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Species

There are 34 species, most with a range of sub-species, that you can play in Io. As Fen is a parallel Earth, its species are variants of familiar species, emphasising the diversity of the evolutionary tree.

 

While it is in the spirit of the game to just play a 'sentient animal',  e.g. a talking cat, the standard species below are evolved, hybrid and chimera variants of familiar species. For example a Gibbelin is not a 'smart monkey', but a monkey that has evolved for several million years towards a sentient form and a Fellekoji is not a 'smart cat', but an evolved cat with primate genes. You also are encouraged to create complex chimera from the base species, e.g. combine a corpse-like Dryhtne with a shark-headed Famori, and experiment with unique surreal characters, such as a detective with a type-writer for a head.

Species are grouped by the general era in which they evolved. A Host may rule that some species are not allowable in a certain setting.

The following lists details for the Archaic Species found in Volume 1.

Note: Properly speaking, some of the 'species' presented constitute are Kingdoms, Phyla, Classes, Orders, Families, Genera or other biological taxa, so assume 'species' in Io simply refers to an instance of whatever broader category encompasses it. For example, Moulen are a phylum of sentient fungus (Kingdom Fungi), but in building a character you will end up specifying your species, e.g. a chanterelle Moulen's proper classification might be: Kindom Fungi, Division Basidiomycota, Order: Cantharelles, Family Cantharellaceae, Genus Craterallus, Species C. cornucopioides.

ARCHAIC SPECIES

Eloi

(Floral Kin)

Biology: Eloi are floral life forms based on familiar botanical
divisions as well as a few unique to Fen. The majority are Green Plants (Viridiplantae) whose evolution can be traced back to primal oceanic Algae blooms. Many Eloi are hybrids and come in a wide
variety of organic forms, from lanky walking creepers to massive rolling nuts opening to reveal ferny masses. Owing to their bodily structure, Eloi locomotion may be shambling, lurching and/or
seemingly clumsy, but others have an elegant and strangely seductive grace.

Subspecies: Algae, Moss/Wort, Fern/Horntail, Burril, Conifer, Cycad, Flowering, Geka, Elis, Gupei, Lyalis and Ketai

History: Eloi emerged from the ocean off the East Coast of the Wode, and eventually moved across the continent. As the Moulen mostly confined themselves to their mountain valley of Arasula m'Hualla, the Eloi and fungal Moulen lived in comparative harmony. During periodic extinction events, they secluded themselves in underground networks and developed a counterculture called the Night Seasons. With the advent of the trog races, the Eloi moved their capital to the Eloan island-continent, but retain a large presence in the Wode.

Culture: Eloi communication, sentience and culture is highly determined by their sensory systems. The capacity for mobility, manipulation and multi-modal interpretation led to complex forms of protocommunication. This includes leaves and more specialised appendages fluttering in displays of dappled light in a sign-language of light and shadow; the twittering of stick-like extrusions on armoured boles served to counterpoint circadian rhythm and fostering sonic perception; and increasingly complex visual receptors were coupled with more specialised bodies capable of responding to absent lights to selfregulate blossoming colours.


Most importantly, some proto-Eloi developed a kind of sensory lying, producing pheromones and other chemical signals to prompt competitors to exhaust themselves generating defensive chemicals against non-existent threats. While some cultivated an unselfconscious system of manipulative miscommunication, other proto-Eloi developed a ‘theory of mind’ as a necessary step to guard against such manipulation. The necessity of perceiving truth and falsehood soon gave rise to a sense of self, systems of communicating trust and distrust, and eventually not only loyalty, but complex social behaviours and cultural traditions. When this led to a deliberate, coordinated mastery of their own environment their evolution developed philosophical and aesthetic traditions and so the (many) Golden ages of their culture began.


A side effect of their attentiveness to ecology means that Eloi are capable of acts that other species might see as brutal or merciless, such as the genocide of over-breeding populations and the burning alive of creatures they consider pests. Such actions are not, however, inherently devoid of sympathy, it is simply that they qualify sympathy with a deeper sympathy for the conditions that give rise to personal flourishing, the flourishing of their genetic kin, and the flourishing of the ecology at large. Depending upon their mode of sympathy, Eloi can seem oddly indifferent in their pragmatism. They may calmly explain to a victim of ecological management why
their homelands must be destroyed and their people killed, and may give them chance to preserve some genetic material; but they may be oddly incapable of understanding why the victim does not similarly change their mode of perception to accept the situation. As for themselves, they are equally capable of accepting their own death if there is some personal, genetic or ecological necessity at play. 

 

The disparity between the short-scale of personal life and the long-scale of an ecology means that Eloi often shift between energetic states focused on immediate events, and slow, patient states in which they attune their many senses to the sun, soil and world around with its rhythms of energy, nutrience, passing and decay. Cues invisible to other phyla or kingdoms may lead them to instantly stop whatever they are doing and spend enormously long periods of time meditating on their internal rhythm and the rhythms of the life around them. 

 

Related to this, irrespective of the personality of younger or more modern Eloi, elders orchestrate intrigues that are extremely complex, with plans unfolding over generations. Younger Eloi are often as unwitting in these plans as other species, but tend to be highly accepting of ecological duties.

 

The most kindly-natured and loyal Eloi may remain as such so long as it does not violate the practical maintenance of ecological balance or the orders of elders. Eloi have fairly open attitudes towards sexuality: it occurs in public, but would create less attention than displays of affection in some trog cultures. It is never dirty and not particularly arousing, more part of their aesthetic experience than anything humans would recognise as sex. For Eloi, sex is just a transfer of spores or pollen, and it is not the act of transfer but fertilisation that causes stimulus. Only some species of flowering plants cultivate familiar traditions of non-reproductive sexual desire, but as with other Eloi they experience more intimacy and passion sharing roots or nutrients while exposed to the sun. In other words, seducing an Eloi is more an issue of compatibility, friendship and loyalty, that is to say a matter of grooming or impregnation. 

 

Ultimately, much of an Eloi’s personalities depends upon many such factors. Is the root plant species a short-day plant or a long-day plant? Does it have dysfunctional receptors, such that it  ignores some types of light and grows/blossoms in low light, red light, or blue light; such Eloi might be seen as curious or eccentric, sensitive to stimuli others are aware of but regard differently. Is the Eloi highly sensitive to chemical odours or vibrations, and droop its leaves at the slightest excess? Does it tend to overreact to visual signals, and under-react to pheromones? Is it somehow oddly incapable of perceiving the disparity between its position and light, and so tend to take up rather unusual poses, and recline or touch other plants in an unexpectedly intimate fashion? Does it see pheremonal lying as a legitimate end in service of its own kin, but disparage visual lying as cowardly? 

 

Traits

Associated Spirits: Eloa and Xoypa.

Core Skills: Eloi, Nisse, +4 Ranks.


Life Span: All Eloi are perennials that may self-seed or regenerate from root-stock, though their lifespan ranges from a few years for very primitive Eloi, to around 30 for some small plants, 50 for most
flowering plants, and 100 or more years for trees. However, some Eloi live for an uncommonly long time for reasons not understood  outside the elders of their species. Eloi of some redwood stock are known to have lived many thousands of years.


Major Settlements: Llwynfandir•†, Fynwys°, Dolwyn, Modr Ly’Sei Ewy San, Esyl-Ree Nolyn So, Faul ly’Montysse, et al.


Names: Although their own language is non-verbal, Eloi have acquired some trog communicative traits. Where they use a name, it usually has a Welsh-sounding and/or broadly botanical or floral
quality, but ultimately they often just choose a name or nickname they like to be called by and which they fell best suits the ecosystem they are in.


Personal names: Alysi, Asporiti, Birkenal, Blygewallen, Chrysote, Crylle, Delwes, Doralia, Eadelmarr, Eyswelle, Fallebere, Froquensia,
Geralia, Gilibell, Hurali, Hicklebine, Jadekua, Julinferi, Kress, Kyrdwe, Laganthus, Lilasia, Muldenbirch, Myrfwys, Nebrier, Nirbeck, Nodwod,
Nyrelsya, Okershad, Oleya, Onionwede, Ophyeutia, Pleoydwen, Polkar, Popsyl, Pwyll, Qilleis, Quelatia, Ralypwys, Rosewood, Ruele, Silder, Sorrel, Spylisiem, Talypelys, Thistledew, Ulises, Ursylea,
Vydewalen, Verbeya, Wadanhyll, Wylstalia, Xefrehele, Xytoles, Yarrowgall, Yslwyr, Zemila, Zyparytwll.


Psychological Profile:

Compulsion (Solar/Nutrient Veneration)
Eloi turn/act positively towards the sun and preferred nutrient source(s) and at odd cues may pause to perform micro-rituals, Severity 40+1d20


Sex and Gender
Eloi usually have male and female organs, but may be gymnosperms (with exposed seeks, e.g. conifers) or angiosperms (with enclosed seeds, e.g. flowering and fruiting plants), and some may be hermaphroditic. In Eloi, sexuality transcends normal plant species, so any Eloi may be any combination of sexes.


Eloi culture does not differentiate on the basis of sex except in practical terms of reproduction. They experience a kind of sexual pleasure, but it is long-lasting and most do not orgasm but rather
have a ritualistic sense of satisfaction at the end of a sexual experience. However, since the Wallowing there are some species that have acquired an experience analogous to orgasm, often with a
visible sign of satisfaction, e.g. a stamen that bends, quivers or changes colour when properly stimulated.


Non-humanoid Eloi have no ability to understand trog notions of sexual differentiation, gendered identity, or feelings of lust, modesty or anxiety around sex. They are used to displaying their reproductive organs in the form of stamens or cones as an expression of floral beauty, and enjoy opening themselves up to Nisse and other insects. They see reproduction as intrinsic to the normal ebb and flow of inter-racial life, and an aesthetic object in its own right, not something to be separated by ritual or privacy.


Size: Medium 9, Build 2 (‘typical’ Eloi), otherwise may be Tiny, Small or Large, depending upon species.

Eloi Core Skills

  • Floral Camouflage

  • Photosynthesis

  • Pollen Spray

  • Mineral Absorption

  • 4 Eloi Variant Skills

Eloi Variant Skills:

  • Crack Rock

  • Exude Scent

  • Floral Blush

  • Floral Flexibility

  • Floral Grace

  • Fungal Network

  • Gas Sac

  • Metallic Leaf

  • Nut Shell

  • Poison Growth

  • Regrowth

  • Solar Charge

  • Solar Lens

  • Stored Solar Energy

  • Succulent Resistence

  • Tentacle/Whip

  • Thorns or Barbs

  • Trap (Bladder, Pitfall/Lobster, Snap, Sticky)

ARCHAIC SPECIES

Eloi (Floral Kin): Subspecies: Algae, Moss/Wort, Fern/Horntail, Burril, Conifer, Cycad, Flowering, Geka, Elis, Gupei, Lyalis and Ketai

Moulen (Fungal Kin): Subspecies: Agaric, Bolete, Bracket, Chanterelle/Trumpet, Club/Coral, Jelly, Puffball/Earthstar,, Stinkhorn/Basket, Toothed, Cup and Flask, Morels/False Morels, Saddle and Truffle.

Nisse (Insect Kin):Subspecies:

Welpenkrupe (Lichen Kin):

ANCIENT TROG

Dvergar (Ape Kin): Subspecies:

Gibbelin (Monkey Kin): Subspecies:

Jötunn (Bear Kin): Subspecies:

Magog (Giants): Variants: 
  
Meideak (Agricultural Giant),

  Onigr (Feudal Slaver)


MUNDANE TROG


Aihwah (Steed Kin): Subspecies:


Asuri (Cattle Kin): Subspecies:


Bokouji (Canine/Feline Kin): Variants:

  Fellekoji (Feline)
  Hundekoji (Canine)


Brahkestrelle (Bat Kin):


Famori (Ocean Kin): Sub-species: Belisar/Calisar (Comb/Jelly), Wersu (Vermiform), Sanef (Mollusc), Krutic (Crabs/Arthropod), Skut (Starfish/Echinoderm), Oster (Fish/Chordates)


Fulokweir (Bird Kin): Major Orders: Paleognathae (Old Beak), Neognathae (Fowl), Neognathae Neoave (Higher birds), Near-Passerine (Late birds ), Passerine (Perching birds)


Grybdverg (Rodent et al Kin): Subspecies: Grybdverg (Mole), Nogaref (Rodent), Beutebok (Marsupial), Diebkel (Weasel), Dolikhos (Rabbit), Ungerveldt (Sloth) and Ingersloc (Monotreme)


Lissamphalk (Amphibians): Subspecies: 


Pusanhof (Deer Kin): Subspecies: 


Skaljavolk (Reptile Kin): Phyla and Sub-species: 

Ydrasaur (Aquatic Archosaur), Pterasaur (Flying Archosaur)
Dinosaur (Walking Archosaur), Skaljasaur (Modern Saurian)


EXOTIC TROG

Drysnasci (Tree Born)


Jentilak (Stone Kin)


Middan (Human/Mutant)


Orbevold (Robot Kind)


Secarivolk (Insectile Trog)


Vyralea (Fire Kin)


OCCULT TROG


Dokkelfur (Vampyric Eloi-Trog)


Dryhtne (Corpse Kin)


Empyri (Alien Kin/Kind): Major Variants:
  Muerel (The Changed)
  Alef (Chimera)
  Opec (Technologically Modified)
  Janek (Technologcally Transformed)
  Opel (Genetically Altered/Engineered)
  Gelf (Extraterrestrials)
  Aleri (Energy Beings)


Faltenskeft (Amoeba Kin)


Geistwelkorkpen (Ghost)


Gwylfig (Knocker Kin)


Heinzelmann (House Spirit)


Leuwbyrsa (Purse Spirit)


Näkk (River Kin)


Skjardruvoi (Tree Kin)

'The Gwylfig sat on a rock with its silver baton, poking deftly at the improbable structure in front of it: an intricate and impossibly balanced pile of stones and sticks. At a glance one might have thought it a naked, dark-skinned Middan child playing idly by the river. But on closer inspection one could see the subtle glow of its gem-like eyes, the eerie way it held its hairless body, and the serious, philosophical way it engaged the structure, as if in some way it were investigating the secrets of the cosmos. Each tap of the baton pushed the structure closer to destruction, but somehow, each time, it teetered slightly only to find a new, infuriating balance...'