Example Names: Bora Dinsa, Bukoa Argoun, Chisa Nyma, Dorji Atan, Kouan Targa, Mugo Nalcha, Muri Dari, Nasa Ginua, Tema Bani, Uher Suha, Vachi Benai
- Echolocation: By giving out a series of clicks, the sarkai may operate in total darkness.
- Nimble: +2 Dex.
- Resilience: Sarkai recover twice as many HP each day while recovering.
- Sleepless: Sarkai can shut down portions of their brain during periods of inactivity such that they effectively do not have to sleep.
- Weak: -2 Str.
The sarkai are likely evolved from an ichthyoid species native to their home planet.
According to the Song of Riata Khi, much of the known world of Arjuna was conquered by the Sarkai Empire 830 years ago. The First Emperor, Iden Arhi, is still considered the paragon of honor who led the warrior-class of sarkai to conquer the world. Iden Arhi began as the deposed king of a small city-state with a dedicated cadre of warriors. He sought refuge in the city-state of an ally and rebuilt his forces and reconquered his home. Iden Arhi revived an ancient honor code, the sartau, and inspired his people to dedicate themselves to honor, perfection and conquest. His entire city-state abandoned their home and began a war of conquest, relying on their allies and conquered peoples for resources to feed their growing war band. They founded a new city at Tamino, a central location from which they could govern the known world.
Centuries later, the Empire discovered a new continent to conquer. Sarkai annexed the new territory ravenously, dominating the locals and founding new colonies. Conflicts with the locals, lawlessness, and brutal wildlife made this a dangerous new land which history records honed the sarkai into warriors again after centuries of stagnation. Naturally, the colonies eventually rebelled against the Empire. In order to address this conflict, the capital was moved to Akhisaga. However, this made effective governance of the Old Empire harder and opportunists took advantage of the lack of oversight. So in a short amount of time, the Empire found itself fighting a war on two fronts. The Emperor appointed the First Protector, the pinnacle of sartau a sarkai known as Jatu Kai, to bring both new and old territories back under the wing of the Empire. He pledged himself to protect these wayward peoples from themselves. Armed with a force of sarkai, First Protector Jatu Kai reconquered the New Empire while the Emperor attempted to quell rebellions within the Old Empire.
When his work was completed, Jatu Kai returned to the Old Empire to discover the Emperor had been executed and the imperial family was in hiding from ambitious factions. A usurper held the capital, claimed the title of emperor for himself and demanded loyalty from the First Protector. Jatu Kai responded by attacking the capital of Akhisaga and before executing the usurper, explained to the populace that he had to fulfill his pledge to the Old Emperor and reconquer the rest of the Old Empire. The old capital of Tamino had a usurper emperor as well and Jatu Kai executed him after a lengthy siege. The First Protector returned to Akhisaga and formally restored the imperial family.
By this time, however, the Empire was largely loyal to the Protector and the sarkai armies were busy maintaining order. So the Last Emperor took this opportunity to have the First Protector executed so that loyalty would not be divided in the Empire. This of course, caused another civil war between Imperialist, Rebel, and Protectorate factions. After a brief, but bloody civil war, a new First Protector had defeated the Last Emperor and made a compromise with the rebels to ensure peace. Each new Protector swore to the last that they would uphold the mandate of Jatu Kai — peace and security, protect your enemies from themselves. So, 161 years ago, the Sarkai Protectorate was formally founded in the ashes of the Old Empire.
Military technology had advanced significantly during this period and the sarkai had jump drive 140 years ago. First contact took place with the Yaksha. At first, the Protectorate chose to not pollute itself with the influence of aliens and so official relations ended there. Several other alien species were discovered in the next decade. However, by then the yaksha obtained technology, including jump drive from sarkai outcasts. Yaksha pirates began raiding sarkai outposts to obtain more technology and defend their territory against what they perceived as the looming threat of the sarkai. The Protectorate made a decision that aliens would eventually gain jump drive either through theft, trade or ingenuity and so the Protectorate’s original mandate to protect their enemies from themselves applied to aliens as well. So the Protectorate’s response was swift and brutal. The yaksha homeworld was conquered, its people pacified and incorporated into the Protectorate forcibly. Since that time, the sarkai have attempted to do the same to countless others — sometimes with economic. Their one glaring defeat was with the Manasa, who now threaten the Protectorate.
Humanoids with a fish-like features. Notably, they have four digits on each hand and two large toes on each foot. Their long arms hang down past their knees. Their faces, tips of their hands, elbows, and tips of their feet have a scintillating, rainbow coloration which varies from individual to individual. A strong bone protects the nasal passageway which starts on the top of their head and extends into their mouth. Their olfactory senses are located inside their mouths. Their mouth is filled with 100 to 250, tiny, cone-shaped teeth sometimes in multiple rows. Sarkai have no visible ears, instead they can hear through fat-filled nodules on their throats which transmit sound to their jaw bone to an internal middle ear.
The name sarkai comes from their language meaning, “Honorable One.”
Within the Sarkai Protectorate, all sarkai are expected to follow a code of honor, called the Sartau (“Path of Honor”), which requires strict adherence — they must be willing to die rather than violate the Path. Honor is entirely a personal achievement and cannot be achieved or lost on behalf of someone else.
- Benevolence is required before one can be invested with the power to command or to take life. Love, pity, sympathy and mercy are all expected of a sarkai.
- Courage despite personal risk. Fear must never guide a sarkai, though they need not be stupid.
- Honor could also be called dignity. The sarkai must recognize thinking beings are blessed with free will. A sarkai without honor is no sarkai. That said, nothing reinforces or restores honor better than success.
- Loyalty is two-directional. Just as all sarkai are equal, there is no such as thing as a subordinate, however, once sworn to a cause or a person, that support must never waver or be divided.
- Politeness are rooted in courtesy. Hospitality to guests and respecting the feelings of others are paramount to civilization.
- Reciprocity requires that all debts be paid. This is also referred to as justice — since there can be no injustice without disparity.
- Self Mastery is the quality of striving for physical and mental perfection. This goal is unattainable, of course, but the quest for self improvement is the true purpose. Inaction is the first death of a sarkai.
- Sincerity demands that the sarkai be honest, not obscure or vague. While they may omit information in order to maintain politeness, they must not withhold information when pressed for the same reason.
Those who violate the sartau are no longer considered sarkai. Instead they are called Sanvir (“Worthless”). A known sanvir is shunned by friends and family until they reclaim their honor. They chose to live rather than preserve their honor in death.
A sarkai would consider themselves naked if they were without their ancestral weapons, a blade and gun. Armor fell out of favor thanks to the development of the latter.
Technology is fairly advanced in the Sarkai Protectorate thanks to their sleepless physiology and the sartau ’s emphasis on achievement and mastery.
The majority of their ships are explorers and built for versatility.