The Olyuylolly are one of the more technologically-advanced races contacted by the UNSEO. Much of their technology is significantly more advanced than that of Earth.
Physical Attributes and Appearance
Olyuylolly are herbivorous grazers just slightly larger than humans, though not as tall, and have three heads and three legs. The rear leg is considerably longer, heavier and stronger than the other two. Each head has a strong four-segmented beak, usually hidden behind a set of sensitive, raspy lips, a single large eye, a trifurcated nostril, and a single directional ear.
The heads are used to pluck or bite off leaves and fruit from grass-like plants and sometimes thorny bushes. The false-mouth is not actually connected to the digestive system but simply holds food to carry it to the single mouth under the body, which does most of the grinding and moistening of the food before passing it on to three stomachs and a long and extensive set of intestines and out through a pair of orifices flanking the large hind leg, along with the efflux from the three kidneys.
Respiration is one way, driven by the more or less continuous action of strong peristaltic muscles(not sure if this is plausible. don’t want breathing to consume more energy than it provides). When an Olyuylolly exerts itself, it doesn’t breath harder, just faster. The continuous low hiss of their breathing gets louder and higher-pitched the more they exert themselves. Air goes in through the three nostrils, passes over a set of complex chemosensory tissues around the false-mouth and running down the neck. These highly innervated chemosensory structures give the Olyuylolly an excellent sense of taste and discriminatory smell. An important part of the herd life of Olyuylolly is governed by pheromones passing complex messages of dominance, danger, sexual readiness and the simple calming sense of being safe among one’s herd. Although, Olyuylolly are similar to the Vugoa in that pheromonal messages are an important part of their social life, Olyuylolly are much more consciously aware of the smell of those pheromones and have much more conscious control of their own pheromonal emissions. This ability to control pheromonal emissions varies somewhat from one Olyuylolly to the next, but that variance doesn’t correlate to any strong degree with social status.
Olyuylolly are completely incapable of holding their breath, although they can slow the flow of air at will. If an Olyuylolly is exerting itself, it will find it difficult or impossible to slow the flow, autonomic responses take over.
Olyuylolly speech does not involve their mouths. Their noses are involved, but only in so far as they supply the air needed to speak. Once air passes out of the one large lung, it is split through three syringes(plural of syrinx) into a complex labyrinth of resonating chambers and finally out through three sets of spiracles spaced about the body. Each syrinx feeds its own set of spiracles. There are seven spiracles under the body between the front legs, and a set of nine along the top edge of the body on either side between the hind leg and each of the front legs. Olyuylolly have a very wide vocal range, both in terms of frequency and articulation. Their hearing range is similarly broad and discriminatory. Coupled with the fact that Olyuylolly can speak in up to three simultaneous voices, their languages are all completely unpronounceable and largely unintelligible to humans. The Olyuylolly are capable of speaking any language among the worlds known to UNES humanity, except those which go beyond sound. Lacking the chromatophores, which are a vital element of Pfak language or radio-frequency electromagnetic abilities of the Traders, they need technological aid in speaking to some species, but among the more common species who rely on sound for the major part of their communication, they are perfectly capable of speaking any language they learn flawlessly and without accent. The immense intelligence of the Olyuylolly ensure that they can learn any language they have so far encountered.
The brain of an Olyuylolly is very large and as a result, they are very intelligent creatures, usually what humans would consider creative geniuses in some field and generally capable of handling many very complicated issues simultaneously. They are consummate linguists. Driven by a near constant game of one-upmanship among themselves, most Olyuylolly will know at least dozens of languages, and are capable of learning more very quickly. Especially after being embarrassed by an inability to understand a language spoken to them by another. In addition, Olyuylolly are constantly involved in games, mathematical puzzles and other competitive intellectual exercises. Most of them also consider themselves artists of some form or another(usually several). They’re usually, but not always, quite good.
The Olyuylolly are hermaphrodites. When mating, each mate produces one egg, which is inseminated by the other. Each mate will, thus, produce one child. The child regards the parent from which it issued as its mother and the other parent as its father. The father’s child who issued from the mating is considered a twin brother or just a twin. Other children from the same mother with the same father are considered sisters and children from the same father mating with the mother are considered brothers. Children of the father who aren’t of the mother aren’t considered to be familial relations. A sister’s daughters would be considered nieces. There’s really no traditional sense of a sister’s sons or of a brother’s children as being related, although in some cultures a brother’s niece can be considered a sort of off-niece, but this would be a very informal relationship, with no familial authority. Within these rather altered concepts of gender, family and clan structures can be considered matriarchal and matrilineal.
The Olyuylolly lifespan is incredibly long. Whether this is a natural attribute or the result of life prolongation technology is completely unknown.
Culture and Psychology
The Olyuylolly historically had many separate cultures, presumably with different traditions, but since long before they reached space(a very long time ago, indeed) they have been unified into one all-encompassing culture. Although the old cultures have largely melted into the one over eons, it appears that the Olyuylolly have retained a great number of languages. Linguistic skill is usually a very important part of determining social status within Olyuylolly society. Not only do they retain a dizzying array of languages from their own history, they collect languages from other worlds and frequently create their own personal languages on-the-fly in the continual process of showing their greater abilities to others. Creating a new language is something of a balancing act, as they want it to be complex enough to stump a fair fraction of those around them(or at least delay their understanding), but not so complex that nobody manages to translate it. Frequently, they will create lessons to teach others their language if other Olyuylolly remain stumped. The eidetic memory of Olyuylolly ensures that once the language is learned, others will quickly be able to recognize the fluency of the speaker and understand any jokes or insults that previously have been spoken.
Olyuylolly culture is divided into family, clan, caste, and herd.
Family is the most informal, but also the most traditionally significant relationship among Olyuylolly. Family relations are almost strictly matriarchal and matrilineal and is largely dedicated to the rearing and education of the young. Senior family members, while strictly to be obeyed by children, have no real authority among adult members of the family. Among adults, family is largely considered to be a group of friends and allies, although sometimes enmities are retained from childhood.
Above the family in this hierarchy, lies the clan. Matings are frequently out-clan, thus reducing the significance of fathers and brothers still further. A clan is a formal and fairly permanent association between families. Individuals can change clans, usually to the father’s clan, but that’s a rare and momentous decision, not to be taken lightly.
Authority within the clan is determined democratically by an odd process of election by acclaim known as The Song. Elections are always unanimous, following an often very long period of singing, which is presumably some form of argument. Eventually, a particular melody begins to arise out of the cacophony, and driven perhaps by browbeating, exhaustion, peer-pressure and compelling arguments, becomes unanimous. The process appears very mysterious, even to those taking part, but it is universally stated that everybody is in complete whole-hearted agreement with the conclusion. Positions are held until dissent reaches a level such that The Song sets in again.
The usually more significant social structure in Olyuylolly culture is the caste, a sort of political/professional guild-like structure. Selection of caste is altogether voluntary and taken upon reaching adulthood. Every clan has members in every caste, and every caste has members in every clan.
Authority is determined by the same process of acclaim and election as with clans, only with the members of the caste taking part rather than members of a particular clan. Onset of The Song in either sector seems to destabilize authority, so frequently many castes and clans will go into it at about the same time.
The interplay between caste and clan is believed by the Olyuylolly to help unify the herd as a whole. Which brings us to the highest level of Olyuylolly culture, the herd. At one time, references to,”herd,” might have been seen to mean some structure analogous to nation-states on Earth, but today and for a very long time into the past,”herd,” or,”Herd,” is essentially synonymous with the Olyuylolly species taken as a whole. While caste and clan are considered parallel within Olyuylolly culture, Herd is above all else. Far above.
There is a saying that lying is the Olyuylolly specialty. This is not entirely true. In fact, Olyuylolly rarely lie outright if they can possibly avoid it. Instead, the true Olyuylolly specialty is subtlety and obfuscation of his plans, motivations and knowledge. For an Olyuylolly to lie would be unsubtle. If an Olyuylolly makes a declarative statement every fact he states will very likely be true, however they will be slanted in such a way as to spin the listener towards the speaker’s preferred version of reality and false conclusions about unstated facts. The twin goals of Olyuylolly obfuscation are safety of the herd and utter unpredictability. An Olyuylolly will only tell an outright lie if it believes that the safety of the herd depends on its doing so.
The most important part of the truth will always lie between an Olyuylolly’s words.
Olyuylolly are strongly pacifistic. They will go to great lengths to avoid using violence or having it inflicted upon them. They will, however, when they feel trapped and in fear for their lives or when they consider the herd to be at risk, engage in violence. This is rarely good for their mental health, and they often suffer from serious mental illnesses afterward.
Olyuylolly generally do not like space travel. For some generally mysterious reason, they absolutely detest FTL travel, so only a tiny minority will ever leave their home system. Most will travel in automated starships under suspended animation. Dealing with other, not so pacifistic beings adds to their dislike of interstellar travel.
The most important element of Olyuylolly social life, and life in general, is the herd. Although generally very cautious and timid, an Olyuylolly will definitely sacrifice its life for the survival of the herd. Olyuylolly will not allow anything to stand in the way of the survival of their herd and species, and can be quite ruthless.
Short of violence, ruthlessness is a common behavioral trait among Olyuylolly. Combined with their cautious and incurious nature, ruthless obfuscation has done much to slow scientific and technological development among the Olyuylolly. They are considerably more advanced than UNES humanity, but this is only because they’ve been around a lot longer.
This is the least-developed part until I’ve determined more about the technology of the UNSEO/UNES. At present, all I can say for sure is that it’s well in advance of the technology of Earth and that particularly advanced areas will be in space propulsion, medicine, nanotech, cerebrocybernetic interfaces(though vanishingly few would agree to having them implanted) and artificial intelligence(though they’re deathly afraid and distrustful of it!).
There’s certainly more to the Olyuylolly than this, but this is what I have so far. Perhaps as I start writing stories about them, more will come to light.
Hopefully reading this was enjoyable. Thank you for reading,