- "Fight a war for your God. Seek death to quench your bloodlust. Enslave others to preach your idealism. What you do not do is serve your people. What you do not do is struggle for your future."
- —Unknown Tribal
The Tribe, otherwise referred to as the Tribals and known as hnunghilhi within its own tongue, is a xenos civilization residing within the Sidonis Verge, located within the Veiled Region. An advanced empire in technological terms, the Tribe seeks to prosper itself further through expanding its territories due to harsh overpopulation within its domain and in order to dictate a larger influence within galactic affairs, a majority of which comprise almost entirely of war. Devoted towards the concept of advancement and technological progression, the Tribe cares little for the benefits of others due to constant religious turmoil and primitive barbarism which has since condemned many other, larger civilizations to an eternity of conflict; the Tribe avoids religion, with philosophy and science serving as the foundations for the Tribe's systems of belief.
The Tribe consists of a single species, known as the hnin within their native language, who are renowned for their adaptability and tenacity under the most pressurizing and fatal of situations. The hnin are also known to be innovative, developing much of their modern technologies as a means to compensate for their otherwise frail and vulnerable frames in comparison to many other races; the hnin stand shorter than a mature, baseline human while their physiology allows them to be slightly more overwhelming with various natural advantages, although physically they do not compare to more battle-hardened factions such as the Adeptus Astartes or the Orks. To overcome such problems that arise with stature, the Tribe uses advanced weaponry and employs both shock and stealth tactics in order to take their opposition by surprise.
Physiology and Psychology
The baseline hnin stands between 4.7 to 5.1 feet tall and are overall mammalian in almost every regard - light fur covers their bodies and varies in colour, their lungs are designed to breath oxygenated atmospheres through their nasals, and are embryonic, producing young through the birthing process, rather than oviparous. Hnin are of a digitigrade stance and possess five-digit, including a thumb, hands and four-digit feet, each tipped with a small claw the size of a human nail. Hnin are known to develop hair upon their heads which extend around their necks to their chests that form puffy, outstanding "manes" which fuse with the fur of the hnin and get larger with age. Hnin possess two eyes, with which comes an impressive amount of vision and allows them capability of seeing in dark and low-light environments, and long ears which are developed for impressive hearing, making hnin almost constantly aware of their surroundings and objects within it.
Hnin possess faces that stretch partially outward into a muzzle or snout, with thin, black lower lips while lacking an upper. Their teeth, by design, are used to chew and consume both meats and plant matter, and have evolved with purple tongues. Hnin blood is red due to hemoglobin found in a majority of oxygen-breathing species, although their blood is known for its properties of illumination; an evolutionary advantage in that predators and hnin corpses can be identified easily, allowing other hnin to escape although this makes wounded hnin more noticeable to their enemies. Hnin possess two pairs of canines, upper and lower, which are connected to glands within their mouth that create a form of necrosis-like toxin that can damage both xenos and hnin.
Before they gained their affinity with technology, a healthy hnin would reach the end of its lifespan within less than half a century, although a majority of hnin are now capable of living a minimum of a century of life with a reduced aging process. Hnin are, by nature, fond of procreation which has led to a large number within their civilization, with hnin families often having numerous, large batches of children. To many xenos, the only differences one can identify between most hnin are gender dimorphisms, with females often being slightly slimmer in build than a male and possessing a set of six to eight nipples as opposed to a male's four, although hnin usually identify between one another with pheromones which are unique to individual hnin in the way that faces are, which also act as a secondary means of communication between the xenos in order to express emotion.
Aside than their heightened senses, toxin glands and their illuminated blood, a hnin has little to no biological defense against its enemies other than their agility and their stamina, although the claws upon their fingers and feet can deliver surprisingly deep cuts and their legs are known to be powerful enough to deliver kicks that can launch and damage the bones of weaker species. A stereotypical hnin can be beaten in bodily endurance by a majority of baseline species, including humans, and are unlikely to be capable of physically overpowering them. Hnin are also more efficient and confident in groups as a result of their evolutionary process, while a majority of hnin are more likely to hide, flee, or panic when faced with danger on their own.
The hnin evolved upon the prosperous planet that would become known as the Heartworld, or hninghrinath in the tongue of the hnin people. The hnin, despite not being the fiercest of fauna or flora that inhabited the world, were by far the most adaptable; they possessed omnivorous diets and lived in large groups for protection, and resided beneath the ground in warrens and burrows in order to avoid nocturnal predators. They also developed a devastatingly powerful venom in order to at least possess a chance of defense if they happened to be captured - a toxin that caused symptoms not unlike those of necrosis. When they evolved into a sapient species, the hnin lived in large tribes that were led by the most intelligent and elderly of their peoples, and thus quickly developed innovative tools for hunting and other purposes that would lend themselves to the hnin's survival and prosperity as a species.
The hnin found themselves involved in almost-constant conflict with one another due to differing ideals and territorial dominance, with weapons being not just designed to hunt but also to kill other hnin. Larger tribes would often fight for control over specific areas while lesser groups found themselves forcefully absorbed into the larger, more prosperous gatherings of hnin, although often only to live and suffer as manual workers and objects of sex. However, as history progressed, diplomacy managed to surface among the hnin and mutual agreements were met, allowing tribes and peoples to advance without the need for war, with empires and full-fledged nations emerging while those that refused to innovate, whom were small in populace, became forgotten and detached from the rest of the world.
Era of Industry and Colonization
War with the Zazanite Hierarchy
The hnin live within a society dictated by community and cooperation; all within the Tribe work to fulfill certain niches, whether it'd be within politics where philosophers and teachers are often involved or within the military services where a majority of hnin are to be found. There is no trade nor currency within the Tribe; survival and an optimum quality of life are considered reward enough for their work within society, although most hnin are capable of obtaining what would otherwise be considered luxuries within any capitalist society for free as a result of collective advancement and progression, as well as automated menial services that are managed by machines and robots. As a result of thise limitless labour force, the Tribe requires no need for slaves as they can construct virtual intelligences - artificial forms of barely-sapient intelligence which are programmed to fulfill basic roles - and will usually simply either subjugate xenos races as livestock in order to serve as food for the hnin by extracting edible components or merely exterminate them as they have no need for them other than perhaps pets or entertainment.
Education is underwent and taught through holographic, virtual realities constructed and engineered by Tribal politicians. In order to achieve full efficiency within all members of the Tribe, information and learning is implanted into the minds and mentalities of the hnin over a transition period that can last up to several years, with regular brain performance tests and examinations controlled again by politicians and teachers of the Tribe. The education itself encompasses society, language, history, engineering, mathematics, and other important aspects. Within these holo-environments, those undergoing education are free to interact with one another in order to simulate genuine social activity, as friendship, mutual interest, and cooperating are important aspects to any hnin.
Despite the advanced nature of the Tribe, many Tribals of varying roles and backgrounds still retain the traditions of their ancestors; paint and make-up is often applied to the face to denote one's family heritage or occupation, hair and manes are often stylized for various purposes such as for events or to demonstrate aspects of a Tribal's personality, and games of the physical-orientated nature such as engdhi, a hnin equivalent to what Imperials call "football", are still popular across the Tribe alongside more virtualized and intelligence-based forms of entertainment. Personal relationships are valued, including those of friends and family, and those who prefer isolation or unnecessary independence are considered outcasts and thus a weakness to the Tribe as a whole. Nudity, however, is considered a sign of primality and unintelligence, as such a majority of hnin perform even the most personal and intimate of acts while wearing some degree of clothing.
Crimes are dealt with through various punishments although the most common forms are holo-prisons, which are artificial reality environments influenced by the fears and dislikes of the subjugated criminal, and execution, and offenses can vary from minor, such as littering, rape, unauthorized fightiing, and displays of vandalism, to major, such as murder, abortion, practicing or preaching deific worship, beastiality with animals or xenos species, and refusal to fulfill a career or social niche. Executions are often displayed as public events and food derived from the meat of criminals is a common dish throughout the Tribe.
Xenos are treated with little respect or dignity by the Tribals with few exceptions, such as valued allies, and religion, particularly deity-based, is considered primitive and counter-productive. Many Tribals however often recognize and acknowledge the reputation of other races and empires and build assumptions of culture and strength based on what they know, often making the decision to leave particular factions alone or outright avoid them. Subjugated xenos, including intelligence and advanced races, often end up as little more than scraps of food upon a hnin's plate or a trophy preserved within one's quarters.
The primary goals of the Tribe is to expand and progress; philosophers are considered equal to politicians within Tribal society, although intelligence is considered a valued and often attractive aspect across the domain as a whole. Many elders, of which the elderly are highly-respected by younger hnin, are often former soldiers, although military service is not particularly mandatory as Tribals are given the option to pursue a career in philosophy or scientific research and study. These responsibilities are so close tied to one another that practices offten merge between them; many philosophers are former-soldiers or renowned scientists who have a place within the politics of the Tribe, military stations are often granted with teams of diplomats in order to communicate with potential xenos species capable of communication or declare a territory as the Tribe's own, and scientists and engineers supply mechanized and mobile units to the military while studying reports of alien technology from military personnel and officials and experimenting with theories and ideas supplied by philosophers and politicians.
The Tribe is an advanced and sophisticated civilization, boasting interstellar travel through the usage of Warpspace-affiliated drives which allow their vessels to travel between territories. Virtual intelligences, which happen to be basic, less-complex and restricted variants of artificial intelligence, and automated robotics feature frequently throughout the Tribe's society, managing menial operations and maintaining the fundamental aspects of the Tribe's technological infrastructure as well as featuring as primary units found within the military of the Tribe alongside far more capable living soldiers. Virtual and artificial realities and environments are capable of being constructed by the Tribe and serve a variety of purposes throughout its society, ranging from an alternative means of social interaction and education to an efficient, inescapable system of mental imprisonment used as a means of punishing those who commit towards criminal activity and torturing prisoners of war.
Tribe cities are dominated by colossal arcologies - hyperstructural buildings designed to contain large populaces alongside support multiple major facilities alongside various minor stations - which often employ teleportation systems as a means of public travel and navigation throughout their artificially-supported environments.
The Tribe's weaponry is designed with the fundamental aspects of multifunctionality and efficiency; much of the Tribe's arsenal is designed to physically restructure itself in order to assume multiple roles without the need of having to exchange weaponry. Tribal guns and other forms of ranged weaponry possess alternating firing modes that can be accessed through this process of reconstruction, allowing otherwise mid-range weaponry to be potentially capable of assuming a long-range role through shifting its physical form.
While the exact workings of this process is unknown to those outside of the Tribe, such an advantage is countered by the drawback of solid ammunition being incompatible with such technology and thus much of the Tribe's arsenal is energy-based, relying on batteries which are consistently maintained by automated micro-robots in order to prevent overheating and apply almost-constant cooling in order to avoid internal damage. Melee weaponry often appears in the guise of energy blades, often in the shape of swords, which operate using suspension field technology that is again maintained and generated by microbots, literally trapping energy within a force field in order to create a incinerating semi-physical blade.