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Arrew

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Reply with quote  #1 

Didn't get an official response but as far as I know none of this contradicts the official canon.

Was fun working it into the timeline [biggrin] .

Arrew

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Arvonian

 

          Arvonians are mammalian with a bone structure and facial features that are surprisingly Terran in appearance. But generally Arvonians are shorter and more slender than Terrans, with a lifespan that is almost two and a half times as long.

          Their skin has a quality similar to Terran chameleons only much brighter and that, with training, can be specifically controlled. Arvonians like to run brightly coloured curved and spiralling patterns across their bodies and faces that most Terrans find attractive.

          Arvonians loose the capacity to control their pigmentation when experiencing strong emotions such as rage, fear, embarrassment or arousal. So, for example, it’s easy to see that a bright red fiery Arvonian is very angry. When sleeping Arvonian skin pigmentation changes to a gentle pale blue which darkens to almost back on death.

          Arvonians have a head of hair, again much like Terrans, which they can also consciously alter the colour of. But unlike their skin Arvonian hair is only monotone in its colouring. Without conscious effort Arvonian hair is black, changing to silver in old age.

          The colour changing abilities of the Arvonian likely evolved as a defensive measure against the numerous and large predators of their homeworld. Though the Arvonians have culled or contained most of these aggressive creatures some, such as the Trianton and massive Vellatrix, can still be seen in a select number of zoos.

          Due to their native environment Arvonians have a much higher tolerance to radiation and ultraviolet light compared to the Stellar average, but also weaker than average immune system.

          Twice in the last few hundred years the Arvonian Empire was almost wiped out, not by a hostile military force, but by a virulent virus. Most recently thirty eight standard years ago the Green Creep, named after the tendril like green rash that spread across its victims bodies in the later stages of infection, killed one in ten adult and two in five adolescent before a vaccine could be synthesized and distributed.

          A one hundred foot monolith was erected outside Queen Sansha’s Winter Palace and set into the top is a natural diamond twice the size of watermelon. The monument is called the Tear of Remembrance and is dedicated to the children that died in the Green Creep plague. Parents and siblings regularly make pilgrimages to the monument to grieve for those they lost.

          Arvonian musicians and singers are famed across the Orion Galactic Spiral for their talents. The Arvonian language itself is quite musical in tone and even a casual conversation about the weather can sound like quite a melodic exchange to listeners that don’t speak it. The Arvonian written language consists of interlocking lines and geometric shapes and is one of only two known languages where the colour of the script has a bearing on a given word's meaning.

          The Arvonians are herbivores and live on a diet of fruit, vegetables and funguses. Eating meat and meat products can cause considerable abdominal pain and sickness. Females have two mammary glands on which baby Arvonians suckle until they are old enough to develop teeth, which normally takes about six months. At which point fruit is introduced into their diet.

          Traditionally it’s the female’s role to gather food and feed babies and the males job to care and nurture them. Despite their own modern sexual discrimination laws Arvonian culture is still very matriarchal, so most important civilian and military positions are taken by the more dominant females, which are seen as being stronger and more confident than their effeminate male counterparts.

          Arvonians marry to form family structures which, being polygamists, usually consists of one female wife and two or more male husbands. Originally marriage parings were arranged and based heavily on family status, social class and lineage. In modern times marriage candidates are selected by the Supreme Understand based on genetic compatibility, social dynamics of existing family members and both physical and personality attributes.

          Just over a hundred years ago the much beloved Queen Sansha peacefully united the nations of the Arvonian homeworld and, with the advent of faster than light travel, led her people to colonise new worlds around distant stars.

          The first alien life forms the Arvonians came into contact with were space whales. Queen Sansha declared the beautiful spectral beings to be a symbol of the Arvonians bright future in space. To this day the majestic space whales are beloved by all Arvonians.

          As their empire expanded so did the bureaucracy required to run it. When it became too much for Queen Sansha to manage she ordered the construction of a super intelligent master computer to assist her. What resulted was, and is, the most powerful computational innovation in the known galaxy.

          The Supreme Understander, as the computer became known, was so successful at managing the needs of the new Arvonian colonies and deep space bases that ever increasing governance decisions were delegated to it. Its capacity was continuously increased as it took on more and more functions until the Supreme Understander took on every aspect of government. While it is still technically a monarchy everything from legislation to education, from battle strategies to traffic violations, is now managed by the Supreme Understander. It expanded into homes, offices, security systems and most forms of transport. It now has direct control over everything from high speed passenger trains to an individual households proffered environmental settings.

          While many Terrans consider the Arvonian Empire some kind of technological dystopia, Arvonians genuinely adore the Supreme Understander. They consider this to be their golden age, overseen by the benevolent super intelligent computer. So much so that they practically revere it and any facet of it or terminal integrated into its systems.

          All major religions have been in an exponential decline in the Arvonian Empire since the Supreme Understander became accessible to the common people. It watches over them, knows them and, unlike the gods of Arvonian religion, speaks to and converses with citizen with a standard communicator that wants to talk.

          The Arvonian Empire expanded unhindered for just over thirty years until it came into contact with the Ximni. Though both sides blame the other for starting it, the brief two year war between them ended when the Arvonians pushed the Ximni back and expanded their territory to include an additional star cluster.

          The Supreme Understander’s analyses of the First Arvonian Ximni War concluded that the Arvonians were only victorious due to their greater numbers, which allowed them to swarm the Ximni with their smaller and more manoeuvrable ships. The Supreme Understander also now knew that there were other stellar empires out there with large, technologically advanced and powerful military forces.

          In response the Supreme Understander instituted polices to stimulate rapid population growth and began a program of aggressive colonisation and territorial expansion. It also constructed a grand Armada of carrier craft that could disperse large numbers of small agile combat fighters.  The strategy being that they could, just as they had with the Ximni, swarm enemy ships, bringing them down, not with giant blast cannons, but by dozens of smaller particle beams.

          For 18 years the Arvonian Empire grew rapidly and they came into contact with the other major stellar powers.

          In 2188 the Royal Armada joined with the Kraliens and the Torgoth in a joint attack on the resource rich United Planets. The predominantly Terran defence forces fought fiercely but, despite the invasion proving more difficult than expected, the new Torgoth, Arvonian and Kralien alliance seized several United Planets systems before a cease fire was agreed.

          Emboldened by their victory against the Stellar Navy the Arvonians launched a pre-emptive strike against their old enemies the Ximni in 2192. Initially the Arvonians seemed unstoppable and the Ximni sustained heavy losses in the first seven months. But the tide turned in 2194 when, without warning, a full Stellar Navy Division answered a distress signal from the civilian Ximni colony at Delphine Minor. They remained to defend the strategic system until the Second Arvonian Ximni War ended in 2195.

          The Supreme Understander then calculated that the only major opposition to the Arvonians eventual domination of the galaxy was the United Planets. The Arvonian Royal Armada has been involved with every major war against the United Planets ever since.

ryleyra

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Reply with quote  #3 
I've added a new Arvonian page to the wiki, here: http://artemiswiki.pbworks.com/w/page/116249817/Arvonian%20(Race)

I'd like to add your overview of the Arvonians, as I did with the Kraliens, but I see two inconsistencies with info I gathered from Mike and Gryphon. The first is that the Arvonians are not true mammals but "pseudo-mammals". They bear live young, but don't have hair, which is my second point. As Gryphon says, they are "almost hairless". They tend to wear headwraps or headdresses, although Mike said at one point they could use drugs to grow something that looks like hair.

I see them as a sort of amphibian that gives live birth, lacking scales. I don't have issue with them nursing young, but I think I would edit your post to indicate the Arvonians only developed the ability to grow hair to imitate humans.

Also note my answer to your question of why Arvonians would be so upset about a destroyed guidance system on a homing missile if it isn't sentient. To my mind, the Arvonians see it as we would a puppy. It isn't sentient, certainly, and it's not as valuable as a human pilot, but we'd be pretty upset if someone put it in a missile and fired it at a target. To extend the comparison:

simple machine = ant or cockroach
alarm clock = chicken
guided missile system = puppy
Supreme Understander = human being

Arvonians don't mind putting computers in danger, so they use them in their ships and fighters. But fighters are intended to return to the ship. It isn't a one way trip. So the risk is acceptable, just as the pilot accepts the risk that he may be shot down.

Interestingly, I had the thought that if someone told an Arvonian the story of the WWII Kamikaze pilots, they would go into shock and probably not be able to sleep that night thinking about it.
Arrew

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Reply with quote  #4 
My stuffs on the wiki? Wow that's cool!

Well Mike is the canon master so anything for the wiki will have to be edited to be inline with that. If you want to edit it then sure, go right ahead.

When I originally wrote these it was to expand the Artemis canon which was available at that time. I wanted if for the sandbox games I was running at the time. Since then more stuff has come out and I have taken liberties, particularly with the Skaraans, to more suit my own tastes. I liked the Arvonian as the Femme Fetales of the Artemis universe and since I like hair over non-hair they have hair. But it's just personal taste. 


As to AI and missiles, a heat seeking rocket isn't what I would call AI. On your scale a Cockroach at best. I get why it's there, to explain the game mechanics, but it doesn't "jive" with me. I think they don't like using missiles because they don't like using missiles.... LOL

Mike Substelny

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Reply with quote  #5 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arrew
Arvonians loose the capacity to control their pigmentation when experiencing strong emotions such as rage, fear, embarrassment or arousal. So, for example, it’s easy to see that a bright red fiery Arvonian is very angry. When sleeping Arvonian skin pigmentation changes to a gentle pale blue which darkens to almost back on death.


I like this but it doesn't all fit together. If Arvonian pigment change developed as a defense mechanism, then a frightened or angry Arvonian would automatically take on the color of his/her environment.

Losing control of your pigmentation is considered rude and unfashionable, and Arvonians have developed techniques for keeping control in all circumstances. For example, Arvonians have numerous schools of martial arts that teach them to put on a "Fight Face" when they are angry or frightened. During the equivalent of high school and college, most Arvonians develop several "Fight Faces."

As a consequence, almost every Arvonian has the equivalent of a Black Belt in at least one martial art.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arrew
Arvonians have a head of hair, again much like Terrans, which they can also consciously alter the colour of. But unlike their skin Arvonian hair is only monotone in its colouring. Without conscious effort Arvonian hair is black, changing to silver in old age.


I love this idea so I want to find a way to make it work. Let's say Arvonians have developed cosmetic nanotechnology. A human could buy this technology, too, and use it to change the color of their hair at any time.

The point is that an Arvonian trained in the art of huma nita can take on the racial appearance of any human, from African to Asian to Irish to Scandinavian.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arrew
The colour changing abilities of the Arvonian likely evolved as a defensive measure against the numerous and large predators of their homeworld. Though the Arvonians have culled or contained most of these aggressive creatures some, such as the Trianton and massive Vellatrix, can still be seen in a select number of zoos.


Um, okay. Arvonians would find urban zoos distasteful but they would have massive Wild Animal Parks where animals roam free.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arrew
Due to their native environment Arvonians have a much higher tolerance to radiation and ultraviolet light compared to the Stellar average, but also weaker than average immune system.


In the Artemis Universe technology is a great equalizer. Everyone who has access to good healthcare has a pretty robust immune system. The only exception is the Skaraans. For Skaraans healthcare is a benefit given by their corporate employers. Low-level Skaraans have lousy healthcare and unemployed Skaraans have no healthcare.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arrew
Twice in the last few hundred years the Arvonian Empire was almost wiped out, not by a hostile military force, but by a virulent virus. Most recently thirty eight standard years ago the Green Creep, named after the tendril like green rash that spread across its victims bodies in the later stages of infection, killed one in ten adult and two in five adolescent before a vaccine could be synthesized and distributed.

          A one hundred foot monolith was erected outside Queen Sansha’s Winter Palace and set into the top is a natural diamond twice the size of watermelon. The monument is called the Tear of Remembrance and is dedicated to the children that died in the Green Creep plague. Parents and siblings regularly make pilgrimages to the monument to grieve for those they lost.



Maybe this happened before Lilene took control of the government, but it has not happened recently. Lilene, the Arvonian Supercomputer aka "The Supreme Understander," is very good at preventing epidemics.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arrew
Arvonian musicians and singers are famed across the Orion Galactic Spiral for their talents. The Arvonian language itself is quite musical in tone and even a casual conversation about the weather can sound like quite a melodic exchange to listeners that don’t speak it. The Arvonian written language consists of interlocking lines and geometric shapes and is one of only two known languages where the colour of the script has a bearing on a given word's meaning.


The musical tone fits right in with the language that Randall is developing, but the written language does not look like this description. Have a look at his work here: https://sites.google.com/site/tsnlinguistics/home/arvonian

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arrew
The Arvonians are herbivores and live on a diet of fruit, vegetables and funguses. Eating meat and meat products can cause considerable abdominal pain and sickness. Females have two mammary glands on which baby Arvonians suckle until they are old enough to develop teeth, which normally takes about six months. At which point fruit is introduced into their diet.


Actually many Arvonians a vegetarians by choice, but biologically they are perfectly capable of digesting meat. Otherwise they would have trouble passing for humans.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arrew
Traditionally it’s the female’s role to gather food and feed babies and the males job to care and nurture them. Despite their own modern sexual discrimination laws Arvonian culture is still very matriarchal, so most important civilian and military positions are taken by the more dominant females, which are seen as being stronger and more confident than their effeminate male counterparts.


This describes various phases of Arvonian history, and in fact the society has a matriarchal background. Nevertheless, The Artemis game takes place during a period when Lilene has declared total equality between the sexes. The Arvonian language is mostly genderless, except for some of the ancient titles for members of the royal family and peerage.

In today's Arvonian Royal Navy over 50% of the top officers are still female. This hardly matters to most humans, who can barely distinguish between male and female Arvonians.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arrew
Arvonians marry to form family structures which, being polygamists, usually consists of one female wife and two or more male husbands. Originally marriage parings were arranged and based heavily on family status, social class and lineage. In modern times marriage candidates are selected by the Supreme Understand based on genetic compatibility, social dynamics of existing family members and both physical and personality attributes.


Actually, in current Arvonian culture you may find every possible combination of family. You will find monogamy, polygamy, polyandry, polyamory, heterosexual, homosexual, transsexual, bisexual, and every other type of lifestyle and relationship accepted equally. Arvonian citizens are encouraged to consult Lilene, the Supreme Understander, about their relationahips. Contrary to human expectations, Lilene's relationship advice is always excellent.

The Royal Family itself tends to be relatively old-fashioned in mating practices. Apparently they do this because it helps keep the lineage clear, not because they enjoy it. Nevertheless there have been interesting exceptions. For instance, there was a time when the Arvonians had three queens, all married to each other.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arrew
The Arvonian Empire expanded unhindered for just over thirty years until it came into contact with the Ximni. Though both sides blame the other for starting it, the brief two year war between them ended when the Arvonians pushed the Ximni back and expanded their territory to include an additional star cluster.

The Supreme Understander’s analyses of the First Arvonian Ximni War concluded that the Arvonians were only victorious due to their greater numbers, which allowed them to swarm the Ximni with their smaller and more manoeuvrable ships. The Supreme Understander also now knew that there were other stellar empires out there with large, technologically advanced and powerful military forces.



Actually the Arvonians and the Ximni frequently clash because their cultures are so incompatible. The Ximni feel their direct democracy makes them free while Arvonians are slaves to Lilene. The Arvonians cannot understand why the Ximni want important decisions made by mere people when those decisions could be made by a super-intelligent being like Lilene.

Both Ximni and Arvonians are renowned partiers, but they have distinctly different tastes. The Ximni throw parties that are rowdy and boisterous, like a motorcycle gang. In contrast, an Arvonian party looks like a scene from a Jane Austen novel. These clashes of culture constantly make the Arvonians and the Ximni suspicious of each other.

As to Arvonian involvement in wars, the Kraliens and the Torgoth are constantly poking them. The Kraliens believe they own the galaxy and that everyone owes them "rent." Whenever they attempt to collect the rent from the Arvonians fighting starts. And whenever the ruling party of the Torgoth finds itself in political trouble they have learned they can goad Lilene into launching an attack. The Torgoth do this by intentionally making bad decisions that oppress their own people along the Arvonian border. When Lilene sees this she calculates that those people would be better off under here care so she launches an attack to liberate the oppressed Torgoths. The Torgoth citizens react by throwing their full support behind their ruling party, which stabilizes the government and boosts the economy.

Of course there are times when the Kraliens and/or Torgoth have directed their attention to the USFP or Ximni. At those times Lilene will happily ally herself with the Kraliens and/or Torgoth in the hopes of liberating those wretched USFP citizens from the yoke of constitutional democracy or the persecution of direct democracy.
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Arrew

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Reply with quote  #6 
I wasn't trying to steal your thunder or anything.
This was written at a time when the official cannon wasn't as full as it apparently is now.
Thus it has my personal flavor in it as well as elements that would cause interesting RP, not just in the Artemis game but through a more Table Top RPG setting. "If you're not an imposter ambassador eat the hamburger!" comes to mind.
As always I'm always deeply grateful when everyone likes or uses anything I make or write, so thank you. And of course Mike is the games official Cannon master so anything official, like the wiki is right?, needs to be ok'ed by him.

Just to comment on the feadback though;

1. I did this for storytelling reasons. It also means that an Arvonian that can control their emotions can be quite convincing liars.
2. I like hair on my space babes... Don't judge me [wink] .
3. The zoo bit is a "device" to actually give a glimpse of what the Arvonian homeworld was like more than their view on animal rights. Can't see why they wouldn't have zoo's though. Though the two aren't mutually exclusive I'd imagine them angling towards synthetic rights over animal rights. Also I wanted to give them a strong element and not so much of a "fluffy bunny" free the whales vibe.
4. Different perspective on the universe. But if I had to do it again I'd likely give this characteristic to the Ximni.
5. To contrast the above I wanted to give them a sad, hurt backstory, to make them a bit more tragic. Also disease and bioweapons did lead to a few story arcs at the time.
6. This writing predates Randall's work. I do find the idea of made languages very interesting the fact that he went in a different direction is his creative choice.
7. Again, plot devices for adventures and role play.
8. To provide flaws to their society to make it more believable as well as to emphasize that they're empowered women. See other Femme Fetal comments.
9. Just a different take. I wanted to show how their society was fundamentally changed by the great understander. Also that they could be heading in a direction they might not be aware of.
10. This was written to fill in blanks that were in the canon at the time and to explain game mechanics. Like point 9 the Arvonians are heading in a direction that they might not see right now, which will be both tragic and brutal for the rest of the universe. Kind of like the rise of the Third Riech, dictated by, what is at heart, the cold logic of a machine, no matter how well it can replicate emotions.

Anyways that's why...
ryleyra

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Reply with quote  #7 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arrew
I wasn't trying to steal your thunder or anything.
This was written at a time when the official cannon wasn't as full as it apparently is now.


Also you did ask for feedback but apparently it got lost in the shuffle. [biggrin] It happens.

Quote:

1. I did this for storytelling reasons. It also means that an Arvonian that can control their emotions can be quite convincing liars.


Hey, you spawned an entry in the "How to Spot an Arvonian Spy" thread, so I'd call that an effective compromise.

Quote:

2. I like hair on my space babes... Don't judge me [wink] .


I see this as Delenn from Babylon 5. Normal Minbari do not have hair, they have a bony growth on their heads. They aren't mammals and have alien biology. However, when Delenn becomes half human, she gets hair that grows THROUGH her bone growth, which is greatly diminished in size. In fact, it looks very much like a hair clip.

It makes sense that Arvonians would be able to grow something that looks like hair, in order to impersonate humans. And Gryphon did suggest that they have something like hair, but it's very short and almost unnoticeable. They could use drugs or genetic engineering to make that hair grow longer.

Note that if Arvonian hair can change color, then it can't be completely dead, like human hair is. I would suggest that there is a chemical produced in the follicles that runs down the hair and changes its color. This is why it has the be the same color. There are living cells in the hair that react to the chemical, and unless you frequently give the hair a nutrient bath to keep it alive it will flake and drop off.

I like the idea that while it looks like hair, it's about as similar to hair as a feather. And in fact, Arvonians could easily grow features if they wanted to, using the same technology. [biggrin]

Quote:

8. To provide flaws to their society to make it more believable as well as to emphasize that they're empowered women. See other Femme Fetal comments.


I like the idea that Arvonians prefer women over men simply because they are emotionally closer to their mothers. They seem to have had a progressive social structure in the past, due to their openness about sexuality in all its forms, and with the Supreme Understander deciding based on hard logic that men and women are equal, the matter is settled.

You can, after all, consider that two people are equal but just like one of them better. [biggrin] Particularly if the two of you have built a strong nurturing bond.

ryleyra

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Reply with quote  #8 
Another thought I just had is that as a defensive measure, early Arvonians could have had the ability to grow claws and "spines" at a rapid rate. That would explain the properties of the hair growths. It could also suggest that in its natural state, the hair is similar to a porcupine quill. But it's more a scare than an actual defense, like a frilled lizard.

As with humans, though, that defense mechanism became vestigial. So all Arvonians can do is grow inch-long hair on parts of their bodies, if they concentrate. (But not on the chin and upper lip, since they have to fake that with coloration)

Mike's "Fight Face", however, could include spikes growing from the head and claws sprouting from the fingertips.
Arrew

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Reply with quote  #9 

Not to worry. It's great that the universe is growing and developing. 

Hahaha. It reminds me of an old movie, Carry On Columbus where the inquisition are trying to test people with a pork sandwich.

It might be weird but I always thought that Delenn looked "weird" once she got hair?

Your right, I guess Arvonian hair must be alive. Perhaps they can make it move, kind of like tentacles.




The horns idea kind of makes me thing Ximni, and it's generally an idea to keep the races distinctive. But just my opinion. [biggrin]

ryleyra

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Reply with quote  #10 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arrew

The horns idea kind of makes me thing Ximni, and it's generally an idea to keep the races distinctive. But just my opinion. [biggrin]


Not horns. Spines. Basically an Arvonian would like a Mohawk or a spiky Mohawk because that's what their "hair" is naturally supposed to look like.

Tentacles might be a bit too much like Medusa. But I like the idea of the hair being alive. Maybe it could wave as if in a light breeze. [biggrin]

It hasn't been mentioned if the Arvonians' origin is underwater. I think that would make sense, especially given that there are some theories that human beings spent a lot of time in our early history in the water. We're the only ape that floats. [biggrin]

Mike Substelny

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Reply with quote  #11 
I suppose it should be necessary for Arvonians to have biological control over their hair color. But Arvonians love to get their hair cut and styled, so their hair should not have blood vessels or nerves.

Perhaps Arvonian hair is hollow and their pigment chemistry complex. Healthy Arvonians can fill their hair with pigments of various colors at will. With proper training, Arvonians can then send supplemental pigments in to their hair that will (for example) only affect the color of the tips.

I don't want Arvonians who change their hair color on the fly to have multi-colored goo dripping out of the tips of their hairs, so the Arvonian pigments are not liquid. They are gaseous. Outside an Arvonian hair these pigment gasses are colorless and almost odorless. This makes sense because it is illogical that a species would develop a defense mechanism that actually makes them easier to detect. Nevertheless, a highly trained human, or a dog, or an atmospheric analysis sensor, could detect these gasses. For example a specialized operative for TSN intelligence might be trained to literally sniff out Arvonians.

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ryleyra

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Reply with quote  #12 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Substelny
I suppose it should be necessary for Arvonians to have biological control over their hair color. But Arvonians love to get their hair cut and styled, so their hair should not have blood vessels or nerves.


Darn it. I was hoping for an entry in "How to Detect an Arvonian Spy" that suggests getting a pair of scissors and cutting the suspected person's hair. If she screams, she's an Arvonian. [biggrin]

I suppose the vestigial hair could still not be designed to be that long, so if it's not taken care of it drops out. I just like the idea of the Arvonians being able to change hair length rapidly. (Although that could be the drugs)

Quote:

Perhaps Arvonian hair is hollow and their pigment chemistry complex. Healthy Arvonians can fill their hair with pigments of various colors at will. With proper training, Arvonians can then send supplemental pigments in to their hair that will (for example) only affect the color of the tips.


Now this is a great idea. It's basically an intermediate step between hair and feathers, really just a hollow quill. In their natural state they're small, soft quills much like the fine hairs on a human's body. But their ancestors had longer quills that could be filled with a venom. The venom has now evolved to change the color of the hair to match the skin.

Quote:

I don't want Arvonians who change their hair color on the fly to have multi-colored goo dripping out of the tips of their hairs, so the Arvonian pigments are not liquid. They are gaseous. Outside an Arvonian hair these pigment gasses are colorless and almost odorless. This makes sense because it is illogical that a species would develop a defense mechanism that actually makes them easier to detect. Nevertheless, a highly trained human, or a dog, or an atmospheric analysis sensor, could detect these gasses. For example a specialized operative for TSN intelligence might be trained to literally sniff out Arvonians.


Even better. Rather than venom, the toxin developed as a gas that could be injected into a foe.

Alternately, the chemical is a liquid, but it evaporates rapidly in contact with air. Inside the hair it is a kind of mucus.

Which actually brings me around to my latest edit to the wiki. You had mentioned previously that Arvonians have very small pores. That's where I got the idea that they're a cross between a mammal and an amphibian. Instead of sweating, their skin secretes a mucus that serves the same function. Their skin is also porous to air, which helps with the cooling effect.

Conversely, if it's cold, their skin will subtly alter the mucus, so it doesn't evaporate and serves as a layer of insulation. That's another entry for "How to Detect an Arvonian Spy". If it's freezing and the suspect has a "sheen" of sweat, she's an Arvonian.

The same mechanism where the mucus evaporates to cool the skin could be how the chemical in the hair doesn't "drip" from the ends. It just evaporates, possibly triggering the color change as it does.

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