Liir Gender Spectrums

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Aedrion
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Liir Gender Spectrums

Post by Aedrion » Wed Oct 31, 2012 6:35 pm

Not so much a debate as a question.

How does it work, exactly?

Seeing how in our life, hormones specific for each gender and our treatment as genders define what we behave like to a certain dregree, I wonder what impact this has on Liir, who, supposedly, have equal amounts of both hormone types and get the same treatment.

I'm lead to believe that liir would have a mixed gender personality, which might be comparable to bi-sexual people in real life. Soft in some areas, hard in others, with hints of both gender-specific attributes. But given the information already out there, liir are said to have spectrums they can switch in and out of.

What effect does this have on their personalities as a whole, are they completely unpredictable due to them sometimes acting male and sometimes female? Or do they take on the role befitting their current situation and occupation? Or do they have a preferred spectrum, like say one might decide she is female, despite biologically being both?

The Siren might hint that the latter is the case, since despite being ancient, she retained her female spectrum. Meaning she was a female personality and remained such even after becoming Suul'ka.

I like liir, I love the concept and I play them all the time, I really an curious to know what they're like. Can one be a friend with one because you relate on a level of 'being girls' or 'being guys' or are they too alien to others because of these gender spectrums?

Any clarity offered would be most welcome.

As always, loving the lore AND the game.

Aedrion

PS: Okay so it *is* a debate, sorry!

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Weidekuh
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Re: Liir Gender Spectrums

Post by Weidekuh » Wed Oct 31, 2012 7:45 pm

When i first read about Liir changing gender i had to think of this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LHwQSrn3F24

If they are really so close to cetaceans they should be closer to mammals than to fishes. But maybe it still works kinda like in the video.
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Aedrion
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Re: Liir Gender Spectrums

Post by Aedrion » Wed Oct 31, 2012 10:39 pm

They don't switch genders biologically though, they're hermaphroditic, they have both sexes. But they do seem to switch gender spectrums, as in, behaving male or female.
My point is that I'd love to know how this all works.

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Tarrak
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Re: Liir Gender Spectrums

Post by Tarrak » Wed Oct 31, 2012 10:58 pm

Seems like it is a conscious choice, as seen with SPOILER The Usurper. It honestly seems that the individual Liir takes the gender that he/she feels is the most fitting, or perhaps rather, is what they like the most. This is somewhat strange, but Liir do change personality in genderchanges, as can be seen by the known females. They have what we would consider quite female traits, even if The Siren isn't exactly 'soft'. Meanwhile the known males have very male traits. But the initial case I presented is somewhat special and can't be taken to mean it is like that for all Liir, but it is a rather radical change in that case.

So how does it happen? Well the Liir are strongly psionic, so it isn't entirely strange to imagine that taking on a different gender actually does impact the hormonal secretion, even if not intentially. But that would require them to have very similar systems to humans (and even so, hormones are only responsible for some of our personality).
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Erinys
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Re: Liir Gender Spectrums

Post by Erinys » Thu Nov 01, 2012 12:25 am

The Liir have an innate sense that gender is a performance, but like other more limited species, they associate the performance of gender with certain biological and social roles. The reason that they define some traits as 'feminine' is because they are useful and beneficial to Liir in the female role. A Liir performing the female role works intimately with infants and children and provides them with what they most need, nursing both bodies and minds. It is not a large stretch for the Liir to associate that same nurturing performance with the feminine gender when the needs of adults are being met: even a very old Liir can be "female" in this sense, and her gender performance and persona will echo the choice to be female.

Similarly, there are some male gender traits that are most beneficial in a father or the non-childbearing mate, among the Liir. It is instinctive for a Liir in the male parental role to protect his mate, his group and his offspring, not only from predators and accidents but from the aggression of other Liir. Male gender performance has a tendency to increase body size, muscle growth, and aggression.

It is also worth noting that male is the "default" gender as Liir pass a certain age. When they are no longer small enough to mate and nurture their own offspring as females, the feminine gender tends to slip away from them. It is only in rare instances that femaleness is performed by a Great Elder.

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Aedrion
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Re: Liir Gender Spectrums

Post by Aedrion » Thu Nov 01, 2012 1:24 am

"Perform femaleness" - Arinn, November 2012

On a sidenote, does this mean a liir does not have a specific, steady personality? Like say, playful, caring, competetive, rowdy?
Since most of these treats are associated with roles and gender specific behaviours, could it be that you meet a liir and she's kind and funny and when you meet her again 20 years later, she's a he and he's grumpy and protective?

Apologies Domina, for all these questions but my brain keeps telling me: 'You must inquire, inquire, inquire more!'

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Erinys
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Re: Liir Gender Spectrums

Post by Erinys » Fri Nov 02, 2012 6:05 am

Well, we are dealing with complex sentients who can potentially live for thousands of years, even if you don't take into account the fact that they can shift from one gender to another, or ignore gender altogether.

Real humans are seldom defined solely by a single personality trait, which is why fictional characters always seem more "realistic" if they are complex, or multi-faceted. The same is true of Liir, or any other sentient. Certainly they have personalities which are unique, but to say that they are always defined by a single dominant trait (being playful, competitive, etc) for even a day, much less multiple millennia, would not be realistic. ;)

For a Liir, gender is just one more thing that can change as needed.

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Aedrion
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Re: Liir Gender Spectrums

Post by Aedrion » Thu Nov 08, 2012 9:00 pm

Sounds like it's sort of impossible to be friends with one or be close with one, such a shame. I love liir =O

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Re: Liir Gender Spectrums

Post by Treliant » Thu Nov 08, 2012 9:28 pm

I don't know Aedrion they sound alot like some freinds I have right now :D . A mecurial nature doesn't neccesarily equate to unrelatable or unknowable it just takes a little more work, patience, and understanding than you'd need for your average predictble joe. I'm currently married and I couldn't help but sit here and think how I would react if I woke up tommorow and my wife had become a man lol. I think it would end our marriage but I could still see us as being extremely close friends. Our relationship would experience a dramatic overhaul but there would still be aspects of who she is/ what she stands for/ what she appreciates etc. that would be true regardless of her "role" that would draw me into sharing her life. I imagine this is true of the Liir as well (although I could be way off!)

I imagine if you are going to be friends with Liir you just may have to appreciate the twisty up and down ride it could be :)

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Erinys
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Re: Liir Gender Spectrums

Post by Erinys » Thu Nov 08, 2012 9:47 pm

Also, Treliant, if you were happily married Liir, there would be little reason for your wife to become a man unless you wished to become a mother...or unless you died. If you were not there to protect her, the children, or the group, she might be forced to step up to the role of protector. For a Liir, becoming "male" can be analogous to strapping on weapons or donning a soldier's uniform.

Whether a stable gender is necessary for friendship or love is an open question, obviously. Liir would say no; the issue is not trivial but it is also not fundamental. Some humans, Tarka, Morrigi etc. might disagree.

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Aedrion
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Re: Liir Gender Spectrums

Post by Aedrion » Thu Nov 08, 2012 10:09 pm

All good points =)

I've studied psychology and what I got from that, and my personal experience is the best way to make friends is to really understand who another person is, what they like, dislike and more importantly, why. This takes time, this time is required to create a bond of trust and comfort between two people. Then comes accepting who they are and finding joy in your shared likes and debating - in a positive manner - how your opinions differ, again trying to gain better insight into the other person. I'm a huge fan of debating ideas and possible truths. =)

Over time, it becomes easier to confess something or share a secret because your friend already knows you intimately and won't judge you. Sharing a secret and seeing it well received gives a great sense of mutual trust and fellowship.

Liir will know you very well, very early on, and might not feel the need to let you *really* know them. Why would they debate if they can understand you well enough without engaging in a long conversation and can test their own ideas versus yours without long talks? So how does one befriend a liir? (getting really nerdy here, forgive me) Would conversations turn into interrogations because they needn't ask many questions, would they debate on ideas, seeing how they could already see your flow of thought early on? And would you still have special secrets to share, thus creating a bond, if they could just discover that secret in other ways?

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Re: Liir Gender Spectrums

Post by fiendishrabbit » Thu Nov 08, 2012 11:45 pm

Erinys wrote:Also, Treliant, if you were happily married Liir, there would be little reason for your wife to become a man unless you wished to become a mother...or unless you died. If you were not there to protect her, the children, or the group, she might be forced to step up to the role of protector. For a Liir, becoming "male" can be analogous to strapping on weapons or donning a soldier's uniform.

Whether a stable gender is necessary for friendship or love is an open question, obviously. Liir would say no; the issue is not trivial but it is also not fundamental. Some humans, Tarka, Morrigi etc. might disagree.

--Arinn


Considering that I have a close friend that's transgender whom I've known from her being a teenage girl to him being a full grown man. Friendship and love can survive. Attraction not so much (unless you swing that way), testosterone treatment does weird things to people. I do say the first two years were troublesome because he behaved in many ways like a teenager in terms of impulse control.
On the other hand military service threw me and some friends apart. The new me couldn't handle them, and they couldn't handle the new me.

So for a human I could see it not being a problem, and I could see it being a problem but not more than other types of changes (like military service or studying at the university).
For a species where such hormone changes are normal and who are used to being telepathicly linked I can't really see it being a problem, although compatibility might change (for better or worse).
You can't trust the Liir. Never trust someone that smiles all the time.

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Tarrak
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Re: Liir Gender Spectrums

Post by Tarrak » Fri Nov 09, 2012 1:40 am

Aedrion wrote:Liir will know you very well, very early on, and might not feel the need to let you *really* know them. Why would they debate if they can understand you well enough without engaging in a long conversation and can test their own ideas versus yours without long talks? So how does one befriend a liir? (getting really nerdy here, forgive me) Would conversations turn into interrogations because they needn't ask many questions, would they debate on ideas, seeing how they could already see your flow of thought early on? And would you still have special secrets to share, thus creating a bond, if they could just discover that secret in other ways?

Why would they know you very well? Because they can enter your mind? That doesn't explain how you would react to certain stimuli, be it intellectual debates or outside physical reactions. The only things open to tem would be your current thoughts and memories. And memories aren't exactly very realistic (we tend to remember special cases, do you remember what you did or said 34 days ago?), heck some people have so vivid imaginations that their memories are influenced by that imagination, and we all have our small delusions and white lies.

In any case, the Liir don't appear to enter the mind of others unless invited or it serves a specific purpose. Ishii apologized to Cai Rui after doing so, but in effect Cai Rui was more or less broadcasting his own psionic abilities and Ishii responded to that (and wanted to calm him of course, serving the specific purpose). This can be seen in the 'Hide the secret' game, as if the Liir entered another's mind almost automatically or just did as a matter of fact, the game would be quite taxing as it would be a constant effort, and thus not much of a game. I think your view of the Liir actually fit the Zuul more. Just because you aren't malicious doesn't mean that your actions aren't wrong, and the Liir certainly know that.
So to me the Liir psionic potential is more like arm wrestling, you do this specific thing and stop when you don't want to anymore, while the Zuul way is like playing poker with open cards (your hand is always visible).
Every time you use 'fluff' for lore a Kerberos developer dies. And they are already an endangered species.

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