Friday, May 28, 2010

Trisectivore Chitinopods


Born, bred and for the most part banished to the Badlands, the Trisectivore Chitinopods prowl about the deadzones, feral interstices and ruinous wastes of dead and dying worlds hunting after their one and only prey with a triple-minded persistence as deeply etched into their core genetics as is possible to achieve.  Synthetic pseudo-insects, the Trisectivores are living tripods formed from myriads of overlapping and in some instance interpenetrating almost tumorous layers of convoluted chitin that grow across three distinct phase-levels simultaneously.  Unlike those predators capable of shifting across phase-states, the Trisectivores simultaneously occupy three distinct states at once, in a hazy, buzzing shimmering cycle of being more or less present in any one of their native three phase-states in a regular sequence that never changes.  At any given moment they are no less than 30% physically present and no more than 90% physically present.  Each one occupies a different frequency of phase-states, thus making whatever defenses that operate well against one pretty much useless against another.  Seeing as how they hunt in packs of threes, this can certainly pose a problem to those who draw their attention in the wrong way, like provoking them to attack.

The known sources of provocation for Trisectivore Chitinopods are as follows: the scent of ozone, electrical systems run at a frequency too close to the Trisectivore's field of electromagnetic perception, the color blue, large masses of out-of-phase biological materials, auras that contain six or nine-fold resonances, hexagonal shield-matrices, nonogrammic planar iconohedrons, and bipedal humanoids wearing veils (especially if mounted).

Trisectivore Chitinopods possess no mouths and have no bite, but they do have a vast array of micro-stings that can extend outwards from every niche, convolution or imperfection in their chitin.  Their three legs also end in wickedly barbed three-part pincers, each of which can extrude triple-edged bayonnet-like spikes (three to a claw-part) at will.  These bayonnet-spikes can also be made to rapidly shift across nine consecutive phase-states in a random order, allowing them to cut across an even wider swath of spatial layers than would at first be suspected.  This cross-planar effect is persistent, even in the event that the Trisectivore is killed.  Some Badlander tribes have managed to trap and kill a few of these creatures, often at great cost in terms of lost limbs and grisly deaths, in order to collect some of these bayonnet-spikes which they then have learned how to use as weapons.  The toxins exuded by the very material of which these bayonnet-spikes are formed is also persistent and has been known to seep across even planar layers for some reason.

These creature also possess three distinct minds, each mind controlling one eye and one limb and they operate within a heavily shielded closed-loop telepathic symbiosis which allows them to focus one, two or all three minds upon any one undertaking at any moment, giving them tripartite psychic defenses and possibly some triple-damned psychic attacks as well.  Their involuntary nervous system is likewise triply redundant allowing them to continue operating even after two out of three of their limbs, eyes and/or minds have been destroyed.  And yes, they regenerate if given a chance, thankfully at a fairly slow, if persistent rate.

The Trisectivores cannot use their telepathy outside of their own chitinous forms, so they use a peculiar form of color-shifting and postural sign-language to converse with others of their kind.  This is a distinct, physical language that no other species can hope to imitate or decipher--the mental framework and physcial sensorium necessary to perceive it, let alone appreciate or understand it at all would require being a Trisectivore.  Likewise, there is no known way to communicate or negotiate with these things.  At all.  It is best to just not attract their attention, generally.

Trisectivore Chitinopods were designed from the beginning to survive and operate for all their existence deep within the worst of the Badland Worlds.  Acid, extremes of heat or cold, incredible pressures, electrical effects, and anything else that can reasonably be expected from the natural, background environmental phenomena common to the Badlands can pretty much be counted on as ineffective as an attack form against these creatures.  Their chitin is also triply underlaced with an organic polymolecular mesh that makes piercing attacks a nuisance as opposed to a shell-breaker, as with most other insect-derived species.

To say that the Trisectivore Chitinopods are tough is an understatement.  Thankfully they usually only spawn clutches of three every three years, though some of the more experienced Trisectivores have taken to caching triplet-clusters of eggs which can take as long as three decades to finally hatch.  They are at least as intelligent as the majority of beings that they have encountered so far, and it is rumored that some few of them have been attempting to learn how to read, possibly as a precursor to attempting to learn spell-casting, but of course that is a crazy rumor and no one takes it seriously.  Only the most foolish and mad individual with a overwhelming deathwish would even consider attempting to teach these things how to communicate or read

Oh, and the prey hunted across the Badlands by the Trisectivore Chitinopods?  The Veiled Riders.

2 comments:

  1. Are you starting with a name or title and coming up with this material spontaneously? I'm loving this torrents of specialized information...the setting is really coming alive in my head!

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  2. It's a bit stranger than that, I guess, as I tend to create the illustration based on inspiration from dreams that come after siting through a ton of old notes and the like. Sometimes I start writing and then do the art for the piece after I get some idea of what I'm dealing with, but usually, whichever way it goes, I tend to let the pieces tell me what to write. I keep out of the way and just facilitate their coming through. I'll wake up with a lot of weird stuff to sort out and things like the Trisectivore come striding into mind full-blown and ready to go...and I don't argue with them.

    I'm glad that the setting is coming alive for you, as that has been of some concern to me--it is important to achieve a critical mass where it all starts to gel and work together in a thriving synergy of all the disparate parts.

    Monday will be silent.

    Then things start to shift into a higher gear. I like being able to schedule the posts now. It's helping to get more stuff done.

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