- --ORIGIN: The Barometta appear to have been created artificially in a secret underground laboratory nestled deep in a mountain range, far away from colonial settlements. The facility had already been thoroughly ransacked upon discovery and all logs discovered were damaged or incomplete, but the skeletons of the former staff were recovered: Conjecture posits that the project lead was a particularly lonely and morally dubious former Miniknog scientist looking to create his perfect alien waifu/harem, but the initial specimens began to reproduce out of control and lax containment protocols allowed them to overrun the lab- as many as several dozen specimens lived there at once prior to the breach and their escape into the wilderness. Independent examination has declared the predominant cause of death among the scientists "Snu-snu".
- --HOMEWORLD: A lush, verdant planet orbiting a gentle star, and covered in rolling, grassy hills and majestic mountains. Idyllic and Earth-like, it was already subject to colonization by Humans and Avians before the Barometta emerged, and became the subject of Glitch visitation and colonization shortly thereafter.
- --BIOLOGY: Despite their appearance, Barometta were actually derived from a plant native to their homeworld, not mammals, and, despite possessing a functional digestive system, can subsist entirely without food, being capable of photosynthesis and absorption of water and nutrients via osmosis. Similarly, despite all Barometta possessing female sexual characteristics, they are asexual, lacking reproductive organs and actually reproducing by fruiting (see Life Cycle & Reproduction, below). Their wool grows from their heads, backs, ankles, and wrists, but they are otherwise completely hairless- it is heavily insulative, fireproof, and has a strength similar to steel, allowing them to thrive in colder climates.
- Barometta are eyeless, and a form of energy vampire: Due, perhaps, to a flaw in their creation (or their artificial nature), they apparently lack some form of "vital essence" or "life force" that other life forms generate naturally; they refer to this energy as "Mana", and are able to sense the background Mana of nearby plants and animals, using this sense alongside their hearing to navigate. In order to survive, Barometta must absorb Mana from other sentient beings on a regular basis (though they are able to share this energy among themselves): Proximity alone is sufficient to establish a siphon, but contact is more efficient and bodily fluids even more so, being the carriers of Mana energy.
- As a rule, Barometta are extremely social creatures (given that it is possible for one to literally die of loneliness); peaceful, sedate (docile, even), and gregarious, but immodest, impulsive, and somewhat dim, being slow to pick up on new concepts and poor long-term planners or strategists, preferring to focus on short-term gains and comforts. They are significantly stronger and more agile than their stature would suggest, however, and their 360° "vision" makes them difficult to surprise, meaning that those who do elect (or are forced) to fight tend to be quite capable combatants. Psychological disorders are somewhat uncommon, and usually manifest as phobias or nymphomania, though a rare few do develop unnaturally high levels of aggression and psychopathy that compels them to roam the stars as pirates or mercenaries to slake their thirst for Mana with blood.
- --HISTORY & CULTURE: Lacking other factors, Barometta tend organize themselves into loose, nomadic tribes, with decisions made democratically by the group, arbitrated by the eldest, and dissenters breaking off to form a separate tribe if necessary. Such tribes spend much of their time communally grooming, and, with their wool largely obviating the need for clothes, often weave straps, baskets, and other useful fixtures directly onto each others' bodies. The first Barometta existed this way for some time after escaping the laboratory they lived in, hunting and capturing travelers for sustenance, and eventually becoming a regional legend. When pickings in the hinterlands grew scarce, however, they ventured towards civilization; fortunately, an understanding between the Barometta and their neighbors was reached nonviolently, and while the colonists did exploit them at first, they eventually came to understand that their relationship was mutually beneficial, and the Barometta began to truly integrate.
- Desire among community leaders for the Barometta to develop their own cultural identity grew naturally over time, but never really took off until the Glitch settled on the planet- being an artificial machine race that wholly lacked Mana, they were bizarre, unnatural, and invisible to the Barometta, whose initial reaction to them was sheer terror, treating the Glitch (quite ironically) like vampires come to steal their souls. Ultimately, Barometta settlements began imitating the Glitch in a bid to put up a strong front towards them and show that they couldn't be intimidated (even though the Glitch never really intended to in the first place and didn't quite understand what all the fuss was about).
- Naturally, Glitch culture translated through the Barometta lens became softer and comfier- their castles built more for aesthetics than the strength of their walls, and their queens more elected communal organizers than hereditary, iron-fisted arbitrators. Their military development did suffer for this, however, and assaults by pirates and raiders on their largest castle-city, Mouflon, would only be repelled with the assistance of their Human and Avian allies. When conflict later broke out with their Glitch neighbors, and their allies' hands were bound by treaties, the Barometta ended up tearing cannons and weapon emplacements from previously captured and scrapped vehicles and ships, adapting them into man-portable artillery to shell the Glitch warriors from range rather than risk getting anywhere near them- this quickly turned the conflict into a stalemate, with the Glitch unable to advance under heavy bombardment with their medieval weapons and the Barometta unwilling to press a counterattack, and peace was eventually signed. Over time, civilized Barometta populations came to warm up to the Glitch, and dispel some of the myths that cropped up around them.
- With their first self-made military victory, the Barometta (and eventually planetary) capitol's fame quickly spread, their improvised weapons being christened 'Mouflon cannons', and the civilized Barometta even becoming known as 'Mouflon('s) girls' by rural and tribal populations. What little arms manufacturing they possessed became focused on purpose-building personal heavy cannons, and long range suppression and bombardment became their official military doctrine.
- While Mouflon girls do regularly wear clothes, unlike their less developed fellows (with a preference towards fancy, fluffy, and frilly dresses) the quality of their armor is poor, and they're not really any more modest, still having difficulty grasping other cultures' taboos towards public nudity and intimacy.
- --RELIGION: Barometta have no racially or culturally native faith, and tend to adopt the religious beliefs of whatever race(s) they coexist with.
- --LIFE CYCLE & REPRODUCTION: Since Barometta reproduce asexually, fertilizing themselves with large quantities of Mana, they are prone towards bisexuality and polygamy (though many do take male husbands, as their particular bodily fluids contain the highest concentrations of Mana), and typically aren't sexually attracted to others of their own species.
- Children begin life as fuzzy, seedlike pods nestled in the mother's wool, where they usually develop for 5-7 months before disconnecting and rooting to the ground, where they continue to grow for another 6-8 months before "hatching" from the earth, uprooting themselves and being officially 'born'. While their Mana requirements are minimal during their incubation stages, their required intake during their formative years is essentially the same as adults; having spent their infant stage in the ground, they emerge with physical and mental characteristics comparable to pubescents of other species, and the remainder of their physical and mental growth will occur over roughly the next ten years: The former is directly proportional to their Mana intake during this period, so those able to gorge themselves become amazonian, while those starved of Mana will remain neotenous indefinitely.
- Due to their vampiric nature, Barometta do not appear to have a definite lifespan (though this is difficult to gauge, with them having emerged within the past hundred years), and due to the lifecycle factors stated above, they tend to find it quite difficult to grasp sexual concepts and taboos common to other races, such as incest or pedophilia-- it's unknown whether this was a design feature or an unintended consequence of them having broken free in a prototypical state. Biologically speaking, they are a virulent and invasive species whose population growth shows little sign of slowing since they ventured out from their homeworld.
- --RELATIONS: Due to their friendly and inviting nature, Barometta generally like and are liked by other galactic races, despite growing concerns in some circles about their expansion. There are a couple exceptions, however:
- -Glitch: See Culture, above.
- -Florans: The Barometta's view of the Florans was molded by the common colonial sentiment that Florans are aggressive savages, and only compounded by the fact that said Floran savages tend to find them quite delicious, and their young even more so. Like most galactic civilizations, this has colored their view of the race as a whole, and like most others, they tend to be quite nervous in their presence.
- -Novakids: Despite (or, perhaps, due in part to) their relative rarity, Novakids are an extremely popular choice for Barometta mates: They're literally walking fonts of raw Mana, they're not fussy about details, and their tendency towards wanderlust suits adventurous young Barometta just fine. Any Novakid visiting a Barometta settlement almost inevitably attracts hangers-on.
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