Edlings - Like Dwarves, But Not
Edlings! Creatures from my Star Bard story arc, Edlings are a mining race. They are specifically built for the purposes of mining ores from deep below the surfaces of planets and asteroids the universe over.
Edlings are a stocky, hardy race with a tough, pebbly skin akin to that of a rhino or elephant. This skin thickens and callouses with the rough environments the Edlings often find themselves working in. Their oversized ears are not particularly good at hearing - not much more than an average human - but instead are particularly well-suited for sweeping ore traces up to the edling's sensetive nose. Edlings are born with a highly-developed senes of smell that caters towards ores, stone and minerals of different kinds. In addition, this sense of smell allows Edlings to detect gasses of various kinds. Edlings need to breathe about half as much oxygen as human beings to survive in most places, making the deep cracks of the universe ideal for them to work in, as air is not plentiful.
Edlings are capable of seeing in little to no light but can be dazzled if they are exposed to light too easily. Edlings often wear goggles when going to and from mines, to keep their eyes from being damaged.
Edlings have a heavily build structure based on stability, and thanks to their digitigrade legs, they are able to push, pull and drag heavy loads easily. A stiff tail gives them great balance when traversing dangerous rockfalls and untested chasms. Edling males tend to shave their headquills short or off completely - females are encouraged to grow theirs long and keep them lustrous. Mining is a male-dominated field in Edling society.
The Edling homeworld of Ed is a heavily industrialized planet that is almost unsuitable for life. Thanks to robust pollution and overproduction of the planet's natural resources, most edlings now live in geodomes along the wastes. While these structures thrive, the wasteland of Ed is not a forgiving place.
About three percent of Edlings develop a rare disorder called Oreblight - the scent, touch or breathing of ore-touched air or surroundings causes violent allergic reactions, including the eventual shutdown of respiratory functions. Most infants that are dignosed with Oreblight do not survive unless they recieve proper medicine and training for use of respirators and hazard equipment, which is extremely expensive. One of the main protagonists of Star Bard, Ebbward, is living with Oreblight.