Property of The Crimson Corporation
The Druuge are greedy, piggish humanoids, who reside around the Persei constellation. Their whole culture is an image of extreme capitalism, and all Druuge are the employees of a syndicate they call the Crimson Corporation. The bosses of this gargantuan corporate empire are no less than the overlords of their whole civilization.
Early Druuge history bears a close resemblance to early Human history. Still, as in the case of Syreen civilization, minor differences in early social structures have produced a vastly different culture. Similar to Humans, Druuge evolved from primitive hunter-gathers. However, these primitive Druuge remained solitary and never organized themselves into mutually beneficial tribes, thus fostering a greater emphasis on the individual and a greater concern for personal well-being not completely unlike the Ur-Quan.
Despite their strong, innate individual tendencies, the Druuge created a working civilization. This early society included some form of government, including laws regarding the economy and the interactions of commercial entities. Sometime after their transition to the status of a space-faring race, the Druuge significantly changed their trade laws so that they no longer discouraged the formation of monopolies. Due to this legal relaxation, a single business, the Crimson Corporation, was able to rise to prominence inevitably becoming the only existing Druuge business and the legal owner of everything Druuge. Not only a business, it also operates as the government of the entire Druuge race. All known interactions with the Druuge by other races have been while the Crimson Corporation has been in power.
In recent years, the Druuge have had encounters with a few other races, initially with the Burvixese and most notably with the Utwig. Years before the events surrounding the Second War, the Druuge learned through their neighbors, the Burvixese, about the Utwig and the Precursor Bomb they possessed. The Druuge initiated contact with the Utwig and offered them the Ultron with the intention of obtaining the powerful bomb, but instead received "a hodge-podge of ancient and useless artifacts." The Utwig maintain that this exchange will fundamentally change the Druuge as a race, culminating on a specific day in a momentous event of jubilation. The Druuge also had a long history of interactions with the Burvixese, ultimately having a direct hand in their destruction; They placed a powerful HyperWave 'Caster on the Burvixese moon to purposely distract the Kohr-Ah away from the central Druuge trade world at Zeta Persei. During the Second War The Captain has several encounters (not all amicable) with the Druuge including one in which he prevents them from obtaining the Utwig Bomb the second time.
Society and culture
The effects of the evolution of early Druuge society are still dominant today. Lacking the "traditional" sense of community, every aspect of Druuge culture can be traced back to their higher level of individualization. A Druuge only finds it useful cooperate with other beings so far as it benefits himself. Selfless concepts like honor and charity do not exist in their culture. Similar to their individual solitary nature, the Druuge as a race are also reluctant to venture outside of their sphere of influence.
As with most things in their culture, the Druuge approach their spirituality with a capitalistic attitude. Not satisfied with a tenuous relationship that most other races share with their respective deities, the Druuge have explicitly established a strong relationship by entering into a contract with their god. The contract reads as follows:
- Whereas the Druuge (hereinafter known as `the Worshippers') wish to establish a long-term relationship with an omnipotent and all-knowing deific entity (hereinafter known as `God' or `god') which shall mutually benefit both parties, the parties agree to abide by the following terms and commitments for the rest of eternity.
- The Worshippers hereby promise to perform faithfully and to the best of their ability the following:
- Worshippers shall make regular and sincere obeisance to God, including but not limited to prayer, sacrifice, and the building of large structures.
- Worshippers shall make every attempt to convert non-believers (hereinafter known as `Them') making sure to obtain signed documents from same attesting to said conversion.
- Worshippers shall not enter into an agreement with another deity, without written permission from God.
- In consideration of the above correctly performed obeisance, God shall provide:
- Continued existance with little or no modification to the perceived reality of the Worshippers.
- No fewer than 3 miracles (Force Majeure), whose exact nature and timing shall be left to God's sole discretion.
- Worshippers shall enjoy some form of life after death which shall remain a complete and total mystery to the Worshippers until such time as they die.
- We, the undersigned, hereby swear to fulfill our obligations as defined above.
- Signed, The Druuge.
- (God, being omni-present and all-knowing is considered to have signed this document, by default.)
Druuge families are viewed as profit-making ventures. Druuge males and females desiring to engage in this kind of speculative investment meet at "Repro Mixers" to find mutually acceptable partners. Once an acceptable business partner is found, both parties proceed through the business arrangements — negotiating the terms of agreement, filling out the appropriate forms, and engaging it the necessary carnal interactions. Offspring from such a union are automatically part of the venture with terms that ensure the parents a 12-18% royalty on the offspring's income. It is therefore typical for a parent to allocate a significant amount funds for the education and training of any offspring to increase the rate of return on their investment.
Economy and government
Life in the Crimson Corporation is typical: there are good times, when benefit packages and bonuses improve and bad times, when the corporation has to lay off some employees. Only, if you're out of job, you're out of luck. Because everything on Druuge worlds is corporation property, every ex-employee is instantly trespassing and guilty of stealing corporation property, like air and sunlight. The only suitable punishment in Druuge laws for that is to feed the Furnace.
By their own words they are merchants, but a word like "slave-trader" would suit them more. These silver-tongued devils always try to get alien captains to exchange their crew for fuel, "priceless Alien-artifacts" and Mauler starships. In these trades the Druuge always cheat and lie to their heart's content, anything to maximize their profit, but they might get hostile very fast if they feel they have been taken advantage of in a deal.
Druuge starship bridges are a disturbing sight to behold as even the captains are in slave cloths and bound to chains. The crew (especially the unfortunate exchanged alien crew) are used as a living cannon fodder in battle when the ship needs more energy. They are ruthlessly thrown into the furnace for a bit of extra man-power.
The Druuge have a law stating that any unarmed ship without escort (no attack ships), is susceptible to salvage. This means that if the Druuge encounter an unarmed and unescorted ship (e.g. yours), they will attack immediately.
Relations with other races
The Druuge maintain relations with other races solely for business. They kept a long-term business relationship with the Burvixese, but this ended abruptly in 2142. The Druuge also had a brief trade relation, facilitated by the Burvixese, with the Utwig, but the venture was ultimately unsuccessful. Through the Burvixese, the Druuge also had and indirect relationship with the Gg and the Kohr-Ah. During the Second War, the Humans through The Captain traded with the Druuge. Unfortunately this relation soured over a dispute on Zeta Hyades VIb, and The Captain's name was recorded in the Ledger of Hatred. The Druuge are openly hostile towards the Melnorme, another merchant race, often deriding them and encouraging alien starship captains to plunder Melnorme Traders.