Back when I was trying to build up background on the Tevarin, a race in the Star Citizen universe, I started building a language for them that I wanted to be gender neutral. This, of course, required a gender neutral culture. So I was stuck trying to design a species that would naturally evolve such a culture. Complicating matters, I wanted them to also fulfil their role in Star Citizen, which required them to be a warrior race. I fumbled around for a while with the “tall, elegant, waxy, grey-skinned” Tevarin of the existing lore, but, frankly, I could never really see them as warriors.
So this is how K’mora was born and the Tevarin evolved into the Anyuvin…
First, I found the thylacine (Tasmanian Wolf). My initial thought was to use them for the oce (oh-tseh) – the K’moran dog-analog – but then I decided that the oce and the Anyuvin had a common ancestor.
The Thylacine was(is?) a marsupial. A little research on marsupials and I began to realize that (with a little tweaking) this reproductive scheme was a natural for minimizing the impact of reproduction on any one individual. For one thing, the actual term of pregnancy is only few weeks and the young are very small when born, about the size of your thumb, so pregnancy doesn’t slow you down. If the task of carrying the offspring could be spread out among a number of adults, then, again, reproduction plays almost no part in differentiating the sexes socially.
Ah, but this requires an extended family. After all, if you’re going to parcel out the 4-6 offspring in a litter, you will eventually need 4-6 adults to carry them when they get larger. This would imply a minimum family size of 6 reproductive age adults per family, and that’s assuming only one female gets pregnant at a time. It also assumes that the males have pouches and are also capable of nursing young. OK, score one for nurturing males and one less way of differentiating between the sexes.
But why develop such a reproductive system? Enter K’mora. Postulate a hunter-gatherer culture in a harsh environment. A desert with scattered oases or waterholes. A family cannot stay at one waterhole for any length of time without stripping it of food, so they are constantly on the move. Now we have a nomadic culture, likely light on personal possessions and with an emphasis on family and cooperation.
Waterholes are necessary for survival, so there will be competition for them, but a race living on the edge of extinction cannot afford to be killing each other off, so fighting is likely to be highly ritualized and not “to the death.” Families might well band together to claim and defend a territory in which they share the available waterholes, so a clan structure develops. There may be skirmishing along the boundaries (giving us a warrior ethos) but within the territories it is relatively safe and peaceful – and survivable.
And this is how the “Tevarin” became totally unsuited to Star Citizen and are now the “Anyuvin”. I tried really hard to fit this into the Star Citizen Universe. I think I succeeded and I think they’d have made a neat addition to the game, but there’s a limit to how much retconning the writers are willing to do.
Besides, I have my gender neutral sandbox to play in. Which is, let’s face it, how this whole mess started.
© 2015 LeeW