A floran is a humanoid plant-like creature, with some look-alike features of humans and other humanoid species but with a totally different internal structure.
They are totally genderless in the meaning of reproduction, not requiring sexual intercourse at all, instead simply sprouting, once a floran has been fertilized to drop a seed. But despite this reality, some florans may stereotypically look more masculine than feminine and vice versa.
There are no parental figures in the floran culture and as such, the Greenfinger is the authority figure of the tribe. Florans always respect the Greenfinger that protects the tribe, regardless of their age or experience, for respect among the florans is awarded to those who show strength. The only exception, are the Greenfingers themselves, who are valued among their people above all others, for their skills and more.
Hunters are regarded highly by their peers. One of the most notable hunters is Nuru, one of the youngest hunters to ever win the sacred hunt. She was awarded the Sacred Bone, one of six artifacts gifted to six different species in the universe. This artifact is the tool that gifted the first ever Greenfinger, its powers.
Many Greenfingers lack strength, and as such use their cunning to appear strong. Outsmarting others and paying close attention to the shifting hierarchy in the tribe, allows them to get ahead of the influential florans among them. But there is still a powerful kinship among a tribe, considering a whole settlement to be a single family unit.
Florans have a reputation of being mindless savages, seen as cannibals. This is an image every Greenfinger tries to avoid by discouraging such tendencies, along with avoid fights with other tribes. But if it is inevitable, the Greenfinger encourages the florans to grow the size of the tribe, to reproduce and grow, as there is safety in numbers. Greenfingers are also responsible for educating everyone in their tribes, teaching them to read, write and other disciplines, although it's still not in quality as one would imagine if compared with humans, for example.
Florans like a diet based on meat, even if that depends on killing other humanoid species. They do this as many of them lack understanding about how "fleshy people" are capable of intelligence or emotion. They simply cannot empathise with flesh-based species in the same way other species cannot empathise with a blade of grass. For them, the game of the hunt doesn't hurt, or at least not on a level they can comprehend. But it is not futile to educate them in that regard. It is a well documented fact that florans can learn how other species are sentient just as they are, being intelligent and capable of complex emotions.
The typical floran does not have patience to create technology more advanced than basic weapons and armour, so it's up to the Greenfinger to assist them. Only one Greenfinger is born among a whole tribe, gifted with the abilities to mentally manipulate plants. By connecting with plants, the Greenfingers can interface directly with machinery and computers, letting them reverse engineer technology so that the average floran can use it comfortably.
Florans are capable of processing carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen during photosynthesis like any plant is, this process is what maintains their green color. Like any plant, however, they do require oxygen where they take in oxygen and give off carbon dioxide. A Floran requires photosynthesis to maintain the green coloration and also to take vitamins much like the mammals, being just as vital, but they are also able to live from eating meat without any sunlight or artificial equivalent for extended periods of time, as long as they regularly get sunbathed later on. Other sources of edible nourishment can also be used, with photosynthesis being only a less efficient alternative.
A Floran cannot exist without oxygen, though can exist in a significantly lower-oxygen atmosphere for longer than a human so long as there is adequate exposure of their cells to sunlight and their nutritional needs are met (water, nitrates, phosphates, and similar compounds). This is because in sufficient sunlight their body can naturally produce oxygen, though eventually their oxygen saturation will drop to dangerous levels if there is no ambient oxygen.
Skin and leaves
The skin is actually only the exterior of the stem, having texture similar to the one of leaves but much more smoothed out instead of groovy and irregular. Some places, such as the hands, feet and face, have rigid structure, like the stem of actual plants. This stiffness does not grant very good flexibility, limiting the kind of facial expressions that a floran can make, as well as the gestures that can be done with the mouth
A very primitive form of muscles do exist in florans, although those are more similar to how carnivore plants are capable of closing their traps. They have a structure of muscular fibers that work for mobility, as well as giving a very strong structure for the floran, as they don’t have bones made of collagen and calcium. This is a form of pseudo exoskeleton and have a darker tint if compared to the skin, often being exposed on areas like the knees, fingers, feet and face, as those are very active joints.
The sap is the fluid circulating in the body, with a similar purpose as blood in other humanoid species. For “female” florans, the sap have a cycle of seven days, which is when it is expelled through the glands on the chest. After 28 days, the sap on the body is entirely new and the sap that used to circulate in the body before that 28 days period, was fully expelled. It is called the period of new sap, or new blood. The sap that was expelled is rich in the same nutrients that makes the rest of her body and can be extracted to be given to a floran sprout or to be used in products, such as in medicine treatments. Because of the potential of this sap, Aiana extracts and saves the sap on vessels to later give them to the medical team, as she does not have any sprouts of herself to take care of. The sap glands are the responsible for producing the sap, as well as expelling it through the nipple.
For “male” florans, the sap renovation cycle is much longer, usually following the seasonal cycle of the planet they were born. This is due the fact those florans don’t produce an excess of sap in the same rate as the other florans such as Aiana.
Head and Neck
Aiana’s hair have long foliage going as far as the upper back, with a natural purple tint and a red flower that sprouted from the right side of her head. Her eyes are dark brown and, while it works similarly to human eyes, the composition is different, resembling the outer part of an aged tree log but with a thin layer of a solidified resin that protects the inside of the eye. The pupils are big and can expand only horizontally, similar to how feline eyes work.
There is no nose, as the respiration is done on the entire skin and leaves, leaving only a place where the nose would be found on other humanoid species.
The mouth have no separation between lips and teeth, being one for both purposes and having no flexibility for sounding consonants, leaving that for the trachea, similar to how parrots make their sounds. This unique way of making sounds, makes the floran sound very distinguishable from other humanoid species, often sounding raspy and hissing, something that takes a lot of training for any floran to avoid.
Their hearing is notably different from other humanoids, having a different ear structure that may vary depending on the floran. For Alana, they look pointy, like elven ears.
Aiana’s voice is high pitched but with a bit of a bassy frequency in the middle, sounding very distinguishable. The raspy nature of the voice makes it hard to identify as humanoid by automatic systems but can change to a more natural and human-ish kind of voice with enough training and experience, which is how her voice sounds right now. High pitched and sounding more like it’s coming from a child instead of an adult.
Torso and Arms
Aiana’s overall body looks stereotypically feminine and her upper body is a visible evidence of this.
Her respiration is also different from humanoids, not requiring lungs, as she can simply extract the carbon dioxide from the environment through her skin, totally removing the respiratory cycle of inhalation and exhalation. The only exception, is for when she is talking. In that case, a large chamber on where would be the heart, inflates and deflates as required for talking. It is completely closed when Aiana is eating something. The space where the lungs would be, is taken by the sap glands, making the glands some of the largest organs in the floran biology for the “female” florans, with the glands many times growing to out of the ribcage, with the exposed extension taking shape of humanoid breasts in appearance, including the nipples. For “male” florans, those glands don’t grow as much and stay fully contained in the ribcage
There is a pump on each side of her torso, connected to the top of each sap gland. Those two pumps make the sap circulate in her body much like blood circulate in a humanoid body and have capillaries connecting to every limb in the body. This makes the sap flow from the glands, around the body and back to the glands in a cycle that takes seven days. The sap that returns to the glands is not pumped back to the body, instead being stored on the glands to be expelled at the end of the seven days cycle.
Her arms are made of the same stem as the rest of the body, with comparable form as to humanoid arms because of how the muscles are structured, giving the exact same mobility and agility on the joints and hand. The forearms also have some foliage around them, of the same color as the rest of the foliage, such as in her head
As for the hands, the fingers are pointy and can be sharpened because of their hard and stiff nature, working like claws if done so. Each of the hands have four digits and one opposing digit, working in the same way as fingers and thumb.
The lower torso has an organ responsible for breaking down the components of what is ingested and then filter between what the body will assimilate and circulate through sap, and what will be expelled as dust through the pores. This organ has the same purpose as the stomach and is full of a corrosive fluid, responsible for the digestion. In cases of self defense, a floran can spit this fluid to cause intoxication.
Covering the sap glands, there is a large leaf starting from the lower end of the neck and covering the entire upper body, being of the same length as the ribcage, including the volume made by the sap glands.
Pelvis and legs
Serving the same purpose as other humanoid legs but with the difference that the skin does not cover the knees, being one of the few areas of the body that have the muscles exposed. Buttcheeks have the same format, as well as the hips, thighs and calf. There is no urethra or anus, as it is not necessary to expel waste from the body in that way. All the nourishment is properly assimilated and what is not used, is stored on the chest glands instead in form of sap. The rest is broken down and expelled through the pores in form of dust.
The lower end of the shins have foliage in the same way as the forearms, also of the same coloration.
The feet are plantigrade shaped, having the same structure of five toes, heels and sole, allowing the florans to wear the same kind of footwear as humans. The toes have a similar shape as the fingers, being pointy and able to be sharpened.
Although the florans do not have sexual dimorphism, all of them require a second floran for the creation of viable seeds. They have both sexual organs and a mechanism that prevents self insemination. The seeds then become sprouts, then sapplings and finally break from the rooted stage to wandering stage, usually assisted by the Greenfinger of the tribe.
Florans take twenty seasonal cycles to fully mature, usually tied to the seasonal cycle of the planet they live. In the twentieth cycle, the first spring is when the floran can produce and let out, airborne pollen if they are in emotional ecstasy, such as after being successful in the hunt or when having quality time with a partner. The twentieth seasonal cycle is when the floran resemble a 12-year old human by comparison, being a species that age much slower than humans, as an example.
The airborne pollen is fluorescent, calling a lot of attention during the night and resembling the leaves fall during autumn during the day, calling a lot of attention for the floran that is letting it out, being signal that any floran that comes to touch one of the pollen bits and is also in their spring phase, will be fertilized.
The first stage after being fertilized, is the flower stage. While many florans have sprouted permanent flowers on their heads, there is a different species of flower that sprouts after fertilization and it is from this flower, that the second stage will begin, which is the berry stage. Those berries look like smaller strawberries and is how the seeds are stored. The third stage is the ripe, which is when those berries are big enough to be harvested. If they aren't, they would eventually fall on their own but until then, they cause some discomfort on the floran, similar to an itch. The itch immediately stops once the berry is collected.
After the seed is planted, there are a few stages the floran will go through. First is the sprout stage, which takes one season to become a sappling and one more to break from the roots and become the wandering stage, developing legs and now being able to walk around. This floran would then find a tribe that can take care of them, unless the sprout was already inside the tribe's village. Florans can cultivate their own kin in places equivalent to nurseries. Because they have no family structure other than the tribe, once the floran reach wanderer stage, the Greenfinger is the only authority figure that floran will ever know, with the other florans possibly being only educators.