The Illayko

The Illayko race were travelling the stars long before humans. Physically tall, muscular and humanoid, they evolved from tree-dwelling omnivores on their home planet. The Illayko grew to controlled a large area of space to the Galactic East, their behaviour to other species neither overly aggressive or pointedly peaceful. Their most famous planet was Ehoi, their lush jungle homeworld. Large, stable and teeming with life, the planet is still spoken of in hushed tones – but nowadays for all the wrong reasons.

ill2Above: Typical Illayko male

Ten years before humans reached Alpha Centuari, trouble came a-calling. A civil war within the core Wun’Tux worlds meant the outlying BroodClans could expand in only one direction – outwards still. The Illayko became the next resource in this Wun’Tux civil war – they were attacked by numerous factions on several fronts. Distant colonies were besieged, their populations harvested as slaves. With no allies and no apparent hope, the leaders fled ‘South’ with a fleet of colony ships, the surviving Illayko military paid heavily to protect them.

Ehoi was left virtually unguarded. Those not airlfted in the retreat became the largest ever single slave haul of a Wun’Tux BroodClan. A small proportion of those left behind resisted, using their knowledge of local geography and conditions to flee the Wun’Tux, to make every invading step painful. The majority became slaves in their own homes as the Wun’Tux civil war expanded onto their doorsteps. Modern day Ehoi is situated well within Wun’Tux territory. It’s towering palaces and walkways are rubble, replaced with the drab, ungainly structures of the Wun’Tux.

The new Illayko worlds were chosen in haste – they remain under-developed and isolated from many trade routes.  The government is loosely organised and poorly led – politicians lack the confidence of the population. The soldiers who protected the retreat from Ehoi are held in similar contempt, treated as failures for their unavoidable defeat; the surviving veterans of the war are bitter and twisted. The fledgling government could offer them little work, opportunity or chance to retaliate and their anger simmers under the surface, undiminished. Now they scour the galaxy for work suitable for their skillsets: bounty hunting, assassination and hired muscle are the most common roles.

ill4Above: Typical Illayko bounty hunter

Their tragic story has had unexpected fallout. The most angry of the Illayko are vocal in their feelings of betrayal: by their leaders and the rest of the galaxy. They accuse the Gnobo and Vonn of presiding over their near extinction and seize on any opportunity to do either race damage. Indeed, whatever ethical code they originally had has disintegrated; instead they pursue profit and power over others to extreme lengths. Some are so lost and jaded that they are even known to keep slaves of their own in some odd vengeful twist to the universe at large.

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