Like giant sea-turtles, mixed with king crabs, these boney people inhabit the deep seas. They are very different looking depending on the depth in which they live. Those that inhabit the disphotic zone are tall, spindly and brightly colored, while those down in the deepest trenches are squat and pale.
Their general propensity towards keeping to themselves is facilitated by their body structure. Shlak are able to fold themselves up into a hard, spiny lump. They can also squirt a choking cloud of chemicals towards enemies. If a conflict can be solved in that way, that is what they will always do. If necessary however, they have powerful claws and mandibles and are worthy opponents.
Shlak grow gardens on their shells and their regional differences keeps their coats uniques. They also garden larger plants which they take great care in arranging in specific aesthetic styles which varies by region.
In general, the deeper they live the more pronounced their bioluminescent antena are.
Most Shlak don’t travel much, preferring a simple, quiet life. The lower they live the more they are like this. Those above 4000 feet have to deal with barbaric Varon and other large predators. The ‘deep ones’ keep inviting them to come deeper and shake their heads in confusion when refused. The ‘tall ones’ think the ‘deep ones’ are insufferable bores, and seldom visit. However, they have always been cordial towards one another and there are no records of interspecies warfare.
For homes they generally dig holes into soft rock and cover them with slabs of stone. Some communities have above-ground structures that are reminiscent of Stonehenge. Where the current is slow, they may stack many slabs together like a house of cards, filling in the gaps with seaweed. Many live on and around the mid ocean mountain chains near black smokers.
As they are the closest to the Ancient Ones, the Shlak are the filters through which information travels to them. The Shlak are the only ones who can communicate directly with the Ancient Ones, though on a limited level. Generally news will come through civilized Varon, to Shlak, then finally to the Ancient Ones. From their perspective, the Ancient Ones find the Shlak amusing little people; always buzzing around, talking quickly, and never stopping to think. When, in fact, the Shlak move and speak about 10 times slower than humans.
Shlak culture, especially among the ‘deep ones’, is heavily influenced by the Ancient Ones. The Shlak see them as great teachers and prophets. Though they never ask for anything but wisdom from the Ancient Ones, they often bring gifts of whale carcasses to them as signs of appreciation.
Shlak were deposited by an AI Ark.
|Height||10’ – 30’||10’ – 30’|
|Weight||200 – 800 lbs.||200 – 800 lbs.|
|Strength||7 – 8||7 – 8|
|Vision||5-6(light) 7-8(dark)||5-6(light) 7-8(dark)|
|Reproduction||NA||2 per decade|
|Population||2 million||2 million|
|Diet||Plant matter, Carcasses, fish, barnacles||Plant matterCarcasses, fish, barnacles|
|Regions||Deep ocean||Deep ocean|
|Politics||Theocracies, Communism||Theocracies, Communism|
|Special Abilities||Protective shell, ink, huge claws.||Protective shell, ink huge claws.|