Category talk:Liir

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Q: I know Liir have limited eyesight but how limited? Does color have meaning to them, and if the answer is "not that much", how do they interpret the insignia and emblems and symbols that mean so much to other races?

A: Liir can distinguish some colors, although they are much better at perceiving contrasts of light and dark. Liir group colors into simple dichotomies: Black/dark versus white/light, and Blue-indigo-purple versus yellow/orange. Important messages or controls in a Liir vessel tend to be inscribed or raised to provide a 3-dimensional component, and they are usually marked with flourescence.

Q: Do Liir have their own "symbols" in the philosophical sense? The badge artwork is colored nicely for our eyes, but I'm guessing it looks best when viewed with Liir ears.

A: Liir have an appreciation of symbolic and artistic motifs, and even before the development of steelsong they used glyphs and symbols to communicate. Some "visual" art for Liir is difficult for other species to appreciate without the use of special diving gear or equipment; it is common, for example, to carve the sub-surface ice of an iceberg or an ice cap. The badge motifs are colored to try and approximate a Liir visual perception. Transfered from forums by --Nspace 22:18, 8 April 2009 (UTC)

Q: What's wrong with a Liir named Tom that likes to listen to rock music?

A: A Liir might very well listen to rock music, but it would be very difficult for it to call itself "Tom", unless "Tom" was the human-language shorthand for a psionic name like "He Who Seeks the Songs of the Vanished Elder Tom Petty".

Verbally, Liir speakers would have a bit of trouble with "Tom", because the hard consonant "t" and the hard "o" are so rarely used in their language. "Tuum" is probably about as close as a Liir could come to saying "Tom" out loud.

Q: So they don't use hard T's? Pronunciation wise is there a particular language that the verbal language of the liir is related to (i.e. Closer to japanese or german or spanish)? Also what is the preferred grammatical structure of the liir? Also, what is the liir philosophy on things like past and future tenses?

A: Liir do have a percussive "t", but it is rarely used and usually only in combination with an extended "uu". In person, their language is heavily inflected by psionic additions: fleetsong and steelsong are very different, obviously, and have a much more rigid structure than personal communication.

In personal communication, Liir have many subtle means of expressing the location of an event in time, including several unique subjunctive forms which have to do with events that have taken place, are taking place, might take place or WILL take place within the mind and soul, but not in the outward physical world.

Because both fleetsong and steelsong are very young language traditions, they are still in flux--a storm of idiomatic phrases and uses emerge from new situations as they arise. I don't believe there is presently any human language which has to cope with the challenges that Liirian fleetsong and steelsong do--that is, of richly expressive thought being forced into narrow and rigid channels of communication to achieve specific and necessary tasks--unless it is the language of computer programming. Transfered from forums by --Nspace 17:27, 2 May 2007 (EDT)

Q: What do Liir call gravity wells?

A: Liir tend to think of forces like gravity in fluid terms; gravity wells are conceived as a vortex which will drag the weak down into their depths. But how any given planet or star is discussed will depend on context. Transfered from forums by --Nspace 11:43, 2 April 2007 (PDT)

Recently Added Info

Q: Just on a curious nitpicky note. Is the whole room Cai Rui wakes up in flooded with Ozone or do they just have some really bright lights in there?

A: The whiff of ozone is one of the hints that the Liir is in the room, although out of sight. His landsuit releases a minute amount of ozone along with oxygen as part of its scrubbing mechanism.

Q: I wonder what would happen if a young liir happened to "find the thought" from the mind of a former assault shuttle pilot who had been reborn.

A: There's a reason that those pilots seldom go home.

Q: Ouch. Those Liir are a lot darker than they seem, aren't they?

A: There is darkness in the universe that humanity has seen only in glimpses. The Liir know more than they are telling about many, many things. --Nspace 14:04, 12 February 2007 (PST)

Q: I was just thinking of somethign about Liir names, if they are "dead" when they become black swimmers do they lose their names. Would they then have a new one or something until they are no longer black swimmers?

A: No, they retain the old name, although it is likely to have a bittersweet irony. A new name would come if they were ever able to leave the service--such an event is considered rebirth, and would involve a new name to commemorate the occasion, and allow the past to be left behind. --Nspace 11:45, 26 October 2006 (PDT)

A swimmer is brutal not out of efficiency but out of fear. Liir do not breed like flies, nor do they the ability to marshal their entire population as soldiers. They are vulnerable at all times and the first visitor from the stars enslaved them all. A black swimmer does not destroy an enemy world as his opening gambit. It is done as a last resort. Not much a condolence to the millions coughing up plague blood...but there you have it. --Nspace 09:25, 27 June 2006 (PDT)

Q: Just a thought... I guess the ones doing the fighting are the Black Swimmers, but what about everybody else involved in the war? Engeneers constructing the battleships, the weaponry etc.. Are those Black Swimmers as well? Do they need to be cleansed? They sure know what the machinery they are constructing means...

A: Most of the cleansing rituals have to do with being physically close enough to your victims to absorb their death agonies. For a Liir, being within "shouting" distance of a kill is incredibly visceral and devastating. It's hard to put this in human terms without sounding almost deranged--but taking the life of a thinking, feeling sapient being for a Liir is as intimate and terrible as it would be for a human being to drive a short sword into the belly of a close relative, feel that person's fluids rain onto your skin, and stare intimately into the victim's face as life left the body. They not only have to empathize with the death, but taste every shade of pain and rage and despair and fear as that experience devours someone's consciousness.

And they go through this knowing that they've caused it.

They may even have to face the fact that some part of them enjoyed it.

I'm sorry to be so blunt about this, but building a machine, no matter how deadly the machine, is still a sterile task by comparison. The Liir are no different from humans when it comes to achieving emotional distance from acts which are physically distant. This is why they try to keep war as far away from their homes and loved ones as they can. If there was a motto of the Black Swimmers, it might well be "You must kill--so they don't have to."

Q: I don't believe thoughts travel well in space, hence the necessity for the Liir 'fleetsong' (I think that's what it's called, anyway). So I imagine the Liir are still somewhat removed from the psychic impact of killing in space combat.

A: Yes. Much more so than in a close assault. But there are still echoes and there is still tremendous guilt and pain, especially as the "lights" aboard the enemy vessel flicker and go out. Whenever a sentient dies, the universe is a darker place for a Liir.

The farther away this event occurs, the easier is it is to shunt aside the emotions associated with the act. But yes, even Liir working to create weapons or build ships are somewhat hardened relative to a normal Liir, and even they have ethical pain to deal with. They usually think of their work as a defensive measure to protect their people, both planet-side and in the Black.

Q: Something occurs to me, now that close combat has been referenced. How exactly do the Liir fight in close combat?

A: A Liir in close combat is the most dreadful foe imaginable, unless you have developed specific technology to spoof his psionic and physical senses.

You cannot hide. Your life force and thought patterns are about as subtle as foghorn with a laser show attached.

If you can be "seen" sonically, you can be easily attacked--not only by his weapons systems, but by a tornado of whatever stray objects he has managed to tear loose from his surroundings. Everything under the size of a bread box in your ship is likely to come hurtling at you at the speed of sound.

If he understands the mechanisms which operate YOUR weapons, the tiniest telekinetic twitch can cause them to misfire or explode. The same is true of the tiny flicker of pressure it takes to burst the blood vessels in your brain, which are as easy for him to read sonically as the trail map in a city park.

This, of course, is assuming that he's very calm and being subtle. If he's hurt and angry, he'll get crude and childish--pick you up and crush you to jelly in a telekinetic fist, or batter you into spam against the hull of your own vessel.


Kinda glad the game doesn't directly simulate these things, personally.

Maybe that's just me.

Q: If they were going to use assault shuttles to say, board an enemy craft, would they need to flood the vessel first just so that they could manuever freely?

A: Liir have spacesuits. They can manuver in zero gravity rather gracefully--the manuvering jets of the suit simulate swimming. The easiest solution would be for them to cut whatever artificial gravity might exist in an advanced ship before boarding.

Q: Do the Black Swimmers in general try to recruit or run such recruitment campaigns? Do they evangalize their cause?

A: To be honest, recruitment campaigns really aren't necessary. Most Liir go to their drowning day out of concern for their race. If they perceive a threat to their people, they put themselves in harm's way. It is what they are socially trained to do.

If the Black chooses to launch a recruiting drive, he only needs to make it clear that the threat is urgent. This can usually be accomplished by rescuing a few civilian survivors from a world or transport vessel that has been attacked and letting them circulate among the general population. --Nspace 09:53, 20 June 2006 (PDT)

  • Added to Various pages --Nspace 17:54, 14 June 2007 (EDT)

Q: You have talked about fleet song, but have the Liir made music (no concepts) just for the rythym to keep in sync with the other Liir in the fleet and coordinate movements?

A: Ship-to-ship coordination has to be handled in fleetsong, which is already a form of music. The other modes of communicating intention and coordinating action between groups are not available to Liir.

As a telepathic race, there is no need for any special way for individual Liir aboard a single ship to stay in sync with one another. They are all part of the same battlesong, sung in counterpoint to the enemy. --Nspace 17:53, 12 January 2006 (EST)

I believe you folks have answered most of your own questions here, and grasped the tragedy of military service for the Liir.

For the record, Castewar asked a similar question some months ago. He wisely realized that Liir are occasionally involved in genocidal wars against other sentients, and are often forced to kill the entire civilian population of an enemy world. The Liir who must pilot assault shuttles would be the ones most deeply affected by this action.

His question--how do they cope?

The answer: not well. The truth is that in some cases, a Liir crew who have seen too much of the wrong kind of action will never return home. When they are no longer needed by their people, they may well choose to "decommission" their own vessel by piloting it into the corona of the nearest star. --Nspace 12:10, 19 June 2006 (PDT)

Liir are mammals, and as such they have various expressions of emotion and thought that can be reflected in blood flow to the skin/hide. They also have body language, stance and gesture communication, although these are very alien to a bipedal land-walking non-psionic mammal. --Nspace 14:34, 12 January 2006 (EST)

Suul'ka pipe Suul'ka

There's no difference in functionality between [[Suul'ka]] and [[Suul'ka|Suul'ka]]. It's just that the latter makes more work for the wiki (only a little) and looks dirtier in the editing window. Is there a reason these were re-added here? Also, I don't feel there's a need to link every instance of a word that has an article about it... Just the first instance and, if the article is long (which, if I understand it correctly, we want to avoid, anyway) maybe another instance on down in the article. I thought I'd bring this up here, rather than just change it, in case I was missing some convention. --Day 10:15, 1 January 2006 (EST)

The point of it all is...there is no convention. :P Not really anyway (at least, not yet). I agree, doubling-up on the linking is redundant. As for linking every instance of a word with a page on it, in my opinion, it adds just a little more freedom for the reader of thw wiki. Don't want to click on "Human" right now, but read the next paragraph and decide to read-up on 'em? No searching the first paragraph for the link. :) --The Writer2 14:32, 1 January 2006 (EST)
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