The Unathi are a species deeply rooted in family in tradition. They are masterful craftsmen and ferocious warriors, following a religion that encourages mastery in one's fields.
- Irritation or heightened emotion is expressed by thumping the tail against the ground.
- Verbal exclamations are also common, as are short barks, rattling of the throat, or 'chuffing' (forceful exhalations of air from low in the throat). Anxious or worried Unathi might sway (similar to snakes), rattle the heavy scaling on their neck, hiss, or sample air more often than necessary.
- When cold, a Unathi will usually bristle their scales in a manner analogous to human goosebumps. Overheated Unathi become sluggish and drowsy. A similar effect can be observed in Unathi that consume sugar in even moderate amounts.
- It is a social faux-pas to use a Unathi's first name, to touch their tail, or to touch them at all before introductions are undertaken When speaking to superiors, it is considered formal and respectful to refer to them by the extended name of their command. An elder of the Reskor family, of the clan Hassh, whose personal name is Sskor, might be introduced as Elder Sskor Reskor of Hassh, and write their name as Sskor Reskor Hassh.
- Intimate gestures between Unathi include twining necks, twining tails, and touching foreheads or muzzles.
- Baring the throat is the single most meaningful expression of trust in a lover or superior, often used as shows of extreme trust, compassion or admittance of shame, and within honourable contexts, clawing or biting the exposed throat is perfectly allowed.
Governing from the titular capital planet (Moghes, the Moghes Hegemony is lead by a High Circle of local Elders, with constant consul from the most esteemed Redeemers from across Hegemony space. While day to day issues are left to the clans, the High Circle asks for regular reports from their subjects, necessitating a large bureaucratic presence in the capital. Most if not all Unathi are considered Hegemony citizens, and there is no known way to renounce said citizenship, as the rare human colonist has learned. Taxation from Moghes is relatively benign; Unathi culture stresses reliance on one's clan over anything else, and the capital is a shining example of the Unathi way of life.
When older humans talk about the “Unathi War”, they are referencing the First Contact conflict between SolGov and the Moghes Hegemony. This has caused ongoing tensions between the races that have never really faded. It is still not uncommon for there to be small skirmishes or shows of force between the two. However, neither wishes to fight a full-blown war.
Unathi clothing is mostly made of leather or Velo, a plant grown in large quantities to feed Stok other food
- Formal and casual clothing tends to be fine airy Velo cloth, designed to allow ease of movement.
- Protective gear is frequently less necessary for Unathi (thick hide, scales), but when it does exist it is usually leather. This includes most forms of historical medical gear, before the invention of a velo-based kevlar equivalent.
The Unathi are believed to have technology of similar quality to SolGov, or even the Skrell, but the Hegemony has yet to allow common access. From the few studies that have been allowed, SolGov has discovered that Unathi technology is larger and blockier than a human equivalent, to compensate for the size differences in the population. Unathi design aesthetics prefer function over form, and their tools are, without exception, built to last.
Unathi are notably skilled at material engineering; it is presently unknown how the Unathi Breacher suit is so protective in such a small size. In fact, the sturdiness of the Breacher suit lead directly to the development of a number of iconic SolGov weapons. It is rumored that SolGov hires pirates to attempt to raid equipment and technology from the Unathi so that they may reverse engineer it.
- The Durand mech is based on an old mining chassis, and in the war it was reworked, armed, and deployed in the chokepoints usually favoured by Unathi troops, turning the tide of more than one battle. Its strong durability and ability to protect itself was directly influenced by the design of Unathi armour.
- The Lasercannon was, at the start of the war, a stagnated weapon project used as an example of rampant military spending. The project was jumpstarted by a need to pierce Unathi heavy armour, and by reverse engineering of recovered Unathi laser weaponry.
The Moghes Hegemony has expressed great interest in partnering with human and skrellian medical research teams. Pre-contact, relatively few Unathi worked in medical fields, and treatment was primarily done via herbal remedies and the Unathi's own regenerative factors. To that end, cybernetic or prosthetic organs were all but unheard of among the Unathi, and complete cyborgification is a deep set fear for many of them.
- Interestingly, Unathi never developed any artificial intelligence before Contact. They do not have the same fear of drone evolution as SolGov, though they do occasionally question the value of Positronic individuals, claiming that the resources used in making a positronic brain and accompanying body might be put to better use in other areas.
Personal transportation is uncommon in the Hegemony. Those who need to travel do so on public tread-cars, bus-sized vehicles that cross City-Holds and countrysides alike.
- Air travel is uncommon in Hegemony space. Unathi tend to have a fear of heights, and the fragile nature of most aircraft lead to them mostly being used for industrial works. After the invention of easy space travel, Unathi who need to travel long distances take public LEO craft between City-Holds.
Unathi are a carnivourous species, and as such the majority of their meals are primarily meat based. Though they gain little nutrition from it, some Unathi enjoy decorating their meals with vegetables and flowers for the presentation. Unathi enjoy a wide range of spiced and dried meat, and some Unathi clans have set up very successful meat jerky enterprises in human space. Unathi also frequently enjoy alcohol in potencies and quantities that would sicken or kill a human, thanks to their filtration organ's efficiency. Excess sugars produced by the Unathi almost exclusively go to this purpose, since the unfermented sugars sedate them unpleasantly. As a consequence of this fact, most Unathi are averse to sweet tasting things.
Meat may be cooked, or left raw and bleeding, as it depends on an individual's taste and not worry of bacteria or infection. Eggs are most often left as they are, though they may also be hard boiled or poached as fancy sunny-side up and scrambled recipes are simply too messy to eat. Fish is more often than not prepared the same way as meat.
Religion, The Unity
A widespread Unathi religion, the majority of the Moghes Hegemony follows a belief system called the Unity.
For Unity Unathi, life's purpose is to prepare oneself for judgement by the Five Great Spirits, and to be deemed useful to them in their preparations for the End War. They do so in life by living the Decrees of the Unity. It is said that upon death, the spirit of the deceased will awaken on the Path of Five Ways, where they choose which of the Five to appeal to. They are then tested on the skills they learned in life, and if judged worthy, passed through to the Afterlife proper, where they return to work, helping their ancestors. If the spirit is unworthy, the Reclaimer dissolves the deceased's spirit for reuse by the Giver. Spirits that resist this process and escape can return to harm the living, and so living Unathi cremate their deceased ritually, to ensure the spirit cannot take corporeal form.
Many Unity clans believe that they can help the spirit pass their trials through positive memories, and the removal of the names of heinous criminals is an extension of this practice, helping the survivors to think of the good that came before, rather than the evil that forced the Unbinding.
Ancient Unathi believed in many spirits, in a form of variable animism that is the oldest known religion on Moghes. Priests of the Unity claim that all but five of these spirits were destroyed and devoured by a sixth spirit, overcome with evil. The Unathi worship the remaining five benign spirits, named below, crediting them for any great occurrence that is not otherwise easily explained.
- The Giver, Uueoa-Esa, is the only named Spirit of the Five, and the only one with a gender. She is the mother of all Unathi, creating each new soul from the light of the stars.
- The Illuminator is the most active of the Five, wandering the living realms to whisper secrets and advice into the ears of those who need it. Constantly in the realm of the living, many Unathi pray to the Illuminator in times of trouble, asking it to grant them Wisdom.
- The Builder watches over the works of creation, including those made by mortal engineers. It was the Builder who designed the first Unathi, as a gift to the Giver. The Builder works to maintain the integrity of the Afterlife's gates, in preparation for the End War.
- The Reclaimer claims domain over death, war, funerals, and Redeemers. It is their job to guard the gates of the Afterlife, ever watchful for the day when it will be forced to open the gates and return that which has been claimed by time. As a figure of Death, the Reclaimer is less liked by most Unathi, but worshiped by the Redeemers above all others. It is The Reclaimer that allows their rebirth, and permits the Chapters to kill those who cannot be turned back to the Unity.
- The Trickster watches over the Unbound and Folk Heroes. It inspires those who serve the Unity, and watches over those who do not, but might one day hear the call. The Trickster is called upon during the Unbinding ceremony to steal away the names of those who have sinned.
- The Unmaker is not worshipped by the Unathi, but rather hated and feared. This spirit, in an attempt to gain absolute power, destroyed and devoured all of the Unathi spirits save The Five. At the End of Time, the Unmaker will return from wherever it has hidden itself, and attempt to devour all that remains.
The Unity has certain demands of its adherents.
- Live honourably, as the Five demand. To speak your intent is to make it real. This encourages Unathi to be truthful, and follow through when they give their word.
- Let wisdom guide you, in all things. Learn from those who came before. This encourages Unathi to respect and learn from their elders elders.
- Your work follows you, master it. This is what encourages Unathi to work hard in their profession. It is the idea that what they do marks their name, and the name of their family and clan.
- Redeem those who may still serve the Unity, their lives may yet serve a purpose. This is the driving decree behind the Redeemers, who were originally hunted down as heretics and criminals for their extreme methods.
- The path to Redemption shall be long and trying. Let none unworthy tread the path. After the First Reformation there were issues with Unathi acting out against the norms, as the Decree allowed them to escape punishment. This allowed the Redeemers more ability to challenge the faith of those who claimed to seek redemption.
- Take nothing from The Reclaimer, to take a life is to waste that life. This decree was put in place after many long years of warring, to prevent more needless bloodshed. Redeemers are the exception to this Decree, and are believed to have a direct path to send a taken life to the Reclaimer.
- One need not be Unathi to be of the Unity. An overt attempt to curry favour with the other galactic governments, most Unathi see this as a natural extension of the discovery of non-Unathi life in the universe.
- Black Egg Syndrome - A rare genetic disease, in males it causes extreme sterility; in females it causes eggs laid to have thick black shells, impossible for the newborn Unathi to escape. Though uncurable, if the disease affects a female, it is possible for the shell to be carefully thinned out or manually opened when the hatchling begins to move.
- Stunted Regrowth Disorder - Occasionally caused by physical trauma or extensive scarring, SRD is characterized by the victim's regrowth being severely slowed, to the point of non-function. This is usually treated as a stress-based disorder, and with proper care and feeding most sufferers make a full recovery.
- Unmaker's Breath - Characterised by an incredibly painful hollow cough, Unmaker's Breath is caused by a bacterial infection in the Unathi filtration organ. Extremely fatal and infectious in the past, modern anti-inflammatories developed by the Skrell have greatly decreased the prominence of this illness.
- Instinct - Not truly a disease, but rather a facet of life, many Unathi struggle to control their base instincts, omnipresent from the moment they being to think and feel as sapients. While most Unathi manage to maintain their composure in their daily lives, there are some for whom the call of instinct is overpowering. When injured or otherwise stressed, these individuals may mentally revert to base instinct, which, for an Unathi, is to lash out against anything nearby. These rampages usually end with the death of the Unathi in question, and when they don't, it is likely that the afflicted will spend a long time, up to and including their entire life. confined to specially constructed facilities for their continued care. Many are eventually released from these places, if they manage to regain a semblance of normalcy.