Serrangios have existed on Genoskaya and its small moon, Ithion Satellite, for approximately twelve-thousand years. Their origin is unknown, though many speculate that they branched off of Erkangios, a similar yet more primitive species that is now extinct.
Serrangios lived as a self-supported species for a very long time thanks to their extremely efficient cooperative system with a nearby planet. Their profits came from the production of mechanical and telekinetic inventions that they used for trading and selling with the Spiders of Heyokiiba, a nearby planet of proud standing and good relations. Serrangios, like the Spiders, were a very proud and noble race, both of them insisting on capitalizing the name of their species. They both had a strong sense of repaying each other in debt and doing favors for each other. Both races had a focus on helping their fellow citizen first and encouraged free thinking and following one's own path.
During an event known as The First Catastrophe, a new kind of self-sustaining energy crafted by the Serrangios called "Nero" caused terrible mutations on Heyokiiba, making the race to deform into the common Spiders seen on many planets today. The Spiders as a whole downgraded to creatures of mere instinct that could only grow to minuscule sizes, as opposed to the kingly height of approximately twelve and a seventh of an Earth meter. Whit Egen, the leader of the Heyokiiban Spiders, sent off the degraded race throughout the universe in hopes that they would survive and grow back the former glory of their species. Not having the strength nor the army to battle the Serrangios, he merely cut off contact with them.
The result of The First Catastrophe changed the views of the Serrangios dramatically. The Second Age, as it became known as, came about with a rise of a new government that was determined not to have such a foolish mistake done in fear of ruining interplanetary relations again. The focus of the species switched from thinking freely to thinking for the benefit of society and to work without question. Family units were changed from having two to three generations of biological family living together into the system used now. Additionally, the next and subsequent generations were controlled with artificial emotions to avoid revolts. Finally, the Serrachnids, the result of a Serrangio and Spider interbreed, were considered highly dangerous and placed to manual labor to prevent incursion. This new system, while upsetting emotionally, brought the Serrangios to a glorious new time where technology flourished and wealth thrived in the people's hands.
An event known as The Second Catastrophe took place hundreds of Earth years after, when the artificial emotion injections stopped working on the Serrachnids, who promptly revolted against the Serrangios. The incredible war capabilities from the Spider DNA and the speed and intellectual capabilities from the Serrangio DNA made the Serrachnids formidable foes, coupled with their extremely long lifespan. Despite being terribly outnumbered, the Serrachnids managed to murder nearly half the population of Serrangios, including the government, before outward assistance became involved and the Serrachnids were exterminated. Due to their extremely deadly nature and natural homicidal tendencies, Serrachnids were considered a banned species by the rest of creation.
The Second Age did not end with the result of The Second Catastrophe. Rebuilding was put in place and the system of artificial emotion continued. However, the wealth that was gained through their business was directly sent to the government, who then redistributed it to meet the direct needs of the people as they saw it. This resulted in some areas being lavish and well off while others were poor and desolate.
The most recent Catastrophe, The Third Catastrophe, occurred when a race colloquially called the "doomers" arrived, with their figurehead Groy taking control of the system's nearby star. The doomers then enslaved the Serrangios and occupied the planet and its moons. Life for Serrangios became incredibly difficult at this point, as the newer generations were born without receiving artificial emotions and the older generations were removed from their life's work. Serrangios are currently used by the doomers as labor workers and for entertainment. Uprisings from the community are few, and no outward help has been received.
The Serrangio anatomy much resembles the generic Gridmask physique in the placement of almost all limbs, organ structures, and functionality. In comparison, Serrangio heads tend to be relatively rounder in shape, and their fingers tend to be slightly longer. The species both share a relatively gray complexion, with Serrangios being slightly lighter-skinned and devoid of marking patterns. The face of a Serrangio looks to be incredibly simple and almost impossible in nature, with noses, mouths, and ears rarely being visible. However, these necessities are very much present on a Serrangio and are, inexplicably, not visible or able to be touched.
The most notable features of a Serrangio are their incredible array of wings and wing-like appendages. Serrangios have a vast display of two types of wings, with the "traditional" bird-like wings being rightfully called "wings" and the thin, feather-like blades being called "spaers". These tend to appear on the body in many different locations and tend to improve the aerodynamics of the creature. Wings located on the head, called "headwings" or "hairwings" (or merely "hair" for simplicity's sake) have limited mobility on their own and can be clipped as wings and hair alike traditionally could. These wings tend to have various colors and ornate growth patterns to differentiate between Serrangios.
The next set of wings are the ones that are capable of flight. Known as the "flightwings" and "flightspaers", or the "bodywings" and "bodyspaers", these different appendages produce different methods of controlled flight and propulsion. The blank-white flightwings are secured on the backs of the Serrangio, covering up a circular indent in which the flightspaers rest. These wings are used for stable gliding, takeoff, and sometimes (though not usually) landing. Their original functions, as it seems, are to protect the fragile flightspaers from damage. The incredibly unique flight pattern represented with flightspaers involves anywhere from three to six spaers rotating rapidly in a circular motion to imitate the liftoff and speedy horizontal travel of a helicopter. The body size of a Serrangio tends to be correlated with the amount of flightspaers that they are born with, though short Serrangios are sometimes born with six. Depending on the genetics of a Serrangio, one may be born with spaers along the lengths of their arms, wings covering their heels, or neither of these.
Sex and Gender
There are three Serrangio sexes: andrak, trak, and Tarnak. Andrak are comparable to Gridmask males, while trak and Tarnak are more similar to Gridmask females. Each sex is capable of reproducing with either of the other two.
Serrangios have a very lopsided sex ratio, with significantly more andrak (and somewhat more trak) than Tarnak, thus raising the importance of each sex's role in Serrangio society. Andrak, making up the bulk of the population, do not stray much in body shape or mental abilities, being specifically tailored to be a "jack of all trades" type. They take on whatever role they are inclined towards after their birth (see below) and stick with it, though are able to take on other tasks with ease (physically, though not always mentally).
Trak are placed in similar roles as andrak, though they bear a bit more in common with Tarnak. Being less common than an andrak, though moreso than a Tarnak, their secondary role is to sustain the population, being sexually compatible with both other sexes. To compensate for this, their body shape differs from andrak to generally be larger and more durable. They do not receive as high a dosage of artificial emotions and other similar chemicals as the other sexes for fear of interference with childbearing.
Tarnak make up most of the leaders of Serrangio society, being the rarest sex. They are taller than the other sexes and vary in body type greatly. One Tarnak is typically assigned to a squadron of nine other andrak and trak, while others become government figureheads (chosen randomly at birth, and nurtured and injected to properly suit the position). They are implemented with more potent chemicals than any of the other sexes, ending up with larger brains and more control over their abilities.
Due to the roles that Tarnak Serrangios are made to play as the leaders of their squadrons, Serrangio culture holds rigid gender roles. Across common translations, andrak typically use "he" pronouns, trak may use "he", singular "they", or "xe" pronouns, while Tarnak often use "she" or pluralized "they". It is considered taboo for a Serrangio to express their identity in ways that would counter their prescribed gender roles.
As the Serrangio ternary system does not translate smoothly with the sex and gender cultures of other species, there is typically some confusion in these areas on both sides. Andrak and trak both consider themselves "male" according to many systems and will not be able to properly convey the difference between them. They will instead often insist that there is no difference, though some trak may embrace the label of "nonbinary" or something similar. Tarnak are often considered "female", but frequently insist on remaining called Tarnak even beyond translation. Additionally, insulting a Tarnak on account of her sex is a great social offense, leading Serrangios to become greatly offended by remarks against individuals of a sex they find similar to Tarnak.
Serrangios have a rather long life cycle that lasts approximately four times longer than a typical Gridmask one. They are not raised by their biological parents, but rather are raised in groups of ten (nine andrak and/or trak to one Tarnak) called a "squadron". This squadron is primarily led by the Tarnak, who acts as the leader of the family unit and tends to be at least five years older than the others. Injected with artificial intelligence and emotions on how to lead a family, the squadron leader has the job of raising the others for a brief amount of years until they are old enough to take on professions. At this point, the squadron splits up and they all seek out superiors to learn the basics of their assigned work under, aided with their injections at birth, and learn to master their crafts. At this point, it is common practice for a Serrangio to find a role model of crafts and traits similar to them, called an "ancestor". According to tradition, it becomes the will of the Serrangio to outdo their chosen predecessor and work their way to glory in order to one day be chosen as an ancestor to another young Serrangio. At this point in a Serrangio's life, they may choose to live with their squadron or with their superior, though it is more socially acceptable to strive for the latter.
The Serrangio then begins to put their mastercraft to good use and attempts to fulfill their work. The Serrangio spends many years living either with the remainder of their squadron, amongst a group of friends, or on their own, in an attempt to make a living for much of their years. At some point, mating and relationships may become a part of their life, at which point they would find a suitable partner and bear a child or multiple children, which would be placed in the hands of the government and brought into a new squadron. The mated Serrangios would then live together and become superiors for their respective crafts. Serrangios that do not find a mate or do not seek one continue their craft for a few more years and then become a superior. Life as a superior takes up the majority of a Serrangio's life (and the remainder of it, for those unfortunate enough not to retire), which involves teaching approximately six generations of youthful Serrangios the specifics of a craft.
After the Third Catastrophe, the life cycle of Serrangios have been terribly tainted: parents of Serrangios are now forced to raise their children with no knowledge of how to do so, children are born without artificial injections or immunizations, and much of the population are forced into manual labor or degrading entertainment. This has led the lifespan of Serrangios to drop to less than a fifth of what it used to be, leaving no regard for the continued survival of the species.
Aside from the sex, certain hybrids of Serrangios have become prevalent in its culture. In general, the offspring of a trak Serrangio and another species results in a hybrid, infertile organism.
The Serrachnids, one instance of an infertile hybrid, were the results of the not-uncommon union between a Spider and a Serrangio prior to the deformation of the former species. These organisms tended to be much bulkier in torso weight with disproportionate, thin limbs to accompany them, and lost all flight functions in place of eight pincer-like spaers underneath two large shells on their backs. Serrachnids could take on various appearances depending on the subspecies of Spider they were birthed from, though many retained the traits of multiple eyes and stub-like hairs covering most of their body. They were capable of rapid evolution and nullified artificial emotion injections within a few units of time. They also adapted to manual labor after being forced into that purpose, and later used their physical strength and incredibly-developed brains to revolt against their Serrangio-side parents. Serrachnids, since then, have been banned under various galactic laws and are assumed to be extinct.
The durasthes are a relatively new hybrid organism taking place as a result of the Third Catastrophe. Being the offspring of a Serrangio and a doomer, the child (almost certainly the unwanted result of assault) is used indefinitely as a disposable slave for any and all purposes, having the bodily versatility of a doomer and a natural disobedience to order. Their appearance remains relatively Serrangio-esque, though entirely composed of the same matter that a doomer is. This form is capable of bending and warping at will and is difficult to entirely destroy. These creatures are looked down upon by doomers and Serrangios alike.
In the instance that a Serrangio experiences Awakening, all of their Inner Beings become compressed into one that retains the prominent traits of the full Serrangio. It is at this point that the condensed Inner Being begins to act as a complete "soul" and the Serrangio becomes but an empty housing shell of multiple "soul fragments" (similar to a Serrangio's birth state). The two then combine into one, whole organism that functions similarly to most other forms of intelligent life. Awakened Serrangios are generally social outcasts and very much feared by other Serrangios due to their immense difference in personality and their general stability. In general, they are capable of enhanced mental capabilities (telekinesis and teleportation are common) as well as a very small amount of pyromancy and electromancy. Some Awakened Serrangios lose their ability to fly and have their flightspaers burn up, while others lose much of their eyesight and constantly emit green flames/sparks/aura from them.
Genoskayan language was uniform throughout Genoskaya and its moons and shared by the Spiders of Heyokiiba up until the Second Age, when Common was taken up as the main language. Genoskayan language still is learned and used, though not as often in the more developed or doomer-ridden areas. The language itself, compared to Common, tends to have many silent syllables and shorter-sounding vowels and consists of complicated words spoken rapidly and with a higher-pitched voice, if spoken by a native.
Naming among communities, an important sample of the language, followed a simple basis in which Serrangios were named after numbers equating to how many Inner Beings they could house. This was done so in many different and diverse languages, adding to the ever-growing language used by them. This system had since come and gone in waves, with certain generations choosing to follow the trend and others choosing opting to name their offspring more creative, meaningful names. Regardless of whether or not this structure is followed or not, it is very common for individuals, when close enough to one another, to call each other by two-syllable nicknames, usually ending with a long "i" sound.
The system prior to The First Catastrophe is that of an idealistic one, where the government highly encouraged free thinking and work in any fields were welcomed and easy to come by. Two or three biological generations of a family would live together in a home, offering their various services and crafts under one roof, and alternating market days would be held which certain people would go around their town and boost the economy by offering their money for their necessities and wants from their neighbors. The system went by a currency known as Uros, which were small discs made of a non-radioactive alloy of uranium and other metals. During the Second Age, the traditional system took its hold, following a general capitalist structure in which unemployment first began to spread. The currency of Uros was changed to the more common and accepted currency of Digits, which are thin, rectangular or square coins of cheap metals. As doomers go by a system of militaristic bartering, currency lost its value entirely after The Third Catastrophe, and Serrangios were removed from the Digit system by other planets that use it to avoid economic crashing.
Serrangio military was on a volunteer basis merged with that of Spider military for the most part, though the tradition of pit warriors diverges from this. Beginning in the town of Alexandria in the continent of Nover, history has told of an unnamed dictator who took the area by force and made war prisoners fight to the death in large arena. The victims would be dropped in with the clothing they had on when they were captured and a weapon known as a teppesse, which was a cross-tipped blade that could only deal significant damage by stabbing an opponent forcefully, ensuring a painful and slow demise. The last victors of these fights became known as pit warriors and were trained as the dictator's personal guards, though after they honed their abilities, they all turned against him and brought Alexandria back to proper government rule. Pit warriors served as the general militia of large towns or groups of smaller towns, still bearing teppesses as a sidearm. After The First Catastrophe, the combined military of Serrangios and Spiders ended and a selective draft of andrak and trak was initiated upon reaching a certain age. Following The Second Catastrophe, no proper Serrangio military existed, though pit warrior militias and, later, rebels against the doomers began springing up occasionally.
Trained military traditions of Serrangios followed fighting styles of a very diverse sense, utilizing martial arts, magical warfare, and an assortment of weaponry. Most of melee combat done in these manners featured the use of all functions and surroundings of oneself and intense agility. Weapons used by Serrangios, other than the historic teppesse, were usually merged to have dual-purposes as armor or would be magically charged.
Perhaps the most notable characteristic of a Serrangio's life is that they are not one entire being. Beginning from birth, a Serrangio is but an empty husk of functioning bodily systems and memories, though it is incapable of action without a "soul". This essence of life has its existence debated in all cultures, though Serrangio biology takes this to an entirely new level. The remains of deceased or incorporeal entities, or Soul Creatures, are not only capable of inhabiting a Serrangio to grant themselves second life, but it is also a necessary attribute in granting the Serrangio first life of its own.
In the traditional system after the First Catastrophe, Serrangio newborns were immediately hosted by a Soul Fragment of a former Serrangio, granting them what would become their basic personality. Andrak and trak could host anywhere from only one to nine Inner Beings, while Tarnak exclusively would be capable of housing ten. Based on how many Soul Creatures could be housed, Serrangios would be categorized into associated squadrons. Along their lives, Serrangios may attain more Inner Beings by various means, with the initial Soul Fragment bearing "what made them them" and having other additional Inner Beings make them develop additional quirks or minor personality alterations. Once an Inner Being is a part of a Serrangio, it is difficult, if not impossible, to have them be removed by traditional means. During the passing of a Serrangio, all of the remaining Inner Beings have the chance to either escape from the dying body, or be compressed into a new Soul Fragment: keeping the initial Soul Fragment's main traits and infusing those of the remaining Inner Beings into it, creating a new Soul Fragment of the Serrangio that had just passed, allowing the Serrangio to live a second life as a new Soul Creature and allowing its other Soul Creatures to continue their own lives. Memories and emotional attachments of the Soul Creatures are not kept, though their personalities and general likes remain intact.
To avoid confusion, it should be noted that the term "Inner Being" refers to all soul-like organisms that inhabit a Serrangio at a given time. The umbrella term of "Soul Creature" is a method of referring to these souls in any circumstance to avoid confusion with other forces that may be different from those relating to Serrangios. A "Soul Fragment" can be used to describe a portion of a soul of a non-Serrangio organism, such as one half of a Dark Matter's essence, that becomes an Inner Being of a Serrangio. Soul Fragments may also refer to the chief Inner Being of a Serrangio or the compressed remnant of a deceased/Awakened one.
In some rare cases, Inner Beings would be "overly cooperative" with each other and, rather than granting the initial Soul Fragment of a Serrangio dominance over others, would result in a convoluted mess of juggled personalities or a blend of ill-fitting traits. A rare herb known as vin can be ingested to counter this effect, though it is nullified if abused.
As a Serrangio's life expires, a ritual is typically performed by all surviving members of their squadron in order to properly dispose of the body and ensure that the remaining Soul Creature(s) may continue to prosper. The basis of the ritual focuses largely on the Genoskayan-native gem known as breestone, a green, silky stone thought to represent willpower. An incense is burned inside a breestone jar in order to condense the remaining Soul Creatures into one. The eldest member of the squadron (the Tarnak, if available) then performs a brief ceremony utilizing a mire (an ornamental breestone club) in order to flush out the remaining Soul Creature and shepherd it towards its new life. Andrak and trak typically have their bodies vaporized afterwards and have their remaining essence placed into a breestone jar or capsule, which is assigned to a member of their squadron for safekeeping, passed on to yet another when it comes time for the owner to pass on. Tarnak follow a slightly different procedure, having a mausosuit (a breestone-lined vest) tailored to them prior to vaporization, and often holding a mire during the process as well. Particularly special Tarnak with government roles or other prestigious positions of power may be embalmed with an organic ointment called erkiotia, reducing the decay of the body, and placed on display for a few days. At this point, the public may come and pay their respects to the body before it is vaporized similarly.
Should a Serrangio pass on and be the last of their squadron, the ritual process is expedited to a single government official, who also seizes possession of the remaining breestone elements and boils them down for re-use. The final member of a squadron to pass, as such, never has their vapor stored into a breestone jar or capsule, unless they are an important Tarnak. This is considered by more superstitious members of the community as a form of bad luck, and certain Serrangios will go to lengths to avert this - adopting the death rituals of other cultures, having close friends illegally and crudely perform the rituals for them, and agreeing upon suicide pacts are not uncommon.
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