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The Qarashteel (singular: Qarasht) are a sapient, spacefaring race of strange-looking creatures.
They bodies are covered in thick fur, pale blue in color with narrow black stripes. Their hands have eight fingers and are described as "skeletal", but also "stronger than they look".
Instead of a head, they possess a retractable sense cluster, which consists of a long stalk equipped with a pair of black bubble-like eyes, between which is a pink blossom-like structure which serves as the ear. Growing along the stalk there's also a tuft of fine whiskers used for sensing smell and taste. On top of it there's a shiny ruby crest; the function of which hasn't been described. When the cluster is retracted, the Qarasht becomes blind and deaf, and mostly lost in its own thoughts. However, it's still capable of detecting the approach of someone, probably by sensing vibrations in the air.
It's likely that the Qarashteel are genderless, since members of this race seem to be referred to as "it", rather than "she" or "he". They are known to artificially prolong their lifespan. They also consume a beverage called Demerara Sour, which is also consumable for Humans.
Qarasht ships passing through the Sol System first detected signs of Human activity on Earth in the last years of World War Two, in the 1940s. They sent saucer-shaped atmospheric probes to record the conflict and were fascinated by the violent wars being fought; and eventually edited the footage into a highly-profitable documentary for their people.
Decades later they managed to bring and install expensive recording devices on Earth, hoping to film more documentaries, but were disappointed by the fact that Humans seemed to have quit warring after making official first contact with an alien race.
- War Movie (1981)
- One Night at the Draco Tavern (1991)
- The Missing Mass (2000) (Mentioned only)