The Ardolons are an aristocratic race of bipedal humanoids home to the planet Yula who are among the galaxy's most prominent and oldest leaders.
While originally uplifted by the Bushraks from an information age in 1047 CE, they have come to despise the very saviors that gave them the technology to travel the stars. They are the exact opposite ideologically and have not been able to stand one another since the Secession Wars.
Ardolons are quite similar to the Ardite externally, while their internal anatomy surprisingly closely mirrors that of the Vobuk. Like many others, they lack external tails, have opposable thumbs, and are sexually dimorphic. However, their skin has evolved to be almost entirely grey to negate the violent sun Yula orbits, and possess far more water weight than even the Humans.
It is estimated that the galactic average height for an adult Ardolon male is about 6 ft 3 in while females average around 6 ft 5 in. The average mass of an adult Ardolon male is 223–257 lb. Female Ardolons are much lankier biologically. While they may have a few inches on their male counterparts, they actually weigh far less at an average of 190-210 lb. As with most species, this growth varies with a planet's gravitational force.
The Ardolon life span can be split into a three distinct stages: infancy, childhood, and adulthood. However, unlike most other races, Ardolon society refuses to separate their elder citizens into their own age range as they believe it to be a form of disrespect. Instead, they treat them like any other adult and still require military service in the time of war. With significant medical enhancements across the galaxy in recent years, the average Ardolon lifespan has increased to 170 years and only continues to rise as time goes on.
After being uplifted by the Bushraks in 1047 CE, the Ardolons quickly came to be the third most powerful race in the galaxy, behind the Kelviir and the Bushraks themselves. Ironically enough, with the Bushraks playing such a heavy role in their early development, the Ardolons came to be the ideological foil of their mentors and continuously drifted further away. Before long, the Ardolons were considering severing ties completely with the Bushraks. However, with war on the horizon, they came to the aid of their former allies as they felt an obligation to do so.
The War of the Dawn lasted for quite a long time and left so many dead, but the Ardolons came out on top. They were able to form the Grand Alliance in their own vision and became one of the galaxy's leaders: all under the Bushraks' noses.
This shift in power and yearning to grow eventually strained Ardolon-Bushrak relations to the point of all out war. The Ardolon Empire closed their borders to the Bushrak Hierarchy and reorganized into the militaristic dictatorship that is now the Nironian Collective. The members of the Alliance saw it and other Ardolon actions as an act of war and either prepared to defend the Grand Alliance or seceded themselves.
Before long, the very war the Alliance set out to prevent nearly tore the galaxy apart after a century of intense, brutal fighting. Throughout it all, the Systems Coalition painted the Nironian Collective as the bad guys, effectively forcing them from galactic politics and banning them from the Grand Station.
It'd be another hundred years until the war came to a close in 1647 CE with the Traverse Treaty. This treaty, which was quite similar to the Cardinal Agreement that ended the War of the Dawn, brought peace to the galaxy once more and established the Intergalactic Assembly as the galaxy's de facto government. From that point onwards, the Ardolons swore off the Bushraks even though they served on the Assembly together and often had one of their own as the Chancellor.
In the 500 years since, the Ardolons have only grown and inducted more and more primitives into their borders, offering protection, technological advancement, and endless riches. They grew from the Bushraks' little brother to arguably the galaxy's most powerful and potentially advanced race in the Milky Way.
While the Nironian Collective officially claims to be a socialist alliance, Ardolons hardly confine to these restrictions out on the frontier (or anywhere else outside of their few directly-controlled colonies). Many have made their livings as merchants, off-world miners, pirates, civil servants, and just about everything in between. Their official economy grasp is much smaller than even that of Humanity, but their vast borders and population ensures the Ardolons exert their influence just about everywhere.
While early Ardolon primitives were highly religious, they have hardly been religious since. The Ardolons have never been very spiritual as early Bushrak culture had such a profound influence on their developing society. In modern times, some Ardolons have adopted the religion of the other various races including the Vobuk and Humans.
In response to the formation of the Systems Coalition and their secession from the Grand Alliance in 1543 CE, the Ardolons organized themselves under a famous manifesto drafted by Niron which transformed the Ardolon Empire dictatorship into the massive militaristic aristocracy that is the modern Nironian Collective. Named after the Collective that they actually fought against in the War of the Dawn, the Nironian Collective has come to be the ideological foil of the Systems Coalition as they oppose free trade, possess tight travel restrictions, and place the wealthy elite in charge as to keep the educated in power.
Just behind the Coalition Navy, the Nironian Fleet is much smaller by design to allow them to quickly bomb and wreck havoc on their opposition. Evidently, the Ardolons employ nearly hundreds of fleets composed of upwards of 400 fighters with incredibly strong shields that leave larger targets outmaneuvered and confused.
Their strategies have proved to be incredibly successful and granted them the status of being one of the galaxy's leading navies.
Taking notes from the Vobuk after suffering immense ground casualties during the War of the Dawn, the Ardolons developed an orbital drop system that launches soldiers in pods from incredibly fast and covert dropships right into the middle of intense situations.
The Ardolon armies are trained to move fast and do the absolute most amount of damage before being discovered. With every citizen being considered reserves in the event of war, the Ardolon army vastly outnumbers any of its rivals. However, with the Ardolon generals treating their soldiers like cannon fodder, those vast numbers often go to waste as a soldier's average life expectancy in battle averages around 90 seconds.