|Average height||6-7 ft.|
|Danger rating||Extreme threat|
The Kig-yar (Latin: Perosus latrunculus, or "hateful bandit") are a saurian species which serve the Covenant as mercenaries and privateers.
In combat, Kig-yar typically serve as snipers and scouts within the Covenant due to their excellent senses of sight, smell, and hearing.
Anatomy and appearanceEdit
Kig-yar have features similar to birds of prey as well as reptiles. Their legs are sinewy and muscular, and are reverse-jointed in a fashion similar to birds. They have sharp claws on both hands and feet. Being carnivores, their sharp beaks are lined with rows of razor-sharp teeth; some have far more numerous teeth which bear a passing resemblance to baleen. Kig-yar have been known to eat the flesh of fallen enemies, as well as live prisoners. Kig-yar have extraordinary senses of sight, hearing, and smell. Male Kig-yar possess plumages of spiny quills at the back of the head and on the elbows; the color of this plumage indicates the Kig-yar's mood. Females lack these quill plumages, instead having calloused plates at the forearms and the rear of the head. This thick skin helps protect the female during courtship: when mating, the male will often bite, chew, and tear on the back of the female's head, neck, and arms. Kig-yar reproduce by laying eggs which the female incubates, similar to birds. When mating, the male can choose to fertilize the egg, in which a male is produced, whereas, if the eggs are not fertilized, a female is produced. This may imply that Kig-yar have the ability to reproduce without mating.
While Kig-yar have hollow bones and are physically frail, they are capable of moving quickly to evade harm. Their blood is bright purple in color, similar to that of the Sangheili, possibly showing a similar chemical makeup. The lack of calcium in their skeletons makes them a poor source of biomass for the Flood.
Culture and societyEdit
The Kig-yar are unique among Covenant races: rather than being faithful followers of the Covenant religion, they serve the Covenant due to the monetary rewards the Prophets pay them. However, due to the long time they have been in the Covenant, a large number of them have accepted the Covenant religion. Kig-yar have been known to coexist relatively peacefully with humans, as evidenced by the relationship between the Rubble and Reth's forces on Metisette. When the Kig-yar were finally ordered by the Prophets to attack and destroy the humans of the Rubble, many of them even regretted the order. This is likely due to the pragmatic, mercantile culture of their race: As long as it benefits them economically, Kig-yar will co-operate with nearly any group, even declared enemies of the Covenant.
Kig-yar serve primarily as light infantry, police forces and overseers. Kig-yar privateers also commonly crew Covenant missionary ships. Originally, they were intended to replace the Unggoy as the foot soldiers of the Covenant, but their temperament made this impractical. Instead, they were assigned roles that were better suited to their natural abilities, such as scouts and snipers.
Within Covenant society, Kig-yar have little status and are subservient to all but the Unggoy. Because of this, Kig-yar frequently harass Unggoy to assert what little authority they have. In some cases, Sangheili or Jiralhanae dispose of criminals or prisoners by feeding them to Kig-yar convicts, who eat the victim alive.
Due to their unique position in the Covenant, the Kig-yar often utilize starships of their own making instead of Covenant-made ones. In addition, they are forbidden to build their own slipspace drives, and have to rely on heavily regulated, unmodifiable drives engineered by the San 'Shyuum instead. The Kig-yar are not represented on the High Council but are instead vetted by the Ministry of Concert. The Kig-yar do not vocally complain about their position but instead have selected to siphon off resources to their brethren. Whether the Covenant leadership was aware of this is currently unknown.
The Kig-yar government on Eayn is a post-industrial capitalist system, with a population of 978 million. It is also described as an ochlocracy, a system of government best described as a government by mob, or the intimidation of constitutional authorities. Presumably, this implies that whatever form of local government the Kig-yar possess is ineffective and ignored
Kig-yar names usually consist of a single syllable, with two consonants and one vowel, such as Yeg, Jak and Bok. However, Chur'R-Yar and Chur'R-Mut, who were both Shipmistresses, have multiple syllables in their names. It is speculated that the Kig-yar naming system is at least partially based on sex, rank, or both. However, their naming system might not be the one of their own culture; it has been stated that Sangheili do not allow the Kig-yar to have more than one name. Alternatively, it may be that the Kig-yar language consists of single syllable words (their name for themselves, Kig-yar, actually is two single syllable words combined).The prefix "Chur'R-" is believed to indicate the title of Shipmistress, as both Chur'R-Yar and Chur'R-Mut were female Kig-yar in command of a vessel.
SubspeciesEditThere are two distinct races of Kig-yar, which Humans have termed Jackals and Skirmishers. Each subspecies exhibits distinct variations in appearance and physiology. Jackals typically exhibit light brown or tan skin tones, though some individuals feature gray-green or red skin; flexible quills on the head and forearms among males, with calloused plates among females; and elongated, beaked heads with bulbous eyes, though some Jackals have heads akin to those of the Skirmishers. Skirmishers are darker in color, with true feathers on their heads and arms, and have shorter, squared heads with small yellow eyes. While both subspecies are quite agile, Skirmishers are capable of sprinting at great speeds and leaping incredible distance.
The reason behind the differing subspecies is unknown, though it has been theorized that it may be a result of the Kig-yar adapting to different colony worlds over millenia. Alternatively, they may simply be variations that arose naturally on Eayn, much as early humanity was once divided into many species and subspecies.