Brakiri are a sentient humanoid race from the planet Brakir and one of the Younger Races. They were governed by the Brakiri Syndicracy, formerly a member of the League of Non-Aligned Worlds and later, the Interstellar Alliance.
A bipedal humanoid race, the Brakiri are naturally nocturnal and can be distinguished from other races by their pronounced bone ridges above the eyes and on the side of the cheeks, large or elongated nostrils and their high, sometimes cleaved foreheads. Like humans, Brakiri have two five fingered hands and two five toed feet. Their hair is generally worn long and unadorned in shades of black, red and brown. Some Brakiri are known to be bald, either through natural hair loss or personal choice. Skin colours can vary from white, beige, yellow, brown, black and light gray.
Like many other species, Brakiri reproduce through the sexual coupling of males and females. Both male and female genitalia consist of an internal phallus that only emerges during sexual contact, the main distinction being that the female organ is somewhat smaller and flatter than that of the male. A female is fertilized by the sliding together of the two organs and the seed is transferred to the egg sac. Once impregnated, the female will carry the developing embryo for the equivalent of 12 to 13 Earth months and will give birth through a canal located in the groin, in a manner very similar to that of humans. Once fully matured, the average Brakiri will grow to around 90 to 210 cm tall and anything from 48 to 112 kg in weight. As a species, the Brakiri have an increasingly low birth rate.
Brakiri can produce a surprisingly high-pitched wailing sound which can be heard by any other member of their race within a 100 meter radius. The wail can carry one of several meanings. Depending on its exact pitch, it can serve as a warning, a cry for help, a call for a gathering, etc.
Brakiri civilization stabilized around 6,000 years prior to the dawn of the Third Age of mankind, and the civilization's singular direction is derived from its form of government. When the Krona first took power over Brakir, they engineered a system specifically designed to maximize corporate profit and make the planet a business center for the whole galaxy. The system worked, though the ones that benefitted most from this were of course the Krona and those others at the higher echelons of the business world. As a result, this economic success has widened the gulf between this wealthy upper class and the rest of Brakiri society. Advancement traditionally is often slow and fraught with political maneuvering, and as such some Brakiri have turned to crime for advancement denied them in the world of business.
Brakiri criminal groups are called Chadis, or brotherhoods. A member of a Chadi stands out because of their facial tattooing; the complexity and symbology indicate the individual's rank and status. Crime lords rule in the margins where there is little or no corporate interest to move the Krona to act against them. For these reasons, many Brakiri choose to leave Brakir, usually traveling to colonies on Kara or sometimes even the Earth Alliance. With so many skilled workers leaving Brakir, the Krona has begun to realize their mistake.
Otherwise, Brakiri social structure is very similar to that of Earth during the 20th Century and surprisingly the similarities are a little more than coincidental. When the Brakiri first began to explore the possibility of life on other worlds, they managed to catch early television and radio signals from Earth. The images they received became a subject of fascination for the Brakiri and whole styles grew up around them. Later when the Brakiri went into space they sought contact with Earth, considering Humans to be a kindred race.
The main goal of a Brakiri, male or female, is to excel in business, whatever business that may be. This drive for success colors every facet of life on Brakir to the extent that the only thing that matters as much as success to the average Brakiri is how that success is achieved. The Brakiri are proud of their ability to win while "playing by the rules". Their problems with organized crime stem, in part, from an unwillingness to admit there is a problem. The only refuge from the drive to succeed is offered by Brakiri family life, which is very private.
Culturally, Brakir was a heavily male-dominated society but when the Krona assumed power, women were given more opportunity to rise to prominent positions. Brakiri prize success, money, happiness and comfort. They tend to be soft-spoken, which often hides the intensity with which they attack their work. They get along quite well with humanoids, less so with other species.
Though there are many different faiths on Brakir, ranging from pantheistic to technological and animistic religions, religion itself tends to be little more than a tool of the government. The most popular among them all is Derchalia, a mystery cult religion, whose adherents worship Derchal, a character out of Brakiri legends, possessed of divine characteristics. Over the course of their lifetime, believers in Derchal gradually progress through the ranks of the Derchalia cult by means of a series of special initiations and rituals.
One of the more mysterious Brakiri religious festivals is the Day of the Dead: a night marked only once every 200 years by the arrival of the Brakiri System's only comet to Brakir, a day (or rather night, since Brakiri are nocturnal) when the dead are said to return. Though most take this as a simple metaphor, many strange stories surround this night. It is likely because of this association that a comet is a major symbol of death and transformation in Brakiri culture. To even mention a comet to a Brakiri is an awful taboo and is considered to be an outright threat against the individual, his family and his water clan.
Glossary of Brakiri Terminology
- Other Sources
- Babylon 5 Scripts - Other Voices: Vol 3 (Babylon 5 Alien Guide)
- The Official Guide to Babylon 5 (CD ROM)
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