The history section has been updated so The People are now artificially modified to get round the fact that they were genetically implausible.
The People (I didn't feel comfortable with referencing Ghandi's name)Pithy Summery
: a race of large furry worms with many legs that behave like Ghandi.Homeworld
The People originate from an absolutely huge swamp world, below the swamp are flooded networks of natural caverns that can rival a small ocean for biodiversity, the swamp itself consists of massive massive trees, in fact the ground mostly consists of a huge floor of loose soil and rotting vegetation caught on the roots of those trees that forms a mostly solid ground above the waters, however its not hard to find clear areas of water. On the whole the biodiversity of this planet can rival pretty much any natural world. Physical description
The People have two stages, an aquatic unintelligent larval stage and their final land dwelling phase.
In their aquatic stage The People resemble a giant tadpole, the size of a dolphin, with huge jaws and a poisonous stinger on their tail, along with a random number of unformed legs on their sides, more lumps of flesh than anything else. The People are vicious predators, not quite the top of the food chain but not far off either and live a simple brutal existence until they mate.
As lava The People are hermaphrodites and their mating ritual is a simple battle for dominance the winner being “the male”, after mating the “female” goes on a feeding frenzy that may last up to several months with the male assisting, this is an especially risky part of their lives as the female will use reckless hunting tactics and a berserker combat style that often moves her and her mate into more trouble than they're ready for. If they survive the female, now several times larger will lay a large pile of eggs resembling frog spawn, she will then swim to the surface and attempt to land on solid ground where it metamorphosis into its adult form* (assuming nothing eats it first). The male attempts to find another mate.
This whole system (along with their lifespan, see below) means that very few of The People ever make it to be adults, the entire population of a world will number in the low thousands.
* Yes that dose mean being the female is the better option since you get to become an intelligent being, but genetically this arrangement makes sense since the stronger individual is the one who can mate a second time.
The adult form of The People is a mammal that resembles a huge fatty worm with pink flesh covered by orange fur, except for their many legs. Each leg is equally fat and pink with a single knee half way down ending in a hand consisting of a palm and three useless lumps of flesh, except the first two pairs of legs witch end in proper hands with three fingers and a thumb, these legs are also longer than the others a result of witch is that The People hold their heads higher than the rest of their body.
The People's faces resemble a sponge: a simple webbing dotted with holes the exact pattern of witch is unique to every individual; the webbing is covered with irregular tiny eyes that are barely visible, The People can see but only just, they're also colour blind. The holes in the web are the first stage of the respiratory system joining up a little further down the throat into one long tube that runs down the entire length of the body, this tube is the equivalent of a lung in mammals with oxygen travelling through the walls and into the blood system.
The People's giant throat gives them tremendous flexibility in creating sounds, with practice they can reproduce most audio based languages, or rather they could if it wasn't for the fact their throat branches off at the end, however if they really want to make a point they can cut off their head so as to speak* in their audience's own language, when they do that one people Listen. (They use anaesthetic and while they don't lie they don't make a big point of mentioning that)
* I got this idea from the white formless in Rice Boy
The lack of a mouth was not an omission, nor is it elsewhere, the people are unable to eat (Oxytarian, Nullatarian? Nillatarian?) they rely entirely on their fat reserves from the larval stage, and when they've burnt them off they die, fortunately their biology dose so gracefully and quickly rather than painfully starving to death, once their reserves are terminally low a hormone is released, when they next sleep they never wake up. This leaves The People with an incredibly short lifespan for intelligent creatures their size if you don't count their larval stage, seven years is a long life.
Late in their metamorphosis The People also become extremely toxic, at least to the biology of other species on their own world, as a result their only natural predators are insects that don't do much damage anyway (think mosquitoes) and a few scavengers.
The People communicate by a sent based language with emitters and detectors running the length of the entire body, their sent is long lasting and long distance resulting in a slow biological internet (USENET is a better metaphor), The People's debates involve the entire planet weather they like it or not. Culture
The People are total pacifists believing life is the most precious thing of all, possibly because they have so little of it, however they take it further than that believing that life is too precious for anything other than productive use, they are horrified by tales of other races dully doing a 9to5 job they dislike while the days of their life slowly pass by*. The fact that they need no food, shelter nor to defend themselves (at least historically) to survive is probably a large reason for The People developing this atypical viewpoint.
* Not that they make a big deal of it, there is more important stuff to worry about, like wars.
As a result of their unique language and low population The People tend to have a very communal outlook, they never really got the concept of “us and them” simply because they know everyone so well that everyone is us. While this cannot be said of today with many planets and other species the outlook remains part of their cultural legacy.
With their own infinitely precious short lives The People dedicate themselves to Philosophy (closer to Eastern than Western), spreading their wisdom to where it is needed or more rarely art (they're ok at it but nothing special). While The People are skilled philosophers where they truly shine is diplomacy, since their discovery by the outside galaxy The People's home has been considered the prime location for peace talks due to their amazing ability to mediate, the fact that they are respected by most races as the ideal to look up to helps ensure people pay attention rather than think what to say next. The fact that by the time they've finished training diplomats are dying means they get the respect given to the terminally ill, that really helps.
The people are not religious and believe in no gods, but they have a rich philosophy that resembles Ghandi's, save for anything said above that contradicts it.History
(note, as with the Etty, I will eventually replace The Orions with another race, its just easier to write when you have a noun to use.
In prehistory The People existed only as their larval form, which apart from a lack of unformed legs and metamorphosis were much the same as today, until their discovery by the Orions. Genetic analysis revealed a dormant evolutionary dead-end witch possessed the potential for sapience; a sample of these prehistoric People were gathered, genetically modified to reawaken their alternative evolutionary path and raised in the laboratory. The results were satisfactory: the modified biology was stable and the resulting people were both sapient and agreeable, after living with eachother for a while the Orions and The People came to the mutual conclusion that the best course of action for their species would be to start life in isolation free to develop their own identities, the Orions made one last trip to The People's world then left forever.
Save for their beginnings The People don't really have much of a history, for most of it they sat around and debated philosophy, as one said of this time “It was as bad as any other time* but we were blissfully ignorant of it. I would not trade the good I do for that happiness but it would have been nice if I could have it, even if only for a day”
* Technically he's wrong, at least part of their history coincides with the Orions, who had a pretty good peaceful golden age going on for their part of the galaxy at least
The People were rediscovered after the Orions* vanished, first contact had little trouble discovering their love of philosophy and The People excitedly agreed to debate with philosophers from other species. It was through this that The People learnt the truth of life outside their sheltered homeworld, from that moment on doing what they could to change things for the better became a lifelong calling for many of The People.
[edit: I forgot to mention, this time I really do mean the Orions]
The People had one huge advantage over many other would be peacemakers, as a sovereign nation they were able to request to send representatives to various conferences, witch combined with elegant letters to various news sources impressed the galaxy with their diplomatic finesse, soon they were deliberately sought out for their ability to boost any talks they were present at, often by independent pro-peace groups who'd fly them to conferences safe in the knowledge that no one would turn one of The People away.
The last major event in The People's history was when another empire set them up with a fully automatic shipyard, along with automatic mining equipment to keep it fully stocked as an aultrisitc investment in galactic peace. By any measure it was very good value for money. Gameplay effects
See this thread
Can't mine, farm, produce, research or make money/whatever its called
espionage penalty and they only get a limited set of options, such as exposing illegal weapons plants.
Their homeworld starts with a special that produces production and minerals for them, this is their only source of either resource.
Tiny population growth
Massive morale bonusTrivia
“The People” actually means any living thing, but this is usually lost in translation.Ship Design
There are a few ways we could play it:
1) The donas are since long gone, conceivably any ship design imaginable would thus make sense.
2) Pick another race, they're the donas. The People use the same ship models
3) The donas custom designed it for The People, the ships thus look appropriate (perhaps because they had to work around biological diffrences and thought they'd throw in an appropriate look, could just be 1 + coincidence too)