Written by Sytes
An Upok stands five feet tall and weighs 100-150 lbs. Their bodies are brown, fur-covered and shaped like a disc that is oriented parallel to the ground when standing. They have six legs arranged like spokes on a wheel about the rim of the disc. The two front legs also double as club-hands devoid of opposable digits. Each leg is a foot and a half long and has one knee which bends toward the body. On top of the disc are two stalks containing mouths. Their lips each have a prehensile nub protruding from them at the fattest point. The Upok uses the lip-nubs as fingers to grip and manipulate things. Upok have incredibly dense arrangements of vocal chords, three sets in total, all of which can be activated at once in either or both throats. The throat-stalk itself is also prehensile and can hold the weight of the creature for up to a minute or so, depending on the strength of the Upok. In the rim of the disc, on the front face, four eyes are arranged laterally between the front two legs. The brain is located at the center of the body's disc and the organs are arranged below that. All the organs hang from the skeleton of the creature, which is conical and protects the Upok from falling hazards. They can sit on the ground to further protect themselves, biting with their flat teeth to dissuade predators.
Upok are never born. Rather, they are created by the conjoining of two sub-species, the Lue and the Rue, jointly called the Ue (pronounced 'ooh' with a faint suggestion of 'eh' at the end). These two sub-species are visually very similar to each-other, but there are significant biological and psychological differences between them. They are completely interdependant for procreation, as only an Upok can give birth to new Lue or Rue. A Lue is logical. Lue can speak and perform radically complex calculations. They have difficulty understanding humor. Many assume they are emotionless, but this is not the case. They simply do not understand the importance of displaying their emotions outwardly. Lue cannot draw maps or visualize things; instead, they symbolize everything they see. Lue obey all rules regardless of their origin, and as a result are very easily tricked. Rue are spatial. They can draw amazingly well and are known to be humorists. They have a severely limited vocabulary compared to the Lue. Many assume they are stupid because they have difficulty symbolizing the world around them. To a Rue, the world cannot be symbolized. They react to their environment however they feel is most appropriate at the time. Rue are incapable of comprehending rules and are impossible to train. Lue and Rue both come in two types: Left and Right. Only a Left and a Right can combine to form an Upok.
Types of Lue and Rue
Types of Upok
A Rue-Lue pairing is called an Upok. It will give birth to Ue of the same sex and sidedness as the dominant Ue in the pairing. A Lue-Rue pairing is called an Upok. It will give birth to Ue of the same sex and sidedness as the dominant Ue in the pairing. A Rue-Rue pairing is called a Rupok, and is sterile. It has other skills that make it useful to Upok society. A Lue-Lue pairing is called a Lupok, and is sterile. It has other skills that make it useful to Upok society. Rue and Lue weigh anywhere from 50 to 75 lbs fully grown. Their brainless heads are set upon a stalk leading down to a half-disc-shaped body with three legs, one of which doubles as a secondary hand. The stalk atop their bodies is prehensile and contains a large mouth which functions as the primary hand. The mouth has long, sensitive lips which double as opposable fingers. An Ue's lips are more agile and sensitive than human fingers. They have incredible pitch and range of speaking.
When a Lue or Rue reaches a certain age they find a partner and join to it. They do this by excreeting a natural glue and sticking themselves bodily to their lifelong partner. When the tiny ridges in their bodies line up, glands activate and secreet a biological glue which is so strong that the Upok will be ripped to chunks before the bond ever breaks. The glue coats the left-hands side of a right or the right-hands side of a left. When a left and a right join, the join is permanent, and the new creature is called simply an Upok. If the joined partner is also the opposite sex, the Upok can then have children. Otherwise the Upok is sterile. Typically, if the Upok's right side is male, the Upok's children will all be male. If the Upok's right side is female, the Upok's children will all be female. There are exceptions, as when the left-side member of the union is dominant, in which case children will be that sex. From the moment of joining, the soft area of the body conjoining the two creatures begins to dissolve and the left-brain and right-brain begin to entangle each-other. The right-hand member of the joining is typically dominant, though not always. Physically, an Upok (or variant) has six legs, two of which double as club-hands, and a disc-shaped body with two mouth-stalks prodruding upwards. It has four eyes and speaks simultaneously from both mouths, usually in harmony.
Lue are not true females, just like Rue are not true males. Rather, they are biologically independant (to a certain age) halves of a whole. It became easier to call the Lue female due to the fact that they have the birthing canal prominent on the bottom of their bodies, but evidence has been found that the Rue are the egg producers. To complicate things further, each Ue has a single testicle and neither can produce sperm until the union is complete. For all these reasons, the Ue have been divided into two sub-species rather than two sexes. An Ue who does not conjoin before the age of 15 dies of biological complications.
Upok, Rupok and Lupok
A double-Rue, called a Rupok, is whimsical and often has severely stunted attention span. They are natural musicians, singing with both mouths to create beautiful harmonies. They are empathetic to a fault, sometimes even dying of sympathy pain when loved ones are badly injured. A double-Lue, called a Lupok, is cerebral in the extreme. They often die sooner than Rupok or Upok due to emotional distress, being unable to effectively release emotional stress. They often speak twenty or more languages and can process information at a blinding speeds. An Upok is a healthy balance of the two, but lacks the super abilities of either.
Upok live in only one place in Adylheim; the forests of Southwestern Andragoria. They level the ground beneath the trees and build a single massive roof seven feet tall to prevent falling branches. All Upok fear things falling on them as they are unable to look up. Upok will defend Lupok and Rupok mercilessly, as they highly prize their skills. Upok society is classless. They also fear to leave the safety of the trees, and when a humanoid or other sentient is spotted an Upok is dispatched to do everything possible to draw the potential intruder away. This Upok is mourned as if it were dying, regardless of the threat it faces. Upok returning from this duty are hailed as heroes. Upok are inherently skittish herbivores.