The Oorth are enigmatic figures in galactic society. They are wanderers, with no homeworld of their own for as long as anyone can remember. Some ancient histories say that the Oorth are exiles, but who or what displaced them is lost to time. But whatever they are, they float out in space in clusters of ships, plying their trade as craftsmen, navigators, and many spaceborn professions.
Large in size, the Oorth are a fusion of two sentient species, one is an oxygen breathing, terrestrial cephalopod-like organism that has long since abandoned its terrestrial origins. The other is an amoeba-like hydrogen breathing life form more suited to flitting about in the dense clouds of gas giants. The two organisms form a symbiotic relationship within biomechanical shells that sustain both organisms as they travel through space. No one is sure which organism is dominant, but their unique way of life gives them many advantages.
Each Oorth shell is at least two meters in diameter, ranging shape and size up to ten or even fifteen meters in diameter. Everything the Oorth do has a sense of scale and grandeur to it, and their smallest drones are roughly human in size at one to one and a half meters.
Oorth are often found along interstellar exoshift lanes, orbiting gas giants and planets of little importance that most other species avoid. While they will stay in one area for a time, usually setting up mercantile outposts along growing trade lanes, they do not create settlements that cannot be moved at a moment’s notice. Many a space traveler has arrived in a system expecting Oorth merchants and stations, only to find a leftover space garbage slowly deorbiting into a nearby planet. Although, if the move was amicable they will leave a beacon pointing to their new location a few systems away, even offering a complimentary towing service.
They are known as master spacefarers and craftsmen, as each Oorth shell is a self contained space ship, equipped with its own highly precise field generators and nanoforges. They are able to subsist in the cold vacuum of space for long periods of time, and It is in the darkness of space that they develop these skills, teaching it from one generation to the next.
While together in groups, Oorth shells are often seen connected together in social groups, sharing resources and working directly in concert for some task that one shell’s system is not enough to handle.
The Oorth also seem to have a striking amount of interstellar mobility, accessing exoshift lanes that no other exoshift capable civilizations could reach without expending incredible resources. They have also been seen using other, prohibitively expensive, modes of travel such as hyperdrive, or warp gating without the resource expenditures that other civilizations require.
Their intrinsic skill in nanofabrication, as well as their internal stores of resources allow an Oorth in combat to become it’s own war factory, able to produce a myriad of weaponry and combat drones at a moment’s notice. Many pirates and bandits have descended on a seemingly undefended Oorth cluster, only to find themselves attacked not only by the potent Oorth shell weaponry, but attack drones of all sizes and shapes, some firing weapons at a distance, others closing and breaching ships or installations to attack from within.
This sight has become more common in recent years, as a large faction within the Oorth are gathering and asserting control over areas of space, creating a great amount of political instability in seemingly random locations. Some are becoming active in galactic politics, attending political summits where they issue cryptic proclamations. What diplomats have been able to piece together from this odd behavior is that the Oorth are responding to a kind of religious calling.
To further complicate matters, not all Oorth are united in this new endeavor, and several bloody skirmishes have been documented between Oorth clusters. In other cases, hostilities from this new faction have caused backlash from local systems on otherwise peaceful Oorth communes.
This is somewhat worrying to the cultures in contact with them, as no one knows where this calling will lead them and what purpose lies at the end of it, only that this fanatical faction of Oorth are growing and they are more than willing to fight.