The Cyrians are a race of advanced sapients from the Cloud of Tatra. Their homeworld is Cyrus, and they founded the Tatric Alliance to ensure that the Cloud would be prepared for any future invasions.
The Cyrians are three-metre tall animals, with four pairs of legs and two arms. They are vertebrates, with a very hard siliceous skeleton formed of interlocked filaments of silica in a collagen framework. Their bodies curve away under them meaning that the 'hips' can be structured the same way as the shoulders.
Their heads resemble those of pelycosaurs, with many long teeth and a temporal fenestra behind the eye. Their eyes are unusually formed, with the pupil being an area of high receptor density but the entire eye being able to see, and the vision being pentochromatic. Two types of ultraviolet cone cell are present.
They have a 'mane' of keratinous filaments at the base of their skull. The filaments have a central shaft from which many more filaments branch, somewhat like a feather, and they have variable colour. Blue, black, yellow and red manes have been seen. This mane also hides the Cyrian's ears, of which there are four internal ones. Their sense of hearing is quite good, but with a narrow range (15Hz-12,000Hz). When distressed, an automatic response is for small muscles at the base of each filament to contract, making the entire mane stand on end.
Cyrians have thick hide, with two types of epidermal tissue. One is black, embedded with ossified scutes and with a higher concentration of keratinocytes. This type is also slightly thicker, but heals less rapidly. The other kind is light brown, and contains more protein. It is more elastic and flexible. The tougher tissue is found on their backs and underside, but their flanks, head, neck and joints are all covered in the more flexible epidermis type.
Their blood is notable. The Cyrians do not dispose of the hydrogen peroxide produced as a by-product of oxidative metabolism using enzymes, but instead store it in vesicles (with high-cholesterol plasma membranes for rigidity) which are released into the blood. When these leave the body, the vesicles will break down and hydrogen peroxide will be released. This is believed to serve an antibacterial purpose. The peroxide does not re-enter the blood stream due to the extremely rapid clotting of Cyrian blood and their epidermis, which is not affected by the corrosive substance. However, this peroxide can also cause damage to nearby, unprotected organisms.
Cyrian lungs are two in number and shaped somewhat like rounded triangles, with a diaphragm on each side of the base so that they act more like bellows than conventional lungs. Their alveoli possess small living 'spikes' of cells around their sacs which prevent debris from accumulating and also act to absorb poisonous gases, though they can be overwhelmed and will die as a result of taking in the poison. They take a few hours to replace. The power of the lungs is very great, and Cyrians can make extremely loud noises if they attempt to.
Their hearts mass around 700g and are four-chambered. However, they are not chambered with two ventricles and two atria, instead possessing three ventricles and one atrium containing many valves to channel the movement of blood. One ventricle pumps to each lung and the last pumps to the rest of the body, which is quite a bit larger than the other two. A heart-shaped box of fatty tissue surrounds the heart, protecting it from damage.
Cyrians have been observed eating meats, cereals and fruits. They are able to digest cellulose under stress, though it is a slow process and uncomfortable for the individual.
Details of Cyrian reproduction are hard to come by, but they seem to have only one gender. They have been observed becoming pregnant, so are viviparous.
The Cyrians are very intelligent sapients. They are renowned for their intellect and creativity, as well as their quick reflexes and thinking speed.
Cyrian society is a libertarian system, with a government which creates laws only to manage the economy, foreign policy, and industry. Citizens are given extensive civil rights and political freedoms.
The government is elected every ten standard years on a proportional representation system. The government in power at any one time will include members from every party that has received any significant number of votes, with a quantity proportional to the number of votes.
They have art, music, literature and drama.
The Cyrians possess highly advanced technology, of which little is known. They are believed to be Class XI, possessing ships capable of using Ultradrive and sterilising planets. They build spatial-accelerator channels in orbit around worlds to help other races.
They have built stellar megastructures and it is believed that the extremely improbably simultaneous supernovae of a pair of binary stars was the result of one of their weapons tests.
Using spatial-accelerator tunnels, the Cyrians launch small information-holding pods to the destination. These will be received, decrypted, and then the information contained within will be read.
With quantum computers and highly advanced photonic circuitry, the Cyrians have built AIs, VIs, and very powerful supercomputers mainly for predictive purposes. AIs are rarely used and no more are built to due ethical issues.
The Cyrians do not build planetary colonies. Their homeworld is occupied, but other than that all Cyrians live in their World-rings or Star-rings. Ships have never yet been sent on extended missions.
World-rings are mainly iron and nickel toroids built around a planet. They have a diameter of over 600,000km and are maintained in orbit through the use of magnetic fields and microthrusters. Each can hold many billions, though usually their population is in the millions, and acts as a factory, producing hundreds of ships a week. They are also heavily armed and armoured.
Star-rings are an array of statites, each of the statites being a wide circle around 10,000km across, connected by carbon nanotube tethers in a ring around a star. Star-rings have variable diameters, but are often 1AU or more in diameter. A whole Star-ring could hold and support trillions upon trillions, but again, rarely does so. They have specialised statites for producing starships, doing research, and influencing the star below. Each is heavily armed and armoured, and the array produces a defensive field that stretches all around the star and the ring.
Relations with other races
The Cyrians are mainly isolationist. However, when they must act, they do so.
The Raai were the first to be invited into the Tatric Alliance. They feel that they owe a great debt to the Cyrians for saving them in their time of need.
The Inehmud are grateful for the Cyrians' intervention, and are members of the Tatric Alliance.
The Cyrians have no real use for the Haad. However, they do not seem to look down any more on them as they do the other races of the Cloud.
The Cyrians have never contacted the Erek.
The Coatzl and Cyrians are allies. The Cyrians are one of the few races the Coatzl continue to contact as they isolate themselves.
The Cyrians and Sephirah get along well.
The War Machine is an enemy of the Cyrians, and its invasion was the reason that the Cyrians founded the Tatric Alliance.
The Slavnye and Cyrians are allies, having agreed to assist each other against the War Machine.
The Cyrians engage in covert war against the Aoarus.