Physical Appearance and Structure
The Nagana (both singular and plural) are evolved from a sea race, though their bodies are more snake-like than fish-like. Their lower body is a long tail, ending with a slight vestigial fin that doesn’t really help them swim anymore. Their upper bodies appear more humanoid, with two long arms and a wider chest.
Skin coloration ranges from stark white to near black, with shades of gray being the most common. The skin reflects coloration from light sources, though, and they are very aware of this fact.
There is webbing under the arms of the Nagana, stretching from near elbow to near waist. On females, the fins have coloration but on males they are the same color as the rest of their bodies. In many respects, this takes on the role of luxurious hair does on a female among Humans.
The forearms and three-fingered hands of the Nagana are quite thin, presumably to allow less resistance in water. The neck sports gills, which are actually functional. Eyes are well-shielded by forehead ridges.
Nagana senses are similar to those of a Human, though their hearing is quite keen and their dual larynxes are worthy of note.
They are able to hear and speak in frequencies that exceed Human hearing and vocal ability. Some scientists believe that they once emitted a form of homing sonar when underwater but this ability has diminished over time in favor of using their mouth to communicate.
Nagana are annoyed by constant sonic disturbances (and therefore shun the use of sonic-based weapons and devices). When around such things (sonic swords, for example), they have a -10 penalty on any Intuition or Logic check because of the distraction. Ear plugs common to many industrial settings are sufficient to prevent this penalty.
Nagana speech is not very elegant by most other race’s reckoning. They don’t use harsh consonant sounds, having far too many vowels and “n” and “m” sounds in their language. It is not a complex speech pattern, and people from any race can learn it if given the time.
Nagana names tend to be full of vowels, and the letters “n,” “m,” and “s.” All female names end in a hyphen followed by the suffix “na,” while ruling caste have the prefix “An” followed by a hyphen. For example, a female ruling council member in Spyre (the capitol native city on Leen) might have the name An-molah-na.
Society and Customs
The Nagana are not a space faring race. In their coral cities clustered around the larger lakes on Leen, the largest of the three moons of Terledrom (in the Fromeltar system), they have never developed any kind of faster-than-light drive. They haven’t even developed the ability to reach the planet around which their home moon revolves. Their personal understanding of technology ends with simple mechanical ground and water vehicles. Their own weapons of war have been limited to simple projectiles: bows, spears, and within the past hundred years, automatic pistols and rifles.
The Nagana are generally peaceful and value art and beauty above all else. Their cities are works of coral splendor, with high spires erected in shapes that would seem chaotic alone but when looked at as a whole, the city is one giant piece of art. When Dralasites from Terledrom colonized on Leen, they met a nice coexistence with the Nagana and information, art, and sciences were exchanged.
They are not plentiful throughout the Frontier. When encountered, it is because some event has led one to leave the beauty of his homeland. As are all artists, the Nagana are driven by acts of passion and curiosity to understand and sense the environments around them. This sometimes drives them into the stars.
Despite the fact that they have not developed high technology on their own, they seem more than able to grasp its concepts. When encountering one in the Frontier, it is not impossible to find one with high tech professions or equipment.
Despite the fact that they, as a whole, are a peaceful species, historians and psychologists will agree that sometimes a race driven by passion can be more dangerous than one driven by greed.
During the second sathar war, the first fleet of Sathar moved to Terledrom and occupied it for some time when routed from Madderly’s Star. The Sathar did not attack a single Nagana, instead opening trade negotiations with them.
The Nagana get along with all the other races, and tend not to judge people by their appearance. However, since the Vrusk tend to look similar to the sammanasa (predators from Leen), they find themselves distrustful and sometimes fearful of the insectoids. In fact, when found on Terledrom, they often have difficulties dealing with the ruling Vrusk council (the Pak) and only seem willing to associate with the elected Dralasite council (the Draog).
Amphibious. The Nagana can breathe equally well in water and in air. They can exist in either for unlimited durations. This is the reason they tend to build their cities around lakes and other coasts. Some entire families live under the water’s surface, never entering the air.
Their movement rate under water is exactly the same as their movement rate on land (though some scholars believe that prehistoric Nagana could move much, much faster).
Ultrasonic Communication. The Nagana can choose to speak at a higher, falsetto frequency. When doing this, only they can hear one another. Some natural animals can hear this frequency as well, and some are quite angered by it. They cannot use this ability to speak at ranges beyond which they otherwise could have spoken if using their normal, lower vocal frequency.
Their double set of vocal cords (one tuned for use under water, one tuned for use through air) can actually allow them to speak two different things, one in each vocal frequency range, at the exact same time. They can be telling you “hello, we come in peace” while at the same time saying to their Nagana companions “watch the little one, she has a gun.”
In some circumstances, the referee may permit the Nagana character to make an Intuition roll to make out and identify ultrasonic frequencies, tracing them to their source or comprehending their general nature.
(Cited from The Star Frontiersman, Issue #1)