A dying alien race from the Hodraida system. Physically, they are dark-green to black bipeds with a chitinous insect-like exoskeleton in their natural state, but are also capable of taking on a human-like appearance. The Horadrim have immense physical power and a tremendously advanced technology, but their long war with the Caal left them a nearly-extinct breed. To make up for their inferior numbers, the Horadrim created the Bugs as a biological weapons system, genetically-engineering them using their local equivalent of livestock as a base template, but the Bugs quickly evolved beyond the control of the Horadrim and rebelled against them.
Natural full Horadrim have no true magical abilites, but all surviving Horadrim have long since upgraded themselves with a Soul Web, a symbiotic colony of sentient nanobots living within their bodies, both responding to their commands and communicating directly with their minds. The Soul Web allows them to create pseudopods equipped with sensors, graspers, or other functionalities, and extend these temporary artificial appendages up to several meters from their bodies. They also enable a limited shape-shifting capability that allows even full Horadrim to take on human appearance nearly indistinguishable to the naked eye from an actual human being.
In 2007, an Umbral Dreadnought of the Technocracy was launched by the fledgeling Earth Federation to explore deep space. It discovered the Horadrim homeworld of Hodraida and, in a surprise raid, kidnapped nearly all of the handful of surviving Horadrim children and took them back to Earth for experimentation. In a blind rage, the Horadrim sent the few remaining Bugs under their control to attack the humans, starting the Bug War which has been going on with only minor interruptions ever since. Most of these kidnapped Horadrim children did not survive the medical and magical experiments done on them by human scientists, but the handful that did were successfully implanted with human DNA to become the first Human-Horadrim hybrids. One of these was Vin Dane, one of only a handful of Horadrim ever successfully artificially awakened as a Mage.
When the Horadrim back on their homeworld learned of the sucess of these cross-breeding and awakening experiments, they realized that such projects may be the key to rebuilding their species, and so they made peace and eventually alliance with the humans and are actively pursuing these ends. Their total numbers remain small, however, and many of the experimental hybrids escaped. Some joined the Resistance movement against the Federation, some were recaptured by Internal Security and forced to work for them. Since the rise of the Holy Terran Empire, Horadrim have come to be worshipped by many humans as something akin to Angels, and their alliance with humanity is closer than ever. But there remain a handful of Horadrim active in the underground, opposed to such an alliance for a variety of reasons.
Behind the ScenesEdit
The Horadrim were created by Nathan Bax early during the dice-and-paper era of Tech Infantry. They were named for a secret group of Magi in the 1996 computer game Diablo by Blizzard Entertainment. They in turn were likely named for the Haradrim, people of the southern lands of Middle-Earth in the Lord of the Rings trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien. The name of their homeworld, Hodraida, is likely a reference to Harald Hardada, late-medieval King of Norway who claimed the English throne in 1066 before dying at the battle of Stamford Bridge. In a later effort to reduce the number of transparent genre references in the game (or possibly due to a simple typo), the name of the race was for a time spelled "Hodraida", but still pronounced "Horadrim", particularly in the text of the Season 4.3 game story. This has since been re-retconned so the proper name of the race is Horadrim, but the name of their homeworld is "Hodraida."