Species: Halasshi

Name: halasshi [hah-LASS-shee]

Homeworld: Thurmenyan

Height/Length/Weight: Halasshi are shockingly large creatures, despite being lean and leggy; there's no noticeable difference between males and females in size. When they stand, coiled and hunched, on all fours, they're easily 6' high at the shoulder; when they stretch out and stand on their hind limbs, they're at least 12' tall. When they're moving about on all fours, they're about 6-8' long. Halasshi weigh around 400-500 lbs; they are very lean and light for their height.

Physical Description: Halasshi are startlingly ugly creatures - at least, to human eyes. They have no hair, fur, scales, or feathers, merely a thick, mottled, wrinkly skin. They move as quadrupeds, though they have no trouble standing on their hind limbs if they have something to lean on or climb; their limbs are very long and sinewy in musculature, their torso short, arched, and lean. (Their limbs are longer than their own torsos by a considerable amount.) They have decidedly vulture-like heads, though their beaks lack the hook on the very tip and are more gently curving; the edges of the beak are serrated slightly, enough to provide excellent traction. Halasshi have large, dark eyes, internal ears, and long, muscular necks. Males have peculiar, sharp-edged spikes rising from their shoulderblades, an extension of the scapula that has no readily apparent use. Halasshi hands have three fingers, one long thumb, and long, hooked claws on the tip of each digit - when they walk, these fingers stay folded and splayed, so as not to dull the claws.Their feet have three long, strong toes, each tipped with a heavy, curving, semi-sharp talon - these toes do not fold when walking, so the claws are not as sharp as those on their hands. Since the halasshi lay eggs, neither gender has nipples, and females have nothing that resembles mammary glands. They have no tails, but the males do have external genitalia (testicular sacs as well as a penile sheath); however, females have entirely internal genitalia, with only a small orifice for access. (Interesting note; halasshi do not defecate or urinate. They vomit what their bodies cannot process. Their sense of taste is very poor, so this is less unpleasant than it would be for a human.)

Senses/Capabilities: Halasshi have superb eyesight, seeing colors brilliantly and details acutely even at great distances. Their hearing is no better or worse than human hearing, and their senses of smell and taste are very poor. Their sense of touch is also very refined and is something they use to communicate and navigate quite a lot; however, their pain threshold is very high, despite this physical sensitivity. They are shockingly fast sprinters, able to keep up with a baghan at ~35 mph on all fours; they cannot maintain this stretching lope for very long, though. Halasshi possess a wiry strength and a deft agility that their physical appearance tends to bely.

Coloration/Clothing: Halasshi have a fairly wide range of coloration, despite a fairly static pattern of light/dark/mottling. Muted teal, greyed out violets, rusted browns, greyed out light blues, flesh-pink, quasi-emerald green. Their eyes are generally black, though very dark blues have been seen. They don't wear clothing unless weather or terrain makes it absolutely necessary; some do, however, paint their hides for various reasons. (Not tattoo - paint. It stays on for a day or two at most.)

Races/Breeds: Halasshi used to have regional ethnicities, but the species has since become widespread, mingled, and mutt-like. There are no longer any markedly different halasshian races.

Language: Halasshi speak halasshian, a rough and cawing language. Though they are capable of mangling speaking the most common intersun tongues (and are very quick at picking up listening comprehension), very few people without beaks can manage to speak halasshian. The language is very matter-of-fact and lacks a large abstract vocabulary; factual and objective descriptors, as well as a wide variety of nouns, make up the bulk of the language. There are also no pronouns; verb tense includes an indication of the subject, if the subject is not a noun.

Technology: Halasshi are avid inventors and designers of technology, but most of it goes to a very practical use - locomotion. Trains, both above- and under-ground, network across Thurmenyan; public transportation drives through cities and flies above them. Human technology has supplemented halasshian work, providing better living conditions and more convenience within the cities. While most halasshi are naturally curious about how things work, it is only a minority that truly studies enough to advance their level of technology in modern day.

Magic: Halasshi don't work magic. They're poor conductors of magical energy, and they have no particular interest in it as a whole. Those who do take a liking to it often study how it effects different worlds and the development of civilization on those worlds, as well as how it affects magic-workers themselves. Some may attempt to use magic themselves, out of curiosity, but rarely develop any kind of proficiency with it.

Values: Halasshi primarily value an individual's connection to their heart and their dedication to their heart-path. Individuality is respected and seen as a part of one's heart-path, as well. Integrity, honesty, and staying true to oneself are all the signs of a good person, no matter their other traits or flaws. (However, dishonesty, deception, and a lack of loyalty to and respect for one's mate are seen as major flaws.)

Social Groups/Society: Halasshi are 'advanced' enough that they have evolved out of tribal societies, so their dedication to any sort of community or territory has been converted into a loyalty to and respect for their chosen social circles, usually friends and/or professional colleagues. The primary halasshi social unit, however, is the immediate family; a halasshi's mate, especially, is the most important individual in that halasshi's life, even surpassing any children they may have together. The mate is the focus of one's life, although a mateless halasshi will not search frantically for a mate; the heart-path will lead him or her to his/her future mate at the right time, so s/he worries little.

Habitat/Settlements: Halasshi are quite civilized and live in cities or towns. They often keep gardens or small patches of natural lands around their homes, which is a curiosity to some non-halasshi. Individual homes can be apartments - large, one-story rooms with a nest for sleeping and one's personal belongings stored in niches in the very thick walls - or small houses, which often have two floors and thus two rooms, with a hole in the center of changing between floors. Buildings, be they residential or business, have no standard or generic shape or design - architecture seems haphazard, though structurally sound, and often forsakes right angles and symmetry.

Religion/Beliefs: Halasshi do not believe in any specific deities, though they acknowledge that some do exist on other worlds; they do not worship spirits, ancestors, or any sort of incorporeal entity. Instead, they are guided by a sense of animism, centered around the 'heart' within all living things (not including metals or machines, but including rocks, flora, and fauna). Halasshi believe that a creature's heart guides it through life with a sense of purpose and integrity; they follow their individual paths and consider events, whether positive or negative, to be part of their paths and simply an aspect of living. One's heart is simultaneously a guiding force and the source of a halasshi's energy, passion, and purpose. They often meditate to stay true to their hearts, and they are adept at helping others - even non-halasshi - find their way back to their heart-path.

Interaction w/ Other Species: Halasshi have no concept of and no respect for personal space; they will pick up and move humans or other smaller sentients who are standing in their paths, often with their beaks. They don't necessarily stand in one's personal space, but they have no qualms about touching or holding people during a conversation, even strangers. Halasshi are generally regarded as unreadable by non-halasshi, though their actions showcase their generally friendly, peaceable, and curious nature. They are inventors, explorers, and traders; they're as well-recognized in civilized parts of the universe as humans are.

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