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Main » Articles » Strontium Dog » A Dogs' Life

A Guide to the Galaxy for Aspiring Bounty Hunters: Part II

There are countless alien species scattered across the galaxy, most of them peaceful and content to live and let live. While a few are belligerent and warlike, none directly threaten Earth and its colonies – the biggest threat would be the Wolrogs but their long-running war with the Sandorians keeps them from being any danger to humanity for the time-being. Still, every culture, be it peaceful or war-like, has the potential to produce criminals so it is advised that aspiring S/D agents familiarize themselves with the brief notes on each species below.



Aphidians
Hailing from Aphid Majoris in the Aphid system, Aphidians are humanoid with conical heads, large slitted eyes and a nose and mouth formed from thick folds of greyish-green skin that encircle the head. Ugly by human standards they are a race that has developed its civilization in the wake of human colonization. They are not known for their brightness or innovation but are noted hand-to-hand combatants who can fight extremely well in the swamps and marshes of their homeworld, which makes them desirable as mercenaries. Many ex-mercenaries turn to crime.



Bacconians
The brutal Bacconians destroyed their home system, Rasher, in a brutal interplanetary war that made the mistake of inviting in Wolrog mercenaries. Since then, the Bacconians have become an itinerant race of space pirates, raiding the space lanes in their distinctive wedge-hulled, pontooned war-sties. Humanoid, stocky and porcine-featured, the Bacconians are, to a tee, ugly, brutal, short-tempered, cruel and completely indifferent to suffering. Untrustworthy and malignant, even the fickle Wolrogs despise them.



Bagwaxis
From Quadrant B12, the Bagwaxis are humanoids with a stumpy, chin-long proboscis that also serves as a mouth. Normally placid and hard-working, the Bagwaxis are first-rate administrators and stewards with an innate sense of duty and service. A few have turned to crime in the past.


The Cha
Natives of the planet Charn, the Cha are almost identical to humans in all respects, even developing space travel at about the same time as well as most other technologies. However, the Cha have no great interest in exploring their region of space and remain very isolated. The Cha are very intolerant of the illegal galactic slave trade, being one of the first civilized worlds to legislate against it.

Physically, the Cha have large pointed ears, long noses and small mouths located near the bottom of their long faces (their chins are almost non-existent). Their eyes are small and beady, and although the males have some facial hair (usually moustaches or goatees), all the Cha are naturally bald.



Drule
Hailing from the Drule system, the Slavers of Drule are boastful, seeing all other races as inferior and there only to be enslaved. Cruelty and oppression is second nature to the Drule and mercy is unknown. Slaves are necessary to promote the continued belief in Drule superiority, even though Drule technology has reached a point where slavery is unnecessary to make the infrastructure function. Drule slaving raids on the outlying human colony worlds are frequent, with small ships full of Drule slavers appearing suddenly and overwhelming any defenses the outposts they target, scooping up everyone they think would make worthy victims before selling them on to other markets.

The grey-skinned Drule are bald, with irregular studded protuberances running down the center of their heads, small noses, and bone-like 'beards' often jutting from their chins.



Durdees
Hailing from Cytrix IV in the Deevon system, Durdees are a race that originated as plains-dwellers. Their faces are roughly simian in appearance, with chubby cheeks, small round eyes and a welcoming smile on the wide, lipless mouths. The body, pallid green in color, is stocky with powerful, long arms and thick, mammalian legs designed for distance travel and powerful leaps and bounds. A thick, stubby tail provides counterbalance but the tail is also an effective weapon: mounted with a spiked, bony ball, Durdees can swing the tail like a mace and a strike injects a paralyzing venom. This is not used for hunting but against the larger plains predators of Cytrix IV, such as the Mangowalla which is large enough to swallow a Durdee whole.

The Durdees are largely peaceful herbivores. When humans arrived in the Deevon system and colonized their planet, they found that Durdees were fast learners and made for good, diligent workers. Education programs have led to Durdees becoming a sophisticated race that now want to assert their own rights and no longer be the lackeys of humanity.


El-Laz
From Laz Prime in the Laz System, the Laz stand two-and-a-half meters tall with very thick, wide, stocky humanoid bodies and a relatively small, almost conical head. The only facial features on display are the angular, black-rimmed and pupil-less eyes, which lend the El-Laz a sinister appearance that is completely at odds with their normally peaceful nature. Folds of skin across the head hide the nostril apertures and the mouth is concealed within the thick, bushy, furry neck-ruff that encircles the base of the head between the head and the shoulders. Their hands have three stocky fingers and an opposable thumb. Extremely resilient to cold temperatures, El-Laz have natural stores of body fat that lend them an appearance of being obese; in reality they are physically very fit, despite their ungainly stature and size.

Psionic powers are more common amongst the Laz than virtually any other sentient species in the galaxy. Roughly a third of the El-Laz population have some kind of psionic potential and the science of psionics has been studied for decades by the species.



Gnobbians
From the planet Gnob in the former Olol'Bian Empire, Gnobbians are diminutive, blue-skinned humanoids with vile tempers and an argumentative attitude that frequently degenerates into fisticuffs after vehement verbal challenges.

Gnobbians are short in stature, bow-legged, blue-skinned and wear permanent scowls. Males are usually mustachioed and exceedingly proud of their lip-hair with the extravagance of the 'tache indicating social status. Highly superstitious, it is a mixture of complex religious traditions and their superstitious natures that keep the red and blue castes (based on hair color) from beating several shades of fecal matter out of each other.


Granites
Natives of the planet Granite in the Silica system, Granites (also occasionally known as Granoids) are a rock-based, silicon humanoid life form with stone skin, stone features and sensory organs buried deep inside their tough bodies. The Granites were for a long time a peaceful part of the Olol'Bian empire, developing civilization and space travel alongside many other sentient races.

Granites are generally a friendly and hospitable people, very tolerant of other races. After all, their size and sheer toughness makes them hard to hurt and they thus have little to fear from most 'squashies' (as they call carbon-based life forms). Granites are generally very large (with even the smallest adult towering over most other races) and fearfully imposing in appearance.



Gronks
A timid race from the planet Blas in the Gallego systems, Gronks are a curious, almost conical, furry, four-armed species with binocular eyes and a long, ribbed trunk-like proboscis that serves as both nose and vocal organ. A Gronk's mouth is located in the lower half of its body and concealed beneath the thick, silvery fur all Gronks sport. Gronks are metal-eaters and their jaws are incredibly strong, capable of biting through plate steel with ease. Gronk saliva is highly acidic so that metals can be broken down and digested quickly and the long, amazingly strong tongue is coated in this metal-melting acid.

Gronks are intelligent, playful and friendly; traits that single them out for exploitation by certain races who take advantage of the incredible timidity of the species. Gronks have such frail constitutions that the slightest shock can cause immediate cardiac arrest and death. Gronks therefore go out of their way to avoid excitement, not wanting to overload their 'poor heartses'. One up-shot of having such highly-strung constitutions is that Gronks make for marvelous medics.

A Gronk tradition is to allow a loved one or favored ally to wear its skin after the Gronk has died. The giving of the pelt is viewed as a great honor amongst the Gronks.



Howlers
It seemed like a good idea to clone endangered species during the later 21st Century and an even better idea to use the later advances in genetic science to uplift these species, taking them from having a modest degree of sentience and attempting to create full sapience. One such experiment was with Earth's baboons but the result, the Howlers, was a mixed result at best.

The Howlers are certainly intelligent. It became fashionable to breed them and use them for manual labor in the early days of deep space exploration. However, it later became apparent that flaws in the uplifting process had not created the intelligent but docile sophonts the scientists believed they had; the Howlers began to develop a taste for human flesh and distinctly psychopathic and violent tendencies. Across the frontier worlds like Alzir the Howlers ran amok, escaping to isolated societies that then preyed upon the scattered frontier communities.

Howlers are baboon-like creatures but with some distinctly human traits and a much fuller coverage of fur than their unmodified counterparts. Cunning and cruel, Howlers have developed a taste for meat, preferring human flesh which they crave above other protein sources. Many groups turn to crime, usually raiding small colony outposts for money, merchandise, slaves or food, although some of the wiser groups instead become bounty hunters to make a living – although these groups of Howlers tend to only take on 'terminate' warrants and usually end up eating their captured prey!



Jerboosians
A naturally cruel people, the Jerboosers take a great delight in the suffering of others. Flabby humanoids from Jerboos 3, they frequently indulge in the slave trade and as such are naturally shunned by most other civilizations. Ruled by an absolute monarch (currently King Larry the Certifiable), the Jerboosians celebrate each ruler by creating a huge stone monument and the more slaves who die during the monument's creation the greater the king is perceived to be.

The green-skinned Jerboosians have pointed ears, higher up on their heads than humans, and usually shocking white hair which grows on the pate and back of the skull, but not the sides (with facial hair being practically unknown). While young Jerboosians tend to be slim and athletic, as they approach middle-age they quickly pile on weight, gaining a heavy frame and large jowls.



Jox
The Jox were a humanoid race from Circes Prime, and were very technologically advanced in most areas, particularly artificial intelligence. Without the help of the Jox humanity would not have developed such reliable and fast warp drive systems. However, the Jox placed far too much trust in their own technology and when they handed control of their cities over to computerized systems, the artificial intelligences almost immediately rebelled and the Great Neutron War broke out, wiping out the civilization. The Jox had very light frames and long, spindly limbs with pronounced knee and elbow joints, and slender, bald heads.

Circes Prime, while technically not off-limits to anyone, is generally avoided by most galactic travelers as the surface still consists of large areas flooded with radiation. The Jox were obviously a peaceful but naïve people and their self-destruction should stand as a warning to other advanced civilizations that rely heavily on technology, such as the Kaolites... but of course it doesn't.



Kaiaks
Hailing from a world on the very edge of the collapsed Olol'Bian empire, the Kaiaks are a humanoid species, similar in appearance to humans except for lipless mouths, circular blank eyes, and a pale blueish tint to their skin. When the first human colonists arrived in the planetary system, control of the planet Kaiak was wrestled away from the Olol'Bian empire and soon completely controlled by Earth corporations. The planet has since been wrecked through unchecked capitalism, and is now over-populated, polluted, congested, with its natural resources dwindling away fast. The indigenous Kaiaks are considered second-class citizens by the human colonists and generally treated as such or worse.



Kaolites
The native Kaolites – human-like save for being completely bald and with pupil-less eyes – believe that all life's problems can be solved through science. However, this belief comes at the expense of social care, which lags constantly behind scientific pursuits and industries, which makes their planet Kaol 4 remarkably backwards in social areas. The Kaolite population has slumped in recent centuries as breeding is tightly controlled by the ruling Teknokracy and so robots are ubiquitous instead.


Morozil
The tapir-like Morozil are the indigenous people of the human-colonized planet Burrito. When the human governing body of the planet were recalled to neighboring New Dallas, the Morozil were left to their own devices. As such, the planet is now a safe haven for criminals and the ineffective and mostly corrupt Morozil government does little to prevent this. The planet is considered so dangerous now even most Strontium Dogs dare not exercise a warrant for a criminal hiding there. However, recently there have been rumors that the natives are growing tired of the status quo. A smaller population of Morozilians also inhabit the smaller sister planet in the system, Chimichanga. This planet does not have the crime problem Burrito faces as things are tightly controlled by the human oil companies that first colonized the world. The Morozil on Chimichanga also have a strong religious streak, with two distinct sects worshipping either the god Jay-Arr or his immortal enemy K'en-Bam.


Morphs
A race of unknown origin, Morphs are not numerous and are found across the galaxy. The species are shape-changers that exist on a fixed change cycle, having to shed their existing form in favor of a new one every fifteen years. Morphs can replicate any species in the galaxy – sentient or non-sentient – and replicate the chosen species' characteristics perfectly, including traits and special powers, through the absorption of the selected creature's DNA. When the time comes to change the Morph's old skin is shed, in the same way a serpent sheds its old skin and the Morph enters a chrysalis state which it maintains for around twelve hours before emerging in its new form, fully functional.

If severely injured or killed in an assumed for, then the next form is hastened and the Morph is able to fully regenerate itself into a new creature. The only way to fully kill a Morph is to destroy it whilst it is in its original form – that of a huge pseudopod encrusted maggot with a pair of small sensory antenna at the narrow head-end of the creature.


Mutators
Like Morphs, Mutators are shape-shifters and may share a common ancestry with the maggot-like race. However, Mutators do not occupy the same form for a fixed cycle and can alter their appearance at will to replicate any species they come across. The replication process takes between ten minutes to an hour.

The original form of a Mutator is a human-sized cross between a mantis and a maggot. The creature has large compound eyes and a beak-like mouth but is otherwise limbless. Unlike a Morph, a Mutator is vulnerable to injury and can be killed in whatever form it assumes, reverting to its original shape upon death.



Olol'Bians
Once the center of a huge empire, the planet Heer is now one of the last remaining strongholds of the Olol'Bian species. The Olol'Bians resemble humans in almost every way, save for their knobbly heads and lack of facial hair (with headgear, they can easily pass for human).

The Olol'Bians were never warlike, preferring peaceful, economic conquest instead. But when the governed worlds stopped paying their expected tributes and only received a sternly worded letter in return, one-by-one they ceded from the empire, which slowly crumbled. Now the Olol'Bians are still peaceful and prosperous but are resigned to their fate of being a forgotten power; most Olol'Bians are very pragmatic. The planet Heer is currently ruled over by Emperor Odgood the Okay (who does an okay job at ruling) and his wife, Adaggio the Mildly Attractive (who is okay-looking).



Osmongs
Natives of Byn-L, Osmongs are intelligent, bipedal humanoids with elongated heads and wide mouths filled with wide, flat, tombstone teeth that indicate the Osmongs' herbivorous nature. Naturally sociable within their own kind, Osmongs have large family groups, which is partly a response to the harsh conditions on Byn-L but also because they enjoy very large social gatherings. Gifted vocalists, Osmongs enjoy close harmony singing and Osmong choirs and vocal groups are a frequent sight throughout the galaxy. It is rare to see Osmongs turn to crime, but not unknown, and when one Osmong goes rogue then the whole family follows suit.



Sandorians
The original rulers of the far lsthman edge of the galaxy, Sandorians are highly intelligent with a very evolved sense of social responsibility. Hairless and with wide, domed heads and eyes with amber, iris-less pupils, Sandorians are humanoid in all other respects. They are friendly to most races and, even when they may not be on friendly terms with a species, they are always polite, if a little reserved.

Naturally gifted scientists, Sandorians have continually experimented with warp drive technology, developing the fastest warp drive in the galaxy. Their researchers would be used to benefit the whole of the galaxy but their research has been curtailed as the Sandorians fight a brutal and debilitating war with the Wolrogs, who threaten to dominate the whole of lsthman space and, eventually, the entire galaxy.



Skellians
The Skellians are an oddity – they are human but are not natives of Earth, they possess space flight but rarely use it, content instead to stay on their homeworld rather than explore the galaxy, and they have no inclination to colonize even their own system (which does contain several other planets that could be terraformed relatively easily). Whether this oddness is a deliberate attempt at isolation or just sheer laziness, no one is entirely sure. Not even the Skellians, who can't really be bothered to work it out.

M-Skel Regis, the Skellian homeworld, is entirely, completely, utterly and totally ruled and owned by the despotic Kel royal family, and this has been the case for thousands of years. The world almost appears medieval, if it were not for the occasional glimpse of current technology, which is almost exclusively controlled by the royal family and other nobility. The average life of all Skellians is brutal, miserable and thankfully short, as they are frequently (and terribly) abused by the aristocracy.



The Skyn
The humanoid Skyn are not the friendliest race in the galaxy and are not for being somewhat parsimonious. In most towns on the sparsely populated Skyn's World, practically everything requires an expensive license, everything is taxed heavily, and massive fines exist for those who disobey. There is no formal government ruling over Skyn's World, instead each town is independent and usually ruled by a bullying few.


Stovians
Natives of Cytrix VIII, the Stovians are an amphibious, intelligent race with frog-like faces but otherwise humanoid bodies and human-like characteristics. Stovians are naturally curious creatures with a generous, perhaps naive tendency to see the best in people and have embraced the frontier spirit brought by Earth's expansion. Stovians are found on many frontier worlds where, like mutants, they are sometimes despised and treated as second-class citizens.

Stovians look up to and respect, humans, often adopting human names, customs and mannerisms in the hope that they will better fit into the societies they choose to live in.



Telekines
Native of Andropi'ahn in the Troges system, Telekines are the most powerful natural psionics in the galaxy. Diminutive in stature but with very large, globe-like craniums and small, squashed faces, they are nightmarish in appearance and their psionic powers mean they are often distrusted by other races. However, with the exception of the Demon-Maker, Sadan, Telekines attempt to use their powers for good rather than ill and are acutely aware of how they might be viewed by other, non-psionic races. They are therefore careful not to flaunt their powers or use them intrusively or without prior permission.


Tritons
Natives of Proxima, Tritons are widespread across the galaxy. Heavily set and bulky in stature, tritons lack any discernible nose and have very small, squinting eyes. The frog-like mouth finally betrays their origins as water-dwellers although the Tritons long ago left their sea habitats to settle the land.

Having almost destroyed themselves through nuclear war, Tritons are avid slavers and buyers of slaves to supplement their dwindling population and dislike for hard work. Considered untrustworthy by many cultures, Tritons have figured large in the S/D warrant lists either for slaving crimes or other atrocities. Expert hand-to-hand fighters, Tritons are innately violent and the distrust they have engendered as a species is well earned.



Vilelanders
Originating from the K3 system, Vilelanders are simian in appearance with heavily furred faces and bodies, squat frames and arms that are long in comparison to the rest of their body. The domed cities of their homeworld, Vile, are designed to keep out the many predators of that world, although the Vilelanders themselves are every bit as unpleasant as the creatures that would feast of them.

A naturally aggressive and peevish race, they delight in bullying anyone weaker than themselves, indulging in petty theft and aggravated assault, and have been the scourge of many worlds since they developed spaceflight for themselves just under a century ago. Almost universally loathed, it is rare to encounter a Vilelander with an even temperament and placid nature. Most are simply loathsome, spiteful individuals.



Wolrogs
A humanoid and warlike race from the Isthman galaxy, Wolrogs have hairless faces and small, pricked ears set on top of the head in a manner reminiscent of horns. The lower jaw is undershot and the lower canine teeth are overdeveloped into upward sprouting fangs.

Wolrogs detest and despise all other races, considering them utterly inferior. The purpose of every male Wolrog is wage war and they are trained to battle from the moment they can walk. Female Wolrogs are of limited sentience and are, essentially, breeding machines kept in huge harems aboard Rog, the artificial world the Wolrogs inhabit since destroying their homeworld.

Wolrogs revel in cruelty, taking sadistic pleasure in watching others fight. They have no time for weakness and no concept of mercy. Enemies who refuse to fight or who surrender are subject to extermination.



Zdwhkkian
Also known more simply as 'Zeds' due to the unpronouncability of their species' name, the Zdwhkkians hail from a planet called Zdwhkkrswrld. Which would be the only interesting thing about this completely unremarkable planet and humanoid people except for one event – the yearly ritual known as 'The Killing'.

During this age-old ritual, up to a hundred participants (mostly off-worlders these days) converge in the main city and kill each other until only one man is left standing. 'The Killing' is a huge spectator sport (not just on Zdwhkkrswrld but across the galaxy) and the lone survivor walks away with a huge monetary prize, which is more than enough to keep people taking part, year after year. Strontium Dogs are frequent competitors, as if they win not only do they get the prize money but they may also bag some hefty rewards from other contestants who have outstanding warrants.

Category: A Dogs' Life | Added by: Ash (11 Feb 2016)
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