The Ancient Ones
Deep sea giants, the Ancient Ones are unlike any life form on Talifar. They vary in size, but can be up to a mile in length. Resembling a gelatinous sea-cucumber, they are able to form psuedopods at any point on their mass. They have a proportionally tiny torso and head that pokes out of one end. The torso is about 20 feet long with numerous appendages. The head is elongated with a small face that is almost all eyes and antenna. They sustain themselves through dissolving the ocean floor around them. Their entire body is capable of this chemical action. Ancient Ones are unisex beings that reproduce through division. Another torso and head grow on the other end, and the body slowly splits in two. They have full control over this process and do it very rarely.
They communicate with each other through a variety of methods. Different moods, inflections, and subject matter have their appropriate method of expression. Chemical, sound, vibration, sonar, gesture, water current manipulation, electrical pulses, and bioluminescence are all combined to create the most sophisticated and nuanced language imaginable. It is this method of communication, along with the incredible length of time that allow the Ancient Ones to advance so far.
Besides their size, Ancient One’s other amazing features are their life spans and intelligence. Their current form is highly augmented technologically to fulfill their function as planet shepherds. Their evolutionary history could have put them in a very different state than their present form. They are cybernetic, but not in the clumsy wires-n-circuit board style that most people associate with the word. They are transhuman, (minus the human part) having taken perfect control of their genes and customizing their bodies and minds for their jobs, fulfilling their culture’s primary values of preserving the maximum variety of life in the universe. Living for hundreds of thousands of years, they have a unique perspective on life. Their sense of time is very different than ours, as years seem like days to them. They pass their time with intellectual pursuits. They have an advanced understanding of science, religion, philosophy and many other things. They have a shepherding view of the world above them, seeking out ways to better it for the good of all. They mostly work indirectly, through a variety of agents. Occasionally, they will surface, even oozing onto the continents to affect change. They generally do this through landscaping. They can dissolve mountains, form organic structures, make trench-like roads, canals, tunnels, or, if it’s drastic enough, eating a city. They love the taste of the silica rich continent rocks, so they get a trade-off as well. As individual kingdoms and rulers are so fleeting to them, they take a much higher-level approach to these physical works. They try to balance the races, protecting some, hindering others. Not in a mechanical, amoral fashion, but according to their moral precepts. They pontificate with each other on every proposal for years before taking any kind of action. Their main enemy is the Swarm. (Though they do not know what the Swarm is.) The Ancient Ones attempt to thwart all the political machinations that the Swarm is continually pursuing.
The Ancient Ones are the descendants of those who built the Arks. Every planet that has transplants from an Ark gets a Shepherd who then divides as it sees fit. So whatever year the first transplant arrived is when the Ancient Ones arrived.
|Weight||5 million tons|
|Vision||1 (light) 9 (dark)|
|Age||1 million years|
|Reproduction||Up to 1 per thousand years|
|Diet||Minerals, small sea creature that get too close|
|Special Abilities||Can sculpt landscape, and has lots of perspective.|