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Worldbuilding


When the real world doesn't have enough for our stories, we invent a new one. Let's share cultures and ideas and create together :)

Ataivsh: a Multi-Racial Fantasy ConWorld

Posted 1 Month ago by chiarizio

In my multiracial fantasy conworld Ataivsh, I have said that, when ocean-going ships “become a thing”, the best sailors will be the Mer-Centaurs; but every ship will want a Human navigator and an Elven carpenter and a Dwarven engineer.

I think more could be said.
I’ll bet they’d also want their top two officers to be a Human and a Mer-Centaur. Either a Human captain with a MerCentaur 2nd-in-command, or a MerCentaur captain with a Human second.
If the ship is wind-powered, there’ll probably be some duties requiring a sailor to climb a mast. If a mast is very tall and/or the ship has many masts, these duties would best be assigned to Elves. So a “clipper”, for example, would want several Elvish sailors. OTOH they’d also want enough MerCentaur sailors to handle any duties involving going into the water, such as rescuing Elves who fell overboard without learning to swim first. Or, actually, most duties that didn’t involve leaving the deck or climbing the rigging.
If the ship is steam-powered, they might want the “black gang” to consist mostly of Dwarves.
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_gang_%28ship%29
If the ship is made of metal, they might not need a carpenter.

—————

I can’t think of any reason why one race should be more or less likely to own a ship than any other race.

But it would seem there’d be no place for bigotry at sea.

—————

Would that make a good story title? “Bigot At Sea”?

There are 26 Replies


Yes I think it would be a good story idea.

1 Month ago
Rika

There are four sapient conspecies in/on Ataivsh.
Three are humanoid, namely:
Men (Humans) of the Plains and Grasslands;
Dwarves of the Mines and Caves and Mountains and intramontane Valleys;
Elves of the Woods and Forests.
The fourth conspecies is MerCentaurs; they resemble the mythical Ichthyocentaurs. They are a three-way chimera between hippocampus, Merfolk, and centaurs. They mostly live in freshwater bodies and streams such as lakes and rivers.
The Plains Men (aka Humans) all speak Arpien.
The world is both magical and scientific.
The four races differ in how their bodies eliminate nitrogenous wastes.

1 Month ago
chiarizio

Looks interesting! Particularly interested in how you're handling [the world being both magical and scientific]


Thanks!

Also, what does Ataivsh translate into? Why that word specifically for the world?


“Ataivsh” is the Arpien word for “world”.
The Polish word for world is S’wiata, pronounced Shviata.
The language Arpien’s syntax resembles reverse Polish notation (RPN). That’s why it’s named Arpien.
As many of its roots as possible, without screwing up the grammar, are formed by reversing the order of the phonemes in some Polish word.
Thus Ataivsh for “world”.

1 Month ago
chiarizio

I’m going to expand my set of new pronouns to write about the MerCentaurs.
she/-/- refers to any MerCentaur with a female human part
he/-/- refers to any MerCentaur with a male human part
-/she/- refers to any MerCentaur with a female equine part
-/he/- refers to any MerCentaur with a male equine part
-/-/she refers to any MerCentaur with a female piscine part
-/-/he refers to any MerCentaur with a male piscine part

——————————

On the old thread elemtilas asked me what might happen to a merrow fingerling if it were rejected by a -/F/- mare, who wouldn’t or couldn’t become its dam.
We were discussing his suggestion, which I accepted, that if -/she/- were under stress, -/she/- would refuse, or her body would not be capable, of accepting the merrow-fingerling.
At the time we were considering stress due to war or famine or pestilence etc., which would probably apply equally to any other -/F/- mare.

But what if it were only that particular -/female/- who were under such stress?

My thought recently has occurred to me, that her body in that case would not emit any, or at least not much, of whatever pheromone might attract a merrow-fingerling to -/her/- in the first place. So, if there were other nearish-by or nearby-ish mares who were not so stressed, the merrow-fingerling might be attracted to one of them.

—————

I’ve started thinking about the reproductive habits of MerCentaurs.

One thing; since they are intelligent, they may, like us, be able to delay or accelerate certain biological events or processes, based on knowledge.
Nobody knows how people do this, as far as I know. Polynesians about to take a long journey where food will be scarce are able to eat more food and store nutrition before the voyage.
It is something done by subconscious means, in response to conscious knowledge.

I think that a F/-/- “woman”’s emotional state may make her/-/- body likelier or less likely to accept a fish-larva and implant it in her human womb, and hook up with a M/-/- “man” to fertilize it, so it can grow to be a merrow-fingerling.
I think the timing of these events, and of her/-/- delivery of the merrow-fingerling, can be swayed somewhat by her intellectual knowledge of, and emotional reaction to, such things as current events.

The same thing applies to a -/F/- “mare”’s acceptance of a merrow-fingerling into her marsupium/vagina/womb or whatever it is, its attachment and/or implantation, and her hooking up with a -/M/- “stallion” to have it fertilized, and gestate it to foalhood, and deliver it.

. . . . .

The places in which -/-/Females release roe and -/-/Males release milt, I will call “leks”.
These are probably also the places in which the fish-larva stage of MerCentaurs enter the human reproductive tracts of their Female/-/- “mothers”.
I’m going to guess that whenever a Female/-/- has just released -/-/her roe or -/-/his milt at the lek, her/-/- body will flood with the hormone that makes her/-/- feel the emotional desire to conceive a larva, and also will emit the pheromone that will make any larva that have matured in the lek since the previous season, want to swim to her to try to enter her/-/- human-female reproductive tract. If she has enough will-power to overcome such natural urges, she might resist them. OTOH perhaps her intellectual objection to conception will be overpowered by her emotions.

If she/-/- knows that the coming year will be a bad one, but doesn’t know the year after that will be bad, she may produce plenty of roe or milt but not accept a larva to gestate.

Or something.

—————

The places the F/-/- “women” meet up with the M/-/- “men”, to have the larva they’ve just started gestating be fertilized by the male-human parts so they can develop into merrow-fingerlings, should in my opinion not be right next to the leks. They should take a shortish-but-not-too-short amount of time to swim to from the leks. For lack of a better term I’m going to call these places “singles bars”. MerCentaurs should have several (3 to 7?) “singles bars” convenient-ish to swim to from each lek; and each “singles bar” should be convenientishly located from several (3 to 7?) different leks.

.....

But one of the “intellectual overrides” available to pretty much any MerCentaur, might be to not go to any of the closest singles-bars, but instead go to one in the next neighborhood.

(Or, go home, and not get knocked up, nor knock anyone up. Kinda boring, I know, but maybe you’re focused on your career or something?)

—————

So piscine ovulation and human ovulation should be hormonally co-ordinated in any F/-/F MerCentaur. And the reproductive acts of the M/-/- and -/-/M male human and male piscine parts of MerCentaurs that have them, should probably also be co-ordinated with each other. And a similar concept, difficult for me to find the right words for at the moment, for co-ordinating the human and piscine reproductive acts or events or states, of M/-/F and F/-/M MerCentaurs.

—————

I haven’t figured it out yet, but probably the human and equine reproductive processes of F/F/-, M/F/-, F/M/-, and M/M/- MerCentaurs, should also be coordinated, hormonally, and/or pheromonally, and/or emotionally, and/or intellectually.
Some of them should sometimes be able to resist the call of nature by willpower.
Some of them should sometimes not be able to resist.

1 Month ago
chiarizio

Thanks for the explanation. I figured the entire chimera would constitute a single sophont being.


That’s all cool, then!

Can you remind me what all the possible combinations are?


For adult MerCentaurs there are eight:
(Top/middle/back)
Woman/mare/femalefish
Woman/stallion/femalefish
Man/mare/femalefish
Man/stallion/femalefish
Woman/mare/malefish
Woman/stallion/malefish
Man/mare/malefish
Man/stallion/malefish

For merrow-fingerlings, there are four:
(Top/back)
Babygirl/femalefry
Babyboy/femalefry
Babygirl/malefry
Babyboy/malefry

For larvae there are two;
Female larval fish
Male larval fish


I figure anything with a human / Merfolk / Centaur head end would obviously be a sophont because of the brain. But what about fish head ~ centaur rear? Or horse head ~ fish tail? Or fish head ~ human legs?


That doesn’t happen.
For adult MerCentaurs:
The head and arms and chest all the way down to the human genital region are always human. (I think.)
Then comes part that’s all of a horse from its forelegs and the base of its neck all the way back to its equine genitalia, but not including its head or neck or tail nor its rear legs (I think). I think it’s resized to match a human’s size.
Then there’s the rear two-thirds or three-quarters of a human-sized (or horse-sized?) fish, from, I guess, just behind its pectoral fins (but not including those fins!), all the way back to its tail.

I suppose a merrow-fingerling would just have the top three-fifths-or-three-fourths-or-whatever of a baby human and the back two-thirds-or-whatever of a just-grown fish. Or something.
But it wouldn’t be baby-sized; it would be fist-sized or frog-sized or hens-egg-sized or duck-egg-sized or something like that.

Are those kinds of -- creatures? -- possible permutations? I can't imagine a fish or horse headed offspring would be a sophont, because fish brain / horse brain.


Most of them aren’t possible in Ataivsh. They may very well be possible in mythology or someone else’s fiction. I’m not sure.

Or, if those are possible, am I just all wet?


Hah! {;)}

1 Month ago
chiarizio

The MerCentaurs are three-way chimeras of Centaurs, Merfolk, and Hippocampuses.
Each of those is already a two-way chimera.
Centaurs are a chimera of humans over horses;
Merfolk are a chimera of humans over fish;
And Hippocampuses are a chimera of horses over fish.

I think we can assume that sometime in the evolutionary origin of the MerCentaurs, all three of those two-way chimeras actually existed.

But I don’t think Centaurs or Merfolk exist anymore.
I don’t have any in-story explanation why not.
The real reason is I just don’t want them.

It would have taken less magic to create any one of the two-way chimeras than to create the three-way chimera.
The Centaurs could have been created with less magic than the Merfolk or the Hippocampuses.

But, however it was done, the magic required to merge (? right word?) the three two-way chimera into a three-way chimera, should have been less than would have been needed to create that three-way chimera starting from the three natural species of people, horses, and fish.

1 Month ago
chiarizio

It has occurred to me that the MerCentaurs are going to be pretty long.
The top, human part, will be at least as long as the top half of a human. (Maybe longer! But surely not longer than the top 7/8!)
The middle, equine part, will be at least as long as the middle half of a pony. (Maybe longer! But surely shorter than the middle 7/8.)
And the rear, piscine part, will be at least as long as the rear half of a dolphin. (Maybe longer, but not as long as the rear 7/8.)

So MerCentaurs will average in length around at least 3/2 (150%) as long as the species of which they are chimeras.
I think it quite likely they may be about 6/3 (twice) as long. (2/3 + 2/3 + 2/3).
Maybe they’ll be 9/5 (180%) as long, but that strikes me —— naively following my gut —— as a little short.
Or maybe they’ll be 9/4 (225%) as long, but that strikes me (skipping any difficult thinking) as a bit long.

—————

I could be wrong about the details of why I’m thinking this.
If you have any criticism or questions or possibly-inconsistent-with-the-above facts or information, please say so.
Odds are I won’t have a rebuttal; and you might very well not only be right, but even convince me you’re right!

= =

Thank you.

1 Month ago
chiarizio

Q: You mention their piscine parts in terms of dolphinry. Are MerCentaur folk actually all mammal (Human+Centaur+Dolphin) or are they actually partly fish fish? Just my opinion, but I think a Dolphin segment would be pretty cool, and may offer fewer biological problems than a fish segment?



There are two related Mediterranean species of fish called “dolphin”. One is also called “pompano”; I forgot the other name of the other species. [edit]: dorado or mahi-mahi.[/edit]

I had been planning a MerCentaur’s back end to be basically the back end of the larger of those two species, probably scaled up a little bit; maybe to the size of a small-to-medium bottle-nosed porpoise. In other words, I was thinking “fish”, not “conodont whale”.

But maybe I should not make up my mind yet.

What you say about the all-mammal MerCentaur makes sense.

Only:
will they lay eggs?
will they have scales?
will their tails be flippers that they wave up and down to get through the water? Or will their tail fins project vertically and they wave them left and right to get through the water?

So, I guess I’m saying I won’t know until we’ve discussed it a bit.

———

Thanks!

============================================================
________________________________________________________________________
[Edit]:
After thinking about it, we (mostly I, but with a lot of help from readers and commenters) decided that MerCentaurs should be all-mammal.
The back third (about) of a MerCentaur is the back half (about) of a monotreme dolphin or porpoise.
The front third (about) of a MerCentaur is the top half (about) of a eutherian human.
The middle third (about) of a MerCentaur is the middle half (about) of a marsupial horse.
A later post will explain how a newborn MerCentaur grows from an egg laid by a dolphin-third into a merrow gestated by a human-third and then into a “joey” MerCentaur kept in the marsupium of a horse-third.
[/Edit]

1 Month ago
chiarizio

Add 4 to 8 feet for this bit, depending on how aesthetically pleasing your MerCentaurs are (i.e., how much "tail" segment they've got posterior to their reproductive bits)! I get a person about 13 to 20 feet in length.


I was actually thinking more like 12 feet, I guess, or 4 meters. But 15 feet or 5 meters might also be common. [edit:]5 meters would be more like 16.25 feet, wouldn’t it?[/edit]
OTOH I didn’t really do any of the math you did!

This is so, as I'm sure you're aware, because they've got three sets of reproductive organs to deal with.


Exactly!

Any rate, I think the size of your MerCentaurs, if I did the maths right, is quite reasonable!


Thanks! Good to know! I appreciate the genuine mental effort you’ve invested in cross-checking my work!

1 Month ago
chiarizio

[quote=“elemtilas”]
I hope I'm not stepping on any toes, fins, flippers, hooves or other appendages, but I took the liberty to consider what a MerCentaur might look like, and thus drew a picture of one. Keeping in mind that my lens is focussed pretty squarely on places in The World, I think she~she~she probably looks more like a denizen of a shallow sea on a world of that universe.


But my hope is that I got the general gist right, anyway. I fear this girl~girl~girl might be a tad longer than you were imagining for Ataivshian MerCentaurs, though!


Anyway, though still nameless, she can be found here:
https://www.deviantart.com/elemtilas/art/Mercentaur-803097326?ga_submit_new=10%3A1561430826


1 Month ago
chiarizio

How similar / dissimilar is she from what you'd imagined?



She’s slenderer than I was imagining; not so much longer as thinner, I think.

Various porpoises, dolphins, pompanos, and dorados, have various figures. I suppose various MerCentaurs would too. It would depend on age, Diet, exercise, and how many times they’ve given birth or been pregnant, I suppose; as well as which parts of them were which gender.

I take it this lady has just finished adolescence and started adulthood? Never been pregnant?

If you feel up to it you could do a sample of a couple of other MerCentaur genders, and/or other ages.

Maybe show one working as a sailor?

If I could draw I’d probably put it up even if I didn’t think I did it well.

But I’m very encouraged that you got it right the first time!
Apparently my powers of description are actually adequate! (At least, for you!)

Thanks ?!

(I must have forgotten my DeviantArt password. :’-(

1 Month ago
chiarizio

thank you! Even though she's not quite right according to your own vision!


Suppose I had asked you to draw a fit, symmetrical, healthy young woman of childbearing age.
Maybe I would imagine a brown-skinned black-haired black-eyed curly-haired well-nourished five-foot-tall curvy “thicc” smiling young woman in a sari.
Maybe you’d imagine a freckled red headed green eyed wavy haired slender 5’5” serious-faced girl in a kilt.
Both images would be good examples of what I asked for.

Your image is a fine example of a fit healthy symmetrical MerCentaur woman/mare/femalefish of reproductive years, apparently not as young as I’d guessed.

1 Month ago
chiarizio

I’ve been thinking about how consanguineous a married couple might be among the Men, or Dwarves, or Elves, of Ataivsh.
In each of those three “races”, a couple would be one another’s classificatory double-second-cousins, and classificatory double-third-cousins, and classificatory quadruple-fourth-cousins.
The bride’s mother’s mother and the groom’s mother’s father would be classificatory full sister-and-brother. So they could actually be full siblings. That would mean the bride and groom would have inherited 1/32 of their variable autosomal genes in common from this pair of shared great-grandparents.
And the bride’s father’s mother and the groom’s father’s father would be classificatory full sister-and-brother, and so might be actual full-siblings; so the bride and groom could also share a different pair of great-grandparents, and could have inherited a different 1/32 of their autosomal genes from them.
And the bride’s mother’s mother’s mother is classified as the sister of the groom’s father’s father’s father, and they could actually be full-siblings; in which case the bride and groom could both have inherited a shared 1/128 of their autosomal variable genes from a shared pair of great-great-grandparents.
And the bride’s father’s mother’s father and the groom’s mother’s father’s mother are classificatory siblings, and could be actual full siblings, so bride and groom could share an additional pair of great^2-grandparents, from whom they could have inherited an additional 1/128 of their variable autosomal genes.
Finally, there are four* ways a great^2-grandparent of the bride must be a classificatory sibling, and could be an actual full-sibling, of a great^2-grandparent of the groom; so, there are four more pairs of great^3-grandparents the bride and groom could share, from each of whom they could have inherited yet an additional 1/512 of their variable autosomal genes in common.
  • edit: the bride’s FFFFZ could have married either the groom’s FFFF or the groom’s MFMF. So both the groom’s FFFM and his MFMM are classificatory sisters of the bride’s FFFF. Similarly the groom’s MMMMB could have married either the bride’s MMMM or her FMFM. So both the bride’s MMMF and her FMFF are classificatory brothers of the groom’s MMMM. /edit

    So that’s an upper limit of 2/32 + 2/128 + 4/512 = 1/16 + 1/64 + 1/128 = 11/128 = about 8.594% of their variable autosomal genes they could both have inherited in common from their shared great- or great^2- or great^3- grandparent’s. That’s less than 3/32 = 9.38%, which is the fraction of Native American “blood” I have. It’s a bit more than 3.95 chromosomes’-worth out of 46 chromosomes, and around 4.12 chromosomes’-worth out of 48 chromosomes; call it 4 chromosomes’-worth. (I assume the Humans have 46 chromosomes, like we do in Real Life, and the Elves have 48 chromosomes, like apes do IRL. The Dwarves probably also have 48, since they’re mostly genus Pan, and most of the rest is Gorillini; but they do have genus Homo ancestors too, so I don’t know whether they would carry forward that fusion of one pair of ape chromosomes into a single longer chromosome, that RL humans did, or not.)
    If a child’s parents share 4 chromosomes, then on average the child probably has one chromosome from each parent that’s an exact duplicate of the same chromosome also inherited from the other parent. That’s an upper bound on the risk of inbreeding in these cultures. I’m guessing it’s probably acceptable.

    In Real Life, between 99.6% and 99.9% of the human genome is invariable; every human has two copies of the same alleles every other human has.
    So only between 0.1% and 0.4% of the human genome is variable.
    I’m concentrating, in this post, on the nuclear, chromosomal, genes, not the cytoplasmic or organellic or mitochondrial genes which are inherited only from the mother.
    I’m also concentrating only on the autosomal chromosomes, not the X and Y sex chromosomes. In particular I’m overlooking the Y chromosomes which only ever show up in males, and are inherited only father-to-son.
    Those variable genes which are carried on the autosomal chromosomes, are the only ones which could mix, or not mix, depending on how the culture controls a married couple’s consanguinity.

  • 1 Month ago
    chiarizio

    I'd suggest, and as usual, you're welcome to take or leave my suggestions!, that fertilisation be external. This would mimic the aesthetic of fish reproduction and thus you wouldn't have to change descriptions as already written while on the other fin, it would keep the whole person mammalian in nature.

    I'm not certain how warm blooded fore and mid parts would work with a cold blooded hindpart!



    I think I will take that advice!
    Thank you!
    Will that make MerCentaurs the only known warm-blooded vertebrates with external fertilization?
    It does seem that they’ll be both monotreme and marsupial!

    1 Month ago
    chiarizio

    [quote=“me”]Finally, there are four* ways a great^2-grandparent of the bride must be a classificatory sibling, and could be an actual full-sibling, of a great^2-grandparent of the groom; so, there are four more pairs of great^3-grandparents the bride and groom could share, from each of whom they could have inherited yet an additional 1/512 of their variable autosomal genes in common.

  • edit: the bride’s FFFFZ could have married either the groom’s FFFF or the groom’s MFMF. So both the groom’s FFFM and his MFMM are classificatory sisters of the bride’s FFFF. Similarly the groom’s MMMMB could have married either the bride’s MMMM or her FMFM. So both the bride’s MMMF and her FMFF are classificatory brothers of the groom’s MMMM. /edit

    So that’s an upper limit of 2/32 + 2/128 + 4/512 = 1/16 + 1/64 + 1/128 = 11/128 = about 8.594% of their variable autosomal genes they could both have inherited in common from their shared great- or great^2- or great^3- grandparent’s.



  • I think I may have done something like a bit of double-counting above.

    HMMMM (the groom’s matrilineal greatgreatgrandmother) might be the full-sister of WMMMF (the bride’s matrilineal greatgreatgrandfather) and/or WFMFF (also the bride’s grandmother’s grandfather). But perhaps that doesn’t raise the coefficient of consanguinity by two separate but equal 512ths? Because we know the bride’s father WF and his wife, the bride’s mother WM, are classificatory “second-cousins” and therefore could be biological second-cousins, because WF’s mother’s father WFMF and WM’s mother’s mother WMMM must be classificatory “siblings”, and might be full biological siblings. So either WFMFF and WMMMF describe one and the same guy (the father of both WFMF and WMMM), or they are one another’s brothers, or at any rate are one another’s classificatiory “brothers”. So if HMMMM is “sister” to either of them she’s also “sister” to the other. In fact it’s possible that WMMMF=WFMFF are two different ways of describing just one guy, and he is the biological full brother of HMMMM.

    I’m not sure whether that rates adding 2/512 to the relatedness coefficient r, or more, or less.

    Similarly, WFFFF, the bride’s patrilineal greatgreatgrandfather, is the classificatory “brother”, and might be the actual biological full brother, of the groom’s patrilineal greatgreatgrandmother HFFFM, and of HMFMM, another of H’s grandfathers’ grandmothers. But HFFF and HMFM might be full biological brother-and-sister, because they are certainly classificatory “siblings”; so their mother(s?) HFFFM and HMFMM must be at least classificatory “sisters”, and could be full biological sisters, or even just two different labels for one and the same woman. In any case if WFFFF is the classificatory brother of HFFFM, he is also the classificatory brother of HMFMM; and if HMFMM is WFFFF’s classificatory “sister”, HFFFM is also WFFFF’s classificatory “sister”.

    Again I don’t know whether that increases r by 1/512, or 2/512, or some amount between those, or some amount greater than both.

    1 Month ago
    chiarizio

    Concerning the anatomy of MerCentaurs:
    [quote=“elemtilas”]I'd suggest the following plan:

    I'd pretty much leave the foreparts organless --- so the human part won't really have much in it but muscle, blood vessels and nerves. Perhaps its chest could have lungs for speaking or singing. You might consider a small, secondary heart. But I think most of the space of the thoracic and abdominal cavities will probably be taken up with the relatively larger trachea, esophagus and great vessels.

    The midpart's organs should be large enough to supply the whole body with blood, oxygen, etc. A horse's heart and lungs are pretty big after all!

    The hindpart's organs, apart from the reproductive tract, I would suggest would be vestigial at best. Perhaps a blind pouch where the dolphin anus is and perhaps a generally non-functional urinary tract. With the possibility of some percentage of individuals that have a functional system? Most of the delphinic segment is going to comprise the tail and its musculature anyway.

    [quote=“me”]I’m sure that I could just say “Hey, it’s magic!”, but I want to limit that recourse. I’ve already said they can’t reproduce without magic; but I’d like them to be able to survive without it. (If possible!)




    A delicate balance!


    1 Month ago
    chiarizio

    Thank you!

    Perhaps my more recent thoughts the past few days are compatible with your latest suggestions.

    Each MerCentaur is supposed to be a unitary, albeit chimerical, organism.
    Except for their reproductive organs and limbs, there’s no need for them to have three or two species’s versions of internal splanchnic* organs.
    They should have just one of each, but it should be a dolphin-human-equine compromise. Scaled up to handle the extra size, of course.

    Whattaya think?

    *(I didn’t really need to use the word “splanchnic” here. I just wanted to show off my vocabulary! Reading Diana Gabaldon’s fiction has been giving me a lexical inferiority complex!)

    1 Month ago
    chiarizio

    If one Googles “arpien”, one finds Finnish sites having to do with scars.
    I figure Ataivsh’s “Men” (both sexes) might view scarifying themselves or each other (upon request by and consent from the one being scarified) as an art-form.
    I imagine they’d deliberately accept scars, not only for ritual reasons, but also as cosmetic body-modification, to make themselves beautiful.
    They might not avoid the pain of acquiring such scars.
    That might be part of their “pain is a good thing” attitude or meme or cultural item.

    —————

    It also turns out that “arpien” is reminiscent of the Italian words for “harp” and “harpy” and “claw”. Since their matriclans are named after avian species, maybe they like raptors? And maybe that “claw” thing is somehow associated with pain or scarring? Maybe it’s good luck to be scarred by a harpy’s claw, the way it’s a “blessing” to be wounded by (a) God?

    Are the “Men” likelier to be better archers and bowyers and fletchers than the “Elves”? Or maybe they’re better archers, and better fletchers in the strict sense, but the elves are better bowyers, and better at the earlier parts of arrow-making, before the fletching?

    Would fooling around with bows put “Men” on the path to stringed instruments such as harps?

    1 Month ago
    chiarizio

    I have just decided, rather arbitrarily, that:
    The headward third of a MerCentaur should be like the headward two-thirds of a human;
    The middle third of a MerCentaur should be like the middle two-thirds of a marsupial horse;
    And the tailward third of a MerCentaur should be like the tailward two-thirds of a monotreme Dolphin.
    ———
    Whatcha think?

    (So their average length would be about twice the average length of human+horse+dolphin. Pretty damn long!)

    1 Month ago
    chiarizio

    I wonder what the naming patterns will be for each species, when they come up with individual names for members of their species?

    I think this will be especially interesting when naming the MerCentaurs.

    But I have already established that the Dwarves and Elves each have their own conlang that isn’t Arpien, even though all four species speak Arpien as the Lingua Franca of Ataivsh.

    So even if I never construct the native conlang of the Dwarves nor the Elves nor the MerCentaurs, I ought to at least construct naming-languages for them!
    Right now if you hear the patriclan-name or matriclan-name or generation-name* of a Dwarf or Elf or Human you can tell immediately which species they belong to. But the same should be possible if you just hear their individual-name.
    I haven’t put any thought into that yet. I think I should!

    *Actually, if they have a generation-name, you know they’re not a Dwarf.
    If an Elf’s generation-name has been translated into Arpien, you can’t tell they’re not a Human; but if you hear it in Elvish you know they’re an Elf.

    1 Month ago
    chiarizio

    I’m thinking of naming plains people’s patriclans after animal-species found in the plains, grasslands, savannahs, etc.
    And naming woods people’s patriclans after animal species found in the woods and forests.

    I’ll probably name the elves’ matriclans after tree species important in the woods, or something.
    Maybe I’ll name the men’s matriclans after important not-necessarily-living inanimate(?) object-types found in the plains or prairies or what-have-you.

    For both men and elves, I think I should name the circula connubia after the four seasons.
    (These are the sibling-and-spouse circles or helixes that sort-of-roughly correspond to generations.)

    I’m thinking of naming the dwarves’ matriclans after types of gemstones.
    I don’t know what I’d name their patriclans after. If there are at least ten kinds of gemstone, maybe the patriclans can also be named after them.
    Or maybe the patriclans would be named after rare earths.
    And I’m not sure I’d want to name their generational groups after the seasons of the year; maybe dwarves wouldn’t name them at all.

    The mer-centaurs would have to have a completely different system.

    Even though all four species would be globally dispersed, and have inhabitants in every climate on every continent, and so have different skin-colors etc., I’m going to assume each of the three humanoid species has just one world-wide language and one world-wide system of five patriclans and five matriclans and four generational sibling-and-spouse “circles”. The mer-centaurs’ cultures also will, I expect, be rather uniform the world over, except where the environment would constrain that.

    1 Month ago
    chiarizio

    I think the Dwarves’ matriclans will be:
    Diamond
    Ruby
    Emerald
    Sapphire
    Topaz.

    I think the Dwarves’ patriclans will be
    Cerium
    Neodymium
    Lanthanum
    Yttrium
    Scandium

    1 Month ago
    chiarizio

    I think the Elves’ patriclans will be
    Coast redwood (Sequoia sempervirens)
    Yellow meranti (Shorea faguetiana)
    Mountain ash (Eucalyptus regnans)
    Coast Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii var. menziesii)
    Sitka spruce (Picea sitchensis)

    I think the Elves’ matriclans might be
    indigo
    turmeric
    woad
    madder
    black walnut

    1 Month ago
    chiarizio

    I reckon the Humans’ patriclans could be
    Bison
    Pronghorn
    Giraffe
    Zebra
    Rhinoceros.

    I may not have enough battery power left to figure out what their matriclans might be.
    How about the following for the Men’s matriclans in msfunmrfcw (Ataivsh)?
    Bee-eater
    Kestrel
    Meadowlark
    Peafowl
    Secretary-bird
    ?

    1 Month ago
    chiarizio

    The “harpies” who do the body-modification may be a pseudo-matriclan who get their ink from the Elves’ matriclans and do their “nesting” in the edges of Dwarven territories next to Human teritories.
    They may be some kind of three-race interhominid group catering mostly to Humans but also to Elves.

    There will also be stories about Simurghs, which will have been a now-extinct species of really big eagles in Ataivsh.

    1 Month ago
    chiarizio

    I previously said that, in Ataivsh’s prehistory when Centaurs and Merfolk and Hippocampuses existed, it took less magic to make the Centaurs than to make either of the two-way chimeras involving the dolphins/porpoises.
    I think that should be changed, since the aquatic species involved is now going to be mammals instead of fish.
    I think the Hippocampuses should be easiest to have been formed, since IRL ungulants and whales are more closely related to each other than either are to Primates.

    3 Weeks ago
    chiarizio

    Reply to: Ataivsh: a Multi-Racial Fantasy ConWorld

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