Species Profile: Turtle and Spiest

Is it still November? I don’t even know how many of these I’ve done ahead of time. Anyway, today’s (first?) species is the turtle, one of the few species to appear in Slubes that is from a far-off continent instead of the islands, although only one appears in the novel. It’s also the second species after the ostrich to be based on one from Earth. Quoted from the species appendix in Slubes:

Turtles on Mintop don’t look much different from Earth turtles, specifically the box turtle, except that they stand on two feet. They come from the nearest continent, as opposed to the islands the story takes place on. Their average lifespan is about 120 years.

Physical Characteristics

The outward appearance of the turtle, as quoted from my personal encyclopedia: “Turtles generally stand at three-fourths the height of a slube and more or less look like Earth turtles; the box turtle most likely. Shell size varies, but they usually have fairly stubby arms and legs. They have green skin and shell, and their beak size varies widely from very unpronounced to quite noticeable. They also have small claws on their hands and feet.”

As has been mentioned twice now, the Earth turtle that Mintop turtles most closely resemble is the box turtle. You don’t have to imagine much beyond that plus standing on two feet.

History and Culture

Because turtles live so far away from the setting of Slubes and only one (who is very unrepresentative of the species) appears in the novel, not much can be gleamed of the culture of turtles from the book. So, I’ll say it first: what a waste of a post! To make up for it, I will double-dip on this day and include a second entry: one on the spiest!

Quoted from the species appendix in Slubes:

Spiest are white, round balls with two large arms half the size of their bodies each. They have single capsule-shaped eyes, and their mouths are small with sharp teeth and can be stretched to many times their normal size. Spiest are secretive to non-spiest and claim to be ghosts; they enjoy scaring people and pulling pranks, which has led to an image of both frightfulness and foolishness. Spiest apparently have a limitless lifespan; it is unknown if they can die or if they are already considered dead.

Physical Characteristics

The outward appearance of the spiest, as quoted from my personal encyclopedia: “Spiest are about half a slube’s height. They are round balls of white with a capsule-shaped eye. Below their eye is a small mouth with sharp teeth that can be stretched to many times its size. On either side of the mouth, beginning at the middle of its height, are two large arms that together are just as big as the round ball head/torso of the spiest.”

Spiest apparently have no insides—they have a mouth, with what looks like the inside of a mouth inside that, but there’s no hole leading into a throat or anything. Although they’re listed as a species, no one is sure if they are in of themselves a species or are the ghosts of the former living. They don’t seem to have a limited lifespan, but no one can really be sure how long any one spiest has been around anyway. They have no sex or gender, and apparently do not reproduce.

History and Culture

As was said, spiest seem to simply live forever, so their origins and how long they’ve lived is unknown. That’s one of the defining traits of spiest culture: secrecy. No one outside of the spiest know much of anything about them. Although they’ve been known to become friendly with other species, they reveal nothing about what a spiest is.

The other defining trait of spiest culture is pranking and scaring others. Pranks design to invoke fear into others seems to be their favorite pastime, and most interactions with spiest involve them trying to scare people. It rarely seems to have any malice behind it, though, and usually seems to be all in good fun, although that knowledge doesn’t seem to make spiest pranks any less frightening.

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