Endless Blue – Week 70 – Vitruvian Locanth   2 comments

Biology

Vitruvian Locanth

Situated south of the vast Cetacean Ocean and north of the deep Lumulus Basin, the Gulf of Locanth is a large spread of tropic shoals.  The relatively shallow depths over great expanse keeps the area bathed in sunlight.  As a result, the native flora and fauna flourished in bountiful waters.  Over the eons the balance of life has become fine tuned to the point that some describe the bay as “paradise amongst the waves”.  The few top tier predators that prowl the seas here are mostly loners and not generally over aggressive.  Intermediate animals have enough plankton and plant life to thrive, which themselves have the plentiful access to sunlight to bloom.  The waters between the equator and the Tropic of Kraken are consistently mild in temperature, and provide a stabilizing environment for the spread of coral and pelagic sea creatures.  The overall effect is an ecosystem of myriad creatures co-existing in a tranquil sense of equilibrium.

The homesea’s native species, the Locanth, seem to be evolved from a non-predator species of fish.  They are unlike any of the other piscean races in that they lack teeth.  Their empty jaws makes it difficult to chew, so food must be either small enough to swallow whole, or easy enough to be dissected into smaller pieces.  It is from this basic need that modern cooking techniques were developed.  Employing an extract from acari and crushed ricelqua, early Locanths invented a method of encapsulating small morsels in a thin protective yet still digestible shell.  This shell resists being dissolved in water, thereby keeping the food inside fresh.  From there the craft of cooking grew and eventually gave way to the Culinist class.  Kelaguen, the key ingredient needed for infusing acari fruit, was discovered in the Gulf of Locanth.

The toothless jaw rests below a hairless, oval head, and the upper lip extends down around the mouth and hangs below the jawline.  Two large, dark eyes with heavy lids look out at almost opposite directions, further evidence of their herbivorous predecessors.  Each ear is trimmed with a large frill that works to funnel sound into the ear canal, and adds a small amount of finesse to their movement.  These fins are prominently displayed in social interactions, akin to styled hair.

It is more of those frilled fins that easily identifies a Locanth.  They posses two sets of fins along their arms — the  first, major pair running from the wrist to the elbow, and the smaller, secondary fins along the outside of the upper arm.  As with the spines of their pelvic and caudal fins, the Locanth maintains fine motor control.  This allows minute changes in the curve and tension of the fins, which heightens the maximum speed an individual can reach.  In general, a Locanth is more suited for achieving and maintaining greater swim speeds than any of the other races of the Endless Blue.  So well suited for speed, some have decried it an unfair advantage when Locanths compete in the Free Olympiad and should be segregated to their own competition.

The physics of the Locanthic hand further increases their swimming prowess.  The elongated fingers can be spread out wider than any other of the sentient species, which pulls taut the layer of skin that webs the hand.  The webbing reaches from the tip of the finger all the way to the base between the knuckles, and forms an organic paddle which the arms can then employ to pull themselves through the water.  This webbing, however, has the drawback of interfering with the wearing of rings on the fingers.  Piercing the skin, much like piercings for earrings, can be done, but doing so weakens the integrity of the webbing which becomes deformed from the stress of compacting water.

Vitruvian Locanth

Locanth society is broken up into tribes superficially like the Merfolk, called “tides” Unlike the Mer currents, however, Locanths do no divvy up the sea floor into territories.  Locanthic tides lead a semi-nomadic lifestyle, meaning they do not settle in a single location to form societies.  Instead, the whole tide moves on a seasonal basis, following the migration of game and the maturation of plant crops.  The patterns the tides follow have been derived from generation after generation of ancestors, have become ritualized and have a proven, repeatable sequence.  This has led to the creation of Locanthic buildings that are left behind at key spots when the season changes.  These pueblo-like structures are abandoned for the rest of the year as the tide follows their ancient pastoral travels.  When the season comes around again, the tide once again resettles in the same buildings, until the time they must move on again.  This system is repeated cyclically, year after year, generation after generation.

With a nomadic lifestyle, Locanths do not usually dwell on the excessive accumulation of objects.  Artisans and smiths of Locanthic tides will have tools and fixtures that are at least mobile, if not easily portable.  The need to carry these loads along the migratory path leads most families into apprenticeships, keeping the training and tools for the job together.  While this may seem an exceedingly difficult way of doing things, it has allowed the Locanths to live in balance with their environment, keeping their impact on the terrain to a minimal degree.  It has also led to the reputation of master craftsmanship, as the skills passed down from parent to child are refined over time.  Locanthic goods are of exceptional quality.  Indeed, the practice and procedures formed over the generations in item creation make it nearly impossible to create a sub-standard product without actually trying to create poor workmanship.  Locanthic products fetch a premium price on the market due to their high quality and their intrinsic beauty.  The Yaun-Teel merchants of the Grand Bazaar capitalize on this, and import the items on a regular basis despite living on the opposite side of the Known World.  Some Locanths have been “relocated” from the Gulf to the Yaun-Teel Bights to cut down on importation costs, but the production level of these enslaved individuals is dwarfed by the demand for their wares.  That demand may never be fully sated, as the nomadic lifestyle of Locanthic society prevents the mass production required to supply all of the world of Elqua.

2 responses to “Endless Blue – Week 70 – Vitruvian Locanth

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  1. Pingback: Endless Blue – Week 95.1 – Locanth: Illustrated | Endless Blue

  2. Pingback: Endless Blue – Week 111- Pleione Trench and the Mud Daubers | Endless Blue

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