Kilrathi Culture

The Culture of Felines

The Kilrathi are a warrior culture focused on the ideals of personal honor, clan honor, and devotion to the war god Sivar. Much of Kilrathi behaviour in combat is dictated by three basic tenets.

1) Focus on the Strongest - As a predatory species, the Kilrathi instinct is to attack weak or injured members of a unit. Frequently exploited in the early days of the war, Kilrathi doctrine has been altered to run counter to instinct, making a focused attack on the largest threat a priority.

2) Respond to the Challenge - The Kilrathi estabish dominance and social heirarchy through personal challenges of honor. The concept is integral to the structure of Kilrathi society. Though these challenges are not always to the death, the results can often be lethal.

3) Obey Without Question - Obedience to superiors without question is the most basic principle of the Kilrathi military. Imagination and creativity are attributes only encouraged in the nobility (who are frequently senior commanders, regardless of experience). Line troops (frequently commoners) are expected to obey without pause for question or interpretation. Should a commander's orders become unachieveable, and no commander availible to provide new orders, Kilrathi units are frequently thrown into chaos.

Due to their nature as a predatory species, the Kilrathi tend to regard their opponents as prey, beaneath the application of the rituals and customs that govern Kilrathi society. The unexpected duration of war with the Confederation has begun to challenge this view, but only among a small number of Kilrathi.

As the war has dragged on, Kilrathi society has begun to subtly fracture along three lines: A small minority of Kilrathi have begun to view Humanity as a fellow warrior race, equal in skill. They have begun to see the Terran-Kilrathi war in the context of a contest between warriors for social dominance, and believe there will be no dishonor in concluding hostilities once this has been properly established. A second small faction believes that the Kilrathi traditions have become outdated, and that the traditional concepts of honor will have to be abandoned to defeat humanity. This faction is, slowly, beginning to gain influence in the circles of power around the Emperor. The majority of the Kilrathi remain traditionalists, however, bound to the ancient customs and rituals. It is, perhaps, a measure of the scope of the Terran-Kilrathi war that this is taking place at all, even in its current, limited, form. Factionalization along ideological rather than clan lines is unknown in modern Kilrathi history… and only time will tell if their culture can withstand the strain, no matter how the war against the humans progresses.

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