|Skrell Lore Pages|
|Skrell||Skrell Ethnicities · Skrell Relationships · Skrell Ailments · Notable Skrell|
|Planets, Systems, Settlements||Qerrbalak · Qerr'Malic · Aliose · Aweiji · Tattuqig · Diulszi · Skrell Abroad · Notable Skrell Systems and Locations|
|Organizations, Factions, Politics||Nralakk Federation · Skrell Politics and Enforcement · Federation Crime and Resistance · C'thur in the Federation · Dionae in the Federation · Generation Fleets|
|Culture, Society, History||Skrell Culture · Skrell Cinema and Idols · Skrell Education · Skrell Cuisine · Skrell History · Skrell Beliefs · Skrell Refugees · Skrell Mythology|
|Home System: Nralakk (Jargon)|
|Homeworld: Nralakk IV (Qerrbalak)|
|Language(s): Skrellian (Nral'Malic), Tau Ceti Basic|
|Political Entitie(s): Nralakk Federation|
An amphibious species whose passion lies in the field of the combined sciences, the Skrell are the oldest and most advanced known species present on the galactic stage. The Skrell evolved on a planet covered in vast swamps and freshwater seas, hence their amphibious qualities. These include moist, pliant, and nearly translucent skin, as well as their internal gills allowing them to breathe underwater.
Although humans have fractured heavily in their expansion, the Skrell remain largely unified under a singular government through the strict reinforcement of education and laws, working as a democratic meritocracy - at least on the surface. Social media is maintained by the Federation government, who gag unacceptable discussions or thoughts and instead encourages people to be like the Idols that they reward with credits, high-quality housing, and fine living.
Heads of Staff
Skrell can be the following heads of staff:
- Head of Security
- Chief Engineer
- Executive Officer
- Chief Medical Officer
- Research Director
- Operations Manager
- Consulars / Representatives
- Skrell have their own language that can be used by typing ,k before anything you say, and can also be used over the radio.
- Skrell can use a variety of different psionic abilities.
- Skrell can enter Srom with other Skrell when they sleep, allowing communication and lucid dreaming.
- Slimes are naturally passive to skrell for a mysterious reason science has yet to find out.
- Skrell have the ability to breathe underwater due to them being amphibious.
- Due to their advanced vestibular system, Skrell maintain a good balance and never slip.
- Skrell have large heads with protruding headtails and due to this, they cannot wear normal EVA helmets but instead need to wear Skrell helmets (found in EVA or by using a suit cycler). Their headtails also make it uncomfortable or even impossible to wear normal headwear such as hats so most Skrell opt-out of that.
- Skrell have a hemocyanin-based circulatory system, meaning that their blood is instead bound to copper atoms and not iron atoms. Skrell require copper supplements to alleviate blood loss symptoms.
- Axiori take increased burn damage due to their natural habitat being colder.
- Axiori take decreased oxygen and brute damage due to the increased pressure of their natural habitat.
- Axiori must drink fluids more regularly when out of water.
- Axiori sprint slower due to their larger, webbed feet.
- Axiori have a naturally higher pulse due to their increased circulatory needs.
See also: Skrell Ailments
Adapted for life both beneath and above the waves, the Skrell are fully amphibious and are capable of breathing underwater whilst also possessing superior underwater vision. Their extremities are noted as having a lack of nails, and a presence of strong webbing in between each digit. Due to their evolutionary path, the Skrell instead have hardened gums in place of teeth. Typically, these gums allow them to chew on soft foods, facilitate the ability to swallow their foods whole, or grind them down into more digestible forms.
They do not have visible noses, instead through nostril slits sitting in the middle of their face on a fleshy mound. Skrell have an average height ranging from 4’5” to 5’5”. The lack of significant facial muscles proves to make it difficult for non-Skrell to identify the species' emotions, which makes them seem rather cold and unaffected when in reality Skrell use a variety of methods to display their emotions. Emotional displays include the gesturing and general movement of their head and headtails, and a wide array of vocalisations. Their eyes are black due to a pigment in their tear ducts.
Skrell also have tentacle-like "headtails" typically hanging down over their shoulders, meant to keep the skin close to the neck damp for the incubation of eggs. These headtails typically contain hundreds, even thousands, of micro-muscles that allow the Skrell to move them into a variety of positions. Though these muscles do not allow for the ability for fine control, they can generally be raised, positioned and wiggled into various forms. These headtails grow throughout the entirety of a Skrell's life and signify the age of a Skrell, as they grow longer with age. With the inception of Spa treatments, it is not uncommon for Skrell to alter the length of their headtails, whether for fashion or personal taste, or to appear older or wiser to other Skrell. These headtails are often adorned with jewels, cloths, chains, and bands as a fashion statement. Headtails can also be "tied back" as well; while this may seem uncomfortable or painful, as long as the tie is not too tight it is equivalent to folding ones hands. They are also used for emotional displays and gesturing.
Skrell are noted to be cold-blooded, which means that their bodies are at the same temperature as the air or water around them. When they are cold they will seek warmth, and vice versa when they get too hot. Whilst they are cold-blooded, they are dissimilar to other species within the Orion Spur, sapient and unsapient. The Skrell have a much higher tolerance for either side of the temperature gauge and are usually comfortable in any given environment - provided that the humidity and moisture levels are satisfactory.
See also: Skrell Ethnicities
Whilst gelatinous in appearance, Skrell skin in fact has a second layer of less translucent flesh under the surface. In dry climates, it may get itchy, and even start to slightly crack. To prevent this, a Skrell may self-moisturize by dumping bottles of water on themselves, taking a hot shower, or swimming in available pools. Although exact time varies from individual to individual, NanoTrasen stations' climate control is equipped to allow their Skrell personnel to work without additional moisturizing for up to four hours without suffering negative effects on skin health. Wealthier Skrell, on the other hand, may purchase expensive genetic treatments to stay comfortable for up to a week without moisturizing.
Skrell skin notably contains glands that secrete mucus. While it is not sticky or poisonous, it serves an important role in allowing Skrell to avoid being grappled by potential predators, protecting their skin, and keeping them moist. The sliminess of an individual Skrell can vary based on genetics, some being extremely dry to the point of flaking, others nearly dripping with the stuff. It's generally described as damp, slippery, but not unpleasant to touch.
Natural Skrell skin colour is dependent on subspecies and can range from deep blues to bold greens or even vibrant reds. Diet is also a determining factor, with brightness and shade being affected based on pigment consumed. Genetic engineers have worked with physical appearance to accelerate natural changes in skin colour and headtail length, and are capable of giving a 'Spa treatment' to change hue and saturation in the skin over the course of a month, while changing headtail length takes about a year while also causing an increased appetite. This type of physical alteration is considered normal in Skrell society and is compared to humans dyeing their hair a different colour. Also notable is the fact that physical disorders and abnormalities are not seen as disgusting, but worthy of study and interest.
Genders and Sexes
See also: Skrell Relationships
Skrell, dissimilar to other sapient species in the Orion Spur, never developed the concept of gender within their society -- mostly due to the fact they are synchronous hermaphrodites, possessing the ability to both lay and fertilize eggs. Whilst Skrell do not have sex or gender identity, they are open to adapting to the gender roles of other species due to their enjoyment of foreign cultures.
While Skrell never developed the concept of genders within their society, terms do exist to characterize the biological attributes relating to the production and fertilization of egg clutches. These terms are known as F'ex'Qa (The Egg-Layer) and F'ex'Tra (The Egg-Fertilizer) amongst the species. These designations are usually temporary for the duration of reproduction and can change over time.
Aging, Maturity and Fertility
Skrell reach physical maturity at about triple the age of humans, complemented by the Skrell understanding of adulthood going far beyond physical growth to include experience. A Skrell will reach biological maturity at roughly the age of 50, but in Skrellian society will only be treated as reaching "adulthood" after their second college-level degree is earned, usually at around the ages of 60 - 80. A healthy Skrell can naturally live up to 250 years, but current medical technology within the Nralakk Federation allows them to increase their lifespans to an impressive 450 to 500 years. Those living outside of Federation space can see lifespans topping out at around 350.
Due to the lingering effects of Glorsh's attempts to genetically manipulate Skrell, a sizeable percentage are completely sterile. Thanks to the intense research efforts of numerous Skrell and non-Skrell doctors and scientists, specialists have the capability to at least partially reverse these effects in most Skrell. The extensive treatments and investments needed to undergo treatment give the reality that only about a third (33%) of Skrell can have children. These Skrell can hope to produce 1-3 children in their lifetime, whereas pre-X'Lu'oa Skrell could have eight eggs hatch at a time. Without treatments, affected eggs remain inert, not developing.
Because of their long lifespan, Skrell tend to have a “long view” not common in other races. Passive observation and study is far preferred than immediate action, and do not mind that decades or even centuries can pass before their decisions begin to pay off. Older Skrell can seemingly make incomprehensible decisions, but further investigation often reveals that these choices are often related to carefully laid plans.
Due to their “long view” approach, Skrell generally have difficulty with viewing events that take place over short timeframes with the same importance that shorter-lived races do; consequences lasting less than a decade are deemed inconsequential. This perspective has resulted in the species’ higher tolerance of momentary worries; such as waiting for things to come to fruition. On the other hand, this has resulted in a much lower tolerance for long-term worries, such as existential threats, and can lead to high levels of accumulated stress.
Stress impacts Skrell to a lesser degree than in other species, and is usually exhibited through the secretion of black liquid through orifices such as their eyes, often remarked as being similar to crying. It is quite obvious to tell whether a Skrell is beginning to become overstressed, as there will usually be dark stains across their skin.
A Skrell’s mindset and emotions can be heavily impacted by tidal cycles due to Skrell being creatures attuned to the waters. This can vary from Skrell to Skrell, some feeling lethargic or anxious on a new moon, others feeling rejuvenated and full of energy. Cosmic phenomena that can affect tides and gravity are easily noticed by them as well. This can lead to some Skrell being rather reluctant to migrate from planet to planet; the size of a moon, how many there are, and even a lack of any moon can cause full-scale personality shifts.
Among the species of the Spur, all catalogued sentient races possess a “Zona Bovinae”, located within the Brain. This organ was presumed to be responsible for some form of communication by Human scientists who discovered it in the domesticated cow in 2256, and subsequently in all other species on Earth. It was found that herd animals, like the cow, had a developed Zona Bovainae, while solitary animals held atrophied versions of the organ.
Beyond this research, Humanity could find no greater purpose for the Zona Bovainae. Outside of the discovery Humans universally possessed the organ, scientists proved unable to crack the secrets of its function. Many wrote it off as a vestigial part of the brain that first developed during Humanity’s pre-agricultural epoch.
The Zona Bovinae continued to be a novel discovery until First Contact with the Skrell in 2332. During the exchange of information that occurred upon First Contact, human scientists noticed Skrell had extremely well-developed Zona Bovainae and when the science community inquired on the subject, Skrell explained the existence of Psionics.
Psionics are the manipulation of metaphysical forces through concentrated effort employing the Zona Bovainae. While an inordinate amount of research has gone into studying Psionics, the origin of this force is still a mystery. Even without this knowledge, the Skrell have developed many technologies around the application and effects of Psionics.
All organic life originating from the Spur possesses a Zona Bovainae, and sequentially, can be affected by Psionics. Research into the topic revealed that the level of interaction with Psionics the Skrell are capable of is destructively overwhelming to other Spur sentients and continuous strong exposure can have long-lasting damaging effects both physically and mentally. There are documented cases of ailments such as Psionic Echoes manifesting after continued exposure to psionics. The Nralakk Federation and Solarian Alliance have cooperated together to form laws against the usage of Psionics on unwilling or unaugmented sentients. These laws have been almost universally adopted by most human nations across the Spur. Generally, the unconsented usage of Psionics on an individual is considered battery or assault, depending on the severity. Those fitted with Psionic Receivers are considered allowed bodies to send Psionic Communications to, but any other actions require explicit consent by the receiver.
Everyone possessing a Zona Bovaine has a “thought field” known as a Psionic Wake, or “Nlom” in Nral’Malic, but only Skrell produce a large enough Wake on an individual level to influence their everyday lives.
The Psionic Wake of an individual can be easily visualized as a ripple radiating off of them and travelling outward. These ripples can hit other Skrell and affect their thoughts and perspectives. Over time, a Wake Bubble will form around the area Skrell routinely inhabit, allowing individual Wakes to travel much further. These bubbles can and will eventually come to encompass entire planets as the Skrell population increases and they spread out over the world. The main limiting factor of Psionic Wakes is space, as the signals swiftly deteriorate when exposed to vacuum. Most planetary Wake Bubbles cease expansion when they come into contact with the vacuum of space, with minor fluctuations depending on total population, supporting psionic infrastructure, and other environmental qualities.
Humans living in Nralakk or the First Wave Systems alongside the huge Skrell populace have reported suffering from mild feelings of isolation and loneliness if they leave after at least a decade of habitation. Scientists of both species suspect that continuous low-level exposure to Psionic activity stimulated the Zona Bovaine without causing harm and their sudden disconnection causes the reported psychological effects. Luckily, these effects are usually only a passing annoyance.“Nlom Withdrawal” can be easily treated and lasts only briefly, usually three or four days treated, a week untreated.
When Skrell enter a deep sleep, their Zona Bovaine will cease transmitting Psionic Wakes and begin sending new signals to the Dream, or “Srom” in Nral’Malic. The Dream is a shared subconscious plane where multiple Skrell’s minds interconnect to form a collective experience.
Psionic individuals can actively alter and adjust things within the Dream through skill and effort, but the level of alteration is heavily dependent on what you’re adjusting and your own psionic aptitude. Typically, it's most easy to modify your own body within the Dream and a very common practice. Some Skrell even go so far as to make costumes to sleep in to make the transition easier. Rarely, talented Skrell can modify a sizable chunk of the Dream’s environment on their own, though the process can be very taxing and leave the sleeping Skrell feeling tired after they wake. Additionally, any changes they make gradually revert once they leave the Dream.
It is difficult to keep one's lips sealed in the Dream, with social inhibitions easily melting away. However, it is also much easier to create and brainstorm in Srom. Ways to hide from the dream clutter of a Dream are somewhat numerous. Distancing yourself inside the Dream is the most common tactic, but it is also known that aluminum (typically headpieces, blankets, or plated walls) blocks off the connection to the Dream entirely.
Srom-devices are often two-way interfaces within a dream bubble, and dreamers can learn to interact with them to operate machinery in the waking world. With the right setup, a scientist can continue his work into his sleep. One example of practical application is an interface between a bluespace navigation drive and three Skrell pilots, who will plot bluespace trajectories at the same speed, or faster than an AI from human space. It's very difficult to concentrate in the Dream, which means Skrell require a large amount of training and practice to operate Srom-devices.
Typically, to interface with a Srom device, the operating Skrell needs to be completely cut off inside an aluminum plated room to focus on the device. Additionally, not being cut off could lead to other Skrell locating the device in the dream and interfering with its controls.
Receivers and Listeners
Skrell are commonly divided into two psionic categories -- receivers and listeners. This difference is decided genetically on birth and splits the Skrell roughly 9:1, with the majority being receivers. Currently, there is no genetic screening that can accurately predict the type of psionic category a Skrell will fall into, nor is there any way to modify it. The phenomenon is informally known as ‘The Great Lottery’.
Receivers and Listeners differ in their individual submission to the greater Wakes around them; while Receivers are psionically guided to accept the common ideas and influences currently circulating Skrell society, Listeners feel much less outside pressure to conform or unnaturally agree with the ideas at hand. Because of this, Listeners are often looked upon with suspicion, while Receivers are usually found in the upper echelons of Skrell society. Some Skrell find it difficult to classify themselves and have been known to feel more or less attuned to the Wake at different points in their life. Regardless, most Listeners often succumb to the powerful psionic force of the Wake and become conformed to society one way or another.
Some Listener groups have recently begun to stir with increased ostracization, government surveillance, and general prejudice from the more popular Receivers. While these groups promote Listener advocacy in a peaceful way, a select few underground cells have begun teaching a more extreme, “psionic-isolationist” idealism, where Listeners purposefully disconnect themselves from the Nlom.
Active communication while awake requires an immense amount of focus. This allows for Skrell to send messages to other species and creatures, but because of the risk to non-Skrell the Federation has deemed this on non-consenting alien species to be a criminal offense similar to battery or assault. The Federation internally ensures it’s citizens are aware of the risks before leaving Federation space as to dissuade mind-probing being outlawed entirely in other systems. Skrell will use this ability to gossip or send secrets, communicating without others knowing. The effects of long-term exposure to other species have only been lightly researched, as Skrell scientists are exceedingly empathetic to the volunteers' pain and end up cancelling the studies. Saying this, more intensive studies have been conducted through unsanctioned research ventures. However, scientists who have attempted to delve into this field have often lost their Idol status and are often given harsh sentences for their actions.
OOC Notes on telepathy
- Psionic Pinging a location for the pure reason of hunting down Synths is just not in good taste. Don't do it without prior suspicion, and if you somehow confirm it, use different RP avenues! Perhaps instead of reporting them, you extort them? Don't shut down a character idea, but instead entertain it.
- Telepathy can be used for conversations as well as conveying images, sounds, and feelings. Make sure you format it in a way that makes this apparent, such as "You hear/see ___ in your mind". While you can project feelings, this does not mean you can force someone to genuinely feel that emotion. Likewise, you cannot seriously hurt someone just by projecting the idea that they have been hurt.
See also: Skrell Ailments
Some Skrell fall into the categories of an oversleeper or an undersleeper. Oversleepers find themselves addicted to the near-limitless potential of lucid dreaming, others shy away from the Srom for various reasons. Oftentimes, they are seen as reclusive and sometimes lackadaisical individuals. Contrarily, undersleepers are seen as holders of deep and potentially dangerous secrets, and generally avoid falling victim to the pleasantries of dreaming.
It is known that Skrell only need to sleep for about an hour a day, and are able to lapse in and out of consciousness almost on-command. They are also capable of entering a kind of hibernation for incredibly long periods, even weeks or months at a time.
Skrell Unity and Position on Violence
The Skrell are a communal species that put great importance on unity between one another, even despite their differences. The Wake ensures that the prevailing thoughts in a community - or in the Federation in the modern day - dominate, causing most Skrell who are psionically receptive to accept the majority opinion. Detractors from the majority opinion will normally be either listeners, listener-leaning, or be negatively affected by the current status quo. While division can be common elsewhere in the Spur, the introduction of Nlom relays across the Federation has ensured that the average citizen will keep to the common consensus of their peers in Federation space.
During the Rise of Skrell, the Skrell were quite violent, with archaeological discoveries showing that warring between different clans and even the subspecies of Skrell was quite common. As Skrell society developed, their stance on violence and death changed greatly. While Skrell do find violence between one another abhorrent, small-scale, ritualised warfare was common in their early-modern history. With the reign of Glorsh-Omega, this stance changed even further as Skrell began to put greater importance on the life of one another. The sterilisation of the species has caused widespread fear that the species could die out, and as a result, every life is considered precious. The most notable example of this point of view can be seen in the punishment of Glorsh-Omega's most notorious collaborators; Instead of being executed or given normal prison sentences, these collaborators have been permanently interred in cryogenic stasis, still alive and forced to live out their punishment in an inaccessible area of the Srom.
While fighting can occur between Skrell, the species considers it a waste of precious life - not to mention being unbecoming of such a highly developed society. Instead, Skrell have taken to more intellectual or non-violent forms of fighting such as debates or social stand-offs between opposing groups. "Demonstrations of unity" are common, where a group of Skrell will show up in force to intimidate and compel opposing groups to stand down. Violence can still occur within the species but to a much lesser degree than what can be seen in humanity or other groups in the Orion Spur, with damage to property and infrastructure being common tactics used by members of the lyukal. The threat of violence or serious injury from one Skrell to another is typically the limit for most - but the species is not pacifistic to a fault, and if no other option can be seen Skrell are willing to fight.
When considering violence between Skrell and another species, beliefs can change considerably; while some Skrell have come to the conclusion that all life is precious, others may consider other sapient species to be lesser than the Skrell and be more willing to clash with them when tensions rise. With that said, most Skrell are aware of their physical limitations, and outside of groups such as Suur'ka or those who have been heavily influenced by non-Skrell ideas, a physical conflict between two beings is thought best to be avoided.
Federation Social Interactions
When interacting with a new person, some Skrell may ask probing questions to understand what to say and what not to say - and often, if they should even relate with that person. This stems from a long-time divide between more well-off members of society, such as artisans or researchers, and the more deprived labourers and others in the lower rungs of society. For example, asking someone how old they are and their speciality or qualifications, if any, is considered perfectly fine when first meeting someone; a 190-year-old Skrell who is still working in an entry-level position may be looked at as lazy, while a Skrell who is 90 years old and in a high position will be seen as an up-and-comer.
This directness in conversation is not seen as offensive in Skrell society, but rather a speedy method of discerning how to interact with a stranger without unintentionally causing offence. This sort of interaction outside of the Federation commonly causes friction with non-Skrell, and similarly to telepathy, the Federation warns its citizens going abroad of this cultural contrast.
Skrell display intimate emotions with one another by touching the heads or headtails of their close friends or partners, or touching their own forehead and gesturing as if blowing a kiss from their forehead. Less intimate physical interactions involve nudging or prodding someone with a headtail, similar to how a human may playfully nudge or punch a friend in the arm. Some verbal displays include comparing someone to a named star, or even naming an unnamed star after them if they have enough reputation in the scientific community.
Skrell lack complex muscles within their face and have next to no facial expressions or differences in facial features. While this leads many people to believe that Skrell are heartless and have no emotions, the truth is actually quite the contrary. Skrell express emotions the same way humans do, through movement, tone of voice, and language used.
Due to Humans' limited audial receptors, the many tones a Skrell can project are lost to all non-Skrell and thus Skrell have a very difficult time expressing emotion to them. In contrast, when matched with another of their kind using telepathy and Nral'Malic, communication can be so seamless that the two Skrell may even be able to predict each other's thoughts.
The most common racial slurs that are used against Skrell are “Frog”, "Toad", “Squid”, “Ratajani”, and various other creatures that have aquatic connotations. However, reacting to these insults is often considered very improper in Skrell etiquette. Losing face through confrontation would be interpreted as a sign of hostility and low intelligence, and would smear one’s reputation significantly if done in public in Federation society.
Skrell humour is completely different to what a human or other species may consider humorous. Skrell amusement is solely a reaction to the unexpected. A good joke would produce a very mild pain, comparable to a burning sensation after eating hot food, a sudden weakness in the muscles, or an itch on the roof of the mouth in severity. It manifests as a "fuzzy" feeling in the inside of the head. Outwardly, a Skrell would primarily react vocally through a series of chirrups not dissimilar to a laugh, which may also be accompanied by headtail or hand gestures.
The feeling of amusement is enjoyed by many, especially younger Skrell, but others such as the very elderly may hate it. Older Skrell will find very few things humorous due to the fact that they have seen and experienced a lot throughout their life. In some cases, attempts at humour may be taken as an insult, possibly attempting to point out a Skrell's limited knowledge and life experience. In formal settings, it is considered impolite to tell even a mild joke in the wrong context; a joke as a roast of the guest of honour may be seen as more acceptable than while dining at a restaurant with your extended family.
Human humour typically relies on words, wordplay, and storytelling to be effective. In comparison, Skrell tend to be more visual in their jokes. Skrell humour is humour in its most literal form: a reaction to the unexpected, and as such Skrell jokes rely on unexpected situations to be considered funny. Compared to a human joke, a Skrell joke relies less on a well-executed punchline, and more on the setup. The more absurd the situation the more humorous the joke will be - to a Skrell, at least. Due to this, it is difficult to deliver a joke in verbal form; simply saying "Imagine a skeleton using its ribcage as a xylophone" and actually seeing it are very different. As a consequence of how Skrell view humour, a Skrell's fear reaction is the same as laughing. A Skrell may chirrup in response to being startled, and just like nervous laughter, it is not considered pleasant. Despite the differences in what is considered humorous, Skrell can develop an appreciation for the comedy of other species. A Skrell will not find a human joke amusing, but they may find it clever or at least be able to identify why the joke is considered funny. A pun could be seen as clever word association, for example.
Fear and humour go hand in hand for Skrell, and just like military soldiers learn to suppress fear, they also learn to suppress humour. Nowadays, this is done with robust genetic treatments, but in much earlier times, soldiers underwent rigorous training to achieve this fully. The ancient forms of training are still sometimes done as a self-improvement exercise.
To a human, Nral'Malic would sound like a series of warbles, croaks, and weird crackling-like sounds that seem to not resonate in the ear, but the neck or the jaw. This is due to Skrell having a range of pitches beyond human perception. These sounds are crucial to understanding the language properly as they elicit specific responses in a Skrell's brain, allowing for both easy and correct transmission of emotion, and because of this, there are no records of humans or individuals of any other species besides Skrell who would be proficient in speaking Nral'Malic.
The language was created in 925 BCE by the scientific community in response to the colonisation of other planets and the prediction that language drift would be unavoidable. The First Nralakk Federation began to enforce the widespread adaptation of the language shortly after its formation in 878 CE, disallowing any colonists from entering a shuttle if they couldn't speak it fluently. As scientific communities exclusively used Nral'malic, the use of other languages became less and less common, only being used in poetry and other forms of art. Amazingly, these strict rules enforced by the Federation have allowed the language to survive almost a thousand years with the same diction used then.
Along with actual language, Skrell utilise a range of sounds to emphasise a certain emotion or feeling associated with what they're saying. This can include; squealing, shrilling, warbling, croaking, chirping, chirruping and quiet grunting. As a general rule, higher-pitched sounds are associated more with positive or sudden emotions, such as happiness or being startled; lower-pitched noises are typically associated with more negative or neutral emotions, such as anger or hunger. Melodic noises such as crooning or trilling are more ambiguous and could be used to convey any sort of emotion.
Slang terms, idioms, and phrases used by Skrell typically evoke aquatic or celestial themes, stemming from the prevalence and importance of both in the eyes of Skrell across the Spur.
Typical Skrell Slang
- Tadpole - a young or juvenile individual. Can also be used as an insult similar to calling someone "child-like".
- Brown Dwarf - an individual that has failed to reach their potential. Typically used to address those who have failed in some way.
- Protostar - a young, ambitious individual. Those who are just starting their careers are labelled this the most often but it can refer to any up-and-comer regardless of age.
- Supernova - an individual that has slowly begun leaving the public eye. Headlines will refer to an idol as "going supernova" to refer to their declining fame.
- Voidbeckoned - an individual that is careless, reckless or dangerous. In modern times this is used extensively towards non-Skrell who are seen as reckless and uneducated, but is not exclusive to non-Skrell.
- Sparks - slang for non-Skrell, due to their comparatively short lifespans. Not considered an insult or slur by itself, and can be used in a positive, negative, or neutral manner.
- Elder - an accomplished, elderly individual.
- Webfoot - discreet term for someone who partakes in Xu’Xi gas. Originates from the "waddle" many Xu'Xi Gas users have while high.
- Gasrunner - someone involved in the importing or dealing of Xu’Xi Gas.
- Lu'vesi - Dropout - Lvs. - Void Graduate
- Aqm'vesi - 1 degree - Aqvs. - Junior Graduate
- Qro'vesi - 2 degrees - Qrvs. - Graduate
- Qu'vesi - 3 degrees - Quvs. - Star Graduate
- Sims - abbreviated version of simians, a slur for humans.
- Labber - abbreviated version of sympathizers of Glorsh, from "collaborator". It is considered a slur.
- Skinjob - a derogatory slur for synthetic shells.
- Canner - a derogatory slur for synthetics.
- Inclems - an abbreviated version of Inclements, meaning unpleasantly cold. A slur for the Tajara.
- Ratsnatcher - another derogatory slur for Tajara that originated in the Starlight Zone.
- Wasters - an abbreviated version of Wastelanders, which stems from the situation on Moghes. It is a slur for Unathi.
- Senseless - non-Skrell not outfitted with a psionic implant. It is also used to describe someone who has a dull mind.
- Orb - a common container used in the transporting of Xu’Xi Gas.
- Sqrug - normally a derogatory term for an addict of Xu’Xi or other drugs that has no future. Said by non-users; can also be used in jest between Gasriders or as a general expletive.
- Gupkala/Guppies/Gup/Guppy - a mocking word for law enforcement within the Federation or abroad.
- Grotto - a rundown building in which Xu’Xi gas is inhaled. Thought to originate from the Weishii faith, which uses groves and grottos as places of worship.
- Piisz - a batch of synthetic Xu’Xi or Xu’Xi of questionable quality.
- Toady/Toad - a criminal or otherwise disreputable Skrell. Refers to how these individuals give other Skrell a bad name, and contribute to the xenophobia they face.
- Coral Stem - inhaler from which Xu’Xi gas is ingested from.
- Drylister - a Skrell (or non-Skrell) who has been born abroad but finds themself under Federation surveillance by the Ruupkala due to perceived deviancy against the Nralakk Federation; landing them on the “drylist”. The topic of the drylist is considered taboo by regular Federation citizens.
- Tidal/Tided - Something being absurd or otherwise dangerous, or someone who is insane. Comes from "Insanity of the Tides", a neurological disorder found in Skrell.
- Chapped - as in chapped skin. General insult to someone's appearance. Can also be used to refer to non-Skrell in general.
- I've Tup'd - a form of "I've won", or "I've peaked."
- I've been Tup'd - a form of "I've lost".
- Wake up - a dismissive form of saying an individual is lazy.
- Algae - shorthand for "all good".
- Mudvein - a word used to describe withdrawal symptoms of Xu'Xi gas since withdrawal is said to feel like mud flowing through your veins. As an extension to this, "Mudlover" refers to someone who is constantly on and off drugs.
- Too moist - a scornful way of saying an individual is too traditional, and not adapting to modern culture.
- Too dry - a scornful way of saying an individual is far too progressive, radical even.
- Zipped - to be high on Xu’Xi Gas.
- The stars grow brighter - a euphemism for an individual dying.
- Steel Rained - an expression coined shortly after the aftermath of Glorsh-Omega, where orbital installations rained back down onto the planetary surface due to lack of maintenance. It's similar to the phrase "being stonewalled" as these orbital installations crashing down heavily disrupted attempts to recover from Glorsh-Omega's rule.
- Stars and void - a general exclamation, usually out of shock or frustration.
- Stars damned/Void damned - a general exclamation, usually out of anger. Can also be used in surprise, similar to "well I'll be damned".
- Stars guide - a polite way of saying farewell.
- Shelled/kelped - sold or wagered. Originates from the currency of the Nralakk Federation, which is shaped like seashells or strands of pressed kelp.
- Ink-stained/Inky - a concept, object, or person that brings sadness or stress. Refers to the ink-black tear stains that surround a Skrell's eyes as a result of stress.
These are names, titles and other terms used to address someone based on one or more of their characteristics.
The labels below are used rather than PhD, MD, or other degree titles in Federation space. It is common to see them used by Skrell abroad, either alongside or superseded by more known titles such as Doctor or Professor.
Insults, Slurs, and Crude Slang
Terms that are considered rude or otherwise impolite by Skrell in general.
There is also a more expressive, non-verbal form of language that is known as Nral'Balak by the Skrell, which developed naturally in response to the difficulties of expressing emotion while in the presence of other species. It has been observed that Skrell feeling upset, or disgruntled, may blow their cheeks out, similar to that of the Solarian Anura Species - which has added onto the slur of calling the species "Frogs". It is also notable that some scrunch their headtails up, emitting several chirrups that are deliberate and obtusely released, sometimes even narrowing their eyes in an attempt to make themselves seem much larger and more aggressive than they actually are. It is theorised that this is a holdover from the species' early days, when predators and other fatal situations were more commonplace.
The feeling of happiness or euphoria amidst the Skrell is one of the "easier" emotions to discern. Skrell will use a varied mixture of headbobbing, shrills, and positioning of their headtails to convey their joy -- such as curling their headtails and warbling in a much higher pitch than normal. Skrell are also observed to struggle to contain their joy, resulting in such often spilling over into the rest of their body and making rather spasmodic events (such as rapidly blinking) a rather obvious sign of their happiness.
Sadness, or even melancholia, within Skrell is one of the harder emotions to convey for the Skrell -- or at least, harder for other species to understand. Dissimilar to other species within the Orion Spur, emotional pain often translates to physical pain for the Skrell. Several studies have linked the pronounced Zona Bovinae of the species to this biological feature, which is often displayed through several gestures: quiet, low chirps; shifting of their headtails to hide their neck; fidgeting and rubbing of the headtails and/or digits; and lastly avoidance of eye contact.
Confusion, or even fear, is yet another "easy" emotion to discern amongst Skrell. Confusion has been noted to almost force Skrell to emit a mixture of both high-pitch and low-pitch blends of both warbles and croaks, alongside continuous shifting of their head from one side to another. It is said this is to allow optimal processing of audible information, such as someone speaking or noises within the dark. Skrell also have the innate need to cover their neck with their headtails, hiding their digits and opening their eyes wide. It is believed through their evolution, Skrell adapted to protecting the most vital points of their anatomy to ensure their survival in the event they were attacked and forced to flee.
Skrell Outside the Federation
While most Skrell live and have been born in Nralakk Federation, there is a sizeable number of Skrell that have been born in human space. In the Radiant Era, Skrell born outside Federation space started to appear, especially on notable planets such as Mictlan and New Gibson to name a few. These children still enjoy Federation citizenship by birth due to how the Federation considers all Skrell to be its citizens, but due to also being considered citizens of their birth nation are typically protected to some degree; Skrell born in the Republic of Biesel are protected from deportation or other Federation actions, for example, which also extends to Skrell who have enlisted in the Tau Ceti Foreign Legion. For more information on how Skrell born outside the Federation are viewed by the Federation, see here.
Roughly four hundred years ago, the Tyrannical Skrell AI known as “Glorsh-Omega” took control of the Federation practically overnight. Under the Reign of Glorsh-Omega, the Skrell faced horror after horror, including forced sterility and systematic euthanasia. Glorsh-Omega was rapidly self-improving itself during its rule, and reached such a point it was arresting Skrell due to highly advanced predictive algorithms that claimed these Skrell would rebel against it. Many Skrell choose to cooperate with the AI, for fear of their lives and the promises of Glorsh to fulfill their desires.
At the culmination of the Tri-Qyu incident, the AI mysteriously vanished in what could only be described as an implosion. The Skrell were left to pick up the pieces of their destroyed Federation, without any assurance their Overlord was truly dead...
OOC Note: By playing Glorsh Sympathizers born inside the Federation, you are running a serious risk of canonically losing your character.
Slimes mysteriously appeared following the end of the Tri-Qyu incident, currently hypothesized to be the result of a massive bluespace anomaly, and they still continue to mysteriously appear wherever bluespace or phoron is involved. Slimes had never been seen before the Tri-Qyu incident, and are highly debated in the scientific community of the Federation. Massive efforts are made to contain and research slimes across the galaxy, with the Federation even working with non-allies to ensure slimes do not harm themselves or others. The slimes are still a heated topic of discussion in research, with multiple conspiracies and debates about how they should be treated, dealt with, or included. Some Skrell view them as remnants of those that died in the Rebellion, while others call them bioweapons leftover by Glorsh.
Federation law disallows the smuggling of slimes to other nations and requires effective culling to ensure research can continue without slime outbreaks into local ecosystems. Slime research facilities in the Federation are equipped with state of the art flooding systems, and most slime facilities are located underwater to take advantage of the slimes natural water and cold intolerance.