The Fearless

Posted by on Jun 1, 2012 in Blog | 0 comments

The Fearless

Written by Spartan Franco | Tags:

Zenian League

Zenian League

The Ba’Kash Clan-Fleets

In every major struggle between civilisations, there are those who are successful and blessed, and those who must fight for their place at the table. For the latter, there is a grim but simple choice – to lie down and be subsumed, or to fight all the more, to accept adversity as a challenge to be overcome. The Ba’Kash have most certainly chosen the second course.

The Ba’Kash race is native to the Storm Zone, originating from clusters of harsh, poorly-resourced worlds lying on the galactic northern fringes of the Sorylian Collective. Although the Ba’Kash clans have a reputation as hardy fighters, they have always lacked the power to wrest more hospitable planets away from the Sorylians.

When the humans of Terra began to explore and settle in the Storm Zone, the Ba’Kash came under even greater pressure. Ironically, their harsh homeworlds proved to be of little interest to the Terran Satellite Charter and the corporations that sponsored it, due to their very lack of resources.

From Left to Right = Zenian League: Ba'Kash Class Cruiser (Open) and Zenian League: Ba'Kash Class Cruiser (Closed)

From Left to Right = Zenian League: Ba'Kash Sharnak Class Cruiser (Open) and Zenian League: Ba'Kash Sharnak Class Cruiser (Closed)

However, the inability to secure what they needed peacefully led to the Ba’Kash developing into a society based wholly on raiding, reaving and piracy. Ba’Kash clans will readily band together and attack assets of just about any other race or faction in order to get what they want.

The Ba’Kash have a reputation for tenacity and utter fearlessness. They are one of the only races willing to risk the defences of the Xelocian Imperium Armada in order to attack their worldships directly. Cheyga caravans and Oroshan Bloodtribes are also frequent Ba’Kash targets, especially if they are regrouping after a successful trading mission or raid.

Virtually the only spacefaring race whose ships the Ba’kash will hesitate to attack are The Tarakians, although they will sometimes try their luck when in sufficient numbers.

Physically, the Ba’Kash are bipeds. Like the Oroshan, they have four arms, but are much heavier, barrel-chested and more ape-like in build. They are squat, barely reaching average human height, but very broad.

Their arms end in hands with six fingers and two thumbs, allowing for considerable agility. They sometimes use the lower pair in concert with their legs when moving rapidly, and are superlative free climbers. Their bodies are coated in sleek fur that ranges from brown or steel-grey to oil-black in colour. Some Ba’Kash are piebald or sport multi-coloured fur.

Their heads seem to sprout directly from their thick torsos, and are also fur-covered. Their faces, however, are utterly unlike those of humans. Where a human’s nose and mouth would be, the Ba’Kash sport a thick cluster of pink and pastel-blue sensory tendrils, which constantly ripple and move as it ‘tastes’ its environment. These tendrils surround a circular orifice, like the jaws of a lamprey or leech, through which the Ba’Kash eat, breath and speak.

Above the tendril cluster are four small dark eyes, similar to the simple eyes of Terran spiders. Possessing no separate iris, the eyes of the Ba’Kash are highly light-sensitive. The race tends to live in dim subterranean holdings on the worlds it calls home. When operating outside of these places, the Ba’Kash frequently use helmets with photochromatic protection to shield their sensitive ocular organs.

They favour sturdy and functional environmental suits in dark, dull colours, accented by splashes of brighter tones. They use the latter to denote position and rank. The brighter the swatches of material that a Ba’Kash has on its suit, and the more numerous they are, the more senior it is within the clan.

The Ba’Kash are apparently without gender. They live for roughly forty or fifty Terran standard years, although given the dangerous circumstances in which the race lives, relatively few individuals survive to their full natural spans.

Once they have reached fifteen years of age, they can produce a clutch of four or five eggs every four years or so. When they hatch, the immature Ba’Kash are raised by the clan as a whole. Hence a Ba’Kash clan is effectively an extended family.

Zenian League: Ba'Kash - Kelor Class Frigate

Zenian League: Ba'Kash - Kelor Class Frigate

In fact, human scholars speculate that the reason Ba’Kash clans join with each other so readily is to facilitate in some way the exchange of genetic material between them, in order to avoid biological stagnation. These academics also postulate that at least some of the larger Ba’Kash raids involving multiple participating clans have a dual function.

Not only does such co-operation allow for greater success and profit, but such activities may also constitute an elaborate ritual preceding genetic exchange. However, these ideas are purely theoretical. The Ba’Kash never share such intimate knowledge of their society with outsiders.

The Ba’Kash language consists of a complicated system of clicks, shrieks and squeals. Many individuals, especially mercenary clan leaders, also speak Terran Basic and other languages. When conversing in Terran, Ba’Kash voices have a hissing, gurgling undertone that many humans find quite unnerving to hear.

Within the Ba’Kash clans, the oldest members hold seniority. These Ba’Kash, having lived the longest, are seen as the most proficient survivors and hence accorded great respect. However, their adversity has given the Ba’Kash a great deal of racial solidarity and incidences of rival clans fighting one another are almost unheard of.

Ba’Kash clan ships will readily operate together in mixed squadrons. They adapt very well to combined operations, even if the clans concerned have only encountered each other a short time before.

The Ba’Kash take great pains to conceal their homes and holdings, from which their raiding fleets originate. The Ba’Kash inhabit tight, subterranean clan fortresses either buried beneath the surfaces of inhospitable planets or secreted within hollowed asteroids. Here, the Ba’Kash live off the loot and plunder they accumulate.

They manufacture what they need, including foodstuffs, by using the spoils of their reaving to supplement what meagre resources they can extract from their homes. While not superlative engineers, the Ba’Kash have a reputation for being able to cobble together weapons, armour, machines and even spacecraft from the most uncompromising of raw materials.

Ba’Kash Clan Fleets rely primarily on vessels of cruiser-size and smaller. These are simpler to build and maintain using the limited means they have available, and losses are more readily replaced. They are also easier to conceal when not in use. However, if multiple clans are operating together for extended periods of time, they will sometimes manufacture larger craft.

Ba’Kash weaponry tends towards the simple and rugged, mainly clusters of rapid-firing heavy-calibre projectile weapons. They bear many similarities to some Terran or Sorylian shipboard weaponry. Indeed, the Ba’Kash often employ looted components from both races’ armaments to maintain their own armaments.

These are supplemented by relatively simple torpedoes sporting powerful high-explosive warheads. However, the Ba’Kash favour boarding actions wherever possible.
Indeed, the Sharnak Cruiser especially is geared for this kind of close-quarters brutality. This powerful vessel can open out like a shark’s mouth when entering battle, exposing a host of weapons normally concealed beneath its armoured shell.

Despite their ragged appearance, Ba’Kash boarding parties are heavily armoured and well-armed and with rugged weapons which they wield with great skill. Although Ba’Kash equipment often seems dirty and down-at-heel, it is well-maintained and kept in perfect working order. Ba’Kash are ruthless in the attack, fighting with the ferocity of beings who know that their long-term survival depends on success.

During the original Dindrenzi wars of independence, Ba’Kash clans fought as mercenaries for both sides. This period is remembered by Ba’Kash clan archivists as a time of great prosperity, when the race flourished on the rich pickings generated by the conflict.

Long shunned by the Terrans as dangerous and unpredictable, and despised for their activities by the Sorylians, the Ba’Kash gravitated naturally towards the Dindrenzi sphere of influence.

However, their membership of the Zenian League did not come without some effort on the part of Chairman Rense. The Ba’Kash had a great deal of antipathy towards The Directorate, in particular Works Raptor, with whose forces some clans had frequently skirmished.

However, when the Dindrenzi fleets smashed into the Storm Zone, driving back the Terrans and their allies, the Ba’Kash became far more enthusiastic participants in the League. Just as Rufus Rense had promised, the war meant that a new time of plenty was at hand for the clans.

Membership of the League has also headed off further trouble for the Ba’Kash from the Directorate and Works Raptor. This will allow them to focus their full attention on the rich prizes offered by Terran assets and those of the Kurak Alliance, especially the Xelocians.

In the service of the League, the Ba’Kash have found themselves facing off against the Veydreth, equally enthusiastic raiders in the service of the Terrans. They have also renewed their efforts against the Sorylians. These are now looking much more promising, thanks to the Collective’s occupation with the continuing incursions of the Relthoza.

The Ba’Kash welcome these new challenges. Hamstrung by poverty and want in times of peace, the Ba’Kash clans have all the means they need to thrive in the throes of war.