The Ybians ("inhabitants of Ybenna") are a non-Earth-based, space-faring species of roughly equivalent technological development to humans. They are the main non-Earth-based species Continuation humans have contact with.
The Ybians naturally inhabit an oceanic environment of liquid ammonia. They resemble manatees with four flexible limbs each ending in four fingers. They are about the size of an orca. They have somewhat seal-like faces.
Ybians communicate by a mix of hand gestures, sounds, and changes in pigment. Humans can perceive only some of the sounds and pigments; the two species need artificial translators to communicate.
Biology and EvolutionEdit
Ybians evolved from a prey species and, thus, their cognitive development is thought to have been driven by an evolutionary need to outwit predators in predator-filled environment. They traditionally live near the surface of the ocean and obtain some energy through photosynthesis. In the modern species, they also use artificial light at lower depths.
Ybians mate via a pollinator species, which humans call a Veil, based on its thin, rectangular shape. Veils, which resemble very thin sea slugs, are about as cognitively developed as a dog or cat and are something like pets in an Ybian household. However, given the symbiotic relationship between the two species, which is an integral part of Ybian reproduction, the Ybian-Veil relationship is intimate in a way difficult for humans to classify. Ybians are androgynous and bear live young.
Ybians generally live with close family members: parents, children, siblings, and their respective Veils. Each Ybian is expected to bond with a Veil in early adolescence. Ybians that do not find a Veil to bond with are considered social pariahs, not excluded from society, but generally looked down on. Ybians typically have 1-3 children, to which they may be either mother or father. Children usually grow up with their mothers.
Ybian settlements are small, compact cities near reefs. By their own admission, they exist only on the Ybian Homeworld and a few scientific outposts. They are curious but cautious researchers, and thus, ideologically well-matched with the Ránlans, the human Nation they often interact with.
By human standards, they tend to be cautious and fearful. They are generally not aggressive, but if they feel endangered, they may respond with lethal force.
Humans and Ybians first encountered each other relatively early in the terraforming of planets in Ybenna. The first humans to encounter them were Ránlans, and the Ránlans are historically the Nation to have most contact with the Ybians. Relations are usually cordial. An exception was the Kiri-Sama War, the destructive extent of which frightened the Ybians and led to a period of partial isolationism. Most Ybian-human contact takes the form of scientific and social inquiry. Humans are only allowed on the Ybian Homeworld in small parties. Human Nations tend not to place the same restrictions on Ybian travelers, but Ybian travelers are few by the Ybians' own choice.