Galactic Encyclopedia of Races – The Kthid

Kthid:

The Kthid are a warm-blooded race of dragonic-looking sexual conquerors native to the Maldoror system. Despite their reptilian appearance, they have far more in common with terrestrial mammals in biology, respiration, and digestion. They are technologically advanced and space-faring, but have felt no need to expand their borders beyond their home system… Instead, they conquer other races and bring them home to their world. The HEF estimates that they have been a space-faring race for about 600 years now, about 200 years longer than humanity has.

All signs from recent study of Kthid biology show the likelihood of a short lifespan of only twenty or thirty years… but also bone density markers and mineral deposits that suggests an extremely long one. From this, HEF scientists have concluded that their lives are being extended by artificial means somewhat similar to those mankind uses on themselves, but these technological advances have come only recently.

The Kthid have a rigid cast system – during Kthid adolescence, a youngling is tested for their aptitudes and attitudes and placed into a class that it will be in for the rest of its life. Within the castes, leadership is a strict meritocracy… older members are routine moved out of the way for younger but more talented Kthid. Likewise, the HEF have noted a distinct lack of technological pride among the Kthid… like the Romans of old, they have almost no resistance towards adapting a new technology or better method once they learn of one, usually through war or conquest.

Likely, this extreme specialization of their cast system was originally an adaptation from their short lifespans – If you only have a few decades to gain and use knowledge, it makes sense to specialize and compartmentalize. There are, however, two exceptions… the Sunbreakers, and the Unclean.

The Sunbreakers are the ruling class, made up of some of the most exalted members of their race of all the other casts. A Kthid cannot be originally placed into this caste, but only reach it through merit and achievement, being among the best in their field. For example, a science-class member who makes a major breakthrough might be Exalted, and raised to this class. For a Warrior-caste, the primary way to reach this caste by being responsible for the conquest of another race.

The unclean are the opposite. They are the failures… the expendable. A Kthid is placed into this caste either by failing in the placement and aptitude examinations when young, or by failure or disgrace in your caste as an adult. Basically forbidden from breeding, they live to try to redeem themselves and escape this caste. It can theoretically be done, and has occasionally within Kthid history… but rarely.

Kthid Life Cycle:

Most notably, the Kthid are a mono-sex race… technically they are neither male nor female, but for practical reasons every member of the race could effectively be called male. They reproduce like viruses, by hijacking the reproductive systems of other races. Kthid sexual cells take over host systems and multiply, converting them to their own cells and then multiplying. Kthid gestation is extremely quick, only about 16 weeks, and their growth-metabolism is insane – within another 16 weeks they are human-sized.

There is also something odd about this reproductive process. HEF scientists have not studied it in depth, but for as violent as the process is it should be more lethal. There is some kind of healing process that accompanies mating, accelerating cell growth at point of reproduction. This is probably a function of the high cell growth rate, but it also functions to repair the damage their brutal mating does and keep their victim alive. It also leads to more rapid aging in the victim, likely shortening their lifespan without life-extension, but it does mean that their sexual violence is unlikely to directly lead to death by accident.

Stereotypes: The Kthid are perfectionists, and do not accept failure lightly in themselves or others. They tend towards sadistic and domineering… or at the least the members of their race that the HEF has encountered do…

Slang/Terms: Dragons, Fangs, Monsters.