The Legati are a proud species hailing from Caelum. 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, 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
Common First Names:
- 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.
Hailing from Caelum (KAI-luhm), the Legati have had a rocky past coming into the galactopolitical scene. Through their equivalent of a human Expansion Age, the Legati struggled to maintain dominance of their homeworld. The three Legati nations (Titus, Borus, and Seres) stood against the myriad predators that stalked the land and threatened their existence. But fighting alone simply wasn't enough to overcome the sheer might of their predators. The end seemed inevitable to them, until a last ditch alliance between the nations who had previously been at odds with each other. An agreement was struck. The nations would be lead by Triumvirate, and the military forces unified under the leadership of a Praetor. Suddenly, the story changed. Armor and weapons made in Borus were worn by the Legati in Seres. Crops grown in the fertile lands of Titus fed the world. All this was carried by the Centurial Army's Supply Legion, crisscrossing the world in underground supply routes and carried across oceans. The hordes of beasts had been fought back, and the world was theirs. Technological advancement made huge leaps forward under the unified Legati, and where they had been fighting for survival not but a century earlier, they were taking their first steps into space. It wasn't long in their journies before they made first contact with the Syrac, an extremely technologically advanced race that had a station, called Aetos, set in their star system. A brief war ensued, the Legati seeing the Synac as an invasive species, but after the destruction of the station a large portion of the fleet made the jump to Legati space to investigate. Cooler heads among the Legati prevailed, so while many wanted war, a truce was struck. The Synac introduced themselves with gifts, chief among them being the Galeio, the nigh universal tool system/translator in the Milky Way. Now that communication was possible, an alliance was formed from the two species, and soon the Legati made their way to meet the rest of the galaxy. Now the Legati serve as the military branch for the Galactic Federation, working to keep peace in the Milky Way through superior firepower.
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. "Once they did not serve their people, so shall they for eternity." —Corinth, High Priest
- Legati evolved from a prey species of flighted animals.
- 120 years
- Conservation Status
- Least threatened
- Average Height
- 1.7 to 2 meters
- Average Weight
- 30 to 45 kg