Derfi'gassak – A Minor Non-Human Race
Origins and History:
Little is known about the origins of the Derfi'gassak and the IISS have yet to determine if they are natives of Orkney (Reavers' Deep 2919). The world was first surveyed in 110 however the presence of the Derfi'gassak was not discovered until the next IISS survey ship orbited the planet in 180. It was later discovered that the neighbouring world of Maiden (Reavers' Deep 2920) was in fact a colony from Orkney, sent out by generation ships. Given the extreme xenophobic nature of the Derfi'gassak the Imperium decided not to contact them and so formed the autonomously governed region of Dienbach Grÿpen and quarantined them. The quarantine is maintained by the IISS from the scout base on Khagish (Reavers' Deep 3019).
Physiology and Appearance:
The Derfi'gassak as a race are short, on average less than 150cm. They have dark skin tones with either short white hair or no hair at all. They have six limbs coming out of the central body mass and each of the meter long limbs have four long digits, one being opposable. The Derfi'gassak are capable of using any limb to manipulate tools. A single 'mouth' stalk appears from the under body with mandibles extending from the stalk to grasp and pull food within the body. The Derfi'gassak appear to be blind as they have no noticeable eyes however they do have extremely sensitive sensor clusters on each limb that detect movement, smells and sounds in a 360 degree radius. This makes the Derfi'gassak almost impossible to surprise. The males tend towards heavy muscles and thick bodies while the females have a leaner build. They tend to wear little beyond utility belts and tools as Orkney has a dense atmosphere heavy with heat and humidity which promotes a dense jungle and rainforest environment. They have a shorter lifespan than most humans, which is not surprising given the violent nature of life on Orkney where super-large predators are common. The IISS suspects this short lifespan has promoted rapid reproductive maturation under conditions of early mortality of the Derfi'gassak.
The Derfi'gassak language is based on guttural sounds and clicks, which seem to carry well in the dense atmosphere and thick jungles of their homeworld. The words, when strung into sentences, have a slight musical quality to them. The IISS have yet to translate any of the Derfi'gassak's language.
The Derfi'gassak are extremely xenophobic in nature, to the point where they will attack anyone who comes near their homeworld. While clan wars are rare, when they do happen they are always bloody with extremely high casualty rates. Within clans disputes are also rare and are mediated by the priest clan.
Society and Government:
Most Derfi'gassak communities are partially hunter-gatherers, living partially but not exclusively on the wild products of their environment. The native forests of Orkney are rich in edible food-stocks, and the Derfi'gassak are mostly vegetarians. The Derfi'gassak of Maiden have to grow their own food due to the poorer nature of the planet, though this is easier as there are no natural predators on that world. Cities tend to be built into the sides of mountains or underground to protect the citizens from the native predators. They trade with neighbouring communities to acquire cultivated foods and other material items that are needed by the clan. Orkney is ruled by a priest clan, which their religion deems as a dictated right, and which the rest of the population follows with blind obedience. A smaller version of the ruler priest clan also leads the population of Maiden. Each clan is lead by a prominent family, with the head of that family acting as the head of the clan.
Military and Technology:
Military membership is required by the priest clan for all males aged between 18 and 22. This allows the males to start their own family, usually around the age of 13, before beginning their military term. Military membership entails guardianship of the priest clan and the keeping of peace on Maiden. The use of technology by the Derfi'gassak tends to be of a utilitarian nature and small. Technology is also created to blend into the environment as much as possible, which explains why the initial IISS survey missed the Derfi'gassak settlements. If the Derfi'gassak do not need an item to live it is very unlikely that the item will exist on either planet.