I floop-floopian LOVE this guy’s stuff, so much…His designs give me chills in a way I’ve felt on only a handful of occasions since first reading EXPEDITION over 25 years ago.The most abstracted of his creations approach the level of otherworldliness I associate with true “aliens”–organisms generated independently by biotic processes occurring on a remote world in total isolation from terrestrial evolution. Look upon his works, ye mighty, and despair!
I want this post to be an introduction to the whole Mother of Pearl AU. I’ve been building the lore about them for a while now and I have a lot to share, so I will do it in parts. Today i’m gonna talk about some general stuff and differences between gems and moms. Let’s finally get this started!!
The Mothers are a race of magical sentient shells (I like to call them Momlluscs from the name ‘molluscs’) that originated on Homeworld, mirroring the Gems being a race of sentient rocks. They can be called an older cousin race to the Gems, as they both come from a natural magical occurrence that all originated in Homeworld’s waters.
Here’s some info on them in bullet points:
Long, LONG ago, the Mothers had a huge empire on Homeworld. They had advanced magic, rich culture, huge armies, they conquered lesser beings and used them as mounts and workforce, and that includes our Gems. Their culture spawned all of the seas and rivers on HW, but it all eventually fell apart. Nowadays nothing of their proud past remains, aside from echoes visible in gem magic and the gem nature itself.
[Image: bubbling, an example of mom magic that carried over to today.]
One of the biggest differences between Gems and Moms is the fact that all Mothers are partially organic creatures. Unlike the silica-based Gems, they are (mostly) calcium-and-carbon-based, making them ‘organic’ and ‘inorganic’ at the same time, much like the actual mother-of-pearl and molluscan shells.
Following this organic-inorganic idea I’ve decided that the mothers’ body that protrudes from their shells is made from magical flesh. It’s more similar to Steven’s body rather than the bodies of Gems which are made from hard light. It contains their organs and bleeds when harmed. When damaged, it retracts to the shell to heal, which is virtually identical to poofing. Most momlluscs have human shaped bodies with broad, long feet, however some classes have much more monstrous forms. Regardless, all of them have a shell (or a bone) & a mantle (a cloak made of skin) somewhere on their bodies as well as extendable membranes for swimming.
[Image: one of the classes of Moms. Shell location depends on the class but mantle can have some variance depending on species.]
The Gems primarily occupied the land and shores, while the Mothers lived mostly in the oceans, rivers and lakes. Because of their mainly underwater habitat they are very sensitive to light and used to crawl out mostly at night. Even today the Moms that still remain active often wear sunglasses or shield themselves from light as much as possible.
The Mothers are biologically immortal; they do not die of old age, but can get ill or heavily hurt and die. Damaging the shell won’t kill a Mother. It will be reconstructed slowly over time by her fleshy body. To kill a Mother it’s necessary to shatter her shell and kill the flesh body, although even then her conscious will remain in the shell, much like with shattered gems.
Some of their abilities are similar to the Gems’:
They can shapeshift and did it fairly often with the bottom part of their body when changing terrain (human legs for dry terrain and various mollusk parts for swimming in water).
When harmed, their body retracts to the shell to heal. It’s function is the same as poofing.
They can fuse.
They have various powers. They often have powerful elemental powers related to water and sand. Other powers include hypnosis, walking on walls, super speed, telepathy and various voice based powers.
…but there are important differences:
Their shells are always in the same spot, which depends on the species.
Some species are unable to summon a weapon. If they can, the weapon is always the same for the whole species.
They can retract their form into their shell at will.
The Mothers reproduce sexually. They are hermaphrodites. That means they grow and start their life as children.
They feel hunger and eat. In fact, some of them are cannibals!
And there’s of course their great unique ability: Pearl making.
The Mothers can eat pretty much anything, including each other. They don’t need to eat to survive, but they feel hunger if they don’t. Depending on what (or who) they eat, their abilities are affected, as the diet slightly influences the structure of their shell. It also influences the Pearls they produce.
I will go in depth on several topics from this post in future posts. I want to break down this stuff so it’s more digestible, plus it’s easier for me to plan releases this way. There’s a masterpost coming as well which will contain an index to all the mother-related stuff I’m posting!
Panspermic fauna analogous to terrestrial organisms with subtly distorted physiognomy, from Doug Chiang’s ROBOTA. The creatures in this book were native to a long-vanished solar planet between Mars and Jupiter.
Steven Universe #1 ongoing comic for 2017 is out and I want everyone to take a moment to appreciate these special moments as Steven, Peridot, and Lapis encounter a baby bird and become parents.
Peridot draws Camp Pining Hearts fan art
Peridot learns a life lesson about organic creatures’ digestion
Excellent averting of “’’’’girl name’’’’ = female creature = she/her pronouns” through use of a traditionally feminine name and consistent they/them pronouns for the bird throughout (and Peridot continues to be Camp Pining Hearts trash)
Lapis teaches the birdie to flap their wings. Peridot teaches the birdie to be Camp Pining Hearts trash
The English word “orphan” comes, via Latin, from the Greek orphanós, which derives from the Proto-Indo-European h₃órbʰos, meaning “orphan”, or “slave, servant”. It was that second meaning which produced Proto-Slavic *orbъ “slave”, from which was derived the noun *orbota “hard work, slavery”, which produced the Czech robota “forced labor”. In 1920, the Czech author
Karel Čapek coined the word robot from robota in his sci-fi play Rossum’s Universal Robots, about an industrialist who creates artificial humans as laborers (who eventually rebel against their masters). It was through that play that the word “robot” entered the English language, although in the original play the robots were organic creatures, rather than the mechanical entities the word is used for today.
Nihilego is a fantastic combination of two terrifying things: jellyfish and parasites. Nihilego’s pokédex entry states “it’s unclear whether or not this Pokémon is sentient,” and that’s as good of a description of a jellyfish as any.
Jellyfish don’t have brains, bones, hearts, or blood. They don’t have a respiratory system (lungs or gills) to breathe, but they do absorb oxygen through their skin. Some are microscopic, and others longer than a blue whale. Some of them are immortal and can de-age themselves. They’re made of 98% water, they barely have a nervous system…and yet these creatures have been around on our planet for more than 650 million years, so they must be doing something right. In fact, jellyfish are the oldest multi-organ creatures on the planet. Despite everything they lack, jellyfish do have some organs: a mouth and a digestive system, and reproductive organs, for example.
There are over 2000 different species of jellyfish, so let’s just narrow it down to those who, like Nihilego, are also parasites: the myxozoans. Myxozoans are in the same phylum as jellyfish, Cnidaria,but are curious little organisms who go one step beyond jellyfish, not even having a mouth or guts. And like many parasites, they literally can’t survive unless they are infecting a host. They do still have stinging tentacles, though, so I guess that’s good.
Myxozoans live inside the bones and cartilage of fish, where they can reproduce inside and cripple their host, or even to some extent, control the fish. Some Myxozoans cause neurological damage that causes a fish to uncontrollably swim in circles.
When their hosts die, myxozoans use their little jellyfish stingers to sting, therefore infecting, a new fish.
As shown in Pokémon Sun and Moon, Nihilego has some adverse neurological effects when it infects a host: namely, what it did with Lusamine. If Nihilego is like a Myxozoan, it needs to bond with a human in order to reproduce: and it likely would have killed Lusamine if it could have completed the process.
Nihilego is a jellyfish-like parasitic Myxozoan. It does not have a brain, a respiratory system, a mouth, or guts. It infects hosts and often causes neurological damage.
STORM CLASS: STORM WALKER Risk Assessment Score 2:
Usually nonaggressive, but will note and react to human presence. Avoid if possible.
Startlingly human in appearance, storm walkers are massive
figures that appear in constant, swirling motion. Their ‘clothing’ is
actually organic structures growing directly out of the main body, and
appears to generate electric charge on its underside due to the
near-constant lightning strikes that occur from beneath the main body
mass. They are at least partially intangible as evidenced by their
‘hair’ and ‘clothes’ moving even during nonexistent wind. Though their
presence and size can be deeply unsettling, storm walkers offer little
threat other than the lightning strikes they generate, and many consider
them to be a beautiful spectacle from afar. Areas populated by these
ghosts have some notoriety with thrillseekers; deaths by storm walkers
are almost exclusively caused by observers venturing too close and
getting struck by lightning repeatedly.
Marine aliens by Adolf Schaller, from Terence Dickinson’s Extraterrestrials: A Field Guide For Earthlings. Convergence is a big theme here, environmental pressures dictating superficial similarities to terrestrial forms.
SOME DAY, WHEN I HAVE ENOUGH MONEY, I WILL BUY A NEW SCANNER
Renzo Piano Building Workshop designed the “organic creature” in the courtyard of a 19th-century block to house the new headquarters of the Fondation Jérôme Seydoux-Pathé – dedicated to preserving the history of French film company and promoting cinematography.
…The art of inserting a building into an historical city block means engaging in an open, physical dialogue with those already there. Building onto an extant structure also presents an opportunity for a more widespread renovation project, a reclaiming of space. The new headquarters of the Fondation Jérôme Seydoux-Pathé is an unexpected presence, a curved volume one glimpses floating in the middle of the courtyard in which it sits, anchored on just a few supports. On the ground, there is a stand of birch trees, a floral island set in the dense mineral context of the city…