Flotation Device: Cotec Picture

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Finally got these done. This seriously took me months to get to a point I was satisfied with. Apparently I just plain suck at digitigrade aliens. Anyway, these are the Cotec, an alien race for Flotation Device, courtesy of Xenovember. Hopefully I'll get more done this month, but the Cotec are kind of a big deal for the setting. They're the only species I've made so far that have a similar population and influence to the setting's humans, who are as of now the most populous species across at least one galaxy. Cotec came about because of an old idea I had while playing Destiny, "what if the Psions are the females of the species?" That turned out to be woefully incorrect, but then I wanted to explore that and actually make such a species. Where the men are big, burly badasses and the women are lithe and tiny by comparison. So here we are. I also added a ton of Jackal and Elite influences from Halo as conceptualization went forward, and the Cotec have become one of my favorite alien species I've ever made. I'm not going to do a Captain Mercury blog for them here, because I'm tired (might edit this whole thing tomorrow) and because the Cotec would never get a big explanation from her because they're a core component of her audience, and widespread enough that every human in the Musketeer Galaxy knows everything about them.

Here are the basics. Cotec have a vast sexual dimorphism. Men are massive and women are human-sized. This plays an important role in their biology and culture, in that much of Cotec technology ("Cotechnology") is huge and daunting compared to that of most other species. Their starships are gargantuan, their buildings are absurdly roomy, and their guns are titanic... when compared to those of other species. Women often feel overwhelmed by it all, while males are perfectly comfortable. This has been the biggest challenge between Cotec and human societies and exchange between species, and forms the humorous dialogue between the two. Cotec men don't like being cramped in human civilizations, and humans tend to get lost wandering around on Cotec worlds. Meanwhile, Cotec women are perfectly fine fitting into other species' civilizations because of how compact they are compared to their species.

That's about their only gender schism, though. All Cotec respect size. Bigger equals better in Cotec society, and don't ever forget it. Men decide most matters based solely on size. The biggest and strongest often rule, and men get larger and stronger over time. Women also consider it very important that their men be as big as possible... and yes, in that way. Cotec women can receive ridiculous sizes, and place great importance on it – about as much as human men do. This can be played up for comedy between species, but the basis of all Cotechnology, culture, and politics is size. As such, Cotechnology is known for two things more than the tech of their neighbors: Size, and reliability. Cotec machinery is rarely the most powerful or cost-efficient, or versatile, and is fairly average across the board. Except, Cotec gadgets are often the biggest of their type, and are obnoxiously reliable. Cotechnology can work in almost any environment or disaster, and will continue to work for decades, even centuries.

A lot of this has to do with the natural environment of the Cotec themselves. Cotec come from Tesla, a watery, stormy world in the Musketeer Galaxy. Tesla is burdened globally by harsh winds, rains, and lightning storms, among other problems. However, the Cotec love it just as a human loves an earthly environment, and all of their machinery is thus designed to operate in those same environments. Since expanding across the stars, the Cotec have taken advantage of this, and their colonies are almost always on worlds that no one else has interest in because of bad climates. If a colonist passes up a stormy, acidic, submerged, or otherwise inhospitable planet, you can bet the Cotec will take it for themselves. They take the worlds no one else wants and turn them into habitable paradises.

Biologically, Cotec are sort-of-fish, but not quite. They are smooth-skinned, odd-blooded omnivores. Men are sluggish and powerful while women are absurdly flexible and energetic. On top of this, men are warm-blooded while women are cold-blooded, unless they're pregnant. Women, with child, shift to become warmer living incubators, bloating far larger than normal and they become able to create their own warmth. Normally, however, women are slave to outside temperatures, and like to cuddle up with their men for warmth. Cotec are amphibious, and enjoy being in water as much as being in air. Much of their Cotechnology is amphibious as well. Cotec have an odd history with astralnautics – Men are very rarely able to generate astralnautic powers while women have a very high rate of having such abilities. Women also have better eyesight and reflexes than the average male. Cotec have very mild bioelectric attributes, and have a tendency to have accidental static electricity about them. This can have comical applications (a Cotec generating too much static cling, attracting all the clothing around them right off of the women wearing them) to more practical applications (a Cotec astralnaut manipulating their bioelectricity for natural lightning bolt attacks, and other electrical powers).

Culturally, Cotec aren't very different from humans, despite many humans stereotyping them as warlike, storm-loving giants with coincidentally-flexible monstergirl wives. Indeed, ancient Cotec history is dominated by war stories, but they're a lot more proud of their past than humans are of theirs, and nowadays in the setting neither species is more belligerent than the other. They don't quite excel at anything in particular, though men make fine soldiers and many hire themselves out as mercenaries. Women also have excellent eyesight and dexterity, and Cotec militaries often have a "men on the frontline, women as snipers" thing going on. There's a long history of chivalry in Cotec culture, and men are very protective of their women. Despite men usually preferring to do the fighting, given their size and strength advantage over their women, governance has never been totally patriarchal in Cotec society, as both genders are equally bad at politics. Men and women basically just spend all of their time together trying to sexually manipulate one another into doing what they want. So, you know, exactly like human society.

Of important note is religion. Unlike many species that have a strong divide between religion and science, with the faith of the former seeming to cancel out the comprehension of the latter, Cotec have never divided the two, and their religious organizations have always been the frontier of their science and reason. The two disciplines have always been intertwined, and a Cotec priest is the same thing as a scientist. Chapels and laboratories usually coincide, and most Cotec scientific research and theory is told through mythological allegory and poetry rather than numbers and equations, which they consider too boring.

I guess that's all I can think of for now. Cotec and humans get along pretty well, and a lot of their nations and empires are allied or even merged together. I tried to give them some Aztec influences, and a lot of their machines and architecture are blocky and angular. I was going to try and do some Aztec Calendar type etchings in the armor, but ultimately I decided not to, though you are welcome to give them that kind of style if you every write them. The most common racial epithet for the Cotec is "Eel".

Comment and enjoy!
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