Deceivers (also known as “Yulips” in their language) are a species of shape-shifting beings that are obsessed with obscuring information and remaining hidden, thus making their civilizations difficult to discover. They are exceptionally good at disguising themselves as other humanoid or pseudo-human species and often have multiple identities.
For the relevant faction, see The Tenet.
Yulips came from a planet to the east of the Kikyo Sector that had many pseudo-humans living on it for millions of years. They had adapted from a cold-blooded species of animal that could change the colour and texture of their skin. Eventually, all other pseudo-humans on the planet died and the Deceivers were the last left. This is speculated to be for several reasons, the most commonly argued being because of the man-eating predators that existed at the time. Deceivers, being quite paranoid, did well to keep themselves hidden until they developed advanced technologies. The moment they became capable of doing so, they left their home planet and migrated throughout the vast void into territories uncharted. It is unknown how many deceiver factions and civilizations exist though at this stage in time they could be spread throughout the entire galaxy in disunity.
From there, they had rediscovered a simultaneous xenophilia and xenophobia of other species, observing them closely from a safe distance using their various technologies. They have abundant information about Independent, Origin Industries, the Iromakuanhe Astral Commonwealth, the Kingdom of Neshaten, the Elysian Celestial Empire, the Yamatai Star Empire, and the species found in these factions; despite this, however, they don't have much of an awareness of the military operations of the mentioned factions - and while they know about the Democratic Imperium of Nepleslia's existence, they hardly know anything about the group. They became a mythological creature among pirates in unexplored sectors as rare, magical creatures that were fond of trickery and cunning (hence the name “Deceiver”), and most people consider stories featuring deceivers to be a myth; due to the exaggeration the legends are often afflicted with, it would be hard to blame them.
1) Yulips are born in a large array of body shapes and sizes, all of which are humanoid in shape. They have the notable ability to change the colour (including ultra-violet light), polarization of light, and texture of their skin for camouflage - and have such a natural mastery over this perk that they can disguise their skin as almost any species of pseudo-human, even going as far as to replicate the veins in someone’s arms and legs. Their skin also has billions of short, living strands underneath it that can retract out to give the appearance of short hair or fur. Their skin, however, is also quite soft - and not designed to take heavy impacts or cutting - due to being so adaptive.
Deceivers have four eyes, two on the front of their face in a location one would typically expect of a pseudo-human and two on the sides of their head, giving them almost perfect 360-degree vision with a blind spot close to the back of their head. Their eyes can see ultraviolet light as well as the polarization of light. These eyes cannot be camouflaged unless closed. They have a crest that can retreat into the forehead and scalp. It is flat and typically has a blunt, serrated edge of a different shape depending on the individual. The crest faces forward but is split into two different parts, one for the left and right sides of the forehead.
Their wrists have retractable spines below them that have paralytic venom and can spit this venom a distance of a few meters. On skin contact, it may cause discomfort at most - but on contact with the eye, it will cause permanent blindness. Yulips also have the ability to mimic speech - among many other noises - using nothing but the muscles in their throat.
On their backs, they have tendrils that come out of where their shoulder blades would be. These are not prehensile but can be moved and tangled around objects. They simply lack the amount of force to lift or secure a tight grip around most objects, barely having enough to lift their own weight.
Deceivers lack any difference between sexes beyond internal differences between sexual organs and a slightly different overall crest shape. Males tend to have a crest that rises on either end while dipping in the middle, while females tend to have crests that raise in the middle and dip on either side. It's common practice for a male deceiver to disguise as a female of another species (and vice-versa) if they have a body shape that more closely resembles the other gender of a species.
Although meat-eating aliens are often depicted as highly aggressive and vicious, Deceivers are not that; though they aren’t strangers to hunting, their traditional method of hunting involves waiting in the same place for hours without moving and waiting for prey to come close enough to be within arm’s reach so that they can paralyse their victims. Being carnivores, they have powerful jaws and meat-shredding fangs; despite this, however, their mouths aren't completely full of dagger-sharp teeth and only contain 22 teeth in total. Their mouths aren’t normally used as weapons and are most practically used for consumption.
They can consume some soft, acidic fruits and vegetables but some can be harmful to their digestive system; furthermore, they can’t properly digest them and don’t receive the nutrients they need from such plants. Deceivers are carnivorous, after all, and lack many of the necessary proteins and enzymes to eat foods that most herbivores or even omnivores can.
Deceivers are adapted mostly for warm climates ranging from arid to tropical. The homes of Deceivers typically have lots of windows and sunroofs to let sunlight into their homes, which important to them because they are cold-blooded and require that the environment change their temperature for them - and a cheap way to do this is with the use of windows and curtains. Something that a warm-blooded species may consistently note is that a Deceiver's home - or a building made for Deceivers - is normally very stuffy when compared to most others. A Deceiver wouldn't agree and would instead say that other buildings are chilly and uncomfortable.
A common living practice of Deceivers is power naps and basking. Deceivers can sit still in the same position for hours, camouflaged and hidden from immediate view - and due to their physiology, must do so from time to time. The importance of basking is first and foremost to stay warm because Deceivers don't produce much heat on their own; additionally, it also has a very important spot in energy conservation. Yulips are best at moving in short, sudden bursts and can't run for long periods of time, which makes reserving energy for when they do need to move quickly very important - and an easy way to do this is by having a short nap.
Deceivers start out appearing as smaller adults and never stop growing throughout their life; eventually, however, their body can't support any further growth - and they die as a result. They usually live up to 70 years but may live up to 90 or 100 if they are exceptionally lucky. When they are first born they are small enough to fit in the palm of a hand, and as they age they rapidly grow until they are 25 years old, where they become the size of the average human; at this point, their rate of growth dramatically decreases. By the age of 50 they will be as tall as a large human and only by the age of 60 will they become big enough to be considered giants; if a deceiver is lucky enough to grow older than 70, they may become so big that they have difficulty fitting in some buildings- though unfortunately, it's at this point when their hearts and bones become too weak to support their growth.
|Age||Average Height (cm)||Average Height (inches)||Height Multiplier||Significance|
|70||219.9||86.6||1.05x||Average Life Expectancy|
The culture of the Yulips is primarily based on the concept of balance between secrecy and disclosure. While lying is seen as immoral or dishonest in the cultures of many other humanoid species, Deceiver culture is completely centered around it. To some, the mere thought of this may be horrifying or anxiety-inducing. A human may panic and begin asking many questions such as: “How do I know who is who? What if someone lies to me about something important? Can I trust anyone?” These same questions are the sort that do not bother most Deceivers, as while suspicions may be cast onto other people, they are rarely acted on and usually just food for thought unless there is an adequate motive to do something. On the flip side of this, however, it is also necessary for an amount of truth to be known. Many sayings from the culture of the Deceivers are rooted around this principle and many would consider those sayings ethics to live by. While secrecy is celebrated and heavily respected, so is the disclosure of knowledge - and being given the privilege of knowing something most others do not is considered an honor, even if it’s just knowing someone’s birth date or being around someone when they’re not taking up an act.
Connectedness and a sense of community are two very important things to a Deceiver, as in a sense it is their way to make up for a lack of knowledge; for example, if a Yulip knows that someone they trust is inviting a person they do not know into their family, the individual being invited is probably trustworthy. This can cause major conspiracies as someone thinks they can trust someone, so everyone else believes them, which results in group-wide devastation because one person was wrong - though such scenarios are relatively uncommon due to social expectations. It is considered impolite to pry information out of someone and it is pitied to reveal too much about one's self, thus it's more likely that someone malicious would be barred from interacting with others they do not know instead of being allowed to do any harm - however this can also work in reverse: someone can be completely innocent, but because they do not have many connections they would be (figuratively) driven into the ground until they can earn the trust of enough people to be accepted into society. Such a process of total exclusion may be traumatizing, as one would expect.
Deceivers, being cold-blooded, tend to wear as little clothes as possible, as wearing thick clothing slows down how fast they can change the temperature of their bodies - which results in starvation of heat and eventual hypothermia. This doesn’t mean that they don’t wear any clothes at all, however, as they certainly favor some materials over others - namely the thinnest, most airy fabrics they can get their hands on. The goal of most fabrics worn by Deceivers is not to insulate but instead to conduct heat as efficiently and as close to the air as possible.
With this in mind, Yulip clothing is commonly very dark and situated where it can cover the genitals, eyes or face, breast area, and wrists; with exception to genitalia, this is not for common courtesy and instead to conceal their more obviously alien attributes. When wearing a lot of clothes for recreational purposes (or to disguise themselves as another species), Deceivers have a few options: they can wear “fake” clothes designed to circulate heat well despite appearing as winter clothes, or they can wear real clothing with pockets on the inside where heat packs are situated. These heat packs keep the inside of the suit warm, simulating a warm-blooded respiratory system so that the Deceiver can be comfortable.