Niic means light in the language of the native race, the Niicali (light-watchers). This semi-humanoid race of long-armed marsupial-like sapients lives within a carpet of blue-green moss that covers the entire planet to a depth of several thousand metres, with the exception of the mountaintop spaceport. Their customs and privacy are guaranteed and protected by their agreement as members of the AOFW, but any trading corporations have installations near the spaceport.
Niicali, Human scientist and AOFW guardian
The moss (known locally as the Maalii, or life-giver) is home, food crop and export item to the Niicali, and it will grow nowhere else in the known Galaxy. Derived from various parts of its specialised structure are several valuable drug compounds, expensive luxury food items and rare protien compounds. The Niicali worship the moss as an intelligent entity akin to a god. Their rites of purification, ancient methods of preparing parts of the moss for use or sale, are closed to outworlders.
The Niicali are led by hereditary civil servants, with the administrative jobs being passed along from parent to child. For the most part, Niicali males are labourere, while the females are planners and decision-makers. The Niicali have no interest in high technology except high-tech toys, which both adults and children enjoy. Their technologica; level is not advanced beyond basic horticulture and tool-making, and yet the Niicali apparently have an extremely fast planetwide communication system.