The Shrike Collective
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The Shrike Collective are one of the galaxy's more unstable races, both politically and individually. The Shrike originate from the world Maelstrom, which is slightly east of the galactic core. Maelstrom itself is a hellish quagmire of hydrochloric acid lakes, vast swamps, toxic valleys and sulphur pits. Couple this with a chlorine heavy atmosphere and it becomes clear that Maelstrom is not exactly a Garden World.

Many believe this to be reason for the aggressive behaviour of the Shrike. A naturally punishing environment and short lifespan have led the Shrike to be a race that all too often acts without thinking. The only advantage this offered to the rest of the galaxy was that the Shrike were unlikely to ever advance beyond the Industrial Age. Unfortunately for the rest of the galaxy, the Knesp would change this forever.

Factfile

Holdings

Star Systems

  • Planets
  • Moons
  • Space stations

Government

Capital: Maelstrom
Type: Largely Tribal with a loose overarching hierarchy
Chief Governing Body: The Shrike Lords
Head of State: The Shrike Lords

Civilian Information

Population: -

Species: Shrike

Religion: Pagonistic

Lifespan: ~30-40 years

Languages: Drath'tal

Economy

Type: Barter
Currency: N/A
General Imports: N/A
General Exports: N/A

Background

Uplifted by the technologically superior Knesp, the the Shrike were able to take their first reckless steps onto the galactic stage. Though largely unable to unlock the full potential of most Knesp concepts, the Shrike were able to make crude but surprisingly effective designs in areas ranging from ground based vehicles to orbital weaponry. However, most Shrike small arms have remained balistic in nature. Although the reasoning behind this decision is unknown, most believe that Shrike warriors prefer the sadistic and unwieldy nature of their original weapons to that of contemporary arms.

Now armed with ships capable of FTL travel, the Shrike found a niche for themselves as pirates and raiders, able to hit fledgling colonies and trade convoys with disturbing precision. However, despite presenting a notable concern for most races in the Tempest Sphere, preventing these attacks has proved patchy at best thanks largely to the erratic and unpredictable nature of the attacks.

Contemporary Life in The Shrike Collective

While the concept of Shrike 'culture' is somewhat of an oxymoron, the species has developed some societal characteristics that could be considered a form of culture, if only in the simplest sense. The most obvious of these is the heirarchical structure of Shrike society. This heirarchy is based almost solely around the physical strength of a Shrike (though factors like aggression often play a part). For this reason, most Shrike leaders are, and always have been, behemoths amongst even their own kind.

One of the other dominant cultural characteristics prevalent in Shrike society is their deep-seated hatred of most other species. Despite its immediate appearance, this hatred is not unbiased. It is aimed solely at the creatures the Shrike consider to have had a 'pampered' evolution. Most commonly, this extends to races that evolved on garden worlds. This bias is rarely seen due to the fact that most races originate from planets the Shrike would consider garden worlds.

Warfare

Shrike lack even the most basic of honour systems when it comes to warfare. They have no rules of engagement or sense of mercy. During Shrike raids, an unarmed child is as much of a target as a fully armed soldier and, in this regard, it is rare for the Shrike to take prisoners or leave any survivors at all. However, when setting up a garrison on raided worlds, Shrike will occasionally make use of survivors as a form of easily available slave labour to speed up construction. Surviving slaves are usually executed after construction is completed.

A common, and unsettling, sight for scavenge teams when investigating Shrike raids is the corpses of the dead impaled upon pieces of debris. These grim atrocities are left as indication of Shrike involvement as well as a warning to those that may stumble upon the raid site.

Recent History

In recent times, the Shrike have played an extremely important role in securing the future of the Tempest Sphere, albeit not by choice. Fearful of both the rapid expansion of the Shrike Collective after the devastation of the Great Enlightenment Crusade and the ever encroaching Jorros Swarm, several nations of the Tempest Sphere, working in tandum, began a series of covert operations with the goal of turning these two new threats against each other. This desparate attempt to preserve the sphere was dubbed Operation Blindside, and ultimately directed the advancing Jorros Swarm right into the growing holdings of the Shrike Collective.

Given the recency of the operation, the war between the Shrike and Jorros is still ongoing. While the Shrike have been able to stave off being completely overwhelmed through their strength, aggression, and the fact they're fighting in their home territory, the Jorros have displayed a remarkable degree of adaptability to even the harshest environments the Shrike have settled in. As neither contender possess the naval strength for orbital bombardment, the Jorros and the Shrike have become bogged down in a brutal and seemingly unending ground war.

While the motives and intentions of the Jorros swarm are, as always, unknown, the current consensus amongst the Shrike is that they have finally found an enemy worthy of their ability, and resultantly have no intention of backing down.