An Inheritance of Stars
Cancrians stand between 7 and 8 foot tall. A thick fur covers their bodies. Browns and blacks are the most common color of hair. White or orange Cancrianes also exist in fewer numbers. The nose and mouth are combined into a muzzle. Cancrian have pronounced incisors and sharp front teeth for ripping meat from the bone. The broad, ﬂat back teeth are used for crushing nuts.The Cancrians have been exploring the stars longer then humans, but not nearly as long as the grays have. Their brutish appearance belies that the Cancrians are a technologically advanced and culturally reﬁned people.
Cancrians craft even the simplest, utilitarian tool as a work of art. Their machines and electronics are even more elaborate,functioning at peak efficiency. Unfortunately redundancy and ease of repair are not part of the Cancrian sense of aesthetics, so when something does break, it causes serious problems. The inability to make ﬁeld repairs has stranded more than one Cancrian expedition on an alien planet. Under such primitive conditions, they are not able to craft replacement tools. Before long the rest of their equipment breaks down and they revert to primitive barbarism to survive. These feral Cancrians may live for generations before being rescued by their brethren.
Cancrians are the ultimate omnivores. In addition to everything that humans consider edible, they can also safely digest leaves, bark, and small bones. In spite of, or because of their wide dietary range, Cancrians value cooking above all other arts. Cancrians are being literal, when they talk about enjoying the ‘ﬂavor’ of each new planet. Although they can eat spicy food with suffering indigestion, they prefer more subtle tastes.
The Cancrians are non-confrontational, but are far from paciﬁsts. They are avid hunters and when cornered they ﬁght with all their strength. It is more a matter that cancrians dislike any ﬁght which will expose themselves to danger. They much prefer to attack with the advantages of concealment and surprise. Despite their large size,they can move though thick under brush without making a sound.
The cancrian language consist of growls,grunts, howls, tongue click and lipsmacking. It is equally impossible fora human to speak cancrian as it is for Cancrians to speak human languages. It is theoretically possible to have a verbal conversation between a human and a Cancrian, provided they both understand theother’s language. But as a reﬁned and sensitive race, cancrians are self conscious about how ‘primitive’ or ‘animalistic’ their language sounds to humans. Therefore, many Cancrians within the Argylian Expanse are taught human sign language in school. In the presence of humans, they make an effort to use only sign language, even when communicating with one another. Likewise, they consider it impolite for a human to give verbal replies to their signing (and in many cases, they honestly don’t understand the spoken language.) If nothing else they can communicate with humans via written notes.
Cancrian is the standard term for this race, based on the human name for the star system which houses their home world. Their name for themselves, is of course unpronounceable for humans. Various human cultures have applied different terms to the Cancrians: Sasquatch, yeti, big foot, skunk ape. The Cancrians consider these terms to apply only to feral members of their race; it is rude to refer to a star faring Cancrian by these terms.