Sashli'sftonodo are cold-blooded mollusks, and were the first civilization that was met by raharrs in the period of discovery. They are notorious for their patronizing attitude towards other species, (although this doesn't slip in full on racism) and their finely crafted optic systems.
Average height - 3-4 m.
Average lifespan - 65±20 years.
Average weight - 140-220 kg
Sashli are cold-blooded molluscs, which makes them fairly sensetive to the environmental conditions. Originated on a planet with gravity roughly similar to Earth's, they nonetheless are impressively tall, towering three or even four meters high. In the prehistoric times, Sashli's ancestors were dragging themselves with tentacles, like Earth octopuses. The difference was that Sashli ancestors were amphibious, and laid their eggs in coastial caves and caverns, inaccessible by most of their natural predators. With time, a new plant also evolved, with strong and rigid sharp leaves, that grew in the same areas that caves were, often blocking the path there. On the other hand, it completely blocked the way for the predators, which made those caves the most prized areas for laying eggs. In time, proto-sashli developed stronger legs that they could stand on to cross the plant growths unharmed. Sashli skin is very smooth and slithery, colored in range from deep blue to turgorise. The color of violet is considered to be especially beautiful and is very rare. Their skin have pattern of splotches that differ from the color of the skin slightly. Every Sashli have a completely unique pattern, like fingerprints.
Sashli'sftonodo's muscles are unusually strong, each of their tentacles capable of lifting nearly 70 kg of mass in the air, or almost half the weight of the alien. Mostly, it is necessary to keep the Sashli's body in the air. Sashli posess two types of tentacles, facial and appendagial. Facial tentacles are short, very agile, but do not have any significant strength. They are aligned in a circle around mouth containing a three-jawed radial beak. Appendagial tentacles are thicker and longer, they begin in a semicircle on the lower part of the body and end with a broad "palms" containing eight "fingers". The amount of tentacles varies from eight to sixteen, depending on the conditions during the egg's development and genetics, but is always an even number. Sashli are very nearsighted, but their eyes are capable of seeing ultraviolet light, and can discern three times more shades than humans. Sashli posses rudimentary camouflage abilities, and can change the vividness of the color of their skin. Currently, this ability is playing a strictly social role, and is used for display of the emotional state of a Sashli - bleak and dull coloring usually means depression, while vivid coloration signals about strong emotional responses, which can be either negative or positive.
The unaugmented lifespan of Sashli quite rarely exceeds 80 years.
Sashli'sftonodo have never reached such heights in the art of killing themselves as some other species conquered, but against the background of a general galactic level, their weapons look quite competitive. Sashli has troops and fleets to protect their planets, but this is not the main danger posed by them. Sashli loves to fight hand-to-hand, even now in times where the remote battle weapon has the overwhelming priority. The usual Sashli is itself one of the strongest creatures in the Alliance, and a trained warrior is able to literally break an opponent into two parts with their bare tentacles. The fact that they are invertebrates makes the attacks of the Sashli fighters more difficult to predict. Although their martial arts are physically impossible to learn for other types, on the basis of these disciplines, enthusiasts created their own variants of combat tactics, some of which even won the right to life and development.
The state system of the Sashli is a monarchy. Under the authority of the monarch is a few dozen lords. In addition to government activities, one of the main tasks of the monarch and lords is the protection of egg clutches. Today, neither the lords or even the monarch do it personally, but the state services with them provide observation and care for the eggs, ensuring the safe hatching of the offspring. Incubators are the safest and most secure places on the Sashli planets, which surpass even secret military facilities in defense. After birth, the newly made Sashli usually continue to be in the incubator for several months, gaining the necessary skills for life, and only after that they return to their parents, where the rest of their maturity passes. In rare cases, when laying eggs cannot be submitted to the nearest incubator - for example, if they were torn down on a spacecraft - responsibility for the integrity of the eggs and the initial upbringing of the offspring rests with the most senior Sashli, who is currently available.
Society (general mentality, special features)
First of all, Sashli are known in the galactic arena as a civilization of creators and designers. The main export consists of various objects of art and design, paintings, statues, music, as well as various resources, mainly food (not that other aspects of Sashli were worse than the rest of the Alliance, for example, Sashli can only use Sashli themselves for quite anatomical reasons. The only exception is, perhaps, of excellent quality optical devices). Sashli has one of the most advanced design cultures, their works are in great demand in the Alliance and beyond, even the media tharas were interested in them. However, besides this, the attitude towards Sashli in the alliance is not so rosy. The reason for this is Sashli’s conviction that the cultural development of a species directly depends on the number of limbs capable of holding tools for work. Of course, they do not call the rest of the civilizations barbarians in person. However, when dealing with the Sashli on topics affecting art, one still feels their somewhat arrogant and condescending attitude to the work of other civilizations. This is annoying to many, and they prefer to limit their interaction with Sashli to possession of a statuette or furniture of their design. Several times, the conviction of Sashli'sftonodo in its cultural superiority even nearly became a reason for war. Sashli are hermaphrodites, and as a result, they very poorly understand the concept of separate sexes, which sometimes provoke additional grievances and scandals. The lack of understanding of the concept of sexes did not prevent some individuals from building a career in the porn industry.
Like many cephalopods, Sashli have a tricuspid conch shell, which hides the most delicate part of the body and vital organs. The shell has an important place in the life of Sashli, so for it they have a particularly reverent and caring attitude. Despite the fact that there are artificial shells, in many aspects which are better than natural, most Sashli prefer to keep those shells, which they began to grow even in incubators, subjecting to changes and embellishment only for the outer part. By the design of the shell, however, in spite of all the bright culture of mollusks, in most cases the approach is limited to the application of generic patterns with the addition of its details. This is a tradition bordering on the ritual rite, and not many people neglect it. It is extremely rare that Sashli decides to change their habitual sink to another one, and this usually happens in exceptional circumstances. Culture and aesthetics also left an imprint on the language of Sashli'sftonodo. It is so complex and full of nuances and subtleties that mollusks, even taking into account the difference in the structure of the vocal cords, find it easier to master the common galactic than to teach someone their own language. In extreme cases, they use the tablet and the text, since the benefit of writing is much less complex and has more archival functions. In the Alliance, there are only literally a dozen individuals who can communicate with Sashli at a conversational level and without an accent. It also affects the names of objects or objects that are often quite bright, abstract and poetic names (for example, the volley fire system may have the name "desired silence on the hill after a thunderstorm").
The epoch of cosmic expansion caused interesting changes in the Sashli, in fact provoking the beginning of the division into two separate subspecies. Space and the state of weightlessness is transferred to Sashli quite comfortably, even more so than in conditions of gravity. In this regard, as well as the fact that cephalopods do not suffer from depletion of calcium in the bones, due to the absence of these and the only problem of space for them is protection from radiation, a large number of Sashli rushed into orbital settlements, and after on traveling autonomous ships. At the moment, this is already a separate faction of Sashli's civilization, fully adapted to life in space and independent of the rest of the population, calling itself the Star Pilgrim. Pilgrims have been living in weightlessness for so long that their bodies began to physiologically adapt to these conditions, gradually separating into an independent biological subspecies and accumulating anatomical differences. The most notable of which is the increased tenacity of the tentacles, to the detriment of their muscular and cartilage structure. Pilgrims are no longer able to keep themselves upright while in gravity, and it is easy to distinguish among Sashli by their shells - they are much more likely than all other Sashli to choose their own fully artificial man-made shells, in which the antigravity device is built in that is more powerful than the commonly used Sashli chairs. The devince is able to hold the entire weight of the mollusk in the air, in case the pilgrim needs to descend to a planet or station with artificial gravity. In addition, Sashli - kosmity several smaller terrestrial counterparts, but still, together with the tentacles can be in length from two to three meters.
Sophistication of the Sashli language became legendary in the Alliance. However, in comparison with the traditional writing of mollusks, even their language pales. This is the second most complex writing system known to the Alliance after the language of the Ancients, which uses fractal writing system and remains undeciphered despite numerous and constant attempts.
The written language of Sashli has no beginning or direction of reading and is distinguished by its branching non-linear structure. Lines can even be constructed in such a way that their meaning changes depending on the direction of reading. The main symbols, of which there are 30, are something in-between syllables and hieroglyphs describing specific concepts, meaning and pronunciation of those symbols can be modified or changed by additional "modifier" symbols, of which there is 28. They can most closely be described as "adjectives", although not all of them describe properties. The number of additional characters (which can be up to ten), their order and location relative to the main character all affect the resulting meaning and sound of the symbol. The entire system gives about 170 thousand semantic elements to compile sentences from. Sashli do not have a clear number of words, since sentences in their language are not divided into component parts and are read in a continuous line (or branch) without spaces and punctuation marks (except for the snap-branching sign, usually denoting a change in the thought or theme of the text; and a stop sign, meaning that this branch is fully described, similarly to a period symbol function), different methods of counting give different results, the number of “words” can be anything from five hundred thousand to two million. Sentences can branch at the end, and these branches can even form circular recursive structures.
Sashli's classical writing is revered by them as the highest form of art, and is most often used for writing fictional prose or philosophical works. The writer is supposed to think over the entire structure of the text before beginning, planning in advance all the variants of meanings and possible reading streams, so that neither the lines nor the modifier symbols in the final writing would obstruct each other, and the circular systems of sentences will be connected to each other without changing the distances between the characters or the angles between them, which should aim for a perfect 60° when tentacle-writing. Also, the empty space between the lines should be as small as possible. Among the writers without much experience or those writing low-level pulp, there is often a “light” writing style being used, without conserving correct angles and sometimes with jagged, curved sentences, forcibly filling up empty space. Since the recording methods allows for creation of recursive texts that have no beginning or end, “endless stories” are one of the oldest genres of literature of Sashli'sftonodo, which greatly influenced their philosophy and culture.
To record everyday and technical information, a simplified version is used, with a restriction on amount of modifier characters and being written without branching, linearly, in more familiar vertical lines, although lines still retain their property that they can be read in either direction. However, writing fictional literature, and especially philosophical works, in a simplified version is considered to be a strong insult to the mental abilities of a hypothetical reader, and is despised and scorned in the Sashli community. However, the development of computer technologies, which began with primitive limited means of entering and displaying information (just like on Earth), supporting only the simplified linear version of the writing system, eventually gave rise to a separate counterculture of "the degenerates,” as the rest of Sashli nicknamed them, who produce literary works explicitly written in the simplified linear system
Let's not speak what opinion Sashli have about the writing systems of other civilizations, which are also strictly linear, and about the value of books written in these systems. Cephalopods practically do not import any foreign literature. At the same time, Sashli's translated works often grow in volume tenfold, since it is common practice to translate each individual possible version of reading of the work as an independent text, compiling every result into a “digest of meanings”.
|Leaving the Cradle | The Cliff World|
|Organizations||Alliance | Independent Worlds | Science Corporation | Politics|
|Technologies||Hephrene | Interstellar Travel | Spaceships|
|Places||Planet Harr (Star Harr) | "Shining" Space station | "Dawn" class spaceships | Artifact X|
|Characters||Gharr | Zane | Hekaht | Ahshu | Quantum | Nea | Dan | Mark | Val | ! Virus|
|Events||! Overall chronology|
|Further reading: | Civilization development stages | Instruments | Ideas ||