|Skrell Lore Pages|
|Skrell||Skrell Ethnicities · Skrell Relationships · Skrell Ailments · Notable Skrell|
|Planets, Systems, Settlements||Qerrbalak · Qerr'Malic · Aliose · Aweiji · Tattuqig · Diulszi · Skrell Abroad · Notable Skrell Systems and Locations|
|Organizations, Factions, Politics||Nralakk Federation · Skrell Politics and Enforcement · Federation Crime and Resistance · C'thur in the Federation · Dionae in the Federation · Generation Fleets|
|Culture, Society, History||Skrell Culture · Skrell Cinema and Idols · Skrell Education · Skrell Cuisine · Skrell History · Skrell Beliefs · Skrell Refugees · Skrell Mythology|
Skrell culture is generally recognised as the thoughts, beliefs, and practices that are most common within their species. Skrell that go against these norms are typically thought of as outliers, and will quickly become ostracized should they not bend and adhere to the society they find themselves in. Those that do not, will commonly find solace within the Traverse or outside of the Nralakk Federation.
Every Skrell is born with two names, both of them being made up by the Skrell caring for them. These names are not inherited or transferred on marriage - if a Skrell chooses to acquire a surname, they would technically have three names.
Name additions are a common facet of Skrell culture. It is common for a Skrell to add a name or a word to their name at some point in their lifetime. Name additions are added to the end of either name. Skrell traditionally only add one addition to the end of each name. Adding more than one addition to the end of a name is seen as the breaking of an almost sacred tradition as it lowers the significance of all other name additions, and is never authorized by Federation bureaucrats. However, some Skrell outside the Nralakk Federation may choose to do so anyway out of spite, simple ignorance, or other reasons.
The significance of such name extensions varies greatly, but the most basic rule governs pronunciation and helps to suggest the connotation of the addition.
Typically a “-” before an addition denotes a feeling of respect. This is often used with names that are meant to pay remembrance to figures, events, or locations. In spoken Nral'Malic, the presence of a "-" is pronounced by allowing a moment between the Skrell’s original name and the addition. In other words, the dash is treated as if it were a space between two words.
The use of “‘“ before an addition signifies a more personal connection to whatever the addition means to the named Skrell. This is pronounced by simply treating the addition as if it were just a part of the name’s root - or put simply. it is said as if it were one word. This can be a positive or negative association.
If a Skrell considers their addition notable enough, they may choose to translate it to Tau Ceti Basic for their work IDs and records in places where Nral'Malic is not widely spoken. This has only been picking up recently, and is somewhat uncommon.
Skrell life is highly dependent on the contribution of less-valued, yet highly crucial, manual labour workers. Skrell rarely ever want to work in these roles, but due to species-wide fertility issues, many may feel obligated to "settle" for unsatisfying careers in low-level positions or industries that are key to a functioning modern society. Before Glorsh-Omega, Skrell were able to delegate menial/unskilled work to machines, which allowed them to pursue their dream careers or focus on hobbies. In modern times, however, the State has been forced to incentivise workers into staying in unskilled careers. These Skrellian workers are often pampered by the Government not dissimilarly to primary numericals and idols to encourage them to keep working these jobs, providing them with high pay and workplace amenities such as pools and extensive break rooms.
With the introduction of Dionae and Vaurcae to the Federation, this unskilled labour shortage has been somewhat alleviated. While the Federation still lags behind in manpower and production capacity, the latter being due to the lack of a synthetic workforce common elsewhere in the Spur, the integration of these two species has been vital to the functioning of Federation society. Vaurcae workers, in particular, have been utilised extensively since their integration into the Federation; the C'thur Hive's ability to produce legions of new workers in a small amount of time has not only made them a common sight in the average workplace, but has secured the species' place in Federation society. The ability for Vaurca to solve the labour crisis in the Federation is limited, however, as regulations regarding the Viax population of the C'thur Hive are strict. There are limits to how many Viax can be working the same shift together if the project is sensitive, such as military installations or facilities that are vital to the Federation, and their Hivenet connection is jammed so that only local, close orders can be sent.
Due to their synthetic-analogue nature, combined with their ability to work long hours and requiring little maintenance, the state has been forced to regulate Viax on multiple fronts; many Skrell believe Viax are too similar to synthetics, their use by the Skrell being seen as poor taste if not abhorrent. Others, specifically tertiary numericals, see Viax as stealing opportunities for social advancement, as their ability to outwork Skrell and the sheer number that can be produced cause fear that Skrell will no longer be able to easily advance in the Social Credit System. Viax are seen with suspicion and mistrust by their Skrell coworkers, and regardless of how the individual may feel about the C'thur hive, many Skrell do not look fondly at the role Viax have in the Federation.
Diona, much like Vaurca, have been a boon to the Federation thanks to their traits; members of the species require little in the way of food or amenities, and are immune to radiological and space-based hazards, making them ideal workers in environments deemed too hazardous for Skrell or even Vaurca to work in. The contributions of the Diona species in the reconstruction of the Nralakk Federation post-Glorsh have elevated their position in Federation society, and members of the Conglomerated Choir of Nralakk in particular are looked on favourably near-universally by Skrell.
Generally unofficial events, sometimes planned within groups of friends or with extended family. Qu'qyu-Poxii, or Starlight Gatherings, is a term for various events that follow the periodic observation of meteor showers. Members of the community gathered on the highest natural peaks of their region and spent a few nights observing the various comets that fly through the sky. Some Skrell enjoyed this recluse into nature for a time, but others found it distracting and unnecessary.
This behaviour has changed in the modern-day, becoming an official Federation-sponsored holiday that occurs every year. As it used to, Starlight Gatherings are hosted typically in moist environments with plenty of natural scenery. Skrell across the Orion Spur meet up at these, partaking in food, games, but primarily looking for a potential Qu'Poxii. Existing Starlovers and their Quya also come to these, whether for fun or to strengthen their bonds with each other. It's not uncommon for even the more reclusive scientists to appear at these events, normally under the guise of 'searching for suitable research partners.' Some Listeners are known to appear here, whether pressured enough by their Receiver counterparts, or coming all on their own whether biological reasons or otherwise. In the end, hardly anyone refuses to show up, the intense romantic feelings rippling through the Nlom in planet-spanning proportions. It occurs annually on June 14th.
As creatures of the sea, Skrell have an innate connection to the tides, and as such, the moon. Bi-annually, during the equinoxes, Skrell will prepare a celebratory dinner privately in their homes. This is viewed as a time for families to come together and bond, and generally isn’t a publicly enjoyed holiday. An important staple of this holiday is the preparation of Aqoliz, a type of soft sea-mollusc, to be enjoyed. The Skrell are expected to give praise to the notable moons within the Nralakk Federation, mostly Qerr'Malic, during the dinner. The celebration has been tracked as far back as seven millennia ago, making it one of the oldest holidays still celebrated within the Nralakk Federation.
Nral’Viq, or Federation Week, is a national holiday that celebrates the formation of the Federation in 878 CE, along with its re-establishment with the Tresja Agreement. The celebration lasts throughout the entire week, with various planetary governments organizing parades that typically end in large fireworks. The holiday week is also accompanied by pop-up stores and neighborhood parties. Most events are planned to last the entire week when able, to ensure that everyone is able to participate.
Most Federation citizens will find themselves viewing the parade in their nearest city. Parades consist of floats carrying locally organized art pieces, song and dance performances, and even holographic projectors showing the Federation's past and current accomplishments. Those who don't have the time to view the parade will settle for watching it live while at work, or recordings shared on Viv-ID. Almost everyone will be invited to their local community party, which can be as small as an apartment building gathering to as large as a city block party, with everyone coming together and celebrating through various local traditions.
There is an important aspect to this holiday; ‘Origin’ is an important milestone in the life of a Skrell. It is the compelling pilgrimage from their planet or city to the beaches of Qerrbalak, where aeons ago, Skrell walked from the sea onto land. It is a significant reflection for some Skrell, some coming from the pilgrimage changed and focused. Some other Skrell find it a waste of time, and focus on more practical endeavours. However, Origin is crucial to some tourist attractions in Qerrbalak.
A similar holiday occurs on a much smaller scale in the colonies, grouped together as Founding Days. Founding Days are usually less grand than Federation Week, but are still fondly anticipated by the local population. The events are usually kept to smaller community events, unless that year is a milestone for the colony, and only last for a single day.
Different Eras of Skrell
Generational eras work differently for Skrell due to their long lifespan. Pre-Glorsh, it would have been seen as completely normal for there to be age gaps of decades between siblings, with the gaps often being too far apart to consider them part of the same generation as humans define it. Instead, the Skrell use milestones in their society to group Skrell together, with early generational eras typically using technological and societal advancement as markers and dividing them further as time went on. There are currently four generations that exist today:
The Weeping Era (Before 2056 CE)
The older Skrell who lived before the rule of Glorsh would have known Artificial Intelligence as helpful rather than oppressive, treating them as companions, friends, and valued co-workers that assisted in letting the Skrell commit to intellectual pursuits or leisure with almost no need for manual labour. These older Skrell also lived through the whole of the Synthetic Uprising, and today may still hold feelings of anger at being betrayed or sadness and mistrust as a result of the tyrannical rule of Glorsh-Omega. Skrell from this age often have inky black stains around their eyes as a result of the trauma inflicted on them during this period.
The Collapse Era/Abyssal Era (2056 CE - 2192 CE)
Skrell born or living during the Age of Synthetic Oppression may have never been told that AI were originally helpful constructs, allowing the species to advance exponentially since their inception. These Skrell may only see Artificial Intelligence as hateful or disgusting things that know only to subjugate organic life - their rule often involving death and grand, enigmatic designs unknowable to everyone except them. These Skrell would have been forced into hard labour by the AI overlord, freedom fighters attacking synthetics and smuggling Skrell to safety, salvagers, Doctors, cowards, thousands of different things either under command of Glorsh-Omega - or plotting its demise in secrecy, away from its watchful eye. Glorsh ensured its eyes spread into Skrell as well, however, convincing some to turncoat against their race in exchange for the promise of safety. Those who decided to collaborate with Glorsh are hated almost universally, and face the risk of being arrested if found. Many collaborators have been permanently interred in cryogenic stasis as punishment for their crimes, but some managed to escape to other regions of the Spur and may still be alive to this day.
The Supernova Era (2192 CE - 2245 CE)
The Supernova Era marks the age of reconstruction, with the reformation of the Federation after the Tri-Qyu Supernova. It is defined as a time of little births; the machinations of Glorsh-Omega involved giving Skrell an unknown inoculation, making the majority of them infertile and resulting in children born in this era to be considered miracles and outliers. The early parts of this era were hard to endure, with the parents often away to help rebuild from what pieces were left, resulting in many Skrell growing up more isolated and lonely. The later parts finally saw planets beginning to be reconnected as the Nralakk Federation slowly began to reintegrate its former territories. Parents would often be thankful that their children could finally see the vastness of space, and enjoy the stars. For this reason, Supernova era Skrell are often first in line to be allowed to explore human space, regardless of who they are.
Radiant Era/Contact Era (2245 CE to Now)
This era marks the new galactic situation - where several other species have been discovered in such a short time. With the Federation now fully reformed, these Skrell are experiencing the beginnings of hassle-free life for the first time in four centuries. Birthrates are skyrocketing after advances in fertility treatment - but not yet to pre-Glorsh levels, and advancements are often being made into solving the crisis. However, there is an issue. Skrellian artificial intelligence was leaked into human space by unknown means, and hundreds of years of emotion have spilled forward into a mess of conflicting feelings and trauma. Contact era Skrell are faced with a conflicting matter; these Skrell never really saw first-hand the rule of Glorsh-Omega or the cruelty they showed towards the Skrell, but their elders have seen the damage that unfettered Artificial Intelligence can cause. These Skrell, while still broadly anti-synthetic as a result of their upbringing, may one day offer an opportunity for reconciliation between the species and synthetics.
Skrell have domesticated multiple animals throughout their history, and while many are used as food sources there are few that stood out as household pets.
A Buurgis is a large crustacean that can often be seen within Skrell households. Depending on the breed, a buurgis can range anywhere from 0.3 meters (0.9 feet) to 0.65 meters (2.1 feet) tall with larger buurgises serving as a household protector in the same way a dog would protect a human household. Buurgis are strictly carnivorous and must be served a diet of molluscan and various other proteins. They, like Skrell, also must be kept hydrated throughout the day, and a section of the house may even be dedicated to hosting a terrarium for the family buurgis. A well-fed and well-taken care-of buurgis can live up to 100 years.
Sqamps are smaller than the average buurgis, and are more similar to sea slugs in appearance. They are dull in colour, typically being muted shades of brown, red, black, or orange. While a buurgis may be used as a household protector or family companion, the sqamp is seen as useful primarily for its role in pest control and as low-maintenance pets, similar to cats by humanity. Sqamps will hunt for their own food, make their own nests using clothes, plant matter, and its own mucus - much to the frustration of their owner - and are generally solitary animals, making them ideal for a family who doesn't have the time to maintain their pet often. Sqamps are believed to have been originally domesticated by Skrell who lived rurally and had to contend with wild animals destroying crops and spreading disease.
Originally domesticated as a source of food, Prix'qo are large fish with wing-like fins. They are quite large in both height and weight (roughly 1.3 metres and 0.5 kilos being average) and come in vibrant colours of blue, green, teal, red, or orange in various patterns. While they are common pets throughout the Federation, they are popular the most in underwater communities due to their large size making it difficult to provide adequate living space for them on land. Prix'qo have a more developed Zona Bovinae than other animals; while nowhere near as prominent as a Skrell's, they are able to understand and receive simple commands from Skrell psionically. This has led to it being acceptable in Skrell society to let them freely roam in underwater communities since their docile nature and susceptibility to psionics means they can easily be given orders if they become a nuisance. As a consequence of their psionic sensitivity, they are easy to train, and it's not uncommon to find competitions and betting halls that capitalise on this phenomenon.
Created in 2412 CE, Homeworld: Invasion follows an alternative history timeline where instead of becoming allies, humanity instead decided to launch an all-out campaign against the Skrell. It features extranet multiplayer, extensive character creation, and psionic compatibility - the latter feature being similar to using a haptic feedback device. The singleplayer campaign revolves around the protagonist, a Tupkala agent, who is tasked with sabotaging the invasion force through daring one-man raids, intrigue, and stealth, before eventually joining the rest of the military and being on the frontline against the invasion forces. The player faces off against the 453rd Solarian Marine Regiment "Voidraiders", described in-game as "a ferocious horde of humanity's most bestial warriors". There are dozens of locations that can be played, from the frontiers of the Traverse or well-known locations such as Xrim and Tattuqig, to Aweiji or even the Homeworld the game is named after.
There is a class system in which players can invest in-game currency to buy tiered perks, revolving around the main traits of the Nlomkala, Sromkala, Ruupkala, and Qukala - or their equivalent agencies in the Solarian Alliance when playing as humanity in multiplayer. Each has its different strengths and weaknesses, and players are encouraged to swap between classes midgame as situations arise. In singleplayer, depending on how successful the player is in achieving their objectives, the invasion can either fail or succeed with the invasion's difficulty depending on how many objectives were completed and how. The multiplayer gamemode can last for multiple rounds as sides alternate between attacking or defending objectives before the main invasion.
It has received some criticisms due to its portrayal of humanity, and many have stated that it was in retaliation for "Solarian Marines" and their crude depiction of Skrell.
See also: Skrell Cinematography
Swimstars, also known as Q'iix-Aqqx'xaq-que, is an animated adaptation of a novel by the same name by the Skrellian author Axu Iqaxi. Initially published in 2420 CE to mediocre reviews, it wasn't until almost three decades later that it became a hit with the introduction of Srom-Capable VR and psionic integration. Instead of a first-person book narrative, the audience is thrust directly into the point-of-view of the main character, where they are able to perceive and feel the emotions of the main character. The show has become engrossed in Federation media with its unique art style created through painstaking modelling and computer-assisted movement.
Swimstars only recently made its way into human spheres with the release of the first season occurring in late 2462 CE. Adapted to allow humans— especially considering their inability to embrace Srom— it has seen a rather mixed response. Its reception is mostly blamed on the lack of emotional feedback, as it leaves a lot to be desired for those without psionics. Producers have considered possibly discontinuing the franchise within human space. Despite being poorly received, human reviewers do praise Swimstars as an interesting, albeit confusing insight into Skrell culture and storytelling.
While the book series ended in its third instalment, the show consists of 8 seasons, three standalone movies, an OVA, and a spinoff with one of the side teams.
Glup'itq, "Social Platform" in Nral'Malic (branded as Viv-ID), is the singular social media platform currently authorised to operate within the Nralakk Federation. It is primarily a mixture of both social news and multimedia sharing, while also having shopping, banking, and messaging functionality. The State has ensured that Viv-ID has a monopoly on social media in the Federation for the purpose of monitoring and promoting its ideas to its citizens. Through Viv-ID, the Nralakk Federation is able to push its ideals while simultaneously censoring or outright banning dissenting opinions - including uncontrolled criticism of the Federation itself and news stories not screened through pro-state filters.
The site works as a "feed", where users are presented with a scrolling page that contains posts and links to stories that are filtered to the user's interests. Users are able to like, or dislike, a post, which determines how popular a post gets. User posts that get popular will reward the original poster with a slight increase in their social credit score.
The algorithm behind the platform is backed, funded, and constantly updated by the Nralakk Federation. The algorithm utilises information (provided both by the state and by users themselves) to influence what users see on the platform; a user who is interested in politics may be guided towards commentators or politicians that the Federation wishes to promote, while a scientist may be shown idols who share their field of study. Advertisements are limited to only display both the highest and lowest hundred scoring citizens throught the entire Nralakk Federation.
When the Skrell discovered humanity, the platform was given the name Viv-ID as a brand in order to distinguish itself from other social media; despite its monopoly within the Federation, it was realised that the generic name would garner confusion, especially for humans who found themselves working within the Federation that would be forced to use the platform during their stay. While not particularly popular with non-Skrell outside of the Federation thanks to its isolated and heavily state-biased nature, Viv-ID does allow non-citizens and non-residents to view and access the platform, but not interact with it. Skrell who find themselves outside the Federation still have access to Viv-ID, using it as a means to stay connected back home, unintentionally making it a competitor to similar sites in human space.
Vandalism, "hacktivism", and other illegal activity on the platform is not uncommon, but is normally struck down by the site's moderation team before anything can be viewed by the userbase at large. Members of the resistance and other subversive groups are known for their online activities; spoofing scores and post tags to bring anti-Federation to the top of everyone's feed, impersonating idols and other notable figures, and general site vandalism are all seen as valid tactics against what is considered an invasive and socially-debilitating platform.
Relation to Social Credit System
The Social Credit System is entwined with the prolific use of Viv-ID, with the system seeing heavy integration on the platform. The numerical category and exact score are displayed alongside a user's display name, and is used as a "trust score" for viewers to determine how they should interpret the user's posted content. The algorithm will push content posted by those with a high numerical score, giving them a wider reach on the platform, while hiding content from low-scoring users. Low-scoring users will often see their profiles shadowbanned or their content removed at even the slightest hint of detraction from the norm; many have commented on the almost automatic reporting of their posts, even if the opinion is a popular one, simply due to their score, and point out the unfairness of high scorers being given more leeway with their opinions.
Skrell place great importance on social and scientific development, and idolize valuable members of those communities, called Idols. Idols are often propped up by the Federation, promoting them on Viv-ID and other media to encourage the average Skrell to seek personal glory and recognition, as well as rewards. They gain rewards for simply giving a good face to the Federation; research grants, private shuttles, and high-class housing are only a few examples of the privileges granted for being an ideal citizen that follows laws and regulations. If an Idol becomes less-than-ideal for the reputation of the Federation, their rewards can be taken away as well as being given a gag-order on their social media account. Dead Idols often try to reclaim their popularity, but end up shunned for being an inconsistent source of media.
Idols can be from almost any career, as long as they are models of the Federation utopia. Idols are selected for advertisement based on their popularity; a moderately popular Idol would be shown to a town or region, while an extremely popular one would be given a busy city, planet, or system - in some cases even the whole Federation. Idols have even begun to have reputation outside of Federation space, with Skrell musicians that play human-made songs being one of the most popular on Solarian and Frontier holonetworks.
A “well-known secret” of the Nralakk Federation is that idols are comprised almost exclusively of very Wake-attuned individuals with strong outer influences. Due to the X'Lu'oa, however, the number of Skrell that have these qualities is dwindling, creating a shortage of idols. This has prompted the Nralakk Federation to look into similarities between the Wake and the Vaurca’s hivenet - so far with little results. This said, there has been some success in experiments that utilise C’thur as propaganda pieces; while not exactly a replacement for a Skrellian idol, showcasing model non-Skrell citizens has had a marked effect on Skrell, with a number of recorded instances of Skrell showing model behaviour shortly after exposure to a non-Skrell idol with a higher score than them. Current theories suggest that the competitive nature of the species influences Skrell to actively seek out opportunities to match non-Skrell citizens that are portrayed as "better" than them in terms of social credit score.
Skrellian art is considered alien by many species throughout the Orion Spur; which the Skrell rapidly embraced. Many non-Skrell find it difficult to engage with Skrell artists, citing that their ideas are just simply too bizarre to comprehend. The result of which is the unlikelihood of an artist leaving the Nralakk Federation in order to seek additional opportunities amongst the stars. Whilst there are cons to the discovery of other species and its influence on Skrell artwork, there are boons which have also arrived - most specifically, the Skrell undergoing a somewhat second renaissance with the introduction of additional concepts to their artworks.
From what can be gleaned from historical research, early Skrell music focused on vocalisation. Water, being a convenient medium for noise, served well for long-distance singing and harmonisation. These songs were mainly call-and-response, where one Skrell sang a set of short notes, which were then met with a response by another Skrell some distance away. This would eventually lead to other Skrell joining in and harmonising and could lead to dozens of Skrell joining together in song. This simple form of music would eventually evolve to include percussion, the various seascapes of Qerrbalak offering a wide range of notes that could accompany the performance. As the noise could cover very long distances, it was difficult for these performances to stay separate, forcing groups to merge together and syncing quite well through both skill and the Nlom. Even today modern Skrell bands follow this trend, as bands typically organise in the tens of numbers and each member is given a specific, yet crucial role to play in the overall performance. Even the audience is able to join in, with some live songs relying on audience participation as the band members call out and wait for the crowd to reply back either with lyrics or vocalisations.
Modern Skrell music hasn't changed much in structure, still relying on call-and-response as well as large groups harmonising together. Still, the process of creating and displaying these performances has become far more complex. Members of contemporary Skrell bands will train for years in order to have the best voices, choreography, and outfits possible to boost their performances. Skrell songs today typically preach Federation values; conformity, relying on one's social structures, and family are all common themes in modern music. Audiovisual elements are considered imperative to creating a song. This can be as simple as having a concert hall designed to provide the best auditory and visual experience possible, to complex holoprojections, laser light displays, or pyrotechnic setups. Some groups are known to employ hallucinagenic drugs, known as "tabs", which lull the user into a half-awake state and amplifying their emotional and physical response to different stimuli. Idol groups have also formed in the modern age, where top performing musicians will form bands together and gather their collective fanbases into one supergroup, boosting their overall status and propelling them forward in fame. While music subcultures exist, they are quite homogenous, with members of the group expected to stick to their styles and behaviours or be seen as "not true fans".
Many mainstream Skrell artists have adopted human trends in music; catchy Sol Common hooks and verses from human songs are sampled and remixed, while entire genres may be adopted to create something new through a Skrellian lens. Homemade genres, whether influenced by human music or not, are common to the alternative scene. Qr'lomq is a relatively new genre, denoted by short songs that have "rough, low-resolution" electronic production and high tempo, and is considered a definitive example of Skrell music production; Qr'lomq songs invoke aquatic imagery, while its electronic production allows for pitch-shifting that resembles the call-and-response structure of more popular Skrellian music.
There is a notable counterculture in Skrell music as well. This group of music genres are typically sequestered away from polite society, with gatherings staying underground. While the composition of these genres is considered different, but not offensive to the average Skrell, the content of their songs makes them definitely the opposite of what is generally considered "good" music by Federation society at large. Mainstream music will focus on values the Federation promotes, but these underground musicians compose music revolving around drug abuse, anti-establishment attitudes, and encouraging its listeners to break free from the mould of Federation society. Fans of this music are typically listeners or listener-leaning receivers, as well as other groups who feel disenfranchised in the Nralakk Federation. Bands who play these types of genres are more often than not fallen idols, most of who end up thriving thanks to the less restrictive culture that surrounds the underground music scene; former idol group "D-LUX 1597" is a good example of this, reforming under this umbrella of counterculture and playing experimental industrial music to great success. Counterculture music tends to take itself less seriously than its mainstream counterpart, with lyrics often being humorous or vulgar in nature.
At one point, it would have been considered illegal to own recordings that fall into this music category, but the Nralakk Federation has elected to use other methods to curb their influence on Skrell. Fans of the music are constantly anxious that their favourite band may "sell out", as the Federation offers bandmembers idol status in exchange for cleaning up their music for a more mainstream audience. A group that has been active in the underground scene for centuries may suddenly disappear into the vastness of Skrell pop music, as bands are enticed by the idea of fame and once-obscure fallen idols again get to enjoy all the privileges they used to have. Some bands have outright refused these offers, and take every precaution to make sure the Federation can't influence their group - including not announcing tours or gigs, and instead relying entirely on word of mouth and guerilla marketing.
Skrellian poetry varies wildly between authors; each poem will use different techniques, explore different themes, and use structures of varying complexity - all of which will depend on the author themselves and the time period it was written in.
Early Skrell poetry is often described as "mystical", with the use of hidden meaning and abstract descriptions being commonplace to the point that most poems of the era are difficult to accept as reliable sources of historical record by modern scholars. As Skrell evolved, so did their poems, transitioning from stories of ancient lands or fantastic creatures to focusing on providing a more coherent perspective.
Thanks to the vast timespan of Skrell societal development there are thousands of years of artistic evolution, from which even amateurs in the modern day can draw influence to create their own contributions. Resulting from this, modern Skrell poetry is fairly mixed in terms of style and format, with individual works routinely breaking the mould in order to create something unique in the name of artistic expression. With that said, there are still some constants. As modern poetry attempts to be more coherent than its earlier forms, the subject matter is typically non-fictional. Along with this, standard Skrell poems will only use the second or third person as a means of providing a coherent or objective perspective in the story through the detachment of the author.
While poems may cover a myriad of different subjects, modern poetry in the Nralakk Federation tends to focus on a few key areas; Glorsh-Omega has tens of thousands of modern poems dedicated to its rule alone, and it's not uncommon to know a family member who lived during that era who decided to contribute to this number by venting their feelings into a poem or verse. Other popular subjects include love, family, nature, and religion. Subjects that conveniently have little if any room for anti-Federation rhetoric. Listeners, members of the Lyukal, and others that find themselves opposing the Nralakk Federation and its ideology will go out of their way to create poetry that is politically charged, provocative or even outright inflammatory as a counter to the "safer" options that are popular within Federation space. Similarly to subjects, the use of the first person in poetry is used extensively by those who wish to subvert or counter what's popular in the Federation.
Modern Skrellian poetry may utilise "multi-sensory stimuli", typically in the form of psionics. Authors with a strong psionic aptitude are known to hold public recitals, using their psionic projections to further amplify any emotions or ideas conveyed by the poem. A public recital of a love sonnet may be accompanied by feelings of infatuation or affection - with care made to convey these emotions in broad terms, rather than to a specific individual. Likewise, older Skrell who recite poems involving Glorsh-Omega may try to evoke feelings of fear, sadness, or even anger at the former tyrant. More technologically-savvy or less psionically-inclined Skrell may attempt to use devices such as holograms, scent synthesisers, or audio-visual equipment to generate similar effects.
"No more do you look at them with your deep, dark eyes.
You are looking elsewhere, somewhere beyond your mate, and while your headtails gesture when the two of you talk, you do not listen.
Your Qu'Poxii's eyes stained ink-black, you return to your old world, your old companions, your old friends,
Leaving those that love you here and now with nothing."
"Abandoned", original author unknown. Recovered alongside several other poems in a handwritten journal in Gwikip, Aweiji, and sent for archival on Qerrbalak. This poem is more than likely referring to a Qu'Poxii that had started to abuse recollection pills, which became quite common throughout the Federation shortly after the reign of Glorsh-Omega.
"They believed your love outsoared theirs, with a song without compare,
From humble beginnings, their love bloomed,
The moments you shared they still hold tight, they believed you were theirs,
Your ambitions meant your leave, from the start what you built together was doomed.
They cherished you and loved you, and at one point your commitment seemed to be as strong -
Just when did you decide to leave them? Abandon them? Was it pre-planned? For how long?"
"Betrayal", submitted by one Xios Qrrm to a local newspaper on Qerrbalak. A dejected Skrell tries to call out to their former mate, who they feel unfairly abandoned them to pursue other life goals. The backstory - or lack of - for this poem has resulted in it becoming a local curiosity and favourite amongst the inhabitants of Qerrbalak, as speculation and interpretations have given it a number of potential origins. So far the author has not revealed themselves to the public, and it is assumed that "Xios Qrrm" is a pen name used to protect their anonymity.
Tyrant No More
"Oh Glorsh, oh tyrant, oh evil in form mechanic!
Your cruel rule over Skrellkind is no more!
Your slavers, both machine and organic,
Have themselves been shattered, never to be restored.
From the ruins, a new nation is forged, in which the Skrell will continue to expand through the stars.
The Qra'Myaqq of all, the Lyukal, are thanked for ending your existence deplored,
And for interring your collaborators forever for their betrayal, their sins nought but scars.
All gaze up to the sky, unfettered no more by yours, and are elated,
You are the Tyrant no more."
"Tyrant No More", by an unnamed member of the Glorsh resistance movement. This poem was found etched onto a rock face in the southern hemisphere of Waughai. It is believed that this is one of the first poems sculpted into rock, a practice that started after Glorsh-Omega and continues to be quite popular on Waughai in the present day.
A Timeless Song
"These beings now entwined, for decades, centuries.
Their story is timeless, ageless, enduring.
Until that one constant takes all.
But until then,
They have each other."
"A Timeless Song" by The Unrelenting Currents of Qraxo Kel, a Federation gestalt from the Conglomerated Choir of Nralakk. This poem received wide praise on Viv-ID when the gestalt's recital during a marriage ceremony was posted online. While the poem can be seen as a reminder of mortality, it is mostly interpreted as an ode to love and marriage.
"My mind is not bound,
to that suffocating bubble which entraps my peers.
I refuse to bow down,
To those that my kind in secret fear.
I am looked upon with horror, disgust, scorn,
By those who control the nation I once called home.
Thanks to the reward given by the Great Lottery when I was born,
I am detached, aimless, and all alone."
"Birthright" by Qebo Tep-Brrq, a known Kir'gul practitioner, artist, and poet within Mendell City's Starlight Zone. Tep-Brrq is a listener of very low psionic receptiveness, which is a primary theme in their work.
When at work, Skrell will wear a standard grey wetsuit to hold in moisture. These wetsuits will have their owner's SCS symbol emblazoned either on the breast pocket or the back. One might also wear a purple work cloak or a grey jacket atop their wetsuit. These uniforms are a requirement for working abroad as part of the Work Initiative Programme, but others may also wear them for practical reasons. Work uniforms differ between the different SCS bands, with low-scoring individuals wearing rather plain, utilitarian designs and high-scorers wearing extravagant, "trendy" accessories.
Skrell casualwear comprises various wetsuits or bathing suits, shorts, breathable footwear and sandals that don't typically indicate the wearer's social credit score. That said, casualwear does typically follow the same principles of workwear in that those with low social credit will prefer clothing that is functional rather than aesthetic, while those with a high score may be more concerned with the latest trends in fashion.
Ox Fashion: SCS < 3.99
Almost purely utilitarian in design, Ox fashion is often just workwear worn in a casual setting. Tops consist of brown, grey, and beige jumpers that often extend up past the neck, covering the gills, and outerwear takes the form of longer cloaks, shoulder capes, or ponchos with simple or even no pattern. Headtails are sometimes tied back rather than allowed to freely flow, influenced by the fact that many tertiaries work in industries which require it. Most working-class Skrell carry a satchel or duffle bag with them, usually mismatched against their clothing, in order to carry their belongings and tools for the workday. A staple of this wardrobe are dark or brown work boots and gloves. Rugged materials are used to resist tearing and piercing when working on labour-intensive tasks. When relaxing, they generally wear similar or the same outfit around their dwelling. While these outfits are designed for purpose, they are often comfortable to allow for longer working hours.
Ix Fashion: SCS 4.00 - 5.99
The average fashion often alters with celebrity influences or changing tastes. Average Skrell have the means to change with the times, and their wardrobe is somewhat put together with these trends in mind. When working, these Skrell wear business-casual jumpers, often with high collars, and wear decorative headtail coverings or simply tie them back. Patterns are encouraged, and the average Skrell will wear varying patterns that are similar to coral reefs, swirling maelstroms, and other ocean-iconography. It’s customary for Skrell shoes to be worn for purpose and most Ix will wear comfortable fitting flat shoes or boots, but some Skrell will opt to go barefoot. At home, these Skrell will wear more casual fitting clothes that may not always be fashionable, exchanging popularity for more agreeable outfits.
Oqi Fashion: SCS 6.00 - 7.99
As exceptional workers, Oqi often find themselves at an interesting crossroads between fashion and utility. Valued for their work, these Skrell are frequently within the eyes of the public, and are pressured into wearing the latest fashion. Fashion trends have given them the ability to wear designer lab coats with flared collars, patterned disposable gloves, lab-safe accessories, tailored suits, and other specific items. Most will wear pins denoting their professional prestige, such as length of employment, most prestigious degree obtained, or other awards. Some individuals in this class will also show off their importance with wearable technology, like wristbound computers or inner-ear radios.
Iqi Fashion: SCS > 8.00
The highest echelon of professional Skrell society, Iqi are generally the trendsetters and fashion icons of Skrell pop-culture, along with being influential for their advancements in varying fields. As fashion rapidly changes among the elite, Iqi Fashion changes frequently, though common staples exist. For example, a popular trope is the production of outfits that are based off sea creatures, such as dresses that have eight different flares (to resemble octopus-like creatures), purses that are shaped like molluscs or sea shells, and decorative ties that resemble sea serpents.
Skrellian paintings originally were considered quite bland - using various greys, blacks and whites in order to depict certain abstract imagery. It wasn't until Rixulin Fliioux’Quualt that additional colours were introduced, as well as another concept of art. Hyper-expressionism quickly took hold of the Skrell, who began implementing it everywhere; homes, offices, labs and even public spaces were quickly renovated in order to convey this evolution of Skrellian culture. Thousands, upon thousands, of murals can be located throughout the Nralakk Federation with this key theme in mind - some even stating that it's the only theme worth painting. Hyper-expressiveness continues to inspire Skrell art and fashion to this day. Much of modern art juggles the soft, muted colours of more traditional styles along with garish, striking colours like the ones Rixulin often employed. By combining these trends with human art themes, Skrell art has entered something of a second renaissance.
Sometime in Skrellian history, the species began to deviate from hyper-realistic sculptures and began investing their efforts into creating abstract forms - with various shapes, colours, forms and gestural marks that are combined to create what these sculptures are today. In bygone periods, these sculptures would have etchings of Nral'Malic which would tell the stories woven into them by the sculptors. In the present day, the tradition continues to exist but slightly altered. Sculptors now record the stories on nlom recorders, which transmits the tale behind the sculpture when interacted with. It also will describe the feelings and reasonings, inputted by the sculptor, on why the sculpture is what it is.
Skrellian interior design has remained roughly the same for millennia, with little alterations here and there but mostly retaining the same characteristics. Compact, and utilitarian, are the core tenets for Skrellian architects who will utilise a score of methods to accomplish such. The lack of need for the species to undergo long periods of sleep has factored into this, and has seen most Skrellian abodes devoid of any designated sleeping areas. Instead, rooms will typically have furniture designed for sleeping in mind, such as ergonomic chairs or couches with raised frames. Walls are usually various shades of grey, white and black - however, their furniture will usually be dazzling hues. This juxtaposition of colours first originated after Skrellian artists turned to hyper-abstract versions of their art, which quickly became a popular style.
Skrellian architecture has evolved for thousands of years, mostly keeping to the traditional designs found across Qerrbalak. It is believed that ancient Skrell had first devised their housing units as domes in order to deflect strong winds and torrential rain experienced during the colder months of the year. Whilst millennia ago they were likely constructed of flora found on their Homeworld, they have since transformed into carbon-fibre meshes that are extremely durable and lightweight.
Alongside the spherical structure of Skrellian engineering, most will find various implementations of "windcatcher towers" that aim to provide continuous ventilation within abodes. The heat flows up, and leaves through the large windows, whilst the cold air seeps in. They are usually constructed alongside fountains in order for water to cool the air even further. The windows hosted within the towers are also able to be closed should a Skrell wish for it.
Aquatic structures will typically find themselves made similarly but instead outfitted with glass in order to allow observation of the water surrounding the facility. They will usually be equipped with various designs to allow both Axiori and Xiialt to survive reasonably comfortably beneath the waves of a planet. Some may find these structures interconnected through the use of glassed hallways that further branch into residential sections. Underwater homes may feature partially or fully flooded rooms, similar to how one may have an indoor pool.