A nomadic species of hunters and gatherers, the Urairlax are a hunter-gatherer society that make their void journeys throughout the Dragontooth Nebula. Having been lost to the void for several thousand years the Urairlax have developed the technology and skills required to have sustainable ecosystems and economies on their ships, allowing them the ability to live purely within their voidcraft. However, the Urairlax are known as the Dragontooth Nebula's greatest hunters. Known for leaving small groups of lone warriors, or even single warriors, on other species' planets for several solar months to hunt and prey on the population of the world before returning and collecting their warriors. Even their ancestors were great hunters, stalking the skies on wings of silent death. Similar in appearance to anthropoid owls, the Urairlax are one of the Dragontooth Nebula's oldest species that remain active to this current date. Generally unsociable to other species the Urairlax prefer to only engage other species while on their hunts, never on a true battlefield, leaving them to almost be regarded as a myth.
Descendants of great birds of prey that hunted on silent wings of death, the Urairlax are anthromorphic avians similar in appearance to the Owls of Old Terra. Most Urairlax have a round heart-shaped face with large round eyes, short downward curving beaks that are hooked at the end for tearing through food. The Urairlax have little sexual dimorphism, and even with Sect differences, most Urairlax stand at six feet tall or higher and weigh around one hundred and fifty pounds. Lithe creatures that relied on stealth, the Urairlax evolved for quick battles that always started in their favor. With their wings located seperately on their backs, Urairlax hands and feet are similar in both appearance and operation. With training, a Urairlax can use their taloned feet just as well as they can their hands. With five talons on each hand and foot, the Urairlax are capable of easily slicing through flesh and bones. Although similar in overall appearance and biology, each Sect of the Urairlax hailed from a different sector of their homeworld causing several differences within their species. These differences include heavier feathers, different coloring for camoflauge, and behavior.
Living on a world of perpetual night, the Urairlax have exceptionally night vision and hearing. With some of the strongest eyes in the Dragontooth Nebula, the Urairlax are capable of seeing miles upon miles when unobstructed. With asymmetrical ears and specialized feathers that vibrate when sounds are heard, the Urairlax are capable of pinpointing the exact location of a noise by focusing on what ear the sound hits first. These amazing senses are however crippling weakness in certain environments, especially without their specialized hunting masks. A Urairlax can easily be blinded or deafened by bright lights or ground thumping noises. This issue is often corrected with personalized hunting masks, but such a reliance on technology to prevent such problems occuring has left the Urairlax even more so sensitive. Because of their homeworld's high level of oxygen, Urairlax add breathing units to their hunting masks to prevent them from suffocating from the lack of enough oxygen on other world.
Highly complex muscular, nervous, and respiratory systems allow the Urairlax great speed and agility both in the air and on the ground. When properly training and developing their bodies, a Urairlax can easily move faster than the average human eye can track however thanks to this complexity, injuries to specific portions of their body can be fatal or irreparable. As a species the Urairlax find disgust in bionics and cybernetics, meaning they have never properly developed cybernetic technology preventing injured Urairlax from returning to the hunt should they be injured drastically.
Civilization and Philosophy
A Hunter-Gatherer Society, the Urairlax have since the start of their existence been nomadic. They traveled the skies of their homeworld, discovered every secret each mountain and canyon had to offer, and eventually grew content. Content breeds weakness and fragility, and such things would only be a sign of loss in the eyes of the Urairlax. So they left, in great ships to travel the void. To discover what the universe held for them, holding in their minds an imagination of what majestic species they could hunt, and in their hearts the hope of finding the Eternal Hunt. With a desire to perfect their craft and to see the universe with their own eyes, the Urairlax travel endlessly with no specific direction in mind. Home is where your trophies rest in the eyes of the Urairlax, a place of origin means nothing. As long as they have their mates and their trophies, the Urairlax are happy to have no location to settle in. Trading or even any social communication is rare outside of the Urairlax, they prefer to hunt instead of waging war. They have no worlds to give or take, so they feel no desire to invade worlds in mass and it is a rarity for Urairlax to openly trade or work with other species. This has led to the Urairlax being regarded as a legend among the Dragontooth Nebula, a simple fairy tale to tell your children to keep them in their beds at night.
Hunting is the primary focus of the Urairlaxian Society, and while Sects all have different methods in their hunts each Sect hunts for the same reason. Honor and pride, to hunt is to honor the prey and to kill is to bring pride to the Sect. To kill is to increase one's own skill in the Great Hunt, and to die during such a Hunt is to bring honor and skill to the once prey. To kill a Hunter of the Urairlax however is to invite death upon yourself. To kill a Hunter is to become Bloodied, and to become Bloodied is to mark oneself as worthy of the Great Hunt. For the rest of that individual's life, they will be hunted down by the Urairlax till they are but another trophy on the wall. To resist and survive is to only further the odds against oneself. However there are a core set of rules known as the Hunter's Convention that all Urairlax must abide by. To break the Hunter's Convention is to become White Blooded. White Bloods are cowardly and treacherous however every surviving White Blood is a Hunter of great skill, to survive as a Lone Hunter without a Sect takes great skill and no White Blood should be considered easy prey.
- Pregnant females are not honorable prey under any circumstance.
- Children are not honorable prey unless they have proven they are capable warriors.
- The deathly ill, the elderly, and the crippled are not honorable prey unless they are capable of defending themselves adequately.
- Community and Sect is everything, do not hunt one of your own kind unless they are White Blooded.
- Those enhanced by cybernetics or genetic manipulation are not honorable prey, but they must be killed and skinned of their flesh. To collect a trophy from a cyborg is to be White Blooded.
While Sexual Dimorphism is small between the Urairlax, females are never seen on hunts. They are honored as birthgivers and lifesustainers, not hunters and killers. With this in mind, it is usually the Matriach of the Sect that rules. She is the oldest female with the largest hatchlings, and she determines who hunts and when they hunt. This system of males being hunters and females being caretakers comes from the old legends of creation.In these legends it all starts with a Pale Eye, the Moon of the Urairlax homeworld, gazing down upon the beautiful flowers and creatures of Urair. The Pale Eye was jealous of the beauty of the world as it was bare and lifeless, so it sent down a Hunter of stark paleness. The Hunter, known throughout Urairlax legends as Pale Hunter Darhedg, was consumed by the beauty of the world. He wondered the world in a daze, only hoping to protect such a place. The Pale Eye seeing that its Son had betrayed his purpose fashioned a Daughter of bright color, to dazzle the Pale Hunter but to never submit to him. Taken by her gorgeousness the Pale Hunter courted her for several years before his passion for her turned from love to hatred. Taking his blades up, the Pale Hunter took what he desired with force. Ashamed of how she was treated the Bright Daughter took the Hunter's blades when he slept, and ended her own life. In her grave she craddled an egg of vibrant life, disgusted with the egg the Pale Hunter smashed it upon a stone and from it erupted the Urairlax. Vowing to hunt down his offspring for the rest of eternity Darhedg the God of Life would consume all that stood in his path but before such a glorious hunt could occur the Bright Daughter, the Goddess of Death, would offer a deal to Darhedg. If their spawn were to offer up the body of their prey to the Pale Hunter, he would refrain from destroying their eternal souls. Seeing how protective their mother was, the Urairlax Chiefs determined that to live was to take and to die was to give. They proclaimed that the honored female form would never have to take and that the male form would take so that the pure female would never have to. This is seen in the clothing hte Urairlax garb themselves in. Males often wear bones and skulls on their bodies while females wear brightly-colored fabric robes.Religion is important to the Urairlax, it guides them when logic falters. On their ships and in their homes they honor the Bright Daughter, displaying totemic symbols of a vibrant-colored female clutching several eggs to her chest. On their hunts however, the Urairlax pray to the Pale Hunter. Carving symbols of a white colored male descending downards into the flesh of their prey, Urairlax rarely intertwine these symbols. Only on the days of the Pale Eye closing, eclipses, do the symbols of the Pale Hunter and the Bright Daughter join together to show the unity of death and life. Life must end, but death is not permanent. The Matriarchs of the Sects are often the religious leaders of their specific Sect as well, making Urairlax religion and politics heavily domainated by the female gender. However there are certain males within Urairlax Sects known as Pale Hunters. These albino Urairlax are taken from birth and trained as Death Dealers. They are trained to have no pride and no love, only hatred and hunger. They are kept sleeping in stasis only called upon when the Pale Eye closes do the Matriarchs send out these Pale Hunters to hunt down White Bloods and other undesireables.
A complex thing, the Urairlaxian Language is focused primarily on the written form. Based on symbols, the Urairlaxian Language is complex in the manner of being written. Writing a word isn't as simple of lining up one symbol after another in certain patterns. To write a word one must take each individual symbol that matches the letters in the word, take each symbol apart, and than combine the symbols into one to produce a word. This gets more and more complex as words get longer. In it's vocal form the Urairlaxian Language is based on tone and pitch. Low pitches lean on the friendly side, while high pitches are often aggressive. Sudden changes in pitch also mean specific things, but where the pitch starts and ends is also important. A constant high pitch screech is akin to a threat, a screech with a high start and a low ending is a warning of danger almost, and a screech with a low start and high end is like one proclaim their hatred. An individuals stance also changes the meaning of language and it's almost impossible for an individual to mimic the Urairlaxian Language without studying and the ability to mimic sounds. Because of the barebones nature of the vocal portion of the language, the Urairlax also make use of sign language to further enhance their capability of communicating.
As a nomadic society, the Urairlax sepeate themselves into groups known as Sects. Each Sect is based around a single fleet. The Sects further seperate themselves by putting lower class citizens on smaller less technologically advanced ships while the upper class citizens are placed on the flagship of the Sect's fleet. Numerous Sects exist and only when the Pale Eye closes do fleets ever combine into one massive void party. Within each Sect a different culture exists with the most noteable being the Fury Sect's addition to the Urairlaxian Pantheon. Known as the Bloodletter, this god of carnage is a mighty red raptor that feasts on the flesh and blood of it's prey. Taking the flesh and blood of their trophies, the Fury Sect will devour these objections in an attempt to appease their blood god.
One of the most vicious Sects within the Urairlax species the Fury Sect worship the Bloodletter, a god of carnage and combat. The Bloodletter is a vicious creature that is often worshipped as the Pale Hunter's hunting hound. Smelling the fear and cowardly nature of it's prey, the Fury Sect often target cowards who break the Hunter's Convention in a method of sating the Bloodletter. Easily some of the best combatants within the Urairlax species, the Fury Sect prides themselves on their ability to murder nearly anything. Usually their feathers are various shades of red, their Hunting Masks often bear gruesome fangs and painted crimson tears, and they are generally some of the shorter Urairlax standing at five feet at the smallest. Easily the most vicious of the Urairlax, Fury Sect members are often brutal killers who pride themselves on slaughtering their enemies.
Black Death Sect
The largest and most commonly known Sect, the Black Death Sect hailed from the coldest and darkest area of the Urairlax homeworld. There they evolved heavier midnight black feathers to hide themselves better, and to protect themselves from the cold, and also evolved to be some of the tallest Urairlax standing at seven feet at the highest. They adorn their bone white hunting masks with black marks and deer-like horns, in favor of the Horned Hunter. The Horned Hunter was the founder of the Black Death Sect who hunted down an entire species to extinction and adorned his primitive hunting mask with the horns of those he killed. Calm and isolated killers members of the Black Death Sect pride themselves on high qualitiy trophies instead of, for example, the Fury Sect's ideaology of quantity over quality.
Radiant Waters Sect
Creeping Ruin Sect
Silent Kinship Sect
Waning Moon Sect
- "How many bodies?! Thirty five?! Damn it, this creature is on a bloody slaughtering spree. How many casualties is this? Three hundred... Emperor help me in tracking down this beast. "
- —Inquisitor Kaylene Palimos
An infamous White Blood, One-Eyed Cruedehg was once a Bloodied Hunter of the Fury Sect and was deeply honored. Upon being humiliated in a duel of honor, a duel that cost him his left eye and led to his nickname as One-Eyed, Cruedehg tracked down his opponent and killed him during a hunt on an Imperial World. Eviscerating him and claiming his skull as a trophy, Cruedehg was chased down by his brethren for several years before it became evident that none had the skill and talent that Old One-Eyed Cruedehg has. Left to his own devices, One-Eyed Cruedehg has abandoned the Hunter's Convention and marks his territory by skinning his prey and leaving them impaled on walls.
- "Look at these wounds. These weren't made by a normal weapon. See how they zigzag? Whatever weapon was used it completely ignored the armor. "
- —An anonymous Arbiter.
A Bloodied Hunter of the Creeping Ruin Sect, Slitherblade is well-known throughout the Urairlax for being his unique taste in Hunter's craft. Wielding a blade of liquid metal, the dagger can slide through the cracks of an opponent's armor than suddenly solidify. Having been mutilated during a Hunt, Slitherblade lacks any wings and therefore cannot fly. He makes up for this disability by being surpisingly agile, able to climb flat surfaces by sheer speed and strength. Currently hunting down One-Eyed Cruedehg, Slitherblade has left a path of skinned handless corpses in his quest to bring down the most Infamous White Blood known to the Urairlax species.
- "It was some freak freak in an mask. Looked like an owl with red scratches on it, he was carrying some kind of weird sickle. I found him perched on a box staring at the corpse of some prostitute."
- —An Anonymous Hive Ganger before he was found with the skin of his face peeled away dead in an alleyway.
A strange case, Lhari is a Human "Urairlax". Having become bloodied at a very young age, Lhair was a nameless underhiver. Hunted down for the majority of his life Lhair became an expert tracker, able to turn the hunt's focus from himself onto his Urairlax aggressors. Eventually wounded and tracked down by a Urairlax from the Silent Kinship Sect, Lhari was taken in by his should-be killer and was trained to be a true hunter. The Silent Kinship Sect now has Lhari as one of its own. Even with his featherless body, and his lack of wings, Lhari is treated as one of the Urairlax. Because of his uprising as a Urairlax, Lhari is incapable of human speech and is almost animalistic in behavior furthering his seperation from his human origin. However Lhari has a difficult time grasping the Hunter's Convention and will often hunt down dishonorable prey before suddenly departing without ever harming them physically.
- "Fancy yaself as a tough 'un eh? I'll squeeze dem big eyes right out ya zoggen 'ed I will!"
- —Warlord Gruurg Iron'Ed, the Terror-Baron of Uxlag, Ruler of the Empire of Gruurg Iron'Ed, as he combats a pack of Urairlax hunters
- "They think themselves predators. Delusional organics, pining for supremacy denied to them by their pathetic bodies of flesh and bone. I will show them the perfection of Necrodermis, right before I condemn their pitiful kind to their rightly deserved extinction."
- —Overlord Ashakaten, Destroyer Lord of the Sakhrut Dynasty, overseeing the Pundis Genocide
- "Look at the primitives. They play at war. They think it is a game, some sport they can idly fawn over. Brothers, let us show them what it means to make war upon the stars."
- —Brother Krandred, Draugar Lord of the Tenth Storm, prior to the Utethi Conflagration [src]