Proboscian Codex: Overview Picture

Artist's note:

This is part of a series I've been working on for a very, very long time. This species--no, this idea has permeated my artwork for ages and I'm sure many of you will find this fellow oddly familiar. I have hundreds upon hundreds of sketches and scribbles and hastily written ideas about these creatures (I hesitate to call them that) and I've decided to polish up and document them in their entirety.

This is more of a general overview than anything else; I'm going into detail about Proboscian history, culture, language, and anatomy in coming weeks. It's a result of considerable work.

Let me know if there's anything in particular you're curious about hearing about. It's hard to generalize about this much information.

Click download to view the full resolution image!

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Proboscians

The Proboscians, named after both their long-dead "womb planet" of Probos and the large proboscises that are characteristic of their race, are an almost integral part of the modern universe. They are oldest known sentient species in the galaxy--some say the oldest living species of any shape or form. Their society has lived through the death of stars and the births of new galaxies; their collective eyes have absorbed unimaginable amounts of information, and, in typical Proboscian fashion, they have recorded all of it.

Due to the longevity of their race, Proboscian historians found documenting their history in years was far too variable. The race has occupied numerous homeworlds throughout the past, and thus based a system of time around those homeworlds--a Proboscian Epoch is equivalent to the life-cycle of each planet they have inhabited. The current Epoch is the seventieth, and reliable records go back to around the sixth, with any events older than that descending into mythology and mystery.

The estimated age of the fully-evolved, modern Proboscian race is seven billion years, something that has continuously baffled researchers; Proboscians are physically quite weak compared to most other races, and have relatively short lifespans--about half of that of a human being.

The acquisition of knowledge and its subsequent expression and recording are the things most revered and important to any Proboscian; their society is based around their past mistakes made and lessons learned. Indeed, their skill at recording such lessons is what brought them to the forefront of the universe--while other races toiled away, keeping themselves stuck in endless stagnant cycles, the Proboscians broke free and moved forward in brilliant and refreshing ways. It is said you can learn more from a Proboscian in ten minutes than you can from any other race in a lifetime.

The complete Proboscian knowledge bank is stored not in a computer or a network, but instead, in the minds of every Proboscian. Proboscian society is a very vocal and social one, and their history is kept alive through the retelling of tales and the education of the young; something that can never be destroyed. Some feel this has led to slow distortion of the truth, but the Proboscians deny this; they say that instead it has kept them alive as a species, and that no one understands the value of truth and fact better than one of their very own. Of course, not every Proboscian knows everything; they do not possess a group consciousness of any sort, and rely on communication to unearth previously unknown knowledge. Regardless of this, they are known as the seers, the wise-men, the complete and utter leaders of the universe.

Proboscians are thin, wiry, and quick; their facial structure is dominated by their long, sinewy proboscises that have a variety of uses. The proboscis is both strong and flexible, suitable for either heavy lifting, or painting. It is also their primary means of consuming food. The typical Proboscian diet consists of saps and sugars that are absorbed through the tip of the proboscis. A Proboscian can survive on very simple proteins for a long time, although their strength will be somewhat decreased. They can live in a variety of atmospheric conditions; the proboscis filters the substances they breathe into usable energy.

Proboscians are generally humble and soft-spoken when around other races, and they can often enjoy their company if they do not mind being told long and complex stories regarding Proboscian history.

Proboscians are sexually compatible with many other races, and half-Proboscian children are common across the universe. The Proboscian population is somewhat low for a species so influential; they number about 10 billion across a variety of settled worlds, a pittance compared to the 75 billion human beings and the estimated half trillion infection forms.

The Proboscians are highly respected amongst most civilized races. They are seen as wise beyond almost all else, and their council rarely goes ignored. Some feel they have developed a holier-than-thou attitude, and airs of superiority, but in the usual clever way, the Proboscians insist this is something more tied to the nature of the one making the accusations--saying that they are the ones categorizing themselves as being inferior.

Regardless of any political complexities or tension, the Proboscians still strive for excellence in every possible way, and after seven billion years, not much seems fit to stop them.
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