Sciences > Life
Forms > Than-Thre-Kull
all the major species of the Commonwealth, the Than-Thre-Kull
have arguably fared best in the post-Fall universe. Safe
in their home systems [see Than Hegemony, Political Formations],
most Than have reverted to their pre-Commonwealth existence
of hard work, strict caste lines, and indifference toward
the outside universe. Like the Perseids, the Than are greatly
missed by the many worlds which once benefited from their
legendary industriousness and optimism.
Than-Thre-Kull are highly intelligent insectoids. The Than
are slightly smaller than Humans,
with compound eyes and brightly colored iridescent carapaces.
Than are hermaphroditic. They mate by laying large clutches
of eggs in a common burrow. Up to 100 Than place their eggs
in any given burrow. The genetic material of all the Than
in the spawn mix, produce tens of thousands of small, helpless
grubs. Than grubs are not particularly intelligent, and
spend several months eating specialized fungi grown on Than
farms. After that time, the surviving grubs spin cocoons
where they metamorphosize into adult Than. Only one in 100
Than survive to reach their adult stage, but those that
do consider every Than who participated in their spawn their
"parent." Thus, Than society is supported by a web of complex
family relationships in which every Than has hundreds of
parents and siblings to call on in times of need.
Than are natives of a planet called San-Ska-Re,
located in the Triangulum Galaxy. The only known species
since the Vedrans to develop
slipstream technology independently, the Than had already
settled nearly 100 worlds in their local cluster when they
were inducted into the Commonwealth. Now Than colonies can
be found nearly everywhere accessible by slipstream drive.
Than superficially resemble Terran ants and live and work
in large cities. However, Than do not share a collective
"hive" intelligence. In fact, Than are highly individualistic.
They take great pride in their appearance and are accomplished
builders and engineers. The Than have a caste system specific
to carapace color. Yellow-brown Amber Than are the most
common and do the bulk of the work. Dark green Emerald Than
are larger and stronger and serve as warriors. Bright red
Ruby Than are specialists in technology and building. Brilliant
blue Sapphire Than are scholars and scientists. At the top
of the caste pyramid are the shimmering Diamond Than, a
royal caste of leaders and priests. And the head of the
Diamond Than is the Overdiamond, the leader of the entire
The Than are fiercely proud of their accomplishments and
traditions, even while remaining loyal members of the Commonwealth.
If Humans describe themselves as the Commonwealth's "backbone,"
the Than must be its tough exoskeleton.