Officially known as Orisians, the native race of Oris are colloquially known as Shellbacks to the rest of the galaxy. As a people, the Orisians resemble baseline humans in form, however they are covered with a hard carapace on their backs and their arms and legs have the ability to expand and flatten into a shape resembling a flipper. They can survive out of water with apparently no problems, making them equally at home in the water or on land. Their skin color tends to range from blue to purple.
One of the most unique features of the Shellbacks is what they call “Echo-telepathy.” This ability isn’t true telepathy. Alone and out of the water, the best a Shellback can manage is a form of empathy; able to sense emotions and nothing more. However, their natural gift is amplified by each Shellback that comes into close proximity of another of their race. By the time there are a dozen Shellbacks in a group, each of them has true telepathic abilities. As the Shellbacks explain it to people: “It’s a lot like echolocation, only on a mental wavelength.”
Water is also found to enhance this gift. Even a single Shellback in water can influence the thoughts and instincts of nearby sealife. Echo-telepathy comes as natural to Shellbacks as breathing and can’t be turned off.
Because of their involuntary empathic and telepathic gifts, Shellbacks make excellent diplomats and spies. As a people, they tend to keep to themselves and are not overtly aggressive to others. While they don’t try to hide their telepathic gifts, they don’t go out of their way to let others know about them either. Very few Shellbacks venture off of Oris. Those that do are usually trained as ambassadors to other worlds.
The Shellbacks are the only native race to the Laro system. They lived peacefully on Oris and had managed to develop technology that was on par with the Mon Calamari, but they never attempted to leave their planet for the stars.
When human colonists started to arrive on Oris, the Shellbacks formed a partnership with them and then used those connections to form a coalition between the three planets of Oris, Rolan, and Laro Prime. Because of their forward thinking, the Shellbacks managed to avoid the bloodshed that tends to come from aggressive expansionism.
When the Empire arrived and made the Laro system an outpost, the Shellbacks retreated to their underwater cities and had little contact with the rest of Laro. When the Empire was driven out of Laro, the Shellbacks took control of Oris and formed a triad to lead the planet through the resulting Laro civil war.
This triad would persist until the arrival of Jesika Doljian and the forming of the Laro Order. The Shellback triad was abolished and the policy for Oris would be decided by the Shellback people as a whole, as spoken through a single leader.
The Shellbacks have since become a large part of the Laro Order’s diplomatic corps and intelligence divisions.