species:ulban

Ulban (WIP)

Ranging from skyscraper sized, plant hopping monstrosities to cunning, ruthless human sized individuals with bestial waves of teeth, talons and claws, the Ulban are polymorphic life forms of immense evolutionary potential and psionic capability. They have been labelled, “Ulban”/“Uan” or “monster” by the ancient Tatya hini explorers. Some Xenobiologists have attempted to study them in their home environment to be consumed before their research could be concluded. What little information that is known has been compiled into tailored databases.

Please Note - The Ulban are meant as an antagonist species as a Storytelling tool only. They range from the unspeakable Eldritch horror to 'please let it kill me first'. They are predators. They eat humans and anything smaller than them. They are highly intelligent and their size makes them ravenous. All information they gather from their prey is used to make their hunting methods and own biology stronger.

To get further into the concept that drove the creation of this species is the idea that this Ancient Unknown Creator Species created everything in this sector for specific purposes. Think of the setting as a game of SimCivilians where you have the ability to reset your civilization by pressing the “Godzilla” button. The Ulban are that button but the Species that was controlling the scenario has stopped playing the game. In their absence, the species have continued on unchecked but still feel the call to fulfill their purpose: To destroy. To Consume. To continue their own existence until the need is sated or they are driven back into the depths from whence they came.

Ulban are not a force to be destroyed. They can be repelled or damaged but they will always exist. They are inevitability. The Raw Purest Primal Hunger and rage of the universe made flesh.

“Bruiserfish”
Art by Nicoy Guevarra

Despite their unknown origins, the Ulban are a well known presence by those that have survived their attacks, as well as those that would flee before them. Though they primarily reside in the Hyine and Aut systems, the immense psionic potential of their towering old ones allows them to tear through the fabric of reality in a manner similar to FTL drives and arrive at other worlds. Primarily arriving within planetary oceans before emerging from the depths to sate their primal urges, Ulban old ones are forces of nature in and of themselves. Though these attacks are few and far in between, history has shown that some of the most destructive weapons available are simply ineffective, or worse, only serve to energize certain types or spread their threat, as their blood and gore will manifest as new life, birthing hordes of lesser monsters.

With time, these very same creatures can grow and evolve into sapient, sentient beings of their own given they survive long enough. Due to their polymorphic nature, these Ulban have no 'true' form, just as how no two old ones are alike. Deriving their forms and appearance from their progenitor as well as those that fall before them, they selectively evolve into fearsome creatures. Despite being highly competitive and aggressive, these juveniles of the Ulban life cycle are well capable of forming civilizations of their own. Several cultures and nation states have emerged, often revolving around or focusing on a set of ideals or physical form. Even then, the fact that they enslave and devour other sapient beings and fiercely compete with one another is a universal constant, as is their worship of their progenitors, the Old Ones.

Where their living gods go, these juvenile Ulban follow, waging a religious war for food, profit, power and glory.

Though the Ulban do not have any true or 'fixed' appearance due to their selective evolution and varying progenitors, there are a few that are more common than the rest due to their success. Worse still, their appearance may not be obvious, as their very smallest and youngest can masquerade as adorable creatures to slip by unnoticed until their day has come.

Derived from the Greek word Erpon(Ερπων) for reptile, those that fall into this classification have many traits in common with many reptilian species as their name suggests. However, these traits can easily be serpentine, lizard-like or even Dactyl-like given the variety of creatures that can be classified as reptiles. These creatures typically feature scales of varying hardness and color, with the toughest of them being able to ablate against modern laser rifle fire, or even shatter supersonic projectiles. Most have four limbs, and lay eggs to reproduce, but not even this is a constant given their ever-changing genetics. Though some have poison or venom, almost all have vicious snapping maws, with most being well armed with sharp, hardened claws as well.

The most well known of the Erpon would be the Kobara, derived from the Hindi word for Cobra, Composed of a length covered in scales and hardy plates which ends in a hooded head that can open up into a massive maw, they have no limbs whatsoever. As a result, the Cobras rely entirely on their psionic abilities to manipulate objects around them, a terrifying sight in and of itself. Typically dark and ruddy in coloration, they blend into their environments, while their older, more matured individuals may deliberately sport brighter colors to signify their rank. Their mental prowess has cemented them as the most common leaders, however, the 'face' of the Ulban falls to the ?.

The Hindi word for Fish(मछली), the Machhalee are deceptively named due to their air-breathing nature. Taking traits ranging from said fish, various aquatic life forms and even amphibians, the Machhalee are perhaps some of the most varied and strangest looking of the Ulban. The ability to respire under water is a constant, either with internal gills under flaps, or exposed external gills that supplement their lungs when swimming. Some, but not all, also sport either scales, abrasive shark-skin or even the soft, water permeable and sometimes wart covered flesh found in amphibians. Shockingly, the toughest of them feature scales able to ablate against modern laser rifle fire, or even shatter supersonic projectiles. The number of their arms and legs can easily vary from a dozen to none at all, with some individuals of this type resembling octopi, while others may resemble fish with clawed limbs and vicious, snapping maws.

Due to the polymorphic nature of the Ulban, it becomes necessary to document the rough physiology of each individual form instead, however, even that is challenging. Due to their polymorphic nature and tendency to take on new genetics or alter their own, the arrangement of organs can vary even among the same type and even cohort of offspring. This is further complicated by the passage of time as well, since each will seek out any edge they can find. In general however, the Ulban are usually carbon based oxygen breathers, with a heart, lungs, digestive tract and a brain in their head. However, backup organs, compartmentalized and redundant lungs and so forth may also be present. Meanwhile, the more exotic of the Ulban may feature things like multiple hearts and even a non-centralized nervous system.

It is also notable that the Ulban are most likely a truly ageless species, living for hundreds if not thousands of years and growing larger and more powerful as a result. This growth process can vary from individual to individual, either being a constant, ongoing process, or something that occurs in a cocoon or hibernation as sudden spurts. The very oldest of the Ulban are the size of skyscrapers, and have such psionic potential on top of their sheer physicality, that they easily threaten entire cities protected by modern military forces.

Meanwhile, the youngest of the Ulban can easily be the size of a mouse.

The Ulban are powerhouses once they mature, and not due to their sheer physicality alone. They possess a host of unique abilities which helps to make them the ultimate survivors and pinnacles of evolution in progress. Not only do they readily accept new genetics they deem useful, but the latent access to psionics across all individuals grants them an edge that few others will ever have.

All of them, take in new genes, or slowly tinker with pre-existing ones.

Only on the biggest ones. Prevents ship-borne cannon fire, drastically reducing effectiveness or nullifying entirely depending on the individual. Makes melee most effective means of combat against them. Some smaller, specialized bus sized ones may project it as well, enabling Ulban to get close. Needs players to engage in melee, and get close enough to launch missiles to destroy.

Most famously used by the Kobara.

Notes

Serpentine monsters. The small ones are smarter than the big ones but hurting the big one makes mores small ones. No perceived gender, assumed asexual. Found primarily in the following systems: Hyine and Aut.

  • Cerberus- Multiple heads, large, claws and gnashing teeth
  • Uan- Multiple headed BIG ones
  • Uan hini1) - The small ones. Spore telepathy, invisible “hands”. Worship the large Uan.

More Notes/Suggestions

  • Big, Godzilla sized ones are the primary progenitors and are forces of nature; as they fight each other and are wounded (failed mating attempts and fights for territory most likely), the blood and gore becomes more of the smaller ones, which are fully sapient
  • Godzilla class life forms are capable of traveling from planet to planet using their psionic abilities (to find food/lounging space), which may be limited or more powerful depending on the individuals, which are all unique; emergence is Pacific Rim style
  • Smaller life forms typically have a simpler starting form that is serpentine with no arms and relies on psionic 'vectors' like in Elfin Lied to manipulate things, probably not that powerful early on
  • Psionic abilities likely depends on how they 'mature', either focusing on physical or psionic aspects, later forms can vary greatly
  • All forms have a valuable resource inside of them that can be used to power ships, weapons, cities etc and typically are worth the combat losses
  • Smaller forms can, with sufficient time and resources, become another progenitor; for this reason, some can be seen taking on the role of various vehicles, etc.
  • Psionics allow them to present themselves to other sapients as something they're not, infiltrating and blending in; more matured/advanced individuals can select what they are seen as rather than being something that is randomly desired
  • Smaller sapient forms can vary from nearly feral horrors to various cultures formed to more efficiently harvest and obtain food/goods
  • Culturally, cults, followings, micro-nations may form around particularly powerful individuals and their form, with followers using their psionic based bio-forming abilities to emulate
  • May take on aspects of their food subconsciously, with more mature/advanced ones being able to do so consciously
  • Under the right circumstances, young Ulban can become cute/adorable to survive until adulthood should human/other species presence is heavy. Think of cute kittens, puppies and those cute kobolds

1)
monster children in elvish
  • species/ulban.txt
  • Last modified: 2020/06/17 07:34
  • (external edit)