A Question With Implications: What Do the Huergar Eat?

Discussion in 'Lore Discussion' started by Tuhtram, Sep 11, 2013.

  1. Mialonius

    Mialonius New Member

    Also, because people may miss the edit, I wonder about their diet as well.

    Where does the protein for the muscle mass come from? Their size tells us a lot; homosapien generations seem to have increased in height from their primitive predecessors. I remember reading that an increased height and erect spine actually causes greater body heat emission, whereas our hunched ancestors could avoid detection due to their physiology.

    For oxygen, we would HAVE to assume that some plant or aerobic bacteria thrives deep underground. This would suggest H2O, say for the cyanobacteria, which are responsible for the chemical synthesis of Oxygen.
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  2. Notquitesure

    Notquitesure New Member

    I cannot remember who it was, but I seem to remember some dev somewhere stating that the amount of explorable space below Myrland would effectively double its land mass. Or at least something to that effect.
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  3. Zergi

    Zergi Well-Known Member

    What Do the Huergar Eat?

    1. Ambrosial Pig Meat
    2. Salutary Raw Rye
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  4. Tuhtram

    Tuhtram Silver Supporter

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  5. Diphling

    Diphling The Desperado

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  6. Najwalaylah

    Najwalaylah Goodwill Embassador

    Huergar Symbol
    "The History of every major Galactic Civilization tends to pass through three distinct and recognizable phases, those of Survival, Inquiry and Sophistication, otherwise known as the How, Why and Where phases. For instance, the first phase is characterized by the question "How can we eat?" the second by the question "Why do we eat?" and the third by the question "Where shall we have lunch?" "​

    -- Douglas Adams. 1981. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

    Skin that doesn't produce (at some biological cost) an abundance of pigment (or even any pigment at all) unless it has to (which, underground, it might not) is a Real World phenomenon. If we must extrapolate it to the Oghmir who are dwelling underground:
    • Maybe they haven't lived underground for enough generations
    • Maybe they were randomly unlucky in never having an individual with "less" pigmentation to spread his (relative) genetic advantage through their generations
    • Maybe the reddish pigmentation isn't as costly to the organism as we think-- maybe it signals and provides some advantage that albinism would not-- maybe it's what a natural resistance to radiation or ichor or to other parts of the Huergar environment turns out looking like.
    Oh, and:
    • Facial hair that's attractive enough to the opposite sex might have advantages that outweigh its disadvantages
    ... Okay, when did we have hunched ancestors?

    In conclusion, while I favour the 'shrooms hypothesis

    (what else could make the amount of metal they wear
    piercing their flesh seem like a good idea?)​
    I'm shocked that no-one has suggested the obvious:
    1. they used to steal Human children and eat them,
    2. then started breeding a captive population,
    3. those humans eventually escaped after many generations of warped and warping existence to become the Risar-- which would explain neatly why Risar and Humans can interbreed, and why Risar think nothing of keeping slaves themselves.
    4. Mushrooms!
    5. Profit.
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2018
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  7. Notquitesure

    Notquitesure New Member

    An ecosystem based on some sort of chemosynthetic autotrophs? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chemosynthesis Mushrooms won't really work underground without some sort of food chain to support them since mushrooms feed on detritus. This does not mean you could not have mushrooms in an ecosystem dependent on some sort of chemosynthesis for its primary production, though it would seem less efficient to harvest energy and matter at the end of the chain.
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  8. Notquitesure

    Notquitesure New Member

    I can sort of picture large fields consisting of pools of warm sulfur rich water, pumped from vents deep in Nave through complex ziggurats of pipes, nourishing gently swaying, sessile, organisms. Pale ghost like fish swimming among them feeding on the fragments while pearlescent arthropods hunt along the shores.
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  9. Tuhtram

    Tuhtram Silver Supporter

    I just mentioned the huge mushrooms and spiders you frequently find deep underground in-game. I've done a lot of research on mycology in general for areas of my own universe, so I get what you mean -- mushrooms generally feed off of decomposing things so it's pretty odd that they'd spring up out of nowhere from a 1:1 real-life comparison because they need pretty nutrient-rich environments most of the time. But evidently they do pop up in MO, and in great abundance -- and across the continent in multiple areas. I've also found some massive vines underground that were freely dependent of any large trees, as well as lots of spider eggs and some sort of muck coating the ground which I'm assuming based on the environment is either mycelium or some kind of other miscellaneous slimy gunk.

    So far the Spiders could technically be thought of as, well, trogloxene, but the mushrooms are entirely sedentary troglobites -- I don't think we see them anywhere else in the world above the surface. If something that large can grow, there is probably a lot of food everywhere for these sorts of things.


    I've been thinking of Chemosynthesis as well (tube worms were mostly coming to mind), I didn't think anyone would really care to get too in-depth with it considering that MO is a fantasy universe that already breaks a lot of biological common sense.

    For example, the Thorax and the Megnatons. The maximum size of an arthropod is determined by the relative oxygen content. The largest Arthropod ever was this thing. Right now the maximum size of a land-dwelling arthropod is approximately the Coconut Crab. Things used to be able to be bigger, but we have less oxygen around now than we did then. To support a Megnaton (or the mountain spiders we see all over, or the Spider Queens...) we'd need TONS of more oxygen. To support a Thorax... I don't even know if it's possible to be entirely honest.

    So when it comes to MO's evolutionary biology I tend to just kinda shrug and say "It's fantasy, they get to decide when to play by the rules and when to not.". Sometimes "Wow, that'd be really awesome" outweighs the real-world restrictions -- hence why we can throw spells and why there's an entire society surviving entirely underground when we don't even know of any mammals that can do that -- and they seemingly have kept some skin pigmentation for whatever reason. They've already got giant glowing mushrooms and spiders quite decently deep underground, so we might as well roll with it and assume that there's hyperabundant chemosynthesis.

    blahblahlablahpalbp[ealfp[elap[fl etc. etc. etc.
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  10. Najwalaylah

    Najwalaylah Goodwill Embassador

    Can't sleep, coconut crab will catch me...

      I can't remember why I gained the impression (I don't think it was from the Official Minimal Lore) that there's supposed to be a (Huergar?) cave under / inside of the cliff that the Big City (as opposed to the Camp) of Morin Khur perches on, but of course there is that kind of very old looking rock stairway that leads down and then peters out, just to the side of the bridge and "behind" the (bank) buildings. There are certainly a lot of small mushrooms growing in the vicinity of the Khurite capital-- though even if an explanation were necessary, it might be supplied by the fact that there's slightly less sunshine per day in canyons.

      There are cliff-dwellings galore in upper Toxai; they appear to be clinging to the rock but may very well be hollowed into them, and that is of course just next door to Morin Khur. At the base of those cliffs and in the shadow of the cliffs to the south of town, there are many small mushrooms growing.

      But what does all this have to do with the Thunder-bird's war against the Dragon?

      Do giant mushrooms grow in dragon scat?
  11. Tuhtram

    Tuhtram Silver Supporter

    Convention inclines me to say that it's probably just dead roots/plant matter, but my heart says that it's the result of theoretical Huergar Shallow Burials -- Given to criminals who are pushed away from the Deep Stone from which Oghma's Lifeblood flows. Their presence within her veins would be to insult her and invoke Deep Tremors.
    Chewed-up and pre-digested cows and humans makes one helluva fertilizer.
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  12. Notquitesure

    Notquitesure New Member

    /shrug Yeah it's a fantasy universe this is true. The Rule of Cool does outweigh a lot of things. Though it would be cool if they considered these kinds of things when they finally get around to designing one the Huergars' major cities. Tindrem gets its orchards and fields.
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  13. xaritscin

    xaritscin New Member

    may i point also that cave environments are usually fed from underwater rivers or acuifers and the soil is usually enriched by dung, mostly from bats or some bird species. so in the case of a large fantasy undeground environment. the mushrooms would either eat from extremophiles living in the walls and/or dung. serving as the base of the foodchain, the mushrooms would give sustent to different organisms in the caves. maybe the hostile species would also serve as food for the Huergars.

    the other is that maybe, they were similar in technology to the Dwemer of Tamriel. and had some sort of lightsource that could help them grow crops in closed environment, like some sort of hydroponic garden. but i think that's going too far. sorry for the necropost but the lore forum seems lacking in participation
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  14. Therow

    Therow Member

    A couple notes--

    Like algae deep under the ocean, the huegar also, may rely on a red pigmentation to obtain vital nutrients from the sun that are able to penetrate deep into the oceans (or in this case deep into cave-systems via mirrors).

    Additionally, go look around in the caves of the world. Quite a lot of them are very lush with greenery like mosses and other plants (both caves in cave camp). Particularly interesting is the giant roots clutching the skeleton in one of those caves because there are no trees to speak of in that area and potentially used a human body as a nutrient (man eating cave plants?). Other caves have lots of mushrooms and other things in them also.
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  15. princereaper

    princereaper Exalted Member

    They eat void salts.
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  16. Avargol

    Avargol Well-Known Member

    The should get some kind of stat bonus or mana bonus for consuming ichor
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  17. LabRat

    LabRat Trial Member

    Mosses, Mushrooms, smaller mammals/reptiles/amphibians that dwell underground, Fish from subterranean ponds/lakes/streams, large insects (we have seen plenty of them). There are a lot of cave systems IRL that are little self sustaining ecosystems. Full of bats, snakes, mushies /mosses, fish, rodents, frogs, beetles and quite frequently full gown large mammals such as deer/moose/elk/wolves ect that fall through weak areas or vent shafts from up on the surface. They are more often that not injured from the fall down and end will end up dead from the wounds. I don't think it would be that hard for them to give it a good poke with something sharp and drag it back to camp.
  18. LabRat

    LabRat Trial Member

    Have you ever wondered why flamingos are pink or orange?
    You've probably heard it has something to do with what flamingos eat, but do you know what exactly it is that produces the color?
    Answer: Flamingos are pink or orange or white depending on what they eat. Flamingos eat algae and crustaceans that contain pigments called carotenoids. For the most part, these pigments are found in the brine shrimp and blue-green algae that the birds eat. Enzymes in the liver break down the carotenoids into the pink and orange pigment molecules deposited in the feathers, bill, and legs of the flamingos. Flamingos that eat mostly algae are more deeply colored than birds that eat the small animals that feed off of algae. Captive flamingos are feed a special diet that includes prawns (a pigmented crustacean) or additives such as beta-carotene or canthaxanthin, otherwise they would be white or pale pink. Young flamingos have gray plumage that changes color according to their diet.
    People eat foods containing carotenoids, too. Examples include beta-carotene in carrots and lycopene in watermelon, but most people do not eat enough of these compounds to affect their skin color.
    Compliments of google^

    Possible explanation for there skin tone? Maybe some of the algae or animals they eat are extremely high in carotenoids?
    I've never seen a baby huegar to notice if it was a pale little thing prior to eating what they consider the norm
  19. Mats Persson

    Mats Persson Senior Member

    Try harder with your research, I usually try to make it worth it ;)

    First of all the metal in the image is their precious Oghmium, not Cuprum.

    "Little is known about the true Huérgar. Those who remain outside have adapted and assimilated. They continue to worship Oghma, goddess of stone and metals, whom they see as the creator of the Oghmir clade. Belief is that her blood runs through the rocks in the form of Ichor. This liquid metal, used in a number of rituals, constitutes a fundamental part of Huérgar religion. The people almost seem to have a physical need for it.

    Their small stature, dense bone structure and heavy physique suit their nature as cave dwellers, or is perhaps a result of it. Centuries of exposure to Ichor has both blessed and cursed them. Their tough reddish skin and exceptional night vision come at the cost of skin diseases and light sensitivity. Human societies perceive them as introverted, but their sense of logic is unmatched."

    At the same time the Blainn:

    "..have grown slightly taller than their forefathers, and developed thick body hair to protect them from the cold. The lack of Ichor usage has resulted in more delicate, pale, bluish skin and they suffer less from the inherent diseases that plague their ancestors."

    Ok, Ichor. Liquid metal. In our own world mercury is the only metallic element that is liquid in standard conditions. Now if you look up mercury you will find that aside from being really cool it is also very poisonous and will give you hydrargyria (mercury poisoning) on exposure. The symptoms of hydrargyria are:
    - acrodynia (pink disease) and erythema (reddening of the skin, as with sunburn)
    - paresthesia (sensation of tingling or burning of a person's skin)
    - hardening of skin and skin shedding
    - loss of hair
    - increased sensitivity to light
    - elevated blood pressure
    - emotional lability and insomnia

    Yes, I've certainly cherry picked them out of several others, but there they are. And then again:
    - Does Ichor have the exact same properties (or is it really the same thing) as mercury?
    - Does the Huergar body react the same way to the substance as the Human body?
    - Have ages of use (evolution, which is way faster in Nave) provided the Huergar with certain resistances?
    - Have the Huergar learned how to use other substances to counteract some of the symptoms?

    I hope that is scientific enough for you (and I really don't mean to sound condescending). I mean, different people like more or less fantastical stuff, but the above is about where I decided to set the level in MO. Being more scientific than that would mean more realism, but also more restrictions and therefore more boring to many, including myself.
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  20. Mats Persson

    Mats Persson Senior Member

    Ahhh :(

    Actually, it's unclear whether Jaekelopterus or Arthropleura was the largest of those we have found, yet.

    You are right. However it sounds like you have decided that it would be impossible for arthropods in MO to evolve a different tracheal system (for instance many insects IRL have collapsible air sacks, and some of the larger insects use active ventilation, which are both potentially good starting points) or homologous "gills/lungs", or a combination of both.

    Also, don't forget that the weight of the exoskeleton is probably as important as breathing / gas diffusion when it comes to the size limit of land living arthropods. Then again, if the breathing problem is solved, the weight of the exoskeleton might be partially compensated for by increased muscle mass and efficiency due to better respiration. Furthermore a more "spongy" chitinous skeleton and the use of other minerals than calcium carbonate for biomineralization (or other proteins for sclerotisation) could drastically reduce the weight. I've always envisioned the large arthropods in MO to have evolved something similar to an endoskeleton (from their apodemes perhaps), meaning the exoskeleton can be reduced to a thin shell in places where armor isn't needed.

    I hope this and my previous comment show that I actually do care, and think, about these things. Very much. I definitely agree that the laws are broken from time to time though. Even if "arthropods" could theoretically be much bigger (at least in MO), it doesn't explain the size of the Thorax (not my invention) or other ginormous creatures. Size in sci-fantasy is generally always a problem ;)
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