|Homeworld location||Skkyhrk (Amdukan 2213)|
|Primary Star||F4 V M6 V|
|Reference||Alien Races 4 68-75.|
Physiology & Environment (Ecology)
They are roughly humanoid in appearance, but still show their origins in the heavy claws at the end of each of their three fingers on each hand, and in the heavy tail used for balance. They stand, walk or run with a forward-leaning posture, tail extended behind them or used as a “third leg” at rest. Like most known reptiloid species, Hhkar possess scales.
Hhkar are adaptable to many tainted atmospheres; while they require oxygen to survive, they prefer atmospheres laden with sulfur compounds that humans would consider heavily polluted, exotic, or worse. They are also capable of thriving in atmospheres that contain other taints as well. In untainted atmospheres, Hhkar must take precautions analogous to those that humans must take in tainted atmospheres.
Hhkar are meat-eaters, but everything we have learned about the Hhkar indicates that meat alone is insufficient to sustain them.
The best information available to Imperial researchers indicates that the atmosphere of their original homeworld provided many nutrients through respiration; however, due to geological activity, the availability of those nutrients varied. To correct for this, the Hhkar started inhaling the smoke from burning certain kinds of vegetable matter, sometimes treated with minerals. This allowed more leisure than eating slain animals, and gradually assumed the social function in Hhkar society that eating does in most human societies.
The practice took on additional importance after the Hhkar started settling worlds with alien environments. Social smoking customs among the Hhkar have been adopted by other races in the protectorate; similarly, the Hhkar have adopted some of the customs of the societies that they have come in contact with, and cultivate tobacco and other plants used by humans and Vargr for smoking. Hhkar will almost never be found smoking in the presence of humans or Vargr; many of the substances and compounds that the Hhkar smoke are unpleasant, noxious, or worse to those races.
Hhkar are oviparous, with gestation taking about 21 weeks. Juveniles are lighter of frame and faster and more agile than adults. They are capable of taking a place in society within weeks of hatching, although they do not reach full growth and maturity until age 22. The average adult Hhkar is over 2m in height and masses over 250kg.
Hhkar all begin life as males, changing genders later in life, up to six times throughout their lifespan of almost 200 years. As females, Hhkar enter estrus and mate once per year. A typical clutch contains one to six eggs; these eggs are deposited in a central communal area, heavily guarded, called the "Caves of Life." Juveniles are supervised by females, who will defend them with their lives. The females are also responsible for killing those juveniles deemed deformed, slow to learn, or difficult to control.
History & Background (Dossier)
For reasons unknown, the Hhkar left their homeworld around -50000, and colonized other worlds, including Urinir and nearby worlds. Again, there is no indication of a reason for leaving them around -10000, and no indication of why they chose to return in -222 (or, more accurately, why other Hhkar ssaaahk chose to occupy the worlds at that time). The Hhkar recolonization of -222 originally aimed to exterminate completely the human and Vargr society present on the world; Vargr emissaries were able to negotiate a complete surrender after three years of war. The terms of surrender included the destruction of non-productive members of the society (the elderly, the disabled, and the unemployed); a total ban on new births was also part of the terms. Today, there is only a small population of (Vargr) non-Hhkar present on the planet; these are descendants of original inhabitants who rejected the surrender to the Hhkar and went into hiding. They remain for the most part in subterranean tunnels; the Hhkar do not actively hunt them down, but they are killed on sight.
Over the next 500 years, the Hhkar expanded their sphere of occupied worlds, following similar patterns. The expansion was brought to a halt in 377, when Commodore David Lindquist of the Star Legion was able to almost defeat the Hhkar at Kargar; the Hhkar were so impressed by Lindquist’s tenacity and cleverness that when he was captured, he was given an honorable execution, and the Hhkar withdrew from the system in spite of having been victorious. There were subsequently several skirmishes with the Star Legion, but the Hhkar gradually entered a more cooperative relationship with the Julian Protectorate and with the Menderes Corporations. Today, the Menderes Corporations have sizeable industrial holdings within Hhkar territory, all operated by the Hhkar.
Culture & Society (Ethnology)
Gender change involved biochemical changes that culminate in shedding of the skin. This also has a renewing effect, so that a Hhkar does not suffer from aging effects as most other sophonts do. There are also significant psychological changes involved in a gender change; Hhkar changing genders lose all skills specific to the old gender - but when they change back, those skills are regained.
As demonstrated by the gender change, there is a strong connection between the Hhkar’s mental state and his physiological state. The Hhkar have developed or discovered several mental states which induce or enhance physical capabilities or changes, and their medical science and spiritual life is based around the interaction between mind and body. The mental states range from a state of suspended animation, wherein most life processes come to a virtual halt (and do not count against the Hhkar lifespan), through several "dreaming" states, used for different purposes ranging from spiritual insight to logical analysis and decision making, and into a number of fully waking states, ranging from a low-mentation laborer mode up to learning and combat modes. In addition, there are a number of "medical" modes, used to enhance the body’s ability to repair a wide variety of injuries and illnesses.
Because of the nature of Hhkar mentality, they rarely use drugs - drugs cause an imbalance between the mind and the body, which results in extreme mental stress and the altering of the consciousness state into any one of several extremely undesirable modes.
Psionic capability among the Hhkar has not been studied. The Hhkar believe that psionics cause the perversion of the soul, and make it impossible to achieve the higher spiritual states of consciousness. Their aversion to psionics is sufficiently strong that a known psionic of any race is guaranteed a violent reaction, whether the powers are actually used or not.
Social Organization: 1116
The Hhkar show as much variety within their species as do humans.
Social relationships are based on a "racial" grouping, called a Ssaaahk, where common characteristics define the group.
The Ssaaahkhas the first loyalty of the individual Hhkar, even above what many humans describe as "loyalty to self" - the needs of the Ssaaahk have absolute first priority, and obedience to the Ssaaahk and the patriarch thereof are absolute.
Ssaaahk Conflict Resolution
The Hhkar are a nomadic culture, coupled with increasing population, made competition between ssaaahk, and eventually war between them, increasingly common. To reduce conflict, a system of dominant and subordinate ssaaahk was developed, paralleling in many ways the structure of dominant and subordinate clans among the Aslan.
There is a large group of Hhkar individuals who do not exhibit the racial characteristics that identify them as a member of the ssaaahk into which they were born; these individuals are second-class citizens (raaabr) within Hhkar society. It should be noted that most such individuals are killed as juveniles; the raaabr citizens are those who survive to adulthood and are ejected from their ssaaahk.
If they exhibit the characteristics of a different ssaaahk, they may petition for admission to that ssaaahk; it is usually several generations before such a petition is granted. While an individual is an outcast from all ssaaahk, he will generally be found as a servant/employee of a ssaaahk.
Government & Politics (Leadership)
Technology & Trade (Economy)
Several worlds in what is now Hikaru subsector have extensive pyramidal ruins, the youngest of which is over ten thousand years old. The most extensive of these ruins was found during the Vilani Imperium period, on Urinir (since renamed Skkyhrk by the Hhkar, upon their return). It was thought that the race that built those ruins had been destroyed by plague; the return of the Hhkar near the end of the Long Night, in -222, came as a shock to the Vargr who inhabited that planet.
Because of the lengthy period in which the Hhkar culture adapted to being spaceborne, many Hhkar today still prefer to live shipboard, in orbital cities. Many of these cities are jump-capable, allowing the residents to maintain their nomadic lifestyle, although they tend to remain within or very near the Hhkar Sphere.
Hhkar starflight was not based on Jump drive; they acquired jump drive from the Vargr upon their return. The Hhkar migrations were done via regular space ships operating at relativistic velocities and fueled by ramscoops. The reason for the migrations - and the return – are unknown; the Hhkar have shown no willingness to discuss the issue. Current hypotheses, based on the limited information that xenologists have been able to obtain, mostly from traditional stories and religious writings of the Hhkar, suggest that the Hhkar homeworld of Ssrar (location unknown) was geologically violent. This forced the Hhkar to develop a nomadic culture, although they did develop the practice of building permanent structures. These structures were left intact when a Hhkar ssaaahk (clan or race) migrated away, and were often used by ssaaahk that later entered the area, or by the original builders if they returned to the area even centuries later. There is a certain amound of reverence for such structures; very little is done to change them when they are reused.
This race is primarily located in the following areas:
World Listing: 1116
Significant communities of this race are known to exist within the following systems and worlds: