“But yet what a Pe Choi! Instead of the sleek, dully-gleaming black nudity of the Pé Chói of Do Chaka, this specimen was decked out in an oddly-fitting copy of a human’s kilt, a gorget of Chlén-hide, and—most ludicrous of all—a hat! ...The Pé Chói minced forward on his two powerful rear legs, articulated tail swaying in unconscious imitation of a dandy’s walk. ‘I am Chtik p’Qwe, Scholar Priest of the Fourth Circle.’ ”
from The Man of Gold by M.A.R. Barker, ©1984 DAW Books
The Pé Chói are most comfortable in a thickly forested habitat, but they enjoy human society, join human institutions, and copy human dress and customs. They possess considerable psychic talent and are often found in the temples as scholars. The Pé Chói may seem a little ‘delicate’ in human terms, and they often conceal their own cultural attitudes behind smooth and sophisticated facades, however they are perhaps the most ‘human’ of the nonhuman species.
The slender and graceful Pé Chói are from 1.63 to 2.2m in height, covered with a chitinous exoskeleton (males are jet black, while females are chalky white), with two powerful rear legs, four smaller upper limbs ending in bony three-digited hands with an opposable thumb, and a segmented prehensile tail. The head is long and slender, with two large green eyes, a tapering proboscis, and two fan-like ‘ears’ at the rear of the skull. They have excellent hearing and vision, and a simple form of telepathy which can detect the presence of another creature within 2m. The same sense can detect when a member of their species has been slain within 5km, and if they can ascertain who was responsible, they are unforgiving and implacable enemies thereafter. They also possess a double set of lungs, one in the upper torso and another in the lower abdomen.
The Pé Chói have two sexes, plus a ‘neuter’ stage which can be adopted by either sex. males make up about 40 percent, females 35 percent, and the neuters 25 percent of their population.
Various, most notably Do Chaka.