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Two Firekkans celebrating the liberation of their world from the Kilrathi

Firekkans (Armatiavis firekka) are a species of highly social, bird-like lifeforms originating from the planet Firekka (Firekka System, Antares Quadrant, Epsilon Sector). The Firekkans have only recently become a major player on the galactic scene, after the Kilrathi attempted to invade their world for their Sivar-Eshrad ceremony in 2655. Firekkan society is based on a hierarchy of flocks. Because of their strong subordination their flock and its desire to remain tightly knit, few Firekkans have left to go out into space (at least in the past; with the ascendency of Teehyn Ree Rikik, more Firekkans have launched themselves into the void for the good of their species). Firekkan culture and philosophy are very spiritual and are based heavily on imagery of flight and nature, and their architecture is quite distinct. Probably the most noteworthy thing about the Firekkans is a potent alcoholic drink known as Firekka's Finest, commonly hailed as one of the best drinks available anywhere in Known Space.

  • Personality: Firekkans are a friendly, outgoing race. They are very social creatures (particularly with one another) and have developed a complex system of greetings, gestures and customs when dealing with others (including those not of their race). A typical greeting among the Firekkans is to groom one another for parasites and bugs (again, this is type of greeting is often also extended to those not of their race). To those that offer them friendship, friendship is readily given. To those who offer them hostility, Firekkans can be fierce opponents. Firekkan culture relies heavily on a matriarchal flock system, valuing the interests of the flock (and particularly the will of the flock matriarch) above those of the individual. The flocks themselves have a hierarchy, with the leader of the most important flock (the Teehyn Ree) functioning as nominal ruler of the entire species; the species as a whole follows the will of the Teehyn Ree. Firekkans commonly follow the Flame Winds doctrine, which emphasizes living in the moment and not worrying about the future or planning ahead since any single event can undo any future plan. Other notable things about Firekkan personality include the ducking of one’s head between the shoulders when embarrassed, involuntarily moulting when frightened, chatting about practically everything (even in moments of crisis or where intrepidity is called for), and clacking one's beak when amused.
  • Physical Description: Firekkans are an avian species similar in appearance to most other members of the family Accipitridae, with the main difference being the inclusion of a full arm-and-hand motor appendage assembly separate from their wings. This technically makes them hexapods, though they definitely exhibit far more bird-like than insect-like traits. Firekkans are largely carnivorous like most members of Accipitridae, though they are known to occasionally eat seeds and imbibe alcoholic beverages (Firekka's Finest being the most well-known of these). While primarily flyers by nature, their leg and talon structure is such that they are capable of walking; they generally are about as fast as Terran when moving in this manner. Their head structure is like most raptors; they have a sharp, keratinous beak with two nose-holes near the top, two eyes set forward (which are generally blue in color), two ears lacking external pinnae, and a tuft of filoplumes on top of their head covering the ears; this topknot is generally reddish in color. Their bodies are covered with a series of vaned feathers, which are generally a bright orange-yellow color. Only their talons and arms are not covered in feathers; these have a keratinous structure like their beaks and are also an orangish color. Males have been observed with more varied and brighter color patterns on their bodies. Firekkans are on par with Terrans both physically and intellectually, despite the significant difference in the anatomy of the respective species. They communicate with one another verbally, using a language based upon various calls and clicks generated within the beak structure. Firekkans average around 2.13 meters in height, 4.79 meters in wingspan and 92.5 meters in mass, with females of the species being slightly larger and heavier than the males. They feed about four times a day on average and like most raptors; their digestive system is designed to process food that has been swallowed whole. Firekkans can generally go around two weeks without food, but will not have sufficient energy to fly if they don't eat at least once every three to five days. They can generally go about four days without water. Sleep is generally for six hours a day and performed as vigilant sleep; Firekkans are capable of performing roosting flights if necessary. Reproduction is performed oviparously, with females laying a clutch of one to three eggs after a five month gestation period. Eggs generally take another five months or so to hatch, with both parents involved in incubating and caring for their brood.
    • Motor Appendages: 2
    • Visual Organs: 2
      • Field of Vision: Optimal 200 degrees forward, Peripheral 280 degrees forward.
    • Auditory Organs: 2
    • Olfactory Organs: 1
    • Gustatory Organs: 1
    • Propulsive Appendages: 4
    • Reproductive Organs: 1
  • Relations with Other Races: The Firekkans tend to stick close to home and they're fairly new on the intergalactic scene, so their interactions with other races have been relatively minimal up to this point. Of the major races with which they have had contact, they by far have the best relationship with Terrans; they were even part of the Confederation for several years and even though they withdrew prior to the False Armistice of 2668 they remained strong allies with the Terran governments. They do have some trade relationships with the frontier races (such as the Haggan and Jarma) but for the most part they are neutral towards them. They also honor the neutrality of the planet Oasis. They have practically no relationship with the major non-starfaring races (the Mopoks, Dolosians and Dioscuri). By far their biggest antagonists are the Kilrathi, who briefly held control over the Firekka system and enslaved the entire Firekkan populace during the disrupted Sivar-Eshrad ceremony of 2655. The Kilrathi have since treated the species as "one who got away", with a few of them going out of their way to hunt down Firekkans in later years. The Nephilim also were antagonistic towards the Firekkans during the Nephilim War, particularly when they launched their invasion of the Antares Quadrant in 2691. While the Firekkan systems did not suffer quite as badly as the Terran systems, the Nephilim did cause a significant disruption in trade.
  • Territory: The Firekkans have not been starfaring for a particularly long time. First contact with the Terran Confederation happened just prior to the start of the Terran-Kilrathi War, with the first few Firekkans leaving their planet for the first time shortly thereafter, beginning their Starfaring Age. From 2654 to 2668, the Firekkans were members of the Confederation, eventually withdrawing to form the Firekkan Planetary Alliance in protest of the Kilrathi Armistice. By 2678, the Firekkans had colonized the adjacent T'Kirsa system. Despite having been starfaring for some time as of 2701, the vast majority of their species remains located in their home system, located in the Antares Quadrant of the Epsilon Sector.
  • Onomastikon: Without exception, all Firekkan names consist of a single two-syllable word which is usually either five or six characters in length when romanized. This word functions primarily as a forename. Individuals will refer to themselves by flock name only if absolutely necessary in conversation; the flock name is a separate idea in Firekkan speech and is never included as part of the name of an individual. Firekkans are given their names by their brood mothers during a flock ceremony that takes place a few months after they have hatched. Firekkan names are based on no more than four unique vowel sounds: long and short "A", short "I" and long "E". Consonant usage tends to heavily favor "L", hard "H", "K" and "R" (with "R" sometimes trilled), with "L" and "H" slightly more common in male names and "K" and "R" more common in female names. Glottal stops are also sometimes present in female Firekkan names. Firekkan names are usually quick to say and easy to pronounce; nickname usage, while not unheard of in Firekkan society, is generally rare. Firekkan names consist of exactly one prefix and exactly one suffix.
    • Male Prefixes: Haik, Haikk, Hairr, Hak, Hakk, Harr, Heek, Heekk, Heerr, Hik, Hikk, Hirr, Laik, Laikk, Lairr, Lak, Lakk, Larr, Leek, Leekk, Leerr, Lik, Likk, Lirr.
    • Female Prefixes: K', Kaik, Kaikk, Kairr, Kakk, Keek, Keerr, Ki', Kr', Kra', Kraik, Krairr, Kree', Kreekk, Kri', Krikk, R', Rai', Rak, Rakk, Reek, Reekk, Ri', Rik.
    • Suffixes: aik, air, aish, ait, ak, ar, ash, at, eek, eer, eesh, eet, ha, hai, hee, hi, ik, ir, ish, it, ka, kai, kee, ki, kka, kkai, kkee, kki, kra, krai, kree, kri, la, lai, lee, li, na, nai, nee, ni, ra, rai, ree, ri, rra, rrai, rree, rri, sha, shai, shee, shi, ta, tai, tee, ti.
  • Motivation: It takes a special kind of Firekkan to want to leave hearth and home to voyage amongst the stars, particularly given the race's tightly knit flock culture and the stigma against going against the will of the flock. Those relatively few Firekkans who do leave their planet do so out of a sense of general social rejection, in search of a new "flock" with which to bond. A few of the flocks do hold to the belief that some of their number should seek out new worlds and experiences, the better to come back and enrich the flocks. In that sense, an adventure is like the Amish practice of rumspringa to some Firekkans. There are also those bold folks who feel that they can better their own position by heading out into space; the incidences of whole flocks leaving Firekkan to chance their fate among the stars has been minimal as yet, but not unheard of.

  • Basic Characteristics:
    • Size Class: C6
    • Base HP: 60
    • Base HD: 41/38/53
    • Physical Attribute Building Point Pool: 150
    • Mental Attribute Building Point Pool: 200
    • Discipline Building Point Pool: 220
    • Genders: 2
    • Life Stages: Adolescent at 20 years. Adult at 26 years. Middle age at 39 years. Old Age at 73 years. Venerable Age at 87 years.
    • Lifespan: 90 + 11d5 years.
    • Wingspan (Female): 3.67 + (2d5 x 0.24) meters.
    • Wingspan (Male): 3.52 + (2d5 x 0.23) meters.
    • Mass (Female): 70.76 + (2d5 from wingspan x 4.72) kilograms.
    • Mass (Male): 67.99 + (2d5 from wingspan x 4.53) kilograms.
    • Speed (Female): Flyer - 70 kph (117 m/rd); Runner (Biped) - 6 kph (10 m/rd); 23 (short-range combat, flying), 5 (long-range combat, flying); 2 (short-range combat, walking), 1/3 (long-range combat, walking)
    • Speed (Male): Flyer - 67 kph (112 m/rd); Runner (Biped) - 6 kph (10 m/rd); 22 (short-range combat, flying), 4 (long-range combat, flying); 2 (short-range combat, walking), 1/3 (long-range combat, walking)
    • Trade Value: ¤1,490
    • Racial Abilities and Restrictions:
      • Can Walk if Necessary. Firekkans have the Multiple Move Modes special ability, and are capable of both flying (primarily) and walking.
      • Natural-Born Fliers. Firekkans are innate fliers and do not easily get lost. They have Navigational Sense at +5. They also have a Three-Dimensional Maneuvers specialization (Flight) at 15 points.
      • Bird of Prey. Firekkans use their keen eyesight to hunt prey animals. They have Senses (Sight) at +5. They also have a sharp beak (21 Lethal Damage) and talons (21 Lethal Damage).
      • One That Got Away. Kilrathi will sometimes go out of their way to kill or enslave Firekkans. Firekkans have Hunted at -5.

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