Orbisians (orbiscians) are a curious and bizarre race that inhabits the dark depths of the Abyss. They are
roughly humanoid in appearance and are composed of translucent gelatinous discs, some of which emit a
soft red light. They do not exist as individuals in the sense that we do. Rather, they are a collective group of
discoid cellular units that transiently assemble into specific forms and then disassemble, according to their
need. Whilst each disc has its own intelligence, these intelligences network together when assembled into
In these multi-disc assemblies, each disc assumes a specialised role - some bear appendages for defence or
for feeding, others serve to coordinate the structure, acting like a brain or head, whilst others act as aids to
bouyancy, maintaining the position of the suspended disc-man in the abyssal darkness. Some are
bioluminescent, in fact any disc can switch its bioluminescence on or off, but several luminesce more-or-les
continuously in specific patterns. Often two glow as if resembling two slit-like eyes.
The body usually tapers off into a series of extensible tendrils which can function as an anchor or holdfast
(hapteron). Orbiscians are often encountered attached, via their holdfasts, to rotting corpses of abyssal
fauna and appear to absorb nutrients from the corpse through their tendrils.
The reactions of these creatures are very fast indeed, and they can assemble and disassemble with great
agility and rapidity. Indeed, they are hard to strike with a sword, for the discs will simply separate, allowing the
blade to pass unimpeded, before reconnecting, all in an instant.
If damaged when part of the body, or threatened when in isolation, then each disc will appear to 'explode' as
it emits luminous ink to startle and dazzle aggressors, blinding them whilst the discs separate and swim to
safety. Certain discs are also specialised to produce larger quantities of luminescent ink for use in first-line
defense. A large pincer, often seemingly larger than necessary, is loaded with poison and is used in defence
and also to slay prey (the Orbisian will then feed upon the corpse as described above). The pincer is
extremely sharp and requires but little use of force to inject its poison. It is also made of a tough fibrous
material with some flexibility. Orbisians have been seen hunting large prey in packs and may communicate
with one-another in some way, perhaps by biolominescence.
Other than this, very little is known about these mysterious beings. Do they have a culture? Do they possess
technology, or simply fashion their bodies according to need? It has been speculated that the size of the
pincer is a status symbol, with those discs with the most well developed pincers associating with the most
important head discs. It is not known how the discs themselves communicate with one-another.
A typical disc-man is 3 m in length. The skin is totally lacking in pigment, the bodies being translucent, often
with luminescent organs formed by groups of luminescent discs.
Article updated: 31 Dec 2016