The Carnivorans are formed into a loose republic where each group of Carnivorans (called a pride) has a say in the overall running of the government. Each pride has a number of votes equal to their standing within the republic. This is often based upon the number of holdings the pride has and their prowess of combat.
Since the power in the republic stands upon the holdings and power of the pride, there are often quick and vicious fights between prides to take over territory or to show fighting prowess. No one pride will be allowed to get to powerful: If one pride starts growing too large a group of smaller prides will work together to take back small pieces and thus restore the balance. There is only one exception to this rule: outside threats.
If the Carnivoran Republic decides that an outside threat is bigger than a pride or small group of prides can possibly handle, the Republic can vote for a Pridewar. The length of a Pridewar is decided before the forces actually leave for combat, usually between six months to two years. This often results in vicious and fast moving forces that will take all they can and destroy everything else so the enemy cannot use it (or competing prides do not get it.) Pridewars are rare, and although the Terrans and Nova Liberians fear one, the prides are currently more worried about internal events than either of these standing forces. This could easily change if a large force of either outside navy moves to the Carnivoran border.
Carnivorans are huge compared to the other races. The average male is known to stand at an average of almost seven feet and weight in the area of 350 to 400 pounds. The average female is smaller, with an average height of about six feet and a sleeker trim, fine haired body, weighting on average 140-160 pounds. The Carnivorans resemble the African lion in coloration and facial features, with males sporting large thick manes and females having sleek coats of fine fur.
Female Carnivorans out number males three to one, due to the male tendency of fighting among themselves over prospective mates and to show their fighting ability to further the male's position within the pride. The females are not beyond fighting themselves: almost 50% of the Carnivoran fleet officers are female, including several pride leaders and at least one fleet admiral.
To meet a Carnivoran in hand to hand combat is a frightening prospect, even without formal weapons. All Carnivorans have a polished and sharpened set of claws that can tear open flesh as easily as any knife. Males have such a love of close combat that they often forgo the easy short shot for an attack with personal weapons. All Carnivoran males carry some sort of personal hand to hand weapons, most often swords or axes. This love of close combat has carried over into their ship to ship combat.
Camivoran Pride Matters
If Darwin had been alive when the Carnivorans were encountered he could have used them as proof of survival of the fittest. The entire pride structure is based upon the strongest leads and the weaker follow. This often leads to splits where two members of one pride rise to equal power and strength. These splits are often vicious and quick leading to two smaller but tougher prides that can begin to build their strength on their own.
As Carnivoran leaders get older and their physical strength begins to wane they often groom a new leader from their ranks. These new leaders often keep the older, smarter and wiser ex-leader as an advisor. In this way Carnivorans continue their knowledge and civilization from generation to generation.
This survival of the fittest does have one beneficial side effect that can only be understood by people outside of the Carnivoran Republic. The Republic does not suffer from the intrigue and political bantering common in other governments. If a Carnivoran leader suspects someone is starting to move against them, they will simply call them out and either lose power to them immediately or destroy the threat before it begins to undermine the strength of the Republic.
Although rare, these factions do exist on the fringes of Camivoran territory. These are fallen leaders who have had a strong enough following or showed enough strength to maintain a following. These "Rogue" leaders were not powerful enough to stake a claim to existing territory, instead they moved to the fringes of Camivoran space often colonizing small systems and eking out a living raiding both Camivoran and other species.
Sometimes these "Rogues" get strong enough to rejoin the republic as a new pride re-gaining some of their lost power, but most often they are hunted and destroyed by existing Camivoran prides to show the prides fighting prowess. In even rarely occurrences rogues are recruited into other forces as mercenaries, although no Terran forces has been lucky enough to encounter one of the mercenary rogues forces, the Nova Librarians are known to have at least two small forces in their navy.
Source: Carnivorian Fleet Book
Source: Carnivorian Fleet Book