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A nefarious race of sentient predatory oozes, hetzuud gained notoriety within the Ultari Hegemony as spies and infiltrators capable of altering their shape and density to interact with almost any environment. They excel at mimicking other creatures and objects by modifying their texture and coloration. Multiple hetzuud can also merge into deadlier, greater-sized oozes with dangerous combat abilities, controlling multiple pseudopods with deadly effect.

Currently, hetzuud hold low-ranking status as servitors of the Ultari Hegemony, but they aspire to much more. As a result, when the Hegemony discovered their homeworld, the hetzuud welcomed the invaders rather than resist them. Eager to leave their bleak planet and become part of a greater civilization, they’ve temporarily aligned themselves with a more dominant power structure, patiently awaiting the day of their own ascendance. Since then, the hetzuud have proven especially capable as warriors, spies, and saboteurs. Their ooze-like characteristics let them squeeze into enemy holdings, and their ability to perfectly duplicate other creatures makes them excellent infiltrators.

An adult hetzuud weighs around 200 pounds and can squeeze itself into 4 cubic feet, or a 1-foot-radius sphere.

The hetzuud evolved on a primordial world called Aveldt from a simple protoplasm with chameleonic properties. Preyed upon by other primitive organisms as a source of nutrition, these mindless progenitors banded together and gradually gained communal sentience. They then honed their ability to mimic other creatures, slowly multiplying and inexorably dominating their competition. While hetzuud exhibit startling sapience for ooze creatures, they remain slow to assimilate new types of information and have difficulty developing innovative ideas without initial prototypes to copy. This puts them in a parasitic relationship with the Hegemony as they attempt to enhance their understanding of other technologies.

Hetzuud have no gender, and while they understand how other species reproduce, they consider any notion of sexual identity and gender roles irrelevant unless purposefully mimicking other creatures. Among themselves, hetzuud regard such limitations as a weakness and liability to exploit.

Hetzuud have their own tactile language, touching each other to silently and quickly communicate as if speaking aloud. Hetzuud also speak the Common language of their birth world, and often learn Aklo, Jagladine, Onaryx, Ultari, and Undercommon, as well as the local language of any species they intend to mimic.

Hetzuud maintain a culture of collective development and expansion rather than individual rights. This stems from the natural instinct to merge together for mutual protection. They prove inherently amoral, regarding other species as rivals to dominate. Hetzuud place great emphasis on contributing to their overall society, and hetzuud who champion individualism serve little purpose, leading their peers to inevitably shun, exile, or destroy them.

Procreation of a new hetzuud brood can occur between two or more individuals. They must remain merged during the incubation process, which takes eight hours. Afterward, a newborn hetzuud separates from its parents and takes 2 years to mature. To produce viable offspring, hetzuud must ensure considerable genetic diversity between participating parents and they can sense by touch if another member of their species would make a suitable mate. Producing more than one offspring per merge is considered taboo.

Hetzuuds have little parental instinct or loyalty beyond their natural impulse to preserve their race. They place their young in caves or enclosed areas safe from other predators, and then leave them to grow and mature unattended, feeding on whatever sustenance they can acquire. Elder hetzuud reclaim their young after they learn to mimic other creatures and objects, training them as workers, retainers, or soldiers. After a period of indentured servitude to pay for such training, young hetzuud eventually seek their own fortune, but always in close alliance with the collective society.

The governing leadership of hetzuud enclaves inevitably consists of long-lived elders grown to Huge size. They store and process information collected from other species and civilizations in an attempt to use such knowledge for the betterment of hetzuud society. When a momentous decision concerns the entire race, these elders merge together in an extremely rare act. The last such convocation occurred when the hetzuud decided to join the Ultari Hegemony.