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Homeworld Unpronounceable


The hydran homeworld is a terrestrial planet a little larger than Earth. Due to a slightly thicker atmosphere it maintains a more constant temperature and has bands of high humidity just North and South of the equator. Only 20% of the surface is land, much of it spread out in archipeligos and small islands. There is one large continent in the Southern hemisphere.
The dominant form of life on the planet is a class similar to Earth's molluscs. The hydras themselves are the sole sapient species on the planet. There are relatively few non-amphibious creatures on the planet, most of the land-dwellers confined to the single continent. The plant life there tends to be clonal and consists of small numbers of massive entities covering hundreds of square kilometres of land. Entire ecosystems dwell within the rigid walls of these dome-shaped plants.

History and Culture

The hydras were not the first intelligent species on the planet. Early in their history, they met a species of octopus-like creatures living in the coastal regions. The octopoids were somewhat greater in intellectual capacity, and chose to make use of the hydras as slaves. The hydras were kept in servitude for hundreds of years, developing a culture based around ideas of eventual freedom and even domination over the octopoids.
Finally, the hydras had a chance for freedom when a civil war broke out among the octopoids. The octopoids had a dispute over whether slavery was right. During the conflict, the hydras gathered power until they were able to stand on equal ground with their former masters. Using the conflict to their advantage, the hydras struck at both sides, using their amphibious nature as an advantage over the aquatic octopoids. The octopoids were put to the spear (the preferred weapon at the time).
The hydras wiped out every octopoid they found. No surrender was permitted. Even when they traveled to other parts of the world and found foreign groups of octopoids with no hostile intent, they slaughtered them all. This civilisation of murderous hydras met other hydra civilisations as well. There were some minor conflicts with them as well, usually over the barbaric actions regarding the octopoids.
Eventually, no known octopoids remained on the planet. They had been made extinct by the hydras. With no driving goal, the genocidal civilisation turned inward and tore itself apart. Many diverse groups arose from the civil war and the territories remained split into feuding city states for centuries.
This changed when a hydra with seven heads was hatched. According to ancient prophecy written when the hydras were still under the yoke of the octopoids, a seven-headed hydra would arise to lead them to glory. Up to this time, the rare but not exceptional six-headed hydras had been the ruling class.
The queen of the state the child was born in saw this as an opportunity. She took this one as her own and trained her in the ways of rulership and politics. By raising this 'chosen one' herself, she could user her to gain power and influence. The seven-headed hydra grew to become a capable and Machiavellian leader. Through plots and trickery, she claimed the allegiance of numerous neighbouring states. Many flocked to the growing empire led by the chosen one. The adoptive mother served as advisor during this time, choosing not to interfere so much as to draw ire from the most powerful hydra in the world, but to be a genuine supporter and benefit from the ridiculous amount of wealth that poured in.
The seven-headed empress had a child of her own, another female with seven heads. To this day, only females have been born with seven heads, and always they are brought to the current empress to be trained as heirs.

The dominant civilisation on the planet is that originating from the empire of the seven-headed one. The six-headed members of the populace are typically political or military leaders. Those with five heads are more common and are only slightly elevated above the common four-headed hydras. Those unfortunate enough to be born with only three heads are seen as cripples. The state does not provide much for them.


  • 7 Heads - Only direct descendants of the original seven-headed empress possess seven heads. There are rarely more than four of these hydras at a time. The current empress is called Tiamat by the Hydras that visit Earth. Her true name is unpronounceable.
  • 6 Heads - 5%
  • 5 Heads - 15%
  • 4 Heads - 75%
  • 3 Heads - 5%

The hydras never had a Starfall on their planet and thus, never developed Starborn. They have recently begun importing Starcrystal from other worlds for experimentation with artificially induced Starborn. They have had moderate success. For this reason they have begun scouting Earth as a possible trade partner (or target of conquest). Several scouts and interested civilians have arrived on Earth. Naturally, humans tend to think the hydras are quite appalling to look at. The hydras think the same of humans (Only one head, with a stumpy neck that's barely able to move? And what are those long, knobbly protrusions from the torso that seem to end in - ugh - multiple rigid and jointed tongues? I could not imagine a more horrible apparition if I tried!).

Appearance and Biology


All of the hydra's major organs are contained within a hard shell. An adult hydra's shell is between 1100 and 1600mm in length. The shell's shape is long and triangular, and its surface is smooth and limestone-like. Along the dorsal, lateral and ventral edges of the shell are several small holes, usually between 30 and 45 mm in diameter and numbering between four and six along each edge. Another set of holes line the perimiter of the shell's opening, in a number equal to the number of holes on the other edges. Each of these holes is used for a number of purposes. They are used as air jets, to assist in movement and balance. They are also used for breathing and contain olfactory sense membranes. The holes are also used as hearing organs, though they cannot be used as jets at the same time. Underneath the shell is a protruding ridge, in which the hydra's reproductive organs are contained. These organs are not visible externally, and there is minimal difference in appearance between male and female hydras.
Extending from the shell's opening are between three and six long, flexible appendages, four being the most common. An adult hydra's 'arm' is usually about three times the length of its shell, and is between 120 and 140mm in diameter. At the end of each arm is a tri-mandibled mouth. The mouth is hard and beak-like, and possesses no teeth. The mouth has three narrow, prehensile tongues arranged radially around the oesophagus. At the base of each 'head' are six stalked eyes. Individually, the eyes are poor, but they combine in a similar manner to insect eyes to gain higher resolution. The hydra uses its arms for swimming, movement on land, manipulation of objects and obviously, for eating.
Along the arms are bioluminescent strips. These are uniquely formed on each hydra, and often form curled patterns or break up into dashes or dots. The possible colours include white, varying shades of yellow, green and blue. The hydra may control the brightness of these strips at will, dimming them so they do not emit light or brightening them to be quite visible, even in daylight.
To propel itself the hydra places two of its arms on the ground and holds its shell in the air. The remaining arms are used for balance. It pushes off the ground with each of the two arms in sequence, in a motion that is roughly analogous to humanoid walking. Hydras are capable of moving up to twice the speed of an average adult human in this manner over even ground. They tend to have trouble with irregular surfaces and are extremely poor at climbing anything they cannot get an arm wrapped around.
The average hydra lives for 43 years.

Hydra speech sounds like a wind orchestra. To communicate with other species they carry translation devices.

Hydra spaceships do not use gravity rings or artificial gravity generators. It is suspected that the hydras engineered themselves at some point in their past to be more comfortable in zero-gravity environments.


Hydras are not monogamous. In fact, the parents of a child hydra do not neccessarily have to know each other at all. Their cities have buildings with the express purpose of being birthing locations for hydra young.
The female hydra lays a single unfertilised egg in a spawning pool, an artificial swamp-like facility. The egg is between 60 and 70mm in diameter and is roughly spherical. The male then enters the pool and fertilises a single egg. The gelatinous egg contains a yolk that provides enough nutrients for the embryo to develop fully. Gestation takes about 94 days. Upon hatching, the young hydra is moved to a seperate facility where it is cared for until an age of 8 months. It is then adopted by a single parent who takes it home and raises it as its own child. Very rarely is the child adopted by one of its genetic parents.
The young hydra is fully amphibious and can filter oxygen from water. Its shell is soft and transparent. After about twelve years its shell hardens and it gains the ability to procreate. At this age it gains the characteristic bioluminescence of the adult hydra.

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