Sunday, February 23, 2014

Tidewaters - Humans and Bilgeborn

"...The genetic divide that differentiates the two most populous species aboard is a subjective and tenuous one, as both incorporate elements from each other, but for this case the definition shall be drawn at major body parts—limbs, organs, and such—incorporating non-mammalian life, rather than minor mutations or abnormalities; for what is the norm in our current circumstance..."
—Prof. Triadesches Ballett
Popular cabaret singer, Als Soisant
For long as recorded history goes, humanity has been a sight in the decks and waves, fluxuous with their names and colours and cultures with every passing generation in reaction to themselves and each other. They have spirit and energy and a sense of self unmatched by most any other things of mind—which seems to result in very short lifespans and a tendency to get bored even with an inbuilt habit of habit.

They are social creatures, clinging in little groups, reflecting and adapting off one another for collective and individual empowerment. But with this need to interact comes conflict and quarrel, competition and a need to prove themselves in some way. Groups seek to distance themselves—almost contradictorily—while remaining in close contact with others. They are complicated, and usually difficult.

Most humans are bilaterally symmetrical: a pair each of eyes, nostrils, brain-lobes, ears, lungs, limbs, and the like. Within the flesh is sun-resistant melanin, in various amounts—and, due to the constant sun, those of a lighter complexion are covered in freckles and birthmarks. Body hair is most commonly dark for those born aboard, but can be stained more dramatic. Their blood contains iron and their stomachs contain acid, every system is designed to resist damage or poisons, and they rely heavily on sight and light. Strangely, they can breed with much higher ease than any other species known, and know each other in terms of lineage and family.

Human Factors
- (+2 v. Poison) or (+1 v. Charm)
- (+2 Face) or (Skill: Coerce)
- (-1 v. Curse) or (-2 Body)

The counterparts to humanity as well come from the depths as infants, but by far more marked by some unknown influence, ears always resounding and hearts always in time with the waves. Blood runs cooler with them, but their connections and decisions are even more passionate, even single-minded at times when let run too long. So too, the song of the ocean will eventually either be broken or draw them into melancholy and erratic behavior as their human elements fade and dissolute to a collection of sea creatures at the end of their long lives.

Mr(s). Bloom
In some ways they are antithetical to the form of the Ship: they are natural, overgrown and only standardized by a common name and a bipedal shape. Their mutations are of a symbiotic or adaptive type: regenerating them even with their frailty, granting new senses or perceptions, armour or organs or chemicals unknown and unexpected. They are organic beings with conception of a self only in terms of how it can grow, how it eats and sleeps and swims in relation to its surroundings. However, human influence comes to them in the use of individual titles or names, the scribing of their deeds, the creation of monolithic art and shaping of their softer parts.

While they are bipeds, of flesh and blood and muscle, their incorporation of sea life can be extreme to the point of not even resembling humanity. Their skin pigments are often of metals or minerals, in uncommon shades of pallor-like blue or green, grey or purple where flesh is present. Almost none have hair, and those that do have it stringy and easily-broken, sun- and salt-bleached to almost translucent. Their skeletons can be flexible and cartilaginous, or overgrown in a lattice that sprouts from the skin, their organs built for high pressure or low nutrition. They have a high reliance on the sense of hearing.

Bilgeborn Factors
- (+1 EP) or (+2 Mind)
- (Skill: Deep Swimming) or (+2 v. Curse)
- (-2 Motion) or (-1 Face)

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