It isn’t clear whether the Krutarians are self-created or as agents of a stored bitenic squid that edited itself into Aia status. Whatever the case, they are difficult, if not outright dangerous, to deal with.
The Krutarians are humanoid combining human and bitenic squid DNA. Physically they are much larger than baselines with males averaging 2.9 - 3.2 meters in height, while females average 2.6 - 2.8 meters. Muscle to weight ratio is very high.
Internally they are vastly different than their baseline counterparts. Their blood is a copper based hemocyanin rather than the baseline standard haemoglobin. They have three separate hearts to circulate the hemocyanin blood at the greater pressure and speed it requires. The extra work required by the multiple hearts means Krutarians have a higher metabolism than baselines, the side effect being a higher ambient body temperature. Specially designed growths protruding from the jaw and the wide pointed ears serve as natural heat sinks.
The Krutarian skeletal system has been modified to handle the stresses of higher than earth gravity. The bones while larger and stronger are less dense and more flexible than their baseline cousins. A healthy Krutarian is strong enough to slightly change the shape of their bones through muscular contraction / extension.
Krutarians have no body hair of any sort. Micro-polyps along the brow line and a second inner eyelid provide protection as required.
Modifications for enhanced radiation resistance have given the Krutarians a pink, almost fuchsia, coloring. The average Krutarian can withstand brief full body exposure to the equivalent of 5 grays of gamma rays and nearly 15 grays spread over a period of years without ill effect. The higher tolerance to atmospheric contaminants and radiation has allowed Krutarians to colonize environments that would be lethal to baseline humans. This has also resulted in pollution that is lethal to baseline humans.
Communication, Senses, and Locomotion
The Krutarians maintain the baseline human body shape and locomotion. Major differences in form do occur in the areas of vision, hearing and vocal communication.
From their mixed genetic history, Krutarians have visual abilities superior to that of baseline humans. They maintain 3 visual pigments allowing for the full scope of color perception. They also have not only the standard rods and cones, but also rhabdomere cells. These rhabdomeres allow the Krutarians to see differentiations in polarized light. This makes them nearly immune to the blinding effects of glare and allows them to perceive light planes invisible to the baseline eye. This ability allows them to clearly see objects against a polarized background. An example of this would be a white object against a bright light source. While the Krutarian eye will focus automatically, they also have the ability to manipulate the eye lens at will. This allows exceptional focus on specific objects within their line of site. The disadvantage is that when focused on near objects, those that are farther will appear unfocused and the reverse is also true.
Improvements to the inner ear, coupled with a larger than baseline outer ear structure, provides the Krutarians with improved hearing. A healthy Krutarian is able to perceive frequencies from 20Hz - 59kHz, far superior to the baseline 20Hz - 20kHz.
Vocal communication is normal, as it is with other humans. Krutarians have exceptionally deep, low-pitched voices and their speech is often referred to as nearly grunting. Krutarian language, originally based on English, has become more tonal in nature with a fusional morphology. Many near baselines have expressed great difficulty in speaking with Krutarians without the aid of interpretation technology. The Krutarians themselves often maintain a variety of implants to aid in communication.
A Krutarian childhood lasts approximately 17 years and is followed by a 9 year pubescent period. Krutarians are able to mate naturally after about 23 years.
Despite their ability to mate naturally, most Krutarians reproduce via cloning. Two genders are maintained to ensure survival if cloning technology were to become unavailable. Changing gender is acceptable, although uncommon, in Krutarian society.
When reproducing naturally the male and female both release a series of pheromones to attract an excite their partner. After insertion the male penis expands to lock in place. This forces the male to complete the act, as he cannot separate until that time without causing the female great pain. This ensures a higher probability of fertilization. Combining the fact that Krutarian males maintain slightly over 3x the sperm count of baseline humans with the fact that Krutarian females are nearly 10x more likely to produce multiple births makes them highly prolific.
Krutarians are most comfortable in a gravity range from 0.9G to 1.5G. Their primary habitat the moon Krutarkilush, generates a gravity of approximately 1.3G.
Copper oxides are an extreme irritant to Krutarian digestion, an improvement over standard squids to whom they are highly poisonous when dissolved in water. Although for metabolic purposes they still require 23% average atmospheric oxygen content, they are able to tolerate a much wider range of contaminants than baselines. For example they can tolerate a 3% carbon monoxide content comfortably.
Psychology and Society
Psychologically the members of this clade share much with both lines of their genetic forefathers. From the bitenic squid they have inherited a tendency toward egocentrism, selfishness, task oriented obsession and a difficulty in dealing with non-clade members. From their human ancestry they have a strong social order and a loyalty to their civilization and family.
Krutarians are loyal to the Krutarian government, then the family and clan. Individuals will follow the orders of those appointed over them, but will always strive for positions of leadership themselves. All non-Krutarians are considered inferior. This has created a rigid cast based social structure which most members follow, if only to avoid retribution.
They respect strength. Most relationships between Krutarians only work and become stable after one individual has imposed their will over the others. This is true of mate selection as well. Those with the most physical strength, intellectual cunning or both acquire leadership positions. It is a testament to their skill how long they remain in the position. Another culling process occurs within the leadership ranks as well.
Because of these traits they govern themselves through a meritocratic dictatorship, where anyone can climb the greasy pole if clever, strong, lucky and long lived enough. The reality is less dynamic, but still energetic and mobile enough to keep families from becoming a nobility or a governing class from forming.
Polygamy is normal within the Krutarian social structure with strong individuals maintaining many mates. Quads, as they are referred, with a leader and three mates is the most common arrangement.
The Krutarian legal system employs flexible retributive justice -an eye for an eye, a life for a life and so on. Elimination is a fairly common form of retribution. Within smaller groups extra-judicial execution is practiced when deemed necessary. Officially the Krutarians recognize the Universal Declaration of Sentient Rights. Unofficially, they have little interest in such things. Krutarian security forces are technically responsible for their enforcement, although a lack of interest and low levels of corruption means they rarely do so. Krutarian security forces strictly control all foreign traffic. This is explained as being in the best interests of the visitor. Frequent misunderstandings with the local population can lead to extreme violence. Due to their views regarding non-Krutarians, lack of acknowledgement of sentient rights and leadership by strength the Krutarians are responsible for many atrocities. These acts have been carried out against both their own populations and others. Travel on Krutarian controlled worlds is considered very dangerous for these reasons.
Since their emergence on the scene, they have conquered several Old Worlder and Cargo Cult civilizations and closed them to outside scrutiny. Refugees from these worlds tell of brute force industrialization (regardless of cultural norms), ecological devastation through ‘Krutariforming’ the worlds. The intelligence available indicates that they are gearing up for a major military effort. To that end they are researching strategic technologies and engaging in espionage.
The Krutarians are a problem. No one likes them and they’re sufficiently secretive about their origins that they’ve rebuffed the Tao on offers for their history. The Logicians can get along with them, but they have to apply a brutal logic to it and do it from a position of strength. The Roamers have made learning about the Krutarians a priority, especially since Roamers have been banned from their worlds and because many groups are offering a premium for information on them.
Common Name: Krutarians
Epithets: Squid-heads, squids
Emblem: Stylized squid
Benefits: Soldier at 3, can substitute Biotech or Cognitech for Metatech for purposes of intimidation.
Inspector Status: Officially, advisory capacity. Realistically, none.
Core Values: Krutarians – right or wrong! and Family
Krutarians – right or wrong!: Krutarians pull together for the advancement of their civilization – right or wrong. This means the CV can be added to efforts to advance their civilization, and subtracted from efforts to convince a Krutarian that their civilization is in the wrong.
Family: Krutarians are very close among their families – be they clones or naturally reproduced.
Other common core values include: Authority, Control, Expansion, Profit, Worship (Krutarlish the holy), Family, Solidarity, Obedience, Order, Property and Rank Hath Its Privileges, Secrecy, Strong over the Weak.