The Kig-Yar (Forerunner designation, translated into Latin: Perosus latrunculus, or "Hateful Bandit," human designation: Covenant secundarium carnivora prœdonis, or "Covenant secondary carnivorous combatant", Second Human Empire: Xuyi'uji Zuhg'juhi) are an avian/reptilian species which serve the Covenant as mercenaries and privateers and originated in the Piala Universe. There are two distinct subgroups of Kig-Yar, which Humans have termed Jackals and Skirmishers. In combat, Kig-Yar typically serve as snipers, shock troopers, defensive fighters, and scouts within the Covenant due to their excellent senses of sight, smell, and hearing.
There are several distinct races of Kig-Yar, though humans have commonly identified two groupings (Jackals and Skirmishers) based on encounters in the battlefield. In combat, Kig-Yar typically served the Covenant as snipers and scouts due to their excellent senses of sight, smell, and hearing.
History[edit | edit source]
Biology[edit | edit source]
Kig-Yar share many features with avians as well as reptiles and exhibit several features that are common among species that have evolved in low-gravity environments, such as Lacerta erectus.Their legs are sinewy and muscular, and are reverse-jointed in a similar fashion to those of birds. Though they have been mistaken for carnivores, the Kig-Yar are apparently an omnivorous species. Kig-Yar beaks are sharp and lined with razor-sharp teeth; their tri-digit hands and feet have sharp talons. Their eyes are protected by a nictitating membrane that sweeps across the eyes horizontally. Starved Kig-Yar have been known to eat the flesh of fallen enemies, as well as that of live prisoners. They are gifted with extraordinarily acute senses of sight, hearing, and smell, making them adept as scouts and snipers in the Covenant military. Kig-Yar are also very agile, and can execute swift jumps and rolls in combat; these abilities are most pronounced in the more muscular T'vaoan subspecies, members of which can leap great distances and cover ground at extremely high speeds. Kig-Yar possess a strong salty, occasionally acrid stench.
Young Kig-Yar chicks are covered in a brown fledgling down which gradually molts and gives way to scales and plumage as they age. Male Kig-Yar possess plumes of spiny quills (feathers in the case of Skirmishers) at the back of the head and on the elbows; the color of this plumage indicates the Kig-Yar's mood. Quill color also varies between subspecies; Jackal quills typically have brown, red or light blue coloration, whereas Skirmishers generally have black or reddish feathers. Females lack these quills, instead having calloused plates at the forearms and the rear of the head. This thick skin helps protect the female during courtship: when mating, the male will often bite, chew, and tear at the back of the female's head, neck, and arms. Apart from these differences as well as those in reproductive organs, there is no meaningful physical variance between male and female Kig-Yar.
While Kig-Yar are somewhat physically frail, they are capable of moving quickly to evade harm. Their blood is bright purple in color, similar to that of the Sangheili, possibly showing a similar chemical makeup. They lack high amounts of calcium in their skeletons, which makes them a poor source of biomass for the Flood. Thus, Kig-Yar that are infected by the Flood are typically turned directly into carrier forms rather than combat forms. However, they have been utilized as combat forms during at least one engagement, the Battle of the Etran Harborage.
Genetic Variety[edit | edit source]
Unique even among the diverse assortment of the other client species of the Covenant, the Kig-Yar species has vast genetic variation within their race. The Kig-Yar species is represented by at least three morphologically distinct subtypes. These include the mainstream "Jackals" of Ruuht, the notably reptilian Jackals of Ibie'sh, and the more physically robust and more avian "Skirmishers" of T'vao. Many xenobiologists believe the morphological variation among the Kig-Yar likely represents diverging evolutionary pressures in response to varied environments and ecosystems on prehistoric Eayn and, subsequently, their various interplanetary colony worlds. However, all of the known variations of the species have the ability to effectively breed with all other subtypes of the Kig-Yar species and exhibit no marked cognitive differences.
Ruuhtian[edit | edit source]
Kig-Yar from Ruuht (known as Ruuhtians) typically exhibit light brown, tan, or sallow skin tones, with green skin appearing less often; flexible quills on the head and forearms among males, with calloused plates among females; and elongated heads with bulbous eyes and beak-like snouts. The most common head morphology involves a downward-sloping snout, though specimens with straight snouts are also common.
Ibie'shan[edit | edit source]
Kig-Yar hailing from the isolated, volcanic continent of Ibie'sh (Ibie'shans) display the most "primitive" characteristics of all the known Kig-Yar subtypes, being closest to the species' common ancestor. Ibie'shans have the same body structure as most of their kin, but their heads are far more muscular and reptilian in appearance, with shorter snouts and underbites. These Jackals also differ from the more commonly seen variety in having reddish plumes and yellow-tinted eyes. Ibie'shans have served in the Covenant military in the and constituted the majority of Kig-Yar in Jul 'Mdama's Covenant.
T'vaoan[edit | edit source]
T'vaoans, commonly known as Skirmishers, originated from the Kig-Yar colony asteroid of T'vao. They have darker skin and stockier, squared heads with small yellow eyes. They also have more beak-like mouths and bony facial coverings. T'vaoans have true feathers on their heads and arms, unlike the Jackals' quills. Like Jackals, T'vaoans have sharp talons on their hands and feet. While both subspecies are quite agile, T'vaoans are capable of sprinting at great speeds and leaping long distances. Male Kig-Yar from T'vao had much heavier upper body plumage than other Kig-Yar. Females from T'vao had a ruff of feathers on their heads and necks instead of scales. The higher gravity and more dramatic atmospheric shifts of T'vao led to the development and evolution of these avian features.
Culture and Society[edit | edit source]
Kig-Yar are often considered to be driven and motivated solely by personal desires and needs. Ancient Kig-Yar were once divided into clans, scattered across Eayn. The clans would often compete for resources and raid each other's cities or hold inter-clan competitions in major population centers. During the Kig-Yar's service in the Covenant, the clans became slightly obsolete. However, many Kig-Yar still kept their roots to these clans, often living in territory that had been claimed by their clans ages ago. Parts of Myur City, on T'vao, had been once claimed by Chol Von's clan. Kig-Yar clans often work together, unless one clan has grievances with another. Allied clans defend one another, if necessary. The center of a clan is known as the "clan home" and often contains a "clan mother" to cook for the young. Known clans include the Mor clan and the Gei clan.
Piracy plays an important role in Kig-Yar society and history. While legitimate organizations, governments, and businesses are found throughout Kig-Yar society, pirates once plagued Eayn's seas. After becoming an interplanetary race, many Kig-Yar returned to piratical ways. Many Kig-Yar chicks desire to be pirates when they grow up. Many Kig-Yar folklore heroes were pirates and represented freedom during the Kig-Yar's service with the Covenant. There were numerous Kig-Yar pirates that operated independently of the Covenant. These pirates would contact and ally themselves with like-minded Kig-Yar that served in the Covenant military. The Covenant-serving Kig-Yar would often contact the pirates when opportunities to steal Covenant supplies and materials arose. Members of other species—including San'Shyuum, Sangheili, and humans—are often distrustful of the Kig-Yar, believing every member of the race to be a pirate.
During the time of the First Multiverse Wars, many competed with ther pirate factions and developed strong relations and rivalries to compete with such as the Orion Syndicate, Kroot, and the Trandoshans.
Government[edit | edit source]
The Kig-Yar government on Eayn is a post-industrial capitalist system, with a population of 978 million. It is also described as an ochlocracy, a system of government best described as a government by mob, or the intimidation of constitutional authorities; whatever form of local government the Kig-Yar possess is ineffective and ignored. Before the Kig-Yar's inauguration to the Covenant, all colonies were self-governed. Due to the lack of Eayn's government, Kig-Yar colonists developed their economy based on the gray market. Eayn's government also had a functioning militia.Clans often governed certain portions of cities on Kig-Yar worlds.
After the Kig-Yar joined the Covenant, all of their governmental systems became obsolete. Following the Covenant's dissolution after the Human-Covenant War, the Kig-Yar had no true functioning government to control Eayn and its colonies. Instead, all Kig-Yar worked together, relatively cooperatively. In April 2553, Chol Von attempted to form a united Kig-Yar navy and have all Kig-Yar clans unite, but few agreed that it was necessary. By 2558, pseudo-governments have administrative control of Eayn's two supercontinents, Ruuht and Ah'lomet. There is controversy among both continents about which one has control of the small islands between the two.