Vatu, Mingal shapeshifter, has the pale blue-green tone of her kind. The nubs on her head become translucent in moonlight. White corn-silk hair fluffs around them, silver at night.
Vatu’s native planet, Mingal, is a dim dark place of shadow, a constant blue-toned dusk. Life’s activities are engaged in throughout elaborate cave systems above and below the sea.
Most creatures on this world swim as easily as they walk or climb, or fly. Plants on land resemble tall undersea kelps and corals, adapting to either sea or land. Low gravity allows children bound easily up rock structures or eight feet fronds from an early age. But for all the agility and excellent musculature, the high moisture content of the air means the lung systems of Mingaleans are easily compromised in many other planets’ atmospheres.
Until recently, education on Mingal has been largely a matter of prodigious memory, sentience having developed early in the civilizations’ histories. Warm, dry caverns nearer the planet core now provide ample space for storage and proliferation of advanced technologies.
Vatu is of the Seron, a slightly built, agile race with eyesight perfectly adapted to the low luminosity of Mingal. They cooperate well with the heavily built Chechons, who adapted similarly to both land and water. Chechons, though, do most of the building, even chiseling into mountainsides with their massive teeth. Tools are limited to handheld for the most part; neither group wants to trample on their landscape with power tools that might disrupt the delicate eco-systems of their world. Environmental scientists abound among the Seron. In fact, they could be called priests, for the planet itself is their spirituality.
The ability among some Serons to shapeshift—a talent developed as a survival skill, glamouring self and others’ to appear as something else—is taken for granted, as much as is reading others’ minds.