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Old 02-14-2014, 06:39 PM   #12
Arawaen's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2004
Default Re: One of my alien designs

Originally Posted by ericthered View Post
When I first read about one mother and many daughters, I was quite skeptical. Then I noticed that the male increases the mother's lifespan by six to seven times, and things made a LOT more sense.

A few questions (which I hope you'll take as compliments, I don't normally find aliens with different biologies that are well thought out):

How many 'daughters' is considered a large family? how many is considered a small family?
I am struggling with this at the moment. If we assume an average of 36 children born a year (24 to 48) the population grows for 45 years when the first generation starts to die off of old age, we get 1,620, but I want larger populations than that, up to say 5,000. Some will leave by choice and some will be adopted into the House, that may balance out. Some will also leave whenever a male is born and joined to make a new House. The 45 years of age also doesn't take into account TL 10 medicine. I probably need to have more eggs laid or multiple clutches in a year.

As for a starting family, it is generally the Mother and 100 Daughters (50 from her House and 50 from the male's House though the initial numbers can vary somewhat). Growth will be steady in terms of population, but it takes 9 years for a Chibi to reach adulthood, so actual productivity of the House takes awhile to get gowing.

Males are exceedingly rare though, maybe 1 in 1000 births.

Does wealth stratification tend to happen to a family as a whole, or to a particular individual?
The Wealth would apply to the House in general, the Daughters would have a wealthier patron, but individually they would still be living in a communal society where their needs are provided for. The Mother technically controls all the wealth of the House.

And now for my mind generating what perversions of this system are possible. I know the answers to these are going to vary by society among the aliens.

This order presumably breaks down on occasion. What does that look like? I assume it looks like a large number of sisters going ronin.
A really bad Mother who mismanages her House and/or mistreats her Daughters will see a lot of defections.

Has infanticide ever occurred? A mother who kills a batch of tadpoles when it becomes apparent that none are male, and tries until she has one? I assume such things happen, even if they are abhorrent.
While males are valued (for their ability to be used in form alliances with other Houses), Daughters are actually much more useful to a Mother as they are the workforce that keeps the House running. Any infanticide that happened in the past would have been due birth defects or lack of resources, things that almost never happen at the current level of Chibi development.

How is the crime of stealing a tadpole and becoming (if only temporarily) a mother looked upon? does this crime take moments, hours, or days? How are the resulting children looked upon?
Becoming a Mother by force is a great crime. It has happened though. There have been cases of a Daughter killing her Mother and stealing the male. The drawback to attempting this is that while a Mother can lay eggs, there is now way she can actually care for that many children on her own without her own set of Daughters. So a successful mutiny of a House would require cooperation from a large number of people. The illegitimate Mother would also be blacklisted by most Houses if it was publicly known what she did which would hurt the prosperity of any such House.

If she managed to survive long enough to have a clutch of eggs hatch, the children could be adopted into other Houses like any other Chibi, but there might be some who whisper bad things about them. The Mother of the House that adopted such a child would not condone such a thing though as she brought the child into the House and she is now her Daughter (adopted or not).

While the male survives symbiotically off the female while in the pouch, he does not actually need to live there. He is more than content to swim his life away in the spawning pool where the other Chibi feed him. So the only danger in arresting a rogue Mother would be possibly harming the male.

Oddly stealing your Mother's male and bonding with a male your Mother spawned are considered incestuous to the Chibi, while a Daughter taking over for her Mother when she dies is not, that is considered preserving your Mother's legacy.

Last edited by Arawaen; 02-14-2014 at 06:53 PM.
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