Sunday, 13 November 2016


Ythrians eat only meat and a few sweet fruits and therefore are fundamentally territorial. Carnivores need more land per individual than herbivores or omnivores. On Earth, a pride of lions needs a lot of antelope and each antelope needs land to graze. Ythrians fly by oxidizing food. Each Ythrian has not only lungs but also a supercharger evolved from amphibian gills. Flight muscles work the supercharger like a bellows, driving oxygen directly into the blood. Thus, an Ythrian needs a lot of fuel. Therefore, each household needs a large area for hunting or ranching. Meat animals are maukh and mayaw. An Avalonian constellation, the Maukh, is named after this large tame herd animal. Sol, not visible from Avalon, lies between the four stars of the Maukh's horns just as, from Earth, Avalon's sun, Laura, lies in Lupus. I get the impression that Ythrians cook meat from ranched animals. See here.

The Ythrian Old Faith involves animal sacrifices. On Earth, Jewish priests sacrificed animals whereas Christianity sacramentalizes sacrifice with bread and wine. The Ythrian New Faith is not sacrificial although it conceptualizes God as the Hunter.

An Ythrian has a bracing bone called the "alatan" but I am not clear where this word comes from. Also, how did territorial families of hunting carnivores become intelligent and then form a society larger than the single household?


David Birr said...

When I look at the word "alatan," the first thing that jumps into my mind is that in Latin "ala" and some other words derived from it had to do with wings. In particular, my pocket Cassell's cites "alatus" as meaning "winged."

So IF the bone's placement specifically supports the action of Ythrians' wings, it seems an appropriate term.

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

In THE PEOPLE OF THE WIND we get a rather large infodump about the Ythrians by xenologist whose taped lecture was listened to by Lt. Phillipe Rocheforte. The lecture explained the factors on how and the Ythrians became intelligent.

If my recollection is correct, then the Ythrian Old Fath was sheerly pagan, believing in many gods. And while the New Faith was monotheistic, I have to say I found it rather thin and unconvincing. I can imagine intelligent carnivores conceiving God as the "Hunter," but not as a God Who HUNTS His worshipers. And the New Faith's solutions for the problem of pain and its skepticism about the immortality of the soul also puts me off.

Btw, the Ythrian conception of God as the Hunter reminded me of how Larry Niven's Kzin believed in the Fanged God.

And you gave a nice description of the Catholic/Orthodox view of the Eucharist! And one "high church" Anglicans and Lutherans would, I think, agree with.


Paul Shackley said...