Slavnye are centauroid synapsid-analogues. They are endothermic and have fine, downy fur between scales which are only visible upon close inspection. Their size varies widely, but males are generally larger, reaching up to 2m at the shoulder and 3.4m long, and females reaching up to 1.9m at the shoulder and 3m long. Their heads are shaped with a rounded snout, and a large bump in front of the brain which holds the major endocrine glands.
Their arms are well-muscled, and end with three fingers. Two of these are on the lower side of the wrist, and one is above. These are all tipped with sizeable, blunt, claws. The legs are similarly bulky, so the Slavnye cannot reach high speeds, and end in two-toed hooves.
Males possess a large throat sac, which is made from tough skin and allows them to produce booming noises if necessary. This is a secondary sexual characteristic, developing in pubescent males.
Their eyes are moderate in acuity and motion perception. However, their eyes are quite far on the sides of their head, and as such their two fields of view overlap little. Their depth perception in all directions except straight in front is poor, but they have vision covering almost 360 degrees around them.
The natural Slavnye lifespan is around sixty years. No Slavnye have ever naturally lived more than a hundred years.
Slavnye are omnivores, eating both meat and vegetables. However, their strong palate and powerful digestive system mean that they can subsist on low-nutrition, tough and generally toxic foodstuffs.
Slavnye reach reproductive maturity at thirteen years old, on average. They are ovoviviparous, producing young within thin membranes. Pseudo-umbilical cords join these to the uterus wall during pregnancy, then sever and are reassimilated by the mother afterwards.
Young gestate for six months. The average number of offspring per birth is three, varying little. Mothers can abort spontaneously if under extreme stress, but do not release the offspring after this, instead breaking their bodies down and digesting them for nutrition.
Babies are born around a sixth the size of an adult.
Pregnancy is very hard to notice on a Slavnye female. It also provides little impediment to them.
Slavnye are sapient beings, capable of all the processes associated with sapience. They are, however, less individualistic than most sophonts, and spend much time thinking in groups, discussing ideas.
The Slavnye are a single faction. They are classless and have no currency system, all enterprise and possessions belonging to the state rather than individuals. In colonies and on stations, councils control all decisions and activities. There is a council to which all other councils answer, the Sovesh, somewhere in the Domoi Galaxy.
The councils have members chosen by rota, unless individuals are specially noted to be unsuitable for such a position. Members must be over eighteen and have experience in war. On ships and in battle, councils would not be practical, so a military ranking system is employed. All military decisions can be overturned by a Sovesh majority vote, however. It is not known how the Sovesh members are chosen.
Education curriculums are decided by the Sovesh. At the current time, subjects that all Slavnye must be taught include mathematics, science, and their political system. All pupils are treated as military cadets, and must learn how to use weapons, undergo stringent testing, and go on expeditions. Education ends after the age of fifteen for most Slavnye, and then they are drafted in labour or the military.
If pupils show academic talent, they go into further education for five years.
If there is a serious medical reason preventing individuals from fighting, they are sent to one of many 'care worlds'. It is unknown what happens to them here.
Crime, of any sort, is punished by execution. Only Slavnye which have spent over a year in the military have the right to a fair trial. Juvenile crime is punishable by imprisonment and forced labour.
Upon birth, all babies are taken by the state to 'raising worlds', where they are raised by special carers and educated. If individuals are found to be hiding babies from the state, they are punished by imprisonment and forced labour, and their children are sent to become workers in the least desirable careers. As there is never a shortage of these children, this behaviour must be relatively common.
If Slavnye are spiritual, it is only the cult of personality that has arisen around the Sovesh. They are constantly exposed to propaganda, and it pervades their entire lives.
Slavnye always wear uniforms.
The Slavnye are judged to be technological class X/XI.
Slavnye spaceships are enormous. They have powerful Uberdrives to travel FTL, and thick repulsor sheets that halt all but the most powerful weaponry. They are also notable for releasing enormous numbers of drones onto the battlefield.
Battleships are the largest, up to 800km long and with room for tens of millions of crewmembers. They have sufficient weaponry to completely sterilise planets, rendering them permanently uninhabitable, mainly in the form of powerful mass drivers. They also have large numbers of late-generation thermonuclear and antimatter devices, launched as MIRVs. They also hold hundreds of thousands of well-armed and shielded drones.
Heavy cruisers are also very big, up to 50km in length. They are also capable of orbital bombardment, sufficient to destroy all megafauna on a planet and remove all traces of any civilisation. They hold tens of thousands of personnel.
Light cruisers reach 10km long, and have little bombardment weaponry. Instead, they have many spinal mass drivers and missiles for combating other spaceships. They hold comparatively few crew, but much of their volume is occupied by drone bays. They are the most common ships in the Slavnye fleets.
Destroyers can be up to 25km long. They carry enormous numbers of mines, drones, and degenerate-matter warheads, enabling them to lay large areas inaccessible to enemy ships. They possess few mass drivers, but large maser batteries.
Carriers can be 600km long. They possess only tens of thousands of crew, however, filling themselves with millions upon millions of drones. They are very well defended, but not capable of independent action. Many also hold light cruisers or destroyers. They act as control centres for Slavnye command groups.
Light Carriers are vessel which can be 100km long. Their crew complement is comparatively very low, like a Carrier's, as most of the internal volume is dedicated to drones and smaller ships. They have good point defense, and can act as co-ordinators for small battlegroups.
The Slavnye have never built any AIs. They have a deep prejudice against any AIs, mainly due to their ongoing conflict with the War Machine, and there is an extreme taboo against researching in this field.
The Slavnye build enormous cities, covering up to 10% of the world they are placed on. They hold billions of inhabitants and are mainly industrial, stripping the land around them to build ships and materiel. Cities are given specific functions, such as 'labour worlds', 'care worlds', etc.
Their settlements have city-wide repulsor shields which can hold back orbital bombardment, in addition to large-scale physical defences and enormous firepower.
They also build large space stations, similarly armed and shielded to cities. These travel around and temporarily attach to moons or asteroids, then remove trillions of tonnes of material from these bodies and use them to produce new materiel.
Slavnye ground troops mainly use machine guns, with rail-based acceleration systems. However, grenade and missile launchers, as well as laser rifles, are not rare.
Armour is repulsor-sheeted ceramics, with ballistic plates.
Vehicles are mainly tanks, with closed caterpillar tracks but powerful nuclear engines enabling them to reach very high speeds. They too are well-shielded and armoured, and carry mass cannons, missile racks and co-axial machine guns.
Drones provide air support. They can also go underwater.
Relations with other races
The Slavnye are generally friendly to new races. However, their efforts to promote their philosophy can result in conflict.
The Slavnye are fighting an intergalactic war against the War Machine. This has been going on for decades.
These two races met many years ago. Their contact was cursorial and the two races co-exist without paying much attention to each other.
The Coatzl are too busy fighting the Aoarus to assist the Slavnye against the War Machine, but they maintain peaceful relations.
The Irihil help the Slavnye fight the War Machine, but have expressed dislike for their philosophy.
Sephirah mercenaries often join the Slavnye in battles against the War Machine.
The Cyrians have agreed to help the Slavnye against their nemesis.