|Locomotion||Bipedal movement and powered flight via wings|
|Creator||JediMutant (Somarinoa has been given permission to use them in his fiction.)|
The Percusa (Pronunciation: pur-KYU-suh) are a warrior race of Velara, and share the planet with two other sentient races; The Reathler, an insectoid race that was enslaved by the Percusa during the Great War and the Riktik, the oldest race on Velara, whom the Percusa have an ancient treaty that requires neither race go beyond their borders.
Main Weapons: A Percusa is never truly unarmed. In flight they often use their sharp talons to tear into unsuspecting prey below. On the ground, or when diving, a Percusa can shoot venom from the five hollow spikes that are on the end of their tails. Because these spikes are hollow, they're not much good for stabbing, but scratches and cuts made by these venom-soaked bones are slow to heal and quickly infect.
The Percusa believe that everything has a spirit, the land, the trees, animals, other Percusa, et cetera, et cetera. The most powerful spirits reside in deceased, ancestral Percusa. They believe that it is their purpose to master and control these spirits, becoming stronger than ever, and one way of doing this is by consuming the flesh of the pack leaders and other dominant Percusa after their demise. This belief leads to the ritual eating of a Percusa by its most dominant children or grandchildren after its death; it is a most honorable thing to do for a dying Percusa to give their strength to the next generation in this manner. In contrast, a shameful 'funeral' would be if their body were purposely left to rot or be feasted upon by scavengers. This is the prescribed ritual for a 'weak spirited' Percusa, as consuming a weak spirit will make you weak. Another detail about this form of worship is that the Percusa believe that a Percusa's spirit becomes stronger if it has many successful, strong offspring and that any weak offspring make their own spirit weaker.
Consuming certain organs, such as heart, liver and kidneys, of a prey animal also lends to spiritual strength, while eating the fat and gristle takes away from their strength. This belief stems from the fact that the fat and gristle are less nutritious than the protein and iron rich organs. Bones, especially skulls, venom spikes and teeth also play an importance; necklaces made from teeth or venom spikes are said to lend strength to the wearer.
As gory as this may seem, no Percusa are killed outright for their strength, as it is said that a murdered Percusa's strength is tainted beyond use.
The Percusa define murder as the unprovoked killing of a strong, healthy or otherwise useful pack member.
The early Percusa developed a 'pack' way of life; allowing only the smartest or strongest to breed. This lifestyle has spilled over into the government for the Western Percusa.
The Western Percusa are governed by 1 male leader and 1 female leader from each pack; these leaders are called Loklow. These 80 or so individuals are chosen at an annual gladiator-style championship fight called Ksotsdo. It's basically like a mix of the Olympics and a presidential election. Also during this tournament, various, lesser positions are fought for. At the end of it, each female will choose a male of her rank to be mated with for the rest of the year; this is how inter-pack alliances are formed. Often a female will choose the same male year after year.
Only Loklow-Rank Percusa may have children. There are usually 1-3 children per litter, and 1 litter per year.
When a Percusa is 3 years old, it will shed it's fuzzy red feathers and grow the plumage of an adult. If they are the eldest child of their litter, they are taken to the Midway Oasis Military Base to be trained as a soldier. If they are not, they are taken to the Civilian Academy where they will live until they are an adult. At the Civilian Academy, a young Percusa will learn how to hunt, fish, read, write, make clay pottery, communicate with reathlers, play the flute and harp as well as husbandry and the basic Percusan law.
After five years of teaching, young Percusa leave the academy, or opt to stay on as instructors and be supported by tribute from the several dozen packs who send their young to this academy. Older Percusa are also sometimes allowed to become instructors when they can no longer breed, and are thus uninterested in dominance roles. After graduation from the academy, A Percusa is formally an adult, and is adopted into a pack, who they'll live with for the rest of their lives; this is not necessarily their birth-pack. Each pack is a sort of people unto its own, although they are led by a Loklow representative.
The Percusa have a strictly conscript military. When the oldest child of a litter reaches three years of age, he/she is taken to a Military Academy in the desert, formally known as Midway Oasis. A young Percusa will spend 8-10 years learning various weapon arts and military strategy. They are also tested for various skills. At the age of 15, A Percusa is formally a soldier, and is given a rank and duty according to his/her skills and ambition. Percusa must earn military rank through bravery or deed. Any Percusa who ranks higher than lieutenant is allowed to breed.
This update begins its tale in the far off lands never entered by percusa of any kind. The far off Western Lands, beyond the Western Mountains, beyond the Western Percusa, these lands have never been entered by any sentient species other than their keepers, the riktik. This ancient species have lived in the Western Lands since the time before the percusa had even evolved to the land. The riktik have had the time nessecary to develop a civilization far greater than any percusa has ever imagined.
The riktik cities tower with chrome spires, towering triangular structures, and dazzling chrome pyramids of dizzying heights. The real amazing quality of the riktik metropolises is that each city is arranged in concentric circles ranging from 3, still large, to 24 rings, for the most enormous of the cities. The outermost rings are reserved for large agricultural fields of varying alien crops.
The riktik themselves are a frightening breed. The average riktik is about six feet tall and eight feet long. They are a centaur of sorts except, instead of a horse part, they have a spider part. Each riktik has four, six-jointed legs protruding from their triangular abdomen. Their torsos are humanoid, anorexicly humanoid. The riktic torsos are very thin but extremely muscular. Two arms attach themselves to the torso in human fashion. These muscular arms have the strength to, if the riktik wishes, punch a hole through a Soldier reathler and come out the other side. Each arm ends in a seven fingered hand complete with two opposable thumbs. Their entire bodies are covered in a glossy, straight coat of fur. Like Lassie. The males’ fur is rich, dark blacks and browns. The females are entirely black. Their torsos are topped with a disturbing head. These heads are also entirely coated in the fur and are also triangular in shape. The only visible reference of sensory detection are two, bright red eyes set into the skull in a humanoid fashion. Riktik eat through absorbing nutrients through their palms.
The riktik government is far advanced, if a little bit ruthless. The riktik are ruled by a single individual, the Toarou(tau ROW. toa as in AUGment and rou as in OW, that hurts.). The Toarou is the absolute ruler of the Riktik Nation, as the civilization calls themselves, and holds supreme power. The current Toarou is a particularly intellectual riktik named Seri.
The riktik are a primarily peaceful race that only uses their technological superiority to keep the Western Percusa in line. After a millennia of quickly evolving riktik tools and technology, almost all natural resources on the western end of the continent have been stripped. The riktik have a highly evolved and strict sense of moral conduct, which is why they have respected their common border with the percusa species over the years. Not wanting to violate this moral code, the riktik have invented a new way to deal with their lack of resources.
As for what is currently happening, the highly technologically inclined riktik have developed a time altering machine that they will test in order to let the natural resources on their end of the continent re-grow without waiting for centuries.
The Toarou has ordered this time warp device, built in Davenpor for water cooling purposes, to be activated just last week and the scientists and engineers are on standby. The gargantuan dual chrome columns tower 200 feet into the air, with no visible means of support(The riktik have developed gravity modifying devices that aid in the time machine’s seemingly unreasonable physical structure.). A strange yet alluring light has been issuing from the structures for some weeks now along with a slight electrical hum. When Seri flips the switch at this momentous occasion, the hum ceases immediately. The featureless edifices spring a beam of light at their pointed peaks, connecting the two constructions. The millions of riktik who have gathered for the ceremony with hope that they will soon get to see their beloved land reforested watch in awe and amazement as the perfectly straight beam of light shines above them. Slowly, the beam begins to descend the two obelisks at the same rate. It inches its way down, cautiously it seems. Growing fainter and fainter as energy is drained into the massive subterranean superstructure; the beam begins to accelerate at about half way down the spires.
As the light approaches the ground, the temperature drops throughout Valera. The other side of the planet experiences only five degrees or so in the immediate cooling, but the immediate area around the time device drops to below freezing, knocking the breath out of all the riktik. Almost immediately afterwards, the beam strikes the earth below it and dissolves. A new beam, or perhaps the old lights combined as one, shoots out from the ground at midpoint of the columns and into the sky. It takes about five seconds for the planet’s temperature to elevate to normal, during which anything possessing eyes within fifty miles of the site is blinded due to the bright hot seething light. All the riktik in Davenpor die instantaneously. This was not planned by the scientists.
Valera’s plant life is accelerated. In what is a second to all riktik, percusa, reathlers and any other sentient beings on the planet, the trees of Valera grow and reproduce to what 1000 years of natural growth would have produced. Forests appear, disappear, and rebirth as jungles in a matter of milliseconds. Deserts become plains, plains become forests. The plant life takes Valera over completely. The riktik did not predict such a dramatic time acceleration. The percusa, on the other hand, have no idea what the hell just happened. One minute a family was making soup for dinner. The next second, they find themselves pulling out of a deadly fall from a hundred foot tall tree that seems to have sprung up in their living quarters. The next four hundred years are a very confusing time…
Accidental Saviors Need a PermitEdit
Just beyond the atmosphere they stirred, their black eyes gleaming like a thousand midnights in the blue hues surrounding them. They had been in orbit around the planet for the last few weeks, occasionally dropping down to the surface, avoiding the cities of the more intelligent races to collect animal specimens for their own inscrutable purposes.
Today was to be like any other, drop to the surface to collect a few more specimens before they were to depart this world, heading for another on their long list of planets to visit. Today they were to drop down into the North Western Lands, deep in the Ember Land Woods for the collection of several of the more capable woodland creatures. Nothing could be any further from routine for them.
However, this couldn’t be farther from what happened that day.
As they began their descent, they took witness to the strange bluish light that had been emanating beyond the Western Plains for some weeks, which they found curious, but saw it as little interest, as their species was far from interested in sapient races and their actions, preferring the company of far less intelligent species. The light changed in intensity somewhat, flickering a little from their view just inside the atmosphere of the planet, but did little to impress them, as they continued towards their forested destination. They did notice a slight temperature fluctuation that occurred over the entire planet, however, causing them to worry about the more temperature-reliant species that may inhabit the surface. They began to wonder what the light has been all this time, hoping it not to be some sort of weather-changing device, which they’ve seen ruin entire ecosystems in the matter of a few decades.
Suddenly, the light grew far more intense, and the temperature returned back to normal far too quickly. Suddenly, everything went berserk on the surface of the planet. Biomes shifted dramatically, faster than anything these creatures had ever experienced. This was bad. This was really bad. The two pilots of the vessel glanced at each other worriedly: what was going to happen to all the species located thereon? Little could be done for any species already eradicated, but they could still save what lives remained on the planet.
Forgoing their species martial rule to not interfere with sapient lives, they quickly dropped their accelerator as far as it would go, speeding as close to the surface as they dared, staying as close to the rapidly changing tree lines as they chanced to get. The second pilot flipped a switch, activating a green light from the bottom of the ship’s hull; the tractor beam had been activated. They sped around the surface, picking up what creatures they could, hoping to collect at least one of each species’ gender. They quickly rushed towards Poluz, in an attempt to hopefully gain a few lucky aquatic species from Lake Lo’Telam before their departure.
They darted speedily around the lake, tractor beam at full intensity, unsure of what they were picking up but too worried to care. It wasn’t long until their storage bays read as full, and they quickly but sadly lifted straight up, back beyond the atmosphere, out into space.
From their vantage point, the world was a rainbow of ever-changing colors. There was little they could do now. They were forced to depart, making a note on their holomap listing Velara as ‘uninhabitable due to sapient interference’. With that and a gloomy air about their actions, the beings looked at their next destination, an ancient world known as Vuunega, which had been wrought with disaster eons ago after a comet collided with the surface. With the disaster came the extinction of almost every species, including the sapient race of that planet, which referred to themselves as the Zomm. This planet had been scanned a few times since then, with the results of no sapient life upon it.
They slowly traveled out beyond the final planet of the Velaran solar system, and pushed the quantum accelerator to full throttle. In an instant they were off, speeding towards their next destination.
By the time the ship arrived within the vicinity of the Zomm’s solar system, the pilots were exhausted; they hadn’t rested in days, and they needed to take inventory on their specimens. They took orbit around the 3rd planet, a terraformed world used as one of their temporary zoos, used mainly in transferring creatures from various planets, a veritable crossroads of non-sapient life.
The crew stood up and walked back into the holding stasis fields, located in the rear of the ship. This section was the most armored part of their vessels, in order to take proper care in sustaining their cargo’s survivability. They had a large load this time, and because of this it took over an hour before the cargo checker came bounding back into the pilot cabin.
“Sapients!” he cried in exasperation.
Both pilots turned around to face the cargo checker, wide eyed. What were they to do? All of the crew knew the laws of their race, that the abduction of Sapients was punishable by death by their commanding tribunal.
“How many?” the first pilot asked. “At least two sapient species have been identified, sir.”
After a long pause of silence, they began frantic discussions of what to do. They couldn’t leave them on-board as their ships were often scanned by the ships’ automatic Tribunal Scanners to make sure no sapients had been brought on board, and this scanner was tied in directly to the hyper-acceleration drives, which meant that any attempts at tampering with it would lead to them being stranded in space forever. They also were not able to leave sapient creatures on their zoo worlds, as this also was heavy treason. They only had one thing they could really afford to do.
“Sir, Planet Vuunega. We leave the non-sapient Velaran species on this planet, and leave to Vuunega for specimens. Then we can leave the sapients there until further notice.” stated the cargo checker. “Hm..I don’t like it, but I don’t believe we have much choice in the matter.” one of the pilots quietly mumbled.
With that, they began to offload the Velaran species, in preparation for the disembarking of the sapients.