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List of characters, kiithid and major organizations featured in Homeworld: Deserts of Kharak.

Be sure to mark spoilers for anything related to storyline of the first Homeworld.

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Kharak's Kiithid

Note: Much of this information is gathered from the Deserts of Kharak Expedition Guide, a companion to the game that contains detailed backstory. Most of the kiithid are already revealed in the first Homeworld's game documentation, but many details are different as Deserts of Kharak is a prequel.

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For Kiith Gaalsien, check their own section down below.

    Kiith S'jet 
Kiith S'jet is one of the most ancient and respected Kiiths on Kharak. They are, first and foremost, scholars and seekers of knowledge. Their accomplishments are vast and numerous, including being the first to chart the Kharatid star system, uncover a pattern behind the thirteen-year sandstorm cycles that covered the equator of Kharak, successfully predict where rain will occur at the end of each cycle, and many more. In addition, most of the records regarding the Heresy Wars were penned by a S'jet scribe. Despite all of these accomplishments and the reputation that they brought the Kiith, however, they never sought to turn that reputation towards political gain. Thus, Kiith S'jet was too valuable an ally to be turned into a mere vassal. Any Kiith who killed or harmed a S'jet would be shunned by the scientific community for no less than a hundred years, in order to protect their knowledge from being corrupted.

Their history was not without its periods of turbulence, however. During the Heresy Wars period it was discovered that some members of S'jet had sworn secret oaths to Kiith Nabaal, carrying out retrieval operations and intelligence gathering. This lead to hot and passionate debate over the usage of science as a tool of military power that still rages into the modern day. While Fliir S'jet-sa realized the extremity of the situation that justified the betrayal and managed to stop the conflict from breaking out, there is still a lingering distrust between Kiith S'jet and Kiith Nabaal. It was only during the Times of Reason, when Kiith S'jet moved on to study life and nature of Kharak itself, that they were able to pour their efforts into singular, shared goal. Among their many accomplishments during this time were the discovery of the Guidestone, along with realizing that the Kharaki people and the native wildlife on Kharak were fundamentally different on a genetic level.

All in all, the S'jet are eager to question, observe, predict and record. They are the ones who uphold truth above all else, no matter how disturbing it might be.

  • Cool Plane: The S'jet are responsible for all Coalition aerospace craft present in the game, by the sounds of things.
  • The Smart Guy
  • Comes Great Responsibility / Knowledge Broker: This trope seems to run in S'jet teachings. One of the running themes with S'jet scholars and families under it is that they are expected not to be decision makers. Rachel S'jet remarked that this is what weighing her down before Operation Khadiim, unable to reveal the slow death of Kharak kept out of public view by the Daiamid council.

    Kiith Naabal 
A mysterious kiith, with scattered mentions of them in old records as either tradesmen or heretics. The Gaalsien was particularly harsh to families under Naabal, driving what little left of them into hidden villages in tiny ice caps up north. They continued on, seemingly isolated from the outside world and faded away.

When the Heresy War hits however, the Naabal moved to intervene. First by secretly 'spirited away' texts in danger of destruction and imprisoned scholars. Then, when it was clear that Kharak's day will be numbered if the war continues, the Naabal under Ifriit Naabal-Sa breaks out their long-hidden explosives, steam and refining technology to stop the conflict by force. Unlike the major powers in the Heresy Wars, all Naabal-Sa asked is for the war to end; never demanding fealty to the Naabal, just peace. And soon more and more lesser kiithid came to Naabal's side to help end nearly 300 years of brutality; it took only 3 years. Ifriit Naabal-Sa’s last act before stepping down as Sa was to establish the Daiamid in Tiir as a place where all kiithid, powerful and weak, could gather to resolve disputes and set policy for all of Kharak.

Kiith Naabal seemed content to fade slowly into history for many years, but recent stresses on Kharakid society, mainly the encroachment of desert sands on many settlements in the North and increased hostility from Kiith Gaalsien, seem to have steered Naabal back to the forefront of politics. Naabal has formed permanent alliances with both the S’jet and Soban kiithid, and has taken the lead in organizing both expeditions to the Jaraci Anomaly. They also took special interest in aerospace research and low-orbit facilities.

  • The Engineer: Not only Naabal's diplomats are skilled. The kiith is also responsible for many engineering feats on Kharak, ranging from heavy-duty vehicles to massive sand barriers.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Their role in the Heresy Wars. Kiith Nabaal continues to be this even into modern days of Kharak.
  • Magnificent Bastard: If you read carefully you will see that Naabal engaged in a lot of backdoor politics and decision making, perhaps to prevent another senseless crusade from breaking out again. They also do not hesitate to trade lives if there is ever a need, such as what happened during the Gaalsien's final attack on then-incomplete Project Stormbreaker.
  • Reluctant Warrior: Prior to the Heresy Wars, the Naabal were pacifistic archivists, sending out parties to save documents and texts from cities being sacked. Eventually however, their leader saw that the continued fighting would destroy the vital infrastructure keeping their people alive. The Naabal thus rapidly militarized using their collected knowledge and expertise and set out to end the Heresy Wars; the downtrodden masses, tired of being bullied for tithes or used as targets and cannonfodder, were all too happy to rally behind the Naabal banner when given the opportunity. The aggressors found it a little hard to keep fighting when their tithes dried up and their armies were dead or broken.
  • Super Weapon Surprise: Their explosive and gunpowder weapons mauled armies 20 times their size during the Heresy Wars. It's little wonder they were able to make such short work of the relatively medieval Siidim and Gaalsien forces.

    Kiith Paktu 
A minor farming kiith living on the slopes of the Salt Sea. Paktu and many other kitthid were displaced when Kiith Siidim and Kiith Gaalsien engaged in the Heresy Wars, over a religious debate of why the maker Sajuuk placed them on such a desolate world. Siidim's Clean Water Act was passed, preventing lesser 'Gritiidim' from living at headwaters, believing themselves to be of divine origin. The neighboring Gaalsien were no better either, demanding the kiithid to burn their 'sinful' belongings and punishments on their enemy.

Hopeless, Majiir Paktu, the Paktu Kiith-sa at the time, rallied the people and sailed into the Great Banded Deserts towards the southern pole, on a rumor from a mad Manaani travellers who rambled about endless seas and "grasses that touched the sky". Many succumbed to seasonal heat storm, rockfall, poisonous water or lizard bites. And many more almost gave up on the attempt. Yet Majiir Paktu continued to plead to his people to continue onward. "I can smell the sea," he said. "It's only a little farther." On the last leg of the journey, legend has it that they found a bird — a sea-spirit — circling in the hot sun. And beyond the last red hilltop, lies the vast Majiirian Sea.

Majiir Paktu did not survive the trek back to the north, but seven of his followers continued to speak of the new land in his place, where the oppressed people can live free of the oppression of the Siidim and Gaalsien; soon, refugees were fleeing in great voyages every year. Yet the Siidim and Gaalsien, not quite finished with their conflict, saw these fleeing vassals and their new lands as rightfully theirs; they sent armies to subdue the southern kiithid and extract tithes to continue their wars. At least three major attempts were made, but only the third had any kind of success in crossing the desert... and the Paktu would not kneel. Whilst many of them lacked combat experience. the Paktu troops were numerous, fresh, healthy, and well-prepared - unlike the invaders, who had just travelled across the Great Banded Desert. The fighting was bloody, but the Paktu were victorious and the message was heard; no further armies came to the South.

People of Kiith Paktu are optimistic, innovative and venturesome, their story a symbol of independence, hope and faith against all odds.

  • Catchphrase: "I can smell the sea" became favorite motto of those born under Paktu.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: During the Heresy Wars they wanted no part of.
  • Pre Ass Kicking One Liner: Said by Kim Paktu, Majiir's grandson, to the leader of the Gaalsien army;
    "These are my people. And this is our land. You have no vassals here."
    Kiith Soban 
Kiith Soban existed since in original Homeworld game documentation. But they become a sub-faction of their own in Desert of Kharak through purchasable DLC.

Prior to the rise of southern federation and the intervention of Kiith Nabaal in Heresy War, being kiith-less is its own death sentence. There were no trades. No provision. No benefits and protection from the allied families. Men and woman alike were simply left to rot.

So it was shocking when two vassal kiithid decided to tear down their own colors.

The origin of Kiith Soban or the "Grey Brotherhood" is hazy. It appears that during ancient times of Kharak, two unknown kiithid came under attack from a stronger neighboring kiith, their people dying by droves. Though they fought back, they were no match for the invaders - and were punished harshly despite even after they surrendered. Survivors, lead by a man named Soban, fled across Sparkling Desert to their kiith-sa to beg for help, only for their cries to be rejected in fear of retaliation, or perhaps realization that the invaders were simply too powerful. Instead, their kiith-Sa submitted to the invaders as vassals.

Soban tore the kiith colors from his body in shame upon receiving this news, and his followers did the same. He declared he would never join any false kiith who turned deaf ears and blind eyes to the blood and the screaming of their own children — a true kiith must be a kiith of spirit and like-minded ambition.

He and his followers took on a deep and vivid red color, leaving their old lives behind and went on a warpath, starting by annihilating both their invaders and their former homeland. Not a single blade of grass was left standing.

From then on, Kiith Soban became mercenaries, taking part in every military conflict on the planet. Their skill as soldiers and commanders were highly prized. They are also renowned for their discipline and their own code; they will fight for anyone, regardless of their own personal cost — down to the hour and the minute agreed upon — after which the Sobani will immediately lay down arms, remove their adopted colors, and return home no matter the time or place, their contract only renewable through the kiith-sa. Settling down is never an option; formal marriage is forbidden (though informal 'alliances' are still allowed) and children must be left with other kiith as foundlings or else their parents must leave as well.

Even in modern Kharak, Kiith Soban still remains valuable; their intelligence staff are highly sought after, and virtually all Coalition officers are trained at Soban-run academies in Tiir. To be a Sobani is to negate all status quo of the society. No matter what reason any Kharaki decided to join, be it on free will or to escape, Kiith Soban will impose the same discipline and solidarity on them all.

  • Legion of Lost Souls: Their acceptance of all bears a hint of this.
  • Proud Warrior Race: What they are. Unusually for this trope, Kiith Soban is a dedicated mercenary group, and they never declare any territory as their own.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: They raged so hard they burn down their former homeland along with its oppressors. In a way, they are denouncing the concept of Kiith as a power to wield and not as a familial union.
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    Kiith Manaan 
Perhaps the strangest kiith in terms of tradition. Kiith Manaan is a traveling clan, constantly wandering, stopping by watering places and expecting hospitality everywhere they go... much to disgust of some Kharaki hosts who was left behind with the hard work. Their men and woman are of all builds, skin colors and sorts, who mostly made their journey no bigger than an extended family.

Kiith Manaan survived by trade (as their roaming caravans often carried rare medicines from distant settlements) but also by their wits and their ability to amuse hold-born Kharaki. Singers and poets, magicians, dancers, actors and con men — there was nothing to the rumor that Manaani could perform dark magic, but they could certainly make your purse and your 15-year old daughter disappear.

During the beginning of Heresy War, Kiith Manaan suffered badly under both Gaalsien and Siidim; one of the few key points the two fanatical groups could actually agree upon was the fact the free-wheeling Manaani were anathema to the strict dogma both groups preached. The yearly Manaani celebration at Ferin Sha, where one could have found a large festival of celebration and drinking, was attacked in 513 by a Siidim army, resulting in a massacre and the end of the tradition. Many of the Manaanii turned to piracy, killing and terrorizing the Siidim near the White Desert. A small portion of them also played a part in Kiith Paktu's Great Migration, traveling on iconic three-masted ships and returning to the North with many technological improvements.

Eventually, the Manaanii laid down their weapons and turned their fleet completely to trade. The questing spirit of the Manaani is not dead even today. Kiith Manaan still controls enormous wealth, and of all the Kharakid kiithid it is the most likely to produce a diplomat or a statesman. Manaani also are common in the ranks of Scout pilots and are always eager to volunteer when it’s time to fly an experimental craft. Being the first to see anything new and different is a hunger that still burns deep in their blood.

  • Beware the Silly Ones: Back in the days of Kharak, they were just nomadic dancers and maybe thieves with strange traditions. Then the Siidim attacked their Dancing Grounds and butchered the Manaan present, and the rest of the Kiith raided Siidim settlements on the border of the desert for one hundred years, possibly preventing them from winning the Heresy Wars that were raging.
    • The Manaani are also responsible for the Coalition's current LAV design; in trials they utterly obliterated the Naabal competition before the announcer could finish introducing the Naabal. One might argue it's a little unsporting, but the results spoke for themselves.
  • Challenge Seeker: They're always seeking new heights and new experiences.
  • Expy: They are Gypsies of Homeworld universe.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Attack their dancing ground, and they'll make you pay for one hundred years.

    Kiith Siidim 
Kiith Siidim was mentioned in the original Homeworld's game documentation, but later expanded proper in the Deserts of Kharak Expedition Guide.

Kiith Siidim is one of three major religious kiithid on Kharak since ancient times, the others being Kiith Gaalsien and Kiith Somtaaw. The Siidim were the largest proponent of 'Fall from Grace' faction; those that believed the Kharaki has been exiled to this world due to an act that offended the Gods. This clashed badly with Kiith Gaalsien's ideology, who declared such a thought of our people capable of deceiving the maker a greatest arrogance and heresy beyond belief.

Both kiithid later engaged in The Heresy War, over a debate not if the Kharaki were cursed but how the curse was carried out. What followed was three hundred years of madness and destruction that deprived Kharak of many precious lives and resources, including those of many other kiithid that weren't involved, until Kiith Naabal emerged from their ciry of Tiir and put an end to the war with voices of reason (and semi-automatic rifles, whenever asking nicely failed).

After the war ended and political power shifted, the Siidim chose to rejoin society as quietly and as progressively as possible, paid the right reparations and engaged in kiithid politics as a major player in the new Daiamid. The Siidim-Sa has opposed loosening the law that keep families bonded to their kiith, but they do so by making the new law as conservative as possible without hindering the economic need of society at large. Also, Kiith Siidim never skimped in providing military assets for Northern Coalition to battle Gaalsien raiders.

There are still a few sour notes in relation to other kiithid however, with claims from Daiamid accusing the Siidim for excessive force used in operations against their old enemy from the Heresy Wars. The Siidim-Sa answers these charges with well-documented evidences of isolated war stress. While the other major kiithid have not pressed any formal complaints against the Siidim, they have done little to defend their allies against these rumors. It is still said that the fanatical Doine kiith that rose to prominence during the Mission Silumiin riots in 1024 KDS were being secretly funded by an arm of Siidim Intel.

Over past three centuries Kiith Siidim has adapted by looking into the past for lessons instead of dogma. Despite the uneasy relationship between itself and other kiithid, the Siidim are still acknowledged and respected force in modern Kharak, who chose to accept the new future in face of destruction and finding a place in it for themselves.

  • Ax-Crazy: The Heresy Wars erupted not because of resources but of relatively pointless religious debate against Kiith Gaalsien. Siidim eventually grew out of it.
  • Because Destiny Says So / Fantastic Racism: Originally Kiith Siidim were of an opinion that only them are of divine origin, all others were simply dirty "gritiidim". At one point in the Heresy Wars, Kiith Siidim declared Clean Water Act and chased out anybody else that lived at headwaters.
  • It's All About Me: They believe that they are the only true kiith on Kharak, and brutally mistreated and committed atrocities against other kiith due to their delusions of grandeur. This even extends to modern history, as when the expedition comes across the wreck of the Khar-Toba, the Siidim carrier betrays the S'jet carrier, because they believe only the Siidim are worthy of seeing what's inside it.
  • Heel–Face Turn: It should hardly come as a surprise when the Sakala turns on you.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: Kiith Siidim has a history of oppressing the lesser kiithid and this bad blood still exists in modern Kharak. Though Kiith Naabal is a special case, since they are seen as Siidim's political rival.

    Kiith Hraal 
Kiith Hraal is first introduced in the Deserts of Kharak Expedition Guide.

A newborn kiith in Kharak's society, the Hraal were formally established in the wake of the Heresy Wars; as the Nabaal-sa established the Daiamid alongside four other Kiith-sa. When the doors opened, the Hraal-sa entered and sat as an equal among equals. At first, there was confusion. Who was this interloper? Some minor vassal kiith-sa, come to bring some issue to their attention, so provincial that she did not know where to stand or sit?

The Hraal-sa announced herself, and the Daiamid exploded into an uproar. Sobani guards moved to eject the intruders, but halted with a single glance from the Soban-sa. The Naabal and Siidim were outraged still, but the combined reason and logic of the Paktu, Soban, and Somtaaw carried the day. Hraal was formally recognized as a new major kiith. Still, it wasn't going to be easy for the Hraal; they were born from necessity, not history and shared expertise. While being a host of workers of all kinds; from artists to economist, they were hard-pressed to find a field of work that is not already occupied by more experienced craftsmen.

However, Kiith Hraal possessed adaptability, ingenuity, and most importantly: teamwork. Their urgent need to work together was something no other kiithid have. One day, when the forlorn Steel Hraal-Sa watched Naabal artisans and S'jet technicians struggle to cooperate and communicate when they tried to build a new steam cars, she was stuck by an inspiration. She urged her kiith to pour everything into purchasing license rights to manufacture Naabal's steam cars. Later, the Sa's of Naabal and S'jet were invited to watch a team of forty Hraal workers putting together three machines in a single day; the same production would take an entire month for any other. They had invented the assembly line, and with it an industrial revolution in mass production.

The kiith grew from one empty work shed to Kharak's largest manufacturing yards, encompassing thousands of Hraal workers who cooperate to build everything from skimmers to mighty Command Carriers. They also worked closely together with the Siidim in building the Sakala, done in Hraal's main manufacturing yards outside of Tiir.

There is still much to prove for the new kiith. Several of Hraal engineers and technician parted way to form Kiith Liir Hra, looking to dominate aerospace fabrication and orbital deployment, while J'dones Hraal-Sa and much of his inner council are still reluctant to shift the focus and invest in new technologies. Only time can tell whether Kiith Hraal will survive.

  • Can't Catch Up: If they don't make new breakthroughs soon, this will be the case for them.
  • Jack-of-All-Trades: And master of none. Kiith Hraal doesn't have any particular area of expertise, but plenty of workforce and enough societal flexibility to throw around.
  • The Power of Friendship: Hraal's gimmick. They don't have the smarts of S'jet, the martial prowess of Soban, or the design skills of the Naabal... but they can work together. A team of ten journeymen working together efficiently are worth ten times a lone expert who can't get along with anyone to save his life.

    Kiith Somtaaw 
Kiith Somtaaw has already featured as one of two playable factions in Homeworld Cataclysm, but was expanded proper in the Deserts of Kharak Expedition Guide.

An ancient family on Kharak who made Khontala Mountain range their home. Their holdings were rich and varied, from farms to dams, fortresses and towns. The kiith was more than self-sufficient, and prospered greatly through trade. In 178 KDS artists from various disciplines were gathered under patronage of Teigor Somtaaw, one of the most enlightened of his time. Kiith Somtaaw then began building a series of 33 temples on slopes of Lungma Jiin, the highest mountain of the world. It became a place to pilgrimage of all religiously inclined Kharaki. The vast majority would visit the 7th temple "Dome of Heaven" once in their lifetime, but for the devotees of the Shimmering Path, there are 26 more temples, each more inaccessible than the last. It is said that pilgrim who made it to the end of journey on foot are allowed to touch some of the most sacred relics on Kharak, including the Star-Metal scrolls, said to be written by Jakuul himself in a language no living man could read, kept in a wind-sheared altar at the top of the mountain.

The Heresy Wars were painful period of tranformation for Somtaaw; the Khontala Mountain range provides natural barrier between Kiith Gaalsien and Kiith Siidim, with both sides trying to seduce the Somtaaw to their aid for 200 years. The flow of pilgrims slowed to a halt, and no pilgrims means no money to maintain the temples. Eventually, in the year 675 KDS, all 33 of the Somtaaw temples were closed to outsiders, except for the Oracle of Tala and the Dome of Heaven. And the kiith had troubles keeping the Kassar Road, the only path in and out of their holdings, open. Invaders couldn't enter, but neither does caravans and visitors...

In 789 KDS, Kuura Somtaaw-sa was struck by a dream of the god Sajuuk driving a great red sword into the earth in the Khontala mountains, in a seldom-visited region far from the main roads. With some reluctance and desperation, several Somtaaw families moved to Red Creek and began excavation, not expecting to find the richest ore deposit ever found of Kharak. When news reached the Siidim and Gaalsien, both sides were quick to offer vast sums of riches to the Somtaaw in exchange for the mine or its ore - but Kiith Somtaaw refused to trade with either side. To quote Kuura Somtaaw, "Why should I sell these madmen a knife to cut my throat with?"

It helped, of course, that the high-grade steel the Somtaaw were producing was far more precious than gold in such bloody times. Instead, it would be the Sobani who received the spoils; the mercenaries signed an unheard-of contract: a yearly tribute of Somtaaw steel in exchange for the Sobani keeping the Kassar open and free of marauders. The duration? No less than one hundred years.

After Nabaal put a swift end to the Heresy Wars, the Somtaaw continued to expand their operations. While they haven't made any technology advancements of their own, they are always quick to buy, copy, or outright steal any new tools or techniques. Thus the Somtaaw profited greatly from the introduction of steam-powered drills, narrow-gauge railroads, and chemical explosives. Kiith Somtaaw is now nearly 500,000 strong, and have even built new holdings alongside great industrial kiithid like Naabal and Hraal.

  • Call to Agriculture: Other Homeworld documentations refers to Kiith Somtaaw as one of three most influential religious kiith in ancient times, alongside Ferrill and Gaalsien. However when the Heresy Wars ended, they decided to "strengthen Kharak from its roots", turning to agriculture following poor trades and exhaustion suffered in the conflict.
  • Future Badass: Who knew that the Somtaaw would end up saving the galaxy a few centuries later?
  • "Shaggy Dog" Story: If Homeworld Cataclysm is any indication, Kiith Somtaaw still has a lot more work to do.

    Khaaneph 
Khaaneph is a group first introduced in Deserts of Kharak. They area also available as Gaalsien-derivative faction in Khaaneph DLC.

In short, they are bandits. But this is a dismissive simplification of who the Khaaneph are.

In 1024 KDS, a cryptographer named Masaar Manaan brought a meticulously-prepared report to his superiors, based on a single word picked out of Gaalsien communications. Originally, the reports were dismissed; surely it was just some other word for the Coalition's forces, in some undocumented Gaalsien dialect. But Masaar was a clasically-trained linguist and insisted time and time again; this word had no relation to any Coalition after-action reports, and every Gaalsien report relating to the Coalition consistently used the same word to refer to the Coalition. Eventually, Masaar was placed as head of an intelligence task force devoted to answering the question of what that word meant.

He had another asset, of course: Gaalsien captives. Through interrogation of these captives, or even direct communication with the Gaalsien - and ultimately information leaked to the Coalition on the Gaalsien-Sa's orders - Masaar was able to prove himself correct. This other force the Gaalsien were referring to, these "Khaaneph", were real.

It should hardly be a surprise that during the darkest days of the Heresy Wars, many families simply gathered whatever supplies they could and fled deep into the deserts. Some survived long enough to be absorbed into Kiith Gaalsien, but most were lost to the shifting stands... or so most Kharaki believed. In the wake of the Wars and the Gaalsien Exile, the sacking of fringe settlements was merely attributed to the Gaalsien; honest people butchered by religious fanatics, or else lured away by their prophets. It was painful, but a familiar and understandable, something that the people could come to accept.

The truth was far worse.

Those who survived the deserts without joining the Gaalsien did so by looting the ruins of past battles, and later preying on each other, ambushing unfortunate caravans and massacring small settlements outside of the Coalition's great walls. They took everything; every scrap of cloth and metal could be used to keep some other machine working. Every child could be brought up a warrior. Every corpse was food, and raw materials. When the Age of Reason arrived, only the Gaalsien took note of them, because the Khaaneph preyed on them more often and more openly than any other kiith.

The Khaaneph are no real kiith as the Coalition understands them, and are truly anathema to the Gaalsien way of thinking. To be Khaaneph is to believe... in nothing. No God. No law. No justice. No Kiith. To be one of them is to have no goals except survival, no belief past the need to remain alive, and no loyalty to anyone but oneself. Khaanephi spare each other only so long as there is a "bigger fish".

  • Ax-Crazy: Unlike the Coalition's Kiithid or the Gaalsien, the Khaaneph believe in nothing but survival. There are no restraints to keep them from murdering anyone caught in their path.
  • The Dreaded: It got so bad that the Gaalsien are willing to leak information to the Northern Coalition to stop them... though the Guide notes that it remains to be seen where the Gaalsien will throw their power should the Coalition and Khaaneph truly come to blows.
    Masaar Manaan: “Without a doubt, every person reading this analysis can remember unruly nights as a child when your Family Sa would place you back in bed, perhaps a bit firmly, and explain to you in a hushed voice that troublesome children would be left out on the wall for the Gaalsien to steal away in the night. Now stop for a moment and think about the monsters the Gaalsien have been using to frighten their children since the fall of Saju-Ka! Think hard on that. If there is one thing I have learned, it is this: we are not the only ones they fear.”
  • Expy: Their ships lack the spikes and blood paint, but they're more than a little reminiscent of Firefly's Reavers.
  • Glass Cannon: Emphasis on the cannon part. The Khaaneph have modified Baserunner and Siege Cruiser that are much better in delivering the hurt than its kiith counterpart. Also their Carrier can shunt powers to provide extra speed to itself and nearby allies.
  • Moral Event Horizon: The Heresy Wars left them without a choice.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: Why they are feared so much by the Gaalsien. Pretty much the only way they survived in the great deserts.
  • Suicide Attack: Khaanephi Baserunners can deploy Blast Drones.

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Northern Coalition

A collective of kiithid who long ago moved into the more temperate northern polar regions to escape Kharak's harsh equatorial wastes. The Coalition is governed by the Daiamid, a ruling council of sorts that is made up of all the leaders of the various kiithid. The discovery of the Jaraci Object, combined with the inexplicable and meteoric advancement of Gaalsien technology, prompted the Coalition to launch expeditions into the Great Banded Desert. There, they hope to find the source of the Gaalsien technology, and possibly some insight into how the Kharaki came to be on such a desolate, unforgiving world.

The Coalition also includes the southern kiithid such as Kiith Paktu, but they play no significant part in the main story of the game. Instead, their role is expanded on in the Expedition Guide.

  • Drone Deployer: Coalition Baserunners can deploy flying Probes to scout out areas on the map.
  • Mighty Glacier: The Northern Coalition's playstyle puts emphasis on a slow and steady advance. Most of their vehicles are not as agile as their Gaalsien counterparts but can generally deal and take more damage, and are designed to complement each other through combined arms tactics.
  • More Dakka: The Light Assault Vehicle comes armed with multi-barreled autocannons; the Armored Assault Vehicle has one even bigger one.
  • The Turret Master: Coalition Baserunners.
  • Tank Goodness: Most of their ground units.

Operation Khadiim

The resounding failure of Operation Skaal Brii four years prior to the start of the game prompted the Coalition to go back to the drawing board in its attempts to locate and study the Primary Anomaly. Operation Khadiim was designed from the start to address nearly all of Skaal Brii's shortcomings. As Gaalsien attacks on Coalition holdings increase in intensity, it seems that Operation Khadiim is the last hope that the Kharaki people have of finding the Primary Anomaly, and may indeed be their last hope of ensuring their survival. As part of Operation Khadiim, five state of the art carriers were commissioned to work in tandem in locating the Primary Anomaly: the Kapisi, the Sakala, the Akalon, the Fiiskire, and the Amida.
  • Base on Wheels: The Sakala-class carriers play this to a tee. They are nothing less than monstrously large aircraft carriers on massive treads crawling through the desert, all equipped with their own manufacturing facilities.
  • Military Mashup Machine: In keeping with Homeworld tradition, the Sakala-class carriers are mobile factories, capable of both processing resources and churning out whole mechanized armies by themselves. Unlike the motherships in Homeworld 1 and 2 however, carriers can act as powerful warships more than capable of defending themselves in a pinch.
  • We Hardly Knew Ye: All carriers except Sakala and Kapisi never made it out of their respective shipyards.

Carrier Kapisi

    Rachel S'jet 
Rachel is the chief science officer aboard the S'jet carrier Kapisi. She spends the game operating from her custom Baserunner, which has been modified to act as a mobile science lab. She is also the younger sister of Jacob S'jet, who went missing four years ago during Operation Skaal Brii.

  • Ace Custom / Hero Unit: Rachel uses a custom S'jet variant of the Naabal Baserunner that lacks the ability to deploy weapon turrets, but gains the ability to deploy Shipbreaker Mines, hack Gaalsien vehicles to her side, fire EMP blasts, and repair other units (at a rate faster than the Support Cruiser, but only on a single target). All of which makes her a rare RPG-esque unit in a series known for strategic-level decision making.
  • Determinator: She's deeply lost after her brother goes missing, but the discovery that another expedition is being planned gives her the motivation she needs to train as a scout-qualified military officer in less than two years... and then burn her own climate research, as she knows publishing it will torpedo her chances of making it onto the expedition - and possibly even result in her own death.
  • Long-Lost Relative: Jacob S'jet, her brother.
    • I Will Find You: Pretty much her whole reason for joining the expedition is to find out what really happened to Jacob. She went so far as to plant simple digital listening programs throughout the Coalition network to search for signs of a new expedition.
  • Science Hero: Born of Kiith S'jet. She applied for Operation Khadiim and works to analyze artifacts in the field.
  • Gadgeteer Genius: In her personal diary, she says she's been coding digital "kiith-agents" since she was eight.
    Roman S'jet 
Captain of the S'jet carrier Kapisi, Roman is the no-nonsense commander in charge of the expedition to find the Primary Anomaly.
  • Mission Control: Will call out combat activities inside your line-of-sight and sensor coverage.
  • Older and Wiser: Is a known combat veteran in charge of defending Project Stormbreaker against the Gaalsien.
  • The Stoic: Not even gigantic supply lander blowing up right in front of his eyes will faze him.
    Nathan S'jet 
Nathan is the intelligence officer aboard the Kapisi, and as such acts as Mission Control for the player.
  • Mission Control: Actually the only one in Kapasi that assigns story-related tasks to the player.
    Clea Soban 
In charge of fleet operations, Clea will inform the player of everything from newly constructed units to the status of the Kapisi.

Carrier Sakala

    Mashad Siidim 
Captain of the Siidim carrier Sakala.
  • Face–Heel Turn: Captain Mashad aids the Kapisi and its crew for several missions. At the Khashar Plateau, after the Siidim cargo lander arrives and unloads its cargo for the Sakala, he orders his forces to fire on the S'jet cargo landers providing resources for the Kapisi.
    Captain Mashad: "Only the Siidim and our Kiith-sa are of Divine Origin... Only we can claim the bounty that lies at the heart of the desert. The First City and its secrets belong to us...and us alone."

Carrier Akalon

Carrier Fiiskire

Carrier Amida

Operation Skaal Brii

Operation Skaal Brii was Operation Khadiim's predecessor, taking place four years before the game begins. Upon discovering the Primary Anomaly deep within the Great Banded Desert, the Northern Coalition quickly sent an expedition to locate and retrieve it for study. The carrier Ifriit Naabal was dispatched along with a hastily gathered detail of science personnel in order to make the long trek across the desert. However, the Ifriit Naabal and her crew turned out to be woefully unprepared, and all contact with the expedition was lost less than a month into the mission.

Carrier Ifriit Naabal

The Ifriit Naabal and her crew constituted the Northern Coalition's first attempt to reach the Primary Anomaly. Though a formidable vessel and manned by an experienced crew, she lost contact with the Coalition less than a month after her journey began. After action reports note that the carrier was not equipped to withstand the conditions of the deep desert, nor was it designed to operate in a protracted, near-constant state of combat. These facts, combined with an inadequate support network for the expedition, are believed to have contributed to the Ifriit Naabal's fall. While the ultimate fate of the carrier is unknown, she and her crew have been officially declared lost with all hands.
    Jacob S'jet 
Rachel's elder brother, Jacob was the chief science officer aboard the Ifriit Naabal. He went missing along with the rest of the expedition four years ago after all contact with the carrier was lost.
  • Father to His Men: Jacob is noted to care deeply about those under his command... but doesn't hesitate to put himself in harm's way.
  • Hot-Blooded: In the Expedition Guide his profile notes that he should not be let out of the carrier if at all possible. If Rachel is any indication, it runs in the blood.
    • Heroic Sacrifice: He breaks loose of Gaalsien captivity and makes a run for a crashed Taiidan Carrier alone and on foot without any provisions just to take hold of the Kill Sat controls and stall the Gaalsien fleet before they can get to the Khar-Toba. By the time Rachel found him, he was long dead.
    Deckard Naabal 

Others

    Leykab Jaraci 
A humble sensor technician, without whom the Jaraci Object would likely never have been located by the Coalition. After spending an hour working to stabilize a tumbling deep-space radar satellite, Leykab concedes that it is impossible... but prior to issuing the self-destruct command, he runs the last data tape and discovers that the satellite's powerful radar array has been sweeping the deserts over and over as it spun.

There's a massive signature out there, deep in the desert; metallic, surrounded by masses of stone in regular geometric patterns: the Khar-Toba and the city surrounding it. With shaking hands, he sends a report and his name enters the history books for eternity. This discovery kicks off the ill-fated Operation Skaal Brii, and later Operation Khadiim.

    J'raal Hraal 

Kiith Gaalsien

The Gaalsien are one of the most ancient kiith in known history. They are a strict religious group that preaches the suffering Sajuuk ("He Whose Hands Shapes What is") bestowed upon people of the planet. Their culture puts emphasis on survival such as conserving resources or not risking the future on untested methods, and arrogance was to be punished, believing that they were created to suffer from the beginning. This stems from harsh condition of Kharak's desolate desert environment. Because of this, Kiith Gaalsien remained a major political and spiritual influence on the planet for a long time. Only when people migrated to more-survivable polar regions, and were able to focus their efforts on technological advancements as well as pure survival, did the Gaalsien begin to lose their power.

Gaalsien and Siidim, the largest clans in the north, once fought each other in a conflict known as the Heresy Wars, over the issue of what had made their God place the people of Kharak on such a world, before both were eventually defeated by Kiith Nabaal and its allies. The Gaalsien once belonged to the Coalition, but were declared an outlaw kiith after they destroyed the great city of Saju-ka, along with the majority of its population, 400 years prior to the events of Deserts of Kharak. The Gaalsien likewise antagonize the Coalition for engaging in a space program, which the Gaalsien view as blasphemy.

  • Ax-Crazy: After they blew up the barriers protecting Saju-Ka from the encroaching sands, they collectively went nomad and became this against the rest of Kharak in the end.
  • Culture Chop Suey: While mostly based on Muslim extremists of one sort or another, they have influences from various other cultures, including Mayincatec-style religious art, the one named Gaalsien character being a blond, British-accented woman with a Jewish-sounding name and many of their vehicles having Russian-influenced names.
  • Evil Brit: They speak with vaguely British-sounding accents in contrast to the Northern Coalition's North American-sounding ones.
  • Fragile Speedster / Glass Cannon: Most of their units. Their army as a whole is highly mobile, but lacks the armor needed to withstand prolonged battles.
  • Malevolent Masked Men: The Gaalsien wear armored masks that completely conceal their features.
  • Mission from Sajuuk: How the Gaalsien justify war with the Coalition.
  • Oh, Crap!: The Daiamid Security Council Briefing AX-4 in the Expedition Guide is essentially a prolonged one of these, as a Paktu intelligence officer summarizes that the Gaalsien must have found new sources of materiel and technological advancements in the desert.
  • Red and Black and Evil All Over: Their color scheme.
  • Scary Amoral Religion: Though hardly the only clan of religious zealots on Kharak, the Gaalsien put particular emphasis on Sajuuk's wrath, and see themselves as its instrument. Which is why they wipe out entire cities without batting an eye.
  • Science Is Bad: This is Kiith Gaalsien's view of the Kharaki space program. They believe that the kiithid were put on Kharak as a punishment, and to try and escape that punishment is a blasphemy that warrants punishment from Sajuuk.
    • If you played Homeworld previously you know they're not TOTALLY wrong... the Kushan were exiled to Kharak by the Taiidan empire. There was a treaty that spared their lives, but forbade them from using or developing hyperspace technology, effectively forcing them to live in exile on Kharak. Knowledge of this (and their past) was lost and faded into the mythology that the Gaalsien preach. Violation of the treaty did bring the wrath of the Taiidan down onto the planet in Homeworld.

    The K'Had Sajuuk 
The Kiith-Sa (clan leader) of Kiith Gaalsien, a combination of warlord and religious leader.
  • Creepy Monotone: The K'Had Sajuuk speaks calmly and matter-of-factly; his voice rarely rises or changes inflection, even while promising death and destruction to all who oppose Sajuuk's will.
    • Not So Stoic: With one exception: Just as his flagship is destroyed, his voice begins to break as he laments how he failed his people and his god, and predicting Kharak's fate in the years to come. In his final moment, he pleads with the Coalition to absolve themselves in Sajuuk's eyes to avoid this fate.
  • Final Boss: The K'Had Sajuuk commands the Gaalsien flagship carrier during the final battle.
  • Visionary Villain: The K'Had Sajuuk believes that destroying the Coalition and stopping them from reaching the Jaraci Object will bring peace to Kharak and prevent Sajuuk's wrath from destroying their world. He ends up being right, but no one knows it...yet.
    Khagaan 
The aloof commander of a Gaalsien attack force, commanded from the carrier Ashoka.
  • Samus Is a Girl: Hidden behind the mask, Khagaan's voice does not give any real indication of gender; as the Ashoka is destroyed, however, the mask comes off.
  • Worthy Opponent: What Khagaan thinks of the expedition fleet after she is defeated.
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