Nearly everyone in the galactic community has heard of the Krakyt: prolific, aggressive, large insectoids. They possess an intellect, cunning and work ethic that rivals the industrious "ants" of Earth, which has driven these intelligent insectoids to spread across the galaxy in vast numbers. Krakyt seem to thrive in nearly every climate and environment, so there are trillions of them found across the Milky Way. Thankfully, the majority of them are not voracious conquerors or particularly evil, nor do they make a habit of living in mass ant-like colonies or hives like they do on their home world of lkarakt. This isn't to say that the Krakyt can't be dangerous or invasive, for they are skilled fighters and aggressive by nature, many hiring themselves out as one of the most famous groups of mercenaries in the galaxy. They are masters of coordinated mass combat and large group tactics who fight with intelligence and daring; a rare combination. ln fact, the majority of Krakyt mercenaries form armies unto themselves, hiring out their services to turn the tide of many a war. lt is fortunate then, that most of the Krakyt in the llta and Liloqua quadrants are members of the FAR and fight on behalf of their allies. Despite their seemingly innate aggressive nature and warrior ways, the Krakyt are also idealists who prefer to fight for justice or a good cause, and enjoy being perceived as the underdog. Of course, there are those Krakyt who fight only for money and the joy of battle (many thrive on carnage), but the vast majority are more caring and nobler than that. Or are they? ln a weird twist of fate, a significant portion of the Atorian Empire's fighting forces are also Krakyt! Remember, there are trillions upon trillions of these insect aliens throughout the Milky Way, many of which have formed independent factions and planet colonies of their own (ust because they are insects, doesn't mean they serve one hive mind). Those who inhabit Atorian space have been turned into willing allies supporting the Empire's military expansion and enslavement of worlds. An equal number serve the Federation of Allied Races and oppose their brethren and the Atorians with equal zeal. Thus, the Krakyt will certainly play a huge role in any conflict that arises between the two.
The birthplace of the Krakyt is lkarakt, a hot, violent planet that is rocked by seismic and volcanic activity to this day. The surface is covered by rocky terrain and canyons, dotted with massive active volcanoes. Earthquakes are regular occurrences, and despite the rugged terrain, vegetation in the way of ferns, vines and sturdy short trees covers the face of the planet. lkarakt is also rich in minerals and all of its waters are invigorated by large amounts of them, providing an ideal environment for microorganisms which form the basis of a complex food chain, the top of which is dominated by the Krakyt.
Building extensive hive or ant colony-like structures, the Krakyt came to dominate their home planet many millennia past, even before they had fully developed the intelligence necessary to become an advanced civilization. The tunnel complexes they call home weave beneath the surface, giving little indication of their presence beyond the occasional dome-like entrances which appear every dozen miles or so. Most humans would be awed by the size of these subterranean complexes, the largest of which are roughly the size of the Earth state of Texas. Multiple levels and carefully planned tunnel systems can house 50 to 100 million Krakyt in a single colony, which would boast scores of "Royal Mothers." By living beneath the surface this way, the Krakyt do not occupy or dramatically disturb any of the surface ecology. Surprisingly, it is also safer to live underground than on the surface where one is more regularly bombarded by toxic fumes, pyroclastic clouds, mud slides, flowing lava and showers of rock and blankets of hot ash from the thousands of active volcanoes. Underground there are lava flows, earthquakes and cave-ins, but the Krakyt have learned to adapt to them and tap the geothermic vents and turbulent core of their planet to power their cities. Curious and aggressive, when the Krakyt developed space travel technology they took to the stars and have become a true "Galaxy Age" force in the way of space travel capabilities and presence in the Milky Way. Their exodus to the stars was, in part, instinctive, for to do otherwise would have caused the Krakyt to engage in a constant battle among themselves in order to maintain their population at the proper levels. Even in space, warring factions of Krakyt battle one another to prove their superiority or to seize a colony or resource.
The Krakyt stand six to seven feet (1.8 to 2.1 m) tall, but are nonetheless massive creatures with multiple limbs and covered in a dark exoskeleton armor of black or red coloration. They have two pairs of arms and legs, giving them superior balance, hand-eye coordination and good speed. Most shun clothing except for decorative jewelry or accessories such as capes and arm bands. The most common forms of jewelry among these insects are ropes or chains of a decorative nature and gilding, what they call Xaur-ti and Pitkak, respectively. The ropes and/or chains are commonly worn on the shoulder and hang under the arm or they will loop about or dangle from the waist, but hundreds of combinations are possible, some of which have distinct meanings to the Krakyt. Pitkak accents the actual exoskeleton like a tattoo, except it is done in metals and bonded or anchored to their natural armor. Extensive Pitkak upon a Krakyt usually denotes wealth or position, and the Queens are commonly "gilded" in proportion to their age and the size of their hive colony. Pitkak can also have a deeper meaning to warriors and others, serving as a kind of pictogram history of their accomplishments.
The Krakyt are full members of the galactic community, having developed space travel and eventually advanced space travel methods to make first contact with many different races. Their technology is roughly "Megalopolis Age" with "Star Age" technology bordering on the Galactic when it comes to space travel. The intelligent insects tend to prefer a more personal approach and favor fast, no-frills technology that gets the job done or only helps as much as it is necessary. Spacecraft and travel are the big exceptions, but even here the average Krakyt prefer personal mechanical wings or jet packs for transport instead of enclosed vehicles that carry a number of people. They also prefer to arrange meetings and discuss issues in person, face to face, rather than on the telephone, radio, computer or video-transmission.
By the barest majority, the Krakyt within the galaxy are members of the FAR, including the residents of the home planet and those living in the llta and Liloqua quadrants. They look forward to a glorious war with the Atorian Empire and their brethren who fight on the side of the Empire. They see such a battle as the ultimate challenge against the most skilled of opponents, but they find the overall atmosphere of the FAR and its Security Council to be "conservative and timid" at best (many would say, cowardly). As a result, they are staunch supporters of the Niamese Coalition, Diatome, and the Nattereri, as well as being key proponents of a split FAR Security Council. To complicate matters, many of these impatient insects have decided that they want to fight now, with or without the FAR! The more loyal and lawful of those have joined the Diatome or other small operations to leverage action within the FAR, but other Krakyt have simply begun their own raiding groups, which can number into the thousands, and make runs across the Atorian borders to attack military spacecraft and outposts. They also support pirates, terrorists and other enemies of the Atorian Empire, as well as actively hunt down and destroy Atorian spies and scouts on the FAR side of the border. Perhaps needless to say, this aggressive activity not only distresses the FAR who is afraid it will incite the very war they hope to prevent, but antagonizes the trillions of Krakyt in service to the Atorians as mercenaries. This has resulted in the Atorian Krakyt to respond in kind, seeking out their brethren and making raids across the border into FAR space, especially when in pursuit of rival Krakyt. Note that Atorian Krakyt bear the lmperial insignia as a pitkak.