The Hyk (pronounced [HÜK]) are a strange humanoid sentient race that are native to Espovon’s underbelly, living beneath the continents in vast systems of caverns. Some Hyk claim their society’s architecture plunges beneath the ocean floor. No formal nation has been formed and most Hykken civilizations are tribal or nomadic. They vaguely resemble certain amphibians and insects in their physical features. Hyk are widely known to adapt heavily and rapidly to their environments, leading to variations on characteristics between clans.
Hyk are generally humanoid in composition, in that they are symmetrical bipedal vertibrates posessing an endoskeleton. From there, characteristics differ greatly from humans and many Amali. Their heads resemble those of certain surface-world insects, specifically the mantis, with one forward facing eye placed on each side of an elongated, wide yet slender head. Above the eyes are long articulated antennae used as receptors to the senses of Feel, Sound, and Taste. Hyk do not have mouths placed on their heads. Long, slender necks with flaps of stretchy skin on either side lead to a broad chest, collar, and shoulder. Along the collar are intake vents used by the Hyk to consume food. The reason for this placement is thought to be so that Hyk can lay prone against a cavern wall or ceiling and feed while keeping on the lookout with an unoccupied head and neck. A Hyk’s thorax is broad and composed in a human-like musculature, although lacks nipples. Immediately beneath the wide pectoralis major, the external obliques and serratus anterior taper toward the core, creating a long and slender abdomen. A Hyk’s arms are typically very large, comprised of single(hinge)-jointed segments in a familiar upper-arm, forearm fashion. Circumference of both arms can be twice or three times that of the abdomen, as the Hyk require large arm muscles to climb and balance. The hands of the Hyk are drastically different than in humans. Hyk have 8 triple(hinge)-jointed digits arrayed in an orbit about the palm(in a fashion similar to how a squid’s tentacles are arrayed in an orbit about the squid’s beak). This is to allow their hands to dexterously grap any rockface and handle difficult, fragile tools. The digits, when clenched, form a tightly packed dome. A significant feature of the arms of all Hyk is that the large muscles can contract toward the core of the arms to become the width of the abdomen, roughly. This allows Hyk to enter small passageways unimpeded. Moving lower down their anatomy, hips and waist are typical in appearance and give way to single(hinge) jointed legs which have evolved to be very long in both thigh and shin. Hyk feet are similar to Hyk hands, in that they are comprised of four prehensile digits used to grasp firmly around objects and keep balance on uneven terrain.
Many Hyk tribes often have evolved a form of organic armor plating similar to those of an Armadillo’s, often in a camouflage pattern resembling their place of origin. Placement and configuration of these plates depends entirely on clan and individual.
The subject of Hyk evolution is a very interesting one. As a lineage, it is difficult to trace exactly how the Hyk became as they are now, however information retrieved from citizens of certain tribes claim that they are descendants of humans. The difficulty lies in the astounding rate of adaption that all Hyk share to some degree. Their physiology changes at an incredibly rapid rate in accordance to their surroundings and mental stress. For example, given anywhere from one to three weeks’ time, a Hyk retrieved from beneath the surface and brought to Arcologen will gain pigmentation in its skin from the sun, lose the rocky camouflage texture to their armor plating, and may even rid himself of the armor entirely, exposing its flesh to respond to the less volatile habitat. This particular ability appears to be limited to qualities of their skin and makeup of their armor plates, as opposed to allowing alterations on their physiological structure entirely.
This quirky ability is the cause of a halt in evolution by traditional means in the species. Fossil records show no growth in many centuries, probably due to the fact that any environmental changes could be handled within the span of a month and genetic mutation was no longer the key to bettering the species as a whole.
It is also important to note that adaptive benefits affect length Hyk suffer from an illness, the rate at which wounds will heal, and their ability to deal with social discomfort. Prolonged exposure to any of these kinds of elements will see a change in the Hyk’s body’s behavior in response to the elements respectively.
Hyk bring little with them to the surface world beyond the rest of their clans. Objects seem to hold no interest to “wild” Hyk, as the environment beneath Espovon’s surface disallowed convenience or luxury for the vast majority. Most Hyk are raised in a nomadic culture that cherishes the togetherness of a family unit and the dependency on change. They adhere to a strong natural belief system and regale in legacies of the surface world of their supposed human ancestors. In these stories, mystic men were commonplace as well as glowing transparant city structures. These suggest that Hyk society dates well beyond the Cataclysm.
Beneath the surface, Hyk are hunter-gatherers with a close attachment to kin, even in villages and towns where population allows more personal space. On the surface, however, many Hyk adapt to the anarchic system in place in Arcologen, becoming materialistic and isolationist. This is a common tool to recognize if a Hyk is native to Arcologen or his homeland.
Choosing a Hyk as a character signifies an understanding of their viewpoint. Hyk have only very recently been introduced to the surface world. They have no understanding of technology when they first enter Arcologen. What they do get to understand is incredibly basic at first, however progression to expand their skillsets are accelerated more quickly than humans and Amali. Likewise, minor consequences will be healed noticeably quicker. They are at a disadvantage in all social environments without other Hyk, which due to their rarity will be very hard to come by. Numbers governing their adaption and healing have yet to be implemented. Testing will occur in the near future.