Uridians

Original concept sketch of the Uridian Prince

The dominant race of the planet Cedos, uridians are an amphibious species which are classified as reptiles despite a slick smooth skin similar to that of some earth amphibians. Uridians lack nostrils, instead able to breathe through their mouths or through the hollow horns projecting from the back of their skulls that serve like a snorkel. In addition to a standard vision, a second, smaller pair of eyes provide infrared vision which helps with seeing at night and in dark corridors.

They require tropical conditions and do not suffer from exposure to excessive levels of ultraviolet radiation which could cause humans severe harm, however they are susceptible to illness in cool and dry air. Underwater however they are adaptable to the colder temperatures of lower depths and can survive the pressure of submarine depths without fear of illness or bodily harm for far deeper than a human. For diving for periods of more than 10 minutes, only an oxygen supply connected to both horns is required rather than a mask.

Uridians are omnivorous and will occasionally eat some of the larger insect species found on their planet, however their preference is plants, especially fruits and vegetables which grow in abundance across the populated area of the planet. A favorite fruit has an appearance that resembles a cross between a cucumber and tomato with a taste humans would liken to a ghost pepper. Most prepared dishes are extremely spicy.

This species is technologically advanced however their technology is much more organic based than that of the humans, and the unique flora and mineral selections of their home planet allow them to quite literally grow much of their structures and spacecraft which in turn provide a living ecosystem during the ship’s service lives with minimal mechanical support systems required. (more below) They have been at war with the Tudiani since the latter attempted genocide in order to gain access to the minerals of Cedos.

Cedos

The planet Cedos is roughly .8 million miles closer to their sun and approximately 1.32 times the size of Earth with a wider tropical zone, a surface consisting of 87% water and only small ice poles. Most of the swamp-like land mass and population is found within 950 miles of the equator. Rich mineral and rare metal deposits including titanium, osmium, and other metals not known to mankind can be found across the planet, especially under the seas. Many wild species of animal are present however only the uridians are sapient.

Although plants similar to those on Earth exist on Cedos, the more common species of tree which in some ways resemble a much larger version of Earth’s giant sequoia grow with a more crystalline like cellular structure providing unparalleled strength even after the death of the tree and effectively rendering the trees fireproof. Few species of plant or animal have adapted to the temperate and colder temperatures outside the tropical equator zone and thus most of the land in these areas is desert.

Cities on Cedos are a combination of living organic material and processed metals. Uridian scientists learned how to accelerate the growth of the crystal cell based trees and most construction projects involve the placement of metal and glass wall panels between intentionally positioned trees as the growth progresses, with walls and levels being created through skilled grafting of limbs.

The end result gives the appearance of a wooden skyscraper with a tree canopy at the top and small branches permitted to grow on the outer sides, occasionally fitted with a door nearby to allow for access to those branches. Larger planned branch grafts are grown which allow access from building to building at upper levels when grown together and hollowed. Structural damage is often repaired through natural regrowth. In rural areas uridians live in swamp areas and small tree houses.

The minimal energy needs required for lightning, mining and manufacturing are served by advanced solar and tidal kinetic generation systems which charge high capacity power cells. This technology is so advanced that in spacecraft application while much of the onboard power cell array is drained during the climb to orbit it is quickly recharged in the pure solar radiation beyond the atmosphere. Any solar object within 250,000,000 miles will provide and adequate recharge of ships’ batteries.

Politics

Uridians are governed by a hybrid monarchy-republic. Most laws are proposed as bills and voted upon independently in three different chambers made up of 20 to 30 elected officials each. If the bill passes all three chambers it is made into law immediately however if it only passes two it is then taken to the king to decide upon whether it should be made law. Any contest to standing laws are judged directly by the king who may void the law if it is deemed to be unjust requiring at which time the chambers may introduce the law as a bill once again and begin the process to reenact it once more.

This system has worked for centuries and between the average Uridian lifestyle and the abundance of food and shelter there has been virtually no crime across the planet. The royal family is seen as very benevolent and well loved by a great majority of the populous.

Spacecraft

Spacecraft design is very similar due to the high impact and compression strength of the trees and the metals mined from the ocean. Ships are grown in similar fashion as the structures, with some extra considerations. Ship yards consist of deep conical solid pits in which framework housing for the future installation of propulsion drives are installed at the bottom before being submerged in a hydroponic based growth material and surrounded by adolescent trees which will support the interior walls and provide the exterior shell of the ship. Additional life support, fuel, weapons and electronic systems are added as part of a titanium infrastructure around and within which the trees grow. Additional plants are added to the growing structure at various points and ultraviolet and infrared lighting is added alongside the standard interior lighting systems. Once grown, the canopy is guided to shape around the bridge and a portion of the canopy is sealed within. Upon launching, the exterior surfaces of the trees will die and seal in the ship’s oxygen providing a thick and high strength hull with only small areas of exposed metal and thick glass which is capable of handling re-entry heat.

Above: Concept art for a uridian transport vessel. The enclosed tree canopy (left) serves as the fore of the ship. Note the shuttle entering the midpoint of the ship, a detail concept sketch for that shuttle is below.

Although ships are grown vertically they travel horizontally, and the interior matches the climate of Cedos with high humidity, a muddy swamp-like floor surface for most levels, high ultraviolet radiation and plant growth everywhere. Smaller fruit and vegetable bearing plants are grown and maintained throughout the ship allowing for a constant food source and together with mosses, algaes and other foliage encouraged they flourish in the corridors and private quarters, oxygen generation is also constant.

War with the tudiani

Over a century ago the bipedal tudiani visited Cedos after identifying the mineral makeup of the planet. Not having any goods to trade that the uridians were interested in acquiring and after explaining the mining techniques which would be used negotiations for mining rights stalemated. In turn the tudiani released a bacteria intended to eliminate life on the planet which quickly spread illness across the planet. The bacteria could not survive long on Cedos and the attack ultimately failed but not before causing the death of over 400,000 uridians. Several years of tension followed in which defensive technologies were developed in fear of a possible violent attack by the tudiani which did come nearly a decade later. The initial invasion attempt was thwarted as the tudiani underestimated the capabilities of the seemingly-animal race however an additional quarter million uridians were killed and some of the planet’s landscape still bears scars from the battle.

Space Travel

The people of Cedos currently employ a large fleet of military ships in defense of their home planet and other occupied planets and moons elsewhere in the galaxy. They operate additional mining facilities on some desolate planets in order to minimize impact on their own ecosystem while still supplying the need for ship and housing growth.

Transport ships are also used, with military escort, to carry goods, plants, food stores, building supplies and people between the colonized planets.

A Uridian meets a suited human explorer on a potential outpost swamp planet.

Uridian history states that before the war with the Tudiani they were explorers like humanity now has become, and had even once visited Earth to study its inhabitants only to meet a violent response by the more primitive human race. Some would believe these were the origin of medieval dragon legends.

The military continues to support exploratory missions seeking potential colony locations as well as mineral and strategic outpost placements. It is on one of these potential outpost planets – a swampy world not unlike their own – that the uridians once again encounter humans.