Species Profile: Arkent

Physical Characteristics

Arkents are squishy, light purple creatures with two long tentacles on their sides and a series of shorter tentacles hanging over their mouths, all of which have powerful grips. Below them are about fifty tiny, mushy tentacles for locomotion. They are short creatures, usually only about .6 meters tall, but they have shells on their backs that can be much taller, some as high as 2 meters. Only their head and two tentacles are visible from this shell, and the shells vary widely in size and shape, many spiraling or spiked.

Their bodies are very soft, flexible, and somewhat fragile. They can leave the shell, but it’s considered a faux pas—it’d be like a human removing their clothes. They can retreat into the shells and when underwater breathe through side organs for an indefinite amount of time. The shells are harder than most rocks, although they become much weaker with age and most arkents over 45 have cracks in them, though with proper maintenance they rarely break until after death.  The average lifespan for an arkent is about 50 years, maturing around age 15.

Arkents lay up to four eggs at a time which are stored in the shell of the female, though if the female were to die the male can extract them into his shell. The baby is born with no shell but it grows from spikes on their back after one year.

History and Culture

Arkents originate from the eastern shore of Zhop’s continent, Zhoptomere, particularly in a series of swampy peninsulas. They mostly spread along the coasts, staying close to the water. There are a number of words from the arkent language that can be seen in Wandering Fortunes, including glangino, a morning greeting, buonalahasi, an evening greeting, and lursordo, a word for a terrible place.

As arkents are small, they are often employed as pilots where the cockpit is small. However, the stigma against leaving their shell means this doesn’t always work—although they could squish inside easily, the shell limits this significantly, especially when it’s a tall one.  On the other hand, the toughness of the shell often makes them employed as defenders despite their small size.