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Home Planet: Lwhekk
The Ssi-ruuk (pronounced /'si ruk/), Ssi-ruu in singular form, were a saurian species that invaded from the Unknown Regions of the galaxy and initiated the Battle of Bakura in 4 ABY, shortly after the Battle of Endor. This race relied on a technology called entechment that involved extracting the life-energies of sentient beings and using them as power sources for their mechanical technology. They had a sizable war fleet and ruled an empire called the Ssi-ruuvi Imperium in the Ssi-ruuk Star Cluster near the galaxy's rim.
Ssi-ruuvi society was deeply compartmentalized—being dominated by a rigid caste system based on skin color which signified one's socio-economic standing. As a species, most Ssi-ruuk were xenophobic towards members of other species due to their stringent religious beliefs and the compartmentalized state of their society. Due to the remote position of their home territory in the Ssi-ruuk Star Cluster and their religious fear of dying on an unconsecrated world, few Ssi-ruuk traveled outside their Star Cluster. Thus, they remained largely unknown to the rest of the galaxy, and contact with outsiders was limited even in the days of the New Republic and the Galactic Alliance.
Biology & Appearance:
The Ssi-ruuk were large bipedal lizards that displayed traits from both saurian and avian species. They walked on two powerful hind legs with balance attained by a muscular tail along with two upper limbs that sported three prehensile claws. Whilst they were reptilians, they were in fact a warm-blood species. An average adult reached a height between 1.9 to 2.2 meters (approximately 6 feet) and weighed close to 350 kg (750 pounds). They were notable for their physical strength, comparable to that of a typical adult Wookiee. It was known that their race moved with remarkable grace and speed for creatures of their size. Their skin was so thick that it could withstand blaster shots with only minor burns to show for it. The massive bodies of an adult Ssi-ruu were covered in shining scales that ranged in color from brown to turqoiuse. They had long beak-like muzzles which contained sharp teeth and used their talons to kill prey as they were carnivores by nature. The average lifespan of a Ssi-ruu was anywhere between 100 to 120 standard years though members of their ruling hierarchy lived far longer compared to this norm.
In terms of eyesight, Ssi-ruuk were extremely sensitive to light which led to them holding triple eyelids in order to protect their vision from sudden bursts of illumination. Their large black eyes possessed the traits common with most reptilian species namely that they suffered from poor eyesight. The unusual structure of their eyelids made them far less suspectable to being blinded by sudden light impacting the eyes. Despite this being the case, the species did not rely on their eyes alone the way Humans did. Instead, they made use of their keen sense of smell which was made potent by two forked "tongues" that emerged from their nostrils. This heightened sense of smell allowed them to determine the emotional state of their associates simply due to change of scent thus allowing Ssi-ruu to "read" an individual. These olfactory sensory organs were typically known as "scent tongues" that were black and flickered out when used. This was only the case once a Ssi-ruuk was familiar with the "scent" of a being which allowed them to detect signs of deception and thus making it hard for others to lie to them. However, at the same time, they found the scent of other species to be distasteful. Their own odor was described as being both strong and acrid that had the distinct scent of reptilians.
The Ssi-ruuvi language was made up by a series of musical tweets and whistles. This complex language made use of bird-like honks, whistles, growls, and throat clicks. Several of the higher pitches in the Ssi-ruuvi vocabulary were above the Human hearing range. Ssi-ruuvi chord-phrases were able to convey a great deal of information in a few notes. It was believed that species such as Humans were either unable to or struggled to speak their tongue. This was because their mouths were unable to speak the critical components of the language. The one example of a Human speaking Ssi-ruuvi was noted by the native speakers as being a halting and stuttering version of their own language. Instead of wearing clothing, they wore bandoliers which carried their tools, weapons, and other equipment. This led to their species finding the concept of covering a body in clothing to be a humorous idea.
It was believed that there were no Force users amongst the Ssi-ruuk and as a species, they were in fact blind to the Force.
The Ssi-ruuvi Imperium had two seats of power; the Conclave, the religious body, and the Elders' Council, the political body. The Conclave and the Elders Council often competed for control of the empire and only the leader of the Imperium could prevent civil war from happening. The leader of the Imperium was known as His Potency the Shreeftut and was the supreme ruler of the Ssi-ruuvi Imperium. These two councils worked in an advisory capacity for the Shreeftut.
As with the long-extinct Sith species, Ssi-ruuvi society was compartmentalized by a rigid hereditary caste system. However, unlike the former, the latter's caste system was based solely on skin color. Their caste system comprised six main groups: blue, gold, yellow, red, black, and green. The skin color of a Ssi-ruuk symbolized his socio-economic standing in society. One color dominated each Ssi-ruuk's body and it was forbidden to mate with a different colored Ssi-ruuk. Offspring from mixed births were brown hued and were regarded as illegitimate; consigned to the lowest and most menial of positions in society. There was also a related species known as the P'w'ecks that were considered to be an inferior race and used as slaves.
Blue Ssi-ruuk were the politicians and leaders of Ssi-ruuvi society and held most of the political positions; dominating the executive Elder's Council which administrated the Imperium. They were distinguished from other Ssi-ruuk by their blue scales, smaller body size and longer tails.
They were the highest caste and thus they received the most honor and praise. They tended to be, as a caste, extremely perceptive and ambitious. An example of this caste was Sh'tk'ith, commonly known as Bluescale.
Gold Ssi-ruuk were the religious caste of Ssi-ruuvi society. They were small in number and stature but dominated the Conclave which was entirely concerned with religious affairs. Gold Ssi-ruuk also performed religious ceremonies like the Consecration Ceremony which "consecrated" foreign planets to enable their annexation by the Imperium.
Yellow Ssi-ruuk studied the sciences and operated the technology employed by the Ssi-ruuvi Imperium.
Red Ssi-ruuk comprised the military caste. These Ssi-ruuk tended to be broader and stronger than other Ssi-ruuk and also had a predatory nature as well, these Ssi-ruu also have the ability to not be sensed when they are alone or in pairs. An example from this caste was Admiral Ivpikkis who commanded the first invasion of Bakura.
Green Ssi-ruuk were the largest caste. This caste was the lowest that still possessed respect. They had never held any position of power, but staunchly upheld the caste system as workers.
Very rare; worked as assassins and espionage agents for the Imperium. Honored among other Ssi-ruu tribe members.
Brown Ssi-ruuk were considered the outcasts of Ssi-ruuvi society as they were the offspring of two Ssi-ruuvi from two different castes. Since class intermarriage was strictly forbidden in Ssi-ruuvi society, many of them were destroyed at birth. They performed the most menial jobs in Ssi-ruuvi society.
It was commonly believed that they were the ancient progenitors of the P'w'ecks. According to the G'nnoch, the birth of a multi-colored Ssi-ruu known as the Keeramak would herald a popular rising by the oppressed brown Ssi-ruuk and P'w'ecks. Following the punitive Chiss/New Republic incursions circa. 4 ABY, the Keeramak was born.
Ssi-ruuvi culture was influenced by two major factors—their speciesism and their religious beliefs. As a consequence of this prejudice, they viewed themselves as inherently superior to all other species while all other species were inferior. Culturally, the Ssi-ruuk displayed a speciesist attitude towards other species; regarding them as fit only for slavery and entechment—which utilized the life energies of another sentient being as a source of energy for their mechanical technology.
This attitude affected their relations with other sentient species they interacted with ranging from their lowly saurian P'w'eck cousins to the advanced mammalian Human and Chiss civilizations. Consequently, the Ssi-ruuk sought to conquer and to subjugate other civilizations to utilize their labor and resources. As a result, relations between the Ssi-ruuk and the neighboring powers like the Chiss Ascendancy, Galactic Alliance and the Yuuzhan Vong were virtually non-existent as of 28 ABY. However, they did not share the same genocidal beliefs that influenced the Yevetha of the Duskhan League during the Yevethan Purge and Black Fleet Crisis.
This speciesism was justified by their religious beliefs. According to their sacred text known as the G'nnoch, four eggs were formed at the creation of the universe. From the first hatched Ssi and P'w'itthki, fathers of the Ssi-ruuk and P’w’eck species respectively. Ssi's children hatched from the second egg, while P'w'itthki's children hatched from the third egg. The fourth egg was reserved for those Ssi-Ruuk who earned a place in the afterlife. Eventually, Ssi fought with P'w'itthki and defeated him. After his defeat, Ssi allowed P'w'itthki's hatchlings to live on the condition of serving the children of Ssi for all eternity. This myth thus explained the beginning of the relationship between the Ssi-ruuk (hatchlings of Ssi) and the P'w'ecks (hatchlings of P'w'itthki) and their concept of supremacy over all other sentient species.
One important concept in Ssi-ruuvi culture was the belief in the existence of souls and an after life. Most Ssi-ruuk placed great value on the souls of their own kind and believed that should a Ssi-ruu die in an "un-consecrated world", his soul will forever wander the universe alone. This belief explained why the Ssi-ruuk rarely traveled into the galaxy and remained in their star cluster. However, resources began dwindling in their isolated space; forcing the Ssi-ruuk to expand their Imperium into the fringes of the known galaxy by 1 BBY. Around that time, Emperor and Dark Lord of the Sith, Palpatine made contact with the species through the Force and offered them dozens of worlds and millions of humans to entech in exchange for the use of Ssi-ruuvi entechment technology.
Another cultural concept was the belief that if a Ssi-ruu died away from their "consecrated" homeworld of Lwhekk or their star cluster, his soul was destined to wander the universe for eternity and be denied access to the fourth egg that was the Ssi-ruuvi afterlife. To counter this, priests would conduct an hour-long ceremony to consecrate another planet. At the end of the ceremony, the Ssi-Ruuk would dedicate the planet to the Ssi-ruuvi Imperium, and give it a Ssi-Ruuvi name. In an effort to compensate for this disadvantage, the Ssi-ruuk used large numbers of droids and P'w'ecks - a smaller species enslaved by the Ssi-Ruuk - to aid them in their fleets. The only known example was the planet Bakura which was consecrated as Xwhee as a prelude to an invasion in 28 ABY.
Less well known was the Ssi-ruuvi religious concept based on the prophetic coming of a Ssi-ruu of many colors whose arrival would result in the overturning of Ssi-ruuvi society. This prophecy eventually came to pass with the birth of the Keeramak. However, the Keeramak was merely a tool of Yuuzhan Vong infiltrators who had infiltrated the weakened Imperium between 4 ABY and 28 ABY following its defeat by the Alliance of Free Planets and the Galactic Empire at Bakura during the Battle of Bakura in 4 ABY. In 23 ABY, the Imperium engineered a faux popular rising of the P'w'eck Emancipation Movement under the Keeramak to fulfill this prophecy. Ultimately, this plot to reconquer Bakura was thwarted by a genuine P’w’eck uprising and the death of the Keeramk.
The Ssi-ruuk language was known as Ssi-ruuvi and was formed by melodic clicks and whistles. When spoken it was considered similar to the sound of a flute, which caused the Ssi-ruuvi to be nicknamed "Fluties". Due to the unique physiology of the species, the language could not be reproduced by Humans, who did not possess the organs needed to do so. While Ssi-ruuk could speak other languages, the limited contact with other species meant that they were forced to rely on translator when offworld. Ssi-ruuk travelling outside their space were often accompanied by a droid, slave or hireling who translated on their behalf.
The staple diet of the Ssi-ruuk and their P'w'eck cousins were small fft reptiles which were eaten with ceremonial knives.
One thing that made their technology unique compared to the technology utilized by other sentients was the use of entechment—where a living being's life-energy was electronically drained from its body to be used as a power source for a machine. Entechment was the main power source for a wide range of their technology including starships, power stations, lights and Ssi-ruuvi ion paddle beamers. Although the Ssi-ruuk claimed that entechment was entirely painless, the victims always remained in a state of agony during and after the process of entechment.
Even when installed into power cells and machinery, these disembodied beings remained in continuous agony until their life energies expired into oblivion. Given the excruciating pain and the resulting death of the subject, the Ssi-ruuk did not practice entechment on their own people; prefering to use other "inferior" sentient species particularly P'w'ecks—a similar saurian species which had been reduced to a state of servitude in the ancient past. When the Ssi-ruuk attacked Bakura in 4 ABY, they discovered after taking Imperial prisoners that Humans were a far more powerful source of energy than the P'w'eck.
By 28 ABY, the entechment process had been perfected. The Ssi-ruuk had found ways to nourish the enteched souls. The life energy distilled from concentrated banks of algae and other microscopic life could prevent the enteched souls from decaying. It also removed the torment many enteched souls felt. Thus, the enteched life energy would be preserved reducing the need for frequent replenishment. The Ssi-ruuk also attempted a second invasion of Bakura, though their plot backfired when their P'w'eck slaves revolted.
Another form of technology unique to the Ssi-ruuk was the ion paddle beamer which was their analog of the ubiquitous blaster rifle used by much of the known galaxy. These paddle beamers were unique in that they were unblockable by lightsabers since the beam would bend around the lightsaber's blade and strike its target. After much practice, Jedi Knight Luke Skywalker managed to change the setting of his lightsaber to block the blast fired from paddle beamers. However, this change in setting meant that the lightsaber was unable to block blaster bolts.
Attribute Dice: 12D
Claws: A Ssi-ruu's claws do STR+2D damage.
Enhanced Sense (Smell): Ssi-ruuk have highly developed olfactory senses. They receive +1D to searchrolls if the search attempt is scent-based (maximum range of 20 meters). In addition, Ssi-ruuk can often tell by scent if a human is lying: if the Ssi-ruu makes a Moderate alien species: humanroll (the Ssi-ruu must have the specialization), increase the interrogation subjects willpower difficulties by one difficulty level if the Ssi-ruu is actively seeking duplicity.
Force Blindness: The Ssi-ruuk are incapable of sensing or using the Force. Ssi-ruuk may not be Force-sensitive, although they may earn, posses and use Force Points and Character Points.
Natural Body Armor: The thick hide and scales of the Ssi-ruu provides +2D against physical and +1D against energy attacks.
Poor Vision: Ssi-ruuk have poor vision compared to humans. They suffer a -1D penalty for actions involving vision at a range of greater than 50 meters. (This penalty does not apply for starship or vehicle weapons which have a fire control modifier and similar cases where computers or sensors negate the limitations of their vision.)
Tail: A Ssi-ruu's tail does STR+1D damage.
Ssi-ruuvi Religion: Ssi-ruuvi religion states that if a Ssi-ruu dies away from a properly consecrated world, that Ssi-ruu's spirit is doomed to wander the galaxy without rest. Consequently, Ssi-ruuk tend to avoid open conflict away from their own planets, preferring to have droids and P'w'ecks do their fighting for them, while they monitor the battle from a distance. If confronted on an unconsecrated world, they are very likely to flee from battle.
Size: 1.9-2.2 meters tall
Source: Alien Encounters p.145-146 & Wookieepedia (For the Ssi-ruuk Description)