It is unknown where the word "kull" came from, but it is thought to be related to the Gaale word kule, meaning "solid".
Kull do not have an internal skeleton made of cartilage like the majority of other animals on Larine. Instead, kull have evolved thick outer shells primarily made of calcium and silicon, giving their shells a somewhat metallic sheen. Kull organs are relatively simple: a small brain, a heart that pumps quickly, gill slits that filter water, and a relatively undiscerning digestive system.
Most species of kull use their small limbs to bring food to their simple mouthparts. Every kull has two grasping forearms that are most often used to hold on to rocks or drifting shuulua when they sleep.
SpeciesEditThere are thought to be over 100 different types of kull. The most common are listed here:
- Common kull: This is the most common species of kull on Larine. It is a herring-sized and unremarkable species, pink-to-off-tan in color. This filter-feeding species schools all across Larine, dining on plankton. It is the primary food source of the Ashkathi and to most other small predatory species on Larine, and outsiders who have tasted this species find the taste to be somewhere between shrimp and lobster.
- Pygmy kull: The smallest species of kull on record, pygmy kull are rougly the size of anchovies, and have a deep purple shell. This filter-feeding species is primarily found in the sand banks around Mount Faltaraan.
- Spined kull: This larger species of kull is known for the spiky shell on its back, to protect itself from predators. It mainly feeds on bottom-feeding invertebrates like the rutamani.
- Darthead kull: The large darthead kull is well-known in the shuulua forests of Larine, both for its striking green coloration and the prominent horn on the front of its shell. Despite its fearsome appearance, the darthead kull is a peaceful herbivore that only eats shuulua fronds. The horn is used to establish dominance in schools and compete for mates.
- Slender kull: The slender kull is small, grey, and as its name establishes, rather skinny for a kull. It lives among the rocks of the shuulua forest and dines on the roots of growing shuulua.
- Boulder kull: The largest species of kull on record lives in the Rakanabii Highlands of northern Larine. It is roughly the size of a basketball, and as its name implies, its shell resembles a boulder, which it uses to its advantage: when attacked by predators, its rolls up into a ball and disguises itself as a rock. Potential enemies are unable to break through the boulder kull's tough shell.
- Beach kull: The only amphibious species of kull lives near the beaches of Mount Faltaraan. Unlike other species of kull, this otherwise small and unassuming species is able to crawl up on land in order to lay its eggs and dig in the sand for nutrients. It is a scavenger, eating corpses that have washed up on the beach. Despite its semi-terrestrial lifestyle, it breathes water and must keep itself moist in order to survive.
- Bottomfeeder kull: This dark-shelled species is kull is located on the outskirts of the Gaaka trench. Like the beach kull, the bottomfeeder kull feeds on almost anything that it can find, preferring carrion and dead shuulua fronds. However, it is often preyed upon by juvenile gaaka-den.
- Extravagant kull: This is one of the smaller species of kull. With a shell that lights up in the ultraviolet spectrum, it is often considered beautiful by various Ashkathi cultures.
Kull in cultureEdit
The kull is one of the most important figures in Ashkathi folklore, being the subject of the Great Hunt. The Fifth Tenet of Ashkathism glorifies the Hunt as a sacred pact between the kull and the Ashkathi. Kull often feature into traditional Ashkathi folk stories like "Why Torra Chases the Kull".