Runaway to the Stars: Page 36

That was the end of chapter 1, by the way. Here's the first of the inter-chapter insert pages, which are just excuses to lore dump. The transcript is gonna be long as hell. If you want even more information about avians than this, you can read about them on my website.

Also, I'm gonna do two reader question responses after the second lore page (spoiler, it's about bug ferrets). To keep the comment section from clogging up with questions, please submit any questions you'd like the characters to answer using this Google form. If you'd like a chance at actually being picked, only send questions for characters that have been introduced so far in the comic. Imagine it like you're interviewing them after the events of the chapter! If you know spoilers, pretend you don't.

Transcript

LOG 1.1 Avians

Caption: Avians ("Chew" in Tiiliitian) are a genus of small, winged sophonts that walk on their forelimbs and have a bisex reproductive system comparable to Earth animals like seahorses. Though there are five sapient species, the most commonly seen in space are skimmers, who form the majority population of a large colonialist monarchy called the Dominion of Tiiliit.

SKIMMER AVIANS
Population: roughly 12 billion
Image: Two skimmer avians stand next to on another. The one labeled "dun" is taller with drab clothing that covers the back of their head. The one labeled "bright" has a blue and yellow striped crest and eye stripe, and is wearing elaborately sewn blue and yellow clothing.

FLIGHTLESS AVIANS
pop: 5 billion
Image: Bust of avian with a bulky head, small ears, and a huge crest.

PYGMY AVIANS
pop: 5 millon
Image: Bust of a small avian with grey feathers, large ears and a rounded crest.

DIVER AVIANS
pop: 4 billion
Image: Bust of a black and white avian with a pointy face and a flattened, fin-like crest.

POLAR AVIANS
pop: 3.2 billion
Image: Bust of fluffy white avian with almost no visible crest and fluffy ears.

Caption: The two sexes of avians are referred to as brights and duns in English. This is due to a mixture of concerns from sexually conservative avian cultures about alien terminology influencing bright-dominated hegemony, Anglophone humans wishing to distinguish between alien genders and their own, and linguistic limitations. Avian languages often have two-tone vowels that sophonts with only one set of vocal cords cannot pronounce.

Tiiliitian, for example, is a tonal language with five vowels. But each of these vowels has five different tonal slides, which can be combined, similar to musical chords (although the avian voice has been described less as musical and more like a duet of yowling cats). Alien xenointerpretors specializing in bitonal avian languages often use a keyboard recorder device to layer tones while they speak.

The 5 Basic Tiiliitian Tones

  • level tone
  • sinking tone
  • rising tone
  • upwards warble
  • downwards warble

The Tiiliit

Image: A skimmer avian bright reclines in a huge luxurious robe, and a fancy metal headdress on top their crest adorned with feathers, inlaid stones, and fabric. All of their clothes and the skin of their crest are shades of mint and seafoam green. Behind them is a banner with a symbol made of a circle with three equally spaced radial lines entering from the outside and meeting in the center.

Caption: Only the Tiiliit is permitted to wear this hue of green. Other greens are generally only worn by royalty.

Runaway to the Stars: Page 36

That was the end of chapter 1, by the way. Here's the first of the inter-chapter insert pages, which are just excuses to lore dump. The transcript is gonna be long as hell. If you want even more information about avians than this, you can read about them on my website.

Also, I'm gonna do two reader question responses after the second lore page (spoiler, it's about bug ferrets). To keep the comment section from clogging up with questions, please submit any questions you'd like the characters to answer using this Google form. If you'd like a chance at actually being picked, only send questions for characters that have been introduced so far in the comic. Imagine it like you're interviewing them after the events of the chapter! If you know spoilers, pretend you don't.

Transcript

LOG 1.1 Avians

Caption: Avians ("Chew" in Tiiliitian) are a genus of small, winged sophonts that walk on their forelimbs and have a bisex reproductive system comparable to Earth animals like seahorses. Though there are five sapient species, the most commonly seen in space are skimmers, who form the majority population of a large colonialist monarchy called the Dominion of Tiiliit.

SKIMMER AVIANS
Population: roughly 12 billion
Image: Two skimmer avians stand next to on another. The one labeled "dun" is taller with drab clothing that covers the back of their head. The one labeled "bright" has a blue and yellow striped crest and eye stripe, and is wearing elaborately sewn blue and yellow clothing.

FLIGHTLESS AVIANS
pop: 5 billion
Image: Bust of avian with a bulky head, small ears, and a huge crest.

PYGMY AVIANS
pop: 5 millon
Image: Bust of a small avian with grey feathers, large ears and a rounded crest.

DIVER AVIANS
pop: 4 billion
Image: Bust of a black and white avian with a pointy face and a flattened, fin-like crest.

POLAR AVIANS
pop: 3.2 billion
Image: Bust of fluffy white avian with almost no visible crest and fluffy ears.

Caption: The two sexes of avians are referred to as brights and duns in English. This is due to a mixture of concerns from sexually conservative avian cultures about alien terminology influencing bright-dominated hegemony, Anglophone humans wishing to distinguish between alien genders and their own, and linguistic limitations. Avian languages often have two-tone vowels that sophonts with only one set of vocal cords cannot pronounce.

Tiiliitian, for example, is a tonal language with five vowels. But each of these vowels has five different tonal slides, which can be combined, similar to musical chords (although the avian voice has been described less as musical and more like a duet of yowling cats). Alien xenointerpretors specializing in bitonal avian languages often use a keyboard recorder device to layer tones while they speak.

The 5 Basic Tiiliitian Tones

  • level tone
  • sinking tone
  • rising tone
  • upwards warble
  • downwards warble

The Tiiliit

Image: A skimmer avian bright reclines in a huge luxurious robe, and a fancy metal headdress on top their crest adorned with feathers, inlaid stones, and fabric. All of their clothes and the skin of their crest are shades of mint and seafoam green. Behind them is a banner with a symbol made of a circle with three equally spaced radial lines entering from the outside and meeting in the center.

Caption: Only the Tiiliit is permitted to wear this hue of green. Other greens are generally only worn by royalty.

35 thoughts on “Runaway to the Stars: Page 36

  1. ahhhhh I just love worldbuilding lore pages like this

  2. That specific Tiiliit green looks a lot like some cobalt titanate greens and I remember their homeworld had a lot of cobalt in its geology/oceans, was that color chosen because of cobalt’s commonality?

    1. In ancient Earth cultures royal colors were chosen from things that were rare and uncommon, difficult to reproduce. The Romans used a purple dye for the Emperor and Senators that came from a rare snail shell. There was no other source of purple color until the discovery of synthetic dyes in the 1800’s. Avians wouldn’t use a common cobalt pigment unless it’s the titanium that’s rare on their world?

      1. AndyTeacupcultist

        Actually, there were many different purples, just not the same shade or with the exact same qualities, especially things like generally not fading (Most dyes would fade and need redyeing).

  3. Ah! Based on previously established world building, our Ktletaccete have something similar to syrinxes, like Earth birds, and could probably duplicate Avian vowels with some work. It’s not worked into their current dominant language, as that language was developed over millennia in concert with other species incapable of that kind of sound, so everyone’s out of practice, if they ever did it in the past.

    Sorry. Just love imagining what first contact between fictional peoples would be like.

    This is such good stuff!

  4. Your site says Avians develop their crests at puberty, how does that work? Is it there from birth but doesn’t get colored in? Does it grow from nothing? I don’t think you’ve drawn any young Avians.
    Also, how necessary is the crest for like… not dying; like could you go out and get Avian top surgery?

    1. Since duns and I think polar avians don’t have crests, I assume they can live without? They all have nostrils, so I think the crest would start growing out from the nasal area on top of the head. I don’t know what it looks like inside but if it was removed and healed okay, the avian could probably breathe fine? Unless there would be too much being exposed?

      Also, there’s a baby in this drawing (cw for nudity): https://jayrockin.tumblr.com/post/678095423514329088/jaywhy-do-the-avians-need-clothing-wouldnt

  5. how do asians feel about gender nonconformity? could a du. dress up as a bright if they wanted?

    1. *avians wth autocorrect

      1. There’s some really neat info here under Clothing and Subculture, about Carnalists and Concealists: https://jayeaton.site/RunawayToTheStars/Sophonts/Avians/Culture

  6. Finally a glimpse at The Tiiliit!!! Ever since I first heard of them, I’d been itching to know what they’d looked like. Id almost mythologized them into something scary in my head, the wording around them is very effective

  7. This takes me back to the Who’s That Pokemon! commercial breaks, and it’s such a good answer to getting information about the world in without having to find story spots to poke it through.
    I am definitely gonna have to try something like this haha

  8. I love the avians but as Tikaalik is my ancestor I know that I wouldn’t be friends with most of them

  9. There certainly is a lot of fashion happening on this page: we have the ferengi at the regency ball, the nun on a chilly day and if the Super-Emperor wants to cosplay a unicorn with a quiltcover as a cloak then who is going to say anything about it? I’m very glad the creator decided not to give all the characters sleek, utilitarian sci-fi clothes even if it must be a lot of work to invent and draw all this stuff.
    .
    Now, I can sometimes resist barraging the creator with questions on every single page but I am filled with curiosity to know what those hooks on the blue and yellow cloak are for. They can’t be for simply hanging the garment up or they wouldn’t need those little hinged clasps, right? My brain keeps insisting ‘zipline’ and that is one hell of a mental image.

    1. Possibly it can be used for connecting various interchangeable large-ish ornamental froofy bits that go on to look fancy at parties, but with the dual purpose of hanging it up without stretching or crinkling the fabric? Those both seem like something that prissy bird people would value.

      1. Hooks for when you want more feathers on your feathers.

        1. Exactly!

    2. Talita Fangirl :)

      I think the pieces of fabric that is draping over the tail and the wing/leg limbs can be lifted up and pinned there using the clasps so that they are out of the way for flying. Your comment is hilarious by the way. “ferengi at the regency ball” xD

      1. Firstly, thanks!

        Secondly the ‘getting your flamboyant clothes out of the way for flying’ hooks seems very logical.

  10. This is very cool info! I like the divers. “Fish”ing(Alien Fish)“Birds” very cool!

  11. Amazing! Is the Tiiliit like the avian equivalent of emperor? Is the green crest some sort of bio-essentialist mark of a royal bloodline, expressed through incomplete dominance, or just makeup?

    1. yeah, the Tiiliit is the monarch of the Dominion of Tiliit, which is only one of many Avian territories but by far the biggest one. the green crest is a rare mutation that the first ever Tiliit had, and since then they always choose a successor with the same mutation. definitely a “im cooler and specialer than everyone else” kind of thing lol

  12. how are Are Pygmy avians treated by larger species, to they have a history of persecution?

    1. pygmies were colonized by the skimmers, so technically yeah, but i don’t think any other avian species have had issues. it’s mostly the skimmers thinking they’re better than everyone else

      1. I think on the website it says that Pygmies weren’t colonized as heavily by the Tiiliitans, but outside diseases were a big problem that they’ve since recovered from.

  13. Why is the pygmy avian population so low compared to the others?

    1. Sparky Lurkdragon

      If I remember right, it’s a case of their population being low to begin with because of their limited ancestral geographical range, followed by Colonialism Ruining Everything.

    2. According to the “World” background info, the pygmies originate from only five tiny islands My guess is they evolved that way due to insular dwarfism and the smaller territory also means smaller population (plus their islands were colonized by the skimmers so there may be a cultural aspect suppressing growth). That’s just my hypothesis though! 🙂

    3. Because they evolved on a chain of five tiny islands and haven’t settled much elsewhere because everywhere else decent to live is already taken by various other nations and empires. I assume that even if it isn’t blocked outright by some kind of repressive royal decree, “go to space, settle a planet” is a hard sell too since space travel in a hard sci-fi setting would necessarily be kind of expensive and you don’t get especially rich on a tiny island unless either it’s the age of sail and there’s whaling (surely long past even if there are historically-valuable whale-equivalents on the avian homeworld) or other cultures greatly desire tourism to that island.

      1. Now I wonder, are there whale equivalents, historically-valuable or otherwise, on the Avian homeworld?

  14. They’re like if birds were real

  15. What a wondrous page!

  16. The juicy worldbuilding we’re all here for!

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