Table of Contents

  1. Appearance
  2. Habitat
  3. Diet
  4. Locomotion
  5. Shedding
  6. Reproduction
  7. Growth and Maturation
  8. Communicatory Organs


Psions are humanoid creatures which range from 6 feet to 7 feet tall. Their entire body, save for their underbelly, is covered in a flexible, segmented carapace which they shed thee times a year. Their body plan is centaur-ish, with two arms on their upper half and 6 legs supporting their lower half. The shape of the lower half of their body is like a shrimp's, complete with several swimmerets.

Psions are most varied in their head shapes and coloration. Their heads can have a wide combination of horns, protrusions, and ridges, while their body coloration ranges from red, orange, yellow, green, brown, and blue with many different patterns. Their color range is comparable to that of neocaridina shrimp.

Psions can be born with or without "hair", which manifests as flat, thick strands. Psions born without hair have no chance of growing it without genetic modifications. Psions with hair have a hair length which is determined by their genetics. They can cut their hair, however it will grow back to its original length, but never longer, over time.

Claw Arm Mutations

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Habitat ▲ Back to Top

In a raw state of nature, Psions inhabit the oceans of Psionomum in depths up to 1000 meters from the surface. They build their settlements upon the seafloor, so most Psions are really cruising at depths up to 200 meters from the surface.

While they mostly live in the ocean, Psions can live in freshwater, however it can take several days to acclimate to the water change. For this reason, freshwater settlements are not common.

A diagram of Psion mouthparts.

A diagram of Psion mouthparts.

Diet and Eating Habits ▲ Back to Top

Psions are omnivorous. In much earlier days, Psions would primarily eat plant matter and scavenge for meat when possible. The invention of tools and an increase in Psions' hunting ability has since made the two food choices equal.

Psions chew up their food using narrow rows of incisors in their mouths. They have to take polite little bites out of everything. The back of their throats has a tongue-like muscle which they use to shuffle food around (as well as expel it).

Locomotion ▲ Back to Top

Psions usually move around the ocean floor using their 6 legs, but when they need some extra height, they can flap around their swimmerets, found on the underside of their body. Psions have decent control of their movements while swimming, but they don't move very fast and prolonged swimming can be a bit taxing. When startled, Psions may flap each of their swimmerets at once to quickly jet towards one direction or the other.

Shedding ▲ Back to Top

Mentioned briefly before, Psions shed their skin three times every year. When the shedding process begins, a Psion's old skin will start to detach from their body, resulting in slight discoloration. When the skin has sufficiently detached (but is still encasing the body), the old skin will begin to crack down the middle of a Psion's back. Regular movements or deliberate prying of the skin causes the crack to travel down the Psion's back, up until the point where the Psion can wriggle out.

For 2-3 days after shedding, the Psion's skin needs time to reharden. To aid in this process Psions may eat their old skin to recycle calcium, but in the modern day this is seen as an odd practice.

If a Psion cannot shed their skin, the old skin will accumulate and continue to accumulate for as long as the Psion does not shed. This buildup of skin can result in heightened discoloration and stiff movements, the feeling of which is akin to wearing multiple layers of shirts. If allowed to continue for long enough, this can spell death for a Psion, as they would be rendered unable to move. It is possible to save a Psion stuck in their own shed, but it is easiest to do so when there are fewer layers of accumulated skin. In tamer cases, layers of shed can be removed with the help of a friend. In more extreme cases, the shed would have to be removed surgically.

Reproduction ▲ Back to Top

Psions take part in sexual reproduction. Their courtship rituals are akin to humans, though whether they are monogamous or polygamous is dependent on the individual. They will try to stick with their partner(s) for life, or until their relationship fails.

Upon successful fertilization, female Psions can lay up to 12 to 15 eggs, though on average around 5 of those eggs become viable. These eggs are attached by a sticky substance to the female's swimmerets, where they can best receive oxygen. These eggs are liable to falling off if a female Psion is sufficiently startled (quick movements may cause the eggs to detach) or if a female sheds her skin (eggs will be attached to her old skin). If the eggs can be retrieved, they can still be artificially oxygenated and be capable of hatching.

Due to the high number of offspring Psions can produce at once, parents take to joining up with other parents to even out the ratio of children-to-parents. These large families are called joined familial units (JFUs for short). A Psion's candidates for recruitment tend to include their parents, other partners (if any), their friends, or fellow parents in the area. If the JFU determines there are still too many children for the parents to handle, a specific set of parents may agree to cull some of their children. This option is, socially, only available to those whose children are still in their egg stage. Past that point, it becomes frowned upon to cull a child.

Growth and Maturation ▲ Back to Top

Egg Stage ▲ Back to Top

As mentioned before, Psions first start as eggs which are attached via a sticky substance to the swimmerets of their mothers. In order for an egg to hatch, they must be constantly oxygenated, otherwise they development ceases and the egg dies. Eggs are naturally oxygenated by the movements of their mother through the water, but if a mother drops her eggs somehow, eggs can be artificially oxygenated by gently tumbling them around.

Newborn ▲ Back to Top

Newborn Psions come preprogrammed with a few instincts. They come out of the egg knowing how to swim (kinda), eat, talk (kinda), and hide or runaway when threatened. They also imprint on the nearest living being, usually their parents, though they can also imprint on other creatures. They swim around aimlessly but try to stick close to the being they've imprinted on. They are attracted to food, and they babble much like human babies do. Other Psions can tell if there's a baby nearby based on slight visual "hallucinations". These hallucinations are the result of baby Psions babbling and unknowingly sending out visual signals.

Baby Psions are also very tiny compared to their adult counter parts. Their body color also starts off as an off-white color which slowly becomes more vivid as they age.

Juveniles ▲ Back to Top

A Psion is considered a juvenile once it has reached 3 - 5 years of age, and the juvenile stage continues up until ages 15 - 16. It is during this stage where Psions undergo a lot of changes, both physically and mentally. They get larger, their carapaces begin to harden and take color, their head shapes become more well-defined, they begin to grow independent of their parents, and their overall mental capacities grow.

During this time, Psions usually start going to school and socializing with others outside of their family.

Young Adults ▲ Back to Top

After ages 15 - 16, Psions reach sexual maturity and are also expected to begin separating from their parents. By this time they are usually done growing physically, though Psions at this age are not yet mentally mature.

Communicatory Organs ▲ Back to Top

A graphic explaining the way Psions communicate between themselves and other species.

A graphic explaining the way Psions communicate between themselves and other species.

The way Psions communicate is somewhat akin to telepathy. They do not verbalize the same way humans do, instead using signals to project sounds and images into the minds of others. Psions are able to do this thanks to a specialized organ (known as the communication organ or CO for short) which is connected to the Psion's eyes, brain, and antenna. Messages and other general stimuli are taken in through the receiving antenna, the longer set of antenna towards the back of a Psion's head. That information is then sent to the upper lobe of the CO where it is transcribed into chemical information that the CO and brain can interpret.

When a Psion wants to send out a message, the information to be sent is transcribed into chemicals in the lower lobe of the CO, where it then gets sent out as signals by the sending antenna, which are the shorter pair of antenna towards the front of a Psion's head.

Psion message signals travel best through water and can be blocked by walls or hinderous materials. Other alien species with the proper faculties (namely eyes and ears) are capable of receiving sound and image signals as they may interact with each other, but without active assistance on the Psion's part, communication between species is difficult. It does not help that Psions are primarily visual communicators. They have evolved to have excellent pattern recognition, allowing them to converse at a speed which other species may have trouble keeping up with even if they can see the visual messages being sent.

Difficulties in communication can also occur if the organs involved with communication are damaged. Damage to the receiving antenna impacts a Psion's ability to "hear", and damage to the sending antenna impacts a Psion's ability to "speak". If the communication organ is damaged or defected, it may impact a Psion's ability to understand or formulate messages, depending on the lobe affected.