A Very Basic Centauran Ref Picture

Another Acension Universe race, the Centaurans. Contrary to what you are probably thinking, they are not named for their resemblance to mythical creatures, but for their homeworld. This species comes from a system which humans labeled with Greek mythological names. The star is Zeus, and several other planets in the system were named Gorgon, Minotaur, and Siren. The way they look is, of course, purely coincidental. (Actually, years ago, I decided there would be a race called Centaurans long before I knew what they looked like. The name must have driven the design.)

Centaurans stand anywhere between 6'0" and 8'0", although they tend to be on the smaller end of the spectrum more often than not. Although their ancestors are strict herbivores, they evolved into a somewhat omnivorous species with a strong vegetarian preference. As seen in the reference, there are two major variations. The plains variation is stockier than the forest variation. The Plains Centauran, on the left, is male (it's Hiri, from my Firewind audition) and on the right is a female Forest Centauran who is supposed to be ~lunalupa's Kalia. Females in both variations tend to have softer features and shorter tails than males.

Plains centaurans are designed for long-distance running. Although the advance of civilization means it is no longer necessary, there was a time when Centaurans migrated for most of their lives. Large feet ensure they can cover a wide range of terrain. The soles are extremely thick and constructed similarly to an elephant's not only superficially, but internally, including a large fatty pad that acts as a shock absorber. The mane is always thick and curly, and extends from the top of the head all the way to the tail. There is some body short, fine hair in the lower half, and extending up the back and along the arms.

Forest centaurans are more agile and elegant than their cousins. They are faster in a short burst, but they cannot keep up a run for very long. They can, however, turn much more quickly in order to navigate around wooded areas quickly. They have longer ears and slimmer legs than their cousins. Also, along the side of the barrel (or what would be the barrell on a horse) there are two stripes of long hair like the mane. The body hair is sometimes seen on the face and chest of some forest centaurans. The mane is always straight.

A centauran's feet are about the same size as the head. There are two main colors on a centauran: the body and the mane. The body is usually a brown, black, yellow or grey, although other colors have been seen. The mane can be almost any color, and is usually either pastel or extremely bright. Color patterns are not uncommon, so palomino markings, stockings, blankets, and the occasional appaloosa markings show up. The finger and toenails are always the same color as the mane, and usually, although not always, the eyes match as well.

Beauty is usually denoted in long ears and legs, and blue and purple mane colors. It is the Centauran version of the Petrarchan model, and if you don't know what that is either ask or check Google.

Centaurans are usually social and prefer to be in contact with others whenever possible. They are larger than most other common races, and this means that they need more room to function properly. Centaurans allocate at least one third of every world they colonize to food production and keep the population of metropolitan areas low. This is aided by a low birthrate.

Centauran government is supposed to be a participatory open-source democracy. This is a flawed system, but for the most part it allows the Centaurans to feel as though they are being active in their government and gives each citizen the right to influence the government directly. It is actually better described as a kritarchy, or rule of the judges. Laws are set by popular vote after being submitted by judges who can veto these decisions. These judges are in a sense, popular monarchs. Once made a judge, it is difficult but not impossible to lose the position. A centauran can be punished twice for a single crime, once by the judges and once by those in charge of the place where the transgression has occured. For example, a thief can be be arrested at a station and given jail time by the station, and then be given trial by the judges who may deal a second punishment.

Centaurans have several religions. One of the more interesting involves the belief of Pieces of God. The creator force is in two aspects, the overall lord of creation and in tiny bits found in each living being, essentially the soul. These pieces are constantly trying to move back together again. The pieces that fit are the people closest to you. Pieces that don't belong are in enemies. Those close to each other, be they friends, lovers, or family, will bind their Pieces of God, and are connected in some fashion no matter how far apart they are. This belief is compatible with most others.

Like Humans, Centaurans have different styles of clothing depending on where they are from. Being topless is not considered in bad taste, although it is more common in spacers than dirtsiders. Shirts or jackets are frequently worn. The legs often have some kind of covering, but shoes are not necessary with the very thick soles. A type of utility belt is also common, festooned with pockets to allow a Centauran to carry things with him at all times without the need to carry a bag or a purse. This doesn't mean centaurans are against either bags or purses, only that it is a popular option not to have one.

Anything else
If there's anything else you want to know about, please let me know. I have a feeling I'm forgetting something in this massive wall of text.
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