S'Kra Mur Physiology

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Appearance

S'Kra Mur are not mammals. Therefore, they do not have hair, breasts, or nipples. They do not have external ears but merely holes in the sides of their heads. S'Kra Mur, like the other sentient races, have red blood.

Height

S'Kra Mur range in height from 5.25 to 6.25 feet. On average, females are slightly taller than males.

Skin and Scales

A S'Kra Mur's skin is covered in small scales. (Wealthy S'Kra Mur often buff and polish their scales to a fine sheen.) The largest and thickest scales cover the area around the spine. The smallest scales are on the face, which allows for a greater range of expression. A S'Kra Mur's scales do provide some protection but are not able to take much more damage than human skin.

S'Kra Mur do not moult like snakes. Rather, old scales continuously flake off and are replaced by new scales. In an unhealthy S'Kra Mur, the rate of shedding may outpace the rate of growth, resulting in a patchy appearance.

  • possible colors for PCs: grey, sorrel, brown, green, green-grey, olive, black, green-brown, golden, silver, white, mottled, speckled, camouflage, dark gold-edged, red-gold
  • additional colors seen on NPCs: dark red (Ithida), deep red (Ael'tharaxus), bronze (Hssarith), pale golden (Shasuro), dull golden (Rychre), creamy (Krrikt'k), sable brown (Dumi), dark (Chiwasha and Krelpit), blue-green, blue-tinted (S'Kra waitress), blue-black (Jharlan), pale silver (Hhrsaraa), silver-edged (Calabria)


Face

Snout

The length of one's snout usually depends on whether he is descended from mainland or island stock. Mainland S'Kra tend to have longer snouts and tails. Island S'Kra have flatter faces. (Legend has it that Hav'roth blessed the island S'Kra by flattening their faces, which made them more tolerant of heat and better swimmers.)

The growth of the snout can be stunted by injury.

A S'Kra Mur's nose is not malleable like a human's. It cannot be wrinkled in disgust. However, it has a small degree of flexibility and can be pointed in the air.

  • Possible variations: pointed, striped, speckled, dappled, standard, slender, narrow, elegant, straight, squared, long, upturned


Eyes

The S'Kra Mur's eyes have slitted pupils.

  • Possible colors: blue, gold, crystal blue, sapphire, turquoise, blue-green, emerald, green, moss-green, leaf-green, crystal green, jade, hazel, topaz, milky blue, amber, ale-brown, brown, dark, dark brown, black, silver, clear-colored, milky white, steely grey, stormy grey, grey, blue-grey, violet, red
  • Possible shapes: almond-shaped, tilted, crinkled, gold-flecked, silver-flecked, wide-set, close-set, deep-set, limpid, sparkling, crossed, twitching, red-veined, beady, bulging, standard, absent, original


Mouth

The teeth reflect the S'Kra Mur's carnivorous origin. They are sharper and more slender than the teeth of other races. Between the two primary fangs in the front of the mouth are four identical incisors. Behind each fang are four more interlocking "demi-fangs." Behind these demi-fangs is a gap followed by a row of interlocking molars. With the exception of the two primary fangs, which are only in the upper jaw, all of these teeth are matched on the lower jaw.

The fangs of a S'Kra Mur do not look the same as those of a snake, and S'Kra Mur are not venomous.

The S'Kra Mur's forked tongue is slender and highly maneuverable, rather than thick like a human's.

Limbs

S'Kra Mur have ten fingers and ten toes, which are capped with short claws. A S'Kra Mur's claws are somewhat blunted. (To sharpen one's claws is taboo.) Because they are brittle and break easily, their claws are unsuitable for brawling.

Claw Trivia: According to GM Basilisc, the taboo of sharpening one's claws may be a player-created rationale to justify the S'Kra's lack of a clawed brawling bonus.

Now, I'm going to concede the claw thing. Honestly, the claw brawling bonus should have been added ages ago.* There's been some accepted practice among many S'Kra that using the claws is also vulgar, but I actually believe this originated with the fact that there was no brawling bonus, so the impropriety of using claws became the rationale behind the lack of a racial perk.
*Despite this comment, GM Melete said in 2013 that it is more likely that all racial brawling bonuses will be removed.


Tail

A S'Kra Mur's tail is long and slender but not prehensile. (It cannot be used to grasp things.) The tail is not physically designed nor well-suited for use in a combat application. However, the tail is flexible, and its movement and position are often indicative of the S'Kra Mur's emotions. The tail is sensitive, and to touch a S'Kra Mur's tail without permission is incredibly offensive. S'Kra regard their tails as sacred -- the physical embodiment of the divine spark that all S'Kra have within them -- and therefore the tail is the most private part of a S'Kra's body.

If severed, the tail can slowly re-grow, but it may be kinked at the site of the injury. If the tail is severed too close to the base, it will not re-grow. (This can be done intentionally in the smozh ceremony.) The permanent loss of one's tail is not only humiliating but results in sterilization. (The reproductive organs extend part-way into the tail.)

  • Possible variations: slender tail, crooked tail, long tail, stubby tail, thick tail, kinked tail, straight tail, curving tail, original


Tail Trivia: According to Solomon, "in the original lore for the game, S'Kra tails were totally and completely vestigial. They ranged in length from mid thigh to just below the knee. The longer your tail was, the higher social standing you were said to have. For all intents and purposes, however, they were dead and useless."

At some point, a long-since departed GM who will remain unnamed went off on their own little tangent and before anyone (i.e., Zoha) could say, "Heywaitaminute!", tail sheaths/quivers were released, along with several other items and verbs that made direct reference to a) tails being long enough to touch the ground, b) tails being strong enough to support anything other than decorative items like tailbands and boobrie feathers (which, unless something has changed, you should still be able to SKIN a boobrie and WEAR the resulting feathers on your tail, in case that's been lost to the ages), and c) S'Kra having actual control over their tails enough to move them at all. By the time it was caught, it was way too late.


Senses

Vision: S'Kra Mur have full color vision. In fact, they experience a deeper and more varied level of color than other races. However, this richness is counterbalanced by a weakness in focus in the eyes of both the very young and the very old. (It is not uncommon for elderly S'Kra Mur to be blind.) S'Kra Mur may have enhanced night vision.

Hearing and Touch: A S'Kra Mur's hearing and sense of touch seem to be interrelated. In addition to perceiving sound as we know it, they also perceive vibrations with both their ears and their skin. This gives them a heightened sense of proximity when listening.

Taste: The S'Kra Mur's sense of taste is neither better than nor worse than that of other races. However, they prefer spicy foods, and they do not enjoy sweets or heavily prepared foods. (They may view cakes as too sugary yet bland.) S'Kra Mur have also demonstrated a heightened ability to distinguish the freshness of raw fish, and this ability may translate to other raw meats.

Smell: S'Kra Mur have a poor sense of smell, even compared to humans.

Thermoregulation

There is conflicting information about whether S'Kra Mur are warm-blooded or cold-blooded. Being reptilian, one might assume that S'Kra Mur are cold-blooded. The official description on Play.net refers to non-S'Kra Mur as "those with warmer blood." It is common knowledge that S'Kra Mur are more tolerant of heat but more susceptible to cold. Some sources have gone so far as to say that S'Kra Mur "have no means to regulate their own temperature."

However, GMs Ellerina and Porlock refer to S'Kra Mur as "cool-blooded" or even warm-blooded. In their view, the S'Kra Mur are warm-blooded but are still more sensitive to cold and more tolerant of heat than the other races. It is generally agreed that the S'Kra Mur, though they can regulate their own temperature, may not be able to do so as efficiently as the other races.

The modern view of thermoregulation is a continuum, rather than in terms of either/or categories like "warm-blooded" and "cold-blooded." Therefore, it is quite possible that the S'Kra Mur are neither "cold-blooded" nor "warm-blooded." Rather, this species might have a metabolism that is different from -- and in some ways intermediate between -- those of modern cold-blooded and warm-blooded animals.

Reproduction

S'Kra Mur do not lay eggs; the mothers give live birth. The average period of gestation is eight months.

Although the mechanics of the reproductive act have (thankfully) not been described, GMs have stated that S'Kra Mur are physically and reproductively identical to other Squamata (scaled reptiles).

The tail is not in any way related to reproduction apart from its proximity to reproductive organs.

Interracial couples are shunned by mainstream S'Kra Mur society. S'Kra Mur do not have mammalian genitalia and cannot interbreed with other races. If an interracial couple has a child, the couple has either adopted, or one partner has conceived outside of the relationship.

Life Span

S'Kra Mur can live (naturally) up to 100 years, but their average life expectancy is 75 years. (S'Kra who are continually exposed to Empathic healing may live an extra 100 years.) S'Kra Mur develop and age in step with the Human norm. However, like the other bestial races, their age is often hard for other races to discern.

S'Kra Mur Senescence
Normal Longevity S'Kra Mur See Others See
0 to 14 0 to 14 a child a child
15 to 20 15 to 20 young young
21 to 34 21 to 34 an adult young
35 to 44 35 to 64 in his prime young
45 to 53 65 to 94 middle-aged young
54 to 62 95 to 112 mature young
63 to 70 113 to 130 venerable elderly
71 to 77 131 to 148 elderly elderly
78 to 86 149 to 166 aged elderly
87 to 93 167 to 184 wizened elderly
94 to 100 185 to 200 ancient elderly
101+ 201+ archaic elderly

Sources

Play.net Posts

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