Sarians are a near-human race native to the Caspian system. They are the result of a massive astronomical malfeasance upon their genetic code by exposure to a gamma ray shockwave. As the progeny of that event's survivors on Mergansar, a number have since emigrated to Caspar, welcomed Republic discovery and settlement, and established a partnership to the foundation of the Caspian commonwealth.
Galactic historians and xenobiologists cannot pinpoint the exact date, but they have concluded that a cataclysmic event of significant magnitude occured, most likely the highly irregular (or perhaps artificial) collapse of a neutron star into an asymetric "whiplash effect" which unleashed a gamma ray shockwave. The wave originated approximately six to seven parsecs away, and tore through surrounding space at a tremendous velocity. The great saturation of asteroid fields, derelict planetoids and atypical stars in this region is plausibly explained by this event. How it affected Caspia, however, is a story of remarkable happenstance.
The gamma ray shockwave struck Caspia while Caspar was on the leeward side of Solus, and thus was generally unaffected. Both Olumekar and Trettinar were drastically affected, with the former's atmosphere irrevocably damaged and become sterile to life and the latter having its atmosphere blown away and its surface rendered a plasma. Mergansar, though, was in its parent star's shadow, and the shockwave "sideswiped" it, and while it was spared any grave damage, the atmosphere was irradiated by gamma rays that reacted with the elements and produced fallout conditions manifesting over the following years.
All lifeforms that didn't promptly perish experienced genetic alteration, primarily in their exterior appearance and sensory organs. Xenobiologists now conclude that the beings that became Sarians were once a Human archetype which either were placed on Mergansar or colonized the planet sometime during the Rakata Empire.
Biology and Appearance Edit
Physical Makeup Edit
The genetic transfigurations the Sarian race underwent (and to a certain extent, still subject to) resulted in a being that is similar to a Human, but with very pronounced differences. Internal organs are similar in function, role and position, but are not compatible. Sarians require oxygen like any other Human, but the metalloprotein of Sarian blood turns the blood an orange color that is more iridescent the more oxygen it carries. Filtering organs -- lungs, kidneys and liver -- are more fibrous-tissued and are known to work more effectively than analogous Human organs, but are incompatible for transplantation.
Externally, the trademark Sarian traits manifest as skin pigment markings called Sar Spots, lobeless ears, and metallic-sheen eyes. The coverage of the spots upon the body vary in accordance to which Ahavi (group, lit. people) an individual Sarian belongs to, but generally the spots cover the back, lower legs, flanks, arms, neck, temples and scalp. They vary in size from as small as gemstones to as large as holodiscs, and are impossible to remove or conceal. The external ear structure is joined to the rear of the jawline very discreetly, but the absence of typical lower lobes is noticeable – Sarians typically opt to place jewelry in the upper structure. Jewelry of this nature often has to compete with the glimmering sheen of a Sarian's eyes, which have a "liquid metal" appearance. Due to the Pianetic mineral deposits in the ocular tissues, the eyes will appear in shades of silver, bronze, pale sapphire or emerald.
Hair is a pitched subject amongst Sarians, whose ancestors nearly lost all of theirs after the astronomical event. Nearly all male Sarians (except Casohavi, who sought shelter) lost their hair either immediately or within the days after. A significant quantity of Sarian females did as well, but some were fortunate to have their head covered during the event and their follicles were not directly exposed. The female hormones, even in their transfigured state, contain a key protein that allows for hair growth, albeit very fine and only in shades of black, white-gold or auburn-red (Eireahavi only). Hair has since returned to Sarian biology due in large part to the infusion of Human genomes in subsequent generations.
Sarians can copulate and procreate with Humans, Near-humans, and a select range of humanoids with some manageable challenges. Sarian genes are extremely robust and will nearly always be the dominant strain in a hybrid. Sarian gestations last one Solusar year. Sarian females ovulate only four times a year, and a Sarian mother will pass along the genetic traits – blood type, etc. – to her fetus naturally. Non-Sarian mothers (wherein the fetus's father is a Sarian) must remain in the Caspian system with direct access to Caspian foodstuffs and supplements, and exposure to Solus's radiation to give the best chance to a successful pregnancy and healthy offspring.
Because of the radical reaction Pianetic compounds had to the stellar shockwave, all organic matter in the star system retained a resonant signature that Sarians can sense. In some instances, a Sarian can feel or "hear" variances in Caspian flora and fauna that others take as hypersensitivity or precognition. Sarian eyes see remarkable clarity in low light, but have difficulty distinguishing contrast and depth in lighting conditions that do not recreate Solus' light wavelength.
Because of this extraordinary sense, Sarians have nurtured this into a relationship with the elements, with some disciplining themselves to become specially attuned to and have a degree of control (Sarians will stress that it is a conversation) of water, wind, earth and fire. One well-known example documents a Sarian Zealot bending a blaster bolt around his body and redirecting it harmlessly away, while another tells of another Zealot diving off a cliff, deploying her cloak in a way to "embrace" the wind and glide away to a safe landing.
There are no pure-born Sarian Force-users, explicitly due to the astronomic event destroying any Midichlorians in organic matter on Mergansar. Pure Sarian blood and tissue is inhospitable to Midichlorians as well, so any Sarian hybrids with Force aptitude would have to be of a non-Sarian mother, but the chances would be miniscule.
Sarians are exceptionally hardy, again due to the Pianetic infusion. The race is typically disease and cancer free, and only experience health problems when seperated from Solusan radiation for an extended period of time. Many Sarians elsewhere in the galaxy now take periodic supplements that stand in for the radiation exposure they are lacking.
As a Sarian ages, the metabollic function of their cells starts to wear out, and they begin to petrify. Similarly, if a Sarian is wounded and bleeds, the wound will petrify. If untreated, a progressive rigor mortis will set in until it overtakes the victim. Flesh becomes dry and brittle, and a corpse is typically rigid, prone to fracturing and crumbling within moments past death. The corpse becomes faded and ashen in appearance, and if left undisturbed, will look statuesque. For a post-death ritual, Sarians place these cadavers on family pyres for the bodies to turn to dust and be blown away by the wind.
Species Sub-Cultures Edit
Casohavi are the most well-known, yet most culturally ambivilent of the Sarian categories. They are People of the Wind — prone to wander, loud and boisterous, and find ways to continue on or around whatever challenges them. During the astronomic event, legend holds that Casohavi are those who sheltered in Mergansari caves, drastically reducing their exposure to the shockwave. They did not have the radical hair loss, and the latent manifestation of their Sar Spots was much later and less intense than any other Sarians. As a result, they are fair-skinned with duller Sar Spots, most retain hair and have sapphire or silver eyes.
When Caspar was opened for settlement, a disproportionate number of the Sarian immigrants were Casohavi, not only because of the far "softer" affects of the shockwave upon that planet, but also to remove themselves from the discrimination of the other three sub-cultures. Casohavi are often scorned for impetuousness and fickleness. Whether it be because of the numerical advantage they enjoy on Caspar, or their ease-of-identity with other Humans, the majority of Human-Sarian unions involve Casohavi.
Metiahavi are the People of the Water and exhibit a passion for exploration, invention and development. Legend holds they were either in and or exposed to irradiated water during the shockwave, and so their genetic reaction, while sudden, was mildly tempered and evenly distributed. Most have tan or olive skin, russet Sar Spots, and either bronze or silver eyes.
As the People of the Land, the Janhavi are the most numerous and exhibit the greatest degree of reactive affect. In keeping with the legend, they received the most broadband effects of the shockwave with dark brown skin, dark brown to black Sar Spots, and possess bronze, emerald or sapphire eyes.
While being the rarest of the masses, the Eireahavi represent the spiritual core and fire of the Sarian people. Indeed, their name of People of the Fire is aptly applied, as their physical presence seems to radiate whereever they travel. Legend is especially particular that they were concentrated in a valley enriched in Vilaronium crystals and deposits when the astronomic shockwave struck and that the effects were drastically intensified. The majority of those beings there perished, but the survivors were irrevocably changed in a unique way, more so than their fellow transfigured Sarians. Eireahavi have glassy-white skin with extremely fine, russet-coloured Sar Spots, metallic amber, amethyst or emerald eyes, and copper-red hair. Their genetic code is passed maternally, and the majority of Eireahavi are female. To an individual, though, they typically become spiritual or cultural leaders, or have gravitated towards positions of emotive or artistic expression.
Sarian society places little value on material possessions. Terms like "affluence", "wealth", and "greed" are considered to be off-world concepts and do not permeate Sarian culture. Passionate fighters when committed to a cause, such as defeating oppression or protecting a belief, Sarians commonly look with disdain upon wanton greed and irrational destruction. They are certainly not pacifists, but they are not warmongers either. Some Republic analysts speculate that they are a "galactic wildcard", keeping to themselves now, but if motivated one way or the other, whether it be by their own volition or by an outside source, they will influence drastic change on the balance of their galactic region.
- Main article: Sarian (language)
Just like their elemental ways, the Sarian language is an elemental construct. The speaker assembles words and phrases based off of "builder words" that are no more than three to four letters long, representing various objects, ideas, or forces. It is very liquid, in that it flows and adapts well to being very descriptive. Builder words are usually very simple and straightforward in their translation (e.g. sar means star, which also signifies origin or primary). Sarian has become so interwoven into Caspian culture that, even though not everyone is required to speak it, an interesting pidgen or dialect has emerged that blends Galactic Basic with the arcane language.