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The Hudrelans (/huˈdrɛl.ɜnz/) were the only known Near-Mezzel species. They were native to Hudrel in the Mezlag sector of the Unknown Regions and were one of the founding species of the Tetrarchy of Mezlagob.

Biology and appearance

As Near-Mezzels, Hudrelans greatly resembled their progenitor species. They were almost uniformly 1.57 meters (5'2") tall and had rubbery hides. However, their flesh came in dark red and purple shades, as opposed to the blues and greens typical of Mezzels. Unlike Mezzels, Hudrelans had a smattering of hair on their heads, though the amount varied wildly from one Hudrelan to the next. Hudrelan ears were on stalks, but unlike Mezzel ears, they were more fixed in place; they might twitch in the general direction of a loud noise, but could not rotate freely the way Mezzel ear stalks could.

Hudrelan females carried their young for six standard months and gave birth to live children. Hudrelans and Mezzels could reproduce with one another.

Society and culture

In the technoscape that was Hudrel, most labor occupations were performed by droids. The majority of Hudrelan families had at least one droid servant, with the wealthiest have entire staffs of them. The presence of Hudrel Robotics and Android Corporation on Hudrel both allowed droids to be sold more cheaply than on other worlds and made them a routine fact of life. The availability of droid labor also made it difficult unskilled workers to find employment, creating an impoverished underclass.

Hudrelans were considered crafty by other species, and had a knack for piecing together bits of information into a useful whole. A common expression in the Tetrarchy of Mezlagob was, "You can scream it to an Umdal, but don't whisper it to a Hudrelan." As a result, most of the hierarchy in the Tetrarchy's Intelligence Service was made up of Hudrelans. Although they were carefully vetted for lingering loyalties to the Tetrarchy, a few also found employment with the Golden Empire's Royal Intelligence.

Like Mezzels, Hudrelans measured success by their influence over others. Unlike Mezzels, who saw this largely in terms of political and economic power, Hudrelans as a whole preferred the influence of persuasion, although their fondness for information gathering also led some Hudrelans to gain influence over others through blackmail.

History

In roughly 5,600 BBY, explorers from Mezlagob began experimenting with primitive long-range hyperdrive engines, sending explorers to other worlds they had determined were habitable. Most of these early attempts fell victim to minute but critical errors in calculation, resulting in nothing but a group of stranded Mezzels, slowly starving to death in the sterile cold of space. But one group had perfect calculations and arrived at Hudrel. Unable to return to Mezlagob, they landed on the planet to carry out their mission.

The settlers had arrived with sufficient resources to establish a prefabricated colony. Once this was done, both Mezzel scouts and droid laborers began examining the world for useful minerals and other resources. They quickly found ores useful for the production of droids, and the small prefabricated factory in the colony quickly expanded into an enormous production center. Every droid built allowed the quicker harvesting of resources, which in turn led to more droids.

Within a decade, the colony had expanded into a bustling city. Mezzel supervisors directed construction droids in expansion, while others oversaw resource mining. Over the centuries, Hudrel was expanded into a technoscape ecumenopolis, and Hudrelan scientists continued to advance droid technology, not only for construction and labor, but also for security and military use.

During the long millennia between the arrival of the Mezzel settlers and the next contact with Mezzels in approximately 600 BBY, the settlers on Hudrel began to change. Their own biologists theorized that their bodies reacted differently to the solar radiation of Hudrel's primary, or perhaps to the combination of gases in Hudrel's atmosphere. Whatever the reason, by the time Mezlagob's explorers found their wayward brethren, the settlers had evolved into the Hudrelan species.

The Mezzels had greatly improved hyperdrive technology in the Hudrelans' absence, and they were now able to travel between worlds in mere days and, more importantly, travel back and forth. Though more than a little surprised by the biological changes which had turned their fellows into an entirely new species, the Mezzels were excited by the Hudrelans' army of battle droids and enormous manufacturing capabilities. The leaders of Hudrel and Mezlagob conferred to discuss the plan of the Mezzels: to form a galaxy-spanning empire. The two species quickly allied and set to exploring the galaxy further. The addition of Ommol's Umdals and Telacia's Dronos completed the quartet of species which formed the Tetrarchy of Mezlagob.

Hudrelans were a dominating force in the Tetrarchy, and only once in the governments 700-year history was a Hudrelan not among the four Tetrarchs. Hudrel Robotics and Android Corporation was by far the largest manufacturer of droids in the Empire, and its products were sold to citizens and subjects on all of the Tetrarchy's worlds. The influx of wealth to Hudrel made many Hudrelans rich, and many more spread throughout the Tetrarchy as agents of the Corporation, supervising its various foundries and satellite offices.

Hudrelan battle droids were a major component of the Tetrarchy's military successes. Due to their involvement with many aspects of the Tetrarchy's government, the Hudrelans were widely despised among the Tetrarchy's unwilling subjects. Aside from the four founding worlds, many Hudrelans lived on Dolomir, Baes, Vall`to, and later Xoquon and Tizgo V.

Hudrel was adamantly loyal to the Tetrarchy throughout the Great Liberation. Its defensive fleet defeated an attack by the Golden Empire at the Battle of Hudrel, and the Hudrelans were cheered as heroes of the Tetrarchy by the Tetrarchs themselves. The defeat of the Tetrarchy's forces at Battle of Tizgo V and the subsequent surrender of Xoquon, however, saw many offworld Hudrelans killed, both by angry mobs and by the forces of the Empire. The capture of the Vall`to sector, and particularly Vall`to itself, further wounded the Tetrarchy. When the Vall`to Sector Bank defected to the Empire, the Tetrum experienced soaring inflation and megacorporations like Hudrel Robotics and Android Corporation suffered catastrophic losses.

Despite the hemorrhaging economy, Hudrel stayed loyal to the Tetrarchy. However, the death of Hudrelan Tetrarch Pexereca Tainer left the species without a voice among the leadership. Mezlagob pulled most of Hudrel's defensive fleet back to defend Mezlagob itself, leaving only skeleton defenses. After Telacia voluntarily surrendered to the Empire, the Armada arrived at Hudrel and made short work of the planet's defenses. Threatened with planetwide bombardment if they did not surrender, the Hudrelan leaders deactivated their battle droid forces, which were confiscated by the Empire.

Once Mezlagob and Ommol were also captured, the leading Tetrarchy collaborators and agents on Hudrel were rounded up and executed. Others received life sentences in various prisons. Much of Hudrel's wealth was confiscated, and all military-grade battle droids produced by the Corporation were seized without compensation. Few other species in the Empire were sorry to see the Hudrelans suffer, and competing droid foundries sprang up to undercut the Corporation in the market.

After she had exacted what she viewed as due compensation from the Hudrelans, however, Rin Sakaros did not punish them further, and made sure her Consuls throughout the Empire enforced anti-discrimination laws to protect Hudrelans living on other planets. The Corporation lost its governmental influence, but recovered much of its market share, and was allowed to continue producing security droids as long as they were not capable of major combat.

In the galaxy

Distrust of Hudrelans lingered for a long time in former Tetrarchy worlds under the Golden Empire's control. However, the Centurion Genn Sudime, who became one of the Shest Minor Seven, was a Hudrelan. His courage and self-sacrifice in that battle caused some beings in the Empire to cautiously reassess their generally negative view of the species.

Appearances

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