“Joy is wanton. Perfection is fatal. Our way is to yearn for achievement. Merely glance around yourselves and be grateful for the succor made possible by our ancestors’ determination. Look, now, at what becomes of us when we succumb to anemic confabulations and cavort tediously with degenerate beings. Look upon them and see manifest obsolescence!” - Recorded broadcast of Pha’Regis, Caesselian Ambassador, voicing his contempt for the Slyveren.
Name: Caesseli (singular: Caesselian; plural: Caesselians)
Sex: Males and Females.
Height: 5’ to 7’ tall; ‘Overking’ and ‘Overqueen’ specimens recorded up to 9’.
Weight: 180-450 lbs.
Eyes: Vertically slit pupils; wide iris colorations, with red, brown, black, and green being most common.
Skin: Hard scales atop tough hide, which both dissolve into soft, supple flesh around genitalia, buttocks, and snouts.
Ears: Imperceptible holes deep in their small, cobra-like hoods
Face: Attractive ophidian muzzles blended with humanoid traits
Limbs: Long, bulky snake-tail below the crotch for locomotion; humanoid arms
Tail: A massive prehensile appendage through which most of the caesselian body functions are regulated, such as balance and temperature. Extreme muscle density allows any caesselian to seize and immobilize all known species, and exert enough pressure to bend reinforced plasteel.
The serpentine Caesselians bear a naturalistic resemblance to the mundane snakes found throughout the Milky Way: huge, bulky tails evolved for incredible strength and agility within lateral and vertical environments, short reptilian snouts adapted for hard prey, and elegant, asp-like hoods usually embellished with various colorful markings and patterns denoting their mother clan and an individual’s position in the greater hierarchy. Where the hood meets the neck, dozens of aural openings provide excellent hearing in a 270-degree angle, with a muffled blindspot to their rear.
Male caesseli have muzzle-like faces, whereas females have plump snouts - both possess slit eyes, vestigial nostrils, and wide, fleshy bifurcated tongues through which they scent their surroundings. Inside each caesselian’s slippery mouth are a pair of semi-retractable fangs comparable in size to any predator listed as ‘deadly game’ on the UGC’s recreational hunting forum. When roused to anger, these prominent teeth are bared, kept permanently gleaming by a constant ooze of paralyzing venom
.Instead of a soft and vulnerable skin, rough, leathery hide protects a caesseli from brow to tail-tip. A surface layer of dragonish scaling endows their already considerable physique with a nearly-unbreakable protection. Although their humanoid features are largely secondary to their primary characteristics, these primal attributes soften into a more supple ‘flesh’ around their genital slits and venom sacks.
Maturing caesseli develop two ‘breasts’; however, these organs are not capped by nipples, as they are small pouches responsible for the containment and rapid regeneration of a highly effective paralytic agent for which there is no known pharmaceutical counteraction. These venom sacks vary wildly in shape, with female caesselians bearing feminine silhouettes familiar to the wider galaxy’s peripheries. Males will often appear sporting slightly bulged pecs similar to a body-builder’s physique.
Origins & History
Despite a notoriously arduous uplifting process, caesselians have remained pinch-lipped on their origins and development. Piecing together trenchant remarks by caesseli ambassadors and what honors they saw enshrined in lavish museums during their visits to the snake-people’s homeworld, diplomats and historians have constructed a brief overview.
On the massive, arid world of Drethfoll, over a million years of evolution saw the caesseli race transform from primitive beasts challenging a hostile wilderness for supremacy, to selfish substance gatherers who refused to gather together in concert, and ultimately to a rigid clan structure that promoted a prosperous civilization of unfaltering cooperation that is still poorly understood by the galaxy at large.
The ponderous cogitation of their culture and calculated growth of their continent-spanning metropoli happened under all the right conditions. Perhaps the most prominent event in caesselian history was the thousand-year renaissance period known in their native language as ‘Magtheode’, a crucible era of unbridled philosophical, industrial, and scientific advancement, begun at a formative summit where the clans were first established.
Instead of answering to a single form of government, each clan, big or small, occupies its own swathe of territory in the sprawling urban centers or traditional outermost settlements, each one self-governing and functioning like a state or prefecture. Conflicts between clans are inevitable, but through an impenetrable network of connections and arrangements, clans, affiliated or not, effectively police one another.
Caesselian clans are headed by an Overking or Overqueen, individuals of immense authority and responsibility that oversee the core functions of their entire race. In contrast to most hierarchies, it is the duty of those at the top to labor for those at the bottom. These natural-born leaders and their personally selected retinue are avowed by oath to preserve and advance caesselian society, personally undertaking major ventures or glorious quests to expand their reach, discern the unknown, and disseminate the gained rewards and knowledge among their kind, effectively achieving immortality for themselves and their charge. The most gifted and skilled are said to assimilate smaller or even take over larger clans through sheer accomplishment.
It is thought that the caesseli never intended to venture far beyond their atmosphere. This hypothesis is supported by the fact that although there exist powerful clans akin to megacorporations, no one ‘family’ oversees any particular field of science or area of innovation. Most of these clans remain unknown to off-worlders, save for the largest ones in control of massive population centers, such as ‘Orenjule’ and ‘Phanjel’.
Adherence to tradition makes the caesselians strong, yet it is a source of fascination that, following their uplifting, a vast number of caesselians departed their world in search of a different future, becoming known as the Slyvereen, whose beginnings are fraught with peril and distress. This unprecedented event is reported to be a sore spot for all caesselians, who have become far more regimented than previously indicated.
Relations between caesseli and slyveren are thus said to be dour.
Caesselians are an egg-laying species whose reproductive speeds are competitive with the more consummate breeders of the galaxy, although this will never be tested, as the snake-people are united by a disdain for wanton hedonism.
Males and females share a typical sexual configuration with the rest of the galaxy, possessing long, lizard-like phalluses and curiously mammalian vaginas and clitorises respectively. Genital slits protect these organs, which only emerge during arousal. The men have four internal testes and are diphallic, either penis elongating up to ten inches when erect, whereas women are abnormally elastic and possess a uniquely slippery wetness that allows for very pleasurable, exhilarating sex.
Every two months, a female will begin ovulating, incubating up to six eggs in her uterus. In one month, she will lay the clutch, special lubricating glands ensuring painless birthing. If during this period the female is inseminated by a compatible male, the egg will be fertilized, and a young caesseli will quickly hatch upon its ejection, its level of growth determined by the quality of sperm and the time of impregnation. It is believed that the tallest and strongest caesseli are conceived at first sign of ovulation, while the smaller and less-developed are born late in the egg’s gestation period. Regardless, caesselian young are born capable of providing for themselves, and often begin hunting for the first meal long before they speak their first words.
Cross-pollination between caesseli and other races has been confirmed through breedings with terrans, ausar, kaithrit, and suula, with the children often possessing more of their ophidian heritage than the alien mate’s.
One marvelous quirk to caesselian reproduction is the genetic subset of ‘overkings’ and ‘overqueens’. Not chosen, but born, these scions of their race are once-in-a-million births to normal caesseli, yet far more frequent to extant specimens. Rarely, a fertilized egg will grow even larger, committing the mother to an uncomfortable maternity leave. Unlike regular eggs, an ‘overqueen’ or ‘overking’ will cause pain throughout the process, and take up to three or four more months to fully develop.
It is unknown to all but the caesseli what the determining factors are to such a spawning, but the event is always recorded as a momentous occasion. Scions born to an over-parent will inherit the clan, while those born from nothing will set out to establish their own.
Current Intergalactic Relations
Relations between the Caesseli and the UGC are lukewarm at best, but the naga-people cannot deny the promises of the Planet Rush. Fledgling Overkings and Overqueens have responded to the call, leaving their homeworld for the first time to seek fame and fortune in the beyond, bringing together likeminded individuals not under a maiden clan, but in mercenary groups, salvager teams, logisticians, and supply runners.
Ordinary caesselians are a rare enough sight in the Core. Scant few dare to tread the established rimworld colonies, preferring to remain at home unless requested by their patriarch or matriarch.