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Ktak avians

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By darth-biomech   |   Watch
Published: April 8, 2018
Due being part of my PERSONAL project, this deviation works under different rules from the rest of my gallery:

Did that short time ago for a challenge. These are Ktak, avian aliens, one of the core members of the Alliance.
Originating from a small world with a fraction of standard gravity, but thick atmosphere, those are somewhat unique sapient being that managed to retain fully functional flight ability.
Despite they being second species encountered by the raharrs, and third core member of the Alliance (those who were present and have participated in the creation of it; the ony two other species, besides raharrs, that have such status, are Sashli and unnamed yet civilization), ktak do not have very extensive presense on the galactic scene. Being able to fly have its drawbacks - ktak are extremely claustrophobic. Space flight is a constant test of will, and majority of them decide to travel only if it is absolutely necessary, and preferably in cryosleep the entire time. Their ships thus are automated to a ludicrous degree, and sometimes, despite not having AI crewmembers (reasons below), acting almost independently.

Ktak are, despite being fairly advanced, highly religious people. Their religion is monotheistic and worships the Creator Of All That Is. They do not view Ancients as any sort of holy beings, concidering them to be just a precursor species have no greater importance to the fate of the universe than anybody else. Due to their spiritual beliefs, they consider every person to have soul. This, though, does not extend over to synthetic minds - AIs and Uploaded like Azinarsi. While ktak see them as sapient persons and individuals with rights, they view such beings as "Lamentable Ones" - without a soul they are incomplete and thus must have enduring pitiful unfulfilling existence without a future and ultimate goal. AIs are not allowed to work on ktak worlds, and any research of either AI or mind copying is prohibited as well.
They have very strained relations with Iss, since their uncanny resemblance to a now extinct predator of their homeworld, who hunted prehistoric ktak, and remained a vicious threat until the invention of gunpowder (which, ultimately, lead to it's extinction). This does not spills in all out xenophobia, but for ktak any interaction with an iss is a source of constant stress, and in some cases it even resulted in severe panic attacks.

Ktak do not have feathers, instead their bodies covered in short soft silk-like hairs that significantly reduce air drag. Avians have acute hearing, and their vocal cords are quite complex and capable of replicating almost any sound (Quite similar to Earth's lyrebird), which granted them fame of great singers and musicians. Ktak typically have wingspan of around 5 meters.
Ktak can fly in earthlike environment, or at least soar, but it is exhausting to them, and most likely they would be unable to maintain more than half a hour of active flapping flight (on their home world they can stay in the skies pretty much all day).

Русская версия будет... скоро... наверное... Х)
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Boxjelly1's avatar
Boxjelly1Hobbyist Digital Artist
The anatomy here is very clever. It's quite cute too :aww: I would love to meet one. 
darth-biomech's avatar
darth-biomechProfessional Digital Artist
Thanks) It got me awhile to make this idea to not look awkward.
Boxjelly1's avatar
Boxjelly1Hobbyist Digital Artist
I get that feeling ^ ^; 
Well, they turned out great!
Saiyanstrong's avatar
SaiyanstrongHobbyist General Artist
CamaroLp's avatar
CamaroLpHobbyist General Artist
Да, интересная история выходит с мировоззрением ктак. При технологическом и научном развитии, религиозные взляды всё равно сильны, отрицание ИИ идёт не от страха "восстания машин", а от верований. С другой стороны, узкоспециализированные автоматы - тоже хорошее решение. Правда, с точки зрения программирования, это чистый кошмар. Традиционная автоматизация: "попробуй всё предусмотреть". А так как у ктак запрещено копирование разума, у меня создалось впечатление, что у них нет и понятия нейронных сетей в программировании, т.к. это копирование структуры, подражание реальному разуму. Впрочем, с ИНС тоже проблемы в стиле "оно работает, но не знаю конкретно как", поведение ИНС сложно отследить. Но это уже пошли рассуждения на тему. А так взгляды их меня слегка коробят. И это хорошо. Это разнообразие культур и взглядов в проекте, оно делает его реальнее, меньше идеального для кого-либо одного.
Дизайн интересный. Уши и небольшие габариты ктак делают их визуально очень симпатичными. Голова, в частности устройство челюстей, смотрится весьма оригинально. Интересно, что они едят, раз у них такой сложный и мощный клюв. Пластинки крыльев что из себя представляют? Видимо, содержат хрящевые или тому подобные распорки.
А насчёт конфигурации - ного-руки и крыло-ноги я впервые у тебя и увидела. Ну, разве что, конструкцию, когда руки-ноги и ноги-руки, да, такое было и не редко
darth-biomech's avatar
darth-biomechProfessional Digital Artist
Что коробят - это хорошо Х) У них не столько отрицание, сколько... м... презрение? ИИ с их точки зрения бездушны, а потому ущербны, в отличии от нашего что если что-то бездушное, то оно - злой кровожадный монстр. Дискриминация Х) Так что я не думаю что у них будут проблемы с НС, пока они не начинают осознавать себя.
Первоначально думал что они возможно рыбой питаются, а так над биосферой этих ребят ещё думать и думать)
В крыльях я хотел сделать ни рыбу ни мясо, чтобы было что-то не являющееся ни перепонкой, ни перьями. Вроде удалось. По идее это тонкие пластинки из чего-то напоминающего хрящ, но более упругого и способного к регенерации если что.
ChatlaninKyr's avatar
I really like the overall design, and the coloration makes them really beautiful!
So, will we see any Ktak in Leaving the Cradle?

I wonder, can a non-religious person be a part of their society? Statistically, there ought to be at least a small percentage of Ktak who don't share the prevalent world view. Also, do they try to propagate their religion among other species, or consider it to be a thing that differs them from others?
darth-biomech's avatar
darth-biomechProfessional Digital Artist
Perhaps, maybe even in the first chapter, but as a minor or even background character. They do not like space, because of all that confined spaces and zero G acting on them in a rather negative way (if untrained, they begin to thrashing wildly in the air from panic, because their instincts screaming at them "level yourself or you're going to crash!" But there's nothing to level to in the space...). There are a dozen or so living on the Dawn, tho, mostly missionaries.

Well, I don't want them to become strawman example of "hurr durr religion is bad, see?", so certainly there is atheistic part of their society, and even those who practice non-native faiths as well. Both are minority, most likely even more so than on Earth, and they're being seen as weirdos. Although religion is influencing and shaping their society at a great degree, including the science field (AIs and genemodding of sapients is not the only prohibited areas of research, most likely)
And, of course they are propagating their faith, what memetic virus wouldn't try to spread itself?) But they do that in a calm cool peaceful way, without any "join or die\be concidered subhuman" crap.

*re-readed everything he wrote about Ktak*
Well, they do appear to shaping out as the most mentally fragile folks out there, don't they? XD
ChatlaninKyr's avatar
I see. I wonder though, is it a good idea to have missionaries in the expeditionary fleet? The encountered civilizations will hardly be happy to have a new religion threatening their established belief systems. And I was under impression that the crew of the Core ship, despite living in town-like environment, actually consists of selected specialists who all perform duties connected in one way or another to the expedition's purpose. I can understand, say, chaplains of the Alliance's most widespread religions, but missionaries?..
Also, hopefully this doesn't sound like I'm criticising too much, but deliberately giving the members of "religious" species primarily religion-related jobs is sort of an overused cliche. I'm pointing this out because, so far, your story have been excellent at avoiding cliches. Many details, from the Insectoids' personality to the spaceships decks arrangement to the "upside-down" Earth in the comic's last page, make your setting positively different from the less original works. So, regarding the Ktak of the Core ship, why couldn't they be, say, linguists (great hearing, vocal range and stuff)? We could even expect a few to be of the atheistic/other-religion part of the species. After all, if they are seen as weirdos in their society, wouldn't some of them leave homeworld just to work among aliens, maybe even in such fields as AI or mind uploading, as a means of protest?

>> "Well, they do appear to shaping out as the most mentally fragile folks out there, don't they? XD"
I personally feel more pity for the Insectoids, who are surrounded by fleshy inside-out monsters :D  The Ktak, on the other hand, have only one species of scary aliens to be afraid of.
darth-biomech's avatar
darth-biomechProfessional Digital Artist
Well, not ALL of them are missionaries. X) It's just that with their general relation to space diue to their quirks, there's not many ways to make members want to spend next decade in a confined (even if spacious, in case of the Core Ship) spaces of a ship. So I thought that missionary mission sounded like a logical motivation to overcome the difficulties.
And not everyone of the core ship have function, it does have families on it, after all, offspring birthed after the departure, even. It's a long voyage, an certainly it is not the "you must be useful for the Cause or off to the airlock you go" situation. Still, even if they're missionaries, they can be different from cliche "I wander around and preach my gospels, that's all I'm good at" types.

And no, not at all, criticism is good, as long as it's not the "I don't like it, u suk" variation X)
While ktak have excellent hearing, the linguistic area is basically dominated by AIs, who have superior skills of handling vast loads of information and finding patterns and links in it, they allow the alien languages to be deciphered in mere months (or in some cases even weeks) instead of decades.

Oh, yay, someone noticed that the planet is displayed "incorrectly" ^.^

>I personally feel more pity for the Insectoids, who are surrounded by fleshy inside-out monsters :D (Big Grin)
Hah, but that was a shock of first impression. After they got used to the idea, they even started concider many species to be kinda adorable. They remind them of grubs. XD
ChatlaninKyr's avatar
I'm afraid I'm still not convinced of the desirability of missionaries in the expeditionary fleet, but it's only my opinion. Regarding the linguistics part, that was my bad — I should have remembered it is done by AIs in your setting.

I actually find Insectoids to be adorable as well :)  I guess it's partly (but not only) because of the shape of their main eyes, which give them a bit of a smiling/amused look.

> "...not everyone of the core ship have function..."
That made me curious, how does recruitment of the core ship crew look like?

Also, a question about Ktak: given their reaction to zero-g and confined spaces, did they manage to start a manned (Ktakked?) space flight program of their own before the contact with the Raharrs?
darth-biomech's avatar
darth-biomechProfessional Digital Artist
Well, I might change that entirely, nothing is set in stone yet. Writing non-rational logic is hard, so I am not yet even sure what ktak would and wouldn't do.

That was accidental) Just a natural result of wanting to give them large eyes with the realization that hold on a second, insect eyes don't have eyeballs, so they can be weirdly shaped! So I made them curving around the mouthparts.

Some unholy mix of recommendation letters, recruiting programs and screening, I guess. Hard to answer.

Yeah, they had been in space for some time, longer than raharrs in fact, but with less optimism about that. Their space program is mostly automated drones and chart flights with cryogened birbs inside.
ChatlaninKyr's avatar
Their logic doesn't seem to be much less rational than that of the majority of humans, though. And, in my opinion, living in a society shaped by religion doesn't mean there can't be individuals who wish to "explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations", etc.; or want to be a part of a project to which all Alliance species contribute, simply because they belive in the ideas behind the Alliance; or is an ambitious scientist who sees difficulties of living in a core ship as a challenge.
Also, I guess, one possible alternative is that the presense of missionaries is a concession to the Ktak government.

Regarding the Insectoids, I thought so :)
darth-biomech's avatar
darth-biomechProfessional Digital Artist
Well, this is the case where it's hard to separate personal opinion from healthy worldbuilding, I'll admit that.
Kitmouse-Nikita's avatar
Kitmouse-NikitaStudent Digital Artist
Гениально! Обычно крылатые разумные расы изображают с крыльями-руками, что, говоря реалистично, означало бы невозможность использовать их либо как руки, либо как крылья. Когда я думал, как можно бы разрешить этот (казалось бы) конфликт, то так ни к чему и не пришел. А теперь, когда я вижу ответ, он кажется таким очевидным. Ты сам придумал?

Помимо этого - выглядит мило.
Поднятые перья на голове на "портрете" что-то значат (в смысле, используются для выражения эмоций)?
darth-biomech's avatar
darth-biomechProfessional Digital Artist
Придумал сам (пытаясь уйти от очевидных идей рукокрылости и шестиногой драконокрылости), но потом обнаружил что поймал идею не я один.

Интерес, ибо всё в растопырку чтобы слушать было удобнее.
anonymous's avatar
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