A dynamic and competitive people from a harsh world, the Klyarulf are a rare sight in the galaxy at large. Naturally inclined to seek the comfort of a pack, they are seldom found alone amongst the stars, and those who do leave their homeworld to play the space-ways are seen as heroes by their peers.
Read on to learn more…
Children of the Burning World
Kharr, the Burning World, is a scorching hot, arid globe that lies just barely inside it’s sun’s habitable zone. By day vast red deserts shimmer in the heat, and only the night brings relief. Unlike primitive human cultures, who revered the star Sol, the early Klyarulf regarded their sun as a terrible destroyer, and believed the stars of their moonless night-time sky to be celestial guardians. Even to this day, though civilization and science have banished such beliefs to the realm nonsense for some, the Klyarulf remain a superstitious people and regard leaving home to travel amongst the stars as an almost sacred pilgrimage which only the bravest undertake.
Early life on Kharr eked itself out only along rivers, and valleys, in the temperate bands to the north and south, and competition was fierce for space and resources. Great wars were impossible, but as civilization grew up raids and skirmishes became a way of life, as did commerce. Great caravans once winded their way across the vast wastes. Few were brave enough to join them, but those who did often earned riches enough to last a lifetime if they were canny and the myth of the ‘heroic traveller’ grew.
Klyarulf value family above all else, and owe their allegiances to clans – large groups of loosely related pack-mates from the same area. Different clans have different ideals and different styles of leadership. As the race became more advanced and more urbanized, many abandoned the traditional family structures of the previous ages for meritocracies based on lifetime achievement, or even primitive democratic systems.
Membership, however, was always based on blood. Though the new age of space travel has undermined the old ways, it was once taken for granted that a Klyarulf traveling outside the lands of their own clan – their own family – was a second-class citizen at best.
The Heavenly War
When they heard The Message, the Klyarulf were equal-parts terrified and excited. Klyarulf have a natural fear of being separated from family and clan, and the thought of venturing beyond the very skies themselves horrified many. There were some, street-corner prophets, who decried the very idea as blasphemy, but others proclaimed that the message from the stars must have come from the Guardians themselves!
In the end Opportunity won out over caution, and the same spirit of rare heroism that had once pushed daring merchants and warriors to brave the deserts far from home lead a new generation of pioneers to take to the stars.
The Klyarulf built great colony ships. Since many could not bear to be parted from their families by lightyears clans often traveled together, thousands to a vessel, crossing the void to find new homes. On these new worlds they found plenty beyond what they had ever known at home and the Klyarulf have prospered as a space-faring race.
Even so, the founding of new colonies brought new problems. Always a people to take care of their own first, many colony worlds began to balk at the taxes levied by their homeworld. Meanwhile, so far from the ancient traditions and social structures of their people on Kharr, the younger generations of ‘starborn’ Klyarulf have slowly begun to question the clan system itself.
Some in the old-guard wondered if, despite all the miraculous technologies and unprecedented wealth, The Message might not have spelled the end of their civilization after all. But then came the war.
The Klyarulf fought perhaps the first interstellar war in Explored space when they encountered the Merlene. Due to a diplomatic misunderstanding born of very different cultures and languages, a Klyarulf clan, acting in what they believed to be self-defense, destroyed a Merlene colony transport, touching off a war that lasted almost two years. The Heavenly War, as it would be known on Kharr, left Klyarulf society for-ever changed. Forced to come together as a single people as never before they managed what seemed impossible: constructing a defense force capable of fending off the militarily superior Merlene in a matter of months, and fighting side by side to defend their home. After a year-long siege of the Kharr system, scientists and linguists finally succeeded in creating a working translation matrix for the two languages and diplomacy ended the war, though not without great bitterness on all sides, and not before leaving the Klyarulf, for the first time in their history, united.