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Author Topic: Iri: Eyestalks/tentacles  (Read 6491 times)
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Sparkle
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« on: 20 January 2013, 22:39:29 »

*Fun fact: Iri (pl. irin) is Aramaic for watcher, possibly a type of angel.
*I can't make up their weights, but the queen should be quite heavy. Please help me out.
*I can't make any recipes since I don't know what spices or milks might be used by R'unorans.

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As we slowly rowed toward the R'unorian beach, we were met with a peculiar sight. Where there should have been reeds or other such grasses, a different kind of stalks rose from the sand. Soon, they twitched in your direction and we were horrified to see that they were watching us with all too human eyes.
   –Zoological Observations on the Wretched Islands of R'unor visited during the voyage of The Mystical Quester, by Zalanes Landman and Morel Langman

Appearance
The most noticeable part of the iri is its eyestalk, this being the only piece of its body it keeps above the sand. Most irin seen are male, and smaller than the large females. If the iri is male, the stalk will be about a ped in length and as wide as an elven finger when the iri is fully grown, fleshy mercoal in color and jointed in four places. Of course, the stalk ends in an eye. The eye is unsettlingly human in appearance, as if someone had scooped one out of a human head. They come with human eyecolors. Should an iri choose to hide its eyestalk in the sand, it closes the eye with a fleshy lid.

A female iri would have an eyestalk up to three peds in length, and as much as a fore in width. They otherwise share the appearance of the eyestalks of the male irin. No colony of irin will have more than one female, yet never without the one.

The irin hide the rest of their bodies beneath the sand. They are protected by pairs of korwyn-styruine colored armor plates on their sides. The plates are smooth save fine growth rings. If threatened, the irin can retreat in between the plates and close up like giant clams. As for the size of the main bodies, the males are only two palmspans in diameter on the broadsides of the plating and one palmspan at the ends. The females are almost ten times that size.

Without the plating, the irin would be nothing but fleshy lumps, all too soft and delicious to survive. Muscles and organs are protected only by a thin, transparent membrane. The most noticeable features are the muscular "foot" and the mouth, the latter which is a perfectly circular hole by the edge of the plates, supported by a pair of fine, nailsbreadth-long tentacles.

Territory
Irin thrive on certain beaches of R'unor. They are dependent of sand and moisture for survival and will as such avoid areas too far from the shore. An iri is perfectly capable of submerging in water and may even use the water as a means to migrate, but the water brings the risk of being washed away to deeper water should the current become too strong.

Behavior
The industrious and watchful irin form large colonies, each colony consisting of hundreds of males tending to a single precious female; a queen. The males are both her loyal servants and her children. When the female produces eggs, the males use their mouthpieces and eyestalks to gently gather the eggs from the sand and carry them within their shells, keeping them safe from the harsh world. In return, the female acts as protector of the smaller, more fragile males. She will fiercely strike with her eyestalk like a club, or grab and throw smaller creatures. Her shielding plates will viciously snap the hands off the unwary.

Irin will frequently rub the sides of their eyestalks against each other. They seem to use gesturing as some form of silent speech, beckoning and waving to each other. When approached, the queen waves her eyestalk madly.

Diet
Irin sift through sand using their tentacles, carefully picking out food by touch. In all likelihood, their meals consist of insects and other small animals, as well as stray plant material. The queen as well as any young irin are brought nourishment by the attending males. They simply vomit their latest meals into the hungry mouths.

Mating
The iri colony is built around its queen. Thus once a new female has reached maturity, the irin swarm with her. Half of the colony's males, along with the new queen, submerge themselves in the water and move to a new beach. Perhaps it is then that the queen captures a male within her shell and eats him.

Since nobody has seen a queen consume any of her brothers, the exact process of mating is unknown. What we do know from several dissections of female irin, is that adult specimens carry severed male sexual organs. All while no male irin missing these organs have been found.

Eggs are oval and semi-transparent. The queen drops them in the sand, at least one each day. Soon nearby males collect them and take them within their shells, where eventually the eggs hatch. Most eggs result in male offspring, which crawls out of the protective plating of their "fathers" once hatched.

Myth/Lore
Eating iri eyeballs is said to be good for your eyesight. After all, why would the gods have created the irin with such eyes otherwise? It has to be a sign.

Researchers
All knowledge about these creatures has been copied from Zoological Observations on the Wretched Islands of R'unor visited during the voyage of The Mystical Quester, by the Langman brothers; Zalanes and Morel.

Usages
Some R'unorian foods include the meat from the muscles and feet of irin. Queen irin are especially appreciated. The shells are sold as decorative plates, being shiny, golden and smooth on the inside. For those feeling adventurous, eating the eyeballs is an option. The eyeballs are served either in liquor or roasted with a spicy, brown sauce. And no, that sauce does nothing to hide what you are eating. Eyeballs, complete with pupils and all lie there in the sauce, staring right at you. The innards, looking like sinewy tentacles, are attached at the stems. Tastewise they are fatty with a chewy consistency somewhere between lard and squid, with the innards feeling like octopus.
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Here and there, whole mighty trees glowed with an emitted phosphorescent light. You could trace the very course of the great roots in the earth by a faint light that came through; and every twig, and every vein on every leaf was a streak of pale fire.
George MacDonald, Phantastes
Ta`lia of the Seven Jewels
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« Reply #1 on: 21 January 2013, 02:18:27 »

Sparkle, that's really an interesting beast! my only problemis, I cannot imagine it very well.. yet

- how is the eye attached to the stalk? Has the eyeball the same color as the stalk, what about eyewhite etc... eyelashes? How can you gather an egg with it?

- The body - I do not know, how it looks. Plate armour on two sides... a thin membran if there would be no plate??
Quote
Should an iri choose to hide its eyestalk in the sand, it closes the eye with a fleshy lid.
Is the stalk then still visible?

A very promising submission!
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"For me there is only the traveling on paths that have heart, on any path  that may have heart. There I travel, and the only worthwhile challenge is to traverse its full length. And there I travel looking,  breathlessly. ~Don Juan"
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Shabakuk Zeborius Anfang
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« Reply #2 on: 24 January 2013, 06:28:25 »

Hi Sparkle,

I like what I read! The quotation at the beginning is very atmospheric. The Usages section is hilarious!

Like Talia, I am not sure I can picture the main body as clearly as I would like. What is its shape? How big is the mouth? I suppose the 'foot' is akin to a snail's foot? Until I'm a bit clearer on these things, I wouldn't want to venture a suggestion for the weight.

I don't understand the mating section. Are you hinting that the queen fertilizes her eggs by consuming a male? Or by consuming male organs? It might be that we don't know exactly what happens, but at the moment that section sounds as if you do know but don't tell us clearly enough to gather your meaning.

And a question: what eats irin, apart from humans?

Quote
Without the plating, the irin would be nothing but fleshy lumps, all too soft and delicious to survive.
Did you mean 'delicate'?

Anyway, well done so far. You've still got the 'in progress' sign up, of course, so I assume you intend to add an Overview section.
« Last Edit: 24 January 2013, 06:34:59 by Shabakuk Zeborius Anfang » Logged

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Sparkle
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« Reply #3 on: 03 February 2013, 23:19:07 »

I'm not sure what I want to do with this entry at the moment. Give me some time and I'll think about it.

Edit: No, I totally meant delicious  :)
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Here and there, whole mighty trees glowed with an emitted phosphorescent light. You could trace the very course of the great roots in the earth by a faint light that came through; and every twig, and every vein on every leaf was a streak of pale fire.
George MacDonald, Phantastes
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