Star Sprites Species in Skydwellers | World Anvil
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Star Sprites

Their whole life is really one big dance. Expressions of fear, joy, hunger, love, anger, and even bittersweet. It's quite beautiful, really.  
-Skydweller astronomer
  Star sprites are creatures of the sky - more so than perhaps any other living and semi-living and even non-dead being that inhabits the upper reaches of the troposphere. They are a mixture of light and darkness, frivolity and drama, even music and silence. Once thought by all to be a heavenly phenomena, they have been thoroughly studied, and scientists conclude that they are at least 63% alive.  

Diamonds of the Night

Thousands of years ago, mortals could look up and see the night sky, glittering jewels of light and wonder that were eventually divided into constellations that told stories. Animals, humans, and objects alike hovered across the night, inspiring generations of storytellers and guiding countless travelers in their expeditions. Now, the brazen, golden electricity of cities below has overpowered the quiet power of the diamonds above. But not for Skydwellers. They are free to peruse the night sky, telling their own stories, devising their own means of navigation, and carving out their own constellations.   Star sprites, however, refuse to be pinned down. Tales of the moving constellations have been lost on the ground, but not in the sky. Transparent except for the glowing lights that are positioned at key points throughout their bodies, they come in so many shapes, sizes, and faint colors. The patterns of these lights are most simply described as 'stick figure-esque shapes that can resemble any sort of living being.' Deer, bears, eagles, ravens, humans, dragons, and trees have all been spotted moving through the sky. Essentially, star sprites are living, maybe breathing constellations.

Dance of the Stars

It can be hard to tell the sprites apart from normal stars, but it is possible. They're closer to Earth, and therefore a fair bit brighter than other stars, especially to a people living on the clouds. What's also helpful is that they rarely remain still. Their lives are dramatic plays and interpretive dances across a stage of stars. Wolves chasing down herds of deer, dragons flying in pairs, human figures dancing as groups. So many stories have been told, night after night, in groups of star sprites.   Skydweller astronomers are fascinated by the star sprites. So many charts have been recorded, trying to map their patterns and behavior. With careful study and many, many research papers, they've come to the conclusion that the dances are not just a form of socialization, but are actually the way the sprites communicate with each other. With no other way to interact (save maybe some telepathic transmissions? But that theory has almost no evidence), they use dance and movement to convey compliments, questions, and even simple phrases. Certain dances are also standardized communications, like friendship and courtship routines.   Not only do the sprites communicate with each other, they also seem to send messages to those in the clouds - waving to, bowing at, and performing for groups and individuals alike. They seem to enjoy praise, and perk up whenever they receive attention or applause. As such, they gift the people of the sky with stories, performances, and even traditions. Dragons and humans alike have been known to adopt some of the dances they see in the sky. Known as 'dances of the stars,' they're quite difficult to pull off, but when done successfully are impressive, graceful, and utterly entertaining for the sprites. It's a sort of way the two communities interact and communicate with each other, even through the miles and miles of space between them.

Astonomer Star Charts


Star sprites inhabit the upper reaches of earth's atmosphere - somewhere at the ends of the exosphere. Conveniently, this is also where satellites orbit, and some monitors have been able to sneak special cameras onto them to further study the creatures.


It's still unknown what the star sprites eat. Some theorize that they pick up on minute traces of space dust and other particles as they drift through the atmosphere. Others suggest that they don't eat at all, living a fleeting lifespan of dance before they die out. Others still have proposed the idea that they exist off both magic and the attention of mortals below, as they seem to enjoy attention and perform for it.
Astronomer Star Charts

Genetics and Reproduction:

It was originally thought that the imagination of onlookers created new star sprites, but that idea has taken a backseat to other theories. Currently, the prevailing one is that there are family lines of sprites - their fondness for social interaction as well as the faintly differing colors of their lights seems to support this idea.


From the point of view of a Skydweller standing on a cloud, a single star sprite takes up about as much space in the sky as a spinball that they're holding at arm's length (or a basketball, if that helps). Thus, different troupes of the sprites can perform many dances without disrupting a view of the unmoving stars. They can also dim the glow of their lights at will, fading out of sight or remaining wholly invisible throughout the night. It's rumored that they do this during the day, so no one notices them against the blue of the sky.
Sometimes, on the loneliest nights, when it seems like our expedition will fail, we dance with the star sprites. Evan, Amy, Shiya and I will trade off, spinning around, while our Bonds twirl and soar overhead. And, far above us, the sprites will hold dances of their own. Those nights hold a special place in my fondest memories.


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Aug 7, 2023 03:20 by Molly Marjorie

I love the idea of living constellations. I particularly like the speculation that they feed on attention. Since they live so close to the planet, do many people see them? If not, why is that?

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Aug 7, 2023 18:18 by Reanna R

Glad you liked it :D and for some reason, most Skydwellers can see them, but people on the ground don't. Whether this is because of light pollution or some trickery of the sprites, I don't really know yet.

May your worldbuilding hammer always fall true! Also, check out the world of the Skydwellers for lots of aerial adventures.
Aug 8, 2023 19:17 by Michael Johnson

This was simply lovely. It's wonderful take on constellations, especially in a world where the stars are mostly no longer visible. The picture of a constellation literally dancing with another is a beautiful thought. I'd offer criticism, but this is well written in a style that I enjoy. Thank you for brightening my day.

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Aug 10, 2023 20:57 by Reanna R

Thank you so much for the kind words! I'm glad I could write something that made you smile <3

May your worldbuilding hammer always fall true! Also, check out the world of the Skydwellers for lots of aerial adventures.