Art by, frog
Common Jobs: Mechanic, Pilot, Actor, Weaponsmith
Likes: A Fair Fight, Cartoons, Hope, Worthy Opponents, Nightlife, That New Mech Smell
Dislikes: Fighting Dirty, Cowards, Giant Monsters, Dry Skin
Attack Method: Krell are quick to pick fights, but rarely intend to harm, instead seeking to disarm their opponent or render them unable to attack. Most are well-versed in martial combat, but many casually carry around weapons, not afraid to use them if their lives are truly put at risk.
Krell have historically honored their sun as a sacred figure — they believe to carry a piece of the star within themselves, its radiation a physical representation of their evolution and homeworld. Spacefaring krell may take on the gods of their peers, many adopting different facets of limboism.
Flashy, diverse, and high-octane, the krell are a race of amphibious bipeds that have used their inventive personalities to master both land and sea.
The common krell's sleek, eel-like body is streamlined to cut effortlessly through turbulent currents. Their physiology appears similar to any number of aquatic or amphibious animals, encompassing anything from body type to snout shape, but certain characteristics remain the same in every individual: they possess four arms and two legs, protected head-to-toe by flexible, iridescent scales. A vestigial, segmented carapace runs down the back, surrounding large, colorful dorsal fins. Protecting their eyes are a set of organic "goggles", the shape and color of which varying widely.
All krell are amphibious. Their unique respiratory system — possessing both gills and lungs — allows them to withstand the pressure of the deep ocean, as well as respirate comfortably on land. Being that their physiology is best-suited for freezing temperatures, arid climates pose risk to unprepared individuals.
Heavy importance is placed on physical appearance and individuality, owing to the race's high sense of style. Krell take particular pride in their dorsal fins, going out of their way to dye, clip, or decorate them into any manner of ways to stand out from the crowd. Their sense of fashion could be described as eccentric, at best — capes, goggles, garishly-colored overcoats and souvenir jackets are all common accessories for the glitzy fish. The more attention they draw, the better.
Terrestrial living poses a challenge. Though all krell are able to carry themselves upright on land, their long torsos make walking somewhat awkward. Most, but not all krell combat this by donning a specialized bodysuit under their day-to-day outfit, meant to regulate body temperature, moisture, and reinforce their posture when on land. For pilots, these can be hooked up with sensors or custom monitoring systems to assist in interfacing with their mech.
Infant krell hatch from eggs and begin their life as limbless fry. They are strictly aquatic during this time until they develop their limbs and lungs. Krell possess no sexual dimorphism.
Undeterred idealists, few can shake the confidence of a krell. They hold this determination close, as it is what allowed them to best their unforgiving homeworld and send them forth, into the stars.
As a whole, the species tends to be fairly charismatic, capable of accomplishing incredible feats through sheer willpower alone. A krell spends most of their life building themselves up as a "character". Everything concerning their personality, down to the clothes they wear, is a means to uphold one's own personal brand.
Krell are naturally competitive, using anything from political debates to schoolyard tussles as means to showcase their prowess. Friendly brawls are not only commonplace, but encouraged, such fights often broadcasted as if it were a popular sport, with street duels and impromptu scrimmage drumming up a large crowd no matter the circumstances. This may come off as arrogance, as this same bombast is usually what lands them into hot water offworld, but in truth, it's mostly theatrics, sparring serving as a means to cultivate kinship and hype. Guns, swords, martial arts, anything is fair game, but things only start to get interesting when they bring in the mechs.
Broadcasting mecha fights is popular on the homeworld, many sub-cultures dedicated to rooting their favorite fighters on as they go toe-to-toe with the vicious surface kaiju, or fellow mech pilots during competitive tournaments. They live for the drama — theater and sport are synonymous. Animation and media are Keijuto's most powerful cultural exports outside machinery; of the many krell not enlisted as mech pilots, the heavy cultural significance towards art draws many to media-based jobs.
Despite all the dramatics, krell are incredible thinkers — engineering technological marvels and sprawling cities out of almost nothing. They pride themselves on their inventive nature, able to work their way out of most binds, the more mechanically-inclined even able to construct small devices or weapons on the fly.
They are utterly fascinated with their space-faring neighbors, welcoming visitors to the dazzling capital of Athekyo with open arms. Many krell have earned their place beyond the stars as mechanics, engineers, and navigators, though their brash personalities tend to scare off those unprepared for it. As much as they love their alien neighbors, working with other species proves uniquely difficult as very few ever reciprocate their theatrics, often misinterpreting social cues as arrogance.
They are, in a sense, the "protagonist" of their own story. Very little will deter them from a cause once they've set their heart on it.
It comes as a surprise to many that at a certain point in their history, the krell were strictly land-dwellers. For centuries, they existed, nearly invisible, scraping by on the surface. But it wasn't the heat-blasted jungles that drove them back to the water, nor their hyperactive star that poisoned the atmosphere and blasted the land with radiation — it was the competition.
Towering, abominable beasts plague the islands of Keijuto, as large as a city blocks, ancient as the radioactive sunlight that warped them into such a form. Their roars rip the bark from trees, tank rounds splintering on their scaled hides. A single kaiju is enough to level any land settlement the precursor krell may have managed to scrounge up. So, they fled to the ocean, safe enough, but ultimately trapped.
Only the strongest warriors braved the surface, risking life and fin in order to bring back food and resources to the aquatic colonies. Strength in numbers is all that stood between the species' survival and swift, brutal death at the claws of a titanic beast. Thus, the krell banded together and began work founding the first capital city of Athekyo, headed by the Prime Admiral, and a designated board of Vice-Admirals, each regarded as the most powerful warrior and spokesperson of their respective colony.
From here, the species entered a golden age of technological revolution, kicking off an era of industry, culture, and massive feats of engineering: Athekyo was soon a sprawling metropolis. Of the most beneficial inventions to come out of this time period were the mechanical combat suits signature to the species. By allowing their pilots to traverse the surface for extended periods of time, it provided a far more fortified defense against the land-dwelling kaiju and more efficient means of harvesting resources. They became a symbolic bastion of hope to the species, who were, very soon making their way to the stars.
The Krell remain as latecomers to the space age, but the general populous welcomed this advancement with open arms, seeing it as liberation from their isolated existence. They were swift to colonize neighboring planets and establish trades with those would first receive them.
Out of the influx of capital through interstellar trade came further development into crisis response, and as such, GATLANTX emerged as the primary national defense force. The foundation provides pilot-training apprenticeships, democratizing the framework of mech construction and distribution. Building your own mech is traditionally seen as a cultural rite of passage, but nowadays, you can find pre-owned mechs cheaper than a used ship. GATLANTX cornered the strategy on kaiju response command and control, paying handsome dividends to victorious combatants. Mech battles and kaiju hunting are Keijuto's national sport, broadcasted as entertainment galaxy-wide and accruing cult fanbases among off-planet viewers.
Not all were as eager to welcome aliens into their fragile communities. Anti-colonists argued against trade, owing how prone their infrastructure was to unregulated distribution of mechs, and how dangerous the tech could be in the wrong hands. At the mouthpiece was one of the Vice-Admiral boardmembers, Vice-Admiral Kulo, using his position of power to actively speak against alien visitors and immigrants into the populous. Xenophobia plagued this faction, vehemently protesting off-planet colonization and the introduction of other species into their cities for years.
Due to the civil unrest between these two factions, the anti-colonization extremists, led by Ex-Vice-Admiral Kulo, set off to the only place they knew nobody would dare follow - the frigid arctic - to build their separatist colony. They remain to this day, isolated in their glacial bunker and scorned by the rest of krellkind. Not much is known of their plans, or the whereabouts of their ruthless leader, but
Athekyo stands today as a major hub of trade and activity, home to the largest single population of krell, but now boasting a huge diversity of races comfortable with life in the deep ocean. Though flourishing, the krell remain in deadlock with the Polar Faction due to differences in politics. They have fought this stalemate for decades, but hold vigilant, fending off Polar terrorists and blazing cannon to defend their race against the beasts of the surface.
Because the krell never give up! Ever!
The irradiated surface of Keijuto offers little mercy to those that happen upon it. Overgrown forests and hyperpredatory fauna choke what scarce land exists in the form of volcanically-active archipelagos, warped by the radiation emitted by Keijuto's star. Given that the entire planet is crawling with giant, radioactive monsters, it's no surprise that the majority of the krell populous exists deep beneath the waves.
Athekyo serves as the principal city and cradle of civilization for the krell species, home now to a plethora of races. Breathable force-fields protect the sunken metropolis' atmosphere, extracting oxygen from the surrounding ocean. Not a day goes by without some sort of festivity, densely-packed and alive with industry and culture alike. Neon-lit arcologies and skyscrapers are interconnected by a fortified tunnel system, spanning several main "domes" and any number of outlying towns and mech stations.
At the northmost pole exists the Separatist Polar Base, an immense, subterranean compound housed within the interior of an ancient glacier. It provides bastion to the fierce Polar faction amidst the frigid floes. Though safe from terrestrial kaiju due to the extreme temperatures, only the bravest individuals are willing to give up life in their comfortable oceanic haven for such a punishing lifestyle.
Polar: On the outskirts of civilization, cast to the arctic for their beliefs, a strict code of honor binds together the most vicious of Keijuto's warriors, led by the Ex-Vice-Admiral Kulo. Polar krell are not a true subspecies, but several notable distinctions separate them from their oceanic cousins.
Polar krell find their foothold in the universe with a certain edge, generally antagonistic, dramatic, and cold. For what they lack in charm, they make up for in physical mettle, far better-suited to life on land and extreme temperatures than oceanic krell. Black visors are exclusive to polar krell, and their coloration tends to be more muted.
Natural-Born Pilot: Krellish mech suits are specialized for combat, ranging anywhere from 10ft to 50ft tall. These machines are each custom-made, varying wildly in appearance and function depending on the specific tasks it is meant to perform. Each is pilotable by a cockpit specialized for the krellish anatomy, but not exclusive to, gifted navigators of other species being able to pick up the controls with some practice. Most, if not all krell with piloting experience pick up navigation jobs with relative ease. GATLANTX-produced mechs dual-function as submersibles, though recent years have seen the development of space-grade mech suits. When equipped, the krell and suit act as a single unit, providing a significant stat boost to its pilot.
• Names are wholly representative of a krell's identity, encompassing anything from occupation, heritage, to feats of championship. As such, they tend to be rather long-winded, making liberal use of epithets and even punctuation; the longest names belong to krell nobility and champion warriors, some running as long as an entire sentence or two. Nicknames will not offend a krell, but you are expected to know their full name as a show of respect. Examples include "Wicked Maiden Kamash - Vicious Outlaw, or Forlorn Princess!?", or "The Honorable Wave-Splitter Taokujo, Ever-Victorious Lancer of the Celestial Sea".
• Because of their fascination with alien species and their culture, krell tend to gravitate to those with complex histories, celebrating drama and political tension as if it were entertainment. It's not uncommon to see krellish merchandise off-world political leaders, or even animated adaptations of significant historical events, with... varying levels of accuracy.
• Following the introduction of alien AI, GATLANTX has been experimenting with constructing pilotable AI's that can think, perceive, and make judgement calls in combat, to mixed results. Regardless, these "suit" lines exist and are in-market, commonly derived from Atlas, Neptune, or Pluto units.