The Zambarau are a race of plants. They were the founding civilization of the Zambarau Concord.
The home planet of the Zambarau, Datum, is a large, rocky planet closely orbiting a yellow main sequence star and has a thick carbon dioxide/argon atmosphere. Temperatures reach as high as 400°C so there is no liquid water, just lakes of molten sulfur.
Life on Datum uses molten sulfur as a solvent but is still carbon-based; the biggest difference is that in their proteins hydrogen atoms are replaced by fluorine atoms (these fluorocarbons are much more stable than proteins at such high temperatures).
In most environments, when life first forms the early proto-cells do not have the resources to compete yet so they co-operate (usually by sharing genetic material). On Datum this co-operation never stopped (due to the harsh environment) and today the whole planet is dominated by a single macro-species. All life has the same genome and the characteristics of each organism are determined by which genes are expressed. There is no evolution, just the sharing of useful genes and mutations (the same as the proto-cells did billions of years ago), this sharing of genes is done using viruses and generally if a mutation is developed that is beneficial to an organism that organism will survive for longer, produce more viruses and make the mutation more widespread. This variation of evolution makes it more beneficial for the creatures on Datum to have as long a lifetime as possible. Because of this single genome animals grow from plants in pupae rather than via reproduction. Another result of the development of life as a single macro-species is that the macro-species has become so complex it is conscious. A planet-sized hivemend would be impractical because of the distances involved so the Zambarau are a connected group-mind of many individuals.
Communication and SensesEdit
The Zambarau can communicate using neural connections enclosed in 'roots' through the ground or using infrared light, which they have become very sensitive to (via photosensitive neurons that cover most of them) for reasons of communication. Since light of a certain wavelength has a much higher frequency than sound of a certain wavelength (due to the higher frequency of light) the Zambarau can communicate much more information to each other in a much shorter time, to the extent of feelings, images and abstract thoughts and ideas. The Zambarau plants themselves cannot hear, feel, smell and the closest they come to taste is discussing the quality of soil they are in, however, they can use infrared to communicate with various animals on Datum (which regularly grow off of the plants) which may posess these sensory abilities.
Their limited sensory abilities and abstract communication make the Zambarau very patient and social, as well as very deep thinkers. However, they are so different from other forms of intelligent life that many find them confusing or even mad; the Zambarau appear to have no sense of urgency, death or even physical location within their own environment; many are intensely oversocial to the point of harassment. Zambarau 'instinct' also makes them considered dangerous by some - a Zambarau ecosystem is the same as a Zambarau body and is subject to 'immune responses.' Before the Zambarau Interaction Protocols were put in place there were instances in which a Zambarau would accidentally kill an aquatence while having a conversation with them.
The Zambarau are obsessed with Conway's Game of Life.
To help them survive in their environment Zambarau can grow a complex silicate/metallic shell for protection, but they later found they could use this technique to build simple tools and machines as extensions of themselves. These tools were used to build more complicated tools and soon the Zambarau had become a full-blown technological civilization.