Race Name (human coloquial): Crystalonian
Race Name (proper): unpronounceable (a series of light flashes)
Homeworld: True name is unpronounceable, various names given by different races, commonly Crystalon
Tech Level: High
Galactic Distribution: Wide but uncommon
Appearance: They look like large crystals, with other crystals protruding from a main one. Usually 4-5′ tall but height can be far more or less. As crystalonians are shape-shifters, it is impossible for non-crystalonians to tell them apart. As a consequence of living in a Galactic society they all continually shine name-sake colors from their ‘faces’ so other races can identify them. Since they’re trained to do this from ‘birth’, it’s become so ingrained, they no longer think about it anymore than we do breathing, and it’d take some focused effort for them to change or hide it.
Traits: Crystalonians are nearly unique beings in the universe. There is only one other purely silicon based sentient race known to exist, but it cannot move. There are other races that use silicon in their DNA such as wadring and ‘mechafungus’ but they are still carbon-based beings. Being silicon gives crystalonians many unique traits. First, they use a metabolic process similar to photosynthesis but many magnitudes more efficient to ‘eat’ and can live without air, water or other nutrients for months at a time. This is a massive advantage for space travel over races like porcupinians or humans who have to factor in air, food, water and waste material into their ships.
Crystalonians do require other nutrients but they absorb these through osmosis and can exist equally well in most environments (air or liquid) if they have sufficient light, some water and needed nutrients.
They use light in all their internal systems, providing sense/sight (including infrared and ultraviolet), to communicate, nutrient for their cells, sending thought and nerve signals, and they have the ability to store and expel light as well, including focusing it into highly powerful laser beams.
Crystalonians silicon brain is more efficient than carbon-based ones, and they find most other races very slow-thinking. However, their silicon bodies are very inefficient and they move (via shape-shifting) extremely slowly. For this reason, you’ll virtually always find crystalonians on a levitating board called a ‘movator’ or ‘hoverboard’ which enables them to keep-up with other races (actually, they can fly faster than most races can move).
Darkness is their ‘weakness’ and while they can naturally internally store enough light to last them several days (and months using artificial devices), they’ll instinctively ‘shut down’ in the dark and soon enter a ‘sleep’ pattern unless they force themselves to stay ‘awake’. But a crystalonian in the dark will not likely expend enough light for a laser blast unless certain they will be bathed in light afterwards.

History: Crystalonians were a highly intelligent but dormant life, mostly content to just ‘exist’ until visited by another race, porcupinians, who didn’t even perceive them as a lifeform. The porcupinians intent on terraforming the crystalonian world into one habitable for themselves, began to ‘remove’, or slaughter, the large crystals that largely covered the surface of the world. Never before attacked in such a way, crystalonians at first tried to communicate with, then study, then when there seemed to be no stopping the loss of life, murdered the porcupinian visitors.
Knowing more were sure to come, and they’d be defenseless, the entire crystalonian race galvanized into learning about the cosmos and how to reach it. It’d be a few hundred years before the porcupinians could send a follow-up team to learn what had happened, and by then the crystalonians were ready. This time they immediately slayed the visitors, and now, much more advanced themselves, studied their tech and learn how to build their own. In the following centuries they’d start exploring the stars themselves and begin a millennium long war against the porcupinians.
During the war, they allied with other shape-shifting races, plantis and wadring against the porcupinians and their allies the tiwangese and xylanterians. It was an incredibly slow war with none of the participants possessing true warp speeds and decades or even centuries would pass without a conflict, but when they happened, they were devastating. Ultimately the war ended with the total destruction of the tiwangese homeworld, and shortly after, the discovery of ‘blue fuzzies’ – creatures capable of true telepathy allowing the races to fully communicate for the first time.
The six races formed a truth and alliance and with a range of other now discovered races, formed the Galactic Federation. While the Federation enforces peace, tasked with ensuring there’s never another great war, the crystalonians and porcupinians have continued to quarrel over disputed systems they both lay claim to. Mutual distrust and disrespect continues between them to this day. Small scale battles and personal confrontations between these races are common and politically relations are always tense.

Crystalonians are founding, and good members of the federation but are little concerned about other races, viewing carbon-based lifeforms as genetically inferior and generally only dealing with them when there’s some benefit to do so (which is often, if they’re off-world).

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