The Zhren’thrar (translated from ancient jharaki - literally "the hunting people") are a highly intelligent, felinoid alien species native to Zhren'karaha, that closely resemble the many catlike predator species indigenous to Homeworld with an upright, humanoid posture.
Biochemically, Zhren'thrar are remarkably similar to species that evolved on Homeworld. Compared to large hunting cats native to that planet, Zhren’thrar have more muscular legs and hindquarters and smaller forelegs and front paws. Their musculature bears a passing resemblance to that of humans, especially in regards to the trunk and neck. When standing at full height, males average 6-7’ (1.83-2.13m) tall, with females approximately 6” shorter (1.68-1.98m) and expressing slighter builds.
Races or subspecies of the Zhren’thrar exist that vary wildly in appearance, sporting a wide variety of coats patterned to blend to the various biomes of their homeworld. The most common subspecies (a trait known as “pureblood” in reference to its genetic dominance) is visually similar to a terran bengal tiger; being yellow or light orange with dark striations and a white underbelly.
Zhren’thrar are able to walk bipedally on their hind legs or on all fours, where they can travel more quickly at the cost of energy expenditure and visual range. For this reason most Zhren’thrar weapons are easily stowable on their back or sides so their warriors can remain mobile. The “hands” or forepaws are larger and thicker than a human’s, with large pads. Despite less nimble fingers, a Zhren’thrar’s large, retractable claws can confer impressive fine motor skills.
For millennia Zhren’thrar individuals have exhibited psychokinetic abilities at approximately a rate of .00002-.0001%. The abilities of these individuals vary widely from the relatively minor ability to manipulate small objects to broad-range psychokinetic fields capable of far more destructive power. These attuned individuals are considered blessed by the gods and are pursued relentlessly from a young age for recruitment by agents of the Khariphesh Temple.
A psychokinetically attuned Zhren’thrar has a fundamentally different relationship with their abilities than psychokinetics of other species; Zhren’thrar do not possess the mechanisms to use their psychokinetic field in a perceptive capacity, rendering them essentially psychokinetically “blind”. This disadvantage points to an radically divergent evolutionary path to the development of Ativari psychokinetics, raising questions among Conclave and Confederate xenobiologists regarding the origin of Zhren'thrar abilities.
Culture and Sociey
One of the only unifying cultural keystones among the Collected Prides is their adherence to the Khariphesh religion. Individual prides retain vibrant and unique cultures, and while the Khariphesh language; Jhiraki, is commonly taught and spoken during interactions between distinct Prides, within their own communities pridemembers will use their own ancestral tongues.
Most Zhren’thrar populations tend to be widely distributed across large geographic areas. Large cities, rarely more than a few million inhabitants, grow from spaces of vital import such as large trade hubs, planetary spaceports or areas with rich natural resources. While exceptions occur, most Zhren’thrar communes typically exist in rural settings removed from one another by hundreds or thousands of
miles, occasionally housing as few as a scant hundred individuals. While duty to ones’ pride is emphasized, most Zhren’thrar individuals are far more loyal to the members of their commune.
Depending on their environment and the pride’s individual culture, exceptions exist to this model. It is not unheard of for prides to adopt a close, urban lifestyle in especially harsh conditions where distributed populations are impossible.
Zhre'Kari - The Hunter's code
A set of principles predating even the Khariphesh Temple, versions of the Zhre'kari, or "Hunter's Code" are practiced religiously by virtually every pride. While the exact details of this code vary from community to community, usually passed down orally since the first emigration from Zhren'karaha, the tenets are fairly consistent. The Zhre'kari forms the basis of the Zhren'thrar's code of honor, describing how individuals and prides can maintain and advance their standing within their pride. The code prizes duty to one's bloodline, commune and pride above the needs of the self, and urges its followers to seek rightful victory in all their pursuits, by any means necessary. When called upon for battle, the Zhre'kari dictates that a warrior must be wiling to sacrifice their life in the name of pride and their packmates, and to do so confers the highest honor.
Within the Khresh'na'haq, the Khariphesh Temple has co-opted many of the common themes of the Zhre'kari into its principles, even going so far as to attribute the code's original authoring to Khresh, the Khariphesh messiah. Evidence suggests that similar codes have been passed down between generations on Zhren'karaha for millennia however, and many prides value its pillars far with far more devotion than they do the temples' religious tenets.