|Locomotion||"Quadrupedal" crawling in natural environment, but can walk "bipedally" in lower gravity environments.|
|Personality||Peace-loving, yet will go to war against races they consider bad or evil. They are in open war with the Hydrothi and their allies.|
|Affiliation(s)||Crux Space Pirates (slaves — majority)|
UFCL (free Zolacians — minority)
Zolacian Liberation Front (Offshoot of UFCL)
|Capital City||New Zolacia|
The Zolacians (pronounced /zoʊ.ˈleɪˌ.ʃiː.ɛn/) are a species of tall, lanky marine filterers who once ruled the planet of Zolacia, now known as the planet Hydroth. They once were once a xenophobic race who subjugated their planet's other sapient races out of fear. Over millennia they became peaceful, but too late — now they have become slaves themselves.
The Zolacian are a race of invertebrates, who have evolved their four limbs for crawling, in compliance with their benthic lifestyle on the continental slopes. This is often regarded as quadrupedalism by other sapient races, although the limbs are built to mainly pull the main body along, like an echinoderm. They are heavily muscled limbs, and in lower gravities, they may hold the Zolacian up in either a truly quadrupedal or even a bipedal stance.
Their eyes are attached to the sides of their bulb-like head, and they are therefore mostly incapable of stereoscopic vision. This never evolved in them because they were never predators, and side-facing eyes were good enough for them to begin to properly escape their predators, of which there were many.
The head is attached to a long, strong neck, which takes up much of their total body length. In larvae, their bodies are spiraled around itself, and therefore their length does not create much height. Because of this, much of its length may in fact not count towards their overall height. Their limbs are long in order to help them cross areas easier, and are all of equal length if not tampered with.
They also possess limited regenerative abilities, and may recover their limbs or even portions of their head over a matter of months. However, important organs such as the digestive tract or the cerebral ganglia cannot be regenerated and damage to these may lead to debilitating or fatal results.
- Species Type: Cold-blooded Marine Invertebrate
- Lifestyle: Social Planktonivore
- Hunt/Forage Success Rate: 100% Filtering (99% success rate in water, mixed success rates in other environments, depending on the amounts of floating microorganisms existing and their compatibility with Zolacian digestion)
- Armor: Natural Zolacian armor consists of a toughened outer skin. They have constructed far more durable metallic armors thanks to their technological prowess.
- Defenses: While they do possess a tough outer skin to help discourage predators, they are built for crawling quickly along the sea floor, with bodies thin enough to properly slip into the numerous cracks in the continental slope they call their home. In more modern times, they utilize body armors and pressure shields.
- Weapons: The Zolacians possess no natural weaponry, and therefore all weaponry is technological in nature.
- Tools: The forelimbs are capable of complex manipulation comparable to that of a Human, thanks to the evolution to allow them to grab onto areas for crawling along the sea floor. The hind limbs however have instead adapted to pushing the rest of the body along, and cannot manipulate as well; off-world these hind limbs are used as their legs and feet.
- Method of Eating: Zolacians feed by way of numerous large, paddled cirri that guide plankton-laden water down to their mouth, where several smaller, more tentacle-like arms covered in bristly cilia then scoop the plankton contained therein into their mouths. Water swallowed is filtered out through their gills, allowing them to breathe. Even more cilia lines the rest of their digestive system to aid in moving food through it. Plankton are guided down the esophagus into the stomach. Specialized organ called the paragaster excretes enzymes into the stomach to properly break down chitinous material. Once material is broken down, it passes into the intestine, where it is further broken down and absorbed into the body. Waste is excreted through four vents on the opposite end of the digestive system. These four vents allow the low levels of waste to be released in quicker periods to prevent the Zolacian from having to remain exposed for longer periods. Naturally, most material is also successfully digested, leading to nearly clear 'mist' to be released, although feeding in non-local areas may result in different digestive ends.
- Reproductive Rate: Zolacians breed during the warm "summer" seasons of Zolacia, during which time the colonies will release huge clouds of gametes into the water. Male gametes will then hopefully encounter female gametes, and fuse into a zygote, which then forms an egg. These eggs are free-floating, and are predated upon by many species.
- Gestation: There is no gestational period in Zolacians, although they will spend an hour to produce enough gametes to fill the ocean locally. An unwritten signal issues through the entire colony, and all members will release their gametes at once in vast plumes of rolling white creating a brilliant show of "underwater snow".
- Offspring Incubation: Offspring spend approximately 10 Earth days as eggs before hatching as microscopic, free-swimming larvae.
- Number of Offspring: Each colony may produce up to 10 million gametes per cloud, leading to the possibility of 10 million offspring for every two clouds (assuming one colony's gametes are all male while the other are all female).
- Offspring Survival Rate (before age of maturity): 0.000002—0.000005% — Zolacians understand their position as a major means of survival for their ecosystem, and therefore choose to let their young fend for themselves. As few as 20 to 50 will survive each litter, with the rest becoming prey. Each year when mature individuals reach the Zolacian cities, a celebration is held, both to commemorate their polyp-larvae who survived as well as to give respect to those who had to die for their world to continue to survive.
- Singular/Plural/Possessive: Zolacian / Zolacians / Zolacian
Below is information entailing the history of the Zolacian, from simple marine organisms to spacefaring beings.
Evolving into a niche similar to Earth's grasses, the ancestors of the Zolacian were heavily preyed upon and even relied upon, and because of this their species continued to try to evolve to survive better, as many species would; however each evolution they succeeded in obtaining would soon become obsolete as their predators gained ways to deal with them. It was a rough existence for their kind, but eventually evolution smiled upon them, giving them more complex brains which over time led to sapience. This was used to help them determine if a creature was trying to eat them, at which point they would use its power to figure out how and where to hide.
The Tribal EraEdit
With their eventual sapience and subsequent tribal era, the Zolacian began building small tribe-camps within the cracks along the continental slopes. Although their structures were initially built out of collected flora weaved into a small dome, this did not prove tremendously effective thanks to the flora attracting herbivores, which would leave them exposed to their multitude of enemies.
Because of this, they quickly adopted the abandoned shells of some of the larger invertebrates, which were then lashed into place by strands of Searope, a fibrous, sponge-like species that could be easily tied in knots yet was strong and hard to tear. They would then live in small groups inside the curls of these shells, extending their heads out to properly filter-feed (except in the cases of shells that had been predated upon, which would have radula holes that would let in fresh water). This too was imperfect, and large radula-equipped monstrosities would sometimes wreck their hard-earned colony, exposing them all to predators. Due to their constant fear of predators that lurked everywhere, they adapted into a malicious species, untrusting of others, always assuming another species was out to consume them or cause them harm, no matter how unintentional this harm may have been.
Over time, however, like most sapient species, they adapted bigger and better ways of surviving, and they eventually reached an exploratory age, with strange vessels that could move them through the water at incredible clicks. It was during this time that the Zolacians discovered they were not alone on the world they called home.
Discovery of the "Others"Edit
With the invention of vessels that could carry them beyond the abyssal plains and through their oceans, it was not too long before they discovered other submerged continents — 5 in all, including their own. To their surprise, they also discovered that during the eons upon eons that these continents were separated by the abyssal plains, each continent had developed their own uniquely intelligent species. Two of these species — the Lyssh and the Ghazra — were hostile, much like the Zolacians themselves, and they therefore spent little time associating themselves with these, immediately considering them threats to their own existence and moving on.
The third, the Zazlotl, were somewhat more neutral in their actions, and would spend much time hiding in small caverns that resided upon the continent itself. The Zolacians were surprised to find any life up here at all, and these were the first race considered safe for the Zolacians to make contact with. This contact was slow and tedious at first, with each species acting more cautious than the other, but eventually a tentative agreement was reached, bringing the Zolacian and the Zazlotl people into a renaissance era. Considered by many scholars to be the shortest era of time within the Zolacian timeline, the two species' technologies boomed with the help of the other, and soon they set off to find the last of the continents, which as they expected led to the discovery of yet another sapient species.
To the Zolacian's shock and surprise, these sapients were quite similar in appearance to their own kind; in fact, the two species were genetically related to each other by a distant relative, both belonging to the same phylum. Unlike the distrusting Zolacians, this new race, who called themselves the Hydrothi, were a peaceful people, and they had not been converted into the grass-like niche of their cousin-race. This coupling was easier on the Zolacians to accept than it was for them to accept the Zazlotl, and soon all three species were successfully trading and living together. This coupling would become known by future historians as the Troika.
An Unintentional Betrayal & the Collapse of the TroikaEdit
It was not more than a few hundred years before the Zazlotl came across the Ghazra. They soon discovered that the Ghazra were not hostile to them like they were to the Zolacians, and the two species were able to set up a relationship with one another. No harm came from this for quite a while, leading to even more prosperous times where the Troika's combined technologies influenced the few tools of the Ghazra. However, when the Zolacians discovered their original allies had become good friends with the hostile Ghazra, they took this as an omen. Believing it would lead to the downfall of their beloved Troika, the Zolacian leaders confronted those of the Zazlotl, initially pleading with and eventually ordering them to cut all ties to the "free-swimming monstrosities". The Zazlotl, taken aback by this order, refused, inciting their own freedom and will to do as they chose fit.
For the first few months after this dual-race council meeting, the Zolacians lived in complete fear for their lives, every day filling them with the dread of an attack, while every night filled them with nightmares of the same. This fear within their general populace led to anger in their councilors, who incited that they had lost the peace they had striven so hard to obtain. With the Zazlotl utterly refusing to cut off their relations to the Ghazra, the Zolacian council chose to go to war.
Not expecting these results at all, the Zazlotl were far from prepared, and large numbers of their kind were annihilated within a few days' time. Many Zazlotls fled their ancestral lands and moved into Ghazra territory, where they were welcomed by open fins. Here the two races retaliated against the zealous Zolacians, and for a while they seemed like they would win. But when the Hydrothi were ordered to be enlisted into the former Troika's armies, the tides quickly turned, and both the Zazlotl and the Ghazra were beaten into submission, both their technological levels being stripped from them, forcing them back to a near-tribal era.
The peace-loving Hydrothi were traumatized by what they had been apart of, and when the Zolacians explained at another meeting of their intent to bring the Lyssh to their knee-equivalents to prevent them from also affecting the overall safety of both species, the Hydrothi shakingly told their allies that they could not participate in the oncoming battles, as their hands were already too stained with the blood of others, and they could not let their people perform such a terrible act again, which had brought their entire populace into a dark, brooding depression. The Zolacians were disheartened by this, and reluctantly agreed to the terms; soon the Zolacian army was off to bring down the Lyssh culture as well. This species proved hardier than the two before it, and many Zolacian soldiers were killed in the ensuing battles; however, they eventually won with numbers, and the Lyssh too were beaten back.
With the few surviving soldiers returned to their home cities, the councilors began to secretly distrust their allies, the Hydrothi. Why had they chosen not to fight alongside them? If they had, perhaps the casualties on their side would have been far less, and the war would have been won far sooner. Fearful as ever, they began to wonder if the Hydrothi may one day conspire against them, as they sincerely believed the Zazlotl had before them. They eventually decided it was too risky to trust them not to, and with heavy heart-equivalents, they brought their remaining soldiers against their only remaining allies, choosing to do so under the cover of darkness. Few Hydrothi survived that bloody night; those that did were mostly larvae and juveniles, with a few adult females and males peppered sparsely between them. Those who did survive the onslaught were then forced back to their home continent, and like the others, their technology was stripped from them. With all other races beaten back into their tribal ages, the Zolacians became the absolute rulers of the world, which they named in their honor: Zolacia.
Eventually, those who performed the dark deeds with heavy heart-equivalents perished, and the old alliances were forgotten. The generations of Zolacians who followed would rule with iron phalanges.
The Zolacians ruled the planet of Zolacia for many thousands of years, keeping the other four sapient species in check due to what they considered as being their more hostile natures. Over time, they had lost their love for the Hydrothi and the Zazlotl, and they felt it a necessary evil to continue to keep the others at a third world technological level, preventing each from being able to properly uprise against the ridiculously more advanced Zolacians.
While the Zazlotl, Ghazra, and Lyssh did not fight back against their subjugators, the peaceful Hydrothi grew increasingly enraged over time. They did not see it fair how the Zolacians treated them, and over the course of a few hundred years, with their levels of technology constantly being hampered, they became desperate. Some of the more desperate Hydrothi chose to perform espionage attacks against their overbearing neighbors, although this did not put much of a dent in the Zolacian way of life, and led to many Hydrothian casualties, which then led to more Hydrothi terrorists, fueling the cycle all over again. As time went on, the secretive Hydrothi terrorists became more and more open to their own people about their standing, and as time went on, more and more peaceful Hydrothi began to join their ranks.
Although these Hydrothian terrorists were ashamed of the position they believed that they had been forced to take, this attitude transmogrified into a true hatred as the older generations died out and new generations took their place, ones who knew nothing of peace and only of war. In their bide to take back their freedom, they had become as violent as the Zolacians themselves.
At the same time, however, the Zolacians had reached a nearly Utopian society, minus the occasional terrorist attack made by the Hydrothi, and had begun to slowly become more passive in their attitudes, now that they no longer had to worry about predators or their sapient neighbors. Initially this caused them to war with themselves for the first few hundred years, but this quickly died down once they realized what they had been doing, and that it might be an exploitable weakness to their enemies.
They had finally learned of true peace and prosperity, and started to look back towards the Hydrothi for an ally in these, their most peaceful times...but it was too late. The Hydrothi had already converted to a vicious species, and it seemed as if the Zolacians and the Hydrothi had completely switched positions, with the Hydrothian viciousness heavily fueled by their blood-hatred for their cousins, the Zolacians. Disheartened at the massive change they had unintentionally caused their cousin-race, they sadly turned their backs to them once more, and continued to keep them in a third-world culture like the Zazlotl, Ghazra, and Lyssh.
Crux Invasion & Initial XenophobiaEdit
- Under Construction
Unfortunately for the Zolacian Empire, their rule was not meant to last forever. It was eventually discovered by the dreaded Crux, a huge group of space pirates led by the mysterious being, Cycrab. At first the Crux found nothing of interest other than water that they could leech from to provide their crews with much needed water, but reconnaissance scouts eventually discovered the huge submerged parapets of the Zolacian capitol city.
Thinking quickly, the Crux scanned the remainder of the planet, getting a feel for the opposition residing beneath the waves. They discovered the other races, too, but took note of their tribal lifestyles, and it was decided that they were of no threat and little consequence to the pirates; they were to be spared however, to attempt converting them into SKULLs, bands of masked gangs that do much of the Crux's dirty work on numerous worlds they secretly have holdings on, many of which were formed out of religious cults as fronts. With a general knowledge about what kind of resistance the Zolacians could hold, the pirates struck.
The war was almost equal, as although the Crux had far vaster numbers, they weren't built for taking a battle strictly underwater, while the Zolacians were "on their home turf". Despite their having lesser technologies than the pirates, they were beating them back somewhat, causing a barely unstable front line.
It was during this time that a Hydrothi terrorist cell moved into Zolacian territory and caught sight of this war. While initially dumbstruck at the existence of so many other sapient races in their midst, an air of sinister cleverness came over them, and they rushed back to their home continent. Returning to their leaders to hold a closed meeting, it was not long before they came to the realization that this might be their best chance to overthrow the Zolacians once and for all. However, without knowing the intent of the other races they witnessed, they could not be certain that taking out the Zolacians wouldn't spell doom for the entire planet, and thus, they moved delegates towards the other continents under cover of night, utilizing several stolen Zolacian vessels that the terrorist group that witnessed the war had stolen to return home quickly.
It took little effort to convince the other three races to strike the Zolacians at this, their most important hour, and soon the races had stolen several more Zolacian vessels to use as transport for the soldiers of the other four races to attack. The following decisive moments would determine the outcome of the Zolacian people, and with that, the entire world.
The Zolacian SubjugationEdit
Escape from HydrothEdit
The Founding of New ZolaciaEdit
Open War & New AlliancesEdit
Liberators are those Zolacians who have escaped enslavement by the other sapients from their homeworld, Hydroth, and their allies, the Crux. The Zolacian Liberation Front is a sect of the UFCL, and is led by Zuni, a Zolacian hero.
With the escape of several Zolacian slaves into space, they were able to eventually find allies to aid them in their quest for freeing the rest of their species.
With their neighboring sapients joining up with the Crux Space Pirates that helped make their subjugation of the Zolacian a possible occurrence, the Zolacians themselves gained many potent enemies, especially once many freed themselves to start a freedom fighter movement.
- Zuni: One of the main Zolacians who led the initial uprising against the Hydrothi. With his help, a large number (but not even most) of their kind escaped the planet Hydroth, where they were able to eventually settle on the new homeworld of New Zolacia a hundred systems away. Zuni is now one of the leading generals against the Hydrothi and the Crux.
- Like several of Somarinoa's other extraterrestrial species, the Zolacians are a race he created in 5th Grade, back in the early 1990s. Like the Hydrothi, the Zolacians were spawned off of a single character — Sunny, more recently renamed to Zuni to properly fit into his modern mythos.
- Unnamed for many many years, the Zolacians finally received their species name on Monday, November 19th, 2007 at around 4:14am Alaska Standard Time.