- "With great strength comes responsibility: together these bring honor."
- ―Anonymous Sludir crate-buster
The Sludir were reptilian sapients indigenous to Sluudren. They were large, imposing people, with two arms, six legs, and a thick armored carapace. For millennia, they lived without advanced technology in a society ruled by the proud members of a warrior caste. This changed once Sluudren was discovered by offworlders, as their homeworld was conquered by the Galactic Empire, and the Sludir were enslaved.
Biology and appearanceEdit
Sludir had six short, stocky legs, with flat, rounded feet. Each foot had three toes with short, blunt claws. They also had two arms, ending in two-fingered hands with an additional opposable digit. Their heads were dominated by long, thick snouts with four nostrils and a sneering, toothy mouth.
Though the Sludir were generally reptilian, they did have thick manes of hair on their heads. Some Sludir also grew beards. Sludir typically braided or tied their hair into a range of styles.
The torso and back of an adult Sludir was covered with thick, shell-like plates. This was thought to be formed from a chitinous substance secreted from skin pores as the Sludir matured. This carapace protected them against damage from physical blows, though it was ineffective against blasters. Sludir took great pride in the quality of their armor, and used a mushy compound known as "Sludir soap" to fill cracks formed due to injury or aging.
Due to the violence that dominated their society, the Sludir developed an interesting gestation period. Females in the final stages of pregnancy had the ability to keep their fetuses in a state of stasis where all biological functions were kept at near zero. Nutrients and blood kept the brain of the baby alive, and the fetus could remain in this state for almost a year. This function was commonly used when pregnant females were in a dangerous situation so they could delay the birth until they were in a safer environment.
Society and cultureEdit
Beginning as a primitive tribal society, Sludir culture evolved into a sophisticated caste-based feudal system. Each of the many nations of Sluudren were divided into three castes. At the top was a caste of warriors, soldiers, and rulers. Below them were the artisans, experts technical skills such as stoneworking. The final caste were workers, who followed the orders of artisans and warriors. Sub-castes existed within these three castes, such as the warrior couriers who carried messages between kings and commanders and the artisan storytellers who recorded the oral history of the Sludir.
Honor in battle was prized by all of the Sludir castes. Combat was considered the best test of a Sludir's strength and worth. Their legal system was based on trials by combat, kings could be unseated through being defeated in duels, and soldiers could rise in rank by killing their superior officers. Subterfuge in battle appalled the Sludir warrior, while fleeing combat, hiding, or even taking cover was considered a mark of dishonor. The Sludir warrior code also preferred close combat to thrown spears or bows. Once they were exposed to sophisticated technology, blasters were also discouraged, though powered melee weapons such as force pikes or vibro-axes were considered acceptable.All Sludir were born into their caste, and were trained for their role in society from a young age. Sludir raised their young communally, alternating between raising their own children and those of others in their caste-clans. Before coming of age, young Sludir had to complete a practical rite of passage. Young workers had to complete a task proving their worth as laborers, while young artisans had to show their skill (for example, by designing and building a structure.) Young Sludir warriors were cast out into the wilderness, and forbidden to return without bringing back a beast that they had killed.
Family ties and family honor were important in Sludir culture. An individual Sludir criminal or coward could cloud the honor of their entire line. Sludir also venerated their ancestors, and hoped to be venerated in turn by their descendants. Through continuing their family line, they ensured that their deeds would be remembered. In fact, the Sludir considered dying without an heir as dishonorable as cowardice in battle.
The Sludir never developed advanced machinery, engineering, or science. They did not even develop a full written language: though artisans did use mathematical symbols and elaborate images to record ideas, most records were kept only as oral history passed down from storyteller to storyteller. One technology which was mastered by the Sludir artisans, however, was stonemasonry. They used stone to build massive fortresses, paved roads, aqueducts, and elaborate monuments to dead rulers. The Sludir considered their work with stone to be a symbol of their strength, and their ability to shape their world.
The first offworlders to discover the Sludir were slavers who captured Sludir warriors patrolling far from their cities. The depredations of the slavers threw Sludir society into turmoil, broke up clans, and subjugated cities. The stone fortresses of the Sludir artisans and the warrior code of the Sludir rulers were no match for off-world technology. The distinctions between the castes became blurred, as all Sludir were treated as potential slaves.
When the Galactic Empire officially took control of Sluudren, the Sludir were officially declared a legitimate slave species. A garrison was left on Sluudren to ensure a continued supply of fresh slaves. Sludir were herded into cities, where they waited to be taken to slave pens and work camps on distant planets.
Sludir slaves were spread throughout the Galaxy. Some were used as little more than beasts of burden by the Empire and Imperial-licensed slavers. Others were purchased by the criminal underworld, where they fought in gladiatorial arenas or became enforcers for crime syndicates. These gladiators and enforcers often managed to fight their way into high positions, becoming bodyguards or underbosses for crime lords. A few, such as the slaver Quintik Kahr and his brother Omze'kehr Kahr, became crimelords themselves.
Unlike many of the Empire's enslaved species, few Sludir joined the Rebel Alliance during the Galactic Civil War. An organized coalition of free Sludir did exist with the goal of freeing their people, but this organization operated independently of the Rebellion, and worked primarily within criminal organizations.
Some Sludir did join the Alliance, however. Many joined because they considered it to be the best way to seek vengeance against slavers and the Empire. Others joined only because the Alliance offered refuge to any escaped slaves. Sludir often found it difficult to work within the Alliance, since their warrior code often conflicted with its organization and practices. Sludir found promotions and commendations in the Alliance less meaningful than their own sense of honor through battle, and were unable to follow the Sludir tradition of advancing in rank by defeating their superiors in personal combat. Despite this, many Rebel Sludir had a strong sense of loyalty to those who they fought alongside.
After the Empire fell, the Sludir regained control of their home. Their new planetary government was a loose alliance, dominated by an assortment of Sludir who had come home after finding success in the Galactic underworld. Many Sludir slaves returned to Sluudren after finding freedom, but a large fraction of them left again after being appalled by the state of their homeworld.
Common Sludir namesEdit
- Zanjast Rahm
- "The Great Herdship Heist"—Star Wars Adventure Journal 15
- "Big Quince"—Star Wars Adventure Journal 2 (First appearance)
- Platt's Starport Guide
- Galaxy Guide 12: Aliens — Enemies and Allies
- Platt's Smugglers Guide (Picture only)
- The DarkStryder Campaign
- The Kathol Rift
- The Kathol Outback
- Cynabar's Fantastic Technology: Droids
- Ultimate Alien Anthology