Saturday, January 3, 2015

The Center Cannot Hold: Sexuality and Marriage in Crux 3

More musing on sexuality in Crux.  Now to focus on Ursyklons, the race of feral, lupine yet small beings who once came to conquer the world.

Ursyklons: Most of humanity owes its current views on gender and sexuality from the Ursyklon.  After their conquest of the planet, save for regions like Rruk, Maliph or the Jade Lands, they acted to spread their own cultural values and norms.  Ursyklon society is matriarchal.  Ursyklon women have long held power and political authority, despite even-handed attempts to pass along some authority to their men.

This is due in part to the fact that all Ursyklon are capable of changing their own gender and sex if needed.  This could be part of what led Ursyklons to learn the shape changing powers of the Druid class.  Ursyklons of same sex couplings can have a litter- often with one part of the couple changing sex to suit the needs of pregnancy.  An Ursyklon undergoing this metamorphosis are said to be Lup'Hadi, "Mother-walking."  Often the change is male to female, but there are cases of the reverse being performed.

A curious note on Ursyklon litters should be noted here as well.  Ursyklons tend to birth litters of three to four.  Most Ursyklon mothers never give birth again.  Instead they opt to take Moonweed, a herb known to prevent pregnancy and cause miscarriages.  Moonweed is one of the many plants and beasts Ursyklons claim they brought here from across the stars.  Moonweed is controversial among humans.  Othebea has outlawed the herb, because of fears that it only encourages sin, despite its potential uses as birth control.  Maliph also has banned the plant, citing the reverse: that it stops procreation, discouraging the purpose of sex altogether.

Young Ursyklons spend the last two months of their gestation in pouches on their mother's bellies.  They fight each other often for milk.  Most Ursyklons believe such fighting builds character, and regard scars earned from their pouch days as blessings from the Wolf-Mother.  A few progressive Ursyklon have begun questioning the practice, wondering if the accidental deaths that come with it might otherwise be prevented.

Ursyklon children also lack and secondary sexual traits, even differing genitalia.  They all appear the same.  Sexual dimorphism doesn't appear in a Ursyklon until they attain perberty.  For this reason, Ursyklons have no gendered pronouns.  Instead, they have four pronouns, one for each child born in a litter: first, second, third and fourth.

As such, Ursyklons tend to find any human sexism (like that in Maliph or parts of Ainesia) incomprehensible.  The concept is beyond them.  The idea of gender roles seems somewhat foreign to them, as most Ursyklons think of gender as a fluid thing.

Marriages among the Ursyklon are, symbolically enough, temporal.  Most Ursyklons mate or marry up to six times in their life times.  Most marriages last little more than a decade.   The ceremony for divorce is as simple as their marriage oaths, brief and always conducted by an assemblage of animals important to both individuals.  Both involve a strip of fabric.  In marriage it is tied; In divorce it is severed, but both sides keep the fabric ripped as a reminder of what they once had.

Pre-Ursyklon Humans:  Human civilizations prior to the Ursyklons and their views on sexuality cannot be derived from their own sources alone- the records are incomplete at best.  But Ursyklons at the time recorded vast details on the race they labeled "Manus" or "Mother-Beater."

That alone describes what they thought on human mating.  Earliest accounts of human sexuality on Orphos seem to be rife with lists of rapes, kidnapping and domestic violence.  Most cases or stories the ancient Ursyklons observed were Men against women acts.

It seems that Ursyklons spent a greater deal of time punishing Humans for these sorts of crimes than even tracking their own criminal actions.  Over time many views of the invaders were adopted by the "Manus" earning a newer word for them in Ursyklon, Humanus or where we derive the modern version of the word.