The Lobran Race
Lobrans are a race of semi-humanoid beings originating from the since-destroyed world of Lobros III. The majority of Lobrans lucky enough to survive the eradication of their home planet are usually either refugees or slaves.
Biology and appearance:
Lobrans are a diminutive species, standing a little over four and a half to five feet tall. They are generally lithe and their smooth shiny skin is the darkest ebony, contrasted by chitinous shell plating on their forearms, forelegs, and on their head, which varies in color from individual to individual, though the most common color is red. They also have long whiplike tails ending in a spade made of shell. Their genetics are incredibly complex, puzzling most scientists who have yet to completely decode the genome.
While being mammalian, they are egg-laying creatures and start their life in a larval stage as an aquatic arachnid not unlike a horseshoe crab, except with two pronounced front pinchers and paddle-like fins on their other six legs. Traditionally, females lay their eggs in a tide-pool (but any salt water enviornment is suitable), leaving dozens of eggs to fend for themselves. Once hatched, they proceed to hunt and devour eachother until there's one left. In very rare cases, two larvae form a bond and protect eachother from their aggressive siblings and work together to hunt and devour them. This usually results in "twins", who share this bond with eachother throughout their life.
This phase is quite important for the development of the young Lobran, but the exact reason why can only be speculated. If you separate newly hatched Lobran larvae, they all die except the strongest one, which will grow up maladjusted, showing violent and even cannabilistic tendancies in their adult phase, contrary to the peacful nature of the race as a whole.
Once the weaker siblings are eaten, the remaining larva preys on other smaller aquatic creatures and plankton until they go into their pupal stage, forming a coccoon around themselves. For eight weeks, their genetic structure undegoes a drastic change, going from arachnid to mammalian, emerging as the equivalent of a humanoid toddler.
For the first decade of life as a post pupa Lobran, their metabolism is a bit more accelerated than your standard humanoid, females reaching sexual maturity at age nine and males at age eleven. Then the metabolism begins to slow down to fairly standard levels at this point and begins to take a major decrease at age thirty, causing them to barely age for several centuries.
Once sexually mature, both males and females have a heightened sex drive through most of their life. If deprived of sexual contact, they can fall into a severe depression. If no sexual partners are available, this can be easily remedied with antidepressants, but if left unchecked, can be deadly. Despite thieir heightened sex drive, females only go into estrus once a year.
Society and Culture
Lobrans are a fairly peaceful and unassuming people, more interested in sexuality and the overall pursuit of pleasure in general than warring amongst themselves and others. To a Lobran, sexual taboos are few, as incest and polygamy is commonplace, seen as a way to strengthen bonds between family, friends, and lifemates. The only restrictions on sexual behavior would be rape, sex with those who have not reached sexual maturity, and sex with relatives during fertile season. Stiff penalties await those who are convicted of these taboos.
Clothing is also often something Lobrans rarely utilize, unless it's to keep warm or in the interest of not offending other species who may have hangups or taboos about such things. When traveling the galaxy at large, they are usually seen wearing a loincloth to respect the sensibilities of others.
Lobran culture is divided into four different castes that are determined by random genetics; Royal, Commoner, Defender, and Shaper.
The Royal and Commoner castes are not too different from one another physically, aside from some slight differences in their shell plating, Infact it's not uncommon for both castes to interbreed, as the offspring of a Commoner and Royal are almost always Royal. Mentally, Royal caste members generally have uncanny leadership and decision making skills, but are also known to be a bit eccentric. Commoners are known to be more industrious and hard working. Around age 30, male Royal caste members tend to grow a goatee-like spike of shell protruding from their bottom jaw. Female Royals, from the age of sexual maturity, grow a downward-pointing triangle-shaped bit of shell in their pubic region.
The Defender caste are warriors to a genetic level. They are larger than the other three castes, sometimes standing up to six feet in height and rippling with muscles. Their shell plating covers more of their body and their wrists sport retractable shell blades. Despite these features, Defenders are fairly gentle and peacful , only putting their fearsome features to work in the name of protecting themselves and the other castes.
The Maker caste are the most unusual. They are rather diminutive, standing at a maximum of three feet tall. They don't look too different from a commoner, aside from their elongated rabbit-like ears and vestigial third eye in the center of their forehead plate that can only sense light and shadow. Each Maker is blessed with psychic abilities such as telepathy and telekinesis, as well as the ability to genetically manipulate a species of coral called "memory coral" which is the basis of Lobran technology, used to make things such as computers, buildings, and even starships. Makers usually keep to and breed amongs themselves and little is known about their private lives.