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Brute Roar

A roaring Jiralhanae, displaying behavior resulting from "Brute hunger".

Jiralhanae Fameneophobic Syndrome, commonly known as Brute hunger, is a psychological compulsion prevalent among Brutes and the wildlife of Doisac. It conditions them to suffer from an irrational fear of starvation, leading to panic and constant savagery. The behavior appears to be partially genetic and partially induced, and affects many areas of the Brutes' behavior.

Symptoms

In animals

Alien Predation

A Jumpte attacking a Arop, relative to the Thorn Beast.

Fameneophobia is found in most vertebrates on Doisac, and in both herbivores and carnivores. In its basic state, it causes an unquenchable search in the organism for any possible food source, and aggression and panic in any time when food is not available. It even leads to cannibalism, including self-cannibalism, and betrayal of relatives to eat them. The behavior has been theorized to be a survival method, as Doisac has many deserts and sparse ecosystems. A constant search for food would thus increase an affected creature's chance of survival. In a prosperous environment, though, the hunger becomes irrational. The affected creatures continue to search and gorge themselves even when their bodies are unable to hold anymore. It is difficult to satisfy fameneophobia, and their brain continues to convince them that they are starving to death even as they are digesting enormous meals.

Fameneophobia seems to be the largest cause of extinction on Doisac's ecosystems, with entire weaker species being swallowed by stronger ones, then species in fertile environments all gorging themselves to death. It has also led to the planet's wildlife to become very homogeneous, rather than most homeworlds' diversity. The current wildlife has moved to be in favor of carnivores and omnivores, who constantly slay each other in battles for food and dominance. The remaining herbivores are typically insects or groonems (mammalian fliers similar to bats), since the former is too simple in mind to be affected by syndromes and the latter is able to quickly escape from predators.

In sentients

In sentient beings, the syndrome is compounded. The constant hunger bleeds into their other emotions and results in aggression throughout the whole day, even when there is nothing wrong. This has hindered the Jiralhanae in logical thinking, and contributes to their high tempers and savage culture, including their love of war. Cannibalism in the battlefied is not unheard of. Activities that require calmness, such as napping or maintaining guard, become emotionally taxing and are often quickly abandoned.

Brutes are not the only species affected by so-called "Brute hunger". Extinct races who once shared Doisac, such as the Lemuncia and the Elovadruyo, also show hints of species aggression in their recovered artifacts. Surviving artwork appears have been painted with blood and historical journals are written in angry tones. However, the complexity of their language and art hints at less aggression than the Jiralhanae, which is likely how they are all hunted to extinction.

Cultural effects

Cultural elements such literature or complex technology are very underdeveloped among Brutes and usually smashed as soon as the individual loses their patience. This was part of the reason behind their stagnation after Doisac's great civil war, and often hindered any progress back to their former state.

Social History

Covenant era

"When we enlisted the Jiralhanae into our holy empire, we thought them to be poor natives to be edified. How could we have known we were admitting in a race of cripples and criminals, too sick in the head for simple reason? And our Hierarchs think they would make worthy Honor Guards? I expect soon they'll be assassinated by some disgruntled heretic because the Jiralhanae guards got bored and left to eat some Grunts!"
―Gant Furmunt, the Prophet of Persistance

The Jiralhanae's disorder has been a deterrence to cooperating with other species. Sangheili in particular find them disgusting, as the Brutes were constantly on the search for food, the subject of which is a societal taboo in Sangheili culture. This has earned them derogatory names from Elites like Kash-fa'um, meaning "foul mouth", which also puns the Brutes' casualness with swearing. Another name given to them is Jir'a'ul, a play on their species' name and the Sangheili word a'ul ("lump of wood"), which references how the Prophets sometimes gave Brutes logs to chew on in order to stave off their hunger.

Post-Covenant era

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Behind the Scenes

Brute hunger is inspired by Taxxon hunger from the Animorphs series, with a larger tie-in to cultural effects.

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