The yruntadites are often considered the most respected sentient species in the galaxy, and are known for their disciplined and militaristic culture. This is partly due to the fact that the yruntadites were among the earliest races to achieve interstellar flight after the Curodians and the legendary Time Paladins.
Originally from the planet Ithir, yruntadites are best known for their military role. They are respected for their public service ethic but are sometimes seen as imperialist or rigid by other races.
A mono-gender race, the yruntadites are distinctly masculine in appearance, but a genetic mutation causes some to possess maternal instincts. Their unique physiology, expressed in a millennium-long lifespan and the ability to reproduce with a partner of any gender or species, gives them a conservative yet convivial attitude toward other races.
Yruntadites resemble humans in terms of basic skeletal structure with five fingers on each hand and legs that are relatively straight. A typical yruntadite has a light yellow to white complexion, though a rare silver complexion is possible. They have facial markings, which are unique black or grey patterns that vary for every yruntadite. Some of these facial markings resemble the eyebrows that humans have. In the place of head hair, yruntadites possess spines, which are hollow hairs made stiff with keratin. Yrundtadites are said to have navels as well. Yruntadites also have a robust cellular regenerative system; while they do not heal faster than other species, they are known to reach over 1000 years of age. Yruntadite blood is black.
There is some conflicting information regarding the gender of the yruntadites. Yruntadites are a mono-gendered species with no concept of gender differences. At the same time, yruntadites are often viewed as an all-male race. Yruntadites appear male with voices that sound male. Even among the yruntadites, individual yruntadites are referred to using masculine pronouns like “he” and “his” instead of gender-neutral terms like “they.” Yruntadites also bear masculine titles like “warlord” and “patriarch” and yruntadites offspring are usually referred to as “sons.”
However yruntadite gender is defined, they are innately different from humans, for yruntadites can mate and successfully reproduce with any other gender or species. Although they have one gender, they are not asexual and do in fact require a partner to reproduce. However, yruntadite reproduction is very different from other forms of sexual reproduction. A yruntadite provides two copies of his own genes to his offspring, one of which is passed on unaltered. The second set of genes is altered in a unique process called melding, also known as the joining. During melding, the eyes of the yruntadite initiating the meld dilate as he consciously attunes his nervous system to his partner's, sending and receiving electrical impulses directly through the skin. Effectively, the yruntadite and his partner briefly become one unified nervous system, sharing memories, thoughts, and feelings. The offspring is always a yruntadite, regardless of the species or sex of the "father" and in the case that the offspring is of two yruntadites, the mother is the one who gives birth.
Uniquely, the yruntadites are known to be perceived as attractive to many other species. This may be because of shared physical characteristics. The mechanism behind the yruntadite's cross-species attraction may be neurochemical in nature. The offspring resulting from such interspecies pairings are always yruntadite as no DNA is taken from the partner. Instead, the yruntadite uses the meld to explore his partner's genetic heritage and pass desirable traits on to any offspring and as a "map" to randomize the genes of the offspring.
The drawback to the yruntadites means of reproduction are the Dawnasach. These individuals possess a rare genetic defect that causes a yruntadite’s mind to overwhelm and destroy his partner’s mind when joining. The condition seems to appear only amongst pureblood yruntadites, those whose parents are both yruntadites.
Yruntadites pass through three climacteric life stages, marked by biochemical and physiological changes:
- The Rogue stage begins at puberty, which is around the age of 75, and is marked by the drive to explore and experience. Most young yruntadites are curious and restless, and it is not uncommon for many to try their hand working as mercenaries during this time.
- The Dauntless stage of life begins around the age of 100, though it can be triggered earlier if the individual melds frequently. In this period, yruntadites enter the Sal'dras, a compulsory training and evaluation academy to determine their roles in the society.
- The Patriarch stage begins aroung 700 years of age, or earlier if the individual melds rarely. Patriarchs become respected in their society as priests and councilors, dispensing wisdom from centuries of experience. Their knowledge and guidance may be one reason why Patriarchs are rarely seen outside yruntadite space.
While each stage of life is marked by strong biological tendencies, individuals do make unexpected life choices. For example, there are Rogues who stay close to home rather than explore, Dauntless who would rather work as mercenaries than entering the Sal'dras, and Patriarchs who have no interest in community affairs.
Because of their long lifespan, yruntadites tend to have a "long view" not common in other races. When they encounter a new species or situation, the yruntadites are more comfortable with an extended period of passive observation and study than immediate action. They are unfazed that some of their investments or decisions may not pay off for decades or centuries. Patriarchs can seem to make incomprehensible decisions, but their insight is evident when their carefully-laid plans come to fruition. In interstellar relations, this long view manifests in the unspoken policy of centrism. The yruntadites instinctively seek to maintain stable balances of economic, political, and military power.
Traditionally, yruntadites spread their influence through military domination and intellectual superiority. They invite new species of advanced development to join the galactic community, knowing that their ideals and beliefs will inevitably influence the existing culture. The yruntadites tend toward communal, consensus attitudes among themselves too: for example, they prefer to live in shared spaces aboard starships even if there are alternatives available.
Yruntadites believe that their offspring acquire the best qualities of the "mother" from the melded genes, but evidence is anecdotal. They frown upon intraspecies conception, since genetic traits and cultural insight is gained from mating outside their species, so it's considered wasteful for yruntadites to reproduce together. The results of such unions are occasionally referred to as "purebloods", a great insult among contemporary yruntadites. A rare genetic defect known as Dawnasach, which makes yruntadite destroy the partner's mind during melding, occurs much more frequently among the sons of purebloods.
Yruntadites are well aware they tend to be attractive, and are comfortable expressing their sexuality, as can be witnessed by their "lack of clothes" culture. Young females of other races tend to have a fascination with yruntadites.
Because of their natural sensuality and ability to mate with any species, yruntadites are sometimes rumoured to be promiscuous. These rumours are mostly a result of misinformation. In fact, yruntadites have to accept that if they mate outside their own species, they will almost inevitably outlive their partner. Therefore, they have had to apply their philosophical "long view" to relationships as well, savouring the time they spend with their partners rather than focusing on their inevitable loss. As a result of the age difference many yruntadites raise their sons alone, especially if the "father" species is short-lived. Despite their partner's death, a part of them will live within their other.
A few yruntadite are determined to become T'dankari, members of an ancient order of yruntadites adhering to a strict code. T'dankari operate inside of yruntadite space correcting injustices, often through harsh means, including death. It is rare for a t'dankari to leave yruntadite space as it could cause a diplomatic incident with other species.
Duty is paramount in yruntadite culture, and their society is seen as a living entity, whose well-being is the responsibility of all. Each person is like a drop of blood in the veins of the being, and they must not do what is best for them, but what is best for the creature.
The yruntadites do not have a concept of personal identity, and use alpha-numeric codes rather than names to identify and present themselves. These codes are in fact strings of genealogical information used by the Rhasy'nal for record-keeping.
A yruntadite's personal name is not same as what other species would consider a personal name, as it is merely a code for which the Rhasy'nal use to keep track of breeding, and is thus not something a yruntadite uses to refer to one another. Yruntadite instead uses their job title or rank as their identity, although some important individual were given unique "nicknames" by the government.
Yruntadites have no "family units": they do not marry or choose partners. A father's role ends at conception. A mother's ends at birth. A yruntadite's "family" consists of his peers, called brothers. in fact, "pureblood" yruntadites are all related to each other, as a product of inbreeding for centuries. Even the name "Yruntad" literally means "same father" in their language.
Yruntadite usually do not associate mating with love. They do have the capacity to love like all species, even having friends and forming emotional bonds with one another. However, they simply do not have sexual intercourse with each other to express it. If they do, then they are sent to be re-educated by the T'dankari. If a child is produced, the same thing happens as with all other yruntadite children: it is sent to be raised by the Rhasy'nal until the age of 50, when they need to join the conscription. However, this only apply to cases inside yruntadite space. Therefore, yruntadites may have sexual intercourse for love with other species freely outside. Yruntadite do not waste resources unnecessarily, people included.
Yruntadites have been bred for specific roles for a very long time. Parentage is no longer the issue, more like pedigree. However, breeding does not determine a yruntadite's assigned task. If a yruntadite was bred to be a soldier but turns out to be more intellectual, the Rhasy'nal may move him into the priesthood, researching weapons technology, or the T'dankari, policing the populace, depending on what roles need to be filled by someone with their specific traits.
A corpse is considered an insignificant husk that is no longer the individual that it once was and thus is afforded no special treatment, rather disposed of whatever manner is most practical.
Yruntadite society is based upon learning as well as military might. Few speak the common tongue that is used among the Koproese, and even fewer speak it well. For this reason, yruntadites often keep quiet among foreigners, out of shame—in a culture that strives for perfection and mastery, to possess only a passable degree of skill is humiliating, indeed.
The Rhasy'nal wield a great deal of influence in yruntadite society. As it is primarily a maternal role - in which only certain yruntadites with a genetic mutation that causes them to possess maternal insticts could carry this role- this might lead an outsider to believe that their society is "female"-dominated. Yruntadite do not, however, look upon government in quite the same way. The brain could be said to rule the body, but so too does the heart, the lungs, the stomach. All are part of the greater whole.
Inside the yruntadite space, the Rhasy'nal raise all the children, give them their general education, and evaluate them. Yruntadites are officially assigned their roles at a hundred years of age. The Rhasy'nal do conduct some tests, but nothing that requires a pencil. They also have something of a head start on the process, as they are the ones who control the yruntadite selective breeding program.
Main article: Pr'vanizos
The yruntadite military has formidable discipline. Officers and NCOs are "lifers" with years of field experience. Enlisted personnel are thoroughly trained and stay calm under fire. Yruntadite units don't break. Even if their entire line collapses, they fall back in order, setting ambushes as they go. A popular saying holds: "You will only see a yruntadite's back once he's dead."
Boot camp begins on the 50th birthday. Conscripts receive five years of training before being assigned to a field unit. Yet only those who were chosen in the Sal'dras would enter another 3 years of training; officers even longer, and serve in the active military unit; the rest become part of the Reserves. Most serve until the age of 700. Even if they suffer injuries preventing front-line service, most do support work behind the lines.
Pr'vanizos, the yruntadite army, is lead by the Tadvani. The yruntadite army are the eyes, ears, legs, arms, and hands of the creature, everything that one needs to interact with the world, and so most yruntadite encountered by other species belong to the military. In the yruntadite society "females" cannot be soldiers.
Command and control is decentralized and flexible. Individual squads can call for artillery and air support. They make extensive use of combat drones for light duties and practice combined arms: infantry operates with armor, supported by overhead gunships. Strategically, they are methodical and patient, and dislike risky operations.
Tradition is important. Each legion has a full-time staff of historians who chronicle its battle honors in detail. The oldest have records dating back to the yruntadite Iron Age. If a legion is destroyed in battle, it is reconstituted rather than being replaced.
The yruntadites recruit auxiliary units from conquered or absorbed minor races. Auxiliaries are generally light infantry or armored cavalry units that screen and support the main battle formations. At the conclusion of their service in the Auxiliaries, recruits are granted yruntadite citizenship.
All yruntadites are given a tool which signifies their role in yruntadite society; for soldiers, this tool is always a weapon of some kind. In the case of soldiers, at least, to lose this weapon brands the owner as soulless and one who is to be executed on sight by the Pr'vanizos. These items are held in high regard, and upon the owner's death the yruntadite may take the item to honor the fallen individual.
The mainstay of the yruntadite infantry is the Tsuilanstoir assault rifle, a light, accurate, and versatile weapon that nonetheless packs more punch than other rifles of its size. Other yruntadite weapons include the Sungdu anti-material sniper rifle, and the PR-802 Missile Launcher, manufactured by Gafh Arsenal, one of the yruntadite military's main suppliers. Vehicles the yruntadites employ include the Y-23 Serpent Gunship, a versatile multi-role aircraft, an APC variant of the C-623, the Q15 Zadok, a durable 15-ton infantry fighting vehicle, the Stokrom Infantry Fighting Vehicle, a hovercraft capable of traversing most terrains and engaging enemies at 20 kilometers with its missiles.
Yruntadite wars are often marked by citizen resistance. Most yruntadite families keep small arms in their homes and take basic training courses that include instruction on how to create simple anti-vehicle explosive devices. To suppress citizen militias, the Yruntadite Triumvirate makes use of "execution squads" known as Ar'kanir. First, ar'kanir soldiers are deployed door-to-door; anyone who demonstrates hostile intent will be shot. Ar'kanir burial units then retrieve and cremate the bodies. This approach is necessary because without the this, no yruntadite would ever surrender, and without the ar'kanir, it would take years for a population to be pacified.
Main article: Tafow
Tafow is the Yruntadite language. Few among the yruntad's people speak the common tongue, and fewer speak it well. In a culture that strives for mastery, to have only a passable degree of skill is perhaps embarrassing, so yruntadites often keep quiet among foreigners.