The Sharrik were a water-breathing species indigenous to Raysul. Due to a natural disaster, a benevolent species relocated them to Iskalon, where they became part of the Iskalonian school. Less civilized than the other species of Iskalonians, the Sharrik were viewed as somewhat animalistic.
At birth, shaarik fry have black skin marked with brilliant patterns and luminous eyes. Their sleek scaled body is built for both water and land, with a long finned tail and digigrade legs that sport tough talons for digging. Gill slits run along the ribs, and fins sprout from the shoulders, hips, and the base of the tail, to allow for better control in water. Females are easily discerned from males, as the females have soft frilled fins and cooler, often darker, markings than the males. Females also have wider hips to allow ease in egg-laying, as well as swelled glands in the chest area. Male shaarik are vibrantly colored and have spiny fins that are used in defense of eggs or in territorial disputes with other males. Males lack the fin at the tip of the tail, but have thicker more muscled bodies. Both genders average from 6 to 7 feet in height at full maturity, and grow throughout their lifetime as long as they have room to do so. The tallest recorded shaarik was 9’3”, at 130 years old, and weighed 414lbs.
Shaarik begin life in clusters of eggs that are laid in fresh water, and guarded by the male that fathered them. As soon as the eggs are hatched, the female that laid the clutch devours any fry that is not quick or lucky enough to escape, and the mother fasts for just the occasion, so that she can devour up the 5 or 6 live young. The fry that escape, go on to hide from predators until the father is able to gather and protect them, raising them until the fry are able to fend for themselves. Male fry that are mature enough are chased away by the father, but females are brought to their mothers to learn social skills.
Shaarik of both genders are able to breath both water and air, by passing oxygen though the mouth and nose to be expelled though the gills. Young shaarik are only able to breath fresh water, as their gills are too sensitive to withstand salt water until they mature. Shaarik gills need to be kept moist at all times, or else they dry out and begin to crack and bleed, eventually leading to severe hemorrhaging or anemia, and eventually death.
Shaarik eat foods of all sorts, and are able to digest weaker metals, as well as most materials, provided they are non-toxic. Their diets, however, are required to include a large amount of protein, for the Iskalonian to remain healthy. A high metabolism, paired with a predatory mindset, often causes most shaarik to be both constantly hungry and constantly hunting. In order to take down prey, shaarik have strong jaws and sharp serrated teeth. Their hand claws are too soft for damaging anything, however their feet claws are sharp and have a hardness comparable to durasteel. Any sort of meat can be considered food to the average shaarik, including sentient species, though Iskalonians that have learned the customs of other races sometimes avoid eating anything they consider a person.
Though physically tough and powerful, shaarik often have easily corrupted minds, and dry out quickly. While they can survive out of water for long periods of time, high temperatures and arid conditions are often deadly. Their sharp hearing and strong sense of smell are offset by poor eyesight, though the average shaarik can determine one’s lineage though scent. As a species of lungfish, shaarik are unable to breed with humans and most races.
Social Structure and Customs
Before shaarik were relocated to join the Iskalonian school, the species wore no clothing, and spoke no language other than their own. They are still viewed as primitive, due to the fact that they are ruled more by survival and instinct than by social rules. As a whole, the race seems to have no care for this, preferring to follow their own ideals anyhow.
From birth, shaarik learn that survival belongs only to the fittest, forging sharp minds and powerful bodies. Physical beauty has little to no importance, attraction instead formed from physical need and personality. Males can have up to five mates, but females will bond with their male and the other females in the small harem to form a mini school that hunts and lives together. Males, however will fight to the death for the right to a territory, squaring off in an honor duel, where they try to disembowel one another with claws and fins. Because of the fact that males kill each other on sight, it is common for mated females to try and negotiate with foreign males to leave their territory, rather than risk losing their mate.
Shaarik follow the belief that all things have soul energy, though non shaarik would consider this a belief in the Force. This belief differs, however, as shaarik believe that this energy can be passed on to those who devour the object or creature that contains it. Due to this belief, shaarik eat their dead relatives so that this energy can be passed on to the next generation. They also will eat their enemies, prey animals, and objects not normally considered food. An example of this, would be one case, where a shaarik male swallowed a light saber to gain its powers. This is another thing that makes the shaarik seem savage and primitive, other Iskalonians sometimes regarding them with fear or distrust.
Despite such a brutal belief system, shaarik are very affectionate to their mates and family groups, willing to defend such to the death. Shaarik that have ‘adopted’ non-shaarik as their family extend this protective nature to them, and seem to even forget that the adopted family is not of the same species. In addition, shaarik mothers are fiercely protective of the young that survive the first week after hatching, and any young that they adopt, willing to kill or be killed to protect those in their care.
Many Iskalonians have been taken from Iskalon, including a number of shaarik. Shaarik females are often viewed as physically beautiful, and those who purchase them as slaves keep them the way that one would keep a goldfish. Some females are used as dancers, or, due to their strength, as bodyguards that are disguised as dancers or pets. Male shaarik slaves are used exclusively for fighting, whether as bodyguards or gladiators, few ever see life past a few years. Shaarik that escape slavery usually find work as hired fighters, rarely knowing the skills needed for other work. While it is not uncommon for shaarik to be force sensitive, they rarely, if ever, receive training of any sort.
Personality-wise, most shaarik are viewed as wise and childish at the same time, as they are highly curious, but retain information. Some shaarik are very stubborn however, believing a fact they have learned, even if it is incorrect. One shaarik even believed that the average moon was made from the dust of “ghost bones”, and could not be convinced otherwise. Because of their typical beliefs, most shaarik have a fixation with bones as food, and will sometimes call someone ‘fresh bones’ as a manner of threatening.
- Bones: Food of any sort. Vegetables might be called “root bones”. Something of note, is that shaarik refuse to eat eggs of any sort, and see the act as barbaric and dishonorable.
- Man-fish/Men-fish: Males that are not shaarik. Shaarik men are called “theem” which translates to “bladed person” Also can mean humans as a species.
- Sharrik often use "fish" to describe any non-sharrik race, indicating that they consider the species to be possible prey.
- Littlefish: A non-shaarik that the speaker does not respect but is not permitted to kill.
- Marrow: Meat, usually meat that the speaker intends to eat.
- Dusty-dry: Arid conditions, usually a desert.
- Fry: Child aging 0-15. Sometimes used to describe one’s offspring.
- Grandpa/Grandma: Old. Rarely used to describe one’s grandparents.
- Dry-bones: Dead body.
- Dusty-bones: Buried body.
- Egg: Unborn child. This describes even the fetuses of non egg laying races.
- I shall have your bones for my meal: A threat, means that the speaker is going to kill the target.
- I’m going to close my eyes. : The speaker is going to sleep.
- Hunt: Search, not always for food.
- Long-hunt: Lifetime.
- Shaarik often compound words to describe things. I.E.: We entered the Jedi house-nest to train. After, we ate bread-bones and marrow.