Physical Appearance and Structure
Demu, averaging at 1.8m tall, are slightly shorter and stockier than human beings. They are completely covered in a pale orange chitinous exoskeleton that softens at the joints, to permit movement, and on the palms of the hands and soles of the feet, to enhance sensitivity.
The Demu head has deep-set white eyes with no visible iris or pupil, slightly flanged ear holes, and a toothless mouth with deeply serrated lips made of their exoskeleton, and a short, stumpy tongue.
Demu sexual orans are a number of small depressions and protrusions set in a ten-centimeter-wide band running up the center of the abdomen. Demu are hemaphroditic, all individuals being able to produce both eggs and sperm.
Demu sight is fiarly close to human norm, being slightly higher up the spectrum and able to see just into the ultraviolet band, but barely being able to see into the visible red spectrum. (to other Demu, a demu exoskeleton looks almost white).
Other senses are at human norm except for touch which is somewhat crippled by the heavy exoskeleton.
Demu speech is somewhat reminiscent of the more insectoid languages, being full of clicks and tongue sounds while not having any closed-mouth consonents such as "m". Because of the physical limitations of the Demu mouth, PanGal can be spoken, but m's are replaced with n sounds, and b's and p's are dropped entirely.
Society and Customs
Demu society is religiously based, and Demu live and operate in small working teams and families, usually numbering 4 to 12, with either an elder Demu or a very charismatic younger Demu in control.
Their homeworlds are mostly urbanized with Demu doing all managerial, political and religious tasks, while non-spacefaring slave-races do menial work and are the sole inhabitants of some agricultural colonies inside the Demu empire.
According to their religion, the only true intelligence in the universe is Demu. When they ranged out of their planetary system, they encountered other intelligent beings, and they conceived it their duty to turn these "animals" into Demu through conditioning and plastic surgery.
They feel this is a generous and holy mission, and they are unable to comprehend the resistance of other races to this conversion. Because of this attitude, initial meetings between the Demu and other frontier races were somewhat strained at best. Then, during the second Sathar War , the Demu had to look to the Frontier races for support in their battles to defend their twelve-world empire from Sathar domination. Since then, althought heir basic goal and mentality hasn't changed, they have come to understand that the other races have no interest in true intelligence.
Regardless, most of the Frontier races look down on them as being too snobbish and elitist in their world view.
Carapace. The Demu's hard carapace reduces all damage dealt by weapons that can be defended with Inertia Screens by 20%, and gives them +2 damage in bare-hand brawling.