|Structure of society||Meritocracy|
This highly advanced species, which thrived under the Commonnwealth and whose members were indispensable to the efficient function of its institutions, was hit particularly hard by the civil war and subsequent collapse. Accustomed to relying on the High Guard for defense and without strong martial traditions of their own, the Perseids became easy pickings for Magog swarm raids, Nietzschean bandits, and other opportunists. The result was a massive reverse exodus as Perseids from throughout the Known Worlds retreated to their ancestral homeworld of Ugroth. The "Great Ingathering," as it became known, bought temporary safety for the Perseids, but in a devastating blow to galactic civilization, countless worlds suddenly found themselves without their most capable administrators, scientists, and teachers. Indeed, many historians regard the Ingathering as one of the most important precipitating factors in the fall of the Long Night. So while a few Perseid settlements survive and even thrive on planets such as Sinti, Hamsa, and Sparborth, the vast majority of the Perseid people live on their once-scorned homeworld. Ugroth, once nearly abandoned as the Perseids spread out among the stars, is now home to nearly 150 billion Perseids, making it the most densely populated world in known space.
Perseids are striking, humanoid aliens found throughout the Commonwealth. Despite their black, featureless eyes and long bony chins, Perseids resemble Humans so closely that many believe that Humans are an offshoot of their race. Countless theories have been advanced throughout the ages to explain the kinship of the two species.
Perseids are bisexual by nature, with each individual capable of both fertilizing another and gestating young itself. When wishing to reproduce, two Perseids typically form a temporary pair bond in which each individual impregnates the other. The pair stays together until the birth of the offspring, who are then turned over to the Perseid government for rearing and retain only a cursory connection to their biological parents.
Perseids originated on the planet Ugroth in the Milky Way galaxy, but quickly colonized other worlds. Today, most Perseids have little if any physical or emotional connection to their ancestral home.
On their native worlds, Perseids govern themselves via meritocracy. Their Overseers are individuals scientifically chosen for their vast knowledge and superior intellect, and the Perseids' strong bureaucratic skills make them highly efficient administrators for the Commonwealth government as well. Initially absorbed by the Vedran Empire, the Perseids soon made themselves so valuable to their conquerors that they achieved positions of power and influence even before the Great Reforms led to the Commonwealth's establishment.