|Common Nicknames||Sackbug, Atmosects|
The Enferena are strange atmosphere-dwelling insects born on the ground and capable of raising hundreds of feet into the air upon maturing and developing their ability to form a unique gas that fills a similarly unique sack of flesh sitting where their abdomen should be. The creature has been tamed by the Maraya, and a large portion of the formerly wild species now focuses their life in and around the various epicenters of Maraya civilization in Aloria. The insects are often odd pets, and rarely found outside of Maraya civilization due to their strange appearance inviting violence or misunderstanding.
The Enferena has been known to Aloria for millennia, but often remained elusive and ignored due to their high elevation domains. Elven towers were perhaps the sole contact they had with the ground for most months of the year, but that changed following the Cataclysm and the rise of the Maraya. Some believe that the Maraya’s previous form, the Meraic, knew and had tamed the Enferena generations before the first Elves came into being. Whether this is true or not, when the Maraya of Hadar awoke, they rapidly came into contact with the Enferena. Over the coming centuries, constant contact and eventual taming saw the Enferena become pets of the Maraya, and also forms of low-tech aerial conveyance. There is now a constant drift of Enferena around the Maraya state in Hadar, while others circle over areas of Westwynd and beyond where large groups of Maraya gather. Some Enferena drifts still exist in the wild, but they are few now, and largely exist in isolated pockets of Aloria’s air currents.
Enferena are strange, almost flat-out alien, beings to Alorian ideas of physical traits. Their bodies can hugely vary in size and weight, from lighter than air and well over twelve feet high, to a mere two feet tall, and having weights of somewhere around twenty to fifty pounds. Their heads are small, with a downward-facing array of serrated mandibles, two small black eyes, and a trio of antennae protruding out of their heads, two being longer and bent at the midpoint facing forward third is shorter and unbent. Their body holds three pairs of limbs, but the front pair are the most complex, being well plated, thicker, curved in a hook-like formation while in the air, and tipped with strong, pincer-like appendages. These have a flat, downward-facing structure to them though, as they also function as heavy feet when the animal is on the ground. The other two pairs of legs are less bulky and have a more traditional, narrow build suitable to insects. The rest of their body, where a thorax might sit, holds the insect’s inflation sack. While on the ground, it is densely packed into the animal’s rear, with a trio of short, thick plates helping to hold the material to its rear. The sack, upon expanding, has a pale purple coloration to it laced with darker, if not outright black, “veins” that run along with its structure, forming a membrane pattern. The sack is opaque and holds a faint purple gas known as Enf Gas. The sack is difficult to puncture with amateur or simple weaponry, as it is reinforced and strong. The color tones of their chitin meanwhile, are dark blue, red, or green.
Enferena are believed to be hermaphroditic, with gender only being assigned during the mating season. Their size is also a point of diversity, as the vast majority of the species are small, almost-balloon sized creatures. However, one in ten are Vastbags, the truly massive members of their society which the others flock around and largely follow. The only other form of diversity is the membrane pattern of an individual’s sack, said to be as diverse and unique as the faces of Aloria’s Races.
Life Span and Development
Enferena develops from two to three dozen tiny, pale purple soft eggs laid on the ground in shrubbery during the Enferena Landing Period. These eggs are then able to be fertilized by a “male” or at least an Enferena coded to be male during their period on the ground. Lasting a period of only one to two months, the mating Enferena then return to the sky, never seeing their hatchlings emerge. It is rare for even half of an Enferena clutch to be fertilized, allowing for immediate nutrients for those that do hatch. Their growth period is generally slow, at about half a year, but during this time, they will gradually develop their sack from only a tiny, tight dark purple bulb at the rear of their bodies. After enough time though, their bodies will have processed sufficient nutrients and food to fully inflate the Enferena’s sack with Enf Gas, and allow the overall swarm in a particular area to ascend, reaching the high reaches of the sky soon after and coasting for the rest of the year. Enferena generally live about thirty years, but those cared for by Maraya can live double that.
The Enferena is a strange creature that due to its nature as a near-insectoid, is often considered rather aloof. What the Maraya see in them is often a head-shaking, scornful question among the other Races, but to the Maraya, the creatures have a carefree, delicate appearance, are precise in their actions, and serve as companions to the often lonely Maraya. The Enferena have a strange view of one another. The smaller, common Enferena will often cluster heavily around the Vastbags of their species, while the Vastbags will instead follow each other. So long as a singular Vastbag Enferena is nearby, another will follow it, just as another will follow that one. Whether these connections are based on “friendship” or hatchling relations is unknown, but it can lead to unfortunate situations where, even in danger, Enferena will be willingly lead by those around them.
Territory and Groupings
Enferena live in groups called drifts who migrate through the skies of Aloria on high-altitude winds that cycle them across the southern and western regions of Aloria. However, the Home Drift, the name given to the group around the Homeswarm, is often taken far from these reaches, yet is kept together thanks to taming by the Maraya. Enferena have no set territory, as they are taken where the wind carries them, but once every year for between one to two years, their Ariel Period comes to an end as they descend, venting their sacks, to begin their Landing Period. The Landing Ground is rapidly stripped of both plant and animal matter, save those areas that will sustain the Enferena eggs laid during this period.
- Whether the Enferena existed millennia ago and were known to the Maraya’s ancestors is likely to remain a mystery, though certain ruins are said to show skyscapes with these creatures prominently featured.
- Efforts to collect Enf Gas are impossible, as the unique substance is solely produced by a living Enferena, and once their membrane is pierced, the creature appears to enter shock and shortly after, die.
- The method a Maraya seems to use to call their personal Enferena to them is a whistled song.