The seed of the Aerie Twill plant is about the size of a clenched fist. Dark brown in colour with a tough exterior, the fibrous husk can be peeled back, with some difficulty, to expose the jelly-like sphere inside.
In the center of the cloudy, somewhat translucent sphere there is an apparent black dot, a seed within a seed. Said dot is about half a centimeter in diameter and pretty much a uniform sphere.
That dot is the residing encasement of a singular Timpan imp, who, in normal circumstances, will be encased in the growing Twill plant for approximately 20 years. It is only at full maturity that the imp, safe inside the hard body of the Twill’s thick trunk, awakens and begins to burrow out of its growth sack.
The first-matured imp is about the size of the now-extinct Terran ‘rabbit’ (Leporidae family of the order Lagomorpha), with five tri-jointed legs not unlike the common Sphinx Orta. Its distinctive feature is its hairless body, and the marked absence of an eye or similar organ. Instead the Timpan relies heavily on its enlarged hearing stalks, five of which emerge from the mid-joint of its legs, and proximity-sensitive head (see Chapter 4, ‘Senses and their Associated Organs’).
The first-matured Timpan, once free from its home tree, then seeks out a mate. In the process it feeds on vegetation as well as filters the air constantly for microparticles which its unique digestive organs are able to make use of with great efficiency.
After a long mate-selection ritual, the two Timpans re-enter the home tree of the female. The two creatures then couple and fall into a sort of hibernation, which marks the beginning of its second-maturity.
After several months, the second-matured Timpans emerge, markedly changed in physical appearance. There is now a dense but short fur-like covering on their bodies except heads, and their gait changes for a yet-unknown reason. It is for this change that a second-matured Timpan is easily recognised from afar, if one knows to read its gait.
In the second phase of life, the Timpans are inseparable, as they work together to tend to prepare the male’s home tree for their final stage. The female’s home tree becomes a sort of shelter, which they enter to sleep, whilst the male’s is prepped for their final stage. This is done by nourishing the tree with certain plant matter and secretions from the Timpan itself.
These nourishments serve the prepare that home tree for the Timpan’s final stage, which is when the couple enters the chamber from which the male once emerged, seal themselves in, and ‘sleep’. Gradually, their breathing slows and heart rate drops, until both are no more.
It is somewhere during this process that genetic material from the couple is encoded and passed on to the tree, which produces and bears one fruit, in which is the seed containing the Timpans’ offspring. From that seed springs forth two lives, in the beauty and mystery that is characteristic of Lanorian life, where inter-species co-dependence is the norm.