Alternate Universe SPECIAL for: May 6th 2002 C.E.
Every Worldplate in the Tryslmaistan cosmos has the same identical structure: a sand-covered crystal desert (see Life On The Land) and a central freshwater sea. The shape of a Worldplate is not a perfectly flat triangle, but rather is a triangular mass which is 'pinched', or inset, towards the middle. Within this effective bowl, rain fills a central sea, and the rate of rain exactly matches the rate of evaporation, such that the inland sea remains constant throughout time.
The seas of the Worldplates of Tryslmaistan teem with crystalloid life. A vast and complex ecology, the seas, and the beaches surronding them, feature many interesting and unusual creatures filling every available niche. These life forms are identical, across the universe, the same species in the same proportions, on every Worldplate. Among these diverse life forms we find...
The protean Amorphlomilles cling to the crystalline faces that protrude through the oceanic sands, and change the shape of their nearly transparent bodies constantly. Amorphomilles are actually a kind of simple colony creature, and within their gelatinous mass can be seen three crimson cores, each a seperate, yet linked, creature. Sharing a common ameboid body, the three cores are each of a unique sex, and they collectively control the shifting form they share. The Amorphomille feeds, as do most sea-dwelling life, on the suspended Jelplankton blooms.
Although the sharp-edged Boyanshrils resemble the Jellyfish of earth's oceans, they are actually rigid over the entirety of their structure, and the dangling tubes are not tentacles, but instead are sonic resonators. The Boyanshrill is best considered a kind of plant, rather than an animal, in that it converts available, ambient resources (electanic Charge, minerals, gasses, and water components) into energy and crystal biomass. The rigid Boyanshrils float suspended, carefully maintaining neutral buoyancy in the calm, currentless sea. Using their resonant tubes, the Boyanshrils sing to each other, calling for mates. Tiny flagella allow the plants to move with purpose, gradually closing with the mate of their choice. In contact, spines grow from the sides of one Boyanshril to another and interpenetrate the rigid shells, allowing crystogenetic transfer.
DeepBottles use their powerful and hollow multi-ringed masses to move water through their bodies, both feeding and propelling themselves forward. DeepBottles shimmer in multicolored splendor, because their crystallic flesh contains millions of microscopic reflecting planes which change their angle with every contraction. DeepBottles feed on the deepest Jelplankton, which is characterized by an abundance of soft and fluid microscopic creatures. Using their forward and aft sensory tenrils, the DeepBottle can sniff the surrounding water for Jelplankton blooms,or sense the Charge differential of an approaching threat. When threatened, the DeepBottle can injest a massive quantity of fluid, and then expel it rapidly to jet forward to safety.
Enormous, enigmatic, multiplaned, intersecting DriftWillen float near the center of the Central Sea. The largest identified creature in the Tryslmaistan Universe, a single DriftWillen, when mature, can span nearly a half a mile in size. The lacy fronds, composed of intersecting triangular planes, soak up ambient Charge, minerals, and water, as well as provide a home to a host of Jelplanktonic life, some of which is only found living upon the DriftWillen. Plantlike, the DriftWillen is capable of only the most limited mobility, taking days to move even a few feet. Immature, relatively tiny DriftWillen, which are much more mobile, can be seen closer to the shore, serenely swimming through masses of Jelplankton, which become attatched to the body of the creature. DriftWillen need these plankton, whose waste-products help feed the vast creature when it matures.
Rarely seen, the Floating Dopo appears as a spotted dome of soft, pale, doughy life, squirming and humping up and down in the water. The Dopo does this to propel itself, and to engulf Jelplankton upon which it feeds. The Dopo can sense light with the flat eyespots that cover its body, and uses this input to follow the sun-orb as it crosses the sky...sweeping gradually across the entire sea. When a Dopo reaches the opposite shore, it humps its way onto the beach and lays shimmering violet spore-eggs, which gradually grow in the beach sand. When the spore-eggs hatch, they leave behind a network of crystal roots that support them, and a new young Dopo humps its slow way back to the sea. In this way, generations of the Floating Dopo cross the Central Seas of countless Worldplates, back and forth....a morning-following generation, then a sunset-following generation, one after the other, forever.
Hollow, corkscrew Galacines are ferocious, stationary predators. Galacines extend and search the sea for free-floating or moving life, and clutch it with three, sharp, crystal spines. used like a three-fingered hand, the spines of the Galacine capture prey, which are then enshrouded in a quickly growing net composed of tendrils of crystalloid flesh. Once entirely englobed in this net, the unfortunate prey of the Galacine is subjected to powerful digestive acids and ultimately devoured. When done, waste then fills the living net-sack, which then dies and is cast aside, to be broken down by the aggressive, freeswimming Jelplankton.
Easily the most diverse group of life in the entire Tryslmaistan cosmos, Jelplankton swim, float, propel, glide, ooze, pulse, swarm, and even crawl through the water and sand of the Worldplate Sea. Some Jelplankton live, as do all Tryslmaistan 'Plants', on electanic Charge, water, air, and minerals, while other forms of Jelplankton hungrily devour dead and living animals. Vast blooms of Jelplankton expand and shrink constantly throughout the sea, at every depth. Because Tryslmaistan plant life does not require light, even the deepest, darkest parts of the Central Sea are equal home to Jelplankton.
Koi (Human Occupied Worldplate Only)
Humans brought only one water-specific life form with them, and that life is the Koi-fish (Cyprinus carpio), which is occasionally raised in netted pens in the open freshwater sea. Sometimes the Koi escape, and, amazingly, find some way to survive, although what the Koi actually find to eat in the Tryslmaistan sea is not known. Such loose Koi do manage to reproduce, but their numbers never become very large, and they are seen to be clearly at a disadvantage in the alien sea. Many native life forms are known to seek out lost Koi to devour them for the concentrated salts and minerals, stored within their blood and flesh. It has long been thought that if only it were possible to know what the Koi find to eat, this knowledge might help the Humans of the Tryslmaistan universe to survive more efficiently.
The skipping, dancing walk of the tripedal Scut-Scut never fails to amuse or intrigue. Seeking the tiny Tumbledice upon which they feed, this small, energetic, beach-dwelling crystalline animal will occasionally pause to drink from the freshwater sea. Skipping merrily for a while, then holding rigidly in place to regenerate biochemical energy, the Scut-Scut follows a pattern of moving and freezing, moving and freezing, over and over. When the Scut-Scut finds a tasty Tumbledice, it positions itself directly over the slow-moving animal and slams its body down upon it, immobilizing the Tumbledice in the sand. Then, slowly, feeding tendrils grow forth from the underside of the living shell of the Scut-Scut, and burrow into the trapped prey. Gradually the material of the Tumbledice is absorbed, leaving only a hollow, crystal shell upon the beach. Rising up, the prancing Scut-Scut skitters onward in search of its next meal.
Seal-sized Shardrellers glide eerily through the waters of the Central Sea. The tail of the Shardreller is a rigid, spiny, crystalline structure, and the head of the Shardreller is a soft, rubbery ovoid. The only part of the animal that moves is a constantly sweeping array of sensing antenna that project from the front of the creature, surrounding three orifices used for intake of water and food. The Shardreller uses electanic Charge, which it generates biochemically and then eminates from its rigid crystal tail, to force water behind it, electan-statically propelling the animal forward in a stately and mysterious glide. By adjusting the shape of the soft, ovoid head, the Shardreller can alter the direction of motion, following Jelplankton blooms wherever they go. Bright pink eyeglobes allow the creature to avoid danger and navigate the undersea environment. Occasionally, a curious, tubular-bell-like ringing call is made, allowing the Shardreller to find others of its kind in the vastness of the sea.
Crystalline disks with a single, three-toed leg, the meter-high Spinleapers are the closest thing to a flying animal that the Tryslmaistan universe has. Springing up with violent, twisting force, the Spinleaper glides like a spinning Frisbee with a tail across the sky of the Tryslmaistan seashore. Spinleapers can easily avoid danger, and can glide for a surprisingly long time, in the thick Tryslmaistan air. Staying close to the shore, the Spinleaper sucks water, and food, through an orifice at the base of its singular leg. A scavenger, the Spinleaper makes use of whatever might remain of any crushed or cracked, hardshelled crystalline animal or plant. A distinctive shooping sound can be heard when the Spinleaper glides.
Looking like a two-meter wide faery city, the complex colony of creatures and plants called a Spiranot is supported in the deep water upon a single, crystalline post. The Spiranot is home to over 30 different life forms, which all cooperate for mutual benefit. The sharp, poisonous spines of the Skallfe wave from the walls of the crystal fortess that is the body of the Spirinot proper, defending the colony. Inside the shell, masses of the plant Falsista are harvested by ball-and-chain like Chroaders who haul the fruits of the Falsista to kettle-like Oroou, which partially digest the food. A portion of the result is taken by the hairy, wormlike Millefrew, who become coated with rich material. As the Millefrew squirm through the chambers of the Spiranot colony, they distribute food to all the other animals and plants that live together, under the Central Sea. And this is only one energy pathway, in this miniature metropolis under glass.
The tiny, 12-14 mm, cubical Tumbledice are tiny animals that comb the Tryslmaistan beaches for tiny particles of nutrition. Using their six crystal spikes, they push and prod their way, tunbling end over end, across the sandy terrain. Tumbledice have very fine, hairlike filaments which, if a bit of crystalloid food is found, spin out of the cubic main body of the animal to twine around the bit of food, and haul it inside the shell of the creature. Tumbledice tend to cluster together in somewhat diffuse groups for protection, and their bright color warns of their sharp spikes. When Tumbledice reproduce, they open up along the seams of their cubic shells and unfold to reveal their soft interiors. Then, special filaments reach out to interpenetrate a mate. After mating, the soft, exposed interior rapidly becomes a pulsing foam of living material that expands to many times its original size, generating and distributing very tiny cubical spore-eggs that ultimately become more Tumbledice.
Vlaxifurm, the only lifeform to manufacture Vlaxilinic compounds,has a complex life cycle, a great portion of which occurs entirely in the water. In the Central Sea, great Vlaxifurm 'Lanterns' float, slowly moving to and fro using a long, flat, ovoid paddle. Absorbing ambient resources as well as devouring Jelplankton, the Vlaxifurm Lanterns are both plant and animal at the same time. Eventually, as they mature, the long, beltlike bands that make up the Lantern, strip themselves away from the dying central core, and begin to swim. As the bands swim, they divide into many smaller bands,and these smaller bands change shape and color, becoming bright orange, flat, wriggling ribbons.
The Vlaxifurm ribbons crawl out of the water, and begin a steady writhing procession to the deep, dry, crystal desert. Those that are not eaten or fall off of the edge of the Worldplate, find a spot and burrow in to the dry sand. There, absorbing the sand and the creatures in it, the Vlaxifurm ribbon will gradually grow and change to become an ever-expanding Vlax Dome.
The Vlax dome, a complex and liquid-filled entity, eventually becomes ready to reproduce. This reproduction takes the form of tiny reddish worms that burrow and dig their way through the sand, until they finally reach the sea. In the sea, the reddish Vlaxifurm worms swell and become ovoid masses, which gradually grow in size. Soon creases, and then sharp divisions in the Ovoid form, seperate, and become beltlike bands. The bands, and a connecting central stalk with a paddle, continue to grow, floating in the rich sea. Thus the life cycle of Vlax begins anew.
The sapient Jellies claim that every Worldplate has exactly one incredibly massive, unbelievably huge, Jelliform monstrosity lurking at the very center of the Central Sea, down deep, at the very bottom. Called 'OooOOooOOooO', which means 'The Nameless', this entity is considered to be beyond all understanding. Supposedly a shapeshifting mass of Crystallioid jelly life, some Human seamen have claimed to have seen the monster in the form of a gargantuan, floating Koi the size of a city, far off in the distance. Supposedly, when approached, The Nameless sinks immediately back to the bottom of the sea. Absolutely no one knows if this impossible monster is real, or just a delusion, but it certainly appears to be an interesting topic of speculation for Human and Jelly alike. It should be noted that no Jelly ever claims to have actually seen The Nameless, only that their dreams tell them that it is real. Not all Jellies claim this, it should be noted, and the Jellies themselves are very divided on the reality of the creature. If it is real, no one can imagine how it could stay alive, or how there is only supposedly one of it, which cocurrently exists not only within each and every Central Sea, but in some inexplicable way, across the whole of the universe as well.
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