"They're certainly not what you'd expect of a space-faring species. They're more flight than they are fight, they're suspicious of others, and they're a prey species. You'd think that they wouldn't even bother heading into space. And yet here they are, and they helped build the Federation. They're an interesting bunch, to be sure. Wish I knew what to make of them."
The Oswaihr (Ohs-wa-Ear) are a species native to the planet Qal-Trenski, located within the Verpletter Dwarf Galaxy. the plural of Oswaihr is Oswaihri. Within Verpletter, they are known for their vast shipyard construction networks. They were the Communes first contact in Verpletter, and later became one of the founding members of The Commune Federation.
Appearance and Anatomy
The Oswaihr are a herbivorous humanoid species that evolved as a prey species on their home-world, and have evolved to reflect their place on the food chain. They tend to have a purplish skin tone, which allows them to blend into the purple forests of their world. They have three fingers on each hand, with two thumbs on both sides of their hands, making their hands symmetrical. These hands can also release tiny spikes from under the skin, which allows them to grip onto things far easier. They also have longer arms proportional to their bodies compared to humans - Their hands reach past their knees and halfway to their ankles. Oswaihri feet have three digits.
Perhaps the most noticeable visual feature about the Oswaihr are their eye-stalks - Oswaihr have three sets of eyes, including a set of eye-stalks that come out from the crown of the skull, and can move independently of one another. This allows them a full 360 degrees field of vision, making them a very difficult species to sneak up on. Their other two sets of eyes are located at the front of the skull, similar to Humans. Each set of eyes tend to be a unique colour compared to the others. It is considered rare for all three sets of eyes to have the same colour.
On some rare occasions, there are Oswaihr born without eye-stalks - The Oswaihr consider this to be an omen of leadership and strength - Their eye-stalks are due to their nature as a prey species. Those born without it are considered strong enough to not need full 360 degree vision, because they will never lead to flee. This appears to be a recessive trait however, as stalk-less Oswaihri offspring do not always inherit this.
Oswaihr are capable of moving at speeds of 100KPH (In short bursts) when fleeing - When they do this, they get onto all fours. In spite of their humanoid structure, this works incredibly well for them. They also possess a long tail, which they use to balance their bodies when running at these high speeds. These tails can also be controlled freely by the Oswaihr, like an arm, or a leg.
While Oswaihri culture is as varied as Human culture tends to be, there are some universal constants when it comes to them.
Six dozen languages are spoken among the Oswaihr. The most common is called Feyeska. Humans claim it sounds like a mix between Russian and Portuguese. Other languages include Kyenakara, Xennus, Ebashak, P'Teshter, and Gyetska. They have developed several sorts of universal translators to prevent this from being a communication issue.
Due to being a prey species and herbivorous, the Oswaihri tend to be passive and not like conflict when it is avoidable. This is not to say they are incapable of it when they desire to engage in it, but simply have a universal preference to avoid it. They are naturally inclined to be suspicious towards outsiders, and are slow to trust them. Due to this, and their status as a species that is hunted for food on their home-world, there is far more of a flee instinct within them when faced with danger. As such, bravery is considered an incredibly virtuous trait within Oswaihri society. Those who commit feats of bravery are often venerated within their society, and are deeply respected.
On their home-world, they live in cities that are build within and suspended in the air by trees. This has helped them in the past to avoid the predators on the ground who would hunt them, but now it is simply a preference. Interestingly, this doesn't seem to apply so much on their colony worlds - If there are no other lifeforms there. This seems to be a leftover survival instinct from their days as prey.
Regions which do not have trees tend to be mountainous. The Oswaihri that live on these mountains are often referred to as Qalihri. Due to their different environments, Qalihri tend to be less skittish than regular Oswaihri. Many Qalihri tend to become space-farers of some sort.
Polygamy is the standard practice of Oswaihri. The average person has between 300 and 500 familial relationships of some sort, with an average of 100 having romantic potential. Jealousy is looked down on amongst the Oswaihri.