The Legati are a proud species hailing from Maros. Originally living alongside many predators, they arose to a civilized state despite their status as a prey species. As such, their culture praises combat prowess above all else. The Legati civilization mandates lifelong military service, and deserters (called Perfuges) are branded, ostracized, and considered no longer a member of the species. The species was only unified recently, headed by an autocratic ruler known as Praetor, a sort of supreme commander of military forced and planetary head of state.
Anatomy & Morphology
Similar to terran birds, the Legati have a lightweight structure relative to their size. Their "feathers" are very dense and tightly packed, however, and the only true feathers remain on the crest. The Legati stand at around 6 feet in height and weigh around 100 pounds, though individual weight fluctuates between individuals based on activity level. On their wrists spout blade-like quills, remnants of their flighted past. These quills are hard and sharp, however, and they serve both ceremonial and self defense purposes. The Legati's beaks were used to break open the hard skinned fruits and vegetables of their home planet, Maros, but this has evolved to a more mouth-like snout, capable of complex speech similar to that of humans. The nasal cavities along their snout, however, produces a musical tone similar to that of a flute or recorder. In more war-like times, this was used for purposes of psychological warfare and a means by which to improve morale.
Genetics and Reproduction
Legati have courtship rituals similar to humans. Courtship within a military unit is generally frowned upon, however, as it is seen as a form of incest. This perhaps began as a means to ensure children kept at least one parent at home and alive. The Legati give live birth after sexual reproduction. The gestation period lasts for 10 months.
Growth Rate & Stages
Infant Legati are born featherless, but grow their plummage in within a month. They are born with the ability to sing as birds do, but do not develop speech for 2 years. In early childhood to late adolesence, they are trained in public schools in a multitude of subjects, the most important being military history and galactopolitics. True military training starts after the age of 25, the beginning of sexual maturity. It is at this point that a Legatus is expected to choose a future career after many years of consideration. The average Legatus can expect to live around 120 years.
Dietary Needs and Habits
Legatus are mostly herbivorous and somewhat insectivorous, though they typically only eat insects in survival situations. Even then, military rations are a common provision among them. This lends the Legati the idiom "eating bugs", an expression of desperation. Food stores provide to individuals on a per-need basis. Since the entire species is militarized, all are subject to military supply chains.
- Praetor: Head of state, supreme commander of armed forces
- Triarus: Three maximum. Generals overseeing land, sea, and air and space operations.
- Principes: Military commanders overseeing squadrons
- Centuros: Platoon commanders
Legati eyed are situated on either side of their head, suggesting an earlier ancestor was a prey species. Their heads are crested with colorful feathers. These feathers are rigid, much like the quills on their wrists.
Perception and Sensory Capabilities
- Visual perception, as a former prey species, offers generous field of view but limited depth perception without aid
- Acute hearing able to pick up on sounds well beyond average human perception, in addition to distant sounds.
Civilization and Culture
- The Legati Centurial Army
- Supply Legion
- Libertas Wing
Common Etiquette Rules
Legati often salute those in superior positions with a brief bow under formal circumstances, but the practice is more or less an archaic tradition. Between the ages of 25 to 40, Legati are considered active duty military personnel, and as such follow all military courtesies while on duty.
Culture and Cultural Heritage
Since the Legati were not always on the top of their homeworld's foodchain, their culture idealizes strength through combat ability. Legati prove themselves capable of supporting their species early in life with a sort of gladiatorial combat trial they refer to as "The Trial of Laudis". In it, the juvenile Legati fight against a single Revali, their primary predator in past days, as a small squad. Historically, this was a life or death battle, but in more civilized times this is done via simulation. The simulation, however, still registers pain and injury in the young Legati. All members of the species are considered members of the Legati Centurial Army, the armed forces branch of the Legati government. They are only considered to be active duty personnel from ages 25 to 40, and all are allowed to choose a secondary occupation in lieu of active service. Serving in the Centurial Army, however, is considered a great honor, and as such, many Legati choose to join. Those who leave without permission, should they be caught, are branded "Perfuges". These Perfuges are ostracized from society and permanently tattooed to show their betrayal. They are not allowed to own property in Legati space, and are considered no longer a member of the species. Some members of the Legati see the practice as brutish and barbarian, however, and there is a growing movement to welcome Perfuges back into Legati society. Some Perfuges enjoy the freedom they find in piracy and mercenary work.
For the HomelandEarly Legati society was divided among seven continents; Quirinus, Viminus, Esquilus, Caelus, Aventus, Palatus, and Capitus. Each continent was a nation unto itself, with their own culture, government, and most importantly to them, military. To this day, these continents form ethnic groups among the Legati. At the time, however, these continents were locked in perpetual war. Tensions between the nations ran high for as long as any care to remember, stemming from the nation of Capitus's colonial efforts. Aventus, Esquilus, and Viminus were the primary targets, valued for fertile farmland, natural resources, and land. As populations grew, space was becoming a premium. The colonization effort was launched under the notion that the lands they sought were not civilized. Upon landing on what would soon be called Aventus, however, Capitisian colonists were quick to discover not only that open land was practically nonexistent, but also that this land was taken by a different Legati civilization. Bewildered by the discovery, they attempted to make contact with the Aventus, but were met with force. Only a small handful survived, and those who did died at sea in transit back to Capitus. The empty vessel was discovered months later by a Capitisian merchant vessel with a log detailing the happenings. Enraged, Capitus launched a military invasion of Aventus. This enraged Esquilus and Viminus, who were normally peace-loving, but could not stand by while their trade partners in Aventus were caught in the bloodshed. Capitus enjoyed a technological advantage with the use of explosive-driven projectile weaponry, but the natives of the new world had an advantage in numbers. Quirinus, Caelus, and Palatus, the remaining old world nations, were more than eager to send military aid. Their own population problems were beginning, and the new world offered new trade opportunities. This would, however, prove dangerous to the old world, as the new world Legati were able to appropriate fire arms and sailing vessels from the old world. Their own vessels were not suitable for anything past shallow water sailing, and the opportunity to sail to the old world and visit the same war on their own land was more than appetizing. War had already broken out, so a quick end to the conflict would necessitate striking their homeland. Striking in the dark, the new world Legati were more than capable of taking and holding land, in addition to technology like the new world guns. Now that the technological gap between worlds had been bridged, what both worlds imagined would be a brief conflict soon escalated into a species defining war.
For HonorThe war between the old and new worlds would continue with no significant advance on any front. Land taken on one front would be matched. Casualties mounted, and neither side was willing to budge. As new technologies were developed, armies grew more powerful. Civilian applications of new technology, such as those of the motorized vehicle, were soon overshadowed by their military applications. The Legati's sole desire, at this point, was defeat of their enemies, but unlike the Chelon, their goal was domination as opposed to extinction. Soon enough, there were Legati born after the initial conflict that were old enough to fight and die in the war that it spawned, and the war showed no sign of stopping. The war had proved to be a multi-generational affair, but the true extent of conflict had yet to be seen. The war had been raging for nearly a century. As technology grew alongside the conflict, so too did ambitions. Now that all Legati countries shared a nearly identical level of technology, the need for alliances disappeared. The first treaty broken was between Palatus and Quirinus, with Quirinus moving in to take the Palatine Fortress, a tremendous undertaking that would signify a ceremonial defeat of Palatus as a whole. The campaign went on for many years, in addition to the war in the new world. This development shook the rest of the Maros as well, but most notably Aventus, who saw the opportunity to retake land that both Palatus and Quirinus had taken from Aventus itself and its allies. When these lands were not returned to their original owners, tensions soon spilled over into war. In time, the entirety of the Maros was at war with itself. What was once old world versus new world became a free-for-all, with land rapidly changing hands to and fro. In time, it was Capitus, the very nation that started the war, that pulled through and defeated the other nations. As new ruler of the world, Capitus installed a military dictatorship that dominated the world. Suppressing all other nations (now the foundations of Legati ethnic groups), those of Capitisian birth were afforded many rights and privileges that others were not.
Common Myths and Legends
Ancestor worship is the primary religion among the Legati. Every action could impact the standing of their descendants in that regard, so punishment and atonement is both a legal and spiritual matter (though once such punishment and atonement is complete, the crimes are forgotten). To have ancestors die in shame means an individual Legati will have to work that much harder to prove themselves. Regardless of their ancestors' standing, they are seen as fonts of wisdom and inspiration. The Legati afterlife centers on a great mountain known as Hannus. At the top are the great Legati heroes, those who give their lives in service and defense. Virtuosity and combat ability determine one's placement on the mountain. The strongest exist higher on the mountain and fly where they like on wings bequeathed to them by their ancestors. The weak, the traitorous, and the foul of heart stack stones at the foot of the mountain to build it higher as a form of punishment.
- 120 years
- Conservation Status
- Least threatened
- Average Height
- 1.7 to 2 meters
- Average Weight
- 30 to 45 kg