Alien Anthropology – The Tehud

Introduction

A race of long-lived centauroids, the tehud have been slowly spreading across the Carina Arm for the last ten centuries.  No tehud faction has ever been considered a powerhouse in galactic history.  Some have been rather more ambitious than others, but rarely with any great success.

Origins

The tehud arose on Marageesh, a large-diameter but low-density world near the coreward edge of the Carina Arm.  Tectonically inactive, low on heavy metals, and at the outer edge of the system’s habitable zone, it would seem to be an unlikely birthplace for any sort of sapient race at all, let alone a starfaring one.

But the tehud, being a mostly herd-based society, seem to have managed it through slow, plodding patience.  Wars between tehud herds tended to be over scarce metals or richer feeding grounds.  The temperate areas of Marageesh have very short growing seasons, and the ice caps cover over a third of the planetary surface.  These wars tended not to be of the level of savagery seen among other races, but more simply a matter of forcing the opposing herd away from the contested resources.

Entering Space

Over time, several of the largest herds began to come together, pooling their resources to attempt to get off the planet.  Several herd leaders, sharing a dream of a wide-open frontier among the stars (and plentiful wealth, including metals), banded together and hoarded their resources to launch expeditions offworld.  They were wildly successful, harvesting enormous fortunes from the asteroids and the second and third planets of the system, thus triggering the diaspora.

Even so, it was slow; the tehud seem to be generally disinclined to precipitous action.  As with any people, this is subject to exceptions, but the almost-plodding spread of the tehud race from system to system tends to uphold the stereotype.

Culture and Society

Concentrated cities have always been unknown on Marageesh; the tehud prefer open space and plenty of room to run.  This has carried over to their colonies, and any place with a large tehud population.  Anywhere you find a tehud herd (and they stick to herds; an individual tehud by himself or herself is likely either lost or insane), you will find spread-out dwellings and wide open spaces.  Even their starships reflect this; most are squat and wide, allowing as much interior space as possible.  Spheres are a popular hull shape for tehud starships.

Many alien anthropologists believe that the tehud could become a powerhouse in galactic politics, simply because of their herding instincts.  Where there’s one tehud, there are many.  However, most tehud herds have only tried to be left alone.  The ones who haven’t have generally geared most of their activity toward hoarding wealth.  The most prominent of these are the Gebised, descended from one of the first herds to leave Marageesh for the stars.  The Gebised run the closest thing to an interstellar bank in existence.

The Bilbissarii tehud took a prominent place in the battles against the M’tait in the Tyrus Cluster.  While they mostly acquitted themselves decently well, they were often outperformed by their human, ekuz, and sefkhit counterparts.  The tehud do not have a particularly warlike reputation.

Appearance and Physiology

Physically, a grown tehud weighs in between 380 and 420 kilograms.  While hexapodal, unlike the ekuz, who can use their intermediate limbs as either arms or legs, the tehud are strictly centauroid, with four legs and two arms, just above their forelegs.  They have long necks, long noses, horns, and a thick coat of short hair covering all but their faces and their hands.

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