Information Compiled by the Imperial Scientific Institute:
First, the biggest misconception:
Their racial name is not "Predator"—it is Yautja.
Perhaps the most profound difference between the Yautja and us is their longevity.
"Leader," as I have come to call him, fought and killed a band of pirates in 1718 and took a gun, made in 1715, which in 1997 he gave to Harrigan in Predator 2 (the decade of Dark Horse #1 of 4). The resulting 279 years, excluding the years "Leader" was growing up, shows their extensive lifetimes. This longevity suggests that sons live with their mothers for much longer than we would before leaving, for it takes them much longer to grow up and learn to fend for themselves. Daughters stay with their mothers for the protected environment to raise their children and maintain dominance over their clan's territory. It seems reasonable that more females in a clan mean they can control a larger area. Mothers during this time would teach their children to fight and survive and they hunt and protect their own children and are vicious and relentlessly protective.
"Yautja aren't big on theory, with them you learn by doing."
"She trained me as one of her own" (Aliens vs. Predator: Deadliest of the Species #10).
A female clan would thus be made of succeeding layers of generations, daughters, mothers, grandmothers, etc. It would be easy to consider a single Matriarch would lead such a clan.
Considering longevity again, it takes a lot of energy to raise a child, and so individual females would probably only have a child every decade or two. They would be very particular about who was to be the father, and would perhaps choose favorites, but they do not have permanent pair bonds. This leads to very high competition among the males.
Considering this difference, males live in generally unrelated packs and females live in related clans with their children. The nomadic nature of the males suggests that they have no territory of sorts, but that their home is what they carry with them. Their ships, for example, are the territories that they carry with them. Sons would be more interested in who their fathers were than the daughters would, for it may reflect their rank when they leave.
"He looked through the dancing young warriors for Nei'hman-de, whose blood he shared by the same father" (Aliens Vs. Predator: Prey, p. 33).
"He was leader of the Ne'dtesei, son and grandson of ship leaders and warrior trainers..." (Ibid., p.4).
Since females rule over the territory and generally run internal affairs, Yautja have a matriarchal society. Rarely is it ever needed to be enforced, however; males do not involve themselves with female politics and females are uninterested in male socialization.
"By the way he had recovered, the disrespectful one had gone and the female, if she had even noticed, had also continued on her way" (Ibid., p.7).
Should the need to enforce this dominance arise, however, the male would not only face a female physically larger than himself, but also her sisters, mother, and grandmothers, etc. The Brethren of this unfortunate male would offer no support, only derision.
"A warrior who would dare such would not be wise, for an insulted and angry Yautja female was not something even a not-too-wise male wanted to create. Assuming the warrior was armed and expert, it might almost be an even match, but Dachunde would put his wager on the female. His most recent partner had tossed him across a room during the heat of their mating and that had been an accident" (Ibid., p. 27).
"Yautja females are bigger than males ... it also explained why this warrior was smarter than most of the Yautja he taught. Females of any species were usually smarter than the males" (Ibid., p. 218).
Also, there is always the threat of castration for males; not only does it eliminate his chances of continuing his line, but also any rank he may have had in male society. Such males would most likely kill themselves in such a situation. It seems reasonable that only females would ritually castrate; males would give each other the respect of killing their opponent instead.
"To think that the Elders had once considered him unsuitable for breeding, had even considered severing his gonads..." (Alien Vs. Predator: Hunters' Planet, p. 58).
In this atmosphere of high competition for breeding rights among males, it is the male that must attract the attention of the female; there are many males who never get the chance to breed. These frustrated males may turn on their subordinates.
"And cleanse your ears as well, you smell of child bearer's musk. Hurry or your betters may wish to mate with you" (Ibid., p. 2).
But the males who do breed have proven themselves by hunting dangerous prey and gaining many impressive trophies. A second windfall of this accomplishment is the admiration of their clan brothers with which they spend most of their time. Basically, males hunt for one reason—status.
Why females would hunt for trophies is a gray area. Females DO hunt for trophies (e.g., Big Mama's trophy case in Alien Vs. Predator: Deadliest of the Species #5), but it may for somewhat different reasons than males. Dominance may certainly be a factor, yet I doubt that is the only reason. Perhaps it is to show their ability to protect their territory from enemy female clans. Perhaps it is to show ability in protecting their children, both their own and their sisters'. Perhaps it is just for a laugh. Perhaps evolution has not yet removed the need. But this is entirely speculation.
To conclude, the role that I have postulated males play in their society is keeping any outside race from interfering with their internal affairs. Basically, they intimidate other races into submission to protect their females' breeding grounds, plus, it's amusing to them. "Males conquer, females rule."
Yautja Player Character Stats
|Type of Hit Dice|
*Yautja may choose background options only from Combat, Physical, and SP Training.
A Yautja with engaged cloaking device. Yautja technology actually allows for a "no fringe" effect but its considered a dishonorable hunting tool. It acts as a combination Chameleon cloak and personal EW generator.
The infamous triple-laser/cyberlink targeting system. Almost a signature device, no Yautja leaves home without it. Giving away its position while aiming is only a minor inconvenience.
Originally thought to be some form of plasma weaponry, the so-called "shoulder cannon" has been proven to be an extremely advanced Molecular Cohesion Disrupter (MCD).
A sentinel helmet allows the Yautja to see the infrared spectrum more clearly on planets with an atmosphere different than their home planet. It also allows them to switch to the ultraviolet and gamma spectrums. This mask also provides them with oxygen laced with the specific trace elements their bodies need to work at peak efficiency. Deprived of this, the hunter becomes more easily exhausted.
A Yautja Medikit, this medical equipment has little in the way of pain relief, but is very adept at sealing bleeding wounds. This device has very little benefit to non-Yautja, however, as the chemicals are tailored to the Yautja's unique biochemistry.
Although hunting weapon selection is up to the individual Yautja, the use of Extender Claws is almost universal. Though several versions have been found, it is believed that this can be explained as "product improvements." These are the newest encountered, strengthened to assist in climbing. Made of a material that has proven to be immune to the most caustic of substances, it is believed these may have been developed in response to Yautja encounters with the xenomorph aliens originally encountered at LV426.
The Yautja Dart Launcher weapon is very similar to Terran needler weaponry. It uses magnetic acceleration technology to fire needles made of an iridium alloy that we have tentatively called "Iridium 4." While capable of slicing through most ballistic armor with ease, this is nevertheless a very weak weapon with which to hunt, considering the sort of prey that attracts Yautja. To bring back a trophy using this weapon brings great honor to the hunter.
The Scattergun is very much like a Terran shotgun, although a little more advanced. Its use is especially common among pilots and non-hunting males who may not be very good marksmen. It fires small razor-sharp triangular shot made of "Iridium 4." These triangles come out of the barrel spinning at high speeds.
The Yautja "suicide pill," as it has been euphemistically called, is actually a plasma bomb that is a little weaker than a tactical nuke, without all that messy radiation residue. It is used when a hunter has been trapped or terminally wounded. Its use has been explained as a combination of seppuku and a last-ditch "I'm gonna take you with me, sucker!" maneuver.
Ceremonial armor is often worn over their dense hide to provide them with the additional protection they need against exceptionally difficult opponents. Environmentally sealed armor has also been seen, for use when the Yautja is on a particularly exotic hunting trip.
Another Yautja favorite, the VibroNaginata makes short work of armor and cleaves through skin and bone with frightening ease. This weapon seems to be phasing out the older Collapsible Spear, and is more likely to be found in the possession of "younger" hunters, those who have been hunting only a few hundred years.
A Yautja collapsible spear is a very versatile weapon. It can be used as a stabbing or thrown weapon, and collapses into an easily carried unit through a pneumatic extension and collapse process. Some reports have even seen them used in a fighting stick capacity. Numerous other uses have been observed, including a balance aid, a makeshift lever, and vaulting pole. Care should be taken a Yautja with this device is encountered, as a hunter with this weapon is invariably trained in numerous styles of armed hand-to-hand combat. Light enough to be used easily with one hand, this weapon has been seen employed in tandem with Extender Claws to frightening effect. Another note: The pneumatic extension process is quite forcible, approximately 200 foot-pounds, and it has used to impale foes.
The Yautja Razor Disk (right) is a frightening weapon that can cut through nearly anything given the time. Used as a melee weapon primarily, the device is also equipped with a small antigrav unit which allows it to be thrown like a boomerang and inflict grisly wounds, sometimes even cutting the target in half.
A Trophy Kit is a small box full of tools that allow a Predator to field-clean a trophy. The kit includes:
"The Yautja have some distinct evolutionary ties to Terran spiders. Their mandibles and their head markings are obvious ones. Their feet are configured for a life spent clinging to things. Some of their DNA sequences are similar as well. Their blood has strong traces of copper and cyanide in it, which is what gives it that greenish color. Gentlemen, what we don't know about the Yautja could easily fill the old earth databanks. What we do know is that they are a technological race who has retained their instinct for the hunt. Their culture has evolved around capitalizing on this instinct, while ours has evolved around our desire to repress it. Who is more civilized? I guess that would depend on how you look at it. You don't see them utilizing holocaustic weapon systems."—IAI Yautja Research Chairman.
"Personally I think it's kind of stupid to assume the first two examples of this race we saw are exceptions, rather than the rule. I think in some other culture, like ours, that might be the case, as the people who are likely to be exploring the edge of human control (astronauts, etc.) are the exception. In Yautja society, I doubt this is the case. In fact, my opinion is this, if a Yautja does go rogue, it would stop hunting game. Since it really doesn't know any other type of life, I can see it becoming an interstellar bounty hunter or a mercenary... but hunting in the conventional sense would have lost its meaning as it has already ostracized itself from its race and therefore is no longer in the gene pool anyway."—Jean-Paul Querin.
"Lot of psychos in this world make a big deal out of hunting their prey and terrorizing them. Look at stalkers. From our perspective, the Yautja could be functional psychotics."—Lt. Roger Stenning, Group Leader, the Order Excalibur.
"The recent attendance of the Yautja at the Interspecies Peace Initiative is very surprising. Their motives for the sudden desire for dialogue are enigmatic at best. It has been postulated that perhaps they were as hurt as the rest of us by the Hatchling Wars. It's possible but I personally doubt it. I think they are a lot more straightforward than that. All those worlds lost to the Nightbrood.... They know we want those worlds back. They also know that high violence activity awakens the Brood and makes them swarm. How opportunistic a time for them to open communications with us when there are suddenly thousands of worlds across the Terran Empire that make perfect hunting grounds, and we are more than happy to pay them. I am not suggesting we stop this practice; we need the kind of help they can offer. However, we must make sure that we are not handing them the keys to our worlds and waiting to see if they are willing to give them back later. This is a dangerous assumption."—Jean-Paul Querin, ISI Yautja Research Team Leader.
Yautja Social Rank
Yautja social ranking is largely based on their performance in the field, while there is to be had some bragging rights for coming from "good stock." The following social ranks are known to formally exist, although clearly we cannot know at this point all the subtle nuances to this social system.
Description: The average Yautja is 7 to 8 feet tall, coming in at around 300 to 400 pounds. Their thick and mottled skin provides a thick layer of insulation, making them highly resistant to changes in temperature. Their foreheads are large, with bony ridges on the side. Four tusks surround their mouths. Note: the tusks are actually used when the mask is on to push the buttons on the side, thus leaving both hands free. Several older hunters have found they could serve hors d'oeuvres on their tusks. Their hair resembles dreadlocks. On their forehead is a mark of heritage.
Psionics: Yautja are occasionally found to be psionic, but it is much rarer in their race than in humans. However, Yautja psionicists are regarded highly in their culture, with a mixture of awe and respect. It is said that psionicists are often among the Great Hunters, as those with such a potent combination of strength of mind and bodies are frightening opponents. If there is a psionicist in a hunting group, he is likely to be the leader.
Pure psionicists who do not hunt are considered "strange" and are often left to their own devices. These individuals, collectively referred to as "Mind Wanderers," are almost entirely out of the normal social structure. They are distrusted, but this distrust is never vocalized. Their presence is often a great disruptive influence to the normal Yautja social structure. A group of hunters swaggering through a starport pushing aside "weak" races will suddenly part and seemingly loose direction and purpose when a Mind Wanderer walks by. It has been postulated that perhaps the brainwaves of these Yautja disrupt the motor pathways of other Yautja, along the lines of a weak stunner shot.
"The first recorded encounter between Yautja and humanity was documented in PreImp 9660, but we know for a fact that they were on old Earth long before that. Their technology was so incredibly more advanced than ours was. However, today, in AL 17, some 10,187 years later, we are more advanced in Star Drives, most of the Sciences.... Some of their weaponry is still radically more advanced than ours. But we use a larger base of weaponry than they do. I would base this not on evolution as much as culture. We of humanity have never built anything we could not destroy better first. We are preoccupied with destruction. Their weapons are more about taking back a head or two than about vaporizing the entire body. We are abhorrent of weapons that are messy; our reliance on energy weapons that cauterize wounds or vaporize entirely proves this. The Yautja are not so burdened. They are not squeamish about getting their hands dirty. They prefer it that way. Their weapons are hallmarks of versatility. We humans like to have lots of little gadgets. The Yautja are not looking around to spend 30 Elmonits on a stylish chronometer. They don't carry much, but what they carry is brutally efficient. We need to buy bigger dwellings to house all our stuff. They live out of their shuttles and motherships for decades at a time. We are very different, in culture, in outlook, in our motives for doing the things that we do. The biggest difference is we kill things because it is our nature. They do it because they love it."—Jean-Paul Querin, ISI Yautja Research Team Leader.
"The Yautja define themselves by what they hunt."—Jean-Paul Querin. A Yautja laser–cyberlink locks onto an alien xenomorph at the LV-426 site (left). This image was pulled from the Command center's computer and was later released by Wayland-Yutani to the Imperial Intelligence Directorate when it was formed. This was part of the Information transfer law of Imp 005.
Right: A Yautja with its cloaking device engaged. Very difficult to spot, you have to wait for them to move before the fringe effect is very obvious. Sometimes the Yautja will take pictures with its holographic camera that's built into its helmet; this causes the eyes to flash for a moment, also a possible giveaway. This picture caught this effect on film. It was taken by a Jadist marine's helmet camera moments before his demise. Luckily, the Yautja left the helmet when he took the marine's head.
"The Yautja social ladder is extremely fluid, where ours is fairly rigid. Much depends on what you did while hunting on your last trip. We are a race that loves our comforts. It's comfortable to know that when we get home from work, things will not be significantly different then when we left. This is not true for the Yautja. Change is their way of life. Tomorrow they may be Great Hunters or if they are seriously wounded, they may be mere artisans. Perhaps they won't come home at all. Few humans could live such a life. Those who do we call them Boonie Rats. The Yautja call them 'soft meat'—a humanoid worthy of being hunted."—Jean-Paul Querin.
"The Yautja call the Xenomorphs 'hard meat,' which is also what they call the Snee, which we think may be related. Perhaps this is proof. They call Trilopters 'gut sacks' and Malapachi Neo-Foci Entities, MNEs, 'world pavers.' Our scientists have tried for over three years to attach some kind of meaning to this nickname, based on our terribly sketchy information on the MNEs. They call the elusive 'morphs 'hated kin,' which caused some tremendous arguments about what that was supposed to imply. Are they related? Anatomically they have nothing in common. Perhaps it's a reference to the 'morphs original usage by the Luar as assassins. Other racial nicknames have been proven disturbing as well. They refer to Tezcats as 'fur hunters'; this is noteworthy as they have never referred to anything non-Yautja as a hunter before this. They call Draconians 'cold targets'; Spyders as 'tree stealers.' But by far the most frightening nickname they have used to describe a race humanity has encountered is 'cleanserkin'—the name they use to refer to the NightBrood. The cleanser part is morbidly easy to explain, but kin? Of all the races for the Yautja to claim as brethren, they choose the two races most dissimilar to humanity. This is very disturbing."—Jean-Paul Querin. (All nicknames are in the form given us by the Yautja. We have been unable to translate their language, and they are unwilling to teach it.)
"You can't see the eyes of the demon... until him comes callin'"—King William of the Jamaican Voodoo Drug Posse, circa preimp 9647.
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