This article acts as a container for various observations and rules based on the physical natures of dragonkind, humankind, and monsterkind. These observations are important to achieve understanding about some broad and specific functions concerning the wider world of Veltrona's
many kinds of peoples.
Physical Compatibility of Sapient Species
, and the various monsterkind
undeniably exist close to the 'humanoid' body type. Why this is is endlessly argued, although many are content with the assumption that is the work of divine beings/goddesses. Such belief is ultimately what fuels the Great Convergence
However, to understand how these species can live together–indeed, live, love, build families and lives, and more–is important. The very first step is coming to understand what a person is
Take for example the lindwurm
and the nebusah
. Lindwurms are large, imposing, and highly specialized toward their Underworld-dwelling nature. They are physically powerful to an absurd degree, and possess armored bodies capable of enduring unimaginable punishment.
They're also naturally blind, and possess very particular demands for those to survive being around them. A hug from one of them without restraint can shatter boulders with ease, so any kind of human would have to also be powerful to endure it. So while it is not impossible, their requirements are naturally high.
A nebusah is closer to humans in size and scope, and while most are stronger than humans, they are not ridiculously so. They have eye-sight as well as enlarged, generally workable hands, so they can do much of the work as another human (if not somewhat better so). They possess stronger familial instincts and ideas of loyalty, creating complex social hierarchies that end up stricter than some others. Their bodies also have different notions of compatibility and intimacy, so one must learn what they want or risk offending them. In the grand scheme, they are not terribly hard to work or live with.
By studying these various friction points, cultures can better align (or come to blows) with each other. Individuals have a lot of options to choose from, though some are far more daunting than others. For example, those aspiring for a relationship with dragonkind
will have to greatly increase their own power. Dragonkind must likewise find ways of containing themselves, or terrible effects like manaesia
may result. Hence to cohabitate together is to acknowledge this divide and overcome it, in one form or another.
Nature itself provides a mechanism, interestingly enough. It is often regarded as a kind of 'synchronization' effect, and is believed to work off the same principles that cause manaesia. As a practical example, consider a being of extreme heat, such as Venyra, the Desolator
Being an anaxial of a volcanic dragon, she possesses incredible thermal properties, and is generally well-mannered about containing that. Her partner, Velandra, Sovereign of the Heavens
, over the time they've been together, has 'adapted', or 'synchronized', to Venyra's incredible heat.
Where as when they first met, Venyra's ambient heat might've caused heatstroke or even skin burns, Velandra later became unaffected by it entirely. Hence, in a public space, the two of them would be fine, but other people not adapted to Venyra's heat would suffer those consequences. Unlike Venyra, Velandra cannot walk into a volcano unscathed–she is simply better suited to Venyra's temperament.
The synchronization effect has long been a mystery among many learned minds. It is not fast acting, nor are the changes permanent, but they are distinctly real and a visible impact of what even a 'simple' relationship can have on the involved parties. To a lesser extent, it has provided (whether right or not) 'validity' to the idea of life-long partners, and being raised in conjunction with one's future spouse(s).
Many martial schools believe this sharing can confer tangible benefits in combat, but it is hard to sift out if synchronization is distinctly beneficial that way, or the partners are simply well trained together. As can be seen in the karsoru
, however, there is something to be said about the union of bodies. They are perhaps the most significant species involved with the idea, directly implementing an extreme form in their ecosystem.
As can be summarized, there are a number of physical differences and barriers to the various species. These often come to inform cultural ideas, but there remains many different ways of overcoming these differences. It can take more time, understanding, and resources than many people may have or care to afford, though. Indeed, nature seemingly conspires to allow these seemingly impossible unions their fair chance. It falls to people to actually realize that chance.
On Anaxials and Hybrids
As people will naturally come together, the possibility of offspring is always present. These are generally divided into two camps: monsterkind hybrids, and human anaxials.
The principle rule
is that all children will be of their mother's species. This ensures that all resulting pregnancies will proceed comfortably, as much as such things can be. So, regardless of whoever
the father is, the resulting offspring will be of the mother's species.
are very close to their mother's species, and usually show variance in limited contexts. These children can
however inherit certain, select traits from the father. What they can inherit is largely different between the various species, but things like coloration, hair, scales, and other 'minor' traits are very common. Larger traits can sometimes appear, such as horns, or potentially small limbs like tails, but these can result in terrible complications. Seralkono, the Divine Tempest
would be one such example of the latter.
are much more wild, and often so different and varied that even multiple children from the same mother will be starkly different. While they are distinctly humanoid, they are much closer to being fusions of both the mother and father species, resulting in varied appearances and physiologies. If monsterkind hybrids exist to 'strengthen the mother's species', then anaxials potentially represent the beginnings of 'new species'. Venyra, the Desolator
is a well-known anaxial.
Generally, hybrids are identified by the mother species, and anaxials by the father species. E.g, 'harpy-dragon' and 'dragon anaxial'.
The workings of these offspring dramatically skew how cultures at large tend to regard them. Since women only produce more of their own kind, it ensures their species will not suffer from a potential genetic death. Some may regard cross-species mating as desirable in order to acquire better traits or bloodlines. Others may view purestrain mating as the only acceptable course. These views are further complicated by men, who have to face the clear reality of their children possibly not being their same exact species.
How people come to address this is ultimately a varied and deeply intimate topic.
On Long Lives and Aging
It is naturally a matter of practical and scholarly concern where beings of exceptionally 'long' and 'short' lives are involved. This issue is quite literally as old as time, and poses a daunting barrier for many relationships and cohabitation. There is no singular answer to this complex topic, though there are some baselines that have formed over time.
Generally speaking, all species, even long-lived ones, reach sexual maturity 'quickly'. On average, this varies between 20-and-40 years depending on the respective species. At reaching sexual maturity, while arguably an adult by many standards, they lack experience, power, and knowledge renders them juveniles in the eyes of the longer lived.
The quick growth to sexual maturity, and thus the profound relative shortness of childhood, make many long-lived species treasure it especially. They will, more than many others, often go out of their way to ensure children are raised to the best standards possible. Across (near) eternity, such precious memories are indeed priceless beyond compare.
Relationships with longevity differences face turbulent problems in fulfilling themselves. How to do this varies greatly between species and even cultures within the same species. This can be thought of as being the great interspecies barrier.
Monsterkind in particular can form bonds that physically affect them, so the loss of a beloved partner(s) is literally devastating. The fear such loss inspires is often the root cause for why a lot of monsters prefer to stay 'within their species'. At that point, time's influence is equalized; but for some, love is too powerful to resist, and so the perils of it looms over them.
Nonetheless, a great deal of research has gone into life extension throughout Veltrona's history. Chiefly fueled by monsters wanting their partners to live as long as them, it has a near bottomless well of funding, but it is ever impossible to solve. Progress does emerge on the occasion, and the average life expectancy for those who can afford can far exceed the norms of their species.
It is this desire that does form a foundational corner to blood magic
. The desire for eternal life itself fuels the Path of Cultivation
, as well as those seeking immortality and transcendence
There are long and detailed histories about interspecies relationships against their ever present enemy of time. As technology takes shape and knowledge advances further, time takes on different meanings altogether.
The Nature of Transformation
For as long as anything powerful or desirable has existed, there have been those who wanted to emulate it. However, the barrier of species is a great and immovable one, despite many attempts to surmount it. Dragonkind is an easy target that many aspire to, literally or otherwise. Some once believed that through ritual, magic, or some other method, they might transform from their given flesh to newer, draconic bodies instead. Many came to regard these ideas as insanity itself, but a truly frightening amount of time and research went into realizing just that.
While not directly related to blood magic
, it did form a symbiotic loop with its style of research. Understanding the body, then figuring out how to change it, turned into a sort of branch some blood mages went down to explore. It would, much later on, become an interested topic for the baarham
and their then vile King Ghown
. Their heinous research eventually birthed the chimaera
, showing what unfettered manipulation of the body could achieve.
Interestingly enough, the concept of physically remoulding one's self is not actually that far from thought in Nerzin
. The Path of Cultivation
often involves physically changing with the goal of improvement, usually to obtain enlightenment and greater personal power.
Traditional wisdom sought to refine what they have, rather than become something different, as that is seen as going against Heaven's will. There are those who used it for such purposes, stepping out of the realm of what they used to be. Transitioning between sexes became the most common example of this.
Some divine beings are also thought to transform, figuratively or literally. It is much harder to say why they do so, as their reasons vary beyond count. Some, like Kirichiki
, may take different forms in cultures that do not understand (or have not encountered) the vampyr
As more and more learned of the vampyr and her origins with them, these different forms gradually turned back to her 'classical' appearance. For some, perhaps the mere perception of their existence could change what they actually were. It would certainly explain how some trickster goddesses got around so easily.
The mad dreams of 'turning oneself into a dragon' never bore fruit. The research it inspired became very useful for a variety of purposes instead, at least. Chief among them were methods of body regeneration, limb regrowth, and even more applicable forms of limited transformation. The latter of which became imminently useful for those seeking to physically transition their sexes, for one reason or another. While the exact methodology varies, there are some common points that need to be answered.
For one, mental fortitude to endure the procedure and whatever it entails. Then, a strong mana foundation, either naturally or through supplemental aide like crysium
. Capable doctors or mages
, along with the skillful knowledge, would then commit to running the procedure.
Those who succeeded and survived would come out with bodies that were nearly functionally complete. Because of how extreme nearly all these processes are, a great deal of followup therapies would be necessary to fully align everything to working order.
One example of those who went through it would be Corentine Durand, Crown Princess of the Federation
. Struggling throughout her youth born to the wrong body, only a final ultimatum to her father, the Emperor, swayed him to allow for the procedure.
Since then, Corentine's supreme skill has flourished by leaps and bounds, and despite the ever-present issue of succession, few of her peers can deny her ability. Her fantastic success has inspired others, and even spurred medical interest in expanding the procedure more effectively.
Ultimately, transformation as an idea is generally limited across Veltrona. Some beings skirt or cheat the idea involved, such as those practicing liquid magic
to create 'illusionary bodies'. Some, like Akai Juugatsu, Hidden Horror Born In Blood
, are capable of 'changing their body structure' but they do not 'transform out of being a slime
'. The semantics being what they are, of course, some are closer to transformation power in one context than others.
Among Veltrona's sapient species, most follow a typical pattern of 'woman and man' reproduction strategies. Some, like the bieneren
, use different methods. Generally these are all methods of the 'flesh', insofar as they are simply how these species have worked throughout the ages. As knowledge improved and magical ability rose, however, some became invested in finding alternate solutions to their own dilemmas.
Whether they were woman and man, woman and woman, man and man, infertile or otherwise, having children with their love was often a powerful compulsion. Monsterkind pushed this idea even further, and coupled with interspecies couples having their own dilemmas to work through, the topic ever received great attention.
Generally speaking, there are a lot
of techniques and methods surrounding enhancing one's reproductive prowess. However, what broke into the truly fantastic was how same-sex couples came to utilize magic to create their own blood-related offspring. Women, or those bearing the offspring internally, by far had the easiest time conceiving in this arrangement.
Through some specific rituals, the so-called essence
of their partner could be imparted, creating successful offspring. Couples suffering from fertility issues especially benefitted from this approach, although it is
costly in the supplemental materials. All sorts of mana aides, medicines, and other ingredients form the support structure to realize everything.
Gay men or those who cannot bear children internally, however, struggled to achieve a similar result. As their bodies cannot internally bear offspring, their most immediate choice was a surrogate. Not everyone accepted this option. One very specific dragon actually managed the breakthrough, in this respect.
Hoimenio, of the Hoi lineage, desperately longed to have a son with his life-husband. Some even derided it as an obsession, so committed to finding a solution he was. It wouldn't be until the age of the Imperium
that Hoimenio's dream came true.
In exchange for Imperious' aide, Hoimenio delivered much unto the legendary dragon. She, in turn, commanded the wokma
to spend as much as they needed in realizing Hoimenio's desire. A truly absurd and unfathomable amount of research commenced, and in some respects was one of the greatest projects of its time.
It even garnered the attention of quite a number of goddesses, who peered upon its progress with interest. Supposedly, some gods descended themselves, offering a unique solution to the bottleneck. The wokma refute this rumor everytime it appears, as it greatly angers them (for some reason).
By combining certain magical gems and particular ingredients into a container, a catalyst could be created. Both parents would then contribute their essence, and through a certain magical ritual a lifeborn egg would form. As long as the egg stayed very close to one (or both) parents, it would nurse from their mana.
Eventually, however later as is typical for the species, a child would be born from the egg. Despite both parents being male, the resulting child can be a female or male–much to Hoimenio's surprise when his firstborn daughter 'hatched'.
Overjoyed all the same, Hoimenio spread the method far across Veltrona. Indeed, it is said he flew for an entire year without cease, showering every land he ran across in booklets on how to do so. Quite a lot of interest piqued upon learning about the event, and many curious minds studied the work. Some even started to wonder if the process could be changed to create other, different forms of life.
However, all their attempts failed. The absurdity of that actually proved more surprising than the actual 'creation of life' the method allowed for. Something about the process inherently undermined any attempts to change it. Not even the baarham were successful, something that drove a few of their greatest mage-seers to an alcoholic stupor.
The Imperium's later downfall and the Great Darkness
hardly impeded its spread. An altogether new paradigm arrived on the scene, changing the concept of many relationships in a number of civilizations. It should be said, this method does obey the inheritance and hybrid rules, although randomly. It isn't clear which parent will be established until the child is born, which makes for some fun times.
How some civilizations adapted to these methods is certainly rather specific. It can be said that even armed with such capabilities, realizing them is another matter. The materials, time, knowledge, and ability involved is considerable. Some might say the same as rearing offspring normally, others might say moreso. For however some derided such children, they've all been as normal as children could be.