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The Lugubraa are a sapient species, native to the Stratos Distribution, in the Unknown Regions.
Biology and appearanceEdit
The Lugubraa are a leech-like species, having evolved from wormlike "chewers". They evolved in the Stratos Distribution, which is a large asteroid field fully exposed to the vacuum of space. As such, Lugubraa are capable of surviving almost indefinitely in vacuum, as well as in thin or toxic atmospheres.
The average Lugubraa stands on two short, thick legs at 1.5 meters, not including a small tail. They lack eyes entirely, and are physically blind to visual light. However, they possess numerous spots on either side of their head, which accurately monitor their surroundings for heat signatures. They also possess echolocation pingers which mentally map out their surroundings in radar-like form.
The main feature of a Lugubraa's face is its large gaping maw, ringed with pink flesh and filled with razor sharp teeth in a circular pattern. The numerous teeth overlap, and chew in a gearlike pattern. Once something (or someone) enters their maw, it is nearly impossible to escape. They can digest both organic and inorganic matter, being able to drain rocks of their minerals. The average Lugubraa is obsessed with fresh meat, however, finding it delicious beyond compare.
A Lugubraa's smooth, thick skin not only provides protection, but also functions as their source of hearing. Lugubraa have no ears, and their skin instead detects sound vibrations. Their skin color can be a dark gray, but the majority are a pale grub-like white. They are naturally strong and very durable, able to stand at attention for days on end without rest and suffer numerous wounds before succumbing.
Though a Lugubraa possesses four arms, the lower two are little more than saggy, useless stubs. Their upper arms are very long, with five long fingers that are tipped with large suction cups. Each suction cup is filled with needlelike barbs. These dangerous digits give a Lugubraa extra purchase when climbing or holding down their prey.
Lugubraa reproduce by creating a "splitling", which forms on the underbelly of its parent. The splitling detaches from the parent once it reaches a few kilos in size, and will grow at an extremely rapid pace, reaching full size within a week. Rapid eating of a parent Lugubraa results in quicker reproduction of splitlings. Lugubraa younglings require no nurturing.
For the first six months of a Lugubraa's life, they possess nothing more than the intelligence of a domesticated animal, and are treated as such by employers or owners. If they survive past six months, they will then mature into a form of low intelligence, able to speak in short sentences and follow more complex instructions. At the age of 50, Lugubraa undergo a second cognitive "kick-start", becoming very intelligent. It is these relative geniuses who tend to lead the species whenever they're present.
Society and cultureEdit
Lugubraa, whether alone or in a horde of hundreds, are driven by little more than hunger. As such, Lugubraa of all ages, from a week old to hundreds of years, are seen as a cheap and readily available labor. Those who survive to their second cognitive level will deal in credits, selling or renting their horde to others. They will then spend this money not only on themselves, seeking to satiate their never-ending hunger, but also on the well-being of their horde. The elders will buy high-energy food to stave off the prospect of famine amongst their younger brethren, a common problem among overpopulated Lugubraa hordes.
Many governments and organizations across the Unknown Regions use Lugubraa mercenaries, and they are well known for their loyalty, tenacity, and deadliness. A Lugubraa will often find themselves used in one of several ways. The most obvious use is as soldiers - indeed, their overwhelming numbers and voracity has led many generals to use them idly, throwing them into battle in suicide waves. They're also of use as guards and sentries, as they're able to stand at attention for days on end. Some corporations and governments mandate that visitors to their systems or planets be accompanied by a Lugubraa guard at all time. The organization will tell the visitors this is for their own protection, but it's truly to keep the visitors under constant watch. Sometimes the visitors will even be required to feed and lodge the Lugubraa guard aboard their ship, if they're traveling from planet to planet. Lugubraa are so common in the Unknown Regions that they can be found at almost any stellar-class starport.
Lugubraa rarely wear any clothing, unless provided by their employer or elders. In that case, it usually consist of little more than metal or plastoid armor. Because of their essential blindness, Lugubraa are terrible shots with ranged weapons like blasters, and their employers rarely provide them with anything more than a spear or power lance. If more deadly weapons are needed, they'll be given flamethrowers or sonic blasters, which will cut down wide swaths of enemies without aiming.
They speak their native language, Lugubraal, but are able to speak many others as well, including trade languages of the Unknown Regions such as Sy Bisti and Rammocate.
In some places, the rapid rate of Lugubraa breeding has created a huge population with no elder control. These Lugubraa are not intelligent enough to control themselves or make profits from their abilities, and as the horde increases further and further, it results in a general "dumbing down" of the group. The Lugubraa will then ravage and destroy entire cities and landscapes if left unchecked, and are even capable of stripping entire continents bare. While this has happened countless times on many worlds, one of the most famous occurrences was the devastation of the worlds in the Croke Reach, after the native Croke sought to use the Lugubraa in their civil war.
The Lugubraa originated in the Stratos Distribution, and are apparently known to the Wharls, who have named the area.
The Croke, while engaging in a vicious civil war among their own kind, introduced the Lugubraa to their homeworlds in the Croke Reach. The Lugubraa proved so tenacious and deadly that for over 300 years, they spread, destroying Croke settlements across the region, no longer under the control of their original employers. One of the settlements they destroyed was Explume Minor. The Croke sought the help of the cloners of Kamino, believing that they needed to fight the Lugubraa with members of their own kind. The Kaminoans created a genetic variant that became known as the Leech Legion, but these clones proved to be just as deadly to the Croke as their predecessors.