The Sigyni are a race of four-winged intelligent bats in the Shine Cycle that originally inhabited a large, but not very dense, planet in the Despard Cluster (far above the world of the two continents with which the series is most concerned). A Sigyn is about human-sized, between five and eight feet long at adulthood, with each wing between three and five feet long, and covered in light fur all over. They have “hands” (with five fingers plus an opposable thumb on each) at the end of each wing, claws (two sets of six claws, one opposable, each) serving as their “feet”, and two prehensile tails.
The Sigyni’s world has many caves, which are their natural habitat. Like bats in our world, they sleep hanging upside-down in the caves—though they are not as strictly nocturnal as our bats, and can navigate by sonar or by sight. The Sigyni are omnivorous; their diet is primarily fruit, but also insects and small animals. A very few, particularly “bent” individuals have developed a taste for blood.
There is a tree on the Sigyni’s world whose wood is very light, and easily worked, but once left to set hardens into a form very like a lightweight alloy. Between this and the easy availability of some metals in the caves, they achieved a somewhat industrialized society early. And even though they obviously didn’t need it for passenger transportation, they developed aircraft for freight much sooner than might be expected—helped by the planet’s low gravity and the availability of lightweight materials.
After a dozen more generations or so, having adapted various high-altitude plants into portable oxygen generators, and improved their aircraft sufficiently, they began to journey into space. The Sigyni are, as far as anyone knows, the only race to do so without ever developing artificial gravity—the design of their bodies made them as at home without gravity as with it. Once in space, they flourished in low- and no-gravity environments, and after encountering other inhabited planets they began to specialize in interplanetary and interstellar trade.
The Sigyni have two languages. The first is a subtle sign language formed using gestures of their hands and tails; the second modulates their sonar to convey the information. Additionally, while it sounds decidedly awkward, their vocal chords can be made to produce human languages (and others that human beings and similar races can produce), so they prefer to conduct business in the languages of their trading partners.
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