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Ataivsh. (MSFUNMRFCW thread #2)
Posted: Posted June 16th
Edited June 24th by chiarizio
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Now that I’ve decided on ”Ataivsh” as the name for “my so-far-unnamed multi-racial conworld”, I think I should take Xhin’s and linguistcat’s recommendation, and start a brand-new thread about it; since my first GTX0 thread on it is too long and contains too much tangent material.

The first thread for this builtworld on GTX0 is http://gtx0.com/view.php?post=113141. If any references confuse you, please go to that thread and scroll down to the last several posts; the explanation you’re looking for is probably there. If it’s not near the bottom it’s probably still in that thread; if you don’t feel like looking for it, post a question here, and I or some other reader/responder will explain it to you, or help you find the explanation.

To recapitulate the introduction:
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.


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    Looks like a good start/summation so far. I should probably do a similar thread for the space fantasy verse tbh since previous ones are either scattered or specific to danpyr.

    Posted June 16th by linguistcat
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    Good to see these ideas crystalising into a world!

    Posted June 17th by elemtilas
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    Looks interesting!

    The world is both magical and scientific.


    Particularly interested in how you're handling that.

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

    Edited June 17th by Xhin
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    Xhin
    Sky's the limit

    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”.




    Posted June 18th by chiarizio
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    The only thing I got for Neipra was the polish word Niepra, which means "misstatement".

    Posted June 18th by Xhin
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    Xhin
    Sky's the limit

    Oh I see, it's Arpien. Neat.

    Posted June 18th by Xhin
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    Xhin
    Sky's the limit

    Oh I see, it's Arpien. Neat.


    Read the letter-names “R P N” out loud then try to spell what you just said.

    Posted June 18th by chiarizio
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    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.



  • Edited June 21st by chiarizio
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    @elemtilas:

    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!


    Edited June 21st by chiarizio
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    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.


    Edited June 21st by chiarizio
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    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



    That's what I was looking for! Thanks much, and also for the further explanations!

    Posted June 21st by elemtilas
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    I keep getting alerts for this thread and then keep not seeing them even when I do a search, so I don't know what's up with that. However I will say @chiarizio you are being as thorough as ever! I don't know if I have anything to offer at this point, or questions to ask.

    Posted June 21st by linguistcat
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    I keep getting alerts for this thread and then keep not seeing them even when I do a search, so I don't know what's up with that. However I will say @chiarizio you are being as thorough as ever! I don't know if I have anything to offer at this point, or questions to ask.




    I get such alerts, too. I find that clicking on the alert from the Alerts (x) box only brings me to the top of the thread. Striking [END] or scrolling down to the bottom of the thread generally reveals the alerted response(s) as being among the more recent.

    @Xhin -- is this normal behaviour, or should clicking on a specific alert open up the specific message?

    Posted June 21st by elemtilas
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    I get such alerts, too. I find that clicking on the alert from the Alerts (x) box only brings me to the top of the thread. Striking [END] or scrolling down to the bottom of the thread generally reveals the alerted response(s) as being among the more recent.

    @Xhin: -- is this normal behaviour, or should clicking on a specific alert open up the specific message?

    Obviously, I also need to know.

    Posted June 21st by chiarizio
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    I already knew about needing to go to the bottom to see alerts. However, going to the bottom and searching up did not show any @'s for me, even when using the search function. That was what I was confused about and commented on. As is, if there are any messages here directed at me in regards to world building, I don't know what those would be. So if it seems I've ignored or not commented on something you hoped I'd give input on, that's not what happened.

    But I feel I've gotten us far off subject now so hopefully I can just reread things and comment if anything stands out.

    Posted June 22nd by linguistcat
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    @linguistcat:
    But I feel I've gotten us far off subject now so hopefully I can just reread things and comment if anything stands out.

    Thanks! Your participation is very welcome, regardless of when the problems get solved!

    Posted June 22nd by chiarizio
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    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.


    Posted June 23rd by chiarizio
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    @chiarizio:
    @elemtilas:
    @linguistcat:
    @Xhin:
    Is it easier to find this post that’s “targeted” to you?


    Posted June 24th by chiarizio
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    Is it easier to find this post that’s “targeted” to you?


    No.

    I get the notification that I've been tagged or whatever in a post; but clicking on the notification only brings me to the top of this thread, not to this post.



    Posted June 24th by elemtilas
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    It has occurred to me that the MerCentaurs are going to be pretty long.



    Yep!


    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!)


    Say 3 to 4 feet, maxing perhaps at 5 depending on their actual physiology.


    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.)


    Probably a good 6 to 7 feet here.


    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.)


    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.


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

    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?

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




    Posted June 24th by elemtilas
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    @chiarizio:


    @elemtilas:


    @linguistcat:


    @Xhin:


    Is it easier to find this post that’s “targeted” to you?


    I did t least find it!



    Posted June 24th by linguistcat
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    Hmm, it *should* be taking you to the actual reply in question. I'll look into it.

    Posted June 24th by Xhin
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    Xhin
    Sky's the limit

    @elemtilas:
    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!


  • Edited June 26th by chiarizio
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    @elemtilas:

    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!




    Edited June 26th by chiarizio
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    @linguistcat:
    I did t least find it!

    Good! And I found your reply from the alert I got!




    Posted June 25th by chiarizio
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    I was actually thinking more like 12 feet, I guess, or 4 meters. But 15 feet or 5 meters might also be common.



    I see!

    OTOH I didn’t really do any of the math you did!


    For the maths, I just got out a ruler and measured me from head to coccyx and then added horse and delpho/piscatory measurements thereto!


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



    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


    Posted June 25th by elemtilas
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    So, I guess I’m saying I won’t know until we’ve discussed it a bit.


    Fair enough!

    Posted June 25th by elemtilas
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    Hmm, it *should* be taking you to the actual reply in question. I'll look into it.

    @Xhin:
    Thanks for doing so!



    Posted June 25th by chiarizio
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    @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:


    How wonderful! Thanks!
    I think she’s great 👍🏼!






    Posted June 25th by chiarizio
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    How wonderful! Thanks!



    You're very welcome!

    Interesting: this time your alert brought me straight to the message!


    I think she’s great 👍🏼!



    Awesome!

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

    Posted June 25th by elemtilas
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    @elemtilas:
    You're very welcome! 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. :’-(


    Edited June 26th by chiarizio
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    She’s slenderer than I was imagining; not so much longer as thinner, I think.

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


    Those could very well be artefacts of my World-oriented focus. Narrow bodies, small breasts, etc. are typical of many kinds of peoples in The World.

    Obviously, without any kind of physical description other than the basics of heredity to go on, I just drew what I saw, and what I saw was what a MerCentaur would look like if they existed in The World somwhere!

    I think this particular girl is well beyond adolescence and I don't know if she's ever been pregnant or not.

    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.



    And also, what visual effects you would envisage for them to exhibit given any mixture of those factors!



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



    Hm. The image might not be terribly different if this person were, for example F/M/M. Or even M/F/M.

    Merfolk of The World do not external genetalia. As with various kinds of dolphins, they keep their reproductive bits inside a protective pouch with only a slit visible externally. I drew this person with F/F/F in mind, and presented her as such, but to be honest, if I had thought along the lines of F/M/M I wouldn't have drawn the mid- and hindthirds any differently, because the penises &c would be tucked up behind their protective fold of tissue.

    The only difference I'd make even for a M/X/X would be the lack of even the small breast tissue of the female forethird.


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


    Please do!

    But I’m very encouraged that you got it right the first time!


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



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




    I didn't know you were ever active there! What was your id?


    Posted June 26th by elemtilas
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    @elemtilas:
    For which, 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.

    I didn't know you were ever active there! What was your id?

    Either Gregor-samsa-cockroach or eldin-raigmore, I forget which. (Actually I suppose it could be something else; whatever it is, I got it right, it’s just the password I couldn’t remember.)
    I was never really “active”; I just wanted to see the works of friends and of artists I admire, and to comment on them, usually just “I think this is great work!” with detail to back that up.





    Posted June 27th by chiarizio
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    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.


    Touché!

    Posted June 27th by elemtilas
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    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.




    Edited June 30th by chiarizio
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    @elemtilas:
    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?


    How about making the tail segment be monotreme dolphins?

    But then I’d still need to decide whether fertilization would be internal or external.





    Posted July 21st by chiarizio
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    How about making the tail segment be monotreme dolphins?

    But then I’d still need to decide whether fertilization would be internal or external.


    I think that could work.

    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!



    Posted July 24th by elemtilas
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    @elemtilas:
    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!





    Posted July 24th by chiarizio
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    Will that make MerCentaurs the only known warm-blooded vertebrates with external fertilization?


    I'm not aware of any others.


    It does seem that they’ll be both monotreme and marsupial!


    Just have to figure out how to make one portion placental...



    Posted July 24th by elemtilas
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    @elemtilas:
    Just have to figure out how to make one portion placental...

    I can’t think of a reason the human part can’t be placental.





    Posted July 24th by chiarizio
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    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.




    Posted August 9th by chiarizio
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    @elemtilas:
    @lingistcat:
    @Xhin:
    I think the MerCentaurs should have three four-chambered hearts; one in the human segment(? right word?), one in the equine segment, and one in the delphine segment.
    Each heart should be innervated by both the parasympathetic and the sympathetic subsystems of the autonomous subsystem system of the central nervous system.
    If one of the hearts is cut off from the central nervous system, it should try to keep beating correctly on its own.
    Therefore, each heart should have its own pacemaker and nervous system, sensitive to the volume and chemistry of the blood in each of its chambers, including hormones such as adrenaline.
    Also, if one or two of the hearts should fail, the remaining hearts or heart should try to take up the slack; so the hearts should communicate with each other by “spinal reflex”-type nervous connections that work even if they lose communication with the brain.
    And since the hearts’ nervous systems can sense the chemistry of the blood, the hearts will communicate with each other through the blood, even if they lose the nervous connection.
    I have more confidence in the ability of two hearts to do the work of three, than in the ability of one heart to do the work of even two, much less three.
    But a failing heart need not fail completely.
    Perhaps if two hearts are only about 50% competent each, the third heart can take up the slack.

    ———

    If two of a MerCentaur’s hearts fail, I expect they’ll have to go to shallow water, where they can both breathe the air without having to hold their breath, and have their weight partially supported by the water buoying up part of their body.
    Then maybe somebody — MerCentaur paramedics or Emergency Medical Technicians or ambulance-driver-analogs — can get them to a clinic?
    More likely, someone can gather together their foster parents and foster children and compadres and commadres, to say goodbye; and they’ll die.

    OTOH, if only one heart fails, then perhaps by a heroic effort they can continue to finish whatever task or mission they were doing (if it doesn’t take too long!), and make it to a place they can be treated.
    There may be some MerCentaurs whose previously-failed-or-failing heart has entirely recovered, thanks to the two remaining hearts giving them the strength to seek treatment and survive until healed.

    ————

    What do you think that would do to MerCentaur combat?
    I think being pierced through one heart might put a MerCentaur hors de combat, but not kill them.
    But being pierced through two hearts would be fatal; soon, but not necessarily immediately.
    Being pierced through three hearts would be fatal in ten seconds or less.

    Obviously being pierced through even one heart would put one in imminent peril of exsanguination.

    ———

    Any ideas?


    Edited August 12th by chiarizio
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    @elemtilas: @linguistcat: @Xhin:
    What kind of lungs should they have?
    Each segment probably requires 2/3 to 3/4 the lung-capacity of a typical human or horse or dolphin, as the case may be.
    Should that all be in the human segment? That would give the human segment a relatively huge chest, compared to a simple human. Or wouldn’t it?
    Or is there a way each segment can have its own lungs, drawing air from the human segment’s mouth and nose, perhaps through its own windpipe?
    Would that make the human segment’s nose be some kind of compromise between a human nose, a horse’s snout, and a dolphin’s blowhole?
    Would it make their faces a little less attractive to the average hominoid?

    —————-

    What about their guts and stomachs and digestive systems and so on?
    I think the dolphin stomach-and-intestines should be able to get the nutrition from anything a dolphin would find comestible. Probably the dolphin part will contain all or most of the large-intestine functioning organ, that the whole chimeric creature has. Anything left should be expelled by the dolphin-end’s colon and rectum, out the dolphin-end’s anus.
    Anything a dolphin couldn’t digest, but a horse could, will be digested by the equine stomach and gut (small bowel and other parts; but not the large bowel, I think — I could be wrong!) in the horse segment. Anything left over will be passed on into the dolphin-part’s stomach.
    Anything neither a horse nor a dolphin could digest better than a human, will be digested by the human part’s stomach and intestines. I guess all the chewing will be done by the human end’s mouth, so their dentition might be a compromise between human dentition and equine dentition. (Dolphins’ and porpoises’ dentition is kinda irrelevant, I think: if I’m wrong, I hope someone will tell me!). Whatever the human stomach and small bowel can’t digest, will get passed on into the equine stomach.

    ———

    They may have three livers, three pairs of kidneys, three urinary bladders, three places to urinate from, three pancreases, three spleens, ...
    And they may have three aortas and three-to-six vena cavas. (Sorry, I don’t know the correct plural!)

    I assume they’ll have only one pituitary gland and only one pineal gland. But they may have both a human and an equine thymus and thyroid.
    Anyone have any suggestions?

    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!)


    Edited August 12th by chiarizio
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    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.

    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!


    Posted August 14th by elemtilas
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    @elemtilas:

    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!)

    Posted Thursday by chiarizio
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