Third Kingdom
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July 1, 2016, 6:29 pm

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Strange things can be found in deep space, well away from the gravity and nuclear fury of a living star

In ancient times, mariners would tell tales of giant tentacles writhing up from the deep, pulling men off the decks of ships to grim deaths in the belly of unseen horrors. We laughed at such things, wise as we were. We looked at the old maps, with their 'here be monsters' warnings, and fanciful drawings of serpents and terrible whales. It seems that no matter how advanced we become, how impressive our ships are, there are still going to be monsters in the deep. We traded deep waters for deep space, and despite centuries of being told how barren and empty space was, we found monsters.


Exosomes are most commonly encountered in a colonial form, usually a long flexible tube. This is often described as looking like a tentacle, if the open ends and hollow center are not noticed. Superficially similar to pyrosomes and zooids in terrestrial oceans, exosomes are found in deep space, well beyond the orbit of Jupiter. The creatures are easy to miss, they are not bioluminescent, and their soft gelatinous bodies do not appear well on sensors and scanners. More often, they appear as blurry areas, or are overlooked as background noise on scans.

It was a tentacle, a big ass tentacle, space squids man, space squids! It was stealthy, couldn't pick it up on the DRADIS. I could see it, looking out through the periscope, through the optical filters. It was there, estimated size was well over ten kilometers long, big enough that it could wrap around our little frigate a half dozen times, could have cracked the hull, spaced all of us, and then eaten us at it's leisure.

Strange Biomes

The exosome is a manifestation of simple space life, lumped together by terrestrial science as space planktonoids. The exosome is a colonial structure, composed of hundreds, thousands, or even tens of thousands of individual 'planktonoids'. The creatures have elected to form a colonial body, allowing them to more efficiently feed on other planktonoids, resist predation, and to be more mobile than individually possible.

The Grimm-Olduvai index classifies exosomes as cosmozoa salps, and as least dangerous level creatures. Unlike aphasic planktonoids, exosomes are fully existent in three dimensions. They do not have any ability to harm humans, but their biomass can cause damage to ships that hit them, as well as fouling sensors, antenna, and other delicate structures. This isn't a factor of the toughness of the exosome, but more a factor of the high velocity of ships moving in deep system maneuvers. Exosomes are mindless, and if exposed to a hostile stimulus, such as engine exhaust, energy weapons, or high energy scanners, they can form a sort of pulse jet, allowing them to move slowly away from the stimulus. Despite the fantastic claims of spacers, exosomes are harmless to humanity.

The Real Deal

The Exosome is based off of the real world pyrosome, a colonial plankton found in the ocean, where they form semi-mobile tubes up to several meters long and as big around as a scuba diver.

Pyrosome linkage

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Comments ( 1 )
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Voted Aramax
January 26, 2017, 10:02
4/5 Nice bit of space fluff, would rather see them just a TAD more harmful(?) Should this be linked to the Star Whales?



Random Idea Seed View All Idea Seeds

       By: Strolen

In nature, for instance, a rhino has flies and ticks etc, that live on the hide and live off the blood. Rhino will visit and lie in ponds where turtles will clean the underwater portion of the ticks and a species of bird will clean the the top of ticks and other parasites. What if where the characters camp there were a species of animals that lived off wounds of the creatures. PCs camp. Anybody with wounds on there body are soon covered with small rodent - insect - shadows - whatever. Would immediately see it as a threat I would imagine. But perhaps one of the wounded didn't wake up when it happened, and when they did finally wake they were completely healed. Perhaps somebody was warned of something attacking them but they were able to notice that the wound was actually getting smaller instead of larger. Or maybe they successfully beat the creatures off them and don't notice an improvement, marking this place never to rest at ever again....later learn that villagers send their wounded there but they keep it a guarded secret because they don't want all the attention or traffic and what comes with such a special gift. Could turn into something more too if characters decide to start blabbing about it.

Encounter  ( Cave/ Underground ) | February 16, 2003 | View | UpVote 1xp

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