SPECIES

Dioscipula

Size

While no biological size limit is known, nutritional and environmental factors tend to keep the Dioscipula between 1 and 1.5 meters in height.

Home Star System

Pantthas

Home Planet

Good Home

Natural Environment

The Dioscipula evolved in an immensely aggressive jungle biome, so their resilient plant biology allows them to survive in a fairly wide array of living conditions… provided there is enough food to sustain them.

Ability Increases

Agility, Judgement

Sensory Abilities

Dioscipula can sense all movement within ten squares of their location but are blind beyond that range. They communicate with pheromones. They have special devices that allow them to communicate with other sentient species.

Species Ability Skill

Perception

Species Background

Infamy

Species Physical Description

The Dioscipula possess a large mouth-like protrusion on a neck that lies on the top of their torso, not dissimilar to a Venus fly trap from Earth. Their central body is a large sack-like growth devoid of sex organs of any kind. They possess two large-clawed “leaves” that are roughly similar to humanoid arms, and are propelled by a pair of stumpy, stout “roots.” Their coloration typically trends toward green, though Dioscipula that have grown on other planets might take on different colors to better adapt to their environment.

Species Psychological Description

The Dioscipulan hierarchy of needs is extremely specific and focused, a fact that is reflected in their culture. The overwhelming needs to feed and propagate are at the forefront of nearly every Dioscipula’s mind, with shelter and sleep being distant tertiary concerns. Society is a very loose concept in the Dioscipula mindset, although regular exposure to beneficial non-edible lifeforms sometimes causes them to consider such creatures as allies known as “grove-mates.” Many grove-mates have been made when an alien has fed a Dioscipula regularly, not realizing that in doing so they’ve made a lifelong friend.

Species History

The Dioscipula are not the galaxy’s best recorders of history as many members of the race do not consider events unrelated to food worth noting. While they possess a few scant accounts of feasts and famines, such documents are kept merely as a way to maximize their food intake and minimize hunger. Perhaps the most well-documented bit of their history is a period known as “The Great Confusion,” as it was also an event that was thoroughly chronicled by alien races as well. When the Dioscipula’s celestial patron, Naemus, bade them to go and explore, the Dioscipula were initially unsure how to carry out such an order until a Quaakk’Rii ship landed on Good Home for emergency repairs. Once the crew was thoroughly consumed, the Dioscipula began centuries of trial-and-error testing of the Quaakk’Rii ship at the direction of Naemus eventually leading to the first Dioscipulan astronauts taking to space and beginning to explore. It was in those ensuing centuries that the Dioscipula had repeated interactions with alien life, nearly all of which ended in violence. The Great Confusion eventually ended with the gift of the Back-Up in conjunction with the advent of communication devices that helped the Dioscipula delineate the difference between sentient people and food. However, in the eyes of much of the galaxy the damage was already done, and the Dioscipula are often treated as pests or potential hazards by many in the galactic community. Their saving grace is their proficiency as mercenaries, as the quick breeding cycle of the Dioscipula means that even a solitary Dioscipula could conquer a planet given enough time. A more ambitious race might take the wealth of spoils gathered over centuries of mercenary work as a way to create an empire, but the Dioscipulans narrow focus on filling their bellies means that relatively few official settlements exist outside of their home system.

Affiliations

The Starving

A cross between religious zealots and racial purists, the Starving is a group of Dioscipula that believe that viewing other sapient races as anything but food is a mistake and a betrayal of the mandate of Naemus to spread out among the stars. The Starving have been known to attack isolated settlements of aliens for food, torturing them in truly horrible ways before consuming them. Due to how much they contribute to the poor image of the Dioscipula and by proxy how much harder they make it for them to acquire food, the rest of the Dioscipula view this group with fierce disdain. Their one saving grace is that they often target the Korruk, who they see as competition for “the feast of the galaxy.”

The Pennyweather Estate

Founded by the descendants of the legendary human explorer Nigel Pennyweather, the Pennyweather Estate is an organization of alien biologists, explorers, xenologists, and other academics dedicated to cataloging and studying the vast array of life in the Pantthas system. Due to the truly staggering amounts of death that its members experience, the Pennyweather Estate has also been networking with private prisons throughout the galaxy, trading dangerous missions for reduced sentences.

Ringmaster Rustle’s Celestial Combat Circus

A bizarrely motivated and organized Dioscipula, Rustle is the leader of a patchwork fleet of mismatched ships piloted by a myriad of different species and beings united under his bizarre banner. Technically a mercenary guild, the Celestial Combat Circus functions as equal parts vigilante network, relief effort, charitable organization, and entertainment company. This strange Venn diagram of different skills has made Rustle perhaps one of the most respected Dioscipula in the galaxy, and in many ways their unofficial ambassador.

Dioscipula stats

+1 Agility, +1 Judgement

Dioscipula can sense all movement within ten squares of their location but are blind beyond that range. They communicate with pheromones. They have special devices that allow them to communicate with other sentient species.

Species Skill: +1 Perception

Background: +1 Infamy

Pantthas System

Stellar Patron

Naemus

Description

Given the divisive opinions on the Dioscipula, it’s fair to say that Naemus is viewed with fairly critical lenses by the rest of the galaxy. While some describe her as a matronly, nurturing mother figure whose love for her children far exceeded her common sense, others seen her as a senile old crone that has spread her borderline virulent crop of carnivores throughout all of space. To their credit, the Dioscipula are cognizant enough of Naemus’ contribution to their species that she was the first non-Dioscipulan lifeform that they classified as something other than food or materials; Naemus in the Dioscipulan tongue is known as Alm (mother). Pantthas is said to mean “Mother Garden” in Dioscipulan, although it has also been known to translate to “First Buffet.”

Sentient Population

While the Pantthas System is technically home to several trillion Dioscipula, a large portion of that number consists of sapling Dioscipula that never reach maturity due to the incredibly harsh environments present in the system as well as a culture-wide disinterest in their well-being. Solid numbers are difficult to calculate, but most experts believe that between 60 and 100 billion Dioscipula occupy the system at any given moment. The number of alien races present in the system at any given time is incredibly low and tends never to get higher than a few million, nearly all of whom are just passing through on business.

System Description

The late great human explorer Nigel Pennyweather once described the Pantthas System as “seven planets of sheer hell, each more banana-shoes crazy dangerous than the last. It’s one saving grace is the last planet in the bunch, Pink Valley.” Nigel was later killed by an extremely addictive and lethal neuro-toxin produced by the local flora of Pink Valley.

Planets

Too Hot/Good Home/Bad Water/Grave of Mouths/Bad Time/Cold Place/Pink Valley

 

Planet 1. Too Hot

Gravity Rank 2

The planet closest to the Naemus star is perhaps the best example of the extremely literal naming convention of the Dioscipula, as the small planet known as Too Hot is just that; too hot for life to survive on its surface. “It’s the darndest thing,” said Nigel Pennyweather Jr. during an interview. “The entire planet is full of aluminum, cobalt, sodium, selenium, and even silicon, all of which plants love! You’d think the Dioscipula would be trying to mine the damn thing, but it’s basically untouched. My guess? It probably has something to do with the fact that ‘Too Hot’ also means ‘seed’ in Dioscipulan. Wouldn’t want to be around when that thing blooms!”

Moons

0

Planet 2. Good Home

Gravity Rank – 3

In the final book he penned before dying, Nigel Pennyweather Sr. had this to say about the Dioscipulan homeworld of Good Home; “I don’t know if anyone has ever explained the difference between irony and false advertisement to those little leafy idiots, but that world is proof that somebody needs to! In all my years I have never seen a more aggressive, lethal biome anywhere else in the galaxy. It’s like someone wrapped a nightmare jungle around a rock and called it a world! Everything on Good Home wants to kill you, eat you, and defecate you… and if you’re luckier than my interns, they’ll do it in that order.”

Moons

0

Planet 3. Bad Water

Gravity Rank 1

Described by a former intern of Nigel Pennyweather Jr. as, “a planet-wide soup made out of trauma and explorer tears,” Bad Water is a world entirely covered by a saltwater ocean with a toxic algae bloom on its entire surface. Scientists theorize that further beneath the waves lies even more vicious plant-life, including a mythic subspecies of underwater Dioscipula cut off from the rest of the galaxy. Whatever the truth is, no excursions that have braved the depths of Bad Water have ever come back to share it with the galaxy. In a universe where the Back-Up exists, that has some truly chilling implications.

Moons

0

Planet 4. Grave of Mouths

Gravity Rank – 4

The first example of the Dioscipulan’s ability to single-handedly alter an ecosystem, Grave of Mouths was once a healthy garden world with a tragically gentle biome. When Dioscipulan spores eventually found their way to its surface, the ravenous plant creatures stripped the world bare in what archeologists believe took mere months. Now, all that remains of the world are fossilized Dioscipula remains and a thin atmosphere, as well as a handful of ruins from whatever pre-Back-Up race once dwelled there. When asked in an interview, Nigel Pennyweather III said, “There’s a lot of things in Pantthas that’re trying to kill you, but whatever is on that planet might be the only thing in that system that is actually angry. I don’t care if you’re a pirate or smuggler trying to avoid the authorities; find somewhere else to hide because if you try to lay low on Grave of Mouths you aren’t coming back.”

Moons

0

Planet 5. Bad Time

A burning volcanic planet with a dense, toxic atmosphere of krypton, Bad Time has remained relatively untouched by the Dioscipula, who find little motivation at the prospect of enduring the heat while mining it for resources. In his most recent travel journal, Nigel Pennyweather Sr. said of Bad Time, “a high gravity, volcanic, toxic wasteland isn’t exactly a walk in the park for most people, but seeing as it’s the only planet in the system lacking any life, it might also be the safest.” Several extra-system corporations have set up automated work forces on the surface in exchange for shipments of incredibly cheap foodstuffs, a deal that the Dioscipula definitely feel that they got the better end of.

Moons

0

Planet 6. Cold Place

Gravity Rank – 4

Cold Place is a densely frozen ice planet sporadically dotted with patches of coniferous forests that need relatively little light to function. With sweeping planes of ice and snow covered with an oxygen-rich atmosphere, Cold Place is an uncomfortable but viable planet for habitation. “The skiing there is pretty good. Not good enough to make up for the giant predatory snow worms, but pretty good nonetheless,” said Nigel Pennyweather IV when asked about Cold Place. 

Moons

0

Planet 7. Pink Valley

Gravity Rank – 4

Heated by geothermal vents that feed into the planet’s carbon and oxygen heavy atmosphere, Pink Valley maintains a surprisingly warm temperature despite its distance from the sun. Due to the planet’s greenhouse effect, bioluminescent fungi and flora have been able to thrive, especially within the large, continent-wide valley to which the planet owes its namesake. Dioscipula have been known to travel to the planet, as the fungal spores and other plant-life tend to act as recreational narcotics when introduced to their unique biology.

Moons

0