from the 19th edition of Slown Zarola's Guide to the Milky Way Galaxy
(all underlined words are clickable links)
Introduction by Slown Zarola
The universe has a wide array of strange and wonderful creatures. If you have chosen to travel to the Milky Way--known to outsiders as the Lacteavia Galaxy--you will find that most of its space-faring species look rather similar. The metric that I use to describe a creature’s physical appearance is selfishly taken from my home planet of Earth in the Sol system. This metric is known as ‘humanoid.’ To those of you who have never met a human: I both envy and pity you. ‘Humanoid’ refers to a carbon-based species that survive on liquid dihydrogen monoxide, consumable energy, shelter, social interaction, and sexual procreation. Humanoids typically live to be around a hundred and ten years of age. Each humanoid has one head that contains the following: two visual receptors, one olfactory receptor, two auditory receptors, a gustatory receptor, a mouth cavity with two rows of sixteen enamel teeth, and hundreds of small muscles to generate facial expressions. Aside from this singular head, humanoids have one heart, two lungs, a marrow ribcage, digestive organs, various other useless organs inside the torso, genitalia for procreation, two legs, two arms, and a singular spinal column that carries nerve signals between the body and the brain. Genetic mutations and life events may modify an individual’s adherence to this metric, but most humanoids are assumed to have these characteristics. I have pointed out times in this section when species do not. Know this, if you’re going to explore the galaxy: assuming all humanoids will fit this metric perfectly is likely to get you into trouble. Do not gawk at creatures who do not look like you. Instead, observe them and come to understand how they function in order to ensure your survival and theirs.
How to Pronounce Milky Way Stars and Planets
(This section uses the Earth-English Latin alphabet to assist with pronunciation.)
Atlas: AT-luss. Binary star with Pleione. Exists in an open star cluster. Orbited by the planet Dryspin. Earth constellation: Taurus.
Atlone: AT-luh-nee. The combined name of binary stars Atlas and Pleione. Exists in an open star cluster. Orbited by the planet Dryspin. Earth constellation: Taurus.
Collestra: kuh-LESS-truh. Planet orbiting the star Meissa.
Denebola: deh-NEH-bowl-uh. A-type main sequence star (blue). Orbited by the planet Geipra. Earth constellation: Leo.
Dryspin: DRIS-spin. Planet orbiting binary stars Atlas and Pleione, or Atlone. Origin planet of the Chionra.
Earth: URTH. Planet orbiting the star Sol. Origin planet of the Earth-humans.
Geipra: GUY-pruh. Planet orbiting the star Denebola. Origin planet of the Thestremin.
La Superba: LAH soo-PURR-buh. Variable star (red). Orbited by the planet Trillia. Earth constellation: Canes Venatici.
Meissa: MAY-suh. Giant star (blue). Orbited by the planet Collestra. Earth constellation: Orion.
Pleione: PLAY-uh-nee. Binary star with Atlas. Exists in an open star cluster. Orbited by the planet Dryspin. Earth constellation: Taurus.
Pollux: PAWL-uks. Giant star (orange), twinned with Castor. Orbited by the planet Quantrpollux. Earth constellation: Gemini.
Qua: KWAH. Shorter, colloquial form of Quantrpollux (see below).
Quantrpollux: KWAN-turr-PAWL-uks. Planet orbiting the star Pollux. Origin planet of the Efra.
Rekken: REHK-ehn. Planet orbiting the star Terebellum. Origin planet of the Reikreken.
Sol: SOUL. Described by hitchhiker Ix as “a small unregarded yellow sun.” Orbited by the planet Earth. Non-Earth constellation: Cevitus [SEH-vih-tuss].
Terebellum: TAIR-uh-BELL-um. Giant star (white to yellow). Orbited by the planet Rekken. Earth constellation: Sagittarius.
Trillia: TRILL-ee-uh. Planet orbiting the star La Superba. Origin planet of the Quatribraz.
Singular: Chionrasi (KAI-awn-RAW-see)
Gender System: three-fold: female, fluid, and male (fluid is the most common identity)
Planet of Origin: Dryspin in the Pleione-Atlas binary system
Side Note: Inhabitants of Dryspin usually call their suns by the combined name of "Atlone," and they may say they are "from the Atlone system." Fashion icon Eropsyche has been known to say she hails from Atlone.
Appearance: They appear to be largely humanoid (two arms, two legs, one head) but have several key distinctions. As Earth-humans seem to understand it, the Chionra are completely deprived of melanin and melatonin, to the effect that their entire species has white skin and long, thin hair. Their bodily construction gives the impression that they were constructed by beings who came before them. Chionra who find comfort in religion say that this is evidence that they were created intentionally by a committee of all-powerful gods.
Further Information: Many Chionra find work doing intergalactic construction. Dryspin has gained a reputation for being a mining and construction planet (what humans call “blue collar” work). It is often regarded as being a “nowhere” planet because it has, to quote infamous hitchhiker Ix, “nothing interesting at all.” Most Chionra leave its surface when they come of age. However, there have been several celebrities who originate from Dryspin despite this reputation, including rising model Galatea Ivory.
Rendering of model Galatea Ivory, a textbook example of the Chionra. SOURCE
Fun Fact: Chionra rarely sleep for longer than four hours (unlike humans, who typically sleep for eight). This is due in part to their bodies requiring less time to regenerate during sleep, and having less melatonin to being with. This may explain why many Chionra are sought after for hard labor; they can work longer hours and require less break time.
Notable Example: Galatea Ivory belongs to this race.
Singular: Devinost [deh-vihn-AWST]
Gender System: dodecinary (twelve genders; most translate their pronouns into the Earth-human pronoun she/her)
Appearance: They are humanoid in the sense that they have two arms and two legs, but Earth-humans would claim that this species looks demonic or reptilian. They are typically shorter than most humanoids and have red or orange skin, feline-like ears, and a long tail with spikes at the tip. They also have spikes running up and down the length of their spinal column.
Further Information: Unfortunately, their short stature and inefficient biology lead them to soak up viruses and bacteria like sponges. They may not always experience symptoms for every virus or bacteria they carry, but many Devinostir are treated like diseased animals if they do not earn the respect of other galaxy explorers. Most do not succumb to illness to the point that they die, but others who do not seek medical treatment right away are not so lucky.
Fun Fact: Devinostir lose their back spikes when they go through maturity (their version of puberty). The new spikes that grow in start out jet black, but when they reach the end of maturity, they turn gold or ivory. (Unfortunately, this has led some “explorers” in the galaxy to hunt vulnerable or young Devinostir, in order to harvest their spikes.)
Notable Example: Katie Belle Silver belongs to this race.
Rendering of actress Katie Belle Silver, a viable example of the Devinostir. SOURCE
Earth-humans, Earthlings, Humans
[urth-HYOO-muhns, HYOO-muhns, URTH-linghs]
Singular: Earth-human, human, Earthling
Gender System: binary (male/female), though there are notable exceptions
Appearance: Many species in the galaxy base the metric of “humanoid” on the physical characteristics of this species. However, compared with other “humanoids,” Earth-humans have the greatest level of physical difference--not in terms of genetics, but in terms of physical ability--between all of them.
Fun Fact: Earth-humans can sometimes develop extrasensory powers of perception; humans without these powers may dismiss them as “crazy” out of spite or envy. Some of these powers include perceiving spirits or extraterrestrials, detecting intention without being empathic, possessing long stretches of detailed memory, recalling long sequences of numbers, or chronicling historical events or landscapes while being in a different time or place. Those with these powers are called “savants” or are identified as “having” a certain mental or developmental condition.
Notable Example: Dr. Mars Kobe belongs to this race.
Photograph of an unknown Earth-human.
Singular: Efran [EFF-run]
Gender System: tetrinary (four genders: zygo/bigender or multigender, blank/agender, nomi/male, and scula/female)--zygo is the most common
Side Note: Inhabitants of this planet simply call it Qua.
Appearance: By all accounts, the Efra are identical to Earth-humans, but their hearts have three chambers rather than two, making their bodies more efficient at dealing with diseases, poisons, trauma, and strong emotion. It is said that if an Earth-human cries for thirty minutes, an Efran will only cry for fifteen. Although they are more efficient at dealing with emotion when it happens, they feel more strongly than humans and are more sensitive to others’ emotions. However, Efran society greatly emphasizes healthy emotion exploration so many Efra go on to become diplomats and peacemakers between planets. (Not all do, however.)
Fun Fact: Although they did not invent space travel, the Efra are a popular choice for exploration missions and space travel accommodations. This is in part due to their exceptional emotional control. (Various famous Efra have also been known to be highly requested to provide voice samples for AI.)
Photograph of an anonymous Efran, taken near Kishura Beach.
Notable Example: It is a galaxy-wide misconception that former galactic dignitary Zaphod Beeblebrox belongs to this race, given his likability, but I have yet to meet an Efran with multiple heads.
Singular: Quatribrazen [KWOT-rih-BRAH-zin]
Gender System: polygender ('female' and genderqueer are most common, but those words are approximations of the Quatribrazen gender system)
Appearance: Quatribraz are typically between 6’ and 7’ tall and have light green to dark green skin. The darker the green, the more “pure” the bloodline is for the Quatribrazen. Most have black or brown hair, but some have found it fashionable to dye their hair red or blue to contrast their skin. They all have four or six arms, though four is most common. Their skin is actually a series of microscopic keratin scales, but they are so miniscule and smooth that many mistake them for skin cells.
Further Information: The royal family of Trillia has been purebred for millennia. There is some cross-breeding with other species on the planet, but the offspring don’t last very long. This is mostly because the royal family are racist, xenophobic puritans when it comes to their species and they don’t tolerate “impurities.” Aside from this, most citizens of Trillia are tolerant of other species, though some are of the attitude that other species are best experienced not in person.
Fun Fact: The real name for the Quatribraz is unpronounceable through vocalizations alone. To truly honor the name of the species, the delivery includes a hand choreography sequence that can only be done with one Quatribrazen or two non-Quatribrazen who both have two hands.
Rendering of Queen Waverly Black, a prime example of the Quatribraz. SOURCE
Notable Examples: Queen Waverly Black and her parents, the late Queen Willa and King Willishem, belong to this race.
Singular: Reik [REEK]
Gender System: externa-gender (self-determined either by body traits OR by adopting another species’ gender system)
Appearance: The Reikreken resemble Earth-humans with tattoo-like cracks in their skin; the first discoverers of the Reikreken believed they were robots upon seeing the cracks. They stand between 3' 9" and 6' 5". Unlike other humanoids, the hair on their heads tends to come in vibrant colors.
Further Information: As Rekken’s dominant sentient species, the Reikreken have a long history of intergalactic war, but their last conflict occurred a thousand years ago and they have since made peace with their former enemies. While the violence in the stars has ceased, the industrial nations of the planet have seen a rise in gang violence, beginning around the same time as the end of that last outside conflict. Thankfully, most Reikreken grow up learning self-defense and practical skills to get out of dangerous situations, leaving them well-equipped to become martial artists, reporters, crisis-specific diplomats, or even intergalactic pirates. Rekken (the planet) won’t acknowledge them, but I have spoken with a few Reikreken, who shall remain anonymous, who revealed that intergalactic piracy has become a go-to for younglings. The cultural motivation for this is unclear, even to sociologists.
Rendering of Aveline Lion, a regular example of a Reik. SOURCE
Fun Fact: When activated, a Reik’s cracks give off enough bioluminescence to light up an entire arm of the Milky Way Galaxy. The light may activate if the Reik is embarrassed, aroused (sexually or otherwise), or triggered. However, the color always resembles that of the Reik's natural eye color, regardless of the cause.
Notable Example: Aveline Lion belongs to this race.
Gender System: binary (male/female, no exceptions allowed by Geipran society, but FTM and MTF are acceptable)
Planet of Origin: Geipra in the Denebola system
Appearance: Thestremin usually stand between 7’ and 10’, though sometimes complications in birth may cause an infant to stretch a little taller. They are born with blue, purple, or peach skin, depending on the skin colors of their birth parents. Unlike Earth-humans, they are born fully grown height-wise, and they are born with birthmarks in the middle of their foreheads. They also grow straight, pink horns that, in many cases, will turn yellow at a random point in a Tremin’s life.
Further Information: Some non-Thestremin think that horn color corresponds to age, but the color change has no connection to this. For example, Sawyer Green’s horns turned yellow the moment he came of age, but his husband Elory is roughly the same age and still has pink horns.
Fun Fact: The tallest recorded Thestremin, named Vethro Zhen, stood at 13’ 5” tall. Young Thestremin are taught to eat all of their food during meals so that they can one day “grow taller than Vethro Zhen.”
Notable Examples: Sawyer, Elory, and Gi Green belong to this race.
Rendering of Sawyer Green, a notable example of this species. SOURCE