Little is known about the social behaviors of the pre–stellar Morrigi or the Morrigi of the so–called Golden Age. For the past several thousand years their society has been made up of many loosely affiliated and often highly competitive tribes, once largely independent of one another. Today, all surviving Morrigi tribes have formed a confederation for mutual defense, after recent losses in a war which took place some hundred years ago. Modern Morrigi look for leadership to a single Morrigi war–leader, the so–called Morru Qu'aan. War is an unusual undertaking for modern Morrigi. In general, it appears that they prefer to use other societies as trading partners rather than engage in military conflict.
Given that both male and female Morrigi are highly intelligent, highly competitive and often territorial, and it may be inferred that wars were more frequent at some point during their history. Until the past century, however, war among their people was unknown and combat was a relatively bloodless ritual carried out at regular gathering festivals, when tribal groups would come together in certain regions of space. (see The Honing). This changed with the arrival of a species which the Morrigi call the Screamers (see The Suuligi War).
The heart and soul of traditional Morrigi culture has always been the complex relationship between males and females. Each of the two sexes has its own lifeway and a widely different realm of social concerns. Female Morrigi are traditionally land–bound, and have developed a terrestrial hierarchy based on ownership of bounded planetary property, industry, the use of capital, the control of physical resources and the building of urban environments. Male Morrigi are stellar nomads, and have developed a nomadic hierarchy based on control of vast regions of space, trade routes and access to desirable areas' resources, including the privilege of descent to court available females for rights of marriage and economic alliance.
This curious division of society has created a complex web of dependence and exchange between the two sexes. Beyond the need to come together for mating and propagation of genes, male and female Morrigi are dependent on one another to meet crucial economic and political needs. Morrigi females depend on their relationships with allied male fleet groups to fuel the economy with needed resources and trade goods, as well as to provide defense for their vulnerable worlds and assert power within the political system. Morrigi males depend on their relationships with female corporate fifes to build, arm, fuel, provision and repair the starships which are simultaneously their lives and their livelihoods, as well as provide them with a steady supply of new tribesmen.
Over millennia, the Morrigi have evolved elaborate courtship rituals which establish and maintain these social, political, economic and sexual relationships. On the broad social level, female groups strive to build and maintain the cities, colonies and shipyards which make them attractive to males, to achieve a steady flow of male traffic and alliance. Morrigi females often they will build impressive structures to assert their prowess as artists, architects and scientists, presenting these impressive monuments as evidence of tribal power. By contrast, male groups will develop their fighting skills in order to give a good showing in inter–tribal competition (see The Honing). Trading and navigation skills are also developed to the maximal extent, and male Morrigi often compete both within the tribal group and more savagely with other tribal groups to seek the most beautiful and exotic item from the most far–flung world to offer females as evidence of their value as Traders.
The Morrigi lust for unusual objects is a strong motivating force within their society. Items from distant planets are sought, exchanged and avidly collected by both male and female Morrigi as fetishes of power. Temples which collect and display these objects are sacred, representing the ultimate expression of tribal identity and the union of male and female groups. A sufficiently rare and precious object can cement a rite of marriage between thousands of individuals, male and female, who belong to the corresponding tribes.
On the individual level, both males and females of the species are considered valuable mating partners if they evince high intelligence and psionic ability. The physical beauty of the male is highly prized, as is charm (the ability to project a powerful Glamour), speed and martial ability. Females are valued for strength and wealth, and many males find the most irresistible mates are those who see through them the most easily — this is a sign of high psionic resistance and is highly prized, possibly because such mates and the alliances they represent will be neither easily gained — nor easily lost.
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