A long-lived silicanate species of lizard-like humanoids hailing from a harsh, volcanic homeworld that boast remarkable adaptive and psychokinetic abilities.
Superficially Ativari appear vaguely humanoid; they are bipedal and have two arms that end in five-fingered, clawed hands and powerful, three-toed feet evolved to excel at climbing the rocky inclines of their volcanic homeworld. While the species exhibits radically different morphologies between individuals; the average build tends to favor lithe, athletic features with muscled extremities and an elongated head atop a thick, flexible neck and leathery, cartilaginous skin.
While in some respects Ativari physiology possesses roughly analogous structures to that of humans or Zhren’thrar, biochemically they could not be more divorced. Chemically, Ativari biology is based on silicon rather than carbon, and the species’ circulatory and skeletal muscle systems are functionally indistinguishable. In place of the actin/myosin chains found in carbon-based animals, muscular movement is achieved by the rapid expansion of an extracellular matrix of circulatory fluid contained within cartilaginous sacs as it rapidly crystallizes in response to bioelectrical stimulation. Specialized compounds suspended within this fluid solution realign when to exposed to polarized charges generated by the individual’s nervous system, and these fluids also serve a circulatory function by bathing organs and transporting nutrients across the body. When struck or threatened, this has the added benefit of suspending critical anatomical systems in a hard, internal “armor” as the circulatory fluid realigns, resulting in an exceptionally hardy anatomy when combined with their tough, cartilagenous muscle sacs.
One of the idiosyncrasies of Ativari physiology is its radical response to stress. Almost any form of strenuous activity; whether physical exertion or mental exercise, will result in an adaptive reaction. For this reason, Ativari can adapt to be highly specialized within their societies; warriors and laborers grow physically larger than their compatriots, scientists and engineers develop slightly enlarged braincases and those devoted to the enhancement of their psychokinetic talents possess greatly enhanced nervous systems.
This adaptive capacity can even extend to biochemistry. While Ativari are typically restricted to wearing adaptive skinsuits within the cold, oxygen-rich environments of carbon-based lifeforms; it has been reported that long-term exposure can even enhance individuals’ capacity to breathe alien atmospheres that contain usable compounds; albeit with some discomfort.
Culture and Sociey
Ativari possess an acute psychokinetic ability. This is generated by nervous ganglia of the that protrude near the surface of the skin and project an electrical field surrounding the individual. Similar to other forms of psychokinesis, a salient Ativari can manipulate this field to agitate atoms in their vicinity in order to alter those atoms’ energy state. It is theorized that this ability originally developed to fill a sensory capacity to adapt to the often-smoggy conditions of their homeworld; as Ativari can detect alterations in this electric field acutely, giving them unparalleled awareness of their immediate surroundings. Depending on the skill of the individual Ativari in question, they can generate rapid shifts in energy state in order to create radical pressure differentials that can shift or move objects, initiate chemical reactions, agitate specific materials to flash-boil them, or generate electrical impulses.
This psychokinetic ability is reflected physically as an individual gains control over the power. As a more complex neural system is required to manipulate the bioelectric field, a knotted, bony crest usually forms over the individual’s head that protects a marginally enlarged cranium. This stage of development generally takes decades of study to reach and must be carefully maintained with practice; these individuals are highly respected for their accomplishment. With more rigorous study, truly dedicated individuals can further enhance their control, eventually growing bony spines from the neural ganglia that generate the psychokinetic fields. These spines represent an extension of the nervous system and protect elongated neurons that extend the reach of the Ativari’s psychokinetic field and grants them unparalleled control of their surroundings. It is reported that these individuals can both sense and influence the action of individual subatomic particles close to them. In a tragic irony the constant stream of input can have a deleterious effect on the central nervous system, increasing the incidence of extreme psychological disorders within this population. Among such individuals, careful use of their abilities must be maintained stringently so as to limit the chance of a breakdown occurring.
Culture and Sociey
While humanity and the felinoid Zhren’thrar can be said to share a common psychology, both species are confounded by the alien enigma of the Ativari. Exceptionally long-lived and naturally analytical; Ativari are slow to anger and act upon plans with goals extending beyond the lifetimes of other species. With a uniquely unified society and slow rate of population growth, the expansionist pressures of the Spur’s other civilizations are not present within the Ativari Conclave, which is content to defend its fortified stellar borders and scant dozen colonies. In fact, the composition of Ativari society is so divorced from those of other species that the term “Conclave” is both the collective noun of the speices and the name of their civilization within the Ativari’s single language.
While this would signify a stagnant society, Ativari culture is highly sophisticated and, like their physiologies, ever-adapting. The species relies on a strict meritocracy; where individuals are hatched, raised, and educated collectively - only being identified as individuals by being honored with names based on their contributions to the Conclave. Their roles within this society are determined by aptitude; but most Ativari will hold many positions within many industries within their long lives, and reassignment to new areas of specialization is considered natural for an individual’s growth.
Alongside advanced technology and architecture based on crystalline structures, Ativari have a vibrant artistic aesthetic with a predisposition towards geometric and fractal shapes, given the species’ natural mathematical aptitude. While Ativari designs often look bland or uninteresting to members of other cultures - often appearing in a monotone greyscale - the wider diversity of wavelengths captured by Ativari optical organs display kaleidoscopic patterns of color when viewed in the intended spectra of light.