User:Vivaporius/Sandbox/League of Civilized Worlds/V
The Skurians (Mimitika erythrosis) are a humanoid species native to the planet of Skuria. The Skurians originally possessed their own interstellar nation, spanning a total of twenty-two worlds by the time they came into contact with the League of Civilized Worlds in 42 NE. Their aggressive expansion into League space resulted in the start of the three-year long Skurian War (43-46 NE), which ended in the complete destruction of the Skurian nation and its integration into the League's own territory. Today, Skurians comprise a large percentage of the League's population, and can be found on virtually every world it possesses, primarily on the Martian-class and low-gravity worlds which comprise nearly a third of all the colonies possessed by the League. However, due to the nature by which the Skurians entered into the League, they are widely viewed with distrust and disdain, and are the subject of much racial discrimination by fellow League races. Consequently, many Skurians struggle to climb the ranks of League society nearly a century and half after their induction into the organization.
Anatomy and physiology
Like the majority of the League races, the Skurians are a bipedal humanoid species consisting of a torso, two arms, two legs, and a head connected to the torso by a neck. They share the same physical characteristics found in the fellow humanoid species of the League, that being the possession of a nervous, cardiovascular, circulatory, digestive, endocrine, immune, integumentary, lymphatic, musculoskeletal, reproductive, respiratory, and urinary system. Skurians are relatively hairless as a species, with the hair on their heads and eyebrows being the only hair known to grow on their bodies. The species universally possesses black hair and green eyes, and have bright red skin for which the Skurians derived their name. The source of the color for their skin is believed to be an iron oxide-based form of melanin which provides a high degree of protection from ultraviolet radiation common on the Martian-type worlds the Skurians are known to inhabit and are native too, where the thin atmosphere of such planets provide poor cover from the radiation known to easily flood the surface of a planet. Other shades of the Skurians skin are known to exist, with varying shades of red or brownish colors, but these tones range from uncommon to extraordinarily rare throughout the majority of the Skurian population.
The skin of a Skurian is naturally insulated for protection against the cold temperatures on their homeworld, and features a degree of thermo-regulation rarely found in fur-less animals and humanoids of their size and weight. Skurians are capable of surviving in regions and planets where temperatures frequently jump between sub-zero to blazing within the span of a few months, with their insulated bodies protecting them from the rapid changes of temperature, and allowing them to adapt to the new climate of their area. This trait has allowed the Skurians to survive on the Martian planets they inhabit, where the temperature can drop to less than -100 °C (-148 °F) during the winter months. Working along with this natural dermal insulation, Skurian blood functions as an antifreeze with the possession of ice structuring proteins (ISPs), which inhibit the growth of ice crystals in the blood, and the recrystallization of ice that would prove fatal if allowed to happen. This allows the Skurians to function comfortably in cold weather with little protection from the frost surrounding them. Being native to a worlds with high-copper content, Skurian blood possesses the copper-based protein hemocyanin, which has the resulting effect of causing their blood to appear green in coloration.
The Skurian respiratory system requires far less oxygen than a humanoid of similar size and build, and boasts a robust filtration mechanism that can efficiently remove large quantities of carbon dioxide from the body. The hyper-efficiency by which the lungs of a Skurian can convert carbon dioxide into oxygen means that the species is fully capable of surviving in a regions with thin atmospheres other species would find themselves struggling to breath in. Skurian bodies are likewise resistant to the effects of low atmospheric pressure common on so many of the worlds they inhabit. Physically, Skurian males and females are somewhat similar in raw physical strength, with males only stronger than their female counterparts by a narrow 2-3% margin. While taller and heavier, the skeletal structure of their species means that males lack the same capability to leverage their weight advantage in a hand-to-hand fight. Indeed, in many ways, the females of the species are somewhat stronger than the males as their centers of gravity are lower to the ground compared to males, and they have less mass to shift in a fight against a smaller individual.
As a direct consequence of their civilization developing on a low-gravity planet, the Skurians are generally taller as a species compared to their fellow League citizens. Both sexes of the species possess a drastic height advantage over other humanoids of the League, with the average height of a Skurian male being 218 cm (7 ft 2 in), while that of Skurian females being approximately 210 cm (6 ft 10 1⁄2 in) on average. Due to the rigid nature of the species' bone structure, height shrinkage with aging is a rare occurrence for the Skurians, even on high-gravity worlds, and common only in the youth of the population whose bones have not fully solidified during puberty. This is a double-edged sword however, as bone damage in a Skurian is likely to have more adverse affects as it takes far longer for their bones to heal, and the rigidness of their bones results in a degree of brittleness that can cause Skurian bones to shatter rather than crack if enough damage is done. The overall mass of a Skurian is typically 47–56 kg (104–123 lb) for males and 33–42 kg (73–93 lb) for females. As a rule, the weight of a Skurian is not as heavily influenced by environment as in other species, with diet and physical activity playing a more direct role in the differences between individual Skurians.