M'shinni, also known as mossies, were a sentient species of humanoid mammals who shared a symbiotic relationship with a species of plant. Each M'shinn had no hair but instead a thick covering of the soft moss-like plant, which was normally a shade of green in color and provided increased healing rates for its hosts. The humanoids were native to the planet Genassa in the Mid Rim but, due to the size of their population, colonized many worlds through the M'shinni sector, including the homeworld of the Skrilling species, which they named Agriworld-2079. Each planet that the M'shinn colonized was controlled by a Council of the Wise, which ensured that the land was split up suitably between the different M'shinn families on the planet, known as Rootlines. All M'shinni within a Rootline looked incredibly similar, although different Rootlines had distinctive looks. This was because M'shinni only possessed one gender, female, and reproduced by parthenogenesis, which was close to cloning in terms of passing on genes to offspring.
M'shinn culture focused on agricultural development due to their unique relationship with plants but was also highly advanced in botanical and genetic understanding. This led to them producing large quantities of unique plant species, which they then traded with the rest of the galaxy, rivaling the Ithorian species for botanical dominance. The species integrated itself into the galactic community soon after encountering the Galactic Republic, and, because each Rootline worked like an independent business, some groups of M'shinni continued to work with the Republic's successor, the Galactic Empire. Following the death of Galactic Emperor Palpatine, the M'shinni colonies fell in and out of Imperial Space regularly due to the various conflicts between the remnants of the Empire and the New Republic, and Genassa was controlled by the Yuuzhan Vong for a period during the Yuuzhan Vong War.
Biology and appearanceEdit
The M'shinni were an all-female species of sentient, humanoid mammals who shared a symbiotic relationship with a plant species also native to their homeworld of Genassa. Having evolved from a humanoid precursor species, M'shinni on average stood between 1.5 and 2.2 meters tall, around the same height as the Human species. They had bipedal bodies with two arms, two legs, and an upright stance. Their heads were larger than Humans, however, and their two black eyes bulged out from their face more while normally being more watery in nature. M'shinni mouths had wide, flexible lips and bony ridges instead of teeth, which were more suited to grinding the vegetation that made up their diet. Instead of a nose, M'shinni had two centimeter-wide holes in their cheeks that acted as nostrils, and had five centimeter-wide black membranes sensitive to sound in the place of ears on either side of their head.
The humanoids were totally hairless across their bodies, instead having a soft but thick layer of the moss-like plant covering their skin, except for on the soles of their feet and the palms of their hands. The color of the plant, as well as other aspects of its appearance, depended on the lifestyle of the M'shinn hosting it and the environment in which they lived. The type of light source in the environment played a large role in determining color, with natural and artificial light as well as different star types creating different shades, ranging from a light yellow-green to a dark emerald green with patches of blue or black. Unhealthy M'shinni could also have patches of plant that had faded to a dull brown.
Without any light, a M'shinn's plant covering would die, although it took ten days to disappear entirely. This loss of covering revealed the soft pink skin of the M'shinn beneath, and it took three weeks to re-root and grow again if any was left, as was the case if the M'shinn was burned or hit by a blaster bolt. Less severe injuries that did not damage the roots of the plant regrew in a couple of days. The plant survived on the M'shinn by feeding upon dead skin cells and sweat; in return, the plant supplied nutrients and kept the skin moist and elastic, and also provided an increased healing rate to the host. Without the plant, M'shinni healed far slower than Humans. They were able to make use of medical treatments such as bacta tanks, but doing so often killed the plant covering in the treated area.
Due to them having only one gender, M'shinni reproduced through parthenogenesis, a natural cloning-like method of reproduction in which good climatic conditions and abundance of resources caused birth. This could take place once every three standard years and would produce a single child, measuring only a centimeter in length, which then remained in a belly pouch its mother possessed for a hundred days. All M'shinni in a family looked nearly identical, as parthenogenesis was similar to a form of cloning, although subtle genetic changes between generations created some differences between individuals. Different Rootlines, or M'shinn family units, often developed distinctive appearances.
Society and cultureEdit
Almost all M'shinni shared the defining characteristic of being unalterably loyal to their family, which in their society was known as their Rootline. Individual M'shinni pursued the goals of their Rootline with differing levels of personal vigor or focus, but M'shinni who actively worked against them were incredibly rare. Beside this unifying quality, the personality and temperament of M'shinni was as variable of that of Humans, allowing for a huge range of personality types. To identify themselves, many M'shinni shaved parts of their plant covering into patterns or wore jewelery, including bracelets and necklaces. M'shinni rarely or never wore clothing, however, because it prevented sunlight from reaching the plant covering them.
M'shinn politics was based around the different Rootlines that made up their society, each of which comprised thousands of individuals. The eldest member of each Rootline on any planet was made a member of the world's Council of the Wise, with each planet having a separate council. Whenever a new planet was terraformed and colonized, the available land was split between the Rootlines following strict rules on land ownership, which the Council of the Wise monitored. Any individual M'shinn gained political prestige in her society through maintenance and care for the land that her Rootline owned. A good harvest, development of a new crop, or reclamation of non-arable land all improved a M'shinn's standing as well as earning profits and more land for her Rootline. Each individual Rootline controlled a large family business, and these different companies competed fiercely, although rarely in the form of actual physical conflict. Sabotage and espionage instead were used to disadvantage competing Rootlines, although any Rootline caught using such techniques suffered a large loss of prestige, meaning great care was taken.
Technological development within M'shinn society was focused on solar power and agriculture, due to the species' relationship with plants, which also allowed their understanding of botany and genetics to be particularly strong. This led to the species developing a number of devices, such as solar collectors and power generators, which made use of cellular organic material, as well as developing a large number of genetically-engineered crop plants. Many of these plants were highly unusual, with some being able to survive using just airborne nutrients in zero-G environments, some being hugely heat resistant, and others being highly effective terraformers. Other plants they developed had purely decorative function, with huge ranges of shapes and colors of flower being created as well as bio-luminescent lichen, which could be used as lighting with homes. Due to normal medical treatments damaging their symbiotic partners, M'shinni also developed analogs for medpacs and bacta treatment, which they could use without damaging their plant covering.
M'shinni evolved from a precursor species that had formed a symbiotic relationship with the plant that covered all members of their descendant species. The female who first formed this relationship was known by the M'shinni as the Firstmother and was the ancestor of all M'shinni. After the precursor species went extinct through evolution of the M'shinni, the M'shinni eventually grew to a population size that their homeworld, Genassa, could not sustain. As a result, the M'shinni built a series of orbital biospheres around the planet, but continued growth led to the colonization of Genassa's moon and then the terraforming and habitation of the six other planets that occupied their star system. When the species developed hyperdrive technology, the M'shinni colonized hundreds of worlds and systems throughout the M'shinni sector. One world that the M'shinni colonized was the homeworld of a species they named the Skrilling, meaning bone-picker, who at the time were peaceful, primitive, nomadic herders. The M'shinni penned in the Skrilling herds and claimed their land, changing the planet's name to Agriworld-2079. The Skrilling were left to create a new life for themselves and eventually integrated into the M'shinn colony on the planet as a form of beggar class.
The area of space that the M'shinni inhabited was first explored by the general galactic community between 3000 BBY and 1000 BBY, and when the M'shinni first encountered the Galactic Republic, they quickly accepted the huge galactic government and integrated themselves with the rest of galactic society. During the reign of the Galactic Empire, the Republic's successor state, Genassa fell within Imperial-controlled space, and some Rootlines traded happily with the Imperials, making a healthy profit, although others treated the off-worlders more carefully. Many M'shinni feared the Empire would eventually take control of the M'shinn colonies, a fear that increased due to the trade restrictions that the Empire placed preventing the M'shinni from trading with many worlds that aided or sympathized with the Alliance to Restore the Republic during the Galactic Civil War. As such, the species maintained neutrality in the war, with some M'shinn colonies welcoming Imperials and others only dealing with them in limited amounts, which caused growing friction amongst the Councils of the Wise. During this time, some Skrilling on Agriworld-2079 also began campaigning for Skrilling freedom on the planet. During the Yuuzhan Vong War, in which the extra-galactic Yuuzhan Vong species invaded the galaxy, the M'shinn system came under the invading species' control between 27 ABY and 29 ABY.
M'shinni in the galaxyEdit
Due to their distinctive moss-covered appearance, M'shinni were often nicknamed "mossies" by other species, leading to the sector in which they lived becoming commonly known as the Mossonian sector. Plants that the M'shinni created were found in fields, biospheres, and gardens all across the galaxy after the species joined the galactic community, and they enjoyed friendly rivalry with the Ithorian species as to who were the galaxy's best botanists and gardeners. Many of the systems surrounding the worlds colonized by the M'shinni depended on the species for food production and trade, and Genassa's position on the prominent Celanon Spur trade route also added to their position as prominent food traders in the galactic market. In 22 BBY, during the Separatist Crisis, a senator named R'shinnos Sh'neel in the Galactic Senate hailed from Genassa.
Behind the scenesEdit
M'Shinni first appeared in the 1995 sourcebook Galaxy Guide 12: Aliens — Enemies and Allies as part of West End Games' Star Wars: The Roleplaying Game, and their species entry was written by Lisa Smedman. The M'shinn species was later mentioned in the Skrilling species' entries in the 2001 sourcebook Alien Anthology, written by Steve Miller and Owen K.C. Stephens and produced for Wizards of the Coast's Star Wars Roleplaying Game. In 2002, a senator from Genassa appeared in an article on the HoloNet News website titled "Palpatine to Separatist: Let's Talk," which was released as part of HoloNet News Vol. 531 48 and written by Pablo Hidalgo and Paul Ens. The article did not make clear if the senator was a M'shinn or if the character represented the M'shinni sector.
- Galaxy Guide 12: Aliens — Enemies and Allies (First mentioned)
- Alien Anthology
- Ultimate Alien Anthology
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia
Notes and referencesEdit
- ↑ 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 1.16 1.17 1.18 1.19 Galaxy Guide 12: Aliens — Enemies and Allies, pp. 55–57
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 Galaxy Guide 12: Aliens — Enemies and Allies, p. 76
- ↑ The Essential Atlas, p. 120
- ↑ The Essential Guide to Warfare, p. 112
- ↑ The Essential Atlas, p. 220
- ↑ HoloNet News Vol. 531 48 is dated to year 13 in the GrS dating system. The Essential Atlas states that the Battle of Yavin occurred in year 35, which is the zero point in the BBY/ABY year-notation system. Simple mathematics therefore arrives at a corresponding date of 22 BBY for the events of HoloNet News Vol. 531 48.