|This article, Sceleratus Saulosian, was written by Ahalosniper. Please do not edit this fiction without the writer's permission.|
The Sceleratus Saulosians, () (Silex Lingua Sceleratus) are a sub-species of the Saulosian race that have survived for millenia, almost since their beginnings as a civilized race. Among a species that has out-competed or outwitted its rivals on a harsh world, the Sceleratus are proof that the only thing their kind still have to fear is the threat of one another, known for violent reactions to anything they see as a threat, be it over territory or resources. However, they have no ambition to expand or advance themselves through conquest or technological superiority, being content to seclude themselves in their ancestral homeland on Saulos.
|A Sceleratus warrior bares his fangs.|
The Saulosians are known for having an extremely adaptive genetic structure, resulting in a variety of subspecies such as the Sceleratus. To their own kind, the Sceleratus look and act more like their primitive ancestors than the other varieties, standing hunched-over on powerful legs with a long tail for balance. Through ages of breeding and a self-reliant cultural mentality, most individuals boast an extremely dense muscular structure that provides both enormous strength and prodigious agility, making for a physically formidable creature in comparison with most other sentient species. The rainforest environment in which they primarily live has taught them to make use of these traits, and young Sceleratus spend their youth playing at running and climbing trees to develop their strength and sense of balance.
Sceleratus Saulosians possess a set of prominent teeth that jut from their mouths even when the jaw is closed, incisors meant for gripping live meals. These are often lost in combat, but a single set of natural replacements grows back irregularly based on which ones need replacement, and older Sceleratus commonly have most of their display teeth missing. All Sceleratus have concentric red-and-yellow eye coloration, and claws on four-digit hands and feet.
Due to their seclusion, the Sceleratus have kept hidden a limited number of historical documents that escaped the Purge. However, these were acquired as plunder from battles fought, and are left to deteriorate in their stockpiles. Most of Sceleratus customary practices that haven’t been forced upon them by the Directorate revolve around seeking out hardship and developing or finding personal strength in the face of adversity.
An individual's societal status, for both male and female, is decided by combat ability. While defeating another warrior is honorable, killing or defeating one of Saulos' great beasts is a great accomplishment, as it donates a hatchling's readiness to become an adult. One coming of age ceremony is for a warrior to hunt down an Arrowtongue, trap it, and mingle blood with the creature. Often this is done with a chemical slathered on a blade, but a more daring Sceleratus will subdue it with a weight or trap. Afterwards the creature is released, unharmed, and the warrior is believed to have the creature's strength and cunning. Though it is not an obligation, most Sceleratus that have gone to war have done this.
As a primarily military clan, the Sceleratus have little say in the Directorate government, but have few qualms about it. For the most part, they only wish to be left alone in their territories, though their Warlord is constantly prodding the Directorate to use war as a solution to problems and make thorough use of their kind.
Under a single leader given the title of Warlord, they keep to the nomadic ways that have persisted in for tens of thousands of years within their lands, hunting and gathering as they see fit. The Warlord keeps a palace, which is only accessible to his personal guards and the Alphas of the Sceleratus tribes, along with a number of concubines. Though he is the de facto leader, his authority only comes into effect during times in which his people are sent to war. Thusly, he takes no part or side in disputes between tribes, and bribes are violently refused. There has been only one uncovered instance of a Warlord accepting a Chieftain’s bribe, after which the Warlord was murdered by his guardsmen.
Early in their existence, the simple structure became a problem. The Warlords were constantly challenged, and for a brief time a Warlord may have only ruled for days. Eventually, a law was set in place so that only one who has been Tribe Leader for more than twenty seasons may challenge him, and only if he has a valid reason. Also worthy of note is that these leaders have not always been male. The Warlord of the Monarchy-Legional State Conflict, Sima Hylo, was one female leader, and led them to many small victories against Monarchy forces early in their involvement in the war. The Sceleratus follow any Saulosian, or even those of other species, that can prove to be a skilled combatant. For their toughness and obedience, many are taken into V'rek units, though few lead them.
With enough time and separation that even their physiology deviated from that of other breeds, their language doesn't even resemble that of the Directorate. Sceleratus hunters mimicked the sound of wind passing through leaves to keep from alerting their targets, louder or softer, lower or higher. Clicks and yells donate primarily ideas related to mundane tasks, not hunting or war. While to a human it still comes off as hisses, shrieks, and clacks, the Sangheili can detect a less harsh dialect making use of pitch changes to communicate different ideas.
Sceleratus have a binomial naming system, with the surname coming first donating the tribe of origin, followed by a personal name. The surnames are derived from founders and heroes of their race, while the Warlord is given the title Scelerati as a symbolic way of showing no favoritism for their tribe of origin. In their history, only six tribes have produced Warlords:
- "You trust your own hands, and your hands trust only what they make. They do not trust when machines make machines, for their feel is strange, and neither should you."
- ―Rough translation of a Sceleratus proverb.
The Sceleratus shun almost all but the most basic implements, taking pride in the cycle of exposing their bodies to the elements to make themselves more resistant. The exception to this, however, seems to be war technology. Many of their warriors carry Particle Blades, although simple metal blades are much more common. However, all who join the Saulosian military to fight against humans and other aliens are forced to train with Saulosian particle weaponry and explosives. They do acceptably with long-distance weapons, but are much more effective at close-range, especially with ambush tactics.
The few sources of unfalsified history from the Saulosians first mention the Sceleratus subspecies in the time known as the Manos Period. There are a few theories on their formation, but a general idea is agreed upon. During the Great Starvation, the tribes that would unite as the Sceleratus found their lands invaded by other expanding tribes, and united to protect themselves from outsiders. But unlike many such groups, the Sceleratus remained hunters. Relocating into the mountain valleys and plateaus of the Kuur-Is Range, they defended the territory by slaughter, whether the encroachers were nomad hunters or village tribes established too near. They did glean one important aspect from the outsiders, however, and that was population control.
The practices they began then have endured since their formation, roaming the low jungle valleys and desert plains in small groups, none more than 100 with most far less. However, they all answer to a simple form of government, a Warlord who earns the title through fighting skill. With a myriad of ravines leading into their land, a strong military became essential. The Kuur-Is Mountains harbor many native creatures, including the Ancalagon War Beasts and Arrowtongue. The Sceleratus became skilled in riding them and using them in war, though this cavalry advantage was stifled by the tight choke points in and out of their lands. Only twice have armies breached the defenses, and after only found themselves on open plains and outmaneuvered by their cavalry. From this time, the Sceleratus have remained in isolation, and in doing so evolved separate from their kin.
- "We have always felt shame for the Last Stand of the Legion. We ran when we could have fought, and lived when we should have died."
- ―Scelerati Sima, Warlord of the Short War Era
Nearly seven thousand years passed without interaction from outside. History here mixes with bardic tales, legends of warriors hidden in the mountain mists, riding great monsters. After seeing the rainforests of the Kuur-Is’ entrances, it is not hard to imagine how these began. However, in roughly 36,909 BC, the Legional States were becoming desperate, and sent a single Saulosian called Silalac who had claimed he could enlist their aid. The warriors who guarded the pass listened to him, and when he offered tribute of food and abandonment of land surrounding the Kuur-Is, the Sceleratus agreed to fight for them.
Rather than joining the main Legion Horde, their Warlord led the Sceleratus to guerilla attacks on their camps in the west. Only two large-scale clashes of arms took place, each time the Monarchy infantry proved insufficient to combat Sceleratus Ancalagon Beasts, and their own riders were less skilled. But as the Monarchy found victory elsewhere, the Sceleratus found themselves without a sufficient chain of supply. But where it might have been easier to retreat into territory more familiar to them, their Warlord chose to attack. Due to their own losses against the Sceleratus in battle, the Monarchy was forced to send a large amount of weapons, reinforcements, and food at once to the northern periphery. This became the Sceleratus’ target, and in an area known as the Creon forest, they sprung their trap.
Hitting the convoy from both sides, the Sceleratus made a mounted attack on the Ancalagon Beasts carrying most of the supplies. One was quickly brought down, but the Warlord had made a critical error. Attacking one of those near the rear of the column, it allowed those in front to come about and counterattack. Similarly, two behind them cut off a fast retreat as they normally would have done. Without their own war beasts present, the Sceleratus were caught underfoot and many died of being trampled in the chaos. But more were lost to the convoy’s defenders, under leadership of a few very keen individuals who would earn fame for the skirmish. Defeated and diminished in number, the Sceleratus were forced to retreat from the north, giving the Monarchy a wide strategic advantage and making this relatively small conflict a turning point in the war.
For months, the Sceleratus were defeated by technologically superior foes, no longer having their advantages of either closed forest or a superior cavalry. With the Legion quickly losing ground, the tribute and promise of land was abandoned, leading the Sceleratus to cease fighting almost altogether. As August of 36,908 BC found the Legion in a desperate position, the Sceleratus abandoned them completely when they called for help and retreated into their territory again. But because of the many humiliating victories they had dealt the Monarchy early on, within a few years they had been invaded and in 36905 BC were forced to submit. Only the outbreak of the Expansion Wars would force the Monarchy to abandon their occupation, leaving one of their most powerful enemies to rebuild itself.
|A trio of Sceleratus Saulosians on a human world.|
By the time of their kin's development of space flight, what remained of the Sceleratus that had not assimilated into the larger population remained on Saulos, not caring to claim land on other worlds when they were content with what they had. But their tribes were poor, forced to live as scavengers of technology and supplies, generally looked down upon by Saulosian society. They became if anything hardier, learning to craft weapons and vehicles on their own. When first contact with the humans came centuries later, they were already prepared to be sent to battle.
They are used primarily for mechanized and cavalry units, being strong and dexterous, with centuries of experience with mounted combat. Often, however, they are employed as shock troops upon planetfall during planetary assaults, possessing the strength and dexterity to climb all manor of structures and find vantage points inaccessible to most adversaries. While they prefer to rely on their own strength and speed when on foot, they normally carry standard-issue weapons to combat enemies at range.
Notes and References
- New images and inspiration taken from the Gorn of the 2013 Star Trek video game.
The Saulosian Species
|Saulosian · Sceleratus Saulosian · Lwhekk Saulosian · Morassik Saulosian · Seulisoen|