From Star Trek: Theurgy Wiki
The Ovri, in the old tongue of their race meant "Hatchlings of Ice", they were a recent member race to the Federation from a distant system and were very distinct in their appearance. They were a hairless, bipedal humanoid species with digitigrade legs. They originated from a tropical world that had their natural habitat being more amphibious, spending time living both in and outside of water - this origin showed in their slightly webbed fingers and toes - yet as their species expanded into the stars, they came to adapt themselves to space-faring life and survival in more arid environments.
To other species, Ovri also stood out due to their seemingly reversed sexual dimorphism with the females having more traditionally masculine torsos and the males having seemingly feminine traits. Ovri also held a colourful pallet to their slightly scaled skin, almost like poison dart frogs on Earth. They were - in general - a peaceful race who avoided conflicts, which made them exceptional diplomats, mediators, counsellors, and medical practitioners when dealing with other races. This also tied into their approach to war, not seeking direct conflict. They would attack a situation from the side, coming in with alternate means to achieve their goals without sacrificing lives on their side.
Ovri possessed no hair on their bodies, and at first impression, humans would say they appeared like exotic amphibians, which wasn't far from the mark. What stood out the most were their large eyes, their four-digit hands, and their digitigrade legs.
As a precursor to their current language and means of verbal communication, Ovri produced a powerful mix of pheromones in their mouths. In wet conditions, small amounts were secreted from their skin. Females had a kiss they could perform to transfer the pheromones and arouse their mate. Males possessed many attractive scents, yet females held more complex scents that could even be confusing and repulsive to predators. Their tongue was also very long and elastic, and while not able to be launched quickly to catch prey, they were capable of extreme dexterity - once enabling an Ovri to slowly push into a cramped space to seize prey. The amphibian roots also allowed Ovri the ability to hold their breath for extended periods of time.
The natural hunting grounds of their ancestors were the warm shallow waters of their home planet, where their webbed hands and feet allowed for a bit more speed when swimming - using their hands to pull themselves along while looking for food. As of the 24th century, they were not the fastest while swimming, mainly having quick short bursts of speed underwater. Instead of teeth, Ovri had a hard band where their teeth would be, usually hidden under their stiff gums. When needed, they pushed it out to chew their food. Their bones were like human bones in strength, though without specialised osteo-regenerator treatment, they were hard to mend if broken. An Ovri had four fingers with webbing halfway up their hands, and their fingertips were large, with deep distinct prints to allow better gripping of objects.
Naturally, their skin was resistant to most fires. With their skin's high moisture content and adaptive nature, they could be exposed to flames much longer than a human before burning or blistering. Their skin was comprised of small scales, which were soft and elastic and kept moist to allow for the protective measures, but outside of their ideal environments and worlds, Ovri had a bit dryer skin - like a human's. Their joints, like elbows and knees, become a bit more scaly in a dry state. When dried out further, their skin toughened up and flaked, but it would not result in a fatal dehydration - only skin damage. Many generations ago, this ability to live outside of their amphibious environment was a result of gene therapy, and a push by their scientific minds to introduce a trait that would allow their people adaptability for environments off-world.
Their large eyes were very sensitive and detected things slightly beyond the standard visible spectrum into the ultraviolet. Their eyes did, however, have two separate eyelids, one was a transparent membrane that protected the eye while swimming, the second covered the eye and blocked out light. While males were colourful in appearance, the females lacked such pallets - tending to have more muddy and dark colours that benefitted as natural camouflage. Physically, the Ovri were more powerful in their legs. Their arms, however, had many strong, fibrous tendons that allowed for more strength when holding things and strong gripping of their surroundings so their legs could push them along. Ovri do not have external ears. Instead, where ears would usually be seen, they had tympanum - an external oval shape membrane made up of nonglandular skin. Tympanum did not process sound waves; it simply transmitted them to the inner parts of the Ovri ear, which was protected from the entry of water. This made their hearing somewhat elevated from that of humans, especially so underwater.
Ovri were warm-blooded, but their bodies generally lacked the ability to retain heat very well. They did possess the ability to enter a hibernating state and freeze their bodies. The hibernation state was an unusual trait, but with the sudden and harsh winters of their world, it proved an invaluable adaption. Ovri also possessed regenerative abilities; a lost finger could be regrown in a month, a lost limb in a year or so, but they handled open wounds very poorly and it remained common practice for their people to hack off an injured limb and let it regrow instead of repairing the injury and waiting for that to heal, as broken bones took multiple years to fully mend. An Ovri normally lived anywhere between 80-100 earth years before dying of old age, but an Ovri who was frozen at any point in their life had a lifespan that was usually a decade longer on average. As a result, their regenerative powers worked at a slower rate. Hibernation was not an answer to immortality though, as years began to pass, cell structure could begin to break down.
Females of the race, despite their more masculine appearances, still possessed a traditionally female reproductive system and genitalia. Their vaginas were internalized and appeared flat and smooth when not aroused, and when aroused, they puffed out slightly with increased blood flow. Ovri usually mated on a three-month cycle, which could be extended to a yearly cycle with medication. The females produced eggs and their abdominal region bulged noticeably, taking on a slightly pregnant appearance, but not to the extent where it became strenuous for their hips. Even if they successfully mated or not, the female released their eggs into a submerged environment after just a couple of weeks. All eggs turned opaque when left in the water, and only one in six was usually fertilized of a clutch of twenty-four eggs. Children took five months to hatch, and then fully developed underwater for two more months.
In the eyes of other species, all Ovri males had a feminine build, with shoulders narrow, an ample chest, a thin waist, a round derriere and having wide hips. The male genitalia was fully internalized due to their lower body temperatures, making it so their testicles were safe inside the body. Ovri penises had a bulbous, segmented look that came out to a tapered tip. The segmented cock allowed them more control over the cock, and they also secreted a natural lubrication over their length when aroused. An Ovri male stored fatty tissue on their chests, being a means of their anatomical set-up to stay hydrated even when not having access to water. The anatomical requirements for males, through hormonal deficiencies to conserve moisture, caused males to be much more prone to be dehydrated than females. To counter this, evolution made them carry the equivalent of the humps of a camel on Earth, and remained hydrated even when not having constant access to water. The function of the breast tissue - differeing from that of mammals - was evident by the lack of mammary glands, since Ovri did not nurse their young. Even after the Ovri began space exploration and colonised worlds that were more plentiful than their home world, and males tended to have full access of food and water to replenish the fatty tissue of their breasts, their size remained a sign of vibrant health in Ovri culture.
The marks on Ovri foreheads were derived from ancient tribal dye markings, using the same ancient plant dyes. Although synthesized with replicators, the marks held ties to ancient Ovri practices to mark one's tribe identity. After the events of First Contact, the tradition was revived as a means to distinguish people for their skills in a more competitive society - ambition taking a more primary role in their culture.
Psychological norms for the Ovri showed a more relaxed race. There was little need for conflict, and their less aggressive members were usually the ones that survived through evolution. They were generally kind and understanding, had a strong sense of community and unity, but their scientists learned over the years that they needed to be competitive, so children were conditioned to compete and strive. Generally peaceful, they did not seek conflict but avoided it. They often went at problems sideways, instead of doing something to remove a problem, they instead choose to adapt.
Ovri society as a whole leaned towards individualistic tendencies rather than collectivist ones, as they believed that individuals should be allowed to determine their own course and path through their lifetime. Although they did, to varyig extent, believe that one should not do so out of great cost for others. After First Contact, Ovri strongly supported universal rights for all sapient lifeforms, which included personal freedoms, such as self-determination, a lack of discrimination. Going in hand with this, the Ovri also embraced materialistic tendencies, becoming more and more mercantile. To the Ovri, exotic goods and material wealth were of high value, and many Ovri devoted themselves to acquiring various goods from alien cultures to bring back to their home planets.
Not only is there some confusion regarding the seeming Ovri reversed sexual dimorphism by some Federation personnel, there is also a lack of understanding when it came to their understanding of physical intimacy. They didn't generally have an issue with casual sex. And while not universal, they tended to be both pansexual and polyamorous. There were, however, some Ovri who wanted a deeper level of intimacy - an emotional one. It is not uncommon for those Ovri to choose to live in a monogamous relationship. Those who chose to do so became bonded to each other. Bonding was a cultural ceremony similar to a Terran marriage, only more rare. Like marriage, two, or in some cases three partners made a commitment to each other as bondmates before their families. There was, however, an added layer to Ovri bonding that went beyond marriage. The partners involved engaged in a mutual sharing of pheromones over a seventy-two hour period. This sharing cemented the relationship. Rather than exchanging rings, the partners exchanged matching stains to their skin after the ceremony and the exchange of pheromones - symbols marked onto either the neck or a forearm.
Under their culture, children were raised by the father and protected by the mother while they fully grew up for the next seventeen years, at which time they were considered adults and allowed to choose their future. During those seventeen years, they received their primary education. They ould then choose to receive a post-secondary education in the vocation of their choice. The competition for his education, especially among the more prestigious Universities, could be quite fierce.
Ovri homes and stations were based on plant life; they had domed shape and many supporting stalks underneath. This gave them added stability from outside influence, and water was a bountiful feature in all of their society. A society centred around the reverence of maritime life and the preservation of the sea, around dancing below and above the water surfaces,
The dominant Ovri language was known as Kreepip. It was a developed language formed from the mixing of the different languages on their home planet, refined over hundreds of generations into a final form. It used mostly sounds made from the deep throat and clicking of the tongue. Their written language was based around circles, and there were thirty-two circular "letters" in their alphabet. Words were composed of linked circles from the alphabet, and spaces between them showed where a word ended. Their writing looked like a series of bubbles with different things inside each circle, ranging from geometric shapes to lines.
Their vocal abilities had a vast range, and both singing and music was one of their greatest skills for a long time. Ovri had their usual ranges, but if needed, they could strain their vocals to make louder sounds with loud croaks or sharp chirps. An acquired skill, of which fame could be found in their society.
Ovri had two parts to their names, with the last name always being the name of their clutch mother - that of their mother's first name. The surnames were traditionally given after the eggs hatched, since some children didn't make it through incubation.
The Ovri homeworld was known as Qworthrik, in English, this roughly meant "Stone Mother". It was a planet covered in 83% water; most landmasses were like the amazon with tall trees and saw a lot of rain. The only land that was not like this was usually mountainous and dry, but rich in metal deposits. The planet was slightly smaller than Earth and had a smaller core, thus their gravity being lower. The planet also had a north and south pole that were frozen like on earth, although smaller and more prone to change in size from decade to decade. The landmasses did form five main continents that had natural land bridges during the ice ages on the planet.
According to geological evidence, Qworthrik used to be a Class-M continental planet before a massive diversionary plate boundary began spacing out the continental land masses and spreading the oceans across the planet. The effect of these plate movements began subducting land masses and reducing all continents and eventually rendering the planet into one remaining continent. This continent would become carved open into fringe islands by a colossal meteor strike, resulting in one of the mass extinction events in Qworthrik's history. Volcanic hotspots are far more common on Qworthrik than on Earth, and during and after the tectonic shift, thousands of small islands began dotting the surface.
Life on Qworthrik was plentiful and verdant, with numerous aquatic biomes beneath the surface of the waters. Caves and lava tunnels are common, and within these resided even more life forms. The islands of the planet also contained plentiful biospheres, and it was in these that plants containing unique microbiomes led to great advances in Ovri sciences. Bio-luminescent algae was common on shorelines and on island pools.
Dejino was a planet similar to Earth. It wasn't as humid as the origin planet of the Ovri and it was the planet that had been the reason for their people's push for genetic advancement through science. This fact was something that was made known to every hatchling on Dejino from a young age, how they were lucky to be able to live there because of the hard work and sacrifices made for sake of colonisation. Cities dotted the shores of the seven continents, sprawling into submerged complexes.
While the Ovri on Dejino like other colonies mastered skills in technology, art, combat, and many other fields, their primary focus was in the medical fields of study. To ensure that this valuable fields was excelled at, the children of all clutches would be encouraged to compete with each other at young ages, offering rewards to the most well-performing child.
Culture & Customs
Hundreds of years ago, Ovri culture and customs were primarily matriarchal, as females were allowed breeding choice for each clutch and then protected their hatchlings. This, while the effeminate males treated all children as if they were their own - being natural care-givers. As Ovri culture evolved, the females that had guarded the young from predators yielded ground for councils of males that led and planned things for the betterment of Ovri settlements. This, while the more able-bodied females took care of the land and hard labor with their more toned bodies. Eventually, Ovri would form councils of more equal gender distribution. Men made the laws between trade and business while females governed the land and its use. All inheritance was followed through the mother's ancestral line, since males were less likely to look after their own children. Thus, the inheritance of a family was passed down from mother to daughter. Males could own land as well but often lived with their mate. If their mating relationship ended, they would move on and provided housing of their own.
At one point, there were many males that were dedicated to simply mating. These individuals were looked back upon by Ovri historians and considered a blight. These males were thought to be why task signs were created and stained into the skin of every man and woman - indicating their greatest skill. The color would tie them to a guild, and this way, people knew what you did and where you worked before mating was considered - putting less value on physical appearance and more on skills and knowledge. When the colonies were founded off the home world, the marks were surrounded by shapes indicating the planet of origin. The Homeworld had a circle, the first colony a half-circle, the second an oval, the third a triangle, the fourth a square, and so on up to seventeen.
As Ovri moved into the modern era, where the risk posed by predators and competing settlements of Ovri, the basic format of an Ovri family had begun to fall apart. More and more, mass communities of children were formed in the cities, looked after by specialized teachers and caretakers. Thus, among Ovri in larger settlements, abortion was rare due to the lack of personal responsibility and investment needed from either parent. As such, clutches were the closest family most Ovri had, and on many of the Ovri worlds, a clutch was often set to compete among themselves to decide where they went in life and encouraged competition at an early age.
With the Ovri, it was customary to remain silent in the presence of superiors and elders when they spoke, but when appropriate, it was expected of the young to question and suggest. The mind of the young was considered a valuable resource, and thought to carry new ideas. Due to their regenerative abilities, the Ovri never worried much about trauma and cared little about recovery, but did care about new growth, new beginnings, and forgiveness. As their philosophers stated; "A gash will heal slowly, it is best to remove it and begin again. Let go of the past and begin again, learn from your mistakes, do not let them linger. You are either a victim of your life, or you are empowered by it."
Ovri had several natural predators, the most notable was the Kerrok, found to be one of the oldest words, it was the name of an amphibious beast that had a large gaping maw. Kerroks hunted Ovri and swallowed them whole while jumping into the rivers. It was widely believed that Kerroks led to the development of metal weapons and eventually gunpowder to make guns to combat them. Within a span of hundred years, Ovri actually hunted Kerroks to extinction.
The Ovri were a relatively young race, all things considered. They were a very thinly spread out race on their home world in the beginning, and when their race started to form civilizations, their planet was seeing extreme winters that froze the planet except for around the equator of the planet where a lush jungle was located. However, as time went on, the planet thawed and the ice receded, causing populations to become separated and isolated from one another. Over time, there was less and less ice until it only existed in the furthest reaches of the planet. The forest at the equator spread quickly where the ice had once covered and soon the world was covered in Amazon-like forests with many rivers, lakes, and the vast oceans. Their people thrived along the rivers, eating the animals that lived in the waters. The humid weather allowed them to live almost anywhere on the land, but the generally open nature of the oceans made crossing them a challenge in the beginning as Ovri never remained in the direct sunlight or salty air for too long.
When the Ovri moved from their homelands and explored their planet, they encountered others of their own race and after some initial strife amongst clans, their world unified quickly and soon began to advance. They pushed into an industrial revolution that quickly moved into a modern era and into the birth of their space-faring beginnings. But as they were about to make their first mission to attempt constructing a moon base, they happened across another race, a race unknown to the Federation. This ship abducted and experimented upon Ovri civilians, and it had remained undetected if not the abductees had managed to break out of their captivity and contact their home planet.
Although outmatched by the superior technology of the alien race, Ovri sacrifice and ingenuity were used to win. To bring the ship down, a passenger ship was loaded with a nuclear generator that had been modified into a bomb. As the abductees having successfully decloaked the ship from inside it, the ship rammed the hull of the alien craft, destroying a decent portion of it. The abductees were lost, but the alien craft crashed unto the northernmost continent of Qworthrik. To ensure any ship that might follow the first one would not find them without defences, the Ovri acted quickly - implementing the new technical discoveries made from the ship to mount planetary defences. Adopting a more driven perspective after the event, and casting off their more care-free ways, the attention of the Ovri was now collectively upon the stars - what promises and threats they might find out there. With the events of the encounter burned into the public memory, the Ovri might have resorted to xenophobia, but given their ancestral culture, they instead swore to spread into the universe as they had unified across their own planet - with peace and open arms.
Exploring their solar system, they found that their space was mostly uninhabited. Whenever they found something new technologically, they took it and adapted it into their own culture. Soon, they had gone out so far they decided to claim territory and begin colonizing planets. They claimed planets and put down colonies, eventually having to genetically modify themselves to survive in new varied environments. In their rush, they accidentally began a series of events that almost wiped out the basic life on a few of the planets they had colonized - the genetic modifications making their young die in their eggs before they hatched. This led to much debate, and the conclusion that they did not need to take more planets for themselves.
After some time, and a few small border disputes with other races had passed, they began to travel again for sake of mere explorations, and ended up encountering a Federation patrol and their diplomatic relations began. It was slow and seen as a distant relationship, but the Ovri invested themselves all the same as the opportunity to join a galactic community was too precious to pass up. To show their dedication, they took graduates of several of their fields and sent them to join Starfleet. Putting their best foot forward, they would show what they could do, and hoped to build friendships with many more races. They did, however, keep their relaxed policy of genetic testing and modification to themselves and never mentioned how much they had changed their genetics to settle their worlds.
Government & Military
The Ovri planetary government was known as the "Grand Council". It was composed of the heads of every one of the major fields. The Grand Council voted on laws and policies that pertained to the planet. They decided where things should go, and what needed to be done. They did not, however, cover local laws on the colonised planets, only dictating the general Council Laws of the Ovri, which applied to all colonies.
Local laws were made by the Guilds. The Guilds were formed by an expert in each field (medicine, technology, communications, etc.). This way, the experts in a field dictated its laws and operations. If they created laws that interfered with the overall unity, or used them to grab power, the other Guilds took votes to overthrow a law from another Guild. This doctrine was also run on smaller scales in independent cities and space stations. In the overarching community as a whole, if a planet or a city was being mismanaged by its Guilds, the Grand Council was called and the mismanaged location was given a month to shape up. If it failed to fix itself, their leaders were removed, with new Guild elections to be held.
As for a military, the Ovri had no prevalent need for one aside from a fleet known as "the Spears", a well-trained task group trained in dealing with violence and danger. They started as the ones who kept roads clear from bandits and wild beasts, then they became the police force. When they encountered their first alien race, they were restructured into several new divisions. The Spears remained the police force, but there was also new division trained as direct military - troops with genetic modification for tougher hides. Eventually, The Spears also developed a covert operations division. Often comprised of highly modified individuals, they were created to infiltrate and eliminate targets. They would be deployed before or during conflicts to eliminate leaders or major threats. They mastered sabotage, toxins, and stealth. They would never fight face to face, always laying traps or performing ranged kills.
Their fleets were similar in structure. They had merchants and commercial crafts, and then they had scouting and exploration vessels. Usually, they carried scientists, negotiators, and a company of Spears. After they explored a region, other ships were sent, anything from a science craft to construction frigates. When conflict arose, they deployed the warships of the Spears. These combat ships had three tactics of combat. There were scare tactics, where they came in and drove off a threat, confrontation tactics where they fought to destroy an enemy, and then disabling tactics where they removed a threat so peace might be obtained. Then there were stealth and trap ships. A trap ship was a re-purposed cargo vessel filled with a seemingly harmless environment and left with a dead drive. These ships were deployed where enemies and pirates appeared. Once boarded, anyone who entered a trap ship and opened doors would submit themselves to a mix of, on their own, harmless toxins, but once mixed, they killed their invaders. Due to the harmful indiscriminate nature of these ships, they were only used in the direst of situations. They went so far as to convert stations and once an entire city into such traps. Stealth ships were always operated by the Spears. These ships infiltrated hostile territory and lay in wait for their targets, laying traps and launching surprise attacks. They were also are used as deployment points for Spear teams to work from.
Ovri technology was an oddity. Due to their trade policies and encounters, Ovri focused much of their time on shields and stealth. They were not as good as the Federation's, but they had very good cloaks that followed the design of the alien invader of Qworthrik that had shaped much of their early technological heritage. Ovri had replicator and transporter tech, but their transporters needed to have a closer range to work than that of the Starfleet. They had hologram technology used in different ways; ranging from communication to scientific simulations. As for weaponry, the Ovri had many different types. Their own people's weapons only got as advanced as projectiles and rockets before the event of the unknown alien craft over Qworthrik. After that event, they developed plasma-based weaponry, which became their basic weaponry prior to Federation membership. An example of their own weapon systems was something the Spears developed; tetryon pulse weapons designed to overload and fry ship systems.
As for ship systems, the Ovri ran their ships with computers and inorganic conduits. They had crystal-based systems and used a warp drive less powerful than that of the Federation, but they had fewer flaws and ran much more safely. Ovri did not have much technology for terraforming, but they had very good station construction and stabilizing systems as well as fission reactors to power their systems. Ovri also had a high level of tech invested in thermal research, to keep things at a level their people could survive and have outfits to keep them from being cold. Despite this, their stations hard to find as they often gave off no heat signatures and remained hidden without the use of their cloaking system.
Ovri medical studies had different focuses than those of the Federation. Implants and trauma treatment were a very low priority and not well researched, while biomechanics, genetics, and other similar fields were excelled in. Most genetic diseases were mapped out and rectified.
Dominant Ovri mythology claimed that the Ovri were born of the ice. Their creator, the Stone Mother, created many children on her world before the Ovri, all beautiful and unique, but the Stone Mother had a lover - the Ice Father - and he gave her a cloak of ice as a gift. But as the icy cloak covered the land, the children perished from the harsh cold. Saddened by the loss of her children, the mother wept into the snow and ice. Her tears froze and formed into the first Ovri. Distraught over his actions, the Ice Father pulled his cloak away, allowing spring to come and wake the Ovri who thawed and emerged.
The Ovri had a legend known as The Noble Brothers. Saddened that he could not see his children with the Stone Mother because of her wrath, the Ice Father asked for his brothers to keep him company and to help look after his children. So his three brothers went to watch over his children, circling the world and telling the Father of their progress. The Bothers were always there in the heavens, always watching and circling their brother's mate protecting his children. This legend spoke of the three moons that orbited the home planet of the Ovri.
After these myths came those of the grand heroes. Stories of children of the moon gods, of people made by the Father of Ice and born from the depths of the Stone Mother. Mostly fictional tales of great explorers and fair beings, some related to actual people and groups, as it was later discovered there was once a group of subterranean Ovri, though only their dead were found. It was thought that seismic events that were quite violent in the past drove them above ground, and those that remained below died from toxic gasses and cave-ins. There were some Ovri more resistant to freezing, but they did not adapt well to the warming planet and either integrated into society or died out.
There were various other myths about exotic beasts and monsters but most, if not all, were false or talked about unknown things that happened in the world. But one myth remained important to the people, one they taught and did not speak of outside their society - the myth of the star stoppers. It was believed that in the Ovri's bronze age an asteroid was going to collide with the planet. It would have been sudden; records said that a blinding streak ripped across the sky as if a star was coming to touch their lands. As it was about to come down, it was destroyed in a burst of brilliant green light. The explosion left very little debris and it was written off as a myth for ages... until several accounts from different areas that had no way to contact each other retold similar accounts. They mentioned a spot in the sky that had not been there before, that moved of its own free will and then left as suddenly as it had come.
Ovri chose their first five colonies on rather distant planets, planets not ideal for settling, but still, they settled there. Although it was never mentioned, each of the planets had strange relics that were quickly taken and hidden away.