Planet Vesicastral and the Vesicastralans Picture

With Princess PowerPump being redesigned for her new appearance in my upcoming comic series, possibly with a name change along the way, I want to post this art that's been in the conceptual stages in my head since I first started to take the idea of PPP's species seriously (well, as seriously as perpetually happy 50-meter-tall balloon people can be taken at any rate!). It's a long one, though, so beware of walls of text! (Oh, if only I had a Wikipedia of my own...)

Now onto the descriptions!
Vesicastral, like many planets in the Razduvat system, is home to an unusual form of life. These lifeforms are helium-based, with much of their unusual physiology possible through the compounding of helium and exotic elements unknown to man. Though normally these compounds would be unstable and would tear through almost any other molecules, here they've bound in such a way as to be almost neutral, with the added property of forming life-like structures and operating in a living manner. Filled with a gaseous ichor known as Heliobiotic Vapor surrounded by an indestructible super-elastic living polymer, most of this kind of life exists as balloon-like, single-celled (macroscopic) organisms living throughout the Razduvat system.

However, the conditions on Vesicastral have made it ideal for the helium life there to multiply, grow, and mutate. In fact, the visible planet is itself a giant, semi-solid, multi-cellular organism surrounding the planet, covered in benign tumors so large that they became the land formations of the planet. The rest of the planet's inhabitants have evolved from autonomous growths that have long since separated from the main planet and have become organisms in their own right, though they still have a strong metaphysical connection to the land. Through its journey through the galaxy, Vesicastral and its inhabitants became incredibly intelligent, with a majority of its autonomous lifeforms showing sentience or sapience.

Though not the most common, the most well-known sentient life on Vesicastral are the Vesicastralan Anthropoids, with a population of 3.7 billion strong. These creatures, through cosmic coincidence or some other power, have much of the properties of human beings, and possibly other anthropoid creatures throughout the universe by extension. Bipedal stance, grasping arms with complex digits, and even human like faces and facial expressions make them rather relatable to humankind; the only snag being that these anthropoids often measure over 6-60 meters (20-200 feet) in height! Despite their impressive sizes, these anthropoids are nothing if not agile, and many are capable of changing their buoyancy and floating for long distances.

Despite being big air-bags of people, they're incredibly strong, some even able to carry multi-ton weights across great distances, either through floating or walking. Their chemical balance makes them able to survive on other planets, even Earth, without physical problems. The only problem for Vesicastralans travelling abroad is that they can grow depressed without the influence of their planet and neighbors, and must return home within days to keep their health. Their mental health coincides heavily with their physical health, and vice versa, and thus for those living in the ideal conditions on their home planet, they remain strong and cheerful, hence Vesicastral's reputation as being "The Happy Planet".

Actually, Vesicastral is much more than purely happy, but looking at its people seems to beg to differ. Amongst the people, there's hardly any crime, disease, or other forms of suffering, and humanlike smiles are the most common expression on the people's faces; the planetary organism itself, however, is a broody brain, contemplating the many philosophical questions of the universe and relaying its findings through psychic transmission to those willing to listen. Few are eager to even consider listening, however, with only a few of the more rational "happies", usually scientists and poets, listening in to the often somber musings. What they do with these musings varies, depending on their occupation and temperament.

Vesicastralan eyes are large with great visual acuity, able to see for far distances as easily as they're able to see an errant particle on their nose. They don't move in sockets, but rather warp and crawl on the surface, leading to cartoon-like eye-shapes. Their noses are cartoon-like and lack nostrils (their olfactory sense organs instead placed on the cheeks), but can feel changes in wind direction and air pressure. Their ears appear to be like headphones, coated in a pseudo-metallic substance sensitive to sound waves like a microphone, able to accurately receive sounds and determine their direction, even from hundreds of miles away. Their sense of touch is highly tuned, with sensitivity down to 100 micrometers.

Vesicastralans need solar energy in order to live, but are also capable of eating other beings' flesh. As all flesh is like in Vesicastral, it's morally justified as spiritual recycling and the digestion and processing of more negative energy. When a designated prey animal is hunted, it's knocked out rather than killed, and then prepared into bite-sized pieces for consumption. Chopping up the animal hermetically seals the skin, making all pieces of it self-contained balloons with half-lives of their own. If left alone with healing energy, the pieces would reform to the complete animal, even if some of the pieces (often deemed the "bad parts") missing. Eating Anthropoids is culturally taboo to modern Vesicastralans, but it's been done with ancient tribes.

Vesicastralans are empathetic beings, with abilities in emotional transmission and healing. However, if they were to pass an influence of negative emotions, such as a war-torn planet or warmongering space colony, their empathetic feelings could be enough to send certain individuals into a special kind of depression which can literally deflate them. This depression was once considered a serious sickness in their distant history, affecting and even killing much of the populace like a plague. Luckily for modern Vesicastralans, advancements in their emo-technology have kept such influences away from innocent "happies", and have helped heal those affected faster and better, leading to stronger, more immune Vesicastralans.

Vesicastralans are long-lived beings with long childhoods and long memories, many living as long as 400 Earth years. Like any living being, however, they must die, with their energetic vapors released into the atmosphere, and their crumbling deflated bodies quick to reabsorb back into the land. Despite being indestructible by Earth standards, certain chemicals, weaponry, and even strong emotional states can injure a Vesicastralan enough to kill them. Most of these weapons were made by opposing alien races, though some killer chemicals actually exist on Vesicastral itself as part of its nature. Many Vesicastralan tribes of old and modern times have used these chemicals in times of war and in peace (they can be used as medicine in some cases).

A very special ability of certain Vesicastralan people is in a special kind of energy manipulation that could only be called "magic". These "magicians", like the sorcerers and witches of Earth mythologies, effect natural energies to their will. The properties of this "magic" are unknown to Earth scientists, but it's assumed to be some kind of metaphysical science yet to be fully understood. Not even many Vesicastralan peoples know exactly how it works, many simply go with the energy flow. The most common manifestation of "magic" is the ability to "solidify" and even weaponize emotional states for defensive and offensive purposes. This has proven vital throughout Vesicastral's history and the livelihood of the people.

"Magic" and other energies make for much of Vesicastralan physiology, as anatomically they're only single-chambered, micro-muscled balloons. Digestion of flesh is done through gaseous breakdown of the molecules of the food, reintegrating them into their bodies. Digesting non-Vesicastralan food is difficult, though not impossible, though side-effects vary from the different chemicals involved. Females feed their young with energy pulses emanating from their breasts instead of milk, since they lack nipples or mammary tissue. Baby Vesicastralans can eat solids the moment they are born, but for emotional bonding and developmental reasons, they prefer mother's "milk" during their infancy until they reach late childhood.

Vesicastralans appear to be born with patterns similar to leotards or other skin-tight clothing. Depending on genetics, environment, and emotional influence, these "clothes" come in a variety of different shapes and colors, from "fully covered" to "scantily clad". They cannot take off these "clothes" and do not need to; they have no "rude bits" to speak of, and do not excrete or procreate in the usual way most creatures do. There are "sexes" of Vesicastralans, with males being more "muscular" and females bearing ballooned "breasts". Vesicastralans reproduce through another kind of "magic", energy pulses from two bodies and the land around them induce a fusion of their genetics to create a baby.

The baby is usually grown inside the mother in a process similar to human pregnancy, but instead of a distended belly, the entire body rounds out to accommodate the new child. After 18 earth months, or sooner for some smaller Vesicastralans, their belly splits apart like a blooming flower, releasing the newborn. Interestingly, despite their alien physiology, Vesicastralan Anthropoids have characteristics of placental mammals, such as a prominent navel (always visible no matter how "clothed") and even placentas from newborns, which manifest as glowing orbs. By most traditions, the balloon-placenta is to be removed and replanted in local sacred gardens in celebration of new life.

Information on the lands of Vesicastral will be added at a later date as my stories develop; just know that the Royal Kingdom of Great Luftania is Princess PowerPump's homeland. Suggestions are always welcome.

For now, onto the different kinds of people. There are 5 main races of Vesicastralan Anthropoids: the Brirunda, the Mowrunda Rex, the Ribbynari Leona, the Garapuff Elastari, and the Homunari Luftania. Each are capable of interbreeding and making mixed-race children of varying traits. here are the traits of pure races.
The Brirunda are a mere 6 meters (20 feet) tall, making them the pygmies of Vesicastral. Despite their relatively short stature, these little guys are pint-sized powerhouses, with incredible talent in lifting and balance that enable them to lift massive weights without flattening. Being tiny makes them unable to fly under multi-ton weights, but they compensate through teamwork and determination. A common sight is a large group of Brirunda lifting heavy objects a mere 10-30 feet off the ground (seen by most Vesicastralans as mere inches) and hovering at a steady pace towards their destination. The largest Brirunda populations are in Roderound and Oak'a Island, though they're often found underfoot of larger Vesicastralans everywhere.

The Mowrunda Rex look much like the Brirunda, but overinflated to 15-18 meters (50-60 feet) tall. The Mowrunda Rex are often seen as resembling a precursor race to all Vesicastralan Anthropoids, though the Mowrunda themselves believe that it isn't so, and take any spoken comparisons of such as insults. Regardless, Mowrunda Rex are a people close to history and the land around them, with knowledge in magic and medicine far in advance of most people, save for the Luftanians. Modern Mowrunda work alongside Luftanians to make major political decisions, usually involving magic and science. The largest Mowrunda populations are in Errant Luftlove, Far Lamirapaka, Lamira Peninsula, and South Heartland.

The Ribbynari Leona are an unusual-looking 24-34 meter (80-110 foot) tall race for their deviance from the humanoid form. Their ears are large and able to swivel around like a cat's. Their legs are short while their chest mushrooms above a tiny waist. Their ribbon-like arms are only the thickness of an inflatable mattress, and are very elastic and dexterous. They're a proud race who believe that fierce but fair competition is the key to proper living. Common contests include strength, speed, flight, flexibility, magic, and even singing. The largest Ribbynari populations are in Leoleo Island and Axile Maggicuria. They're scarce everywhere else, even in Great Luftania, the great melting pot of Vesicastral.

The Garapuff Elastari are a recent race to pop up, thought to have been born of alien energy influencing certain mixed-race populations to create a new mutant breed. Though normally a mere 38 meters (125 feet) tall, the Garapuff pictured here has inflated himself well beyond those proportions. As his grapefruit-cheeked grin shows, his race is proud of their shapeshifting abilities, many even able to resemble other races, though not the smallest like the Mowrunda and Brirunda. Their Popeye-like arms, tell-tale signs of the Garapuff, are great channels of magical energy. Though the Garapuff have no specific homeland, the largest populations are in Great Luftania, Modiemug, Axile Maggicuria, and North and South Heartland.

The Homunari Luftania are the second-recent race, but have become the most common around Vesicastral. Despite this particular individual's resemblance to an African human, Homunari's racial characteristics have less to do with color and facial structure as much as the very humanoid shape as a whole. The tallest of the races at 50-64 meters (164-210 feet), Homunari are considered a "jack-of-all-trade" race, having many of the abilities of older races, but not refined enough to be their main trait. Despite the name, Homunari Luftania did not originate from Great Luftania, but from the land formation in general. They can be found everywhere in Vesicastral, with the exception of Ruggadune, Oak'a and Leoleo Islands, and Winsom.

Other races exist as well, some with very prominent places in history and politics, but they're rare or otherwise not notably different from the main races.

More important than race to these people is community. While a Ribbynari and a Homunari could live in the same home together, if they came from different communities with opposing sides in history, they'd rather try to fight each other. By tradition, communal alliance is signified by the implants on their heads. These are average-looking implants pictured, with no two individuals having the same exact-looking implants.

Here's an abridged list of some of the communities' headdresses and what they represent.

Brirunda:

  • TriPodestal: The TriPodestal are firm believers in balance, and worship the number 3 for its balanced nature. Their three head-horns are able to withstand massive weight and pressure, and headstands on them are a common form of meditation.
  • OmniAudial: The OmniAudial have myths of a Brirunda-like God who could hear things all the way from other galaxies. Those who worship him wear false ears around their head, possibly to resemble him, and believe in the sharing of heard knowledge (holy gossip, essentially).
  • Piscmensch: the Piscmensch are men of honor, and will fight to the death to defend it. Their "gills" are receivers and processors of ambient energy, which makes their magic most powerful, spelling doom for their enemies.
  • Huupdiscolrda: The Huupdiscolrda are mighty warriors in shining hoops, believing in the power of the ring and torus. Despite it seeming like an enemy could use those hoops as handles to throw them, the hoops actually have a special charge which nearly paralyzes an enemy grabbing it, enabling the "grabee" to have the final advantage in battle.

Mowrunda Rex:

  • Sumuchi: The Sumuchi are notable for their mix of confidence and humility, with their laid-back attitudes hiding a more powerful bloodlust. Formerly violent warriors, now they spend that energy on wrestling and other full-contact sports.
  • Bovinuasl: The Bovinuasl are simple folk, seeming almost simple-minded in their ignorance of modern life, but really they're just more interested in "land smarts". Many of their females are farmers, and the entire community is known for their high knowledge in raising plants and animals.
  • Dentarcass: Despite the formidable dental implants and head spikes, the Dentarcass are a jovial people with more interest in going on hunts and expeditions than hurting people. The teeth are for emulating their local animals, thought to be sacred.
  • Formicyane: The Formicyane aren't so much a hive mind, like the Earth ants they resemble, as they are great architects, creating temples and lounges for their worship practices. The females of the community are the dominant sex with the most power in political and spiritual matters.

Ribbynari Leona:

  • Mandibara Twee: The Mandibara are known for their mobile and often prehensile implants, thought to be useful in eating and fighting. Though there are many Mandibara communities, Mandibara Twee are the first, the largest, and the most powerful.
  • Keratenacitan: The Keratenacitan wear horns as a symbol of power, the bigger the better. Though the implants grow with age, a few dishonest folks have tried to inflate their horns larger quicker through artificial means, with mixed results.
  • Venulan: Unlike most implants which are usually attached only to the head and neck, the Venulan "veins" run down the neck and through the "spine", ending at the buttocks. These "veins" give Venulans incredible control of their bodies, with some able to tap into natural bodily phenomena thought not to have existed until the Venulans had conscious control of it.
  • Warcanin: The Warcanin descended from Ribbynari that were enslaved by invading alien races and used as workhorses until they violently rebelled. In memory of that traumatic but unforgettable event, the Warcanin wear long mandibular canine teeth and spiked ears in triumphant mockery of their dog-like former masters.

Garapuff Elastari:

  • Tuninfurc: The Tuninfurc believe in "tuning in" to the universe, and are firm believers in directed panspermia, believing that Vesicastral exists because of alien influence many eons ago. Most of them are considered crackpots by outsiders, but many have contributed solid theories and valuable research to Vesicastral's scientific studies.
  • Gutentagaran: The Gutentagaran are galactic traders, eager to barter, buy, and sell wares and resources to and from Vesicastral. Without them, the Vesicastralans would never have achieved spacefaring, as they've traded for blueprints and materials to make FTL spacecraft able to withstand the rigors of interplanetary travel.
  • Esperontian: The Esperontian believe firmly in universal understanding, and seek to achieve total peace and freedom throughout the known universe. Ironically, many of them have descended from former war generals and weapons engineers, perhaps raised over generations to finally realize the error of war.
  • Hartnik: The Hartnik have a modern yet deep mythology regarding the origin of their shapeshifting powers: they believed them to be the direct influence of a demigodlike alien who took pity on relatively inflexible proto-Garapuff. Their love of their powers culminates to them being some of the best shapeshifters on the planet, with some even able to shrink nearly as small as a Mowrunda Rex.

Homunari Luftania:

  • Royal Luftpumpe: The Royal Luftpumpe Family are the most influential family on the entire planet, with their relatives and adopted members making up almost a third of the planet's population. Mythologically, they were thought to be masters of absolute size change, with a few more powerful members of their family able to inflate their bodies to near-planetary size, though modern science disproves such power fantasies.
  • Other Homunari communities: Beyond the Luftpumpe Family, Homunari have little need for communal living. They're irreligious and have no strong ties to anything other than themselves and their fellow Vesicastralans of all races and communities. However, a few small but influential communities have popped up, usually out of interracial communal acceptance.
    • Luftian Mandibara: Four pegs down from Mandibara Twee, Luftian Mandibara are nevertheless important, for they help unify the other Mandibara and discuss political events within other Mandibara communities.
    • Luftian Keratenacitan: Like their Ribbynari counterparts, Luftian Keratenacitan wear horns as symbols of power, though they also use them as weapons and tools unlike "true" Keratenacitan.
    • Luftian Huupdiscolrda: Despite being many times larger than "true" Huupdiscolrda, the tiny warriors nevertheless accept these giants into their communities and treat them as they would their own, save for when it comes to shelter accommodations of course.

Phew, that was a load about the people. Now to get to the flora and fauna!
With varying degrees of intelligence, most with child-like intellect at least, the only things that separate the Vesicastralan animals and plants from the people are appearance, culture, and purpose. Even prey animals and plants are somewhat aware of the intellectual implications of being eaten, but have either accepted it or are contemplating acceptance, though many do not believe that their sole purpose is to be eaten. Though fights have broken out about the rights of animals in the past, most agree nowadays that prey animals have their purpose in nature beyond being eaten, and their population is kept well in check and fairly treated for future generations.

The closest plant to all Anthropoids is the Cosmeta Tree. The Cosmeta Tree is the most populous creature on the planet with over 5 billion strong. The only reason why they aren't as well-known as their humanlike counterparts being that they have no need to be; they detest space travel and would rather stay well-rooted in their home turf. Even so, the tree is mobile and can walk on its "roots" for vast distances in search of nutrients provided by Vesicastral's land-tumors. The tree is most famous for bearing fruits which become the implants communities depend upon, and a single tree can perform up to 100 implantations a day, its fruit permanently becoming part of an individual's physiological makeup.

Moofies are squirrel-like beings of great curiosity and trouble-making. Considered prey animals by Mowrunda and Ribbynari, the tiny Brirunda consider them to be riding animals and beasts of burden. Many subspecies of Moofie are dependant on the Cosmeta Tree's cavernous stomach, which opens up through a puckered, navel-like orifice, for their life cycle and survival. An invasive species similar to this kind of Moofie takes advantage of the tree's generosity by pretending to be a pregnant Moofie when it is actually an infant, destined to grow so large that it tears apart the tree when fully grown. A few trees have learned of the significant differences between these "false" Moofies and true Moofies, but not all.

The Fizzledorian Spenjblor was once considered to be the ancestor of all Vesicastralans, but this is only as true as chimpanzees are ancestors of humans, which isn't much. In fact, Spenjblors of all kinds are much different from the land they sprang from, as they seem to be immune to any emotion, positive or negative. What they actually do is "digest" all emotional input and excrete psychic waves from it. Prolonged exposure to these waves can cause a highly drug-like effect on Vesicastralan Anthropoids, making Spenjblors a valuable but immoral underground commodity. To some beings, these psychic waves can cause massive disturbance, and thus are ideal for invasion fleets keen being rid of interference.

The Yoorp Hoople are bizarre (even by Vesicastralan standards), hovering beings named after their tri-horned blurting calls. In Mandibara and Bovinuasl mythologies, a giant Yoorp Hoople was thought to signify the end of an era, as its massive sound blast would wipe out all life on the planet except for the "chosen ones". Chosen or not, some Vesicastralans keep these loud animals as living alarm clocks, though for sanity's sake they're fitted with mufflers. Yoorp Hoople flesh is renowned for its medicinal properties, and mythologically was thought to have powers and nutrients unknown even to the land that birthed it. Nevertheless, not all eat Yoorp Hoople flesh as it is unusual in its flavor and considered to be an acquired taste.

Pustulescent Pisceforms are recent species to be born of the planet, and aren't called "pustule" simply for their ugly colorations. They're the side-effect of a disease affecting the "seas" of Vesicastral, around the "shores" of God'oink Eloel and Leoleo Island. As these infections come in piscinesque form, the best way to disinfect the "sea" is to "fish" for them around and out the "shoreline". For a infection similar to pimples and boils, they're quite delicious to most Vesicastralans, and an annual "fishing trip" is in order for the Royal Luftpumpe Family every few months to disinfect and dine, until such time that the infection is completely removed (though a few will miss the taste of that pussy fish flesh).

Waz Cheru'bio are winged beings of great mythological significance. For communities of Dovelove Mug down to Lesser Mudluftia, they represent platonic love and long-lasting friendship. For those even outside of the lands, a tamed Cheru'bio is a present celebrating friendly unions. Cheru'bio are sensitive to the state of friendships, and can detect when there will be problems days before those problems manifest. They'll either try to fix the problems or separate the "friends" before their problems do. Even with their relationship-shaping abilities, they're not that popular as housepets. They'll insist that they have the first bite of any food their owner has to offer, and ironically have caused strains in some friendships because of this.

Trifungal Grouphweeds are ancient, invasive plants with a tendency to grow anywhere and on anything, even Anthropoids if they promote such growth. Grouphweeds, when eaten, induce a particular kind of hallucination which makes the ingestor believe that they, or whoever they witness, can inflate to monstrous sizes, even larger than the planet. This perhaps was the origin of the Luftpumpe mythos. When grown on an Anthropoid, the symbiotic relationship removes toxins and negative emotions, and it's assumed such symbiosis happens with whatever surface it grows upon. Still, they're a nuisance for their sheer number and ugly looks, and thousands are removed from public places every day.

The Heartflower is the most famous plant on Vesicastral. By cosmic coincidence, the heart shape has much of the same symbolism as it does for humans, though by different origins. Though the heart shape is associated with ivies and other plants on Earth, including aphrodisiacs, the Heartflower is more directly tied to anatomical hearts; it "beats" when strong love is present, platonic, erotic, or otherwise. Golden Heartflowers are grown in the gardens of the Royal Luftpumpe Family, and are the only foreign plant that the Cosmeta Trees will implant on their members. These hearts are embedded just above the cleavage, and act as insurance for bad moods, the hearts breaking before they do.

And that's all I can muster for now as I am thoroughly sleepy. For those who can ask me questions about any topics I missed, I can give information and then place it in this big thing wherever it'll fit. Otherwise, don't bug me about dodgy science. I know helium can't (easily) compound and all that smeg, but since the science exists, I'm insane enough to make an alien race from it. If it ever happened in real life, they probably never would form intelligent life, let alone spacefaring creatures that can live on other planets, but this is partially fantasy anyway since it's my version of Ultraman's species, but in balloon form.

Is this an open species? Well, yes and no. No in the sense that you can't recolor PowerPump and make her an "ORIGINAL CHARACTER" (DO NOT STEAL), but yes in the sense that anyone with a big imagination and a sense of fun can use my glut of information to make their own Vesicastralan character. Special reservations go to ~Tturtle, who has expressed interest in creating a Vesicastralan, *EmperorNortonII, who has co-created and inspired the lovely lady that spawned this crazy alien species, and his trusted client *Nayzor, who I bet would be interested to know that the big-bodied Vesicastralans sleep half the day in a nice deep sleep, their snores sounding like the amplified squeaks of rubbing on balloons.

The Planet Vesicastral and the Vesicastralans belong to *GigaCake-MmmKay.
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Planet Vesicastral and the Vesicastralans
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