Race Overview

The Somtaaw are a Kushan "kiith" or clan left few in number and without influence after the Homeworld war. A traditionally devout clan, they have taken their mining vessels to the edge of Hiigaran influence to seek their fortunes. 

So marginal in Hiigaran politics are the Somtaaw that their ships don't even use regular Kushan technology; most are based on begged, borrowed, salvaged or stolen Bentusi, Taiidan and Turanic Raider components. Hence the desperation that would lead the Somtaaw to tamper with alien technologies that should be left alone... and release a menace on the whole of the galaxy.

The return to Hiigara was not as joyous for Somtaaw as for many of our people. Although a few of their number were awake during the journey from Kharak, employed in the care and maintenance of resource collectors, the vast majority of Somtaaw survivors were Sleepers during the journey. When they were awakened on Hiigara, many were horrified to hear that the families and loved ones they left on Kharak were gone, and that there was no hope of return. Of a kiith that had once been so strong, very few survivors remained; only 15,000 Somtaaw awakened on Hiigara, less than a twentieth of their number, and the vast majority of these were men.

Somtaaw's fortunes were further complicated by a political conflict with Kiith Naabal, which made a bid seven years after landfall to absorb the Somtaaw survivors as a vassal clan. Somtaaw flatly refused this proposition, and the debate between Somtaaw and Naabal supporters in the New Daiamid has already been cited by many as a history-making event. During the Somtaaw/Naabal debate, dispossessed members of many Kharak's devastated kiithid joined the Somtaaw as family members, swelling their ranks from 15,000 to nearly 25,000 in a few short months. 

The matter was eventually decided in favor of Somtaaw by a very narrow margin in the Diamid and only after the Somtaaw managed to convince the disenfranchised kiith to threaten a general strike over the issue. While many of the established Kiith accused Somtaaw of further undermining the ancient social systems for their own benefit, the result was Somtaaw was granted access to the Mothership Station for a period of six months. Mothership access for other lesser Kiith soon followed. In their time, the Somtaaw built two enormous mining ships, the Kuun-Lan and the Fal-Corum, which were both launched, fully manned, within 45 days. In the final days of their control over the Mothership's PDA, Kiith Somtaaw triumphantly built one final ship, the Clee San, a top-of-the-line deep space research frigate. Students of history will note that the names of all three vessels derive from the names of temples along the old Shimmering Path: Kuun-Lan, "Purifying Flame", Fal-Corum, "Silent Wayfarer", and Clee San, "Truth Seeker"…

Since then the Somtaaw have explored many neighboring systems to Hiigara. Although their numbers are small, they've set up several mining stations to collect rare elements, and they sell the fruits of their labors to all clients allowed by the current Hiigaran trade regulations. Like all our kiithid, their ships are bound to respond to any call to arms, when Hiigaran space is violated. But beyond the Somtaaw's duty to Hiigara, they live free and bend knee to none but their own kiith'sa…maintaining a centuries-long tradition.