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Author Topic: The Races of Matope  (Read 525 times)

Matope

The Races of Matope
« on: May 14, 2019, 12:40:01 PM »
This topic is created to hold more comprehensive information about the various species found in Matope than just the main thread! This thread might be edited or updated with new information. If it is, there will be an announcement in the main thread.

Matope

Re: The Races of Matope
« Reply #1 on: May 14, 2019, 12:40:49 PM »
Matope

The Kimeti (and recently, some of their former cousins) are located in a vast swamp (called Matope) approximately the size (and shape) of our Earth's state of Tennessee. The majority of the Kimeti in the thread are located on the far northern border of the swamp, although Kimeti can be quite nomadic and may hail from anywhere in the swamp. This area of Matope contains many flat marsh plains and is slightly easier to survive in than the wilder areas. At the center of the largest of these marsh plains is an enormous mound of wood and stone and earth called Ghost Thistle's mound where most Kimeti gatherings take place. It is one of the few places above water in all of Matope.

To the North of Matope the swamp peters out into flatlands, and then rises up into gentle hills. Beyond that, very few Kimeti living have ever seen. For more information about the geography of Matope, please see the map in this thread.

To all other directions lies an ocean. Matope is situated on a penninsula. Some few Kimeti have seen the ocean, but the trip is not hospitable, and most do not live to tell the tale.

There are essentially two seasons in Matope: the warm, and the cold. The cold season is still fairly temperate, with snowfall being very uncommon and generally melting before it has time to pile up. In the warm season rain is less frequent but still occurs at least once weekly, and thunderstorms are common. In the cold season, the rains are steadier but milder, although occasionally mingled with sleet.

Matope

Re: The Races of Matope
« Reply #2 on: May 14, 2019, 07:25:35 PM »
Kimeti
{alt}

Kimeti are quadrapedal, sentient, sapient omnivores with no definite social structure. Some form into tribes and clans, some remain solitary, and some form pair bonds. Breeding among Kimeti tends to be open and monogamous relationships are uncommon but not unheard of. Homosexuality exists in Matope and for the most part there is no stigma attached to it, although it is very rare. The Kimeti's voices are similar to whalesong and can, with effort, be projected some incredible distance, especially when many Kimeti sing in tandem. Their eyes are pupilless and glowing--even Kimeti with black eyes emit a very faint purple or blue glow.

The diet of the Kimeti consists of vegetation and fish, reptiles, insects and slugs, and the occasional small mammal. Although Kimeti will drink clear water when it can be found, for the most part they get their water from the food they eat.

Mentally, Kimeti are quite intelligent and have a system of oral folklore and some rudimentary knowledge of astronomy and mathematics (see below posts), as well as an extremely primitive written language. They highly prize knowledge and stories, as well as songs, and many are quite talented musicians and improvisational dancers. The idea of theater is familiar to most Kimeti, who classify it merely as a sort of story. Theater among Kimeti tends to be similar in set-up to Ancient Greek theater on our Earth, especially in the use of choral responses.

Emotionally, Kimeti are capable of all the emotions a human being can feel, with just as much variance in personality as humans have. While most do not form monogamous relationships, they are familiar with romantic love, and some do pair up for the long-term. While most Kimeti do not actively raise their young, some do. Others simply wait for the foals to wander back to them after hatching, and may or may not raise them from that age. Some Kimeti live solitary lives, and others live in groups called tribes or clans.

Education and Higher Knowledge

Mathematics: The Kimeti do not have a written numerical system, but are capable of both recognizing quantities and actual counting, although it is not a skill that often comes in handy, and so some Kimeti actually never learn to count above twenty or so. They find comparative numbers--"more" and "less"--more useful than actual numerals. As a species they have grasped the concept of zero, but again, it finds little actual application. Complicated mathematics are not useful to the Kimeti, and so very few find themselves learning anything more than basic addition and subtraction.

Astronomy and Astrology: Of the movements of the Motherfather's fleas and ticks (see below in section on folklore) the Kimeti have made an interested study. Only in very recent years have any definite developments taken place, although named constellations have been in existence for some time. The Kimeti have a zodiac, since spread to the other Swamp-dwelling Kin, originally created by Gaia user Owlied, which can be found in the tenth post. Kimeti are aware that their world is round, because the sun and the moon are round, although whether it is a sphere or a disc is a matter of some debate. In a world with few spaces of open sky and even fewer horizons, this is a difficult study to make.

The written word: Kimeti do not have a written language, being blessed with a memory and a culture conducive to the passing on of oral histories. However, they do have a few markings which can be scraped onto tree trunks or smeared in clay. These consist of only a few words:

A pair of slanted lines "\\" indicates "belongs to." A pair of slanted lines "//" indicates a safe, neutral area or a pre-arranged meeting spot. Every tree ringing the great marsh where Ghost Thistle's mound is located is marked with this symbol. A circular "O" marking indicates a good fishing hole or optimum hunting spot, and is as much an act of kindness to the next traveler as it is a refresher for memory. An "X" indicates an area that is for whatever reason unsafe: sinkholes, crocodile breeding grounds, and areas protected by mere superstition are marked with this symbol.

Additionally, some Kimeti make rudimentary signatures, typically when marking a cache or honouring the dead (see above). These are highly symbolic, simplified interpretations of a Kimeti's name. See below for examples:


Walks-Between, Cicadasong, Carrot Flower, Falling Bird

Because these are scratched with horn or nose, they are by necessity simple. To differentiate them from a mere drawing, they are always drawn below the following symbol:


which is representative of a Kimeti, with a head, a tail, and four legs.

Because this is not a definite written system and some symbols will not be the same from Kimeti to Kimeti, these symbols are mostly used among friends or family.

Writing is arranged top to bottom:


"This fishing hole belongs to Cicadasong"

Culture

Art: While the idea of realistic interpretation of a scene or object is unfamiliar to a Kimeti (they wouldn't see the point), abstract designs and symbols are popular for scratching into surfaces or painting with mud or juices onto stones or even their bodies. Loose forms of sculpture also exist, clay being nudged into shape with noses. These usually take the form of large plains of clay sculpted into a pleasing series of ridges and valleys, rather like Asian zen gardening on our Earth.

Agriculture: The swamp provides. All the same, some Kimeti feel pleasure in growing their own food. Small orchards are not uncommon, and neither are carefully constructed dams of nudged clay used to herd small fishes into concentrated breeding pools.

Drug use: There are hallucinogenic frogs and herbs in the swamp, if one knows where to look, and these are occasionally used recreationally, or, more frequently, in a fevered attempt to gain insight into troubling dreams. Additionally, two bucks named Mirebeat and Walks-Between recently pioneered a technique of turning fallen fruit into an intoxicating beverage by fermenting it in a giant turtleshell. They aren't sharing their secrets, but are open to bartering... ladies.

Folklore and Festivals

The Kimeti have many of the same stories we do--a Flood story, a Cinderella story, a Trickster cycle or three, etc.--although they are of course different in the details. Many stories have several variants due to the Kimeti's oral tradition, and even the Creation myth is available in a plethora of versions.

Generally speaking, the Kimeti believe that the Swamp, who is also an almighty and genderless (although usually personified as a female) God, created a vast world by galloping from one end of the sky to the other, whereupon She shook out Her fur and Her fleas became the stars. From two ticks in her ears She created a sun and a moon so that She could see Her work. She created many types of places, but none of them pleased Her, and so She took her favourite traits of each and created the Swamp. She peopled it with many creatures, and then took the form of a crane and laid five eggs, each of which hatched into a male/female pair of animals. They were all in essence Kimeti, but only one of those pairs had the name Kimeti. There are varying stories about what happened to the other eggs, but all end with the idea that the Kimeti were blessed by the crane and given the swamp to live in, and had fireflies put into their eyes. For this reason both cranes and fireflies are sacred animals to the Kimeti.

Although the Kimeti are farflung, they gather together in accordance to certain astronomical and equinoctial events. For the weeks leading up to these festivals, songs are sung very loudly and carry like a chain across the entire swamp. Due to the slow nature of navigating the swamp, some festivals last for weeks so that even those furthest to the south can join the festivities at Ghost Thistle's mound.

The major Kimeti festivals are as follows:

Festival of Fire: At the height of summer the Kimeti gather together to celebrate heat and flame. It never fails that at some point a summer thunderstorm will touch off a sluggish forest fire some time before or during the festival, and this is matter-of-factly considered to be a gift from the Swamp. The festival celebrates rebirth and children, and is generally a very upbeat affair, with singing and dancing. Orange, red, and yellow-furred Kimeti are given special treatment, and many Kimeti adorn themselves in red clay and the fire-coloured feathers of various birds. It is customary to give red and orange flowers to foals, colts, and fillies at this time, as a good luck token both to them and to the giver.

Day of the Dead: As autumn winds down into winter, the Kimeti become reflective. An enormous pile of clay and wood is constructed atop Ghost Thistle's mound before the winter rains begin, and Kimeti come to scratch in symbols for loved ones lost in the past year (see below post). Stories are told honouring the dead, and this is not a sad time, but it is a serious one. When the first rain comes, the Kimeti stand circled around the earth mound and watch the symbols get swept away in the water, and cover themselves in the mud as it spreads, until all the gathered Kimeti are nearly indistinguishable from one another. This is symbolic of the fact that all Kimeti return to the Swamp at their death, and of the great sameness and mortality that bind all the Kimeti together. Afterwards, the Kimeti bathe in the rain and in clear pools, and this marks the end of the festival.

Festival of Abundance: Green and white are the colours of this festival, which occurs at the height of spring, and is designed to celebrate the enormous life in the swamp at this time. White flowers are especially prized courtship gifts, and green and white Kimeti may find themselves the center of attention. Kimeti take special pains to float large turtle shells or hollow logs full of food from their parts of the swamp to the meeting place, and recently, an enterprising pair of bucks named Mirebeat and Walks-Between introduced an intoxicating drink made of fermented fallen fruit that was quite the hit. For the younger Kimeti, the Festival of Abundance may be a time simply for feasting till the belly aches, but for mature Kimeti, the night times of the Festival are a time, quite simply, for unrepentant romance. For weeks following this festival, the swamp is full of clutches of new eggs.

Winter Festival: This is a small and private affair, generally shared between a few Kimeti only, and not an occasion for gathering together in large groups. Gifts are given, sometimes in the form of stories written especially for the recipient or as small trinkets, and it is a time of affection and friendship.

Matope

Re: The Races of Matope
« Reply #3 on: May 14, 2019, 07:39:35 PM »
Kiokote
{alt}

The Kiokote, half-forgotten and thought to be the stuff of legend and story, have returned from the Northern hills to the Swamp.

The Culture

The Kiokote live on the plains and revere, above all things, speed, freedom, and athleticism. For the most part Kiokote live in small haremic groups of several does and a lead buck referred to as a stallion. Although stallions are figuratively leaders, most tribes, especially the larger ones, have a council of does that are responsible for making any major decisions about the group and delegating duties. Hunting is shared equally between members and for the most part does are free to move between tribes at will. While solitary does are uncommon, many bucks end up on their own for obvious reasons, or formed into small bachelor groups.
 
In many ways the Kiokote are very similar to Kimeti, including their stance on monogamy (not for everyone), their love of song and story (although your average Kiokote would rather a foot race than a sing-along), and their omnivorous diets. They tend to be closer to their children than Kimeti, however -- although not all Kiokote foals are raised by their parents, many are.

Roleplaying Notes

Your Kiokote character may have come over under many circumstances. Most commonly the Kiokote are affected by a strange illness called The Ache which manifests as intense depression and wanderlust; while this previously led frequently to death, a sweeping epidemic of the Ache accompanied by strange dreams recently led many Kiokote to seek out the Swamp, hitherto known only to them in lore. Your Kiokote may have come with this initial delegation, or come alone, or been brought here by the recent catastrophic flood, or even born in the Swamp itself (or on the borderlands) to one of the initial travelers. Their history will determine their view of Kimeti: a normal part of life or strange people that still seem quite alien.
 
Just like Kimeti, Kiokote have Naming Dreams. Their names are far more likely to feature athletic, woodland, or prairie themes, however.

The Familiar

The Kiokote familiar is the cheetah, known among the Kiokote themselves at times as merely "the cats." Bred to help in the hunt and to be a formidable racing companion, cheetahs are protective, loyal, and frequently unfriendly to everyone but their chosen Kiokote. The secret of taming and controlling the cats (inasmuch as the cats can be controlled) has now been passed to the Kimeti.

Tell Them Apart

As eggs, female Kiokote are accompanied by greenish-yellow grass, whereas males are accompanied by bluish-green grass. Adult Kiokote can be distinguished by their facial hair: males have beards, while females do not.

Matope

Re: The Races of Matope
« Reply #4 on: May 14, 2019, 07:43:41 PM »
Acha
{alt}

Legends in their own right and frequent stars in old tales and songs, the fun-loving Acha have made a splash in Matope.

The Culture

Even more gregarious than the Kiokote, Acha live in huge good-natured tribes on the open deserts. Able to go for days without water and with very little food, the Acha are hardier than their dainty appearance might suggest, but for the most part no more substantial: the Acha are hedonists to the bone, living for beauty, art, music, and fleshly pleasures. Their cultural addiction to good times runs so deep that serious disagreements are few, rivalries play out in elaborate social snubbing and friend-making and backstabbing, and figurehead "leaders" for most tribes are chosen purely on the basis of good looks or musical or artistic talent. Acha tend to move from one from oasis to another, leaving one when they've worn it out with their constant partying to find another. Groups meet and merge and separate frequently, and despite their vast territory the Acha are on the whole well-connected with one another.
 
The exception to the rule are the hunters, who work with their trained dogs and live an altogether more solitary life. They are usually charged with providing their tribes with meat, but some live lonely lives in the harsh desert, away from the oases favored by the Acha. Even these strange people, however, are driven for the most part by a raw love of the hunt and a pursuit of pleasure.
 
The Acha also have a singular gift that has never been seen before: although they love stories, their poetry is altogether of a more formal sort than the usual Swamp fare, and they have, in their vast numbers, invented elaborate choral singing - a precious gift they are gladly spreading among their new friends.

Roleplaying Notes

The Acha aren't ones to do things in a small way. When they got the dreams that told them to pursue the old stories, they got together and made a general decision that it sounded like fun to take a little traipse south and see what was going on with the old folks back home - folks that, curiously, their songs had not forgotten despite their isolation. So they came in waves, a few dozen for every hundred or so Acha, and continue to arrive a few at a time. Despite the hardships of their journey - a journey they were far less suited to than they imagined, that sacrificed more of their numbers than they had thought possible - they remain upbeat, prepared for all the new kinds of fun and beauty the Swamp has to offer.

Like the other Kin, Acha receive their names via Naming Dreams--but remember their native environment and social focus on beauty and the arts!

The Familiar

Aloof, dainty, speedy, and beautiful, the Sand Dogs are nearly as gorgeous as their owners. Capable and fleet-footed hunters, adept at bringing down the huge-eared hares of their desert home, Sand Dogs are prized companions. They are loyal, but tend to have a certain regal detachment to them - usually. Some Sand Dogs are quite silly and playful, especially compared to the savage Eaglehound of the Swamps - whom they can, incidentally, breed with.

Tell Them Apart

In the egg, female Acha can be identified by the flowers growing on their cactus. As adults, male Acha have an extra set of curled horns beneath their ears which the females lack.

Matope

Re: The Races of Matope
« Reply #5 on: May 14, 2019, 07:51:24 PM »
Totoma
{alt}

The Totoma have arrived, a first few hardy travelers from the icy North braving the heat and humidity of the Swamp and the lands between, harsh for them even in the depths of winter. They blew in with the snow and brought war stories and their peculiarly brash and simple way of looking at the world, a mindset and philosophy born in and nurtured by rocky, snowy mountains and cruel, hard tundra. From the bleak taiga and the unforgiving permafrost has been forged a Kin more death-defying and stoic than any other.
 
Strong of limb and stubborn of mind, the Totoma are to almost to a beast straightforward, honest, and honorable. They live by strict if somewhat odd codes of behavior, most of which dictate what constitutes a fair fight - the Totoma, more than any of the Kin, like to resolve their problems speedily and with force. This is equally true of females and males: there is little gender differentiation in Totoma society, and in fact does are expected to be somewhat hardier, since pregnancy and labor do not excuse them from their duties as hunters and warriors.
 
Lone Wolf-ism is more common among Totoma than any of the Kin except Kimeti, although a little more than half of all Totoma group up, in tribes ranging from fierce clans to strictly-regimented military societies. These tribes (and also the lone wolves) are nearly always at war of some kind of another, and life for the average Totoma is an endless succession of raids, defenses, kidnappings, and strategy. Peace is typically declared out of necessity in the wintertime, when scarcity and brutal weather drive the Totoma to shelter and huddle.
 
For all the battle-hardened, bloodthirsty nature of the Totoma, death in the course of warfare is uncommon except in the bitterest of feuds. Battle is highly formalized and typically takes place on a one-on-one basis, and it is considered more honorable to acknowledge one's inferiority and forfeit than it is to die stubbornly and waste a valuable resource (i.e. your body). Therefore death typically only occurs as the result of wounds sustained during battles between matched equals, usually days after one or another has been brought down to defeat.

The Familiar

The Totoma's familiar is the Golden Eagle, a huge, vicious beast. Their bond with the Totoma is mystical and celebrated, and it is considered a pinnacle of accomplishment to catch and subdue a fully-grown adult. Some prefer to rob an eagle of its hatchlings as soon as they start to fly from the nest and fall to the ground, but this route is generally frowned upon as cowardly. One can offset this idea by doing it when the mother eagle is supervising, if one is suicidal.

Life Cycle

Unlike the other Kin, Totoma are born live. The tundra and the mountains are no places for a fragile egg. Covered in a thick coat of fur that rapidly dries and fluffs up after birth, the Totoma walks within hours and is relatively self-sufficient within weeks. When other Kin are stumbling foals, the Totoma's eyes are opened and they have already learned a few rudimentary words. The fluffy birth coat rapidly gives way to hard, plate-like scales of thick flesh, and keratin spikes and horns: a creature made for battle, even as a young thing.
 
Their live birth means that, strangely, Totoma are robbed of Naming Dreams. In a concept that will surely seem incredibly alien to the other Kin, the Totoma neither dream their names nor are given them by their parents: instead, Totoma earn their names through some act of bravery or valor. Your Totoma will be certed as "Totoma" until they are an adult, at which point your chosen name will be assigned to their cert under the assumption that they have earned it (meaning yes, you will choose a name for your newborn foal). Please remember that this severely limits available names for Totoma: be ready and willing to explain what act gave your Totoma their name. This also means that phrase-names like Carries-All and Spills-Blood are far more common than single words, although these do exist. The Totoma do not go in for purple prose and flighty poetry, so make your name as simple and straightforward as possible.
 
To die nameless is the greatest shame a Totoma can face (and so the name Nameless is not an option for your Totoma, in much the same way we would not name a baby Coward), and so some older nameless Totoma are driven to perform suicidal acts of sacrifice to earn a name. These unlucky but brave few are given the post-mortem honorific "who-died-honorably," such as Travels-Far, who-died-honorably: perhaps a Totoma who perished in their journey to the Swamp.
 
A great many of the Totoma embarking for the Swamp were nameless, in search of honor. This may be something to remember when naming your adult Totoma: did they, perhaps, earn their name on the trip over? Or was it an established name before they left home? 
 
You are also free to leave your Totoma nameless. They will be certed as Totoma, and you can change this at any time via RP. Changing an ADULT Totoma from nameless to named MUST be done via RP. Do not simply choose this option unless you plan on leaving them nameless or RPing the name-earning. Otherwise, go ahead and give them a name.
 
While nearly all Totoma names are the result of physical strength, even the Totoma recognize that not all are so hardy. Therefore strategic intellect, stealthiness, a talent for tracking prey or enemies, or even a particular knack for singing the glory of fighters or honoring the dead can earn a name, although this path is more difficult than simply performing an act of strength or hardiness.

Tell Them Apart

Male Totoma have a noticeably shaggier patch of fur on their chest, which the females lack. As lambs, there is no visible difference - your colourist will tell you whether your Totoma is a buck or a doe.

Matope

Re: The Races of Matope
« Reply #6 on: May 14, 2019, 07:55:04 PM »
Zikwa
{alt}

With the return of the Totoma, the Crane's family is nearly restored. There remain only the most devoted, those who have patiently served what they feel is their sentence of isolation for their act of unforgivable betrayal in leaving the Swamp. And so some have felt the calling to leave, to emerge into the frightening glare of the sun, and to face down their fear of the sky and the light to find the rest of their beloved family.

The Culture

While the rest of the Kin may have forgotten about the Zikwa, they have not forgotten anything.

They live beneath the lands of the Totoma and the Acha and the Kiokote, and in dark underground places on the fringes of the Swamp. In the vast caverns of their secret homes they lead devoted, passionate, introspective lives. The central tenant of their society is love: familial, romantic, erotic. Conflict is nearly unheard-of among them, and when it occurs it tends to be born from passion, not from hate.

The Zikwa elevate the idea of family above all things: one's mate (for lifemating is more common among them than any other race), one's offspring, even one's neighbors take priority above all things, including self-preservation.

And they extend that courtesy to their other Kin as well. Although some strange combination of superstition and supernatural impulse has thus far prevented them from intentionally disclosing their existence, they will emerge from their hiding places after dark where there have been battles and disasters, and they will perform rituals among the dead that they believe speed the soul's flight to next life.

The Zikwa believe intensely and devotedly in the idea of karmic reincarnation, and believe that they themselves are the last stop on the way to universal oneness. When a Zikwa dies it is a time of enormous celebration: when a Zikwa dies it does not have to toil through another existence. Instead it is united with all the Kin that have gone before it, its essence suffused into the earth to sustain the ones that will go after.

Living below ground has made the Zikwa curiously tolerant of extreme temperatures, although it has robbed roughly half of them of sight, with skin filming their shrunken sockets. The other half can still open their eyes, but they are tiny, weak things, unsuited to much other than blurry shapes.

All Zikwa, however, have an intensely sensitive sense of smell that helps them find their way, and all can perceive patterns of light and dark. This latter ability may explain why all Zikwa are born with distinctive glowing patterns in their skin--the only Kin to have such a glow besides Kimeti. These patterns can be used to identify acquaintances at a distance. They also have a weak temperature sensory organ much like a snake (although much less refined) that is useful more in the open than it is in their cave homes, which are densely crowded and hot.

Zikwa do not independently raise their children below ground. Instead, "brood mothers" are appointed to watch over the caverns where eggs are laid. These gleaming, pulsing sacs, secured low to the walls and on ledges, are monitored by the brood mothers until they hatch. They are allowed to join the rest of the Zikwa when they are old enough to tell the brood mother the story of their Naming Dream, a ceremony of great importance.

The Familiar

Living on underground algae, on plants brought in from nighttime foragers, and on fish caught in underground streams can be strenuous, especially with the large numbers the Zikwa maintain. They are helped, however, by the giant bats that share their caves. These bats form mysterious and unpredictable bonds with individual Zikwa, and will independently bring them food from the outside. They are affectionate creatures, and often rest on their chosen's back, wings draped over the Zikwa's ribs and nose buried in the Zikwa's wrinkled, hairless neck.

Matope

Re: The Races of Matope
« Reply #7 on: May 14, 2019, 08:08:54 PM »
Naming Dreams

Most kin are not named by their parents, nor do they choose their names. Instead, every Kimeti, Kiokote, Acha, and Zikwa has a profound dream while he is still in their egg or sac, and this dream determines their future name. Every one of these kin is born with an instinctive knowledge of this name and it is often the first words they speaks (Kin learn language gradually and instinctively, and can and will learn to speak without being exposed to others; advanced or eloquent language, however, is learned). Some Kin have nicknames, which are either merely shortened versions of their names, or clever words that mean the same thing (Chirp for Cicadasong, or Bob for Up-and-Down, for example).

For this reason, names are a big deal in Matope and we encourage you to be creative and reasonable with them. Names in Matope must:

be a real word, an English word, and not too scientific a term;

be familiar to a swamp-dwelling creature who has some ancestral knowledge of other climes (for example, names referencing deserts, tundras, etc. are exceedingly rare but not unheard-of; names referencing the Swamp are much more common); avoid these if possible;

must not reference human culture too directly, for example by being an item Kin would not have/cannot create due to lack of thumbs and materials;

be relatively short--more than a few words is too long;

be spelled correctly, although whether you use British or American spelling it up to you; "creative" spelling, even if it's just an extraneous "e" at the end of a word, is NOT allowed;

avoid referencing human mythology systems unless that word has passed into common usage independent of the original meaning. This is highly subjective and decisions will be made on a case-by-case basis. Be prepared to have your name rejected.

Common Names

Animal and plant names are the most common Kimeti names, whether single words or phrases built from these components. For the sake of simplicity, any vaguely-woodland plant or animal qualifies for the Matope universe, so bears, skunks, etc. are valid. Cacti and similar plants would be considered borderline names and would be addressed on a case-by-case basis. Very specific real world animals like giraffes are rejected out of hand. When in doubt, just don't use it.

The big thing to remember when choosing a Kin name is this: the name we read is the English translation of a Kin word or phrase. For example, we have a Kin named "Vetiver." This is probably a word that means "sweet-smelling grass" to the Kin . Names like "Stranger" and "Riddle" are direct translations of Kin concepts, and the name "Cicadasong" may actually be the English equivalent of a Kimeti word that is a syllable long but means something as complex as "the collective night-time sounds of the Swamp that are dominated by the singing of cicadas, and the heartbeat of the living Swamp that this represents."

Previously colourists arbitrarily chose or dismissed names that were considered borderline. This system resulted in some discontent as subjective judgments are difficult to make consistent.

The new review process for "borderline" names is thus:

name is designated borderline by phoenix kiss, and owner is informed.

owner must within one week (or sooner if this is part of a breeding) write a full naming dream justifying this choice of name.

naming dream will be reviewed by RP staff and decision will be finalized as pass or reject

We hate to be so formal, but things have spiraled out of control! It is hard sometimes to think of creative names without pushing the rules, but we strive to maintain consistency here.

Naming tips:

Keep it simple! This doesn't mean one-word names necessarily, but it does mean simple words and phrases that avoid elaborate terminology. "Smiling Aura" is preferable to "Felicitous Ambience."

We will be buckling down on words that imply complex systems of science. General/generic/common names for stones and plants are fine (Diamond, Jasper, Pearl, Orchid, Lily) are fine, specific or Latin names are not (Chrysoberyl, Clinohumite, Epidendroideae, and Asteraceae). When in doubt, simplify.

This doesn't mean we don't want you to exercise a good vocabulary. Just be reasonable.

Names that imply major social taboos will be rejected. Names that imply cannibalism, incest, rape, etc. will be rejected, primarily for OOC reasons but also because the Swamp is unlikely to bestow her own children with such a name, even if they engage in such practices. Minor vices--lying, unfaithfulness, etc.--are fine as names, and in fact we have a Kimeti named "Rotten Liar." A Kin named Philanderer would be unusual but not unheard-of.

Probably the absolute best way to approach a name is to consider the naming dream or story first, and then the name, even if you never plan on writing out the dream. It makes it easier to ensure you've chosen a solid one that won't give our RP staff a headache.

Miscellaneous things about naming dreams:

Not only is there a subforum for naming dreams, the Quests subforum can be used to house one naming dream per person for a Kin that doesn't exist yet.

There are almost no restrictions on naming dreams, save that they must be your own original work. They can be long, short, even one sentence--they may even be a drawing to represent merely a strong image. Feel free to break out of your comfort zone and be creative in your formatting--these are dreams, after all, and dreams follow no rules.

The specific details of the imagery in a naming dream may say something about your Kin's personality. Does the tone of your naming dream set the tone of their personality? It doesn't have to, but it's fun to try.

Themes of death are common in naming dreams. No one is entirely sure why, but many Kimeti theorize that it is because birth and death are so inextricably linked. Some naming dreams may actually prophesize the manner of a Kimeti's death; others are merely full of morbid imagery.

Need some ideas?

Here's a list of words to get you started, or check out the owners' list if you're confused about the rules.

Plants: Petal, blossom, flower, vine, leaf, twig, branch, tree, moss
Animals: Crane, duck, rabbit, rat, fox, swallow, fish, crocodile, beetle
Weather: Rain, snow, sleet, sun, cloud, star, moon, mist, fog
Swamp: Mud, ripple, stone, ancient, heat, canopy, dark
Ideas: Swift, bright, cunning, distant, dream, thought, voice, song
Kimeti: Horn, scale, hoof, foot, eye, back

Matope

Re: The Races of Matope
« Reply #8 on: May 14, 2019, 08:14:31 PM »
This really isn't that vital, but since we encourage poetry, it's good to know that your words fit your meter and rhyme scheme. Thus, this brief guide:

Acha: AH chah or AHK uh; pl. Acha
Kimeti kuh MET ee, kye MET ee, k'MET ee; pl. Kimeti
Kiokote: key oh COAT ey, key oh CODE ey (last syllable rhymes with "hay" )
Matope: muh TOPE ey (with the middle syllable like "taupe" and the ending to rhyme with "hay" )
Totoma: TOE TOME uh (nearly equal emphasis on all syllables); pl. Totoma
Zikwa: ZEEK wa; pl. Zikwa

Matope

Re: The Races of Matope
« Reply #9 on: September 16, 2019, 05:18:28 PM »
The Path of the Stars

Let Us Begin__________________________________________________

>>Is there a birth sign for everyone? Yes, there is a sign available for every birth date.

>>Does my personality connect with my sign? There are many individuals whose signs do not explain them in detail - sometimes the signs speak through symbolism or suggestion. These signs only offer a guide to your connection with the earth and the stars, though some dominant personality traits have been listed beside your sign.

>>What is the significance of my lucky objects? Wearing your lucky stone or flower and using your lucky number when required may increase your luck. Whether it be in love or life in general, these items are tuned with your star sign to increase well-being and good fortune.

Discovering My Sign_______________________________________________

Your sign is determined by not only the month you were born, but the specific time of your day of birth. Your time of birth effects your corresponding results (Such as lucky plant and gem) and some of your more dominant personality traits.

To find your birth sign, simply use the information below. Fine your date of birth, year excluded, and read on to discover the secrets of your sign.

The Old Mountain, March 21 - April 20
Your Lucky Number Is: Seven
Your Motto: Never Defeated, Always Standing, Forever Tall.
Your Flower: Red Geranium (Pink Mallow if Night-Birth)
Your Gem: Ruby (Amethyst if Night-Birth)
Your Color: Shades of Red

Common Traits: Adventurous, Confident, Extrovert, Dynamic.
Common Talents: Leader, Medical Healer, Amplified Physical Ability.

The Mangrove, April 21 to May 21
Your Lucky Number Is: Six
Your Motto: Gentle and Bold, The Lover Of All, Marsh's Delight.
Your Flower: Mangrove Flower (White Tulip if Night-Birth)
Your Gem: Amber (Ammolite if Night-Birth)
Your Color: Shades of Yellow

Common Traits: Patient, Loving, Secure, Determined.
Common Talents: Collectors, Attendants, Amplified Singing Ability.

The Twins, May 22 to June 21
Your Lucky Number Is: Two
Your Motto: My Thoughts Are Winged, My Heart Is Two.
Your Flower: Blue Hydrangea (Lily-Of-The-Valley if Night-Birth)
Your Gem: Turquoise (Charoite if Night-Birth)
Your Color: Shades of Purple

Common Traits: Adaptable, Youthful, Lively, Inquisitive.
Common Talents: Recorders, Amplified Reasoning/Speaking Skills.

The Three Horn, June 22 to July 22
Your Lucky Number Is: Three
Your Motto: The Tide Will Turn, I Shall Not Abandon.
Your Flower: Snow In Summer (White Cherry if Night-Birth)
Your Gem: Pearl (Datolite if Night-Birth)
Your Color: Gray

Common Traits: Emotional, Intuitive, Sympathetic, Protective.
Common Talents: Story-Tellers, Care-Takers, Amplified Consoling/Parenting Ability.

The Hunter, July 23 to August 22
Your Lucky Number Is: One
Your Motto: Sun, Not Shadow. Glory, Not Squalor.
Your Flower: Marigold (Cattail if Night-Birth)
Your Gem: Onyx (Tiger's Eye if Night-Birth)
Your Color: Gold

Common Traits: Generous, Creative, Expansive, Faithful.
Common Talents: Entertainer/Dancer, Amplified Artistic Craft.

The Familiar, August 23 to September 23
Your Lucky Number Is: Five
Your Motto: I Wish To Give, I Have Much To Tell.
Your Flower: Dandelion (Poppy if Night-Birth)
Your Gem: Lace Agate (Moss Agate if Night-Birth)
Your Color: All Bright Colors

Common Traits: Modest, Meticulous, Intelligent, Reliable.
Common Talents: Teachers, Philosophers, Amplified Attention to Detail.

The Winged One, September 24 to October 23
Your Lucky Number Is: Twelve
Your Motto: Love Is My Star - Just and Fair.
Your Flower: Purple Rose (Lilac if Night-Birth)
Your Gem: Obsidian (Moonstone if Night-Birth)
Your Color: All Dark Colors

Common Traits: Romantic, Urbane, Idealistic, Peaceful.
Common Talents: Priests/Priestesses, Hunters/Lawmen, Amplified Diplomatic Ability.

The Web, October 24 to November 22
Your Lucky Number Is: Nine
Your Motto: The Truth Is Light.
Your Flower: Fire Lily (Rose if Night-Birth)
Your Gem: Garnet (Jet if Night-Birth)
Your Color: Black

Common Traits: Determined, Passionate, Magnetic, Compulsive.
Common Talents: Hunters/Explorers, Amplified Motivation and Courage.

The Father Star, November 23 to December 21
Your Lucky Number Is: Four
Your Motto: Loyalty And Independence.
Your Flower: Red Acanthus (Sweet Pea if Night-Birth)
Your Gem: Clear Tourmaline (Rose Quartz if Night-Birth)
Your Color: Dark Red

Common Traits: Optimistic, Honest, Jovial, Restless.
Common Talents: Hunters/Traders, Medical Healer, Amplified Teaching Ability.

The Trickster, December 22 to January 20
Your Lucky Number Is: Eight
Your Motto: Those With Purpose Prosper.
Your Flower: Orange Heather (Pink Snapdragon if Night-Birth)
Your Gem: Copal (Thulite if Night-Birth)
Your Color: Orange

Common Traits: Practical, Ambitious, Humorous, Careful.
Common Talents: Authoritative Positions, Amplified Pioneering Ability.

The Firefly, January 21 to February 19
Your Lucky Number Is: Ten
Your Motto: Tomorrow is Never Just Like Today. (note: modified)
Your Flower: Mint (Blue-Green Iris if Night-Birth)
Your Gem: Bronze Quartz (Sunstone if Night-Birth)
Your Color: Green

Common Traits: Loyal, Original Detached, Serious.
Common Talents: Inventors, Researchers, Amplified Intellectual/Memory Ability.

The Half-Bloom, February 20 to March 20
Your Lucky Number Is: Eleven
Your Motto: Gentle, Patient, The Nature Of Mud.
Your Flower: White Hydrangea (Garlic if Night-Birth)
Your Gem: Sapphire (Aquamarine if Night-Birth)
Your Color: Shades of Blue

Common Traits: Idealistic, Sensitive, Selfless, Weak-Willed.
Common Talents: Communicators, Creative Tasks, Enhanced Adaptability.

Credit__________________________________________________

The Path of the Stars by Owlied (Source: Journal)