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Claws

These bois helped found the LIR, prevented the Toppers from making everyone worship them AND manage not to be pricks.

Basic Information

Anatomy & Morphology

Less hairy, far more muscly and much bigger distant relatives of Toppers (top lads in the LIR) with cuboidish, dogish heads. Their body design is very top-heavy, with slightly relatively small legs compared to their body size but extremely powerful torsos and arms.

Their namesake among humans, the claws on their middle fingers, are made specifically for combat; large and very destructive. Their other claws are focused around other useful things and retractable, with their index fingers and thumbs being most commonly used for delicate crafting.

They have large platypus-looking tails that grant them the ability to stay balanced by acting as counterweights when their massive arms are outstretched in front of them and are made largely of extremely dense fat (the tails also double as fat storage) to help them in this regard.

Their feet have brilliant grip but Claws will generally go on all fours up slopes with gradients exceeding 45 degrees.

Biological Traits

Unsurprisingly for a species that evolved across numerous planets, each with their own biomes, these chads are pretty varied in fur colour (white, black, brown, grey and blonde, usually with patches of different colours), facial structure (their snouts especially vary in shape but no there are no hammerheads), middle claw features (some have bigger than others but y'know what I like to tell myself: "it's not the size, it's how you use it") and, to some degree, size (7 foot - 10 foot).

Genetics and Reproduction

Males have no set able-to-fertilise season but females will only ovulate for several weeks of every 3-5 years. That said females still enjoy mating regardless of whether or not there's a chance of pregnancy and so will get jazzy anyway. When a female is impregnated, she will give birth to 1-2 younglings after 2 years of pregnancy.

Growth Rate & Stages

Younglings need a year before they can leave their mother's pouch, and even then must go back in for sleep and milk. They can eat solid food at 3 years old and no longer need milk in their diets at 5. Adulthood takes a further 23 years, with ages 20-28 serving as puberty for males and 23-29 as puberty for females.

Ecology and Habitats

They live in a variety of environments in the Topper-Claw Ring of planets (current theories are that they were built by the Old Ones Version 2 or one of the civilizations they wiped out and then made habitable by Planet Loki ) and naturally used to compete on a massive scale with Toppers (top lads in the LIR) and other races that they were distantly related to, with all but them and the Toppers failing to pass the test of natural selection presented by how they were all at one another's throats.

Dietary Needs and Habits

Omnivorous. Their high muscle mass requires lots of protein which is accounted for by eating mushrooms (their stomachs are tough enough to handle almost any poison), including those that they farm, and lots of meat. Their relative slowness means they have 2 main tactics of getting that meat: scavenging ([insert second mention of badass stomachs that let them eat rotting meat and the fact that they can easily intimidate Toppers into giving up their hard-hunted meals]) and hunting whatever hunts them. That's right: they'll deliberately pretend to be injured when predators are nearby to lure those predators in, kill said predators with their gangsta middle claws, and get down to eating. As for their plant meals they like themselves lots of carbohydrates but still go for leaves and fruits because you gotta get them vitamins.

Biological Cycle

Capable of sleeping for up to 2 weeks at a time at will and deliberately use this in Winter (assuming that's a thing wherever they're at) as their bodies save tonnes of energy when they do this. Their bodies naturally grow more hair when they feel cold and stop growing it when they feel hot, with actual hair removal having to be done manually, usually with their middle claws that they deliberately sharpen.

Additional Information

Social Structure

(naturally/instinctively. There are many societies that went against their instincts)

In terms of authority: Strongest (leader+enforcers) -> any females not among strongest (any female is more valuable than any male when it comes to survival of the species. Males naturally inclined to obey females, making sure to flex as much as possible while doing so, for mating-related reasons) -> remaining males -> younglings.

In terms of who gets the most protection: younglings -> females -> males.

Domestication

They're meant to be exempt from the possibility of slavery in the LIR due to their founding-race status BUT the secret ingredient is crime. Used as warriors for the LIR.

Uses, Products & Exploitation

Those intent on living peaceful lives will cut off their claws (they grow back but can just be cut off again... I'm talking about the claw not the finger just to be clear the finger would not grow back) and these are actually worth a fair bit, as is their milk and fur... which is kinda creepy but hey at least they're theoretically only selling it willingly *coughs in illegal but widely practiced slavery*.

Facial characteristics

Variations in eye colour (brown, blue and yellow), snout looks (think literally every snout design known to doggo kind that doesn't look like it was hit in the face with a frying pan) and ears, which vary greatly in design but are always doggoish.

Geographic Origin and Distribution

All over the place... except simultaneously dry and hot areas as they need a lot of water to pant out if they're gonna be somewhere hot with that kinda muscle mass.

Average Intelligence

On average they're not very clever, being notably lower than humans, but this is only slightly biological and more cultural. There are plenty of very intelligent individuals among them who tend to become leaders etc.

Perception and Sensory Capabilities

They aren't very good at detecting far-away objects with either hearing or sight but have no problem with knowing "yep, that black blur chasing those smaller brown blurs is a wolf-like-thing chasing deer-like-things". The ability to see details very well when up close results in them being very good at crafting tools and has affected their architecture massively, with more intricate details being closer to the head level of those in their structures (assuming they're as tall as a Claw) while almost none are to be seen (ba-dum-tush) higher up.

Females have pouches and udders within those pouches, as well as being slightly smaller (but having larger middle claws than) males.

Symbiotic and Parasitic organisms

Lice and fleas are an eternal and literal pain in the backside. They domesticate lots of animals, plants and mushrooms for farming.

Civilization and Culture

Naming Traditions

Mountain, Storm, Earthquake, Rain, Sunny Day... they like naming their kids after natural events and formations.

Major Organizations

The LIR or League of Intelligent Races, Free Thought Union (specifically started when the Toppers were pulling their "brainwash the primitives" crap), lots of pirate organizations including there being a few dozen in Zee Pirate Confederation.

Beauty Ideals

They like 'em big, they like 'em chunky, they like them to have scary clawsy.

Gender Ideals

Both sexes are expected to be strong AF but eh... it's a sci-fi race that hangs out with other sci-fi races they've become pretty chill on all the warrior stuff they used to be really into.

Courtship Ideals

Those who are asking to be in a relationship are generally expected to do something, particularly something flexy, to try and get the one they're courting into them. If multiple individuals are courting the same Claw, then you get what's called a flexing competition.

Relationship Ideals

Arguments are seen as the cutest thing and a great turn-on!

Average Technological Level

They're in the LIR so LIR-level: plasma weapons, time and space compression, portals etc.

Major Language Groups and Dialects

There's the Traditional Tongue of the Claws and the Common Language of the LIR... many don't know the Traditional Tongue.

Common Etiquette Rules

Do not flex on someone you're trying to be polite to and act impressed by all their flexes. Guests are meant to be polite to those they stay with.

Common Dress Code

Showing off those muscles is vital among them, but so are things like increasing stabbing resistance (the LIR has a lot of crime) and warmth (the LIR has a thing for half-assing its terraforming so a lot of their planets end up very cold)

Culture and Cultural Heritage

There's still a flex-loaded culture, even if it's far less violent than it used to be.

Common Customs, Traditions and Rituals

They place great value on their claws and it's because of this that, when a family member or friend dies, a Claw will take off the tip of their claw (usually sharpening it later so that it's a shorter, still-sharp claw) off with a rock or hammer (the shock waves travelling up their claw from this can be very painful, but that's part of the point) and throw it in the pyre or grave or box-being-shot-into-space of that loved one. Meanwhile, the claws of the dead one are taken and broken into as many (sometimes accidentally more) pieces as there are individuals that loved and was loved by that person. Each of those individuals gets a piece.

This practice originates in the religion they had (and which around 2.1% of them still believe in) in which Claws no longer need their claws in the afterlife, but will still want mementos of their loved ones to take with them. It's also because of this practice that most Claws will keep the pieces of their own claws (which they often break and resharpen to prevent them from getting too large) for life to be used on these occasions, just in case it's at a time when they really need big claws... like in war.

Common Taboos

No showing weakness! Naughty!

History

Long ago *coughs* no like REALLY long ago *coughs* HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF YEARS AGO they evolved into being as an offshoot of a smaller race with smaller muscles and claws in the mountainous land of TC-3C (or, as they call it, the Holy Mountains) and then, with a population boom due to a change in weather patterns that increased available food in their mountain range, skazoomed across the Topper-Claw planet ring and into the genocide game.

After some time, only they and their moderately (although the Toppers would claim it to be a lot more than moderately) more intelligent counterparts, the Toppers, remained and neither one could quite get on top of the other in the genocide game. Technology progressed and so did religion, with each species forming its own collections of nations that formed specist alliances/federations and had collective religions. This led to massive wars between either side that make WW1, the Napoleonic Wars, the American Civil War, the Chinese Civil War and WW2 put together look like some cheap drunken skirmish.

This eventually led to some peace treaties where each species was its own federation (taking a similar trajectory to the USA in that, while individual states within the federation initially had a tonne of self-determination, the federal governments exercised more control with time and the identities of the people became more "I am an American" than "I am a Texan/New Yorker/etc"), had mostly clear borders and lots of little kinks to work out. Skirmishes were still common but the simple fact that peace was more economically rewarding meant that either side just kept a middle finger held up at the other while they tried to figure out what the most efficient tax scheme would be and how many nukes they should make this week just to keep the other side too scared to turn their cold war hot.

For Claws during this, this was a warrior society that took pride in being stronger than Toppers and had things like weekly military training and so on. Many Toppers would have you believe that the Claws only used their claws in combat but this is a load of balony: they had plenty of weapons that they used alongside and, more often, instead of their claws. Melee combat was seen as being more honourable but this didn't pose too much of a problem to the species capable of easily tanking out plenty of bullets and they were taught in that military training to only use their melee gear once their ranged guns were out of ammo. Religion was kept around due to "why tf else could there be a ring of habitable planets for us with portals between them?".

This fun little cold war also saw some very interesting weapons, tested out in deliberate skirmishes, that were designed to be used by one race to fight the other. Claws could take a lot of hits and lift heavier weapons but were bigger targets and smaller in number, Toppers came in larger numbers and were smaller targets but couldn't take as much damage or lift very heavy weapons. In other words it was sweeping machine guns vs sniper rifles.

And then come the Goners (3-4 foot tall lizard/velociraptor people) being all "yo dawg how 'bout I conquer y'all?"... the Toppers and Claws responded to this with an alliance and defeated the Goner invaders. Nice.

They then proceed to try and add as many new species as possible to their alliance, primarily using technology they stole from the Goners, creating The LIR or League of Intelligent Races. Nice.

The Toppers then proceed to brainwash the Sagwalli and Tartles into worshiping them, creating a new religion in the process. Not Nice.

The Claws lead the other non-brainwashed races in a civil war against the Toppers that make it so they can't force this new religion onto any new races they conquer, even if those races are primitive like the Sagwalli and Tartles were. Real Nice.

After that it's all LIR history but the Toppers are making bio-engineered intelligent races like the Skaters and then brainwashing them to the religion so the Claws are sharpening their claws for round 2.

Historical Figures

Oh boy, here we go:

Storm "the Impaler" was a religious leader who started the first of a series of crusades against the Toppers which, while unsuccessful due to the Toppers having better tactics oriented around fighting Claws, did add a lot of names to the list of legendary heroes Big Mamma tells Little Rain about before pouch-time and a lot of holy relics to the Claw's Holy Vault... some of which were reclaimed as part of the terms of alliance when the Goners showed up.

Common Myths and Legends

Okay so there are a lot of stories about Gffimir and to sum him up but he's basically Cu Chalain on steroids turning into Thor on steroids.

So there's this giant fur-serpent (some of their original planets are home to what you may know as a "horrific monstrosity oh my god why did they put hair on a sea serpent and then give it bat wings whose idea was this?") being controlled by a Topper with what's best described as an X-shaped clarinet to attack Claws so Gffimir gets in a fight with it. He stabs it through both of its eyes but its brain-flesh is so tough that he loses his claws as he's pulling them out and the Topper is getting away so he RIPS OUT THE SERPENT'S TEETH AND ATTACHES THEM INTO HIS CLAW SOCKETS THEN THE GOD JLMIR, REVEALING HIMSELF AS GFFIMIR'S FATHER, DOES A MAGIC TRICK TO MAKE THEM HIS ACTUAL CLAWS SO GFFIMIR CAN "KILL THE TOPPER LIKE A CLAW" AND THAT'S WHY GFFIMIR ALWAYS HAD POISONOUS CLAWS IN HIS OTHER ADVENTURES WHAT AN ABSOLUTE MADLAD.

Anyhow that poison would be his downfall because it turns out that the poison was slowly seeping into his blood the entire time, slowly weakening and killing him whenever he wasn't putting the poison into something stabby-style, so his lover deliberately impaled herself on both his claws to save him, after which he committed "honourable suicide" by charging head-first into a Topper city and killing every Topper he could before he was finally taken out with an "evil contraption".

Interspecies Relations and Assumptions

They and the Toppers begrudgingly work together against the Goners and then the humans as part of the LIR.

Claws have very good relations with the non-worshiper races of the LIR, having actively worked with them in the prevention of the Topper's attempts to make more worshiper races and still keeping ties due to concerns about the Toppers creating new species to make into worshiper races.

Scientific Name
Magna pede
Lifespan
70 years
Conservation Status
They have a moderate bonus compared to other races in terms of rights due to their military use and the fact that they're one of the founding races of the LIR.
Average Height
7-10 feet. Some specially-raised males will go up to 12 feet. The most common height is 9 feet 4 inches.
Average Weight
270kg
Average Physique
Well today folks and alien scum we have Dwayne "the Rock" Johnson but on steroids vs a Claw whose claws have been removed and what's this the Rock is already being taken to the hospital?
Body Tint, Colouring and Marking
Their fur has already been covered so about their skin: varies between pink and ostrich colour.

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