(All Worldbuilding Wednesday posts are here, and as always, you can ask questions about this or any other Parhelionverse thing on the Tumblr blog! These posts aren’t necessary to understand the comic, but they might be handy for summarizing context.)
(Adapted from an exhibit in the Parangya Museum of Cultural History, “Who Are the Zlotl?”)
Zlotl hail from the marshy continents of Umsaa, with an extensive network of cities above and below water. Our hospitality and medical prowess are known throughout the galaxy, but where did we come from, and how did we get here?
Here, we have a rendering of the earliest known sapient zlotl:
Umsaa has few plants suitable for textiles, and our species’ flexible endocrine system made it much easier to simply manifest chitinous plating with the right mix of herbs. Archaeological records from this era are sporadic, but it is likely that zlotl of this era devised crude biological castes, and showed the first stirrings of artistic creativity.