These are a species of space-faring intelligent insectoids who populate the RPG universe of a friend of mine. Each player created an alien to play and to add to the universe. The RPG is a kind of cross between the Uplift universe and the Chanur series.
|2163.04.09 - Schematic of a male Annardarsh , showing a human outline for scale.|
|Here is an alternate drawing of both genders|
The Annardarsh live on an Earth like planet in the Delta Draconis system. Their name for themselves is a kind of diminished C chord with halftone grace notes, and is unpronounceable by anything other than a computer synthesizer. The name that most speaking species use is actually a mispronunciation of their word for "male"
They descended from pouncer/ambusher predators who hunted in packs. Males and females are different physically as adults, and start out similar as children. Males about about 3 meters long, 1/3 of a meter wide. mass of about 150 kg. Females are about 2 meters tall, and about 1 meter wide. The female build is much bulkier and they move much more slowly. mass of about 200 kg. Males can move faster, but they still do not have a very fast ground speed. However their predatory anatomy has given them lightning fast reflexes.
On their head is a mass of short writhing tendrils. These are the primary sense organs of the Annardarsh. The tendrils sense light, sound, vibration, chemicals (smell), each tendril specializing in a specific sense. These are constantly growing, falling off and being replaced. The Annardarsh think of this process much like humans think of clipping fingernails or getting haircuts.
The manipulative tendrils have "sticky" pads like a gecko, to stick to what ever they grab. The tendrils are thin and ropy, and act together to form an arm on each side of the being. The gripping feet have sticky pads that allow them to grip and hold onto a variety of surfaces.
They create a variety of sounds to mimic just about any other natural animal made sound. Along the sides of their bodies are a series of spiracles which connect to their pulmonary system. Each spiracle has it's own syrinx, which can operate independently. In their primitive days they used this sound making ability to lure prey close enough to grab and kill. In modern times they have a complicated language and music system. These are separate from their digestive system, so they can talk and eat at the same time.
The topmost arms are "fangs" and have poison glands and are called the "fighting mandibles". These cut open the prey and inject digestive juices. They suck the goo out with syringe like sucking mouthparts on the underside of their head. (not visible in this pic)
The species is carnivorous, and this caused them some considerable problems in their early history. The cost of maintaining meat animals for a large and growing population was a serious problem. In their late industrial age they developed simple cloning technologies, which they have expanded and matured far beyond any other species in the galaxy. Almost all of the Annardarsh eat cloned meat most of their lives. They consider "real" meat to be hopelessly primitive and backwards.
Males and females are so different that they virtually separate societies. This separation starts when the Annardarsh reach what humans would call puberty, which is the time the two sexes begin to diverge. In the primitive times the sexes were not segregated, and they had difficulties with overpopulation. They consciously decided to separate into two parallel societies in order to control growth. The result is that most of the deep relationships that a Draconian has is with members of the same sex.
Females are larger and less mobile, so they tend to move less and aren't seen as often by outsiders. They take care of the young and are teachers, administrators, politicians and scientists. They also control a sizable portion of the internal wealth of the Draconian planets.
Males are more mobile and historically have done more exploring. They operate most of the starships, the military and diplomatic corps, and have the most contact with other sentient species.
They don't wear clothing in the human sense, but they do decorate their bodies. The males will wear bands of cloth that have pockets and have fancy designs. Females often embed jewelry into their bodies from the gifts males give them.
For centuries they have been one of the most peaceful species in the Commonwealth, despite being predators. They attribute this to their violent, predatory past, they developed a kind of social politeness that defused any potential conflicts. The other species in the commonwealth consider their politeness to be bizarre, but legendary.
Socially they are a kind of constitutional plutocracy. They have replaced carnivorous hunting with profit hunting. The ultimate goal is to gain wealth, power and knowledge to bribe a female to mate. Physical combat is now considered extremely distasteful, (but sometimes necessary). They NEVER eat/drink any meat that doesn't come from a cloned vat, and the concept of eating an intelligent being is revolting to them.
The Annardarsh mating ritual harks back to the ancient past. A female will enter a state of ovulation and make an announcement by the subspace net that she seeks males to fertilize her. In the past she would do this by bellowing loudly in the harmonics of mating. The announcement would list her family tree and previous mates of note and children of note. Males who are nearby, and are interested, gather up their wealth and approach the female offering gifts. Historically these gifts were food animals for the female to devour to gather up the energy to give birth, but in modern times they only accept money, technology, information and power.
The female will select between 2 and 4 males to mate with during her ovulation cycle. After the financial transactions are complete, the mating group will close themselves in a dark, quiet room for two days of mating. The female will give birth about 7 months later to 5-7 larvae, usually one female and the rest male.
The game is made up of two teams, each with two sets of players. One set are the "throwers" they throw the meat balls at the other team., in front of them are the "catchers" they catch the meat balls from the other team. Points are made by throwing the meat ball through soccer-like nets behind the other team. The catchers try to catch the balls before they go in. If a thrower is hit by a ball, he is out and can't throw anymore. This came from their primitive hunting ritual of scaring up large bee-like creatures that would attack them in swarms. The balls themselves are winged and fluttery and can be thrown in all sorts of curves and spins.
The female versions of this game are more like sumo wrestling crossed with basketball.
The Annardarsh have an average level of technology in the Commonwealth, with the exception of their biological and cloning sciences.
Their cloning and medical technologies far exceed the galactic standards. They are able to clone specific organs and body parts for almost any carbon-based life-forms. They can regenerate badly damaged bodies, and even enhance existing bodies and extend the life spans of beings. Originally they used this technology to produce food for themselves, and when they joined the Commonwealth they found their services in great demand.
The most popular Annardarsh invention is the "FoodPod" (tm). This is a small bio-tank that holds specifically designed cells. The cells in this tank create packages of highly nutritious food. The FoodPod can be programmed to create food for almost any carbon based protienacious life form. A regular food pod that takes up no more than 1 cubic meter can feed 4 average sized life forms indefinitely as long as it has power and access to raw materials (oxygen, nitrogen, potassium, etc.) It can copy any food sample that it is given, although the copies are not always exact.
There have been rumors that they take "samples" of almost all life forms looking for new food tastes, and they do this even with sentient beings. These rumors are vigorously denied.
This species was either one of the the last founding members of the Commonwealth, or one of the first to join after it's creation. Depending on who you talk to. The truth is somewhere in between.
The founding species did approach the Annardarsh at the time of the founding of the Commonwealth. However the Annardarsh considered that the species were creating an alliance to dominate the galaxy militarily. They didn't join the alliance until officially after the Commonwealth was founded and proved itself to be mostly peaceful in nature. In part this delay was from the Annardarsh dismay at the inclusion of more warlike species in the Commonwealth.
Since then they have been stout supporters of the Commonwealth, and have joined in all explorations of new worlds and introductions of new species.
+4 Str, -2 Dex
Large-sized (-1 to hit, -1 Def, +2 meters reach)
6m base speed
+2 species bonus to initiative
+2 Disguise (auditory only)
+1 language - auto languages: Trade Pidgin, Primary Species language, Secondary Species language, free language
Deadly poison (Injury DC 15, 1d6 Con initial, 2d6 Con secondary)?
All images and text on this page are copyrighted by Stephen Douglas 2009