Galactic Encyclopedia of Lifeforms: the Cephalians

The Cephalians:

The cephalians of the present day grew up upon sandy archipelagos and grown rafts floating upon an inland freshwater ocean. Cephalians are ruled by prelates: specific cephalians said to be chosen by the gods of the cephalian people in order to rule over and to safeguard the golden age that they have enjoyed for the entire length of recorded history. Despite their institutional stasis, their stagnant population numbers of around half a billion, and their less-than-impressive list of scientific and technological achievements, cephalians still enjoyed lifetimes that stretched considerably into their second and third centuries and can live lives safe from disease and predators as long as they don’t venture into the more dangerous saltwater oceans surrounding their world.

Without much cultural interest in science, conflict, or expansionism, cephalians put their time into art, music, poetry, pleasure, and the tending of the expanse of their garden world. When the kthid invaded, the cephalians lacked even the concept of soldiers and militaries, resulting in them quickly falling quickly beneath the yoke of their new enslavers. The robust bodies and naturally resilient physiologies of cephalians meant that the overwhelming majority of their population continues to draw breath beneath the kthid imperium, but the trauma that accompanied the experience of transitioning from a live of endless comfort to one of horrific enslavement has left most cephalians damaged, traumatized, or completely insane.

Biology: Cephalians generally ‘stand’ around between 150-170 centimeters in height with 7 pair of seperate limbs including 2 arms, 6 shorter cranial tentacles, and 6 longer pelvic tentacles. To manage their highly complex bodies, cephalians are born with 8 brains and 3 hearts which work to supply their bodies. All cephalians have fertile wombs, reproducing in a process which leaves both members of a pair pregnant with a single child. Disregarding rare and tragic complications during the birthing process, cephalians are universally born with a twin sister from across two different wombs. Cephalians tend to form very close bonds with their twin sister, resulting in incredible amounts of trauma when twins are handed off or sold off to kthid owners following their subjugation.

Cephalians are a fully amphibious species, though their natural range has readily humid air. Without ready access to water, cephalians will begin to asphyxiate although this process can take hours. All members of their species possesses a field organ in their bodies capable of producing a weak electromagnetic field used mainly for camouflage as well as chromatophores: a network of color-changing cells covering their bodies which they use to express their moods. Owing to the trauma of enslavement, around 97% of all cephalians have lost the ability to express any color but blue and white.

Ancient civilization: there are signs to suggest that cephalians have fallen into an extended period of neo-primitism, though evidence of a more advanced remains necessarily sparse and primarily exist as relics that were captured during the subjugation of their homeworld. No present cephalian civilization possesses mastery of technology beyond complex mechanical devices such and printing presses and windmills, though cephalians are proficient at both. In general, the cephalians seem to spend most of their time molding the natural world to suit their liking through a process poorly understood even by kthid who have put time into researching the matter.

Stereotypes: Cephalians are usually meek, conflict-averse, and cooperative. They make for very obedient slaves, though they do still break down and stop functioning if forced into harming other slaves and especially their twin sister. They are regarded by both kthid and other slaves as pathetic and cowardly, often attracting abuse from their masters for it.