The Grand Triskele Lake plays host to a number of aquatic species which approach sentience. The langostinites, occasionally referred to as 'craypeople' by the surface-dwelling humans, are one such species. These three foot tall, bipedal crustaceans are the subject of many a horror story in Triskelen lore, but modern study suggests that they are less malicious marauders from the deep than misunderstood - if aggressively territorial - villagers that live in a world parallel to that of the surface-dwellers.
Langostinites are distantly related to Nephrops norvegicus, also known as scampi, and, as such, share many gross bodily features of that species. A langostinite's body is greatly foreshortened in comparison to their scampi relatives, including the tail. the creature's hind legs are stout, powerful, and digitigrade, and the uppermost segment of these legs are thickened, giving the creature the appearance of wearing jhodpurs.. The langostinite stands and floats on these three-segmented rear appendages, with the stance being compared to that of a dog reaching up to pull something off of a shelf. The claws are similarly thickened and powerful, while the remaining two pairs of legs are much smaller and are typically tucked against the body when not being used to aid in manipulating objects. The ventral carapace is reinforced with chevron-shaped plastrons, coming to a sharp spike near the creature's groin to protect the pseudo-pelvis and genital regions. Like their scampi relatives, the head of a langostinite features a pair of antennae and a pair of kidney-shaped eyes attached to the ends of thick stalks. The position of the eyes and mouthparts are oriented ventrally, however, to support using them in a standing position.
Genetics and Reproduction
Langostinites travel in mixed sex groups that intermate with one another. Dominant males serve as heads of household but are not necessarily the fathers of all offspring within the group. Eggs are carried by the female in a pocket beneath the protective 'skirt' formed by the plastron to the front and tail fluke to the rear; by some definitions, langostinites are ovoviviparous. Young are reared by their mother with the assistance of other members of the mating group and are pushed to join or create a new group once they reach maturity. A village of langostinites consists of several such groups that live near one another, with each mating group serving as an individual household.
Growth Rate & Stages
Langostinites, like their smaller relatives, undergo a moulting process around once per year so that they can grow in size. A langostinite can regrow a lost limb over the course of a single moulting period and will more likely prefer to break off an injured or diseased limb the closer they are to a moult. Langostinites reach maturity in around 16 years and can live up to 50 years with a great deal of luck.
Dietary Needs and Habits
Langostinites are hunters of small fish and jellies, but they can also gather detritus or sessile creatures if the need arises. It is believed that their cunning derives in part from their need to pick out the right fish and detritus to eat, as not all fish in the Grand Triskele are safe or nutritive to eat.
Perception and Sensory Capabilities
Langostinites are believed to have a wide field of view and to be able to see a wider range of colors than humans, but the compound nature of the eyes mean that their vision is nevertheless quite short-ranged. The creature's eyes are large and wide-set, making sneaking up on a langostinite in close quarters a losing proposition.
Civilization and Culture
Major Language Groups and Dialects
'Langostagloss' is the name given by Triskelens familiar with Langostinites for their language; it is unknown if langostinites have a name for their own language, but it is doubtful what is known about their cognitive set. Langostagloss is a simple percussive language 'spoken' through audible clicks made with claws and mouthparts. On the rare occasions when humans have been able to peacibly treat with langostinites, interspecies communication has been made possible through the use of wooden clappers, musical blocks, or washboards. Langostagloss is an incredibly compact language, with only a few hundred words in its entire vocabulary.
Interspecies Relations and Assumptions
Langostinites are not as smart as humans, but they are highly social creatures that have a modicum of intelligence that allows them to make and use tools and other objects beyond the ken of mere animals. They are also capable of operating out of water for up to half an hour at a time, as special chitinous pockets around their gills help hold onto water to keep the sensitive tissues moist. As such, Langostinites will sometimes come ashore or board vessels without warning or apparent fear of any larger creatures that might already be there. This is typically done to scare away percieved threats to the local langostinite community, but on rare occasion, exploration or even a desire to barter appears to be the reason for these ventures. Langostinites attack interlopers in their territorial waters with abandon, but will not deliver coup de grace on downed opponents or predate upon them; for the langostinites, it is most important that invaders be made to fear them and flee their territory. It is apparent that the creatures understand the role of surviving eyewitnesses in their defensive strategy, which relies as much on the fear of snapping claws as it does actually causing injury. Langostinites are known to learn and employ human arcana techniques if they observe them, making old and well-visited langostinite territories highly dangerous for non-langostinite visitors. Reinforcement and restraint spells are the most common ones in the langostinite repertoire, as the more powerful summoning and transmutation effects are beyond their understanding. Amateur - or cruel - human summoners, in turn, are known to sometimes employ conjured langostinite stooges in lieu of clockwork automatons for work at sea.