are a frail, herbivorous species who, due to their technology and the age of their culture (not to mention their strategic positioning) have the greatest influence on interspecies trade in Compact Space, from the Chanur
books by C.J. Cherryh
. White skinned, with pale white eyes, the stsho
place great value on forms, rituals, and what they term 'elegance', 'graciousness', and the like. Incapable of violence, the stsho typically hire other species to guard their trading stations, such as for example the kif
. This has caused them trouble; as they've found, conflicts can always move past the point where the threat of economic crash is a deterrent
. At such a point, or when dealing with a species to whom violence is an everyday behavior, they sometimes have come out (personally) much the worse for wear.
The stsho run Meetpoint Station, which (as its name suggests) is the 'hub' of the various species' territory in the Compact; all species come there to trade with other species. This includes even the methane-side folks like the knnn, tc'a and chi.
The Stsho have three 'genders.' Rough equivalents to the male and female, plus a third gender. Fragile creatures, Stsho under stress are capable of (or prone to) Phasing, a biological and mental process in which the very identity of a stsho is destroyed. New personalities usually construct themselves within the being, but the new persona has no memories or even personality traits (usually) of the former. This can make threatening them in business matters quite counterproductive.