“Most people look upon me and see only the machine, never understanding the man beneath. And such is the case with the rest of my kind. To the rest of the galaxy we are trash that managed crawl away from the Schism, hiding behind metal and silicon. Yet there was a time, ever so long ago, that we breathed the air, felt with flesh, and saw with our eyes not obstructed by glass... But all that is lost... as is the hope of home.”
The Aenthins are a race of beings with vague humanoid characteristics originating from Henenwe, an arid world located deep within the Schism of the Tuuros Galaxy. Known throughout the galaxy for their original government's involvement with The Congregation and the nomadic, and often less than forthcoming, ways of the current Aenthin Admiralty, the Aenthins are often regarded as bottomfeeders of the galactic society. Already facing intense - even brutally physical - discrimination for their origins as a Schism-born race, the Aenthins themselves further feed this common distrust towards them by having nearly the entirety of their population augmented with large amounts of cybernetic enhancements - almost crossing the border between natural and machine life.
The beginnings of Aenthin society took place on the shores of the Great Lakes of Henenwe where the early Aenthins lived in tightly knit communities, and with each person carrying a shared family name in accordance to their corresponding lake. As the Aenthins advanced both technologically and culturally, a deep rooted reverence towards their origins, and for their history in general, became commonplace among the populace. However, at the same time, a never-ending desire for progress had taken root among the numerous communal leaders, leading eventually into the unification of their communities and the creation of the Aenthin Conglomerate. The first steps towards the modern machinist principles of the Aenthins are also believed to date back to this time of unification.
The Conglomerate eventually went on to establish itself as a spacefaring civilization within the Schism in the late 23811 BC. A period of roughly five thousand years saw the Aenthins and their empire grow into one of the most recognizable political powers within the Schism. Any further growth was put to a halt by the formation of The Congregation, and the ensuing war of survival that the Aenthins fought against their superior enemy; resulting in the Conglomerate shifting into an extremely martial focused society. Managing to hold their ground for some eight thousand years without barely any lasting territorial losses, the Aenthin Conglomerate met its end when its leadership passed an almost unilateral vote to join The Congregation, and "prevent further unnecessary casualties on the home front" - the true cause to which is believed to have been manipulations by Lord Zhuleshxi. In the aftermath of The Congregation's dissolution, any surviving members of the species can be found living within the Argent Dominion and the Aenthin Admiralty, the latter of which being the remnants of the Conglomerate's military that managed to escape their government's induction into The Congregation.
Despite the rumours brought about by the general mystery surrounding the nature of their existence, the Aenthins are known to still remain within the confines of what passes for natural lifeforms. Underneath their environmental bodysuits Aenthins resemble piscine, or some other types of aquatic lifeforms; possessing both gills and lungs, their mouths being lined with thin, razor-sharp teeth, and with tentacle-like cartilage in place for hair. However, their facial structure is more akin to humanoid species rather than to the other more obviously piscine races of the galaxy, like the Krudha or the Torgazi. Even before their initial dabbling with cybernetic enhancement, the Aenthins were reported to have been physically impressive in terms of strength and fortitude - further enforced by the coming centuries of implementation of advanced cybernetics among the populace.
The extent in which each Aenthin has augmented themselves greatly differs from person to person - some might take it as far as they physically can, while others might take a more temperate approach. Nevertheless, nearly every Aenthin has replaced their arms and legs with cybernetic ones that are intricately connected to the mainframe provided by their bodysuits. In addition, many Aenthins have circuitry implanted in their brains that allows their bodysuits to adapt more accordingly to changes in their bodily functions. Due to the advanced nature of the cybernetics that the Aenthin are augmented with, they are considered exceptionally valuable, and have thus made intact Aenthin corpses sought-after commodities in the galactic black market.
Behaviour and Psychology
Given the current situation of the Aenthins that broke away from the Conglomerate, the race as a whole is typically perceived to adhere to a distinctly pragmatic, even by some accounts, opportunistic worldview. Masters of repurposing materials others might consider waste or beyond repair, the Aenthins take every chance they get to gather any potentially worthwhile objects; very rarely giving anything in return, and never sharing anything that they themselves have developed. While they are seen by the wider galactic community to be scavengers and thieves, the Aenthins aren't innately selfish, and, as a result of their multiple societal shifts throughout the years, have come to see an individual's needs as secondary to the collective's.
“I always find myself simply having to listen to Gaiel when he speaks about his people. Yet, despite his obvious love for them, it is clear that he must have hated the expectations that they set in front of him.”
“When I first ventured out to the galaxy the Aenthins were always so unnerving to me. Covered from head to toe in all that metal. They seemed so cold to all outside their suits... Yet their minds showed that it wasn't hate that made them so, only sadness.”
- - Eosi'i
“Your lives simply belong to beings greater than your own. Such is the way of your lives and the lives of those who will follow you.”