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Seh'lai - the species and the culture

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  • Seh'lai - the species and the culture

    aru.jpg
    Seh'lai appearance on example of Ćaru Shwakar. Art drawn by
    Disgracefull





    The Seh'lai - bird-wyvern alien species - incorporate both avian and reptilian traits of appearance having both feathers and scales. They do not lay eggs, en lieu being viviparous. They have partial wyvern-esque wings their hands, the symbol of long-gone flight ancestry as these bird-wyverns evolved into flyless species. The Seh'lai are around 165 centimeters tall and weigh around 170 kilograms, mainly as a result of low gravity and bird-like bone structure. Their plummage and other feathers are usually in the same colour as the scales, just shaded differently. The colour differences between these two is not occurrence however, although it bears neither cultural stigma nor predestinates the member within the society. There is only one issue with Seh'aian physiology - they have Z-DNA, meaning their food, plants and even the Seh'lai themselves are theoretically uncompatibile with e.g. human species. Despite that flaw, these bird-wyverns are heavily interested into different cultures and species.

    When it comes to the Seh'lai society, it is a heavily liberal one with plenty of freedoms - such as same-sex marriage or drug-access - alongside with straightforward but punitive law code. The actual xenophobia is, after all, very rare among the population as all Seh'lai are have inborn curiosity - in some cases being like children touching the hot oven. Their original world, Sangsuata, had reached space just for little over a century, witnessing rise and fall of several kingdoms prior the Space Era - the last unification resulting in reaching the stars. While the society is heavily democratic as a result of loose constitutional monarchy, three royal bloodlines are kept together and have a very clear line of succession. Influence of these families is, however, visible only in case of the capital planet.Unlike the capital and the closest star systems to it, several colonies introduced slavery and forced labour under influence of other species. However, no job is considered as socially unacceptable - within reasons, as e.g. piracy is naturally distrusted. As a result, all jobs such as a military officer or a skilled prostitute are treated with similiar respect despite their fundamental differences.

    The planet of origin, Sangsuata within Sinh System is a small low-gravity world with solid core which size would barely contain protection against solar flares - if not the distance of the planet, fourth orbit from the star and relatively low albedo, the life would have it very hard to develop and evolve. The planet consists huge lush forests on three main continents, Asajara, Njuraka and Eiseta, with two smallpolar regions.The planet possess two barren moons, called Saah and Gatuuk.The capital itself has a strong self-identity across other colonies and bears a torch of the richest planet ever under Seh'lai control. Its government is a federation between three continental superpowers, which agreed to unify in order to begin space exploration.
  • #2

    You can point out any errors, ask questions or any other stuff you can think out. Myself, I just want to know if this is a neat idea worth expanding even further.

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    • #3

      Originally posted by Gryphus View Post
      touching the hot over.
      Didn't see much wrong, apart from this. I think you meant 'oven' or perhaps 'stovetop'.
      Daryn's Signature

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      • #4

        Daryn Yup, fixed!

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        • #5

          Other than that, I think this is a pretty cool race. You sure you don't want to join the Insatiable Curiosity RP?
          Daryn's Signature

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          • #6

            I can already say it's a mixture of different ideas that I had in past. Remember Esh Vaiyk, the Kleytonian/Avian? There's where the idea of very liberal society (with symbolic monarchy) came from. The reptilian part comes from an abandoned race, Varegs - alongside with idea of being viviparous. I admit borrowing the idea of Z-DNA from Mass Effect, as Turians or Quarians are the only Z-DNA species in that universe. A good way to make species pretty different than humanity without "too alien" stuff.


            I realized I need to extend the biological stuff, such as pregnacy, average longlivity or atmosphere. Logically, the pregnacy is either longer or fetus develops very fast as Seh'lai aren't laying eggs but also aren't mammalian. The offspring (like in case of Varegs) is already capable to eat e.g. meat after the birth, in short.

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            • #7

              Yes, it seems an interesting species! I've noticed in sci-fi that monarchies don't tend to make it to the space age unless they're horribly oppressive, so that is a nice change of pace. Likewise, I find their value system quite interesting, seeing almost all jobs as equal. How does that work in terms of that ceremonial monarchy?
              SliceOfDog's Signature
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              • #8

                It's more in terms of mixture of constitutional monarchy with loose union bound by the culture and the species. The farther the colonies are, the less influential the cental government is. In practice, position of so-called High King (can't find a better description here) counts only around Sinh System and Sangsuata itself. Even though, the position is still quite symbolic. I'd point out something you know pretty well - The Commonwealth in which UK, New Zealand, Australia, Canada and so on. Likewise the Seh'lai Union is somewhat bound by a figure of a single monarch but also colonies are more or less free to do as they wish - and most colonies didn't see igniting revolution or fight for independence as a very good step. With liberties in use and bloodless convertion of the conflicted Sinh, the royal-parliment side sees little reason to piss off the colonies either.

                Now here goes the most interesting aspect of the early sketches. After contacting two alien species (one of them are just called Ngwoko, the other aren't even named) and having more-or-less stable foreign affairs, the Seh'lai came into contact with the most dangerous, xenophobic and highly invasive species that are self-nominated unifiers of the whole galaxy.

                Us.

                Humans.

                While Seh'lai and Ngwoko do not really love each other - as the latter are pesky pirates and salvagers and despite best efforts the trend continues - they had to forge a very unlikely alliance otherwise both species would be enslaved. I think this is the most interesting idea about the early drafts of the stories as it is very rare that people of Earth are depicted as actual baddies. It's even rarer to see stories from the alien perspective, as well. True, not all Seh'lai are angels, not all "Earthlings" are baddies.

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                • #9

                  Creating new races and settings is always a challenge, but a fun one. And your race is quite interesting. Are you planning to write some more stories with this race, or is it mostly a mental exercise in creativity?

                  (The only thing that I might be able to nitpick is the mentioning of gravity as protection from solar wind. I might be wrong I would have to check, but I think that geomagnetic field plays the key role in warding off cosmic and solar radiation, not the planet's gravity well.)
                  Terrapun's Signature
                  "A smart machine will first consider which is more worth its while: to perform the given task or, instead, to figure some way out of it."
                  Stanisław Lem "The Futurological Congress"

                  "The universe is probably littered with the one-planet graves of cultures which made the sensible economic decision that there's no good reason to go into space--each discovered, studied, and remembered by the ones who made the irrational decision."
                  xkcd

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                  • #10

                    Why, thank you Terra! About the stories - yes, I already released one story that didn't really catch up within the contest! Oh, it happens honestly... I have a lot of drafts on my own, which I'm still thinking to include or not - such as, doo doo doo, humanity being the BAD GUYS. (I think I mentioned that somewhere above.)

                    About the gravity, I initially wrote two different things - one about small planet core which affects magnetism, second about low gravity - and I think these two fused up into one information at some point. Thank you for heads up, since I wasn't aware something like that happened.

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                    • #11

                      Well, if you do decide to share your work with us, I will gladly read it. We need more writer power here!

                      Oh! Are you planning to write something more about your bounty hunter, or is it on hold while you work on those guys?
                      Terrapun's Signature
                      "A smart machine will first consider which is more worth its while: to perform the given task or, instead, to figure some way out of it."
                      Stanisław Lem "The Futurological Congress"

                      "The universe is probably littered with the one-planet graves of cultures which made the sensible economic decision that there's no good reason to go into space--each discovered, studied, and remembered by the ones who made the irrational decision."
                      xkcd

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                      • #12

                        Actually I fought [s]the law, not war[/s] with issues in regard to my discouragement and stuff. (Straying off of the Seh'lai subject) yes. I'm working on Cody with entire universe being heavily remodified into way smaller area, Slice already knows what kind of universe is that already.

                        Edit:
                        It reminds me I began writing the 'paper' version of the Chapter Four, however due to the fact I divided the Chapter Two into two pieces, it's likely chapter Three will stay a bit longer once it is written to my PC.

                        That said, I need to create rebooted Codyverse thread in order to avoid mixing up stuff in here and with Seh'lai. Until then, I advise you to visit my sweet... err... no, I can't link FurAffinity page in here I believe. Or can I? Oh wait, I can. FA has the SFW filter for unregistered people so let's do that: Chiaru Shwakar's FA page.

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