The Graxit (Grax for singular) are a large anthropromorphic species that comes from the planet Shex. Renowned for their aggressive nature, 4 independent Graxit empires occupy at least three solar systems. Inbetween periods of interstellar conflict between the nations, the growth of their species as a whole seems to slow down significantly. A fact which hasn't proven to be a problem for the Graxit, as they've been fighting amoungst themselves long before their discovery of space flight.
Like all life-forms that developed on Shex, Graxit reproduce sexually. However, instead of having merely two sexes, four sex types have developed. Initially lacking any sex a Grax may become a lilex, srex, lelix, or srosx. The sex type that a Grax will become is directly dependent on the number of other sex types that are present in a community. If there is an imbalance between the sexes a neutral will develop into it's required niche by subconciously detecting chemicals released by each sex. Once a neutral has developed it cannot revert or change into a different sex.
Visually it is incredibly difficult to differentiate the sexes, as most of the sexual differences are located on the torso and lower body. While a Grax may present itself as a certain 'gender' via head decoration, these vary depending on cultural group, and given the sheer number of cultures in each town, country, continent and planet, even a Grax may be confused at times.
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Graxit reproduction begins with the lilex and lelix. The lilex is a roamer type, that moves from one community group to another, filtering the genetic information of it's brood throughout the species. The arrival of a new lilex traditionally initiates a period of breeding. However if there are too many lilex and not enough lelix, fighting will occur. Lilex will breed with the superior lelix and keep the sperm alive in a cavity. They begin the germinate with eggs within this cavity.
Lilex attempt to impress any local srex. Intercourse will transfer the germinating liquids into the srex. Within the Srex a germinating fetus will develop a protective bag. A srex may have a number of these fetal bags within him at any one time. Lilex remain in the community and will follow the srex and help in anyway it can.
As these bags remain in the srex, more genetic information is added to the potential young. While this may seem bizarre, the number of variable genes present will help keep the community group varied and flexible if lelix from afar were to stop arriving frequently. The srex will then remove the bags and place them in piles before the srosx.
A srosx will choose piles of young that are larger, however the young will not develop within the Grax body. Rather a space (hole) is chosen that can contain the young while they grow, the srosx will then fill it with amniotic fluid. Early srosx dug holes straight into the dirt, filled them with fluid, put the bags of young into them, and then moved on to produce more holes for future suitors. The growing young will be cared for by the srex and lilex who partook in their conception.
Taller than the average Cradian, a Grax on average will measure up to 1.8 meters in height. It is frequently assumed that as a species they possess two pairs of arms. While rare, Graxit born this way are often highly skilled fighters. The pigment of their skin is frequently a tint between blue and green, which varies depending on ethnicity and climate. Their hands consist of two large digits that achieve tasks by pinching, wrapping or clasping. The feet appear similar to the hands, featuring two digits, fused with limited dexterity.
The ocular capacity of a Grax is greatly enhanced by the presence of a third eye that resides in the 'forehead' region. The developement for such an addition is considered entirely the result of the mandible positioning. Many life forms of the Grentacious family (of which the Graxit are) retain the trait of multiple 'eyes'. It would seem that the benefit of being able to see while the mouth was open greatly outweighed the cost of such additions. The mouth of the Graxit has five 'jaws' with two smaller sub mandibles that seem to be residual feeding tools from an age before the Graxit learnt to stand on two legs.
On the top of a Grax head is an expansive tissue that merges in pigment with the top 'jaw'. The purpose of which is currently unknown. In theory the material is a cooling and warming mechanic, but others theorise that the substance is purely for attracting and appealing to a mate. The shape of the 'lix' is often changed from it's natural positioning on the head. Grax frequently group the tissue into a point. Graxit in military forces are forced to maintain a very short length. The process of this involves cutting the tissue off and 'raking', a phrase coined by Cradians to highlight the similarity and painful difference between this practice and the combing of hair.
Early Graxit CultureEdit
Shex during primitive times was intensely dangerous place as an overwhelming number of species relied on killing to survive. Dominant herbivores had no natural predators due to a sudden drop in climate, resulting in a chaotic change of ecosystem. This period lasted for 2 million years, a during this time it is theorised that the dominant method of sexual reproduction developed on the planet. Having as many adults working together to survive and protect young, was ultimately the most effective survival technique. In a world where the sheer density of life-forms living around you would try to eat you and your young, lone parents quickly became extinct.
Given the number of Graxit born with every pregnancy, populations quickly boomed and expanded. They found that moving into clearings increased the likelyhood of survival, as they could see clearer and farther. Given their disposition to digging holes for their young, they soon piled up mounds of dirt to see over the tall grass to detect oncoming threats. From this point they realised that being higher up in general meant for easier protection, resulting in the early development of tall mud forts jutting out of the plain lands of Shex.
With populations that quickly grow and realising the use of changing the landscape, early Graxit started diverting rivers through the plains. This allowed them to build more mud structures, but they naturally aimed for large communal spaces given their growing psychological bonds between one another. It is at this point that languages started forming, another tool to assist in the production of the mud towers and mud farms. This period of developement is considered to have spanned over 200 years, language only just begining to develop towards the end. Such a progression from animalistic beginings in a short period of time seems to many as unrealistic, suggesting that there must have been other elements effecting their progression. One theory suggests that Graxit had the potential to advance from the forest for a number of thousand years, but given their height they were easily spotted by plains predators. As a slight weather fluctuation occured, the grass in the field grew taller than ever before, forcing the plains predators to return to the jungle, and allowing the Graxit to escape from the heavily populated forests. Upon producing these collosal structures of dried mud meshed together with plain grass, the large populations started noticing the large plains herbivores being drawn to the artificial rivers. Many of these collosal animals even became stuck in the mud farms. With only the tools they had used to dig the mud, Graxit assailed the beasts, learning that this new weaponry was preferential to their own claws.
From this point onward millions of social groups across the continent of Shex emerged from their simple jungle lifestyle and begun developing independently. Given the key specifics of Grax reproduction, interaction between 'tribes' was an important element of early culture. Having developed protective shelters for their young, the number of young that survived until adulthood increased by 100%. As a result populations soon grew very large, and settlements grew colossal. The struggle for lilex was to find potential lelix to breed with, and many settlements already had local populations of lilex. A phenomenon erupted from this situation involving large populations of genetically similar lilex banding together and roaming the continent. Upon encountering other 'tribes' they would seek out rival lelix and kill them, allowing some of their own number to breed. However, these settlements were often attacked as a whole, resulting in the death of all members regardless of gender. These attacks were less about the courting and impressing of a mate and instead merely festivals of rape and carnage. For most lilex in these hordes breeding was forbidden, and only the strongest were permitted to indulge in the captured lelix. However this wasn't a problem that would tear these groups apart. The act of combat had been so ingrained in the instinct of reproducing that physical violence was as erotic as the act of sexual intercourse.
While it appears to be an unsustainable method of reproducing, many lilex did not partake in this destructive method. Rather they travelled alone or in pairs to other tribes to try and woo any lelix via other means. To combat the threat of the rape hordes settlements developed into defended cities. Technology advanced swiftly in the form of transportation and weaponry within these strongholds. Transportation to get from one grassland city to another without being ambushed by roaving lilex hordes, and weaponry if there was no way to avoid them.
Having developed into a technologically advanced species with varying ideologies and cultures it is hard to simply define the Grax as a whole. While universally the lilex and lelix retain a love of combat and intercourse, the rest of the genders in the reproduction cycle were key to the development more 'civil' appreciations.
Most Grax cultures revolve around caste systems based on each gender.
- lilex - soldier positions
- lelix - simple worker positions
- srex - complicated worker positions requiring advanced knowledge
- srosx - control positions and teachers
Variations on this theme will often be found, but the majority of cultures adhere to this rule.
It is said that the manipulation of pheromones in public places has been used to alter the developement of neutral gender Grax into more preferable genders. For example, in times of war alterations may be made to produce more lilex. A consistent variation from early populations of Grax is the decline in srosx. This may be a conscious decision made by the ruling srosx, as only so many of their kind need to exist in their current setting.
Methods of reproduction also vary, in some cultures the act of reproduction is heavily ritualised and treated as sacred. Others approach it in a more traditional manner, adopting feats of violence into the whole process. The developement of technology has even advanced so far that all four genders are not needed, however this concept has caused much outrage and controversy, being seen as further subjugation of other genders at the heavy hands of srosx.