On the bizarre world of H'rin orbiting the star Sextantis, the Ysan evolved from massive sea crustaceans. Their pincers slowly receeded over time as they lived their amphibious life within a terrestrial world the size of a gas giant. The expansive oceans of H'rin saw all manner of terrible things as the Ysan brought themselves to power. They destroyed all other potential candidates for planetary supremacy in their rise, eradicating all competition.
The Ysan have always been obsessed with technology. When they first emerged from their oceans on H'rin, the Ysan found they could not breathe in the lighter air, their lungs deflating inward and collapsing. The first real technological advance of the Ysan was a suit that allowed them to reach the rest of H'rin. This became altogether costly and hard to operate; with the mammalian species that had evolved alongside them, the Ysan realized that what was needed was something with less bulk that would not restrict their movement. Walking on shore was difficult enough for the crustaceans. By adding a massive containment suit, they effectively crippled their shore parties. Before the Ysan left their homeworld, they made their first cybernetic advances.
By implanting filters into their lungs, the Ysan could rely on automated systems to filter out harmful particles and force their lungs to utilize elements to an incredible degree. The first Ysan who accepted these implants were pioneers onto land. The Ysan wiped out all of the sentient mammal species on their homeworld, performing an act of genocide and establishing themselves as the masters and rulers of H'rin.
With the lung implants in place, the Ysan became a truly amphibious species. Building cities on land as well as within the sea, the landward colonies were almost wiped out by lack of viable birth. The Ysan would have to journey away from their ground colonies to the sea in order to give birth, then spend time raising the child till young adulthood, leaving the colonies almost vacant. Through the adaptation of cybernetic devices into a bionetic format, the Ysan learned how to manipulate the genetics of their species to accept implants at a young age. This allowed them to place their implants in infants and not have the body reject them, instead letting the infant's body grow around the implants and accept them.
After five generations, there was no more need for genetic manipulation. Cybernetic tolerance had become a dominant trait. As cybernetic research became more and more powerful, the Ysan came up with other ways of improving their people, including the implantation of muscle augmentation, making them faster and stronger than before. When the first starships were built, the Ysan sent their cybernetic warriors into space with colonists and scientists, seeking out new worlds. Positioned in a relatively "sweet spot" for their species, the Ysan managed to find three other worlds in different star systems, colonizing them and advancing their cybernetic technology to untold levels through the resources found on these planets. They could now put in a miniaturized filter which would "grow" along with the Ysan, allowing for in utero implantation.
One of the first races to find space travel and journey into the galaxy, the Ysan formed the core of the galactic government with the Quanara. Both races being naturally aquatic, the Ysan found the Quanara to be exceedingly comforting, despite being similar to ancient, ancestral enemies. The Ysan were incredibly proud; seeing that the Quanara wore the same suits that they did when they first ventured out of the oceans onto the land masses of their homeworld made them look upon the Quanara with pity and derision. Soon, communication between the two races broke down into a war.
The Quanara-Ysan War, also known as the War of Sagittarius by the Confederation, was a long and bloody conflict in the galaxy's history. It lasted for thirty-five years, ending when the Quanara had first contact with the Telosians. Peace was enacted by the Telosians on the neutral ground of the planet Tethari in Telosian space within the Kaliva Cluster. These three races forged the beginnings of alliance, building a centralized meeting point for each of their people near the galactic center. Nexus was constructed in Ysan style, with clean lines and economical function. Ysan miniaturization techniques were used to construct many of the machines that continue to run the space station to this day.
When humanity came to the fore-front of galactic politics, the Ysan disliked them instantly. They were similar to the original race of mammals that were eradicated from H'rin. While the two species had never gone to war, the Ysan and Confederation have often nearly come to blows. With humanity settling more and more worlds, the Ysan grow impatient at the young race. Likewise, humanity often regards the cybernetic creatures with disgust, their enhancements serving as cautionary tales to humans who favor technology too much. A cold war rests between the two races now, with the rest of the galaxy waiting for the inevitable conflict.
All Ysan are given at least one or two cybernetic enhancements during their childhood to help them progress further. One is required – the breathing filter that sits within their lungs. The second is often chosen by the parents. Some parents will choose something to help augment their child's abilities. Others will attempt to pick something that will serve them later in life, or end up potentially giving the child an occupation, such as a language filter or natural armor. Regardless of the design, the Ysan are cybernetic by the time they reach adulthood, with part or most of their bodies replaced by machines.
The Ysan are a large species, standing around 2-2.5 meters in height and weighing in at around 125-150 kilograms. The Ysan have soft shells that surround their bodies; their pincer claws have pulled back to become a three fingered "hand" which allows them to manipulate objects with an opposable digit. The Ysan vary in coloration, which plays into their culture. Red-shelled Ysan tend to be leaders; black-shelled Ysan are often scientists; white-shelled Ysan are warriors and doctors; grey-shelled Ysan tend towards technical work. The Ysan culture is not built around a caste system like the Vinali — these are purely stereotypes common to their species.
An ancient species, the Ysan's culture is built around metaphor. The ocean is an important thing to the Ysan. Many things are referred to in terms of the sea, most notably the idea of space and space travel. In Ysani, the term for space is literally "ocean of stars," which is aptly poetic for their species.
Ysan culture tends towards the artistic. All of their constructions have both function and form, with stylistic points giving a very clear indication in who made the device. For instance, two weaponsmiths will craft an identical item, but each will put her own specific touches on the weapon. Many pieces of art and craftsmanship often include the golden ratio and the Fibonacci sequence, formed out of shell-patterns.
Music plays an important part in Ysan life. All Ysan are taught to sing at a young age. Song is part of the mating process of the Ysan, allowing their people to select a mate based on the tone and timbre of the song. Likewise, creativity in putting together lyrics is also important. Ysan poets and minstrels are often in high demand throughout the galaxy; even humans have discussed a particular penchant for their music and song-smithing.
Being a cybernetic race, the Ysan focus most of their scientific development over the construction of cybernetic enhancements and artificial intelligence. They helped the Vinali construct the massive AI colleges that train their people, and have formed the basis of all cybernetic development throughout the galaxy, including the cybernetic enhancements that humans often acquire. To have a true Ysan cybernetic device is a privilege that is rarely seen on non-Ysan. Having one of their devices means that it will never fail and will faithfully serve the bearer for the rest of her life.