Saturday, 3 November 2012

Species Profile: Sa

The Species of Universe XGT: the Sa

The Sa are one of the odder-looking races in Universe XGT, and have a tendency to appear somewhat cute and harmless - however, the fuzzy exterior is deceptive, and the species has produced many of the sharpest financial minds in recorded history.  The Sa have an elegant civilisation and a rigorously non-aggressive mindset, and their homeworld, Fohi, is almost entirely undefended from a military standpoint, yet of all the planets in the universe, theirs is perhaps the least likely ever to be attacked - because the Sa's influence over the finances of the universe is such that they might not be in a position to invade your planet if you irked them, but they would almost certainly be able to do something far worse: utterly devastate your credit rating.


Species facts & figures
  • Homeworld: Fohi, Tel starsystem, Ge galaxy
  • Other distribution: species controls the whole of its native galaxy; has population centres and fiscal influence in several other galaxies including Vomo and Sardastian
  • Biology: mammals
  • Gestation: 8 months
  • Time to maturity: 17 years
  • Natural average lifespan: 70 years
  • Average adult height: 5 ft
  • Language: Doe
  • Currency: various

Language & Culture

Doe, the native language of the Sa, is notable for its tendency to use very short words.  Some 90% of the monosyllabic sounds which could possibly be constructed in the Doe alphabet are proper words.  Its grammar is not as crudely utilitarian as that of Ballum, but still notably simpler than those of Pathir, Rhugoric or the Five Thoughts.

The history of Fohi is largely a history of economics.  The Sa were one of the first species in UXGT to move beyond a barter system and develop what would now be recognised as currencies, and shortly after this, their culture developed the curious trait of having numerous competing currencies running in parallel within a single society, each controlled by a different patron or organisation, and holding allegiances in a similar way to modern political parties.  Different social classes, or even specific trades, proved more likely to favour certain currency bases than others, and the manipulation of exchange rates between the competing factions became a standard part of local politics.  Variations on this socio-economic model remained in use across Fohi for several centuries, honing the financially-orientated collective mindset for which the species is well known today, before eventually giving way to a more streamlined one-currency-per-state system in most parts of the planet.

Partly as a consequence of their banking-centred culture, Sa architecture has developed into a somewhat paranoid form, with an unusual prevalence of vaults and catacombs, and tendencies towards both over-engineering and grandiosity - the driving considerations being a display of one's wealth, and the ability to protect one's wealth.  Archaeology and ancient literature, however, reveal a somewhat different past, suggesting that earlier Sa cultures tended to build organically, working around living trees and frequently using textile-based construction materials, with records of vast tent cities existing in the middle of forests.


Physiology

The Sa have six limbs - four legs and two arms - with the middle pair of joints fitting in between the respiratory and digestive sections of the torso.  Their leg anatomy, and consequently their gaits, are broadly similar to those of a horse, while the upper body follows a more humanoid morphology.  The spine is flexible, especially its upper half, which means that although the upright posture can be comfortably maintained for long periods, a Sa is also able to bend down or curl up if necessary.

It is virtually unheard-of for a Sa to produce more than one baby at a time - while multiple fertilisations and post-fertilisation embryo divisions do occur, only one of the embryos will ever develop successfully.  This is thought to be a defence mechanism, as the complexities of Sa morphology could potentially make a multiple pregnancy dangerous.

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