Tik-Tkek

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Their home world is called Stutter by humans, because the real name is unpronounceable by many species.

Tik-Tkeks are hyperactive and rambling, but generally friendly and welcoming. Always too Extra. Anything worth doing is worth overdoing. Enthusiastic and obsessive, whatever they’re into, they’re really into— hobbies, sports, entertainment, hedonism, research, warfare. The other members of the Commonwealth do their best to keep the Tik-Tkek focused on entertaining themselves. It’s safer for everyone that way. The few times they’ve gone to war were not pretty and the Commonwealth almost had to turn on their allies just to stop them from exterminating entire species or scorching entire planets to cinders.

They love stimulation, both mental and physical, and can't understand other species' desire for peace and quiet. Their favorite drink is soda made with a heavy stimulant cocktail and fizz using xenon as well as carbonation. Less fizz, but far more kick. It's said they invented carbonation before the wheel, and their version of hell serves only soggy food.

Tik-Tkeks are large, hyperactive arachnids. Two to three foot body length, but leg-span can stretch out five to six feet. They have bony legs with leathery webbing between the first few joints. Their ancestors could glide long distances like a flying squirrel, but now they only have limited parachute ability, enough to prevent major falling injury. Their version of parachutes extend their natural webbing outward more like a wing suit than a separate umbrella. They have two grasping digits on each of eight legs.


Culture

They are comfortable in dense populations, and their buildings and cities show an indifference to orientation. Both interior and exterior walls and ceilings are covered in some form of handholds (often disguised as protruding decoration). Rooms and hallways are expansive to allow large amounts of "foot" traffic, which also allows easy movement of larger species. However, vertical movement becomes problematic, especially for species with poor climbing ability. Any building too short to rate a proper elevator or equivalent is difficult to reach. They tend toward knobbed pulley systems rather than escalators, and their version of stairwells look more like a rock-climbing gym in a silo.

Honoring The Dead

Tik don't believe in souls or afterlives. They view corpses as nothing more than piles of rotting meat. The person once hosted in the body now lost forever. They don't have funerals. They have little fear of dying, only in suffering before they go. They accept death as an unfortunate disappointment, and move on in a matter of hours, or even minutes. However, they still view an ending as an important moment, just like a beginning, and those witnessing that ending honor the occasion with an awful screeching noise that sounds like nails on a chalkboard. It's as much a celebration and cheer for the deceased's life, now completed, as it is a farewell. When a Tik dies during the Highfall festival, witnessed by thousands of spectators, the farewell screech can be deafening, even traumatic, for alien visitors.