Wednesday, February 27, 2013

HUSK: People of a Hollow World Pt II

(pronounced: JOR)

The Get of Beasts, the trihorned Jhore are unique among the sentients as they are born from animal stock. Yet their greater intelligence singles them out from their pack and they rise to join the other sentients of the world. Their connection with the wild fauna of the Orb can never be severed, and their life is a constant struggle between their animal minds and their higher consciousness. Jhore are a curious fusion Huen and animal traits. A Jhore can easily be spotted at birth however, as all of their kind sport tricorns - three small horns on their foreheads in a triangular formation. Throughout their lives these spires grow and can attain considerable length.  Cutting the horns off a Jhore will see the poor creature reduced to a bestial intelligence, and they will never grow back. Fortunately their tricorns are incredibly hard. Newborn Jhore look much like their animal kin, but when their brethren reach maturity the Jhore will transform into their half beast form.


(pronounced: jicks-EE)

(never did write these guys up, but from memory they're shitty little twig gremlins that fuck you up if you cut trees down)

(pronounced: KOO)

The Ku are a strange people, for they are lumivores, feeding off the light from the many suns that fill the Orb. They have excellent vision, and see many things beyond the sight of others - it is said they can see even the invisible Un. Ku are generally attracted to high culture and the visual arts, and are talented creators themselves, particularly renown for their scintillating paintings and their light-bending fabrics. They are active participants in both politics and philosophy, but are often thwarted by their overwhelming fear of darkness. They believe that the day will come when the varied orbits of the suns will eventually lead to a time when there will be no suns in the sky, and the Ku will all die horribly. Ku mathematicians and astronomers have devoted entire lives in the effort to predict when this will happen. With such an affinity for light, it is no wonder that Ku congregate as close as possible around the Sunmounts found across the Orb.

(pronounced: LIS-kin)

The Liskin are an offshoot of the Huen, so unusual that they deserve a separate entry into this guide. Liskin look much like any other Huen – in fact they have a tendency to look too much like other Huen. Liskin are able to shed their skin and change every physical aspect about them. The Peeling People, as they are known, require at least a week to effect this transformation, and most cannot do so more than twice a year, but those that can have a guaranteed career as spies and infiltrators in Huen communities. It is no surprise then that they are often mistreated and mistrusted, especially by any Huen who has been victim of a Liskin’s deceptions. Liskin shed once a year naturally, but most retain their former visage. It is fairly easy to spot a Liskin who is not trying to hide in Huen society – large slabs of skin hang loose from their body, and they are constantly itching and scratching their old skin away.

(pronounced: NAR-gwar)

Once the proud rulers of the Viperium, the serpentine Narghwa are a shadow of that former glory. Their enslaving Queens vanished long ago, and they are dazed and docile, for the Narghwa are hive minded, and only show intellect when they gather in great numbers. It is said that their Queens were over a mile long, but nowadays it is rare to find one more than two feet in length. They are very sensitive to fluctuations in heat and movement. They are covered in scales that can lift out of their slots and flutter and wave. Often a Narghwa will lift it scales in unison and a ripple of scales down the length of its body. This is believed to be the source of their ability to fly, and they snake their way gracefully through the air. They cannot travel far or fast but are very flexible and can wriggle and writhe into complex knotted positions. Golden in colour, Narghwa have a subtle glow about them. In strong light they are vaguely transparent.

(pronounced: ne-AM-da-BAM)

Boisterous and stupid, the bone-headed Nyamdabams delight in mindless violence and destruction. They can happily pass the day away smashing their heavily armoured skulls together, and love things that crash. They are particularly fond of traffic accidents, sports and the chaos of war, and are usually found in the frontline of any army. Possibly their only redeeming feature is their unique sense of loyalty and honesty – most are too stupid to lie or deceive, and once an instruction is understood, a Nyamdabam will do its utmost to fulfil its quest. Sadly there are malevolent forces in the world that often take advantage of such gullibility, and Nyamdabam are responsible for some terrible deeds. Elderly Nyamdabam are usually aware that somehow their people have been duped, and in Nyamdabam communities these slightly more suspicious Elders are responsible for the general welfare of their people. If only they would be left alone to break things like the good ol’ days...


(pronounced: pree-PAA-ree)

Large and gentle creatures, Priparhi have numerous hollow horns and tubes in their joints and upon their skulls with which they communicate. They are naturally musical, and when they speak, every word is a chord, and every sentence a song. They are welcome across the Orb for their beautiful voices and wondrous tales. Much like an organ or a chorus of pipes, the Priparhi’s horns given them their melodic language. Their small black eyes are found on the end of stubby protrubences on the sides of the skull, and can be retracted into the skull for protection. Their joint-horns are reminiscent of splayed fingers of interlocking hands, and each joint-horn is a hollow pipe that whistles whenever the Priparhi moves as pressure within their limbs is released. It is nigh impossible for a Priparhi to move without some whistling noise being made. Priparhi have a very thin coat of near invisible body hair, and their skin is thick and leathery.

(pronounced: RINE-d)

Make friends with the Rhinde, but do not invite them for tea, for they will eat you out of house and home, and probably eat the house as well. The Rhinde are a porcine people, affable and humorous, but their appetites are legendary. They will happily eat anything, from food to rubbish to even the stuff of the earth, for their magical bellies can draw nourishment from anything, turning all that is devoured into raw potency – The Dreamulant. Belching and farting might be considered ignoble, but the sheer potency of such vapours usually outweighs such reserved manners. The Rhinde are able to collect their waftings and give them to others, transforming the imbuer by bringing them closer to their potential – temporarily. Such is the power of the Dreamulant. Rhinde can manipulate the mist into any shape. This ability improves with age, and a venerable Rhinde can easily make a vapour sculpture in the likeness of a stranger should they wish.

(pronounced: sh-WEEr-LING)

Each night you will see them, hanging high in the sky, small beacons of Skyfire that slowly weave around the Heart according to their own designs. The Schwierling lizards live in the heavens, basking in the glow of the Heart at day and radiating the absorbed light at night. Curled up in a cosy ball of scales and talons, here they slumber til they are called down to earth. The Schwierling have lived like this for millennia, and their memories are said to stretch back to the days before the Viperium. They are reluctant to discuss such matters however, which is a great shame given how little is known about this time. Hopefully one day they will open up and share their knowledge, but for now they remain aloof. Occasionally one will descend from the heavens to investigate the state of the Orb below them, but they generally keep to themselves. If the Schwierling can be convinced to talk, great wisdom is usually bestowed upon those who listen.


(pronounced: ta-NEE-lie)

Beautiful winged insectoids, Taneelai are fast both in body and mind. They are a passionate but short-lived race, rarely attaining twenty years. Their brief lives are twice as busy as a Huen’s, as they desperately try to fulfil their dreams in their allotted time. They are considered to be the most romantic of the Orb people and oft associated with love – their seduction and mating rituals can often last for many weeks! A curious blend of a Huen’s upper body and the wings and tail of a giant dragonfly, the Taneelai can fly with the grace and nimbleness of their insect kin. The wings are a nearly invisible blur when in full flight, and create a tremendous buzzing that can almost deafen when up close. Their fearsome looking pincers are actually fairly harmless and are used from grappling and manipulation. Taneelai are carnivorous and prefer to hunt and devour other flying creatures in the air. It is believed they were bred by the Viperium and are related to Huen. Their benign nature separates them from the Breed.

(pronounced: thOk)

Shambling feathered avians, Thokks gather and roost in dishevelled communities to trade and feed upon that most nourishing of substances: information. The capricious Thokk need information like a Huen needs food, converting knowledge into the stuff of their very ugly bodies. Their constant search for information gives them a reputation as eavesdroppers, gossips and spies, but they are also highly sought for the knowledge they carry. Thokk know too many secrets, and this has led more than one plucky Thokk to its demise. Thokk lucky enough to devour a secret that is known by barely anyone and of a powerful and portenteous nature, will be transformed, growing a magnificent plumage of beautiful iridescent feathers. They slough off their black skin and their beak and claws glint like gold, and even gain the ability to soar like the greatest of birds. Thokk live in places of good nourishment, such as in the roofs of libraries, bureaucratic offices, universities, and the like.

(pronounced: Un)

Some times even the greatest tragedy can be overcome by sheer force of will alone. The invisible Un are one such example of this, for they are the souls of a sentient whose body died before being born. The soul continues to grow within its mother‘s womb, and is born much like it would have had its body survived. The life of an Un is a difficult one, for people often fear what they cannot see, yet for some reason Un have great powers of Imajion to compensate their loss of physical body, and can generally interact, touch, and see the world as well as the next person. A lifetime of stigma can leave its burdens however, and Un often leave their families behind to join with other Un. It is said that The Invisible City is a place where Un live together free of persecution and blame. No one knows where it is, and the Un don’t tell.

(pronounced: VIE-thie)

The Viethie are perhaps the most tragic of the people of the Orb, once living souls now trapped within the heart of an iron engine, a fell creation of the Bhulkulb in ages past. Torn from their flesh and blood, Viethie spend the rest of their lives trying to emulate their former selves, going so far as rebuilding their physical selves out of bones and refuse, binding it together with the wire that spools from their engine hearts. Some will even take to covering themselves with living tissue – the skin and flesh of other creatures. They are quite macabre to behold, a shuddering and lurching mass of refuse. Exactly how they manage to manipulate their limbs and move is unknown. The soul engine at the heart of the Viethie is a mechanical marvel, a skull-sized nugget of cast iron lined with canals and ridges and riddled with pipes and valves. A fiery glow emanates from deep within. Anything that is fed into the soul engine is transformed into the wire that holds them together.

(pronounced: r-OH-ng)

Terrifying perversions of flesh and bone, The Wrong are misshapen and grotesque mockeries of the other sentients, but no less intelligent despite their horrid appearance and manners. Hailing from the marred lands of Vinvasleen, these sad people are well aware of the horror they cause in others, and generally avoid contact with the outside world. Their misery and self-disgust mingle with rage at their treatment by others, giving The Wrong a vicious and aggressive demeanour. Among themselves they are kind are caring people, no less tender than the greatest of lovers. There is no pattern to their physical structure – save that the parts that make up the whole of one of The Wrong’s body come only from one of the other races. Most of the races are represented by the Wrong is some fashion. Should one of the Wrong be forced into contact with others it will cover itself and try to hide its appearance - they know only too well the reactions their visage provokes.

(pronounced: YAH-gn-GEE)

The Yarghinji are unlike any other race in the Orb. Whereas most others seek to reproduce and grow in number, spreading out across the lands, the Yarghinji have but one purpose – to join with the others of their kind, to unite in the great amoebic biomass that is their destiny. Huge flesh spheres made of countless individual Yarghinji slowly traverse the surface of the Orb, gathering up their kind til the day when all Yarghinji are united as one. Spawned from the seas, they make their way upon land, carrying sea sponge on their backs to keep them cool and moist. Yarghinji are intelligent and reasonable, but once they feel the call of the flesh spheres most of them cannot resist, and leave whatever they were doing to join with their kind. The fleshspheres are very destructive, flattening entire cities in their travels, and many believe the presence of a solitary Yarghinji will draw the flesh spheres to them. This fear drives the hatred that Yarghinji often experience.

1 comment:

  1. I really like the consept of thokk. You sharing these is much appriciated.