The Raai are a race of 2m tall sapients, with two legs and a pair of large, membranous wings. Their manipulators are on the ends of their wings, with four opposed fingers. Their wings are derived from arms, and have a span of 6m outstretched.
They walk in a fashion similiar to azhdarchids, in an erect posture with plantigrade hind feet. Their front limbs are strong enough to allow them to take off. However, they can support themselves bipedally if necessary. They have laterally flattened but reasonably long tails, which act somewhat like a rudder.
Raai heads are much like a crocodile's, though with the eyes mounted on the front of the snout and the nostrils just below. They have red and green cone cells, but not blue. As such, their hide bears red markings resembling eyespots.
A line of spikes goes down the neck, back and tail, attached to the spine and made from bone.
Omnivores, the Raai eat meat, vegetables and cereal crops. Notable is their love of sugary foods, which become rapidly addictive for them and, if in high concentration, cause hyperactivity and loss of inhibitions. Some Raai have been known to inhale sugar as a drug.
Raai reproduce viviparously and sexually. Offspring take twelve months to gestate and are born 50cm tall, then take twenty years to grow to their full size.
The Raai are an intelligent sapient species. They favour logic, preparation and efficiency to spontaneity and creativity.
Raai society is quite libertarian, giving individuals much freedom. There is a democratic government, but colonies are free to opt out of it and assume their own governmental system if they so wish. Few do.
The government is elected every five Raai years. All Raai under the government get a vote, and can vote for one of the ten political parties. The two with the most votes form a government together, though major government decisions must be approved by at least 70% of all members of all parties.
There are no classes among the Raai; all are supposed to be born into equal opportunity. It rarely works out like this, but the education system does not favour any individuals and information such as names are withheld from employers until they have accepted or rejected a job application.
The Raai are a reasonably advanced technological species.
Raai spaceships are medium-sized, and of several classes. They have spaced hulls of strong titanium or armour-grade ceramics. Ultradrive travel has been developed, and so have artificial gravity and repulsor fields. The Raai prefer missiles and lasers to other weapons systems.
Dreadnoughts are heavily armed and up to 4km long. They can carry ten thousand crew, as well as small factories and hydroponics/nutrient farms to produce food onboard. They have twenty-one laser apertures through which to channel their spinal laser. A dreadnought also has flak and laser turrets for point defense, as well as four frontal mass drivers for bombardment.
Frigates are designed for independent patrol. At 400m long, they have a crew of around one hundred. They possess nutrient and oxygen farms, as well as two laser turrets and a single mass driver.
Cruisers are just over 700m long, with lighter mass drivers and only three laser apertures. Around four hundred crew can live on one, which has a nutrient and plant farm.
They are the most common Raai ships.
The Raai rely on hyperdrive transmission systems to communicate FTL.
Raai ground weaponry is mainly in the form of highly adaptable grenade launchers and light machine guns. Their armour is constructed from kevlar and synthetic silk fibres to minimise weight.
Raai colonies mainly use prefabricated steel and concrete buildings, with landing pads on the roof and stairways, rooms and windows designed for ease of access by Raai.
Relations with other races
The Raai have encountered several other species.
The Cyrians saved the Raai during the War Machine invasion, and then formed the Tatric Alliance. The Raai feel heavily in the Cyrians' debt.
The Raai have the least contempt for the Haad of all the Cloud's races, often trying to integrate them into colonies and trying to give them better opportunities
The Erek and their neutrality are found annoying by the Raai. Their doing nothing during the War Machine attack has been noted and a degree of anger is found against the Erek.