Galactic Encyclopedia of Lifeforms: the Coronaptids

The Coronaptids:

Another race enslaved by the kthid empire, the coronaptids were discovered by the harvest fleets on a verdant green world, occupying several scattered city-states across the main continent. They shared the planet with a second intelligent race, the lepidopterans, who worshiped and served them, viewing the far less numerous coronaptids as gods. Occupying only the upper echelons of their society and disdaining manual labour, the coronaptids indulged freely in art and high culture, ordering their devoted lepidopteran servants to build monuments and sculptures to their increasingly lavish designs.

Beneath the peaceful, opulent view their rulership deliberately presented to their servants, the coronaptid leadership caste freely engaged in acts of blackmail, kidnapping, assassination and sabotage against each other, while those below them schemed for advantage to overthrow their superiors. It was considered uncouth to involve the hapless lepidopterans in these shadow wars, with the prideful coronaptids preferring their squabbling remained hidden beneath a façade of benevolent, divine leadership. 

Physiologically, coronaptids appear to have evolved as ambush predators. While their bodies are slender and delicate, covered in a fragile pink carapace, they each sport a pair of secondary upper limbs ending in vicious, hooked claws and a primary pair of arms used for more delicate manipulation. Meanwhile the wing-like structures protruding from their torsos are not capable of flight but instead project a unique pattern of bioluminescent pigments that can lull a viewer into a kind of hypnotic trance that renders them calm and suggestible. While the effect works remarkably well across almost every sapient species found in the Noctis sector, a prepared opponent can shrug off the hypnosis with ease.

Curiously enough, it is apparent on even the most cursory analysis that the coronaptids share almost no relation, genetic or otherwise, to the lepidopterans or any of the other fauna on their supposed homeworld. Their lithe, slender bodies and clawed limbs also appear adapted to a predatory existence in an environment entirely different to the one they were discovered on. The answer to this apparent mystery are hinted at in the ancient mythic cycles of their race describing the coronaptids fleeing their distant home in the wake of some unspoken cataclysm and descending from the stars on fiery spheres, bringing light and civilization to the primitive lepidopterans. A second world within their home system also showed evidence of supporting life in the distant past, though now barren and stripped bare of any resources.

In any case, there was no trace of whatever advanced technology the coronaptid race had once used to escape that first doom of their homeworld by the time the kthid harvest ships descended upon them. With their few warriors more accustomed to espionage and assassination than open combat against a far superior enemy, the coronaptid civilization fell quickly, and their females as well as those of the hapless lepidopterans were carried off into slavery.

 Stereotypes: Due to their former status as worshipped divinities, coronaptids have a reputation for being haughty and arrogant even in slavery, an amusing trait for their kthid masters. They are also viewed as treacherous and conniving, scrabbling for any advantage even in the most desperate of circumstances. Their fragile bodies mean they hold up poorly to any sort of rough use, leading them to be viewed as weak and pathetic.