Rostran Species in Manifold Sky | World Anvil


Rostrans are an islander race of fishers, navigators, tinkerers, and tradesmen.  Notable for having discovered low-altitude lighter-than-air flight technology before any other race within the Manifold Sky, Rostrans are a proud and quietly intense people with a keen sense for environmental conditions.

Basic Information

Genetics and Reproduction

While a species in the sense that they breed true, there is some modern contention amongst League scholars that Rostrans are not, in fact, distinct from homo sapiens due to the fact that they have produced viable, non-sterile hybrid children with humans. Indeed, the makeup of the Leather Jacket Nomads is overwhelmingly of hybrid ancestry.

Additional Information

Facial characteristics

While Rostrans were so-named for their presence in the Rostral Tesseract, the name is also appropriate as an emphasis on the aquiline appearance that each member of the species shares, with prominent noses which extend much farther out from the face than those of humans.  Rostran facial features are sharp and well-defined, with large, piercing eyes, ears that take a point to their upper posterior extents, and broad mouths.  Rostral irises come in shades of blue, green, or red.  Rostrans possess large, round heads, a result of the well-developed sinuses which provide their keen barometric senses.  Ignorant outsiders will sometimes derisively refer to Rostrans as 'goblins' or 'tengu' in reference to their facial features.

Geographic Origin and Distribution

The Rostran originate in what is now the Rostran Archipelago Confederacy in Rostral C, with small communities spread throughout the temperate, misty archipelago that dominates that cube.  The island on Rostral C3 that contains that face's commissure is believed to be the original cradle of the Rostran people.

Perception and Sensory Capabilities

Unlike Homo Sapiens Sapiens, Rostrans possess a unique barometric sense, allowing a Rostran to percieve changes in altitude, depth below water, and, with training, predict weather with a surprising degree of accuracy.  The Rostrans believe that this gift was what allowed them to become the premier fisherman and sailors of the Manifold Sky.  Due to the utility of this special sense in airship operations, the Navigator's Guild prizes their rare Rostran navigators and saves them for special assignments.

Symbiotic and Parasitic organisms

The Rostrans share Rostral C with the Ovinex, a species of sheep-like bipeds from islands on Rostral C1.  While these two species were once fiercely opposed to one another, the less intelligent Ovinex were eventually defeated by the superior naval prowess of the Rostrans during the Rostran-Ovinex War.  Instead of driving the Ovinex to extinction, however, the Rostrans chose to 'domesticate' some of the 'sheeple,' employing the Ovinex for their wool and as labor to tend to ironwood harvesting, fishing, and trade spice (especially salt) cultivation.  While the herds of the so-called Civil Ovinex are no longer independent societies, the Rostrans treat them relatively well, considering the 'kinder and gentler' modern strain of Ovinex to be more like especially intelligent pets than chattel slaves.  As the generations wear on, the Ovinex become both more intelligent and more tightly integrated into the everyday lives of Rostrans in an increasingly mutualistic relationship.

Civilization and Culture

Average Technological Level

While the Rostrans did only minimal exploration of cubes adjacent to Rostral C until relatively recently, they were the first in the Manifold to discover hot air ballooning and, by extension, are the true fathers of airship technology. Bold innovators like Vexan Zin and Eqai Voiranoi have left their marks the world over, especially wherever the influence of the Navigator's Guild can be felt.


Human subspecies are one micro-evolutionary result of small pockets of modern humans being isolated from one another over the course of the Manifold Sky's prehistory, separated amongst the tesseracts where simple climbing would not permit mixing. Rostrans perhaps once looked like the same group of humans that founded the Voxelian ethnic group, but a combination of the founder effect and being surrounded by temperamental seas created evolutionary pressures that led to the modern Rostran physiology. Another theory positst that humans and Rostrans diverged at some point during the quasi-mythical Curved Time, though there would obviously be no fossil evidence to support this theory.

by Hero Forge
Genetic Ancestor(s)
Scientific Name
Homo Sapiens Rostrum
75 years
Average Height
The average male Rostran stands around 5'10" tall and the average female Rostran stands around 5'2" tall.
Average Weight
The average male Rostran weighs around 175 lbs and and the average female Rostran weighs around 135 lbs.
Body Tint, Colouring and Marking
Rostran skin tones range from fair to a dark red-brown.

Geographic Distribution
Related Materials
The Taxonomy of Sentience in the Manifold

Articles under Rostran

Cover image: by BCGR_Wurth


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