The Alliance; an interesting subject that. Unruly beyond belief and yet still quite powerful and long-lasting. Just think of what they could accomplish if they embraced the Sacred Rules in their entirety. Even merely learning the Standard Greeting Upon Meeting a New Foe/Friend #13 might be a good start.
I am giddy at the prospect of getting my hands on some of their histories. Most have been warlike for so long that there must be knowledge of the war arts that we can add to the Ashanti Rules of Battle.
Their lack of sophistication in communication is becoming quite exasperating however. While we communicate efficiently and with great rapidity and meaning, most of these Alliance beings yammer on and on, so much that they seem to have trouble even understanding themselves. So wasteful. Still, one must be patient and polite and give them the benefit of the doubt; Rule 234b and 56 don't you know.
The Ashanti hail from Nasar in the Andromeda galaxy and are currently petitioning for full membership in the Alliance. Many support their application in the upper echelons of the Council due to their considerable knowledge of combat tactics. The primary opposition to the application comes from the Eridani and the Phentari.
The typical Gaunt lives up to the Orion nickname. Tall and slender to the point of looking emaciated, the Ashanti possess surprising strength in their thin limbs. They have gray, leathery skin, with hints of red-brown in recessed areas. The skull of an Ashanti is elongated, and the face maintains a constant, somber demeanor. The Gaunts don't use facial expressions to display emotion. Instead, they emit pheromones, which are undetectable to anyone but another Ashanti. The most noteworthy feature of the species, though, is the four long arms. They can use these arms to fire multiple weapons with devastating precision, engaging up to two targets at one time with no penalty. Furthermore, the Ashanti possess an acute sixth sense, which makes them aware of the precise location of objects around them. This spatial awareness makes their attacks incredibly accurate.
At very close ranges, the Ashanti's spatial awareness becomes so acute that the Gaunt does not need to see the target in order for this ability to work. The Ashanti will be aware of any object within range of their person, including invisible (but not intangible) objects. Their special awareness will also make them aware of objects that they can not visually perceive because of darkness, blindness, physical barriers (intervening walls, around corners, etc), or because they are facing the wrong way as long as they are within range. Without actually seeing the objects, the Ashanti cannot determine the object's color or texture and will only be aware of the object's size and shape. This ability to mentally visualize an object's position in relation to themselves makes the Ashanti superb military tacticians.
A limited monarchy governs Nasar. The ruling family's decisions may be overridden by the People's Council, a parliamentary body designed to keep the powers of the monarchy in check. The current King, Elodane III, has maintained power for twenty-seven years and is well regarded by his subjects.
Ashanti culture is impossibly complex, with a convoluted social structure. Social morays and codes of conduct are never broken. This philosophy applies to all aspects of life, including eating, sleeping, greeting friends, waging war, and, yes, even going to the john! Alliance anthropologists have yet to fully make sense out of this life system.
Ashanti children are eager learners. Some scientists have suggested that this talent for absorbing information allows Ashanti to assimilate the subtleties of the Sacred Rules of Conduct, extremely large tomes detailing all Ashanti rules of conduct.
The Ashanti are a warrior species whose history dates back some 7,000 years. The turning point in their evolution was the emergence of the great leader Yorada, who carved an empire for himself spanning most of his homeworld. In addition to being a mighty warrior, Yorada was also wise, and he realized his people could never achieve their full potential so long as they remained in the mire of chaos. Thus, he had the best scholars in his kingdom write the core of the Sacred Rules of Conduct, a code which dictated the means by which battles would be fought, surrenders accepted, and lives lived. On pain of death, all Ashanti were commanded to learn this code and adhere to it. Ashanti historians call this The Great Emergence, and place the date at 3250 B.C.
Over the centuries, the Sacred Rules of Conduct have grown to embrace all aspects of Ashanti life. Though the death penalty no longer exists on the Ashanti homeworld, most of them would no more consider violating the Rules than they would consider chopping off one of their own arms. The belief that these rules are good and necessary is bred into them from birth.
The first meeting between the Gaunts and the Alliance was less than fortuitous. An Ashanti exploration vessel happened across an unofficial skirmish between Phentari and Eridani light cruisers. They requested safe passage, as allowed for by their Rules of Conduct. Both sides, reluctant to allow a witness or possible new enemy, opened fire. The lightly armed Ashanti frigate was heavily damaged by the opening salvo, but still managed to defeat both the Eridani and Phentari, thanks to brilliant maneuvering and use of crossfire by the vessel's captain. This humiliating defeat has played a large role in the reluctance of the Eridani and Phentari to approve the Ashanti petition to the Alliance.
The bones of an Ashanti will not heal normally. Any bone critical is permanent unless the bone is replaced.
The strangest thing about Ashanti is their incredible politeness. They always display the best of manners, even when slicing you open. "Oh, I'm terribly sorry about bloodying your clothes... allow me to compliment you on your technique, it was most impressive before I cut off your arm." An Ashanti who is forced to forego his usual impeccable manners... say, by being dragged off before he can complete the Ritual of Formal Challenge to a pack of Arachnids, will usually become very distraught.
The species is difficult to classify by conventional standards. They share characteristics with both mammals and reptiles. For example, they are cold-blooded, but bear their children alive. Ashanti possess limited homeostatic capabilities; they do not show up on Infrared (IR) scanners in environments with "normal" temperature ranges. In arctic or tropical climates, the Ashanti's limited ability to maintain their body temperature will usually give them away to IR scanners (BMs discretion).
The Ashanti communicate amongst themselves primarily by means of pheromones, and if necessary, one can communicate basic concepts to another without speaking a word from as far as 7m away. Ashanti are hermaphroditic. Any member of the species may fertilize another, who then bears the offspring. For convenience, Alliance members generally refer to them as he, as they resemble the Human conception of male more than they resemble the female conception. Ashanti live to be approximately 130 years old.
Ashanti have no specific favorite item. However, many are fond of keeping a copy of the Sacred Rules somewhere in their dwelling. These rules take up twenty-eight volumes! Gaunts are very fond of big, complex war games. If you want to make an Ashanti really angry, sneak into his game room and point the fan at the game of Gettysburg he's been playing for the last five months!
Typical Ashanti apparel consists of a loose kimono-like tunic of a fine-woven, sturdy black material and pants of the same fabric. Gold and silver trim, rarely ornate, is common, however generally reserved to those of the upper classes.
The Ashanti enjoy spending time at battle sites, judging distances, and calculating troop maneuvers. They can also sometimes be found in parks, enjoying the fresh air, while chiding others into a friendly game of chess.
Ashanti prefer to live in hive-like dwellings made up of dozens of small rooms, each with its own specific purpose. Furniture is more functional than fanciful, and the decor is very subdued by human standards.
Brilliant, precise, and devastating. Ashanti are predictable in combat, due to their adherence to such a rigid set of rules. However, because other species can't comprehend most of these rules, very often the Ashanti will do something that catches an opponent completely off-guard.
Many Ashanti have found their way into mercenary forces, where they serve as officers. Some of them also find employment as tactical advisors on board starships. A few have taken up the profession of bounty hunter.
The Ashanti favor impossibly complex and delicate dishes blending vegetables and a small amount of meat. Only a very few of the finest Orion chefs have been able to successfully master the art of Ashanti cooking.
Ashanti keep no pets due to its prohibition by an obscure passage in the Sacred Rules.