mothfaced Cloud Giant has stuck out in my head for a while now and this would be a baller place to use it. Some kind of silent (because doesn't breathe with lungs) robed ascetic, 12 feet tall. Real cool for the PCs to find in the driver's seat of some bizarre metallic dungeon in the middle of a crater.
(Also, relevant to the campaign: I had named a location Puzzle Tower a while back to sow the seeds of just setting off into the jungle to explore, and later when it worked I realized there was actually nothing there, so the ship became long and thin and half buried vertically in a swamp. I really only spend a lot of thinking time on things I plan to be able to use, so its place in my world informed some of the thinking later:see below)
Also this and this and maybe this? and the second part of false machine's this joined the slow roasting redesign soup and eventually I had a dream about giant pale green moth samurai floating down from the moon, their feathery antennae wafting in the air. Add that they are watching the sleeping people and maybe helping them sleep? helping them dream. watching them sleepwalk about their business as usual. so thank you all, no further design needed
But wait, how shall they engage in the play of things??? you say. Well alright
They're silent but telepathic (and I mean for real telepathy, like psychic. No radio waves here) and generally peace loving so the discussion and broadcast of ideas is vurry vurry popular - on the moon. They do not breathe in the normal way and in fact do not need to breathe at all. They are sustained by the ideas themselves. They have fluffy skin and wear long robes which keep them warm as they migrate along with the shadowed portion of the moon each month. They do not understand why terrestrial creatures don't make a similar trek, and similarly why they do not burn up in direct sunlight. All strange mysteries, hotly debated among the craters
the Tycho Symposium
So they love ideas so much but are always sharing their own and as a race are bored or can't get sustenance from them anymore. They travel down to the multihued orb above their homes, hooking their minds together like a series of parallel processors to design and calculate spaceflight missions to collect the thoughts of the natives. Eventually they get bored of the humdrum thoughts of everyday life and begin spying on them at night, when they seem to do a weird thing where they stop moving for several *orbital period percentages* and create vivid thoughts that seem to be a mash of various other thoughts. To the giants this is like a delicious but novel salad - often familiar ingredients in an unusual mixture. These dreams quickly became the currency of fashion among them, rapidly leading to varying castes and economic classes. For the first time in their history the great soup of shared thought became quieter as members hid away to exchange valuable dreams away from eavesdroppers and riffraff. They started crafting swords for themselves, because moth samurai are to good to pass up.
Dreamers with particularly fanciful dreams are highly prized, and many are the morning they will wake to find shreds of greenish fur and pale feathery bits on their lawn - the sign of a territory feud between two dream giants. The giants' limited understanding about breathing and pressure means the dreamers are safe from kidnapping - the first few tat were tried suffocated or exploded so the giants have agreed not to do that kind of thing anymore. The sleepwalking thing is still troubling, though - unscrupulous giants will use their telepathy to suggest to dreamers to get up and walk, gathering together in a field or some such place away from nocturnal eyes, so a small group of giants might harvest all of their dreams at once, They are usually caught by the giant police after only a couple nights, but occasionally a community will find themselves waking in a peat bog two miles from town everyday for a month. This farming behavior is looked down on but is the most efficient way to gather new thoughts for the people. How then to proceed????
(this is where my campaign rears its burgeoning head.)
An artificial replacement for humans would be ideal. No reliance on a foreign race, no resorting to ugly farming to meet demand. Luckily an idea had been making the rounds regarding a particular dusty ore found on the planet below. It was still not fully understood by the natives, but they knew that its dust would cause madness if inhaled - hallucinations and extreme emotional swings, sometimes permanent. This seemed to do the trick, but now to get it.
(thus the long vertical ship is in fact a drill, or the casing of a drill, long descended into the earth. It has some sort of link still with the moon in order to transport the ore directly from the site to the refinery. It has broken into a cavern of madness ore thralls and perhaps slaad-to-be. It carries resources and technology from another world, and has a slightly creepy magical intelligence aboard to help the crew, who it actually viciously killed in order to fully make the reference.
So now dead moth giants lie in a ruined tower full of science bits and a tunnel deep downward to an ore patch, where sleepwalking spelunkers and semi-slaad cultists fight with escaped pets and specimens in a big cavern. Sounds like a place I want to keep the door down
we can talk about their fractal eyes and things particular to having them but i forgot til now so that stuff was left out of THE VISION so sorry so sorry
looking back at this i realize it has become a bizarre commentary on environmental policies going from animal farming to fossil fuel exploitation but it's all jumbled and i don't understand so sorry it's five a.m.
more to follow