The elegant, spindly species. By necessity, they are ambassadors. They are extremely patronizing. Their government is a democracy that is ethical in its own way. They control a vast galactic empire and are extremely wealthy (more than even Yamatai). They have a rivalry with another species.
The Essai were first encountered in YE 35 by the YSS Eucharis while exploring the Essai Dreamworld, an artificial planet that houses a large computer. The Essai claim to be the caretakers for the Essai Dreamworld. The Dreamworld is apparently obsessed with collection of various sapient species in order to steal their power of imagination, which it lacks.
At some point in the past, the Rixxikor were banned from the Dreamworld. Additionally, Graxlat were encountered on the Dreamworld, making it seem likely the Essai have journeyed through Kuvexian space in the past.
From out of the fog, a very tall humanoid appeared, treading the dark path with the grace of a lusty ballerina. Its body and limbs were spindly almost to the point of looking skeletal or like a stick figure, and its head had a huge cyclopean eye with several smaller eyes located in key places across its mostly-exposed body. It had large horns protruding from its forearms that shielded its hands and a swinging trunk-like appendage coming from its hourglass-shaped central column torso/abdomen. It carried a staff that it used like a cane. About halfway across the landing pad, it waited to meet the newcomers.
Shôshô Hanako lowered the ramp to the surface and walked forth to the alien, coming to a stop in front of it. She was only a quarter of its height. Its long trunk-like appendage sniffed at her. A heavy-seven-fingered hand came slamming down on her shoulder with an audible thud and the alien's trunk started moaning in horrendous vuvuzela horn noises that were accompanied by a translation in Trade from an orb seated in/on its forearm-claw.
BBZZzzzzzzZZzzzMMRRRRRRR… “This is the dreamworld. All peaceful persons are welcome on the surface. The dreamworld has expected you. This habitat will suit your needs. I am envoy Bruvurmamurmmamurr-Samurrvurmurr Drrr. On behalf of my people, the Essai Web, I extend greetings to Yamatai.” The alien used its other hand to grasp Hanako by the chin and leaned her head back to look into her golden eyes with its huge purple one and then ruffled her hair for a moment.
Hanako waited for Bruvurmamurmmamurr-Samurrvurmurr to finish manhandling her before replying, “I am Hanako. I am commander of this ship. We are part of the military of Yamatai but we are on a peaceful mission of exploration. Am I correct that you mean this planet itself is an artificial intelligence?”
BBrrrZM… “You are correct. Is it powerful but benevolent. Your crew is welcome to visit the city.” With one hand still wrapped around Hanako's shoulder and upper torso, Bruvurmamurmmamurr-Samurrvurmurr used its free arm to make a sweeping gesture in the general direction of the illuminated structures faintly visible in the fog, pointing his staff towards them. At this point he released the Shosho and began its slow-motion-fashion-model-runway-walk back towards where it had come from.
Hanako turned back towards the ship with a grin and excitedly made beckoning arm gestures for the others to come along.
Bruvurmamurmmamurr-Samurrvurmurr's voice erupted again as a horn-like buzz not unlike a swarm of bees stuck in a tuba. The translator unit on his wrist came to life once more. “Go. Play. I will be watching,” the many-eyed alien said before fading into a swirl of fog.
This article was written by Wes. Artwork by Daniel Olsen (commissioned by Wes).