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The Unholy Consult / Re: Do Dragons descended from Wutteat Comprehend Paradox?
« Last post by Wilshire on October 13, 2021, 12:28:47 pm »
Why does the Wracu high rate of mutation rule out selective breeding?  Its a basic tool of managing traits and the high rate of mutation means you're going to have a bunch that don't function very well or can't live because they're messed up internally.  Sky high hatching mortality is likely and probably keeps their numbers low.   Wracu are long lived so its quite possible their have only been a few generations with which to direct their development.
This just isn't how selective breeding works. It takes thousands of generations to get any meaningful separation of species/traits. When dealing with something that has any kind of generation time measured in years, let alone decades, this is just not possible. It would take millions, 10s of millions, of years to get what you have with the wracu. Since they were created on Earwa, its just not possible.

Granted, there's a ton of nonsensical biology that goes on in Earwa. We can simply say that "alien biology works differently", and therefore literally anything is possible. I find this unsatisfying, but acceptable. Magical Inchoroi "technology" coupled with infinitely "alien" biology, and a case can be made for anything. But if we're assuming any kind of IRL biology, selective breeding isn't possible.

I've seen zero evidence that Skin Spies are more intelligent than Wracu.  Skin Spies are trained to mimic men and infiltrate, which is something Wracu obviously can't do but they certainly comprehend and use language.
I disagree completely, but we're reading the same stuff so there's nothing else to say for this one. IMO, complex social behaviors indicate an extraordinary level of intelligence, well beyond anything we see of the wracu - which are closer to bashrag/sranc though maybe a bit smarter.

Did they find Wutteat in space?  The lines given suggested to me that he had been created in the Ark while it was in space. 
Its vague, but the general consensus is Wutteat was found in space. I believe the books are more clear that Wutteat is the template that the Earwa inchoroi used to create the Wracu.

As for the No-God controlling the Wracu, the writings suggest to me willing submission not control.   The No-God does not shout through Wracu throats.   They behave like vassals, not puppets.
That's not how I remember it, but its been a long time.

Souls in Earwa aren't the product of pure intelligence, but they do seem to require a near human level of intelligence because souls clearly require a significant level of self awareness.
I agree with H here, intelligence and souls seem to be unrelated imo. If random animals can have souls, then its not an intelligence thing.

The Wracu seem to possess this, although that might not be true.  Unlike Skin Spies we are not privy to their thoughts.
We have few intereaction with Wracu, especially disregarding Wutteat, but imo they show very limited awareness of any kind. Something closer to a sranc than anything else.


The other Weapon Races are dominated by their instincts and seem to lack both self awareness and ability to process contradictions.
Being dominated by instincts doesn't preclude the existence of a soul, nor does it guarantee it. Again, random animals can have souls.
Skin-spies must be extremely self aware to do what they do. As for the rest, probably not, and I include Wracu in that.

Sranc aren't as senseless as you seem to think though. For example, they have language, culture, complex social structures. They also are used as Elju for Nonmen, which indicates a huge capacity for not just memory and recall, but also communication.

All this to say, Wracu very much fit into the standard Weapon Race role. They aren't exceptional, other than their physical variation. I see no significant reasons for why they should have special rules.
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The Unholy Consult / Re: Do Dragons descended from Wutteat Comprehend Paradox?
« Last post by SmilerLoki on October 12, 2021, 07:36:40 pm »
Why does the Wracu high rate of mutation rule out selective breeding?  Its a basic tool of managing traits and the high rate of mutation means you're going to have a bunch that don't function very well or can't live because they're messed up internally.  Sky high hatching mortality is likely and probably keeps their numbers low.   Wracu are long lived so its quite possible their have only been a few generations with which to direct their development.
It's because selective breeding doesn't break species barriers so drastically, nor by producing so few organisms. There is no realistic way to selectively breed a species in such a manner that one member of it would have many legs (Skuthula) while others contemporary with it, not so much (every other dragon we've seen). There is also no in-between Wracu here, which would've happened if it was a randomly encountered and then specifically bred for trait.

All of this is a clear sign of engineering as opposed to breeding.

As for the No-God controlling the Wracu, the writings suggest to me willing submission not control.   The No-God does not shout through Wracu throats.   They behave like vassals, not puppets.
Wutteat phrases his claim of freedom from the Black Heaven in a way that suggests it's something extraordinary.
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The Unholy Consult / Re: Do Dragons descended from Wutteat Comprehend Paradox?
« Last post by Cynical Cat on October 12, 2021, 05:29:56 pm »
Why does the Wracu high rate of mutation rule out selective breeding?  Its a basic tool of managing traits and the high rate of mutation means you're going to have a bunch that don't function very well or can't live because they're messed up internally.  Sky high hatching mortality is likely and probably keeps their numbers low.   Wracu are long lived so its quite possible their have only been a few generations with which to direct their development.

I've seen zero evidence that Skin Spies are more intelligent than Wracu.  Skin Spies are trained to mimic men and infiltrate, which is something Wracu obviously can't do but they certainly comprehend and use language.

Did they find Wutteat in space?  The lines given suggested to me that he had been created in the Ark while it was in space. 

As for the No-God controlling the Wracu, the writings suggest to me willing submission not control.   The No-God does not shout through Wracu throats.   They behave like vassals, not puppets.

Souls in Earwa aren't the product of pure intelligence, but they do seem to require a near human level of intelligence because souls clearly require a significant level of self awareness. The Wracu seem to possess this, although that might not be true.  Unlike Skin Spies we are not privy to their thoughts. .  The other Weapon Races are dominated by their instincts and seem to lack both self awareness and ability to process contradictions.
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Author Q&A / Re: Skin-spies...?
« Last post by Cynical Cat on October 12, 2021, 05:11:04 pm »
The line "we are ancient" probably refers to the Consult or the Inchoroi and their inheritors, not to the Skin Spies specifically.   They're likely a recent creation of the Tekne and probably derived from humans, albeit with considerable changes.
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The Unholy Consult / Re: Do Dragons descended from Wutteat Comprehend Paradox?
« Last post by H on October 12, 2021, 03:44:40 pm »
Wracu were created on Earwa just like the rest of the weapons races, iirc. Wutteat was apparently found somewhere in the void and tagged along, but the Wracu were created to fight the Quya, which would have been centuries after The Fall once the Inchoroi exhausted their other weapons.

I definitely agree here.  Immediately post-Arkfall, there is only Wutteät.  It is only later that derivative Wracu are made.

The Wracu are also controlled by the No God, just like the other races. They might be more intelligent than sranc, for example, but we have seen high levels of intelligence from skin-spies. Maybe even more so - they are in fact so intelligent that no one can tell they are fakes based on their behavior or speech. My point being that we know that Skin Spies do not have souls and imo they are smarter than Wracu, so it seems unlikely that Wracu have souls - especially since their behavior is so bestial compared to the skin-spys.

I disagree here, because I don't consider a "soul" to have anything to do with notional "intelligence" (and I also don't know that I agree that skin-spies are "smarter" than Wracu).  Certainly, neither Wracu or skin-spies are act the way Sranc and Bashrags are shown to, but I don't think that really relates much to their souled or un-souled status.  To me, a soul is a particular sort of self-consciousness, relating to understanding how contradiction works and it's role in Being.  This isn't really an intellectual endeavor though, not in the way Bakker frames it, it's a constitutive sort of process.  If it were, skin-spies could learn to have souls, which would be easy, since they excel at mimicry.  It's not though.  Just because most of the Wracu we see are crazy and act irrationally, does not mean they don't have a soul.  In fact, one way to consider this is as evidence they do have souls.
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The Unholy Consult / Re: Do Dragons descended from Wutteat Comprehend Paradox?
« Last post by SmilerLoki on October 12, 2021, 03:02:34 pm »
Wutteat was apparently found somewhere in the void and tagged along
Let's say he was on the Ark before the Fall, there is no real data as to how and why.

My point being that we know that Skin Spies do not have souls and imo they are smarter than Wracu
The inability of skin-spies to comprehend paradox is pretty damning smarts-wise. In this sense they seem to be a stand-in for real-world psychopaths, who you can spot fairly easily if you know what to look out for. They try to counter that by only interacting with others superficially, but that fails the moment anyone presses the issue with them.
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The Unholy Consult / Re: Do Dragons descended from Wutteat Comprehend Paradox?
« Last post by Wilshire on October 12, 2021, 12:46:55 pm »
Wracu were created on Earwa just like the rest of the weapons races, iirc. Wutteat was apparently found somewhere in the void and tagged along, but the Wracu were created to fight the Quya, which would have been centuries after The Fall once the Inchoroi exhausted their other weapons.

The Wracu are also controlled by the No God, just like the other races. They might be more intelligent than sranc, for example, but we have seen high levels of intelligence from skin-spies. Maybe even more so - they are in fact so intelligent that no one can tell they are fakes based on their behavior or speech. My point being that we know that Skin Spies do not have souls and imo they are smarter than Wracu, so it seems unlikely that Wracu have souls - especially since their behavior is so bestial compared to the skin-spys.
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The Unholy Consult / Re: Do Dragons descended from Wutteat Comprehend Paradox?
« Last post by SmilerLoki on October 12, 2021, 07:07:26 am »
Selective breeding is basic biological selection, and given the rest of Scott's work, overwhelmingly likely to have been employed.
Wilshire's right, the variety of traits Wracu possess makes it demonstrably unlikely. Selective breeding produces similar-looking creatures, not extremely diverse ones.
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The Unholy Consult / Re: Do Dragons descended from Wutteat Comprehend Paradox?
« Last post by Cynical Cat on October 11, 2021, 11:18:47 pm »
The Wracu are not like skin spies, sranc or bashrag because their original template was created at the height of their arts.  The others were kludged out using what remained of their knowledge and technology after the Ark and over 99% of their people were dead.  They were still capable of impressive feats of biological engineering, but with seemingly high rates of failure.   The pits they fill with the failures and the low survival rate of the grafting of the abilitly to perceive the Onta are indicative of that. 

Selective breeding is basic biological selection, and given the rest of Scott's work, overwhelmingly likely to have been employed.  It seems likely that their ability to produce Wracu was flawed with the loss of the Tekne, given the high mutation rate which suggests a significant number of nonviable dragonlings going into the pits as failures.  However the presence of young Wracu during the Apocalypse means that the Wracu can either breed among themselves or the Consult acquired the knowledge with which to produce them.

As for being ensouled, the Consult overwhelmingly want little of that and they want iron control over their creations.   The Wracu are different as they are few enough in number that their souls would not interfere with plans and their powerful abilities would be better deployed by a creature not totally ruled by their instincts.   It may also, given their connection to Outside, be essential for them.   

I'm not able to produce any quotes supporting the rare souled sranc or bashrag at the moment.  It was ages ago, spun off from the discussion of ensouled animals IIRC.   My memory may be faulty, of course but it makes logical sense.   I'll keep looking and see what I can produce.
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The Unholy Consult / Re: Do Dragons descended from Wutteat Comprehend Paradox?
« Last post by H on October 11, 2021, 02:35:49 pm »
Indeed, my own personal theory, based off nothing but maybe circumstantial evidence at best, is that the Inchoroi themselves know very, very little of the Bios.  It was likely Ark itself that it most of the work, pre-Fall.  But Wracu are post-Fall creatures, since at the Fall only Wutteät seems to have been around.

This is what makes me favor idea that Wracu, like Sranc and Bashrags and "hacked" in the sense of not being totally "original" creations, but manners of recombining and reconstituting existing designs.  Where Sranc and Bashrags debase Nonmen genetics, I think, in my opinion, it is likely that Wracu are a sort of debased combination of Wutteät's and Inchoroi genetics, since that is what was likely at hand.
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