|Average Height|| 6-7.5ft tall|
12-14ft long from snout to tail
The Isk are a race of bipedal lizard-like creatures who are built to still be capable of utilizing a quadrupedal stance, in compliance to their arboreal lifestyle. They are the rulers of the vast Iskian Empire, which controls a significant portion of the Scutum–Crux Arm of the Kyklos Galaxy.
Their eyes are very similar to those found on Earth's chameleons; their upper and lower eyelids have fused together, with only an opening big enough for the pupil and the iris to peek through. These eyes are specifically capable of swiveling, and can rotate and focus separately from one another, to observe two different objects simultaneously. This effectively gives them a full 360° arc of vision around their entire body. When predator or prey is located, both eyes will focus on it, to give the Isk very sharp stereoscopic vision as well as depth perception. This ability was evolved fairly late in the Iskian evolutionary path - well after reaching sapience in fact. Despite this late development, it allows them to remain stealthy while hunting their quick-moving prey, whilst continuing to look out for predators at the same time.
- Homeworld: Iska
- Locomotive Capabilities: Walk with a bipedal stance, but can take on a quadrupedal stance as well.
- Average Lifespan: 270 years
- Species Classification: Iskid
- Biochemistry: Carbon-based lifeform
- General Personality: Controlling attitude
- Preferred Living Arrangements: Canopy cities
- Primary Language: Iskian
- Secondary Languages: Zhorese, Taxation and any other verbal languages of member races to their empire and allies.
- Affiliation: Iskian Empire
- Alignment: Lawful Evil
One of the older spacefaring races in the known galaxy, the Isk existed as a tribal species many millions of years ago, living amongst tHistoryhe treetops and battling one another for supremacy and for the safest branches from which to lord over their familial town-states. The rulers of such town-states called themselves "canopy kings" in their native tongue, though the term could also be used to encompass all members of the species at the time, as they had come to control the treetops and had little to fear from predatory species. Even so, because of their constant warring with other town-states they would not experience a renaissance until many centuries later, upon their discovery of science.
When the Isk discovered science, they hit a power renaissance. It did not take them long to invent powerful space flight, and industry barons were a common sight amongst their bustling, steaming tree cities. In their civilizational heydey, space exploration was all the rage, and a majority of the industry barons and bigger companies funded the research of hyperdrive technologies and construction of colony ships which utilized such items. The species came together, finally united under the singular purpose to travel amongst the stars and colonize other worlds with the help of supplemental iskaforming technologies also developed. This project was named the Gyllean Project, and was intended to be the first great step towards a grand new empire. Unfortunately for the ill-fated project, communications array technology had not progressed at the same level as their interstellar travel ideas had, and they apparently had not realized that communication with their ships would not be instantaneous. As such, the moment the 4500 starships were launched into orbit and kicked on their hyperdrive engines, they were effectively lost to the Isk forever.
The project was considered an epic failure, and 76% of the Isk populations were now considered dead (as the Isk had no way of really knowing if any of their ships had survived with no way of contacting them). Their children now presumed dead and most certainly missing and never to return, the citizens were more than a little bit perturbed. Angry words were thrown at those involved, apologies on their parts went largely ignored, protests rang out in the streets which quickly turned into full-blown riots. While the Iskian police forces did their best to put an end to whatever violence they could, many citizens were slain and many businesses burned (resulting in several city-wide fires that brought metropolises to the ground, both figuratively as well as literally). All companies who had supported the Gyllean Project went bankrupt either from the funding itself or from subsequent en masse boycotts of their services, leading to a huge economic collapse. The economic depression, known as the Gyllean Depression, led to a massive number of suicides. Technological advancements came to a screeching halt as all of the greatest minds had supported the Gyllean Project, and nearly all had either been on the starships themselves, had been subsequently murdered after the fiasco or had simply turned up missing. Ultimately, this would serve as a damper upon true progress for the Isk for a full millennium - roughly 5 Iskian lifetimes.
A millennia after the Gyllean Project apparently failed, the Iskian Empire was able to return to space with due diligence. It would not take them long before they started their interstellar era, and began to gain hundreds of allied species.
Over the millennia since the Isk first reached sapience, several subspecies have split off from them. Most of these were instigated by the ill-fated "Gyllean Project".
The Commati were those members of the Isk aboard a specific colony ship during the Gyllean Project, to test the newly-invented Iskian hyperdrives. These colonists landed on a world wrought with steep surfaces. Over the many millennia in which they were stranded on this world with no way to contact their homeworld, they eventually adapted setae-covered feet, dual-clawed hands, and a rubbery pad on the bottom of their tails, all of which allowed them to climb and crawl on just about any surface.
Eventually a massive civil war occurred and almost obliterated the Commati species. Afterwards the leaders got together at a conference and it was decided that fighting was not beneficial to their species as a whole -- although it took a few thousand more years for most fighting to die down, the species eventually strayed far from the others by becoming far more peace-loving. However by this time, as with almost all other offshoot species, their ancient ancestry had long been forgotten, and the Commati knew nothing of the Isk at all.
The Grokk evolved from the survivors of another colony ship during the Gyllean Project. Unlike the world the Commati landed on with its steep surfaces, the Grokk landed on a world covered in rocky outcroppings, with most of the land being small, rocky, forested islands out at sea. Like the Commati and all other offshoots of the Isk, the Grokk lost their arboreal evolutions, but in their case gained in its stead tough, pebbly skin and hard spines that protruded from their forehead to the tip of their tail in a long line, with an almost mohawk effect. The Grokk had to struggle to survive on the harsh landscapes of their island coasts, and this led to their species shunning pain and fear. In doing so, their culture eventually operated around stealth and cunning traps, and the civilizations with the most assassins eventually took over the planet.
Because of this, the Grokk pride themselves in stealthy ambushes and assassinations in their military style, but also are war-hungry. When their culture arrived at a point where it was no longer intelligent to start wars amongst their own species, they immediately set to researching the technologies for stellar, and then interstellar travel. From here, they picked star systems that were closest to their location, and within only a few decades, one of their large cloaking assault cruisers discovered a planet bustling with life, a swampy world - a world the ambushers would do their darnedest to overtake. A planet known as Kesari.
Although these Grokk assassins fought hard and well, they were eventually defeated by the local inhabitants, the Amphorians and their slaves, the Lorc, and through divine proclamation they stated that the Grokk, too, would serve as their slaves. However, unlike the Lorc who had been stripped of their culture and in a way their sense of self due to an old rivalry between them, the Grokk were granted permission to act as slaves who specialized in espionage actions. This pleased the Grokk quite a bit, and although their starships had been destroyed and they were forced to spend the rest of their days on Kesari with their new masters, they formed a small bit of kinship and respect with them, which they would hold until the day the Fafni were indoctrination...
The Vorashi evolved from the survivors of a third colony ship during the Gyllean Project. They landed on a world the exact opposite of either the Commati or the Grokk, with it being a world of vast, relatively flat deserts. Being ectothermic, they lucked out when their colony ship crash landed on the surface, and most of it remained intact thanks to the density of the sands, allowing the use of life support systems - mainly in the form of air conditioning - to keep them alive. However, nothing lasts forever, and as these systems powered down over the course of many generations, and eventually they had adapted quite well to the heat, but not well enough to be comfortable. For this, they began to burrow into the sand, which eventually lead to them being capable of a style of movement known as sandswimming.
They have since evolved third eyelids to properly keep out sand and wind, and can swim through sand at incredible speeds, allowing them to leap clear of the sand only to dive back in again.
Perhaps the least known of all the offshoots species, the Vorashi do not often leave their homeplanet, preferring to swim freely amongst the sands. Those that do go off world tend to choose similar planets to inhabit, although not all do so.
The Zaryn evolved from the survivors of yet another colony ship during the Gyllean Project. However, the world their kind crash landed upon is unknown, as they have sought hard to hide their homeworld's location after the Soleian Crisis.
They are by far the most feared of all offshoot species, even in the shadow of their ancestor's great empire. Choosing their sides carefully, they officially consider themselves members of the Scourge, a smaller branch of the Crux space pirates, although many hire themselves out to other parties (mostly to more shady organizations and people). With the end of the Soleian Crisis, however, many Zaryn would throw down their loyalties to other species if it immediately threatened their homeworld. Their workings with the Scourge put them in the closest relationship with the Isk, who, under Chamelouge's rule, make occasional dealings with the Crux.
Zaryn are physically considered somewhat strange in comparison to the other offshoot races. They have bulked up significantly, gaining a bit of muscle; but they have also obtained sharp, dagger-like teeth and, their most prominent feature, a long horn that extends backwards and displays sexual dimorphism.
The Glite, sometimes referred to as the "Gliding Isk", are the final specimens of the Isk's first encounter with genetic offshoots to their race. The original Gliders were Isk prisoners who were sent to the prison-continent early on in the Iskian civilization period. Over the vast years that had passed since then, these Isk lost some of their Iskian adaptations but adapted to the far-taller trees on the continent, growing a flap of skin between their arms and legs, which they use to glide between tree to tree.
When Isk explorers first discovered the Glites, a large war broke out which lasted for 220 years. This war finally ground to a halt when both species realized they possessed generally the same personalities. From this day forward, the races joined together as a single united force; however, due to the Isk far outnumbering their gliding brethren and the Glite's inherent abilities, Glites are usually enlisted as special operatives in the Iskian military.
Notable Isks Edit
- Chamelouge: Chamelouge is the current high-commander of the Iskian Empire. Unlike the Emperors before him, Chamelouge chooses to fight at the front of battle, and is notorious for his shady dealings with a huge Space Pirate syndicate known as the Crux.
- Air Devil: Chamelouge's right-hand, Air Devil is a Glite. Air Devil is not his real name, and is instead a nickname he took upon himself, which was the name Humans called him during a specific raid on one of the Terran forest-world colonies.