, resettling their three ancient colonies and founding a fourth.

In 2280CE, the old factionalism of the Khzraut, long suppressed by the M'kkiae, erupted into violence, beginning a period of civil war that saw the Khzraut collapse into open interstellar warfare and isolationism.  The war continued until the isolationist "Pacifists" defeated their opponents on Khzraut and the colonies in 2438CE.  The Khzraut maintained a late macrojump era technological base throughout the Human/Alimeen Dark Age, but limited travel to their five systems and reacted violently to any attempts at contact.  Finally, in 3043CE, the "Moderate" faction achieved dominance though control of critical infrastructure on Kzraut and began tentative trade and diplomatic contacts with the Empire of Humanity, eventually resulting in Major Race membership in the Empire in 3073CE.  Within Khzraut society, factionalism retreated from open warfare and confrontation to increasingly ritualized contests of mental and physical prowess.  The Khzraut remained loyal members of the Empire, fighting in its wars and eventually colonizing forty scattered systems.

After the War of Disintegration and the Mech Plague devastated Human Space, the Khzraut retreated into semi-isolation.  As their wormships failed, the Khzraut acquired macrojump technology from Merchant Guild traders in the 52nd century and began to slowly build a trade web among their scattered worlds.

In 6145CE, the Khzraut and the Turgil led the effort to establish the League of Independent Races.  Since that time, the Khzraut have remained an influential interstellar race, with embassies and trade missions scattered across Known Space.

Current Status

The Khzraut number over fifty-four billion indivudals living on forty settled worlds and hundreds of small outposts.  Over fifty major Khzraut factions persist.  Some factions completely control a world or two, but most worlds host societies of multiple competing factions.  The Khzraut homeworld hosts all fifty major factions and most of the three hundred recognized minor and offshoot factions.

The Khzraut are founding members of the League of Independent Races and along with the Turgil, remain a dominant force in League diplomatic and commercial affairs.  Khzraut traders span most portions of recontacted space and retain an often undeserved reputation for unscrupulousness.

Notes

Many Khzraut factions still hold Humanity in high esteem for freeing them from the M'kkiae, and the "Humanist" faction considers Admiral Ombutu, martyred at M'kkia, as their patron saint.  The Khzraut are often accused of imperialism towards other Chlorine-breathing races, having effectively enslaved and modified the inhabitants of Glitter and having shown designs on the systems of the Chlor Alpha and Beta races, actions that led those races to request readmission into the Grand Federation of Races.

 

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