The Garud were a species that lived contemporarily to the Omni during the era of the Republic of the Omni, and their governments were major rivals of theirs during the discovery of Novarckas. They are native to the low gravity world of Garuda known for having extraordinarily tall trees and limestone formations.
Garud, although seemingly bipedal in shape, are actually unable to stand on their two legs. Their feet are designed for grasping, and thus, they hang upside down on vines and branches. Garuda's geography is unsuitable for ground dwelling creatures, hence the need to live in trees. Their arms, which contain six digits with an opposable thumb, are lined with feathers for flight and gliding. Garud have long necks which can bend in many ways, and males sport a feathery, colorful frill which they can display.
Garud are born with absolute pitch, the ability to distinguish a specific musical tone instantaneously - a trait considered extraordinarily rare in Humans. For the Garud, absolute pitch is the norm, and it has directly impacted their various languages which are musically derived. Sentences are formed by a string of individual notes that form a melody, while the way each note is sung gives meaning. Subtle differences in the hertz frequencies of these notes can change the meaning of a sentence drastically.
Garud are considered emotionally intelligent, as they read subtle cues and body language with great fluency. Because their cognitive processing is focused mainly on emotions, their speech tends to be incredibly metaphorical - what they say is almost never meant to be literally interpreted much to the confusion of other species such as the Omni. As a result, their technology and engineering are meant to be works of art, with the desire to express oneself better being a primary motivator for advancement.
Garud evolved from migratory flyers that hunted in groups. As a direct result, the Garud have a strong, deep-rooted tribal society built on a hierarchy.
Because Garud can only "walk" by hanging from their feet, their structural dwellings were built upside down. This puzzled archeologists that discovered their ruins thousands of years later who had difficulty deducing the logic behind the architecture.
Because Garuda has poor mineral resources and travel on the ground is impractical, the Garud had to develop an alternate means to gather metals. Many species of trees are composed of graphite epoxy, and when they are struck with lightning fueled by Garuda's high levels of oxygen, they release globules of metals which are then harvested. This was key to starting their industrial revolution and eventually their space age.
Surprisingly enough, the Garud spent a very long time without developing the wheel as it proved impractical in their environment. The first practical use for a wheel came about when developing complex pulley mechanisms that ferried goods from one tree to another as opposed to drawn carts. Such a development did not come until the rise of the first urbanized settlements.