|Homeworld location||Tsodr (Tienspevnekr 0931)|
|Primary Star||G3 V|
|Reference||Alien Races 1 113-121.|
The Clotho evolved from six-limbed nocturnal carnivore/trappers who burrowed under the roots of the monolith trees of their homeworld’s forests. They spun complex webs for catching small game and elaborate web-symbols (glyphs) to mark territory. Dramatic climactic changes circa -550,000 caused a drop in numbers of the species the Clotho preyed upon. The Clotho began to hunt larger game, developing physical snares and traps as well as more cooperative behavior.
Increasingly complex glyph symbols were developed. By -200,000 the proto-Clotho had been replaced by the modern Clotho species, with a larger skull and glands evolved to spin finer (but less adhesive) webs that were more effective in communication than in trapping of game, and upper claws that were better suited for tool use.
The average Clotho stands 2.3 meters tall (if fully erect) and weighs 90 kg. Their torso is triangular, with charcoal gray skin and long silky hair, dark gray or blue-black, except for a hairless wedge-shaped face. Clotho possess two legs and four arms.
Their head has a small mouth with sharp teeth, and a flat nose, while its ears are small but pointed, protruding above the top of the head. The Clotho’s most prominent facial feature is their two oval eyes. Clotho intelligence is roughly comparable to that of Humans, but all Clotho possess excellent spatial sense.
Each limb has an extra set of joints, effectively giving them an extra elbow or knee. The upper and lower arms differ, for while the lower pair of arms is very strong, adapted for occasional quadrupedal movement or burrowing, the upper set is more dexterous and utilized for manipulation and weaving glyphs. Each hand ends in a thumb and four fingers tipped with sharp clawlike nails, originally used both for rending prey and burrowing.
Clotho are gonochoric (individuals are either male or female) and warm-blooded, but they are not mammals. Clotho reproduce sexually in a manner similar to Terran animals, though they are less fertile. Pregnancy lasts nine months, and young are born alive, and children are always born in twin brother-sister pairs. This sibling unit forms the basic element of their society, analogous to the Human family
Clotho languages are entirely visual, an evolution of webs spun by their ancestors to attract mates, mark territory and catch food. Luminescent threads are extruded from glands in their mouths and woven into complex patterns by their delicate claws. Males and females secrete different colors, the hue of which can be further altered by saliva, and these are combined into the complex glyphs which make up the race’s language.
Glyphs are usually drawn on surfaces or spun between trees or structures (some Imperials have jokingly referred to this as "graffiti"); seeing these scattered around a neighborhood in a Zhodani starport is one sign that Clotho are on the world.
The Clotho were one of the first race to be contacted by the Zhodani since the discovery of the chirpers. The biological disaster that had occurred then, combined with the highly alien appearance of the Clotho, caused the Zhodani to use extreme caution and delicacy. Ten years went by as the Zhodani survey ships and robot probes, with sophisticated emission cloaking and stealth systems monitored Clotho electromagnetic traffic and observed their colonies. From the Zhodani perspective, the Clotho appeared quite alien. Their psychology was seen as strange, obsessive and in places immoral from a Zhodani perspective – but with its emphasis on community and order, not without virtue. Moreover, they appeared not to be a warlike society
The Zhodani initiated contact from -5112 to -5110. Initial "practice" contacts were made with Patterns on the Clotho outworld colonies, which could be easily interdicted if mistakes were made. Thanks to Zhodani telepathy and the lengthy period of pre-contact observation, relatively few errors were made, although a number of Zhodani telepaths experienced psychological problems. After a short period of culture shock, the Clotho accepted their more advanced neighbors. The first indication of this was when a fashion for Zhodani cloaks spread like wildfire.
The next six centuries of Clotho history were devoted to the integration of new technology and the social adjustments brought about by their (initially limited and controlled) participation in interstellar trade. By -4500 Zhodani merchant vessels were operating with Clotho crews between the worlds of the Clotho empire.
In -2540, several ships of the Seven Ecstatic Dancers pattern accompanied one of the early Zhodani trade missions into the Vargr Extents. While retracing their route after a year of successful exchanges they came upon the bloody aftermath of a corsair attack on a trading post they had established during the outward bound of the voyage.
The ugliness of the scene, with bloody corpses everywhere instead of being neatly eaten or cremated, enraged the Clotho, who urged the Zhodani traders into an unofficial punitive expedition against the corsair base. Lacking armed ships, the six hundred Clotho led the ground attack and hand-to-hand fighting, acquitting themselves well in the first paramilitary action involving their race since they entered Zhodani space. After this incident, Clotho trading patterns that operated beyond Consulate borders were granted permission to arm their own ships.
Clotho contacts with the Vilani were very limited, but between 50 and 500, the Clotho participated in Zhodani encounters with the Aslan and Imperial Humans. After initial Consular expeditions, Clotho traders ranged out into Zhodani client states within the Foreven and Far Frontiers sectors. Between the Second and Third Frontier Wars, the first Clotho traders began to venture into the Spinward Marches. The risk of war discouraged any large-scale settlement, but by 1120, some 20,000 Clotho could be found in enclaves on Zhodani worlds in the Cronor and Querion subsectors, mostly in enclaves within Class A ports.
This race is primarily located in the following areas:
The homeworld of this race is:
World Listing: 1105