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Chupadores (Homo chupadorae, or "chupas" for short) are bipedal mammals (with some reptilian features) that inhabit the alien ring-world of Sirca. They are a sentient race with developed cities, a common spoken and written language, a structured system of government, organized religion, and technology advanced enough to traverse outer space, although exploration of other worlds is limited to their own solar system.

Chupas sport a wide variety of hair, fur and body types, which are documented in a variety of breeds. In general, two major body types are recognized: shia (shi'a) and fila (fi'la). Of the two types, shia chupas are short-statured, standing between 5'-6'. They're identified by their long legs, short feet, small neck and upright posture. Conversely, fila chupas are known for their shorter legs, longer feet, broad neck and slightly stooping posture. When standing upright, filas can reach over 7' in height. Both types walk on their toes, utilizing their long tails for balance, although fila chupas are adept at running on all fours, while shias are better sprinters on two legs. Filas are generally regarded as the faster, stronger and hardier of the two types, whereas shias are more crafty and intelligent (although it's considered rude to compare intellect on that basis.) Deviations among the two body types are due to inter-breeding, which is gradually rendering the distinction obsolete. It's partly for this reason that racial tension between chupas in modern times is drawn from color rather than breed.

Chupa fur appears in a wide range of colors, from bright yellow, red, green and blue to brown and grey. The pelt is a solid color from birth, although adolescents may develop spots, stripes or other dark patterns that fade as they mature. Chupas also grow a mane of hair on top of their heads, and a matching tuft on the tips of their tails. Like their fur, the color of this hair varies wildly from individual to individual, and does not necessarily match the color of the fur. The fur of elderly chupas grows long to match the length of their manes, giving them a "shaggy" appearance.

Males are taller and more muscular than females, whose wider hips and higher percentage of body fat facilitate child-bearing (much of a female's fat is stored in her tail.) Early chupa societies practiced a polygamous mating system, while its modern one tends towards monogamy (frequent exceptions prove the flexibility of chupa sexual behavior.) An adult female's fertility can fluctuate from one estrous cycle to the next and they do not overtly menstruate, yet they can be sexually active at any time, right into old age. Sexually mature males, on the other hand, experience rutting "seasons" up to four times per year, the timing of which is dependent on the individual rather than shifts in climate, since the chupa world has no seasonal weather cycle. The ruff is the ridge of long, stiff, brightly-colored hair that grows down the base of the spine and top of the tail on males when they're in season. Being "in the ruff" also refers to this condition, which lasts from two to three Sircan days (two Earth weeks.)

Chupas are born in litters of two or three, after a gestation period of two quarters (roughly eight months). They are born with hair and blunt claws on their fingers and toes, yet their eyes don't open for the first three Sircan days. Spots or stripes may start to develop after one week, and not fade until the onset of puberty, sometime between the age of 6-10 years in females and 8-12 years in males. The average lifespan of a chupa is roughly thirty Sircan years, the most common cause of death being war-related, although they can naturally live up to sixty.

The central governing body is the House of Omega, an organization of priests who obtain divine guidance from their deity, Lord Omega. Omega's word is regarded as the highest law, while priests carry out his bidding in temples and offices across the land. The House of Omega is seated in the capital city of Omegrad, while the immortal Lord Omega resides in his citadel in Kaprime. The Circle of High Priests convene in Omegrad to interpret Omega's law and issue ordinances to the common people that are enforced by the police and military. On top of preaching Omega's word to the people, Omegite priests serve many public functions, from arbitration to tax collection. Civil disputes or other calls for justice are brought before priests for a swift and undisputed trial, often with sentences (up to and including capital punishment) carried out the same day.

The law of the land can be reduced to a code under which the penalties for crimes are either imprisonment or amputation:
• A person caught stealing will lose his hand.
• A person caught uttering blasphemy or bearing false witness will lose his tongue.
• A person caught killing another on holy grounds or outside the confines of battle shall be put to death.
• A person who will not pay due taxes will lose his foot.
• A person caught coveting another's spouse or stealing another's children will lose his tail.
• A person caught evading conscription, abandoning his post, betraying his team or otherwise disgracing the military shall be put to death.
Even these laws are circumstantial, and much discretion is exercised by the House. Appealing to the Omegite overseeing one's charges is the only way to stave off a sentencing.

Chupas speak a single common language, known simply as "common," and possess a common alphabet for written correspondence. The standard currency of Sirca is "bucks," minted nickel coins that bear Omega's sigil on one side. Books and records are kept in schools and libraries for public access and education, although historical documents dated more than 500 years (or in reference to factual events more than 1,200 years ago) are withheld from public access by the central government. For this reason much of a chupa's knowledge of history comes from oral lore, passed from elders to children.

Apart from agriculture, most industries in chupa civilization are centered around warfare, with the majority of scientific research conducted and controlled by the military. Many of the world's tools, buildings and vehicles (including ships capable of low-orbit flight) were developed with military applications in mind.

Some devices and structures in the world were not created by chupas at all, but rather left behind by inhabitants of the ring prior to the holy wars that destroyed all records of their existence. These former inhabitants are only known as Predecessors, and it is speculative whether these people were ancestors to the modern chupa or another race entirely. There's also some debate between scholars and theologians over who (or what) originally built the many mysterious, ancient structures dotting the ring-world. Omegites say Lord Omega raised them from the earth as monuments to the fallen, while archaeologists wonder if their construction pre-dates even Predecessors.

At any rate, chupas hold a special place of reverence for their ancestors and the Precedessors. Family shrines and ancient ruins are places of quiet retreat and meditation, and they are tended by a sisterhood of shrine maidens. These maidens come from all kinds of families, yet during a holy war the majority of them are orphans, their parents slain in battle. Maidens are valued as mediums and credited with the power to banish evil and grant good luck to visitors of their shrine. A maiden is bound to her shrine by a vow of chastity that makes them "spiritually pure" enough to communicate with spirits that haunt the grounds. The vow also provides for the only way to officially leave the Maiden Sisterhood: once a maiden finds a mate, they are dismissed from their shrine. This is generally considered more lenient than Omegite sects, where clergy are bound to serve for life, and desertion is punished by death. Although they are not members of the House, shrine maidens are considered clergy for taxation purposes, since they provide shelter to travellers and soldiers, maintain the surrounding burial grounds, and facilitate prayer to passed-on spirits. These spirits are ones who did not fall into disgrace during their lives and were rewarded upon death by existing in a state of paradise, able to watch over their families and loved ones. Those who do not achieve honor with Omega or their families upon death are reincarnated as lesser beings, to live again to try to regain Omega's favor.

The ultimate way to achieve honor is to die on the battlefield, although for those unwilling or unable to join the military, there are alternative forms of worship. Congregations are held weekly in temples, where believers swear to Omega's Creed while Omegites preach on the law and tell stories from wars past and present, glorifying the savage details of battle while denouncing cowardice and promoting brotherhood-in-arms. Non-clergy civilians are required to wear no special garb, although it is customary to wear black or brown to services and temples. Pious families pray together daily, once before breaking fast and then once before the last meal of the day. There is no standard recitation for these occassions, although it is common to open prayer with, "In the name of the Precedessors," and close with, "Omega preserve us."

Another option for those who do not wish to fight is to swear an oath to the priesthood (this is called "taking Omega's mantle" or just "taking the robe.") As a priest, a chupa would forfeit all his possessions, titles and family ties, and live in servitude (and celibacy) under the House.

A follower of Omega swears to a common Creed: That Omega is the one true, eternal god and king of the ring, and that those who serve Omega and deny any other supreme authority will be honored in life and revered in death. It is believed that Lord Omega preceeded the chupa race, and was the one to preserve them from the terrible (yet unspecified) fate that wiped out the Predecessors. Some radical believers even claim that Omega himself destroyed the Predecessors in a feat of wrath for not swearing to the Creed. There is no allowance in the Creed for a omnipotent Creator, nor for an origin of the ring and its inhabitants outside the natural laws of science, yet chupa folklore allows for paranormal entities such as spirits and ghosts.

Chupa society is a militant one, marked by a succession of holy wars sanctioned by the House of Omega. In such wars, two opposing armies are drafted from the population and organized into Red and Blue, according to a chupa's birth-color. The armies are allowed to choose their mascot and flag design (as of the present holy war, the red army's mascot is the cobra, and the blue army's is the falcon) and then are each assigned a capital city. The objective of the holy war is to capture the opposing army's capital base. The victorious general will be bestowed a seat of honor in the House of Omega, and his army assured control of all the ring's territories, until the next holy war is declared (and then only by Lord Omega himself.)

Soldiers for a holy war are collected from every city of the ring. Many city-states make enlistment compulsory for males upon either completion of schooling or reaching an age of fifteen, while for females it is voluntary. Other cities hold a draft by lottery under the same criteria. There are also conscripts, which are convicted criminals allowed to serve in the army as a form of parole.

Although it is considered a sacred calling to fight--and die--in a holy war, these often escalate into bloody and devastating affairs, leaving countrysides ravaged, families without children and cities in ruins. Omega's Circle of High Priests eventually put a stop to needless slayings (and the impending destruction of the ring) by drafting the High Law of Conflict, which states:

• Red and Blue armies will compete for territories by capturing the flags of their opponent’s bases. Each territory houses a flag that is safeguarded at a central base, and whichever army claims it may submit that claim to the House of Omega for control of the whole territory.
From that point on, all the people of that territory are obligated by the High Law to support the occupying army with its resources. Any citizen of the territory who has complaint with their ruling army may enact their freedom to remove themselves from said territory.
• In return, fighting is forbidden in any civilian city or on holy grounds, which are marked by flags with Omega’s emblem. Soldiers are not permitted to set foot in city limits, else they are considered AWOL (Absent Without Leave), which is punishable by death.
• Should these laws be broken, neither the perpetrators nor their supporting army will have their territorial claims recognized by the House.
• Should the breach of these laws be especially heinous, Lord Omega will call for the disposal of the perpetrators.

Despite these lawful safeguards, many civilians consider it a blessing that holy wars are only declared every few hundred years.

Other paramilitary groups on Sirca are:

The House of Omega's task force. It provides high-level security and special ops for the House's priests, as well as enforces the High Law of Conflict during holy wars. The highest honor for an agent of H.A.D.E.S is to be selected as the Left Hand of Omega, Lord Omega's personal assassin and bodyguard. Omega's Left Hand is branded with his lord's sigil and serves for life.

The Freelancer Division supplies guns-for-hire to Red and Blue armies during holy wars. The House sponsors Freelancer training facilities, agents and R&D in exchange for their exclusive contract with the Reds and Blues. The director of the division leases out Freelancer agents on a job-to-job basis, and answers directly to Omega.

A radical rebel band opposed to the House of Omega and its holy wars. Consorting with members of the Movement is considered both treasonous and heretical by the House, and is not tolerated under Omega's domain. Those caught aligned with the Movement are immediately punished by death, and pricey rewards are posted for the heads of their leaders. Theft and destruction of Red and Blue army equipment, weapons and bases are often attributed to this underground group.

The Sircan Special Forces are a privately-owned task force that provide civilian groups highly-trained bodyguards and security. Their services range from the exotic to the (very) expensive. SSF operatives are trained in a variety of weapon sets, martial arts and "focus arts," the latter-most a technique unique to the organization. Their business model is permitted under the laws of the House of Omega, so long as the SSF does not interfere with holy wars or other functions of the House.

A map of Sirca (click to enlarge)

Chupas occupy the inner-land-surface of their ring-world, Sirca, which orbits a giant gaseous planet, Nerom. There are seven other planets in Sirca's solar system, yet none known to be habitable.
A year is measured by the time it takes Nerom to revolve around the sun (84 days), and a day by the time it takes Sirca to revolve around Nerom (142 hours.) The year is further divided into four quarters, each with three seven-day weeks. Sirca experiences two eclipses per year, wherein the ring aligns perpendicular to the rays of the sun.

Chupa populations are centered around a dozen city-states and their territories:

Lactan is a dense jungle territory surrounding the mist-shrouded Loch Krainen. Its humid, tropical environment and assortment of dangerous wildlife do not lend well to chupa habitation, and presently Lactan is only occupied by a couple of military bases and a few scattered tribes of Sciuridae chupas. Both Red and Blue armies are often at odds with the Sciuridae, who sneak into their bases and steal food and supplies.
The territorial drink of Lactan is tequila, made from the blue acorns native to the region.

Lamtha is considered the "bread basket" of Sirca. Its rich soil and moderate temperatures are ideal for farmland, and the territory is chiefly occupied by a group of families with large estates, farmsteads and orchards.
The territorial drink is moonshine, its recipe a closely-guarded (and disturbing, to some) secret.

The grassy hills of Episemon are more populous than most territories on Sirca. Many towns exist on the trading route between Lamtha and Omegrad, with suburban neighborhoods thriving on the outskirts. Episemon is the present seat of the Blue Army, with its Command HQ at the foot of the Quarrel Mountains.
Its territorial drink is hard cider.

Omegrad is the holy capital and the most densely-populated territory in the ring. Its primary city hosts the Omegrad Cathedral, where matters of state are brought to court before the Circle of High Priests. Despite the long-standing history of the House of Omega, much of Omegrad's architecture is a patchwork of gothic, classical and modern design, due to countless raids and destructive warfare in the past, before the High Law of Conflict was instituted.
The territorial drink is mead.

From the Quarrel Mountains to the coast of Lake Highguard, Wortistan's diverse geography is embraced by its many ranches for small livestock, although the territory is better renown for its vineyards, the chief source of wine on Sirca.
Tourists are drawn to Lake Highguard for a chance to glimpse the Spectral Graveyard: the mysterious, unidentified lights that appear to shine from the bottom of the lake. Local legend states that these lights are the ghostly remains of those who challenged Lord Omega in ages past, and that they've remained to haunt the lake to this day. It's claimed that voices can be heard with the lights, beckoning passers-by to some insidious end--yet none who draw near the lights have ever been reported to return.
The territorial drink of Wortistan is bug wine, flavored with the purple grape beetle.

The gentle plains of Blarganthia are home to the Festival of the Eclipse, a massive carnival and parade for the astrological event that takes place twice per solar year. Its towns thrive on the tourists brought to the territoriy during those times, and subsist on its large cattle ranches in the meantime.
A dispute over territorial boundaries around Lake Highguard was once escalated by racial tensions between shi'as and fi'las into a bloody conflict between Wortistan, Blarganthia and Stigma. As there was no holy war in progress at the time, the House of Omega declined to intervene until trading routes into Blarganthia were so impaired that militia groups from the warring territories began raiding dormant Red and Blue bases for supplies. The War of Lake Highguard (sometimes still called "The War of Blarganthian Aggression" in Wortistan) ended over a treaty between the two families that initiated the feud, which was ratified by High Priest Ozan. Ten years later, before the start of the next holy war, a law was voted into the House forbidding any form of shia-fila discrimination in army drafting and policy-making.
The territorial drink of Blarganthia is rum.

Stigma is the present Red Capital, and a reputed hub for technological research. Its primary base coexists with Sirca's most prestigious military academy, as well as its most infamous site for weapons R&D. Working at either the Bio 00 Complex or the Froman Center is considered by some more dangerous than actual enlistment, and the inexplicable craters in the surrounding terrain (some nearly a quarter of a kilometer wide) have no account to this day.
The territorial drink is red beer, a long-standing favorite to the many cadets and university students that reside in Stigma.

The Emberoth Mountains are the heart of industry in Qoppa, where the majority of its population works in either the deep mines or the steel mills in the foothills. Beyond, the desolate Devil's Salt Flats are virtually uninhabited.
The territorial drink is whiskey.

A permanent state of winter covers the land of Sampi. Here only the hardiest chupas make their living off the land, hunting game and foraging for snowbeats, an edible root that grows around the region's dense coniferous forests. Towns are small and closely-knit in this territory where wolves and bears outnumber people.
The territorial drink is vodka.

As far as every chupa on Sirca knows, Omega has always been the god-king of the world and the creator of the chupas. There's no written history of a period before Omega's existence. However, it has only been in the past 1,500 years that he has built up his citadel in the ice-locked valley of Kaprime. Previously, Omega resided in the capital city of Omegrad, where he had a much more hands-on approach to crafting the House of Omega and the theocracy that reigns over Sirca today.

The Sea of Vossler is the largest body of salt water on Sirca, and its beaches in Honkal are a vacation hot-spot for chupas. The largest recreational resort in the world is Honkal's Circus Sirca, a combination casino-park with rides and attractions. Outside the park, many favor Honkal's beautiful seafront vistas and mild weather, although some of the creatures lurking in the deep waters make swimming hazardous.
Honkal Iced Tea is the territorial drink.

Timae is covered in woods and marshland that make colonizing the terrain difficult. The most common way to traverse the territory is by ferry, particularly along the Jenay River which flows from Loch Krainen all the way to the Sea of Vossler. Its center of population is the residential complex around Hexagon Industries' headquarters. The only military presence in Timae are two small bases in the middle of a remote box canyon.
Pretty much any form of alcohol is welcome in Timae, seriously. It's needed.

The name of the ring-world comes from an old legend about Sirca, a giant black she-cat who devoured a falling star. From this star Sirca conceived and gave birth to a litter of chupas, the first in the world.

The House of Omega perverts this legend a bit, saying that Omega came riding into the world on that falling star, and that the chupa race was conceived when Omega coupled with Sirca. In many older churches there are murals depicting both versions of the legend, with Omega's sigil drawn on the body of a comet that's being swallowed by the mother-cat.

The mythical city of Pretora was created around the dawn of chupa civilization. It was known as a bastion of knowledge, technology and (depending on the legend) magical power, and is spoken of reverently in chupa lore, since some versions of the myth connect the city to Predecessors.

Among its many amazing attributes, it is said that Pretora's city was built upon a mountain that floated in the sky. It also bred warriors of supreme skill, whose exploits became the basis of many legends.

One popular legend speaks about a Pretoran prince named Namis, who traveled across the world and performed fantastic feats of strength and heroism (illustrated versions of these tales depict Namis with wings, suggesting a pegasi lineage.) Namis had one great nemesis in a werewolf she-demon named Krainen, and stories of the battles between the two are woven into old prophecies about the end of the world (most of these prophecies are considered apocryphal by the House, and are stricken from Omegite teachings.)

Although the cause of its downfall varies depending on the version of the legend, a common thread is that Pretora was ravaged and brought to ruin by Krainen. Once the she-demon's wrath grew so profound that it threatened all life on the ring-world, Omega used his power to seal her in a tower called the Onyx Spire. Krainen was henceforth known as "The Restless," and figures prominently in children's horror stories. Meanwhile, the fate of Namis is largely left unspecified, although common belief is that he was sealed away alongside Krainen.

To the present day, treasure hunters seek the Onyx Spire for the riches said to be kept in its halls, yet most skeptics deny the existence of Krainen, Namis and the spire. Nonetheless, Loch Krainen in Lactan is named for the myth, and rumors from the territory suggest that the heavy, perpetual fog that surrounds the lake was created by Krainen to conceal the ruins of Pretora. The fog is referred to as the shroud, and suspicious natives claim that a pet demon of Krainen's called the Shimmer stalks the mists, preying on intruders and biding its time for its master's return.

In Omegite texts, Pretora's story is expressed as a cautionary tale against shunning the divine protection of the House.

Red vs Blue © Rooster Teeth. Halo © 343 Industries. Artwork and story by Myshu, assisted by The Department of Chupapology.

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