Endless Blue – Week 37.1 – Hue of Flesh and Shade of Scale   1 comment


Hue of Flesh and Shade of Scale

The diversity of life in the water of Elqua has blossomed over the epochs into a complex ecology of living beings.  The piscean races are not immune to the glacial drift of geneology, the passage of traits from one generation unto its children.  The most visual of these inherited traits, the color of skin, of scale, of hair, help define the various ethnicities of the Fluid Nations.  As son resembles father, as cousins share more in common than strangers, societies of species share certain visual resemblances that mark them for the tribe that spawned them.  These chromatic clues, or coloration, are consistent to any given species, and in many cases are one of the dominant factors in identifying race.

Piscean Complexions

The matrix below charts the most currently establish credentials for ethnicity in the Known World.  Each row across corresponds to one race:  In this case, the Cetaceans, the Chelon, the Lumulus, two rows for Mer, and so on.  Each sphere in the row represents a different ethnicity, with its own unique coloration, that is passed down to their offspring.  These are the sub-races.  They are minor cosmetic differences that set it apart from other ethnic variations, yet still similar enough genetically to allow interbreeding.  The final column represents individual from the race that were trapped in the Undertow, and through time have lost the coloration pigments in their epidermis and have become albino.  Victims of the Undertow, an over powering vortex in the Abyss of the Chelon Sea, suffer from this achromatosis, though albinic offspring are not unheard of in the waters above.

Coloration of the OrcanColoration of the NarwahlColoration of the Beluga

Coloration of the Chelon TerrapinColoration of the Chelon TortoiseColoration of the Chelon TurtleColoration of the Undertow Chelon

Coloration of the Jastog LumulusColoration of the Morski LumulusColoration of the Rakova LumulusColoration of the Undertow Lumulus

Coloration of the Mer Current 1Coloration of the Mer Current 2Coloration of the Mer Current 3Coloration of the Undertow Mer

Coloration of the Mer Current 4Coloration of the Mer Current 5Coloration of the Mer Current 6Coloration of the Mer Current 7

Coloration of the KoutonColoration of the Undertow Kouton

Coloration of the LocanthColoration of the Undertow Locanth

Coloration of the SahaguinColoration of the Undertow Sahaguin

Coloration of the CephColoration of the Yaun-TeelColoration of the KelpygmyColoration of the Icht

Each sphere represents an individual ethnicity, and the coloration inside is a loose approximation of the prevalent pigmentation of the species.  The shade and hue can vary to a certain degree, but the basic coloration is the same.  Red may express itself as pale rose in one and as a darkened crimson in another, but is always some cast of red.

Decoding the Matrix

Colorization Key

Indetification Key for the Colorization Heraldry

The sphere is the broken down into the dorsal color (the crescent shape) and the ventral color (the oval shape).   These represent the coloration of the back and front of a piscean, respectively.  For example, Orcan coloration is distinct, with their backs the classic black expanse and their chest the striking white.  Not all species have a different colloration along their belly as along their spine, or the change in color is a continuously gradual fade.  In these cases, the full sphere serves as the body’s coloration and the belly oval is neglected.

The three circles within the sphere represent the markings.  Marking are patterns or shapes distinct from the dorsal and ventral coloration.  Thins like spots, stripes, and other patterns are perfect examples.  The uppermost cirlce is the Primary Marking,  This circle represents the coloring of a marking that is shared across the race, regardless of intermingling.  Every Orcan has the white spot on either side of their head, though the shape and size of that spot vary from individual to individual.  Likewise, while the color of the primary marking is consistent, the shape or pattern of the marking is a unique family trait that is inherited from the parents and slightly modified through genetic drift.

The next circle is the Secondary Marking.  These secondary markings, if any, are not frequently expressed across the whole race, but are specific to a family tree.  They do not define what it means to be of a particular sub-race, but is more akin to having “his father’s gills but his mother’s eyes”.  In cases of mixed parentage, where the mother and father come from different ethnicities, the coloration of the dominant parent trait would be the primary marking, and the other parents’ marking would become the secondary marking.  This is especially common among the Mer, who despite the most distinctive and vibrant coloration of all the piscean races, inter-marry as suits them.  To represent this, the secondary and potential third markings are left as hollow circlets, for the player to decide upon during character creation.

The final circle is tertiary markings.  Such markings are rare, but do surface, especially in families renown for their wanderlust as young adults and falling in love with the local pisceans.

Primary, secondary, or tertiary markings filled with a spectrum signify the species has the ability to alter the pigmentation in their skin, be it purposefully or passively, to other color(s),  The Ceph, masters of camouflage, are capable of producing any mixture of dorsal, ventral, and marking coloration.  A transluscent spectrum marking, like the secondary marking of a Kouton, signifies that while pigmentation changes may occur, they will not alter the basic shape and distribution of the markings.  This is the Kouton “blush”, the flushing of the skin with certain colors that reflect the emotional state of the individual, but the pattern/shape of the markings still shows through the colored tint.  For markings that only occur on the dorsal or ventral side, such as with the deduced coloration of the extinct Icht, the portion that overlaps the crescent or oval is occluded.

Some colorizations and mottling have notable histories attached to them, and as a result have been given names.  These famous colorations take on a meaning of their own, and serve as the heraldry for the family, used on flags and on aegises pledged to their cause.  These are the standards that wave in the currents over great armies, clashing tooth, claw, and blade to decided the future of their bodies of water.  They bring fame; the bestow fame.  They attract loyalty of the common piscean, and demand that loyalty be returned.  In many ways, the color of a normally detached, civilized, evolved piscean is still slave to their baser instincts, driven by visually triggered biology to prefer that which is pleasing to the eye.  This fact is not lost on those that use power, and they cultivate their colorization’s social image with great care.

One response to “Endless Blue – Week 37.1 – Hue of Flesh and Shade of Scale

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  1. Pingback: Endless Blue – Week 96.2 – Mer: Illustrated | Endless Blue

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