FANDOM


The Et'hula (the singular and plural species name, and their demonym) are a major species in the Voyage of Discovery series, and the first new alien race encountered by the F.S.S. Legacy.  The name is pronounced "et-hoo-la" (see Et'hula language).

Red Alert!  Now entering a spoiler field!
First contact was made on _________ 2341, with a group of refugees fleeing severe religious persecution from the Et'hula government.  Their crime was a lack of absolute faith in the established state dogma, which labeled scientific investigation and rational criticism “heresy”, and the punishment for rejecting the absolute dogma of the theologian government is summary execution.  The existence of alien races and interstellar travel are explicitly contrary to dogma, and rigidly denounced as a heretic deception by loyalists; the persecuted heretic minority is considerably more open-minded.

233 heretic refugees were rescued by the F.S.S. Legacy as part of First Contact, but a battleship crewed by 3,016 loyalists was accidentally destroyed in self-defense (with all hands, unfortunately).  The Legacy promptly left the unwelcoming Et'hula home system before it could be attacked again, taking the refugees with them.

The Et'hula refugees learned English (Terranglo) over the next few months, and devoted themselves to fully integrating as part of Legacy's crew, learning Federation systems and procedures and culture, and adapting as best as they could.  In some instances (such as their views regarding clothing) no compromise was possible, and the Et'hula retained their own cultural norms... but many of them were able to assimilate a great deal of Federation norms and moral principles, and they became a valued and significant portion of the crew.  Many Et'hula were still faithfully serving aboard Legacy when she finally reached home, decades later.  Some would then go on to get their own commands in Star Fleet.

Physical description, and biological dataEdit

A humanoid species that blends reptilian and mammalian characteristics, the Et'hula can easily be described as 'dragonoids' (humanoids with dragon characteristics).  Technically, they are neither reptilian nor mammalian, but something altogether different from any Terran analogy; comparisons to reptiles and mammals should be considered a skin-deep similarity only.  Thanks to their long service aboard the Legacy, Et'hula are medically as well-understood as Terran races.

Et'hula stand about 180 to 200 centimeters tall (females are taller, stronger, and more robust than the males; the inverse of humans).

They possess four short ears, arranged around four head horns (the outer two horns are longer and thicker, and more curved; the length matches overall skull length in adult females, and slightly less for males).  Et'hula have velvety fur on their dragon-like faces and necks, with exposed lizard-like scales around the eyes, nasal bridge, lips, brow, and their flattened foreheads; the scales on the lips, nostrils, and eyelids are very thin, soft, and sensitive to touch.  Slightly thicker canine-like fur covers most of their bodies and tails... except for the throat, abdomen, groin, tail base underside, shins, feet, and the hands and forearms, which are covered by large scales and tough scutes.  The finger and toe pads are leathery skin, with fixed claws; the claws grow from highly innervated organs similar to those of feline whiskers, so the claws are quite sensitive to the slightest touch, despite being composed of a solid keratin-like protein (even so, a slashing strike with the claws is not at all painful).  The digitigrade feet have three toes and a dewclaw on each side of the ankles, and the hands have three fingers and a pair of opposable thumbs: one on each side of the wrists (symmetrical hands, rather than chiral).  The ankles have a bone that allows the feet to pivot radically outward to the sides, enabling very quick turns.  The bare tip of the long tail is crudely prehensile, as are their long tongues.

They have a pair of wings on their backs: bat-like, and completely covered in velvety fur (no scales anywhere).  The wing structure has two stretched fingers supporting the membrane, and a simple thumb and normal finger at the wrist: children can support their weight from the wing fingers, and will use their wings to aid in climbing trees, but adults can only maintain such a grasp for a few seconds.  The wings are not suitable for sustained flight anymore, but they can be used for short gliding and as parachutes, or for maneuvering in zero-gravity.  Et'hula love to be airborne and weightless; they get depressed if restricted to the ground.  Their wings are used in a broad range of expressions, and are critically important to their self-image and mental health; loss of a wing is a humiliating fate worse than death.

Et'hula fur and scales can be any color — blacks, greys, whites, reds, oranges, yellows... and even shades of green, blue, and violet are as common as any other color.  However, the colors do not "mix" as any form of stripes or spots: all fur will be one uniform color, and the scales are usually a lighter (sometimes darker) shade of the fur color.  The wing membranes can be a third color (usually a light pastel shade).  The horns tend to be earthen colors (the color of soils and clays, or occasionally red wines), and are usually the same color as the irises.

Et'hula irises are structurally very similar to those of Terran felines, with the exception that the slit pupils are oriented horizontally, parallel to the ground.  Their single eyelids sweep horizontally down from the nasal bridge.  A clear waterproof nictitating membrane sweeps horizontally up, also from the inner edge of each eye; these are used for blinking, while the normal eyelids are closed only in response to bright light, a reflex for impending attack (equal to a human menace reflex), or for sleep.

Et'hula are more sensitive to bright lights and glare than humans, and need to wear polarized eye protection to prevent snow blindness.  They perceive the same three primary colors as Terrans do, except that their sensitivity to green wavelengths is red-shifted about 60 nm.

Red Alert!  Now entering a spoiler field!
In the center of the Et'hula forehead is a third “eye”, of sorts, roughly equivalent to the parietal eye a few Terran animals have, though the origin of its evolution is quite different.  About 70% as large as one of their primary eyes, the structure lacks eyelids and orbit muscles, and is essentially fixed staring forward.  The organ is cloudy in appearance, with a hard outer shell and gelatinous interior.  It is sensitive to the lower thermal band of infrared, between 9 and 11 µm.  It is a vestigial organ that the Et'hula don't rely upon very much, and its main function is simply to regulate the internal metabolism and body temperature.  Et'hula are warm-blooded, but their normal body temperature can range as much as 17 degrees Celsius in response to the local environment, to minimize energy waste; this organ helps control this variation.  Et'hula are also constantly aware of what this heat sensor “sees” on a semi-subconscious level, even when sleeping: someone's body heat stepping into view will awaken them suddenly.  The eye is not strictly an eye, in that Et'hula do not directly perceive any visual information from it; but they are nonetheless partially aware of what the organ can detect.  It becomes practically useless in hot environments, causing the Et'hula to get a little wobbly on their feet, as if drunk or suffering from visual myopia; they compensate by covering the organ to reduce the sensory overload, and tend to avoid facing such heat sources if they can help it.

The throat anatomy is different from Terran species: the esophagus is located in front of the trachea, rather than behind it.  As a consequence, Et'hula can breathe while swallowing.  The esophagus is also notably more expandable than in Federation species — an Et'hula is capable of swallowing an entire adult pigeon, whole, without even chewing (and they've found doing so makes an excellent quick meal, if they'd rather not spend time eating).  The esophagus is lined with tiny downward-facing barbs, very similar to the structure of a cat's tongue, making it very difficult for live prey to escape once swallowed.  Et'hula lack a gag reflex, though they can still vomit liquified material if they get food poisoning.

Et'hula dental structure is roughly equivalent to a combination of the Terran lemur and the opossum.  Like Terran mammals, the teeth meet and work together as a single system.  Et'hula young also have a different set of teeth: the incisors are missing, and they have only one quartet of each other tooth type.  Unlike Terran mammals, but more like Terran reptiles, Et'hula can regenerate lost teeth throughout their lives (a new tooth grows in when one is lost, taking about 2 months to be fully replaced).  They have 33 regular teeth, plus 2 specialized folding fangs.

  • They have an odd number of spike-like incisors: 5 on the top, and four on the bottom, which mesh together for the bite; these have tiny but very sharp shark-like serrations on the sides, and are used to snip bites of food off (like scissors).
  • The canine teeth are unique: a pair of modified elongated premolars (like the lemurs) for each half of the jaw, plus two additional double-length fangs in the upper jaw only, which hinge and are normally folded backwards against the roof of the mouth, similar in mechanics to the fangs of rattlesnakes.  The fangs were once poisonous, earlier in their evolution, but the toxin glands are now non-functional vestigial organs — in modern times, the fangs are primarily used for intimidation or a harsher bite.  A voluntary muscle action pulls the fangs vertical, and relaxing the muscle conceals the fangs.  Et'hula will almost never display their fangs, except in rage, or when asked to do so for medical purposes.  Et'hula develop their fangs when they reach puberty, at which point a blister of tissue and fluid on the roof of the mouth will pop and disintegrate.  Initiation to adulthood follows this event.
  • The premolars are configured like those of felines and canines: as carnassials, used to slice meat and skin.  They are elongated, and there in a pair in each quadrant (eight total).
  • The molars are equivalent to those of most Terran mammals, and just a bit more elongated.  There are three per quadrant (twelve total).


Internal anatomy has some similarities to Terran species (lungs, stomach, intestines), but also some very interesting non-analogous structures.  Et'hula urinate in a manner equivalent to humans, but the urine contains a few unique chemicals, and is produced by multiple small nodes throughout the lower torso, instead of in kidneys; this filtration system is better at retaining water, but poorer at filtering toxins.  Glands are also non-congruent with any known animal from Federation space.  There are two organs roughly equivalent to livers: one on each side, tucked right up against the diaphragm.  The heart has six chambers, and they lack an observable spleen (that function seems to be merged with the intestinal tract).  Males have a single large gonad in the lower abdomen, occupying proportionally as much space as the female uterus: it can produce considerable volumes of semen (12 to 17 ml), which is thicker than in humans.  The female reproductive system has two pairs of ovaries (four total), which deploy eggs all at once (thus, why the normal clutch is four, and infrequently three or five).  They are not placental mammals, but are functionally closer to monotremes.

Et'hula completely lack an equivalent to the adipose tissue Terrans have.  They have a dense brown fat-like tissue under the skin of their tails, where nutrients and energy are very efficiently stored... but this mechanism halts after a certain point, and excess nutrition after that point just flushes through their body harmlessly.  They physically cannot get fat, the way humans can.  They can live about as long as humans without food (3 weeks), and twice as long without water (6 days).

Red Alert!  Now entering a spoiler field!
Brain anatomy is particularly interesting, and features multiple lobes and three major sections that are equivalent to cerebral hemispheres: two large side ones, and a central teardrop-shaped one that wraps around the back.  The three sections are connected by a large and well-developed corpus callosum, plus two additional such paired structures at other points on each side, creating five junctions between the three sections.  Senses and motor control are isolated to the two major side sections, but the actual seat of consciousness and memory is isolated to the center section (this is distinctly opposite that of Terran races, which have consciousness in the frontal lobe).  Vision is processed at the front of the Et'hula brain, rather than the rear (as is the case in Terran races).  As far as intelligence is concerned, Et'hula are roughly equivalent to other Federation races, with similar variation: they have their idiots and geniuses as well.

Et'hula females have a pair of mammal-like 'breasts' over their pectoral muscles, which produce a nourishing fluid for their young... though calling this fluid 'milk' would be quite a stretch of the word (see Reproduction, below).  The structure of these breasts is somewhat different than in Terran and other Federation races: Et'hula lack significant cleavage, and their breasts lack the inframammary fold common to most Federation races.  As a result, they appear deceptively flat-chested; on closer examination, it's more obvious their breasts posses equivalent volume to approximately a D-cup... but their shape flattens this out to appear more like a C-cup, at the largest.  The breasts smoothy blend with the torso on all sides, leaving no folds.  Et'hula breasts are rigidly attached to the chest, have low fat content, and do not jiggle or bounce.  Unlike most Federation races, the Et'hula breasts are considered no more erogenous than a toe or horn (not at all).

Red Alert!  Now entering a spoiler field!
Et'hula have a major erogenous zone between their wing bases: touch there is considered highly sensual and provocative, making them very horny... it's considered a private place they will generally avoid touching unless they intend to mate (same as a human penis or vulva; incidentally, Et'hula don't really consider either of those erogenous either).

Curiously, touching the groin is merely seen as flattery, and is not considered a particularly sexual act — even inserting your fingers into their vagina is treated as equivalent to a friendly hug on the affection scale.  However, licking their genital slit is about as open and blunt an invitation for sex as can possibly be given... but trying this without establishing trust beforehand can be very hazardous to your health.  If they trust you though, you'd better be ready for sex within seconds!

GeneticsEdit

Et'hula DNA is triple-stranded, with three base-pairs; only one pair is shared by Terran biology.  The molecule is arranged much like a triangular ladder, with the 'rungs' crossing between pairs of the outer lines.

Obviously, Et'hula are genetically incompatible with any known alien species, and can only reproduce with their own kind; no hybrids are possible at all, ever.  Gender information is contained on a single chromosome — male and female are the only possible genders (like unmodified humans; no herms).

ReproductionEdit

Et'hula reproduction is fairly straightforward, if alien.  They are physically compatible with the mammalian Federation species (they have similarly-shaped organs), but of course are not genetically compatible.  They lack an estrus cycle: females wishing to reproduce undergo a ritual that stimulates their ovaries, after which they are fertile for about a week.

Red Alert!  Now entering a spoiler field!
They reproduce sexually as expected: the males fertilize the females... but this always results in female offspring.  To produce males, the females simply abstain from sex with a male, and undergo a form of parthenogenesis instead.  From a survival standpoint, this is quite a strong advantage; a group composed entirely of females can create a breeding population of males and females within a single generation.  As a result of this and social pressures (reproducing alone is viewed as an act of selfish desperation), there is a significant female majority: females outnumber males approximately 17-to-1.  The young are carried internally for most of the 7-month gestational period.  Birth consists of laying a clutch of 3 to 5 ostrich-sized soft-shelled eggs, which will hatch within a week.  The act of giving birth is not painful at all, and is actually borderline orgasmic: this appears to be their primary physical motivation for reproducing.  A female can safely get pregnant again within a month of giving birth.

Young are fed via the two mammal-like breasts on the female chest... though the 'milk' is notably thicker and richer than that of mammalian Federation species, having the appearance and consistency of marshmallow creme, and is described as tasting somewhat “sour” and “fishy” by Terran species.  Akin to chakat milkwater, the breasts always maintain a constant supply of this substance, unless the individual is malnourished: they do not start or stop lactating the way Terran mammals do.  The breast 'milk' is not really sexualized or considered a food source for adults, and the breasts are not an erogenous zone.  The young are weaned within their first year.

When the blisters on the roof of their mouths pop and deploy their retractable fangs, this indicates they are undergoing their version of puberty.  This usually occurs between 13 and 14 Terran years of age (see Calendar below for the Et'hula calendar).  After a ceremony, they are considered adults.  They have a couple more years to go before they cease growing and are physically fully mature (usually finished growing by age 16).

Reproduction politicsEdit

Red Alert!  Now entering a spoiler field!
Socially, males exist mainly for reproduction, and their society is matriarchal, with the males regarded as second-class citizens and tools for breeding purposes.  Females perform all the roles of society, and are larger and stronger than the males (opposite of humans).  The politics of gaining access to a male for breeding rights are complicated, to put it mildly: negotiations can be as delicate as peace treaties between nations, and family groups that have a male or two are extremely protective of their rare asset and how he is used.  The result, from a human perspective, somewhat resembles how horse breeders contract out their prize stallion to customers with mares.

Interspecies relationshipsEdit

Red Alert!  Now entering a spoiler field!
Some Et'hula still have reservations about interspecies relationships (old habits die hard), but many have adopted a variety of alternative Federation viewpoints, leading to their sexual liberation in general.  Et'hula appreciate their physical compatibility with most Federation races, and do indeed greatly enjoy sexual activity... but they have problems conforming with expectations involving fidelity and monogamy.  Their species has never had a concept of marriage: mating with their males is brief, and only for reproduction contracts.  Et'hula found this facet of Federation culture very strange, but also fascinating and addictive, and soon began experimenting with long-term intimate relationships with not only their own kind, but also alien races.  Such experiments with their own kind invariably failed, and some Federation races had trouble accepting the Et'hula tendency to “roam” and experiment with many mates... but for Federation races accustomed to polyamorous & open relationships, the Et'hula do quite well.

From a social standpoint, Et'hula are pretty close to a pure free-love people, and virtually all their females are bisexual or lesbian-compatible.  Their society has no restrictions on sex; not even in public: if the mood strikes them just right, they'll have sex pretty much anywhere, and aren't concerned about privacy.  On duty, they usually remain quite professional... but off-duty, they're party girls.  For Et'hula, casual sex is a regular part of their social dynamics: it is frequently used to mitigate conflicts, and improve social connections (similar to bonobo chimps on Earth).  The bulk of the society can be compared to a “friends with benefits” sort of relationship; indeed, Et'hula will readily have sex with even their newest friends (including alien species, in the case of the heretics), viewing sex as a way to reinforce the new relationship and improve social cohesion.  Having sex is their way of being friendly, recognizing others as people (they would not have sex with lesser animals, so the offer indicates they recognize you as a peer and a person), and expressing their acceptance of others into their social circles.  To deliberately withhold sex is to ostracize someone from society, and deny their personhood.  When among Et'hula, don't be alarmed if one or more propositions you for sex, and by all means accept unless you have a solidly reasonable justification for refusing (and are prepared to argue your case). Refusing without a good reason is usually perceived as a major insult: a denial of both their desirability and their personhood.

Medically speaking, Et'hula are one of the safest species anyone from Federation space can have a sexual relationship with.  While they have a few venereal diseases, these were quickly cured among those who joined Legacy's crew, and it was found these diseases require the unique Et'hula triple-strand DNA to infest anything anyway, merely dying in the alien environment of any Federation member's body.  Likewise, the Et'hula body cannot sustain or carry any known disease from any Federation race; even their version of the common cold is incompatible.  Et'hula bodily fluids are hypoallergenic and perfectly safe to contact and consume; completely harmless to all Federation races.  Anatomically, there are notable differences in the details... but the basic equipment is nearly the same size, even if their penises have a slightly different shape – generally speaking, all Et'hula females are physically compatible with all Federation races... and likewise for Et'hula males, though they might feel a bit more exotic, and they're usually busy with their own species anyway.  The numerous females have plenty of opportunity to experiment and sleep around, and many can be quite adventurous in this regard.

Taking an Et'hula as a long-term mate is an exercise in patience and understanding; it requires great tolerance for their natural inclination toward free-love, no concept of jealousy, and a complete inability to understand why infidelity or adultery is immoral in the eyes of monogamous races (in fact, their native language completely lacks any such words, and has no equivalent concepts).  They are nonetheless intensely loyal lovers, and will always return to their declared mates after roaming a bit.  If you can talk them into a mate-for-life contract, they will honor it.

While the loyalists are intensely xenophobic, the heretics who joined Legacy's crew don't appear to have any racial preferences, and have become the mates of dozens of humans and morphs (both bipeds and taurs).  There are Et'hula in Rakshani Houses, and in Caitian families (often filling the love or fertility virtue).  Some Et'hula have Voxxan mates, and even the Faleshkarti are (somewhat reluctantly) fair game.  New alien races the Legacy discovers are also acceptable, and there are mixed families of Et'hula with Vanthynril and/or Raahssa... and especially the Serothii, who are an equally sexually-curious species.

In sex, Et'hula females usually lean toward a dominant role, as that is their instinct (coming from a matriarchal society where the males are weak and subservient, this is only to be expected).  Their females give as good as they get, and are quite energetic (to put it mildly).  They thrive on sexual passion.  Their only rule?  That “sex be done well”.  With Et'hula, expect to get laid frequently, and until exhausted.

Culture, technology, politics, and religionEdit

Red Alert!  Now entering a spoiler field!
Although the Et'hula have not yet discovered FTL propulsion, they have quite a large fleet of sublight spacecraft and warships, and have colonized much of their solar system.  Their warships are grossly inferior to Federation technology, and do not pose much of a threat.  Although they have fusion-based sublight propulsion (a primitive form of Federation impulse engines, using mechanically-vectored thrust instead of electromagnetically-vectored), their electronics and metallurgy are more analogous to what humans used during the Apollo Program in the 20th century.  They have no knowledge of any subspace mechanics, no inertial dampeners, no shields or force fields, no energy weapons, and no artificial gravity.  Their warships are armed with chemical-fueled missiles and unguided rockets, thermonuclear warheads, and rudimentary mass driver kinetic cannons... all of which pose a limited threat to Federation starships, though Federation shields will buy a large margin of safety.

Et'hula culture and technology is badly stagnant, because their theocratic government-enforced religious dogma states that science is heresy, and they are alone in a small unchanging universe.  As such, there have been virtually no new technological developments for centuries.  Their dogma holds that the stars are the spirits of the ancestors, all the same distance away, and to try and touch one is to invite divine judgment and annihilation of all creation.  Consequentially, their whole world is only what is in their solar system, and they haven't turned a telescope toward any stars in centuries.

A small and heavily-persecuted deviant subculture frequently pops up to challenge all those beliefs, and these groups often organize enough to hijack small vessels and attempt to flee the system.  They are always intercepted by the military and mercilessly executed by being ejected into their homeworld's atmosphere, or destroyed in space before they get too far away.

CalendarEdit

The Et'hula aboard Legacy (and later, on Federation worlds) adapt to using the local calendars.  On their homeworld, the native Et'hula calendar is demarcated as orbits (years), with rotations (days), and periods to divide each day.  The year is 418 rotations, and their rotation is approximately 27.42 standard Terran hours.  A rotation has 100.00 periods.

MoralityEdit

Et'hula have a slightly different concept of morality, which can sometimes clash with Federation norms.

Red Alert!  Now entering a spoiler field!
Perhaps the most notable divergence is their perspective on taking a life, which they will do without hesitation to end a continuing threat and prevent future threats.  Consequentially, they don't really understand the notion of setting phasers on stun, or shooting to disable – they would rather use deadly force in self-defense, than risk future retaliation after a foe has recovered.  They see nothing wrong with executing prisoners who continue to behave with hostility and make threats; they would only consider sparing a prisoner who becomes obviously submissive.  They value life significantly less than humans or chakats do, so they sometimes seem rather ruthless.  But in the end, it's merely a different concept of right & wrong, and differing tolerance for preventable danger.

Major taboosEdit

Et'hula have an unusual opinion of nudity: they view their bodies as a divine gift, so covering themselves with garments is the taboo — an inverse of the typical Federation nudity taboo.  Those with a more scientific mindset may not consider their bodies a “divine” gift, but will still argue their bodies are a gift from their parents, and refuse to cover themselves out of respect for tradition and social norms.  The females have bodies similar to morphs and humans, and the males keep their genitalia internally when not aroused, so it's not much of a problem to Federation races; many find Et'hula females physically attractive, and it doesn't hurt that they're a sexually curious species (interspecies relationships have been quite successful).  Their wing anatomy also makes the creation of any clothing suitable for them extremely problematic, as nothing can cross over their backs without unacceptable interference.  As a result, Et'hula officers and crew are exempt from wearing uniforms (the only race in Star Fleet that is); instead, rank insignia are simply affixed (often glued) to their neck scales.

Related to the aversion toward coverings is an even stronger taboo on body manipulation.  Any form of tattoo or piercing or cosmetic surgery, for any reason beyond that of medical necessity, is regarded as the most perverse and unforgivable form of self-mutilation imaginable.  Suicide also fits into this.  It also means they refuse to use perfumes and artificial scents, greatly preferring to smell like themselves or clean: soaps and shampoos must be unscented, or at least have a scent they cannot smell at all.  They have no cosmetics industry of any kind, and do not understand why humans use makeup; they think such things corrupt and ruin beauty, rather than improve it.  They will accept surgery if it is medically essential, but do so begrudgingly.  Reconstructive surgery to restore original appearance after an injury is also acceptable, but cosmetic enhancements are not.  While they accept that other species hold different viewpoints, they feel compelled to try to convince them to see their natural bodies as intrinsically beautiful (even arguing in favor of the complete abandonment of clothing and cosmetic products, for all races).

DietEdit

The Et'hula diet is compatible with Terran and Federation races, if a bit unusual in some regards.  They are mesocarnivores: animal products constitute 50 to 70% of their diet, with the second-largest component of their diet being fruit.  They prefer their meats raw and fresh, or very rare, or occasionally smoked or dried without actually being cooked.  Some prey is usually consumed live and swallowed whole.  They have an extremely wide palate for animal flesh, and will consume virtually any animal: no meat is taboo (not even their own species).  They would even eat human flesh, if that were acceptable... but they won't, because humans don't consider themselves food, so eating them (or products derived from them) would be unacceptably rude.  They'll eat birds, reptiles, mammals, fish, mollusks, and a number of things humans would usually balk at... such as insects (snacked on like popcorn), and live worms (enjoyed like Klingon gagh).  They're quite fond of small snakes, by first crushing the head in their teeth, then slurping down the entire ophidian whole, like a big noodle.  They also like eggs, which are usually swallowed raw and whole (if the right size); the eggs are broken by a boney ridge at the top of the throat and crushed by swallowing (similar to egg-eating snakes, except the shells are swallowed right along with the rest of the egg).  Eggs are one of the few foods they also like cooked as much as raw, and the omelet is a huge hit.  They will nibble on bones for their calcium.

Red Alert!  Now entering a spoiler field!
If one of their offspring fails to survive for some reason (the failure rate is roughly 16%), the mother will traditionally consume her dead infant or failed egg (an act known in Terran zoology as filial cannibalism, and not that uncommon among Terran animals).  The infant's body is cleaned with the mother's tears, then swallowed whole, ending the brief mourning period.  Sickly or malformed infants that will not survive are left to die naturally (no major medical intervention is allowed), at which point their bodies are promptly eaten in the same fashion.  The tradition dates back to early Et'hula society, when they were tribal nomads; food resources were harder to come by, and a failed pregnancy or attempts to care for a terminally diseased or permanently handicapped child would be an unacceptable waste of resources, and harm the entire tribe.  It's thus a form of cultural nutrient recycling (or, as they put it, “returning the infant's body to its origin”) that has persisted since their prehistory.  In ancient times they also practiced endocannibalism as a funeral rite, though nowadays this is a taboo, and they prefer cremation.

Their digestive systems can't tolerate high-carbohydrate foods, so they don't eat breads and pastries.  Their systems react badly to leafy green and root vegetables, giving them indigestion at best, acting as a emetic, or provoking life-threatening diarrhea at worst.  Chocolate is toxic, but they LOVE cheese as much as Terrans love chocolate and sugar.  Sugary drinks (like soft drinks) are fine, as is honey and butter and salt.  They dislike ketchup and mustard and mayonnaise and pepper, and consider anything pickled to be absolutely revolting.

Et'hula are incapable of tasting alcohol, and have as high a tolerance for it as chakats... but they can get drunk.  Unfortunately, their bodies lack the ability to directly metabolize ethanol, so it must be expelled as waste (through urine) — this takes a long time, and the ethanol persists in their system for up to a week following inebriation.  Consequentially, they have to be aware of what and how much they drink, or they risk becoming drunk for several days straight.  It's also possible for them to get drunk by accumulation over the course of several days of light intake.  Excessive quantities of ethanol in their systems can induce a sort of protective trance or coma... but extreme overdose will trigger cardiopulmonary arrest & failure.

TalentsEdit

Et'hula can become part of an empathic bond, but cannot create it alone.  They have never displayed any evidence of any extrasensory ability, beyond that which can be easily explained by their anatomy (the third eye, for example).  They have no history of anyone in their race ever having any skill or ability recognizable as a “Talent”.  Their brains lack any evidence of any structure comparable to the MAGC.  They are surprisingly easy for empaths to read; but like Faleshkarti, they are completely unaware they are projecting anything.

The Et'hula are fascinated by the existence of Talents, since their culture and fiction never even imagined such a thing could be possible.  They were notably disturbed when they first learned about telepathy and empathy, and had major concerns about privacy and vulnerability.  Fortunately for them, telepaths can't really make sense of their thoughts unless they first learn the native Et'hula language — however, younger Et'hula who grew up with Terranglo as their first language are easy to read; but these individuals are also more accustomed to the Talented, and aren't afraid of being accidentally read.  The older Et'hula eventually learn not to worry about it, and more than a few end up as mates for chakats and skunktaurs, so they either outgrew their concerns or set them aside.


Behind the scenesEdit

Creator/author's commentary (out-of-universe information)
The Et'hula were created by Tigerstripe to fill a notable gap in the Chakat Universe: the lack of any significant alien races that didn't strongly resemble common elements of the furry fandom.  They should appeal to fans of dragon-like characters too, though they are not strictly-speaking dragons at all.

Primarily, they are meant to be a strong contrast to many human norms often taken for granted... and to bust a few nigh-universal and unrealistic literary tropes about alien life and biochemistry.  More exotic alien life will be encountered as the story progresses, but these characters are the first, and [so far] the best-developed.

Their basic appearance was inspired by these images: 1, 2, 3... with customizations in the details: different hands and feet, different horns, added ears, no frills or tail fluff, different eyes, third eye, etc.  Basically, the core torso and body proportions should be retained for the Et'hula, with a similar face shape, but the rest gets modified.  Still, a starter picture is better than none, which is why these images are linked here.

Ad blocker interference detected!


Wikia is a free-to-use site that makes money from advertising. We have a modified experience for viewers using ad blockers

Wikia is not accessible if you’ve made further modifications. Remove the custom ad blocker rule(s) and the page will load as expected.