This race of brawny, humanoid saurians regularly stand six to seven feet in height, and weigh on average nearly three hundred pounds, which is mostly muscle. Their tough, horny hides are coarse and dark, but might be any dark color, ranging from blood red to deep wines to blacks and greys. Their scute-covered hides twinkle in dim light with mica silicates. Overall, the gurathi resemble anthropomorphic ankylosaurs, as they possess bony armored hides and fairly long tails that end in a bony club.
Their heads feature a wedge shaped muzzle with two pin-hole, articulating eyes (much like a chameleon’s eyes) that are at about 45 degree angles from the front, enabling near all-around vision. Their mouths are those of a predaceous omnivore, with a heavy jawbone, strong jaw muscles, and prominent caniniform teeth for gripping and tearing food. Both teeth and bones (including the tail club) are studded with glittering mica silicates, which are incorporated into the bone structure. On either side of their head are shielded ears that also serve as olfactory organs: thus, gurathi both see and smell in stereo.
Gurathi typically wean extremely practical clothing derived from leather or a silk-like material. In non-combat situations, this would probably just be a short-sleeved jumpsuit with pockets, dyed a single color. In combat, many gurathi wear metal armors, but some forgo extra armor entirely, replying only on their natural armor plating.
The gurathi landed on Earth at least two thousand years ago. Since then, they have claimed an area of land roughly the size of Texas through continued brutal expansion. Their capital city, Gura Zatir, is formed out of the remains of the ships that landed, and is an impressive sight to behold.
This capital, and all of gurathi society, is run by a highly organized, regimented matriarchy descending from their high general, the Drath. She plays the role of supreme executive and warleader for their race. Only females who have given birth to female offspring are allowed into the leadership, and then only after they have bested (and slain) a low-ranking elder female. The victorious mother assumes the rank of the one she defeated, and can challenge others for higher office, or be promoted by the Drath.
Male gurathi are widely considered to be little better than unstable, simpleton studs, and are only given rudimentary education. They work all jobs involving manual labor, always answering to female elder supervision. If a male is discovered to have learned anything more complex than a simple trade and rudimentary math and literacy, they must be executed by the nearest member of the matriarchy, so that order can be maintained. Males are assumed to have great emotional instability; despite their lowly lot in gurathi society, not a day goes by where males are not losing their temper and attacking each other or females. This sort of rebellion is dealt with swiftly and terminally. Since the birth ratio for males to females favors males heavily, the loss of a few workers or mates here and there is not really a problem. Older males tend not to be so volatile, and end up primarily as trainers for the younger males.
Following a successful mating season, each gurathi female lays a few large eggs, which they place in a communal hatchery. Whelps are removed from the hatchery and placed into brood enclosures, where the youth learn to fight and forge alliances for their survival. During this time, early societal conditioning and rudimentary education are delivered together. Those failing to internalize their lessons are not removed from the enclosure until they succeed, though non-compliant whelps are slain once they get too old.
Females graduate to more advanced training, receiving strict guidance from the matriarchy. Males are worked from the day of their graduation from the enclosure: those who thrive and grow strong during the first few years of work are often selected for mating. All are expected to exactly follow the orders of the matriarchy, but females are also expected to show initiative and independent thinking when not under strict orders.
Gurathi greatly treasure warfare and fighting. In the instance of war, males are organized into a rabble of infantry, while females form ordered corps of cavalry, artillery, and other specialized roles. Males who perform well in battles are often prized as excellent mates, and might even be given a break from manual labor. Females who excel on the battlefield are sometimes promoted by the Drath, but more often are emboldened by their success to challenge a matriarch for her position. While orders are followed in combat, each gurathi is trying to outdo the others, and sabotage of ones rivals is not entirely unknown, though it is frowned upon.
The only art practiced by the gurathi is storytelling. This mainly includes stories of racial history/mythology, but also includes the exploits of the storyteller, exploits of famous Keldak Drath (the Drath’s hand-picked elite barbarians), and a smattering of fiction, often comedic in nature (though gurathi humor is cruel and fickle). Female storytellers can perform for any audience, but male storytellers are only allowed among the all-male press gangs after work is completed for the day.
The gurathi of Gura Zatir are generally at war with anyone not gurathi. Gurathi outcasts that tend to make up adventuring types are not nearly so hostile, though they still carry the conditioning of the brood enclosures, and generally seek advantage wherever they can find it. Other races are understandably wary of the gurathi, who seem alien, cruel, unpredictable, and physically dangerous.
Inevitably, some young males escape the brooding enclosures, and with what they’ve learned during conditioning, a few survive outside gurathi society long enough to make it to another race’s territory. Alternately, some female, chaffing at the strictures of the matriarchy, might choose to escape, despite her conditioning. Either way, small numbers of gurathi leave the territory of Gura Zatir every year.
Due to differences in biochemistry, all of these outcast types must bring along with them a small bioreactor animal called a Kufi. These organisms can eat plant and animal matter from Earth and produce food polyps the gurathi can subsist on. Far away from gurathi crops and livestock, this is the only food source a lone gurathi has. Luckily, they are quite common in Gura Zatir, as they have been released to slowly clear the land of Earth-normal vegetation, making way for gurathi crops and foliage.
Gurathi males tend to have monosyllabic names they keep throughout their lives. Females have longer names, made longer still by any titles they may have held in Gura Zatir. The Gura language has many harsh consonant sounds.
Male: Zak, Gar, Tav, Fen
Female: Zakinara, Garfamtu, Tamkukim Korinam
- +2 Strength, +2 Constitution, -2 Intelligence. Gurathi are strong and stout, but not quite as smart as other races.
- Medium: Gurathi are Medium creatures and have no bonuses or penalties due to their size.
- Base Speed: Normal, 30ft
- Type: Humanoid with gurathi subtype
- Hide: Gurathi gain +1 natural armor due to their tough hide.
- Tail slap: The gurathi tail club can be used to make a natural attack at full base attack bonus, using Strength bonus to attack and damage, base damage 1d8. This is the gurathi’s primary natural attack (no attack of opportunity), and it cannot make any other attacks during a round that it uses its tail slap.
- Scent: With two olfactory organs on either side of their heads, gurathi have an unusually acute sense of smell. They have the scent ability.
- Languages: Gurat. Adventuring gurathi must learn Espo in order to communicate with non-gurathi.