|CR||By class level|
Source: Alien Archive 3, pg(s). 54
An ijtikri's body is oblong and vertical atop the muscular arms around their mouth. Its two long, dexterous feeding tentacles are tipped with pads that allow them to manipulate objects. Each ijtikri has an eye on each side of the head, three dorsal eyespots and two complex eyes on the upper trunk. The head and lower mantile of an ijtikri are covered by a shell, and the upper mantle by a light exoskeletal lattice. An ijtikri's shell shape and instincts develop according to external influences, and those from the same place often look similar. The most common colours are grey, indigo and crimson.
Ijtikris lay eggs that float in the water. Those that survive hatch into larvae that feed on zooplankton. Once large enough, they anchor to hollows in rocks or reefs near the coast and become filter feeders. At the age of two, a juvenile ijtikri stops eating and breaks the anchor to metamorphose into their adult form, then swims to land.
As ijtikris emerge from water, they use a cluster of ganglia known as the skenoseen organ to locate the nearest ijtikri community and learn language, culture and survival skills from them.
Adult ijtikris mate multiple times across their life, with each partner taking and storing some gametes. However, fertilisation only occurs during the final metamorphosis. Over several weeks, the ijtikri's body bloats with gas, splits its shell, grows to a length of 20 feet, takes to the air and propels itself to the sea. When far from land, the eggs are fertilised and dispersed before the ijtikri dies; this is seen as a worthy sacrifice to secure one's legacy. However, modern medicine has allowed ijtikris to fertilise small batches of eggs without the need of metamorphosis.
Around six millennia ago, ijtikris first adopted stone tools and transitioned from a hunter-gatherer lifestyle to a sedentary agricultural one. When the vesk arrived, their Iron Age city states provided little resistance, and within a few years, Vesk-2 became part of the Veskarium.
Modern ijtikris have largely adopted vesk culture. Since newly-mature ijtikris readily accept almost any accepting group as family, they make natural recruits for Veskarium organisations. Those who remain in Vesk-2 contribute to local industries like fish farming, salt production and defrex ranching.
While ijtikris have traditionally avoided the ancient ruins on Vesk-2 that predate their own culture, the vesk instead explore them despite ijtikri pleading, which has been a source of contention between the two species.