Humanoid in appearance, orhatea range in size from 122 cm (4’) or less for sexless drones to as tall as 244 cm (8’) for the Amah. They have a hardened exoskeleton instead of skin and bones, but otherwise appear humanoid. Aside from their exoskeleton, their most distinguishing feature is the oblong length of their head, and eyes that glow blue in the sexed orhatea and white in the sexless drones.
Their hard exoskeleton and ability to retain water and air in bladders along the length of it, allow for the orhatea to survive in any atmosphere that is not caustic to their shells. They are equally at home in the vacuum of space as they are on a planet’s surface or beneath its oceans.
The orhatea look down on any species that cannot survive in space, or has not developed interstellar travel.
Orhatea social structure is divided into two broad categories; the sexed and the sexless. The sexless are gray and stand less than 122 cm (4’) in height. The sexed are divided into the black shelled female and the white shelled male that are between 122 cm (4’) and 155 cm (5’) in height. There are stories of sexless drones migrating between the male and female sexes, their shells changing colors as they do.
All orhatea share an empathy with others in their colony. This connection allows for a weak communication between drones, warning of danger, or indicating location.
Sexed orhatea have a telepathic connection to all sexless drones. Bonded male and female pairs have a stronger telepathic link that enables two-way communication.
Orhatea speak their own language that is a combination of physical and mental ques combined with vocalizations made with air sacks under their shells. The language is not effective without an empathetic or telepathic connection and cannot be spoken by other species.
Unsexed orhatea can live a century, the sexed extend that to three centuries, with the Amah an Earah living up to five centuries before meeting the Angatam.