the peoples

The peoples of the worlds know that their lives and homes are on the backs of enormous living creatures but there is no known way to communicate directly with the world creatures. The peoples do know that the worlds can be harmed/become sick though and that they must be careful in how they live and what they take. The peoples know nothing about the wider universe and do not have the technology/magic to explore any further. They do know that Lican, Uttie, Taeamor and Tael follow a repeating path and that Vesper does not (but they don’t know why). The proximity of the worlds to one another affects climate and magic and can induce extreme weather events and other challenges – including reduced water & magic when the river is most stretched. At certain points all five of the worlds are close enough to see and reach through non-magical/less dangerous means. These times are rare but precious and a time of gathering, trading and celebrating with enormous whole-worlds rituals.

All of the peoples below can be found on all five of the inhabited worlds but tend to be more populous on some than others, we have indicated in brackets the world where each people have the biggest population. None of the peoples have names yet and are not fleshed out. These notes are a starting place in our process.

Wedge-tail eagle folk (Vespur)

  • Large feathered wings
  • Bird headed (with beaks)
  • They have human looking arms and legs
  • Looks a little like a bird headed human angel
  • Can fly higher than the bat-people but not as far

Bat-people (Vespur )

  • Big leathery wings joined to their upper arms
  • Strong fliers and can travel long distances but need lots and lots of sleep
  • Leathery and hard-wearing skin with patches of a single colour fur
  • They cope well in hot or cold weather
  • Very large ears on top of their head

Gecko-folk (Vespur)

  • Small and hardy
  • Lizard like face, with eyes to the side and no visible ears
  • Humanoid body and walks on two legs
  • Can drop their tail
  • Scaled
  • They get cold easily and tend to wear lots of clothes

Science-ducks (Fugenavis)

  • No-one knows where the science ducks came from and they will not speak with anyone except other ship-dwellers. No-one can speak their duck-language.
  • Incredibly intelligent
  • Duck heads, feathery wings, duck legs but standing like humans. They just look like a duck that wears clothes.
  • They wear a lab-coat uniform

Pelican-folk (Lican)

  • Large bills in an otherwise quite human face (except for the feathers covering their skin)
  • Long feathers on their backs
  • Winged arms and few of the folk can fly anymore (but it’s obviously they evolved from something that could fly)
  • Other than the bill and the feathers, they look the most human of the folk
  • Common stereotype says they are arrogant and up themselves

Murray-cod people (Lican)

  • These folk can shift their form – a tail when legs are fully immersed in water and legs when tail dries out and ability to “breathe” in all surfaces through their skin.
  • Scales and soft skin
  • When the worlds are close enough, these folk can swim the river between (in any direction)
  • They have big fish lips and eyes

Gargoyle-follk (Uttie)

  • These gargoyles do NOT have wings. Instead they have big powerful legs and tail like a kangaroo and can jump *very* high.
  • Their upper body is a cross between kangaroo and human.
  • While sleeping these folk turn to rock and they have to wake slowly to return to their flesh forms.
  • Face has an elongated snout and eyes reminiscent of kangaroo
  • They have large floppy ears when flesh (they stick straight up when in sleeping rock form)
  • They are generally very brightly coloured and have fur/hair over most of their body, and usually have big colourful manes that they are very proud of

Turtle-people (Uttie)

  • They live on land but must regularly get wet to stay healthy and strong
  • They are the other people who look most human-like
  • Their skin is very, very fragile and they build & wear beautiful armour and constructions to protect their fragile bodies
  • They cannot grow body hair/fur

Bee-people (Uttie)

  • Small and fast
  • Can fly but only very short distances before needing a rest
  • These people have a history as traders but you’ll find bee-folk working across all trades and places now
  • Striped and furry skin
  • Translucent and delicate wings
  • 2 x antennae
  • 5 x eyes

Yabbie-people (Taeamor & Tael)

  • Think Scorpia in She-Ra in the Princesses of Power
    • Ie a person with yabby claw hands
    • Though less human looking in the face
    • With natural body armour

Mallee-fowl people (Taemor & Tael)

  • They have feathers but they do not fly
  • Much, much stronger than they look
  • They prefer to live with less light
  • Speckled skin and feathers

Invisible folk (Tael & Taeamor)

  • If you walk through them they get really angry
  • They aren’t fully invisible but hard to see – like that mirage/shimmering water/steam.
  • If you walk through them you feel muggy/wet (like sweat)
  • Native to Tael but have spread to Taeamor, very rare on the other worlds
  • Very private cultural rituals

Sleepy-lizard folk (Tael & Taeamor)

  • Appearance inspired by sleep-lizards
  • Culturally very serious
  • Big and slow moving
  • Big shoulders and tend to be muscular

Possum-folk (Lican)

  • Long tails
  • Strong legs for jumping long distances
  • Naturally skilled climbers
  • Big eyes
  • Tend to be nocturnal

Wombat-people (Uttie)

  • Strong
  • Muscular & built “thick”
  • Furry
  • Often stereotyped as the best farmers on Uttie

Koala-folk (Uttie)

  • Able to absorb and recover from most poisons
  • Need lots of sleep to function
  • Oversized koala-like ears
  • Very proud of their furry tummies (will often decorate their tummies and wear clothing that shows this off)

Cloud-head people (Vespur)

  • Look mostly humanoid but with a wispy cloud for a head
  • They generally refuse to communicate with anyone who is not a cloudie

Sunflower folk (Vespur)

  • Not a flower head – more like a sun (burning light source)
  • When they are in full bloom they chop of their heads , head becomes spawn/child
  • Chopping head off is like cutting nails (doesn’t hurt)
  • Very popular are celebrity guests on Vespur to “light” up parties/events

Trenchcoat full of nightmares (Vespur)

  • Not sure if this is a species or just one individual
  • What is sounds like – a trenchcoat full of nightmares, when the trenchcoat is opened, the nightmares can escape.