Liir, the Black, Earth Cetaceans, Art and Gender

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feld
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Liir, the Black, Earth Cetaceans, Art and Gender

Post by feld » Wed Mar 14, 2012 4:37 pm

Erinys,

This question list has been percolating ever since I saw the lovely rendering of the Black in the new game. Whale/dolphin watching and cetacean biology are a hobby/interest (don't get so much time at sea now as I used to) so the art really got me thinking. Please excuse me if some of these questions seem peculiar or cover material that you have not yet developed. I can only offer the excuse that I ask because I enjoy your background details greatly. Understand if time permits no or only intermittent answers to my Wall-O-Text (tm.). I have tried to formulate yes or no questions that you can expound on if desired.

1. Much Liiran art (particularly the above-mentioned Black picture) is very much and very clearly inspired by various terrestrial cetacean species. Is the art in the game generally how you see them in your mind?

2. I notice that sperm whales are one of the "great whales" not represented in the art depicting later Liiran life stages. I *think* this is because the Liir become baleen-analogue filter feeders as they get larger. Is that right?

2.a. If so, is there an intermediate "large carnivore" change like the sperm whale that we've not seen?

3. Do Liir in their natural state have any conscious control about when to enter the various phases of their lives (e.g. when to change genders or when to change to a different diet) or is it more of an autonomous or environmental thing?

3.a. Do Liir in their modern technical state ever elect to retard or advance their natural progression? It would seem uncharacteristic of them from what I've read but, well, I am trying to confirm my impression of that character...

4. If I understand it correctly, the Black is specifically an ancient masculine gendered individual in a species whose gender can change over their lifetimes and who never cease growing. Yet, in the filter feeding great whales of Earth, the females tend to be the larger creature. Is there a tendency for ancient Liir to "go great lady" as they get older and larger?

5. I believe that in most terrestrial baleen cetacean societies, the males tend to take on more aggressive roles than the females (I am aware that I am generalizing here). However many of the largest whales don't tend to live in groups (pods), preferring a more solitary existence. I guess what I'm asking here is: is the Black something of an oddity - by being very old, presumably very large, and yet still male? For the record I think I am probably stretching analogy to Earth whales too far here. Seeking confirmation.

6. Do any younger Liir Drowned serve aboard the Black's spacesuit? DISCLAIMER: I confess to not having gotten far enough in game to answer this myself if that information is in game. If it is and you don't want to spoil it I retract the question.

7. Does the Black even need spacesuit? Same disclaimer in #6 applies.

8. Really a Suul'ka question but are favored Zuul allowed to serve aboard their master's suits? Same disclaimer in #6 applies.

Thank you in advance for any replies that you care to make.

v/r
feld

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Erinys
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Re: Liir, the Black, Earth Cetaceans, Art and Gender

Post by Erinys » Wed Mar 14, 2012 8:21 pm

feld wrote:1. Much Liiran art (particularly the above-mentioned Black picture) is very much and very clearly inspired by various terrestrial cetacean species. Is the art in the game generally how you see them in your mind?


Yes, Liir are basically a cetacean form that evolves from dolphin-like to whale-like over the course of a long life-span.

2. I notice that sperm whales are one of the "great whales" not represented in the art depicting later Liiran life stages. I *think* this is because the Liir become baleen-analogue filter feeders as they get larger. Is that right?


Yes, in general Liir Elders are filter feeders rather than hunters when they grow old.

2.a. If so, is there an intermediate "large carnivore" change like the sperm whale that we've not seen?


The Suul'ka often develop unique body forms which reflect their goals and self-image. The body of He Who Shapes is much more like that of a sperm whale, while the Kraken has opted for something more ancient, an almost proto-crocodilian form. The Cannibal is more like a blue whale, but he has formed his body around a massive, hideous maw.

3. Do Liir in their natural state have any conscious control about when to enter the various phases of their lives (e.g. when to change genders or when to change to a different diet) or is it more of an autonomous or environmental thing?

3.a. Do Liir in their modern technical state ever elect to retard or advance their natural progression? It would seem uncharacteristic of them from what I've read but, well, I am trying to confirm my impression of that character...


Liir have full control over gender and body form. Body size is much more difficult to control, at least while the diet is based on physical food.

4. If I understand it correctly, the Black is specifically an ancient masculine gendered individual in a species whose gender can change over their lifetimes and who never cease growing. Yet, in the filter feeding great whales of Earth, the females tend to be the larger creature. Is there a tendency for ancient Liir to "go great lady" as they get older and larger?


Some of them are female gendered regardless of age and size. Biima, the Shining Pearl, is a female, and so is the Siren. For the most part, however, the masculine gender is assumed by any Liir who has given up reproduction.

5. I believe that in most terrestrial baleen cetacean societies, the males tend to take on more aggressive roles than the females (I am aware that I am generalizing here). However many of the largest whales don't tend to live in groups (pods), preferring a more solitary existence. I guess what I'm asking here is: is the Black something of an oddity - by being very old, presumably very large, and yet still male? For the record I think I am probably stretching analogy to Earth whales too far here. Seeking confirmation.


No, there is nothing odd about masculinity being associated with Great Age and the associated massive size among the Liir.

6. Do any younger Liir Drowned serve aboard the Black's spacesuit? DISCLAIMER: I confess to not having gotten far enough in game to answer this myself if that information is in game. If it is and you don't want to spoil it I retract the question.


No. They work on his armor, but not within it. That said, you do not have to be in close proximity to the Black to be a part of him. Ishii was part of the Black.

7. Does the Black even need spacesuit? Same disclaimer in #6 applies.


Less so than we do. He could survive without out, if he devoted more of his concentration to shielding himself from vacuum.

8. Really a Suul'ka question but are favored Zuul allowed to serve aboard their master's suits? Same disclaimer in #6 applies.


Yes. The Bloodweaver has a whole city of Zuul living on his back.

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feld
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Re: Liir, the Black, Earth Cetaceans, Art and Gender

Post by feld » Wed Mar 14, 2012 9:33 pm

Thank you. Great stuff!
v/r
feld

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