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PostPosted: Sun Nov 17, 2019 7:56 pm 
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Angel is to Demon as Archon is to...?

In MTG it's specters if it's anything. In my head it's somethingcalled an anarch.

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 17, 2019 10:15 pm 
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Oh yeah, I completely forgot about Specters. I suppose if I'd ever owned one, I would have remembered.

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 17, 2019 11:02 pm 
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Honestly, I'm surprised I'd forgotten them.
Then again, I think I blame eldraine having weird archons for that

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 20, 2019 4:01 pm 
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Is there a word to describe a mohawk without using that word? (the direct translation from Italian also gives "crest", but I'm not convinced) Failing that, does "mohawk" sound too modern/real-life to be used in fantasy?

(for more context: this is related to describing Kyewdz)

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 22, 2019 9:47 pm 
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Is there a word to describe a mohawk without using that word? (the direct translation from Italian also gives "crest", but I'm not convinced) Failing that, does "mohawk" sound too modern/real-life to be used in fantasy?

(for more context: this is related to describing Kyewdz)

Personally, I hardly ever hear "mohawk" anymore, but that may be because of the circles I run in. Most of the time, I'm seeing it on elves instead of real-life people.

That said, there really isn't another term to describe the modern-day Mohawk hair style (I did a quick search and discovered that the original hair style, named after a Native American tribe, looked very little like the modern punk-rock style). It's kind of entered the popular vernacular and become detached from its original meaning. Personally, I wouldn't even be caught by surprise by the word's inclusion, even if it were in dialogue, where I try to be more selective about "modern-sounding" word choice.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 23, 2019 1:40 pm 
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Thank you!

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 15, 2019 5:07 pm 
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How are viashino's genders distinguished in the various planes? They certainly lack mammalian dimorphism, and depending on how draconic vs lizardly the local variety is even supposing dimorphism could not be a safe bet. In some places clothing might act as much-needed signifiers, but in planes where everything's more unisex (the Jackie-Trotter couple in Jakkard comes to mind) that's not helping either. The problem gets even worse when considering non-viashino 'walkers exploring planes with viashino in them, or viashino 'walkers outside their home plane. I'm not even asking you to consider Sharaka's specific case, since that's a mess I don't expect anyone else to tackle for me :D

So, basically: is this a discussion worth having, or would it be just better to hand-wave it away like the language thing and other similar issues, and have everyone easily identify everyone's presented gender? (Which would be weird for non-cis characters whose gender is/was a plot point, but hey)

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 15, 2019 6:57 pm 
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Something that I have come to realize is that rendering people is mainly an issue when speaking about them, and not so much too them, depending on the situation. Basically, unless you are in a situation where the only polite option is using a gendered honorific, there's no reason to worry about the gender of the person you're speaking to. You could mark it subtly by having the person hesitate for a moment at the point where they would usually say "sir" or "ma'am" and have them pull out some awkward turn of phrase to stay polite without using those words. But a lot of it would depend on what culture the character was from. I feel like this wouldn't be an issue on Jackard, but it could be trickier on Aliavelli.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 16, 2019 1:28 am 
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Aaarrrgh wrote:
Something that I have come to realize is that rendering people is mainly an issue when speaking about them, and not so much too them, depending on the situation.

That is a good point, but when you have a POV that interacts with viashino or other low-dimorphic races writing about them is exactly the problem.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 16, 2019 1:43 am 
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Funfact:
The first viashino had no dimorphism because they were agender until puberty, which is when they then chose which way they'd be.

As to other aspects, it's largely been a case that females have been slim while males have been stockier. That's basically the only way to distinguis in terms of physical characteristics.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 16, 2019 7:07 am 
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I remembered the first part, it's something I included in my Burnspine viashino :3

As for the latter, that means that buff females (one in particular comes to mind) or thin males are bound to be regularly misgendered, which doesn't make me exactly euphoric...

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 16, 2019 11:55 am 
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I remembered the first part, it's something I included in my Burnspine viashino :3

As for the latter, that means that buff females (one in particular comes to mind) or thin males are bound to be regularly misgendered, which doesn't make me exactly euphoric...

We're talking about more than cosmetic difference in body shape and even in facial features.
Females are thin and sharp, more akin to a serpentine build with the flat of the body being more on their sides.
The makes tend towards less angular features, more blunt, and their body shape is often more simian than reptile.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 16, 2019 9:22 pm 
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Aaarrrgh wrote:
Something that I have come to realize is that rendering people is mainly an issue when speaking about them, and not so much too them, depending on the situation. Basically, unless you are in a situation where the only polite option is using a gendered honorific, there's no reason to worry about the gender of the person you're speaking to. You could mark it subtly by having the person hesitate for a moment at the point where they would usually say "sir" or "ma'am" and have them pull out some awkward turn of phrase to stay polite without using those words. But a lot of it would depend on what culture the character was from. I feel like this wouldn't be an issue on Jackard, but it could be trickier on Aliavelli.

I would add to that by saying this is largely dependent on language (arguably moreso than culture, but the two are difficult to disentangle).

For example, many languages have politeness levels, where not just your tone but the actual words you use in conversation differ depending on who your talking to. Usually, this has to do with the relative social standing of the two speaking (see: sempai/senpai), and truth be told I'm unaware of specific examples that use other relative characteristics, but considering how weird humans have gone with languages, I wouldn't be surprised that knowing someone's gender would be a prerequisite to knowing how to speak to them. I recently learned about an Australian Aboriginal language that used completely different words depending on whether your parents are in the room with you, and I know many languages, such as Korean, have separate words for addressing your compatriots based on their relative age and gender compared to yours (kind of like saying "my younger female coworker [when I am also female]," but it's one word).

All that said, I am afraid I don't have much knowledge of canon lore, nor am I much of a herpetologist. Personally, I'd say to do a small amount of research into sexual differences among a handful of lizard species and use some of those, but I like going kind of whimsical with these things, so if I were to do it I might make it something nigh imperceptible to humans, like scent or, like, a 1% difference in bone structure that a Viashino would pick up on, but a human wouldn't unless they had spent a long time among them.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 17, 2019 9:07 pm 
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I know many languages, such as Korean, have separate words for addressing your compatriots based on their relative age and gender compared to yours (kind of like saying "my younger female coworker [when I am also female]," but it's one word).

Pronouns. I was thinking of pronouns.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 18, 2019 5:01 am 
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Right, some languages put the honorific in the pronoun. That would complicated things slightly. However, we as writers have a great advantage here: if you don't want to make this a prominent part of your story, don't place the story within a language out culture where it would be an issue. Heck, you could even place or in a culture which has a standardized gender neutral pronoun. If you don't feel comfortable writing about an issue, you can find ways to write around it.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 18, 2019 11:40 pm 
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I really should be in bed but I just had this thought: have a sexual dimorphism among Viashino that is like, really glaringly obvious and perfectly in-line with natural tendencies, but the exact opposite of human expectations. Males are on average smaller, more sleek, and have really flamboyant colorings, while females are duller but a bit more heavily-built and tend to have, like, cadres of men in a kind of harem situation, fighting to be the alpha male among the pack.

Please feel free to disregard this as I am up way too late to be posting in the first place.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 19, 2019 1:38 am 
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Well, flamboyantly colored males are more common in nature than the opposite.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 19, 2019 9:44 pm 
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Out of curiosity, do people think that Nephilim as a creature type should be restricted to cycles of four-colored monstrosities? AFAIK, there are only the five printed that were printed way back in Ravnica, and I honestly doubt Wizards would do another cycle anytime soon, but the word Nephilim is packed with a lot of cultural meaning.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 19, 2019 10:00 pm 
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I feel like you'd have to have a good reason to do something different with them, but I wouldn't say it's completely restricted.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 20, 2019 7:10 pm 
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I think the core color combo of a nephilim should only be restricted to a creature with aspects of enemy colors.
Playing on the diametrically opposed nature of their being.

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