The Trilobites are aquatic arthropod folk who were made by the Mother as her first brood of Children. As such, they are also often referred to as 'The First' or 'The Ancients' to those who follow such matters, mostly other insect folk and those who worship the Mother.
They look a little like trilobites in point of fact, except that they stood up on two legs. Well, several legs, their bodies going in an awkward seeming J shape so that their legs continued uninterrupted from bottom of the J (legs) to near the top of it (arms), the 'arm' legs being longer and capable of manipulating objects. Of course they possessed the trilobite shell, but it seemed to be hollow, or mostly hollow anyway... a home for the creature rather than a container for it's entire body. The place where the head would emerge from the shell normally was nothing but a black abyss, with a pair of antenna poking out and a pair of compound eyes being barely visible.
This shell is often mistaken, or compared to a hood that covers the face, and trails down to the ground. In general, it is somewhat bizarre, but also a little mysterious. Many a person has endeavored to find out just what a Trilobite looks like without a shell! As a rather mysterious side effect of this, many Trilobites identify others by clothes or outer garments and the like rather than facial features and such, meaning that they are quite easy to confuse with an outfit change.
None yet, except for hatching. And being the first sentient race to walk the universe, but most that do not view insects in a high light would either deny the fact, or state they were nothing more than walking fossils compared to the REAL races.
After their hatching, a lot happened to the trilobites... none of it particularly good I must say. It is a credit to their species that they have both survived with their lives, and their positive outlooks despite all the strife they have face. Perhaps the most devastating thing to ever happen to the trilobites was the advent of the Skimmers... these metallic creatures were practically designed to kill trilobites by Aaviz, and killed many of them to create more of their kind from their flesh. After this, the mind flayers came into being, which also began to fed on their kind, though far less enthusiastically and to not such a great extend as they did the naga... the mind flayers eventually learned to farm, meaning the trilobites were hunted far less often on that front. The problem with the Skimmers remains however, the introduction of creatures that fed off of metal merely creating a status quo of neutral trilobite numbers, any population increase beyond the incredibly slight culled by the metal beasts.
It was not all bad however... the trilobites made firm friends with the Bryofites, finding a common cause in the danger the Skimmers caused to both of their people. Unfortunately, during a visit to their Hive by the Byrofites, the World Warp struck, leading to calamity all around... the visiting Bryofites were cut off from the city, while the trilobites... were thrust into their own kind of hell.
The DW (During Warp) Era was even more harsh to the trilobites than the BW (Before Warp) one... one can only hope that the Post Warp Era will be more kind to them. The darkness of the DW was oppressive, and not unbroken... for the Zero Zone Beasts, ever hungering, having not taste reality for who knew how long found a tasty meal in many trilobite expeditions, only the film of reality surrounding the Hive protecting them from outright extinction. In response to this new threat, the trilobites learned planar psionics... but this would not be valuable to them unless the Zero Zone Beasts, gods forbid, pierced the film of reality and entered the Hive. Until the land outside the Hive was beyond the Zero Zone, the trilobites would not be able to leave for fear of destruction.
And so, the story of the trilobites continues...
Primarily, the Trilobites live within the Hive. Though Trilobites are adept swimmers, and swim in order to hunt small marine animals and graze on sea plants, they do require air, and cannot sleep in the water as their shells make them too heavy to float. However, the storms of Cuthlet are too strong to rest in even if they could find land, and staying in the open too long is nearly a death sentence for a Trilobite, as though they rely on the land, they are quite clumsy and slow on it. As such, the sheltered and relatively safe environment of the Hive makes a perfect nest for them, especially open caverns that have openings directly into water tunnels that lead to the ocean. Some Trilobites even make their homes in wind tunnels or use monsoon tunnels are an emergency exit, as their shells are so heavy and protective the winds cause little harm. Trilobites seldom make their home in Heart Tree forests though, as they are too full of giant ants and other predators, and they avoid the Twisted Hive as they rely on static entrances and exits to the ocean for survival.
Trilobite society is rather simplistic, which again lends credence to the notion that they're nothing but crude living fossils that don't deserve the title of 'The First'. However, they have little hope for more than mental cultural advances, as their arms are too awkward to perform fine-motor functions.
First, in terms of technology, Trilobites rarely use more than nature gives them. The sea is one of the few natural environments that provides ample food all year round, and so they have no real reason to gather food for the winter or to develop more effective hunting techniques. They do, however, have knowledge of art, writing, fire, and some measure of craftmanship. Often their walls are decorated with drawings and writings of the tribe from generations of Trilobites. However, as said above, their arms are awkward, and so when a Trilobite bothers to make a building (more for ceremony than practicality as they usually dwell in caves) it is usually a rounded one made of mud and with little fine detail. The same could be said of Trilobite totems and other decorations they make. The Trilobites are not, however, unarmed. They make rather deadly weapons from stone, mud, shells, and whatever other materials they can find. Such weapons are rather strange to five-fingered folk, comprising mostly of sharp throwing rocks with grooves to fit into multiple segmented arms for better throwing, or kherim, and serrated edged 'blade gloves' or kharash designed to fit multiple arms into a single glove. The throwing rocks aren't really thrown however, as a Trilobite doesn't possess the upper body strength to do so... rather, they're thrown through a Trilobites natural telekinetic powers. A Trilobite usually responds to threats by fleeing however, unless it has young or irreplaceable valuables to protect.
In terms of government and culture, Trilobite society could best be described as tribal or ancestor worship. It's unknown why, but unless they die due to predation or accident (or gross sacrifice of health such as morbid obesity), every trilobite lives to be exactly 1000 years old. After this point, they perspire. The older a Trilobite, the more power they have, to the extent that the oldest Trilobite is more or less the chief of their tribe. Once a Trilobite dies, the flesh inside of their shell is hollowed out and burned, before the shell itself is cleaned out and put in display in the clan home. It is considered an extreme form of disrespect to burn or break someone's shell after death, so much so that it is a punishment reserved for traitors, mass murderers, and the like. Once a Trilobite tribe has amassed too many shells to keep conveniently in the main tribal chambers, all the shells are moved to a special burial chamber (differing from tribe to tribe) to rest forever more, before accruing new shells from the more recently deceased.
Trilobites are aquatic creatures through and through. Not only do they swim to hunt and feed, they also swim for leisure. Of course, a lot of times they are required to stay back at the nest for guard duty, to tend to the young and so forth, but whenever they are not on duty, or sleeping, it's a safe bet to say a Trilobite is out swimming. Here, they are elegant, and swift, quite unlike how they are on land. A Trilobite even finds a mate in water, performing acrobatic swimming stunts to impress a female, bringing her treasures of the deep and crafted objects to win her favor. When a Trilobite and Trilobitett love each other very much, they return to land, and scuttle off to an abandoned chamber so that the male and female can... lay eggs, allowing the male to fertilize them. Trilobites mate for life, though they rarely have more than one or two batches of eggs. Don't think there's no fun in being with a female however: the antenna of a Trilobite are extremely sensitive, and when brushed against a sexually-appealing partner's antenna, becomes the equivalent of an erogenous zone.
Trilobites are incredibly psionically receptive, so much so that supernatural mental abilities are merely a part of day to day life to them. A Trilobite is as likely to communicate telepathically as it is to speak... indeed, they prefer it, due to the odd shape of their mouths and the fact the noises they make within it are muffled by their shell. It's also a handy way of communicating underwater. Telepathy isn't the only use for their psionic power, however -- it's also used to aid in hunting by paralyzing the target, then drawing it in, or swimming over to it to consume or gather up to take back to the tribe. It's also a powerful weapon of defense, and it is the real power behind their odd "throwing" rocks.
Trilobites, as noted above, verify others by appearance of clothing and the like more than anything else. As such, they often name each other the same way. While it may be considered rude in our society to call each other Hard Shell, Missing a Leg or Big Antenna, that's how Trilobites actually name each other. As such, a Trilobites name can change throughout it's life, though some go to measures to pick their names by, for example, painting a red streak on the back of it's shell so others will call it Red or Red Streak, because it likes that name.
Names: Big Eyes, Scar, Muscular, Slightly Askew Head Segment
Unfortunately, Trilobites are too physically awkward to be a PC race of any merit. However, they do tend towards psiconic classes, as it fits their natural talents nicely. A Trilobite psion is a powerful force, though they tend towards immobilizing foes so they can escape more than to crushing them with their psychic powers. Trilobites also like to be primal classes, as fits their affinity to the natural power of the ocean, and bards, as singing is rather enjoyed in their culture, even if not so much as a good swim.
Planar Psionics: After the World Warp, the trilobites were besieged by other worldly horrors known as the Zero Zone Beasts. After discovering this, the Mother taught the trilobites how to defend themselves from other worldly threats, by building on their already formidable psionic powers.
Planar Psionics is a rather tricky branch of power, most notably because unlike Arcane magic, Psionics cannot be used to travel or effect the planes, at least directly.However, planar psionics breaks those rules... with a lot of trickiness of course! But the first thing you need to know about planar psionics is that it works off the concept of 'home'. Every creature has a home, both a place where they were born, and a place where they are ultimately from. Planar psionics uses the latter form of feeling. How often has an orphan from another country felt somehow out of place amongst their adopted parents, even when raised there their whole lives and having no idea of the truth? It is clear that even in the case of a creature having no idea where they are from, they can still SENSE their place of origin. Planar psionics uses these feelings as a power source, mentally attacking the enemy using this tiny feeling as a seed. In the case of someone in, say, another town, the feeling is so small that mental attacks using it would only equate to a headache. In the case of being in another country, it's actual reasonably effective in combat. If the creature is from another PLANE, then that power becomes so potent that it puts all but the most powerful of psionics and magics to shame. As such, this is PERFECT for dealing with foes invading the world from another plane of existence, though not really practical for day to day fighting.
There is a flip side to the coin that is planar psionics however... though it has been examined in an offensive capacity, it has yet to be so in a defensive or utility one. As was stated above, planar psionics is one of the few psionic disciplines that can actually travel the planes... it does not do so in the same way as arcane magic does however. The planes have a, for want of a better term, 'film' attached to them. This film is what stops the planes from blending together. Arcane magic, and some other psionic disciplines travel the planes by creating a teleport effect that starts in one plane, and ends in another, bypassing the impassable film entirely. Some places where planes merge together is where the film is weak, peeling away so that creatures may wander through. However, whenever a creature DOES pass through the film of a plane, they carry a bit of it with them, covered in invisible, oozing plane stuff. Planar psionics manipulates this film, returning it from whence it came. In doing so, they can banish the creature covered in the film back to its home plane, or 'ride' the film back to the other side. It is also possible to 'part' the film temporarily, creating an effect not unlike a planar portal, though not as flashy or as taxing, with the downside of not being quite so wide or reliable. Parting the film is frowned upon however among trilobite society, as doing so may weaken the fabric between the planes, though no conclusive evidence of such has been found. 'Refusing' the film, however, is consider a trilobites sacred duty, wherever the film has been punched through or weakened.
(Coming some other time)