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Words and terms contained in this article are those as transcribed by an outside observer for the sake of clearer explanation, and are not terms used or constructed by any native inhabitants themselves. The term Keemex is a given word that refers to an entire class of living organisms that make up the primary, sapient species of the planet Ehga. They are similar in basic physiology, though vastly varied in culture.
Keemex are physically similar across it's different genus. Similar to earth based insects, their makeup consists of an exoskeleton of a chitin based shell that protects the inner tissue. Due to their size, most Keemex posses lungs, with only a few smaller subspecies without. The majority of the genus possess a body structure consisting of a semi-segmented Head, Thorax and Abdomen, segmented legs and compound eyes.
Unlike earth based insects, they have something similar to what can be associated with a mouth. They do not have lips, instead a hard, often serrated opening that is generally used just to do single clean bites/snap something in half, but they do not have anything similar to teeth or gums, thus cannot chew. As such the mouth is used for breaking off larger chunks they can then hold, or other utilitarian uses, than actually eating. The mandible appendages outside their mouth are what is used to break down food into smaller, swallow-able pieces.
Entomo is a classification term used for the largest genus of Keemex. All members in this classification posses two compound eyes and 3 pairs of segmented legs and a set of antennae, while only a few of the subsets posses wings. Two sets of limbs make up the arms for the Entomo, the upper pair being larger and considered the 'dominant' hands, the lower pair being smaller and shorter.
This genus has subsets that can be classified:
- Armid: Closely associated with earth Beetles, they possess a heavy, armor-like chitin. Though unlike earth beetles, they do not have wings.
- Entid: General Entomo that do not have any unique characteristics that would allow them to be classified in any other group
- Lepid: Similar to Moths and Butterflies, these are flying type Entomon using large, ornate wings, using mostly flutter and gliding methods to fly.
- Muscid: Another group of flying Entomon, with thin, clear wings using a rapid oscillation, separated from Lepid both by wing type and flying system.
- Saltid: Entomon of this subgroup are classified by their extremely powerful jumping legs that no other subgroup possess.
Entomo diets are primarily omnivorous, as all Entomo digestive tracks can process both plant and animal proteins, though some subsets favor one food form over another.
The most significant difference Alvari and Entomo are that Alvari are an exclusively hive dwelling genus of Keemex. Physically they the same as the rest of the Entomo, however they have a significantly higher percentage of 'drone' in their community, due to the nature of their singular 'queen' based reproduction.
- Anthid: The only group where all members fly similar to Muscid. Most members of this group posses a stinger, though like earth bees it comes at the risk of their life.
- Formid: Most like general Entomo, though with very pronounced mandible limbs. Some variations of this group have mildly poisonous bites.
- Isopid: This group the basic Entomo structure, similar appearing to that of earth termites
Arachne refer to the a specific genus of Keemex that have characteristics associated with earth based Arachnids. Arachne type Keemex posses 6 compound eyes, of which their size and location vary from subtype to subtype. While they similarly have the same 3 segmented body as the Entomon, they possess 4 sets of segmented legs consisting of 2 sets of arms and 2 sets of legs. Unlike the Entomon, their dominant hands are the lower set, and the upper set are smaller. All of the Arachne genus posses poisonous fangs in conjunction with their feeder limbs.
Of the Arachne there are two subtypes:
- Arachnid: As their name would suggest, they resemble earth Spiders the most, both in build and their ability to produce spider's silk. The upper set of arms are used primarily for web construction.
- Scorpid: They most closely resemble earth scorpions, with their abdomen sporting a poisonous tail. Their upper pair of arms host defensive and grasping claws.
The most significant separation between Entomon and Arachne, are that all Arachne are purely carnivorous and live primarily as predators, while a few do survive as scavengers.
Volcuri are a unique class of Keemex that fit neither in the Arachne nor Entomo subtypes. Like Arachne, they are primarily predators, though are capable of digesting nectar or sap and will consume it recreationally. Their dominant hands are the lower set, and their upper set are either smaller or unique to their needs. The rest of their build is similar to the rest of the Entomo, with only two compound eyes, 3 pairs of limbs and 3 segmented body. All in this class are capable of flight.
- Mantid: Solitary ground hunters, though they can flutter around if need be. Their upper arms are were their large scythe-like hands are kept.
- Tymid: Flying Volcuri, they both live in solitary or exclusive groups. Their upper hands are smaller, with subtle grasping claws, intended to snatch and hold in place their prey in order to sting and subdue them.
The society of the Keemex is often scattered and varied. Culture and even language can fluctuate from each settlement group, regardless of distance in between. There is little to no written language in most groups of Keemex, due to the variation in language types, however there is a nearly universal use of symbology or pictographs, used to label or warn the viewer, given the circumstances.
Solitary life or small settlement groups are the most common for Keemex lifestyles. In a few cases there will be keemex of a like mind that will set up and build something close to a rural town or city. These places will have a form of law and law enforcement in order to keep up with the large number of residents that have come to settle there. Generally such establishments are regarded as restrictive and authoritarian by most keemex standards, despite it being far more lax than many other society's law enforcement.
Exclusively predatory keemex keep mostly to their own, living privately or very exclusive groups. It is rare that predatory types co-exist with their prey, though some may offer protections within a community, in exchange for trade goods of others, or even simply just food.
Even in the most organized Keemex society, there is nothing in the way of currency to exchange goods. All goods and services are obtained through any form of barter. Some of the most common trades around Keemex involve trade of skills and labor for food, this includes artisan crafts, construction, 'odd jobs' or unique skills only available to certain genus of Keemex.
Spider's silk is also a highly valuable traded commodity, there is a whole market for the obtaining, processing and use of Spider's Silk. Some bugs make their whole 'living' off stealing web silk, both for the thrill, and also for the payoff. The material is not only used for practical purposes, but also accessories.
The entirety of the Alvari subgroup live exclusively hive based societies. Unlike many of the general Keemex establishments, Alvari hives have both written and spoken languages, exclusive to that hive. Because of their influence, many Keemex establishments within range of a hive, will have their own language influenced by the closet and oldest hive's dominant language.
Avlari hives are more or less exclusive and self sustained, very few of them open themselves up to outsider Keemex. Some out of fear that any any influence will destroy their balance, others simply fear being eaten by outsiders or having their food resources stolen. For the few that do open themselves to outside trade, it is handled with such a rigid set of rules, the very concept of such specific, consistent trades is extremely confusing to other non-Alvari Keemex.
Outside the hives, general non-Alvari Keemex opinion of Alvari is that they are aloof and sometimes a bit terrifying, as their very specific and systematic way of life is extremely foreign to most all other Keemex. Others see Alvari as cowardly, living in a place where they protect their young and each other from the predators others have to fend off on their own.
Romance and Reproduction
Socially, Keemex see sex-to-procreate and sex-as-recreation as entirely separate actions. Companionship is sought out by Keemex but does not manifest in exclusive reproductive pairs, as most long term pairs are just as frequently platonic as they are romantic. Due to this social separation of sex, love, and reproduction, there is little social conflict over the types of pairs Keemex may form. The largest social controversy a Keemex pair might face would be those that pair outside their groups, such as a Volcuri/Entomo pair, for one example.
Compared to many other species in the universe, Keemex have especially low sexual drives. Their desire to seek out a sexual partner, specifically for mating, might happen once in their lifetime. The high number of eggs laid by a single Keemex greatly make up for their lack in reproductive drive. This species-wide predisposition for lack of interest in sex, and lack of sexual taboos, makes any market for erotic materials or exchange of sexual services in the society, limited or often simply non-existent.
Once they have been laid, most Keemex do not stay around to guard their eggs. Instead, after some digging or hiding, eggs are left to fend for themselves. Getting past the larval stage or the first nymphal stage is considered a sort of rite of passage, it serves as 'proof' that the Keemex can survive as an adult. Siblings will often stick around each other for a time for survival, but will rarely carry out the rest of their lives with each other. Only Alvari keep and tend to their young up until adolescence, as occasionally do some Arachne.
In some Keemex communities, mostly Entomo ones, they sometimes have 'incubator' services to watch over an egg or group of eggs until hatching and/or pupation. This service is often costly, requiring a significant amount of food for the incubator and the larva. This can come in the way of offered food, or offering half the eggs as food for the survival of the other half. The motivation for this service is more for personal progeny's sake, not so much for parental attachment, as rarely do those bonds occur.
Most Keemex do not approve of these incubation services, because it prevents them from experiencing the 'trial by fire' way of achieving adolescence. In the same instance, other Keemex see Alvari as weak and sheltered from their close nit community and the raising of their young. It is not uncommon for being likened to Alvari as a form of insult for being weak or inept in personal life skills.
Due to the nature of Keemex child bearing, there is no caretaker to designate labels for the young, instead their names are self-chosen. There's no real time frame in which it happens, though generally they stick to a name on the cusp of adolescence, or after pupating for those with a larval form. Since names are self chosen there is a large variety of names any Keemex could potentially have, from personal mouth sounds to specifically naming themselves after other things. There is a general superstition that comes with name choosing, that the name chosen can effect the outcome or growth of their life.
In many cases, some Keemex will eat other Keemex from within their same genus. Even with non-predatory Keemex, cannibalism is a very common occurrence in daily life. No known Keemex religion or faith regards the body as sacred, removing any sense of taboo from either eating or generally dismembering the body upon death.
In other instances, there are some Keemex that will eat their reproductive partners. This is done both involuntarily as well as consciously and consensually. Female Keemex that are prone to this disposition may either request offerings before hand, or hunt for the nearest victim in an alternative to their reproductive partner. For those that offer themselves willingly, it can be for multiple reasons from personal choice to religious beliefs.
As scattered as culture is, so is religion for most Keemex. However, there are very common trends that occur in Keemex society and each religion is a variation of these trends.
- Singular or Pantheon Gods: The simple believe of any otherworldly force as a god or multiple gods. Names and Functions vary as much as any other otherwordly, unprovable spiritual belief.
- Arachne as Gods: Some Arachne will take it upon themselves to create their own god myths in the closest Keemex community, to reap the benefits of food offerings
- Birds as Gods: Keemex of the area regard the birds as godlike figures and not so much predators. Practices involve appeasing the gods by way of food offerings, either from their own communities or hunting down others to offer, to prevent themselves from being eaten.
|Sytous||Ertakar • Mutakar • Jal-Kar • Human|
|Ehga||Keemex • Bird|