Arrunian comes from a portmanteau meaning “split/spread” and “ocean horizon”, culminating in “those that spread across the ocean horizon”. Being amphibious creatures, the arrunians historically split their lives between resting on land and hunting in the sea. They are obligate pescatarians, regularly consuming muscular fish, shellfish, and some small aquatic mammals. Infrequently, they will supplement this diet with fruits that naturally grow on tall beach trees, or grains grown in shallow pools on land. They require a large amount of salt, due to adapting to their environment. If they consume rations designed for most other species, an arrunian will lack a necessary amount of sodium, and develop issues with their neurotransmitters. Issues include dizziness, inattentiveness, and tiredness. Days of this malnutrition can result in hallucinations, delirium, and eventually death. The arrunian atmosphere is a mix of oxygen, nitrogen, and chlorides. These chlorides are not necessary to an arrunian’s biology and are harmlessly removed. Due to chlorine sharing a periodic group with bromine, this makes arrunians capable to live in anup environments without much issue, usually just everything “smelling weird” to the arrunian. Arrunians wear a minimum of clothing in most settings, both on and off their homeworld. They are able to manipulate tools and technologies between the thumb-talons on their wings and the bony base of their primary feathers. They also manipulate things by grasping them with their beaks. These allow them just enough dexterity to crack open mollusks and create fire.
Arrunians are capable of impressive feats of flight, able to stay airborne for several hours and upwards of a day in extreme cases. They are not very fast under their own power, and typically glide on thermals and trade winds to conserve energy. While they can fly between different islands in a single archipelago, sailing or steam ships are required for anything more than a few hundred kilometers apart. When hunting, they fly above the water and steeply dive to capture prey that drift too close to the surface. Arrunians can also swim from birth, using their light wings as flotation buoys.
Arrunians reproduce sexually, usually taking mates for life. A clutch of typically 1-3 eggs are laid after 2 to 3 months of gestation. The eggs are further incubated for another 9 months, with both parents sharing the responsibility of keeping them warm. There are numerous sources of artificially providing the eggs warmth, but most people believe it’s correct to do it “the natural way,” and “bond with their unhatched children.” After hatching, the young eyases are cared for by their parents until they’re able to fly on their own at about 16 years. The children reach sexual maturity at around 30 years old, and can expect a natural lifespan of about 160 KY, with records above 300.
The arrunian homeworld is 93% covered in water. Despite their proclivity for the sea and air, the arrunians require land in order to raise young, build homes, and perform most of their daily tasks. It is because of this scant resource that arrunians are extremely territorial. While still being able to hold onto the bonds to family and co-citizens, arrunians foster an extreme jingoism for those outside their borders. Fighting over the conquest of land is nearly a constant part of arrunian culture. Plays performed in cities’ theatrons depict glorious war heroes, monologuing about their love for their country and its people. While many storylines stay the same, names of the protagonist and antagonist nations are often changed based on the current venue. A few alliances exist, usually for the sake of mutual defense against a larger, third nation state. Those that are uprooted by the war effort are expected to move back to within their countries borders, they are not subsumed into the advancing culture. This leads to a rural nomadic lifestyle for those that habitually live on national borders. Hence, most arrunians live either 1. In or very near their nation-states capitals, or 2. Near the ocean, where they can’t be pushed back any farther. Besides war and theatrics, the arrunians spend their time taking care of their family, fishing, building, and worshiping their monotheistic god. This deity is made up of the four smaller gods that each represent a building block of their theological universe: water, stone, air, and sun.
The krakun introduced many advanced technologies to the nation states that allied themselves to the scally overlords (hint, it was all of them). No one nation was given everything. If the krakun had, the rest of the world’s population would see them playing favorites and turn against the space lizards. But due to their unwillingness to share the tech, there are extreme technological differences between different states. Some have advanced pisciculture farms, rearing the foodstuffs for whole continents, but their lack of weaponry means they are often raided for these supplies. Some nations have advanced weaponry, but their lack of farming equipment means they can’t easily sustain their armies. Some nations have been given advanced seastedding colonies to live upon the sea itself. But their lack of training and miscellaneous resources means they haven’t been able to sustain these cities, and many are now shanty towns inhabited by war refugees. For places that have been untouched by the krakun’s technology, they utilize coal-fired stoves, lanterns fueled by sea creature blubber, and steam-powered looms.
There are 702 independently recognized nation states on the arrunian homeworld. Despite their pride in themselves and disgust with each and every other one, all the governments are run similarly. Each one is governed from a single capital city, where representatives from across that nation gather to discuss policies. A single Head Speaker leads the discussion and calls for votes from the representatives. How the representatives are chosen, and how much executive power the Speaker holds changes per nation, but the basic setup is the same. These senators meet in an open air building with an open auditorium for any citizen to sit in, watch, and listen.
Arrunians pride themselves on many things, not the least of which is their architecture. Many of the nation’s controllers meet in large, drafty limestone buildings. The material is often harvested from the cliff sides of islands, owing its strength as a building material to the fact that the weathering of the ocean removes any weak spots. Government buildings are traditionally built at the highest elevation of a nation, as that is seen as the location closest to the sky, the way by which words, and thus government decrees, flow outward. For most domiciles, aluminum, steel, and wood are the go to. They’re typically raised off the ground on struts to avoid flooding, and have large, swooped roofs as a place for an arrunian to land or take off. While government buildings are placed up high, many arrunians live in sprawling harbor towns. For very small inhabited islands, it is not unusual for the entire circumference of the island to be turned into an unbroken harbor city. Larger cities can be over a hundred kilometers of ports, marinas, fishmongers, and shipyards. For those that have been displaced from their homes, the krakun have started granting seastedding settlements to the arrunians. These sleek floating villages made of galvanized aluminum and titanium glass have all the water purifiers, green houses, and housing to be self-sufficient. Despite all appearances, they are seen as shanty towns, for those who have lost the favor of their nation, and therefore belong to no nation-state.
The krakun discovered the arrunian from a geroo gateship roughly 450 KY ago. This makes them a very young species onto the galactic stage, and their integration has barely even started. Krakun ambassador Kerplek is the main contact point for all things arrunian, an assignment she devastatingly abhors. Despite their many plots and schemes over the last half a millennium, the krakun have been unable to vassalize or peacefully incorporate the entirety of the arrunian species. While many of the different nation states on the planet have tried to ally themselves with the krakun, as soon as they see almost any other nation also swear their allegiance, both nations resort to squabbling and the whole arrangement falls through. Krakun authority has not yet deemed it necessary to violently conquer the planet, so fruitless negotiations continue. Krakun interference often takes the form of aiding those few arrunian nations that do swear fealty, and performing subterfuge on those that refuse to side with alien outsiders. Occasionally, the krakun will benefit from a situation where arrunians, especially war refugees, are sent offworld as prisoner slaves. These slaves perform well as couriers and pack mules due to their strength, size (compared to mammalian races), and innate ability to fly. Rumors and stories among the krakuns’ mammalian races about arrunians being used as flying mounts are pervasive, with a few movies and books being created in slave communities about the idea.