The Hadraak are the native race of Orh'neon. Literally  translated their name means 'The Singing Ones' due to their ability to communicate and hear in a far greater range of frequencies than the other reptilian lifeforms on their planet. In fact their pronounciation of their own name was chosen since it was out of the hearing range of their earlier natural predators.

Like humanity, the Ellerin claim that the Hadraak are the result of their early terraforming attempts. Their species evolved from the DNA of a type of aquatic amphibian that inhabits the shallow marshes around the coast of Wardenhaze.

After their genetic meta-code was introduced to the population of Orh'neon, the Hadraak began settling the large swamps in the region and eventually migrated onto land.

There are four main sub-speicies of Hadraak:

Vorberr - Marsh Hunters

Khasshak - Desert Nomads

Neehith - Mountain Borers

Sskarak - Rainforest Climbers

A Male Khasshak Spiritual Leader (Artist - Vendrus)

The Vorberr

 

The Vorberr claim to be the oldest societal sub-speicies of Hadraak. Unlike all other variants they can survive underwater for extended periods of time due to their membranous skin and have a venom sac in their upper jaw that is capable of creating a neurotoxin to temporarily blind a predator.

The Vorberr have a reputation of being formidable hunters and have a preference for a nocturnal lifestyle.

The Vorberr were nearly annihilated in a genocide enacted by the other Hadraak sub-speicies at the end of their first intra-species war. Having precipitated a battle for domination of additional land and resources in the tropical rainforest, the Vorberr began pushing further and further into Sskarak territory.

 

The culture of the Vorberr at the time taught that any individual or group incapable of defending or saving themselves were second-class Hadraak and so should be prevented from having offspring. To this end many were enslaved as mates to their conquerors or simply killed. Combined with the preference of the Vorberr for fighting at night and their capability to hide underwater during the day, the clans were nearly unstoppable.

In the end the Sskarak, Neehith and Khasshak formed a temporary alliance to drive the Vorberr back to their homeland and ended up almost destroying them through the use of superior weaponry and a significant numerical advantage. As punishment for the encroachment, the Sskarak persuaded the others to ensure the complete disbandment of the major Vorberr clans by the execution or imprisonment of all of the alpha males and females within the Vorberr.

The Sskarak

The Sskarak are the only variant of the Hadraak that are officially listed as omnivorous hunter-gatherers. Having evolved to adapt to a land-based lifestyle in their native rainforests, the Sskarak are noted for their skill in climbing and camoflauge. Although significantly smaller than other Hadraak, the Sskarak have a number of unique traits that stand them apart. They are capable of near-total cellular regeneration given sufficient time and resources, as well as the ability to produce silk-like web from regurgitated matter.

Their diet includes all manner of smaller mammals, fish and birds, as well as fruit, berries and leaves that would often prove poisonous to other Hadraak.

They are noted on their home world for their intrinsict understanding of chemistry and biology.

The Neehith

The Neehith are the largest and most technologically advanced of the Hadraak. They live predominantly underground in the mountainous regions of Orh'neon, using their claws, technology and voices to mine for minerals and precious resources. Their skin, skeleton and and vocal chords are tougher than other species', allowing them to survive in the hostile mining environment.

As soon as Neehith hatchlings are old enough to move freely for more than a few hours they are taught to support the adults in the caves, learning the skills of engineering, metallurgy and geoscience.

The Neehith have a unique method of excavating larger caverns for habitation known in the native tongue as 'calling': having ensured the stability of the rest of the tunnel and particularly the section where the miners stand, the Hadraak sing in monotone at as high a volume as is possible in order to cause harmonic resonance in the desired area. This in turn triggers a cave-in that can then be removed in smaller pieces.

Originally, the Neehith , having been cast out of the Sskarak, survived by burrowing for grubs in the lowlands of the mountains. This led to a predominatly carniverous diet like other Hadraak. However in times of crisis the Neehith do have the ability to survive on the fungal growths present in their shallower caves.

The Khasshak

Originally a nomadic group of Hadraak that lived predominantly in the desert region of Orh'neon, the Khasshak are considered the great thinkers and keepers of culture amongst the other species. They often perform diplomatic and trade functions between the other groups because of their nomadic heritage and hold much of the lore of the species due to the earlier advancement of their society.

Khasshak consider their spiritual ancestors to be the great birds that populate Orh'neon and believe them to be the messangers of the future Hadraak. It is because of this that Hadraak cultures traditionally value feathers, especially those of colourful plumage, to be a symbol of status and wealth (although in the case of the Khasshak too many would be considered improper as it implies greed and the stealing of future potential). This has also caused occasional friction between the Khasshak and the Sskarak because of the latters' diet including smaller tropical birds, and although they would also not dream of eating the larger and more sacred birds the more devout Khasshak believe that they are blasphemous by nature.

The Khasshak and Neehith , however, have a long history as allies due to their co-dependance on techology and trading routes. Neehith settlements would often have outer caverns set aside for travelling groups of Khasshak, and interbreeding and clan adoption were not uncommon practice.

It was one such union that saw the creation of a hybrid clan whose leader was responsible for the first powered Hadraak flight. Having studied the flight of birds for many years, Sitheass sucessfully combined the multitude of stability and lift-inducing systems required to bring a one-Hadraak glider off the ground for just over thirty seconds.

The Hadraak

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© 2019 by James Aichinger