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Ahrganot Skizgo, a Vaikan
|Other distinctions||Blue hair; tough, leathery skin|
Originally, the Vaikan were stout humanoids with dark blue hair as well as tough, leathery cyan skin, while the amount of hair varied from region to region. With the advent of genetic engineering, Vaikan have since become more neotenous in appearance.
Vaikan have binocular eyes in allowing for depth perception and stereoscopic vision; eye color often varies between blue, purple, orange and red. Both eyes are large and somewhat rectangular - 4 inches high and 2 inches wide. The inside of their mouth is lined with teeth designed to extract fluids from food. Vaikan have four fingers including an opposable thumb as well as three toes.
Vaikan also have pointed ears which vary in both length, thickness and orientation. Their acute sense of hearing compensates for their lack of trichromatic vision.
The Vaikan are blue in color as opposed to shades of brown like humans. Combined with their thick skin, their blue colorings allow them to immunity to Szon's UV radiation. The energy output from Szon is far more intense than Sol because of Ucharpli's thin ozone layer which has difficulty blocking ultraviolet radiation and other light waves.
Vaikan highly vary in size and build, though uniquely, they retain neotenous features for nearly their entire lives such as proportionally large heads and eyes in comparison to their bodies as well as a stocky build. Variances among these features occur when one has prolonged exposure to a constant environment.
- Feln - Medium height between five and a half and six and a half feet, short hair, very little facial hair if any. The most common variation.
- Foth -Tall, about six feet, very long hair, oval-shaped heads. No facial hair.
- Dorf - Short between four and half and five feet. Large builds and lots of facial hair.
- Ain - Similar appearance as field Vaikan, but slightly shorter with longer hair. Facial hair is not uncommon.
- Hob - Very short around four feet tall even as an adult. Smaller builds than Dorf Vaikan and with no facial hair.
- Sav - They are slightly taller than a Hob, but tend to have hunched backs and red eyes. Their skin is gray, and their hair is white because they have been living underground. Savlins tend to keep to themselves and are not afraid to attack others who intrude in their territory.
- Spacer - The spacer ethnicity appeared within the past thousand years when Vaikan became exposed to prolonged, sterilized environments. In general, they are taller and thinner being almost constantly exposed to gravity levels between 0.8 and 1.0 G, much unlike Ucharpli's standard gravity of 1.2 G.
While males and females have identical body shapes as children, they begin to diverge upon hitting puberty. Females acquire more adipose tissue while males develop more muscle mass.
At adulthood, a male has proportionally large shoulders in comparison to their hips having an angular build. Females tend to have a more hourglass or pear shape, with the narrowest point being just below the sternum rather than at the waist.
Males tend to have broader shoulders to store muscle mass in their arms. Their jaws and bone tend to be very angular and sturdy. On average, males tend to be heavier, taller and more capable of greater strength while females tend to be short and plump, yet more agile and quick.
Females must be capable of laying eggs of substantial size, and thus, the majority of their weight and size is directed around the upper hip area. To prepare for the intense process of producing a shelled egg, mature females develop an expanded sternum area to allow for larger, more powerful hearts to cycle oxygen and nutrients through the body much faster. This region of the body is commonly mistaken for mammary glands by some species - Vaikan do not have them as they are oviparous. When not undergoing labor, females in general are far more energetic than males because of their larger hearts.
Females are generally able to distinguish more complex light patterns than males can as a left over evolutionary trait from their time as hunter-gatherers. Females were able to spot brightly colored fruit from great distances. On the converse, not being impeded by such bright colors, male Vaikan are better at distinguishing camouflage and spotting prey in the dark.
Because Vaikan are native to cold environments, they naturally require vast amounts of calories to remain active. The average Vaikan must consume at least 7000 calories per day to remain healthy. The more calories a food item contains, the better it tastes.
To cope with the large amounts of energy expenditure, an average Vaikan must sleep at least 7 hours per day, but must also hibernate for 2 weeks every 10 months. Because of this physiological requirement, a well structured Vaikan society carefully accounts for these hibernation periods to ensure constant productivity.
Vaikan are most adept to cold or dry environments, and generally have a stout shape with short limbs. To minimize heat loss and to reduce the risk of dehydration, Vaikan store large clumps of adipose tissue throughout their bodies. Despite this, it is a rarity to see a clinically overweight Vaikan due to how quickly a Vaikan uses up energy. As the Vaikan have spent more time in environments out of Ucharpli, these clumps have shrunk overtime though it is still prevalent in females.
In times without food, the body can also acquire additional nutrients via a chloroplast layer underneath their skin, which evolved as a symbiotic relationship with photosynthetic protists.
Their blue, tough skin is physically resistant to the elements and is designed to heal tissue rapidly upon damage. It is composed of microscopic, fluorescent materials which reflect harmful UV radiation, resulting in the blue color. As a result, a Vaikan can endure many kinds of injuries though the neck is considered a weak point.
Complete resistance to Szon's UV radiation comes with a major drawback. As Vaikan are naturally adept to dry environments, their primary means of perspiration is panting. Exposure to hot, humid environments for prolonged periods of time can be fatal.
Vision and hearingEdit
The Vaikan needed to adapt to the large amounts of ultraviolet radiation leaking through the atmosphere. Their eyes are covered in a thin, protective film which serve as natural sunglasses. Vaikan eyes see into the ultraviolet range instead of the visible light spectrum. Thus, rather than shades of different colors, their eyes instead see objects glowing with different patterns and brightness.
Vaikan ears are pointed in shape, and their acute hearing allows them to detect even a pin drop from many meters away. Vaikan ears vary in size, shape and orientation - larger ears occurring in those native to warmer climates and smaller ears for those native to cooler climates.
Vaikan are naturally very self-conscious and highly intelligent. Most Vaikan prefer to think cautiously and plan their actions. When subjected to dangerous levels of hyperstress, they will enter a frenzy. Body processes multiply several times and the brain goes into an overdrive mode. Temporarily, they become extremely destructive, firing electrical volts upon anything that stands in there way. The drawback is that they become incapable of rational thought.
This frenzy may last as long as twenty minutes, and upon its end, the Vaikan who experienced it crashes and falls into a coma. Frenzies are an evolutionary leftover from hunter-gatherer times when a Vaikan was faced with danger and was unable to consciously deal with the situation.
Vaikan have clan-like instincts like many animals. While treated with similar status, both genders are hard-wired to serve differing roles. Females are often treated with great respect and are often placed in the role of political leaders. Males on the other hand are hard-wired to be guardians and protectors suited for combat. These behaviors can be noticed even by a casual observer of modern Vaikan culture.
- Main article: Vaikan/Internal physiology
Maj is the Yallvus Talk word for magic, although this does not actually refer to magic itself. Instead, it refers to a Vaikan's ability to discharge electricity from their fingertips. Running down from their brain to their arms is a series of electrical cells. Upon activation via a brain signal, a reversal of charges occurs in the air. This shock can send enough volts upon the target to stun them for a few moments.
This stunning mechanism was an evolutionary leftover from their more primitive ancestors who used electric shocks to ward off their enemies. When Vaikan evolved to become predatory creatures, they learned how to use their electrical abilities in conjunction with weapons such as metallic spears.
Having this mechanism also generates electromagnetic energy. Transforming into a magnet, a Vaikan can use this ability to scale walls with metallic surfaces, one of the evolutionary leftovers from their rock climbing ancestors.
It is believed that having this ability is the reason why Vaikan require an unusually high amount of calories and hours of sleep per day as Maj is very taxing when it comes to energy. Modern day physicians have created implants called Maj amplifiers which allow for more efficient management of Maj.
The basics of a Vaikan's diet consists of bones and bone marrow, the former which provides minerals and the latter which provides nutrients. Even today, Vaikan will eat bones in meals, opposed to other sapient species which only eat the meat. The minerals are crucial for maintaining electrical signals while the bone marrow provides energy.
Vaikan are oviparous and lay eggs. Viviparous animals have largely become extinct on Ucharpli. In order to produce young who are physically capable at birth, eggs laid by a Vaikan contain vast amounts of nutrients and a hard, outer shell which contains the embryo. Thus, large meals customarily precede mating.
After mating, it takes at least two weeks for the egg to form. After the egg is laid, it takes eleven months for it to develop and hatch.
One of the common signs of fertility among females is the presence of large hips which extend well beyond the shoulder width. This became a necessary survival trait for producing healthy eggs and thus is considered an attractive Vaikan standard.
- Age 0 - 5
- Hatchling Vaikan will grow to be about three feet tall. Upon birth, they have similar intelligence as a four year old human.
- Age 5 - 15
- A Vaikan will grow to three and half feet tall. They will have the same cognitive abilities as a 10 year old human, but resemble an 8 year old human appearance-wise.
- Age 15 - 30
- A Vaikan will generally become stronger and more able-bodied. They will reach a height of about four and a half feet. Around this age, a Vaikan will seek out employment. Generally, age 30 is considered the age of maturity in many Vaikan cultures where they are expected to be able to make their own decisions and live on their own.
- Age 30 - 50
- Age 30 is considered puberty. Vaikan begin to diverge depending on gender, males gaining more muscle mass and females gaining more adipose tissue.
- Age 50
- Age 50 is considered young adult. By this time, they will have fully matured albeit retaining some child-like features. The appearance of a 50 year old Vaikan is generally considered a status of experience and leadership.
- Age 50 - 70
- In modern era, Vaikan would seek out a mate around this age, but in the past, it was not uncommon for younger Vaikan to do so.
- Age 70-90
- These are middle-aged Vaikan. Generally, they are quite experienced and are considered the leaders of society.
- Age 90+
- Elder Vaikan age. At this age, Vaikan begin to lose their neotenous features.
- Main article: Vaikan/Evolutionary history
There are some unique Vaikan diseases that originated on Ucharpli.
Blood craver virus (Vampire's disease)Edit
The Blood craver virus targets the cells in the mouth that allow them to tolerate the taste of animal blood and plant matter. Victims, on many ocassions, will lose appetite for normal food and start to feed off the blood of another Vaikan. Other side effects include a boosted immune system and an elongated life span. Today, the virus is in captivity in a remote Vaikan colony.
A form of paralysis that solidifies the joints making a Vaikan look like a statue. They can still think, breathe and carry out life functions. The only thing they can't do is move from whatever position they are stuck in.
A subspecies of panther known as Daggerfangs spread this virus. This disorder makes them more susceptible to frenzies.
A genetic disorder where in the Vaikan brain, the region known as Saskana's area is faulty due to a reduced amount of conduits. Found in roughly 0.1% of the population, the disorder is highly correlated with areas with extreme poverty and lack of food as on average, those with Maj deficiency eat slightly less. Unfortunately, those with Maj deficiency have difficulty with brain functions. While their intelligence is comparable to an average Vaikan, they are slow to move and react physically, and they eventually become paralyzed when they get older.
Crumbleskin will result in a Vaikan losing skin particles overtime which makes them unprotected against Szon's dangerous UV rays. Crumbleskin is a genetic disease that has yet to be cured.
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