Species: Khruk(s)

the khruks.

  • sloping faces that end in a slight muzzle - trollish tusks, no more than 2-3" long. long, swept-back ears, somewhat equine but a little flatter. manes aren't very long, no more than 4", and don't grow beneath the base of the skull. eyes are large and yellow, slit-pupiled. noses are cathumanoid.
  • khruks have both fur and skin. fur on the outer sides of extremities: backs of hands and tops of feet, all over lower legs with a bit of shag on the calves, tops of forearms, sides of upper arms, all but insides of thighs, backs and shoulders. their skin is still very faintly furred, softly, but the hide itself is tougher than human skin. coloration is usually browns, little patterning but sometimes shading, and fur is usually a little darker than skin.
  • hands are five-fingered, with the pinky jutting out at an angle similar to the thumb, but not as muscular. semi-retractable claws; hands are a little clumsy, but soft, when claws are mostly sheathed. claws are hook-like and sharp on the insides. fingertips and palms have thick callouses, not quite pads.
  • feet are digitigrade, but similar to human proportions. the heel does have a 'dewclaw' dangling from its general locale - the dewclaw is about 2-3" long, stiff, and sharp - nonretractable. the feet are like paw'd human feet - a little wider, with pads, and clawed toes that are longer and more evenly-built than human toes. claws there are dull, like a dog's, from running. all claws are black. toes can curl to give surprising traction, given the non-curving claws.
  • torsos are humanoid. females have small (B) breasts. males have an inverted triangle of fur from their shoulders narrowing to their navels; females usually have no fur at all on their chest and stomach, but some have a ruff across their collarbone and around their pelvis. genitals are lightly furred and human-like (except for testes being internal).
  • tail is longish - about 4', sometimes a little longer - and prehensile. it has nothing on the tip, but is furred and shockingly deft. some khruks train themselves to develop tail strength - which can be honed to the point where a body can be lifted by the tail-and-spine alone. tail is also sensitive and not for bludgeoning. tails can regenerate, but very slowly - months, or a year or two.
  • khruks are often considered the scourge of the galaxy. pirates, vagabonds, and thieves, their armada was amassed for the sheer purpose of leeching off other races' tech and resources. they are effective pillagers and rarely leave any evidence of their comings and goings - the most common target are large and slow transport ships. the crew usually never sees a khruk in person - they've come and left before alarm is raised. khruk ships, however, are well-known - sleek, almost spindly, and amazingly fast and deft both in space and in atmosphere. usually 1-3 khruks per ship.
  • khruks as a culture are originally nomadic. the other sentient race on their planet are thick, stocky, slow-moving herbivores - khruks learned to either serve or thieve. the khruks did not develop spaceflight - enough ships crashlanded that they and the other race simply copycatted. the khruks rose into space and destroyed the other race and began colonizing.
  • khruks are not evil. they are self-serving, ambitious, clever, brash, impatient, sometimes hotheaded, and disrespectful. they don't do things that aren't practical or productive in some way, except for their dry sense of humor and enjoyment of danger. to them, speed and agility are prized - physical strength and endurance, while useful, are usually ignored. a good thief can be in and out quickly - only a dullwitted soldier needs to be strong and enduring.
  • khruks do not often mate for life. mating only to produce children is a thing of the past - about 1 in every 4 khruks is infertile and cannot reproduce. upon reaching adulthood, fertility is tested. those who are healthy and fertile donate eggs and sperm regularly for as long as they remain healthy and fertile. the baby-making facilities are considered sacrosanct, and many nonfertile khruks devote themselves to helping create these new lives. foster-parent is a valid profession and is provided for by the rather flighty khrukian government. khruks are grown in about 12 years, sexually mature at 10, and traditionally tested for fertility when 13 or 14. khruks mate with any gender with as many partners as they desire - some choose to devote themselves to only one or two others, but these are more uncommon than not. mating in this way can, sometimes, produce a pregnancy, but most khruks lead such an active lifestyle that any conception is negated before it shows. those who carry to term unplanned are considered very special and often urged to become a full-time "natural" mother. the male half of this miracle is largely ignored.
  • khrukian government. if a group of people comprised of individuals from more than three sects / special interest groups gets together, with a sufficient number, and demands a person or a law or an idea be put into the government, it pretty much happens. the government is not wholly corrupted, but it is very political and tangled, and often things happen that are for the good of some khruks but for the ill of the whole race, -especially- in regards to other species. however, keeping the race safe and free and healthy is the prime concern of the government, and they do it fairly well. they give special help to "providers" (thieves, pirates, and traditional craftsfolk/farmers on-world), baby-agencies and their employees and foster-parents, tech people (mechanics, engineers - anyone who makes tech and keeps it working), and medical staff. education is the equivalent of homeschooling - the foster-parent(s) teach the child(ren). they can choose apprenticeship after they are adults if they want to specialize - this apprenticeship is also gov-sponsored, and their living needs are taken care of so long as they are moving forward in their training. no apprenticeship is more than 3 or 4 years
  • khruks don't live a terribly long time. after about 60 years, they start aging, and once they start aging and slowing, most choose to die. an elder's death is both a sad and happy occasion - the entire family gathers to share stories and listen to the elder one last time - good food, good music, giving of gifts, a general celebration. the elder normally chooses a drug that will kill them in their sleep that night - the next morning, his body is burned and the ashes scattered somewhere. the family spends that day in remembrance and grieving, then moves on after the next dawn. some elders, however, choose to die in action - fighting, riding, or flying in space. (being old and slower, their deaths are almost assured, but often messy, painful, or prolonged.)
  • khruks love animals. considered beasts by most civilized peoples, despite their quick wit and obvious intelligence, they find other mammals a comforting presence. most khrukian ships and homes have plenty of plantlife on/in them and often one or more animals. on-world homes are especially known for having large yards and many animals, but single-khruk crafts tend to have a companion creature. riding animals are used almost as often as faster and more efficient mechanical transport while on-world, and some of the large khrukian transports use them to move around in the interior of the ship.
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