Endless Blue – Week 68 – Vitruvian Sahaguin   1 comment

Biology

Vitruvian Sahaguin

Prowling the waters south of the Creche of Civilization are the aggressive Sahaguin.  The area is known as the Sahaguin Lagoons, and is most notable for its shallow, submerged plains.  These plains support a disproportionate amount of life that straddles the border between the waters and the Vastness.  Great trees grow up out of the water, breaking the surface and blooming in the Vastness.  The ecosystem here has evolved in such a way as the lines between surface aberration and aquatic society have become blurred.  Great, massive creatures, like extraterrestrial dinosaurs, wade through these waters.  And among their footsteps, the Sahaguin hunt.

The Sahaguin seem descended from reptilian stock — most likely of crocodilian origin.  They are the second largest of the piscean species (a distant second to the gigantic Orcans), and the largest of the primitive races of the Periphery.  Extending six to seven feet in length, the Sahaguin body is lithe but tightly muscled.  This gives the species an almost chiseled look with pronounced abdominal, pectoral, and bicep muscle groups.  The coloration of their bellies and palms pale, and it is here that their scales are the thinnest.

Their body is overall greenish scales, with dark banding along the extremities and dorsal side.   Their arms and tail possess a similar extended fin much like the Locanth, and their dorsal fin peters out along the cranium in a row of spines.  The head of these sea tyrants is ridged along the eyebrow and continues back behind the ear.  Their eyes are huge and dark, like polished onyx orbs, and it has been described as a “hypnotic call to the abyss” by those that have stared back into a Sahaguin’s gaze.  While they have lost the tell-tale snout of their crocodile forebearers, they retained the interlocking row of sharp teeth.

Each finger of the Sahaguin hand ends in a vicious talon, perfectly suited for rending flesh from bone.  Even the ends of their pelvic and caudial fins are tipped in a keratin-like substance that can slice unprotected skin.  Grappling a Sahaguin is a dangerous endeavor because of these.  Even if you overpower the creature and pin its arms, its tail and pelvic fins can still rake the aggressor with little effort.  A berserk Sahaguin is a frenzy of slashing claws, flensing the muscles off a victim and flooding the local waters with clouds of blood.

Vitruvian Sahaguiin

Alleged Resurrectionist document titled “Vitruvian Sahaguin”.

Of special interest is the reproductive system of the Sahaguin.  There is no doubt that new Sahaguin are born, as their numbers are not dwindling like the Chelon are.  Somehow new generations of Sahaguin are shoring up the schools — out of sheer necessity, new hunters would be needed when a warrior is killed.  But there seems to be no record of Sahaguin young, or even the sight of Sahaguin females with child.  Resurrectionists with little morals have taken possession of Sahaguin cadavers and autopsied them.  There ministrations have revealed little difference between Sahaguin anatomy and that of Locanth, Mer, or Yaun-Teel.  They lack a navel, so the race obviously does not give birth to live young, yet never has a clutch of Sahaguin eggs been discovered.  They possess all the necessary anatomy for reproduction, yet there seems to be no transitional evidence that they indeed do reproduce other than the end offspring.  Sahaguin in heavily domesticated areas (where day-to-day contact is unavoidable) show no sign of the early stages of childbirth.  Those around them can never remember having seen a female show signs of impregnation.  The mothers never seem to need any recovery post-birth.  They do not even seem to “duck away” so they may give birth in secret.    It seems as if the children simply “appear” with those urban Sahaguin families.  Inquiry about this mystery is a taboo subject for the race, and usually results in either anger or hostility, and ends in either the end of cordial relations with the asker, or his death.

There do not appear to be any examples of subspecies among the Sahaguin.  Instead, they form very closely knit bonds with other local Sahaguins.  They will look upon other settlements of their species as not simply competitors, but enemies.  This reactionary mindset is lessened with urban-raised Sahaguin, but in many ways still guides their behavior to those outsiders, treating them with suspicion and scorn.  Despite these initial hostilities, a Sahaguin may gain favor with a new group by proving himself not just in battle, but by asserting his will in everyday activities.  A Sahaguin takes what he wants, and backs that up with his might.  Eventually acceptance comes and the new individual becomes integrated into the settlement.

Rural Sahaguin settlements are akin pirates, invading each other’s territories to poach and plunder.  They do not shy away from confrontation — if anything, they may go out of their way to trigger as much violence as they can during their raids.  These invasive expeditions are not relegated to just Sahaguin cities.  The Narwahl are a common recipient of Sahaguin incursions, which the Narwahl strangely welcome, viewing it as a means to keep their ancient Cetacean instinct honed to perfection.  Many of these confrontations have become notorious, leading to infamy for many Sahaguin and Narwahl alike.  These leaders become larger than life characters, vivid in their flamboyance as they are in their savagery.

There exists a special animosity between the Sahaguin and their neighbors the Mer.  The sea tyrants need little impetus to invade Merfolk territory, and on occasion they have seduced a native Mer into betraying their homesea current and aiding the invasion.  Border settlements along the Current/Lagoon no mer’s seas often reinforce propaganda about keeping information to one’s self out of fear that the one you speak to may be a Sahaguin spy.  These ongoing border skirmishes have kept the Mer Currents at odds with the Sahaguin Lagoons for centuries.

“Take up your unguis when a Sahaguin asks, `Why?’
for it is already too late to convince him…”
— An old Cetacean proverb on Sahaguin belligerence

One response to “Endless Blue – Week 68 – Vitruvian Sahaguin

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  1. Pingback: Endless Blue – Week 98.2 – Sahaguin: Illustrated | Endless Blue

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