Balao (/bah:low/)

Overview

The Balao are a species of sky-bound sophonts born to the Cloudtop Sea on Marus. They are described as a cross between an amphibian-like creature and a humanoid insect. These insectoid Faefolk travel the skies by inflating their bodies with a biochemical gas, allowing them to float through the air like a hot air balloon. They maintain mediocere steering control through the use of a pair of vestigial wings commonly seen envoloped around terrestial Balao like clothing. They spend their lives scouring the skies for the resources necesary to survive and a newborn Balao can even spend up to the first five years of its life inside an egg-like chrysalis awaiting its parents to feed it the required resources. These strange sophonts once ruled the skies unchecked, but now they must compete with encroaching aeronauts and ambitious earth-bound nations. Only time will tell if they can adapt to the changing times and avoid extinction at the hands of colonizing groundlings. Their largest settlement, Do Céulani, lies on the floating subcontient known as Colmeia Island. This sacred holy site is nuetral ground to all Balao and the beating heart of sky-bound trade and culture.
 
"Tell me, oh wayward folk of lofty skies.
What does it look like from on high?
All our shining islands of passion,
and the many cultural clashes?
Do they remind you of glittering treasures
floating along in the seas forever?
Beautiful and distant like the stars above...
Or do they remind you of your lack of artistic expression and empty melancholic ways?"
— Unknown Survivor's Recounting Of A Balao Raid
 

Culture

The Balao's barren native envirnoment promotes a rugged practicality and waste-not-want-not culture. The insectoid Faefolk organize themselves into familial tribes and then further organize those tribes into island clusters. These island clusters operate like city-states among the Balao, championing different causes in their society and vying for the best growing or breeding grounds. Only the appearance of the groundling Aviator's Society has brought whispers of a unified Balao to the forefront. A return to an ancient legend of their storied past, the rise of a new Balao Hive.
Membership in the Aviator's Society or connections with Dr. Haladrius is required to know this secret.

Knowledge of Balao customs and superstitions is required to know this secret.

Traveling to Colmeia Island is required to know this secret.
There are 3 secrets on this page.

General Information

Lifespan
75 years old, reaching maturity at 15 years.
Average Height
4 to 5 feet tall.
Average Weight
100 pounds.
Geographic Distribution
Related Ethnicities

Balao Naming Scheme

Balao names have deep cultural and personal significance, with some Balao mating pairs taking years to finally choose their child's name.
Balao Unisex Names
Quiet-Skies-And-Seas, Stiff-Wind-Bright-Sky, Silvered-Moon-Gilded-Sun, Calm-Storm-Gentle-Typhoon, Black-Clouds-Sharp-Lightning, Still-Soul-Bright-Star.

Vestigial Wings

All Balao possess some remnant set of vestigial, vaguely insectoid wings that can envelope them in a myriad of fashions. These fragile wings are too weak for much more than meager gliding and decorative clothing.

Biochemical Gas

Balao can produce a biochemical gas that inflates a bladder in their chest, allowing them to ascend steadily upward. They lack any lateral control and are at the mercy of outside forces while still able to fine tune their altitude by carefull controlling their stored gas levels.

Chitter

Chitter is the Balao's native tongue and is made up of repetative trilling clicks created by precise mandible control. It is impossible to speak for those who lack the required biology.


Cover image: by Logo by Garret Grace Lewis, edited by Oneriwien.
This article has no secrets.

Comments

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Feb 15, 2024 21:19 by Dr Emily Vair-Turnbull

I love the idea of them floating around like hot air balloons. And I love their names.

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