What do the Ijad look like?

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Re: What do the Ijad look like?

Postby Soren » Thu Jan 24, 2013 7:14 am

Zero Revenge wrote:
Soren wrote:The idea of civilians as distinct from fighting forces is a pretty recent one in human cultures, let alone in an alien one that doesn't have a concept of the nation-state. Ijad loyalties are personal and tribal - that has good and bad points. Feudal societies are run on personal and tribal loyalties. So are drug gangs. Reputation is everything, and laws, contracts, and customs are enforced by direct personal violence and the threat of violence.

Oh... oh okay, mildly terrifying.


I should point out that one of the reasons the Ijad are so attached to their religion and culture is that it's the biggest unifying and limiting factor on intra-Ijad violence. There are things you're forbidden from doing to other believers; much the same way Islam forbids the enslavement of fellow Muslims, say, or early Mormonism countenanced violence against non-Mormon settlers. Ijad culture and religion are intertwined, and Ijad are less religious bigots than they are cultural ones; knowing the basics of Ijad language and custom goes a long way towards reducing friction with them, because it means you're no longer considered a 'barbarian'.

(This also means that the Ijad religion spread a lot like Islam spread in places like West Africa; convert, or the tribes near you would be free to do bad things to you. It's a license... but only against outsiders. Very tidy.)

Zero Revenge wrote:
Soren wrote:Ijad have the host-symbiote separation, which means they can practice the same kind of violence on each other without killing each other permanently. Until recently, that was pretty easy to keep under control - pre-gunpowder societies have a hard time killing enough of each other off, and when you can slip into a new body, it's not really murder, is it? More like stealing a horse. Then humans showed up - hosts who are also people. That was just a giant monkey wrench in the gears in so many ways.

Oh. Holy Crap. I never thought of that. That's also mildly terrifying.


Yeah. Again, Ijad have had varying levels of prosperity and success in modifying their social structures - some Ijad worlds and regions have developed complex power-sharing arrangements between tribes and ethnic groups similar to real-world Nigeria or Malaysia, while a very few others are starting to look, to use the bard's phrase, 'all Baghdad and s--t'. The good is every bit as good as the bad is bad - separating the good from the bad is going to be the work of centuries, some of them very bloody indeed.
Last edited by Soren on Fri Jan 25, 2013 12:49 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What do the Ijad look like?

Postby Zero Revenge » Thu Jan 24, 2013 2:17 pm

Thank you Soren. I'm certainly repeating myself, but I appreciate all the clockwork of the setting, this is fantastic!
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Re: What do the Ijad look like?

Postby Foxfire » Thu Jan 24, 2013 2:59 pm

Joshua A.C. Newman wrote:
gusindor wrote:Do the Ijad have any religious symbols or iconography? What about commandments and myths? I mean aside from the "can't touch it, can't rule it" thing. Also what about Ijad who don't follow that faith, or are there any? Can a human convert to Ijad-ism without hosting an Ijad?

P.S: Are the Ijad names meant to seem Arabic-ish or is that just me?


They have writing. The word "Bhadal" is this concept they have that I've translated as "communal self-reliance".

One of their myths is in the book. They probably have lots of commandments locally, but Bhadal is the one they all agree on.

There are probably Ijad who have foresworn their religion, yeah. Soren had some fighting for the SU, but my memory is that it was coerced. It's definitely possible, though!

Humans can follow the religion without hosting, yes. Haski is an adherent in the Enniot City story. What makes a human a person — an Ijad — is agreeing to neither follow nor lead anyone but those they know personally. There are probably other requirements, too, depending on the local variant.

(Nice to see you here!)


To use a modern example:
Christianity in a nutshell is supposed to be "Love God with all your heart" and "Love your neighbor as yourself". The first commandment is an internal one, and thus not really relevant to the discussion, but the second pretty much sums up how a Christian should act towards the world in a single sentence, yet there are entire libraries devoted to translating that simple concept into reality, as well as disagreements over exactly what it looks like. Who exactly is a neighbor? What do you mean by love? What happens if I fail to live up to the commandment? etc.

I would expect Ijad to be similar. If you ask them they will all adhere to the same root idea, but they have differing interpretations about it. What exactly does self-reliance mean? Does it mean no outside goods or trade? Does it mean a neutral trade deficit? You only command those you know. What exactly does it mean to know them personally? Know their name? Know their face? The core Ijad concept is simple, but there is a ton of room for differing interpretations.
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Re: What do the Ijad look like?

Postby Zero Revenge » Fri Jan 25, 2013 2:31 pm

Here's a quick question.

How long can an Ijad symbiote live for, naturally speaking? Do they live shorter lives than Humankind?

I'm not as curious to know how the Ijad reproduce, except is it a long process, such as Human-gestation? And likewise, do the Ijad tend to breed as often and plentiful as Humans?
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Re: What do the Ijad look like?

Postby Joshua A.C. Newman » Fri Jan 25, 2013 5:16 pm

The evolution is, in my vision, much closer to Judaism: there are some central, distant events of great meaning, and then all the practical implementation is based on commentary. There hasn't been any sort of central authority for millennia, and its collapse is actually the start of their religion.

Ijad are clearly k-strategy reproducers so theirs is probably a pretty long, or at least infrequent, gestation. They lay eggs but only a few at once — four or five — then select the best one to take through to full gestation.

Since their culture is so important to them as a species, they spend a lot of time teaching each other. So, yeah, they live shorter spans than humans, maybe 40-50 years. Of that, their first 10 or so is childhood, where they learn their culture's techniques, morals, ethics, language, and so forth. When they reach sexual maturity, they start having sex, but the older of a pairing usually opts to carry the eggs (remember, they only have one sex), with the younger learning how as they go. When both partners are experienced, they might both carry eggs.

They're big on extended family, as you might guess from their society. Most Ijad societies name their kids after their community, not their parents. That's because at any moment, a bunch of the Ijad are involved in child-rearing; just because you laid some eggs doesn't mean you're solely responsible for their upbringing. The larger city-farms have this problem where, ironically, the relationships get tenuous enough due to the large population that some hatchlings don't have enough parents to raise them.
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Re: What do the Ijad look like?

Postby gusindor » Sun Jan 27, 2013 1:38 pm

If Ijad have shorter lifespans than humans, what happens to a host when their Ijad partner dies? :cry:
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Re: What do the Ijad look like?

Postby Joshua A.C. Newman » Tue Jan 29, 2013 5:03 pm

They become sad.
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Re: What do the Ijad look like?

Postby Zero Revenge » Tue Jan 29, 2013 9:20 pm

Joshua A.C. Newman wrote:They become sad.

Hahahaha. I assume then the Host's death has no physiological effect on the connecting Ijad.
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Re: What do the Ijad look like?

Postby Joshua A.C. Newman » Wed Jan 30, 2013 1:10 pm

No, except for also probably sadness.

Ijad change bodies all the time. If you're doing farm work, you ride a big farm animal. If you're flying somewhere, you ride a flying animal. If you want emotional, political, and intellectual intimacy, you ride a human.
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Re: What do the Ijad look like?

Postby Mercutio » Wed Jan 30, 2013 2:38 pm

Joshua A.C. Newman wrote:No, except for also probably sadness.

Ijad change bodies all the time. If you're doing farm work, you ride a big farm animal. If you're flying somewhere, you ride a flying animal. If you want emotional, political, and intellectual intimacy, you ride a human.

So it's a true symbiosis and not a parasitical relationship or ghost-like possession?
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Re: What do the Ijad look like?

Postby The Hydromancer » Wed Jan 30, 2013 5:56 pm

Could an Ijad join with another Ijad?
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Wears down the cliff tops, the mountains.
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Re: What do the Ijad look like?

Postby Xero010 » Wed Jan 30, 2013 7:42 pm

The Hydromancer wrote:Could an Ijad join with another Ijad?

I think based on there religion, this would be forbidden, or very taboo. The medical implications would be interesting though.
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Re: What do the Ijad look like?

Postby The Hydromancer » Wed Jan 30, 2013 8:11 pm

Xero010 wrote:
The Hydromancer wrote:Could an Ijad join with another Ijad?

I think based on there religion, this would be forbidden, or very taboo. The medical implications would be interesting though.


Agreed, it would be the worst thing possible one Ijad could do to another. Hell of a funny mental image though.

*Imagines an Ijad using their antenna's like actual puppet strings* Dance puppet, dance!
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Water just waits.
Wears down the cliff tops, the mountains.
The whole of the world.
Water always wins.

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Re: What do the Ijad look like?

Postby Foxfire » Thu Jan 31, 2013 1:26 pm

Joshua A.C. Newman wrote:Yeah, they're supposed to be totally creepy, but also as much good guys as anyone else.

I mean, yeah, they're brain parasites, sure. And yes, they ride other critters in their ecosystem — that's how they evolved. They give superpowers the ghanat, boleh, uhmetwan, and other creatures they ride by giving them communication and problem solving power.

When they met humans, they were really excited to be able to ride with other minds. Humans are wonderful and alien to them.

When a human is ridden by an Ijad, it's like having someone else around. It's not like they're necessarily in control of your body, though you could have them do stuff with it if you wanted. Like, if the Ijad riding on you is a surgeon and you're a dairy farmer, you know which one's gonna be doing which jobs. But most of the time, the original inhabitant of the body has greater control; after all, they've grown up with it. Both consciousnesses are there and in full communication with each other the whole time, but the human (at least in most cases) can revoke body privileges.


Hey, that is not what this "accidently released" SU research data that I pulled of the net said! They take you over, COMPLETELY!
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Re: What do the Ijad look like?

Postby Foxfire » Thu Jan 31, 2013 1:29 pm

Xero010 wrote:
The Hydromancer wrote:Could an Ijad join with another Ijad?

I think based on there religion, this would be forbidden, or very taboo. The medical implications would be interesting though.


Since the Ijad are symbyotes, then joining with another Ijad, while biologically possible, gives very little to no actual benefit to the Ijad. While pairing with another creatures gives huge gains. That is the most likely the best reason for it being considered taboo.
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Re: What do the Ijad look like?

Postby The Hydromancer » Thu Jan 31, 2013 1:58 pm

Foxfire wrote:
Xero010 wrote:
The Hydromancer wrote:Could an Ijad join with another Ijad?

I think based on there religion, this would be forbidden, or very taboo. The medical implications would be interesting though.


Since the Ijad are symbyotes, then joining with another Ijad, while biologically possible, gives very little to no actual benefit to the Ijad. While pairing with another creatures gives huge gains. That is the most likely the best reason for it being considered taboo.


I think he was gettting at the whole don't let someone else control you mindset.
Water is patient.
Water just waits.
Wears down the cliff tops, the mountains.
The whole of the world.
Water always wins.

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Re: What do the Ijad look like?

Postby Foxfire » Thu Jan 31, 2013 2:00 pm

The Hydromancer wrote:
I think he was gettting at the whole don't let someone else control you mindset.


Unless they know you.
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Re: What do the Ijad look like?

Postby Joshua A.C. Newman » Thu Jan 31, 2013 5:48 pm

Kinky!
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Re: What do the Ijad look like?

Postby The Hydromancer » Thu Jan 31, 2013 8:13 pm

I would hate to dive into the Ijadian language to come up with a safeword.
Water is patient.
Water just waits.
Wears down the cliff tops, the mountains.
The whole of the world.
Water always wins.

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Re: What do the Ijad look like?

Postby Thaddeus » Thu Jan 31, 2013 9:08 pm

Do you think an Ijad could rid something mechanical? As in, could it ride a frame?
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