Species: Shoi

The Shoi

  • size: 5-6.5 feet tall. males taller than females. males tend towards a tall, toned build that isn't skinny or bulky - men who are very thin or very brawny are generally seen as unbalanced. females tend towards a similar build, but those who are more muscular are simply seen as more athletic, though thin-ness is still frowned upon. both genders are expected to have some softness to their frames, especially females, but it is also expected that they will be strong and quick despite that softness. flexibility and precision of movements are prized, be it in fighting or dancing or day-to-day life.
  • coloration: eyes are very light-colored - pale blues or purples or greens, sometimes silvery or golden. hair is usually vibrantly-colored, jewel-toned, like sapphire or emerald or amethyst or ruby, etc - yellows are almost unheard-of and greens, greys, and browns are rather uncommon. skin is very dark, including pitch-black, midnight blue, royal purple, dark indigo, and dark pine green - reds, browns, and greens are very uncommon, and greys don't exist. claws are always black.
  • physical: the shoi are a very humanoid race with a startling resemblence to real humans. (why, i don't know.) with sculpted facial features and typically thick, often curly or wavy hair, they have wide eyes and thin lips. they do have tusks - their upper canines extend into smallish (2-3") tusks that are sharp-pointed and can be curving (upwards, outwards, or downwards). they also have sharp lower canines that are a bit too long to be strictly humanoid. their ears are mobile, longish and pointed; their senses are excellent, with sight being strongest (movements and colors especially) and hearing being next, but their sense of smell is also keen. their noses are something of a cross between a feline nose and a humanoid nose. their bodies are almost perfectly humanoid, strong and clean-cut, except for the hands, feet, and tail. the tail is vestigial, about two feet long, fairly slender and tapering, and rather flexible (but not prehensile) - it's now used solely for balance when running. although shoi walk plantigrade, they run digitigrade, and the balls of their feet have toughened pads/soles on them, and their toes are actually longish, strong, and somewhat-retractably clawed. their hands are strong and long-fingered with semi-retractable claws - claws on toes and fingers are curving, sharp, and matte black. they are physically strong, flexible, and quick, capable of running fairly fast (20-30 mph in a sprint) and rather enduring at a slower pace. omnivorous and quick healers.
  • temperament: shoi have a wide range of personalities, just like most other sentient species. they do not tend to be terribly balanced on their own, however, tending towards extremes or strong biases, such as very passive, very aggressive, very anti-authority or a fantastic leader. their psysymbiote keeps them in check and balances them out to be functional, fairly well-rounded individuals. most shoi are physical-oriented, treasuring their body's fitness above abstract thoughts (philosophy and religion are not common) or sheer knowledge of different things (history, art, etc). and, although shoi are social people and enjoy the company of other shoi, all they truly need to stay satisfied is the company of their psysymbiote.
  • culture: see military. i get the impression that they have some funky ideas about family though…
  • military: a strongly militaristic society in many ways, the shoi are largely organized and controlled by the military, which functions in place of and as a civil government. prior to getting into space, the strongest military faction united the other factions by treaty and by force, so the shoi are unified in their actions and policies now. The ranks of the military (below the 'government' ranks) are first, second, third, fourth, fifth, with the levels of 'low', '[blank]', 'plus', and 'double-plus'. levels indicate how well that person functions in their rank, with newly-promoted people starting at 'low' - if they stay at 'low', they are demoted again. first rank is a high commander who has an army at his back; second rank is a slightly less-well-staffed commander, often the captain of a warship (whereas a first is commander of a ground-based army or fleet); third rank is an elite warrior, so good as to be sent on suicidal missions alone and expected to have a decent chance of both succeeding and surviving to return; fourth rank is a competent commander who is also an elite warrior - they're usually in command of small task forces so that, if their men are wiped out, they can go on alone and possibly succeed in the mission objective. the government, while not precisely a diplomacy, is still subject to the popular opinion simply because they usually won't risk a riot-or-violent-suppression decision and so tend to stay away from actions that would lead to such. they have several levels, a system of checks and balances, and there is no one figurehead - shoi must learn the couple dozen highest-ranking people and figure out how they work together as a matter of politics. the public -can- vote someone out of office, but it has to be severe. all healthy adults go through military training for about three years before they continue to whatever other training they choose (like college) - or they choose to stay in the military and attempt to rise in ranks. ranks are not competitive, there are not x amount of slots for third rank or anything - but only people who deserve it are promoted. third rank has the highest turnover rate and lowest life expectancy of almost any of the ranks. the military, while physically demanding and very disciplined, is not culture- or personality-stifling, and those who choose it for life (or long-term) have considerable freedoms as to where they're assigned, what they do, and how they live when they aren't in active duty.
  • tech: tech is fairly high-level, but nothing compared to, say, olashi. they have typical energy-based and bullet-based weaponry, ground-based units, naval fleets, in-atmosphere aircraft, orbital defenses of their colony worlds, and pretty decent spacecraft. most of their spacecraft is for transport of goods and people - it's fairly speedy but also rather vulnerable to attacks, which is why it's usually escorted by a full spacefleet of fighters. almost every form of transportation has a method of defense, be it a shield (in the case of trains and personal cars) or defensive weaponry (in the case of waterships and aircrafts). almost every adult has either a portable shield-generator (looks like a bracer, worn on the left forearm/wrist - generates a transparent forcefield, circular, about four feet in diameter) or a handgun (probably a low-level laserpistol) or a dualance (handle with a flared blade on each end which are retractable - some are electrified). violence in day-to-day shoi life is relatively rare, but faction-based tiffs aren't so rare and the common person has to have a way to protect him/herself from getting caught up in things. daily tech is more advanced than earth's but not as fun as olashi tech - mostly, there's a giant computer network what stores all information and through which you do everything, even if you go to a store outside your house. the military guards and monitors and runs this network.
  • psysymbiotes: psysymbiotes are quadrupedal, omnivorous mammals, ranging in height from two to four feet at the shoulder. they are the psychological 'other half' of the shoi and generally balance them out. psysymbiotic physical features are determined at birth and through cubhood development by their shoi's personality - if the shoi is strong-willed, the psysymbiote will be physically strong, and if the shoi is cunning and sharp-witted, the psysymbiote will be swift and clawed, etc. variables in the psysymbiote include head-shape (canine, feline, ursine, a mix, etc), teeth (always sharp though), ears, mane (optional), spines (optional), horns/antlers (optional), general build (lowslung and lean, bulky and squared, etc), limb length and thickness (relates to build), paws (claws, length and number of digits, etc - can vary between forepaws and hindpaws), and tail (length, strength, prehensility, and if there's a blade or mace on the end), and fur (texture, length, colors, pattern). the personality of a psysymbiote, however, is a direct complement of their shoi - they will share likes and dislikes, usually, but if the shoi is very aggressive, the psysymbiote will be cautious and pacifying, etc. this means that each 'unit' of a shoi and its psysymbiote is a well-rounded, functional, independent citizen. each psysymbiote is the opposite gender of its shoi, and when shoi mate, so do their psysymbiotes. each child borne by a shoi is linked to a psysymbiote cub born by the male shoi's own female psysymbiote. psysymbiotes are young adults at age eight or nine, whereas shoi are considered legal adults around 15, but a psysymbiote will live exactly as long as its shoi. if the shoi or psysymbiote dies, its survivor can physically continue to function, but insanity or lethal depression (suicide) often consumes the survivor. those who lose their other halves are considered to be invalids and critically handicapped - rehabilitation is free, as is assisted suicide.
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