A once proud species of intellectuals and scientists with a desire to catalog examples of all life within the galaxy and a grasp of FTL technology predating most species attainment of the ability by hundreds of years, the Greys have been reduced to a large group of scavengers and criminals by the heat of civil war, sparked by the discovery of ancient precursor technology. Following the decimation of their homeworld and their empire, the Greys have spent the past two centuries merely trying to prevent their own extinction, gaining a reputation as scum, much like the Penguins they often associate with, only welcome in the seedy underbellies of CivSpace colonies and the wide frontier expanse of the Fringe.
The biology of the Greys is rather unique among species originating from the Southern Galactic Hemisphere, which have a habit of sharing a decent amount of similarities. Greys run the range of height from 4'11 to 5'8", with long, thin arms and similarly long fingers that end in wide, nearly circular fingertip pads. Skulls are long and distended, housing their massive brains, most of its mass taken up by sections similar in function to the parietal and frontal lobes. The eyes of the Grey are large and Orb-like, specialized to the low-light environments of their fallen homeworld and the commonly dark interiors of their structures and ships. Skin has an almost reptilian texture to it, similar to the underbellies of small lizards, thick, and decently tough. Although most Greys are, as one might assume, colored within the range of greys, whites, and blacks, a recent mutation within populations following the fall of their society has caused some Greys to be born with deep purple skin and dark, crimson eyes; seemingly resultant of the means of their societal collapse.
There exists no clear sexual dimorphism between the genders of the Greys, with females only bring evident by slightly wider hips which allow for ease of oviposition of egg capsules. Eggs typically contain one embryo, though it is possible for two to reside in one, in similar behavior to identical twins. The gestational period lasts around 6 months, and the eggs are often incubated in communal areas, for those Greys which still reside in colonial groupings, however, the growth of population has dropped in spades since their collapse.
Before the collapse of the society of the Greys, they were once a prosperous and proud species with an emphasis on the pursuit of science and intellectual endeavors of the arts and philosophy. Their society had long ago been able to cast of the bonds of intraspecies conflict, and united as a single species, they prospered. Referring to themselves as the Xinoddus, their empire was expensive and mighty, one of the greatest powers within the galaxy before the modern age of the species which make up the majority powers of Civilian Space. The peoples of this Empire existed under a common belief: "To know, is to be Free". Coined by the first Xinod Prima, High Emperor of the Xinoddus, it served as the means of their civilization for centuries as they worked to reach to ultimate goal of supreme knowledge. The culture of the pre-collapse Xinod was that of pride and elegance, with architecture that emphasized a perfect balance of utilitarian necessity and aesthetic flair. Religion found itself present as a worship of the powers of the fundamental forces of the universe itself, omniscient and omnipresent benefactors of the pursuit of ultimate knowledge within the eyes of the Xinod. Emphasis on the unity of the Xinoddus people was paramount to their societal function, as if the Xinod themselves could not function as a cohesive unit, how could the attainment of knowledge and enlightenment ever be truly fulfilled. Although the Xinod seemingly fit the caricatures of a peaceful society, they were not averse to the concept of conquering or even destroying another species which threatened their own survival. War was brutal and without restraint, seen as a waste of time, distracting from that which could be devoted to the societal betterment of the Xinoddus. Those who were faced against the might of their empire were swiftly conquered, or destroyed entirely. Those who survived were permitted to exist as servant classes within the Empire, providing what use they could. However, all the might and pride of the Xinod was for naught, as their collapse, inevitable, was as harsh and invasive as the judgement they put upon those they deemed blockades in their goals.
Following the collapse of the Xinoddus Empire, little of their original culture remains, with even their cultural endonym being largely lost in the byway of their new collective name, and slur, the Greys. Although a sense of strong pride is still present within the Greys, it is diluted, left as a pride of what was once theirs, and a bitter sorrow and anger at the universe that took it from them. What was once a religion of reverence has become a religion of hate and disgust for the gods they once devoutly praised, and what was once a love and filial devotion to the pursuits of science and art has become a jaded fear of what destruction it can, and has, caused. Those Greys which still find themselves within the Galactic community are now reviled as social outcasts, common trash with no moral compass that would sell their families for a quick buck. Common among criminal organizations because of their intellect and knack for judgment and social perception, they have found a new niche within the ruins of their society, within the bottom rungs they once had only contempt and disgust for.
3090 - 3284
"The story of the Xinod is one of ultimate tragedy, An empire, its culture, science, art, reduced to rubble and ash at the feet of the fallen grace of the species. Only by their immense luck of their society's end so coinciding with the ascension of so many other species did they narrowly avoid extinction itself. The secrets of their fall are still largely unknown, however, and perhaps only once they are fully understood will there be reconciliation for their people." -Dr. Brilos
It is twenty years before the events that would bring about the fall of the Xinod Empire and their society. Their empire spans a swathe of the Galaxy, with a sector in the southern and northern halves of the Galaxy, connected by massive Warpgates. Their society is nearly utopian. Having been free of any truly damaging wars for nigh two centuries, they had much time and resources to invest in furthering their ultimate knowledge base, and the empire was expanding. Colonization efforts discovered signs of previously unknown technology upon a moon in the northern galaxy, near the fringes of the Galactic Core. Upon attempting to match it with any previously discovered civilizations, extant or otherwise, they found themselves completely stumped. Information upon what exactly they found has become hazy over the years, but most sources agree that it was a form of computational device of some means. Archaeological efforts uncovered an ancient ruins, filled with all manner of similar technology, reportedly far more advanced than even what the Xinod had devised at the peak of their civilization. As samples of it are brought back to the homeworld in the south, scientists and researchers begin to pour over what this technology could possibly hold for their society. Little did these people know, their undying curiosity would bear forth to be their downfall.
Some things are not meant to be known, and whatever it was that the Xinod found, it was clearly best forgotten. It was said that a corruption began to spread to those who spent prolonged time around it, reports of hallucinations and odd dreams plagued scientists who experimented upon it, as well as irrational behavior and even violent tendencies began to manifest within these people. One scientist, Vazkedar, the leader of the project upon its research, began to witness the true horror that this technology had to display, and it's vengeance for being discovered. As the government attempted to bring an end to the project due to multiple failures in its process, Vazkedar refused, and continued the work in private with a group of defecting researchers, hidden away from the prying eyes of the Empire they saw was standing in the way of what might be the final key to their enlightenment as a species. Those who escaped the den of hell that was the scientist's den reported that Vazkedar became all but obsessed with the technology that was uncovered, and claimed that he was working at its commands, constructing all manner of horrifying machinery and leading bastardized experimentation upon lifeforms, even those of the Xinod themselves, captured and mutated against their will into truly monstrous beings. As researchers began to question the sanity of this man, working at the will of what seemed to be a chorus of voices in his head, they realized their mistake all too late. What they had unfolded upon their people was about to become its damnation.
These "Observers", as Vazkedar dubbed them in his mad ramblings, commanded him to unleash his work. In the years he had to work, he had amassed an army, and was scarcely but a shell of his species, described as more of a hideous creature than Xinod because of the slow working influence of the technology. The researchers, outside of those who escaped early on, were slaughtered. Marching on his capital, he led a small army of his creations. The Xinod attempted to destroy them, but it was as if their weaponry was useless against this deathmarch towards the capitol building, the center of the Empire which had reigned for hundreds of years, near millennia. The Capitol was sieged, and taken. With it under his rule, Vazkedar did as the voices within his head commanded, and led a campaign of destruction that became a short-lived civil war. Each colony was systematically destroyed by weaponry bearing the technology under Vazkedar's command, and as the ball began to roll, it only accelerated as it became a perfect storm. Those in the North only heard news of the war too late, as it was coming for them before they had time to shut down the Warpgate. Once he had reached the North, the fate of the Xinod was sealed. His forces moved, nigh instinctively, to undiscovered hotspots of this technology, and with it, they only became stronger. As they led their warpath across the rest of the surviving settlements, they suddenly began to disappear, gone to the wind without a trace. Their society as a whole was crumbling. Countless colonies has been eviscerated, reduced to charred husks. Billions lie dead in the wake of its fire. In the span of twenty short years, a species had fallen. The ultimate destiny of Vazkedar's army has never been uncovered.
It is now 3110. The Xinod are desperate, their banks of knowledge were laid to waste in the final days of the war, their colonies mostly reduced to rubble, and their numbers cut to all but a fraction of what it was at their peak. They begin to turn to the burgeoning galactic community, while those in the north resort to giving what technology they could to a local power, which although far from their power at its peak, was their only hope. The Penguins. In the following decades, these split peoples would merge with their saviors, giving up their pride and their heritage to be naturalized into peoples that could sustain their survival. Whilst in the south, little of merit occurred during this time besides slight advancement by their offered technology to the species they harbored with, the North saw a great merging of the fallen culture of the Greys and the rising militant Penguins, one which would inevitably lead to their ability to truly benefit from the great war that would be at their doorstep soon, and in this camaraderie, the modern image of the Greys was born. The proud Xinod, over the course of little more than a century became known as a criminal species, untrusted and without respect for any of their lost creations, from the galactic community, or by the species itself, where the great monuments of their empire were quickly becoming mere fables of time some doubt ever occurred.