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Sword of the Stars

The Suuligi War

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For several thousand years, the relationship between Morrigi and other sentient species seems to have been largely peaceful, centered on limited cultural exchange and trade. In the past century, however, the Morrigi have suffered catastrophic losses in a war with an enemy they call Suuligi. Analysis of bone fragments recovered from the surface of Irridia V and the pilot of the vessel recovered on Wiira reveal an indisputable genetic similarity between the two. At this point it seems very clear that the outpost destroyed on Irridia V must have been a small Morrigi colony, likely populated by female Morrigi pursuing scientific research. Similar attacks may have been launched by Species Y, the creators of the Zuul, on multiple Morrigi worlds. There is also evidence of combat and desecration of ancient Morrigi monuments which may have taken place at roughly the same time.

Modern Morrigi tribesman are tight–lipped on the subject of the enemy, but the so–called Suuligi are also known as the Screamers in some of their transmissions. Mounting evidence suggests, however, that Species Y — known by the Zuul as the Great Masters, by the Morrigi as the Screamers, and by the Liir as Suul'ka — were a powerful military and technological force in this sector of the galaxy until a relatively short time ago. Finding the former homeworld and colonial outposts of this star–faring species, which appears to have disappeared practically overnight, is an urgent priority for all intelligence agencies. If Species Y was in fact destroyed by biological warfare, as their Liirian enemies claim, they have left behind an incalculable wealth of infrastructure, technology and scientific knowledge. The first species to find and back engineer the remnants of their civilization might gain a key advantage over competing species.

Rule of the Morrigi tribes by a unifying Morru Qu'aan predates the Suuligi War by thousands of years. The devastating losses the Morrigi suffered in battle with the Screamers were not explicable by a lack of cultural or political unity. The problem they faced was infinitely more terrible — and the few survivors will not speak of it. When questioned about this, they claim a right to silence they call Aiskos — literally disfigurement, but more figuratively disgrace.

No Morrigi is socially obligated within his or her culture to speak of a subject which causes shame.

The Suuligi war created unprecedented rates of female and child mortality, as well as devastation of the adult male population. Take as a given that many more Morrigi females than males survived the Suuligi War. Neither the Morrigi men nor their women have forgotten how and why they survived, and it is unlikely that any Morrigi will ever willingly tell the full truth.

Gender norms are being reaffirmed and restored in the modern era — the Q'aanate is not a progressive institution per se. And older Morrigi females of the current generation do not have to wonder what it would be like to take the lead in battle. They remember.

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