Endless Blue – Week 13 – Lumulus   7 comments

Biology

Lumulus – Alien Minds from the Ocean’s Floor

Swarming along the floor of the Lumulus Basin, between the weeping chemical seeps and bellowing thermal vents are the strange crab-like race of the Lumulus.  Avoiding interaction with other races, they keep behind their side of the border, and keep others on theirs.  Through strange rituals and enigmatic practice they dip into the volcanic apperatures that dot their homesea and produce wonders of art and war that the Known World covets.

Personality: Familiarity from any other source but another Lumulan is offensive to them, and could result in an immediate assault or a later planned ambush.  Otherwise, they tend to keep to themselves, vacillating between periods of slothful inactivity and bursts of manic activity.
Physical Description: Short, squat, and wide bodied, the Lumulans are covered from head to tail in a natural chitinous armor that must be molted every year.  Their hands are a peculiar radial arrangement of three powerful digits, and a series of three more primitive digits alternate between their gill slits.  It is exceedingly difficult to distinguish between male and female Lumulans and gender-confusion is common, so the Lumulans themselves prefer to be referred to in the neutral “it” as a further attempt to keep the promiscuous piscean races at a distance.  What is easily discerned is which of the subspecies a Lumulan belongs, by simply noting the coloring of their chitin: the red r’hakol’va (rakova), the blue j’hastog’ke (jastog), and the black m’horst’ki (morski).
Relations: Most other races of Elqua are treated as somewhere between untouchable and feared.  Inter-racial dealings are avoided at most times, with this instinctive avoidance being ignored in brief spurts of trading.  Metals are rare beneath the waves, and those that do not corrode due to the saline water even more so.  This gives the Lumulans a huge economic advantage as they produce metal and glass items for general consumption.
Alignment: The thought processes of the Lumulus are so different than those of other pisceans that they may seem to be chaotic in nature, but the truth is that they lean more towards the lawful part of the spectrum.
Homeseas: The Lumulus Basin is a deep basin buttressed against the Spine of the World.  The floor of the basin is covered in geothermal vents that spew heat and chemicals into the stagnant waters of the lowest levels.
Religion: As hard as it may be to glean the mind of a Lumulan, it does become pretty clear that they view theology as much an alien concept as other Elquans view them.  If they have any faith at all, it would be in the power of science.
Language: Lumulans speak their own complex language, guttural in nature and punctuated heavily with clicks and chirps.  Learning the language is so difficult for non-Lumulans that they must spend two skill points each to learn how to speak and write it, but will be utterly incapable of becoming fluent as the manner in which Lumulans converse is cryptic and obfuscated.  A Lumulan can always tell when a non-native attempts to communicate in this tongue, and it is a dead give-away for individuals trying to disguise themselves as a Lumulan.
Names: There seems to be no gender bias in Lumulan nomenclature.  There are only eight clan names in the entirety of the Lumulus, but sharing the same surname does not indicated close relation.  An apostrophe (‘) in Lumulan is a gulping click from the back of the throat produced by slapping the vocal cords together.
First Names: A’klan’tlo, G’qwash’u, N’kos’zna, T’thikol’she, U’ua’ka
Forgeclan Names: G’dlu’mauex, J’warh’abvo, K’honk’coshe, M’zims’he, N’dlan’gisa, Q’oma’ithi, T’dlang’athi, X’hamel’af
Adventurers: Lumulans make strange party members.  They are difficult to relate to, work alongside, or even communicate with.  For a group of adventurers willing and patient enough to put up with the strange quirks of Lumulan existence, the pay off can be immeasurable.  The few Lumulans that achieve some kind of synergy with non-shellback races still keep them at arm’s distance.

Racial Traits

Ability Adjustments: Dexterity -2, Wisdom +4, Charisma -2
Automatic Class Skills: Decipher Script, Intuit Direction, and Speak Language.  Additionally, Lumulans are the only species with access to Profession (metalsmithing) and Profession (glassblowing), but they are not automatically known.
Skill Bonuses: Appraise +2, Decipher Script +2, Innuendo -2, Sense Motive -2.
Bonus Hit Dice: None
Natural Armor: The shell back of a Lumulan affords them some resistance to damage in the form of damage resistance 2.  This resistance will stack with any other form given by items or situation.  Shed shells are usually kept and consumed in a special ceremony commemorating the experience gained in the past year.
Natural Weapons: Their hands serve as crushing claws, dealing 1d6 crushing (bludgeoning) damage as the Lumulan’s fingers constrict and crush whatever is caught between its digits.
Movement: Medium creature (1 cube tall), base speed 20 cubes.
Senses: Ultravision
Buoyancy: Shelf (adjustable)
Trance (Ex): The physiology of the Lumulan brain is so utterly different than that of other pisceans, and that fact is expressed most succinctly in their need to trance. Lumulans do not sleep; instead they enter a meditative state where they are completely aware of their surroundings, but completely incapable of acting on that knowledge.  It is impossible to rouse a trancing Lumulan from its meditative state and they are considered helpless until the required period of trancing elapses.  After any strenuous or extended activity (exiting combat initiative, taking 20 on a skill check, or spending any power points), a Lumulan must succeed a Will save DC 10 plus their level or immediate slip into their trance for a period of time equal to event that triggered the save.  For example, after a combat of four rounds, a 10th-level Lumulus must make a Will save DC 20 or trance for four rounds.  Events that overlap (such as using psionic points during combat) will not cause the trance to trigger until all qualifying activities have ended.  Otherwise, a Lumulan must trance for four hours to achieve an equal rest to that of a Mer’s eight hour rest.
Improved Grab (Ex): Whenever a Lumulan makes a successful unarmed attack, it may immediately start a grapple as a free action that does not invoke an attack of opportunity.
Favored Class: Lumulans are the only race of the Known World with the ability to affect the waters around them with mere thought.  As such, they can take psionic classes, and do not count any such class against their multi-class levels.
Social Flaw: Xenophobic
Base Height: 3”9” (+ 2d4 in.)
Base Weight: 130 lbs. (+ height mod. x 2d6 lbs.)
Automatic Languages: Lumulan
Bonus Languages: Any.  Lumulans are so adept at languages that they can achieve the epic level feat polyglot as soon as they meet the prerequisites other than for character level.  They still pay any extra skill points necessary to learn the foreign language.
Level Adjustment: None

The whole nation of the Lumulus Basin is divided into eight smaller states called forgeclans.  More than a family or a nation, all species of Lumulans co-mingle in the populace but maintain a clear respect of individual class and relation.  Each forgeclan specializes in a different aspect of national infrastructure, such as defense, agriculture, health, and so on.

Lumulan individuals are free to belong to any forgeclan they wish – heredity nor wealth play any part in the determination of their forgeclan surname, and a Lumulan may change affiliation multiple times in its lifetime.  This switch may illict ill feelings between individuals on a personal level, but socially it is as common as starting a new career is for other races.

Along with the Chelon, the lobster-like Lumulans are known as shellbacks, and an ongoing hostility has existed between the two races for as long as most can remember.  The Lumulans are just as much the aggressors in these wars as the Chelon, but more due to economic taxation than territorial annexation.

Their natural xenophobia is practically foremost in their unfathomable minds, and they will even relocate a settlement rather than co-exist with other species.  This extends even to themselves, as no Lumulan ethnicity would ever mate with a different one.  Keep in mind, this xenophobia does not originate out of fear or hatred for other races.  The closest it can be explained is that Lumulans cannot “think right” around others.

“Nothing natural is ever seen by looking into the eyes
of  a Lumulan, let alone through them…”

A common Chelon racist remark

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