Standing an average of four foot seven tall, with short, barrel like bodies, the Salvorathan have a strong resemblance to the dwarves of legend, though these dwarves were carefully designed by the bio-molders that sent out the first seed-ships into deep space. Carefully designed for the rigors of zero gravity and high radiation environments, the Salvorathan are comfortable in situations that would be lethal to Puregene Humans, with each variation from Puregene meant to give survivability to them, while the corporations that created them were careful to psych-imprint the love of space into them.
The first of space’s dangers the designers chose to address was the high radiation dosages inflicted by space travel. The Salvorathan’s first line of defense against this is his skin pigmentation. Dry and scaly, his skin ranges from gunmetal black to royal purple, flush with various melatonin and chlorophyll cross-derivatives that actually harness incoming gamma and x-ray radiation in order to generate various energy-suppling molecules. His second line is his physiology. With his internal organs redistributed in order to create a volume with a minimal surface area, he is exposed to less radiation, on average, than a Puregene. Finally, as a tertiary defense, his immune system is designed to purge any cells unable to make certain identifying proteins, serving as a partial defense against the most common cancers.
Second, the designers turned their attention to zero-gravity. First, careful manipulation of the circulation system tweaks the body’s blood pressure to be optimal in zero gravity, rather than 1 g. Unfortunately, this same design makes planetary gravity extremely unpleasant for the Salovarathan, as the blood in their body rushes to the legs, leaving them light headed, in a condition known as ‘Gravity drunkeness.’ Their skeletal system has likewise been tweaked in order to prevent the calcium leeching common in Puregenes during extended micro-gravity travel. A small redesign of the sinuses and ears, combined with a typical zero-gravity upbringing prevents vertigo and lack of orientation. Lastly, a small pressurizing organ allows an extremely limited form of natural rocket propulsion, enough to make sure that they are never ‘stranded’, though the force afforded by this organ is very small indeed.
Lastly, the designers turned to the effects of brief exposures to vacuum. The hard scaly skin of the Salvorathan allows extremely limited evaporation, and nictating membranes can close over the eyes and throat, purely through reflexive action. These closures are alway proceeded by an exhalation of any remaining air in the lungs. The liver of the Salvorathan pulls double duty, scrubbing excess oxygen from the bloodstream, where it stores it in the form of certain organic peroxides. A Salvorathan that has been breathing earth standard air for at least eight hours previous can survive up to ten minutes of hard vacuum, without suffering the ill-effects that set into a Puregene almost immediately upon exposure.
The Salvorathan do not have a unified ‘society’ or racial language as such, tending to take on many of the social customs of whatever Puregene society they have the most exposure to. However, there are certain common threads. As many ships are now crewed by single Salvorathan families, a sort of clannish substructure has appeared. Arranged marriages are common between ships that ply the same lanes, while the complex web of duties that appear in a ship only serve to strengthen the familial bond between Salvorathans.
The original love of space impressed upon them still holds, as well, and few Salvorathans choose to be landers, so long as the option of travel or at least station-side duty is available to them.
While the Salvorathan have no homeworld, as such, there are several stations of gathering throughout known space, where Salvorathans tend to congregate, though mostly for the purpose of finding their next employment. Lacking a homeworld or nation of their own, the Salvorathan tend to fall back on the patterns imprinted on their ancestors, often signing on with any available ship as mercenary pilots, engineers, and astrogators. While there is nothing in their genetics to dictate these, the education tends to pass from parent to child, stimulated by the commonly space-born childhood. Given the choice, a Salvorathan will typically prefer to serve on a massively constructed, heavy ship, the sort that can, theoretically, plow over most other ships and keep on going. Most are not given the choice.
The bizaare liver chemistry they possess also turns out to be extremely effective in eliminating alcohol and many other toxins from the blood stream, though that was never the intention of the designers. Like their fantastic counterparts, the average ‘space dwarf’ can drink even the most tolerant of Puregenes under the table. It’s an amusing game to many of them, in fact.
Puregenes tend to be tolerantly respectful of the Salvorathan, as while they are essentially a gene-engineered products, they have none of the mind-crippling functions that many of the other gene-products have, and are both expressly useful and out-of-sight on a day to day basis for the majority of the planet-bound Puregenes. Likewise, as Salvorathan interaction with Puregenes is relatively restricted, and usually in manners that the early psych-imprints marked as preferred, there is little resentment of the Puregenes.
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CodexCaptain Hwaln Fusionbelly ( NPCs ) Minor - Travelers
Just another Salvorathan captain, one of the surprisingly few, but entrenpenurial folks.
Tungsten-Trousered Troubadors of Trilaxa ( NPCs ) Minor - Artistic/Performance
Space-Faring, Hard-Rocking, Metal-Grinding, Star-Tripping, Deathdealing, Dwarves.