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Urgans icon.png
Urgans
Urgans portrait.png
Details
Race
Urgans
Homeworld
Planet Dahaka

Urgans are a race in the game. The Urgans are a proud and capricious race of intelligent reptiles from the planet Dahaka. Cold-blooded in every sense of the word, they avoid open confrontations in favor of unexpected blows aimed at their enemy’s weak points.

Urgans are impossible negotiators due to their incurable tendency to see xenophobia in everything. Of course, if they were really looking for xenophobes the best place to check would be the mirror.


Physiology[]

Urgan bodies are lean, with practically no fat to speak of, and can sometimes seem fragile (though that is not the case). Their dense bones hold up under heavy physical loads, and their muscles have evolved to efficiently filter out toxins produced when the body exerts itself. Incidentally, that explains both their legendary stink and the speed that makes them some of the fastest creatures in the galaxy: it takes Urgans all of three seconds to accelerate all the way to 65 miles per hour, and they top out at about 95 miles per hour. While running they lean their body forward and lift their head up so that it is parallel to the ground in a streamlined attempt to gulp down as much oxygen as possible. Their claws give them excellent grip, while their tail helps them maintain balance and turn on a dime. They can sprint for up to 30 seconds and cover no more than three tenths of a mile before needing to rest for about an hour.

There are two Urgan genders, and as a whole they tend to reproduce prolifically. One female can lay up to 1,000 eggs, about a tenth of which usually survive. If they run out of space or resources, an instinctive biological mechanism within their bodies kicks in to regulate their birth rate, and they are also capable of changing genders. While they reproduce quickly, that advantage is mitigated by a short lifetime lasting only 30 earth years.

In space as well as on other worlds the Urgans have to wear cumbersome thermal suits that maintain their optimal temperature for metabolism. Without them can go into hibernation or even die.


History[]

A millennium ago a Vagalar exploration ship crash-landed onto Dahaka. Only a few hundred Vagalars survived the catastrophe, though they were unable to establish contact with other colonies thanks to an electromagnetic anomaly enveloping the local star system and blocking their signal. Their ship was beyond repair. Happily, the local food and air suited their biology, so there was nothing for it but to learn how to survive in a new world. The only downside was that the climate was very hot, and it took multiple generations for them to become accustomed to it. In time their first villages turned into major cities.

Faced with the problem of how to pass knowledge down to future generations, the elders had a temple built from the remains of the ship and established an order of scientists. Sadly, that was not enough: knowledge was lost, and the temple went from being a bastion of science to a place the locals came to worship their made-up gods. That shift mirrored a change in the mentality of the Vagalars, who became less morally upright, more utilitarian, and more mercantile.

A number of centuries later the Vagalars began exploring other continents. One of the ones they discovered was called Urga, and that was where they met the intelligent life native to the planet: the Urgans. Some time later a conflict arose between them as the Vagalars began capturing more and more territory, destroying the local ecosystem and infringing on the domain of the Urgans in the process. The conflict led to a bloody war in which the foreigners were equipped with complex firearms while the Urgans had nothing but bows and arrows to go with their iron spears. It was only thanks to sheer numbers, discipline, and biological superiority that the Urgans won the day and drove the invaders off their continent, albeit with massive losses. They took pains to capture all the craftsmen, architects, and scientists they could find as the spoils of war, later also beginning to trade their resources to the Vagalars in exchange for the knowledge wielded by the latter. And so the reptiles took all of a couple centuries to catch up to the mammals in terms of technological and cultural development.

Through the years the Urgans bided their time, waiting for their chance to avenge the deaths of their brothers and sisters. In the end, their wait was not in vain: the Vagalars revolted against their government, resulting in a civil war. The Vagalar government, in a desperate attempt to hold onto power, petitioned the Urgans for military aid. It was a fatal mistake, as the reptile army poured in like a plague of biblical proportions and wreaked havoc all across the continent. The only ones their blitzkrieg spared were the keepers of knowledge: scientists, inventors, and engineers. Two centuries later there was not a single Vagalar left on Dahaka.

A while later Urgan scientists discovered the temple of knowledge. At that point the reptiles were developed enough to understand that they were looking at the remains of an ancient space ship, and a few decades of study and industrial development were all that stood between them and their first cosmic fleet.


Culture[]

In Urgan society only the worthy can hold the seat of power. Each new generation finds its smartest, most talented, and most outstanding individuals, while the rest serve them faithfully or are executed. However, death is far from the most feared punishment: traitors have their tails cut off, for example. Urgans believe that the cycle of death and reincarnation as one of their own descendants ceases without a tail, meaning that the current life will be their last. Tails in general hold great significance in their culture. The more ridges they have, the more beautiful they are considered, which is why some Urgans even undergo operations to enlarge them.

The Urgans internalized a hatred for and fear of strangers after the first war with the Vagalars, and since then they trust no one but themselves. If they enter an alliance with someone, it is for the sole purpose of fulfilling their own ends. Because of that they often seem passive when it comes to politics, though they quickly jump at the chance to grab a piece of the pie for themselves whenever it presents itself. In fact, that is the core of the Urgan mentality and philosophy: waiting for the opportune moment. Back in primitive times they waited for hours, motionless and controlling their breathing and heartbeat, as they watched their prey get closer and closer. As soon as they saw their window, they launched a pitiless and cold-blooded attack. That idea as applied to combat is laid out in their Shak’uni (“Frozen tail”) manual: “The chance for victory arises when luck and opportunity cross tails. Smart ones wait for that moment; the wise create it themselves.”[1]

  1. game log


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