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In general, flora and fauna is primarily differentiated between alpine (also called aborigenal or primigenious by biologists), deep, and hybrid. Alpine life is generally understood to be directly descending from the original planetary biosphere, and relatively prospers at medium and high altitudes. Deep life is a direct consequence of the botched Invasion of so long ago: enormous, slow insectoids, fungal forests, deadly psi-seeking brainworm and noxious pollen clouds make the lowlands uninhabitable. Hybrid life is rarer, but presents element of both ecosystem and most dangerously can live in both -- it is thought that hybrid lifeforms were engineered by the Invaders as a means of spreading the new ecosystem out through spores and pollens, or by humanity right after the Invasion as a way to ensure some recognizable life would survive. Hybrid lifeforms are less common than deep or alpine creatures, since there is no ecological niche in which they thrive better than one or the other, but range wider. Pre-Invasion fauna persists on at least some lands, as well as on the Plateau, although most marine life is gone or has been heavily mutated.

Sample hybrid fauna:

Wyvern -- This majestic reptile is thought to have roamed the skies of the world in aeons past, and has made a comeback following the Invasion. The creature is large enough to carry a rider, and is raised in captivity by the homeguard of some lands.

Xabigg -- This tapir-like animal is prized for its fur and milk; the meat, however, is extremely unappetizing. Xabigg "meat" is available in markets, but it is in fact plucked from the pods growing from the creature's back.

Passenger phoenix -- These small pigeon-like birds move in enormous flocks; their primary means of defense is to scatter, unless the flock is large enough, in which case the most foolhardy individuals will try to bum-rush the predator while setting themselves on fire via gas glands. Nixie guano is an excellent source of lifting gas; their feather spines can support a glow discharge and are used to make specialty lightbulbs (nixie tubes).

Trinichtoid -- Usually the apex predator in what few bodies of water are left after the Invasion. This creature resembles a mix between a salmon and a lobster, and owes its name to its large fins which would cause it to be mistaken for a trichordate. The trinichtoid is the size of a cat and dangerous to small extremities and anything smaller than itself. Very yummy.

Duck-footed Jerboa -- This small mammal has evolved hollow fur capable of holding onto lifting gas, and large webbed feet allowing it to pedal throgh the air after a jump. Common as pets.

Sample deep fauna:

Meganeura -- A large, four winged dragonfly thought to be a throwback to a much earlier age in the life of the world. About the size of a large dog, they swarm across the lower boundary layers and eat anything smaller than them; ship captains have been known to intentionally fly into a swarm and risk finding giant insects on board for weeks to follow in order to remove other parasitic life from their hulls, since meganeura at least don't eat fabric, wood or metal.

Brainworm -- This little monstruosity looks like a slug with razor-sharp blades on the bottom of its foot; it follows vibratons and psi emissions. Brainworms are one of the reasons for protective gear on the ground -- they will latch onto the skin and emit powerful psychedelics into the victim's bloodstream, then bask in the psi emissions while they suck the victim's blood. Brainworm ichor is a popular drug.

Tarrasque -- A large insectoid with a dual skeleton, four primary limbs, two clawed "tusks" not unlike those of a crawfish, and a prehensile hollow proboscis that can be used as a natural launcher.

Pumicoid -- This pumice based life form generates an enormous amount of heat. It has the strength to crush rocks which can then be ingested by the hot core; the core of the creature is extremely hot, and seems to be the basis for a digestive system. Its unique muscle system has tremendous power and speed, enough to allow for jet propulsion. Very much unlike balloon mines, they are essentially not harmed by fire or incendiary ammunition. Pumicoids are believed to be the evolution of an Invader biological aerial mine; they are attracted by sound, and rigs traveling the deep sky are well advised to watch out for them. The ground-bound version is called a silacoid.

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Page last modified on April 09, 2015, at 03:04 PM