Author Topic: Cheloniads  (Read 565 times)


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« on: April 21, 2019, 02:44:47 PM »
The Cheloniads (as land-dwellers term them) are a human people who live on the backs of huge, slow-moving sea creatures, the Pariku.

The Cheloniads

Cheloniads live in village-size settlements, rarely more than a hundred people at most, on the back of a Pariku - too many of them, and the small land area would become insufficient. They thrive on a diet mainly of fish and sea molluscs, though they will catch cetaceans as well at times, and are somewhat helpful to their host in that they remove huge seashells that would otherwise slow it even further as well as fighting off any smaller predators that might try to take a bite out of it. The back of an old pariku often gets covered in deep layers of silt, from which the Cheloniads have various ways of constructing bricks for housing and caring for the flora, mainly tough grasses that are used for nets but also small shrubs and trees that provide valuable handles for bone tools.

The Pariku

Pariku are most closely related to turtles, though they are often known by a wildly divergent set of names by land-dwellers - they move quite slowly, and float, never diving and using the minimum possible amount of energy (a necessity given their immense bulk). They have a retractable baleen-type plate at the back of their mouths, enabling them to spend most of their time sifting plankton from the water as they move, though the plate can retract and they are capable of digesting larger plant matter and animals as well.

Young pariku are potentially very dangerous, easily larger than even a sizeable sailing ship and capable of smashing one to pieces in order to eat various parts of what's on board (crew included). As they get to full size, up to a kilometer in diameter, they become more docile and move on to baleen feeding. They will signal several months in advance when they need to mate, which they do only two or three times in a lifespan that may be hundreds of years long: when this happens, anyone on the island is well advised to relocate, for the pariku will dive and seek out mates, becoming much more active in a way likely to damage or destroy any settlements atop their back.

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