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Exo (Overview)

Exo is, ostensibly, short for Exoskeleton. This word is a catch all that is universally used accurately to reference the giant bugs, crustaceans, mollusks, and some large aquatic creatures. But, it is also used for reptiles and some of the savage humanoids who dwell in the forest. In Practice, the Flatlanders tend to use the word for any creature that has a hard outer layer, especially if there's a decent chance they'll have to hunt it or defend themselves from it! One common "Exo" type without an exoskeleton are the fleshy grubs and caterpillars that eventually turn into other species.   When it comes to taxonomy, Exo is not a recognized work in academia. Many a scholar has gone blue in the face trying to explain to a flatlander what the scientific difference between a worm and a grasshopper. Many Flatlanders will understand the difference, but very few will change the language they and their entire village have used for centuries.   Even so, the vast majority of inhabitants of this world wouldn't know exactly what an exoskeleton was unless they have specifically studied the differences between True Exos and False Exos. In this case, the shortened slang term has become so ubiquitous that the original meaning is lost on most people. Therefor, it's widely accepted that using the word Exo does not need to exclusively imply an exoskeleton, although any creature that does have an exoskeleton is almost certainly an Exo.   A distinction is usually drawn for mammals, bony fish, or avian species even if they live or spend some of their time in Exo Forests. In other words, living in the forest is not the only indicator for being classified as an Exo. There are a variety of terms for these non-Exos, but "Forest Dwellers" or "Forest Creature" is one of the most common. A few of the largest mammals are even referred to as monsters, and live up to this name. They are, thankfully, quite rare... in The Great Briar, at least. Most of these non-Exo monsters are hardly understood, and many are assumed to be tall tales made up by Foresters who've been in the field too long.

Basic Information

Ecology and Habitats

Almost all Exos either live exclusively in an Exo Forest, or were originally from one of these areas.

Additional Information


Some Exos have indeed been domesticated. The Throx and Nannybug are two examples of Exos that have been bred by humans for generations, and are now rarely found in the wild.

Uses, Products & Exploitation

Exo shards are one of the most integral materials for Flatlander tribes. These harvested and scavenged shards are used to create armor, weapons, tableware, building materials, tools, wagons, or an almost infinite number of other necessities.   Some Exos are also valued for their meat, eggs, or other products, but this varies from species to species. Part of becoming a seasoned forester is learning which Exos are good eatin', which ones' meat will make you sick, and which ones have the potential to end your adventures, permanently.

Average Intelligence

Exos have an extremely varied intelligence level. The following intelligence levels, sometimes referred to as "mind" (Mind level 1, Mind level 3), are commonly used to categorize the various species:
  • Lvl1, Mindless: Base animal/bug intellegence. Few emotions, mostly runs on hunger, procreation drive, and instinct.
  • Lvl2, Hive Minds: (Note: Not literally a hive mind “They have the mind of the hive”) Displays social intelligence with other members of species, similar to Ants, Bees. Likely highly responsive to pheromones.
  • Lvl3, Low Mind: Low to medium level sentience. This is not uncommon for the larger Exos. notably, Throx. Dog to Elephant level intelligence. Can recognize different humans with training.
  • Lvl4, Thinkers (Also: Qualia, or Archaic: Full Mind): Approaching or achieving humanoid intelligence. Use of tools, seems to have emotions, possibly capable of speech or communication.
Genetic Descendants

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