Plodii
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"Commerce is art." —Plodii

A Plodus is quite aesthetically pleasing to behold: their water-filled bodies shimmer across a rainbow of colors as light filters through, and wispy featherlike antennae fringe their heads and wide necks. Their webbed, cartilaginous arms, evolved to withstand sudden blunt force trauma, are quite capable of just that, but are weak and good for little else. In fact, if one was to guess that Plodii fare poorly in combat, they would be absolutely correct. They are renowned as cowards that hide beneath the squattish, shallow-canoe-like shell on their backs whenever danger approaches. Their primary strength lies not in strength, but in their vast intellect, excellent ability to negotiate, and average lifespan of 600 years. They had a reputation in the former galactic community of being sages, soothsayers, and… well, and salesmen, as they greatly love the jingle of coin. To humans, of course, they're just another type of revolting alien scum.

The plodii homeworld was obliterated during the Great Cleansing, largely with the help of the Wralk, but they still exist in many places throughout the galaxy. Due to the lengthy plodii lifespan, some that were born before the Cleansing are still alive, although late in life, the plodii become quite seclusive and are difficult to locate. Their younger cousins generally collect in small colonies of several dozen individuals, scattered throughout rimworld systems.

Description

Physical appearance

From a brief description of "semi-humanoid snails" you might get a sense of repugnance, but a plodus is actually very beautiful to look at. They are legless, and appear to move rather like a snail, but instead of utilizing slime, they rapidly undulate their "foot", which is centered beneath them; this makes them appear to effortlessly "glide" across the floor. Where not wearing clothing, their bodies are transparent and refract light within them in a manner rather like an opal. Their faces are ringed with tall, colorful featherlike fronds in pastel colors spanning pinks, blues, and yellow that face outwards perpendicularly in a fan shape, and their faces, while noseless, are generally thought of as looking "wise" or "serene" - essentially, agreeable.

On their backs are a flat canoe-shaped shell capable of storing their entire body mass. While very lightweight, they are particularly strong - especially against small arms fire such as pistols or even Gauss slugs (although they most certainly chip under such stress). The shells themselves are shiny, typically mottled blacks, whites, and browns, with very intricate geometrical patterns etched into them - partly as remnants of how they grow, partly due to stress, and partly due to how the shell can "warp" and expand to accommodate the plodus when he or she tries hide inside of it. These markings are thought to be analogous to a human hand's palmar flexion creases. When hiding beneath their shell, they are also capable of applying suction to the surface on which they rest in order to keep the edges of the shell tightly against the ground; however, they will inevitably grow tired after a few minutes and their grip will loosen.

Reproduction

Plodii are hermaphrodites, possessing both male and female sex organs. As such, they typically do not have (or often intuitively understand) male/female differences in other species. They do not possess clear gender concepts either. Sex takes place primarily for reproduction, and less as a form of recreation. Following fertilization, one of the copulating pair will lay ten to twenty eggs. Population control is far more important than in most species, and plodii in areas such as cities (or especially spaceships) are typically issued governmental grants to reproduce following rigorous testing and interviews, to ensure that only the best specimens of the species pass on their genes. In safe and sterile environments, the vast majority of these will survive to adulthood.

Like most sentient species, a plodus will raise its young, although these children will not possess a "mother" or "father" but only "parents", as there are no sexual differences between the two.

Abilities

Plodii characters have the following characteristics:

  • +1 charisma
  • +1 intuition
  • +1 general knowledge
  • No legs: A Plodus moves something like a cross between a snail, an inchworm, and a snake, typically in very small, subtle movements that make it look like they glide over the floor. Studies suggest that humans find this satisfying to watch. More importantly, it means that by the time you manage to wound a plodus enough to immobilize it, it's already dead.
  • Natural beauty: Almost everything about a plodus can be considered aesthetically beautiful, from their shimmering iridescent bodies that refract light like an opal, to their featherlike fronds, to their naturally styled shells (every one is unique). As a result, they gain +1 to charisma rolls when trying to be persuasive to an ally.
  • Vast memory: Plodus memories are vast, and can take some time to search, largely thanks to how their brains are distributed throughout their bodies. As a result, they get a second chance to correct failed general knowledge rolls. This second chance must take place on the following turn or it will be considered invalid, and still takes a layer like a regular general knowledge roll.
  • Shell defense:All attacks that would hit their shell (if weaker than a ship weapon) roll 1d6+2 to completely deflect the damage. A plodus can hide beneath its shell in combat - however, getting into this position takes one layer, and getting out of this position takes another, during which they are completely vulnerable if not in cover.
  • Long lifespan: Plodii have particularly long lifespans at over half a millennium. There are plodii still alive that remember the days before the Galactic Cleansing.
  • -1 robotics
  • -1 handiwork
  • -1 unconventional
  • Easily sick: Plodii are an interesting species in that they are frequently "sick" despite having a fairly long lifespan. When exposed to contagions, they almost inevitably fall ill for several weeks - although this can be easily treated with some (currently rather expensive) medicine. Being sick may damage their rolls at random.
  • Cowardly: Plodii have disadvantage on on-foot willpower-related saving throws.
  • Can't climb: Plodii are legless and completely incapable of climbing ladders, rocks, countertops, or any other sort of tall obstacles.
  • Slow arms: While a plodus's flexible, cartilaginous arms do well at withstanding blunt-force trauma with few effects, they are also not particularly fast. Switching weapons or items takes an extra layer - switching to normal weapons takes 2, and switching to heavy weapons takes 3.

Stats: -1 robotics, -1 handiwork, -1 unconventional; +1 charisma, +1 intuition, +1 general knowledge; poor immune system, cowardly, can't climb, slow arms; natural beauty, vast memory, shell defense, long lifespan

Society

Culture

Culture

Homeworld

homeworld

Technology

tech

Government

government

Languages

The plodii language has a very "breathy" sound to it, partly because while their lips are quite capable, their tongue is less mobile than that of many other species; if left to their own devices, they prefer to use it as little as they have to. For a time in the early third millennium, their language became popular in human music, as it lent well to an airy tone. It was mostly popular in electronica-related genres. This quickly fell away over the centuries and few examples of it exist anymore; such examples of music are often thought of as medieval music might sound to someone born around the year 2000.

They have an interesting language system, and one that, for many years, was a subject of intense interest to the bhezians. On the surface, it seems straightforward and almost simplistic, but as you begin to delve deeper into it, it becomes clear how much "depth" it has. Most words have multiple variants that sound nothing like each other, similar to Galactic Standard's synonyms. What these words actually mean, and which are considered "artful" to use, are related to a variety of factors, including time of day, personal wealth, and proximity to bodies of water.

Also of note is the plodii's body language. This is considered quite difficult to learn to understand by most species, and even more difficult to actually use - in fact, few species can replicate a plodii's body language to any meaningful degree thanks to its clever use of the plodii's unique anatomy. Whereas human body language is used to convey emotion, plodus body language is used to convey information in a subtle, silent manner. Learning to understand it is a difficult task, as they are often disinclined to share it with many outside their own species, and meanings can vary from one star cluster to the next.

Short list of phrases

  • Viladar elenah plie pispele calon milare matatia! - I have an offer you can't refuse!
  • Mpe masonim vea zolvaka aketa… shelimma mesedi. - I would love to stay and chat, but business requires my attention.
  • Tekolo mariseso paciva plie rea effidii apetiteke. - This is such a lovely venue for our financial negotiation.
  • Polas calon selasa melsah? Pasa pacenit scopi-a! - Have you tried the melsah? It is simply divine! (Melsah is a fruit native to the plodus homeworld.)
  • Calon opmeba ralae rea pasas es prielata lilsan oleka porfat pisokena ipilmas! - You won't find a work of art like this anywhere in the coreworlds!
  • Tekolo rea piceva lasi! Amem adah tessara sfolah. - Such a delicious aroma! It makes me shiver in delight.
  • Mala calon sasola vea simas? Patalal vea elsado fhii talilas. - Are you here to trade? You've come to the right place.

History

Plodii display a great disinterest in history - be it theirs or anyone else's. They are far more interested in both the present, and, more important to them, the future. Archaeology and extensive studies by their close friends, the Bhezians, have helped recover some of their history, but as a result of their persisting cultural philosophy, much of their past has been lost to time. A rumor exists of a knowledge cache passed down from generation to plodii generation - a wellspring of closely-guarded knowledge regarding the earliest days of the Plodii history - but such a cache has yet to make itself publicly known. Nevertheless, the rumors persist, and these "shadow traders" as they have come to be called, are presumed to have cast their tendrils throughout much of populated society. The reason given for this varies from one rumor to the next, but they all agree on one thing: if the shadow traders exist, they protect the oldest secrets of the galaxy.

What is known of the plodii's history is that they essentially obtained Warp 4 before they began expanding from their home system, potentially skipping four levels of warp technology (0,1,2, and 3). The exact method through which they managed this is unknown, and the exact origin of this dates back to roughly 8627 BCE, according to the best estimates of the Bhezians. For the next 1500 years, the Plodii gradually expanded throughout their corner of the galaxy, fully believing they were alone. Finally, in 7051 BCE, the Bhezians made contact with the Plodii and they rapidly became best friends and trading partners. It would be another 1600 years before they met another species, so they had plenty of time to get well acquainted.


Species
AzquadBheziansDaxxFysarGorvansHiltorelKrolumPlodiiQyraxSybnialsTachikaWralk

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