Lilithim
Lilithim
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A species of ambush predators with a high level of sexual dimorphism and distinct biological castes.

A species of insect-like ambush predators originating in the now-dead Ithwithp system which pushed their technological development to the limits long before the Enlightenment, resulting in their development of the Wthp shells.

The plural term is "Lilithim", while the singular is "Lilith"; i.e. "There are many Lilithim here" or "That Lilith there".


Species Origins

Homeworld: Lilthwithp
Class: ??? WIP
Scientific Name: ??? WIP
Evolutionary History: Lilithim are an ancient species, with a long and convoluted evolutionary path to their present state. They are superficially similar to Earth insects, and in their (relatively) recent past they were a species of eusocial ambush predators. At some point, their queen caste became genetically redundant and the worker caste became capable of reproduction.
Earliest Evidence of Civilization: Approximately -21,000 CE
Enlightenment Date: 2770 CE

Biology

Anatomy: Lilithim have radical sexual dimorphism, with major differences between males and females (and to a lesser extent between normal females and queens). While they share a similar superstructure, with a flexible exoskeleton, strong internal bracing along with a pseudo-endoskeleton, and six limbs, they are otherwise largely dissimilar.

Male Lilithim loosely resemble a dragonfly, with three sets of large, black eyes, a pair of jointed antennae, two pairs of wings, and six many-jointed limbs. The foremost pair of limbs are fairly short and end in four-fingered manipulators, while the rearmost two pairs of limbs are long and thin, ending in tiny, clawed feet. The head and thorax are connected by a flexible neck, and the thorax is joined to a tail-like and highly flexible abdomen with eight additional claw-like manipulators resembling vestigial legs attached to the underside of the rear third of the abdomen.

Female Lilithim are far more bulky than their male counterparts, with a shield-like crest, six spade-tipped limbs, and a fat, bulbous abdomen. They have two pairs of eyes, with a pair of powerful, folding mandibles. Their thorax is heavily armoured, with two pairs of flexible psuedo-antennae emerging from the back in roughly the same place that a male's wings would emerge, and the limbs attached to it end in spade-shaped points. The uppermost pair of limbs end in clawed, four-fingered manipulators, while the rear two pairs end in solid points. The third pair of legs are notably longer than the other two pairs of limbs. The abdomen is teardrop-shaped, with armour plating along the upper surface and three pairs of vestigial, leg-like manipulators.

Queens are largely similar to the average female, with a far larger abdomen, an extra pair of vestigial legs, thicker armour plating, larger legs, and thick barbs lining most of their limbs. Their crest is also far larger.

Physiology: Lilithim have fairly flexible limbs, though the odd arrangement of joints results in "blind spots" nearer to their bodies. Females of both types rely entirely on their two rear pairs of limbs for locomotion, their sturdy builds making them useful both for overland movement and burrowing. Males use their rear limbs in a similar manner, but also spend a noticeable amount of time in flight. The forelimbs of both genders end in dexterous manipulators, useful for fine manipulations.

Lilithim are fairly strong, with females possessing formidable strength. Lilithim also have a fairly sensitive ability to detect vibrations, as well as eyes adapted to low-light conditions. Their sense of smell and taste are based on their antennae and are somewhat underdeveloped.

The brains of the Lilithim are well-developed, but poorly adapted to nonlinear thought patterns; while males are fairly adept at problem-solving and on-the-fly thinking, females are better equipped for long-term planning.

Lilithim possess two hearts, built for redundancy in the case of a single failure. The majority of their organs are held within the abdomen, attached to a complex lattice of internal supports. The thorax is largely responsible for containing the first stages of the digestive tract, the secondary heart, and their secondary neural clusters. The circulatory system is fairly complex, and is notable for harbouring a symbiotic relationship with a species of radiation-absorbing psuedo-fungi; the blood of the Lilithim is loaded with spores, protecting them from radiation to a large degree and allowing them to extract useful energy out of it.

Genetics: Lilithim have a complex carbon-based quadruple-helix genetic structure which encourages high redundancy in its encoding process. This helps to make Lilithim more resistant to damage from radiation sources and lowers the probability of cancer or other harmful mutations.

Reproduction: The Lilithim gender ratio is skewed, with a 1:8 balance between males and females. While fairly recently in their evolutionary history only queens were capable of reproduction, modern-day females of both types are capable of bearing young; approximately one in a hundred female eggs will naturally mutate into a queen, and queens are able to selectively produce queen-bearing eggs. A normal female will lay approximately a dozen eggs after fertilization, while a queen is able to produce nearly three times that.

Gestation Period: Once fertilized, a female will gestate her eggs for approximately a week before laying them. The eggs will develop over the course of a month before hatching.

Life Cycle: Newborn Lilithim start in a larval phase, during which they resemble large, fat worms with small, barb-like legs. Larva remain in this form for about six months, during which they grow considerably and amass large stores of fat before spinning a cocoon and pupating into their adult form. Adults continue to grow for approximately ten years, moulting every few months. Once they complete their growth cycle, a Lilith can live approximately eighty years provided they have good access to medical facilities. Upon reaching the end of their life, a Lilith's body degrades rapidly, with widespread organ failure and heavy degradation to their neural structure.

Diet: Lilithim are ambush predators and feed exclusively on animal proteins. However, thanks to their symbiotic relationship with the radiation-absorbing pseudo-fungi in their blood, Lilithim are capable of partially sustaining themselves by exposure to radiation sources.

Sleep Cycle: Lilithim have a cyclical sleep cycle unconnected to sunlight, due to their largely subterranean lifestyle. Lilithim sleep for approximately an hour every seven hours under normal circumstances. However, Lilithim will often skip every third sleep cycle, loosely corresponding to midnight.

Psychology

Overview: Lilithim as a whole are not particularly good at lateral thinking. While they are fully capable of innovating, they do not tend to see connections between apparently unrelated fields or lines of thinking. As a result of this, the Lilithim are far more logically-driven than humans, and while they do possess the capability for emotional reactions, they are stunted. A side effect of this is that they tend to form incredibly stable societies. Lilithim culture is monolithic and largely stagnant barring outside intervention, and while individually they may be capable of thinking outside of the oft-repeated lines of thought, as a whole the Lilithim are highly resistant to change.

Society & Culture

Gender Roles: Despite being just as intelligent (and in fact, often better at problem-solving) as females, male Lilithim are seen as weak, unable to care for themselves, and only properly "useful" if they're supporting a female. This is rooted in the Lilithim hunting method, in which a female digs a sand trap and a male flies around on the surface, looking like an easy meal to trick potential prey into the waiting female's jaws.

In modern times, male Lilithim are marginalized and heavily fetishized, practically being horded as a commodity. With the coming of the Enlightenment and the explosive growth of the Lilithim, some fringe groups have begun to make use of males' better problem-solving skills, and as a result they can be increasingly seen in research and development positions, as well as occasional advisory roles.

Language: The Lilithim have a single root language, known simply as "Language". After the Lilithim Expansion, however, numerous offshoots began to emerge.

Art/Music: The Lilithim are not terribly artistic, largely lacking the mindset to appreciate more abstract or metaphorical works. However, as a method of recording history and events, pursuits such as writing, painting, and sculpture are appreciated. Male Lilithim are able to appreciate abstract works better than their female counterparts, and there does exist a sort of societal niche for males which create works for other males.

Religion: The Lilithim by and large lack religious vision, and have never been prone to inventing mythology to explain the unknown.

Philosophical Concepts: Lilithim society is dominated by the concept of "Survival Above All Else"; the species as a whole must continue, regardless of what steps must be taken to ensure that. This has had several notable impacts on their history; the Lilithim only ever barely skirted transspeciesist ideology (as "upgrading" the species into something else would result in the eventual eradication of the original Lilithim), and they aggressively pursued the technology required for distributed space habitats, leading to the creation of their Wthp shells.

Psionics

Psionic Potential: No.
Rate of Occurrence: 0%
Relative Power: None.
Role In Society: None.