The Uyeer are an oceanic non-warp-capable species located in about the same region of space as the one the Uranians hail from.
The Uyeer's planet is very much comprised of the same elements as Earth. It's atmosphere is incredibly oxygen-rich, however, due to its massive oceans and dense forests.
The Uyeer are an incredibly ancient race, having been around since very near the beginning of their world's life and persisting to this day. However, they are also a rather slowly-developing race, as despite being so old they have yet to acheive any sort of notable space exploration.
Living mostly underwater and having no advanced tech, the Uyeer haven't been targets in any major war among the stars--however, they have fought many wars among themselves. Lots of small ones, a few big ones, but out of the fires of these wars they have forged a planetary culture that manages to be brutal and warlike while minimizing civilian casualties.
Uyeer of EarthEdit
These Uyeer hail from someplace else in the omniverse. When Rathuras Rathal accidentally destabilized their planet, as many of the species as could fit were loaded onto the Firestorm. Revan Jevkin, the captain of the Firestorm at the time, told them that he could negotiate for the species to call Earth its new home, and granted them passage on the Firestorm. Their leader, Kreekitaka, decided that it would not be prudent to go to their new home unprepared, and learned the art of spaceship design from files on the computer and various interviews with the crew. He, along with his top breeders, designed their own ship and now their vessel follows the Firestorm in the hope that they will find Earth.
The Uyeer have a long, moderately thin, segmented body, covered by a thick exoskeleton, with four legs, two arms and a short finned tail. The limbs are jointed similarly to hermit crabs to allow for folding up during swimming. Both sides of their bodies are lined with ten to twelve pairs of broad, overlapping paddles. They walk upright but swim laterally, and adults are usually between seven and eight feet tall. Running down their backs, just behind the paddles, are rows of gill slits. The Uyeer have no lungs and spend most of their lives in the ocean. Their hands are like three-digit crab claws. When open, five small tentacles emerge from the middle for fine manipulative work. Their heads are semicircular, with two compound eyes on short stalks and two appendages drooping off the front of the face—these are used for crushing food and other gestures. Their mouths are circular and suck up the crushed food bits. They are somewhat sexually dimorphic—the females tend to be physically larger, with relatively longer paddles. Females are also more vividly colored, with bright golden vein-like patterns over their bodies.
---Polar Uyeer, or White Uyeer, from colder climates, tend to be paler than those from warmer regions. They are usually broader in body and slightly shorter in paddle, with thicker limbs. This ratio is sometimes called out to in a slur--it's impolite to call a Polar Uyeer a "slenderpaddle". They tend to stand about eight feet tall erect, and weigh four-hundred forty pounds on average.
---Green Uyeer, whose emerald shells live up to their name, are from warmer, shallower regions. They are also called Swift Uyeer for their higher metabolisms, broader paddles, and longer tails, and sometimes Dwarf Uyeer for their shorter stature. Erect, they stand about seven feet tall and weigh around three hundred ninety pounds.
---Deepwater, sometimes called Abyssal or Trench Uyeer, are a deep, dark blue. They can reach massive size--ten-foot-tall deepwater Uyeer exist, and they tend to weigh well over five hundred pounds. This is evidence of their typically-longer lifespan. Their paddles are of medium proportion to their bodies and their saliva is luminescent.
---Uyeer of mixed heritage are called Teal.
Government is family-centered. Each tribe controls its territory, and each town is ruled by a clan. Residents can be from other clans and even other tribes, but these are not a part of the family and therefore are unable to participate politically. Twice a year, or in an emergency, the clan chiefs meet together in a large tribe meeting to discuss various issues, and once every six years (or in a global emergency) is a huge gathering of tribe chiefs.
The Uyeer have one main religion—a rather odd form of polytheism involving worship of a single deity. This deity varies from clan to clan and is said to take the prayers of its followers to two larger, overarching deities: Hyu, in charge of providing and giving, and Vekhnrn, in charge of taking away and destroying. These two are never prayed to directly, for fear of their wrath at being presumed to be spoken to by a mere mortal. The clan deity is therefore the intermediary. Some animals are considered holy to the Uyeer--Haekshnivekhnrn, beasts able to swallow an entire mosasaur in a single bite, are considered sacred to Vekhnrn and interaction with them is forbidden. Dolphins are considered sacred to Hyu and interaction with them is forbidden as well, though if a dolphin initiates the contact then the one being contacted is considered blessed if he or she responds.
Uyeer tech is very much biology based. Much as some examples of elves have a knack for growing plants into the shapes they need, the Uyeer have a way with animals. Various forms of shellfish are bred and then harvested for their shells. Electric fish form power sources and bioluminescent life is grown for its light. Some of their weapons are even partially or completely alive, such as the shockwave lobster. Of course, most of their science requires water to function properly, and as such they are robbed of most of their advanced technology when above the surface. The deep deep ocean has developed methods of shaping metal, but finely-made metal items are very -very- expensive. The primary metal they use is cobalt, as it is found in plenty at the bottom of their ocean. Abyssal cities are also secretly home to advanced chemical knowledge and higher technology than those cities of the shallower seas, but of course they aren't going to tell anyone else that.
Just as elves might grow buildings out of trees, Uyeer grow buildings out of shellfish. Of course, a single shell is usually only enough for a room or two, so often larger buildings will have multiple shells grafted together using coral. It's really quite ingenious, and the shellfish itself typically provides quite the feast once the building is complete. Also, some regions of the ocean have interesting quirks: in deepwater polar areas, they build their cities into the underside of the permafrost, upside-down. The interiors of the buildings are right-side up, but the outsides are upside-down, for stability and security. Some abyssal cities are carved into the continental shelf, like a pueblo.
Uyeer do clothe themselves but don't typically wear much--a kilt or skirt usually covers everything that needs covering while still providing flexibility. Sashes are sometimes worn crossing the chest--these originated for practicality, offering more carrying space, but are now worn ceremonially as well. Non-piercing jewelry, such as bracelets and necklaces, is common among both genders. The material used varies, but is often some kind of leather, and is occasionally woven from plant fibers. Occasionally, high-ranking military officers will wear light armor—a thick shark-leather chestplate reinforced with cuttlebone with a built-in compression zone. Underwater, the armor functions similarly to reactive tank armor, protecting the wearer from shockwaves such as those produced by a shockwave lobster. Above-water, the armor is still highly impact-resistant. Often, the armor is decorated with various colors and sparkly things to make it prettier.
The Uyeer have no lawyers. One is expected to provide one's own defense and is given exactly twenty-five days to put together their case. Trials are usually only around three hours in length. There are no prisons in Uyeer society. Criminals are dealt with swiftly, decisively, and usually in a public spectacle. They are not afraid of the death penalty and have no laws against "cruel and unusual punishment". Flogging, floating (being sent above the surface with no water tanks), being fed to animals, exile, lethal and non-lethal electrocution, branding, beating, stoning, drugging, and other forms of humiliation and torture are all acceptable means of punishing criminals.
Warfare and combatEdit
War is conducted in a fairly civilized manner, similar to dueling only on a grand scale. A date and place are chosen, armies are collected, and the battle takes place. Sometimes, one battle is sufficient to solve the dispute, but oftentimes the loser demands a rematch. The battles themselves, however, are nowhere near as elegant. There are no rules for person-to-person combat and the fighting itself tends to be a very brutal and savage affair. Poison-dipped weapons and projectiles fly back and forth, shockwaves blast through the water, giant beasts tear at each other, and Uyeer tend to die in excruciating ways.
Different regions have different warbeasts. All regions have some variant of large sea scorpion. In addition, the tropical, shallower seas tend to have giant mosasaurs. Intelligent and aggressive, the mosasaur's powerful jaws and serpentine shape give it strength and flexibility. However, it requires air to breathe. M. hoffmannii and T. proriger are commonly-trained species. In more temperate waters, hunting parties capture and train gigantic pliosaurs--more muscular than a mosasaur, with the most powerful bite on the planet, though less intelligent and agile. Pliosaurs also require air to breathe. P. funkei and L. ferox are commonly-trained species. Polar regions of the ocean tend to be more abundant in colossal squid. Despite being boneless, there are advantages--the squid is easy to steer and has lightning reflexes, plus its multiple limbs and ability to spray somewhat toxic ink clouds make it a dangerous foe. In addition, the squid is a water-breather, meaning it cannot drown.
An easy way to classify uyeer weaponry is between living and nonliving forms of weapons.
Being excellent with animal life, the Uyeer have found ways to breed animals into exactly the shapes they need. Small orthocone-like animals nicknamed "throwing drills" have been bred with an instinct to jettison themselves straight ahead when thrown with a twist, increasing their momentum exponenetially. These animals are then sometimes reinforced with small spiraling blades, allowing them to penetrate armor. Some varieties can be trained to seek a target if given a scent.
The nautilus gun uses a specially-bred nautiloid animal and a detachable tube. The nautiloid has a reflex that expels water and ink when a certain part of its shell is tapped firmly. The tube is fitted over the orifice that expells water. A venomous fish, bred to have a minor allergic reaction to the ink of the nautiloid, is then loaded into the tube. When tapped, the nautilus ejects the water and ink, propelling the fish out of the tube at high velocity. The fish, covered in ink, swims as fast as it can in a straight line to rid itself of the ink clinging to its body. Being in distress, it attempts to bite down on and inject its venom into the first thing it touches.
The animal known as the shockwave lobster is a much-enlarged breed of pistol shrimp. The two claws have been fused together in the front into a single massive cavitation claw, and the snapping of said claw is linked to a system of reflexes bred into the animal. The pressure wave created by the animal is a short-range cone of death, and it is one of the most effective undersea weapons ever created--taken out of the water, however, it does nothing.
Uyeer sometimes favor a more simple approach when it comes to weapons as well. Large orthocone shells make splendid lances, sea turtle shells and armored fish skulls provide shields, and jellyfish tentacles, when treated properly, can be dangerously toxic whips.
The most infamous and immediately recognizable of their nonliving weapons--maybe any of their weapons--is the jawblade. All bonesmiths are judged by the quality of the jawblades they put together. It is a long, heavy shaft of thick bone--often from the jaw of a large armored fish, hence the name--lined with two rows of shark's teeth grafted along one edge. Jawblades can be straight or curved, reinforced with a different core or simple bone, teeth in neat rows or staggered, but they all function the same way and are wielded similarly to an Aztec battleclub. The non-toothed side is used first to make cracks in the opponent's exoskeleton, and then the weapon is turned around to exploit the cracks by ripping them open with the teeth.
Not much is known about the weapons of the deepest cities, other than they keep much of it hidden from visitors. Stories are told by those who have warred with the deep dark--stories of metal-clad wizards who unleash the powers of light and darkness, of invisible walls that kill with a touch, of the power of a hurricane contained in a bottle, and many other far-fetched, wondrous, terrifying things, perhaps exaggerated somewhat, but you'd never guess it from the earnestness of their tone...
The Uyeer have a very percussion-based music world, with relatively fewer instruments that rely on flowing sounds. Hydrophones—devices that use the flowing of water—do exist, however. The octave, instead of being divided into twelve semitones, is instead typically divided into twenty-four quartertones. This gives their music a very different feel from ours. Rhythmically, patterns of five and seven beats are quite common due to the fact that dancing with four legs per individual can be something of a challenge. Syncopation is quite common as well, and most individuals have a decent sense of rhythm even if they aren’t necessarily as good at singing pitches.
One of the oddest quirks of Uyeer culture is their cannibalism. They’re very civilized about it, limiting themselves to orphans and unwanted children--as a way of recycling and avoiding having an extra mouth to feed. It’s considered extremely impolite to ask a child if he or she is an orphan—if a child continuously stays on the move or finds a way to be productive as something other than a meal, it’s likely he or she will grow to adulthood uneaten.
Uyeer families are socially allowed to be polyandric, meaning a female can take more than one husband should she desire. Wooing and proposals are usually done by females, but typically the males are the ones in charge of making important decisions. In multi-husband families, the first husband is usually the dominant partner, which is part of why statistically few families actually are more than one male and one female. Children are allowed to pursue the careers of their desire, though they are not permitted to go unescorted in public (for good reason). The marrying age for first-spouses is around eighteen, but subsequent husbands can be as young as thirteen due to the lack of authority.
Uyeer use a combination apprenticeship/tutorial system for education. During early years of a child's life, a tutor will gather groups of children or meet with individual families and structure a curriculum designed around the children in the group or family. By the time a child is ready to enter the apprenticeship phase, he or she has learned some basic history, at least one other language, how to read and write, how to perform basic math and geometry, and how to think critically and creatively. During the apprenticeship phase, a child goes to live with a professional of the career they desire and spends several years learning how to do that professional's job.
Uyeer language is physically impossible for a humanoid to speak. Their mouthparts can only barely handle human speech, and the sounds they make to communicate aren't just made with their mouths--some words require snapping gestures with the claws or scraping/rattling of paddles in addition to vocal sounds. Some who experience two Uyeer in high-speed conversation consider it cacophonous, others see it as strangely musical, and it can often be a combination of both.
When Uyeer do speak human languages, the sounds T, D, L, and TH are all distorted, making communication difficult. In addition, their own language lacks past- and future-tense verbs, and as such they speak in present tense constantly, even when discussing things that happened long ago or far in the future.