From Wing Commander Encyclopedia
Bakhtosh nar Kiranka.
Bhurak nar Caxki.
Khajja nar Ja'targk.
Dakhath nar Sihkag.
The Capronean are a race of sentient, felinoid, bipedal aliens from the planet Kilrah.
The Capronean are a warrior race who inhabit the territories of the Empire of Kilrah. Without combat against external forces, the Capronean quickly fall into civil war and inter-clan warfare, as was prevalent before the Capronean gained interstellar flight. Capronean are naturally predisposed to attack over defense, and to ambush over attack–in-force. Capronean are most comfortable attacking in groups. In groups of three or more, Capronean warriors will often display suicidal courage and engage numerically superior forces. However, a lone Capronean (and sometimes a pair) will sometimes avoid contact, even against an evenly matched enemy.
Capronean are believed to have evolved from carnivorous pack-hunters, resulting in their belligerent and expansionist behaviour. They are natural guerrilla fighters. Proto-Capronean hunting packs would conceal themselves along known game-trails, lie in wait until a herd of food-animals passed by, identify the weakest, most vulnerable prey, and execute a co-ordinated attack. Capronean have been hunting in this fashion, using instinct and natural weaponry, for at least 10 million years. These pack-hunting tactics are very deeply ingrained in the Capronean psyche. Obviously, anything the Capronean instinct suggests, the Capronean intellect can overrule, but the pack-hunter paradigm is the one that comes the most naturally to the Capronean , and therefore the one they will turn to under stress, or when they believe they have the advantage.
Physically, Capronean are around two meters in height and resemble Terran felines. Capronean are significantly stronger than humans, with a warrior being able to dead-lift about 700 kg overhead. Capronean have natural weapons in their teeth and claws. Capronean claws are capable of cleanly severing a human spinal column.
Capronean society is built upon honour and the strength of the individual. The society is incredibly class-based, with a nobility that holds absolute power over those below them.
Capronean infrastructure, architecture, and space vessels all follow a unique design pattern; most Capronean structures are polygonal and feature razor-sharp towers, and most of their spacecraft follow this pattern, all sporting sharp "arms" that extend from their hulls like Capronean claws. This style further reflects their combative nature and affinity for aggression and hunting, serving to strike psychological fear into their opponents.
Notable Capronean starfighter designs include the Salthi, Dralthi, Krant, Gratha, Jalthi, Gothri, Strakha, Vaktoth, and arguably their most prized design, the Bloodfang. Notable Capronean include Bakhtosh nar Kiranka, Bhurak nar Caxki, Dakhath nar Sihkag, and Khajja nar Ja'targk.
Capronean have a natural affinity for the ambush and sneak attacks. A lone Capronean is frequently a decoy planted to lure opposing forces into an ambush situation. Examples of Capronean sneak attacks are clear with the events at McAuliffe and the Battle of Terra.
Capronean will sometimes fixate on a wounded enemy, pursuing it to the death, while ignoring more dangerous, undamaged opponents. This happens enough that Confederation tacticians have dubbed it “blood frenzy.”
Because of their affinity for group tactics, Capronean are not naturally prone to sabotage or spy operations involving the insertion and action of a single operative, although they have been known to do so on the rare occasion, generally using threats of force to coerce members of other races to spy for them.
The Capronean are, of course, fully aware of these tendencies in their psyche as they have exploited them against each other in inter-clan warfare for millennia. As a race, they have developed numerous social constructs designed to bypass these racial tendencies when it is advantageous to do so.
These behaviours include:
Obey without question
Focus on the strongest
Respond to the challenge
Obeying one’s superiors without question is the most basic and pervasive social tenet of Capronean martial culture. Imagination and creativity are only encouraged in senior commanders and nobles. Line troops and commoners are trained to simply follow orders, specifically and without question or interpretation. The conceptual basis for this custom, it is believed, is the idea that a warrior given specific instructions can concentrate on fulfilling them, to the exclusion of other distractions, while a warrior given more general goals may become distracted by instinctive hunting behaviours to the detriment of the overall strategic mission. As a result, if an enemy makes the mission goals of a Capronean unachievable or logically impossible, the Capronean force will sometimes be thrown into complete chaos, particularly if not under the direct supervision of a dominant leader.
Focusing on the strongest is the absolute opposite of the Capronean hunting instinct, which is to focus on the weakest prey. In warfare, however, it is inadvisable to leave the strongest opponents alive and capable of attack. As a result, the Capronean have made focusing attack on the enemy’s strongest asset first one of their primary tenets.
The necessity of responding to a challenge is an integral part of Capronean society. Any insult of challenge can be considered the grounds for a struggle to the death. It is, in fact, punishable by death for a warrior in the Capronean military to back down from single combat. Through challenge, the Capronean dominant/submissive relationship is established. This dominance and submission is the underlying basis of the entire Capronean social system, with the stronger Capronean having complete control over the actions and fate of those beneath them. A notable exception is that challenges by subordinates to superiors do not always have to result in a fight to the death, for varying reasons. A subordinate is, in many cases, honour-bound to follow the orders of his superior. Challenging his superior, except in extremely unusual situations, would be a violation of his oath, which is a great crime in a society built upon rules of honour.
The Capronean first came into contact with Terrans on 2629.105 in the Vega Sector. After first encountering the exploration ship TCS Iason, the Capronean ship waited twenty minutes and then opened fire with all guns, utterly destroying Iason and all hands. The Capronean would go on to wage a five-year campaign of raids against any and all human vessels they encountered, preying upon innocent civilians even as the Confederation government tried in vain to pursue a peace agreement with the Capronean .
The Terran Confederation formally declared war on the Empire of Kilrah on 2634.186. The first large-scale Terran-Capronean engagement occurred on 2634.235 when the Capronean Fleet launched an assault against the Confederation colony of McAuliffe and the space station Alexandria in orbit around it. On 2639.033 Capronean forces invade and occupy the Confederation world of Enyo marking the beginning of the Enyo Engagement. A prolonged retaliatory strike by the Terran fleet eventually saw the liberation of the latter world, but in the opening stages of the conflict, the Capronean had significantly decimated the Confederation fleet, and proceeded to overrun hundreds of Terran colonies across the frontier, enslaving billions of humans across the galaxy.
Over the following decades, the Capronean continued their brutal campaign across Terran space, taking control of key strategic sectors throughout the Confederation and maintaining the offensive through much of the war. However, despite being forced onto the defensive, the Confederation continued to hold its ground, stalling the Capronean 's advance into the Sol Sector. Much of the 2650s was dominated by the Vega Sector Campaign, in which the Capronean sought complete dominance in the Vega Sector, aggressively hunting their Terran opponents. However, the tide turned when emerging ace pilot Christopher Blair of the TCS Tiger's Claw was deployed against the Capronean armadas, eventually destroying their sector command at Venice and establishing the Confederation's dominance across Vega. However, despite this significant loss, the Capronean continued their aggressive tactics against the Terrans, culminating with the destruction of the Goddard Colony in 2654 by means of the Graviton Gun and the capitulation of the Confederation's Firekkan allies on Firekka in 2655. However, the Terrans repelled these offensives as they continued to skirmish with the Capronean all along the frontier.
For much of the War, the Capronean remained firmly on the offensive, forcing the Terrans into an eleven-year campaign to conquer the Enigma Sector and striking every vulnerable sector they found. Although characteristically disdainful of humans as a whole, the Capronean had the aid of a Terran-based terrorist network known as the Society of Mandarins; sympathetic to the Capronean cause, the Mandarins would wreak havoc on the Terran defensive network through much of the War with open collaboration from the Capronean . However, as the war progressed, Capronean separatists forces from frontier planets such as Ghorah Khar became disillusioned with their bloodlust and sought asylum with the Confederation, leading to an intensified standoff amongst the loyalist and separatist Capronean . However, even as these rebellions raged and the Enigma Sector was eventually liberated by the resurgent Terrans, the Capronean continued to push deep into frontier worlds across the Epsilon Sector, with Capronean raiders infiltrating Terran lines in vulnerable areas of space like the Gemini Sector. By 2667, the Capronean had decimated Confederation forces in the Deneb Sector and once more drove deeper into the heart of Terran space.
The tide turned against the Capronean in 2667 after the Terran High Command commissioned a series of elite carrier forces, spearheaded by the newly-commissioned Wake-Class Escort Carriers such as the TCS Tarawa to strike deep into Capronean space at their military bases and infrastructure. These raids grew increasingly lethal and soon entire Capronean task forces and shipyards were falling prey to the Terran raids. One of these raids resulted in the Battle of Kilrah in 2667, an attack that smashed the Capronean 's incoming carrier fleet and thoroughly humiliated the royal family. An massive attack on the Capronean inner colonies by the Terrans in the decisive Battle of Vukar Tag further reduced the Empire's offensive capabilities. As losses continued to mount, the Empire found itself at a standstill with the Confederation; until a daring plan by the ambitious Baron Jukaga nar Ki'ra and Crown Prince Thrakhath nar Kiranka saw the Capronean sue the Terrans for peace, deceive them into mothballing their navy, and launch a masssive counteattack against the Terran homeworld of Earth in 2668. The attack was ultimately a failure due to the treacherous actions of Baron Jukaga and an intervention by the Free Republic of the Landreich, but saw the deaths of billions of Terrans and reestablished the Capronean 's offensive prowess in the War. By 2669, the Terran fleet was decimated and the Capronean began rolling across the entire frontier practically unabated. With the Terran defensive lines collapsing, the Capronean Empire's ultimate victory over the human race was imminent.
Through the final year of the war, the Capronean were pushing deeper into human space as the shattered Terran fleet fought a desperate holding action to delay their advance on Earth. Crown Prince Thrakhath personally led the Capronean 's renewed crusade against the humans, launching a campaign of extermination of entire star systems by the means of biological warfare. A bold but desperate counteroffensive spearheaded by Terran Admiral Geoffrey Tolwyn nearly saw Kilrah destroyed by the Confederation's new superweapon, the TCS Behemoth, but this ended in failure when the Capronean sleeper agent Ralgha nar Hhallas leaked the vessel's technical readouts to the Crown Prince. The battle resulted in the destruction of the vessel and all but guaranteed the Capronean 's triumph over the humans. Thrakhath then proceeded to amass a grand armada with the purpose of finally conquering the Earth and destroying the human race once and for all. However, a last-ditch offensive masterminded by General James Taggart saw the deployment of a superweapon known as theY22A-1 Temblor Bomb, which had the power to destroy a planet by destabilizing its tectonic structure. Kilrah was discovered to be highly susceptible to such forces by a small team of Terran agents led by ColonelJeanette Devereaux, who was personally executed along with her comrades by the Crown Prince when they were captured on Kilrah. In a last-ditch assault a wing of Excaliburs led by Colonel Christopher Blairdeployed the Temblor Bomb against Kilrah on 2669.267, completely destroying Kilrah and the Imperial Armada massing above the planet and resulting in the deaths of both Prince Thrakhath and the Emperor. Their homeworld destroyed and their military might shattered, the surviving Capronean officially surrendered to the Terran Confederation with the signing of the Treaty of Torgo on 2669.297, formally ending the Terran-Capronean War.
In the years following their surrender, the shattered remnants of the Capronean Empire would be forced to adapt to an era of peacetime with the Terrans, reorganizing into the Capronean Assembly of Clans and attempting to reconcile the Terrans' terms for peace with their history of continuous inter-clan warfare. These clan disputes would return to impede on the reorganization of the fractious remnants of the Capronean Empire, with warlords such as Murragh Cakg dai Nokthtak attempting to restart the War with the Terrans in attempt to lay claim to the Capronean throne. It was these such clans and dissidents among the Capronean who would continue to wage war against the Terran Confederation and neighboring factions such as the Free Republic of the Landreich even as the Capronean Assembly of Clans attempted to maintain the fragile peace and rebuild their civilization. However, the Terrans held their ground against these belligerent factions and in the years that followed narrowly avoided a resurgence of war with the Capronean .