Habitat and conditioning[edit | edit source]
They have great intelligence and adaptability. This included adapting to constant radioactive emissions, through the ability to absorb electrostatic energy from the environment. This requirement was essential for their development in such an inhospitable world.
They began their interstellar empire on Xiclotl, a planet in the same solar system as Shaggai. It was conquered and its native inhabitants were enslaved using their advanced technology and unique physical talents. By building a huge city on the planet and posts on nearby worlds, it was the starting point for the empire of the shans, as well as their first experiment with enslavement.
The species was brought to the brink of extermination by a cataclysm: an orbital shift, possibly caused by the collision of an asteroid (apparently the Outer God Ghroth), brought Shaggai dangerously close to its stars. The planet began to be bombarded by massive doses of radiation that destroyed the atmosphere wreaking havoc on most native beings. However, there came a time when survival on the planet became impossible. With their home world about to be swallowed up by the star that once served as their sustenance, the insects from Shaggai boarded their starfleet and embarked on a mass migration to colonize a new home. In the evacuation, the insects used temples in whose construction an indestructible gray material was used.
When Shaggai was destroyed, the survivors of Shaggai moved to the planet to live with their companions, as well as others from the rest of their empire. It was decided that Xiclotl would be the planet that would serve as the center of his power. Thus, the Shans stayed there for a time until they discovered what kind of religion their slaves professed. So they took a ship to find a less "polluted" place. Even today, the Shans continue to use the natives of the planet as slaves and guards, and often bring them to Earth (where they arrived shortly after for their needs.)
Physical description[edit | edit source]
They have the dimensions of a land bird (a pigeon is a good comparison), with an increase in the size of the wingspan with its open wings, which can reach up to half a meter. They are clumsy and move slowly. The body is divided into three segments and protected by a reddish-brown exoskeleton similar to that of terrestrial insects. Protects from blows and provides some resistance to adverse conditions. On the back and head they have rough and long fibers, which collect the radiation of sunlight to transform it into food. Fully photosynthetic, they need to feed in this way at least once every five Earth days.
They have five pairs of jointed legs. Near the legs, they have tentacles that perform the basic functions of grasping and manipulating. Since these appendages are prehensile and very sensitive they are used as tactile tools. They have two pairs of thin wings of a leathery material, located on the back of their body. They are normally picked up and folded in places below your exoskeleton. This mechanism protects them from damage caused by external agents. They are capable of flapping so fast that they appear invisible. Under normal conditions, they can fly at a speed of up to 40 kilometers per hour and remain suspended in the air. The autonomy of flight depends on each individual, but in general they can use their wings for relatively long periods (two or three hours without interruption).
They do not have antennas, but they have a device capable of recognizing the environment. This is distributed in three rounded sections. They do not feed on solid matter: their mouth openings serve primarily to hold long, tubular structures coiled inside. To determine a smell they extend these "tongues" towards the object in question, and the nerve endings perform a double function, corresponding to the senses of smell and touch. They are able to be guided by the variations of electromagnetic waves. They have multi-faceted eyes; two pairs distributed throughout the head, provide a very efficient peripheral vision. Unable to send out vocal sounds, they communicate exclusively through telepathy.
A notable feature is that they have a brain structure made up of three brains: this allows them to focus their attention on multiple activities without reducing their efficiency in any of them, as well as to cast up to three spells at the same time, at least in the case that the shan is well versed in magical arts.
Society[edit | edit source]
They are hermaphrodites, but they need partners to fertilize a container that contains their eggs. This is generally located at the base of the tentacles. This bag of eggs is placed in a safe place where the young can hatch after fertilization. Each litter generates between two and eight larvae. Immediately after hatching, the larvae eat each other, until only one is left. It takes a few years to develop the ability to keep up with solar radiation. Until then, it feeds on small creatures.
Having developed a peculiar taste for violence, sadism and pain, his psychology is completely alien to human eyes: he lacks any recognizable human ethics. Their sadistic imagination is often put into practice using a host, preferably a conscious one, from which they derive satisfaction from their electromagnetic impulses in the brain. The relationship is completely parasitic. While inhabiting a human host, the shan has some control over the host's actions.
Apart from a few heretics, the shans are divided into two factions: the devout fanatics of Azathoth's avatar Xada Hgla who wish to eliminate all other sects, and a faction of amoral hedonists whose main purpose is to find new experiences, usually from cruel or depraved character.