Characters & Places
Descriptions and sketches to help you imagine your own versions of the characters. If you create something and you want to share it, please send me a link!
The cute main character drawings on this page are commissions by Magma Doodle.
Look out for spoiler warnings!
Tsoci, AKA The Spirit of Crescent Island (they/them, age 4.5B)
Tsoci is a superorganism predicted by The First Intention, immediately after the creation of the Spacetime simulation.
Four and a half billion solar revolutions before Edge was born, Tsoci’s Seed, (one of countless intergalactic meteors scattered across Spacetime during The Second Intention), landed on a planet, and life began.
During The First Intention, multiple predictions of possible complete histories were transmitted across Spacetime. The only stuff that existed at that point was a lot of perfectly organized subatomic dust. As soon as all of these tiny particles had either annihilated or settled down with their subatomic partners, The First Intention’s predictions set their starting conditions.
As you can probably imagine, subatomic particles don’t have a very good way to accurately remember a prediction. To them, the First Intention was a gentle nudge in a particular direction.
Fundamental forces and laws of nature emerged from the initial nudge, and consciousness emerged from the initial particles. After that, the simulation ran pretty smoothly, but bugs and patches were still sometimes necessary.
The Second Intention was the awakening, when superorganisms across Spacetime became self aware, and discovered their own mortality.
By that point, the small, conscious organisms integrated into Tsoci’s being were already aware of their mortality. They died very quickly, but they could also think and change faster than their host, and they led very interesting lives.
The vast consciousness of a superorganism was stable for eons. Tsoci could perceive and understand the vast history and patterns of fundamental forces and the laws of nature. They slept a lot, because from their perspective, things only changed enough to be interesting every million years or so.
Up until the Third Intention, Tsoci was almost always asleep, waking for brief periods of time to check in on their own development. Tsoci knew the sun was eventually going to burn away the atmosphere of their planet. They could remember all the way back to before the atmosphere had oxygen, when they lived entirely underwater to hide from a killer star.
Tsoci didn’t want to be anywhere in the neighbourhood of the solar system when the sun turned back into a killer star. Instead, they wanted to adapt to life in space. Through sapiens, Tsoci learned that radiation is stronger, distances are vaster, and energy is harder to find in space, but it wasn’t enough.
Sapiens wanted to understand Spacetime, but only a small number of them wanted to try to leave their home planet. Not one of them was concerned about the sun turning into a killer star again. They didn’t expect to live that long.
Tsoci helped them live a little longer so they could learn more, and granted them individual differences so they could specialize in a wide range of interests.
Sapiens learned that the comfortable planet they lived on was not rare in Spacetime, but that all the other planets were several lifetimes away. They also learned that the sun was going to turn into a deadly star again someday, but only a few wanted to work on leaving the planet.
They invented war, and the strongest and most aggressive sapiens took the food, homes, and sometimes even the lives of the others.
They had wars all the time, and Tsoci noticed that the sapiens who really wanted to explore space were able to invent things more quickly if they were also working on inventions for war. The biggest wars produced the most inventions, so Tsoci gave them a common enemy.
Disguising themselves as a terrifying demon, Tsoci banished the sapiens to the far end of the island.
The disguise worked, but it also backfired spectacularly. Sapiens invented technology to leave the planet, but they also waged a fierce war against Tsoci, leaving the superorganism crippled.
The Third Intention is coming, and unsuccessful predictions will be removed from the simulation.
Edge (she/her, age 12)
Edge is a type of Forax called a scout.
She grows up in North Crescent with her mother, Mana. Edge is brave and independent, and she love science. She values honesty, and will do anything for her friends. This drawing of Jessop is by Magma Doodle.
Edge is three shades of brown, with light markings across her face and two dark stripes from her nose to her tail. She's bipedal, but when she wants to move quickly she runs on all fours. She can climb well, and can fly.
Her design is inspired by a combination of a martin (paws, face), a bat / Momo from ATLA (arm wings), and a chipmunk or sugar glider (stripes). Her fur is plush, like a chinchilla's, and she stands about 1m (3.3') tall. She has visible paw pads on her hands and feet, wide feet and hands, and long claws for climbing. Her eyes are dark brown. She has a wide black nose.
She wears a green hooded tunic with a gold belt and gold leaf insignia. She also carries a pack that straps over her shoulders and attaches to the belt, allowing her to spread her wings when necessary. She carries a fishing rod and she eats mainly fish, berries, nuts, roots, and eggs when she can find them.
Edge character inspiration on Pinterest
Jessop (he/him, age 14)
Jessop is an Avian. He maintains a positive attitude and readily takes on leadership responsibilities. He's utterly fearless when it comes to height and speed, and his favorite passtime is flying.
Jessop wears a green robe and pants tied with a sash. He also wears goggles sometimes, and carries a pack full of camping and hunting equipment. This drawing of Jessop is by Magma Doodle.
Jessop is three shades of brown, with an orange beak, orange arms and legs, and yellow eyes. He has a dark brown crest on his head. He's completely bipedal and stands about 1.5m (5') tall. When he gets excited, he hops like a sparrow. His design inspiration is a falcon or hawk (face), the Rito from Zelda (torso and legs / overall vibe), and a gryphon (having six limbs total).
His clothing should be simple, functional, and should look homemade. He wears a utility belt and carries the tools of a hunter and trapper. He eats small animals, fruits, seeds, mushrooms, and fish, and he loves pastries.
Jessop character inspiration on Pinterest
Apparent age before transforming: around 7 - 10, after transforming: around 16-17, actual age: over 600)
Xalma is a baby Amph. She is lonely, jealous, creative, and funny in a snarky way. This drawing of Xalma is by Magma Doodle.
Xalma is glittery pink with big, pale green eyes that reflect light like a cat's, three gill frills on either side of her head, and a finned tail. Everything about Xalma is soft and round. She is approx. 75cm (2.5') tall. She has bioluminescent skin that can create patterns like a glowing cuttlefish when she's underwater. Her design inspiration is an axolotl (gills / tail / general vibe), and Toothless (teeth / wide mouth). She has a short, wide snout.
Xalma wears a simple dress made of leaves and a shell necklace (which she made herself). She spends most of her time swimming, but when she's on land she alternates between walking on her hind legs or scampering quickly on all fours. Her hands and feet are webbed. She has loosely spaced baby teeth and a large mouth. She is an excellent swimmer and all her favorite foods are extremely poisonous.
Xalma character inspiration on Pinterest (neotenous)
After transforming, Xalma is 1.85m (6') tall. She's black with bright red stripes, claws and horns. She has gills hidden under a neckplate. Her eyes remain huge and green, but her bioluminescence is replaced with an ability to smoulder like coals or literally catch on fire. When she does, her eyes glow white. She can raise and lower her spikes. She is completely bipedal as an adult.
This drawing of Xalma is by Krimmins.
Xalma's clothing as an adult has not been decided.
Rover is designed for rapid adaptation and interfacing with multiple species. Their age and personality are a mystery.
They are described as 'a sketch of an Insect'. Rover is all white with red, unblinking eyes and two simple wings. They are the same size as Edge (1m tall). This drawing of Rover is by Magma Doodle.
After transforming, Rover becomes Sole. They choose to present as a mixture of all the sentient species. Sole is white with red eyes rimmed in long white lashes. They have fur all over their body, and feathers from the crown of their head to the small of their back. Sole's hands and feet are webbed, and they have a webbed tail. They also retain iridescent insect wings (two pairs, like a damselfly, which can be folded when not in use), and moth-like antennae.
Direct quote from the book:
"The upgraded rover was still white, but their soft fur and feathers had a rainbow sheen. They had webbed hands and feet, and a finned tail. Two sets of shimmering Insect wings sprouted from their feathered back. Their eyes, while still red, blinked behind long white lashes, and two moth-like antennae sprouted from a shock of feathers on top of their head."
Sole does not wear clothes. They are genderless.
Mahali is an Avian exile who lives in Ruins outside Cowrie. He is inspired by an owl. He wears rags of what was once a nice robe, tied by a sash, and rags wrapped around his feet.
Mahali character inspiration on Pinterest
Mary is an anthro Insect based on the American Burying Beetle. She has big mandibles for digging. She does not wear clothes.
Mary character inspiration on Pinterest
Insects are large, sentient anthropods who can act as a superorganism (a Hive Mind). They live in Hive, a massive, ancient complex on Far Crescent. They are approximately the same size as sapiens, and they sometimes wear small adornments like sashes or jewelry.
Since Insect language does not include spoken words, names are communicated through movement and scent, so it's appropriate to draw them dancing.
While Insects have similar body types to ‘regular’ insects, they are bipedal.
Common body types:
Insect design ideas on Pinterest
North Crescent Wildlife
The wild animals who live on Crescent Island are plant hybrids. They can be interpreted quite loosely, as long as it's obvious that they are part animal, part plant.
Here are the names of the species in book one:
Bramblemare - a deer/tree cross. These are solitary unless they're raising young. Males are very territorial.
Junelope - a bunny/bush cross, occupying warrens of around 10 families.
Nettlecrow - a bird/wildflower cross that lives in large, noisy flocks.
Vinecats - In the north, these are the feline fruit of the catvine, and when they mature, they are released from their vines to mate, laying seeds for more catvines. In the south, sapiens have domesticated the vinecat, preventing it from ever maturing, so that the animals can be perpetually juiced to make food for the growing sapien population.
Froggles - frog/rock/mushroom creatures who live in the mountain pools around Grotto Ridge.
Rockmice - These are just mice who live in rocks. They also eat rocks, so their teeth are pronounced.
Thornwolves - a predator that spans the island, with several subspecies. The northern thornwolf is a canine/thornbush cross that travels in small family units and primarily hunts junelopes and bramblemares. In the rainforest, jungle thornwolves travel in larger, more coordinated packs, can climb trees, and they grow to enormous sizes. These are more like a cross between a tropical thornbush and a fossa. There are desert, urban, sea and swamp thornwolves, too, but they are not in the first book.
Jackbears - A cross between a jackfruit and a bear. They have rough, exposed skin on their faces and paws, and they smell. Like Thornwolves, there are subspecies across Crescent Island, but they only vary in size (the further south you go, the bigger they get.) They are onmivores who will eat anything they can find or catch, and they maintain large territories with an overlapping mutual zone where they will come together for company or to find a mate.
Wildlife of North Crescent
Inspired by the boreal forests of northern Canada, the valley is a quiet, secluded area surrounding a glacial lake, with active thermal vents scattered throughout the region's waterways.
Valley design ideas on Pinterest
An ancient underground lake where The Child Queen lives. The Grotto has two entrances on opposite sides of the mountains surrounding the valley. The main entrance is a large, ornate stone arch carved directly into the rock of the mountain. It opens on a very long passage that leads to the lake. A huge stone dock extends from the entranceway to the ocean.
The back entrance is hidden in a swamp in the valley. A stone courtyard leads to a smaller cave entrance guarded by two ancient statues. A long flight of stairs leads down to the lake, which is bordered by a tiled floor and surrounded by pillars shaped like trees. The cave itself is lit with bioluminescent fungi and plants, and the lake itself is filled with bioluminescent life. Xalma has been creating elaborate works of art, buildings, and other structures at the bottom of the lake for generations.
In the center of the lake are several small islands which serve as the rooms of a house. These are covered with modern items, which Xalma doesn’t use. There are also many locked bookshelves.
The Grotto design ideas on Pinterest
An ancient glacial melt system that has eroded complex channels from the mountains and down through the bedrock of the island to the lake in the middle of the valley. The canyon is a useful hiding place for outcasts.
Canyon design ideas on Pinterest
Hive is where the Insects live. It's on the northernmost tip of the island, and looks like a scatter of jewel and dome shaped crystal buildings scattered across the land between the mountains and the ocean. At night, it glows in many colors.
Hive design ideas on Pinterest
Cowrie is in the rainforest. The buildings look like they were grown directly into the trees and out of the bushes. There are a lot of different plants and trees. It's eternally gloomy, and lit with solar-electric lamps. While the jungle city of Cowrie is safe, the surrounding jungles are full of feirce and dangerous animals.
Cowrie design ideas on Pinterest
An underwater city created by the Amphs in Cowrie to house the neos stolen from Marrow.
Dwarka design ideas on Pinterest
The southern city-state city formed by sapiens after Tsoci banishes them. A dystopian solar-punk society ruled by corrupt politicians and greedy technocrats.
Marrow is a walled city-state ten times larger than Beijing. It occupies the entire southern tip of the island. The city is divided into three main rings and surrounded by mechanized farms.
The upper ring is the most affluent and least polluted part of the city, and sits at the top of a natural plateau overlooking the ocean. It is surrounded by the inner ring, a factory district (which is actually shaped more like half a donut).
Beyond the inner ring are the homes and businesses of the lower ring. It has the highest population density, and is where most of the Forax live. This ring occupies the largest area of the three, and sprawls for a great distance. Individual neighbourhoods are confined to walled 'pods', controlled communities where sapiens of similar economic and social status live.
Marrow has an overall solar-punk aesthetic, but there are a lot of different architectural styles, and different areas are in varying states of disrepair. While structures and decor in the upper ring are relatively well maintained, many areas are retrofit with cobbled together, often unsafe upgrades. The climate also varies from area to area, with the factory district being heavily polluted and prone to smog, and the upper ring generally experiencing much nicer weather.