Ichthysian Lore

Mar 13th, 2016
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  1. --ORIGIN: All signs point towards the Ichthysians having been uplifted from proto-sapients or animals, in a manner similar to the Avians. Whether this was the work of an advanced alien submersible, as most scholars purport, or the work of divine intervention, as they themselves claim, is speculative.
  4. --HOMEWORLD: The Ichthysian homeworld is a tropical but otherwise fairly ordinary water world. It was subject to colonization by other races, but the surface is now barely inhabited, colonists having been killed or routed by raids from the Ichthysian's cities and temples littering the ocean floor.
  7. --BIOLOGY: Ichthysians are cold-blooded and have a very high degree of gender dimorphism- males are covered completely with scales, and possess bulbous, black eyes and thin, pointed teeth for impaling fish. Females, on the other hand, resemble hybridized humans, with scales only covering their limbs and colorful, leafy head fins. Males are roughly human-sized, and typically larger than females; females have larger claws, and, like other races, do possess mammary glands, but these latter are vestigial- if they develop at all, they remain quite small, and are rarely capable of lactation. Ichthysians typically live around 70 years, and reach sexual maturity after about 8- as they age extremely well, most female Icthtysians will appear teenaged until death.
  9. Despite their humanoid anatomy, female Ichthysians lay eggs, and a typical colony will have close to 20 women for every man.
  12. --CULTURE: While scientists of other races refer to the race as a whole as Ichthysians, their traditional culture refers to themselves as the Sahuagin, and their undersea cities are ruled by a harsh, collectivist, and strictly stratified patriarchal theocracy- Men are priests, scholars, artisans, teachers, and egg-tenders, forming the ruling upper crust of society, while women are laborers, servants, craftsmen, and, most importantly, soldiers.
  14. Sahuagin men are typically vicious, greedy, paranoid, narcissistic, sadistic, and polygamous, taking several wives as servants and bodyguards, while women are stoic and serious to the point of humorlessness, enduring any rigor and abuse in the service of god and country. All girls are trained in the art of war from an early age, even if they never see the battlefront, and are pressured to conform, dying their skin, scales, and cutting and dying their hair to match their peers; women in a noble's harem/retinue or a disciplined military unit will appear almost identical to each other.
  16. The patriarchal nobility has traditionally held sway over society by way of both their religion and their natural breeding bottleneck- women must serve the few existing men in order to have a chance to breed, and male children deemed to be 'in excess' by the priesthood are quietly killed. However, their divine purpose has always been conquest, and raids against Human and Hylotl settlements inevitably involve rape alongside killing, pillaging, and burning- once soldiers discovered that they could interbreed with foreign men, many began taking mercy- and husbands. This, naturally, was a disaster for the theocratic nobility, as captured foreigners subverted their wives against the nobility and gave them independence. Unfortunately for them, the genie refused to go back in the bottle, and condemning- and later banning- the practice of husband-taking has caused a vicious cycle of unrest, with the priesthood becoming more draconian the more the populace resisted its draconian tendencies.
  18. Recently, this has exploded into outright civil war, with a large portion of women, their husbands, and liberal or subversive scholars moving to secede from the Sahuagin empire. Both factions scrambled to capture and repair ships left behind by colonists, and have pushed out from their homeworld: the fiercely individualistic separatist faction, referring to themselves as the Varanai, have fled to the stars, seeking allies and to integrate with other cultures, abandoning their medieval ways, while the Sahuagin, having more or less stabilized, proceed at a stately pace, colonizing or conquering everything in their path. Since the schism, husband-taking has been un-banned, but the practice is frowned upon and strictly regulated.
  21. --RELIGION: Originally, Sahuagin religion was monotheistic, venerating their ten-armed creator god, Orotanu, whose charge was to conquer the surface, and whose manifestation is the sun. Space travel and astronomy has revolutionized their faith, however, transforming it to a faith of literal star-worship, as it happens that Orotanu is not unique, but merely the ruler of an entire race of massive celestial beings. Everywhere the light of the God-Kings of the Void shines is their birthright.
  23. Many Varanai hold to this new faith, but discard the baggage of the old theocrats; others have written off religion entirely, having been oppressed by it for so long- hardly any Ichthysians convert to another race's religion.
  26. --RELATIONS: While the Varanai outcasts are typically friendly, their reputation is marred by the Sahuagin empire, who are incorrigibly hostile to lesser races (any that can't repel them by military force) and believe themselves to have a Casus Belli against the entire universe.
  28. -Novakids: The sole exception to the above, Novakids are believed by the Sahuagin to be elder star-children, and thus sacred- they're loathe to do them harm, and their priests continually try to curry the favor of those encountered, often with gifts of goods or wives. Given the Novakids' chaotic nature, this is rarely successful in the long term.
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