A typical Thraddash starship captain
The Thraddash (pronounced /θɹɑˀ'ɖäʃ/?) are a race of intellectually challenged barbarians from the Draconis stars.
Physiology and Psychology
The Thraddash look like bipedal, plated, hornless rhinoceroses, with strong muscled arms, a thick, tough skin (encasing a set of smooth innards which are considered tasty by the Ilwrath)1 and a mean temper. The Thraddash talk tough and act even tougher, usually smoking cigars in their cockpits. They have little or no respect for anything aside from force, which they admire greatly. One could say that the Thraddash resemble an alien biker-gang from outer space. As a Melnorme proverb puts it, "To make a Thraddash your friend, kill him — but then of course, he’s dead, so what’s the point?"2
Thraddash history has witnessed the rise and fall of 18 different planetary cultures. Each time their culture reached a certain point a new ideology for a more perfect culture arrived, and they fought a bitter war eventually blasting themselves back usually 500 years in development, and started a new culture from scratch.
From their conversations with The Captain, we can glean some of the more interesting aspects of previous Thraddash Cultures.
The earliest Culture mentioned by the Thraddash was Culture Two. Little is known of Culture Two, except that they glorified fortitude and stoic resistance to pain.
Threatened by the virtues extolled by Culture Two, Culture Three demonstrated the dominance of their culture by brutalizing themselves. A common tactic used by Culture Three armies was to position themselves on higher ground, cut off one of their limbs and wave them threateningly at their enemies. This tactic was apparently effective in sapping the morale of their enemies, causing them to turn and flee. As a result of this, the status of Culture Three war veterans was determined by the number of limbs they had remaining. Thraddash captains note that the war parades were much more interesting, since the heroes did not walk, but rolled — "and at a pretty good clip!"
The most important single artifact common to all Thraddash cultures is the Aqua Helix. Culture Nine was the first (and only) culture to question its significance. Culture Nine considered excessive the amount of blood and passion expended over the artifact. Unfortunately, their complete defeat at the hands of Culture Ten after only two weeks of dominance only reinforced the Thraddash belief in the sanctity of the Aqua Helix.
Culture Twelve is the Thraddash example for extreme hostility. It is said that before Culture Twelve's first great battle, Jugkah the Battlemaster accidentally stepped on Gnusko the tactician's foot. This prompted Gnusko to summarily slice Jugkah in half. This rash act, however, spelled doom for Gnusko as Jugkah's troops proceeded to decimate him and his elite guard. As Gnusko's forces were defeated, the late Jugkah's Master Sergeants Muuhd and Pudt got into an argument over the method for Gnusko's execution, on whether to use crucifixion or the more painful "Lead Tattoo" technique. The argument was resolved in a characteristically Thraddash fashion when Pudt and his command slaughtered Muuhd and his 500 troops.
These events, however, led to the end of Culture Twelve. Their original enemy, Yajag, surprised the remnants of Jugkah's army and proceeded to annihilate it, paving the way for the establishment of Culture Thirteen.
Culture Fourteen is the second Culture to question traditional Thraddash values. Shortly after achieving dominance, Culture Fourteen claimed that the Thraddash method of cultural evolution was wrong. They claimed that every inter-Culture conflict set the Thraddash back 500 years. As with Culture Nine, Thraddash tradition again proved itself immune to change as Culture Fourteen was destroyed by Culture Fifteen after a reign of only ten years. Interestingly enough, the violence ensuing from Culture Fourteen's replacement only set the Thraddash back by "two, three hundred years tops", hence disproving Culture Fourteen's main tenet.
Again, little is known of Culture Sixteen, except that they were considered by the Thraddash as "sneaky and deceptive."
Culture Eighteen was the dominant Thraddash culture when the Ur-Quan invaded. Their swift defeat by the Ur-Quan put their superiority into question, and an attempt for a resolution was made by the means of a thermonuclear exchange. The Ur-Quan in orbit around the Thraddash homeworld did not allow such intra-species fighting, and intercepted all of the warheads with their fighter vessels.
The Ur-Quan's intervention, however, only postponed the inevitable. Shortly after the failed thermonuclear weapon exchange, Culture Eighteen's challengers introduced a super-lethal poison into the air and water, ending its reign.
After the poisoning of Culture Eighteen, the Ur-Quan executed all of the emerging Culture's leaders, and arbitrarily assigned leaders to rule over the Thraddash. The Ur-Quan then explained that any further violations of the Slave Laws will be punished by the eradication of the Thraddash species. Thus started Culture Nineteen.
Culture Nineteen elected to become Battle Thralls upon being enslaved by the Ur-Quan. As such, they expected to be part of the Ur-Quan's offensive in our region of space. Their relative military weakness, however, as well as their predisposition to pick fights with other slave races, especially the Umgah and Ilwrath, made the Ur-Quan decide that they would be more of a liability than an asset in the coming battles, and ordered them to "guard the rear."3 However, it does appear that the Alliance was vaguely aware of the Thraddash as the Thraddash Sphere of Influence appears as one of the "Unknown" alien races on the 2133 Alliance Hyperspace star map. The modern Thraddash have improved their Torch ships with an effective Reeunk Afterburner (named after its creator), and are itching to prove their worth to the Ur-Quan.
Culture Nineteen is the Thraddash Culture first encountered by The Captain.
- The form and the existence of this culture is based entirely on the player's choices
The Captain, after showing his superior military might to the Thraddash by killing at least 25 of their ships, is recognized by them as their "Great Teacher" and guides the formation of a new Culture.
The player has the following possible choices for this new Culture:
First, the player chooses how the Thraddash should greet each ship that responds to their hailing calls.
- Polite: All Thraddash captains will greet with kindness and respect, including whether the other's wife-and-kids equivalent are well.
- Pig latin: All Thraddash captain will greet by speaking pig latin.
- Rhyme: All Thraddash captains will greet with a rhyme of their own composition. Examples are below.
- Like us: The Thraddash captains will change their behavior according to the circumstances, ranging from obsequious to downright hostile.
The next part of setting up a new Thraddash culture is the name. The player has 3 options here:
- Culture 20 is achieved by letting the Thraddash choose their own name.
- The Fat Obstreperous Jerks
- The Glorious Slave Empire of [ The Captain ]
The final part is how the Thraddash will shape their 20th Culture.
- Contemplative: Contemplating does not suit the Thraddash, and it is hard for them to remain so for even more than one day, and even begin to break out into spots, but stick to it due to their certainty of their Great Teacher's wisdom.
- Friendly: "Treat every new person like they're your best friend"
- Wacky: Send them Monty Python and Marx Brothers videos to watch, and they will eventually discover slapstick comedy, which suits them very well.
- Like us: The Thraddash culture will attempt to model themselves after Human culture — they will try to extract any bit of information they can from anyone they meet, without hesitating to use threats if necessary, and will only attack if their victory is certain.
The Captain's actions determine the fate of the Thraddash. If they are tricked into attacking the Kohr-Ah, they will move towards the area of the Doctrinal Conflict and will lose half of their fleet. The casualties during this campaign will be 60% inflicted by the Kohr-Ah and 40% inflicted by the Ur-Quan, who presumably punish the Thraddash for again disobeying orders. If The Captain gains the respect of the Thraddash by destroying 25 of their ships, they will hail him as a model and will establish a new Culture, the direction of which is left entirely up to The Captain. If the Ilwrath are tricked to attack the Thraddash, then the Ilwrath will move towards Thraddash space, leading to a mutually destructive war that will eliminate both their fleets.
After The Captain directed the Thraddash to rhyme in their introductions to alien vessels, Thraddash culture found another channel of expression. The following examples provide an insight into the Thraddash psyche.
- We are the rhyming simons
- blancmange rhymes with orange
- space is the place
- the stars in their courses
- cannot catch the horses?
- Blood is red, bruises are blue
- When strangers come here, we run them through!
- HARG! HARG! HARG!
- There once was a Thraddash named Mak-Roni
- whose ship was in total caco-phony
- He got lost in Apodis
- and died in Draconis
- Because all that he ate was baloney!
- HARG! HARG! HARG!
- Constantly moving are
- space, stars, time
- form not function
- meets in death
Notes and references
- 1Based on the Ilwrath line "Though Our Enemy, The Thraddash, Possess A Tough And Chewy Exterior, Inside These Creatures Can Be Found A Most Smooth And Sweet Set Of Innards." Also see the Role Playing Resource Guide, p. 32.
- 2From the Role Playing Resource Guide, p. 32.
- 3From the Role Playing Resource Guide, p. 32.