Selkath are the native species of the planet Manaan. An amphibious species, they are excellent swimmers and have the ability to hold their breath for very long periods of time when under water. Though they resemble anthropomorphic catfish and have aqua-coloured skin, they do not have gills. All members of the Selkath race have venom-tipped, retractable claws. Similar to the Wookiees, the use of these claws in any form of combat is considered dishonourable and a sign of madness.
In ancient times, their ancestors were slaves to the Rakata, but gained their independence after the Infinite Empire's collapse. Since then, the Selkath have opted to remain neutral in times of intergalactic conflict. Their laws are very harsh, and it is not uncommon for violence or attempts to compromise Manaan's neutrality to be punished by death. The Selkath haven't forgotten their time as slaves under the Rakatans either; most Selkath seem to have an innate hatred toward slavery and the subjection of weaker species to those who have the power to force their own will upon them.
On Manaan, the Selkath have only one city above land, the planet's capital, Ahto City. This was done so that foreign dignitaries and interstellar visitors would feel comfortable, as the rest of the cities the Selkath inhabit are protected by the vast seas in which they exist.
In Selkath culture, a large female firaxan shark, known as the Progenitor, is seen as either a religious deity, or even an early evolutionary step in the Selkath chain. While some hold a reverence or even worship her as a mother goddess, others have embraced some of the other religious thoughts that are present throughout the galaxy. One of such faiths rose to prominence after the events of the Jedi Civil War, a Force tradition known as the Order of Shasa. While they have many members in Manaan, galaxy-wide, their numbers are very small.
Sector: Inner Cluster
Galactic coordinates: (136, 12)
System coordinates: (5, 10)
Planet type: temperate/breathable
Planet size: 10 x 10
Total population: 12,889,182 inhabitants
Hireable Population: 994 People
Civilisation level: 5.2800%
Tax level: 5.0000%
Planet income: 1,219,239 credits
Tax income: 60,962 credits
Its surface covered entirely by water due to the gravitational effects of two orbiting satellites, for most of its history Manaan had no urban areas visible from space. Its dominant species, the Selkath, preferred to live in underwater caves or city 'pods'; that is until these natives gained a hugely significant role as the most important medical supplier of the known galaxy.
The Selkath are amphibious humanoids, despite never being exposed to dry land during their evolution. For millennia they had produced the miraculous healing substance known as 'kolto'. The Selkath extracted kolto's base material from the jagged rifts of the planet's deep oceans. After it underwent numerous refinement processes, which were kept secret by the Selkath, the chemical creation that resulted was used in much the same way as bacta is now.
Some speculate that the potency of kolto was inextricably linked with a legendary monster known as the 'Progenitor', the creature who had initially formed the raw kolto. This beast then was not only responsible for sustaining Manaan‘s impressive economy, but is also said to be a direct ancestor of the Selkath species. For these reasons it was, and still is, revered as a religious icon. Unfortunately for the Selkath, their primary resource was eventually superseded by bacta, after its invention on the planet Thyferra. Harder to produce and a less effective alternative to bacta, kolto could no longer compete in the galactic market and its galaxy-wide distribution ceased, ending the high status that had once been held by a mostly unremarkable oceanic planet. It is argued by some, however, that bacta's discovery coinciding with the end of kolto production was merely coincidence. There had long been accusations, especially from within Manaan, that greed had led to over-production which had completely depleted the sources of raw kolto even before the market collapsed.
Kolto, which had once been the most important resource of the planet Manaan and perhaps the entire galaxy, was exploited by the Selkath to bring them not just wealth, but also to benefit those sentient beings who would likely live longer when treated with the substance. This thinking resulted in the creation of the ancient Ahto City, built primarily as a starport where the Selkath could easily export their kolto and import the goods of a vast galaxy. To ensure the kolto was distributed equally to those in need of it, the Selkath had sternly retained a stance of neutrality, refusing to take sides in even the most important of galactic affairs.
Ultimately, as kolto production declined so too did the planet's importance. Manaan has slipped into relative obscurity with diminished status as a beautiful, yet forgotten orb hanging in the blackness of the Inner Rim.