- "My people do not desire war. We would be more than happy to live amongst ourselves, and leave the rest of the galaxy alone, harming and being harmed by none. However as the times change this is no longer possible. War will find us. So it is that we venture forth, not waiting for the future enemy to bring the fight to us, but striking them before they get the chance. We will seek out our enemies and allies before they find us, and with good fortune my children will survive the coming darkness."
- —The Great Mother
The Harkriak are a race of Arachno-humanoid Xenos native to the Galactic south. The race is ruled by a powerful entity known as the Great Mother, who supposedly birthed their race. Despite having a fairly large sized empire of roughly a hundred worlds (by Imperial reckoning) the Harkriak have not had a major impact on galactic affairs for much of their history, opting instead to keep to themselves. However in the last century the Harkriak have taken a far more aggressive, and expansionistic stance. This has put them in conflict with many of the galaxy's powers, including the Imperium of Mankind.
The Harkriak bare a striking resemblance to humans. Their overall body structure mimics humanity's almost perfectly. Despite this there are still notable differences. Harkriak skin tends to be dark in color, with dark brown or black being prominent within the race. Studies by Mechanicus Xenobiologists have discovered that Harkriak skin is 10% denser than human skin, giving it more toughness, and thus making Harkriak slightly less vulnerable to injury.
The Harkriak have a human facial structure, including humanoid eyes, nose, mouth and ears. However the Harkriak also have a bone crest that extends from the top of their forhead to the back of their head. On this crest is a second pair of eyes. Studies have shown that these eyes are capable of seeing into the infrared range, allowing the Harkriak to see heat.
The Harkriak have two extra pairs of arachnoid limbs in addtion to their humanoid ones. These spider legs extend from their back, and are highly dextrous. The Harkriak often use them to facilitate manipulation of objects. They also use them in combat as the tips of these limbs end in sharp points.
The Harkirak possess sharp claws on their humanoid limbs. There can be sued for combat purposes, but Imperial Xenobiologists believe that these claws were originally developed for the purposes of climbing rather than to inflict injury. The Harkriak also possess sharp teath, indicating a primarily carnivorous diet. Despite this the Harkirak can, and routinely do ingest vegetation. The Harkriak's canine teeth contain ducts that lead to a pair of what are believed to be venom glands. However it seems that these glands became vestigial at some point in the Harkriak's evolutional development, and no longer produce poison. Despite this it seems that the Harkriak's bodies adpted through fighting with one another when they had active venom glands, and thus the Harkriak have a natural resistance to poison.
Harkriak muscle tissue is denser than that of human muscle tissue. This gives the Harkriak a wirey strength that seems disproportional to their muscle mass. It also gives them slightly superior speed, stamina and agility. Taking advantage of this Harkriak fighting styles are often very acrobatic and dynamic.
The Harkriak tend to live slightly longer than races such as humanity. The average Harkriak lifespan, unassisted by Bionics and advanced medical treatment is roughly a hundred years. Harkirak have a polyestrous estrous cycle, and their gestation length is around 400 days. Harkriak tend to give brith to three to four children at a time.
The Balagath are a sub-species of the Harkriak. according the Harkriak legend the Balgath were the Great Mother's first children. Unlike the Harkriak the Balagath do not appear to be sentient. Their biology resembles a spider's far more closely. They have arachnoid heads instead of the more humanoid heads of the Harkirak. Their venom glands still function, and produce an extremely potent poison. Their additional limbs come out of the torso instead of the back, and all possess sharp claws. The Balagath have a large, hulking stature, and superior strength to their intelligent cousins.
Despite the Feral nature of the Balagath they recognize the Harkriak as their own. As a result they often live among the Harkriak or in colonies close by to Harkriak settlements. The Harkriak treat the Balagath well, and use them for labor, companionship and they even deploy Balagath during wartime as shock troops.
The history of the Harkriak begins with the Great Mother. This powerful entity has existed since ancient times. Despite this very little is known about her, and the Great mother herslef has been less than forthcoming about her origins. What is known is that for a long period the Great Mother travelled the stars alone, but eventually decided that she wanted to find a planet that she could settle on, and make her home. She eventaully found what she was looking for in the planet Tyrbamor. The planet was fertile with life, but had yet to develope any sentient species. It would be here that the Great Mother would set down her roots.
According the legends of the Harkriak it was shortly after this that the Great Mother gave birth to the Balagath. The Balagath spread across Tyrbamor and thrived on the planet. Despite this the Great mother was not yet satisfied. She loved her first children, but they were little more then beasts. she wished to have intelligent children. It was then that she decided to make the Harkriak.
Supposedly the first Harkriak and Balagath were incapable of reproduction. They relied entirely on the Great Mother to give birth to new life. Thus the earliest Harkriak existed in a sort of hive with the Great Mother at its center. However the Great Mother decided that she wanted her children to forge their own path. Thus she gave the Harkriak and the Balagath the ability to give birth on their own. Supposedly doing this required her togive up a portion of her life force.
With the ability to exist injdependently of the Great Mother the Harkriak spread across Tyrbamor, and established their own society. During this time the Harkriak mad numerous nations all across the planet, each with its own culture and society. During this time the Great Mother retreated to relative isolation. she did this because she wished to allow the Harkriak to develope on their own, free of outside interference.
With the Great Mother absent from them the Harkriak began to worship her as a goddess. Other religions would develope in different countries, but the worship of the Great Mother in one way or another remained the most prevalent of the Harkriak's religions. Furthermore these nations began to compete with one another over land and resources, often going to war. While it caused the great Mother sorrow to see her children fight and kill each other she still refrained from interfering. She knew that these growing pains were necessary to strengthen the Harkriak for the future.
Technological Revolution and UnificationEdit
The Harkriak had progressed into an age of technology when a remarkable technology was developed. In the pre-Unification country of Lakphormis a brilliant scientists named Phremia Sak'na Calitrum began developing a theaory on technological progress which would shape the rest of the Harkriak's scientific development. Phremia was a specialist in both the fields of Nanotechnology and Biology. through her studies she came to believe that technology reached its greatest potential when it mimicked living things.
As a result of this line of thinking Phremia attempted to create technology that blurred the lines between synthetic and organic. Phremia speant years on this research. Already wealthy from previous breakthroughs in her fields, Phremia chose to fund her own research. She did this because she did not want other to dictate the path of her project. She shut herself away in her private lab like a hermit, and worked non-stop to complete her research. Eventually she succeeded and shared her breakthrough with her people.
With this new form of technology at its disposal Lakphormis went into a scientific revoloution, and rapidly advanced. Fabricated Biology as the Technology came to be called soon became the standard in Lakphormis. It changed the state of the commercial, medical and military fields. Eventually Lakphormis decided to capitalize on their access to this unusual tech, and launched a series of campaigns to unify all of the Harkriak.
The Pacification of Tyrbamor by the Lakphormis Republic was a long and brutal set of campaigns. The other Harkriak nations did not take kindly to such naked aggression, and fought back with their full strength. After roughly half of the planet had been conquered by Lakphormis the other nations formed an allied force referred to as the Coalition in Harkriak historical texts.
The battle between the Coalition and Lakphormis lasted two decades, and marked one of the bloodiest periods in Harkriak history. The Coalition effectively pooled its resources, and part way through the conflict they even managed to reverse engineer some of Lakphormis' Fabricated Biology. However over time Lakphormis' technological advantage proved too much for the Coalition to handle, and the planet was unified.
Phremia, who had never wished her break through to be used in such a way, went into seclusion. She no longer wished to be a part of a society that was built on the blood of those killed by her creation. She departed to parts unknown, and left Lakphormis to its own devices.
Space Age and First ContactEdit
Over time the Harkriak developed more, and more advanced technology. Eventually they achieved the ability to effectively travel outiside their planet, and began The lengthy process of Terraforming, and colonizing the other planets in their system.
The Harkriak also attempted to explore outside of their system. The government worked with a number of corperations and scientists to launch Project Krageon. Named after a sea creature on Tyrbamor that wass renowned for diving to extreme depths, Project Krageon was a massive colony ship that was to be launched, and attempt to reach beyond the Tyrbamor system. The ship managed to safely leave the system, but contact was lost shortly after, and was never re-established. The Harkriak assumed that those that had left on the Krageon were dead, and further attempts to explore outside the system were halted.
When the first colonies were founded intrasystem travel was slow. As a result many of the colonies had limited contact with the central Government back on the homeworld. As timke wenyt on many of the colonies, which had oractically grown autonomous of the Homeworld, decided that they wanted independence from Tyrbamor. The Government did not approve of this, and cracked down on the colonies, making talk of Independence into the crime of sedition, and harshly punishing the guilty.
This choice had the opposite effect of what the government on Tyrbamor intended. Within a year and a half of the new laws the other colonies went from merely talking of becoming independent, to a full scale rebellion. Tyrbamor immediately began campaigns to bring the wayward colonies back into compliance. The following conflicts were brutal. The government on Tyrbamor had superior troops and equipment, but the rebels had the support of their people, and were relentless. Whenever the government managed to reconquer one of the colonies they were inevitably faced by a determined insurrection fordce shortly after. Furthermore the sluggishness of the Harkriak's intrasystem transport ensured that new supplies, and reinforcements took considerable time to reach their destination.
It seemed that the fighting would continue forever, but a startling development occured that ceased the conflict. First Contact was made with an alien species. When reports made their way back to Tyrbamor the government was stunned. The report claimed that ships of alien design were currently holding position over a number of worlds in the Tyrbamor system. For a course of around three months these ships held their position, neither taking hostile action, nor making contact. During this period all fighting stopped, as everyone was focused on the strange visitors. Many of the Harkriak entertained the idea that the aliens may have come in peace. Sadly they were proven wrong.
Out of nowhere the ships began attacking the Harkriak worlds. Viscious orbital bombardments destroyed numerous cities before the harkriak could put up a proper defense. The bombardment were followed by the deployment of troops to the surface of the planets. The aliens, which had now been identified as a species called the Rodians, began a campaign of genocide against the Harkriak. Thier intentions became clear. The Rodians were not interested in conquering, or enslaving the Harkriak. They were their to lay claim to the Harkriak worlds, and their resources, and they intended to cleanse these worlds of their native population before they claimed their prize.
With the threat of extinction creeping slowly towards reality the Harkriak or both Tyrbamor and its colonies put aside old grudges, qand worked together. Their truce allowed the Harkriak top hold out against the Rodian invaders for a time, but even that could not stop them. The Rodians possessed technology, and number too superior to be defeated so easily. To make matters worse both sides of the Harkriak Civil War had devastated each other, and the Rodians seemed to know just how to hit the Harkriaks in order to do the most damage. it became apparent that the three months of inactivity had been spent monitoring the Harkriak, and gaining actionable intel in preparation for this invasion. With the colonies barely hanging on the main Rodian force made its way towards Tyrbamor.
From Darkness Comes LightEdit
As the Harkriak's darkest hour was upon them they were saved by the origin of their people. The Great Mother revealed herself, and by her side was none other than Doctor Phremia Sak'na Calitrum. It seemed that the Great Mother had sought the scientist out during her exile. The Great Mother recruited the scientist for a great purpose, and used her powers to extend Phremia's life.
Naturally the Harkriak were shocked. Many had stopped believing in the religions that worshipped the Great Mother, and had long since dismissed them as the superstitions of their ignorant ancestors. To have the very goddess in question stand before them rocked their world view. However her arrival also brought hope to them.
The Great Mother told the Harkriak of Tyrbamor the same thing that she had told Phremia when she recruited her. She said that all the wars, and trials that the Harkriak had faced were to test and prepare the Harkriak for a greater destiny.She also told them that her revealing herself to them was the result of her belief that they were ready to take their place in the galaxy at large. Finally she told them that they would win the war, but only if the Harkriak were willing to set aside their differences, and unite under her.
While many were aprehensive of simply capitualting to some ancient goddess from the far past, the mixture of desperation and the hope that she provided were simply to much to deny. The Government on Tyrbamor agreed to her terms, and sent messages out to the colonies with the news.
It was then that the Great Mother gave her Children the tools they would need in order to defeat the Rodians. During her hermitage Phremia had devoted herself to refining and improving the technology she had created under the Great Mothers tuteledge. She had even created a viable Warp Drive for the Harkriak ships. Meanwhile the Great Mother gathered together the many Harkriak Psykers that had developed.
In fact Psykers had only started to appear a few years prior to this, and had then started appearing rapidly. This is because the Great Mother had stunted the Psychic growth of her people up until that point, and had then stimulated it. She claimed that the development of Psykers within the Harkriak had been a gift to allow them to reach a new potential, but the truth had been that she had stunted their Psychic growth in order to allow them to develope with a little influence by Chaos as possible. With these Psykers gathered they bound themsevles to the Great Mother, forming the start of the Harkriak's Psychic Web.
With the Psykers, and their Psychic Web the Harkriak forces were able to employ the power of the Warp against the Rodians, as well as navigate the Warp. Phremia's Warp Drive allowed the Harkriak to equal the Rodians' navy in mobility, and the improvements she had made to her Fabricated Biology not only allowed the Harkriak to fight the Rodians on equal terms, but actually gave them a scientific edge over their adeversaries.
The Harkriak pushed back the invaders world by world. As those forces that had managed to survive on the colonies were assimilted, the main Harkriak force managed to build up momentum. Finally the Harkriak pushed the Rodian's out of their system. The threat was over for now. The Harkriak spent the next few years licking their wounds under the guidance of the Great Mother. When she felt that they had recovered sufficiently the Great Mother announced that they were going to end the threat once, and for all.
During the war the Harkriak Psykers pulled the location of the Rodians' home system from Rodian captives. Using that information the Harkriak launched a counter-invasion into the Rodians' home system. In a twist of fate the Rodians suffered the very fate that they had intended for the Harkriak. The Harkriak purged the galaxy of the wicked Xenos, and laid claim to their worlds.
With the Rodian threat removed once and for all, the government was reformed around the Great Mother. The Great Mother named her new domain the Harkriak Star Web, and set the foundation for further exapansion. However she did so conservatively. Her powers of precognition had allowed her to see the coming Age of Strife as well as many other things. She kept the Harkriak Star Web small, so that it would whether the coming Warp Storms better than the Human Federation would.
Thanks to the Psychic Web the Harkriak were able to maintain communication during the violent Warp Storms that caused the Age of Strife, though they were still incapable of Warp travel. When the Storms were finally over the Harkriak worlds managed to get back in contact with one another, and reorganize themselves. Before the Warp Storms began they only occupied two systems fully, and had only just begun settling a third. As such they were not as far flung, and disconnected as humanity had become.
With the Harkriak reunited they began to expand to more systems, settling even more planets. During this time The Harkriak encountered many more Xenos species. Many were simply ignored. The Great Mother was not interested in looking for conflict. However they also encountered a number of hostile species. The Great Mother ordered the genocide of these Xenos, for while she did not seek conflict, she would not allow any species to endanger her children to live.
Over time a new developement occured, revealing the weakness of the Psychic Web. The Psychic Web allowed the Harkriak to effectively communicate, and navigate through the Warp. It also provided the Psyker that formed it with increased protection from Chaotic taint and Daemonic possession. It required constant maintenance from the one at the center of the web, the Great Mother, in order to maintain it's integrity. As the Harkriak continued to expand so too did the number of Psykers that they needed. However with each new Psyker added to the Web it increased in scale and complexity. It soon grew to much for the Great Mother to maintain alone. If the Harkriak were to continue to expand out into the galaxy a solution had to be found.
This was when the Great Mother gave birth to the first Matriarchs. These direct daughters of the Great Mother bore her likeness, and a portion of her great power. This is because each of them had a fragment of her essence. As she gave birth to the Matriarchs, the Great Mother would connect them to her via the Psychic Web. However the Matriarchs would be in control of a territory beyond the range of the portion of the Web that the Great Mother was in charge. Psykers born in this domain would then be bound to the Matriarch. Thus by having the Matriachs take control over portions of the expanding Psychic Web the Great Mother had found a solution to the problem.
However the solution came at great cost. The birth of each Matriarch required that the Great Mother sacrifice a portion of her essence and life force. With the birth of each new Matriarch a little more of the Great Mother's life would be whittled down. The Great Mother has manged to keep this a closely guarded secret from the Harkriak. Most Matriarchs don't even know. Even to the present only the Great Mother's most trusted condidants know this secret.
At first The Great Mother gave birth to three Matriarchs. Their names were Kureva, Hakayla and Fratine. These three eldest daughters would become key parts of the expansion of the Harkriak, and would take a leadership role among their sisters. With their aid the Harkriak settled a number of new worlds. However they were still restricted by the orders of their mother.
Just as the Great Mother had predicted the invasion of the Rodians and the coming of the Age of Strife, so too did she foresee the rise of the Emperor and his Imperium. The Great Mother gave specific instructions to her people to avoid colonizing worlds that would end up in the path of the Great Crusade. However there were many among the Harkriak that did not understand the danger that the humans, and their Great Crusade represented, and wanted to colonise the worlds that the great Mother had barred them from. Many believed that their military might would be able to withstand the might of the fledgling Imperium, key amongst them being Hakayla.
Against her mother's wishes hakayla had her people settle within a number of worlds that the Great Mother had declared forbidden. Eventually the Great Crusade found these worlds. Hakayla put her formidable skills as a military commander to use, but sadly it was for not. The Imperial forces were pushed back for a time, but Lion El Johnson and his Dark Angels eventually crushed Hakayla's forces.
Hakayla was forced to retreat, and return to her mother in shame. The Imperium destroyed the Harkriak colonies, and in the belief that they had wiped out the Harkriak as a race, settled them. This blow to her pride, as well as the lost of her beloved vassals would leave a lasting bitterness towards the Imperium in Hakayla's heart. Despite this the Harkriak continued to expand, and this time they heeded the Great Mothers words, and expanded only in the area outside of the Great Crusade's reach without complaint.
Formation of KrageosEdit
Unbeknownst to the Harkriak of the Star Web the Harkriak that had left on the Krageon had not died out. They had continued their exploration throughout the Age of Strife at slower than light speeds. Having lost their bearing and all communication with their home system, the Harkriak aboard the Krageon decided to put survival as their top priority. Even above that of returning home.
The Krageon came in contact with many Xenos cultures throughout this time. Some contact was peaceful. Other times the Krageon Harkriak were forced to fight against monstrous foes for their very survival. During this time they lost the knowledge of how to produce much of the technology that the Harkriak used. Instead they were forced to incorperate much of the technology of the Xenos they encountered. Some of this tech had been traded with those species they had friendly contact with. Other technology had to be salvage, or reverse engineered. This resulted in the Krageon Harkriak developing technology very different from that of the Star Web.
Eventually the Krageon found a planet that was both plentiful in natural resources, and devoid of any sentient species. Tired of their seemingly endless voyage the Harkriak aboard the Krageon decided to take this planet as their new homeworld. By this time many had forgotten about Tyrbamor, and the people they had left behind. Many more simply did not care. As far as they knew they would never see the people of their home system again.
They named this planet Retsieve, which in one of Tyrbamor's ancient languages meant "safe port". Building a new civilization on Retsieve, the voyagers of the Krageon decided to name their new nation Krageos in order to remind them of the challenges they had faced to reach their new home.
During the period in which the Star Web was expanding outward Krageos also underwent expansion. However their expansion was considerably smaller than that of the Star Web's. Krageos did not have the driving force that was the Great Mother and the Matriarchs behind it. Furthermore Krageos was hampered by a number of hostile Xenos cvilizations around them. Thus Krageos would remain small for most of its history. This would be a boon as well as a problem, as Krageos never came in contact with the Great Crusade.
War with the DafratiEdit
During this period of expansion in the galactic south the Great Mother recieved a premonition. She foresaw that a Xenos race called the Dafrati would become an enormous threat in the near future. The Dafrati were a militant, advanced species that had been tainted by the Warp. As a result the Dafrati were malevolent and arrogant to the extreme. Through her spies the Great Mother learned that the Dafrati were preparing for a massive campaign of conquest against the rest of the galaxy. With their powerful war machines, and their terrifying sorcery the damage that the Dafrati were capable of would be significant.
Realizing that she had a chance to defeat a serious threat while it was still forming, the Great Mother ordered her people to prepare for a war with the evil Xenos. Thus the Harkriak chose to exterminate the Dafrati, but this would be no easy task. The Dafrati were the most formidable foe that the Harkriak had fully pitted themselves against. The war would be a total one. Either the Harkriak would succeed in exterminating the Dafrati, or the Dafrati would turn back the assualt, and slaughter the Harkriak.
The Great Mother put Kureva and Hakayla in charge of the campaign. The two Matriarchs immediately set out to strike at the hated Dafrati, and they were determined that they would not return alive unless they were successful. The initial strike against the Dafrati territories was highly successful. The foul monsters had long been virtually unopposed in their region of the galaxy, with the other nearby Xenos being to scared to challenge them. The sudden, viscious styrike from the Harkriak caught them off guard. However they quickly recovered, and mustered their forces to retaliate.
The Dafrati counter-attack was more brutal than either of the Matriarchs had anticipated. The Dafrati war-machine grinded into the Harkriak lines, claiming thousands of lives. However while the disciplined, well equipped military of the Dafrati was something that the Harkriak could handle, they found dealing with the Dafrati use of the Warp far more tricky. The Dafrati had long studied, and utilized the power of the Warp with their foul sorcery, and they unleashed it now upon the Harkriak.
To make matters worse the Dafrati launched a counter-invasion. While the main force was dealing the the Harkriak task force, as secondary force was sent to invade Harkriak space. The Dafrati burned world after world. In certain cases the Dafrati defiled the harkriak worlds to such an extent that the Warp Taint left by their sorcery would render the planets permanently uninhabitable. Fratine organized her younger sisters in the defense of the Harkriak Star Web, and sent word to hakayla and Kureva of the dire situation.
With the Harkriak themselves suddenly under attack Kureva and Hakayla redoubled their efforts. Their attack against the harkriak forces became more furious as the situation became more desperate. Finally Hakayla had enough of the war going nowhere. In a daring strategy she took the most elite of her warriors, and organized them into a smaller force. She personally lead them deep into the Dafrati lines.
From there Hakayla began wreaking havoc on the Dafrati. She cut their supply line, ambushed them deep within their own territory, and even struck at some of their most crucial worlds. That the Dafrati did not locate, and utterly annihilate Hakayla and her warriors during this period was a testament to her military prowess. Finally Hakayla chose to strike a swift Coup de Grace, and attacked the Dafrati Capitol World.
In a short, but bloody campaign Hakayla breached the defenses of the Dafrati's Crown World, and she personally laid seige to the palace of the Dafrati King. She cut down the King's elite bodyguards, the Bone Knights, and took his head in personal combat. Furthermore in spight of her mother's command that the relics of the Dafrati be completely destroyed, Hakayla took trophies from the King's palace.
With their leader dead, and their capitol in flames the Dafrati forces became disorganized. This was precisely the moment that the Harkriak had been waiting for. Fratine pushed the Dafrati invasion out of Harkriak space, and continued the offensive in to their territory. Kurevas crushed the main force's general, the last true leader the armies of the Dafrati had, and continued to score victory after victory against her foes. Hakayla circled back, striking at the Dafrati forces as they retreated. This potent three pronged attack wiped out the Dafrati, bringing the Harkriak victory. The three sisters returned home heroes.
However just after this something happened that would haunt the Great Mother for the rest of her life. The Great Mother had no love for the Imperium. She knew that while the Dafrati would have caused considerable damage before they were stopped, the Imperium would have eventually purged them. Furthermore the Dafrati had been so fearsome that she was hesitant to risk the lives of her people against them. At first she was prepared to simply allow the Dafrati and the Imperium kill each other, but she changed her mind last moment because her prediction made her anxious.
Shortly after her scouts brought news to her that the Imperium was in the process of a massive civil war, a conflict that would come to be known as the Hoprus Heresy. This shocked the Great Mother, for while she had predicted the Great Crusade she had not been able to foretell the coming of the Horus Heresy. The Great Mother would later muse that her vision may have been clouded by the Ruinous Powers at the time.
After the Hrous Heresy the Great Mother came to a numbing realization. Had the Dafrati been allowed to launch their conquering armies, the Imperium, being embroiled in the apocalyptic Horus Heresy would not have been able to oppose them. They would have conquered, and slaughtered almost without challenge. Fruthermore during the Great Scouring the weakened Imperium would be able to stifle the Dafrati's exapnsion very little. Thus during the Horus Heresy, and in its wake the Dafrati would have forged a mighty empire that would become a threat to the rest of the galaxy. More so with the newly turn traitor Legions in the north, and the Warp crazed Dafrati Empire in the south the Imperium would soon crumble, and nothing would contain the spread of Chaos.
Since that time the Great Mother has been especially vigilant regarding her premonitions. Had she ignored this prediction she would have no doubt doomed the Harkriak, and perhaps humanity with them.
After the brutal war with the Dafrati the Great Mother declared a halt to further expansion. While it would have been easy to conquer new territory with the Imperium preoccupied with reconstruction, and purging their territories of Horus' rebels, The Great Mother felt that this approach would do more harm than good in the long term.
The Harkriak needed to recover from their own conflict with the dafrati, which had done serious harm to their worlds and forces. Furthermore while the Imperium was in a weakened state at the moment, the Great Mother knew they would recover. Perhaps not fully, but enough to easily destroy the Harkriak despite whatever gains they would have acquired in the interim. Bringing her people to the Imperium's attention so soon would not only render whatever gains they made pointless, but could also result in the death of her people. The Great Mother decided instead to bide her time, and keep the Harkriak out of further galactic affairs.
There were many among the Harkriak that disagreed with the Great Mother's decision, first and foremost being Hakayla. Hakayla saw the Imperium's weakened condition as an opportunity to exact revenge against them for what they had done to her subjects, and she was confident after her defeat of the Dafrati that she could handle the Imperium in its current state. There were many others with the Harkriak military that believed that building up territory and military assets was the way to go. These elements claimed that the Imperium would eventually find the Harkriak, and that it would serve the Harkriak better if the Star Web was a galactic super power rather than some fringe empire when the Imperium finally came. Despite this the Great Mother stuck to her decision. This would leave some lasting resentment within some of her subjects, particularly her daughter.
However the Harkriak obeyed. The Harkriak spent the next few years recovering from the war with the Dafrati. They rebuilt much oif the territory that had been ravaged, and restored the losses to their military. Following this came a long period of uneventfullness. The Harkriak would sometimes become involveds in small scale wars with various factions, but overall they went without major incident. The Star Web expanded during this time, but only slightly. Overall it was a period devoid of major upheaval. The largest conflict that occured was the defeat of Waaagh! Boregut by Matriach Fratine. However the destruction of the Waaagh! would be what brought the Harkriak back onto the path of war.
Birth of the Daemon WebEdit
A Change in PhilosophyEdit
The Harkriak are a very diverse race. They have a number of different languages and cultures that have survived even into the 41st millenium. Currently the majority of Harkriak belong to one of five distinct groups. The Harkriak Star Web, Hakayla's Daemon Web, Krageos, the Throst Union and the Free Clans. Each group has its own government, military and unique laws and cultures.
Harkriak Star WebEdit
The Harkriak Star Web is the most ancient, and most powerful of the various Harkriak factions. Founded by the Great Mother immediately following the First Contact War, the Harkriak Star Web managed to survive the Age of Strife relatively intact, making it one of the few interstaller empires in the 41st millenium that predates the Imperium.
The Star Web is ruled over by the Great Mother, the powerful entity that gave birth the the Harkriak in ancient times. With her guidance, and those of the Matriarchs the Star Web has managed to survive the increasingly dangerous state of the galaxy. While the Star Web is ultimately run by the Matriarchs, it has a complex political climate. Each Matriarch is given the right to rule her portion of the web as she sees fit. some take a very direct role in running their domain, while others hang back and let the Harkriak make most of the decisions themselves. Thus the system of government and culture of the various Matriarchal Domains can be very different. While an Individual Harkriak tend to identify most with the Domain they come from, the Harkriak of the Star Web have a strong sense of public service, and often work for the good of the society as a whole.
While the Star Web is a fair sized empire, and has had several wars with alien cultures, most of its people know very little of other Xenos. Long ago the Great Mother set the Star Webs philosophy with alien cultures. Species that were deemed a direct threat to the Star Web were exterminated immediately, much like the how the Imperium chose to wipe out Xenos cultures. However unlike the Imperium the Star Web does not engage in aggressive acts towards those species that are not deemed a threat. Rather the policy is to avoid any contact what so ever with these species. As such the only those within the Star Web's military had any real contact with alien cultures for the longest time. However the Star Web has changed its policy in recent years, and has now engaged in aggressive expansion. As a result the Harkriak have had more interaction with non-Harkriak in the last few centuries.
The Daemon Web is the name of the faction of Harkriak lead by the traitor Matriarch Hakayla. While the seeds of dissent were sown in Hakayla in many different times, and places, the ultimate cause of it was Hakayla's study of Dafrati lore. The Warp tainted Xenos had long studied the power of the Warp, and of Chaos. It is from texts, and artifacts recovered from their destroyed civlization that Hakayla learned of Chaos, and ultimately came to be a servant of the Ruinous Powers.
The Harkriak of the Daemon Web are an insidious and arrogant breed. They worship their foul Queen as a Demi-Goddess of Chaos, and believe that it is Hakayla that will lead them to supremacy over the galaxy, and Chaos to its final victory. The citezens of the Daemon Web are quite active in their attempts to bring ruin to the galaxy. Not only do they often strike out and invade the worlds around their nightmarish home, but they also seek to corrupt other from within by spreading the Cult of the Daemon Web, which has become a thorn in thw side of the Great Mother, and the Inquisition as well as many others.
The ultimate aim of Hakayla and her Daemon Web is to slay the Grat Mother, corrupt the entire Harkiak race to the service of Chaos, and then lay waste to the rest of the galaxy.
The Harkriak nation of Krageos was formed from the descendents of the Harkriak that left aboard the colony ship Krageon during the Harkriak's early space exploration. Well beyond the reach of their race, and out of communication range, these Harkriak eventually settled down. Due to their isolation from the rest of their race the Harkaik of Krageos are very different from their cousins in the Star Web.
During its travels the Krageon explored many alien worlds, and its citezens met a number of different Xenos species. The Krageon traded and warred with these Xenos, and this shaped their development. Even after these colonists settled they continued to be involved in the affair of other factions. Thus while the Star Web chose isolation, and have only recently begun to seek openly seek allies and enemies, Krageos has done so since the beginning.
The Harkriak of Krageos are progressive. They constantly seek to improve their technology and standing in the universe. As Krageos is located in an area surrounded by many enemies, and few friends, Krageos puts a priority on advancing their military. They also take great pains to keep track of their potential enemies, and strike before they can do so when possible.
Despite the militant mindset Krageos does have allies, and they maintain close relationships with them. While Krageos is primarily a Harkriak dominated empire, it is possible to find other species in the cities of Krageos, usually for the sake of trade or diplomacy. Thus Krageos is far more open to non-Harkriak than any of the other major Harkriak factions.
The Harkriak of Krageos lost much of their knowledge regarding Fabricateds Biology, and how to produce it during their long isolation. As a result Fabricated Biology does not dominate the science of Krageos, and the Karkriak their use technology based on more conventional science.
The Harkriak employ technology that is wildly different from the rest of the galaxy for the most part. Early in their history Dr. Phremia Sak'na Calitrum created a field of technology, and a scientific school of thought called Fabricated Biology. Phremia's research into technology was chaped by her expertise in the field of biology. She postulated that technology at its height should resemble, and function much like living tissue, as living things were some of the most complex, and sophisticated grouping of systems imaginable. Fabricated Biology soon came to dominate the Harkriak's technological innovations, and continued to shape their scientific development ever since. It should be noted that the Harkriak do study other fields of scientific inquiry, but the mainshare of their technology is based on Fabricated Biology, and the Harkriak have pushed this technology to the point where they can compete with forces such as the Tau, Imperium and Eldar.
To understand the full nature of Fabricated Biology one must first accept the idea that it is not bio-technology. Harkriak tech resembles living tissue in appearance and function to such a degree that many ignorant outsiders believe that their tech is biologically engineered, much like that of the Tyranids. However the tech produced using Fabricated Biology is entirely synthetic, containing no organic substances. To illustrate this an example could be drawn from the differences between Imperial, and Harkriak prosthesics. Say for instance that one was trying to replace a malfunctioning kidney. In the Imperium one would replace it with a Bionic implant, a machine that would simply perform the duties of the replaced organ. The Harkriak equivalent would look, feel and function exactly like the orginal organ if not better. It would even have the syntheitc equivalent of cells, and thus would be nearly indistinguishable from an actual kidney when looked at with the naked eye. This perfect blend of synthetic material, and organic structure and function has made Fabricated Biology a unique form of technology, and a subject of interest for factions such as the Adeptus Mechanicus, and the Tau.
Automatons created through Fabricated Biology. As a result they are far moire sophisticated than the Robots and Servitors used by the Imperium, or the Drones used by the Tau. Their bodies appear organic to the naked eye. However the creatures are entirely synthetic. The Harkriak use Synthetism in a number fo ways. Some are designed for labor, some are design to assist the Harkriak in their duties. There are also ferocious Synthetisms that go to war with the Harkriak. The majority of Synthetisms have the intelligence of a Servitor, or in more advanced cases may have an intellect like that of an animal. The Harkriak are capable of creating Synthism that possess sentience and self-awareness, but these are extremely rare. The Great Mother knows very welkl the potential threat that Artificial Intelligence can pose. Thus the creation and use of intelligent Synthetisms is strictly regulated, and offenders are harshly punished.