Archive for the ‘biology’ Tag

Endless Blue – Week 89.4 – Jetsam: Tears in Sea Water   Leave a comment

Biology

Tears in Sea Water

It is said that tears have the same level of salt in them as sea water.  While this is untrue, despite how poetic, it is difficult to differentiate between the two while submerged.  The pisceans  of the Endless Blue are all capable of sorrow and pain, but crying is lost to the currents.  Since there is so much poignancy in the act of crying, it would be a shame to lose the ability simply because Elqua is a water world.  To compensate, crying in the Endless Blue setting has a couple of added details.

Tears are not simply a mix of H₂0 and NaCl.  There are other, organic compounds in tears, a by-product of biology.  Fatty acids, lyzosomes, antibodies, and protein-based hormones all combine together to make tears a heady cocktail of fluid.  To reflect this and the “alien” nature of being piscean, crying produces a slightly cloudly liquid that disperses slowly in the surround water.  Visually, small clouds form at the tear ducts which grow in size but lessen in visibility as they disperse over time.

The other part of the act of crying is the succor given by the act.  Crying releases the pain, lessens the hurt, releases the anguish.  To reflect this, pisceans will “keen” when crying.  Keening is a vocal wail, and though it is technically a semi-autonomic process, it is very difficult to curtail.  The keening can be mournful and soft, or grating and loud.  The nuances of how the keening sounds helps define the kind of sorrow being felt.  In piscean literature and folklore, tortured wails and anguish keening heard from a distance establish mood and foreshadowing.

Combined with the physical signs of crying — extreme facial tension, flushing of skin, even shuddering — these signs of sorrow enable pisceans to share their feelings when a glistening tear running down a cheek is simply impossible.

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.

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Endless Blue – Week 63 – Elqua’s Blue Dragon   1 comment

Zoology

Elqua’s Blue Dragon

NOTE: The blue dragon is based on a real sea creature called the Glaucus atlanticus.  When this animal was brought to my attention, the deep blue coloring and the six appendaged shape instantly exemplified my concept of what native Elquan life would look like.  Its incredibly alien morphology gives it the perfect form for life in the Endless Blue, and I knew immediately I had to adapt it for the campaign setting.  With only slight modifications — and a little stat creation — I’ve adapted for 3E use.  The use of the Wikipedia image falls under the Wikimedia Creative Commons License and it does not qualify as Open Game Content as per the OGC document.  Photo by Taro Taylor from Sydney, Australia.  Used without permission.

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Endless Blue – Week 58 – Vitruvian Lumulus   1 comment

Biology

Vitruvian Lumulus

Life beneath the waves of Elqua comes in a rich diversity of shapes, ranging from the microscopic rhodoarchaea through the placid Banard’s Swallowers to the inconceivably immense zaratan.  Even the sentient races of the Known World come in an astounding array of forms, in scale, flesh, and shell.  Of all this variation, the Lumulus are perhaps the least “piscean” of all the species of the Endless Blue.

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Endless Blue – Week 57 – Vitruvian Orcan   2 comments

Biology

Vitruvian Orcan

Giants among the sentient races, the Orcan are massive creatures with a history just as grand.  A third again the length of a Mer but three times the girth, a single Orcan digit is a thick as a Mer’s wrist, with palms so wide they could crush a Chelon’s skull.  Yet their savage past is now tempered with wisdom and deference, earning the Orcan’s the title “Poet Warriors”.

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Endless Blue – Week 56 – Vitruvian Chelon   4 comments

Biology

Vitruvian Chelon

The Chelon deviate from the Picean Form significantly.  The most visible of these deviations is that the torso and tail take up only half of their length, instead of the two-thirds all other expressions of the shape possess.  Behind that, all Chelon have a thickened carapace over their back that is physically fused with their skeletal structure.  This dwarfish morphology both limits and enhances their natural abilities.

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Endless Blue – Week 55 – Vitruvian Mer   9 comments

Biology

Vitruvian Mer

Despite the distinct number of different sentient races inhabiting the oceans of Elqua, their morphologies all share the same common qualities.  These commonalities are what is known as “the Piscean Form“, and carry over from one race to the other without fail, though with unique variations.  These variants of the paragon form are used to classify the races — essentially defining what makes a species different from the others.  Historically (and even currently) this separation according to race has led to contention and violence, but supporters adhere to the mantra that facts are indisputable and reality must be accepted.

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