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Atrijans are a race of octopus-like aliens from the planet Malak. They have the rare trait of being constantly riding an animal to move.
A sentient species indigenous to Malak, the atrijans are a species with a lot of resemblances to Earth's octopodes, having evolved from a creature not too different from said mollusk. Unlike the octopus, however, they are land vertebrates, and have a more elongated shape (see below). On their own they're almost unable to move, being only able to crawl, and only small dustances before tiring. However, they compensate for that by being excellent riders, especially of the ganets, which has been used as their ride for hundreds of thousands of year througth their evolution, and creating a symbiotic relationship between them. It's very unlikely to find an Atrijan without a ganet around, however, they can also ride other animals (especially on war times). Due to this, they have high reflexes and good distance perception. They are in a similar intellectual level to humans, but, on average, they are less analytic and logical and more creative and intuitive.
They have a good long range sight, but it's weaker in close range.
They live mainly on their homeplanet of Malak, where they live in nomadic tribes, however some of them have been captured by space pirates, being used as battle tralls, their skill and brutality being valued in raids. The tribes are extremely xenophobic (but not isolationist) towards eachother, and wage war between themselves on a regular basis, atrijans practice slavery and cannibalism on the people they conquer.
They reproduce by laying small eggs, which are fertilized externally on a body of water. This process is usually done by the whole tribe, and handled by the clergy (especially if the tribe's religion has a fertility god in it). Due to this, it's almost impossible to determine the parents of a particular atrijan, which makes the existence of nobility rigths by birth impossible. Instead, their society is highly meritocratic, with only the stronger and more cunning (and luckier) individual being chieftains. It's also a very common occurence to have a strong warrior or good ruler being declared a "god's children", since it's hard to prove otherwise.
Atrijan politics tend to be very descentralized due to the nature of their culture, however they have a chieftain, and they also see the chieftain's advisors and military and religious leaders as authority figures to some degree. Most of the tribes are independent, however in some cases a tribe can subjugate others, in which case the chieftain of that tribe is named king, and the chieftains of the subjugated tribes become vassals of the king (although most of the time preserving a high degree of autonomy). Atrijans are ussually loyal to their chieftain or king, as long as he doesn't show signs of weakness or too much greed. The same applies to their space counterparts.
Due to their biology, atrijans always ride to battle. Most of the time they ride a ganet, however in some cases trained warriors can ride more ferocious animals. They prefer to use ligth skirmishers to battle (armed with bows and javelins mainly, although crossbows and even naphta throwers have made appearences in the battlefield), with lancers wearing medium armor and heavily trained and armored knights, armed with their weapon of choice. Most of the tribes also adopted the use of bolas, which are very effective against ganets.
Ganet riders also put a ring made of a narcotic weed in the tusks of their ganets, which are turned on when they become uneasy.
Space battle tralls also ride ganets, but have modern armor capable of defending against most light weapons, and have advanced rifles and rocket launchers. They also pilot very light vehicles and ships, which are often accompanied by a heavier one from their overlords to give them the maximum effect.