Ghalimi Species in Xahverse | World Anvil
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The Ghalimi are the first space-faring, sapient alien species encountered by humanity. Their current motives are unknown as their mindset is entirely alien, and neither Xahian Leader caste diplomats not Northup Alliance ambassadors have manged to successfully maintain meaningful communications.   Ghalimi occasionally arrive in human-held systems where their large, highly advanced craft perform unknown activities before leaving, all within a few standard days. So far, encounters have been entirely non-confrontational, and no systems have yet been encountered with Ghalimi settlements or facilities.   Unknown as yet to human scientists, the Ghalimi's home environment is in the deeper layers of gas giants, and a number of systems explored by humans have had Ghalimi facilities hidden from view. They have a non-interference, neutral view of humanity, and have little to no interest in interactions with them. So long as humanity does not encroach on their sphere of influence, the Ghalimi are content to ignore them.  

All of the following data is unknown to Federation of Xah and Northup Alliance scientists.


Basic Information


The Ghalimi have a large oval central body; at one end is a collection of tentacles, numbering between 20 and 25, and the other end is a large mouth, fringed with appendages and containing long fronds instead of teeth. On either side are large, thin fins which are used for movement. An adult ghalimi is about 6 meters long, about 3 meters of which are the tentacles, with a wingspan of around 8 meters, although their body is only 2 meters wide. They are usually coloured pale oranges and yellows, the fins often striped.

Genetics and Reproduction

Ghalimi have a single gender and are hermaphrodites. Reproduction happens when one ghalimi deposits a set of gametes on the back of another from organs on the tip of its tentacles, to an organ on the back of another, where it is fertilised. The fertilised embryo grows on the back of the parent in something akin to a blister until fully developed physiologically, gaining sustenence from the parent. Once developed, it is 'born', fully capable to exist as a separate indivudual. A ghalimi will bear only one young at a time, but it is common for ghalimi in cooperative groups to half of their members bearing children at any given time, assuming resources are sufficient.

Growth Rate & Stages

Once born, a ghalimi is capable of fending for itself, and is identical to an adult in every respect other than size, being between 5 to 10% of a fully grown individual. With sufficient food, they can expect to grow to full sized maturity in around two Standard Years.

Ecology and Habitats

The natural habitat for ghalimi is within the atmosphere of Jovian gas giants, roughly where clouds of water and nitrogenous compounds form. The temperature is typically between 300 and 350 Kelvin, with an atmospheric pressure of between 3 and 5 standard Earth atmospheres. The atmospheric composition is a mix of nitrogenous and hydrogenous compounds, typically oxides such as water, nitrous oxide, and ammoniacal compounds.   They have no natural predators, but a number of the larger organisms in the atmosphere of their homeworld would take the opportunity to consume isolated ghalimi if given the opportunity. On their home world, the atmospheric layer ghalimi live in was adundant with organisms large and small, but ghalimi diet was almost exclusively small floating organisms that use a combination of photo- and chemosynthesis to grow. With the filter-feeding method of ghalimi diet reliant almost entirely on this specific class of small organisms, they have seeded many gas giants with these organisms, displacing or eradicating any native organisms.

Additional Information

Social Structure

Ghalimi live in loose social groups known as 'cooperatives' typically numbering between 200 and 500 individuals; about half will be related to each other, both close and distantly. The cooperative will make collective decisions on feeding patterns, group coherency, and if numbers need to be increased through breeding, usually in a democratic manner, but it is very rare that there is internal dissent within a cooperative.   Cooperatives will collect together for larger tasks, and in doing so, each cooperative will nominate an individual to join with individuals from other cooperatives to form an arch-cooperative, which is expected to make larger decisions that benefit the most. As with small cooperatives, dissent is rare, but it is more common at this level. Cooperatives are expected to abide by arch-cooperative decisions (and do so, almost entirely). Rare instances of dissent are dealt with by the dissenting voices being isolated and exiled. Away from the physical and psychological care of a cooperative, individuals rarely last long, with most succumbing to madness, dying quickly.

Geographic Origin and Distribution

Since emerging from their homeworld several hundred thousand years ago, ghalimi have spread to colonise the gas giants of many systems of the far half Milky Way from Earth, bringing their ecosystem with them. Whilst some efforts have been made to conserve native ecosystems, the ghalimi do not let this hinder them in their colonisation efforts. Official numbers of systems colonised do not exists, but low estimates would put the number of ghalimi occupied systems somewhere in the low hundreds of millions. Population numbers within systems are relatively low, compared to humans, but are still in the tens to hundreds of millions of individuals per system.

Average Intelligence

Comparisons of human and ghalimi intelligences are difficult, but if such an attempt was forced, then the average intelligence of both species would be broadly similar. However, where humans excel at problem solving, creativity, and cooperation, ghalimi are exceedingly good at calculation, spacial visualisation, and mimicry. A ghalimi would not be able to write fiction, as creating an 'untruth' (not merely a falsehood) is almost impossible to conceive, but they can calculate complex mathematics in the fraction of a time a human can, and hold disparate items of information in their immediate memory with almost perfect recall.

Perception and Sensory Capabilities

A ring of light sensory organs surround the mouth which are not sensitive enough for focal details, but are enough for individuals to make out rough shapes, colours and brightness. In their native environments, this is more than sufficient, allowing them to orientate themselves and avoid the worst lightning storms.  
Able to detect the scent of their food sources from a considerable distance away, ghalimi sense of smell is highly specific to certain scents, but almost entirely blind to most others.  
Ghalimi hearing is highly acute, and able to detect a wide range of frequencies. It is their primary method of communication and sensing, with a form of ultrasound being used to form an internal image of their surroundings.
250 standard Earth years
Average Weight
200 to 300 kg
Average Length
6 meters

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