The Unified Trigon is the holy icon of the Collected Prides, dating back to the age of the Unification Crusades. The seven bones in the foreground stand for the Khariphesh Septlord and six pride chieftains that compose the Council of Seven, supported in the background by the three points of the divine trinity; Fhekris, Paqhat and the base; Kha, from whom all things stem.
An alternative interpretation presented by some beliefs is that the three points in the background stand for duty to Honor, duty to Pride and duty to the Khariphesh; three pillars of life within the Collected Prides.
The Collected Prides is the centralized organization governing the vast majority of the Zhren'thrar race. Divided into thousands of individual, autocratic prides that each enjoy a measure of self-government, their combined population measures approximately 1.9 trillion and covers a spatiographic area far larger than that of any other interstellar government within the Spur.
Packmistress Feraq Gha'Hara
Khash'Parah, Blade of Paqhat
The history of the Collected Prides is inextricably linked with that of the Khariphesh religion. Founded following the Unification Crusades that converted the entirety of Zhren'karaha, the Collected Prides were envisioned by Khresh within the pages of the Khresh'na'haq as a united Zhren'thrar society that could evolve past the warlike nature of the highly individualistic Zhren'thrar prides.
Constant shifts in power between individual prides and the domineering authority of the Khariphesh temple have erased much of the Collected Pride's history, even since the unification. Since the development of interstellar travel on Zhren'karaha, each pride has sought to carve their own territory in the stars, driving endless expansion outwards from their ancestral homeworld. The decentralized nature of Zhren'thrar society has stymied their technological advancement compared to that of other races, and although records are poorly maintained, xenoarchaeologists estimate that the Collected Prides have existed in a state of social and technological stasis for millennia.
First Contact Crusades
In support of the isolationist doctrine espoused by the Khariphesh Temple, the Collected Prides typically respond with hostility to contact from without the their territory. Evidence suggests that multiple crusades have been declared in centuries past; often culminating in extinction-level events for the victims of Zhren'thrar aggression. First contact between the Prides and the Ativari Conclave was established decades before humanity was aware of either species. While it is unknown whether or not a crusade was lead against the Conclave, it remains likely that the two races first interacted aggressively.
At the time first contact was made between the Prides and the humans of the Homeworld Confederacy, seeds of unrest had begun to foment between the prides and the Khariphesh temple. An extended period of relative peace between prides had seen a population swell and resistance to Temple tariffs was slowly mounting, even within the Council of Seven. Not only did the tenets of the Khresh'na'haq and Zhre'kari mandate aggressive action in response to first contact with a potentially hostile alien race, but it presented an opportunity to divert the energy of the ever-growing worker/warrior class towards a new holy crusade.
The Sapient Crusade, or Khariphesh Crusade as it was recorded by the Confederacy, was a concentrated attack from hundreds of prides across the entire Confederate border. Unprepared for the scale and ferocity of Zhren'thrar aggression, outlying Confederate colonies were quickly cowed; enslaved, occupied or simply burned to their bedrock. Despite initial setbacks, the fleets of the Homeworld Defense Corps quickly rallied and slowly began to push back the crusader fleets, even launching sorties into pride space. The Mu'rhasa Pride, whose territory was nearest to the border of the Confederacy, bore the brunt of the fighting.
The campaign lasted decades; swallowing entire generations of pride warriors and materiel, but again the combined forces of the Collected Prides began to drive further into human space. It was only when the Ativari's Conclavate Synod rendered its glacial decision to intervene on behalf of the beleaguered Confederacy that the relentless war-machine of the prides ground to a halt and an uneasy peace settled between the two great interstellar societies.
Having withstood an assault from the combined might of the Collected Prides, the fighting forces of the Homeworld Confederacy proved themselves capable warriors and as such earned the respect of the prides by the code of the Zhre'Khar. While tensions between the two species remain high, commerce and cultural exchange have begun. The technological superiority of the Ativari Conclave command the respect of the prides, but their interference during the crusade has tainted their perception within Zhren'thrar society, and the influence of Ativari agents is forcibly removed where it is uncovered.
Government and Politics
Due to their highly decentralized nature, each pride is responsible for its own internal organization. Prides are typically lead by a single, autocratic chieftain who leads primarily through charisma and popular support, and delegates control of individual territories and offices within their domain to pride officials such as pridethanes. This system is by no means universal, and prides will often have radically different systems of government depending on their scope and the culture of the population in question.
The politics of the Collected Prides as a whole are dominated by the Khariphesh Temple and the governmental structure outlined by the Khresh'na'haq. The holy documents mandate that governance of the Zhren'thrar race be granted to the Council of Seven - a body of six powerful pride chieftains and the Khariphesh Septlord - one of the highest ranking priests in the order. During sessions held on the Khariphesh throneworld of Zhren'karaha, the council presides over inter-pride disputes and passes commandments on issues that affect the Collected Prides as a whole. The seventh council seat; the Septlord, is traditionally not allowed to speak or interfere with the deliberations of the council chieftains, but will pass a deciding vote if the need arises.
While the chieftains presiding on the Council of Seven volunteer the military and political power of their prides to enforcing the council's decisions, oftentimes this responsibility falls to agents of the Khariphesh Temple. Combined with the council's proximity to the seat of Khariphesh power, temple influence over this governing body is inevitable, contrary to the traditions put in place by Khresh.
Military and Law Enforcement
While each pride is responsible for their own defense and the maintenance of their own military, Zhren'thrar culture is deeply ingrained with a strong warrior tradition. Most adult Zhren'thrar - male and female - are trained in combat and proficient with basic weapons in preparation for a call to action to serve in the pride's Warpacks.
In addition to these citizen-soldiers, prides will maintain a standing naval force to protect their interests abroad, supported by cadres of professional troops, often drawn from veteran Warpacks. Many chieftains also keep personal units of elite heavy infantry to act as bodyguards and enforcers. Referred to as Chosen, these troops are personally outfitted by the pride authorities and as such have access to finer quality armament.
As with so many other aspects of the prides, the exact armament and composition of these units varies wildly between societies, however coalitions of prides will often form in response threats or disagreements, enmeshing the unique cultures and strategies of their warrior elite.
The Khariphesh Temple also maintains a significant standing military presence. Combining a powerful navy with the psychokinetics of the Templar Order recruited from gifted Zhren'thrar across the Collected Prides, and more traditional troops either raised from the ranks of the Khariphesh itself or joining from their birthprides. Khariphesh operatives and their temple complexes can be found across the breadth of the Collected Prides, and they will typically accompany military action in support of pride troops and to protect the interests of the temple.