Endless Blue – Week 10 – Species of the Endless Blue   4 comments

Biology

Species of the Endless Blue

Scholars divide the races of Elqua into the civilized and primitive nations.  Claiming enlightened criteria, this dichotomy forced on intelligent species in actuality is an arbitrary and elitist separation based on homeogenic qualities that the societies among the Periphery and Crèche of Civilization share in common: namely a non-representative alphabet, an educational system, a lack of ethnic diversity, and an abandonment of Pantheon worship.  Some hypocrisy remains in this division of higher evolved grouping, as two of the four Civilized races still reproduce oviparously (via egg production) instead of viviparously (live birth); conversely, two of the primitive races carry their children to term.

Civilized Races of the Periphery

Chelon [kappa sapien] – The Chelon are a race in decline, having long ago reached their nation’s height of power and now suffer through the long, agonized slide into obscurity.  Chelon live to great age, but for far too long their birth rate has been outstripped by their natural death rate.  So old is the race that whatever ethnological variation they may have had homogenized into the sole race known of today.   Aristocratic in nature, they gave the Known World many of its inventions, and the Chelon Sea is believed to be the birthplace of magic.  They have chevron-shaped heads with a flat cranium, with small, inset eyes on either side of beaked mouth and a weak chin under that.  They possess a shell from their stooped shoulders that covers their back and most of their notably short tail.  Their skin, while not a bony as the shell on their back, is toughened with calluses.  Along with Lumulus, they are sometimes referred to collectively as “Shellbacks”, and the on-again/off-again war between the two distant nations has been coined after that appellation.
Pl. Chelon; adj. Chelonite

Lumulus [rakovica sapien] – Xenophobic and withdrawn, the Lumulus are the most alien of all the sentient races of Elqua’s Known World.  Masters of heat and the rare metals and glass of the ocean societies, these beings from the Lumulus Basin participate in a detached yet heavy commerce with the other bodies of water.  They possess a haunched, banded exoskeletal shell that they must shed yearly to grow.  Lumulus never stop growing, but only the rarest specimen has ever grown nearly as large as a Mer.  They have two main arms that end with three fingered hands that are heavily yet naturally armored, and a series of three “digits” interspersed between their gill slits.  Their eyes are completely black, and they possess long, fine, wiry hairs from their upper lip.  Perhaps the most notable feature of the Lumulus is their blue blood.  Their society is broken down into eight forgeclans, with their three ethnicities (rakova, jastog, and morski) freely intermixed.   Even though they are separated on either ends of the Known World, the Lumulus and Chelon nations have engaged in hostilities for most of their history.
Pl. Lumulus; adj. Lumulan

Mer [piscean sapien] – A race in ascendance despite some truly tragic self-induced calamities, the Mer are coming into their own.  Half-mammalian and half Piscean, the Mer were the most varied in appearance and were organized into thirteen tribes called “currents”.  These currents each form their own autonomous yet interdependent state under the banner of the Mer species.  At the present time, only eight of those original ethnicities still exist.  Despite this seeming turn toward extinction, the remaining currents are thriving, and now consider their expanse of the known world to be claustrophobic and have begun to look outward for more breathing room.  The Merfolk are perhaps the most diverse coloration (which determines in which current they belong), with a myriad of patterning that varies from family to family.
Pl. Mer, Merfolk (antiquated); adj. Mer

Orcan [cetacean sapien] – Considering themselves to be the first race of Elqua, the Orcans are warrior poets descended from the once marauding Cetacean barbarians.  Their skin is smooth, yet thick, with a rubbery texture that belies the practiced lethality of their martial history.  Ridged folds of skin contract from their where their lower lip would be down over their broad, barrel chests to their solar plexus. Strict vegetarians, this ruffled skin expands on their distendable jaws to swallow massive volumes of water, and the plates hanging from the back of the throat strain the great amounts tiny plankton they need each day to survive.  This does not mean the race is toothless, as they posses a series of similarly spaced out, pointed incisors that can inflict a vicious bite.  Indeed, one of their two subraces – the Narwahl – still feature the pair of dental tusks that jut from the upper lip which the Cetacean Barbarians were so well reknown.
Pl. Orcans, Cetacean (antiquated); adj. Orcan

Ceph [vulgaris sapien] – These are the degenerate descendants of the dominating Kraken.  Considered lower than the Primitive races of the Hinterseas, yet found collectively among even the most effluent societies, the Ceph have proven they are survivors, if anything.  They fill any niche they can, desperately trying to eke out a living in the face of the bigotry leveled against them.  Heightening this estrangement is the curious fact they are the sole intelligent race that does not share the torso/tail morphology common to the sapient races, and instead appear as larger, more advanced octopi capable of speech.  They also posses three subspecies, differentiated by the ridge patterns formed on their foreheads by their cuttle bones.  They all posses the eight limbed form and strange “w”-shaped pupil form of their forefathers, but at a greatly reduced stature.  Ceph do have an interesting natural camouflage ability that helps them hide even in the brightest lit waters of the Shore.
Pl. Ceph; adj. Cephic

Primitive Races of the Hinterseas

Kuoton [kaeru sapien] – The Kuoton are an old race that has harassed the other intelligent races for millennia, using many forgotten secrets of dangerous evils that dwell in the oceans beyond the Known World.  Their form is roughly amphibian, resembling a frog, with slimy skin hanging loose around inflatable jowls and a mouth filled with tiny, needle shaped teeth, giving the species an appearance of having it face smashed flat.  Their blunt snouted head is diminutive in proportion to their bulging, wide-spaced eyes that each posses a sideways nictitating eyelid.  Their arms and tail are thin, but strong, and their hands appear webbed like their tail flukes.  Over all, their oily bodies are reedy except for a paunch around their pelvic flukes.
Pl. Kouton; adj Koutonese

Locanth [peixe sapien] – The Locanth are still a nomadic race, just as their ancient forefathers were, migrating around the Gulf of Locanth in pursuit of their traditional meals.  They have dim, oval eyes on either side of the skull like herbivores, yet they maintain a mostly carnivorous diet.  Since their gaping mouths lack any teeth, and their slender fingered hands do not end with claws, the species on the whole are not aggressive and tend to distrust outsiders.  Large fins sprouting from their arms and sides of their tail work in conjuction with their pelvic fins, making Locanths perhaps the fastest intelligent race on Elqua.  There is little to tell the difference between the male and female of the species other than the dark markings around the female’s egg sacs.
Pl. Locanths; adj. Locanthic

Sahaguin [vis sapien] – Sahaguin are a primitive race, larger than any other of the Known World races save the Cetaceans.  They also have extended fins along their arms and tail like the Locanth, but the more predatory eyes and mouth like the Kouton.  There is little to no fat on the body of a Sahaguin, and the muscles underneath their heavily scaled skin are visibly rippled, like coils traveling from the head down to the tip of their tail.   Over all, they are superbly fit for their predatory lifestyle, and their aggressiveness knows little restraint.  They have maintained a constant animosity to the Mer to such an extent that the two cannot co-exist in the same living area for long before hostilities break out.  They are deathly secretive about their children, and any inquiry about their noted absence results in violence.
Pl. Sahaguin; adj. Sahaguani

Yaun-Teel [anguiliformes sapien] – Originally thought to be an offshoot of the Mer, the Yaun-Teel will usually be mistaken for Mer with a casual glance.  However, upon closer inspection, their subtle eel-like features betray their origins.  Their bodies are lithe and agile, with slender necks and tapered fingers.  Perhaps the most telling feature of their form is that their eyes never blink.  They are a guileful and manipulative race, believing without exception in the superiority of their bloodline.  As such, any adept race other than themselves is considered fair game for slavery, including their close cousins, the Mer.
Pl. Yaun-Til, adj, Yaun-Til

Keep in mind, while these are the races of the Endless Blue setting, they do not define the nationalities beyond the area of the Known World the races first began.  Outside of physical limitations (i.e., the Shelf of the Cetacean Oceans) and national dogma (the xenophobic Lumulus Basin), there are cross border bloodlines: Mer that have lived in the Chelon Seas since the original thirteen currents, or Narwhal in the Sahaguin Lagoons, and the Ceph in nearly every body of water.  Individuals of these multicultural upbringings will have mixed their biological heritage with their societal surroundings to form towns, even metropolises, of unique character and vision.

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