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Author Topic: Twilight Ramblings 16 - The Kedashi Swarms  (Read 4792 times)
Carcharoth
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« on: May 08, 2015, 07:41:53 pm »

The following is a quick intro to the Kedashi swarms - I'll expand on it over time, but feel free to ask any questions you may have  Smiley

The Myths of the Kedashi

Within many of the large forests across Anyaral there lives a race of almost-mythical creatures who are known as the kedashi. These strange gods of the forests show up in the earliest of legends, where they are portrayed as a fickle force of nature, sometimes devastating entire villages, or at others tumbling the mighty towers of the Devanu. The precise descriptions in those stories are vague, with the kedashi taking the form of terrifying swarms, giant beasts or even the forests themselves tearing their victims apart with claw-like branches.

In the civilised cities of the Empire these myths are still told to jenta, but to most fubarnii they are simply seen as parables of the dangers of the forests. For those who live in the shadows of the forests these myths carry far more weight. Every settlement will have stories of those who ventured too far and were lost to the kedashi and most will offer up sacrifices in thanks for being allowed to stay.

For many generations there has been a tacit understanding between the kedashi and the ‘outsiders’. The outsiders can live within the shadows of the trees, but they are not welcome beyond those outskirts. Even the Devanu follow the understanding. There are always young outcasts who are desperate enough to break the understanding, but it is rare for them to emerge from the depths.

The Fubarnii view of the Frenu

The frenu are small flying creatures that are found throughout the forests of the Empire. They are normally seen in small groups but will sometimes gather into larger flocks. Many villages hold that it is bad luck to kill the frenu but there are others that will regularly hunt them for food with no apparent increase in their misfortunes. Those hunters who ply their trade around the edges of the forests see the frenu as a bit of an oddity for they can never find their nests and it is said that none have never seen eggs or hatchlings.  Gil Masharl (Traveling Biologist) has a theory that the frenu are merely the immature lifestage of the species. Recently he bought a pair from a hunter while passing through Gar Loren, but they grew sick and died very quickly in spite of his care for them. The stories he was told have piqued his interest and he is now intent on capturing more that he might study them and maybe even track down one of their nests.

The Lifecycle of the Frenu

Gil’s theories are very close to the truth, although he has yet to draw any connection between the frenu and the kedashi. The kedashi of legend are the adult frenu and the kedashi queens (the sempa life-stage of the kedashi) live in nests deep within the forests.

The flightless queens live together in groups in large nests, high up in the trees. They are waited on by their loyal kopa and younger sempa, rarely leaving the nests. They produce egg material in vast quantities, which is then gathered up by the younger sempa and fertilised by the selected kopa. The eggs hatch within a couple of weeks and the tiny little frenu crawl down the tree looking for small grubs and berries. Within a few weeks they are able to fly and spread far and wide. At no point are they cared for directly by their parents, although the trebarnii who live in settlements around the nest trees will leave food and offerings that ensure the hatchlings have plenty to eat in their early days.

Once they’ve left the nest trees the frenu have a harsh few months, competing for food and preyed upon by countless predators. The vast majority of frenu die during this time, never developing any more than very limited bird-like intelligence. A small proportion of the young jenta do however survive and mature to the kopa lifestage, skipping the sempa lifestage completely. They slowly grow larger and more powerful. Their brains also develop substantially, giving them a rudimentary level of intelligence. Their intelligence is far less than that of a fubarnii, but enough to communicate ideas, guide the swarms of young frenu and to understand the commands of their queens. A very small number of jenta are adopted by the queens and in their presence they develop into the flightless sempa lifestage. For a few years they will serve the queens, crawling up and down the nest trees and maintaining some flight. As they mature they may eventually earn their place with the queens. At that stage they start to produce egg material and gain too much weight to fly and their wings eventually degrade. They can crawl around on their four limbs, but from that moment on they rarely leave the safety of their treetop nests and are tended by their kopa, secreting material for tens of thousands of eggs through their lives. The queens live as a group and have developed surprising levels of intelligence through intensive communications. They guide their kopa and offspring to protect them and gather resources. It is not known how long the queens live for, but some believe that the eldest queens are over a century old.

The Kedashi and the Trebarnii of the Naralon Forests

Within the Naralon forests the kedashi have formed a widespread community, with some young queens even travelling between nests to pass on information and important knowledge. Another step in the development of the kedashi has been their interaction with a primitive race called the trebarnii. These ape like creatures with semi-prehensile tails live within the forests, foraging and hunting small creatures. Throughout the forests the trebarnii have a close relationship with the kedashi, worshipping them as gods and bringing offerings of food and crafted goods. In return the frenu flocks help to protect their settlements from large beasts that would otherwise threaten them. This mutualistic relationship has provided great benefit and the two species are now intrinsically linked.

It would seem that the frenu treat the trebarnii as a form of livestock and some pioneering queens have been carrying out careful breeding programs over many generations, selecting for beneficial traits such as size, intelligence or aggressiveness. This has resulted in a range of distinctive breeds of trebarnii, including hulking bodyguards comparable in size to the northern engu and more intelligent smaller breeds capable of manufacturing crude weapons and tools.
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Kryptovidicus
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« Reply #1 on: May 09, 2015, 12:29:58 pm »

As they eat grubs and berries, does this mean they are omnivores?
Starting to prey upon larger animals once the frenu are getting closer to the kopa stage?

I assume the bombs and weaved baskets on the Bagrun are trebarnii made, but this seems a huge undertaking and skill level for a race that uses stocks and stones.
So how do they do it?
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Carcharoth
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« Reply #2 on: May 09, 2015, 05:42:31 pm »

Yup, frenu are omnivores. I think even the kaopi would stick to fruits and garkrid.
The trebarnii have had their evolution heavily advanced by the kedashi - they would just be hitting things with sticks, but the queens have selected the smartest trebarnii and trained them to do dexterous tasks, such as weaving and basket making.
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Kryptovidicus
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« Reply #3 on: May 09, 2015, 06:35:50 pm »

By the way, any update on the drawing of the nesting tree? Smiley
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Crucium Giger
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« Reply #4 on: May 11, 2015, 12:03:11 pm »

Another good read while eating my dinner Smiley
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Carcharoth
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« Reply #5 on: May 11, 2015, 01:20:08 pm »

You mentioned sketches? I'm going to try to post these from my phone, so sorry if they are a bit large...
Kedashi nest - I imagine these huge structures to be constructed at the top of very tall, large trees. There may be smaller nests as well, but the eldest of queens would live in these largest nests with dozens of other queens to talk to.


Talking of queens... This is a quick concept sketch. I've no idea how big she should be, but that may depend on age. What sort of queen would you like to see as a model on the table? I'm currently tending towards a large based model, so she would certainly stand out at the centre of the swarm!
« Last Edit: January 19, 2018, 01:29:23 pm by Carcharoth » Logged
The Slann
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« Reply #6 on: May 11, 2015, 01:29:01 pm »

Stop posting ideas for terrain please Wink
I have so much on the workbench already :p
« Last Edit: May 11, 2015, 02:41:18 pm by The Slann » Logged
Kryptovidicus
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« Reply #7 on: May 11, 2015, 04:48:14 pm »

Thank you for the sketches Mike, the tree looks exactly like I imagined.
What material are the nests made of?
I think the queen should be a unit, with a large base matriarch and some smaller queens with a bit more mobility.
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Carcharoth
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« Reply #8 on: May 11, 2015, 05:35:08 pm »

Thanks for the prompt on the sketch! I'll have to try and do some more to add to the thread.
I'll think about the concept of a unit - it's not something I was considering but it could almost work (I've mentioned the younger sempa and they would fit the role).
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Lost Egg
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« Reply #9 on: May 14, 2015, 08:24:13 pm »

Great read, another well developed culture.

However, I m going to have to lower the tine I'm afraid...is it me or do the Kedashi nests look like a pair of saggy tits? Cheesy
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Kryptovidicus
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« Reply #10 on: May 15, 2015, 08:10:03 am »

Great read, another well developed culture.

However, I m going to have to lower the tine I'm afraid...is it me or do the Kedashi nests look like a pair of saggy tits? Cheesy
I was thinking about wasp nests myself.
Perhaps it's something of a psychology thing, like the ink stains on a piece of paper Wink.
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Carcharoth
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« Reply #11 on: May 15, 2015, 11:05:35 am »

Great read, another well developed culture.
However, I m going to have to lower the tine I'm afraid...is it me or do the Kedashi nests look like a pair of saggy tits? Cheesy

Not just you. Jules immediately referred to it as a tree with breasts... I chose to ignore her  Smiley
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The Slann
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« Reply #12 on: May 15, 2015, 01:40:37 pm »

Great read, another well developed culture.

However, I m going to have to lower the tine I'm afraid...is it me or do the Kedashi nests look like a pair of saggy tits? Cheesy
Saw it too Wink
Remember the tree of Last Unicorn?
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Lost Egg
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« Reply #13 on: May 16, 2015, 09:34:07 am »

Not just you. Jules immediately referred to it as a tree with breasts... I chose to ignore her  Smiley

Cheesy
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serin
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« Reply #14 on: May 16, 2015, 09:41:05 am »

I have to say I did have to look twice. The trunk of the tree doesn't help - it looks like the midrift of a curvy lady Wink
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