The Khunds are a carbon-based humanoid sentient lifeform with three major subraces believed to be the results of genetic engineering in the distant past: red, blue, and yellow. The red Khunds had exceptional strength and toughness with a tendency towards functioning best in dominance/submission relationships, and served as warriors and manual labor. They also had the longest lifespan of the three groups, due to their good health. The blues were exceptionally social, creative, and adaptable, able to quickly adapt to changing situations and made good leaders, politicians, artists and counsellors/psychiatrists. They also often fulfilled the role of spiritual leaders. The third group, the yellows were highly analytical--thinkers, engineers, philosophers, scientists, artisans, and magi.
All three races are genetically compatible. There are no crossbreeds with regard to the 'racial' traits, which are passed on maternally (All children are of the same race as their mother). Khundian society encourages, and at some times has required one to marry a member of another race. Such children tend to be healthier than same-race marriages.
Khunds have two sexes, and live approximately 70 years, although the reds sometimes live up to 140 years and have an average lifespan of 95 years. They reach sexual maturity between 14 and 16 years of age, and can usually reproduce up to age 50 or so for women and 75 for men. Unlike humans, the males also cease to be capable of reproduction, though at a later age then women.
Blue and red Khunds have human level intelligence, while the yellows are usually 1.3 to 1.8 times smarter than the human average.
Traditional Khund Culture was highly military, and remains highly disciplined. Essentially, the entire Khund populace is an army, grouped into hiearchically ranked units. Each unit specializes in some type of activity, from science to the arts to warfare. Each unit is usually dominated by one race, but contains many members of the other two as you must marry outside your race. Usually you marry people from a comparable unit, but the Khunds have generally allowed fairly free marriages (one of the few traditional freedoms). Those who wait too long may be asssigned a wife or husband, however.
Khund education was usually on the master/student model until their assimilation into the Federal League. Most people were trained by their parents and went on to do the same job as them. This sometimes lead to problems due to the varying aptitudes of different kinds of Khunds for different tasks. Much Khund humor revolves around stories of Red Khunds trying to act or sing, Yellow Khunds trying to fight, and Blue Khunds trying to perform scientific experiments. Still, those who transcended the limits of their own subspecies were very highly regarded.
Allistra, the homeworld of the Khunds, was a type DO world at the beginning of recorded Khund history, but is now type MO due to the Khund's destruction of the various Things infesting their world. It also has declined from a high mana to low mana status over time.
The world itself is the second of five planets. Their star is named Khorga. The other planets are:
Allistra is approximately the same size as the Earth and possesses a similar climate, although it is marginally warmer and thus the tropics extend ten more degrees on each side of the equator than is the case on Earth. The Ice caps are very small.
The early history of the Khunds begins at some distant point in the past when the Elder Things, a strange race of space travellers settled on Allistra for a period of anywhere between 25,000 and 2 million years. The destruction of most of their settlements around 50,000 years ago by the Drasalik renders this period's events unclear. When the Elder Things arrived, the Khunds had evolved to a level roughly comparable to Australopithecus in human evolution. The Elder Things used their genetic technology to bring the Khunds to a higher level of development, desiring to use them as a servitor race, and creating three sub-races: blue, yellow, and red, each with a different aptitude. (See Biology above)
Approximately 50,000 years ago, the Drasalik descended upon Allistra in a swarm and conquered it, entirely destroying the Elder Things colony and subjugating the Khunds. For thousands of years, the Khunds suffered under their wing, until the mana level began to decline about 10,000 years ago. Khund legends claim that the Khunds themselves somehow engineered this, but the legends contradict each other.
The first clearly recorded event of Khundian history was the Great War. In 4567 BC, the Khunds rose up in unison. The leader of the Drasalik, a Great Old One known as Tiroc, had sunk into slumber beneath the waves several centuries before, and their once tight society was breaking down. At the same time, the Khunds had become highly disciplined, which served them well in the Great War. Half the planet fell to them in two years, but then things ground down into a long, slow war of extermination. Inch by inch, they reclaimed the planet, slowly piecing together aspects of the technology of the Elder Things. It took until 3566 BC to finally defeat the Drasalik. By that time, the Khunds had achieved crude space travel and began to colonize the rest of their system, rooting out the Drasalik from the other worlds. Year 1 of the Khund Calendar dates from the end of the Great War in 3566 BC.
The Khunds spent the next 300 years colonizing their own system and trying to invent a reliable method to get out of it. They also hunted down the last Drasalik, and found a way to banish Tiroc to another dimension. This same method was then refined to create the Khundian jumpdrive.
With the invention of the Jump Drive, the first imperial period of Khundian history began. They began to spread out, colonizing and conquering nearby systems over a period of five hundred years. (3233 BC-2730 BC) Having overstretched themselves, they faced a series of revolts (2730-2650 BC) which broke up their empire. The First Kzinti Empire then invaded the region (2610-2506 BC) and for a time, the Khunds became a tributary kingdom to the Kzinti.
For over a thousand years, the Khunds were part of the Kzinti empire (2506 BC - 1388 BC), but in the 1500s, the Kzinti empire began to decay, and in 1388 BC, the second Liberation War began. In 1375 BC, the local governor gave up, nuked the major Khund cities, and abandoned the planet.
From 1375 BC - 305 AD, the Khunds went through their 'Dark Age' of internal strife and the slow rebuilding of civilization. The Khunds settled on Khalik reverted to a very primitive level of civilization, while on Allistra, Khund society broke down into a series of feudal states. Eventually, in 305 AD, the last of the warring kingdoms were united, and the first emperor of the Second Khund Empire was crowned. By 704 AD, the Khunds reinvented the Jump Drive and began building the Second Khund Empire. The Second Empire grew until 1204 AD when it came into conflict with the Fourth Kzinti Empire and a series of wars broke out. Other powers had arisen as well, and the Empire became stymied in its growth and sank into decadence.
Only in 2203 AD did the Kylm dynasty come to the throne. Emperor Kylm I defeated the Kzinti at Fori II and overran a substantial portion of their empire in 2203-2215 AD. This brought them into contact with the Juraiians for the first time. Kylm and his children focused on other opponents, but his grandson Kylm III was not so wise. In 2300, he crossed the Juraiian border, beginning the First Khund-Jurai war. This turned out to be a mistake. Despite early victories at Rigel III (Where Prince Youshou, heir to the throne of Jurai was slain) in 2302, and Ysil VI in 2305, superior Juraiian economic power came into play, along with superior numbers and the rise of several new generals. The Khunds were crushed and forced to hand over ten border worlds to the Juraiians and to return their entire conquests a century earlier to the Kzinti.
This resulted in a civil war inside the Second Empire, which fell, and was replaced by the so called 'Republic of the Thirty Archons', lead by an oligarchy of ten Archons elected from each of the three Khundian races. They turned their attention elsewhere, expanding towards the Galactic core. However, in 2603, the Hawk party came to power and went for another round with Jurai between 2653-2658. The Khunds were crushed humiliatingly, and the Republic collapsed into anarchy for a century and a half. In 2809, the Third Khund Empire was declared.
The Third Empire went on to fight Jurai four times: 3060-1 AD (Crushed in weeks, but it took nearly a year for the Khunds to give up), The Five Day War of 3192 (They hoped Emperor Ryu I would be easier to beat than his father. They were wrong.), the Three Weeks War of 3256, and 3488-3496 (Smashed again). This final defeat lead to the collapse of the Third Empire in civil wars among rival claimants to the Throne. Emperor Dila XI was slain in 3492 by Dowager Empress Ryoko of Jurai. For three centuries, rival dynasties fought for power, until 3809 when the Fourth Empire began.
The Fourth Empire was united by one thing: the desire to defeat Jurai. They launched the seventh-eleventh Khund-Jurai wars in 3809-3813, 3823-3826, 3876-3883, 3931-3937, and 3955-3961. They lost every time, but put increasing strains on Jurai, which was in decline. The Fourth Empire itself neglected other opportunities in favor of assaulting Jurai.
Garog IV was a wiser man than most Khund Kings. He was a red Khund, but his father was a yellow, and many said he was far more yellow than red. He secretly aided the revolt in Jurai that became the First War of Houses (3976-3994), then invaded Jurai in the 12th Khund-Jurai war near its conclusion, in 3991. From 3991-4004, he swept the Juraiians before him and many of Jurai's old enemies joined him. They overran over 60% of the Juraiian empire in those thirteen years. However, the allies fell out among themselves, and Jurai recovered under Leon I, driving the Khunds back. He was still forced to make some permanent cessions, however, and the decline of Jurai had begun. The Silver Age of the Khunds had begun.
A series of wars with the declining Solar Kingdom and Jurai, the Kzinti, the Dominators, and the Drasalites brought the Khunds to the height of their power, considered to have been reached in the reign of Garog XI the Glorious in 4203-4241 AD. His descendants, however, were more concerned with pleasure than conquest or administration, and the empire began to decline. The last member of his dynasty was made of sterner stuff, and it was possible that he might have begun a revival of the kingdom. However, the development of the N5 bomb in 4430 was the harbringer of doom to come.
The fifth Stingray Crisis revolved around the collapse of the Kzinti Empire (AD 4429-4434). The Khunds, armed with new weapons technologies, including the N5 bomb, invaded what was left of Jurai and the Kzinti Empires, and nearly conquered both. Intervention by the Federal League led to the last Kzin emperor willing his empire to the League, and the League supplied Leon III with the weaponry he used to successfully turn back the Khunds, and later destroy them. The use of N5 bombs laid waste to the Khund empire, most of whose worlds were rendered uninhabitable. By some miracle, the N5 bomb used on Allistra's sun failed to go off properly, and only caused a huge disaster instead of making it go nova. The ice caps of both habitable worlds melted, and civilization collapsed.
Twenty years later, in 4458 AD, the forces of the Dark Circle arrived, shrouded the system with their usual shields and intitiated it as the fifth member world of that group. The Khunds remained part of the circle, though a very junior one due to the low mana status of their world, until its collapse.
The sixth Stingray Crisis (4617-4624)
occurred when the new Republic of Jurai, under heavy assault by the Dark
Circle, which had destroyed the Juraiian empire, applied to join the Federal
League. This provoked a political crisis, which ended with the Republic
joining the league, and the first of three major wars against the Dark
Circle. The Dark Circle was driven back, but not destroyed, and the
next two centuries were dominated by a series of confrontations and wars
between the two main powers of the Galaxy. Most of the remaining
inhabited worlds gradually
drifted into the sphere of one or the other.
The Seventh Stingray Crisis (FY 4842-4851) took place when a revolt broke out in the former Juraiian worlds of the Dark Circle's territories, forcing a decision on whether to aid the revolt. The League intervened in support of the rebellion and the end result was that the power of the Dark Circle as a major power was broken permanently. There were three more Dark Circle Wars, but the end result was that it dwindled away.
The Khunds seceded from the circle after its defeat in 4851. After five years of trying to make it on their own, they applied to join the Federal League and were accepted in 4856. The Khunds have remained members in good standing, gradually becoming a less militarized, though still tightly disciplined race.
Indeed, the period since 4856 is often called the 'Khundian Renaissance' as the Khunds have turned the same discpline and determination that served them well in war to science and the arts. Allistra is now noted for Allistra University, one of the five leading sites of high energy physics research and for the Khundian Crafts Guilds.
As of 5002 AD, Allistra is the Regional
Capital of the Starri Region of the Federal League.