Race Xikthai? More like stubby space dragons

Discussion in 'NPCs and Creatures' started by Peacefultyranny, Mar 6, 2014.

  1. Peacefultyranny

    Peacefultyranny Subatomic Cosmonaut

    Xikthai (tzick-th-EYE)
    Corgi dragons...in space!

    Teeny legs, noodle bodies, wings, and teeth sharp enough to sheer through flesh in fractions of a second, the Xikthai are wonders of nature. Large brains, complex social structures, and an innate ability to innovate and create enabled these quadrupedal species the ability to advance to the technologically advanced spacefaring society they are today.

    Xikthai developed from a dense jungle region on a massive planet rich in oxygen, water, and extremely poor in heavy metals. This means that while their homeworld was far larger than Earth, the gravity is similar! The two small moons in orbit around the planet also alter the gravity of the planet, which enables the xikthai to get their large bulk off the ground without expending massive amounts of energy. The xikthai themselves are a subspecies of a large group of six-limbed winged creatures, with their closest relatives much smaller and still living in the planet's jungles.
    Due to the lack of heavy metals (specifically iron) on their planet, the xikthai did not develop along the same lines as humans did. Nowadays, xikthai rely heavily on synthetic polymer-based materials for their construction as well as a large amount of nanotechnology.
    Politically, xikthai have largely functioned with minarchist states - governments that only function as protection of individuals from aggression, theft, breach of contract, and fraud. - throughout most of their history. There was a minor period early in their history where they functioned with a ruling class in one country, however it proved largely ineffective; xikthai social structures inherently oppose power imbalances and the country collapsed in the end.
    Despite the rather hands-free ideologies of their governments, they have been relatively fast-paced in their technological advances. This is due to in part because of their inherent desire to benefit their entire social group (which includes each family member's extended circle and, essentially, encompasses the species as a whole in the end) as well as their sister species, the D'hakvii.

    Physical Appearance

    The xikthai are very dragon-like from a human perspective, as they are quadrupedal and have wings, as well as long necks and tails. Their torsos have also been elongated and their legs shortened, though the latter was an aesthetic choice brought in very early in their history as a social fad where shorter legs were considered more desirable. Their wing structure is more similar to prehistoric birds on earth rather than bats, with the wing supported by a single long finger and two fingers and a thumb left available to use and grip a variety of objects, and both their front paws and their back paws have thumbs as well, though the ones on their back legs aren't as dexterous.
    Some regions of their planet are more known for certain physical characteristics than others, most notably whiskers (long, whip-like appendages on their snout that are apparent in all xikthai, but some cultures surgically or genetically remove them) as well as horns. Some areas are even known to file down their horns, and others don't have any at all! Ear length is also a major indicator of where an individual xikthai is from, as they can be extremely long, very short, stand up, and be held back!
    Xikthai don't have physical sex like earth-based animals, and it's rather impossible to tell the difference between the ones they do have. In the game, the male/female implied choices would be replaced with two different markings instead.

    Clothing tends to be very loose and they definitely favour wrapped materials, especially neck, tail, and arm wraps. Some clothing has straps to keep their wings warm when they're folded in, but otherwise they tend to avoid putting any material on their wings at all. The material they use now is known to be extremely lightweight, but still warm when needed!
    Armours, on the other hand, are usually hardsuit exoskeletons that can be powered in order to relieve the stress of the weight, and wings are always encased in a specialized material. Flight is made possible through anti-gravity generators installed, rather than by them generating lift under their own power.

    Xikthai are known for their friendliness towards outside species and willingness to share knowledge and resources, as well as their innate peacekeeping abilities. This is largely due to the xikthai social structure: they are literal space commies. It also doesn't help that they developed on a planet along with another sapient species with their own unique culture!
    Each family unit of xikthai is made up of anywhere from five to thirty non-related members, all of which are like an extremely close circle of friends with benefits. These xikthai all live in one home and usually share one sleeping space, as they prefer to sleep in large piles on the floor. These family groups are extremely flexible, allowing members to leave whenever they feel best and without feeling pressured to remain in a family group that is no longer working for them. It's expected for an individual xikthai to live in at least ten families in their lives, with many living in more!
    While xikthai have no concept of monogamy or even experience love like humans do, they do rear their children in a similar fashion - to a point. Family groups will collectively raise any pair's children (likely because they can never honestly tell who the other parent was without genetic testing) until the child hits ten years of age, at which point they're encouraged to leave their parent group and find their own family.
    These highly flexible family groups enable them to have almost the perfect utopian society....almost. They're not without their stigmas even this late in the game, although this is largely do to several social development disorders and mental illnesses, as well as stigmas against certain physical appearances that they haven't yet been able to kick.
    And while generally peaceful and preferring to spread love, not war, they are rather horrifying to fight against - they quickly flip between fighting from land and sky, heavily rely on drone technology, and if you piss one off, you piss off their entire social circle....which can be in the hundreds.
    Fortunately for the universe at large, however, they would rather snuggle you than eat you.

    Nanites, AIs, railguns, FTL travel, anti-gravity....the xikthai have it all! Most of their technology was designed on their own, though once becoming members of the greater galactic community, they have used alien innovations to boost their own level of technology.
    Xikthai are more known to have railguns or plasma-based projectile weaponry than using bullets, and most melee weapons are polearms. Guns are design to be held by their wings and fired with their strong thumbs, while their polearms are held in their forepaws and used while in flight, relying on gravity and dive force to pierce their target more than their own strength.
    Vehicles are usually airborne or antigravity-capable and are controlled by their forepaws as well as their wing thumbs.
    Much of material production is done by machines, as is resource collection.
    The xikthai are reknown for their terraforming technology! They like to transform garden worlds into hospitable places just to allow new alien species to develop, as well as create environments to be viable for xikthai colonization. This is relatively limited, however - there's no way they're going to turn an ammonia-rich, high-pressure planet into a moderate-pressure, oxygen/nitrogen atmosphere planet.

    D'hakvii (d-HAHK-veye)

    Evolving on the southern hemisphere of the planet they call Harashann (har-ASH-ahn) where the winters are longer than in the north due to its axial tilt and the forests are thick enough to prevent much of the light from touching the ground, the d'hakvii are a species of quadruped, six-limbed amphibians-turned-nightlights.

    This information is not strictly necessary to know, but is simply more lore for the xikthai and helps build background information that will be included in the base plot for how your xikthai character enters the game universe!

    Physical appearance
    Like most life on the planet, d'hakvii have six limbs, four of which are for walking. Unlike the xikthai, however, their other pair of limbs are structurally similar to human arms, which ends with them being similar to centaurs of human legend, although their back legs are considerably shorter than their front and give their bottom spinal section a sloped appearance. Their skin is very soft and similar to that of earth-based amphibians (though only young need to be in water for long periods of time) and all markings are bio-luminescent. They also have a wide range of fins and whiskers (similar to those found on the xikthai, though the tips always glow and there's often several pairs) decorating themselves in various configurations, though they most commonly have fin frills on the backs of their necks. They also have a pair of tapering ears - whether these have fins along the bottom edge or not depends on genetics - and a pair of heat pits instead of nostrils in order to sense prey. D'hakvii actually have no nostrils, as they absorb air through their skin instead.
    Most of their organs are located in their upper torso region, however all reproductive organs are located in the lower area between the two pairs of legs. D'hakvii are ovoviviparous similar to many species of sharks, meaning that their eggs hatch within the womb and they give birth live young.

    While xikthai and d'hakvii have existed alongside each other for thousands of years, d'hakvii have made sure to carefully preserve their own traditions and ways of living even outnumbered as they are by the faster-reproducing xikthai. While the xikthai are known for being fluid and ever-changing, d'hakvii are considerably more rooted in traditions and value the ideals of their parents far more.
    They have adopted similar social structures to xikthai, with large families and a lack of monogamy, though d'hakvii often cannot handle the sheer numbers that xikthai prefer in their family groups. Children also remain with their parents for much longer, often staying with them into their late twenties and early thirties. This is also because for the first seven to ten years of their life they are often separate from their families for large stretches, as young d'hakvii need to develop in pools of diluted acid produced by one of the species of trees native to where the continent they evolved.
    D'hakvii are often considered better doctors and mechanics than xikthai due to their hand structure, and their machinery and robotics are reknown for being incredibly well constructed and designed. Despite how useful they are in some of the most major sectors of their planet's industry, they often prefer to be hidden from view; this is often why xikthai are considered the only technologically advanced species from their planet.

    Xikthai vocal cords are unable to pronounce any d'hakvii language, and the reverse is true for the d'hakvii. In their history they relied learning each other's language fluently so that they could speak to each other with each speaker using their native language, though over the centuries a sort of 'common' language has been developed that both species can comfortably vocalize. This is how both species has gotten a reputation of learning alien languages extremely fast and often results in them publishing translation software for new species before anyone else can understand each other.

    They love everyone!
    ...Sort of.
    They've got some issues with other races, though it all boils down to 'florans keep trying to eat us', 'humans are too quick to shoot everyone', 'glitch coding is awful why did you do that', 'apex mind control shenanigans are horrible and we're avoiding the species as a whole, and 'boy those fish people sure do look tasty'. They don't mind the avians too much, though there is an issue with the fact that they can fly and avians tend to not enjoy that.

    Certain things are subject to change and probably WILL the moment I get my new tablet in. Please note that the only art available right now is early concept art and certain things are a little wonky at the moment.
    If there's interest in these guys, I DO plan on making a mod for them! In-game, they'd hold weaponry and tools in their wings instead of their forelegs, mostly since there aren't enough frames for me to add them rearing up to smack someone with a stick, haha.

    To edit:
    -Wings (removing bat-like finger structure, replacing it with pterodactyl-like structure to give them better 'hands' on their wings and make them more geared towards flying)
    -Species relations
    -Fiddle with description of their culture probably; add in blurb about religions(?)

    To add:
    -Clothing concepts
    -Armour concepts
    -Weaponry concepts

    Questions, comments, and suggestions are accepted and encouraged!
    All art is mine! Here's my Weasyl if you want to see more ;3
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2014
  2. Zaffa

    Zaffa Void-Bound Voyager

    You already know this, but count me as interested! I really love these guys already.
  3. Jonesy

    Jonesy Sarif's Attack Kangaroo Forum Moderator

    Sounds good to me. The culture is quite interesting, and there's a decent level of detail (which is always a necessity for race suggestions). My one concern would be the fact that they're quadrupeds. This isn't a bad thing per se, but it means that unlike the other races they won't be using the same sprite set for characters and equipment. As long as you're ready to modify the new and existing assets to suit them, it should be fine.
  4. Peacefultyranny

    Peacefultyranny Subatomic Cosmonaut

    That's the plan! I intend on giving them racial vanity armour to cover whatever armour you have on them when it first drops, as well as supplying the clothes hiders! Probably racial clothing, too, so you can make them wear clothes right off the bat.
    Obviously making more clothes would be a thing that I'd do with more interest, haha.

    (and a secret: their culture is more developed than that, but I'm avoiding posting it all right yet!)
    Jonesy likes this.
  5. pop-yotheweird

    pop-yotheweird Ketchup Robot

    I want a mod right meow. I really dislike the lack of intelligent, quadruped races in the game. I would love to play as a four-legged dragon-thing, man. I mean, I think it'd be cool if, I dunno, they had a skill or something where they could stand up on their own for short periods of a time. but overall, I love the idea.
    charity236 likes this.
  6. Peacefultyranny

    Peacefultyranny Subatomic Cosmonaut

    Teeechnically they are able to stand up on their rear legs, but not for long periods of time (due to their centre of gravity being farther forward on them) and there aren't enough frames in Starbound animations for that to work properly.
    In their own canon, however, they do use their forelegs for a lot of things! Using computers comes to mind, hehe.
  7. pop-yotheweird

    pop-yotheweird Ketchup Robot

    ): I just wanna be a quadruped dragon-thing wrecking shop on all fours. my dreams will never be realized.
  8. Peacefultyranny

    Peacefultyranny Subatomic Cosmonaut

    Hehe well, they will be! Giant cuddly lumps of destruction on all fours. They just can't hop up on their back legs!
  9. pop-yotheweird

    pop-yotheweird Ketchup Robot

    my dreams may come true after all!
    how will weapons be used, though? what with being on all fours.
  10. Peacefultyranny

    Peacefultyranny Subatomic Cosmonaut

    They wield weaponry in their wings! They're going to be edited when I get my new tablet so that they only have one finger supporting the wings and then have small hand-like structures on their wings to hold things!
  11. pop-yotheweird

    pop-yotheweird Ketchup Robot

    I'm gonna play this race until I die.
  12. Peacefultyranny

    Peacefultyranny Subatomic Cosmonaut

    Fun Updates!
    Now with alien centaur things.

    Added some information on the d'hakvii, another sapient species that evolved on the same planet (name still pending) as the xikthai and are major in the construction of just about everything that the xikthai use, but aren't that major in too much else out of their own cultural preference. Parts of the species history for the xikthai themselves has been updated to include some information on historical politics!
    Haven't otherwise altered the to-do list, as....nothing on that list has been done. Oops.
    pop-yotheweird likes this.
  13. RyuujinZERO

    RyuujinZERO Supernova

    Interesting. I presume they'll be levitating their tools like the Ponybound mod does, unless they're going to manipulate stuff with their mouth, or have their own racial tools designed to fit on them in some other way, because as you (hopefully) realise, you can't make your character shift body posture between idle/walking/using animations, the shoulder node is fixed in place, and body and arm animation is independent of one another, so they need a way to use tools from a quadrupedal pose, or adjust them to move bipedally.

    I can't help find it a bit amusing a quadruped is the most advanced race in Starbound, your tech list puts them far ahead of all the other races including all the other race mods, and they invented it in isolation :geek:

    Just a science note, you mention their homeworld is "poor in iron", it's a nice idea to explain their reliance on synthetic polymers, but there's a reason iron is so abundant on rocky worlds - which is that iron inhabits a curious point of stability; it's too dense to utilise in fusion reactions, but it's also too stable to break down in fission reactions. So when larger stars go super nova, they leave a disproportionate amount of iron behind so all rocky worlds tend to be relatively rich in iron and iron oxides pretty much without exception. There's plenty of other reasons why they may not have been able to utilise metallurgy properly, for example a novel atmosphere or environmental condition (For example the Avali homeworld has little to no free oxygen and is very cold, making it very difficult to create fires sufficient for smelting ore)

    At any rate, I'm very interested to see how this comes out if you do mod it in, very original design
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2014
  14. Peacefultyranny

    Peacefultyranny Subatomic Cosmonaut

    Actually, if you note their wings, there's little fingers (they're like three pixels long and orange in the sprites, so kinda hard to see if you don't know what you're looking for) that are going to be their hands instead! Breaks canon lore a little for them (they tend to alternate between all limbs for holding/manipulating objects rather than just their wings), but still something they're more than capable of doing. If all else fails, I'll just make them bigger and give them custom doors and chuck superior digging tools in their ship inventories at the start, hehe.

    They aren't technically alone on their planet, either! There's another species with a different culture and a different way of thinking, and outside views are extremely helpful in advancing tech. Not only that, but like, xikthai social structure is geared completely towards massive, rapid, and constant change. With a concept of 'improve everyone's lives universally', they tend to advance far more rapidly than a species like humans, who tend to put individuals first rather than a group. They also developed along different lines than humans, right, completely bypassing things like the nuclear era in favour of furthering advancements in nanotechnology and computers/robotics.

    And you're totally right about the ores, wow, jeez, wondered why that sounded wonky. Their planet still has a lower heavy-metal content than most planets its size, though, and xikthai rarely use the iron that IS there anyways in anything beyond building materials because of weight concerns. As they're a gliding species that still use this function in daily life, weight is a huge concern, so they wouldn't use it in many tools. They definitely CAN smelt things (the xikthai homeworld has an oxygen content high enough to poison humans if they stuck around for too long, ignoring the local microbes that would probably kill them) but, y'know. They have discovered more efficient things to construct stuff out of, which includes things that won't rust quickly on their water-rich planet.

    Thank you a lot!
  15. Ado

    Ado Hard-To-Destroy Reptile

    A very interesting race,bit I still don't understand how all the quadruped thing is going to work.
  16. Peacefultyranny

    Peacefultyranny Subatomic Cosmonaut

    Verrry carefully! Their wings will be animated as their arms instead, and they'll hold things there! Their legs will just be animated like vanilla races have two legs animated.
  17. Ado

    Ado Hard-To-Destroy Reptile

    That's....kinda weird,but alright I guess,hahah.
  18. alphabetsoup

    alphabetsoup Subatomic Cosmonaut

    Are they smallish (roughly dog-sized)? Because I can imagine ill-informed humans trying to keep them as pets if they are, which would make for a hilarious part of their history.
  19. Peacefultyranny

    Peacefultyranny Subatomic Cosmonaut

    Naaah, they're actually around eleven feet tall on average, heheh. They might see humans as elaborate pillows they can snuggle more than humans thinking they're pets.
    (They're also a slightly older race and have been in space for a while before humans first put someone up there, so)
    jonathonspy likes this.
  20. alphabetsoup

    alphabetsoup Subatomic Cosmonaut

    Ah, ok. You might wanna include that in the original post, cause I saw 'Teeny legs' and 'Corgi dragons' and thought that they were dog-sized.

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