does this species have a name

A rare snake-related post by me-

I have had Vision, a dwarf BCI and my youngest snake, for roughly 9 months now. He will be a year old in July, so by snake standards he is still very much a baby. In the past 9 months, he’s gone from, for lack of better words, a bitey defensive asshole to a relatively passive and trusting creature who simply has Rules ™ on how, where, and when he can be touched. I used the same method to produce these results as I do with all of my reptiles, including my young snake of a notoriously aggressive and defensive species (Amazon Tree Boas) and have frequently been asked how I manage to get these animals that instinctively bite first and ask questions never to allow handling and pictures without drawing blood.

On my dog blog I’ve mentioned the concept of body autonomy a few times in relation to training dogs, and how it crosses over into husbandry in other species. In these posts I’ve detailed how I tame the larger birds at my job, how I teach my snakes not to bite me when I take them out, how I can successfully convince a thrashing dog to accept grooming without a fuss, how I teach cats to not turn into screaming demons for nail trims, and more. I also cover this in many of my dog training lectures at work as my students teach their dogs to allow grooming, nail trims, and medically related handling to prevent injuries and incidents when interacting with these animals. All of this relates back to body autonomy, and how we as humans have consistently ignored other species’ instinctive need to be autonomous.

I am no master animal trainer and do not play one on TV. I train pet dogs and service dogs and have begun to venture into competition, at one point I specialized in rehabbing aggressive and reactive dogs. I have trained various common pet animals in occasionally unconventional ways to do things that make life easier for the both of us, but I don’t claim to be anything special, because what I’m doing is not all that special. It is, however, uncommon for people to make these considerations with their pets and then they call in someone like me to fix a problem that didn’t need to start in the first place.

An example being: frequently on this website and others, the solution for convincing a biting snake not to bite you is to hold it still until it stops biting you. The snake will learn that biting you does not produce the desired result (you letting the snake go or putting it back in its cage) and thus will eventually stop biting you when you pick it up.

In the dog training world, we call this flooding and learned helplessness. It “works” because it produces what we wanted it to. The snake no longer bites when you pick it up. But it failed to address the root of the problem, and frequently if regular handling is not maintained the snake will return to biting you every time you touch it. The snake had learned that there was nothing it could do in order to make you stop doing what it didn’t like, and so had learned that it was helpless against the much larger human. The snake in this situation still doesn’t really want to be handled, it is merely tolerating it because it sees no other option.

While snakes have a much more primitive brain than dogs and thus a much more limited scope of emotions, aggression and violence are always expensive measures to use and thus are frequently considered last resort measures to make an unpleasant situation stop. They are costly in body resources- they take large amounts of energy, stress, and time to resolve, and wounds obtained from violence can become deadly with infection or severity. As a result, a bite should always indicate that whatever you are doing is so unpleasant to the animal you’re doing it to that they’re willing to risk their life in order to make you stop. The common pet snake knows it cannot win against an animal as large as a human. It is hoping you have not come to the same realization, and will not call its bluff.

This creates a problem. Like with dogs, backing off from a situation that is required after a bite will teach the snake that all they have to do to get you to leave them alone is to bite you. If I need to trim my dog’s nails, give him a bath, brush him, or have him examined by a vet, sure I could put him in a muzzle and force him to do it anyway, but it is counter-intuitive to teach him that all he has to do is bite me in order to get out of doing those things he may consider unpleasant. I need to be able to handle my snakes. This is not negotiable, just like the above things I do with my dogs are not negotiable. If I cannot handle them, I cannot check them for injury, disease, or distress. Backing off because my snake, or dog, has threatened to bite me is thus not a viable option. I must be able to complete the task, and the animal in question must let me.

Dogs, by comparison, are relatively easy to convince in this problem. I need to be able to do my dog’s nails. If I give him amazing treats on a good reward schedule, shower him with praise, listen to his body language to give him a chance to calm down and destress before pressing on, and remove my own negative emotions from the equation, he will learn to let me do his nails and even offer the position required for the task within a relatively short amount of time. He does not have to like having his nails done, but I can convince him to like he benefits he gets out of it. Cats and birds and small mammal pets like ferrets, rabbits, and rodents may be slower, but follow much the same way.

I can’t give a snake a treat. That’s not really how snake digestive systems work. I can’t give them a toy. I can’t give them praise. The subtleties of snake body language are much harder to read due to a lack of eyelids, ears, and limbs. Dogs, cats, birds, ferrets, all of these are social creatures that practice social bonding and feel an emotion similar to love (in the dog’s case, actually do feel love). Snakes are not social creatures and their brain is not capable of producing the chemicals involved in the emotion we call love. I cannot convince a snake to love me or to like being handled. That is not something their biology is able to do. Does that mean I have to rely on flooding and learned helplessness in order to get them to let me handle them?

I keep stressy species. While all reptiles are more than capable of stressing themselves to death, my current list of exotic pets includes a special needs ball python with a severe neurological condition, a brazilian rainbow boa specifically purchased from someone who breeds minimally stressy snakes because he got tired of the species’ reputation for being bitey assholes, and a dwarf bci locality (read: like a subspecies, but not different enough to get their own scientific name) known for being defensive bitey assholes. Previously, I had a special needs corn snake that was a defensive bitey asshole, an amazon tree boa that was remarkably handleable despite the species’ reputation for being aggressive and defensive bitey angry assholes, and a few foster ball pythons that came from neglect situations and had never been handled before leading to them being defensive bitey assholes. Stress is common in situations where aggression or violence is utilized, even if it is being utilized by the animal and not the human. If the stress from moving can kill my beloved ATB Hydra, why would I intentionally expose him to situations where he would feel required to use violence again and again until he learned that that was not a way out of the situation?

I did not flood my snakes. I hold them. They do not bite me. It has been a long time since any of them have even struck at me, and the majority of the bites and strikes I have received have been from when I was learning the snake in front of me or from me intentionally ignoring their body language and handling them a way I knew they didn’t like for whatever reason. Snakes do not bite without cause. Whether you, a human, can see that cause or not, snakes do not bite because they are vindictive or mean. As said, their brains are far too primitive to feel such complex emotions. Even wild snakes do not bite without provocation- whether you intentionally provoked them or not does not matter, simply whether they felt provoked enough to need to defend themselves possibly with their lives.

Vision came to me unsure of my intentions and of whether I could be considered safe. He certainly didn’t believe I should be picking him up. At two months old, the world is a scary place to a baby snake where nearly everything is bigger than you and nearly everything wants to kill or eat you. I do not blame him for doubting the warm giant cooing over him with grabby hands. To him, I’m sure I am some baffling mixture of hawk, bear, and wild canine. All of these things readily kill and eat snakes, all of these things may be persuaded to not kill and eat this particular snake if he bites them.

Instead of picking him up and allowing him to spend precious resources stressing himself to the point of repeatedly biting me- which hurts, by the way, so I don’t really want to be bitten any more than I need to be- I allowed him to show me things about him. I let him show me what he does when he’s nervous, when he doesn’t want to be bothered. I let him show me what he does when he’s curious and feels like investigating what’s in front of him. I let him show me how he does and does not like to be touched. Like many snakes, he seems to enjoy being scratched lightly under the chin. Like many snakes, he doesn’t seem to appreciate being tickled on the stomach. He prefers to create a “foot” about 2/3 down his body and use it as an anchored perch when exploring my hands. He does not want his tail to be touched. When he is nervous or unsure of potential danger, he will retract and coil himself into a loose ball. If pressed before he recovers, he will “expand” the “ball” quickly and vocalize. If he continues to be pressured, he will threaten to bite and will begin to try. If he is allowed to relax, he will recreate his “foot” and resume quietly investigating his surroundings.

Today, I took the lid off of his enclosure and lifted him out without a fuss. While this is not a first- we accomplished this task about 4 weeks in- only in the past few weeks has he not immediately retracted into his loose ball and required me to wait a few minutes for him to relax before touching him. Instead, he immediately made his “foot” and began to investigate, leaned against my finger as I scratched his chin, and maintained his confidence throughout the time I handled him. Sure, I could possibly get a similar result through the first method of flooding and teaching him that he is helpless against me, but I don’t need to. I can get a confident content snake that is not only tolerating my handling but also showing curiosity and intelligence without forcing him to accept my hands as things he has to deal with in his life.

The people espousing these methods always ask me how I managed to take such nice, interesting pictures of Hydra without bleeding- or joke about how much blood they think I lost inbetween shots- and are always surprised when I tell them that I don’t get bit because I understand a snake’s need for autonomy and allow the snake to tell me their “rules” for being touched and then follow those rules or understand if I break them I will get bit. As a result, I don’t break their rules unless I have to, and thus I don’t get bit unless I have to. This allows me to handle and investigate my snakes, look in their mouths, check their vents and between their scales, touch their heads, and rescue them from fluke accidents such as Quetzal’s injury with his decor without the snake taking their frustrations out on me. It also allows me to take some pretty pictures of them outside or on props without worrying how I will retrieve them without being bitten when I’m done. 

Humans are weird little aliens

I really like the “Humans are space orcs; Earth is space Australia” idea, let’s try this out. 

Crewmates: A Guide To Housing the Main Species by Dr. Troa’Gaa was the name of the book Captain Kii’o grabbed out of the main deck’s bookshelf. He wanted to make sure to properly house the new Human that recently became member of the ship. Captain Kii’o sat beside his co-captain, Maefaa.

“Are you sure having a human aboard is a good idea, Maefaa?” Said the captain.”

“Are you kidding?” Maefaa said. “I’ve heard humans are one of the greatest advantages a captain would want!”

Kii’o didn’t really believe that, but hey. If Maefaa said so, he was inclined to believe it just a tad bit more.

“Alright.” Kii’o said, opening the book and going to the Human section.

“If you are new to housing humans,” Kii’o began reading the book out loud, “be sure to read this guide thoroughly. Humans are unpredictable, so forget everything about the other main species.”

“One of the human’s most surprising abilities”, Kii’o continued, “are their stubbornness. Of course, a race that originated in a Class-B8 Death Planet could only be as stubborn as they come.”

“Class-B8? That’s a little ridiculous. Class-B8s have volcanoes and tornadoes and just about every other weather that wants to kill you.” Maefaa interrupted.

“If a human appears to be superficially hurt, it is not something to worry about. Humans can heal cuts and even broken bones in a matter of weeks. Please, spare your medkits, as they usually are not needed, assuming no crew battle above rank 2 took place.

If you want to keep humans healthy and thriving, be sure to get at least one ‘pet’, as humans call them. If no ‘pet’ is provided, the human may attempt to bond and/or pet just about any living creature not marked as toxic. ‘Pets’ can be found in any ‘pet shop’, as the human civilisation calls them. If no pets can be found in the human’s pod, the human will most likely try to bond with inanimate objects, and try to pet dangerous animals.”

“Yeah, humans try to pet everything. One time, a human tried to pet the Konoios in sector 4, haha.” Maefaa said.

“What happened then?”

“The Konoio didn’t attack. That’s it. They just… stared at each other.”

“Are you sure humans aren’t psychic? Konioios are really aggressive, most of the time.”

“Yeah, I didn’t believe it at first too.”

“Did the Konoio run away?”

“No, it ended up becoming the human’s pet. Now everyone’s afraid of going into the human’s pod, haha.”


(Did you like it? Let me know, and I’ll keep writing!)

Guys, a lot of alien languages are probably unpronounceable because they may have more muscles in their voice box so they have a different phonetic​ alphabet.

So with certain names, a human might be like ‘dude i cant even make a nickname out of your name, what does it mean’ and the alien is like 'asteriod’ and the human is like 'okay space rocks’ the human looks it up and then gives the alien the human equivalent that is easiest for them . 'from now on, i shall call you *drumroll please* … craig.’

Then you hear a giant semi-bipedal arachnid with a wolf snout and sixteen eyes awnser to the name Craig.

But the opposite may be true because some species may not have enough mucles in their voice box to make our names so jele, a small alien who resembles a dumbo octopus is like 'i cant say your name miss, just what on jepen does it mean’ and the human is like 'rocks’ and jel is like 'okay now you are neje’

So most intergalactic identity cards have several names under aliases.

Servitor Design Template

As used for tech magic, but can be an outline for general servitor creation. It is suggested to establish these in this particular order, as function/behavior informs shape, and shape informs physical requirements/limitations.

  • Function: [what it does, expand into multiple numbered functions to prevent confusion, give explicit active/command functions as well as a passive/downtime function]
  • Code of Conduct: [ethics guidelines, parameters for offensive/defensive action, parameters for giving out information and practitioner privacy]
  • Motivations: [why it seeks to perform its function(s), what interests it, does it have a drive to achieve a goal]
  • Feelings: [how it feels, why does it seek the motivations, is it lonely/bored, is it subservient, is it happy, etc, use feelings to give the motivations meaning]
  • Behavior: [how it works, what processes does it go through in order to achieve motivations and function(s)]
  • Energy: [how energy signature feels/looks, be descriptive in color, texture, feeling, smell, any senses derived from manipulation of above data]
  • Alignment: [elemental type, if any, primarily used to associate servitor with a specific type of magic as defined by the system of the practitioner]
  • Shape: [type or species, drawing or using a doll maker for ease of design, does not have to match energy feeling colors/senses but helps to be similar]
  • Name: [name, something easy to remember/spell in case of emergency]
  • Residence: [where it lives during the downtime, give it a home to return to]
  • Food: [what it eats, whether aether/astral food or energy sources, give it multiple sources of energy]
  • Resonance: [object that can be used to call it or, alternatively, object that it is bound to, not immediately necessary]
  • Limitations: [where it can go, what defines servitors spatial limitations and boundaries, does it require the practitioners permission to go past boundaries]
  • Abilities: [what it can do, include magical abilities here, offensive/defensive, healing, travel, and communication]

Referenced from “Servitor Magick” by Oliver P. Hart (on Kindle).

My personal commentary:

Servitors are intended to be entities that feed off of a practitioner’s energy and exist only as that practitioner demands. 

You can design alternatives for your servitor to decide/enact as their personality is established – if they want a secondary human/creature form for shapeshifting, if they want to be able to learn new abilities/functions, etc. It is important to note in your design that these additional traits or alternative actions are to be approved by the practitioner first. 

Although servitors are meant to be dependent on the practitioner, one should consider their lifespan and how you intend to use them. If you would like to give your servitor extra motivations/feelings that guide them to become more independent (with permission first), be sure to plan how they would potentially survive. I designed a drive for my research-oriented servitor to bond with a consenting independent entity in order to learn new things and live a full life.

Most servitors are destroyed/reabsorbed by their practitioners, and as a whole, servitors do not have independence or negative feelings towards being reabsorbed. Unless an alternate lifestyle is programmed in for them.

Tech magic servitors can be written in code or in text in a secure program and activated by the practitioner’s method of choice, and can be altered as desired. If your servitor has a form of sentience, I would suggest speaking to them before making changes. 

The entire cast of“Voltron: Legendary Defender”, according to 5 minutes on the ’voltron’ tag

SHIRO VOLTRON

- Leader of Voltron

- Named the team after himself i guess? Narcissistic, much?

- Dating an alien girl

- Has an anime-looking white streak in his hair. what a weeb.

- buff


Alien Girl

- Don’t know her name, but she looks cute

- Dating Volton

- Only alien in entire show, which is sad because it apparently takes place in space

- white hair

- she has a spaceship i think? 


Pidge

- Trans

- Smol

- That’s it that’s all their character traits

- I mean? Having a trans character is good, im all down for that, but having a character just be two things is not good character design my guy


Klance

- One of two guys? I’ve done extensive research and I cannot determine which one it is.

- One is red with long hair, one is blue with short hair

- Long hair is called “Garla”, which I think is a derogatory word for ‘gay’

- “Galra” does sound like a cool alien species name tho. its a shame that theres only one alien in the entire show. real shame

- runs a coffee shop? kinda wasting the whole “space” thing guys…


That’s every main character from “Voltron : Legendary Defender”. There’s no other characters whatsoever, main, side, or one-off.

Birthday

Terribly sorry I haven’t written something for you guys in a while! Unfortunately, I hit a stump in my life and my motivation to write was a bit…off. But I hope you enjoy this!

Please let me know if there are any grammatical errors so I can fix them and make the story more immersive. I also welcome feeback, opinions, and ideas, so please feel free to message me, send an ask, or send a suggestion! Thank you!

Enjoy!

(By the way, their name is pronouced ee-oh-p.)

-

• In all of their years of serving their Perud, their beloved ruler, they would never have thought themselves to be the ambassador, nor to be living on a death-planet with humans. •

The smaller infant male was tugging on Iuop’s hand as soon as they entered the house. It - or, as the humans preferred, “he” - seemed to completely ignore the warning Iuop had given his family (which was to not touch their surface), as well as the report they had written to their superior that they just barely grabbed before it could fall to the ground.

Iuop would have glared if it wasn’t so much of a human thing to do.

• Humans were disgusting, hideous creatures, that would surely become extinct in a few decades. It was absolutely amazing they had any form of advanced science and civilization at all. •

“I have told you not to touch my surface.” Iuop pulled their hand away, in a less rude way so as not to ‘harm’ the human. “What is it you want?”

“We’ve been waiting for you!” He shouted in his small infant voice. Iuop never quite understood why humans could never choose a volume and tone and keep it. “Come on! I wanna blow out my candles.”

In the most dense manner Iuop had ever witnessed, the human replaced it’s small, greasy hand upon their index and ring finger and began dragging them into the room where they ate.

“Waiting? What time-wasting activity do you people want me to-”

Iuop went silent.

• The only good things that came out of humans - well, no one would admit it, but… •

“Ah! There they are!” The adult male, the smaller’s producer, exclaimed in relief.

The room was decorated in colorful papers, some tied together spelling - ah, what was that word? Iuop’s English wasn’t amazing; perhaps ‘happy’ - ‘Happy Boothday’. Attached to the chair the child quickly sat in were two floating circular fabrics. Iuop wondered if the objects floated like the sky machines did.

“What…is this?” Iuop asked slowly, for fear of another daft human answer. They glared into the adult male’s eyes.

He raised one strip of hair above his eye higher than the other - a sign that Iuop couldn’t quite dechiper yet. “It’s a birthday party, of course.” Then, in a lower and heavier tone that startled Iuop, “You…know what a birthday is, don’t you?”

“Ah! I’ve got it! I’ve got it!” The adult female - the child’s other producer, why does it need two? - interrupted Iuop’s reply and dashed into the room, with quivering arms as she carried a large…rectangle. It was covered in a red pattern around the edge, with an image of the child and his animal companion in the center. Atop the image were the words Iuop kept seeing - 'Happy Boo-’…erm, wait - 'Happy Birthday’.

“Honey, please, you’ll drop the cake.” The adult male chuckled, stepping forward to help the female lower the shape onto the flat wooden surface. The two set it in front of the child, whose eyes sparkled like a freshly cut diamond. He spread his mouth to display his small bones - a motion that, yet again, Iuop did not understand.

'Cake? Birthday?’ Iuop knew that humans were ridiculously confusing, but they’d handled it well thus far. Now they were feeling quite lost.

“Everyone! Cake time!” The female called into the house. Iuop listened in curiousity and fear as voices appeared and footsteps echoed. Suddenly, the small room was filling up with other humans. Iuop had to retreat into the corner to avoid being touched.

Then, the chatter of over a dozen humans was continued- although quieter - as the light in the room clicked off, and after a few intimidating moments, small specks of fire came to life on the rectangle. They illuminated the child’s face, as well as the human faces nearby. The red-orange glow shined weakly on Iuop’s pink surface, turning it a deep shade of orange.

They gazed at their surface in wonder; what a sight! They would have never suspected that light could dye!

“Quite home-y, isn’t it?” Iuop looked up and found themselves next to the adult male of the house. “Fire light is one of the wonders of the world in my opinion.”

“Fire light…you light your objects on fire?” Iuop’s voice was smaller than they wanted it to be.

“Well, yes.” The male watched the child shift in his seat. “Tell me, Iuop, you don’t know what a birthday is, do you?”

“I do not…”

“It’s when we celebrate the day we were born. Not just when humanity was made, no, we don’t know that. The day we as individuals were brought to life.” The tips of his mouth rose slightly, making him look calm and peaceful. “We use these days to signify how long we’ve been alive. They are also tradition, and we give the person gifts and trinkets to celebrate.”

“You…You…celebrate the years you haven’t died in?” Iuop asked in horror. “That’s the most depressing thing I’ve heard about humans.”

The male blinked. Then he laughed - a sound indicating joy. “I guess when you put it like that, it is kind of weird, huh? But that’s not the main reason. I believe the biggest reason for birthdays is to celebrate our own humanity.

“I mean, what’s truly special or important or symbolic about the day you came to life? Perhaps it’s important to yourself, but to others? No one should care. But we do. We congratulate each other on another year of growing, learning, and changing. No one is really the exact same person two years in a row. We all change in some way, and really the ability to adapt and grow is another factor of what makes us all human. So yeah, we like to celebrate another year of being human.”

Iuop couldn’t think of a reply. Their whole perspective had suddenly and irreversibly changed - they wanted to say the room was spinning, but it was instead completely still. They watched in silence as the whole room began giggling and chanting:

“Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you, happy birthday dear Teddie, happy birthday to you!”

All of the humans started clapping and cheering as the child - Teddie - puffed out a gust of air that doused the fires. There was more happy talking until one of the older children shouted, “What’d ya wish for Teddie?!”

Teddie giggled. “I wished that we could all be together forever!”

Everyone made an expressive noise and murmured, “How cute…” or “Such a sweetheart…” After that, they all collectively turned towards the meal-preparing room, laughing and chatting once again.

Iuop glanced towards the male next to him only to find him following the group. “Wait!” They shouted.

The male turned. “Yes Iuop? What can I do for you?”

“I…” Iuop clenched their hand, then unclenched it. “Would you remind me of your name?”

His eyes twinkled. “It’s Dr. Elliot Allen. But you may call me Elliot, or Eli if you prefer, I don’t mind. My wife’s name is Isla, and our son’s is Teddie. Do you want to meet everyone else in the distant family? They’ve all been talking about you and have wanted to say something, but we asked them not to talk with you for your sake. We can remove that rule if you’d like.”

Iuop took a deep breath, then, with a quick look into the room containing the smiling humans, they found themselves mimicing the male - Elliot’s mouth motion. Somehow it made them happy.

“Yes. I’d be delighted.”

Dr. Elliot repeated the happy motion. “Then follow me.”

The two walked down the hallway for a second in silence until, just before they entered the room, Dr. Elliot asked, “Iuop, may I ask you a personal question?”

“I suppose.”

“What exactly are you made of? I mean, it’s a gem of course, but what kind? Do you know?”

“Oh…I’m made of…ah, in English, I think it’s called 'kunzite’. The people from my sector are all made of pink gems. My generation was all kunzite gems.”

“Your sector?”

“Yes, all of my species is sorted into different sectors on our planet based on what color they are. I am from Sector…oh. Actually, the name doesn’t translate into English at all.”

“Does your planet have a form of leadership? Are certain sectors favored over others?”

“Well, each sector has its best qualites and its worst. My sector is best in…”

For the rest of the evening, though they wanted to meet the other humans, Dr. Elliot and Iuop discussed their planets. And it was some of the most best conversation Iuop had ever been in - completely worth the scolding from their superior after not turning in their report. But it was alright; they had some changes in the opinion of humans to make anyway…

• The best thing to come out of humanity is definitely their capability to share the traits and spirit of being 'human’. It’s what has made them some of the best allies for emotional planets, and it’s what has made them one of the best planets so far discovered. •

thisshouldbegayer  asked:

Hi! Is there a post you made about everyone's daemon description? I'd really like to know O: Also i'm bad at searching on people's blog, I apologize if it was obvious... Thank you!

NOW THERE IS BUDDY:

  • kevin’s ONYX (osprey): about as friendly as kevin - their eyes are the same, intense and often unfriendly. she is very beautiful and quite quiet, fidgets with her wings when kevin is anxious. she perches on kevin’s forearm or shoulder, and preens his hair when he’s upset.
  • nicky’s ESME (common marmoset): very talkative and friendly, quite playful and tactile. esme likes to ride around on nicky’s shoulder and use his hair as handholds, and also likes to climb all over him.
  • allison’s ZYDEN (northern goshawk): another bird of prey - he is more fierce than onyx, and his looks meant he was often a subject of photos alongside allison herself. her parents thought her daemon should have been something softer and sweeter, but zyden is very much like allison: beautiful and dangerous
  • dan’s LORIMER (ocelot): a cat amongst the birds of the other girls, lorimer started plenty of fights with zyden and tau before they (and their humans) decided to band together. lorimer is bossy and brave and warm-hearted, with very sharp claws when tested
  • matt’s PIPER (boxer dog): piper is sweet-natured and enthusiastic, and very loyal. only rarely backs down from a fight though. she and sin are as close as neil and matt - complete opposites, but they somehow fit anyway.
  • renee’s TAU (mute swan): exceptionally beautiful, madly protective. tau isn’t talkative, and leaves the sweetness for renee to deal with. attacks with his wings if provoked, and they can break bone. sin doesn’t trust tau at all because he’s so watchful, and doesn’t behave like renee does - he hasn’t changed much from renee’s days as natalie, and sin recognises that.
  • andrew’s AMARANTH (spotted hyena): a huge female hyena from a species known for their matriarchal pack structure. she is affected by andrew’s medication, and doesn’t talk while andrew is high. the animal noises she makes instead are half the reason why people are afraid of andrew. after andrew sobers up she does talk, though it remains rare. her name means ‘the flower that never fades’ and has connotations of fidelity, loyalty and enduring love :)
  • aaron’s CELESTE (spotted hyena): quiet and rarely ventures out of arm’s reach of aaron. she doesn’t have amaranth’s scary rep but is probably worse tempered. she and amaranth are called ‘the twins’ by the other daemons - they’re pack animals, for better or for worse, just like the minyards themselves.
  • nathaniel/neil’s JACINTH/SIN (melanistic fox): black-coated with silver speckling and a white-tipped tail. sin is very strongly opinionated, notable for speaking to other humans - even ones she doesn’t know well - which is unusual amongst daemons. she has even less self-control than neil, reckless and mouthy, and it does get them both in trouble.

others:

Today’s entry was written by Guest Professor Aaron (@robo-dactyl) !


Requested by @because-im-freaking-greed

Kommo-o is a powerful Pokemon introduced in Pokemon Sun and Moon, and is this guest scientist’s favorite Dragon type. One of Kommo-o’s defining features are its unique scales. These scales are extremely durable, and are responsible for Kommo-o’s attack Clanging Scales. According to Kommo-o’s entry in the Sun version of the Alolan Pokedex, Kommo-o also uses these scales as a defense mechanism in order to scare away enemies.

In order to understand Kommo-o’s defense mechanism, we need to understand the animal species it is based off of. Overall, Kommo-o is based on a Komodo dragon, as its name would imply. Komodo dragons are the largest living species of lizard. They grow to be up to 10 feet long, and can weigh up to 150 pounds. Like all monitor lizards, Komodo dragons are carnivores. They utilize an anticoagulant within their saliva in order help incapacitate their prey. One thing they cannot do, however, is rattle their scales as a defense mechanism. So where does Kommo-o’s defense mechanism come from, then?

As it turns out, Kommo-o’s Clanging Scales attack is actually based on rattlesnakes! Rattlesnakes have modified tails that they used to scare off predators. A rattlesnake’s rattle is made up of keratin, the same substance used to produce human hair and fingernails, and reptile scales, claws, and shells. This keratin is used to create a series of hollow, interlocking segments that are each made of the scales covering the rattlesnake’s tail. In order to make the rattling sound, special vibration muscles located in the tail to vibrate against one another. These muscles are some of the fastest known, firing off an average of 50 vibrations per second, and can fire for as long as 3 hours.  

As the rattlesnake sheds its skin, it adds another rattle segment to its tail. However, this is not a reliable indication of a rattlesnake’s age. Their rattles are actually rather fragile, which is why rattlesnakes prefer to keep their rattles above the ground while travelling. However, Kommo-o’s scales are stated in Alolan Pokedex entries to be used for attacking and defending, and make explicit mention of how durable its scales are. This is a logical adaptation for Kommo-o to possess, as its Pokedex entry makes explicit mention of how Kommo-o seeks out strong opponents.

In summation, Kommo-o’s scales are made of extremely durable keratin. These scales work much like a rattlesnake’s tail by acting as an intimidation tactic to scare its enemies, but are equally useful in physical defense as well.

Kommo-o’s scales are made of durable keratin. They produce a rattling sound when it shakes them, used to scare off enemies.

✨Animal Crossing Emoji Ask Game✨

🌿- Where does your mayor(s) name come from? 

🎈- Where does your town(s) name come from? 

🍎- What’s your favorite in game fruit? 

🌷- What kind of flowers do you prefer? 

😸- Do you have a favorite species of villagers? 

❄️- What’s your favorite season? 

⛈- What weather do you like the most? 

🍄- Top 3 fave villagers? 

🍀- 3 least fave villagers? 

🌂- What is your mayor(s) ALWAYS holding? 

🌲- Which type of trees do you like the most? 

🦋- Fishing, diving, or bug catching?

🙊- What rumors do your villagers spread about you? 

🌳- What kind of bushes do you like the most? 

🐾- Where would someone go to find your mayor(s)? 

🐠- What’s your favorite part of the museum? 

💇- Does your mayor change their hair a lot? 

🕐- What time does your mayor wake up? 

🎹- What’s your town tune?

anonymous asked:

Question! You've introduced Lance, Keith and Pidge (or at least...a look-alike of Pidge) in your Sim AU, so what I was wondering was where is the rest of Team Voltron? And where is the original team (this being regular human Lance and the rest)?

That is a very good question!

I’ll try to explain it as best as I can without giving too much away (I want to save some of these spoilers for the actual story itself lol)

Here’s a diagram:

So, to explain–we all pretty much know about Lance already, he’s an AI, he’s powered by an AI cube that currently functions as the “heart” of his body. And he’s hopelessly in love with Keith. RIP

Katy and Hunk work together under a special organization dedicated to protecting the universe. That specific organization is dealing with a particularly stubborn Galra uprising that began after Team Voltron destroyed the Galra empire and defeated Zarkon. At first Katy and Hunk simply act as maintenance workers, but after they find Keith crashed in the simulator Keith sorta drags them with him everywhere he goes. Katy and Hunk do repairs on Lance whenever he needs it (which is…quite often actually lol). Katy specializes in coding and hacking, so she’s usually the one to update Lance’s systems and AI cube, while Hunk is best at wiring and machinery, so he actually goes in and fixes any internal problems Lance is having. And Lance himself is considered a “hacking weapon” because he has the ability to hack into systems by sending his consciousness in and destroying everything from the inside. Pretty neat, right?

Keith, Lance, Katy and Hunk all decide to help the organization stop the uprising. Directly under the leaders of the organization, there’s Allura and Coran, who are both human and therefore look a little different than their counterparts (Coran has a beard now and a different mustache, at first I thought of removing it completely but then I decided nah! Let’s just change it up lol). Allura and Coran are the leaders of the organization’s army, and basically the go-to commanders! Coran specializes in weaponry and knows all there is to know about swords, guns, and any other weapon in the universe…he’s very well-rounded there. And Allura? Don’t mess with her, she can kick your ass anytime, anywhere. She’s a lot more fierce than the original Allura and does not stand for any bullshit that goes down lol

Shiro is Altean in this AU–and I’m not going to share anymore information than that. He’s…having a difficult time right now. With where he is and what’s going on there. Yeah…

Under Hunk’s name, there’s a ??? sign! That’s indicating that he’s neither human nor any other alien species that we’ve seen so far. So…what is he? That is a secret as well! He’s basically humanoid in appearance, but he’s got some pretty wicked abilities that come into play later on!

Keith’s description says that he’s the last Paladin. (Not counting Lance, who is technically also one.) This is because, the rest of Team Voltron…

…are missing! Where are they? Where did they go? Why is Keith running into look-alikes of them? That’s a secret too! So yes, Keith is considered the only Paladin remaining since the rest have…mysteriously vanished. Dun dun dun!

I hope that helps clear things up a little! And yes, now that I’ve finally introduced…or re-introduced the rest of the team, I can actually draw them in future comics and artworks now…yes!!

Profile reconstruction OC ask meme

For non-Shepard OC week, here’s a special ask meme inspired by the character creation options in Mass Effect 1. Reblog and tag your OCs so that people can ask you things. Or, just go ahead and post answers for as many of these questions as you like! 

Character creation

  1. What is the character’s full name, and how did you come up with it?
  2. What inspired you to create this character?
  3. What species are they, and what do they look like? (Use anything you like - descriptions, art, outfits, face claims, etc)
  4. Tell us a little about the world-state that they inhabit. (For example, are they active before, during, and/or after the events of the Mass Effect trilogy? Are they part of an AU?)
  5. Share a quote, image, or song that reminds you of the character. 

Pre-service history

  1. Does this character have a connection to any major/canon characters?
  2. Where, if anywhere, does the character consider their home to be?  
  3. What do they remember most strongly about their childhood?
  4. Tell us about an important relationship (of any kind) in the character’s life, and how it impacted them.
  5. How did they end up in their current line of work?

Psychological profile

  1. What is the character’s greatest strength? What do they *think* is their greatest strength?
  2. What (if anything) do they wish was different about themselves?
  3. What’s a challenge that the character has overcome (or at least survived) during their lifetime? How did they do it?
  4. What’s something (a person, a belief, a goal…) that your character would be willing to make major sacrifices for?
  5. What’s a misconception that people might have about your character?

A thought I come back to about the idea of Keith hypothetically “turning purple” is like…

Entirely besides the issue of Keith having self-esteem issues or acceptance issues or such, there’s a whole angle of…

It’s kind of like if you had spent your entire life without any mirrors, with your body covered from the neck down, and one day someone actually hands you a mirror and “Wait am I a redhead? I have freckles? Is my nose really shaped like that?”

Because that’s just it. We know Keith has some amount of galra heritage. We also know the galra are kind of a highly diverse species.

Appearance is, for better and for worse, an element of identity. There’s all manner of well-meaning platitudes of beauty is only skin-deep and inside we’re all the same or some such but honestly- there are things that become meaningful to us because they are traits about the body that we inhabit. It’s a little ridiculous that we wouldn’t in some way be affected by our appearance. We sorta live here.

So entirely outside of Keith dealing with sentiments brought to the surface- his feeling like an outsider, his fear of rejection- Keith being able to actually take a good look at himself for probably the first time in his life and go “…this is me?”

Keep reading

Things to Consider When Worldbuilding

Also known as ‘Things to Consider in General with Slugterra’; while they hit with some points, they fail to note other crucial things.
Like.
A LOOOOOOT of crucial things.

While this is not the most complete list in the world and it’s kind of dumbed down in terminologies for the sake of folk of all ages being able to understand it, it’s still something to get you started! 

Consider it a writing tool in general, if you like, and don’t be afraid to add to it! The more, the merrier!


Under ReadMore for length:

Keep reading

alright so now that i’ve taken a ridiculously high dose of some cold medicine which is probably almost as old as i am

i know we talk about how ~our human family wouldn’t approve~ of our alien love interest in andromeda

but like honestly what about our alien LI’s family not approving of US?

Keep reading

anyways,, i thought i would try to transcribe what lotor said in the trailer, since much of the talk has been about his character and his design and not the bit of dialogue we got: 

“my father built our empire from the [bones of its enemies]. the universe can no longer doubt our strength. each ally gained only makes us stronger. all those who continue to stand against us will be crushed." 

"bones of its enemies” was the most indistinct part of his line, and thus may not be correct. i’m not entirely sure if he’s even saying “its enemies”; it also sounds a bit like one word, and could very well be the name of a planet or species, but this is just speculation. 

more speculation/theories under the cut for those who are interested

Keep reading

anonymous asked:

Whale sharks are classified as sharks? I thought they were whales.. wait I'm confused does the whale shark have traits of a whale and a shark?

Whale sharks are sharks. The most obvious difference between whales and sharks is that whales are mammals and sharks are fishes, and the whale shark falls into the second category. It gets its name because of its size (comparable to that of some whale species) and because they’re filter feeders, like baleen whales. 

On Exclusives

[I did my best to avoid spirit names that are too close to any existing shops, but I do not know every shop out there. If any species name in here is close to your own spirits, this was not intentional and is not meant as an attack on you. This entire post is not meant as a point of argument, only as an explanation of my own viewpoint. It does not cover every point that could have been made on the subject (I am well aware that it can be degrading but that constitutes an entire conversation by itself) and does not consider cultural concerns as exclusive spirits, which is another topic entirely.]

Whether or not it has been labeled as such, an exclusive spirit is a race or species which a spirit shop expects other to never approach. These are things which do not exist in mythology (or are merely related to the actual mythological creature) and, in theory, would never be casually encountered. There should be no issue with labeling something exclusive because again, in theory, no one else would be capable of approaching them anyway.

In theory.

This is a concept I formerly believed in. For better or worse, I no longer do.

My trust in this concept has decayed as I’ve seen the actions of those who follow it and delved deeper into the psychology behind it. There are numerous reasons it doesn’t work when actually applied, no matter how much one may believe in the concept itself. I don’t believe the majority who put large stock in exclusive labels are malicious, they’ve merely been taught from day one about its importance and have not had proper discussions, rather than arguments, about its consequences to form whatever their independent opinion may be.

Quite frankly, most conjurers do not take the time to properly classify their spirits. To me personally, this is one of the largest downfalls of the label.

There are no standards in this business. People disagree with one another, shops who attempt to set precedents are then contradicted by those who approach the subject with a different mindset. There do not exist standards for classifying your species.

In the physical world, there are standards to this. Scientists have precedents for distinguishing species and the proper tools for doing so.

Many conjurers either are not skilled enough to give these explicit details to recognize and distinguish their species, or do not take the time and effort to do so.

Vague names are given by many conjurers. For example, if I merely said Cockroach Demon and claimed this as an exclusive - off the top of my head I can remember seven distinct species of cockroach demons, most of which have equally distinct social classes. Who is to say which species I am offering, or if it is only a single social class? Who is to say there are only seven species of cockroach demons in existence? This doesn’t even begin to cover the number of non-demonic cockroach spirits, or what constitutes a spirit as being related to cockroaches.

This is already messy, yes?

Vague names, no matter how many adjectives you stuff in there, are problematic for classifying spirits. That is the simple truth. Not only that, but if you attempt to use a mythological name, not every person agrees on the interpretation of mythical creatures. Some people argue that only the original mythological gryphon is a true gryphon, while others claim that any spirit who is a hybrid of feline and avian animals is a gryphon. Lines are blurred, viewpoints conflict. As there is no way to enforce a standard, you cannot expect others to not approach whatever a “Red-tailed Gryphon” or “Moon-speckled Opal Dragon” or “Higher lava demon” may be. The astral plane is so large that other species nearly identical to those you claimed as exclusive will exist, and you cannot claim a concept of a race as belonging to you.

But what about the shops who record the best translation of the race’s own name for themselves?

For one, not every species or race has a political structure. Some do not live in any society. Others do, but do not have a single government. Imagine this in relation to humans as a whole. It would not work.

Even if you trust the conjurer to have definitely explored every faction of that race and recorded every single aspect of it, in the end the decision to label them exclusive is speaking for the entire race. Whatever political leaders have made that decision with you are speaking for everyone, down to every last member. This includes those on the fringes of society, those who have left the society, or those who were not born in it at all but are the same species.

To put it bluntly: no political leaders have the power to command those who have left their jurisdiction. If they attempt to do so, consider the implications of this situation and your support over it.

I have personally seen conjurers who will label anything even remotely close to their exclusives as stealing. I’m not sure if they have not considered there being other similar species in existence or if they want a claim over the entire concept of a [adjective] dragon. Even more than this, there are conjurers who do not know where to draw the line for exclusives. There are no standards for this, no enforcement of “hey you cannot claim the entire concept of [adjective] dragon and every individual similar to that description as belonging to you”. I have seen conjurers attempt to label mythological creatures as exclusives, out of belief that they feel closer to the species than anyone else and therefore no one else can conjure them.

But as long as the exclusive label is slapped onto that spirit, it becomes no-touchy zone no matter how valid said claim is or is not. Without a way of enforcing standards, it is impossible for the exclusive label to exist without causing issues. That is the simple truth.

Some will withhold knowledge to prevent others from approaching or conjuring them. Not only are you purposely harming your customers by doing this, but you are creating more of a reason for them to approach the species on their own. If you will not give them the information, people may be forced to approach them for basic information that you were supposed to give. This isn’t touching on the dangers and greed issues of withholding knowledge, too.

I think it’s fair to expect a certain etiquette to exist. People do not browse your shop as a quick list of what to conjure themselves. If you’ve put hard work into introducing some exciting new species, people do their best to support you and your time spent on this endeavor. At some line people may step back and acknowledge, “Alright, I never came across this species myself and have relied on this person’s information the entire time. I don’t feel I should conjure them for others.”

Labeling things as exclusive supports a black and white mentality of either approaching to the fullest extent possible, or never ever touching or thinking about.

If you want respect given to your work, do your best to foster this respect, not to slap hard exclusive labels. These labels do not help. What will help is giving more knowledge about what you conjure, explaining your reasoning for not wishing someone to conjure something, and showing your customers the same respect you wish to be given. Not everyone will show you the same respect, but these people will approach the species whether you have labeled it exclusive or not.

Set the precedent you wish to see. The current precedent is for shops to hoard things to themselves and withhold knowledge.

If a race truly does not wish for others to approach them, others will not be able to approach them. They will be turned away, protections will be put up, the meaning will get across clearly.

If the race welcomes others with open arms, why are they listed as exclusive? If you want to be the only one capable of conjuring them, set that up with the proper people within the race and other conjurers will be denied if the entirety of the race truly wishes to be conjured only by yourself.

Greed is sometimes thrown as a reason for the exclusive label. After getting to know many people, I personally don’t believe the majority have greed in mind when they do so. It’s done out of fear of others messing up their work, insecurity, a need to have something unique.

That need to have something special and unique causes many issues. It makes people want to hoard things to themselves that should not be hoarded. This sort of ego boosting attitude is a trait I personally do not think belongs in any reputable conjurer.

Again: if something is truly exclusive, you should be able to explain this clearly, and others should be incapable of approaching even when full, explicit information is shared. If you cannot share explicit details about the race then what makes them appropriate to conjure for others?


Branching off from this subject, I’d like to explain my personal system for classifying spirits rather than slapping an exclusive label on them. It is still a work in progress, and after more use I’m hoping to have refined and possibly added to this format.

Classification: (Mythological, Mythological Variant, Earthern, Astral, Realm-Specific, Contract-Bound, Exclusive)
Rarity:
Location:
Approachability:
Danger:
Relations:

First, I’ll explain the various classifications.

A mythological creature is the exact spirit spoken about within mythology. Or, at least it’s what you and them think is such, with evidence to back this up. Species argue among themselves over who is the actual one spoken about, so don’t think this means you aren’t obligated to release detailed information. You still need to give your customers explicit details on what you are matching them with, especially if others offer it, as they may be offering something entirely different under the same name.

A mythological variant is a species you may use a mythological name for (eg. Snowy Gryphon) but is not the exact creature within mythology. This may be something that is a subspecies, a related species, or another species entirely which has chosen to take the name of the mythological species. This label indicates that the species is definitely not the exact mythological spirit, and you should have fully described the differences between them.

A species classified as Earthern is one which exists primarily on our own plane. I personally use this to describe spirits found in earthern locales rather than astral locations, spirits of physical objects, spirits of lands, and many others. Some examples of these would be the native spirits of Chicago I speak to frequently, some mythological creatures (although these would be given the mythological label), the spirit of the nearest plant, dragons who migrate with our physical earthern winds, and many others. It is a broad category meant for anything that lives primarily on our own nonphysical plane yet is not a specific mythological creature.

Astral spirits are possibly the broadest of them all. This is simply for anything which lives primarily somewhere that is not the nonphysical layer of our own plane. Like the earthern label, this easily includes other labels and is best used when the more concise labels do not apply.

The Realm-Specific spirits have a specific astral location which can be considered their home, and the majority of these spirits will be found there rather than wandering. Many of the “unique” astral spirits in shops are these. To describe them clearer, a spirit merely classified as astral would be a basic hellhound, which arguably has multiple astral locations they come from and travel widely outside them. A realm-specific hellhound would be one that can be traced to a single astral plane or realm, and that species (or subspecies, depending on your view of hellhounds) is not typically found living beyond it.

The Contract-Bound label is for when the point of politics needs to be stressed, although this is easily omitted if one does not find it important to stress such things. The majority of “exclusive” spirits would be this. Something that is contract-bound needs to be approached in very specific ways not limited to creating a political contract. A race which bans outsiders from their cities unless you have been labeled as a friend by a higher up member would be contract-bound. A species which requires proper energetic tags signifying you as a friend before any member allows you to approach would be contract-bound. A race which requires an official political agreement to be allowed the honor of conjuring them would be contract-bound. It is important to note that you should not be grabbing these spirits to yourself and worrying about others “stealing” them.

Finally, the hard Exclusive label should rarely, if ever, be used. You cannot reasonably control every member of a race, unless it is perhaps a small faction (<100 maybe) you are conjuring. If I were to create shoggoths from my own specific eldritch brand of energy, and these shoggoths were so unique and easily differentiated from other shoggoths to be recognized as my own, then perhaps you might consider those exclusive. It’s not as if they could be approached, as I would be the one creating them, and they would be defined by my personal energy.

I will give an example of something I do believe has the hard exclusive label.

A race I will offer in the future, who I will refer to as honey demons for now, have isolated themselves from other honeybee related demons for long enough to evolve into a distinct species. They do not let anything that is not one of their own so much as step foot near their hive. While they travel outside to siphon energy from others, they do not do anything beyond this task unless manipulation is necessary to complete it. They are biologically incapable of non-work socialization, emotions, independent thought, sexual desires, and other such things. You can think of them as a hivemind.

If something within their biology screws up and they suddenly are capable of these things, that individual is considered diseased and culled. They will chase down infected members to the ends of the universe to cull them. Most do not survive anyway, if they manage to hide from their pursuers (which will never last for long, as they will always be chased) then they will be incapable of living on their own and perish.

I myself have gotten into circumstances where I’ve become an energy donor for their queen to safely harvest eldritch energy compatible with special purposes. Due to these unique circumstances, I have managed to convince her to give me custody of any infected members rather than having them culled. They are watched with heavy scrutiny for the rest of their lives, and they go through heavy shock and other issues during their rehabilitation that many do not survive from, but they consider this to be better than guaranteed death.

This, I believe, is a situation in which others would not be able to approach the exact species I work with. It would be impossible to approach their hive no matter how much information I put out there, and the infected workers who have broken from the hivemind would be instantly culled if their overseeing hive members saw them respond to strangers approaching. Their queen does not wish for any to leave without both of us knowing, so that they can be kept tabs on. They are slowly working their way to greater freedom from hive scrutiny and perhaps a long time from now they will achieve it, but in their current position there would be no possible way for others to approach them.  

A more suitable name may someday be found to detach this entirely from the exclusive label.


Now, I’ll move on to the other parts of this classification formula.

Rarity is a description of the species’ numbers. It is their rarity within their homeland, their numbers outside it, and their general population size in comparison to other astral species. For a race within a species or a faction, this describes their numbers in relation to their species and society. This is a good indicator of how likely others will be to come across these spirits.

Location is where the species will be found, regardless of whether it is their actual home. For earthern spirits, many still have specific locations which can be described, an environment or a region. For more astral spirits this may be a description of their home realm, or their preferred locations/environments if they wander.

Approachability is not you demanding that others do not approach. This describes their general reactions to being approached, the danger level, specific requirements to doing so, and the difficulty. If they have specific requests about not being conjured en masse, note that here. If you do not want others approaching the spirit or feel they should not be approached, describe why that is here. If you cannot describe it, perhaps you should rethink things before offering the spirit or giving them a label.

Danger is exactly as it says. It describes whatever is necessary about the danger of these spirits. While of course the danger of approaching them outside of yourself should be noted, remember that this is to keep people safe and informed, not to tell them that the species is yours. If they should not be approached, detailed information will confirm this even if you do not explicitly state it.

Relations is the relationship between the species and yourself (focusing more on the shop/conjuring level relationship rather than your personal one). Many things can fall into this category, including if a contract or other agreement between you exists, which parts of the species you conjure from, how they view the shop, if you are involved in their political leaders or merely casual, if you have energetic tags making it easier for you to conjure them, etc.


In conclusion, I hope this post explains my own position about exclusives clearly. If I do not believe you should be approaching something from my own shop, I will describe the reasons behind it and why it would be difficult for you. If an entire race does not wish to be approached, that is their job to put barriers up and keep their members in line, not my job to withhold information. I know very well that there are more points where could have been made about exclusives and were not touched upon. I trust you guys to have basic respect and decency when it comes to information sharing and conjuring. If you do not, the spirits are capable of deciding for themselves whether or not to be approached.