The Hirudin are an amorphous, aquatic race residing past Oroso and Wun’Tux space in the galactic west. They are most known for their ability to access and control the minds of certain sentient beings, a quality which leads them to be treated with fear and suspicion. Hirudin are unable to survive out of water, so travel off-world in a variety of mobile containment units.
Above: Artist’s impression of a Hirudin containment unit
The Hirudin are regarded as symbiotic with the Trinax race, but this is something of a misnomer. Although the Hirudin rely on the Trinax to build and maintain their machines, the Trinax survive happily without their aquatic masters.
Thousands of years before the Fourth Age, the genetic great grandfathers of the Hirudin were akin to jellyfish, drifting around the giant seas of their homeworld. These ancestors evolved a defence mechanism: a telekinetic blast, able to inspire a primordial fear within animals threatening them. This freak of evolution transformed them from prey to survivor and over hundreds of years they rose to the top of the food chain. With the further evolution of intelligence, they found they could do more with this ability: inspire not just fear but obedience too.
Although the modern-day Hirudin could control minds, they were still isolated on their planet. Until one fateful day when the Trinax arrived. Relatively peaceful and unambitious traders, the Trinax race were hardly know for their quick wit and towering intellects. But as they explored one of the small archipelagos on the Hirudin homeworld, the landing team felt something tugging at their minds. Nagging. On that one day their futures were sealed.
The Hirudin mined the trading crew’s memories and databanks for information. Ordered them to leave and bring back more Trinax, more ships and technology. Over the next year, the Hirudin expanded their horizons and gathered more and more Trinax in their thrall. They built the first and most rudimentary of their containment units and travelled off world. As they explored the wider universe the Hirudin found their abilities were able to effect very few sentient species. The Trinax finding them first had been just dumb luck.
The Hirudin approached the galaxy with the intelligence and sense of superiority they had conquered their own world with. However, harsh lessons were to be learned quickly. Their Trinax client race was not built for war or conflict. Slow in thought and uncourageous, they would avoid or flee from fighting unless being directly controlled by a Hirudin individual. The masters, then, had to use their guile combined with the Trinax canny ability to trade to establish relationships, develop worlds and ideas.
Senior Hirudin travel the galaxy inside car-sized, multi-limbed robots they call their ‘containment units’. Although ostensibly peaceful, the units carry a variety of hidden weapons and defences. They also have the ability to ‘plug in’ to ships and vehicles. These Hirudin masters possess the mental alacrity to coordinate and command the majority of systems on-board even large starships and become a living bridge, delegating the menial tasks to their Trinax thralls.
In a military sense, the Hirudin have constructed ships of their own to enforce their will but also utilise Gnobo Mercenary Brigades when an occasion calls for more widespread firepower. This has led to conflict between Gnobo and human forces even though the two races are officially at peace.