New Theory on Dralasite Reproduction

jedion357's picture
May 6, 2014 - 5:32am
Previously its been thought that dralasites reproduce by giving off spores and when one touches a fertile female a new dral is concieved. If that is the case then its unusual that dralasites have colonized the least number of planets in the frontier. In truth the Frontier really ought to be bursting with them.

Now humans, yazirians and vrusk have 2 sexes each and both sexes are required for reproduction.

So why is it that dralasites with 3 sexes only use two of them for reproduction?

Becuase of the word neuter? What if our understanding of this word was slightly faulty?

What if the neuter sex was involved in reproduction? What if it took three dralasites to tango as it were? That the male and female each contribute "seed" to the neuter who incubates it and produces a bud? That while the neuter is neither male nor female it is the incubator or surrogate.

Now you would have a situation where reproduction is much more deliberate and not accidental and because you'd have to increase the number of willing particpants from 2 to 3 it would naturally explain the low population numbers for dralasites in the frontier.

Under this scheme the drugs mentioned in canon that allow dralasites to control their gender become crucial.

This statement factors into this discussion as well i would think
AD wrote:
their communities are small, and many dralasites prefer to live alone.

I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

iggy's picture
May 6, 2014 - 12:28pm
I have pondered and analyzed this a bit.  The way I worked it out is that dralasites do not reach fertility until about 30 frontier years, about 27 earth years.  Then the gestation period for a dral is longer at 350 earth days verses 280 earth days for humans.  Then if they have a menopause age it would be at 150 frontier years where a frontier human female would hit menopause at 120 frontier years. 

Mostly I hit on short periods of male and female gender cycles separated by longer gender neuter periods.  Thus a dral one has a half dozen or so male and female cycles in their life and most of the time they are neuter. Anciently drals may have used the neuter periods to stock up on food and the derives materials needed for sporing and budding.  So a neuter dral that is transitioning into male would crave certain things to support the impending sporing.   The neuter dral that is transitioning to female would crave other things to support the budding of a new dral.  Thus the transition to male is a shorter period than transitioning to female.

The drugs mentioned in the rule books are to keep the dral in the neuter stages longer.  Humans envy this at it is an ultimate form of birth control that can be turned off at will and is gender neutral.  I figure the drals perfected this long before leaving their home world because over population on the home world forced the development.  Potentially this happened in their pre-industrial age and has become part of their culture since time remembered so no one knows how the early neuter lengthening drugs first came to be.

This also plays well into the dral practice of living alone.  Living alone helps control reproduction and stoas may fluctuate their membership based on the gender cycles.

I have thought about reproduction where the third gender carries the child and I put something like it into another race that lives beyond the frontier.  This race has to master control of their body and emotions to transition from neuter drones to male or female.  The level of mastery determines if you make male or female.  The females as the rareest and control the society through pheromones.   They gather many male mates who gestate the transferred egg and act as the exective government under their queens.  They have many drone children whom they use as loyal labor and culture hoping a few will reach gender.  Once in a while one reaches female, a few reach male, a few more almost reach gender by developing emotions and become the scientists, engineers, warriors, etc of the society and are characterized by emotional peculiarities of one form or another.  Most remain drones, obedient, logical, and emotionless.  Their story line is the development of gateways into the void.

rattraveller's picture
May 6, 2014 - 2:26pm
Getting a little blunt here, we need to figure that for Dralasites reproduction is not the courtship rites of Humans. Giving their love of debate and dialog the courtship of Dralasites would probably involve long discussions of who would provide the best genes and best circumstances to raise the youngster. Dralasite steam baths where debate of reproduction would be off setting to the other races.

Given that they like to live alone marriage may have been an alien concept to them.

Also another thing which may have been disturbing to the other races is that since Drasites can change sexes the debates on reproduction could start with Dralasites of the same sex and then they agree as to which one would change sex to have the buds. Probably why they developed the drugs in the first place.
Sounds like a great job but where did you say we had to go?

iggy's picture
May 6, 2014 - 5:09pm
rattraveller wrote:
Given that they like to live alone marriage may have been an alien concept to them.

You have hit on a key point I have not articulated in my onsite discussion of dralasites.  They do not form mating bonds.  A bud is something that just happens and the spore could have come from anywhere on the wind.  Thus a dral does not engage in a sex act to be fertilized.   This unwilled consequence of nature is just the way it is for drals and thus all through their history they have developed cultural practices to control reproduction.  To bond with another and choose to make offspring is a new and alien concept to them.

Some cultural concequences of their reproduction are:

Sporing in public is rude and irresponsible. 
Human and yazirian mating and love are not taboo or private subjects to them.  (A source of many drals getting slapped)
Reproduction is publicly debated.
Young dral buds know everything about reproduction and have no taboos. 

And I just thought of something new.  There could be a dralasite sporing festival that happens every few years where drals gather and mingle.  Think of a large open gathering with food, debates, tangling, art, jokes, and all the things dralasites like.  They all mingle among air thick with males sporing.  No one has amorous or aroused feelings about the event.  It is all very practicle.  The males get a time to spore in public and the females who wish to bud come for the fragrant event.  Thus you would have drals that wanted to participate in the event timing their medical controlled gender cycles so they could play one side or the other or just be safely neuter.

It is good to put a little extra effort into thinking alien.