|Allies||Celestine Ascendancy, Utan Mir|
|Enemies||Fatar, Ishvana, Cleax|
Morphology and Physiology
The Shen are a humanoid race with distinctive appendages growing from their heads. The males possess four large symmetrical horns, while the females possess one central horn and a corona of appendages. They possess long faces with gaunt mouths and strikingly bright eyes which lack pupils. Both sexes exhibit a pair of tentacles growing from the base of their jaw which they often ornament. Females give birth to live young after a gestation period of approximately 13 months, and the average lifespan is approximately 120 years. They are strongly monogamous, and divorce is frowned upon. Homosexuality is common and accepted.
Height ranges: 155cm - 218cm
Age ranges: 20-120
The Shen are one of Starmourn's older Younger Races in terms of the age of their civilization, though they are far from the eldest. Famous for their former connection with the believed-extinct Elder Race of the Utan Mir who taught them to wield void kith, today they are famous for their real estate and transportation interstellar corporations. The achieved spaceflight approximately 110,000 years ago.
Approximately 26,000 years ago, the Shen aided the Elder Race of the Y'saari fend off the Cleax that invaded through the voidgates. The Shen have also had many conflicts with the shapeshifting Fatar race, whom they detest. In the Changeling War, long ago, it was first discovered that the Fatar had infiltrated the Shen's government, its military, and its society. The resulting series of paranoid purges almost certainly killed far more Shen than Fatar, and the Shen have since tried more than once, unsuccessfully, to wipe out their enemy. They are also implacable foes of the Ishvana ever since that terrible being's destruction of the Utan Mir during the War of Extinction, who they venerated and who taught them so much.
The Shen have a rather rich and sophisticated culture. They are strict vegetarians and find eating meat detestable. However, there is only one instance where they consume flesh, the Ritual of Coadunation in which the paternal elder consumes a portion of the placenta to symbolize the bonding of the families. The tend to have a sober and stoic nature unless inebriated by the favored libations of rootwine or fermented vuu honey, at which point they often put on rather raucous and emotional displays.
Their society is somewhat caste-like with social mobility being significantly affected by family ties. The family elder is usually determined by which family is more influential rather than sex. It is not uncommon for offspring deemed unfit to be abandoned to die, and respect for elders within society has waned over time. Their government exhibits division of powers in three parts: the Judiciary, which rules on legality of legislation, the Council of Great Family Elders, which creates legislation, and the Assembly, which ratifies or vetoes legislation. The Council consists of representatives, usually but not necessarily the family elder, from each of the most influential families, who in turn elect a Prime Elder who is granted executive power over the Shen.
Then Shen culture is known for its fine art and leisure. They have developed an large economy by purchasing and developing large swathes of many prime "leisure planets". Complementing their peerless resorts, the Shen have developed perhaps the most efficient and dependable interstellar transport system of any race. They are also known for developing fine art in the form of aetherscapes, complex acoustic soundscapes that only the discerning ear can appreciate.
The Shen use two racial languages - Low Shen and High Shen. The former is what they use most of the time in day-to-day use. The latter is a dialect reserved for important events like the Ritual of Coadunation or the funeral of a Prime Elder.
The Shen originated the practice of Shi Dhuk as well, and the Shen Tradition is the leading Shi Dhuk tradition to this day.