The Gorhn are a race of intelligent reptiles not unlike the Reptilliads of Venus. Because they developed on a world with stronger gravity than Earth they are tremendously strong. Their thick-scaled hides can endure harsh environments up to and including cold vacuum. Gorhn tend to be slow and somewhat sluggish in their bodily motion but when motivated short burst of speed or energetic effort have been witnessed. Gorhn have a more developed sense of smell and hearing in comparison to humans. The Gorhn have not revealed much about their culture or organization. What is known is that the Gorhn are very territorialistic and defend their terrain with calculated and violent military actions. The Gorhn possess Ætherflight capability but much of their technology is still a mystery to Æther Fleet.
It is known that the Gorhn developed in an environment where the gravity is significantly higher than planetary normal. It is surmised that their native atmospheric pressure fluctuated from very thin to oppressively thick leading some scientists to conjecture that they may have evolved somewhere beneath the vaporous seas of the gas giants. The prevailing theory numbers the Gorhn among the descendants of the star faring forerunner races that was stranded in the solar system upon the Promethean cataclysm. The Gorhn themselves have not added any answers to the debate.
Gorhn have many reptilian characteristics similar to the reptilliads of Venus but it is surmised that the two species are not directly related. The Gorhn diet consists almost exclusively of living flesh. Their methods of carniculture produce several types of amphibians, snake sized worms, shapeless leech creatures and something resembling koala bears which they have been observed eating. When mingling among other races they have been known to eat rats, birds, cats, dogs, humanoid prisoners or even their own dead.
The hide of a Gorhn is incredibly tough and resilient. The outer layer consists of tough scale like plates and the inner dermis consists of a resilient integument resembling rhino hide. Gorhn hide is semi resilient to Blaiser and interrupter fire. Their muscle tissue is rated at 8 times the strength of human muscle for the same mass. The average Gorhn can easily lift 1,000 pounds in a 1 G environment.
The Gorhn circulatory system includes a decentralized series of hearts located in their fore limbs pumping their bodily fluids throughout their body’s. Their main heart is located just under their throat protected under the shell like sternum bone of their upper thorax. An interior set of lungs are closer in function to to gills that are bathed in a mucous of gas exchanging enzymes. Gorhn also conduct respiration along their sinus cavities and at certain portions of their skin. The pre-battle stretching of Gorhn warriors super saturates their blood with oxygen.
Gorhn eye-sight seems to operate in fewer of the visible spectrums and is relatively short ranged. They are however very proficient at detecting even minute motion at medium ranges. Their olfactory sense is very acute and can detect the presence of humanoids for miles if up wind. Their keen sense of smell is also used to track enemy or prey. Gorhn hearing is very perceptive at high pitches and low pitches but seems to be somewhat dull within the midrange.
Gorhn reproduce sexually after what can only be conjectured as a mass mating frenzy/orgy/battle where male Gorhn fight for supremacy and attempt mating simultaneously. The brood mothers then enter an egg laying period where hundreds of eggs are produced. A Gorhn hatchling has a tough life as the adult Gorhn do nothing to aide their post natal survival. Before reaching sexual maturity many of the hatchlings may starve or be killed by adult Gorhn.
The Gorhn verbal language, if it can be called so, consists of internal squeaks, pings and clicks as well as voiceless hissing and breathing patterns. The internal phonemes are created by chords located in a pouch underneath the Gorhn’s mandible joint and are not included within the throat like the human vocal chords. Like there hearing range much of their phonics exists in the high and low band of sounds audible to humans. Their low frequency noises carry a very long distance and can be heard by other Gorhn miles away depending on the atmosphere. Their high pitched sounds have the ability to carry through solids and are easily heard by other Gorhns through walls and vehicles.
Gorhn written language resembles cuneiform script because the characters are cut into solid materials with the points of their claws. Gorhnic script is very difficult to decipher even with the help of an analysis engine because there are no breaks in between individual words of their language. Supposedly Gorhn language uses such well known formula within its structure that most sentences form a template with only the defining words differing.
A translating program is available to translate spoken Gorhn to English but it has been known to be only semi- reliable.
Some Gorhn have learned to ape enough English phonemes to be able to speak in English but they do so in a hissing and whispering technique completely devoid of percussives and no distinguishable differences between most vowel sounds.
Society and Social Order:
Not much is known regarding Gorhn culture or organization but what is known seems very appropriate to their behavior. Rank in Gorhn society and/or military is determined by supremacy of strength, wit and endurance. Only the strong survive and only the strongest rule. Natural groups are formed within their society based on yet undetermined genetic trait. These groups form hierarchies based on dominance and supremacy. These groups have pre-programmed affection and/or enmity toward other groups. Ships or military units will not include members from groups hostile to one another.
Some Gorhn that are deposed by a stronger leader and do not die in the coup may escape as outcasts. Several of these outcasts have adopted work or positions outside Gorhn influence. Some have become pirates, mercenaries, or even merchants.
Since the hide of a Gorhn is sufficient to endure even extreme environments it is assumed that their costume has more to do with identification of status or perhaps modesty. Many Gorhn have been observed wearing only loin cloths and/or belts for carrying equipment but most wear a sort of tunic made from some type of leather or hide. Gorhn are not shy about explaining the origin of their attire and it is known that the hide of sentient creatures is a favorite as it is relatively supple and comfortable compared with animal hide. Martian and Vulkan hide is particularly coveted for its durability and lithe feel.
In combat Gorhn sometimes wear a form of chain mail mesh that is interlaced with cells of ablative gels to absorb heat based attacks. Many also don multi-vision goggles that include bristly crests.
Although a Gorhn can survive for a short time in the vacuum of the æther they do use pressure suits while working outside their ships. These suits have a very crustacean look to them being almost entirely enclosed in articulating metal plates. The color of the suits is a dark blue with green dapple spots. These suits usually incorporate a variety of maneuvering thrusters to navigate in zero gravity.
Mechanology and Ætherfaring :
Gorhn æther craft have a very limited number of designs. Their smallest interplanetary craft include a frontal rounded dish section that resembles a turtle shell. The aft section resembles a segmented ovoid with nacelles above and below. Their midsized vessels have front and aft turtle shell sections connected by a narrow section with side pods that seem to house power systems. The largest Gorhn ships have an elongated aft section and may include a pointed nose projecting from the forward section.
All Gorhn ships include a number of defensive batteries that fire needle shaped, self propelled ordinance. Gorhn æther missiles come in a variety of types including;
- Thermolectric explosives, which are the most common. These explode on impact and convert their mass to both thermal and electrical energy. This is in contrast to blaisers that are limited to thermal conversion.
- Directed thermoid piercing charges, which are the next most common category of missile. These contain a warhead that directs all of its thermal fury into a penetrating jet that can bore through multiple decks and bulkheads causing catastrophic loss of atmospheric integrity and internal damage.
- Hyper-expansive coniod coils, are rare and deadly. Upon impact, super compressed coils of linear crystanium are loosed inside the hull. The spirals burst forth like coils of barbed wire mutilating any obstructing mater. Such charges can block gangways, obstruct pneumo-tube access, penetrate vital conduits, rip apart or arrest mechanical mechanisms and short out electrical circuits.
Fully operational soliton fields are sufficient to protect a ship against the later warheads but as the thermoelectric missiles reduce shield integrity the chance of one of the more deadly warheads penetrating increases.
Gorhn batteries come in two flavors. Small turrets that fire single missiles and large turrets that fire large numbers of missiles simultaneously. The Gorhn don’t seem to use any sorts of beam weapons or field based weaponry.
Gorhn use a combination of propulsion techniques in a configuration that seems non-sequitur to the Ukp engineering division. Examinations of wrecked craft indicate a helical torsion drive similar to Endurian models suspended in a sub-ætheric field similar to UKP ships. The engines are powered by a Dilythium coal reduction Furnace that is constructed in a linear turbine configuration that does not take advantage of the reaction residuum. All but the small vessels include multiple power generators.
Their ships Performance is similar to Æther Fleet standards for cruising speeds but lack fine tactical maneuvering agility. Gorhn employ soliton fields like most æther ships but they also rely on densely layered hull armor of a thickness that seems excessive. Even after shield failure it may require extended bombardment before the hull can be breached. It is likely that continuous salvos will cook the hull’s occupants prior to breeching the hull.
Gorhn ship to ship combat tends to be more defensive in nature due to their inherent characteristics. Gorhn ships either tenaciously pursue enemy ships or guard a specific defensive locality firing on any target of opportunity. Their ability to withstand damage is most often the key to their strategies but in isolated incidents the Gorhn have proven that they possess cunning tricks and employ shrewd strategic devices.
Gorhn planetary forces are comprised mostly of infantry with some slow moving armored vehicles carrying a variety of weapons. Their use of subterrain personnel carriers is more advanced than any other race as the British learned on Venus in 1981. Entire regiments can be transported in these vehicles to pop up behind the lines and inflict horrendous damage to reserves and support infrastructure while their infantry pound the front lines.
Gorhn soldiers carry a carbine sized weapon which is similar to blaisers that also inflicts electrical damage sufficient to detonate Veridigen power cells. Officers carry pistols and baton that can project a disruptive field in close quarters. Gorhn use several different types of grenades and mortar like weapons which deliver photonic charges. The Gorhn have a penchant for using smoke or prismatic ærosols to conceal their troop movements and decrease the effectiveness of other weapons.
In close combat Gorhn use triangular crystal blades that range from dagger size to about the length of a short sword. Their sharpness is only secondary to their indefatigable strength. These blades can be hammered right into hull plating without chipping or breaking.
While their blades are dangerous their best attack in close quarters is their bite. Many an enemy has been killed due to their ignorance that this species will use its maw in combat to maim or grip an enemy combatant. The crushing strength of their jaws and the durability of their teeth are extraordinary having the ability to penetrate even æther marine combat armor. A trick learned in combat with the Gorhn is that all of the strength of their jaw is involved in its crushing bite and the musculature that opens the maw is almost non existent. Therefore even the strength of a human hand is sufficient to keep a Gorhn’s mouth closed.
Besides their mouth a Gorhn will also use its legs in close combat. They do not kick with them like most humanoids but use them instead to stomp their opponents feet or to rake their opponents lower abdomen with their claws.
Due to the Gorhn’s ferocity in close combat and their resistance to most close combat weapons and techniques employed by UKP military units it is recommended that they not be engaged in hand to hand combat but rather kept at a minimum range necessary to use rifles and side arms.
Most Gorhn ships are fitted with skimming rigs for collecting subsurface gasses from the gas giants like Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and there are reports of Neptune. They also deal in certain heavy rare elements, the source of which are yet undisclosed. Trade in these commodities as well as other common merchandise is the basis of their economic infrastructure. One Gorhn ship was apprehended for dealing in slaves but UKP interstellar law at the time was not clear about the distinction between slaves and live food so the charges were later dropped.
The location of the Gorhn central capital is unknown if one exists at all. Their government organization seems balkanized to the level of a ship or base but a location for æther craft construction or the locality where the brood mothers travel from is a highly guarded secret that may never be uncovered.