Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Koluup or Skathan giant glow worm

The Koluup is a large cave dwelling predator. Hanging from the walls and ceilings of the caves it will lower long sticky strands of mucus to snag passing animals. The mucus contains a large amount of bioluminescent bacteria. Each strand that is laid by the Koluup is attached to its body and monitored by highly sensitive hairs. The Koluup has two large bioluminescent patches on either end of the body as well as a lateral line that runs down its side. The Koluup possesses two mouths, one (located on the head) is specifically used for ingesting used strands of bioluminescent mucus, the other (located on the neck) contains a toxic venom that paralyzes prey snared in its mucus strands. This mouth also digests the prey. Each mouth goes to a separate set of organs, while the “arm mouth” goes to the stomach, the head mouth goes to an organ that recycles the bioluminescent bacteria within the mucus. 

The giant glow worm or cave worm is not just a random animal figure in the Skathan landscape, it holds an important spot in the Gapuri way of life, economy, and livelihood. 

The Koluup is a relatively exclusive gift to one or two towns that are near the caves they reside in. Since they require large damp caverns to survive they are not particularly common. The Gapuri have developed somewhat of a symbiotic relationshop with the Koluup. A group of Gapuri will venture into a cave to harvest the thick glowing mucus strands that the Koluup hang from the ceiling. In order to avoid the quick moving, long, venom tipped "arm mouth" of the Koluup, the team will split up, one takes a piece of prey an attaches it to a mucus strand that is attached near the head of the worm while the others snip off huge gobs of the mucus strands near the rear of the animal. If the procedure is done wrong lives can be lost.

The caves are maintained and the Koluups kept healthy to ensure a plentiful supply of the glow mucus.

Since the Gapuri's political system is still recuperating from the early collapse and many Gapuri are living in poor, nomadic and sometimes even tribal conditions the economy is based off of exclusively large group of merchants and trade routes.

Most Gapuri towns that you will encounter are based off creating, maintaining, harvesting or hunting some sort of good that is relatively specific to their area. Merchants from towns that are close by will often join forces and create a super group of merchants. They will employ members of the town to help harvest and distribute goods to other areas that do not have access to them. The ghostly blue Koluup glow mucus is a necessity for the Gapuri as they use it to light their homes, lanterns and streets during the night. 

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