The Tril are a non-humaoid race resembling a disc-shaped spiral of tendrils. They are one of the few non-human races who build Darkships and travel the universe. Tril are more remarkable still since they usually get along with humans and find them amusing, both of which seem to be mutual feelings.
Tril resemble a flattened disc that is formed of tubular tendrils. Some spacers call them “Lollipops”, both for their shape and highly varied coloration.
Young Tril begin life as a small cluster of eyes with three radiating tendril “arms”. These tubular arms divide into smaller “arms” of feathery tendrils, becoming ever more fine until they become “hands” and feather-like “fingers”. The fingers and hands can be retracted into the tubular arms, which in turn can be retracted into the body.
The disc-shaped Tril can “stand” on edge, using their outermost radius as a foot, freeing their arms to manipulate tools. They can also roll on edge at incredible speeds, tucking their arms against their bodies.
By using their arms to climb a tree or other tall edifice, Tril can hurl themselves into the aether and fly or glide like a “frisbee”.
“Mommy, Daddy, throw meee!”
The central “core” (head) of a Tril is incredibly tough and nearly impervious to damage. The skin is harder than steel and repels all attacks, with the exception of orifices such as their eye-mouthes.
Several eye-mouths dot the surface of their core. Tril can see, eat, speak, taste, smell, and hear through these eye-mouths. Perhaps some of the Tril fascination with human humor is due to their eye-mouths, for human expressions such as “take it all in” or “devour with one’s eyes” have a much more literal meaning when Tril are involved.
The outermost ring of a Tril radiates several tubular tendrils that end in hundreds of feather “fingers”. With these natural gifts, Tril are even more adept at operating ship controls than humans. Tril can extend their tendrils quite far, unraveling the spirals from their central core, reaching far away or acting as a tether.
Tril can change their coloration of both their eye-mouths and strands, by manipulating their chromatophores. This is used in Tril communication and also as a display of mood or intention.
Tril do not generally wear clothing. They do not need clothing for comfort, and it covers their distinctive color displays.
Most Tril wear a distinctive “tire” that wraps worn on the rim-foot of their wheel-shaped bodies, which to human spacers looks uncannily like a bicycle tire. Tril tires have perforations to allow their arms to emerge, sometimes with an extendable rubber glove-tube.
Due to the differences in Tril size and arm position, tires come in a large variety of sizes and configurations. Civilian tires come in a very wide variety of colors, patterns, and materials ranging from soft slippers to mountain bike tires.
Tires are the main fashion element in a Tril’s wardrobe–a Tril closet is mostly tires. Military tires have aggressive tread patterns like mountain bike tires or even tank treads. And yes, some tires come equipped with lights.
Some Tril wear pairs of painted “masks” that covers their central core, with customized eye-mouth holes. Similarly, Tril “visors” cover their eyes with a transparent material, which may have a reflective coating (mirror shades) or embedded sensors. Military Tril use a pair of armored combat visors, which is the analog of a combat helmet.
Tril who work in specialized conditions, such as clean room lab workers or hazmat may need wear a Tril “jumpsuit”. Since this interferes with communication Tril generally dislike these garments, wearing them only when absolutely needed.
Tril can use weapons and other equipment equivalently to humans. Their arms are strong and fingers nimble, possibly even more adaptable than humans. However, equipment optimized for Tril use is usually difficult or impossible for humanoids to use.
Tril control systems such as keyboards and weaponry typically have one or two soft bulbous handles with hundreds of tiny toothpick-sized holes. Tril hold the bulbs and insert hundreds of finger-tendrils into the holes, simultaneously accessing hundreds of buttons. Humans dislike these “sponge handles” immensely, as their fingers simply won’t fit inside the holes, and even then cannot feel the markings nestled into the holes that identify the function.
While Tril have no trouble using most humanoid equipment, but find it quaint and inefficient, like an old typewriter. A Tril keyboard has one toothpick-sized hole for each character symbol and function, as well as many for programmable macros.
Tril ships are usually “saucer” shaped or at least have a saucer section. To a Tril this is the most natural shape, as they naturally think in terms of rotation. The “flying saucer” matches their natural “frisbee” flying motion perfectly.
Tril are a non-humanoid species with an alien pattern of thinking. Listed below are some personality tendencies that humans would note. In other words, this is written from a human perspective, as if you asked someone “how would you describe the Tril”.
1. Odd Humor
Trill have what humanoids think of as a “goofball” sense of humor. They often find un-funny things funny for no apparent reason, and their jokes are often spectacularly not-funny. They might tell an incomprehensible joke about how 4 comes after 3. A Trill, seeing some normal human activity or object, might suddenly just stop and start laughing. A comprehensible is the frisbee, which isn’t generally considered funny to humans but makes Trill giggle, recalling their youths spent playing “toss” between their parents.
They also love some kinds of silly knock-knock jokes and puns, often the worst ones. This has grown into a meme that both races find funny and helps them bond by laughing about each other laughing.
“Knock knock. Who’s there? Leeks. Leeks who? Sliced Leeks for dinner. ROFL!”
Tril seem curious and take great delight in learning. Humans and Tril are alien to each other and the Tril encountered by humans have seemed quite curious about them, as if they are some puzzle they can’t put together. They also seem to spend a lot of their time laughing at humans for no apparent reason.
Tril naturally perceive and visualize their surroundings in terms of rotation, in three dimensions. Normal human tactics such as flanking or sneaking in from behind fail spectacularly when used against Tril. Conversely, they just can’t understand the concept of a frontal assault.
Circular dictionary references and synonyms are perceived as jokes/puns.
“Benjamin, what is a cow? It’s a bovine. What’s a bovine? It’s a cow. ROFL!”
Tril have an odd, almost circular perception of time. They get tomorrow and yesterday confused all the time. This might be tied into the whole “rotation” thing, but they don’t think of time as “correctly” as humans, mixing the past and future together almost as if they are the same thing. They also deal with the present differently than most humans, almost in a childlike way.
No Tril will say, but it seems like the Tril wandered amongst the stars earlier than humans. They won’t talk much about the past, except by making odd references to the future, and also showing deep and oddly personal knowledge about the past, but showing a childlike naïveté about the present. The feeling humans get is that the Tril are both ancient and young at the same time. It’s almost as if they are existing as both children and elders at the same time.
One explanation is that Tril are actually inhabited by multiple generations at the same time. The Tril is simultaneously her mother, and grand mother, and great-grandmother, as well as the current generation, and future generations.